tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 21, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PST
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com right now, so-called black widows are threatening an olympic tradition as russia goes on high alert for a possible terror attack. also right now, a major snowstorm hitting the eastern half of the united states and keeping air travelers on the ground. more than 2,000 flights already have been cancelled. and right now, chris christie takes the oath of office for four more years. at the same time, he faces an avalanche of allegations since his election victory. hello, i'm wolf blitzer, reporting from washington. all that coming up. right now we start with some breaking news.
purdue university's official twitter account reports a shooting on the campus. one person is in police custody. it does not say if anyone has been wounded. purdue university reports it happened in the electrical engineering building that police have cleared the building, but they continue to search the area. the university is asking students to, quote, shelter in place. we're working our sources, trying to figure out what's going on. we'll certainly report any new information as soon as we get it. this reported shooting on the campus of purdue university in west lafayette, indiana. once again, no reports yet of injuries. one person is in custody. cnn's law enforcement analyst, mike brooks, is joining us on the phone right now. let's hope this incident is over with, mike, and we're waiting for more information from authorities there. but it's obviously very disturbing. >> it is, wolf. and i was looking on purdue university's website, and they give the same information as you did. that there was a shooting in the electrical engineering building,
that they have cleared the building. and continuing to search the area. but, again, they're telling people to remain sheltered in place. and i think this is a smart thing, wolf, until they find out whether this gunman was acting alone or there was someone else. i think it's out of an abundance of caution. but from what i'm looking at and reading, it sounds like they do have this person in custody. but again, we don't know if there have been any injuries at all. >> and we're showing our viewers some live pictures, courtesy of our affiliate, wthr there in west lafayette, indiana. normally, before they would give the all-clear, they would want to make sure that if they have somebody in custody, that there are no other suspects involved. >> absolutely, wolf. and one of the things that thiel they'll most likely do, take a look at any video surveillance around that area, to see movements of the shooter before, during and after the shooting took place. whether he or she -- we don't know the gender of the shooter -- you know, before all
this took place in the electrical engineering building. that's one of the things, again, out of an abundance of caution, they're going to make sure that they have cleared that building, that there is no one else involved before they give the all-clear, and they'll let people know via the website, via twitter, e-mail, and possibly phone, because most, as you know, wolf, most universities and campuses now have some kind of emergency notification system in case there is an active shooter situation such as this. >> mike brooks, our law enforcement analyst, we'll get back to you as soon as we know more. once again, the shooting incident on the campus of purdue university in west lafayette, indiana. there are also major security problems facing russia right now. as we get closer and closer to the winter olympic games in sochi. hotels in the area right now are being told to keep an eye out for this woman. she is what they call a black widow, the widtho of someone killed while fighting against the russian government. also apparently she is not
alone. russian security service forces are also hunting for what they describe as two other so-called black widows who could attack the olympic torch relay. this is the concern they have right now in russia. our own phil black is joining us right now from volograd, which was the site of a couple of recent terror attacks. the torch was there yesterday. phil, what are they saying? how imminent is this current threat against this historic torch relay, making its way slowly but surely toward sochi? >> reporter: one of them potentially very imminent, wolf. so this involves initially a group of women, they believe, so-called black widows or female suicide bombers they believe would be targeting the torch relay in the southern city of russian, not far -- not too far from volograd. the flame, the torch relay, was there today. it will be there again tomorrow. so that threat would seem to be
current. and possibly very imminent. the plot initially involved three women. one of the women was killed in an operation by russian security forces just on the weekend. but it would seem the location of the other two women remains unknown. and as you have touched on, there is another potential black widow threat, as well. one woman, the widtho of a known militant, is thought to be already in sochi, possibly planning an attack there. and all of this now really just a couple of weeks before the opening ceremony of the games, wolf. >> and they already have 25,000 volunteers gathering for the games, ready to it deal with these kinds of potential problems, is that right? >> reporter: yeah. that's right. big numbers of both police and security forces, volunteers, as well. the russian authorities are not speaking specifically about these black widow threats. not talking publicly about them, anyway. but the reason we know about
them is because they are talking to people on the ground. working workers in hotels. we understand also volunteers, as well, possibly seeking their help. so while publicly they say they believe all precautions are taken and the games will be safe, they are clearly concerned enough about these specific plots to seek the help of people on the ground in trying to find these women, wolf. >> all right, phil. we'll check back with you. phil black in volograd for us, not all that far away from sochi. other news we're following. it's not another polar vortex, but apparently close. the mid training and northeast here in the united states had better get ready for some brutal weather conditions, like these in north dakota. bitter cold and blowing snow heading towards the east. washington, d.c., philadelphia, new york city. they are all in the bull's eye right now. we've got it all covered. cnn's ted rowlands is in chicago. zain asher is in new york. rene marsh at reagan national airport here in washington.
ale joining us to deal with these current problems. ted, first to you, set the scene in chicago. how low will these temperatures plunge? >> reporter: below zero, wolf. and, yeah, we start with us, because we're getting it first. we had the snow last night, the commutes into the city of chicago were horrible today, two hours from o'hare into the city. normally it's a 40-minute drive. you see the chicago river is frozen. for the most part. and look down the michigan avenue bridge here in chicago. normally around noontime, wolf, this would be packed with people. but people are staying in their office buildings, eating lunch inside. those out are bundled up. it is cold. we're in single digits right now. it's expected to get down around zero and significantly below zero when you add that chicago wind chill. it is cold, and it's coming your way. >> all right, ted rowlands. we'll check back with you. let's go to zain asher in new york city, which could get a significant amount of snow.
it's already coming down, i take it, zain. what's it like? >> reporter: it is freezing out here. what we're experiencing in terms of snow is a little bit of light dusting. but here's the issue. it sort of comes at you sideways, so sort of really hits you in the face. i can barely feel my cheeks right now. i'm going to show you what the city actually looks like. i'm going to stand aside so you can actually see. new york city, those of you who don't know -- for those of you who don't know, this area -- >> zain, hold on. one second. because we've got an issue with your microphone. it's note really working oh very well. we're going to fix that. we're going to get back to you in a moment. let's check in with rene marsh at reagan national airport. not just in d.c. or new york, chicago. there are a lot of cancelled and delayed flights, aren't there? >> reporter: absolutely, wolf. you know, at this hour, we are inching towards the 3,000 mark as it relates to cancellations. but we want to put that number in context for you. on an average day, when you look at cancellations, we're talking
about roughly 200. so today, already, we are way past that. and then if we compare to that storm we saw earlier this month, the worst day on -- earlier this month, we were approaching 4,000 cancellations. so we're not quite there yet with this storm. but we do expect those numbers to go up. so where are we seeing the most problems? we're seeing it at airports like philadelphia, laguardia, new york, jfk, newark, and right here at reagan airport in washington, d.c. as far as the airlines go, we wanted to know who is seeing the most cancellations at last check, according to flight aware. jetblue seeing the most cancellations. they are seeing they are sending their operations to new york and boston. >> let's go back to zain asher in new york. zain, go ahead and tell us what's going on in new york city. >> reporter: hey, we were having some technical issues. yes, the snow is coming down
sideways. there is a little light dusting right now, but coming down sideways. so really does hit you in the face. and it hurts. i can barely feel my cheeks right now. i was going to step aside so you could actually see some of columbus circle. this is a major artery of new york city. usually on a tuesday afternoon, this place would be packed with tourists. but right now it looks as know new york is actually heeding to some of the warnings. what they're really worried about is what's going to happen between 4:00 today and 10:00 this evening. that's where we're expecting 8 to 12 inches of snow, expecting temperatures to drop significantly. i don't know about you, wolf, but i am someone who gets cold very, very easily. and when you factor in that wind chill, it's going to feel more like minus 5 degrees. i do want to talk quickly about visibility. because that's going to be a problem, especially when you factor in wind gusts as well. so if you have the option in new york between taking a car and taking public transportation, i would recommend public transportation. it's going to be safer, but it also will allow the snowplows and sanitation departments to do
their job. speaking to new yorkers, though, they are a resilient bunch, they have been expecting this kind of weather. but bill de blasio did mention if you are on the streets of new york and you do happen to see somebody who is without shelter or homeless, make sure you call 311. obviously, in these kinds of temperatures, no one deserves to be outside and helpless. wolf? >> zain, unlike me, you obviously didn't grow up in buffalo, new york. so this -- >> no, i'm from london. >> this is new to you. so dress warmly and deal with it. it's not that bad yet. all right, zain, thanks very much. the new jersey governor, chris christie, is in the middle of the storm, literally. and figuratively. he was just sworn in for a second term, though under a cloud of controversy. and his inauguralel gala has been cancelled because of the snow in new jersey. gloria borger standing by to discuss this and more. we'll talk about the road ahead for chris christie. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street
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steered clear of the scandals facing his administration right now. the latest involves allegations of using superstorm sandy relief funds to try to bully the mayor of hoboken. christie's administration strongly denying the charge. instead christie talked about unity and responsibility. >> as your governor, i will always be willing to listen. as long as that listening ends in decisive action for the people who are counting on us to do our job. because, you see, in the end, i have had no greater honor in my life than having twice been elected by my fellow citizens to be the governor of the state where i was born oh and raised. with that honor comes solemn obligations to make the hard
decisions, to raise the uncomfortable topics, to require responsibility and accountability. to be willing to stand hard when principles are being violated. and to be willing to compromise to find common ground with all of our people. >> chris christie, his inaugural address. he clearly looks a lot better than he used to. obviously, he's lost some weight, got a nice haircut. but he's got some political problems right now. on the investigative front, the new jersey state assembly and the senate announced today, they will now form one committee to look into the allegations against the governor. the new jersey assemblyman, john wisniewski, is chairman of the state panel, probing the bridge closures. he's also a democrat. so what do you think, first of all, of the governor's speech? >> i thought the governor gave a good speech. he talked about policies that he wants to pursue in the upcoming term. and i think that's perfectly
acceptable and appropriate for a governor. the thing that always gets missed, wolf, how do we pay for these things? the governor mentioned a tax cut, education, but didn't talk about how he would pay for those things. that's always the achilles heel for every jersey budget. >> you're the deputy speaker of the state assembly and now merging these investigations with the senate. walk us through how this will -- how this will go forward. >> well, instead of having two committees, instead of having two sets of hearings to call people to testify, it will be unified between both houses. will share counsel. it will make the effort more efficient, more effective and will get to the root cause of this abuse of power a lot sooner. we're going to continue to wait. we issued subpoenas last week. they have until the beginning of february to respond. as soon as we get those, the committee will sit down and begin to analyze the documents and decide who comes next in terms of do we bring people in
for testimony or do we need more documents. >> what, in your opinion, mr. speaker, is more serious, a more serious problem for the governor, more serious problem for some of his aides? the closure of those lanes leading to the george washington bridge, supposedly for political purposes, punishment, if you will, for the mayor of ft. lee, new jersey? or the charges that the mayor of hoboken have put forward against the lieutenant governor of new jersey that she supposedly was linking sandy aid, superstorm sandy relief funds, in connection with get ago professional for some major real estate development project in hoboken? what is a more serious problem? >> right. well, i think the more serious issue for this administration are the e-mails that go right into the governor's office authorizing the lane closure. and the lane closure was clearly not for any governmental reason. it seems to be for political or other reasons. that's not appropriate action for the governor's office.
we need to understand how that came to pass in the governor's office, who authorized it. on the hoboken front, we have an allegation by the mayor, we have a strong rebuttal by the lieutenant governor. we don't have all the facts. we don't have all of the details. so i think what the committee is going to focus on is the work we have started. these other issues may ultimately, we don't know enough about it. but we're going to continue to focus on the details we have, which are e-mails linking the lane closure directly into the governor's office. >> and he has flatly denied any knowledge of those e-mails. he has fired those individuals who were sending those e-mails. but you're not ready to close the case on his personal involvement in that, are you? >> well, we need to get more facts. clearly, the governor said last week that he did not know about any of this until january 8th. given the context of the election year and the high officials in his administration that were involved, it's really hard to believe that the governor did not know anything about these lane closures until
january 8th. we don't have any document that says he ordered it. we don't have any document that says he knew it was ordered. but we do have an open question, how could this one woman and in the governor's office come to think she had the authority to close these lanes, and apparently have it come as some type of political payback? it's inappropriate behavior, an abuse of power. and then there was the effort to conceal it, to cover it up, which is even more troubling. because a lot of resources were used to try to make it look like some governmental research project when, in fact, it was nothing more than an attempt to cover up the lane closure. >> assemblyman john wisniewski, thanks very much for joining us. the assemblyman is the deputy speaker of the new jersey state assembly. thanks very much. go inside, it's getting cold and snowy in new jersey right now. >> it is. the gala tonight, celebrating chris christie's inauguration, as a result, has been cancelled because of this winter storm that's brewing in new jersey and the northeast. symbolic, perhaps, as governor
christie tries to weather the political storms he's now facing. our chief political analyst, gloria borger, is here to talk about this. what does he need to do right now, starting his second term, coming off a landslide re-election, to get his -- >> do his job. he's got to do his job. he's got to prove to the people of new jersey that he can be a bipartisan governor. i mean, you heard his speech, wolf. it was all about the coalition that brought him in to office. which was very broad. and also he's got to prove that he can get -- that he can get his work done while these investigations are going on, on a separate track. he talked a lot in his speech about the trust that people had placed in him. that's a big problem right now. when you look at some polls, nationally, at least, 58% in one recent poll do not believe the governor when he said he had no knowledge of these lane closures. so he's got a lot of work to do there. >> you know, a new quinnipiac
university poll has just been released, literally within the last hour or so, clearly shows he's lost some ground to hillary clinton in a hypothetical president california contest in 2016. and let's be honest, the reason we're so interested in this story, because he was one of the front runners for the republican presidential nomination. in december, look how close it was. christie, 42. clinton 41. now christie 38, clinton 46. now, it's very early in this process, a lot can change. but does show the political price he's already starting to pay. >> and he's paying a political price with independent voters. those are the people that he is saying the republican party you need to attract to win a presidential race. i can get those independent voters, look at what i did in the state of new jersey. i got independent, i got democrats to vote for me, as well as republicans. so if you look inside these numbers, he's really losing ground with those independents. what's interesting to me, wolf, though, is that his numbers, as
far as republicans are concerned, remain pretty much the same. republicans are sticking with chris christie. but it's those independent voter that tend to be so fickle, but they're against him now. they could always shift back. but he has to win it back. >> yeah, the reason he had a landslide, did well with independents and democrats, too. >> not just republicans. >> and he did well with women and he did well with minorities, which is something he said the republican party, we don't have a lot of. >> gloria, thanks very much. other news we're following. affection among first families. barbara bush has some very kind words for a former rival and says the key to their relationship is not talking politics. [ female announcer ] you get sick, you can't breathe through your nose... suddenly you're a mouth breather. a mouth breather! how do you sleep like that? you dry up, your cold feels even worse. well, put on a breathe right strip and shut your mouth. cold medicines open your nose over time,
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updating you right now on the breaking news story we have been following. reports of a shooting on the campus of purdue university in west lafayette, indiana. the university's official twitter account says one person is now in police custody. however, it does not say if anyone was wounded by the shooter. purdue reports the gunfire broke out in the electrical engineering building.
police have cleared the building, but they continue to search the area. the university is asking students to she shelter in place until police say there is no longer any threats. these are live pictures we're showing you, courtesy of our affiliate, wthr. when we get more information, we'll update you, of course, on that story. the former first lady, barbara bush, has been in the news lately for her motherly advice, saying she doesn't necessarily think her son, jen jeb bush, should run for president. now she is making news for her opinion of the former president, bill clinton. while she admits that they are political adversaries, she also confesses she has a very special affection for bill clinton. listen to this. >> my husband, bill clinton, and i have become great friends. and bill visits us every summer. and we don't agree politically, but we don't talk politics. bill's father wasn't around. and i think that he thinks of
george a little bit like the father he didn't have. and he's very loving to him. and i really appreciate that. and when they went on that long tsunami trip, george told me bill insisted he stay in the bed. and bill insisted he was taken care of, and that was really nice. i love bill clinton. maybe not his politics. >> all right. she says maybe not his politics, but i love bill clinton. very, very nice words from barbara bush. let's discuss what she said a little bit more with our senior political analyst, ron braunstein, joining us from los angeles. there is a little family rivalry. you probably remember the 1992 election when bill clinton, the challenger, beat the incumbent, george h.w. bush. >> yeah, we know from a terrific book a couple years ago by mike duffy, requests "the preside
president's club" bill clinton beat george h.w. bush in a race that was not bean bagged, as the saying goes this politics. and yet they have built a very, you know, personable and productive relationship. barbara bush mentioned the tsunami relief. they are almost exactly the same age. so the idea of clinton seeing george h.w. bush as a little bit of a father figure is not that far-fetched. >> yeah, it's not that far-fetched at all, when you know the history of both of these former presidents of the united states. and it raises the possibility, and it's certainly a possibility, hillary clinton could be the democratic presidential nominee in 2016, and former florida governor, jeb bush, moderate republican, conservative, he could be potentially the republican presidential nominee. so how does that play out? >> yeah, that would be extraordinary, right? 1992 wants its politics back. as you noted, one of the problems jeb bush has is that
his mother, barbara bush, one several occasions as said maybe the country has had enough of the bushes for the time being. it's not clear that he is moving actively toward a candidacy. but the previous segment, talking about chris christie's problems, that i think is going to increase pressure on jeb bush to consider this. because for that upscale managerial part of the party and donor class, christie and jeb bush are the most logical candidates. if christie seems diminished or weakened, more people looking at jeb bush and hillary clinton is as front rubber as you can get. not entirely out of the realm of possibility, although jeb bush does not seem to be moving in that direction so far. >> we'll see what he decides to do, whether he pay attention to his mother's advice. we tried to clarify, not necessarily saying she doesn't want him to run. but would certainly be described as the republican establishment candidate, the former governor of florida very popular down in florida.
the republican establishment not necessarily the tea party movement out there, but establishment with all the money and organizational skills. they would certainly flock towards him. >> yeah, no, he is potentially a very strong general election candidate, if he can get through the primary. he speaks spanish, he drew hispanic voters in florida oh. that is clearly one of the biggest challenges they face in 2016 in the republican party. he's also shown strength with the white collar suburban voters and moved away from them over the last 20 years. if his last name was not bush with that pedigree, there would be no question he would be at the top. and that issue of kind of is there bush fatigue in the party, does he want to do it. and then as you allude to, you know, you have this whole other half of the party, roughly 50/50, now that is much more populus in nature that would probably view him suspiciously. he has been critical since leaving office of some of the right poll on immigration and others. so he would face that challenge. but if christie is weakened, there would be a lot of support for him in the upscale and more
establishment parts of the party. >> ron brownstein, good analysis as usual. thank you very much. >> thank you, wolf. let's get back to the breaking news story, we're watching in purdue university in west lafayette, indiana. you see that there's been a shooting incident. we're getting some new information. we're about to speak with a purdue university spokeswoman. we'll get that right after this quick break.
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let's get back to the breaking news out of purdue university in west lafayette, indiana. liz evans joining us on the phone right now from purdue used's public information office. what can you tell us, liz? what's the latest? >> well, wolf, here's what i know. approximately noon eastern time, we had a report of shots fired on campus from our electrical engineering building. that building is located on the northeast side of campus. shortly after we issued an emergency text alert via -- again, via text message to the campus community, letting everybody know to shelter in place. now, that has been lifted. the electrical engineering building is still locked down as
we continue to investigate. but the rest of the campus is open, and classes actually are ongoing. what we have heard from police, one person is in custody. >> and do we know if anybody has been injured in this incident? >> you know, i do not have that information in front of me right now. >> do we know if this is just one person involved, or are they looking for other suspects? >> you know, i don't have that information either. as you can imagine, it's a developing situation. but the latest is that the shelter in place has been lifted. unless you're in the electrical engineering building, which is locked oh down. >> so out of an abundance of precaution, presumably, they're going through that electrical engineering building, even though they have one person in custody to make sure it's safe. but for the rest of the campus, the students, the faculty, they can begin to go about their class wore work and all of the other stuff they do on the campus, is that right? >> yes. absolutely. and student safety is our
number-one priority, very thorough and we want to make sure that everyone can stay as safe as possible. >> liz evans, purdue public information director, good luck to you. good luck to everyone on the campus. thanks very much for that update. >> thanks very much. once we get more information, we'll, of course, update all of our viewers. let's get back to some other news right now. we're talking -- we have been talking about that interview that the president gave to the "new yorker" magazine to mark the fifth anniversary of his taking office. one of the things that hasn't necessarily been picked up enough has been his extraordinarily candid comments on major national security and foreign policy issues. let's bring in jane harr montana now to discuss this, head of the wilson center for scholars in washington, former congresswoman from california. if you read the whole article, as i did and you did, some of the stuff on national security was pretty amazing. let me read a couple of the quotes from the president in this interview with david remnick in the "new yorker".
if a jv team puts on lakers uniforms, that doesn't make them kobe bryant. i think there is a discontinuing between the capacity and reach of a bin laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian. so here the president seems to be belittling the current al qaeda threat to the united states. which may be a challenge to some of these jihadists out there. when you read that, what did you think? >> well, i thought yes and no. coral died, as he points out, happen basically eviscerated. when osama bin laden was taken out, that was the end of their -- >> aman al zawahiri. >> he has it, but much less p potent. however, hezbollah, which interesting is a shia group. al qaeda is a sunni group and everybody understands the
tensions between those two streams of the muslim religion, does have international reach. and it is still being armed by iran, hopefully those circumstances will change. but they have staged attacks in south america and buenos aries and i know i was worried they could stage attacks in the u.s. so they're out there. and then there are some other very potent groups, like the islamic state in iraq and syria, isis, which is a really ugly mutant form of al qaeda. and they are destabilizing both iraq and syria at the moment, and maybe could metastasize to other places. it's a very complicated landscape. he had it partly right that coral died is gone, but these other groups -- >> these other the al-qaeda affiliated groups, whether in iraq or syria or elsewhere, still a huge problem. on edward snowden, the nsa leaker, he says this. the benefit of the debate he generated was not worth the damage done, because there was another way of doing it. i do not have a yes/no answer on
clemency for edward snowden. this is an active case where charges have been brought. you read that quote from the president. >> yeah. >> he's now got some of his own reforms. i think it's clear he wouldn't have delivered that speech the other day if edward snowden had not leaked some of that information. >> well, this debate on what we should do has been going on, simmering, for years. it is true that after the snowden leaks, a lot more people are clued in. but there was a better way for snowden to do this. >> what was that better way? >> he could have complained. he claims he once brought this up in the cia. but in the intelligence community where he worked, there were lots of opportunities for true whistle blowers. he also could have gone to visit with members of congress. that's been tried in the past too. and several members of congress who had a lot of trouble with what's going on, ron snowden and mark u dahl did complain. what's interesting, wolf, he doesn't rule out clemency. it's a presidential decision. i would hope that snowden would
come back and face trial in the u.s. there could be plea bargaining in connection with that. i would think clemency, if it ever comes, and i would doubt it, comes later. but one other interesting fact. mike rogers, chairman of the house intelligence committee, was on the sunday shows, saying there is some evidence of snowden's complicity with the government of russia. >> he basically suspected, mike rogers and tie dianne feinstein, "meet the press" program, basically suggested, pretty bluntly, that maybe snowden was a russian agent from the beginning. >> well, i don't know that. but i don't not know that. and it seems to me, that's another thing we need to under. i mean, if this guy was a double agent, or if he became complicit with the russian government once he got to china. let's understand. he didn't go to norway. he went from hawaii to china to russian. those are states that are very interested in exploiting the information that he had. we don't know if they did. or i don't know if they did. >> very quickly. on certify i can't, the
president told david remnick in the "new yorker," i am not haunted by my decision not to engage in another middle eastern war. it is very difficult to imagine the scenario in which our involvement in syria would have led to a better outcome. short of us being willing to undertake an effort in size and scope similar to what we did in iraq. and when i hear people suggesting that somehow if we had just financed and armed the opposition earlier, that somehow assad would be gone by now, and we would have a peaceful transition. it's magical thinking. do you agree with him on that? >> well, some very senior members of his administration, including hillary clinton and bob gates and also some outside like john mccain, were pushing forearming the rebels. at the time, they were not as infiltrated as they are now by bad guys, by al nussra, a very potent group and certainly not by isis, which i mentioned earlier. if we had armed them then, maybe they could have kept the country safe, protected civilians, and had enough clout over time to
somehow achieve a transition in the government. i don't know that. the past is the past. going forward, however, it's important that the conference in geneva tomorrow consider urgently humanitarian aid to those on the ground and safe corridors to provide the aid. this is a global catastrophe, what's going on there. and those of us who have relatives who lived through the holocaust have said never again. and this may rise -- it hasn't yet, but to a scale that we can't even contemplate yet. and the whole world has a moral obligation to help those innocent people. >> if you saw those pictures that we have now posted on cnn.com, the torture victims in syria it's really shocking. and if you're viewers want to see those pictures, christiane amanpour reported that yesterday. >> 11,000 detainees killed. >> jane harmon, thanks very much for joining us. terror threats in russia getting special attention now, with the olympic games fast approaching. up next, we're taking a close look at one of those rebel
leaders who may be leading the rebellion from the grave. okay, listen up! i'm re-workin' the menu. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and 9 grams of protein. [ bottle ] ensure®. nutrition in charge™.
talks scheduled to begin tomorrow and also the nuclear deal for six months. you're looking at video of the two leaders. the stateman did not mention anything about the olympic games or terror concerns. no official statement yet from the white house on what president obama discussed with vladimir putin. but we presumably will be getting a white house readout on this conversation between these two leaders shortly. once again, a telephone conversation today between president obama and president putin of russia. with the sochi olympic games only -- just over two weeks away, russia is scrambling to head off possible terror attacks. the source of the threats is a man who may or may not be dead. brian todd is looking into this story for us. what are we talking about here in the threat, specific threats? a lot of folks are concerned about the safety of the athletes and spectators. >> reporter: this is a man who issued a very specific threat last summer in july. russia's bin laden.
this is a loose knit group of islamist militants. there is some video. now, chechnya's leader claims that he was killed recently during a counter terror operation. but i just spoke with a u.s. intelligence official and here's a quote from that intelligence official. quote, we have not been able to independently confirm his demise. why? because the russians and others have claimed at least six times, wolf, that umarov is dead, and that hasn't been the case. so this latest claim you have to take with a grain of salt and we have to get confirmation. we don't have that yet. he may well still be alive. the threat in july of 2013, issued a direct threat to the sochi games saying, quote, they were the satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors. this guy has enough inspirational and overall leadership control of the group to set attacks in motion. experts have told us he's not such a great leader on the tactical level, but he's got other people today that for him. he's like bin laden in that way.
he inspires people. he unites people. he gives the orders to go, and then others do it. now, if he's dead, wolf, we're hearing from experts there is no real leader to take up his immediate kind of title and leadership role, but there doesn't need to be, because they have set a lot of these plots in motion already. we have heard phil black talk about the black widows' plot. we have heard others talk about how this one black widow may be inside the perimeter in sochi. so a lot of these plots were already set in motion. if umarov is dead, doesn't mean there can't be attacks. the threat is still very much there. >> why is there so much confusion over whether or not this guy is alive or dead? >> well, again, the reports of his demise previously have been greatly exaggerated. he has been through the chechen wars a couple different times. he has been reported dead. he has been badly wounded several times. and -- they say he's got nine lives. he has managed to escape, sometimes change his appearance with plastic surgery and other things like that. so this is a very resourceful militant leader, $5 million
bounty on his head from u.s. officials. >> yesterday at this time, tom fuentes, law enforcement analyst, former assistant fbi director saying it's not safe to be in sochi in these upcoming games for either the athletes or the spectators. thanks very much. the sister of an american christian missionary kenneth bae is reacting to a statement made by her brother. he says he committed a "serious crime against north korea." she is pleading for her brother to be pardoned. >> we are very scared for him, and i think we feel an urgency more than ever, which is why we're imploring our leaders. now is the time to bring this man home. >> i've invited the sister terri
chung to join me later in "the situation room" to continue this situation about her brother kenneth bae in north korea. wendy davis has become something of a political star for state democrats in the state of texas. now she's facing somewhat of a little scandal over there over her version of her life story. we're going to update you on what's going on. ♪ at any minute... ...you could be a victim of fraud. most people don't even know it. fraud could mean lower credit scores... ...and higher interest rates when you apply for a credit card. it's a problem waiting to happen. check your credit score, check your credit report, at experian.com. america's number one provider of online credit reports and scores. don't take chances. go to experian.com.
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all-clear on the campus of purdue university. no ongoing threat, according to university officials. they've now told students and faculty and everyone else they can resume their normal operations. good news on that front. one person, though, an alleged shooter is in custody. other news. the texas state senator wendy davis has skyrocketed to political fame, not only in texas but around the country. she received national attention with a long filibuster against texas's abortion laws. and her personal story of triumphing over personal considerable odds. but being in the national spotlight has shed new light on her background as she seeks the democratic nomination to become thefection governor of texas. cnn's john berman explains. >> reporter: she pitched her story as an american dream come true. >> i was barely making ends meet, and sometimes they didn't. >> reporter: texas state senator wendy davis propelled into the
national spotlight last summer with her physical stamina after this now famous 13-hour marathon filibuster against a restrictive abortion measure. davis's meteoric rise shot her to the front of the pack amongst democrats in her gubernatorial bid. but now her irspir rational biography of a single mother is sparking some debate. >> by the time i was 19, i was a single parent and i was living in a mobile home. >> reporter: over the weekend, "the dallas morning news" revealed some inconsistencies in her statements and began raising questions about her boot strapping life story. the newspaper reports she divorced at 21, not 19. davis admitted that her language should be tighter, and clarified a few points. for example, that her divorce only became final when she was 21. writing in a statement, "the truth is, at age 19, i was a teenage mother living alone with my daughter in a trailer and struggling to keep us afloat on my way to a divorce."
>> they say everything's bigger in texas. well, that certainly wasn't the case for the trailer we lived in. >> reporter: a mobile home the newspaper says she lived in for a few months. conservatives seized on the discrepancies, creating a hash tag on twitter, more fake than wendy davis. her campaign pulled in a sizable $12 million, but she is trailing her likely opponent, the state's republican attorney general. >> john berman reporting. the texas gubernatorial primary is set for march 4th. not very far away. she showed off her aarp card when she turned 50 last week. now the first lady michelle obama is showing off her basketball skills. a slam dunk on some nba stars. we're going to show that to you when we come back. ♪ ♪
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the first lady michelle obama just turned 50, as all of us know. she's certainly not slowing down. the first lady showing off her basketball moves in a skit featuring some nba stars from the miami heat. it was part of a white house event promoting the first lady's "let's move" campaign. >> hi, everyone. i'm erik spoelstra of the miami heat and a member of the nba fit team. i'm here at the white house to find out why eating healthy can help you perform like a champion. >> i eat fruits and vegetables every day because it gives me the energy i need to perform at
the top of my game. >> thanks, dwyane. what about you, ray? >> drinking water is an important part of my pregame routine so i can stay focused and refreshed. >> eating the right foods can help make you a better athlete. >> oh! >> oh! >> slam dunk from the first lady. very nice. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. see you at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." "newsroom" continues right now with brooke baldwin. >> good to be with all of you on a tuesday. i'm brooke baldwin. we are following those reports of that shooting at purdue university in indiana. the news at this hour, as i can tell you directly from the purdue university twitter site, this is the update -- no ongoing threat to campus. resume normal operations. ee, that's the electrical engineering building will remain closed. check purdue.edu for updates. still no word as far as anyone that has actually been hurt, but