tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN September 20, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
around the country. we're almost there. 49 days away. jackie and jeff, thank you so much. so much more on all of this coming up now in washington because "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks, brooke. this is the only time this hour you'll hear this word. brangelina. "the lead" starts now. his mother once said his son is a terrorist. two years ago. new details about the man accused of planting bombs in and around new york city, including his notes about the boston bombers and an al qaeda propaganda master mind. republican royalty saying never trump. president george h.w. bush reportedly ready to vote for the wife of the guy who made him a one-termer. plus, attack on humanity and aid convoys blown up on their way to save the sick and dying in syria as a ceasefire appears
to come to a heart-breaking end. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i am jake tapper. an alleged terrorist is in a hospital bed in newark, new jersey, but we're learning this afternoon two years before he allegedly planted multiple bombs in new jersey and new york his father called his son a terrorist. it's a statement a law enforcement source tells cnn the dad ultimately recanted. his father telling reporters today that this all followed an incident where rahami stabbed his own brother after returning from an extended trip to pakistan and afghanistan. let's get to jim sciutto in manhattan at the scene of the explosion saturday night which injured 29 people. jim, the fbi heard rahami's father had called him a terrorist. what happened after that? >> reporter: well, the fbi released a statement a short time ago. they say they made an assessment. they did multiple interviews. they checked their databases for any evidence of terrorist ties. they talked to other law enforcement agencies, and then they made a conclusion that he
had no terrorist ties at that time in 2014. these are difficult judgment calls. of course, two years later we saw what happened just here over my shoulder. attempted attack in new york and in new jersey as well. tonight, u.s. officials tell cnn that the fbi interviewed the father of ahmad rahami in 2014 after a violent domestic dispute. this led to a tip alleging the father was calling his son a terrorist. after the father then down-played the accusation, the fbi ultimately concluded it was a domestic matter. today rahami's father told cnn more about the violent altercation. >> now he is a terrorist. >> why did you call -- >> because he doing bad. >> what did he do bad? >> he stab my son. he hit my wife. and i put him to jail two years ago. >> reporter: investigators are attempting to question ahmad rahami though police say he
still is not talking. one urgent question, did he have help in carrying out the alleged attacks. do you still believe that he acted alone with these attacks and attempted attacks? >> jim, it's very early on in the investigation. as we move through this we're going to determine who his acquaintances were, family, friends, go through his social media, see if he had any phones, go through all that to make that determination. >> reporter: pointing to possible inspiration for the attacks, a notebook that he was carrying when captured referenced american leader an w.a.r. al awlaki, killed in 2011 by a u.s. drone strike. it also contained references to the boston marathon bombers. investigators are scrutinizing his travels to afghanistan and pakistan, where he married and had a child and spent time in areas with a heavy taliban presence. this to determine if he was radicalized overseas. the afghan taliban has denied any involvement in the bombings.
>> the officials are trying to determine if he had help in this endeavor. it would have taken some time to get all the materials to put these bombs together. >> reporter: the devices were made with easy to obtain ingredients and with recipes accessible online. but those materials, considered by experts to be a high explosive, had a potential explosive power bigger than what was seen in the boston marathon bombings. jake, when i spoke to the new york police department commissioner today, he made it clear this is an ongoing investigation. they have not eliminated the possibility that there were others in rahami's support network. they don't have an answer to that question now. here i am on 23rd street, a few yards from where the bombing took place. it is hustling and bustling. it's been the same the last 24, 48, 72 hours. being here, jake, particularly as a new yorker, you do not get a sense of a city that is on edge or nervous.
they're handling this very bravely as always. >> new yorkers made of sturdy stuff. thank you. pamela brown is with me here in washington. she has been looking into the background of this alleged terrorist. today we learned this man's wife left the country before the attack. an official told cnn she is cooperating. do they think she was involved in any way, aware of her husband's alleged plans? >> we're being told by officials that she is not being accused of wron wrong-doing. that there is no indication she was involved or had knowledge of the plans. she was pakistani and patiently had come to the united states and went back to pakistan on a trip recently. we're told by officials that she was making her way back to the united states and was questioned in the united arab emirates after it became clear her husband was the bombing suspect. we're told by u.s. officials that she is cooperating, that she is still in the area.
she did not make it to the united states. they married in 2011 in pakistan. a few years later we've learned the suspect here contacted a u.s. congressman's office asking for help getting his wife to the united states. she became pregnant. that created complications. we're told she eventually made it to the united states. >> the alleged terrorist travelled to afghanistan and to pakistan. what are officials looking for there? obviously possible radicalization. >> that's right. he travelled to places considered taliban strongholds. he spent a year there from 2013 to 2014. he also went there in 2011 for some time. when he came back he actually went through secondary questioning. he was a naturalized u.s. citizen, but they questioned him considering where he visited, and he claimed he was visiting his wife and uncles, and he passed the screening without raising any red flags, jake, without being put on any terror
databases. of course, officials are going back to see if something was missed given what has unfolded. >> got to be a lot of second guessing going on at the fbi that they didn't interview him even though the father had said he was a terrorist. >> right. they interviewed the father and other people according to the statement but never interviewed him. at the time he was in jail. so they're saying that was part of the reason why they didn't interview him. given the fact of the accusations and what's happened two years later i think there is definitely second guessing. >> fbi can be right a thousand times and wrong once. horrible for them. >> yeah. >> thank you. bringing in former republican presidential candidate senator rand paul of kentucky. he is on the senate homeland security committee and foreign relations committee. rahami's father says he referred to his son as a terrorist two years ago. we know he went to kandahar, afghanistan and quetta, pakistan. the headquarters for the afghan taliban in 2011. and then travelled there again in 2013. he stayed for almost a year. do you see this, as of right
now, as a possible intelligence failure? >> possible? yeah. i have a couple of questions, all right. you stab somebody and you're not in jail? he stabbed somebody and it sounds like beat up his mother as well, and he's not in jail? how long did he spend in jail? the other question i have -- and this is a more troubling question -- almost every major attack we have had in our country has been previously investigated by the fbi, and the fbi closes the investigation. so i have been going around and around with the fbi on this because, when the orlando killer was investigated, they closed the investigation prematurely saying we did not deem him to be a credible threat. i even asked them, in retrospect did you make a mistake? and they were like, oh, no, given the facts we made the connect decision. no they didn't. they made a bad decision. and they made a bad decision here. the boston bombers they interviewed them in advance. 9/11, we captured one of the
hijackers in advance. if your dad says you are a terrorist, why don't we subpoena, monitor, get a warrant, find out his travel schedule. if he has gone to pakistan, why don't we inquire where he went. this should have been done on the heels of someone accusing him of terrorism. i really think the fbi needs to do a better job. >> rahami went through-secondary screening each time he travelled abroad yet satisfied whatever concerns immigration officials may have had. a lot of people are saying screening is insufficient. what more can be done? what more should be doin'? >> i think we have to ask deeper questions and also know who they talked to and we need to alert the authorities. when someone has been accused of terrorism in our country we should be alerting pakistan and pakistan probably should have surveillance an them when they get there. we should have known where the boston bombers were going and followed them. we did nothing to monitor their travel after the russians tipped us off. the fbi will respond, oh, we didn't have probable cause. this shows a misunderstanding of
probable cause. probable cause is something that you beseech the court and ask the court their opinion on it. there are standards for it. but until they're turning you down repeatedly, you aren't asking enough. 99% of the time when they go to the special court they get a warrant. i think they need to go more often. and what we have -- the debate we have in washington is, instead of digging deeper into suspect's history they want to look at everybody's information. i don't want everyone's information to be under the purview of the fbi but i want the fbi to do a deeper search and a search with a warrant into people with whom we have suspicion. >> donald trump has been calling for profiling. when he has been told that it sounds like he is calling for religious or racial profiling, he says, no, i just want to leave it up to the experts, but he does talk about how somebody looks and how police are too worried and too politically correct these days to ask the right questions. is there any kind of profiling
that needs to happen? obviously there is criminal profiling, a separate thing. that needs to happen that law enforcement is not doing that would make us safer. >> i think people misunderstand the debate about profiling. if we have an individual for whom we have suspicion, there should be a profile of activities that we look at based on the suspicion. but we shouldn't look at all arab americans, we shouldn't look at all muslim-americans. but if we have a person who has several of the criteria that seem to be consistent with terrorism and we have suspicion for that individual, by all means we should go down the rabbit hole, looking until we find out whether they are or are not. but we shouldn't just sort of simply say, well, most terrorists are muslim-american, therefore, we're going to look at all the data of muslim-americans. we go one step further. we want to look at everyone's data or the government does, so i think we should individualize the suspicion but shouldn't be stymied and say, oh, well,
probably not a terrorist. we should look long and hard and explore all of their contacts. so i don't think we are doing enough to investigate individual suspects, and instead we're wanting to look at everyone's information indiscriminately and i think that is a privacy violation. >> the senate will vote on a resolution of disapproval that you are offering. it's disapproving of a $1.15 billion weapon sale by the united states to saudi arabia, which is obviously involved in this war in yemen. why do you want to block this weapons sale? >> the constitution gave the power to initiate or declare war to congress. we are now at war in yemen, in a way. we are refueling saudi arabian bombers in the air and picking their targets. sounds to me like we're involved in a war, and yet no one has consulted congress or asked their permission. the vote tomorrow is a vote in a way on whether or not we should be at war with saudi arabia in yemen and it's a vote on whether
we should continue to sell them arms. president obama has sold more arms to saudi arabia than the rest of the presidents combined. he sold $100 billion worth of arms to them. on one hand president obama has released money to iran to buy weapons and on the other hand he's giving money to saudi arabia. to me, it sounds like an arms race where we are funding both sides of every skirmish over there. in the ensuing chaos, saudi arabia does nothing to help. are they taking any refugees from yemen? are they taking refugees from syria? no. they stir up the fight on both sides. their money and weapons flow in. they may look the other way at the humanitarian nightmare that is yemen and syria. >> senator rand paul. thank you so much. appreciate it. tune in next week to a special cnn town hall event at the fort lee army post in virginia. it's a critical time for our men and women in the armed forces. president obama will answer crucial questions posed to him
by active service men and women, veterans and their families. it's at 9:00 p.m. eastern on wednesday the 28th. tune in. coming up, did the bombing suspect act alone? what clues investigators are looking for while digging into rahami's past and his wife and his trips to afghanistan and pakistan. all of that next. it's scary when the lights go out.
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welcome back to "the lead." phil mudd, former nypd director of intelligence sam ras kof and former boston police commissioner ed davis. phil, senator paul said the fbi has to do a better job. i know you are eager to respond. >> let me be subtle, jake. complete nonsense in terms of the analysis of this case. my problem when i see people like senator paul analyze these cases is they start with the case and they blow it up and draw a conclusion that's too general. let me tell you how this game works. there are 330 million americans. two million plus travel overseas not every year, every month. two years ago a dad calls the fbi and says he is worried about his kids. take those two facts.
a worried parent and a kid who travels. you want to tell me that, after a conversation with the family, the fbi should keep the case open? i am telling you when i served at the bureau the pressure was to get more people off watch lists and close cases faster because you don't have the resources and you don't have enough information to look over an american's shoulder. i am tired of people back-seat driving when they don't look at how these cases are conducted. i have had it. >> sam, there obviously is a lot of back-seat driving and 20 there/20 hindsight going on. but if a father says my son is a terrorist should the fbi at the very least interview the son? >> i'm going to go with yes to that, jake. and further, to the point phil made about travel, look, travel to australia is one thing. but travel to quetta and kandahar is an entirely different story. combine the travel to those hot spots with the fact that dad is saying of his own kid, he has a
problem. incidentally, something that was said also of the christmas day bomber in 2009. i think that's cause for the fbi to want to interview the suspect himself. >> ed, you, when you were commissioner of police in boston, you obviously spear-headed a similar investigation to the one going on right now in new york and new jersey after the boston marathon bombings. i know the second-guessing and the 20/20 hindsight can be a noying but does senate paul have a point when he says the fbi won't learn from their mistakes when the suspect in the orlando killing was investigated to taken off the watch lists. >> the fbi has evolved in the way they do their business. but i know what the rules are. and i am as angry as phil is at
politicians who come out here after an incident like this and criticize police agencies. senator paul criticized the boston police department after what happened at the marathon. he is now criticizing the fbi. the fbi is enforcing rules that are passed by congress. there are rules and regulations and they're strictly interpreted after congressional laws passed sets the stage for what the fbi can and cannot do. i have seen the flow chart of how it all works, and it's all based on our laws. and i -- i get really upset when a guy that wouldn't know probable cause if he tripped over it is starting to quote statutes that he is responsible for in some part. >> phil, let me ask you, looking forward on this investigation, or looking in the present, right now, the alleged terrorist has, according to what we're being told, not been cooperative. if he had help, is there any
sort of expiration date when it comes to the information authorities could get from him? and how are they trying to get information from him? >> first you try to build a rapport. he has a $5 million plus bail. he is not going anywhere. they don't have a problem with time to sit by his bedside and start working on him over days and weeks, probably bringing his family and friends in. he has information that has an expiration date. you can think of three quick categories in terms of a conversation with a suspect like this. number one, imminent threat. is there somebody else out there who will kill americans. number two, co-conspirators. are there people out there who might be involved in a plot building other devices, radicalizing other people. thirdly, are there others who were aware even if they were not part of the conspiracy. he has a lot of information they want to know before they start wasting time on the street because he won't talk. >> lindsey graham and others are arguing that this alleged terrorist should be treated as an enemy combatant not as a
defendant in the american system for regular, normal people. that, of course, would deny him access to a lawyer. it would preclude him from exercising his right to remain silent. what do you think? should he be designated an enemy combatant? >> i do. i do. i believe that that is exactly the way they treated the tsarnaevs in that investigation. i can see many parallels to this investigation, that this guy clearly fits that bill in my mind. >> and let me ask you, sam, a law enforcement official tells cnn that a notebook found on the alleged terrorist referenced anwar al awlaki as well as the boston terrorists. does that signal anything to you? >> not really. awlaki is like the rolling stones are to fans. it means to me he is someone who
is paying attention to the jihadi landscape in america. >> appreciate all of you. thank you. coming up, it's as if you arrived at a time machine from 1992. bush 41 now reportedly saying, read my lips. i'm with her? and then -- >> i would have no problem if called to testify by either side. but the fact is that i won't because i really don't have any knowledge of this ins den at ci >> that was chris christie on sunday telling me he had no knowledge of the so-called bridgegate scandal. now there are new claims of people asking if christie is being honest. made plastics that make them lighter? the lubricants that improved fuel economy. even technology to make engines more efficient. what company does all this? exxonmobil, that's who. we're working on all these things to make cars better
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welcome back to "the lead." in 1992 president george h.w. bush lost the presidency to a clinton. now it looks as though he wants the next president to be a clinton. that's right. papi bush is with her according to the daughter of bobby kennedy who announced on facebook that the senior bush revealed his vote to her. a bush spokesman would neither confirm nor deny saying the former president's vote is private. neither of his sons in politics, jeb bush and former president george w. bush have said for whom they're going to vote. trump as so far not responded to the news, for his part taking part in a discussion on terrorism today in north carolina, where a new elon university poll shows him edging clinton out just by one point, within the margin of error. cnn senior political
correspondent brianna keilar joins me now. hillary clinton is off the campaign trail focusing on debate prep. that fact did not go unnoticed by her opponent. >> donald trump actually goading hillary clinton today, insinuating that she is taking time off not for debate prep but to recover more after her recent bout of pneumonia after he tries to convince voters that she is weak, both physically and when it comes to foreign policy. donald trump out on the trail in north carolina today, slamming hillary clinton for quoting george w. bush's former cia director. >> it demonstrates a level of ignorance about the terror threat that really is disqualifying for a person seeking the presidency. when she says my opposition to radical islamic terror provides aid and comfort to the enemy, we know that hillary clinton has once again demonstrated that she
is really unfit for office. >> reporter: as condition takes a break from the campaign trail to get ready for the first presidential debate, trump is taunting her about her health, saying on twitter, hillary clinton is taking the day off again. she needs the rest. sleep well, hillary. see you at the debate. with less than a week to go until the nominees share the stage, we are getting a preview to trump's approach. >> i can talk about her record, which is a disaster. i can talk about all she's done to help isis become the terror they've become, and i will be doing that. i mean, we're going to go back and forth. she has a lot of baggage. >> reporter: what about personal attacks. he wouldn't rule them out. >> if she treats me with respect, i will treat her with respect. it depends. >> reporter: clinton is preparing for the debate to get contentious telling the steve harvey show she is not worried about this. >> i have been at this. i understand it's a contact sport, but i am not going to take what he says about everybody else, you know, his
attacks on african-americans and immigrants and muslims and women and people with disabilities -- >> there you go, there you go. >> it's just something we cannot tolerate. >> reporter: as the candidates gear up for their showdown, trump's son is having one of his own with a candy company. donald trump jr. tweeting this image of a bowl of skittles with the caption "if i had a bowl of skittles and i told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?" that's our syrian refugee problem. the comparison sparked outrage and a rebuke from mars usa, which tweeted skittles are candy. refugees are people. we don't feel it's an appropriate analogy. a new story out from the "washington post" finds donald trump may have violated laws by using his charity, the trump foundation to pay out more than a quarter million dollars in settlements for lawsuits for his business enterprises. that charity funded almost completely by donations from
people who are not donald trump. it's a very unusual setup for a family charity. he has not put any of his own money toward it since 2008. and you'll recall that he was actually fined by the irs for making an inappropriate, or what was actually -- >> illegal. >> -- illegal donation to florida's attorney general from that foundation instead of from his own pocket. >> florida attorney general who decided not to join the lawsuit against trump university. no knowledge. that's the line chris christie has been sticking to when it comes to deliberate closure of traffic lanes leading to the george washington bridge. stay with us.
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liberty mutual insurance. welcome back to "the lead." let's continue with our politics lead today and what could be a bomb shell for one of donald trump's closest advisors and the transition team. prosecutors are accusing governor chris christie of having known while it was going on about the plan to cause traffic problems in new jersey in what's known as the bridgegate scandal. chris christie has denied any knowledge of the scandal while it was going on. the question, as the u.s. government makes their case against the former aides, will prosecutors call christie to the
stand to testify. cnn's phil mattingly reports, this all could have major implications. >> as far as chris christie has fallen politically, there has always been one saving grace. >> 10-4. we're getting calls from irate motorists. >> know of anything happening on the bridge? >> traffic in a nightmare. >> no evidence existed to tie hip to the deliberate september 2013 closure of lanes on the george washington bridge. the political retribution spear-headed by his associates that helped to sink his presidential ambitions. >> i have been investigated by three different entities, two led by partisan democrats who have all found that i had no knowledge of this incident and no involvement in it. >> until now. at least according to u.s. prosecutors, who revealed monday during opening statements of the fraud trial involving tom christie associates that they would prove christie was aware
of their taylor swiactivities a closures were happening. for christie it's the scandal that turned a leading presidential contender into an early primary dropout. >> it's both the magic and the mystery of politics, that you never quite know when which is going to happen, even when you think you do. >> even as he maintained from the very beginning that he had no knowledge of the political retribution carried out by his aides. >> let me tell you, everybody, i was blind-sided yesterday morning. that was the first time i knew about this. >> retribution that shut multiple lanes of the george washington bridge. a shut-down brought forth by one infamous text message. time for some traffic problems in fort lee. yet throughout, christie maintained ignorance, pointing to democratic investigations and an internal probe commissioned by the governor. >> the three different investigations that people have had into this that to this point still and never will show that i
had any involvement in this because they didn't. how many more investigations do you want? >> but questions about whether that's actually the case have long simmered. as charges against his allies have moved forward through the courts. including the revelation uncovered in august court documents of a december 2013 text from a campaign aide saying christie, quote, flat-out lied about what he knew. yet even as his own presidential campaign fizzled and the trial loomed, christie's role with the man he endorsed, donald trump, continued to grow. >> and there is no one who is better prepared to provide america with the strong leadership that it needs. >> but even there, the scandal known as bridgegate helped cost christie what aides say he desperately wanted, to be trump's running mate. >> how much of a factor do you believe the trouble with the bridgegate was a factor in you not getting picked for vice president? >> i am sure it was a factor. >> jake, first his then
his shot to be donald trump's running mate. now the question becomes does this impact the possibility of a cabinet position in a trump administration. now, trump aides that i have talked to, jake, have made very clear donald trump respects the loyalty that chris christie has shown to this point and he is totally fine inside the trump team to this point. his advice is almost necessary to trump and his operations on the transition team that you talked about with one of the most well respected parts of the trump campaign right now. but as one advisor told me, jake, donald trump is probably a lot more welcoming of this than maybe senate democrats who would have to consider a possible nomination. >> phil, thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, new reports about donald trump and hillary clinton raising eyebrows. what am i talking about? stay with us. plus, they were bringing aid to desperate civilians in syria, and now at least 20 people are dead and the u.s. is pointing the finger at russia. stay with us. everyone said it's so hard to be a musician,
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bringing in our panel. s.e. cupp. keir stin powers. george h.w. bush reports are saying he told a room gathered in the bipartisan points of life foundation on monday that he is voting for hillary clinton according to sources close to the former president. i s i know it's not a huge surprise but it's kind of stunning. george h.w. bush beating by bill clinton, going to vote for hillary clinton. >> i think there are a lot of republicans who look at donald trump's version of conservativism and find it unrecognizable. it's a huge leap. i am a republican who is not voting for clinton or trump. it is a huge leap for a republican to say, i am not with trump and i'm with hillary. but the other thing that's interesting in this is that donald trump, over the course of this campaign, has really telegraphed he doesn't think he needs those kinds of republicans
to win. moderate republicans, or republicans who are uninterested in endorsing him are voting for him. that remains to be seen. if there are enough george h.w. bushes out there who will not only stay home but vote for hillary, then that strategy of ignoring the moderate republicans will have proved to have been a flawed one. >> do you think, kirstin that hach ha that will have any affect on voters? >> the clinton campaign seems to think so because they're doing a heavy outreach, runningen ad showing different republicans who are not voting for trump. i think it's a longshot because she is very unpopular among republicans. it's more likely probably that they would stay home. i think a lot of trump
supporters would say about the senior bush making this endorsement is that it's not a surprise because he is seen as the establishment, and they would say, of course, the establishment sticks together. we all know they're close to the clintons. he is very close to bill clinton. w. is close to bill clinton. this would prove their point that the establishment sticks together. >> the "washington post" reporting today that donald trump used $228,000 from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits against his businesses. kind of stunning. >> it's called self-dealing, it's a tax exempt charitable foundation. and because of that you're not really supposed to use other people's money to do stuff for yourself. and it would long contradict what trump and his campaign has been insisting, which is that he is basically spent his own money, that's just not the case we're learning. you know, will this have an impact on his supporters? no. will it maybe turn off some of those, you know, infamous independents and undecideds and
moderates? maybe. almost daily it feels like there is some scandalous revelation of their behavior and character. >> republican house investigators now looking into whether or not the private contractor who deleted hillary clinton's e-mails and did -- and pleaded the fifth, didn't show up to the hearing a week or two ago, he deleted the e-mails when they were under subpoena, we should note, went onto reddit, according to this report, to ask how to remove a v.i.p.'s address from archived e-mails. is there potential fallout of this? >> it's the type of thing you look at and you think, that doesn't sound good. >> right. >> we don't often know with these technical issues.
maybe there was an explanation for it. but it doesn't sound good. >> he wouldn't comment. >> why would he be wanting to remove her name, a. and why is he going onto basically this public website when he is working for the secretary of state of the united states of america. these are two things that raise questions. >> i don't know what's more troubling, the fact that obviously there was some -- an effort at duplicity, or the fact that reddit is how we are high level -- our high-level operatives troubleshoot their problems of national security. >> yeah. but it is weird. also the fact that he wouldn't testify. because there is this question -- >> right. >> she said they should be deleted. then the congressional subpoena went out there. and then they were deleted when they were under subpoena. and that's not proper. >> well, he -- so he has said, i believe, that there was some -- somehow it got missed, that he was told that he was supposed to delete them. he didn't do it. and then he remembered.
>> o.s. moment. >> then he remembered he was supposed to do it. what he is saying he wasn't doing it in response to the subpoena. he screwed up. >> i think the fact that we're so confused talking about it muddies it for the voters. thank you. appreciate it. it's russia's fault, what u.s. officials are saying about an air strike that killed 20 people and blew up critical supplies for starving syrians. russia's response next. what i love most about
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he's a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. sage. donald trump is a phony, a fraud. he's not a serious adult. i can't vote for donald trump given the things that he said. trump should not be supported. i believe he's disqualified himself to be president. i just cannot support donald trump.
welcome back to "the lead." turning to the world lead. the u.s. is blaming russia for bombing a humanitarian convoy in syria, killing more than 20 people and sending the fragile ceasefire in that country up in smoke. the russians and their allies in the syrian government are both denying they are behind the attack. in the response the u.n. is suspending all aid operations
from syria. cnn's international correspondent frederik pleitgen joins me live. what happened to the ceasefire? >> reporter: well, the ceasefire is pretty much in tatters at this point in time, jake. the u.s. says in the form of secretary of state kerry that he doesn't believe that the ceasefire is totally over, that it's totally lost. however, when you look on the ground it looks a lot different than that we've seen over the past 24 hours a marked increase in air strikes, especially around the eastern districts of aleppo, which is, of course, the rebel-held part of that townment th . then the attack on the convoy which was a huge blow to the ceasefire. not only does it show the fighting is really back in full force, it also stops one of the premises that the ceasefire had in the first place which is to try to get aid to the people as well. some 78,000 people were supposed to get aid from that convoy. 18 of the 31 trucks were
destroyed. the local head of syrian red dress crescent was killed in that. >> the u.s. and russia negotiated the ceasefire. how are they responding to one another? >> reporter: you know, right now you can really feel the level of distrust on the rise. you have just said it, that after these air strikes took place on that convoy, that the u.s. believes that it was russian war planes who conducted those air strikes. the russians say it wasn't them, that they didn't have planes in that area. they also sort of put out an explanation where they almost blamed the first responders, the white helmets who were there, for possibly being behind the attack on that convoy. there is very little to back that up. then you have the syrian regime that also says it's not responsible as well. we have to keep in mind that the u.s. and russia are the powers that are supposed to stop the fighting. here in syria right now it's looking very difficult. on the one hand u.s. blaming russia for the attack on the aid
convoy. the russians coming out and blaming the u.s. for the air strikes that took place on the syrian regime positions only a couple of days ago and insinuating that the u.s. was almost colluding with isis which the u.s. says of course is outrageous. big level of distrust that's making it more and more difficult to try and stop the fighting on the ground. >> fred, tell us about your visit to the city outside the capital of damascus which was retaken about i syrian government forces. >> reporter: it's one of the big tragedies here of this civil war, what you have in a lot of these places. this was one of them. you have long protracted battles often in urban areas. you then have obviously a lot of people who get killed in these battles. in the end the victor, if you can all them that, really only gets a smoldering pile of rubble. that's what we saw here. the place is absolutely trashed and destroyed. very few buildings are still intact. many of them completely
destroyed. it's really one of the big tragedies of this war that we saw today. >> fred, thanks so much. stay safe. that's it for "the lead." i am jake tapper. you can follow me on twitter @jake tapper or the show @"the lead" cnn. i turn it over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." breaking news, inspired by al qaeda. cnn has learned a notebook carried by the new york and new jersey bombing suspect contains references to terrorism including the boston marathon bombings and an american-born al qaeda leader. also, the suspect's father says he tried to warn the fbi about his son in 2014. why wasn't he on the radar? powerful explosive. we are also learning disturbing details about the makeup of the new york bombs. one expert says they were significantly more powerful than the bombs used in boston. did the suspect receive special training? bush's burn. a political shocker from