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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  April 4, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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need all these staffers, i can be my own advisor. brian stelter, thank you very much for that. >> thanks. >> and "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. thanks, pamela. will donald trump trade his "make america great" hat again for a cheesehead? "the lead" start right now. wisconsin votes in fewer than 24 hours as donald trump and ted cruz say their names are the only ones that should be on the ballot come convention time. secret memo. a campaign document we were not supposed to see reveals what donald trump's brain trust really thinks about the republican establishment and the national media. and surprise, surprise, the language is not g-rated. the isis spider web. 20-plus terrorists, some who helped orchestrate massacres in
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paris and brussels have escaped a taucontinent-wide drag net an are now planning their next attack. good afternoon, everyone. i'm jake tapper. welcome to "the lead." a busy day on the campaign trail in wisconsin. donald trump raising the stakes, telling the voters the world is watching and warning his fans that a loss tomorrow could slow his momentum. senator ted cruz, meanwhile, finally giving a definitive denial to that tabloid smear that has dogged his campaign. both cruz and trump are trying to push john kasich, quote, the hell out of the race, in the immortal words of donald trump. donald trump just spoke in superior, wisconsin. cruz is favored to win tomorrow's primary but it's an open primary and donald trump has made it clear he thinks he can get independents and democrats to come his way. >> reporter: that's right, jake, and he's doing everything he can to get them to all show up. donald trump is looking to pull
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off a big come-from-behind victory here in wisconsin. he's not only trying to catch ted cruz, who appears to be way out in front, as you said. the gop front-runner is also doing some cleaning up after a messy week. donald trump knows the stakes all too well. after a bruising week, a big "w" in wisconsin could change everything. >> but if we do well here, folks, it's over. if we don't, if we don't -- if we don't win here, it's not over. but wouldn't you like to take the credit in wisconsin? >> reporter: while he's scrambling to catch ted cruz, who's leading in wisconsin, the gop front-runner is attacking john kasich, accusing the ohio governor of being nothing more than a spoiler. >> he's lost like 29 or 30 or 31 times. whatever the hell it is. every single state and every single island, he ought to get the hell out. let me tell you, he hurts me
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much more than he hurts cruz. >> reporter: already looking ahead to new york, kasich's message for trump, don't hold your breath. >> donald trump said that i need to get out of the race because i'm getting his voters. well, no, no, i've got news for him. i'm going to get a heck of a lot of his voters. >> reporter: trump is also busy mopping up his recent messes, telling "the new york times" he made a mistake retweeting an unflattering picture of cruz's wife. but headlines say trump is sweaty and spent after wearing a bulletproof vest at his rallies and he predicted the country is heading towards a very massive recession. a comment he tried to clean up today. >> what i said was we're going to go into a massive recession, but i also say if i'm president that's not going to happen because i'm going to straighten things out. >> reporter: add to that trump's furious attempts to clarify his position on abortion. >> right now the laws are set and that's the way the laws are. >> reporter: the real estate
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tycoon's team are lashing at at his critics. one entitled "digging through the bull" said america is sick of them. their idiotic attack just reminds voters why they hate the washington establishment. donald trump 1, washington establishment/media 0. as for cruz, he's confident that trump's stumbles are keeping him in the hunt, especially if the race goes to a contested convention, where he wants to hold kasich to gop rules requiring candidates to rack up eight wins to qualify for the nomination. >> there are only two candidates who will have met that threshold. the choice will be between me and donald trump. >> reporter: cruz is trying to capitalize on trump's weakness among women, blaming him for a "national enquirer" story that claimed the texas senator was being unfaithful to his wife. >> it's completely made up nonsense. it's simply not true. i have always been faithful to my wife. i love my wife. >> reporter: now, speaking have wives, trump will be with his wife, melania later on this
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evening. that rally will be just down the street from an event held by bernie sanders. that is a potentially volatile mix as so many sanders supporters have spoken up as protesters at trump rallies. joining me now john kasich supporter and former wisconsin governor tommy thompson and a senior advisor to donald trump, ed brookover. thanks to both of you for being here. governor taump zhompson, let me with you. you support john kasich, but current rule would prevent anyone from being a nominee if that candidate hasn't won a majority of delegates in eight states or territories, which kasich obviously has not. how can you and governor kasich get around that rule? >> well, first off, that rule was for the last convention. i was chairman of the rules committee in 1996, and we had the opportunity to pass the rules at that time for that convention. there are two individuals from
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every state that's going to be representing their candidates at the rules committee when it meets a day before the national convention starts. and i'm fairly confident that this rule is going to go by the wayside. this rule was put in four years ago for governor romney. it's going to be changed. even if it isn't changed, there's nothing to say that the rules cannot be changed after the second or third ballot. so i think the rules -- i think that's just a smoke screen for people to try to say we've got to make sure it's just only two candidates. we've got three candidates and i think john kasich is by far the best candidate of the lot. >> what do you make of that, change the rules? >> well, jake, these rules have been in place since 2012, most of them, and every candidate has been running under them. these are the rules we've been chasing this nomination under and it seems only fair that these rules we've been playing by don't get changed in the last two-minute drill in the fourth quarter. >> governor thompson. >> well, ed just said it.
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the rule was in place in 2012. it was put in for governor romney. governor romney wanted that rule. that rule has never been in any other conventions. we've had ten contested conventions. the first republican national convention was a contested one. abraham lincoln was number three going into the convention in chicago and won out and became one of the great presidents of the united states of america. and i certainly believe that john kasich is going to present himself extremely well in ohio and republican cannot win without ohio and no republican has any chance of beating hillary clinton except for sure john kasich. if you want a winner, go with john kasich. the rules will be changed. john kasich is going to be nominated and john kasich is going to the the nomination. >> ed, let me change the subject here. >> i like the governor's history lesson, though. >> if mr. trump loses wisconsin tomorrow, that obviously only increases the chance that there will be a contested convention.
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how crucial is wisconsin? >> i think the shoe is on the wrong foot here. we've never had a win in wisconsin as part of our path to 1237. however, the anti-trump forces need to shut us out to keep us down and have a chance to keep us below. any delegates we win is a huge win for us. if cruz doesn't sweep wisconsin, he's in really bad shape. >> governor thompson, governor kasich isn't really in the hunt in the badger state. isn't wisconsin the kind of midwest, blue collar state where he should be doing well? >> absolutely. we came in late. we didn't have the resources that the other two candidates had. but we're going to do better than a lot of people think tomorrow. let's have this conversation between ed and me on wednesday and we'll discuss it at that time, who was the big winner on tuesday's election. >> all right. drinks on me. ed, let me ask you, mr. trump has said it was a mistake to retweet that unflattering picture of heidi cruz. do you think that that retreat
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hurt mr. trump? is that one of the reasons he's trailing in wisconsin? >> i don't think it's the reason he was trailing in wisconsin. he said it was a mistake, we're moving on from that. senator cruz is moving on from that. wisconsin has been a state where all the forces have amassed against mr. trump and we're still going to do pretty well there tomorrow, although it's not a must-win for us. >> governor tauhompson, donald trump said the machine was against him, but he has pulled off surprise wins before. do you think mr. trump has any chance to win wisconsin tomorrow? >> yes, he does. i think -- i think he does and i think it's going to be a very close race. and i think all three of them are going to come in very close tomorrow and it's going to be an interesting election. probably the most exciting election we've seen so far outside of super tuesday. >> it's been a very exciting -- the whole year has been exciting, i'll say that. ed, senator cruz said today of trump's team, quote, they have no idea how the basic process
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works of shoring up delegate support. and we have seen some issues where the delegate amassing didn't go the way you guys wanted it to. in louisiana, you won the louisiana contest and yet because of the delegate rules in louisiana, cruz ended up with more delegates. there were issues in north dakota. how much more work does your campaign need to do to prepare for the convention given the back and forth over dealegates? >> first of all, we expect to have more than 1237. but we're prepared for a spin. the cruz spin machine it out there but not their delegate machine. in north dakota where they're saying there was a victory, phil mattingly found far less delegates committed to mr. cruz than was on his slate. in tennessee, we didn't lose a delegate battle, we lost a battle over who may sit on these committees. we got every delegate we deserved in louisiana. >> ed, governor thompson, thank
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you so much. obviously we'll have to have that beer over brats on wednesday after the results come in. >> always love having a beer with governor thompson. >> ed, and i'll tell you if you win the 1237, i'll sign up and be one of your biggest supporters. >> thanks, governor. on the other side of the trail, hillary clinton in danger of losing both wisconsin and her adopted home state of new york as she tries to defend herself against bernie sanders' attacks. that story next. i know what you're thinking, they all claim stuff like that. yeah, but some of them stretch the truth. one said they were the fastest. we checked, it was fastest in kansas city and a few other places. verizon is consistently fast across the country. you wouldn't want to hear from the bloke who packs your parachute, "it's good over kansas." do you know what i mean? so that's, you know... anywhere else, splat. only verizon is the #1 network for consistently fast speeds. and now if you buy a samsung galaxy s7 edge you get one free.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. just a day before the wisconsin primary, things are getting a little testy on the democratic side. hillary clinton and bernie sanders are accusing each other of lying and scheming. right now we're waiting for senator sanders to take the stage in green bay, wisconsin. that's actor and activist tim robbins who's introducing him before sanders takes the stage. sanders continues to make his final push to convince working class and independent voters that he is the right candidate for them. meanwhile secretary clinton, she's not in the badger state today. she's already looking ahead, campaigning in the empire state, new york. with new york governor andrew cuomo. let's bring in cnn senior political correspondent, brianna keilar. today two of the biggest blue
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states, new york and california, signed legislation that will gradually raise the minimum wage in their states to $15 an hour. now, remind me, where do the democratic candidates stand on raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour? >> reporter: jake, hillary clinton stands behind the concept of increasing the minimum wage, but she hasn't endorsed this idea that there should be an increase in the federal minimum wage, she thinks it should be left up to the states. bernie sanders has stood behind this idea of there being a federal minimum wage of $15. it's something that could endear him to working class and labor voters here in wisconsin. here in the badger state, bernie sanders is looking to narrow hillary clinton's delegate lead. >> i don't want to get hillary clinton more nervous than she already is. she's already under a lot of pressure. so don't tell her this. but i think we win here, we win in new york state, we're on our way to the white house. >> reporter: he's counting on college students and union
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workers to give his campaign a boost in tuesday's primary. >> i am not a candidate who goes to the unions and goes to workers and leaves and goes to a fund-raiser with wall street. you are my family. >> reporter: as clinton tries to defend herself. >> when trade is done right, it helps put thousands of wisconsin companies in a better position to export billions of dollars. >> reporter: sanders is targeting clinton's support of nafta in the '90s and a trade pact that she supported as secretary of state, an accord she now opposes. the latest polls show the race a dead heat, perhaps why clinton added a last-minute swing through wisconsin. but her campaign is downplaying expectations. >> we always knew it was going to be tight. i think wisconsin to some degree favors senator sanders, but, look, it's going to be close. >> reporter: clinton spent today campaigning in her adopted home state of new york, attending an event touting new york's move to
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raise the state's minimum wage ahead of the april 19th primary with 247 delegates at stake. >> this is what makes america great. >> reporter: taking a shot at gop front-runner, donald trump. >> donald trump has said that wages are too high. he's fired, that's funny. >> reporter: this as a debate over debates is raging in the democratic primary. both agreeing to one but not a date. >> hillary clinton said this morning she's up for debating on thursday, april 14th. are you in? >> i'm not quite sure how that works on our schedule. i think we can work out a date that works for her schedule, that works for my schedule. >> reporter: the clinton campaign offered a day sanders has a rally planned near new york university, five days before the primary. >> one of the obstacles we're told is this rally that the sanders campaign wanted to move. i think both camps want to work this out. you know, i think it's
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interesting, we spend a lot of time having debates about debates. >> reporter: now, part of the tension in all of this decision-making about when a bedate will be is that the clinton campaign does not think hillary clinton has much to gain when it comes to a debate in new york. it's her home state, she's very well known. bernie sanders has a lot to gain and really nothing to lose. he has to make up a tremendous number of delegates and win disproportionately moving forward, an almost impossible feat, and heats wants an opportunity to make an impact. let's bring in paul and also barbara lawton, former lieutenant governor of wisconsin and a sanders supporter. thank you both for joining me. polls are suggesting that secretary clinton and senator sanders are neck in neck in wisconsin. it appears from his campaign stops that sanders is taking the
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same approach in wisconsin as he did in some other states going for working class, white male voters, independent voters. lieutenant governor lawton, do you think it's going to work for him tomorrow? >> that's interesting, because i see him going for a much broader swath of voters, as he did in michigan. i think we'll see him get a good, solid win. you know, there's been criticism that some of his ideas and policies are pie in the sky, but when i talk to independent or even republican business owners, they would give their right arm to have single payer health care, so he's pulling from a broad swath of voters and it's very exciting. >> today sanders hinted that the clinton campaign is in new york instead of wisconsin because she feels nervous. take a listen. >> if we win in new york state, between you and me, i don't want to get hillary clinton more nervous than she already is.
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she's already under a lot of pressure. >> do you think that hillary clinton is nervous, and should she be? >> i lack senator sanders gift for mind reading, but that was a good line. i can't coordinate with her because i'm on the pac side but there's only two ways to run, unopposed and scared. this one is definitely not unopposed. senator sanders is running a great campaign. he was born and raised in new york. hillary was a senator from new york. she does have the advantage, obviously, in new york. she did win two statewide elections there. >> do you think it's disqualifying if she loses new york? >> no. as a practical matter, she's the democratic nominee. her lead is insurmountable. senator sanders has run a great campaign, i think he should continue. it's really good that he's raising these issues. i think it's great. but, no, it's not. none of this. she's trailing in wisconsin. which i'm biased, i married a
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girl from wisconsin, so i love wisconsin. so he definitely has the advantage here. does that change the fundamental math? no. >> lieutenant governor lawton, i want to play hillary clinton talking to chuck todd. she has made the point when confronted with a greenpeace activist that she's sick and tired in her view of the sanders campaign lying about her taking money from people who work in the fossil fuel industry. >> i feel sorry sometimes for the young people who believe this. they don't do their own research. and i'm glad that we now can point to reliable independent analysis to say, no, it's just not true. >> lieutenant governor lawton, what did you make of those remarks? >> well, one has to be careful before you insult young people who actually do careful research, and as i understand it, there are 43 lobbyists who have maxed out to her campaign who work for the fossil fuel industry. what's going to be interesting
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in new york is that bernie sanders has put the issue of money and politics and campaign finance reform right at the fore, because it doesn't matter if you're talking about job creation and the economy or health care, you have to run the traps of money and politics and campaign finance reform. actually governor cuomo let the people down there a year o'two ago and so it's time for someone to come in with that bold vision that we can actually restore trust in our elected officials and strength to our democracy so that it works for all of the people. >> paul, i'll give you the last word on this. >> on this one, senator sanders, who promised not to be negative, has broken a vow. glenn kessler. >> the washington post. >> oh, my god is he a pain in the neck. he is so skrup lus. he gave senator sanders three pinnochios for this. hillary's campaign is not being funded by fossil fuels.
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t that's a really unfair charge and we ought to get back to the issues. >> money in politics is a big issue. >> good for bernie for raising it. good for hillary for raising it. i'd rather see the pressure being forced from senator sanders, a member of the senate, on his colleagues in the senate and the republican party to bring up judge garland on the supreme court so we can fix citizens united. >> all right, thank you so much, appreciate it. lost jobs, high crime, abandoned communities. what's driving voters in wisconsin? we went to wisconsin to find out. plus, officials chasing dozens of isis operatives as a wider terrorist cell is uncovered. several terrorists believed to be linked to the paris and brussels attacks. how many are still out there? that's ahead. sfx: climbing sounds
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in fewer than 24 hours wisconsin voters head to the polls. there is a lot at stake on both sides. 86 democratic delegates and 42 republican delegates up for grabs. what issues are the most pressing in the badger state? we sent cnn's jean casarez to wisconsin's largest city, milwaukee, where she found a diverse electorate deeply concerned about the state's economic future. >> reporter: did you ever think that you were going to be one of those statistics? >> no. no, i really didn't. >> reporter: the road hasn't been easy for 18-year-old steven young jr. convicted last year of armed
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robbery, his future seemed bleak. in milwaukee, the statistics show that 50% of african-american men end up in prison by the time they are 35. >> two years ago, i was stuck on violence. >> reporter: then an educational program called the right path helped young attend a milwaukee area technical college while serving time. he graduated first in his class last december. >> it was a really big step for me. >> reporter: young was lucky. most don't get that type of help. >> i'm going to take our jobs back. >> getting new jobs. >> we can create 13 million jobs. >> we can create more good jobs. >> reporter: reverend willie briscoe, a mainstay in this community, says all of the candidates must take notice. >> we are suffering in this community right now. there's a lack of esteem and a lack of who we are. >> reporter: young wants the candidates to help fund the public schools, among the worst performing in the nation. >> so school suspends a student and then they have all the free time in the world.
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>> that's right. >> and that leads to what? >> trouble. crime. >> reporter: crime that is at its worst in zip code 53206. manufacturing jobs thrived in this area until companies started leaving, one by one. with limited transportation available to find jobs in the outlying areas, this community slowly broke down. violent crime came in. the people of this area are desperate for job opportunities, good jobs, and they are looking for a presidential candidate who cares about that. >> there has to be some symbol of growth, some symbol of industry that is happening in these neighborhoods and in these areas to give our children and our people hope. >> reporter: and it's not just milwaukee. the state of wisconsin lost over 10,000 jobs in 2015. the 100-year-old oscar mayer plant in madison is shutting down and moving to chicago. more than 1,000 jobs lost. at general electric's plant in
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waukes waukesha, 350 positions are moving to canada. and harley davidson is laying off 250 employees. while wisconsin reports about 30,000 jobs were created in 2015, dr. charles franklin, head of marquette university polling, says most are lower-paying jobs. >> when people transition out of old jobs to new ones, they may be at best treading water but more likely taking a step down in income. >> reporter: to prove his point, milwaukee's landmark pabst brewery just packed their bags and left in 1996. 20 years later the buildings are being revitalized, but for student housing, not manufacturing. steven young, who just got a factory job, has advice for his favorite candidate, bernie sanders. >> i'm telling bernie sanders that he really needs to help
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milwaukee. >> reporter: jean casarez, cnn, milwaukee, wisconsin. >> our thanks to jean casarez. the unemployment rate in wisconsin is 4.4%, which is lower than the national average of 5%, but in milwaukee it is 6.3%. in our world lead, cnn is just learning dozens of isis terrorists, including several believed to be connected to the deadly attacks in paris and brussels, could still be on the loose. some of them perhaps hiding in plain sight. that story next.
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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 caregivers to help with personal care, housekeeping, meals, and most of all, staying engaged in life. oh, thank you, thank you. you're welcome. are you ready to go? oh, i sure am. we can provide the right care, right at home. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. topping our world lead today, the fight against terrorism continues. pentagon confirming u.s. air strikes killed two top terrorists, one in somalia, the other in iraq, each according to
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u.s. officials had american blood on his hands. but more pressingly, perhaps, cnn has learned that dozens of suspects with possible ties to the brussels and paris terrorist attacks are likely still at large, sending intelligence and security officials across europe scrambling to track them down. let's get right to cnn's barbara starr live at the pentagon. barbara, did these men on the run train with isis in syria? are they that experts in their terrorist craft? >> i have to tell you, jake, some u.s. officials do believe that some of these men may still be in syria, some of them may be back in europe. where they are and what they are up to is the critical question. the terror attacks in brussels and paris have european and u.s. security officials chasing dozens of isis operatives and terror suspects identified as part of a wider terror web, stretching from europe to the middle east. including at least eight suspects they believe are linked
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to the isis attacks in paris and brussels. about 18 additional jihadists not directly linked to specific attacks but tried in absentia in european courts also on the run. their whereabouts unknown. the manhunt underscoring the reach of isis from its base in syria to inspire and direct attacks in the west, with operatives trained in bombing and weapons tactics. >> we need to do even more to prevent the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. after the paris attacks, the united states deployed surge teams to europe to bolster these efforts and we'll be deploying additional teams in the near future. >> reporter: those teams working on border and aviation security in europe. >> isis is able to place people wherever and whenever they want to. they are able to in essence create cells when and where they need to create those cells. they are also operationally capable of hiding under the
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radar. >> reporter: president obama will begin reviewing efforts for increased efforts in syria and iraq as the u.s. looks to accelerate its campaign against isis. the u.s. recently bombing a suspected isis chemical weapons laboratory and mosul university, targeted air strikes increasingly going after top isis leadership. u.s. special operations looking for a senior operative involved in planning external attacks. he is believed to be in and around raqqah. one military option, additional u.s. special forces inside syria to help local fighters take more ground back, including raqqah. >> the big focus would be in syria, particularly as we -- as you look towards raqqah, is doing what we can to enable those local forces to make them even more effective and provide even more pressure on isil as those forces isolate raqqah. >> now, another effort in the works is a new u.s. military training program for moderate
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syrian rebels. you'll recall the last one failed spectacularly. this time they have revamped it, they hope this time it actually works. >> barbara starr, thank you so much. in our money lead today, some of the world's most powerful leaders exposed, thanks to the biggest leak ever. will any of these leaders face jail time for allegedly hiding billions of dollars? plus a tough choice for two parents about whom they should root for when their sons face off against one another this evening. that story ahead.
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whoa. what's going on here? oh hey allison. i'm val, the orange money retirement squirrel from voya. val from voya? yeah, val from voya. quick question, what are voya retirement squirrels doing in my house? we're putting away acorns. you know, to show the importance of saving for the future. so you're sort of like a spokes person? no, i'm more like a metaphor. okay, a spokes-metaphor. no, i'm... you're a spokes-metaphor. yeah. ok. see how voya can help you get organized at voya.com. today's money lead, the u.s. justice department now announcing it will review the massive evidence alleging
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corruption and fraud from what may well be the biggest leak of documents ever. the first news reports about the so-called panama papers, more than 11 million documents, began posting online sunday. they expose how world leaders in politics and business around the globe have been hiding billions of dollars in offshore accounts, all of it reportedly funneled through a law firm in panama. today came a slew of denials from around the world, world leaders, politicians, athletes named in the files. let's bring in bobby ghosh. bobby, first, what are just some of the most explosive allegations in the panama papers? >> well, it draws a spotlight on some really famous names. vladimir putin, the president of russia, is believed to have -- friends of his are believed to have channelled billions of dollars into these shell companies. there are some familiar figures, people like the former ruler of
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egypt, mubarak, like gadhafi, the former ruler of libya. but also american ally sharif, leo messi, the world's greatest soccer player and movie stars, all of whom are said to have moved vast amounts of money through these shell companies using the services of this one law firm in panama. >> any high-profile americans in thes documents? >> not yet, not yet. that has been significant. no high profile american, nobody directly. no high-profile european unless you count the prime minister of iceland. but there is a sense that there are more pennies to drop here, there are more shoes to drop here. that this is not the end of it. so some of the journalists who have been -- who have sort of had access to these papers say there's more to come and there will probably be american and european names on that list. >> the law firm in panama named
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in the leak had this response today saying in part, quote, while we may have been the victim of a data breach, nothing we've seen in this illegally seized cache of documents suggest we've done anything illegal. we intend to do everything we can to ensure the guilty parties are brought to justice. is there any hint as to who might have pulled off this massive leak or any sort of motive? >> the best we know at the moment and it's a little murky. the best we know is there was a whistleblower. somebody in the company reached out to some journalists and perhaps because of a crisis of conscience decided to give up this information. we don't know who the individual was or what their motivations were. i'm hoping this is a matter of somebody whose conscience finally was too heavy and decided to share this information. it's also worth saying just as that company says it didn't do anything wrong, having an offshore account is not in and of itself a crime. it does raise suspicions when politicians move money around in
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that way without -- without sort of revealing that information in their home countries, but it's not absolutely certain that all these transactions were legal. >> the u.k., france, australia, mexico, all say they're going to investigate this report for possible tax evasion cases. you were just noting that it might be indication of illegality. let me just ask you finally, bobby, put some perspective on this. how big of a leak is this? >> it's a large number of names, thousands of names. add you said, 11.5 million documents. however, this is one law firm, only the fourth largest in panama, which is only one tax haven. there are dozens of tax havens all over the world. there are, you have to believe, hundreds of law firms all over the world, many of which are much larger than mossack fonseca, the name of this law firm, so there has been speculation of money that has
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been moved into shell companies, into tax havens, running from $6 trillion to $25 trillion, $30 trillion. we can never really know but this gives us a window into how these things operate and just enough of a suggestion of what kinds of transactions take place, what kinds of people are involved. maybe this inspires other whistleblowers. maybe this begins investigations that in the long run will lead us to uncovering more and more of this money and more and more of this shady behavior. in other money news, two major airlines are merging. alaska air will purchase virgin america if regulators grown gre light the deal. they currently fly to 22 destinations in u.s. and mexico. alaska air travels to more than 90 cities in the u.s., mexico and canada. a high-tech kidnapping. your personal information held
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welcome back to "the lead."
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i'm jake tapper. we're back with today's buried lead. that's stories we believe is not getting enough attention. a cyber epidemic crippling businesses. the tech world calls it ransomware. companies extorted for money, their companies held hostage. even an apple operating system fell victim last month. they took down networks for large hospital chains in the d.c. area. med star health averages 4,000 patients a day. at one point employees did business by pen and paper because of it. drew griffin looked into how hackers are using ransomware against some other high-profile targets. >> it popped up on a computer screen, then two, then dozens. this note filling and freezing the screens of hundreds of computers in the horry county, south carolina, school district. the district's director knew immediately his system was under attack. >> your computer systems are basically held ransom? >> our data was held ransom. >> by this note? >> that's correct.
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>> and they said, hey, you want to free your data? >> pay us. >> most people would think a school system gets basically its computer system jacked, the data is being held for ransom. hijacked, ransom, cops. you would call some kind of authority to come in and take care of this, right? >> correct. so we did notify the fbi, we notified s.l.e.d., our state law enforcement group. >> what did they say? >> they said thank you for letting us know of the and then this is the site they set up for us to communicate. >> reporter: with law enforcement powerless to stop it, the horry county schools did the only thing they could to get their data freed. they paid. >> so you get to the point of making the business decision do i make my end users, in our case teachers and students, wait for weeks and weeks and weeks while we restore hundreds of servers from backup or do we pay the ransom and get the data back
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online more quickly. >> reporter: earlier this year this hospital in california found its computer systems frozen, held for ransom. the ransom, more than $16,000. >> it is a very bad trend that's been rising for the last few years. >> reporter: adam works for a silicon valley company trying to fight what the industry has dubbed ransomware. >> it's the one we hear about the most and it's the one we see people asking for help the most. unfortunately, this isn't the kind of attack that you can get infected with and then remove it and you're done. there's no quick fix. >> reporter: kidnappers demand the ransom paid in bitcoins, the aunless internet currency that can't be traced. what's also hard to trace is where it's coming from, usually accidentally installed by unwitting users, tricked into opening up its digital poison. >> maybe it's a picture that you thought that you were getting from one of your co-employees. you just innocently don't read it thoroughly and you click on
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it and all of a sudden you're infected with this. >> reporter: you haven't heard about it because most companies pay to keep things quiet. horry county schools decided not to keep silent to help others avoid being taken. >> yes. and we're not alone. one of the reasons that we have been talking about this is that this is very, very common. we know of several other school districts, some other school districts where this has happened and they have been able to keep it out of the news, which is great for them. >> reporter: in the endi, like dealing with real kidnappers, the school set up a money drop, and sent the kidnappers just enough ransom to free one computer to make sure the kidnapper's code would work. >> which it did. and then we said, okay, it works. we want to pay the balance and so we paid the balance. >> reporter: the full ransom, $10,000. horry county's computers are now freed and the ransomware pirates continue to sail freely and for
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now unstoppable through the world's computer systems searching for their next hostage. jake, to show you how powerless law enforcement is to stop this, last year an fbi expert said if you're facing this dilemma, you might as well just pay the ransom and get your data back. until they get a fix for this, that is about the best they can do. >> drew griffin, thank you so much. in our sports lead, the big dance ends tonight for the national title game on tbs. for me i'm torn, villanova right outside philadelphia, my hometown, but my mom went to the university of north carolina, chapel hill, my grandfather taught there. my devoid divided loyalties pal comparison to one set of parents. nate britt and kris jenkins will be suiting up against one another and potentially putting their parents at odds. you see britt and jenkins are brothers. jenkins was adopted back in 2007 by the britt family. now the brothers are taking
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their sibling rivalry to the biggest stage possible. make sure to watch tonight on our sister network, tbs, at just after 9:00 p.m. eastern. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, looking to rebound after a series of missteps. donald trump is trying to bounce back with a win in wisconsin. ted cruz has other ideas, but they both want john kasich to quit the race. we're standing by for a trump rally. inside trump's world. stunning new details from inside the trump campaign. does wearing a bulletproof vest wear trump out? or is it a lack of sleep? as his daughter plays the role of advisor, is a staff shakeup in the works? bernie's battleground. bernie sanders is going all out to add wisconsin to his win column. will hillary clinton set up a defensive perimeter around her adoptive home state of new york? couldir