tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN December 28, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. happening now. breaking news. isis ousted. iraqi troops raising their flag and proclaiming victory after retaking a key city from terrorist forces. will iraq's second largest city be the next to be liberated from isis? new terror threat, multiple major cities warned of possible attacks involving explosives or guns between christmas and new year's eve. is another paris style massacre imminent? trump's targets. the republican presidential front-runner accuses hillary clinton of playing what he calls the woman's card and declares bill clinton fair game as he campaigns for his wife. is trump playing with fire as he
accuses the former president of sexism? no charges. a grand jury decides not to indict two police officers who shot and killed a 12-year-old boy carrying a toy gun. will outrage boil over on to the streets? wolf blitzer is off today. i'm brianna keilar. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> we are following breaking news. u.s.-trained iraqi soldiers liberating the city of ramadi from a brutal seven-month occupation by isis forces. the iraqi flag is now flying over the city center while street fighting continues in an effort to clear the city of remaining pockets of terrorist fighters. we're also following breaking news out of cleveland where a grand jury has just decided against charging two police officers who shot and killed 12-year-old tamir rice who was carrying a toy gun. tonight, those officers are speaking out publicly about the case for the very first time.
we're covering all of that and more this hour with our guests including a key member of the house homeland security and intelligence committees, congressman peter king of new york. our correspondents and expert analysts are also standing by. and we begin in iraq. cnn's senior international correspondent in baghdad with more on the battle for ramadi. what's the latest on the ground? do you know if the iraqis are still holding the city? >> reporter: they are, brianna. although we understand they are claiming that it is entirely liberated. there are still pockets of fighting and iraqi officials are telling us that's coming as no surprise to them. they expect it's going to be at least another two, three weeks before the city's entirely purged of any isis presence. but that's not stopping them from celebrating taking that central district. this really has been months in the making, brianna. take a look at this. declaring victory in ramadi. video broadcast by iraqi state
tv shows soldiers raising their national flag over the city's government compound. celebrating the iraqi military's first major victory over the so-called islamic state. >> translator: ramadi has been freed. and the armed forces and the anti-terrorist group -- on all the governments building in al anbar. >> reporter: in may isis fighters seized ramadi, capital of mainly sunni anbar province west of baghdad government troops fled in defeat. but u.s.-trained iraqi forces returned launching an assault on the city last week and making their final push to seize the centrally located government complex on sunday. footage showed iraqi troops advancing through ramadi street by street amid piles of rubble and collapsed houses.
even amid the celebrations iraqi officials say government troops still need to clear some remaining pockets of insurgents in the city. once secured, ramadi will be handed over to local police at a sunni tribal force, a measure aimed at winning support from the local community. after that iraq's government has said their next target will be the northern city of mosul with an estimated population of 2 million mosul is by far the largest population center controlled by isis in either iraq or syria. and a crucial source of tax revenue. if it's retaken, it will take down much of the infrastructure underpinning isis' claim to state hood. so far we've been hearing cautious congratulations from u.s. officials who don't seem quite ready yet to call ramadi liberated. but they have been keen to play up the key role that the u.s. advise and assist, u.s. training and crucially some pretty
intense some 600 u.s.-led coalition air strikes have had in getting this far. this is as much a relief this almost-victory is as much of a relief for the u.s., brianna, as it is for the iraqis. >> thank you so much for that report. i want to get more now on this breaking news with cnn global affairs correspondent elise labott. what does this mean overall? or is it really too soon to tell the ramifications for the overall war against isis? >> well, clearly it's a very symbolic and strategic victory. i mean, you remember when ramadi fell to isis in may. defense secretary carter was questioning the resolve and the will of iraqi forces. so clearly this shows that they've been trained up. a lot of these iraqi forces are the ones that called in some of these isis targets. so it's a success. but whether they're going to be able to hold the city, clearly they need to have a more inclusive process with the sunnis in iraq. they're going to need to have inclusive in the government. they're going to make sure that
shia militias are not going to reignite sectarian tensions. and as you heard the spokesman of the coalition steve warren say today there's still a lot of work to do in ramadi -- in anbar province before they even think about moving north towards mosul where they really need to go after isis. that seeing mosul as the big prize they're a far ways away from that. >> he made it clear in a sort of understated way. you have european cities right now warned of possible terror attacks. is there an incentive for there to be some isis inspired attacks in the face of what is at least a momentary defeat for isis? >> well, and this is not the first defeat. they've had a string of defeats. you remember there was that iraqi forces retook baji, that strategic oil town and sinjar mountain where the fighting began. so you're going to talk more about this audio recording from baghdadi trying to rally the troops, there's definitely this impression now that isis is on
the back foot. so if he can get his followers to rally them, you've seen that some of these attacks in paris or san bernardino not necessarily carried out by isis but certainly inspired by and maybe with knowledge of isis are even more threatening to the international community than this attack. and it also fuels the narrative that isis is a growing global terror organization that's on the offensive, not some group that's losing on the battlefield. >> yeah. elise labott, great report. thank you so much. there are some mounting defeats that may be the reason for a new message from the leader of isis. cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto has been analyzing this for us. jim, it's a rather lengthy recording by abu backer al baghdadi. it is. 24 minutes. we don't know when it was recorded. there are no obvious time stamps or time references, but the time of the release this weekend particularly with the losses in ramadi, interesting at least. and he seems to be throwing it
forward kind of a warning but also a public call of support to the troops in the field to say this is going to be a difficult year ahead and trying to rally their support as that storm of opposition from the coalition and other nations comes through against isis. from the isis chief abu bakr al baghdadi, a new video recording seemingly attempting to boost fighters' morale with, quote, the world united against them. in the 24-minute tape al baghdadi says the u.s. coalition against isis does not dare send ground troops to fight isis. he threatens israel and praises isis fighters engaged in combat. >> this message is intended to reassure them that he is still there, he is still the leader, that isis is still in business. >> reporter: baghdadi makes no mention of recent terror attacks claimed by isis including armed assaults in paris and san bernardino and the downing of a russian passenger jet over the
sinai. >> he doesn't really make any references to the current condition of the so-called islamic state either in syria or in iraq. he is simply responding to those things he regards as threats. >> reporter: the message comes amid a rough week for isis on the battlefield as iraqi ground forces backed by coalition air strikes reclaim much of the western iraqi city of ramadi from isis fighters who have held it since may. iraqi security forces claiming victory on sunday after taking full control of a key central government compound. u.s. military officials however are more cautious. >> inside the city center there remain some neighborhoods that have not yet been cleared. there is a real threat for unexploded ordinance, mind fields, booby-trapped houses, there's still a lot of danger inside of ramadi. >> following the victory in ramadi we heard today from the
iraqi prime minister saying mosul is next, that they will rest mosul back from isis control as well. but i'll tell you, brianna, mosul is much farther north, there's a lot of isis controlled terror held between baghdad and mos mosul. there's no timeline for liberating mosul. >> very interesting. jim sciutto, thanks so much for that report. i want to dig deeper into all of this now with republican congressman peter king of new york. he's a member of the homeland security and the intelligence committees. congressman, thanks so much for being with us. when you see this message from al baghdadi, do you think that this is authentic? >> you know, we can't tell. i'm assuming, you know, that it is. and i think it's baghdadi. if it is legit, it's baghdadi trying to rally the troops. it's the first time isis has had any real setbacks. i think he wants to, you know, try -- find a way to keep morale
up. that's assuming that it is real. i have no reason to think it's not, but again, i have not been told officially yet whether it is or not. >> there's something i think that is sort of noticeable about the message and that's there isn't reference to recent events. >> right. >> and that sort of makes one wonder if this is something that could have been prerecorded. do you have any sense of whether this is something that could just be sort of evergreen and sort of put away until maybe a time when isis fighters need to be rallied? >> yeah. you know, this could have been put on the shelf several months ago in the event things did start to turn bad for them. and it can be used then. there's no reference at all to any recent events including attacks on the united states, europe, whatever. so there's nothing in there that really, you know, notes any time at all. this could have been a standard tape to be put on the shelves and used whenever appropriate.
european cities on alert tonight after an intelligence warning of possible attacks involving guns or explosives between christmas and new year's eve. police in vienna, austria say the warning included names of possible attackers but so far an investigation hasn't turned up any concrete results. we're back now with republican congressman peter king of new york. he is a member of the homeland security as well as the intelligence committee. so, congressman, can you give us a sense as we head into another holiday, are there any known threats to the homeland right now? >> i can assure you everything that's coming in is being looked at. so far nothing has been found. but any hint or any trace at all is being, you know, run down fully. certainly in new york we're always in a high state of alert. commissioner bratton said last week that extra police are being deployed. but as of now there's no evidence of any of these plots being real or credible.
but they are all being looked at. >> i want to talk to you about something you've been calling for and that's the increased surveillance of muslim communities. within muslim communities. the nypd had a program that really did this in muslim communities, but they ended up getting rid of it in april of 2014. when you talk about having increased surveillance, are you talking about something like this program? is there any evidence that this actually stopped any potential terror attacks? >> well, the fact is that there were no real terror attacks in new york during the time that that was in effect. and as commissioner kelly's pointed out there were 15 or 16 attacks that were stopped. actually, the program you're talking about, that's the demographics unit. that was really not there to find terror plots. it was to find out which muslim groups were living in which community. like if you wanted to find out where the moroccans were living or egyptians so if we're told a threat coming from a particular country, we would know what part
of new york those people were living in. so it wasn't really initially -- it was mainly just to locate where different groups were. there were still surveillance that does go on that was very extensive surveillance. new york has over 1,000 police working on counterterrorism. so while the demographics unit is no longer operational, there are other units that are out there. again, i'm not speaking for commissioner bratton. he can speak for himself. nypd is still doing an awful lot of good work. i wish that they were able to do more. they are doing a lot of good work. i'll just leave it at that. but i would say that it is important to have surveillance in the muslim communities at the local level and at the federal level. if we'd had it in boston we may well not have had the boston marathon bombing. >> how do you see this work sng and how do you do this in a way that wouldn't have people in the muslim community or supporters saying, look, this is just profiling? >> i really think people in the muslim community should want this type of surveillance.
listen, when they were going after the mafia, brianna, the fbi and police went into the italian-american neighborhoods, social clubs, when they were going after an irish-american gang on the west side of manhattan, they went in every irish bar and gin mill. this is all the fbi, nypd, that's how it was done. if you're looking for the clan, you don't go to harlem, you go where the threat is coming from. in this case if you're talking about islamist terrorism, it's going to come from the muslim community. 98%, 99% of muslims i'm sure are great patriotic americans, but i would think they would want to have the assistance of the police and fbi. unfortunately in many cases the mosques for instance have not told the police when there's been radical activities in those mosques. on long island where i'm from we've had a number of isis and certainly al qaeda people arrested in this country. actually one arrested in afghanistan fighting for al qaeda. it turns out they were from
mosques on long island. and the mosque would say they came here, said they wanted to engage in this activity, we told them we don't do that and never went and told the police cht even though they meet with the police on a regular basis never told the police any of these activities. >> can i ask you though you talk about the mafia as an example. and even with that program, i mean, i don't believe that there were any independent mafia inspired terrorist attacks. i wonder if you would be concerned that there could be some terror attacks outside of the community that would be looked at that could be inspired by something like this. >> well, again, i think that's sort of backing away. i think we should use the surveillance to the extent it's important. and also we should be monitoring other locations. i guess when you say, you know, does this inspire attacks, i think then you're playing defense. if you're in that situation where you're afraid to go after the enemy because, you know, that may inspire them to carry out attacks then we'd be
basically doing nothing. no, i'm not concerned about that any more -- to me there's more of a concern if we do nothing or don't do the surveillance. i would rather be on offense, do the surveillance and that could lead you to other attacks. >> congressman pete king, we certainly appreciate you being with us especially with this news of new terror threats. thank you so much. and coming up, donald trump he is -- happy new year to you as well. let's talk about donald trump next. he is heading back to the campaign trail. now he's taking on both hillary and bill clinton. and we have breaking news in the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old. we're going to get reaction to a grand jury's decision not to indict two police officers who were involved.
back now to our breaking news. it's a rare victory by iraq's u.s. backed military. for the first time it's taken back a major iraq city captured by isis. joining me now in "the situation room" to talk about this we have cnn contributor michael weiss, he's a senior editor at the daily beast. he's also the co-author of "isis: inside the army of terror." we have retired lieutenant general mark hertling and cnn analyst bob baer, former cia operative. to you first, general hertling. you have iraqi force who is no doubt have a success on their hands certainly for today. the question is, can this hold? will they be able to hold ramadi? >> it has been a tactical success, i would suggest, brianna.
it's part of an overall campaign. there's a bunch of things i'm going to be looking for. you know, is the police going to take over in ramadi? is the government activity going to get started again? are they going to get infrastructure back up to rebuild houses? i will tell you three things i personally will be looking for. number one, will the government in baghdad continue to support the iraqi military? number two, will the people continue to support the iraqi security forces? and number three, will both the government and the army not get too cocky and say they're immediately going to go to mosul? there's a whole lot of things left to do in anbar province. a bunch of other cities that have to be cleared of isis. >> that was the question i was going to ask you especially with your experience having been in iraq, people are looking at mosul and they're saying mosul would be huge if iraqi forces were able to take mosul back. but how far off do you think that is when you're talking about a number of other cities in anbar that obviously require focus at this time. >> yeah. that's the part about getting
too cocky. and i've experienced this with the iraqi army and the iraqi government before. they've got to clear a bunch of other cities in mosul of isis -- i'm sorry, in anbar, before they even think about going to mosul. and then when they do think about going to mosul, you're talking about more generation of forces. over the last nine months the iraqi security forces have generated about 15,000 under the guidance of army -- u.s. military trainers. they need a lot more of that when they start heading toward mosul. they also have to establish some bases on the way. >> bob, how important do you think this victory is? >> well, brianna, i think it's very important. i agree with general hertling. you know, this is a big breakthrough for the iraqi army. they've taken back a town apparently without militias. and we have to look what ramadi stands for. it's the tribal capital of iraq or the sunni tribal capital. but really what's important is
the follow-up. if they take ramadi and turn it over to the tribal chiefs and tribal militias and move on up the euphrates and take the other towns and do the same, sort of clear and then put a good governance in there of sunni muslims, this will be a great victory. on the other hand they invite shia militias in from the south, it will just prolong the conflict indefinitely. >> yeah, it really is just sort of one step in all of this. that's what we've been hearing today as well as from you, bob. michael, i want to talk to you about this message that came out over the weekend. it's reportedly from abu bakr al baghda baghdadi, the leader of isis. in this message he warns not to fight on his turf, crusaders and jews don't come -- what do you think he's trying to accomplish with it? >> well, i think he's trying to bait the united states into deploying a massive ground army in both syria and iraq. now, the irony of this to be
frank is actually if you go back to the original ideology of al qaeda in iraq, the predecessor of isis, that's what they wanted. zakarwi, he's referred to a town in aleppo province, syria, as sort of the platform or staging ground for the end times. armageddon will be ushered in here when the armies of rome, which is to say the west of course backed by the jews and everyone else face off with the armies of islam which really is only represented only by isis. so i think he is saying, look, put your soldiers in here with the hopes of course that isis would then kill or capture or maim american troops and turn the u.s. electorate against this coalition strategy or this coalition campaign. >> what do you see the likelihood of that happening, michael? >> i don't think it's going to happen in the near future. i'll be very honest with you, i don't know. it depends on the amount of territory that can be retaken. just to put the battle of ramadi in perspective, i agree with
everything general hertling and bob have said. but this is still, you know, we might be seeing the tipping point in this war, but it's still too soon to say we've had a strategic success. according to ihs in the last 18 months we've only retaken about 14% of all isis territory spanning both syria and iraq. and i don't think that even encompasses the sort of provinces they've now set up in libya, yemen, afghanistan, the sinai peninsula and in the north caucasus in russian federation territory. >> general hertling, when you look at this message and you hear what michael's saying, he's trying to goad western forces into a fight. what do you thinked chances of that are? >> well, i'm hoping they're not big chances. i'm hoping that percentages remain small. this is not something that we, the western forces, should get involved in on the ground. this is a -- an arab fight to regain the heart and soul of islam. it's going to be a generational
fight. and if we send forces in there as many have suggested we do, it's going to contribute to the narrative and continue to cause more challenges with isis. so i think this is -- as bob said thrks is a good tactical victory. let's keep moving. let's take care of it in iraq and then turn our attention primarily to syria. >> general hertling, michael, bob, thank you so much. happy new year to you as well. and coming up, donald trump declares that bill clinton is fair game since hillary clinton is talking about sexism. we're setting the scene for trump's rally this evening in new hampshire. and we're also keeping our eyes on the dangerous storms that are forming even as millions of texans are coping with damage caused by tornadoes, floods and blizzards. i am about to embark on a long and dangerous journey.
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indications, his talks tonight will include sexism taunts aimed at hillary and now bill clinton. i want to bring in chief political correspondent dana bash with this story. they are getting into it. >> they sure are. we learned today, brianna, that one week from today will be bill clinton's 2016 debut on the campaign trail for his wife. that is of course the state that made him the comeback kid back in 1992. but donald trump isn't waiting until next week to pull the former president and all of his baggage into hillary clinton's campaign. card and it's like give me a - break. >> the way donald trump sees it, to be a winner you have to act like one. so he's ending 2015 as if he's already won the 2016 gop nomination, attacking hillary clinton. >> i've had so many women come up to me say you've got to keep her out, she is just terrible. >> trump's anti-hillary rants have been nonstop since before christmas when she returned fire. >> it's not the first time he's
demonstrated, you know, penchant for sexism. >> now trump is bringing bill clinton into it, the latest on iowa radio this morning. >> with all of her past and her past dealings and frankly she's been involved in it with her husband as much as anybody, for her to be discussing that i think is out of bounds. and i've let them know that. >> trump is doing well with republican women. in the last cnn/orc poll, a whopping 69% of female gop voters said they have a favorable view of trump. but it's almost the opposite when all female voters are included. 61% view trump unfavorably. the only republican woman running for president is trying to capitalize on the trump-clinton war of words. >> look, how about an honest woman? how about a competent woman? how about a qualified woman? but i'm never going to ask for people's support because i'm a woman. i'm going to ask for their support because i'm the most qualified candidate to beat hillary clinton.
>> as for trump, his campaign insists he'll win by bringing new voters into the gop fold, which is why he's lashing out at virginia republicans for a new requirement, to participate in its gop primary voters must sign a party loyalty pledge, one of trump's many tweets said, straighten out the republican party of virginia before it's too late. stupid. rnc. meanwhile, in new hampshire the conservative union leader, which endorsed chris christie, unloaded on trump today for, quote, bathroom humor and verbal bullying. >> you got my homework finished -- >> comparing trump to the bully bif in the movie "back to the future". >> hello, anybody home? >> the editorial saying we trust new hampshire republicans will send bif trump back to somewhere, anywhere, but on the road to the most important elected office in the united states. despite having his harsh critics, donald trump has admirers too. in fact, gallop came out today with most admired men of the
year list, trump tied with the pope as the second most admired man in america. both were behind president obama. and what about the most admired woman by the way? that is hillary clinton. in fact, this is the 14th straight year she's topped gallup's list. 20th overall. and, brianna, gallup says that is more than any other man or woman since gallup has been doing this since 1948. >> wow. that's pretty amazing. and pope francis and bernie sanders and donald trump, that's fascinating. dana, stay with us as i bring in cnn senior political reporter manu raju and david. you hear donald trump saying, david, that bill clinton is fair game. he's different than the average candidate spouse for sure. what do you think of that? >> yeah, i think bill clinton is fair game. i think when secretary clinton went and made her comments, she kind of made a messaging mistake by making this broad statement that donald trump has a penchant
for sexism. donald trump is a sexist, but if she had instead attacked him specifically for what he said that she'd gotten schlonged in 2008 or carly fiorina saying things about her face, she would have gotten more attraction. instead it kind of opened her up to trump's rebuttal and now they're in this back and forth. >> so you see it as a mistake. i'm hearing from a lot of people, you know, maybe she's not going to, maybe that's not smart, but if -- you know, we're going to see bill clinton, manu, here on the campaign trail, we've seen him beasset. >> we've always seen bad bill come with good bill. that's one thing the clintons are concerned about. remember in 2008 he certainly said things that took the clinton campaign off message, criticized the obama campaign for this fairy tale campaign. >> people thought that interjected race into the debate. >> absolutely. that's the concern whenever bill
clinton is speaking. but at the same time, look, there's nobody that can galvanize democratic voters the waybill clinton can. he can really rally the base in a way hillary clinton cannot. so he does fill that gap. despite all the baggage that comes with bill clinton, he did leave office very high approval ratings at a similar time in his presidency he had 57% approval rating, barack obama right now with 47%. it shows that he can still do a lot of good for the hillary clinton campaign. >> but for all of the decades now that we have been kind of witnessed to some clinton drama, we're talking about bill clinton now, it's mostly been with traditional politicians as his political foes. donald trump has no filter. we know that. >> it's like guerilla politics. >> exactly. he will say things about bill clinton if pushed that nobody else has been able to say, which will take this into a very, very different dimension that we dealt with in the '90s or even
in 2008. and that clearly is, i think, what donald trump has been warning about on twitter and then these radio ads. >> the clinton people want to have to respond to him -- >> what does that look like, though? if he sort of says -- look, you look at jeb bush, look at what donald trump did with jeb bush, he hammers over and over on a certain narrative. it's not a bad thing for him with the folks he's trying to appeal with. then you see it sort of playing out like that. >> it could. it just depends if he wants to go there. look, they do have a history. a good history. i mean, donald trump and bill clinton remember like way back in the day like, i don't know, six months ago when they were really good friends. >> he wants to be a democrat. >> remember that? that was so maybe seven months ago. it depends. but trump has the capacity to be incredibly unfiltered, politically incorrect as his supporters like to say. and who knows where that's going to take us when it comes to bill clinton and his past.
>> let's talk money now. because there are reports that donald trump's campaign is going to put some money out there that they're preparing to launch an ad blitz. and we haven't seen him do this yet. why would he do this now, do you think? >> well, at a minimum i think he would do that because now we're not just talking at polls. in a few weeks we're talking about actual voters so it's not just enough for trump to get out on the campaign trump and say i'm leading in the polls so that means i'm great. he has to actually come out and get voters out, get caucus goers out in iowa and primary voters out in new hampshire. so someone like him who now is sort of in this thing, it's not a fluke anymore. he's got to sort of backstop himself because he wants to backup the talk that he's going to run the table. >> and it does seem that he's -- i mean, obviously he's getting a lot of enthusiasm at these rallies. he is getting names, information about people so that they can be contacted. but it also seems like maybe the folks that he's attracting don't tend to be the people who are really fluent in the caucus
program, which takes a lot of investment of time and, you know, being well versed on issues and on your candidate, right? >> again, i think trump has to sort of demonstrate now that he's serious and not just appealing to the cameras. whether or not he wins iowa i don't think is a make or break for his campaign. but he certainly can't come in second or third in iowa, second or third in new hampshire, second or third in south carolina and expect people to take him as seriously as we're taking him now. i think that's a hitch. >> one thing just to add on the money front, i was talking to a trump source today who said that they had $25 million set aside for ads that they never had to run. they didn't spend one penny of it because he's gotten all of this free media, what they call earned media in the biz. and he's been able to get his message out in how much is twitter 140 characters? >> yeah. >> it's kind of amazing. without spending a dime when you have all of these other, you know, candidates who have had to spend. >> interesting to see how much
money he spends on the air attacking his foes in addition to his own positive messaging. will he go after his best friend ted cruz? or ted cruz wants him to be his best friend. >> will the bromance be over, we'll see. thank you so much for being with us. we are following some breaking news. coming up, officials will explain why a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot and killed a 12-year-old boy outside of a cleveland recreation center. we're also keeping an eye on some dangerous storms that are forming after a deadly weekend of tornadoes, flooding and blizzard conditions. come on in pop pop.
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we are following some breaking news in a police deadly force case that made nationwide headlines. this afternoon in cleveland officials announced a grand jury returned no indictments after investigating last year's police shooting of a 12-year-old boy. tamir rice had a pellet gun outside of a recreation center, but a dispatcher sent police to the scene without telling them that rice was a juvenile or that his gun may not be real. he was shot and killed seconds after officers arrived. >> by close examination, especially of what is perhaps the most critical piece of evidence, a very recent enhancement of the surveillance video by an expert laboratory often relied upon by the fbi, it is now indisputable that tamir was drawing his gun from his waist as the police slid toward him and officer loman exited the car. >> i want to bring in cnn correspondent jean casarez now. this obviously was key this newly enhanced video when it comes to this decision.
tell us a little more about it. >> well, it's interesting. they start out by showing a lot of children in the area of the recreation center when the cruiser begins to pull up there. and they also then focus in on that tamir rice, the call was he was at a gazebo, but he wasn't. he was at a table and umbrella type of thing. so what happens was that they show this enhanced video of 12-year-old tamir rice standing up, putting his hand into his waistband, as if to put a gun in there. turning around seemingly walking away but then coming in the direction of the cruiser. and then his hand goes back up to the waistband. his jacket goes up. and that's when the officers saw what they said was a gun. so the state of mind of the police officers is what is so important in all of this. and it was ten seconds by the time that the cruiser pulled up, the officer got out and shot it was two seconds after the officer got out and shot.
and something else that we had heard but confirmed today by authorities that the original call from someone at that recreational center said, he's probably a juvenile and it's probably a fake gun, but the 911 dispatcher in talking to the officers saying we have an active shooter situation did not tell them that. so that was not part of their state of mind as they then got out of the car. and officer loman fired the two shots, one of which entered tamir rice's body killing him the next day. >> and his family at this point, jean, is pushing back against the prosecutor. they say that he made an indictment impossible. how controversial is this decision? >> it's a very, very harsh statement from the family. we want to show everybody. it says tamir's family is saddened and disappointed by this outcome but not surprised. it has been clear for months now that cuyahoga county prosecutor timothy mcginty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment. and we have reached out to the
prosecutor for a response to this. and so far he has not returned our calls. >> all right, jean casarez on this, thanks so much. i do want to get now some insights from one of our cnn legal analysts. sunny hostin is a former federal prosecutor. she's joining me now. sunny, you know this family well. you've interviewed tamir reeice family many times. you've heard that statement they're surprised by this outcome. you're a former prosecutor so give us your perspective here on how the prosecutor may or may not have impacted this outcome. >> i will say when the prosecutor had his press conference, brianna, he indicated that while the grand jury did not come down with an indictment, that non-indictment was in line with what his recommendation was. he told the world he did not want to prosecute this case and he did not want to indict this case and that's what happened. people need to understand prosecutors are in control when it coals to the grand jury.
prosecutors decide who goes in front of the grand jury, which evidence is presented in front of the grand jury and which charges are brought in front of the grand jury. in my experience, i've never presented in front of the grand jury and not resulted in an indictment. it's quite shocking, quite frankly, he would say that he didn't think that it was an appropriate case to indict because if you look at the facts of this case and by the way, this happened november 22nd, 2014. i can tell you it doesn't take over a year, over a year to indict a case like this or to present this kind of case to the grand jury. so i think that you must understand that while this family isn't surprised by the outcome, i am surprised by the outcome. >> and you're saying that he sort of inappropriately put his finger on the scale of justice here. would you go as far to say you think it's a miscarriage of his, i guess, authority and
responsibility? >> well, i am prepared to say i think this case screamed out for a special prosecutor. i think people will be uncomfortable with the process here. i think it doesn't take a year to investigate and present a case in front of the grand jury and interestingly enough, when you think about the pacts of this case, neither officer testified in front of the grand jury yet many of their statements were presented to the grand jury and in one statement, one of the officers indicated he asked asked tamir rice three times to show his hands. when he exited the vehicle he shot tamir rice in two seconds. how is it possible that it is reasonable for an officer to demand that someone compile with his or her officer -- orders rather but not give that person time to compile. there is no way that two seconds is enough time to assess what
was happening here. >> that's part of the reason why this is certainly so controversial and sunny, we do really appreciate your insight on this case that i know you've been paying so much attention to. thanks so much. >> thanks, brianna. we're following severe weather that killed at least two dozen people in three states. flooding, tornados, blizzard conditions impacted millions of americans and it's not over yet. nick valencia is in garland, texas, a town devastated by a strong tornado. tell us what the area is facing now as they look unfortunately towards snow and frigid temperatures. >> reporter: that is, of course, the concern brianna after what they have gone through in the course of the last 48 hours. we've been here all day long at this site and within the last couple hours, we've begun to see more residents trickle back in to sift through belongings. some residents said they had little if not time at all to prepare for shelter. >> i thought it was dead, you
know. i was waiting for the tornado to suck me out. but it didn't. life gave me a second chance. >> reporter: for josh white, the chance to walk away from a deadly e-4 tornado here in garland, texas almost didn't come. >> i was running towards my closet and the doors and everything started caving in and stuff started flying through the windows. i could hear it hitting us, bricks. >> reporter: he hid with his wife and 5-year-old son with just a mattress to protect them from winds up to 200 miles per hour. >> this made me realize how fragile life is, you know, but try to do better. >> reporter: 11 people were killed in texas alone this weekend when tornados ripped through the state tearing apart buildings, leaving skeleton structures and shattered wood behind. the destructive winds are part of a massive storm system reeking havoc with a deadly mix of tornados, ice, blizzards and
flooding. stretching from new mexico to maine. at least two dozen people have died and more than 100 million more could be affected by severe storms, flooding and snow from the same system. white gathers his belongings in just a sweatshirt while others are digging out of the blizzard conditions. texas a among the hardest hit with illinois and missouri, each reporting multiple deaths. at least four international soldiers stationed at fort leonard wood perished in missouri when their car was over taken by rising water. >> they did find two individuals in the car. we found two other men that were actually outside of the vehicle that were in the creek. >> reporter: now as hundreds of americans are beginning to see the destruction left in the storm's path, millions more are bracing for what's next. josh white says he'll be there to help anyone who needs him. >> everybody never expects this.
i mean, once you go through it, it changes your life forever. you want to help people now, you know. >> reporter: of course, we must remember the victims of the 11 people that died in the dallas area, eight of them perished here in garland. the youngest victim had just turned a year old two weeks ago. brianna? >> that's a horrible loss. nick valencia in garland, texas. thank you so much. we do have breaking news next. iraqi forces retaking a city, a key city from isis vowing to oust terrorist forces from the country completely. 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
happening now, breaking news, ousting isis, iraqi forces celebrating they freed the city of ramadi. is this a turning point in the war or is isis going to regroup and retaliatretaliate? new terror warning, several cities warned of possible attacks. what they are learning about the threat and whether it's credible. in indictment. a grand jury decides not to charge police officers in the shooting death of a 12-year-old boy carrying a toy gun.
we'll talk about the fallout from the tamir rice case and the outrage against police shootings nationwide. and trump's new target, he's not only lashing out at hillary clinton, he's dragging her husband into the war of words. we're standing by to hear from trump on the clintons, sexism and whether the former president is fair game. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off. i'm brianna keilar. you're "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. we have breaking news tonight, a bombshell decision in the deadly police shooting of a 12-year-old boy. a grand jury in ohio has decided not to indict officers involved in the killing of tamir rice. the prosecutor says it's reasonable to believe the pellet gun rice was carrying could be mistaken by officers to be a real weapon and what added fuel
about police violence against african americans. also breaking, iraq is claims its first major victory against isis and raising the flag over ramadi. iraqi forces say they liberated the city six months or so after their humiliating defeat there. the united states is more cautious warning the battle for ramadi is not over yet. might isis retaliate with a stunning new about of terror. tonight several european cities have been warned of possible attacks between christmas and new years eve. i'll be asking congressman andre carson what he's learning about that as a member of the house intelligence committee and core sprespondents and analysts are standing by. first let's go to elyce, she has more on the situation in ramadi. the iraqis acknowledge there are still pockets of isis there in the city. >> a lot of praise for iraqi forces calling the retaking of the center of ramadi a
significant accomplishment but the u.s. is cautioning the next steps are equally important to hold ramadi and build upon the gains. claiming a quote epic victory, the iraqi army announced the liberation of ramadi just 60 miles west of baghdad. drone surveillance footage shows the moment iraqi troops raised the national flag over the government complex. >> translator: the city of ramadi has been liberated. >> reporter: u.s.-led coalition air strikes aided newly trained iraqi forces who called in isis targets. today the coalition, though not ready to declare the city liberated called the success a quote proud moment for iraq. >> the iraqi forces have made great progress over the last week or so. >> reporter: celebrations could be short lived, pockets of resistance remain with hundreds of explosives planted by the terror group.
also still unclear, whether iraqi forces can hold the city and stop shiite militias from reigniting sectarian tensions. >> this needs to be an inclusive governmental approach. iraqi armed forces need to show they are committed to the process. >> reporter: retaking the capital and largest population center of the predominantly sunny province, a symbolic very to -- victory, an embarrassing defeat that had secretary carter questioning resolve. >> they failed to fight. they with drew from the site. >> reporter: just weeks ago carter urged iraq's prime minister to move north toward mo mosul where abu bakr al-baghdadi declared. >> we want to help you build success in ramadi and move
towards mosul. >> reporter: north of baghdad and sinjar mountain where the fight against isis began, b bagdadi says isis remains strong promising an epic final battle. today iraqi prime minister tweeted what he called complete confidence iraqis are going to liberate mosul but spokesman says first the iraqis have a lot of work to retake and secure the province but mosul is considered the big prize in freeing iraq, brianna and from isis and the coalition says it's determineed to help the iraqis do that. >> it will obviously take some time. we'll see what pans out. thank you so much. the white house says that president obama is briefed on the iraqi military's progress against isis in ramadi. let's go to our senior white house correspondent with the president in hawaii and the president is on vacation, jim, but certainly terror concerns are very front and center for
him. he's being brief and very much being kept in the loop of what is going on. >> reporter: absolutely, brianna. the president may be on vacation here in hawaii but white house officials say he is receiving updates on the war on isis, especially on what is happening in the key iraqi city of ramadi where the terrorists are on the run. it's the news the president will welcome as americans appear to be losing faith in his isis plan. with the u.s.-led coalition at war with isis half a world away, president obama just got a fresh reminder during his vacation in hawaii americans are worried that terrorists are winning the fight. a new cnn orc poll shows americans lost confidence in the obama administration's ability to defeat isis and prevent another terrorist attack. 64% disapproval of the handling of isis and 65 believe the government can prevent against
an attack. that frustrated the president. >> i'm confident we'll prevail. >> mr. obama wants people to feel the confidence and asked top officials across the government to do a better job of selling another isis plan. >> i think there is a legitimate criticism of what i've been doing and our administration has been doing in the sense that we haven't, you know, on a regular basis, i think, described all the work that we've been doing for more than a year now to defeat isil. >> now the president may be able to point to progress after iraqi security forces combined with the support of coalition air strikes apparently succeeded in driving isis out of the crucial city of ramadi. even republicans in congress are optimist optimistic. >> seemed like a victory. we should proceed with caution. if we hold ramadi, this is a good thing for our strategy in that region and against isis and these are the types of things
that we should be doing more. >> reporter: it could be a vindication of the approach to rely on iraqi and syrian forces instead of u.s. troops on the ground. the latest poll finds americans are split right down the middle whether to send ground troops to fight isis which explains why the president is resistant to a move as he said last month defending his isis strategy. >> why can't we take out these bastards? >> i spent the last three questions answering that question. we can retake territory and as long as we leave our troops there, we can hold it, but that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing these kind of violent extremists groups. >> reporter: senior administration official says the retaking of ramadi would be a significant step forward but the
battle is not over yet adding more work needs to be done to clear the crucial city. brianna? >> jim accoosta traveling with e president. andre carson of indiana, congressman, thanks so much for being with us and i want to hear what you think about certainly you see those poll numbers and i wonder if you think that the president has had the right messaging, the right tone, the right strategy when it comes to the threat from isis. >> i think so. i think the president has been very introspective and looking at tightening internal controls within administration and the intelligence apparatus. i will say that the work that we've done in the region has been proven to be successful as we've seen. there is still much more work to do as we've heard from iraqi officials in terms of clearing the certain areas within the city as it were, looking for land mines and bombs placed in
houses and even apartments and our next stop, of course, is mosul, which seems to be isil's strongest stronghold and once we clear out mosul which has a high population, i think we can get to the real work of desimilar nating and eliminating isil across the board. >> what's the issue? we look at the poll numbers and they are startling because you have 51% of americans say they don't think the government or they believe the government can prevent a terrorist attack and obviously, you know, that's a significant change. they think the government can. you see how that's different and further more, there are a number of americans or there is a bigger percentage of people who were trusting george w. bush when it came to terrorism over president obama. i know that's not a number that the white house would welcome. what do you think is behind that? >> i think it's difficult on one end you have leaders of many nations who demonize america and
public and behind closed doors they are asking for our help. i think in many ways our motives have been impugned or questioned as it relates to our presence there and motivation behind their natural resources but it is clear our military and intelligence efforts helped. they helped with training purposes and helped to neutralize many extremists threats. er the larger question becomes as the u.s., russia and europe, as we debate what must happen to bring forth a democratic syria, it's clear our combined efforts have helped to decimate the isil threat. >> stay with us. we're getting more information about threats in european cities and obviously wondering if they are credible. we'll ask you about that after the break. our most popular sma. like the samsung galaxy s6.
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we are back now with house intelligence committee member andre carson. we have breaking news, iraq is claiming it freed the key city of ramadi from the grip of isis. this is happening as cities have been warned of possible terror attacks this week. congressman, carson, you've heard about the threat, possible terror attacks between christmas and new year's day.
do you know if there is any known threats to the homeland as we head into this holiday? >> clearly i'm not at liberty to talk about the matters. american citizens should be ever cautious during the holiday season and especially at large gatherings being aware of surroundings and listening to alerts from the department of homeland security and local law enforcement. >> would you say that people should avoid large gatherings or i mean, is this sort of the specific venue that something could happen? >> no, i mean, i think this is -- this would be playing into the hands of those who wish to do us harm. i think we should go on about our lives and leave and leave the work up to the intelligence community and law enforcement community, however, if we see something, we should say something. >> is there anything specific they should be looking for or any sort of advice you might give? >> i think you should look for suspicious activity and you
should look, go to the dhs, department of homeland security's website and look for the indicators of suspicious activity and look for indicators, as well. >> let's talk about this message. purportly from the leader of isis abu bakr al-baghdadi, it's a very long message obviously meant to kind of pump up isis fighters, maybe go to the u.s. into further conflict. do you have reason to believe this is the real deal and authentic? >> well, one thing that al-baghdadi said that is true, he said the world is against d.a.s.h. or isil. that's right. we're seeing the global community unite. we're seeing our friends in the arab league and nations unite against this growing threat. i think it's clear that we'll lean more and more on our friends in the arab league and organization of islamic conferences to really ultimately eliminate this threat.
we're fighting not only an extremists battle but fighting an ideal logical batting that has to be dismantled and disrupted. we're seeing successes as we've seen and the next stop is mosul. >> next hour i did ask congressman pete king about his call to increase surveillance of muslims, mosques really to look in muslim communities in this fight against terror. he staunchly defended this idea. he says it would not hurt relationships between muslims and law enforcement. what do you think? >> pete king is my friend but i disagree with it. we've seen the disaster that hoover's internal intelligence was and this is not correct. i support administration counter violent extremism strategy where there is an attempt to work with faith leaders across the spectrum to work with mental health professionals and educators and to work with
congress in terms of gaining a greater understanding, not only of their surroundings but of pushing back on extremists influences and to eliminate those who are becoming self-radicalized. >> congressman, carson, thanks for taking the time to be with us and happy new year to you if we don't see you before 2016. thank you. just ahead, donald trump's one-two punch against the clintons. he says hillary is playing the woman card and he's accusing bill of sexism. i'll ask rand paul for his reaction and what is next in the rice case? now that the grand jury decided not to charge the officers involved in the 12-year-old's death.
sarah, tell us, there is new response to the attacks. >> reporter: you're absolutely right as we see trump escalate the attacks not just against hillary clinton but also against bill clinton. the clinton campaign put out a statement saying hillary clinton is not going to be intimidated or bullied or disappoint straktstrak -- distracted by the attacks. weeks before the iowa caucuses, it seems nothing is off limits. >> she was favored to win and she got schlonged. >> reporter: now trading sexism. >> she's playing the women's card. give me a break. >> reporter: and trump is taking aim at bill clinton for past infidelities and allegations of sexual harassment. >> he is fair game because his presidency is considered to be very troubled to put it mildly because of all of the things she's talking to me about.
she's mentioning sexism. >> reporter: he tweeted if hill ri thinks she can unleash her husband with a terrible record of women abuse, while playing the woman's card on me, she's wrong. >> i don't know that he has boundaries and his bigotry, bluster, bullying have become his campaign. >> reporter: trump's hash words towards the clintons, a sharp turn around from his view. in a 2008 interview with wolf blitzer he dismissed bill's indesecrations as inimportant. >> look at the trouble bill clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant and they tried to impeach him, which was none sesense. >> reporter: it could fuel her own supporters. meanwhile, trump is waging war
on other fronts. today facing sharp criticism from jeb bush. >> donald trump is not serious about being a candidate. he's a great politician. he fills the space. he's the chaos candidate and he would be the chaos president of the united states. >> reporter: and launching a flurry of tweets slamming the virginia gop for requiring voters to declare their republicans. saying straighten out the republican party of virginia before it is too late. trump is getting a frosty welcome in new hampshire, too, as the union leaders publisher releases an editorial slamming trump as a crude blow hard. today, trump firing back calling publisher joe mcquaid a low life. >> he's a real low life, no question about it. >> reporter: and taking a shot at chris christie over bridge gate. right as his fortunes are improving in the granite state. >> chris can't win because of his past and i don't believe you're heard the last of the george washington bridge because
there is no way he didn't know about the closure. >> reporter: these are the sharpest words against trump so far. it gives you a sense that trump is not willing to pull any punches as we get closer to the first voting states in iowa and new hampshire. we'll see if he brings any attacks to the stump here tonight. >> sarah murray with donald trump in new hampshire. thank you. i want to get reaction to trump's latest attacks and counter attacks from one of his republican rivals. senator and presidential candidate rand paul is joining us live from his home state of kentucky. senator, thanks so much for being with us during this holiday break and, you know, listening to donald trump go after bill clinton, of course, it reminds us that you went after him, as well. what is your reaction to donald trump's criticism of bill clinton saying that he's fair game and i just have to say this, do you think trump is just jumping on the land wagon so to speak? [ laughter ] >> you know, i don't think it's
hillary's fault her husband had serial infidelities. i think there is question that has to do with the law. the law is specific on how you treat women in the workplace and i think if you have an er man who is their superior and a liaison, most would be fired. when bill clinton did with monica lewinsky would cause him to be fired. i don't think it's hilary's fault she's married to a man that does this but a question what kind of laws we should have and how you should treat women in the workplace. >> do you see politically any downside to criticizing or slamming bill clinton in this way? >> no, like i say, i don't think it's hillary's fault but bill clinton is who he is and there are laws we have and social
norms and men are not allowed to pray on women at the workplace and i do think that though bill clinton treated monica lewinsky, that wouldn't be tolerated anywhere in america and got a free pass the first time. this isn't hillary clinton's fault but the thing is is that if she's for workplace equality and if she's for changing the laws to make it better for women, then she needs to -- there is going to be this distinction brought up or this problem or irony brought up thaterthat er her husband seemed to be a great abuser. she's taken donations from countries that have some of the worst rights, records, saudi arabia, brunei, they stone women and wihip women that have been raped from being raped. she does have a women's problem and i think it's not apparent
yet because she gets a pass from some of the media but boy, she's going to have explaining to do if she's the nominee and if we have a nominee that will challenge her on the issues. >> i want to get your opinion of this virginia republican party loyalty pledge that they have instituted, donald trump attacked this. do you think this pledge is a good idea? >> i haven't seen the pledge but i do think that in someways, we all run as republicans, we do have loyalty to the party but i haven't seen the pledge. i do think, though, that we benefit. when i ran in a primary, i took a pledge to support the eventual nominee, i needed the support. whether or not it needs to be a written oath or pledge, you know, i don't have a strong opinion because i haven't looked at the oath. >> okay. i want to turn now and talk about some really interesting polling that we've gotten. i do want to note this polling
happened before this news on ramadi but this sababout the wan terror and where americans think the country is. our new poll released today shows only 51% of americans believe the government can prevent a terrorist attack. do you think americans should be that concerned? >> well, you know, i think terrorist attacks are very difficult to prevent and there are some that may be nearly impossible to prevent. that doesn't mean we shouldn't do more. we should do more. i think we should have more scrutiny of those who travel to our country. all of the hijackers on 9/11 came here legally. they came here with visas but i don't think we adequately police our visa system. i don't think we have adequate background checks on people before they come here. i also think we should do more but makes a difference whether you do the right thing or not. toppling assad in syria will make isis stronger, however, i think russia already has a big
presence and then i think we should have a conversation with russia and see where our interest coincide if there was a peace or seize fire in syria, i think that would go a long way towards stabilizing the region so isis can be wiped out. it will take a coalition of all the surrounding countries and i believe ultimately, muslim boots on the ground so while i'm for doing more, not with american troops on the ground, it more with arab boots on the ground. >> i want to talk to you finally about your campaign and where you see it going at this point in time. you've been struggling to get some of that enthusiasm that i know you would like to see as you look toward another debate, the possibility of being on an under card debate if that can'ts. where are you on that? >> well, you know, the good news is the last two national polls, one by cnn and one by another organization today, cnn's poll showed me in sixth place the national poll today showed me in fourth place or fifth place, so
by the critera we have now, i would make it and i think that's only fair. i do think, though, it would be a mistake to exclude jeb bush or exclude people who have nationwide campaigns, have raised significant amount of money and have a ground game in the early primary states. so i will continue to argue that people who have legitimate nationwide campaigns shouldn't be excluded and that it is a big deal. it's a huge deal for, you know, to exclude christie or bush from the stage. i think really in the end makes it almost impossible to rebound from that so i will make the argument that the debates need to include everybody that has a legitimate national campaign. look, the polling has been notoriously wrong. in kentucky they were off 13 points one week before. i think we ought to base it on the elections, letting voters have a chance and not predeciding the outcome but covering only those who have higher numbers in polls that still include a lot of undecid d
undecides. i don't think there is rhyme or reason to the polls. we have to be careful about predeciding any elections. >> senator land paul, thank you and happy new year to you if we don't see you before 2016 begins. >> thank you, happy new year to you guys, too. i want to bring in dana bash and republican strategists an c madden. dana, that was pretty interesting i think what larand paul said. he has hillary clinton has an issue. donald trump attacking bill clinton, do you think other republicans are going to follow his lead? >> well, first of all, let's take a step back and we know because we've been watching it for the past, what, six or eight months, republicans have been going after hillary clinton like gang busters because it is kind
of easy red meat for the conservative base. the difference now is that donald trump is doing it in a much more personal way. much more personal way. much more aggressive way. but i think that what rand paul just said was fascinating when it comes to kind of trying to redirect the argument and making it about her and not him. she does have things to answer for about the foundation taking money from countries that don't have really good records when it comes to women and he's also not wrong about the fact that 20, 25 years ago, when bill clinton had these problems with monica lewinsky and other women, there was -- there were people in the political world, whether it was at his behest or not that went after these women and they became victims and that's something maybe not other republican candidates but maybe donald trump will be very eager
to bring up of this war of words continues. >> if a candidate, donald trump or another candidate brings up some of bill clinton's past indiscretions, makes an issue. isn't there a risk of personalizing hillary clinton and making her similympathetic? >> i think it depends on the candidate. i think donald trump is uniquely situated to do this, to prosecute this line of attack in a much better way because people know who donald trump is and they sort of equate this line of attack with something that they like about him in the sense that he's not timid the way some other candidates may have been and he is willing to bring it up and he is willing to call hillary clinton out in the democrats out and main stream media, let's not forget them, on this particular issue and support of bill clinton. other candidates have so much more they need to do in telling the story about themselves and why they should be president that it would actually -- it
could potentially hurt them. no doubt this is something that really does scratch an itch among some of the most vocal base republican supporters because they believe mitt romney or john mccain in prosecuting the cases were too timid. >> so they like that quality. peter, what do you think about this? this sort of back and forth that donald trump is doing and what he's saying about bill clinton is really eyebrow raising. >> it's good for donald trump because republicans base voters hate hillary clinton and good for hillary clinton because they hate donald trump but i think it's worth remembering how this started. this started because donald trump made a reference to the fact that hillary clinton going to the bathroom during the democratic debate was quote unquote disgusting. that was absurd and appalling comment. what bill clinton did with monica lewinsky and worse with other women was deeply problematic but there was differences. it happened almost 20 years ago and bill clinton is not running for president. hillary clinton is not
responsible for what bill clinton did. i don't see the logic whatsoever in trying to suggest that she is in an equal position as donald trump here. >> and i want to get a final thought from you, kevin, my republican friend on bernie sanders going after donald trump supporters. you see -- do you see that happening? [ laughter ] >> i just don't see how the average donald trump supporter right now will get a phone call or some sort of knock on the door from donald trump and actually that working. i just -- it seems like they are from two different political universals. >> what do you think, dana? >> i think at first blush that's probably right but this could be a moment that the far right and far left kind of meet in the middle in terms of who they are looking for. i think they will be very few voters that really can turn to one and turn to the other and say maybe i'm choosing between the two of them but it is possible. >> peter, quick, quick final thought to you. what do you think about that? >> well, bernie, donald trump
and bernie sanders supporters have some of the same problems but they have totally different people they blame for it, right? bernie sanders people are focussing on wall street and trump people focussing on mexicans and muslims and you can't convince them those are the wrong scapegoats to have. >> where is the over lap? we shall see. peter, kevin, dana, you guys are great. we have breaking news next, the first protest after a grand jury decides against indicting two police officers who shot and killed a 12-year-old boy carrying a toy gun. you're watching this unfolding reaction.
more breaking news tonight, the justice department says it will continue its civil rights investigation into the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old ohio boy. this just hours after a grand jury decided not to indict officers involved in the death of tamir rice. rice was playing with a toy pellet gun outside of a recreation center outside of his home when he was shot last year. the prosecutor said it was reasonable for the police to
believe the fake gun was a real weapon. >> the mistakes and communications by all involve that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police. >> i want to talk about this now with cnn anchor don lemon and cnn legal analyst and criminal defense attorney joey jackson and analyst and former fbi assistant director tom fuentes. don, first you to you, react to the news, the family says they are disappointed but not surprised. what do you think? >> i can't feel the way the family feels. i've been saddened by this since it happened, not just for the decision not to indict. it's awful all the way around. no one wins when you have a boy, a young boy who was killed accidently by police. i think probably there will be some protests when it comes to this, but i also think that in trying to show people how they
came to their decision, i think that the prosecutor and the officials did a fairly good job of explaining why they came to the conclusion they came to and also, you know, calling on gun manufacturers not to make toy guns look so real. so again, it's sad, you know, there is nothing you can say to the family or to anyone, really, you know, to make any difference in this situation. >> joey, do you think the prosecutor did what he should have done here? >> brianna, i think the problem, good evening, by the way, the process is certainly being called into question. why do i say that? when you deal with something as significant as this, you want the community to be rest assured that everything that needed to be explored would have been explored and the problem with any local prosecutor, prosecuting a case is that they are so close to it and if you can just imagine this, the fact is is that in any grand jury proceeding, the prosecutor is the judge, jury and executioner.
i can tell you that generally grand juries do what you ask them to do and so the manner in which you present the case and the manner in which you present the information, flow of the information, what they see and don't is largely controlled by you. i think if you want transparency, if you want a process that involves community trust and respect, it has to go to someone whose independent and if that's the case, then if there is a conclusion, everyone can say they heard everything. i buy into it. i respect it. as it's constituted that is a process, it's hard to know and give the community trust that the right thing happened here and that's the issue, i think. >> the federal investigation, joey, the cleveland police department still facing that. where does that go from here? >> well, i think there are two things, brianna. we have to be mindful of the fact there was a recommendation by the justice department with respect to a pattern and practice of evaluation that came out in december of last year that demonstrated that there were gross deficiencies with the
way that policing was done in the community and so the pattern and practice established there are things that are a miss with that particular department and that's another reason why you don't want the local prosecutor p presiding over the case and issuing a recommendation not to indict. in terms of specifically how the grand jury, you know, how things went in this case, now it goes to the justice department. now we know that the justice department is evaluating this but it's such a high standard when you're looking at a federal investigation, they are looking at was there an intentional and willingful deprivation of the civil rights of tamir rice. the tools the locals have in terms of the state in charging reckless murder, negligent, criminally negligent homicide, there are tools that can be used that the federal government doesn't have to ensure community trust and respect for the final outcome.
>> tom, you were a police officer for many years. maybe you can provide that perspective in this. you have a lot of people looking at this and say this was a kid. these police officers rolled up very close to this child. how did they not give him a little more latitude as they approached him? do you say? >> some of the things are not really fair to the officer. i'm not saying did cu gsaying, shooting yet. the officers don't know he was. we have gang members on the street shooting each other that are 14, 15 years old. they have no trouble pulling the trigger, either getting a gun and using it to kill other young people. that's number one. number two, i was a fire instructor for most of my 36 years in law enforcement and i can tell you from me to you right here if i was holding this gun, you could not tell me -- >> you said the other officer shouldn't have rolled up so close. >> that's a separate issue.
starting if the gun, there is no way for that officer to know if that's a real gun or not. they look identical. you can't see one is plastic. >> people reported there were a lot of children in the park. it might have been the officer that's driving judgment to use that car as a shield to prevent if tamir rice is really a bad guy, to get between him and the kids playing and use that police car as a shield. there are things that have automatically been used against the officers when there is a good reason. >> all right. tom fuentes and don is going to be back here at 10:00 p.m. eastern for his program cnn tonight. we're going to have much more news ahead.
>> reporter: when he was just 8 years old, he became obsessed with gymnastics. he was so good, that his dreams of going to the olympics were within reach. he couldn't imagine that a dental procedure when he was 19 would derail those dreams and start a whole new obsession with prescription pain pills. >> it just worked. you know, it clicked. it's like the stars were aligned and i've never felt anything like it. >> reporter: this time, it was percocet but the high joe felt from all sorts of opiates eventually led him to heroin, one of the most dangerously addicted substances on the planet, nearly impossible to escape. as hard as he tried, joe was among 78% of heroin addicts who relapse over and over again. a relapse he would encounter when he worked at "the new york times." >> i was 27 years old and "the
new york times" had sent me to rehab. i was so grateful, still am. and it was there that a therapist suggested i go back to something i was passionate about, which was gymnastics. in my eyes, i was a failure in j gymnastics. to go to that sport was to walk into humiliation. i went back to it in rehab i started doing handstands and pushups to gain a sense of what that would look like and this fire inside of me -- i should say a spark -- kind of ignited. >> reporter: no surprise, it felt pretty good. and after rehab, joe caught a break and started performing on broadway. but the thing about heroin is that the possibility of a relapse was always waiting there for him in the wings. >> i managed to stay clean for a year and a half and i was
amazing my life had changed. i was performing on broadway. i couldn't believe it. you know, i was a heroin addict and here i am performing on broadway. >> reporter: but it was another visit to the dentist, another prescription, this time for vicodin and then -- >> i took it as prescribed and within four hours i was shooting heroin. >> reporter: four hours? >> yep. on broadway. >> reporter: you were clean for a year and a half, performing on broadway, you get an fda approved medication from a doctor and within four hours -- >> yeah. it woke up something ancient in me. >> reporter: you took that vicodin. again, a year and a half clean? >> yeah. >> reporter: describe, again, what did you feel? >> like i came home, you know. like -- oh, i've missed you. >> reporter: stories about recovery are almost always messy. people move forward a little and then may slip back even more. but for joe, each time it did
become easier. >> these were all my emergency room overdoses and everything like that. i need to see a reminder, you know, of who i was. >> reporter: the same obsessions that fueled his addiction also fueled his dazzling performances, like this one as the crystal man . soldiers pushed back, stunning to watch but also putting so much pressure on his upper body. for two years, his injuries mounted. joe would eventually need surgery. painful surgery. he knew one thing, though, pain pills could not be allowed. because the risk of relapse was too great. >> i know your goal. >> yeah. >> your goal is to avoid anything that you had a problem with in the past. >> of course. >> you decided to let us follow you along for your shoulder operation. why did you do that? >> at first i didn't want to because it felt like a very
private thing and then i remembered what i had gone through and i was like, this could actually help people. >> reporter: joe came through those operations with flying colors. instead instead of opiodes, he was given be a tie inflammatories and acupuncture. he got back to school, was exercising again and then he needed another operation. this time, his ankle. >> i was getting my ankle operated on. it was not as nearly severe as my shoulders. i had done everything we had in place for my shoulders. i told them what medications i can have, what i can't have. and the day of surgery, there's like a five-page document that you sign and on every single one where it says allergy, it said no opiates in big letters. they know we've talked about it. real estate i i'm waking up out of surgery and it feels like someone sawed
my ankle in half because it's kind of what happened and the nurse said, are you in pain? i said yes. i wasn't even awake and all of a sudden i felt something, that thing, that ancient feeling, like, oh, my god. and i said, what did you just give me? and she says, ventinil. and i was like, oh, my god. so i freaked out because it just felt good, you know. it's like, i was eight years clean and i was like -- i was drugged. >> reporter: whether or not the nurse simply forgot or there's still a fundamental misunderstanding about the severity of addiction, joe was in trouble again. but this time, the brutal years he had endured through recovery paid off. this time, there were no more pills. no more heroin. no more relapse. >> so, this is the old apartment i used to live in. >> reporter: literally across
the hall? >> yep. 18 years ago when i was a heroin addict. it was actually during 9/11 and my apartment was full of syringes and it's interesting now, living the life i do, because you make that one decision that changes your life. when i walk down the hall, i take a right and not a left. >> reporter: that was the old you. this is the new you. >> yep. >> reporter: and his first obsession, his first love, really, is still very much a part of his life. is this a sanctuary for you now, the gym? >> yes. this is pretty much where i've done my recovery, not just from surgery but also where i come to -- when i was a lot of emotion in sobriety. >> reporter: the gym is now a refuge. a sort of place of safety. far, far away from his addiction to heroin. >> addiction is the only cell where the key is on the inside and i don't live -- i don't live in that cell anymore.
>> reporter: dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, new york. >> thank you so much for watching. i'm brianna keilar. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. next, donald trump speaking live in this hour before a big new hampshire crowd hours after he accuses hillary clinton of playing the woman card. in plus, the leader of isis threatening attacks on america. and prosecutors finding an officer was justified when he shot a 12-year-old black boy. tonight they are offering video that proves the officer did nothing wrong. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, trump taking on clinton. both of them. donald trump today saying hillary clinton is playing the quote/unquote woman's card. and donald trump is putting bill clinton's past on the table