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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 5, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PST

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blushing. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> can we just play that joe namath video again? dear, lord. "ac 360" starts right now. good evening. we begin tonight with breaking news. donald trump who raised such big and false doubts about president obama's citizenship now seems to be doing the same to his former bff ted cruz. trump is campaigning in clairmont, new hampshire. the remarks came before an appearance last night in lowell, massachusetts, saying that his canadian heritage could pose difficulties. republicans are going to have to ask themselves do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years? that would be a big problem." trump denied he's launching a personal attack. we'll see what happens tonight. in clairmont where we understand the candidate was given an ar-15 rifle before going on today, she
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joins us now. trump is calling ted cruz's citizenship apparently into question. is that right? >> reporter: that's right, anderson. it's been sort of an interesting day on the campaign trail with donald trump. gun owners said they had an ar-15 ready to give donald trump as a welcome gift backstage. the secret service showed up early to disarm that weapon and make sure that it was secure. that's what trump was doing backstage. now the question is whether he's going to go after ted cruz directly on the stump in that washington post interview, he questioned whether this would be a problem for ted cruz, the fact that he was born in canada. the interesting thing is, this is a change of tune for donald trump. a couple of months ago he believed that lawyers had checked this out and ted cruz was on solid ground. he was fine. so this different tone, this could be a problem for cruz. that could be part of the shifting of the race. we're now seeing the polls tightening in iowa. ted cruz is leading in some of
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them and it's possible that donald trump is getting a little bit worried that his one-time bromance with ted cruz could be coming to an end and this is a guy that gives him a real challenge in iowa. >> sara murray, thank you. those are live remarks he's making right now. if he mentions or repeats what he said to "the washington post" today, we'll bring that to you. joining us now is former 2012 romney campaign strategist, stewart stevens, author of "the last season." also with us tonight, political commentators amanda carpenter and jeffrey. you hefrd what donald trump said about ted cruz's citizenship. jumping the shark on happy days. is this another birther battle?
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>> anderson, what he said -- and frankly, he said this last year in march, not that he's ineligible but somebody might file a legal challenge to his eligibility and there's a difference there. let me just read you two sentences from florida democratic congressman alan graceman who said last month -- and i'm quoting directly here -- "i'm waiting for the moment that he, ted cruz, gets the nomination and i'll file that beautiful lawsuit saying he's unqualified for the job because he's ineligible." i think alan grayson is wrong. ted cruz, who i have terrific admiration for is not unqualified by his canadian birth to an american mother. donald trump's point is that there's always some nut like alan grayson out there that will try and challenge things and, frankly, we already know that this guy anticipates doing that. >> amanda, is that all that trump is doing here, raising the
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possibility? >> listen, in september, donald trump and ted cruz appeared together at a rally to stop the iran deal and there donald trump was asked by abc news about the citizenship question. donald trump said, hey, my lawyers have looked at this. teds is essentially good to go, putting the matter to rest. now that we see cruz climbing in iowa and the national polls, trump is bringing it back up. it's pretty obvious what trump is doing here. i think it's really funnily, quite frankly. trump was the original obama birther. now he's going birther against ted cruz. i think it's really funny. i loved the cruz response. it's another conversation ender saying, donald, if you want to talk this talk, go ahead and do it and we're just going to laugh and have fun it. a perfect response. >> steward stevens, how do you see this? >> i think donald trump is stark mad. he's changed the party five times. he has no consistency here. he just lashes out.
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there's no coherent thought here. it's going to end up a murder-suicide pact between trump and cruz. that's where it's headed. >> stuart, do you think he plans out these comments or they come up, he goes with them, and then plays catch-up or runs with it? >> i think he pops what comes into his head. no one would go out and say something that contradicts something you said a couple months ago. it makes no sense. it makes you look inconsistent idiot. and i just think he loves the crowd. he'll say anything to get a rise from that crowd. and the first thing -- the dangerous thing that politicians do is play to a crowd because you're not just in front of that crowd. you're in front of everybody with a television camera. and that's particularly true
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with donald trump who seems to have his rallies broadcast live all the time. so, listen, i don't think that there's any premeditated grand scheme here. i think it's just sort of random things that pops in his head. >> jeffrey, there's this article in politico that says the gop establishment is panicking over the possibility that trump or cruz could be the nominee. but i mean, the party hasn't won with a more conventional nominee, whether it was senator mccain in 2008 or romney in 2012. i guess the argument is why not go with someone outside the box, so to speak. >> that's right. anderson, i'm holding up an article from "the new york times" in march of 1980 and it's headlined "ford declares reagan can't win" and it's, you know, all through here, he says he's too conservative, too extreme. we've been down this road. there's nothing new for establishment moderate republicans to be saying this and meanwhile they keep putting up candidates that are good
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people like mitt romney and they lose. i think perhaps it's time to get back to the reagan model and try something else. >> amanda, you're hearing what jeffrey is saying. how are you going to respond? you're bullish on your former boss ted cruz. >> sure. to that point, a lot of the former establishment people like mitt romney, the bushes, mitch mcconnell, john boehner, other people who had a chance to lead the republican party for quite some time paved the way for donald trump to come into this primary and take hold. listen, there's a number of people that could have been leading this party for quite some time. because they have failed, donald trump has come in and been able to explore their weakness. when facing a cruz choice, take the winner. ted cruz is a proven winner. he can fund raise. he's an excellent debater. i don't understand what the
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freakout is. it may be because jeb bush hasn't been able to take advantage of all of the money and resources that he's been given. but if there's really no choice. i would like to see the race come down to cruz and rubio. that would be much healthier for the party. if it comes down to cruz and trump, i don't think there should be any question where anyone who calls themselves a conservative should go. >> stuart? >> listen, i think that ted cruz, the fundamental fall las see is he's an ultimate insider. he's a former ivy league, white house staffer, united states senator. that person is an outsider. there's not one lever of american power he hasn't accessed. he says that people don't like me, that proves i'm an outsider, it doesn't proof that. it just proves that people don't like you. and i think that when you really come down to it, it's that sort of hollowness at the core of it that is going to be his problem. i think he's running a very
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shrewd campaign. i think he's a brilliant guy. i have a lot of respect for his intellectual ability but he should be running as ted cruz, not as someone who ted cruz thinks ted cruz should be. >> well, here's one event that ties cruz and trump together. this is why the establishment can't wrap their hands around the concept of a trump or cruz and how they have been able to come into this primary. they are successful in their own right. cruz is not willing to kiss the ring of party leaders that have led this party down such a bad path. cruz is not going to go along with that crowd and that is a reason that crowd is so fight tended at the concept as a possibility nominee cruz. he disrupts their power base and, quite frankly, me and i think many other people who have come in post-bush administration, feel that these
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people don't deserve that place anymore and that's the reason ted cruz is getting traction and also why donald trump is because he represents such a significant change. >> stuart, i want you to be able to respond and then we've got to go. >> look, when ted cruz and mitt romney were both on the ballot in texas, mitt romney didn't spend a dollar in texas. he got more votes than ted cruz. this notion that ted cruz is going to tap into this great conservative upswing, it's just not there. i think this race is going to come down to ted cruz and whoever is going to win. we're just not sure who that person is going to be. >> stuart stevens, jeffrey lord -- >> it could be a ticket. >> and amanda carpenter, thank you. president obama's new owe motion nal appeal and the leader of the arm ds takeover out in oregon, he joins us tonight on 360. [ cough ]
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tonight, two nights before joining us in a "360" town hall conversation, we're talking about president obama's impassioned plea for steps that he believes will stop gun violence. he laid out a series of executive actions, including closing the loophole that allows firearm loopholes. this was, on a human level, a remarkable moment and, at times, a tearful one. >> because of our right to worship freely and safely. that right was denied to
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christians in charleston, south carolina. and that was denied jews in kansas city. and that was denied muslims in chapel hill and sikhs in oak creek. they have rights, too. [ applause ] our right to peaceful assembly. that right was robbed from movie goers in aurora and lafayette. our inailable right for the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in blacksburg and santa barbara and from high schoolers at columbine. and from first graders in
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newtown. first graders. and from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun. every time i think about those kids, it gets me mad. and, by the way, it happens on the streets of chicago every day. [ applause ] >> joining us now from the white house is jim acosta. talk to us about it and what it was like being there. obviously we have not seen the president that emotional i don't think ever. >> that's right, anderson.
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he's gotten emotional before. we've seen him sing and well up with emotions in other events but this was clearly one of the most emotional moments if not the most emotional moment of the obama presidency. he was crying openly, wiping away tears as he made the case for new executive actions on gun control but officials say that's because he really believes in this. we'll show you what the president is talking about under the president's new executive actions, a warning to nearly all gun sellers across the country to conduct background checks or risk prosecution, new fbi and atf agents $500 million for mental health care. the president is calling for $500 million to tackle that and a new push to develop smart gun technology. we should point out, this new executive action package is not a gun grab. they tried that in congress a few years ago. it didn't work out. but the president felt it was necessary to once again defend his position on the second amendment. we heard that today. but getting back to this
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emotional moment, anderson, aides were not surprised by his raw moment here at the white house. the president has said that the failure to pass gun control is the biggest frustration of his presidency and that the sandy hook school shooting that he talked about there when he was tearing up that claimed the lives of those 20 children and section adults, that that was the darkest day of his days in the office. they all agree that that is the saddest moment of this presidency. >> and does the white house feel that they got their message across? >> reporter: they do. but keep in mind, anderson, this is not stopping today. as you know, you have the town hall on thursday evening. much of the president's ability to enforce these new actions depends on congress. they have to spend the money on the mental health care, to hire the new investigators at the atf and fbi. they have a full press on this. vice president biden will do interviews with local tv stations. one of those tv stations is in roanoke where a photographer and
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reporter were gunned down by a deranged shooter and the president will be selling his actions in the state of the union address next week. he'll be asking for money for those atf agents and fbi agents and also in his upcoming budget proposal to congress. we're going to be hearing this time and again, anderson. this will all be previewed with you in northern virginia outside of washington, d.c., but expect the president to stick with that emotional plea that we saw today. today he is as fired up as i've ever seen him covering him as president of the united states. >> jim acosta, appreciate the reporting. let's get reaction from former senior obama adviser van jones and conservative radio talk show host dana lash. when it comes to president's announcement, republicans should know how to take "yes" as an answer. what do you mean by that? >> i mean if you listen to republican conservatives
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yesterday, they were saying this is going to be the apocalypse and the overreaching president. come to them to make new law. they just want him to stay within the existing law and maybe double down and force the existing law. that's exactly what this president just said he's going to do. he's clarifying the existing law, doubling down and wants to be able to enforce it more. and for everything new he's going to congress. i would think that republicans would take "yes" for an answer for what they said they wanted yesterday and yet we hear all of this sort of hemming and hawing. i have never been more proud of this president than today. he was speaking for and two millions of other families that have been crying, watching cnn for years now seeing too many funerals, too much violence, too many memorials. i've never been prouder of president obama than i was today and i think a lot of people feel that way. >> dana, is this an overreach by the president, trying to make new law through executive action? >> well, what is or is not a
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deal. i appreciate the president's emotion. i have kids and see my kid in every single thing. i was a kid once and when i was a child i had my life protected by a firearm which is why i'm so impassioned about it now. in terms of making a new law -- and the thing that is vague, in the executive orders he talks about redefining with the atf who is or is not a dealer. if you're in the business of selling a firearm, it's very vague. the question becomes, just one private sale? if a grandmother sells a firearm to her son? i mean, that's a question that i have. or if you sell, do a trade-in, a firearm to a dealer, what that does, anderson, it thereby requires every single person, every man, woman and america to be a de-facto licensee and to be compliant, that's a backdoor national registry. >> van, what about that? >> well, you know, it's funny
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because the language you're describing as being vague is unfortunately the language in the legislation itself. what the executive branch has to do is interpret the legislative language which was, to your point, very vague. up until now, it's been interpreted in a way that let a lot of shenanigans go down, people were able to go to gun shows and buy stuff and buy stuff online. >> not true. not true. i need to correct that moment. >> let him finish. >> you'll get your turn. >> people argue about the online stuff. there's no argument about the gun show stuff. there's no argument at all about the trusts that are being set up, phony trusts to trade guns. that's the stuff they are cracking down on and within the framework of the existing law. >> dana, i want you to respond. there is concern among those that buy guns at the gun show. >> it has that regulation but van jones just said something very interesting to me where he was talking about online sales. i don't know how many firearms you have purchased.
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i've purchased four online. >> zero. >> you must have a background check. you do have to actually have a background check to purchase a firearm online. they don't just ship it to your house like amazon prime. you have to go through a federal firearms licensee and the tra transaction is not considered complete until you have a background check. certain states, anderson, actually can even go more. in california, you can't do a single private transfer until you go through an ffl. there are a number of states that have those laws. they've regulated them further beyond what the gun control of 1968 and brady bill have required in the mid-90s. >> dana, other than the concern over what you believe is vagueness, whether it's in the law or executive action about who is exactly a gun dealer and who has to go through a background check, were you expecting more from this
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president in terms of an overreach? there were certainly a lot of concerns in advance. were you surprised by some of what you read? >> i tell you, anderson, what surprised me and because, look, we all want to reduce gun violence. we all want to stop repeat offenders, which are the biggest drivers of gun homicides by the way, we need to do criminal justice reform and stop reducing sent epss. i was hoping the president would announce that. we both care and we're both emotional. to that effect, i was hoping that the president would speak to that, that he would talk about how it's repeat offenders. look, if somebody commits a crime, is illegally possessing a firearm, they carjack somebody, commit a violent assault, i don't want the minimum mandatory. i want the full sentence. i want this to stop because you have repeat offenders that see no penalty. if somebody is going to commit mass murder or murder, anderson, they are not going to be
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deterred by a gun charge. >> van, what about that? you talk a lot about criminal justice reform. i don't think that's exactly what you mean by it. >> that's true. well, listen, we all want safe streets and part of the problem here is that people who say they want to see progress are not sitting down and working together. on either side. we have a big problem at this point when you talk about what's going on in cities like chicago. there are commonsense solutions that we can come together around. first of all, people in jail for longer period of time appear to be having a negative effect, people coming back more damaged and less able to get skrobs so we've got to get people coming home from prison and get them employed. once you pay your debt, i think most of us would agree on. the other thing i want to say is simply this. nobody has a monopoly at this point on the concern. right now, there is a monopoly on taking action. right now, the president has taken action. if republicans want to take action now, it's their turn. >> yeah, there's nothing that he has proposed that would change
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anything. expanded background checks in california and oregon and colorado. >> that's true. >> then tell me about how that would have prevented san bernardino. >> sure. in south carolina, that guy, he was supposed to -- >> dylann roof, a murderous thug. >> van, respond. you were answering the question. van, answered the question and then dana respond and then we've got to go. >> listen, what the president is trying to do is get more resources on the table i think you would support so people like that guy would not have gotten that gun. so when you say nothing that the president is doing would make a difference, that's an over statement. in fact, in south carolina, these ideas would have made a difference. >> dana, it was incompetency, according to james comey, the fbi made an error, and i quote, "i wish we could go back in time but we can't." it's not an issue of money or manpower. people need to be who we trust
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to enforce these laws, they need to do so and i think you would agree with me on that, van. >> van jones, dana, thank you. >> thank you, anderson. we're going to be having this conversation thursday night. this morning, president obama explained why. >> this has become one of our most polarized partisan debates. despite the fact that there's a general consensus in america about what needs to be done. that's part of the reason why on thursday i'm going to hold a ton hall meeting in virginia on gun violence because my goal here is to bring good people on both sides of the issue here for an open discussion. >> that's exactly what we plan to do. president obama voices from across the spectrum, also my specific. it gets under way thursday night, 8:00 eastern right here on "360". up next, the iowa caucuses less than a month away. the mudslinging ramping up.
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what a new attack ad says about who is up and who is down. on thanksgiving day and i have a massive heart attack right in my driveway. the doctor put me on a bayer aspirin regimen. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go talk to your doctor. you're not indestructible anymore. they are. do i look smarter? yeah, a little. you're making money now, are you investing? well, i've been doing some research. let me introduce you to our broker. how much does he charge? i don't know. okay. uh, do you get your fees back if you're not happy? (dad laughs) wow, you're laughing. that's not the way the world works. well, the world's changing. are you asking enough questions about the way your wealth is managed? wealth management, at charles schwab.
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this is not a job for me, thbeing a part of helping thpeople in need is who i am. working at brookdale for me is not just a job, it's a life for me. i love it. i formed many connections with the residents. i feel like i am part of their family and they're part of mine. if you can get up in the morning, ya know, shake the dust and go up there and make somebody happy, when i go to sleep, i did my job.
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well, in case you're counting, the iowa caucuses are just 26 days away. a crunch of attack ads. punches are flying. jeff zeleny looks who is hitting hardest and who isn't taking any hits at all. >> reporter: in living rooms, presidential campaign is already going nuclear. >> chris christie could be obama's favorite republican governor. >> get cruz as your guy. >> reporter: the barrage of tv ads from campaigns and super pacs is a firing squad for
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republicans and the targets are telling. marco rubio taking aim at chris christie. >> chris christie could well be obama's favorite republican governor. why? christie's record. >> reporter: ted cruz firing at rubio. >> i know i have a debate but i've got to get this fantasy football thing right. >> reporter: donald trump is the republican to be but you'll hardly find him in any attack ads. his closest rivals so far at least afraid to sling anything his way. >> we will make america great again. >> reporter: the real war is taking place beneath trump. as republicans try to break out of the crowded field. cruz is making his point on illegal immigration in an ad he calls invasion, showing business men and women crossing the border. >> the politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the rio grand. >> reporter: you can tell who is up by measuring the number of
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attacks coming their way as cruz climbs in the polls, he's finally wearing a bigger bulls eye. ri ted cruz is using green eggs as ham. >> reading fairy tales on the senate floor. if you want to protect america and defeat isis, rick santorum's your president. >> reporter: rubio, also on the rise, is weathering sharper attacks. supporters of jeb bush, who spent tens and millions of dollars with little success, remind the freshman florida senator to raise money. >> where was marco? fundraising again. >> reporter: the biggest boogie man of all is president obama. he's featured in tv ads from morning until night. >> barack obama released terrorists from guantanamo and now they are plotting to attack
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us. >> reporter: election law requires candidates to take responsibility for their ads. >> i'm marco rubio. i approve this message because america needs a real commander in chief and a president who will keep us safe. >> reporter: in less than a month, voter also have a final say of whether they approve. jeff zeleny, sioux city, iowa. >> joining me is david axelrod. david, it's amazing when you think donald trump is now running really his campaign's first ads given all of the free media attention ads he hasn't needed to. what do you make of the ad that he's running and the fact that he's running them now? >> i think the fact that he's running them now is very interesting. he's gotten very far just using earned media. nobody has done it better than president obama. he's been a presence in our living rooms for the last six months and he's made quite a bit
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of gains as a result of that but the question was always how far would that take him and i think it's an okay knowledgement that he has to fight for the nomination and there are challenges in front of him and i think this ad went to his two hot button issues to try and both win new supporters but also arouse his bases and come to the polls. >> they are not just pushing that cruz, for example, is going to keep the country safe. they are pushing the idea that rubio would not or vice versa. they are not just issue ads. they are also attack ads. >> reporter: well, listen, we are -- as soon as you dropped the ball on new year's eve, anderson, the whole situation changed. we're into the final stretch. and now the thing to watch is who is doing what to whom and why. rubio and cruz are running ads against each other, including
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their pacs. bush is going after rubio because if rubio emerges as the establishment republicans, that's the end of bush. rubio is going after christie in new jersey because christie has rehabilitated himself by camping out in new jersey for the last eight months. >> new hampshire, you mean? >> you see a lot of subplots going on now. >> new hampshire, you mean? >> in new hampshire. yes. in new hampshire. >> do you think donald trump's recent mentions of bill clinton's past indiscretions have been effective because essentially he's saying that it's a weapon that he can wield against hillary clinton. >> i don't know whether it's been effective or not. donald trump is not terribly popular in the broader electorate but among base republicans, it problem hasn't hurt him and what it has done is certified him. he's designating himself as the nominee of the party. it's as if he's saying, i'm not
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going to bother with these other guys. i'm moving right to the main event. and so the audacity of the attacks, particularly coming from someone who earlier defended bill clinton against the same charges, is consistent with what we've seen throughout this campaign and, in some ways, you know, he's impervious to criticism over it because people give him a pass on a lot of this. >> david axelrod, thank you. it's been quite a day in the armed standoff in oregon. what has changed while we were on the air and why this could go to a different level entirely.
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well, breaking news in the oregon standoff tonight. in just the last couple of minutes, it had been quiet all day with the armed activists occupying a national wildlife refuge. we were going to talk to the rancher's leader about his new demands. he agreed to be on the program around this time. just minutes ago, as we said, they called an impromptu news conference. perhaps, a new phase just beginning. sara sidner is joining me now with the latest. what happened? bundy came out. what did he say? >> reporter: just moments he came out, there were several other protesters with him, one of whom had a large rifle on his lap and they said they had received new information, information we have not been able to confirm yet with the fbi
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but they said they had received new information from a source that said that the fbi has finally made and gotten some arrest warrants. several people's names on those arrest warrants. at least four of them, according to the protesters here. and their response to that has been two fold. one says they will break apart and they will go to the hammond ranch. the two ranchers who had to go back to jail after spending time in jail and then having to return because of a federal judge's decision that they did not serve enough time. so they have broken off some of them going to that ranch and some of them staying here on this federal land here at this wildlife refuge. what they are also saying, one of the ranchers, if you want to take a look at some new video in from your show tonight, saying to us, look, i'm not going to be arrested. i will not spend any of my life in jail so that the fbi comes to arrest us, i may not leave here
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alive. he is a rancher that's from out of town, out of state. his name is lavoie fin na kim. he's been talking quite a bit about the situation here. namely, the land management group of the government and he is frustrated. he has talked to his family and told them that he loves them and they know that but he's going to stand his ground and that's the situation right now, anderson. >> a couple things. first of all, the hammond ranch and the family attorney, as i understand it earlier, said that this group doesn't speak for them, doesn't represent them in any way. do we know what they are going to do once they get to the hammond ranch? and also, we accidently played video of you talking to a lady. the group is no longer welcome because all along, if the community doesn't want us here, we will leave. the sheriff says they are not welcome. what are people you're talking to saying?
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>> reporter: it's interesting. it's a mixed reaction to this group. there are some people saying they should go home. they are not from here. they said they were going to be peaceful and now we are hearing differently. we don't want them here. the land belongs to people already and they should go home. however, most people do support the hammonds and they are very disturbed with what happened with the hammonds because they ended up coming out and spending a couple years out of jail and all of a sudden had to go back to jail because of a federal judge's decision and that frustrates them. they do not necessarily support what is happening here there. have been others who have come forward, are bringing food to this group and who say that they are welcome here but nobody, nobody that we've spoken to wants to see this turn violent, including some of the members who have come out here to help this group. >> sara sidner, thank you very much. instead of escalating the situation, authorities appear to be running off the clock, hoping the cold and harsh conditions will eventually force the gunmen to go home.
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a standoff 26 years ago ended with 80 people dead. dan simon tonight reports. >> reporter: it's perhaps the most infamous raid in u.s. history. february 1993. the bureau of alcohol tobacco and firearms storms a large compound in search of illegal guns. it's home to a christian cult called the branch did i individual generals, an offshoot of the seventh day adventist schurge. ed leader is dave koresh. authorities say koresh was having sex with underage girls in his compound. he also had multiple wives and fathered at least 13 children. koresh, who made money selling guns -- >> it's not against the law to buy anything that they sell at a gun show. >> reporter: -- was not about to surrender peacefully when his home was surrounded and four atf
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agents were killed, at least 15 were wounded. five branch dif individual generals were killed in that initial raid and koresh himself took fire. >> do you want to see one of the holes here? here's one of them. >> reporter: the federal agents retreated. it was now a very tense standoff. fbi negotiators trying unyou n unsuccessfully to get koresh to surrender. patience finally ran out. federal agents launched a tear gas attack to force the dividians out. what happened next was a total disaster. flames engulfed the compound, killing nearly everyone, including koresh. 76 branch dividians dead, 24 of them children. only nine people made it out alive. critics blamed the tear gas for
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the blaze but an independent special council found koresh ordered the setting of the fires and there were also some suicides and mercy killings inside the compound. 23 years later, it is a powerful reminders that those who say they will die for a cause could very well be serious. dan simon, cnn. >> so many children killed. just ahead, an update on the teen drunk driver who got probation for killing four people and fled to mexico with his mom. he's still in mexico. we're talking about the affluenza defense kid. disturbing new information about how he spent his time on the lam including reports of a $1,000 strip club tabitha he couldn't pay. that's next. a number. policy has but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. ♪ those who have served our nation have earned the very best service in return.
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the mother of the so-called affluenza case was in court today. tonya couch will be extradicted to texas. she and her 18-year-old son ethan were caught in mexico. ethan was on probation for killing four people in a drunk driving accident. the case got national attention after couch's attorney said that he was too rich and spoiled to
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understand consequences. he was 16 years old at the time. his probation office couldn't get ahold of him after a video allegedly showed him at a party where people were drinking. he wasn't supposed to be around drugs or alcohol while he was on probation. while in mexico, he racked up a $1,000 bill and couldn't pay the bill so his mother had to pay it for him. joining me is dr. drew pinsky and criminal defense attorney mark o'mara. dr. pinsky, what do you make of this? while the kid is out of the country, reportedly racks up $1,000 at a strip club and can't pay for it. >> i make nothing of this. this kid's a drug addict who failed treatment and ran from the law and now he is engaging in the behaviors of his disease. you know, wherever he goes, he will continue to be him and he will continue to engage in and dick t addictive behaviors and his
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mother is going to continue to enable it. >> i don't understand why he's still in mexico. why hasn't he been sent back to the u.s. to face whatever punishment he's going to face? the u.s. has an extradition treaty with mexico. >> we do. but once his defense team decided to throw up the road block, that they were going to say we want a formal extradition hearing, then that process slows down a great deal. now, it may be a tactical decision. i'm not certain it's the right move but they may have decided, we'll let him sit in mexico until he gets close to his 19th birthday so by the time he comes back the juvenile court has no control over him. there may be things working underneath the surface that we're not aware of yet. >> does he just serve time until he's no longer a juvenile and then he's released? >> the way the texas law is, the juvenile court has control over him until his 19th birthday which will happen in a little
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less than four months. they can't put him in juvenile jail any longer than his 19th birthday. it seems, however, the sentence was set up so that once he turns 19, the rest of his probation will be transferred to adult probation. so he may have whatever's left, four, five, six years of probation as an adult. his real exposure is going to be if, once he's transferred to adult court and adult probation, if he violates that probation, prison's on the table. >> chances are, if he doesn't violate adult probation, he should be fine. he wouldn't be going to an adult facility. he only would -- he only has four more months to serve as a juvenile. >> well, but, to dr. drew's point, if he's an addict, if he has lived a life where he's had no constraints on him so far, he's going to have a real tough time with probation, particularly with a probation officer that's probably going to be looking at him like a hawk. >> how much responsibility does
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she have here? >> well, she's -- listen, i don't want to create another victim here but the fact that she's enabling so profoundly, i deal with these sorts of circumstances all the time. adam lanza is a case of this where the mother is in such massive denial with a sick child, the setting of addition is the addicted child will play on the mother's emotion and the mom will continue to believe if she doesn't rescue the child, the child will die. the reality is, if she continues to rescue, the child will in fact die. there's no way he's going to make it through his probation. no way. this guy needs long-term intensive treatment. there's no way. this is a disaster, this poor i had can. the only thing that might save his life, frankly, is prison. in prison he might see -- game some insight. but on the outside, this is going to be a disaster. >> mark, you also feel that the judge may not want to give lenient sentences to other people even when it may be
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warranted. >> the affluenza defense is at a far extreme of a proposed defense. my concern is he got such a deal and it's completely public that most judges and the prosecutors and, by the way, even juries, will look at other cases with more of a jaundiced eye and not want to give those true defenses, creative as we might make them, true defenses or mitigation to a sentence, they may just be ignored because they'll remember the affluenza kid, the kid who got away with murder virtually and then, you know, struck his nose up at the system. i'm very concerned that their arrogance in not accepting and taking the benefit of the extraordinary deal that he got is going to come back to haunt other people who deserve a break. >> and when you hear that affluenza term, the first time i heard it, i thought it was a joke. there was a professional using
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that term. >> it was pretty incredible to me. >> there was a professional using it on the stand and i'm sure he is quite embarrassed. he should be ashamed of himself. it was to help make the case that if you're going to take issue with people that live in extreme poverty, maybe you should give a similar situation for somebody in extraordinary economic circumstances. we have another name for that. spoiled brat. i'm sorry, that's not a defense. i agree, creativity from your defense witnesses may be warranted but i hope this really puts a stop to people being creative to the point of being ludicrous and, frankly, unethical. >> mark o'mara, dr. drew, thank you very much. another hour of "360." another birther battle. we'll play you some of the interview, next. and can you explain why you recommend synthetic over cedar? "super food?" is that a real thing? it's a great school, but is it the right one for her? is this really any better than the one you got last year?
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