tv The Situation Room CNN November 19, 2013 2:00pm-3:31pm PST
happening now, george zimmerman back in court on a felony assault charge, accused of pointing a gun at his girlfriend. we have the astonishing details on his arrest and appearance before a judge. a lawmaker repeatedly stabbed in the head and torso and his son fatally wounded by a gunshot. that's the scene police found this morning. the story they're piecing together is even more shocking. as the u.s. tries to close a nuclear deal with iran, a split with israel goes very public. i will speak with the president's national security advisor, susan rice. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this coming into "the situation room." george zimmerman free on $9,000 bail. this is george zimmerman leaving the correctional facility in seminole county, florida, onl a few minutes ago. zimmman peared in court four nter bng acquitted in
the killing of trayvon martin. now he's facing a charge of felony aggravated assault on this woman, his girlfriend, samantha scheibe, seen here in facebook photos. she told police zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her, prompting her to call 911. cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin is standing by. let's go straight to alina machado in sanford, florida. what's the latest on george zimmerman? >> reporter: well, as you mentioned, george zimmerman is free on bond tonight. we want to again show you that video of him leaving the correctional facility here in seminole county with his bail bondsman. he did not answer any questions from reporters as he was leaving the correctional facility and his release came just a few hours after a judge set his bond at $9,000. >> you can begin, your honor. we're all set. >> reporter: george zimerman facing a judge in seminole county, florida, on felony aggravated assault and
misdemeanors following a domestic dispute monday between zimmerman and his girlfriend, samantha scheibe. >> we had the opportunity to speak to the victim in this case. she is in fear for her safety and would like there be no contact and no return. >> reporter: zimmerman calmly answered the judge's questions. a similar demeanor deputies say they saw when they arrived at the home shortly after the alleged incident monday. zimmerman called 911 to share his version of what happened. >> she got mad that i guess i told her i would be willing to leave. >> okay. >> i guess she thought i was going to argue with her but she's pregnant. i'm not going to put her through that kind of stress. >> reporter: a call that came after scheibe dialed for help. >> what's going on? >> he's in my house breaking all my [ bleep ]. i asked him to leave. he has a freaking gun breaking all of my stuff right now. >> anything to say? >> reporter: as a condition of bond, the judge banned zimmerman from having any guns and ordered him to stay away from scheibe who alleges he tried to choke her in a separate incident about
a week earlier, an incident that was not reported to police until now. zimmerman's attorneys say they first learned of that allegation today. >> i definitely would not characterize my client as a loose cannon. he is presumed innocent on these matters and we are confident he's going to be acquitted. we just ask that it go through the noormal channels of the justice system. >> reporter: zimmerman will be on electronic monitoring while he waits for his trial and according to court documents, he's $2.5 million in debt, homeless and unemployed. he's going to be back in court in january. >> thank you, alina. let's dig a little deeper with senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin. charged with felony aggravated assault, two misdemeanors as well, domestic violence, battery, criminal mischief, yet he's now free, out on $9,000 bond. was that the right call? >> that seems to be a pretty good call.
the prosecution asked for $50,000, the defense asked for a much lower bond, $9,000 is more than usual for a case like this, but it was enough for him to get out, and it's obviously very important, i think, that he was told to stay away from his accuser and to give up any access to firearms. >> we heard the judge say today he supposedly had been suggesting to her, to this former girlfriend, that he had nothing to live for, he was broke, he was threatening to commit suicide, he had these weapons, he's had these prior incidents. is he a risk to the community right now? >> well, i don't know. i think the clear answer is we don't know. he has had a lot of problems with the law. three women have accused him of various kinds of improper conduct in intimate relationships. only one of those so far have led to an actual case being
brought against him. he killed trayvon martin. he's been stopped by the police for driving infractions three times since his acquittal. this guy seems to have an instinct for trouble. we'll see if he winds up actually convicted this time. >> you see a similarity between him and o.j. simpson? >> well, there's a potential similarity. i think everybody remembers that o.j. simpson was acquitted in the death of ronald goldman and his ex-wife, nicole brown, and then there was a separate case. the new case in las vegas, which frankly to a lot of people, including me, seemed like a pretty weak case but there was an element, safe to say, of payback. that he got away with the first case so he was prosecuted to the max the second time and he remains in prison. this could be a parallel situation where the acquittal in trayvon martin leads to a later successful prosecution but don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. let's see what evidence the
prosecution can develop, see if the defense can put out evidence that leads to these charges being dropped. we'll know more in january. >> jeffrey toobin, thanks very much. we'll speak later as well. nancy grace is going to come join us at the same time. let's get to another shocking story that's still developing at this hour. police in virginia are investigating what they say is an attempted murder-suicide that's left a well-known lawmaker in the hospital with multiple stab wounds and his son dead. creigh deeds is a state senator and former candidate for the virginia governor. police now suspect he was attacked by his 24-year-old son just hours after the young man underwent a psychiatric evaluation. cnn's chris lawrence is joining us from charlottesville where police have just released more information on what happened. what's the latest you're hearing, chris? >> reporter: well, the latest is that police are now looking into this solely as an attempted murder. basically, this was a man who just a few years ago was running for the governor of virginia
with his son by his side. and police now say it was that man and his son who were just the two of them in the house when a violent altercation erupted. it left his son shot dead, one bullet, police now say one shot was fired. they believe that was the suicide. the father, creigh deeds, was stabbed multiple times, up in his upper chest, in his head area, and police now say he was able to walk down a hill, the house is set well back from the road, that he walked down about 75 yards down that hill to the main road, where his cousin was passing by, his cousin picked him up, brought him to his home, and that's where he called 911. the police came, airlifted him to the hospital. right now, investigators say they are not looking for any other suspects, so the mystery of exactly how this happened and why rests solely with the two men, the father and the son, who were in that home together.
>> based on the evidence we have right now, we are looking into this as an attempted murder and suicide. now, this is not an absolute determination because it's still very much an ongoing investigation. >> reporter: deeds' condition has been upgraded from critical to fair, but the key here may lie with mental health issues. the richmond times-dispatch is reporting that they spoke with the director of a mental health board who said that the younger deeds, gus deeds, was evaluated just on monday. it was an emergency order to sort of evaluate him over a four-hour period. they may have been able to hold him longer, up to two days for further evaluation, but there were no available psychiatric beds in that whole area of western virginia, wolf. >> what a terrible, terrible, tragic story. once again, the condition of creigh deeds right now is?
>> reporter: has been upgraded to fair. i can also tell you that he has been alert after stumbling down that hill to the main road and getting picked up, then getting airlifted to the hospital, police say he has been talking to them, both when they first made contact with him and then later at the hospital itself. >> chris, thank you. chris lawrence reporting. sad story. just ahead, syria's civil war brings carnage to the do doorstep of iran's embassy in beirut. as the u.s. tries to close a controversial nuclear deal with iran, there's a spat that's developed between washington and jerusalem. all of this going on. "the situation room" is going to be a busy place today. i'll speak with the national security advisor to the president, ambassador susan rice. tweet us some of your suggested questions. use the hash tag sitroom. that's coming up this hour in "the situation room." can the president move beyond his obama care troubles by pointing to other things that
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you may not be able to put his health care problems behind him very easily, but the president tried for a positive spin today. let's bring in our senior white house correspondent, brianna keilar. the president spoke to business executives today, he spoke about the economy. he wasn't able to completely avoid the topic of obama care, was he? >> reporter: no, that's right. he acknowledged the problems with the website, wolf. my website is actually what he called it.
but he said those problems and also the government shutdown should not distract from the fact that the economy is doing better. and he also said that once the website is fully up and running, he's going to have to pitch his health care program all over again. >> i am confident that the model that we've built which works off of the existing private insurance system, is one that will succeed. we are going to have to, a, fix the website so everybody feels confident about that. we're going to have to obviously remarket and rebrand. >> reporter: now, the challenge for president obama is that the economy is no longer the top issue for americans as it has been for years. in fact, in a recent gallup poll done earlier this month, it actually came in third behind dissatisfaction with government and health care concerns, general health care concerns. so while the dow is doing really well, while unemployment is ticking down, you're
simultaneously seeing the president's approval ratings dip. in fact, they're at an all-time low in some polls. >> they certainly are. there's another story we're watching. the white house catching some grief as you know for the president not attending the 150th anniversary of the gettysburg address. the president did record a version of the address for a project that's being organized by ken burns, the film maker. i did a version for him as well. but there was a difference between these versions and the president's getting some criticism. explain what's going on. >> reporter: that's right. the version that the president read, wolf, did not include the words "under god" as the version that you and the dozens of other folks on the project, theirs included those words. well, the white house, officials here saying that's not our fault, this is the version that was provided to us by ken burns, who is in charge of this project. and one producer on this project tells cnn that this version
without the words "under god" was provided for president obama and only president obama to read to highlight the fact that there are different versions and there are different versions, five of them, in fact. two of them do not include those words, three of the other versions that lincoln wrote up later after the address do include the words. you read one of those versions and i think also worth noting, when you look at the dozens of people who participated in this project, you're in pretty good company. not just the president but you had usher and taylor swift doing this as well. >> they are saying the president didn't directly participate in gettysburg because of scheduling problems, is that right? >> reporter: they're saying, we have heard that it has to do with scheduling. we also had heard from ken burns on this project that one of the reasons that he didn't do this, that president obama told him he was working so much on being involved in the commemoration of the march in washington that he couldn't do two of these really big sort of commemorations in
such proximity to each other. but we've also heard from his senior advisor that it was a scheduling issue. >> brianna keilar at the white house. other news, make it strike three for the president, trying to get his nominees on to a very important appeals court. one more reason for democrats and republicans to be at each other's throats. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash is here in "the situation room" with the latest details. what's going on? >> as you well know, senate filibusters require 60 votes to overcome and it's a pretty high hurdle in a politically divided senate but the ability to filibuster has been sacrosanct, neither party has dared take that power away. democrats are so frustrated they can't get the president's nominees confirmed, they are once again threatening to do just that, the nuclear option. democratic frustration is palpable and vocal. >> republican obstruction has become endemic in the senate. >> i urge my republican colleagues to stop these filibusters now. >> here we go again. >> reporter: republicans blocked three of the president's key
judicial nominees in three weeks. >> the motion is not agreed to. >> the motion is not agreed to. >> the motion is not agreed to. >> reporter: but unlike other partisan brawls over the course, this is not about qualifications or ideology of the nominees. it's about the makeup of the court itself. the d.c. circuit, the powerful federal appeals court that hears most challenges to laws passed by congress, now evenly split, four judges appointed by democrats and four by republicans. and the gop wants to keep it that way. >> the only way the president can successfully bypass congress is if he stacks the court with idealogical allies who will rubber stamp those executive orders. >> reporter: but democrats say wait a minute, there are three vacancies on that court and it's the prerogative of this president or any president to appoint qualified judges. >> no president should have to put up with what president obama has had to put up with. >> reporter: republicans argue that d.c. circuit workload isn't
heavy enough to need three more judges. they say democrats are the ones playing politics. >> in order to concoct crisis on the d.c. circuit so it can distract americans from the failings of obama care. >> reporter: but democrats are so frustrated with republicans blocking judges and other obama nominees, they are once again openly discussing the so-called nuclear option. changing decades-old rules and taking the republicans' filibuster tool away. are you at the point where you're going to consider the nuclear option? >> i'm at the point where i need -- we need to do something to allow government to function. i think what we need and the american people want, to get things done around here. >> reporter: this is not the first time the democratic leader, majority leader, threatened to detonate the nuclear option. but what's different now is he's getting some new key allies who are fed up. senator dianne feinstein, a democrat senate veteran was very reluctant before to take away the minority's power of filibuster, but now she's changed her mind, done a
reversal, and says it's because she sees it as the best change that's needed for washington to work. >> a lot of democrats reluctant to fight with that filibuster rule, because they might be in the minority one of these days. >> she was one of them. she switched. which is significant. >> there's another story that's developing here, pretty shocking story. republican congressman from florida, congressman trey radel has been charged in d.c. superior court, misdemeanor cocaine possession, after an october 29th arrest. 37-year-old florida republican serving his first time in congress, winning office last november. what is the latest? i understand he just put out a statement. >> he did, and let me just read you the first graph which says it all. he says i'm profoundly sorry to let my family, particularly my wife and son, the people of southwest florida, i struggle with the disease of alcoholism and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. as the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, i need to get help so i can be a better man for both of them and he says later that he realizes
that he's disappointed his family, his constituents but the good news is now he can seek treatment. it certainly is shocking. i have to tell you, it's sort of something more out of the house of cards, you know, fiction than something that happens these days in congress but it certainly looks like it did. he is a freshman, maybe not that well known to people out there, but he has made his name because he's a new republican who hasn't been that strident, not a tea party guy. >> a spokesman for the u.s. attorney's office say the charges come with a maximum 180 day imprisonment and/or $1,000 fine. it's a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge. >> exactly. i should also say that he is somebody who many reporters got to know because he was himself a television reporter, local reporter, before he went into congress and went into politics. he actually was an intern for cnn before that. >> years ago. all right. what a story that is. thanks very much, dana, for that story. coming up, iran, israel,
syria. her situation room is probably busier than ours today. i will speak with the president's national security advisor, susan rice. she is standing by live. tweet us some suggested questions. also ahead, children's toys tainted with dangerous chemicals. we will tell you what you need to know. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." sfx: oil gushing out of pipe. sfx: birds chirping.
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so can president obama recover from the obama care rollout? let's discuss what's going on with our chief political analyst, gloria borger, our cnn political commentator, donna brazil and ed gillespie. thanks so much for coming in. ed, you're the man surrounded by two women. how does he survive this? >> he's going to survive. he has three more years in office. >> but he's got a lot of stuff on his agenda he's got to do over the next three years. this is a problem. >> it will be very difficult for him right now. the thing that's most interesting to me in these numbers is not just the drop in the approval ratings to historically low numbers but for the first time being upside down on personal characteristics and attributes, trustworthiness,
likability, unfavorable majority 52%. it's one thing you can kind of come back and get people to change their opinion. it's hard to get them to change how they feel. >> you know that. >> yeah. you also worked for president bush so you know. >> you know, what's the biggest impact is not what people think but how people feel about him. >> how does he do it? >> first, i don't think the american people would like to see the president fail. i think they want to see all presidents succeed. i think there's a predisposition for the president to come back if this website can be fixed, if people can enroll, if the president can show that he can get other things done, there's no question that the president's approval ratings will rise again. >> but really, you know this from running the romney campaign, is that what president obama had going for him in the re-election was the fact that people trusted him to do the right thing all or most of the time, and they liked him and that's his real problem right now. in addition, they don't think he's got great management skills.
so what he's got to do is ask himself when this is all over, and i'm told there's going to be some kind of internal review, but they have to get through this -- >> does that mean a shakeup of staff? people losing their jobs? >> there's going to be a change. >> there's going to be a change but i wouldn't guess and you might know more. i wouldn't guess that he's going to bring in some new outsider that he doesn't know very much. this is a president who goes to his comfort level with people. even if he makes changes, i'm assuming it's going to be somebody he knows very well. >> what would you do if this had been the bush white house, you were a senior advisor to the president? the president after katrina, president bush had enormous problems in terms of his credibility. >> you just have to power through. you have to persevere, you have to pursue your agenda, keep talking about the things you care about. i disagree with donna, not surprisingly, that it's going to get better as time goes on and the website gets up and running, assuming that it does. i don't think it is. in fact, i think -- >> you don't? >> no, because you have the individual market behind that comes the group insurance market. i think people there are going
to get hit hard, too. what this is, look, the supreme court was right. this is a massive tax increase. i wish they had overturned the law. they sustained the law on the basis it's a tax increase but not just the mandate. what you're seeing is the effect of really what is built into it, is a massive tax increase on people who have insurance now and that's why their premiums are going up. >> this is why i think the republicans are not going to succeed, because first of all, they have a blank slate. they're not offering an alternative. they're not giving people who are desperately seeking health care an option to even enroll in something that they can afford. so i think while the republicans are cheering for failure, the american people really want this to work because they understand that health care was a leading cause of our deficit, 18% of our gdp. i think the president is doing the right thing in making sure it gets fixed and we'll see if his poll numbers rise. if they don't rise again it's okay because he's not up for re-election. >> there are democrats up for re-election next year. >> that's what was crazy about
the defund strategy and shutting down the government, which was if you want to defund obama care, shut down the government over it, then you ought to have an alternative. and they don't. >> that's not fair. republicans have an alternative they brought forward at the time of the debate afford the affordable care act. they have other alternatives. i think you will hear more about it because the american people are open to hearing it because we don't like what we're getting right now. >> we heard a lot of negative things about the affordable care act but hundreds of thousands of people who had no health insurance are now getting health insurance thanks to medicaid. they are going on the new extended medicaid programs through the states. that's going to be hard to take it away from them. >> pre-existing conditions, young people -- >> -- without skyrocketing premiums, without holding people to 29 hour work weeks and having people who lose their plan if they like it or maybe lose their doctor, too. i think that's what you will see here, people will be increasingly upset. >> i want to play a clip. chris christie, the governor of new jersey, maybe a presidential
candidate, maybe not a presidential candidate, he said this, striking a different note from a lot of other republicans, not for the first time. >> i feel badly for president obama. he just won a year ago and everybody's like so who's next. there is work to be done in this country, and as we shove him out the door, we minimize his ability to be an effective executive and we shouldn't do that. >> ed? >> look, i think governor christie is right. it is remarkable to me the speed with which we move from one presidential cycle to the next in terms of the punditry, and i do think we ought to give some time to govern here. but that's not, you know, i don't think that's the problem that president obama faces right now in terms of his inability to get things done, that people have moved past him. his problem is that he's dealing with really bad policies and a really bad implementation of bad policies. >> clearly the president and governor christie have a good relationship. the president doesn't have a good relationship with a lot of
other republicans but he does with christie. >> i agree with governor christie who sidestepped the issue of health care saying the clock was running out. again, demonstrating the republicans have no solid ideas of how to fix our health care system. but the president has tried, he's put issues on the table, he's put the grand bargain back on the table. he can continue to reach out, put initiatives on the table but as long as the republicans are intent on just saying no to everything that president obama said -- >> hold on. hold that thought. >> -- saying no to his budget, there's something wrong. >> don't minimize his ability to do his work. don't shove him out the door. because that's where he's going. >> nobody is shoving him out the door. >> stand by, guys. we will continue this conversation. also, syria's civil war brings carnage to the doorstep of iran's embassy in beirut, lebanon. as the u.s. tries to close a controversial nuclear deal with iran, a spat with israel goes public. i will speak live with president obama's national security
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syria's brutal civil war brought carnage to lebanon's capital today with a horrific pair of suicide bombings outside the iranian embassy in beirut. 23 people died, including an iranian diplomat. a group linked to al qaeda claimed responsibility, demanding that lebanon's pro-iranian hezbollah militia stop sending fighters into syria. all this comes as the united states is trying to close a deal with iran to suspend at least part of its nuclear program in exchange for easing some u.s. and other international sanctions. meanwhile, a u.s. split with israel on this sensitive matter seems to be going public. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is joining us with some more.
jim, what's the background here? >> well, this is a difficult deal to make under any circumstances. when you make a deal like this, you would like to have your friends on board but the obama administration having enormous difficulty convincing israel as well as both republican and some democratic lawmakers on the hill that this is a good and safe agreement for the u.s. and its allies. just days ahead of a potential breakthrough deal with iran on its nuclear program, iran's foreign minister accused israel of attempting to scuttle it. >> they have been pushing so hard to torpedo a process whose only option was to resolve an international problem that they have been claiming concern over. why is it that they don't want this resolved? >> reporter: israel kept firing back, continuing a loud public campaign against an agreement, calling iran untrustworthy -- >> iran's dream deal is the world's nightmare. >> reporter: -- and the u.s. its
closest and most powerful ally, naive. >> rather than surrendering to their charm offensive, it's important that they surrender to the pressure that can be brought to them. >> reporter: while u.s. officials say their differences are purely technical, they go to the core of whether any diplomatic agreement with iran is possible. >> you have probably the most significant breach in terms of perceptions and realities between an american president and israeli prime minister in quite some time. >> reporter: facing similar skepticism from u.s. lawmakers at home, today president obama met with senate leaders to push his case. several left the white house still unconvinced. >> i think all of us are concerned. we know who we're dealing with and we watched this same type of activity occur in north korea, where you began to alleviate sanctions and i think what the concern is that whatever you do on the interim basis becomes the
new norm. >> reporter: the president met with the senate leaders for about two hours and the administration argument is essentially that this is a fair tradeoff, that iran will freeze and even roll back some aspects of its nuclear program while the west is giving only mild and reversible sanctions relief. just a short time ago, the president spoke and said i don't know if we'll be able to close a deal this week or next. some expectations management there, but the iranian foreign minister spoke earlier today. he said he's optimistic. we'll be there and we'll be watching. >> jim sciutto, thank you. let's bring in the president's national security advisor, ambassador susan rice. she is joining us live from the white house. ambassador, thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> i know your voice is a little weak, you're coming off a little cold. just explaining that to the viewers. let's talk about this deal with iran. deal or no deal, do you expect in the coming days in geneva the u.s. and its other friends to reach this interim deal with iran that would sort of freeze its nuclear program? >> well, the truth is we don't
know. when we left geneva almost a couple of weeks ago, the negotiating side that we're on, what we call the p5 plus one, were all agreed on a very solid text of an agreement. the iranians had studied it, worked with us, they had come close but at the end of the day, they couldn't accept it. so everybody went back to their capitals to consult and consider. when we reconvened in geneva over the next couple days, we'll see where the iranians are. but the deal on the table, wolf, is a good one. it's a good one for the united states for the following reasons. first of all, we are deeply committed and you've heard the president preet repeatedly reafe are not going to allow iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. how do we best accomplish that? we have applied massive international and national sanctions over the course of several years that brought iran to the negotiating table. their economy is vastly weakened. they are prepared now perhaps to
make the kind of accommodations they haven't to date. this deal, if it were agreed, would halt all the progress in iran's nuclear program and roll it back in key respects over a six-month initial period. at the same time, the international community would have unprecedented access to iran's nuclear facilities and full transparency into what they're doing. so they wouldn't have the ability to sneak out or break out. everything they do would be monitored, as it would be rolled back at the same time. this would be an initial step for six months, designed to buy time and space for a comprehensive negotiation towards a final deal, and that final deal would ensure that iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. >> during this interim agreement phase, the key sensitive issue, the one that obviously the israeli government and other friends of the u.s. in the region, whether the saudis or the united arab emirates, they don't like the fact the u.s. and other international partners
would ease sanctions on the iranians. explain what you have in mind as far as easing these ongoing sanctions in this interim period. >> well, i'm glad you asked. first of all, wolf, many of the numbers you've heard are wildly inflated. nobody is talking about $40 billion or $50 billion in sanctions relief. we're not even talking about at all loosening the sanctions architecture. the oil sanctions, the financial sanctions that have been so effective in straining the iranian economy would all remain in place. what we're talking about is some very limited modest and reversible economic access to actually iranian resources that are frozen overseas in very small quantities relative to what they are -- >> how much money are we talking about? >> we're talking about a modest amount of money, a fraction of the number that you've heard out there. >> $10 billion, $20 billion? >> less. >> $5 billion? >> i'm not going to get specific, wolf. this is still an ongoing negotiation. but the fact of the matter is these inflated numbers that
you've heard are really not accurate. >> we asked our viewers to send us some suggested questions on twitter. i know you're active on twitter. here's one that came in from joshua carney. i don't think he's related to the white house press secretary. how can the u.s. save face in israel and maintain a dialogue with iran at the same time? it's a good question. i want to play a clip from prime minister netanyahu who says this interim deal, at least the way he's understood it, is pretty bad. listen to netanyahu. >> iran is practically giving away nothing. it's making a minor concession which they can reverse in weeks, and you endanger the whole sanctions regime that took years to make. so i don't think it's a good deal. i think it's a bad deal. >> so what do you say in reaction to what he's saying? >> well, first of all, it's not a bad deal. if you recall, and it is a good deal. if you recall when prime minister netanyahu went to the united nations general assembly last year, he put up a chart that showed a bomb and showed a
line across the bomb which was the quantity then of iran's highly enriched uranium. and he was very concerned that in a little while, that line would get to the point which he described as breakout. well, wolf, under this deal, that line would come very far down, and the quantity available to iran would be much reduced. so even by his own standards, that is a substantial part of any good deal. but the other thing that needs to be understood is that we're not doing anything to undo the sanctions architecture. the relief that the iranians would get if this deal happened is as i said, limited, modest, temporary and reversible, and they will still be losing billions of dollars every month because of the sanctions that will remain in place and be fully enforced. so what they lose every month of this six-month period will far exceed what they may gain. >> you're suggesting that in the coming days, there may be such a
deal. while i have you, ambassador rice, a quick question on afghanistan, because there were reports today that the u.s. is now on the eve of an agreement with the government in afghanistan that would allow the u.s. to keep troops in afghanistan, thousands of them, beyond the end of next year, and one of the requirements that the afghans have made is that they want a formal apology from the president of the united states. is the president ready to apologize to afghanistan in order to keep u.s. troops on the ground there? >> no, wolf. i've seen those reports. i have no idea where they come from. that is a complete misunderstanding of what the situation is. >> what is this letter, this letter that karzai wants the president to give in which he acknowledges that the u.s. erred in various ways in dealing with what's going on in afghanistan. a lot of people are interpreting that as an apology. >> no such letter has been drafted or delivered. there is not a need for the united states to apologize to
afghanistan. quite the contrary. we have sacrificed and supported them in their democratic progress and in tackling the insurgency and al qaeda. so that is not on the table. we are in the last stages of negotiating what we call a bilateral security agreement. it was agreed between secretary kerry and president karzai last month. the last details are still being negotiated, and if agreed, it will be put towards that. it's important for afghanistan that they have that agreement with the united states because that would enable us to continue training and assisting afghan forces, providing the support that they so badly need and supporting -- continuing to help them develop their economy. without such an agreement, that level of cooperation would be all but impossible. >> important work that you guys are doing. one final question, ambassador rice. i know your time is limited. you have been with president obama from while he was running back in 2007-2008.
you were an early supporter. you see him now multiple times a day. how is he doing in the aftermath of his poll numbers going down, people questioning his reliability, his honesty, if you will? give us a little inside information on how he's doing, how he's behaving, reacting to all of this. >> wolf, the president is doing great. he's a very even-tempered get it done guy and he's here working every day to do what's best for the american people, and for america's leadership role in the world. and he can never get too up or too down based on a poll here or a poll there. he's been around long enough to know that the business of serving the american people is a tough and sometimes thankless job. he does it with pride and with a great deal of commitment to get done the many things, growing our economy, creating jobs, providing health care for all americans, keeping us safe and secure, that he was elected twice to do.
>> so you are basically saying he's on an even keel right now. >> absolutely. >> he's got to be a little disappointed and depressed given the serious problems that the affordable care act rollout have created. >> i think he's certainly he is his normal, active and enthusiastic self. >> how are you doing? >> other than my cold, i'm great. >> and you enjoy your new job? >> i do. thank you. >> good to have you back in our situation room. we're looking forward to coming over to your situation room and interviewing the president one of these days as well. >> thank you, wolf. more important guests. tonight senator rand paul will be erin burnett's guest. and senator ted cruz will join new day tomorrow morning. also coming up, we're just
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here's a look at some of the other top stories we're monitoring right now in the situation room. u.s. authorities have seized more than 200,000 dolls shipped across the country from china due to hazardous chemicals. they have been targeted for months due to the potential safety threat they pose to the public, particularly children. at least two people are dead after a roof collapse at a shopping mall under construction in eastern south africa. search and rescue crews are looking for another 40 people believed to be trapped in the rubble. a historic moment for the united states, the daughter of
former president john f. kennedy bowing before the ambassador to japan. she arrived at the tokyo imperial palace in a carriage amid lots of fanfare. coming up, an attempted murder/suicide leaves a u.s. lawmaker hospitalized, his son dead. now there are reports psychiatric problems may have played a role. my name is mike and i quit smoking. chantix... it's a non-nicotine pill.
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happening now, george zimmerman out of jail again. he's facing new assault charges involving his girlfriend, and allegingly a shotgun. nancy grace is with us. she is outraged. plus a law maker stabbed in his own home, his son is dead. and police suspect it was an attempted murder suicide. and how can anyone survive a monster like this? we have new video of a killer
tornado and people who believe they were saved by social media. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. fst at this hour, we're learning more about the horrific stab being of a politician in virginia. police suspect he was attacked by his own son. cnn's chris lawrence is in virginia with the very latest. >> reporter: we've now learned that he has been upgraded to fair condition, and there was an altercation with his son in that house. and after he was stabbed multiple times, he made it 75 yards down the hill to the main road where he was picked up by his cousin. police found a chilling scene after an early morning 911 call. >> deputies arrived to find
senator deeds stabbed multiple times. he was flown to the university of virginia hospital. >> reporter: he was able to speak with police, but is now in critical condition. inside the rural virginia home, deputies found the senator's 24 year old son, gus, suffering from a gunshot wound. he died at the scene. >> based on the evidence we have right now, we are looking into this as an attempted murder and suicide. now this is not an absolute determination, because it's still very much an ongoing investigation. >> reporter: creigh deeds is well-known in virginia. he garnered a pdentia endorsement. >> w look at the way he conducts himself and his campaign, speaking truth to power, but always doing it in a way that reminds us that we have to bring people together insyd stead of driving them apart. >> reporter: he was elected to
the state house in 1991 and in 2001 was elected to fill the seat of katie couric's late sister. he sponsored the amber alert program in the state. now the richmond times dispatch is recording that gus deeds, his son, had an emergency mental health evaluation on monday but that he was released because there were no beds available. the facility in question will not confirm that but say under an emergency custody order no one could be held longer than six hours. wolf. >> all right. chris lawrence reporting. just in, we've learned that george zimmerman was served divorce papers in jail before he was released on bond just a little while ago. the lawyer for his estranged wife tells cnn it happened last night soon after zimmerman was
taken into custody on an assault charge. he's akiesed of pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, all this coming months after his acquittal in the death of trayvon martin. >> what is the latest? >> reporter: as you mentioned, george zimmerman is free tonight on bond. he spent one night in jail after this incident. he left the correctional facility here in seminole county, florida with his bail bondsman. he did not answer any questions as he walked away. this release came just a few hours after he made his first court appearance, and the judge set his bond at $9,000. he was taken into custody yesterday afternoon following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. that domestic dispute allegedly turned violent and physical, and that's why zimmerman is facing a felony count of aggravated assault as well as two misdemeanors. in court today prosecutors said
that yesterday was not the first time his girlfriend feared for her life. take a listen at what they said. >> the victim had indicated that theres with a prior it domestic violence incident that occurred approximately a week and a half ago that involved a choking, that she'd not reported to the police. she didn't fear for her safety on the day of this incident. she said they discussed breaking up. he's also mentioned suicide in the recent past. due to those factors and the defendant threa to commit suicide, he had nothing to lose. >> rorter: now prosecutors also claimed zimmerman is suicidal, a claim his attorneys say is simply false. now as a condition of his release on nd, zimmerman has enrded thi cot wit his giieon. electronically, and he is expected to be back in court in he will be monitored january. >> and nancy grace is joining us
right now as is jeffrey toobin our senior legal analyst. what was your reaction, nancy, when you heard he was going to be out on $9,000 bond? >> my honest reaction was well, he's done it again. george zimmerman has gotten his hands on a gun again. from my understanding, it's a cal tech, the same kind of gun he used to gun down trayvon martin. this time it's a long gun or shotgun. he's done it again. >> what was your first thought? >> he's in a world of trouble. my first thought was o.j. simpson, because o.j. simpson was acquitted of the murder case but then was prosecuted in a case that was very marginal and there was an element of pay back. and i immediately thought, is it going to happen to george zimmerman? >> a lot of people made that comparison, nancy, to o.j.
simpson, acquitted on murder you but then finds himself in a heap of trouble on other charges. you see that similarity in this particular case? >> yes, i do. what's interesting is that it was decades later when o.j. simpson finally had to pay the piper. this time, it hasn't even been a year, i mean, you'd think, right, wolf? that he would have learned from what happened with trayvon martin. but if you look at his history, which a lot of people don't want to look at, there was a brush with the law when he had a fight, had a simple battery with a police officer. then there was the other girlfriend, the fiance that made a domestic call. then there was shelly, his wife, who claimed he was threatening her. that was just in september. i mean, this goes on and on and on. all i know is this, wolf, five 911 calls about george
zimmerman. i've never had a 911 call on me, i know toobin hasn't. is this a coincidence? >> can any of that be admitted as evidence? assuming it goes forward in this current case, can any of those previous incidents be admitted as evidence since as far as we know he doesn't have any criminal record. >> if he goes to trial in front of a jury, none of that is admissible. however, prosecutors are human beings, and they will make up their mind about how to charge this case and whether to charge this case based on their knowledge of all the facts. and so, you know, as a technical, legal matter, it's not admissible. but when prosecutors are deciding, do we want to lock this guy up, do we want to keep him off the streets for as long as we can, you bet they're going to consider his history. >> what do we know about this
woman? >> well, i know that they were sharing an apartment. i know, a lot of other things about her that, in my mind, are irrelevant. and having zimmerman's spokesperson on later this evening who actually posted the bond for him, frank taaffe, he claims this is because of george zimmerman choice in women. i agree with toobin. the not guilty verdict will never be brought in, but the other incidents may be brought in. the prior domestics on zimmerman, they'll have to be a conviction to be brought in as a similar bad act. >> you want to row act to that, jeffrey? >> that's true. and all of that leads to, i think, a very important point we need to make here is we don't know exactly what happened yesterday between these two people. there are two 911 calls that describe very different set of
events. obviously they have very different versions of what happened. police have to do a real investigation here. they have to, look, are there witnesses? are there anybody who saw anything? >> he had the gun, and he barricades himself in the house when he's got the gun? hello? a grown man barricades himself in the house, pushes the girlfriend out and he calls 911? no, huh-uh. >> i'd like to know where the gun was. all this stuff has to be collected very meticulously. was the gun in a cover? was it locked up? i don't know. but all of that will lead to how this case and whether this case is prosecuted. so it's going to take some time, it's at least until january till there's another court appearance, so i do think the facts are going to be, obviously, the most important thing here. >> in the meantime, he'll be out on bail, as they say, until the next court appearance. >> god help us. >> what did you say? >> i said god help us. george zimmerman out on bond
again. >> next time, nancy, you'll have to tell us how you really feel. thanks to both of you. and we just received a statement from the family of trayvon martin about george zimmerman and what's going on. i'll read it to you. we, like many others, are watching these latest proceedings against the man who killed our son with a keen interest. however, we're more focused on the trayvon martin foundation and defining his legacy. that statement from the attorney of trayvon martin's family. still ahead, heart-pounding new video of a twister ripping a home apart. we'll show you how social media helped save lives. if you have stories to share, tweet us. and the president shared this woman's story with the world. cnn has learned she is now disappointed and embarrassed. you're about to find out why. ming. sfx: birds chirping
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cnn has uncovered her to embarrassing angle to the obama care website fiasco. a woman cited by the president as a health care reform success story now says she can't afford the insurance. >> this is really quite a story. it was supposed to be a big obama care success story, but it turned out to be exactly the opposite. in the rose garden in october, president obama told a powerful story about how the affordable care act had changed one woman's life. >> i recently received a letter from a woman named jessica sanford in washington state. >> reporter: the president quoted extensively from the letter. >> now finally we get to have coverage because of the aca for
$169 per month. i was crying the other day when i signed up, so much stress lifted. >> reporter: but jessica stanford says it all went downhill from there. the state exchange had miss calculated her tax credits. and then there were more letters from the state exchange. she had started out with a plan for less than $200 a month and ended up with a plan she doesn't think she can afford. >> i got a letter telling me that they had made another mistake and that i wasn't going to be getting any tax credit at all. and so when i went online to look at the plan i bought, it went up to $390. it was a huge disappointment, and especially since i had, you know, my story had been shared by the president. >> reporter: and sanford isn't the only person in the state with miss calculated tax credits. it's actually more like 8,000 people. the exchange apologized saying we understand that this correct determination may have a large
impact on some of our customers. the exchange would like to sincerely apologize to jessica sanford and all those in washington state affected by this error. all the white house could offer was an apology also. >> we're certainly as sorry as we can be that jessica is one of the folks that's been affected by that if that's the case as reported. >> jessica now says she'll pay the penalty for not having health insurance, which is 1% of her income or about $490 a year. >> thank you. just ahead, that gripping new video we're getting of a home being ripped apart by a twister. some survivors say they wouldn't have escaped this monster alive without social media. i see a world bursting with opportunity, with ideas, with ambition. i'm thinking about china, brazil, india. the world's a big place. i want to be a part of it. ishares international etfs. access to developed markets, emerging markets and single countries. find out why nine out of ten large professional investors
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the monster ef 4 twister was coming right at them, but an illinois man named chris lancaster kept his camera rolling. he recorded the gripg video of the storm ripping into his home. the house was demolished. but he was safe, so was the family. they rode out the storm in the basement. we're hearing all sorts of tornado survival stories, including people who say their lives were saved by social media. let's go to illinois right now. brian todd is there with this part of the story. >> reporter: from blast messages like this one on cell phones to postings on twitter and facebook, people in the paths of these storms can get real time locations of the storms and can get out of the way as one resident from this neighborhood behind me did on sunday. donnie was out shopping with his wife sunday afternoon when his phone started beeping. >> i looked down, it started
saying tornado warnings and what area. we few we were in that area. >> reporter: they raced back to their home in brook port, illinois, made sure their daughter and grandchildren who lived next door got into a safe area of their house and then took cover in their own. >> me and my husband ran in here in the bathroom. we got down and stayed like this. >> reporter: everyone in the family survived the tornado. how do you think that warning worked for you? >> yeah, i think it probably saved our lives. >> reporter: the warnings came from apps for two tv stations that were on his phone, but they originated here, the national weather service's warning office in nearby paducah, kentucky. chris is a coordinator here. when he saw the tornados bearing down on paducah and brook port on his radar. >> i turned around and discussed with the communicator that the storm could reach interstate 24. >> reporter: she's sitting here.
>> she's sitting here. reach interstate 24 and eventually the brookport area between 2:15 and 2:20. >> reporter: what does she do? >> she got on twitter. >> reporter: on twitter, facebook and in a chat room, the national weather service sent warnings received by thousands of people. media outlets picked up on those and blasted out warnings to thousands more. he believes they gave local residents several minutes of lead time ahead of the storms these offer clear evidence social media is saving lives during disasters and helping salvage them afterwards. in tornado ravaged illinois, good samaritans are posting pictures on facebook of cherished items, items sometimes carried incredible distances. this 40th anniversary photo was blown out of the house, picked up about 80 miles away and
posted on facebook. their daughter is grateful. >> your life is devastated. and just to have something that's yours back is, it's just a testament to humanity and how great people really are and care for people they don't know. >> reporter: the person who found that photo was brenda strange who lives near morris illinois. after she found it and posted it on facebook she corresponded with the family and just put that picture in the mail back to the family. the daughter says she wants to meet brenda and thank her in person. >> thanks very much. this news just coming in. we're learning that rob ford's television show up in canada has just been canceled, just one day after it debuted. it was ford nation on canada's sun news network.
meantime, apologies have become almost routine for ford who's had to say he's sorry for everything, from smoking crack cocaine, to drinking too much to using profanity. this time, it's a city council member who has a fat lip all because of him. cnn's jeanne moos has more. >> reporter: imagine what it's like to get hit by a ford -- not this kind of ford -- this kind. if you want to know what it's like to get run over by mayor rob ford, ask the lady in green. >> it sounded like a crazy train bowled me over. his adrenaline had overcome his thought process. all i can remember is my eyes locking with his and realizing he really wasn't seeing me. >> reporter: toronto city councilor just happened to be in the way when he bolted to rescue his brother from what the mayor thought was a fight with
hecklers in the public gallery. there had been a lot of taunting back and forth. when rob ford knocked her down, councilor mcconnell got a bruise on the side of her face and a swollen lip. >> don't make me smile. >> it's like canada's running of the bulls or something. >> reporter: jimmy kimmel was exactly right. >> like a bull, seeing red, he just charged. >> reporter: lately, it seems mayor ford is always charging. practically running to avoid reporters while the press swarms, a lethal combo. photographers get shoved around. at least councilor mcconnell was left with an i apology. >> i do sen seincerely apologiz.
>> reporter: first he ran her down, later he hugged her. he says he needs medical help. on buzz feed they looped the latest collision to miley cyrus' song -- ♪ i came in like a wrecking ball ♪ >> reporter: maybe ford should try riding the brakes for a change instead of always breaking the speed limit. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. later tonight, this important programming note, please be sure to tune in for my special documentary on the man to created cnn back in 1980, ted turner, the maverick man airs tonight, 10:00 eastern only here on cnn. ted turned 75 today. that's it for me. crossfire starts right now.
tonight, on crossfire, president obama's second term blues. new poll numbers and record lows. his judicial nominees, blocked. his signature achievement in intensive care. >> nobody in this town's doing technically we particularly well at the moment when it comes to the opinions of the american people. how does the president come back. can president obama save his second term agenda? and can republicans resist the temptation to self-destrukt? tonight on crossfire. i'm s.e. cupp on the right. >> and i am van jones on the left.