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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  February 23, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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virus. we'll keep you posted on that. that will do it for me this afternoon. "the lead" with jake tapper begins right now. thanks, poppy. time for republicans to show their cards in state that knows all about high stakes, "the lead" starts right now. it is decision day for republicans in nevada, things are getting intense with donald trump saying he'd like to punch a protester in the face, and marco rubio saying we're running out of time. it's no time for patience. the democrat side, spike lee telling voters, do the right thing, get behind bernie sanders. could he help crack the bond between hillary clinton and black voters with four days to go until south carolina and one week until super tuesday? one of his biggest unfulfilled campaign promises, president obama giving plans to close the guantanamo center.
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we'll ask if moving the terrorists is the safe play. hello, welcome to a special edition of "the lead." i'm jake tapper. what could be one of the most critical days in republican party history, a day that could literally turn the anti-establishment wing of the party into the new normal and make the tea party revolution look like a cup of sanka. a victory could chart him on an unstoppable path to the nomination. could we be in another night with second and third speech victories? sunlen serfaty is in las vegas, jeff zeleny with democrats in columbia, south carolina. you've will covering the cruz campaign, ted cruz taking fire from every direction. how is he responding today? >> ree he's trying to hold the line and push back aggressively.
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we saw ted cruz launch the most direct attack yet on donald trump's character, trying to stop his momentum going forward. >> but we have a big lead and we don't want to blow it. >> reporter: donald trump looking to extend his winning streak. >> south carolina, absolutely perfect. and hopefully by tonight we'll be together and say this is absolutely perfect. >> reporter: a third win in a row to cement his front-runner status. >> they're all gone. they made their speech and ran away. and you shun be voting for people. >> reporter: brash billionaire not holding back in the final hour of campaigning in the silver state, ratcheting up his rhetoric at a protester monday night. >> he's walking out like big high fives, smiling laving like to punch him in the face. >> reporter: trump laying into rival ted cruz. >> this guy is sick, something wrong with this guy. . >> reporter: cruz returning
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fire, acausing trump of lacking core principles. >> i frankly don't care what position donald decides to support today or tomorrow or the next day. they change every day. i don't care what they are. but pick one and defend it. >> reporter: cruz in a bruising battle for second with marco rubio as two freshmen senators fight for the mantel of trump alternative. rubio making the case he's the candidate conservatives can coalesce behind. >> we cannot nominate someone who cannot win because they cannot unite us. >> reporter: leaving nevada, looking to march contests, with stops in minnesota and michigan. >> i'm not waiting in line because there is no line for president. we're running out of time. this is no time for patience. people have realized, look, he wasn't our first choice but he's our best choice. >> reporter: today, john kasich's campaign indicating that they are switching up their
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strategy and going after their rivals, releasing a memo today calling marco rubio another teleprompter-dependent senator. >> sunlen serfaty, thanks. a three-man race in nevada, and joining me now representatives of all three of those campaigns, sam clovis, steve king. mr. trump has won the last two primaries but lost the previous caucuses in iowa blamed this on not having a good ground game in that state. how is the ground game in nevada? another caucus state. >> a lot of it depends how much they've been out there a long time, a lot of great people, demographics and geography are different from iowa. a lot is the proof in the pudding. i don't think anybody knows how this will turn out. we have been polling well, we'll have to wait and see.
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>> i want your reaction. take a listen. >> this guy, ted cruz, the single, biggest liar i ever dealt with in my life. i mean it, he will lie about anything. i met much tougher people than ted cruz. he's look a baby. he's look a little baby, soft, weak, little baby by comparison. but for lying he's the best i've ever seen, he's the best. >> your reaction? >> there's your presidential demeanor of donald trump right there. now, can you imagine that giving the state of the union address to the united states congress or imagine that demeanor standing behind a podium with the great seal of the united states on it out on the south lawn or east room making a major foreign policy speech? that kind of demeanor, calling someone a liar when he knows full well he's not and hurling accusations that come out the other two campaigns. i'll say this, i know better.
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i think sam clovis knows better, i'm not sure about jason. >> sam, an opportunity to respond. do you think that is presidential demeanor? >> well, the campaign right now, steve king's a dear friend, i don't -- i'm not going to argue with my buddy on national television, but i do think that steve is not correct in this, i think that we have a pattern of behavior on his candidate's side that indicates that perhaps there's some character issues there as well. before we start slinging accusations, let's do a little introspection. >> i want to bring jason in. jason, senator rubio lived some of his childhood in nevada, attended lds church during that period. shouldn't he be able to win that that state? >> we expect to do very well. and i think you're exactly right, jake. he is a former member of the church of latter day saints. add to that he grew up in the las vegas area for a period of
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his life. senator dean heller, orrin hatch, have come out in support of him. we feel very good where we are and have very high expectations how marco will do tonight. >> sam, as we heard, the establishment is lining up for marco rubio in a lot of ways. is that a problem for donald trump or do you wear that has a badge of honor? >> no, i think it's a problem for senator cruz. i think that the math indicates to me that we're looking at one of those two guys has to leave the stage in order for them to combat, be able to compete with the issue is not donald trump, as i think it is between senator cruz and senator rubio. i think they're going to have to sort that out. i do think that the establishment is coming in behind senator rubio. i think senator cruz is probably going to be caught in the squeeze here as we go forward. >> i want to ask what sam clovis
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was saying about ted cruz. specifically, cruz, just yesterday, had to fire his communications director for putting forward a false video about marco rubio, suggesting he said something about the bible that he never said. is this starting to become a problem for ted cruz, this whether or not you buy that it's true, this concept, this meme that is he untrustworthy. >> i missed most of sam's audio. my connect wasn't working. >> you have a good idea what he said. >> fair idea, i do. i have been in the middle of the campaign for a long time, since 16th of november. i've been on the bus two weeks, spent the better part of a week in south carolina. i've watched ted cruz make decisions. i understand what his principles are. i also understand political gamesmanship. when i see what happened with ben carson in iowa, if ted cruz made any mistake there, it was hearing from ben carson that he want an apology and giving it to him, thinking ben would accept it and that would be the end of
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it. if he made a mistake, that's it. other than that, what came out of there was true, it was a reflection of what came out of the news, it wasn't embellished. speaking of how things get interpreted i heard the press conference, when ted cruz said that he had asked for the resignation of tiler but it took five minutes for the news to report that he fired him. sem n semantic games go back and forth. i went to visit ben, 50 hours after that happened. we got it straight. i believe that ted cruz and ben carson could have gotten it straight. if it hadn't been for the interference of donald trump. now seeing trump and rubio ganging up on cruz for the very reasons we've heard right now, they want to squeeze somebody out and get it to be one-on-one. look at polling, cruz beats trump one-on-one in all of 0 the polling. >> i take issue of your characterization with cnn but we don't have time for that now. jason, doesn't marco rubio at some point need to win a state? >> well, yeah, that's how you
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win the nomination. there's 54 primaries and caucuses amongst the states and territories. we've only had three so far. absolutely. we expect we'll start winning some in the next week. we've got 14 we're competing in. you can see by any measure that the momentum is on the side of marco rubio. he's collecting endorsements from conservative leaders, from around the country, and i really think he's the only candidate out there that can unify the conservative movement. he was one of the original tea party leaders in 2010, when he ran against establishment choice charlie crist. a 98% conservative vote record. for anyone out there looking at candidates and can't decide, think about which of these conservatives can win and that's marco rubio. >> all right. sam, jason, steve king, thanks to one and all. stay with cnn for big political events. tonight, hillary clinton and bernie sanders taking questions from south carolina voters innin' cnn's democratic town
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hall 8:00 eastern. thursday, it's the cnn republican presidential debate in houston. moderated by wolf blitzer at 8:30 eastern. tonight after the town hall, coverage of the nevada republican caucuses. but before that, town hall, will it have any impact on the race? south carolina saturday, super tuesday in one week, then closing a chapter in american history, moving dangerous terrorists to the homeland. what candidates are saying about president obama's plan to close gitmo, back after this. it takes a lot of work... to run this business. but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals,
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. spike lee's movies tell his audiences to wake up. it's how he ended "school days" in'88. >> please, wake up. >> and that's how he started "do the right thing." >> wake up! wake up, wake up, wake up. up you wake. you wake, up you wake. this is mr. senior love daddy,
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voice of choice, the world's only 12-hour strong man -- >> and now, spike lee's delivering the exact same message to voters of south carolina on behalf of senator bernie sanders whom he has endorsed. >> wake up. wake up, south carolina. this is yor dude, spike lee. >> just four days to go until south carolina's crucial democratic primary, sanders homes the spike lee endorsement will make inroads in the african-american community where hillary clinton enjoys long time support. they will each make their case to voters in cnn's town hall 8:00 eastern. jeff zeleny is in columbia, south carolina. jeff, sounds as though the clinton campaign isn't giving any ground in south carolina. >> reporter: jake, that's right. if you thought hillary clinton coming out of nevada was going to take her foot off the gas, you'd be wrong. she's em employing the 3-d strategy, diminish bernie sanders has single issue
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candidate, define bernie sanders as pie in the eye proposals and defeat bernie sanders. he's escalating his attacks against her. in a few moments he constituent out this e-mail to supporters. he said it's no exaggeration to say this is the most important stretch of our campaign. >> the clinton campaign leaving nothing for chance in south carolina. from the walls of the campaign offices, to the mettage at her campaign rallies. >> if the numbers don't add up, it's wrong to make those promises. >> reporter: bernie sanders is front and center on the minds of clinton world. >> bernie is not the man. bernie was really running, he said, to push her to the left. okay, so he's done that. >> reporter: the jacqueline debose working phones to bring this democratic race to a close. >> if he was a wise man, he'd step away. >> reporter: you think he should step away. >> step away. like she stepped away graciously
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when obama got the nomination. >> reporter: sanders says he's just getting started. >> they are getting very, very nervous. all over this country and virginia and everyplace else, we're taking on the entire political establishment. >> reporter: in the fight for delegates clinton and sanders are nearly tied in pledge delegates her advantage, when you add in supporter from party leaders or superdelegates. on his way to south carolina tone, sanders swung through virginia, one of the super tuesday states he's eyeing. >> you guys, you guys are getting me revved up here. it's going to be a long afternoon. >> reporter: sanders is stepping up his attacks on clinton. supporters are following suit. including an endorsement and this radio ad from director spike lee. >> wake up, wake up, south carolina. this is your dude, spike lee, i know na you know the system is rigged. >> reporter: the clinton campaign hopes to answer
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criticism with a strong win in saturday's south carolina primary. making an extra push for young african-american women. >> she says their names trayvon martin. >> reporter: mothers whose children have been killed in gun violence campaigning for clinton, drawing a contrast with sanders' position on gun control. jake, you can count on that's exactly what she's going to do tonight as well. gabby giffords campaigning with her. why? 61% of the democratic electorate are women, many mothers. that's her target, target audience. >> jeff zeleny in south carolina, thanks. joining me, hillary clinton's campaign manager. thanks for joining us. welcome to "the lead." in our cnn poll of polls clinton leads in south carolina by 25 points, commanding lead. and yet, she's there in the state every day, right up until saturday. senator sanders is already on the ground in some of the super tuesday states. why is she still in south carolina? >> well, as you know, when we started this campaign, hillary said that we are not going to
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take a single vote for granted, that's why she fought hard in iowa, new hampshire, nevada, now south carolina, and she's going to keep fighting for every single vote until the polls close. >> reporter: you know spike lee came out for bernie sanders today. listen to some of the case he makes for sanders in the radio ad playing in south carolina. >> bernie takes no money from corporations, inada, he's not o the tape. which means when bernie gets in the white house, he will do the right thing. no flipping, no flopping. time for action. >> suggesting that hillary clinton is on the take and that she does flipping and flopping. >> well, it's interesting that bernie sanders says he doesn't take money from corporations because no federal candidate under law is allowed to take any money whatsoever from corporations. so, he's part of a very big club in that regard and hillary clinton done take money from corporations either. it's interesting, jeff was
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talking about the issue of guns and south carolina, it's actually bernie sanders who voted five times against the brady bill, voted against universal background checks, voted for the charleston loophole, voted to give immunity to gun makers. he's started to imply that may have been a mistake and he's changing his position. he has explaining to do about what his real position on guns is. >> hillary clinton won in nevada, looks strong in south carolina saturday. let's look ahead. will she run the table on super tuesday? what states do you think her must-win states? >> well, this is a delegate battle, as you know, and so we're less focused on what state we might win or lose and more on how many delegates we are winning, as you saw in nevada, we pulled ahead in the plenl delegate race which we're proud of and expect that lead to grow as we go into super tuesday. >> robbie, i want to ask you about the news just now of a new development in the e-mail case,
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judge in d.c. opening the door to future subpoenas for clinton, for her longtime aide, looking to get a hold of personal e-mails that were not turned over to the state department. do you have any response to this news? >> well, jake, we all know that the right wing sees hillary clinton as the democrats' best chance to hold on to the white house and continue to build on the progress that president obama has made. that's why this right wing group filed this lawsuit. of course, they're trying to subpoena people, of course they're trying to get this into the news. and we're just -- >> this judge appointed by bill clinton, i believe. >> it's the judge's decision to make. my point is this is promulgated by a right-wing group. our campaign is accustomed to right wing attacks and they're going to continue. hillary's going to keep talking about issues that she hears about in south carolina and other states like how we help people afford college, how we bring health care premiums down.
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we're going to stay focused on what americans care about. right wing will make their attacks, we'll stay focused. >> good luck on saturday. >> thank you. a representative from bernie sanders' campaign, ted divine. thanks for being here. senator sanders is in virginia today, he was in massachusetts yesterday. why isn't he in south carolina? writing it off? >> no, he's on his way there to do the cnn town hall meeting. we can't wait to get back. >> but he hasn't been campaigning 24/7 in south carolina. looking ahead. >> right. 12 contests in the next week including south carolina. a very important state. we'll be there tonight, tomorrow morning. we've been there a lot. a great campaign on the ground. looking forward to competing for delegates in south carolina. >> you have this new ad, hoping spike lee able to reach african-american voters. it doesn't seem like he's moving the needle to black voters. hillary clinton won 76 in
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nevada. among african-americans in the recent poll, so you are trailing with black voters by 40 points. is the clinton fire wall holding up here? >> i don't think so. nevada, it was close race in nevada, robby mook did a conference call saying they were 25 points ahead, we made it closer, down to five point we won latino voters in nevada, there's question about the entrance poll. ing everything we saw said we were going to win latino. this is a long process. this isn't going to end in south carolina, or next weex k in sup tuesday. >> i want to ask you about texas. one week competing in the texas primary. some of clinton supporters talking about a push that sanders made back in 1998 to dump nuclear waste from vermont and maine in a poor freedom
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nanly hispanic community in texas, this was headlined "sanders to sierra blanca, drop dead." texas contested it. this push square with sanders' reputation for standing up for the disenfranchised. >> the only dump going on here is oppo dump before the primary. bernie sanders has a very strong record of protecting people standing up for people, the way he stands up for them taking on powerful institutions and not taking money from them. a strong record on the environment. today we started advertising in colorado that bernie sanders opposes fracking. hillary clinton put out an energy paper that said fracking's okay. bernie believes if you want to take on climate change, you have to recognize that fracking is not for our future, we need to get rid of. bernie's record is strong and oppo dumps will happen before a primary, we get that. >> tad devine, good luck
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saturday and super tuesday. appreciate it. coming up -- what's next? growing calls for john kasich and ben carson to drop out of the race. that is going to happen? saying they will not consider hearing from any supreme court nominee. they will not even meet with a nominee. >>got it. we slow, we die. >>what about cashing out? no! i'm trying to build something here. >>how about using fedex ground for shipping? >>i don't need some kid telling me how to run a business! i've been doing this for 4 long months. >>fedex ground can help us save money and deliver fast to our customers. not bad, kid. you remind me of a younger me. >>aiden! the dog is eating your retainer again. let's take a short 5-minute recess. fedex ground is faster to more locations than ups ground. joining her daughter's yoga class.ng about she was thinking about her joints. but now that she's taking osteo bi-flex, she's noticing a real difference in her joint comfort. with continued use,
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welcome back to "the lead." jake tapper. big news in the battle to replace justice antonin scalia who died ten days ago. mitch mcconnell saying the republican-controlled senate will not hold confirmation hearings for any nominee submitted by president obama and
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telling cnn republican leaders will not even meet with any nominee who tries to make courtesy calls to capitol hill. this move is apparently unprecedented. senate historian reports no supreme court nominee ever denied a hearing unless he or she has voluntarily withdrawn from consideration. the white house insisting president obama will select a nominee and submit his or her name to the u.s. senate. politics lead. polls in nevada giving donald trump commanding lead in the gop cauc caucus. cnn's town hall ahead of saturday's big south carolina primary. joining me to talk about it all, dana bash, van jones, and amanda carpenter, former communications director for senator ted cruz. van, hillary clinton has a lot of momentum heading into south carolina particularly with african-american voters. bernie sanders got this in endorsement from spike lee. do you think that this endorsement will ultimately mean anything with voters of south
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carolina? >> you know, it's hard to know if it will. she had -- he had to do something. he is just getting out foxed, outfoxed, outclassed, outmaneuvered in the black community. it's a shame to see. he does have an argument to make to the black community. he's a one-note guy, it's criminal justice, criminal justice. once she brought out morgan freeman, he had to bring out somebody, he brought out spike lee, harry belafonte. you think an endorsement can move the needle at all? he's getting clobbered with black voters. >> i think it won't hurt especially given that the kind of message that he's got out there. but i do think it's a little bit unusual that he's -- he, bernie sanders is having the challenge he's having that you pointed out on economic issues when that's his whole message. so i wouldn't think it would be that difficult to translate the message that so resonates with
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young people especially to the black community because there aren't that many differences in what he's saying what you need to do to help people. >> he is getting defined. hillary clinton's got a little bit of trump going on, like she's -- >> branding him. >> branding him. you're single issue, you're anti-obama. he says, wall street, wall street, criminal, criminal justice. what he should be saying is you love obama, you want to defind his gains. i love obama i want to extend his gains and get that anti-obama off the table and get back on offense. brand himself with regards to the president. >> the republicans, dr. ben carson making headlines today, in an interview he did with politico podcast saying obamaing quote, raised white. he was asked about it on cnn in last hour. take a listen. >> i don't think anybody would deny that someone who is raised in hawaii by his white grandparents and then spent
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formative years in indonesia with his white mother does not have the typical black experience. i said i was proud of the fact that the color barrier had been broken but, there's a difference in breaking the color barrier in somebody who has had typical experience, versus somebody who has not. for you and the rest of the media to pretend because your skin is the same color it means you've all grown up in the same way doesn't make any sense. i'm pointing that fact out. >> it's an interesting kfrpgs dr. carson has every right what he wants to say that he wants. why is he talking about this? >> no idea. he's never been a disciplined presidential candidate, he's never been able to control messages. this is negative for the field because people have to answer. did you see ben carson's comments what do you think? do you agree with him? let alone the fact it's dangerous to define someone
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else's experience through the lens of color. ben carson needs to drop out. ben carson needs to drop out. he's not only damaging himself, he potentially damaging the field, maybe other people will see that and pressure him to do so. >> what do you think, dana? obviously you're not going to take a position whether or not he should drop out but hearing calls for him and even governor kasich to drop out? >> yes, more calls from people like amanda but it's a much more dangerous prospect for that to happen from within the campaigns. we saw that was sort of the beginning of the narrative on the cruz campaign, suggesting that he wants ben carson to drop out. but, there's no question that there is a very, very strong feeling among anyone but trump republican caucus, which is pretty large, especially here in washington, they need to start consolidating and doing it fast. but ben carson done seem to care very much. more importantly, john kasich doesn't. >> i blame donald trump, i do. first, brain dead comment from a
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brain surgeon to say something like this, african-americans have all kind of experiences, alicia keys, go through, ba, go through all kind of folks who have white parents, it's brain dead. ben carson has learned in order to get media attention you have to say something completely insane. he learned that from donald trump, insane comment, he got attention, congratulations. he needs to move on. >> speaking of donald trump. a tweet, he says ted cruz does not have the right temperament to be president. look at the way he panicked in firing his director of communications. bad! bad! >> trump says another bad thing about ted cruz, surprise. i'm amazed that donald trump was so upset, you know, that rick tyler passed on this false story which he apologized for and he's suffering consequences for. if he's outraged about it, maybe he should fire himself.
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>> thank you so much. president obama following through on a promise he made over seven years to close guantanamo. the backlash, next. welcome to opportunity's knocking, where self-proclaimed financial superstars pitch you investment opportunities. i've got a fantastic deal for you- gold! with the right pool of investors, there's a lot of money to be made. but first, investors must ask the right questions and use the smartcheck challenge to make the right decisions. you're not even registered; i'm done with you! i can...i can... savvy investors check their financial pro's background by visiting smartcheck.gov
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in our national lead today, president obama made a campaign promise to close the detainee center at guantanamo bay, cuba, after taking office he met a wall of opposition from republicans and democrats when it came to bringing detainees to the united states. today, proposing a way to close the detainee center. let's bring in michelle kosinski. what happens the plan, where would the remaining 91 detainees go? >> reporter: 91 how to, 35
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approved to go to other countries, the white house assuming that will go forward as planned and remainder, 50 to 60 of them, the president would like to see them put in federal prisons or super max prisons in the united states. the department of defense looked at a number, leaven worth, kansas, super max in colorado, south carolina. interestingly, in the president's plan they listed there were 13 possibilities but they didn't name any of them, even though that's what congress asked them to do, for a detailed plan naming potential sites and the fact they didn't name any just drew more criticism, jake. >> reporter: talk about bad timing for president obama. a former gitmo detainee who was released under the previous president was just arrested in an anti-terrorism raid in spain today. >> reporter: yeah, interesting timing, right? a man arrested in a spanish enclave in north africa, right across from spain, along with other suspects, he was described
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as a leader who has been trained in weapons and explosives. now the white house says that he was -- we know that he was at gitmo in 2002, released in 2004. the white house's response, they're aware of the threat, they're mindful of such threats, of recidivism but say most recently under obama they've been able to reduce the recidivism rate to single digits. the situation is much safer now, much less likely for people who are released to return to the battlefield, jake. >> michelle, what's the reaction from the campaign trail? >> reporter: well, as you can imagine, there's been lots of it. i mean you have john kasich saying these are the worst of the worst still at gitmo, don't bring them back to the u.s. marco rubio saying we're not going to give gitmo back to the cubans, even though the president never proposed that, that is not part of the white house's plan. and then, of course, you have something from donald trump --
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>> this morning i watched president obama talking about gitmo, right? guantanamo bay which, by the way, which, by the way, we are keeping open, which we are keeping open we're going to load it up with some bad dudes, believe me. we're going to load it up. i heard this but didn't understand it. we spend $40 million a month on maintaining this place. think of it, $40 million a month. i would guarantee you that i could do it for a tiny, tiny -- i don't mean like 39 i mean maybe 5 be maybe 3, maybe like peanuts. >> reporter: he didn't propose that the cubans pay for it but in other colorful moment we had senator pat roberts of kansas, one of the possible sites in kansas put out a video online showing him throwing the obama plan for gitmo in the trash.
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we haven't seen any responses in support from republicans. but senator sanders put out this tweet saying, guantanamo has damaged our moral standing, undermined our foreign policy, i'm glad to see a plan to shut it down. it's worth noting, jake, in the most recent polls americans themselves have pretty split on whether gitmo should stay open or closed, just over half say keep it open, jake. >> all right. michelle kosinski, thanks so ump in. one of president obama's arguments for shutting down gitmo for good, a breeding ground for future terrorists. is it? we'll ask general michael hayden who headed the cia and nsa next. . to run this business. but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon.
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welcome back to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. landing with a thud on capitol hill today. how far should our national security agencies go to ensure the safety and security of the american people while also upholding our values and protecting human rights? to discuss the president's plan for gitmo, let's bring in general michael hayden. author of "playing to the edge,
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american intelligence in the age of terror." thanks for being here. welcome back to the show. thanks, jake. >> today, president obama delivered his plan to congress to close the gitmo detention facility. he said, quote, the detention facility at guantanamo bay does not advance our national security. it undermines it. do you agree? >> not totally. i really don't. one of the things that the president specifically mentioned was it was a recruiting magnet for jihadist. if that were true in the past -- that may be debatable -- i don't think it's very relevant now at the present with regard to isis and al qaeda. i think there are some political issues that it raises with allies but i don't think it's recruitment magnet that the president pointed out. since operating under and artificial time line before the administration's over, we need to be very careful about who we push out the door here. the recidivism rate here is not
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zero. under some calculations it's about 30%. having said all of that, we were trying to reduce the prisoner population at guantanamo in the bush administration, too, and we've pushed more people out the door than president obama has. so, it's a bit of a mixed bag. >> in fact, one of the individuals pushed out of the door in 2004, was arrested today in a terrorism raid in spain. >> yeah. no, this is -- this dangerous work. as i said recidivism united states a problem. beyond that, jake, if you get beyond that, those are serious issues, you now bring some of these to the united states. number one, i hope we don't do this by executive fiat and create a constitutional crisis. there's a security concern about bringing folks here but, frankly, i'm less concerned about that than some other issues. we know how to keep people in prison, local communities might be concern the, but we've got good prisons. more than that, though, jake, i'm concerned about some legal ramifications.
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what are the intended or especially unintended consequences of bringing these folks from cuba and putting them on american soil? what will happen in the american judicial process after that takes place? >> you and i have had spirited discussions about various interrogation techniques one many human right groups consider to be torture. your response to republican front-runner donald trump, a couple days ago in south carolina. >> torture, you know, have these guys -- torture doesn't work. believe me, in works, okay? waterboarding your minor form some say it's not torture. assume it is. but they asked me, what do you think of waterboarding? absolutely fine but we should go stronger, that's the way i feel. >> response? >> he goes on to say that we ought to do it busecause they deserve it. we didn't do any of this because
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they deserved it. these were admitted ldly controversial techniques but objective here always was forward looking, not backward looking. this was about preventing future harm, not punishing past harm. and, by the way, jake, i'm on public record saying, given what's happened to c.a. officers who did this in good faith and all of this shoved out of the door, any future president, including president trump, if he wants somebody water boarded he better bring his own bucket. >> your new book "playing to the edge, american intelligence in the age of terror" you write about your tenure in the nsa after 9/11. how has the role of technology changed since then? >> we sensed it pre-9/11 and it's interesting, jake, and i tried to put this into the book. a lot of things that the edward snowdens of the world and similar folks talk about, we had under way pre-9/11.
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they weren't just a response to terrorism. they were a response to the global telecommunications revolution. i'll pick one, jake, no civil libertarian raised a finger as i point out in the book intercepting soviet microwave communications out to the fields. the 21st century elive lent and terrorist, proliferator communications coexiffing with yours and mine in e-mails on integrated global telecommunication center. if you want nsa to do for you in the 21st century when we did in the 20th we've got to be on the networks and, hence, jake, all of the controversy. >> you're the only person that had both nsa and cia in the book. playing to the edge was your guiding principle when you ran both agencies. explain. >> look, first, jake the thing to emphasize -- i do this in the book -- there are edges, there are boundaries, there are lines,
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that once the american political process has determined those lines when the nation's under threat, people who are in the kinds of jobs i had have to use the entire field. we have to play to the edge. if i play back from the sidelines, jake,ing i may spare myself tough congressional hearings or tough pub luck criticism later on. but that's protecting me. that's not protecting america. so my moral and professional responsibility was to use the full authorities i had when the situation warranted it. >> the book is playing to the edge, thanks so much. >> thank you, jake. >> we'll be right back.
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sanders taking questions from the democratic town hall 8:00 eastern. 10:00, anderson cooper, dana bash and i have coverage of the nevada republican caucuses. on thursday, it's the cnn gop presidential debate in houston. moderated by wolf blitzer, 8:30 eastern. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over to brianna keilar next door in "the situation room." happening now -- donald trump said he wanted to punch a nevada protester, now looking to knock out rivals in tonight's caucuses. warning marco rubio hit me and see what happens. talk of the town -- bernie sanders and hillary clinton getting ready for tonight's cnnton hall with south carolina's crucial primary days away. also -- supreme rejection. republicans on the senate you di judiciary committee saying if president obama sends up a supreme court nominee they will not even hole hearings. m