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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  May 24, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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i'm brooke baldwin in new york. thank you for being here tuesday afternoon. we'll send it to washington here. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. a fresh prince of bel air rerun is not as '90s as donald trump's latest line of attack. "the lead" starts right now. donald trump bringing back a long-ago debunked conspiracy theory as he hammers away on hillary clinton. but will regur tating a lie even matter? the story broke right here 24 hours ago. virginia governor, democrat clinton ally terry mcauliffe under federal investigation for campaign contributions. how mcauliffe is responding today. breaking news, one woman getting her day in court against bill cosby. america's dad will stand trial for sexual assault.
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welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. once again, journalists in the up happy predicament trying to decide whether and how to cover false allegations raised by a candidate for the president of the united states. in the midst of the attacks of scandals and accusations from 1990s, mr. trump as repeated an outrageous and long-ago debunked falsehood about vince foster a friend of bill and hillary clinton's until his tragic suicide. in july 1993, foster, who suffered from depression, walked into the park with an old revolver and shot himself in the mouth. the park service police concluded that year that foster committed suicide. but that did not stop conspiracy theorists at time from concocting unfounded allegations. now that first investigation was followed by an investigation by cnn in 1994 concluding, foster's death was due to suicide and alternative scenarios had no credibility.
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other investigations reached the same conclusion, one by independent counsel in robert fiske in 1994, two by congressional reviews, another by independent council ken starr in 1997. one would think case closed, right? wrong. donald trump, in an interview appearing in "the washington post," called circumstances surrounding the death very fishy and said, i don't bring foster's death up because i don't know enough to discuss it, i will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. i don't do that because i don't think it's fair. right. accept, of course, you just did that, mr. trump. you lend credence to a bizarre and unfounded conspiracy theory. you're right, it's not fair you did that, certainly not to mr. foster's widow or their three children. the notion that this was a murder is a fiction borne of delusion and untethered to reality and contradicted by
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evidence reviewed in six investigations one of them by ken starr, hardly a bill clinton defender. so say otherwise is ridiculous and, frankly, shameful. again, this is not a pro-clinton position or an anti-trump position. it is a pro-truth position. cnn chief political correspondent dana bash joins me now. to be clear, there are kquestio ask about hillary clinton or business dealings but why, what is the strategy raising not only the false charge about the clinton and vince foster but questions about mr. clinton's actions in 1990s, how would that impact his wife in 2016? >> answer to that, according to a couple of trump sources who i talked to, they argue that going back in time, '90s, may seem like old news to people who lived it like the two of us for younger vote ofs, female voters who don't know much about the clinton years trump is hoping to
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sew seeds of doubt and do it in a way few in politics even the clintons ever experienced before. >> reporter: it is political gorilla warfare. >> hillary clinton's husband abused women more than any man that we know of in the history of politics, right? a source familiar with the campaign strategy tells trump dredging up tawdry allegations about bill clinton's past is not based on pollster groups. >> she's married to a man who hurt many women. >> reporter: instead, this is vintage trump, going with his gut, shooting from the hip, seething after seeing attacks about his own past statements about women, like this ad from a pro-clinton super pac. >> does she have a good body? no, does she have a fat ass, absolutely. >> attacked trump as being sexist, misogynist and that's
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inaccurate. >> reporter: but challenged for trump in attacking bill clinton as anti-womani, tagging hillary as an enabler, his own past statements of support. >> can you imagine how controversial? him with the women. how about me with the women? >> reporter: even ten years late of, in 2008. >> look at trouble bill clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant and tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. >> reporter: here's house a longtime trump confident explained the 180. >> a private citizen who was friendly with the clintons and he was trying to protect a friend. now, it's a different game. >> reporter: and then there are conspiracy theories, like the false charge that bill clinton's white house council, vince foster, was murdered despite multiple investigations ruling it a suicide. trump told "the washington post," foster's death was, quote, very fishy.
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but said, i will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. i don't do that because i don't think it's fair. even that feeds the 2016 campaign conversation which bill clinton himself clearly saw coming, saying this just last week -- >> you think stuff they said about her is bad? they accused me of murder. i mean, our memories are short. it's what they do. >> reporter: for hillary clinton, so far, she's letting others do the responding which the first female house speaker told cnn is the way to go. hillary, don't stoop to that level, really. >> reporter: some sources close to clinton are saying don't take trump's bait. >> that's what he's fishing for and i'm not going to be responding. >> a veteran clinton supporter told me today, if clinton engages, she is simply going to be agreeing to turn the campaign into an insultfest but, jake, i
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spoke to other democratic supporters of hillary clinton who said maybe it is time for her to at least show a bit of her human side, that she did have a very, very tough time as a wife during the '90s, during this big scandal and that maybe talking a bit about that will help to not just change the conversation but to make her again look more human and less political. >> dana bash, thanks so much. joining me more, dan balls, trump senior adviser, sarah huckabee sanders and longtime clinton adviser, ann lewis. harry reid said that mr. trump was trying to distract from his own record by attacking the clintons this way. take a listen. >> if any one of us were donald trump, wouldn't you try to divert attention from all he's done to show how desperate he is he brought up yesterday the suicide of foster. here's a man who committed
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suicide, there's no question about that, but that's not enough for donald trump. even though suicide is a tragedy, it's not a tragedy for donald trump. >> context there, senator reid's father committed suicide. so this might hit home a little closer than normal perhaps. but in any case, how do you respond to what senator reid had to say? >> look, i think when you're donald trump and you've been hit really hard by a lot of false allegations on the front page of "the new york times," you have a right to fight back and defend yourself and there's a completely double standard in this process and in this campaign between donald trump and the clintons. donald trump has false allegations against him from 30 years ago and it's front page of "the new york times." but no one is talking about any of the stuff from the clinton' past and getting away scott free. i think it's a big double standard and donald trump is the only one talking about it. and he has to because he's
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getting hit day after day after day with millions of dollars in negative ads on issues like this by the clinton campaign. they've brought this up, they started this fight and he's going to fight back. i think he has a right to do that. >> ann lewis, your response? >> we have seen this before. this is a return to the not so golden times of the '90s. republicans tried using a campaign of personal attacks over and over and the result was in 1998, democrats won historic record of seats in that congressional election. now, fast forward. we're now in 2016, the candidate is hillary clinton, not bill clinton. the office is president of the united states. people look at those seriously. hillary clinton is good on doing what she's been doing, talking about what the election means to for your family, community, our country. if donald trump wants to keep throwing out our i guess using discredited, old conspiracy theories, it's not going to
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work. >> dan, let me bring you in. >> can i jump in here real quick, jake? i would love for this race to be about exactly what ann said and that is on the issues, because if you put that contrast of donald trump against hillary clinton he's going to win every single time. in a time where national security is a major focus, we've seen failure after failure from the clintons and secretary clinton. so i'm absolutely would love to see this campaign be about the economy, be about national security because if that's the contrast, donald trump will beat hillary clinton every day of the week. dan, let me bring you in. you remember '90s as well as i do, a period of nasty, personal attacks, conspiracy theories, not to say none of the charges were true, obviously. a lot of the attacks, as ann pointed out, ended up politically speaking, backfiring. it's uncommon for a president's party to win congressional seats, you know, in the middle of the second term and he did. what do you think might happen
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now? is it a completely new era? >> well, it's a new era in a lot of different ways. we're in an era in which communication is much different than it was back in the '90 and donald trump is more of a master of that than the other politicians he's faced and we'll see whether he's more of a master 0 of it than hillary clinton. they obviously are going to have totally different strategies in how they communicate with the american people. as ann said, secretary clib clinton wants to talk about certain issues, whoo she'll do for middle class americans. donald trump will continue to say and do outrageous things. it is the way he gets attention, the way he distracts from other issues. and i think one of the calculations inside the trump campaign is, yes, he has high negatives, but they're going to do everything they can to make sure that her negatives continue to stay high or perhaps go even higher. so they're going to try different things to the vince foster what he had to say about
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that, as you said yesterday, is totally false. and yet, he will continue to try to do those things, he'll move from target to target, as a way of being, you know, distracting from the things that she wanted to do. >> sarah, let me ask you, in dan's newspaper, "the washington post," chris cillizza wrote, there's an argument where by what trump is doing makes perfect political sense. there is no family that republicans disorder dislike more than bill and hillary clinton. what trump is doing aggressive airing of the clintons' dirty laundry, is exactly what many republicans have been wishing their leaders would do for a long time. is that the strategy? >> i think we're absolutely have to turn out our base. donald trump is going beyond that, bringing new people into the fold and he's going much
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further in putting states in play that haven't been on the board for republicans in a long time. and i think, in large part, in particular, it's not just because it's the year of the outsider and he's by far the ultimate outsider, hillary clinton is the ultimate insider and so you have this very distinct contrast between two candidates that couldn't be more din, a guy that's never been in washington, politics versus somebody who spent their entire life in that. i think that's absolutely what's taking place. it's not just about the base, but expanding the base for donald trump and putting states on the board that haven't been in the last couple of decades for republicans. >> ann, any evidence that you know of that suggests that launching these attacks, even if based on complete falsehoods like the vince foster attack, that will hurt him? we haven't seen him hurt in any way from any of the outrageous and nontraditional campaign steps he makes. >> if you look at the votes,
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look at the polling, if you look at the opinion that american women have of donald trump, and here i am referring to majority of the election, as sarah says, there are differences in policies. that's right. when donald trump talks about punishing women whoed have had abortions, rolling back gun-free zones and hillary clinton is out there talking about how do we invest in our communities, how do we raise the minimum wage, those are real differences in policies. and the result has been that american women, by a sizable margin, are supporting hillary clinton and have a very negative opinion of donald trump. >> all right. thank you one and all. appreciate it. hillary clinton, already fending off attacks from donald trump. but she still cannot shake her democratic rival, senator bernie sanders. sanders is saying the democratic convention in philadelphia could get, quote, messy. what did he mean by that? that story next. the new green goddess cobb with avocado, bacon, freshly made dressing, tomato...
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hmmmmm... hmmmmm... the turbocharged dream machine. the volkswagen golf gti. part of the award-winning golf family. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. stick with politics. messy, that's the word that senator bernie sanders used to describe what to expect at convention in philadelphia. telling the associate the press, quote, democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle. the sanders campaign intends to fight to try to convince
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superdelegates to go with sanders and not hillary clinton. why? remember that poll we showed you yesterday that showed clinton and trump in a dead heat? that same poll shows bernie sanders with a 15-point lead over donald trump. sunlen serfaty tagging along with the sanders campaign in san bernardino, california, today. the sanders campaign barely lost in kentucky, a few days ago be and now today sanders wants to double-check the votes. what's that about? >> reporter: that's right, jake. the sanders campaign officially requesting today a recanvass of the kentucky state they lost by only 1900 votes. sanders campaign officials says it's not because they believe anything was specifically miscounted but because of the closeness of the vote they want to make sure everything adds up. all of this underscores how the sanders campaign is pursuing every avenue to gain traction. >> reporter: bernie sanders firing off a fresh warning --
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>> it's going to be messy. >> reporter: telling the associated press he thinks the democratic convention could get messy if par leaders do not adopt a more progressive agenda. democracy is messy. every day of my life is messy. if you want everything to be quiet and orderly and allow things to proceed without vigorous debate, that is not what the democracy is about. >> reporter: sanders making it clear he condemns any and all forms of violence. >> the media often takes words out of context. the context of that was that democracy is messy. that people will have vigorous debate on the issues. >> reporter: as hillary clinton attempts to unite democrats for the general election, sanders is remaining defiant, bound to carry on to the convention. >> if i do not win the nomination, i'm going to fight as hard as i can to win it because i believe, as i said a moment ago, i am a stronger candidate against trump than secretary clinton is. >> reporter: clinton, though,
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already has her sights laser focused on the general election deciding she will not debate bernie sanders again. the clinton campaign saying her time right now is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across california, preparing for a general election campaign. sanders responding with a stinging rebuke -- >> i think it is a little bit insulting to the people of california, our largest state, that she is not prepared to have a discussion with me about how she will help the californians address the major crises that we face. >> reporter: clinton is focusing her fire on donald trump. her campaign is unleashing a full force strategy against the presumptive gop nominee, hitting his business record and highlighting his past comments on the collapse of the housing market. >> i hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy.
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if there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know, you can make a lot of money. >> reporter: and the clinton campaign fans all out over the course of six battleground states hammering donald trump, trying to undercut his business recording including hillary clinton who moments ago brought up to her crowd that donald trump has bankrupted companies saying most likely that's not the quaufklification that they' looking for in a president. >> we broke the story 24 hours ago, terry mcauliffe, the democrat, under federal investigation. now governor mcauliffe responding, that's next. a week after flight 804 crashed, new questions about the plane's final minutes. do investigators know what may have happened before it fell from the sky? stay with us. think fixing your windshield is a big hassle?
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a federal investigation is sending shockwaves throughout the political world, it's a story you heard here first on "the lead" 24 hours ago. the fbi and the justice department's public integrity unit are investigating the sitting democratic governor of the commonwealth of virginia, and friend of the clintons, terry mcauliffe, for allegedly accepting illegal donations to fund his 2013 gubernatorial campaign. the reporter who broke the story, evan perez, joins me from capitol hill. governor mcauliffe out and about today, he said, quote, investigations happen, unquote. he also said he really doesn't know why the fbi is looking into his campaign. >> reporter: that's right, jake. he doesn't know. he has not been informed by the justice department and the fbi that he is a target of an investigation. as a matter of fact, the first he learned of it when we called his office to tell him about it. now, this is an investigation that's looking into his 2013 gubernatorial campaign and it's looking at donors and other things. now, mcauliffe just arrived here
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on capitol hill for a meeting with lawmakers. he didn't talk to reporters when he got in, but earlier in the day he did have a lot to say to reporters. take a listen to his defense. >> no one's alleging wrong doing on my part. as you can see today, i'm full out in force and will continue to be full out in force and investigations happen. no one's alleges any wrong doing on my part. >> reporter: and, jake, what you hear the governor doing today is focusing on one donation $122,000 from a chinese billionaire. and we know that the governor raised about $40 million for his 2013 campaign. the justice department says people we have been talking to say this is an active, ongoing investigation. >> in the gaggle that mcauliffe had he was asked several times about his friendship with the clintons. what do we know about the donor? what do we know about his donations no the clinton foundation? >> reporter: he also gave $2 million to the clinton global
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initiative and he's give tonight other causes around the country, by the way. so we know that the investigators looked at some of those donations, as well. and they've looked at the clinton global initiative. there's no allegation that the foundation did anything wrong here. this is an investigation that is focuses on mcauliffe. >> tell us about this businessman, what do you know about him? >> reporter: well, like i said, he's given to causes around the country, including environmental causes, he's a billionaire in china. he served on the chinese legislature, something called people's national congress, it's sort of a ceremonial legislature. he also holds a u.s. green card which mcauliffe says makes his donation completely legal. >> evan perez, thank you. world lead today, victims remains could help explain the mystery over what happened to flight 804. new conflicting reports about the plane's final minutes, that story, next be
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. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. topping today's world lead, new chapter in american vietnamese relations but is that a good thing? more than 40 years after the end of the vietnam war, president obama, in his first ever trip to the communist nation, announced the u.s. will now sell lethal arms to its former enemy. despite vietnam's long and well documented history and present of human rights abuses, this comes as mr. obama calls out china for its aggression in the south china sea saying, quote, big nations should not bully smaller ones. right to cnn's michelle kosinski traveling with president obama during the trip to asia. the chinese are not taking these comments lying. >> reporter: the white house
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does this delicate and sometimes awkward dance on this. they want a good working relationship with china, too. when we hear the president say phrases we hear, nations shouldn't be bullies, that they should abide by the rules he doesn't say the word china, but everybody knows exactly who he's talking about. and china had a wry response, talking about freedom of nafr gation for everybody, we guy that. talking about special freedoms for the u.s. military, not so much. also interesting on this trip, the administration repeatedly saying this is not about china. we mean it. however, it is lost on no one the moves on trade, helping allies in the region arm themselves are counters to china's influence. the white house has said as much on the trade piece. china's state meeta had this response, calling it a poor lie that the u.s. is saying this is not about client nap the white house clarified saying the focus
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is not fully china in making these decisions. >> human rights groups are assailing president obama for granting a big concession, allowing arm sales to vietnam without exacting any agreement by the vietnamese government to improve human rights conditions. >> reporter: two days ago bbc was ordered to stop reporting here. while president obama was holding a meeting, some were barred from attending. some like human rights watch, who says that human rights in the country are dire in all areas. they're saying that the white house has given up bargaining trips to make things better. the white house response vietnam made commitments to open things up, they will making progress, and decisions on arm sales will be on a case by case basis and human rights will be a part of
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that. >> michelle kosinski, thank you. world news today, sad and gruesome discoveries in the mediterranean sea as they search for crews clues in crash of flight 804. among more wreckage of the jet, discovered 15 bags of human remains from the suspected crash site, the side of connecticut. investigators are conducting dna tests with the human remains. families of the 66 people on board the plane are also providing their dna authorities to help identify the victims. let's bring in rene marsh. there are conflicting reports whether the body parts indicate conclusively there was an explosion on the plane. >> yeah. it is still very, very early at this stage in the investigation, and they have only recovered a small amount of these human remains. but the whole investigation is real be crowded by conflicting information, whether there was
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an explosion potentially on board, but also the direction of the plane and what kind of movements it was making before it vanished. >> reporter: as search and rescue crews pull more human remains and debris from the mediterranean sea, some news agencies have reported the small size of the body parts recovered indicate an explosion on board, but airline officials tell cnn, that's just speculation. >> these speculations and theories, most of the time, come out very, very early and it's done through the sudden shock phase where everyone is very anxious. >> reporter: some experts agree, saying it's still too early to tell. >> it's been described that none of the pieces of body, you know, human remains, were bigger than the size of a human hand. you cannot tell from that. >> reporter: egyptian officials are working to match dna samples from the victims' families with remains recovered.
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conflicting reports from both greek and egyptian officials about flight 804's final moments are adding to the anger and confusion. greece's defense minister says the aircraft swerved 90 degrees left and then 360 degrees before plunging dramatically. but egypt's national air navigation services refutes that saying the plane did not swerve or lose altitude before it disappeared from radar. >> in terms of greece, their radar was likely at the outer limits of its effectiveness. my guess is, the egyptians have more than one radar track on this plane. >> reporter: meantime, the clock is ticking for investigators to find the plane's black boxes. the batteries are expected to expire in a matter 0 of weeks. two recorders could hold a treasure trove of information that could explain exactly what happened and how the pilots responded. >> victims' family say they do
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not trust egyptian authorities to investigate the crash in part because of the way they handled the bombing of the russian jetliner that took off from sharm el sheikh. the fear is that the egyptians would put national interests before the accident investigation but, jake, egyptian officials saying they are promising full transparency. >> that took them months to admit that was terrorism. a big decision in the bill cosby case today and new details revealed about pills, clothes, and encounter many years ago, next. he compared wait times at v.a. hospitals to lines at diz n. parks. now, there are new callser to the head of the v.a. to resign. e big hilton world sale is on honors members save up to 25% on brands like hampton, doubletree, hilton garden inn, and waldorf astoria so stop clicking around. book direct at hilton.com now that's satisfaction. new biwhat are we gonna do?ys... how about we pump more into promotions?
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper, time for our pop culture lead. bill cosby, known for years as america's dad, will now stand trial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. a judge ruling this afternoon that there is indeed enough evidence for the case against the comedian to move forward. but not before cosby's lawyer report thely screamed at the judge, calling the proceeding a quote travesty of justice. the excuser is andrea constand, former basketball coach at philadelphia's temple university. cosby's alma mater. constand claims the now-78-year-old television star drugged her and sexually assaulted her at his pennsylvania home in 2004. if convicted, cosby could face 30 years behind bars. let's go right to cnn correspondent jean casarez and cnn legal analyst danny 15 val
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list in norristown, pennsylvania. what was mr. cosby's demeanor like? >> reporter: his demeanor was he was very professional, there was no joking at all. he was not a comedian. he was led up to the defense table, he sat with his defense attorneys. department talk to them too much. but the thing that stood out, and danny was in the courtroom also, was the aggressiveness of the defense, yes, the defense screamed during closing arguments. not specifically at the judge but just that no one in america should have to sit in a courtroom like this as a defendant but they began the hearing by being very angry that andrea constand, the accuser in this case, wasn't there to take the stand so the defense could cross-examine her. pennsylvania at this point, it doesn't have to happen. to the prosecution put the detective on that had taken her statement where she alleged one night when she went to her mentor's home, bill cosby, that he plied her with alcohol, gave
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her three blue pills and she was not able to say no and he sexually assaulted her. >> what was cosby's defense at the pretrial hearing? what do you think is going to be going forward? >> reporter: at any preliminary hearing because the prosecution's burden is so light, the real defense angle is not the forlorn hope you're going to get the case tossed at preliminary hearing, but instead defense here focuses, and in many preliminary hearings, focuses instead on testing quality and strength of the prosecution's evidence. candidly, as somebody who has done plenty of preliminary hearings, you're trying to develop as much discovery and as much testimony as you can until the judge reels you in and reminds counsel it's only a preliminary hear and a prima fascia showing of evidence. a best defense is not the hope you're going to win but develop discovery, evidence, and lock people in to their testimony to be used against them at trial.
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>> jean, you noted andrea constand, the accuser was not in court today. but you expect her to take the stand in this case or no? >> i definitely think she'll take the stand. it was brought out through the testimony of the detective that he called andrea constand this last weekend and she confirme with him she is a willing participant and will appear at the trial, as this case goes forward. >> danny, more than 50 women have accused cosby of sexual s misconduct, some on the record, some on background. will any of them be allowed to testify? >> this will be the biggest battle ground of pretrial motions. arguably, more important evidence of the case, because any one of those -- for each and every one of the accusers the prosecution wants to put on the stand, they have to bring in that as 404b evidence. the general rule, other bad things that a defendant has done in his past are not admissible to prove that he did this
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particular thing. however, there is an exception if that evidence is used to show things like motive, identity, absence of the state. basically other purposes. but make no mistake about it, this will be a massive bat until pretrial motions and the defense realizes that if even one of those accusers is allowed to testify, it could really prejudice the defense's case. >> jean, how difficult a case is his going to be for the prosecution? >> we learned a lot more today because we have never been privy to the statement of andrea constand and the statement of bill cosby in 2005. a bit was in the deposition, but not as much as we heard today. and the defense is going to come out swinging, saying that she went to his home several times before the allege the sexual assault happened, she went back to his home after that, fox wood casino where she said in the statement originally they laid on the bed together and crossed that out saying we were close. so the defense is going to
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bounce on this, as they did today to say, this was consensual. it was not something, and that also bill cosby said in a statement there was no alcohol that night. she could have said no but she didn't. >> jean, danny, thank you so much. a new look at horrors of war and why so many service members returning home feel a longing to go back. but it doesn't happen everywhere. is there something that the u.s. and veterans here could learn from israel? ♪
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. national lead today, veterans affairs second bob mcdonald release eight statement in response to the harsh criticism over his comments he compared the time it takes for the 21 million veterans to receive medical treatments at v.a. hospitals to the lines at disney
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theme parks. mcdonald says he regrets his remarks, it was never my intention to suggest i don't take our mission of serving veterans very seriously. there are growing calls for secretary mcdonald to resign. the outrage over this particularly high among republican lawmakers, perhaps not surprisingly, in a tweet, iraq war veteran and senator joni ernst of iowa erjed mcdonald to step down immediately. senator roy blunt, republican of missouri, delivers the same message, saying comparing vets' wait times for medical care and the happiest place on earth, that's negligent. paul ryan weighed in, he did urge secretary mcdonald to clarify comments highlighting waste, fraud, abuse still rampant in the v.a. system. it's estimated more than 20 veterans committed suicide per day between 1999 and 2000, that's one veteran suicide every 65 minutes.
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in many cases posttraumatic stress and depression thought to be the leading causes but and re, as a society, letting our veterans down by failing to welcome them home? by not giving them the sense of belonging that they desperately need after returning from battlefields? that's the question that we're addressing in today's "lead read" the book is "tribe, on home coming and belonging" talk to the author, sebastian junger. thank you. you suggest the u.s. in some i whats needs to em ooh u native-american tribes to prevent ptsd. >> my book isn't focused on veterans it's focused on modern society. humans have an ancient predisposition preference for
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community, for close communal connection. when you lose that, as we have in modern society, everybody suffers. the suicide rate goes up, the depression rate goes up, child abuse, social ills go up with affluence, mow dernty. what we have in veterans one among many examples of a population group struggling psychologically because they're making the transition in the case of soldiers from the very, very close communal nature of society in a platoon at war from that to the alienation of modern society that affects all of us. what i would say is that if we're going to help ourselves -- sorry, if we help the vets what we have to do is fix ourselves, fix the society that they come home to. >> you make a very interesting observation about the rate of suicide in new york city after 9/11 drop, this is not specifically about veterans, but a city, and a nation which experienced a trauma, explain. >> trauma does not seem to precipitate suicide.
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after 9/11 the suicide rate dropped in new york city, murder rate dropped, violent crime rate dropped even vietnam vets suffering from ptsd saying symptoms got better after 9/11. what happens in a society traumatized, in a group, people come together, there's an incredible consolation and buffering effect to the communal existence. soldiers leaving the theater of war ironically lose that closeness when they leave their platoon and return to a safe society that nevertheless is very fractured and they feel less safe than they did in the war zone. >> you also look at israel, where military service is compulsory for most of the population. you say there's a lesson that we can learn there looking at that society as opposed to ours? >> yes. i mean, u.s. has a ptsd rate in its military around 20%, it's extraordinarily high.
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the israeli military has a ptsd rate of 1%. and israeli psychologists i talk to say two factors there. one is that military service is compulsory and universal. when you come back from the battlefield you're coming back to a community that where a military service is widespread, you're not making it transition from military to civilian life. it's all the same thing. also, the combat is literally at people's door steps. it makes intuitive and moral sense the war makes intuitive and moral sense when you fly soldiers 10,000 miles away, as we do, whatever the other reasons are to going into that decision, it makes it psychologically hard on both soldiers and the civilians to understand the meaning of the war. >> sebastian junger, thank you, "tribe on homecoming and belonging." follow me on facebook and
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twitter at jake tapper. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i'm about to turn you over to wolf blitzer in a place i like to call "the situation room." happening now, dirty tricks, donald trump goes after hillary clinton and her husband on scandals and allegations dating back a quarter century. is that a risky strategy in i'll ask his campaign spokeswoman. focus on explosion. sharply differing accounts of the final moments of egypt air flight 804. did the airline swerve and plunge before it vanishes from radar. is there forensic evidence of an explosion. behind battle lines. inside look at u.s. military inside iraq as iraqi army fights to retake a key city from isis. are u.s. installations in baghdad so-called green zone increasingly vulnerable. exclusive reporting from our pentagon correspondent, barbara