tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN October 24, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
>> they've had their rough moments but they always pull through. >> we can tell you that heather and a number of the other survivors and rescuers will be joining james taylor during the seventh inning stretch for an incredibly special ceremony. i'm brooke baldwin live in boston at fenway park. thank you for being with me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. i hereby call this monkey court to order. the honorable congressman bubbles has the floor. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead. don't blame us for the botched obama care websites. we're just the people who designed them. contractors head to capitol hill for a hearing that one democrat loudly denounced as a quote, monkey court. the world lead. pirates attack a ship off the coast of nigeria and now officials believe they are holding two americans hostage. how will the u.s. respond? also in world news, is he a pencil pusher or pushing americans to serve mother
russia? the fbi is looking into whether this man is recruiting spies in washington, d.c. why all the spy versus spy so long after the cold war has ended? good afternoon. i'm jake tapper. welcome to "the lead." we begin with the national lead. who is to blame for the mess that is the federal obama care websites? to hear the techhies who designed and implemented the websites, not them. >> the system is working. people are enrolling. >> we identified errors in code that was provided to us by others. >> we have not experienced any problems or ints superruptions e processing of data to cms. >> we had no role in the development of the website. >> executives from cgi federal, arguably the main contractor for healthcare.gov and several other vendors went before the house energy and commerce committee today and when they weren't pointing the finger at fellow contractors, they were placing the blame on the centers for medicare and medicaid services, or cms, which oversees the
program. >> cms had the ultimate decision for live or no go decision. not cgi. >> all of the concerns that we had which were mostly related to testing and the inability to get as much testing as we would have liked, we expressed all of those concerns and risks to cms throughout the project. >> so the clear message, they were rushed and cms did not test the system end to end before the launch. during the hearing, we also saw republicans air concerns about whether the websites comply with hipaa, the law that protects the privacy of your medical information. congressman joe barton, republican from texas, pointed out a line in the website source code that says when establishing an account quote, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication of any data transmitted or stored on this information system. barton laid into the cgi representative over that. >> are you aware this was in the source code, yes or no? >> yes.
>> you were aware. okay. do you think that's hipaa compliant? how can that be? you know it's not hipaa compliant. admit it. you're under oath. >> sir, that is cms' decision to make. >> that testy exchange may have just been the appetizer for what came a few minutes later, when barton and congressman frank pallone, the democrat from new jersey, got into it big time. >> hipaa only applies when there's health information being provided. that's not in play here today. once again, here we have my republican colleagues trying to scare everybody -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> no, i will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this is. >> this is not a monkey court. >> i'm not yielding. >> this is not a monkey court. how do those congressmen find out about the sitcom i was pitching to nbc? remember "night court" with harry anderson? it would be just like that only with monkeys. back to the drawing board. anyway, when they were pressed
for an answer on when healthcare.gov will ultimately be fixed, the contractors were vague at best. one vocal critic of the website debacle at today's hearing was republican congressman tim murphy of pennsylvania. >> the american public have been dumped with the ultimate cash for clunkers, except they had to pay the cash and still got the clunker. take responsibility. tell us what's wrong, fix it. or try something else. >> congressman tim murphy, republican of pennsylvania, and chairman of the house oversight and investigations subcommittee, joins me now. congressman, thanks for being here. did you hear anybody today take responsibility and accept the blame for what has gone wrong so far with the obama care websites? >> nobody. every one of them pointed at someone else. they said their part worked. they never tested to see if it worked with anything else. they were just saying their little window was fine and somebody else has to take the blame. >> sheryl campbell of cgi federal also said things are
getting better, people will be able to enroll by the deadline. do you think she's right? >> well, the deadline being march, we would hope so. but still, we did not get answers in terms of do they understand the depth of the problem and what happened. whenever it came to this point, they would point to someone else. they also said it was just two weeks before the rollout that hms -- hhs and also cms changed things on them. but they really couldn't give us details of what they did. i said did you ask for more time, was more things happening. couldn't get a straight answer on that in terms of the hearing. >> what do you think they changed? what would the centers for medicare and medicaid services change? we have heard speculation from health care experts that perhaps it was they didn't want the website to give people the price until they were fully enrolled and their names and social security numbers were in there, because of fear of sticker shock would chase away all the healthy people they need to join. >> that still exists. you can browse some general prices but you can't find out
the products or if that price works for you. what changed is they want you to put in that data first so they can lock it in, a lot of personal information, then they would tell you what it was if you could get it. that's where the bottleneck occurred and that's where people from cgi and other companies said maybe that was part of the problem here. but they never tested out and i'm puzzled with these changes taking place, if they think they can overcome this now, 55 different contracts in this, why didn't they speak up and say you've made a huge change in the process here. anything else to buy online, you look at the price first, you compare products, but not with something that's a life and death matter. >> it does seem strange. what do you want in terms of accountability? you have not signed the letter from i think it's 32 house republicans calling for health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius to resign, for president obama to demand her resignation. you have not joined that group, at least not yet. who should be held accountable and who should, if anyone, lose
their job? >> well, what i want from secretary sebelius is i want her to do her job. her job is to tell us what happened, who made these decisions that made a difference. with $500 million being spent, how much of that was wasted and how much additional money are we going to have to spend because someone didn't have proper oversight. when i have had hearings over the last ten months, repeatedly people from the administration said don't worry, everything's fine. in fact, they even acted annoyed that we were asking questions because we were getting in their way. a few days before rollout they said everything was fine. as it turned out, at the same time they told us everything was going to be okay, that appears to be the same week they made major changes and things unravelled from there. i would like to know, who are the people within hhs and cms who were making these changes and decisions. where was that coming from. we want to know if it's from secretary sebelius or someone else. >> what do you say to democrats who say you know what, you're not really concerned, you don't support obama care to begin with, you want it to fail, and
this is -- these are crocodile tears. you're not actually that worried about it at all. >> well, that's silly. it's silly because none of their questions really pursued along the lines of who was responsible for what happened. the questions were consistently things like do you promise everything is going to be okay, are you really, really promising. they weren't seriously pursuing this. that is something that's important. something that is so important that they ran through without any republican support, any amendments we put in, they removed before it got to the house floor. they continue to push it through. now they're saying will you please help us make this work. part of helping to make it work is saying i've got three quarters of a million constituents almost and they're saying this doesn't work, so tell us what you're going to do to change it before this whole new surge of techies comes in and does something which the white house isn't even telling us what's going to happen. they just have some plan that's private. >> the last question i have for you is you're a psychologist in addition to being a member of congress. since repealing obama care is not going to happen any time in the next few years, if ever, what do you want to happen to
obama care to change it to make it better, so pennsylvanians who don't have health insurance, and there are a lot of them, will be able to get this product? >> i would still like there to be confidentiality of records online. that's not there. i would like to know the irs can't access it. i would like people to be able to buy their insurance wherever they want, not just one restricted community. the president said you can keep your insurance if you want it. i want that to happen. i want people that would keep their doctor, that's not going to happen. that needs to change. so to have this marketplace where you really can buy the plan you want and see the doctor that you need, at a price you can afford, still needs to happen. >> congressman tim murphy, thank you so much. say hello to the beautiful commonwealth of pennsylvania. >> i'll do that. thank you. on the heels of accusations that the nsa tapped the german chancellor's phone, we just received new information that could guarantee u.s. diplomats will be sitting at the lunch table by themselves at the next united nations meeting. according to classified documents relooseased by edward
snowden, the nsa routinely monitored 35 world leaders. according to the report, senior officials in the state department, pentagon and even the white house were encouraged to share their rolodexes to help the nsa pull it off. i want to bring in cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. did this surveillance provide any useful counterterrorism information if you're spying on angela merkel of germany? >> the answer seems to be no. this is the document the guardian based their reporting on dated 2006. it's remarkable how matter of fact it is, saying that u.s. officials were asked to provide their full rolodexes, direct line, fax numbers, residence, cell numbers of 35 world leaders but even references here that these have noted little reportable intelligence from these particular numbers which appear not to be used for sensitive discussion. so you have this set up as a case where you have angered in effect many of your closest allies with this intrusion and admitting from the very beginning that it did not provide you with much actionable or useful intelligence.
so you get all of the pain and none of the gain, in effect. >> interesting cost/benefit analysis there. this is in 2006, this document, as you point out. during the previous administration, george w. bush. do we have any indication of whether or not this continued under president obama? >> well, as you know and you mentioned germany being one of these countries, clearly it was on this list, and this -- set up this very awkward phone call between president obama and angela merkel yesterday, where, in that phone call according to the white house, the president was able to say we are not now listening to your calls and we will not in the future. he did not say we did not in the past. the white house has been pressed on this and jay carney was again pressed on this today, saying wait a second, did this happen in the past. he wouldn't answer that question. in fact, this is how he characterized it when he was speaking to white house reporters today. >> we are not going to comment publicly on every specified alleged intelligence activity. as a matter of policy, we have made clear that the united states gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. >> they keep repeating that
point as well, that everybody spies on everybody, in effect. they also say they are reviewing this practice to get, in their words, a better balance between security concerns and privacy concerns, so presumably they understand that they haven't gotten that balance right. but it remains to be seen how far they pull this back. >> interesting. jim sciutto, thank you so much. coming up, a ship attacked, its captain and crew members said to be americans kidnapped by pirates. will navy s.e.a.l.s be tasked with saving the captain as they have before? plus, it could be a preview of what you can expect in 2016 if she decides to run, of course. hillary clinton heckled. what was the protester so angry about? well there's lots of ways you can get cash back. i'm here to help you get the most out of your cash rewards. it's personalized, and it's free. i want that. we have a concierge! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card with cashback concierge. ♪ hooking up the country whelping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. time for the world lead. no doubt been an agonizing 24 hours for two american sailors kidnapped by pirates off the african coast. it happened yesterday in the gulf of guinea about 40 miles outside nigeria, an area that's been considered a piracy hot spot over the past year. a u.s. official confirms that the ship captain and engineer were aboard an oil supply vessel when armed men stormed the boat and took them hostage. joining us with the very latest on this situation is cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr. have we learned any new information about who these kidnapped men are? >> reporter: well, sadly, nothing has been announced yet from either the company or the u.s. government which is monitoring the situation closely. we're told about these two
americans, the captain and the chief engineer in this pirate attack yesterday taken off the boat. at this hour, no word on where they are. this ship, let's go back to the photo of it, the "sea retriever" was going around in these west african waters resupplying oil installations. this is a very rough piece of territory off the coast of nigeria, very violent. it has suffered a lot of pirate attacks. let's just look at some of the numbers on how the violence has grown. last year alone, 62 attacks and if you look over the previous two years, in 2011 and 2010, a steady rise. a lot of the violence here is over the oil-rich revenues in this region. holding people for ransom but some 55 commercial mariners have been taken hostage in recent months. a very rough situation for the families, jake. >> so what now? is there any hope of a rescue?
that certainly has happened in the past. >> reporter: well, you know, the world's attention was captured off somalia, wasn't it, when captain phillips of the maersk alabama was rescued off the coast of somalia. here, it may be much more difficult. they don't have very good intelligence about where these people may be at this moment. right now the pentagon says there is no role for the u.s. military in any of this, but ironically, there is a military exercise in the region right now. a number of countries, including the u.s. and nigeria, practicing how to improve security at sea. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you so much. with the movie "captain phillips" out in theaters now which dramatizes the real life rescue of captain phillips in 2009 during a similar kidnapping, are we ignoring the real plight of sea captains working on these dangerous waters? i want to bring in sea captain don marcus, presidents of the
international organization of masters, mates and pilots. you have been in not these pirate infested waters but others. a lot of people want to compare this attack to what happened to captain phillips off the coast of somalia but you say this area is in a completely different situation. can you explain? >> sure. it's quite a different model, as barbara said. the danger there is extreme. the model is it's part of the oil and mineral industry. they're extracting great wealth out of this area. the platforms are stationary, unlike the situation off the coast of somalia, where you've got essentially cargo vessels carrying cargo from point a to point b within vicinity of the coast. these vessels and oil platforms are stationary. they are being serviced by small vessels that have low free board that are usually quite slow. they are much more vulnerable. it's an entirely different industry and the model is quite different. instead of capturing a vessel and the crew and taking the
vessel to a safe haven and holding the crew hostage pending negotiations, the model in the gulf of guinea is more akin to theft and kidnapping. >> they just want the oil? >> well, they want the machinery, they want the supplies, they want the oil, they want the crew. they take them ashore and hold them captive for ransom. it's a different model. >> what kind of training does a captain receive for situations like this? i know your organization does some of that training. >> yes. we have extensive training with our contracted employers at our training facility in baltimore, maryland. that includes anti-terrorism training, small arms training, a number of different types of training, including some training to help you in the event that you are taken hostage. as far as the oil companies go, i can't speak to that. it's really a different industry and a different arrangement that they have and an entirely different scenario. >> based on your experience, what's going through the hostages' heads right now?
>> well, they're in serious peril and you have to -- your heart has to go out to them and their families. they are being held somewhere ashore and they have to hope for the payment of ransom. >> what advice would you give them? >> well, i think the only thing you could do is what captain phillips told mariners and our members, is to keep your composure and try to keep your sense of self and your courage, because it requires extreme composure to get through an ordeal like these men are going through. >> i hope they make it through it. captain, thank you so much. we appreciate your time. coming up next, he trained infamous killer whale tilikum and was there when the wahale killed one of his co-workers. what does he think unleashed the whale's instincts? plus, remember the time dick cheney shot his friend in the face? we are learning how the story
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was a veteran sea world trainer who dedicated her life to caring for the animals she loved, but dawn brancheau's life was cut short by a killer whale she had trained with for years and it turns out this orca had killed twice before. so why was it still being used to entertain? is it simply too dangerous to keep these types of mammals in captivity at all? those are the questions being asked in a new cnn film that premieres tonight called "blackfish". martin savidge went to western canada in search of answers. >> reporter: cullen baird grew up in vancouver island. he started working at a marine park called sea land in the pacific. >> i would go after school, weekends, growing up, and just thought that's how everybody grew up. >> reporter: sea land of the pacific used to be here, where this marina is now. there's nothing left of the old place. it was an ocean arium. there were nets that separated the animals, the seals, sea
lions and the stars, the killer whales. baird eventually became a trainer, working with the three killer whales. his favorite, a small male named tilikum. >> he was very easy to work with. he was very easygoing. learned quickly, learned well. >> reporter: among the other trainers, 20-year-old marine biology student kelty burn. she had just finished a show with the killer whales when she slipped and fell into their enclosure. >> they were a little surprised one of their trainers had seemingly jumped into the pool, although fallen. they were sort of excited about that. it was something completely out of the norm. >> reporter: witnesses say the whales, including tilikum, kept her from reaching the sides, repeatedly pulling her under the frigid water. >> they couldn't get her. finally, she didn't come up anymore. >> reporter: baird, a trained
diver, volunteered to go and retrieve her body. >> the co-worker just suffered, drowned in some way related to the animals now in the tank that you are about to go in with. >> yeah. but this wasn't a malicious attack. it was an accident. >> reporter: the coroner's inquest listing the death as drowning due to or a consequence of the forced submersion by orca killer whales. she was the first trainer ever killed. >> oh, my goodness. it was awful. it was awful for everybody. people in general just couldn't believe what had happened right here in our own backyard. >> reporter: not long after, sea land shut down. tilikum was sold to sea world in orlando. but residents would hear about tilikum again. >> sheriff deputies have identified the 27-year-old man found dead in a killer whale's tank. >> reporter: in 1999, a man's body was found draped naked on tilikum's back one morning. how the man got there, sea world couldn't say. then in 2010, tilikum pulled
trainer dawn brancheau into the water to her death. when he first met tilikum, colin had no problem with captivity and killer whales. now, three decades and three deaths later, he definitely does. do you blame him? >> i don't blame him. no. these would never have happened if he had been left in the north atlantic. >> reporter: martin savidge, cnn, victoria, british columbia. >> sea world declined cnn's request to be interviewed on camera but we did get a statement. "blackfish" is billed as a documentary they say but instead of a fair and balanced treatment of a complex subject, the film is inaccurate and misleading and regrettably exploits a tragedy that remains a source of deep pain for dawn brancheau's family, friends and colleagues. be sure to tune in for the premiere at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. let's check in in our political panel in the green room. gloria borger, some words of
wisdom today from maryland's attorney general, doug gansler. he is also running for governor. he suggests if you walk into a party full of half naked teenagers who are dancing on the furniture and all drinking out of red cups, don't jump to any conclusions. there is the governor right now or would-be governor gansler. he says it could be, i quote, kool-aid, according to the state's top law enforcement officer. the attorney general pictured in the middle of this beach house rager in delaware, reminiscent of "porky's." at any point in your youth, did you go to any parties in high school where they served kool-aid in keg cups? >> no. that would be definitely no. it seems to me like somebody else is drinking the kool-aid around here. it may be gantsler. the was a truly amazing day. without angie's list, i don't know if we could have found all the services we needed for our riley. for over 18 years we've helped people take care of the things that matter most. join today at angieslist.com
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welcome back to "the lead." in the politics lead now, i cannot stand to even look at you. no, not you, dear viewer. never you. but that quote is what's being peddled around town this week as a verbatim insult supposedly hurled by one republican house leader at the president of the united states in the midst of the heated debate over the debt ceiling at the white house.
democratic senator dick durbin made waves by posting the comment on his facebook page and asking incredulously what are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who just said something so disrespectful. which would be a fair point if it were true, if that comment had been made, but the white house now says that that exchange never happened. >> the quota tribute ee attribu lawmaker was not accurate. there was a miscommunication in the readout of that meeting between the white house and senate democrats. >> then who started this weird game of washington telephone? let's bring in our political panel. former virginia congressman tom davis. cnn chief political analyst gloria borger and former democratic congressman from texas, martin frost. you were also the head of the democratic congressional campaign committee. >> different times. >> i don't want to take away your title when i gave it to him. so a source tells me or sources
tell me that the deputy chief of staff told the story about this congressman who he identified as congressman sessions of texas. he told it to the senate democratic leaders, then harry reid went into the senate democratic caucus and proceeded to tell 55 or whatever democrats the story, then dick durbin posted it on his facebook page, then the white house denied that it ever happened. >> i know. this is high school. these people are in the middle of a huge fight. the president had to meet with the democrats and the republicans separately. this is during the shutdown. so then after he met with the republicans, somebody in that meeting passes along a comment that was not said, now, we believe, and someone posted it on his facebook page. he happens to be a ranking democrat in the senate. it's kind of crazy but it just shows you how these guys don't trust each other and they don't like each other, and they don't talk to each other. >> congressman davis, you said something very interesting when we were discussing this earlier.
who knows what happens, it doesn't sound like something you know, congressman sessions -- >> it doesn't sound like anything he would say to the president. >> you say even if it had happened, it's obligatory the white house would deny it. >> absolutely. remember this, this is a town where you can get up and yell "you lie" at the state of the union and raise $1 million online the next week. it's a poisonous atmosphere. that underlies all of this. >> i'm going to exempt congressman frost since he and congressman sessions ran against each other. i'm sure you have nothing but wonderful things to say about him. >> no comment. >> we will move on to maryland, attorney general doug gansler is in a little trouble. he's running for governor. he wound up at a high school party at the beach in delaware in june. apparently stopped by to talk to his teenaged son, somebody snapped a photo that was posted on instagram. he says it's not his job to break up a party of underaged drinkers, though in the past, he has done public service announcements on the dangers of teen drinking.
>> parents, you're the leading influence on your teen's decision not to drink. >> that's a little bit different from what he said today at his press conference. >> if you look at the picture, not right where i was, but there are some kids, one or two kids holding red cups and generally, you know, there could be kool-aid in the red cups but there's probably beer in the red cups. that wasn't -- i didn't go over and stick my nose in and see, and maybe i should have. >> oh, wait. congressman frost, he's in the middle of a primary. this is not going to help. >> no. this is not helpful at all. when i was in congress, and i won't mention which of my three daughters, because i have three, one of my three daughters had a party at our house while my wife and i were out of town. and we came back and we saw the remnants of the party and it obviously had involved drinking. that daughter was in a world of hurt for a long period of time. >> but he's a law enforcement official. as a mother, i would have gone
in, said to my son you have two minutes to meet me outside and we're going, okay, or i'll make a scene. take your pick. there were parents there, apparently, chaperoning this. so as a law enforcement official, isn't it your responsibility to talk to those parents and say i'm giving you 15 minutes before i call the cops? >> the attorney general of maryland, this apparently was taking place in delaware so it's beau biden's fault. >> the drinking age is 21, not 18. this has been a terrible rollout for his campaign. he paid a speeding ticket belatedly last week. he has to get grounding pretty quickly or this campaign will dissolve. >> when you did that with your daughter, were you at all -- were you a member of congress? >> yes. >> how much does it go into your head when you're a member of congress and you have a child that does something that is clearly against the law -- >> it has nothing to do with my being a member of congress and everything to do with being a parent. in fact, we called some of the other parents after the fact to
let them know what had gone on. you have to take a firm position with your kids. you can't tolerate this, and he'll be explaining this for months now. i don't wish him any ill. he's a good public servant. but this is a real problem. >> we only have about a minute left in this eclectic mix of stories and i want to go to hillary clinton, who was heckled at a speech wednesday in buffalo, new york. >> we have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus on the kind of future we want which doesn't include yelling. it includes sitting down and talking with one another. >> so she handled the heckler like a pro. benghazi is a story that's not going away. >> no. benghazi's a story that's not going away. she's going to continue to have hecklers. she's going to continue to have to discuss her foreign policy experience and her role as secretary of state. in this particular incident i think she handled it well, particularly as a woman. part of her schtick i think will
be i can get people together to talk, because that's what women do, that's what women in the senate said they did last week, remember? >> have you guys ever been heckled like that? >> many times at town meetings. but it goes with the territory. but she's a pro. she handled it well. benghazi is not going away. congress isn't going to let it. >> there will be other hecklers for other candidates, too, not just her. but she is the consummate professional. she can handle something like that. >> thank you all so much for being here. we appreciate it. coming up on "the lead," is this man recruiting americans to spy for russia just blocks from the white house? details on why the fbi thinks he's planning more than cultural exchanges now. plus, what is that? a mystery substance in the glove of one red sox pitcher has some asking was he cheating? customer erin swenson ordered shoes from us online but they didn't fit. customer's not happy, i'm not happy. sales go down, i'm not happy. merch comes back, i'm not happy. use ups. they make returns easy. unhappy customer becomes happy customer.
cause. >> i know that there are some folks in this town who are primed to think well, if obama's for it, then i'm against it. but you know, i would remind everybody that my republican predecessor was also for it. >> yes, you heard that right. president obama is connecting himself to president george w. bush, and bush's policies, although he's not ready to actually name drop bush 43. it's just the latest example of how the bush legacy continues to develop since he left office in 2009. our lead read today. it explores the relationship between bush and his vice president, dick cheney. it's called "days of fire, bush and cheney in the white house." it was written by the "new york times" chief white house correspondent peter baker, who joins me here. good to have you back. congratulations on this wonderfully received book. it's getting great critical reviews. tell me, there's been a lot of speculation, lot of people talking about what drove bush and cheney apart. >> right. >> what was it? >> i think it begins with iraq.
obviously iraq, the war starts to go badly, there are no weapons there and bush begins looking at a second term. he's got to make a case to the american public. cheney offers to drop off the ticket. bush thinks about it and decides no, i'm not going to but he's beginning to think how do i begin to reshape my administration. what do we have to do for a second term, more diplomacy, less bellicosity. that takes him away from cheney. there's a series of events afterward that drive them further apart. >> he didn't pardon cheney's top aide, scooter libby. that obviously upset cheney quite a bit. he talks about it publicly. but they were splitting before then, when bush started to rely more on condi rice. >> he elevates condi rice to begin moving in this different direction so they are trying diplomacy with north korea, syria, middle east peace, iran. things that dick cheney finds troubling. he believes that they are beginning to drift away from the principles they shared in the first term. so by the end, they're on opposite sides of all sorts of issues, not just those, but also
climate change, gay rights, gun rights, auto bailout, so on. it's a very dramatic evolution, almost a shakespearean evolution over eight years. >> there's a great story on the p.r. nightmare of when dick cheney accidentally shot his friend in the face. first lady laura bush played a role in the story getting out? >> she did. she was overseas, ironically, in italy at the time. she hears through the secret service what's gone on. she has her top aide call back to the white house, call to scott mcclellan and the others, what's going on. the first lady wants this out right now because she understood what a p.r. disaster it could be and the only answer to that would be to be as transparent as possible. >> they clamped down at first. they didn't take any questions. they hid it from the public. >> they didn't announce it as quickly as they now believe they should have. it came, the president himself was asked by his aide you need to intervene with the vice president to get him to go on television to address this, to apologize, and that lanced the boil as soon as he did it but it took four days.
>> the book is right down the middle. it's not overly praise-worthy for president bush. it's not overly critical. but one thing that's interesting is you do praise him for some leadership decisions that were difficult for him. we all know of leadership decisions that were not the best ones in the world. but you praise him for the surge in iraq and also for t.a.r.p., for the troubled asset relief program, to help out wall street. very unpopular but you basically argue the right decision. >> look, he took on conventional wisdom, he took on popularity, he went against all political instincts and his own conservative instincts in the case of t.a.r.p. to do what he thought was the right thing. look what happens now. president obama tries to fix his health care program, he uses the term surge, we'll have a surge to try to fix it. you talked about the connection and how he's now citing his predecessor. that's one example, something that lived on past his administration as a concept. >> when the book begins with an aide, president bush comes back to texas and an aide says you left office incredibly
unpopular, one of the most unpopular presidents in history and he responds. >> he says i was also the most popular president in history. you kind of get at this moment a sense of what might have been. iraq took such a toll. he had so many other things he could have been known for. saving people with aids in africa, medicare part d, expanding coverage, no child left behind, tax cuts, all sorts of things he wanted his presidency to be about, immigration, and in fact, became subsumed by the overarching terror and wars that took over his presidency. >> lastly, what's the relationship between bush and cheney now? are they friends? >> today, they wouldn't describe themselves as friends so much as partners or professional colleagues. i asked vice president cheney about this during interviews for the book. he says we were never buddies. they didn't socialize together. president bush didn't have him up to camp david very often. >> may you be on the best-seller
list for many weeks. congratulations on the book and all the great critical reviews of it. in more world news, he may look like a mild-mannered russian diplomat but in the eyes of the fbi he's a cold, calculated spy. hard to know what to take away from the latest round of spy games between the u.s. and russia where inquisitive young americans were allegedly used as pawns. >> you are looking at a russian spy on american soil, or you're looking at uri, a russian bureaucrat who runs an exchange to bring americans to russia. it's one of those two, or maybe both or maybe neither. >> i think it's a stupid situation because it's like a cold war. >> reporter: the fbi seems to think that he has been using the russian center for culture trips to assess and recruit intelligence assets for russia. that information first came to light in a report from the progressive magazine "mother jones." this morning, he vigorously
denied it to cnn. >> i am not recruiting. welcome to russia. >> reporter: in the past two years, 128 young americans have taken the all expense paid fact-finding trips that the center sponsors. the fbi has been interviewing people who have taken the trip, such as richard portworth. >> they wanted to know how the trip was organized, who we visited on the trip, what type of activities we did while we were in russia. >> reporter: he's a graduate student at georgetown university who heads a group aimed at overcoming cold war stereotypes. >> the fbi told me that he is a member of the foreign intelligence agency whose mission is to build relationships with americans and part of the way that he does this is by organizing these cultural visits to russia where members, participants, allegedly are spotted and assessed for future intelligence purposes in russia. >> reporter: the fbi is not talking, but a law enforcement
source confirms to cnn the fbi's investigating the cultural center, specifically digging into the types of activities engaged in during the trips. the russian foreign ministry said in a statement the allegations quote contain nothing in common with the reality. while the cold war officially ended some years ago, the u.s./russian rivalry and spycraft, well, that's thriving. in may, american diplomat ryan fogle was detained in moscow with some terrible wigs, dark glasses and foreign cash. the russian counterintelligence agency claimed he was trying to recruit spies. he was deemed persona nongrata and sent packing, sans wig. who can forget operation ghost stories, a russian spy ring broken up by the fbi that introduced the world to anna chapman, the sultry red-headed spy who is now a popular talk show host in russia. uri insists she's not his comrade and he's no spy. >> russian cultural center is
open. welcome. we have special exhibitions. >> reporter: just in case, he's planning an exit strategy. >> i think maybe i go to russia to vacation after several weeks. >> the "washington post" reports that if the spy claims were true, there is no evidence that the program was successful in converting the american travelers into intelligence assets. when we come back, don't they know tim tebow is still looking for work? proof there really is a quarterback shortage in the nfl. now the rams are reportedly asking a grandfather to suit up. i couldn't wait to see her again.
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welcome back to "the lead." now it's time for the sports lead. call him the mikal michael corlf pro football. according to reports, the st. louis rams reached out to 44-year-old brett favre to be their quarterback after sam bradford went down with a season-ending knee injury. but in a radio interview, favre said this time, there's no way in hell. his last nfl season was in 2010, when he played for the minnesota vikin vikings. the philadelphia eagles used
to have a courtroom built into old veterans stadium so they could process all the hooligans. too bad they don't have it anymore for this guy. a parking lot attendant is accused of robbing eagles offensive lineman todd herremanns of almost a quarter million dollars, a little bit at a time over the span of four years. the feds say the suspect, who was paid to watch the eagles cars, lifted the player's checking account number off documents in his car and withdrew money from the account to pay off his own credit card bills. he is now facing bank fraud charges. it's a tradition as old as the national pasttime itself. pitchers using any substance they can to doctor a baseball. but it was a lot easier to spit a glob of tobacco juice on to the ball when the only footage available showed babe ruth running really, really quickly around the bases. last night, as red sox starter jon lester was filleting the cardinals in game one of the world series, something suspicious was noted inside the mitt and a photo was tweeted out. the tweet has since been deleted but the video caught him rubbing
the spot where the possibly suspicious goo was. major league baseball responded to us saying there were no complaints from the umps or cardinals and you can't draw any conclusions from the video. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer who is right next door in a place i like to call "the situation room." mr. blitzer. thanks very much. happening now, fireworks on capitol hill. >> will the gentleman yield? >> no, i will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this is. >> this is not a monkey court. >> monkey court. lawmakers face off over the problem-plagued obama care website. contractors blame each other for the mess. the two congressmen in that heated exchange, they will join us live for a debate this hour. and we've heard all the complaints but is it really all that difficult to sign up for obama care? these people are getting ready to go online and try to enroll right here in "the situation room" live. plus, new details on the murder of a young