tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN August 20, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PDT
>> i am so honored. >> so much of an upgrade isn't it? >> i love you, jerry springer, i do. >> i love you, carol. no. i really love you. >> move along. move along. >> all right. i guess i will. "newsroom" starts now. happening now on the "newsroom" shots fired, tensions rise, north and south korea exchange fire over the border just days aven s after the nortn government threatened to attack america. also -- police are driving down the street shooting tear gas where kids are. >> a st. louis neighborhood erupts, bricks and bottles thrown at police. tear gas fired after police
allegedly shoot and kill a black teener whoaimed a gun at them. good morning, i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. north korea fires what appears to be a small rocket at south korea and the south fires back. this is all taking place known as the demilitaryized joan. it comes days after north korea threatened to attack america if we didn't stop military drills with south korea. right now the north seems focused on this. south korean loud speakers blairing prblair i propaganda across the border. >> reporter: the south korea military is on high alert
tonight. the president chaired a meeting of the national security council. she told the military to sternly take action against north korean provocation. now the latest defense ministry update tells us there were actually two rounds of shells coming from north korea. and south korea responded with shelling of its own. this all seems to be in retaliation for the resumption of psychological warfare. that is the use of those propaganda speakers along the border. last week south korea called a press conference blaming north korea for laying la ining land its side of the dmz. those land mined exploded and badly injured two south korean soldiers. in retaliation south korea resumed psychological warfare. that is something it hasn't done in more than ten years. that makes north korea very angry. that is because kim jong
un keeps tight control. having messages blared across the border -- they say if they do not stop broadcasting by 5:00 p.m. on saturday local time it will take military action. . we're also following the aftermath of a powerful car bomb in cairo, egypt. isis has claimed responsibility for that blast which wounded dozens of people outside the national security building. it happened before dawn and could be heard for miles. nick paton walsh is covering this for us. hi, nick. >> reporter: imagine the force of a blast in the dead of night, 2:00 in morning that leaves an enormous crater and blows out windows, waking up people across the capital of egypt. isis claimed responsibility for this attack against the national
security building there. they say it's in revenge for the death of six militants linked to a raid early on back in may. now people think when you hear that statement from isis that perhaps it's linked to their command and control in syria and iran. that's unlikely. it's more likely it's locally based egyptians in the province of sinai. they've been at war with the security structures for quite some time, most intensely in the past months and they have pledged allegiance to isis. the security services, troublingly saying actually this attack occurred when they drove a car up, perhaps using the dead of night. got out and quickly got on the back of a motorbike that had been following that car. clear planning here and above all a blow to president of
egypt. many are seeing the increased radicalization of attacks like this in what should be very safe parts of the capitol. >> thank you. in china where the government frequently down plays health concerns a startling announcement. poisonous sodium cyanide is at mind boggling levels at the site of the explosion. those levels are sky high, more than 350 times the safe limits. the blast at a chemical storage plant killing at least 114 people and damaging or destroying 17,000 homes. a top health official with the united nations issued scathing criticism of china's government saying it withheld information that may have prevented the blast. and the tight lipped handling of the aftermath has only increased the number of victims. tensions high on the streets
of st. louis this morning. protesters were furious following the shooting death of an 18-year-old man by police. police forced to use tear gas as the crowd hurled rocks and bottles at officers. the unrest started after police shot and killed 18-year-old while executing a search warrant. officials say he pointed a gun at them, forcing the officers to open fire. ryan young is outside of police headquarters this morning. good morning, ryan. >> reporter: good morning, carol. how much can this community take? of course, that's the question. they burned that flag and car and moved onto a building that was vacant and burned that down as well. overnight, a car set on fire. and a house ablaze in the midst of a heated protest in st.
louis. police say amid the demonstrations some businesses were burglarized. >> nine people on charges from impeding traffic are now in our custody. >> reporter: the grass left stained with his blood. officials say the suspect pointed a gun at offices if they tried to execute a search warrant. soon after demonstrators, incensed by the death, blocked a mean street. >> police are driving down the street shooting tear gas where kids are. >> reporter: police say after multiple requests to disburse, they began shooting tear gas into the crowd. >> these people are actually standing here not doing a thing and they are shooting this into where their cars are and kids are taking shelter. >> as officer approached them to ask them to leave the
intersection, glass bottles started to be thrown at officers, bricks started to be thrown at officers. officers had to use shields to protect themselves from the objects being thrown at them. >> reporter: police said they found three stolen guns near that 18-year-old. there's a second suspect on the loose. they believe he is armed as well. so this is far from over. police said they will have more information later on this afternoon. >> ryan young reporting live from st. louis. thank you so much. a fast-moving wildfire kills three firefighters in washington state. they were battling the twisp fire. the twisp fire has burned 1500 acres and threatened dozens of homes. at the top of the next hour, a news conference that could be as emotional as it is extraordinary. former u.s. president jimmy carter will publicly discuss for
the first time the cancer diagnosis that he revealed just last week. it's a poignant conversation, likely to resonate with millions of american families who face their own battles with the deadly disease. sanjay gupta will be on hand for jimmy carter's speech. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. this could be a very extraordinary thing. we haven't heard from a president quite like this perhaps ever. former president clinton, when he had his heart operation, he had heart surgery quite quickly. so he didn't have a chance to talk to people like president carter is going to now. all we know for certain, carol, is that back on august 3rd he had an operation to remove a small mass on his liver. at that time the operation went well, the prognosis was good. but last week he released a statement and said that recent liver operation revealed i now have cancer which is now in other parts of my body. i'm going to rearrange any
schedule as necessary. he did talk about the fact that he's going to pursue treatment here at emery health care in atlanta. but we haven't heard anything since. also what type of cancer this is and what specifically he's planning on doing, if anything. >> sanjay, thanks so much. we're carry live president carter and his discussion of his diagnosis. that is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. it relieves my pain starting in 30 minutes. that's fast! plus, sensitivity to light and sound. excedrin migraine. wow, that was fast.
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donald trump's pledge to make america great again has thousands of voters fed up with washington flocking to hear him speak these words in person. the latest example, trump's first-ever town hall in new hampshire last night where he took aim at jeb bush. but jeb bush got in some jabs of his own in a similar event in a
nearby down. sarah murray joins us with more. >> reporter: part of the reason last night was such a firing event in addition to being just 15 miles apart, is because jeb bush is stake e tataking on a ny and being much more aggressive in his attacks against donald trump. step aside manny pacquiao and floyd mayweather, donald trump and jeb bush are taking over the ring. in a night of dueling town halls in new hampshire, just 15 miles apart and within an hour of each other, both republican presidential candidates threw jabs. >> i don't see how he's electable. jeb bush is a low energy person. for him to get things done is hard. he's very low energy. >> mr. trump doesn't have a proven conservative record.
he was a democrat longer in the last decade than he was a republican. >> though bush sat the date first, his crowd got walloped by trump's 1200. some even spilling into an overflow room to see the candidate in his first official town hall. >> you know what's happening to jeb's crowd, as you know, right down the street? they're sleeping. he was supposed to do well in new hampshire. he's gone down like a rock. >> >> reporter: it seems wednesday was the night bush came out of his shell. >> hundreds of billions of dollars of cost to implement his plans is not a conservative plan. >> reporter: a blow the gop front runner blocked, telling reporters -- >> the only thing constant is trump. i'm not going anywhere, folks. i'm not doing this for my health. i'm doing this to make america great again.
>> reporter: florida's former governor doesn't think that's enough to win the fight. >> people are going to want someone sitting behind the big december that can they know their compass points north, that they have the integrity to act on what they say they'll do and they have the leadership skills to make it so. that's it. >> reporter: now, jeb bush and donald trump going their separate ways today. jeb bush is continuing to barn storm through new hampshire with two other stops here today. meanwhile donald trump is looking ahead to friday where he's holding a pep rally in alabama. the campaign tells me they already have 35,000 rsvps for that event. so they've upgraded the venue. now it's at a football stadium. sarah stay with us because after his town hall trump sat down with chris cuomo. >> i think it's devastating for the election. but her bigger problem is not
the election, i think her bigger problem is going to be the criminal problem. >> you really think this could turn out to be a criminal situation for hillary clinton? >> i don't think i'm the only one. the fbi is involved. they only do criminal. maybe it's somebody on her staff. look, it's either criminal or incompetent. neither is acceptable to be president. >> all right. sarah murray is back with me. i want to bring in jason johnson. sarah, i want to ask you the first question. according to quinnipiac, they did a swing state poll, clinton does poorly in ohio, florida and pennsylvania in favorability rates. clinton has dismissed trump as entertainment. but should she push back hard on trump at this moment? >> reporter: the interesting thing that i heard from voters, it's not that they want clinton to push back against trump.
it's that they want a better answer on this e-mail question. i was talking to one voter who is split between hillary clinton and donald trump if you can believe it. i asked her what her reservations were about hillary clinton. she didn't like that she's not dealing with the question head on and explaining why she got all these e-mails sent to her personal account. and i think that's the bigger challenge for hillary clinton now is coming up with a better explanation for this e-mail controversy. >> he continues to be on this incredible roll. he's on the cover of "time magazine" this week. he's pictured with an american eagle. a few unimportant tidbits to share with you about the spread. the eagle is 27 years old and is named uncle sam. as for trump, the time magazine photographer said he's very difficult to photograph.
if you ask trump to look up a bit, he says no or he just doesn't do it. he literally has one angle. if i ask him to smile, he puts on a big grin and goes back to his zoolander blue steel look. really he's far from a natural, because it seems that his every move is really orchestrated. >> it's orchestrated and clearly he's a tv guy. this dueling banjos thing he had in new hampshire, isn't that brilliant counter programming. like he knew bush was going to be there, so that's why he showed up. donald trump knows how to be good on television, donald trump knows how to engage a crowd, he knows how to get attention. the question remains, are any of his plans practical, can they be done? >> sarah, does he have to talk
about issues? can he just continue to run on what he's running on right now, tough alpha male talk. >> reporter: i do think voters do want to see a little bit of substance. donald trump would disagree. he says only the press cares about policies, not voters. i think that's not true for voters in iowa. they like to vet the policies. his campaign says they're prepared to do that, that in the coming weeks they'll be rolling out more policy proposals. >> so jason, republicans seem worried still about donald trump even though he's not laying out much policy. should democrats be worried about him too? >> i don't think any democrats should be worried. really we're talking about hillary clinton. hillary clinton's got her own problems, not just with her
e-mail. even her ability to galvanize crowds. hillary clinton needs to work on establishing herself more than attacking trump. they haven't even secured their own positions yet. so i don't think any democrats should be worried about him, at least not in august. >> maybe hillary clinton should pose with a giant american eagle named uncle sam. >> might help. >> sarah murray, jason johnson, many thanks to both of you. still to come in the "newsroom" more testimony from the teenage girl who says this prep school senior rapes her. what she told juries as she broke down sobbing on the stand, next. are you moving forward fast enough? everywhere you look, it strategy is now business strategy. and a partnership with hp can help you accelerate down a path created by people, technology and ideas. to move your company from what it is now...
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led into the courtroom for his first an appearance, shackled and surrounded by officers. his arm is still bandaged and in a sling. a prison worker has already pleaded guilty to helping both men escape. we turn now to the prep school student on trial for rape. owen labrie listening as his accuser took the stand. crying as she detailed a tradition which led to rape. she went to a room with labrie and they began kissing. what happened next she says was unwanted. supposedly labrie unlocked the door to this darkened closet, pushed her inside. and that's when he began touching her below her waist. in her own words, i said, no, no, no, keep it up here. i wanted not to cause a
conflict. i felt like i was frozen. she kept it all a secret at first. she says labrie was one of the most popular boys on campus. she says, quote, i didn't want to come off as an inexperienced little girl, i didn't want him to laugh at me, i didn't want to offend him. the "new york times" reporting that labrie himself is expected to take the stand and testify as to what happened that night. you know, her testimony, it was just difficult to listen to. it was difficult to read about. there are mostly men who make up the jury in this case. how do you suppose her testimony affected them? how did they take it? >> making broad assumptions about particular jurors based on stereotypes is really a form of astrology. it's best to take each juror as
an individual. older females maybe don't view rape cases as seriously as younger females on a jury. ultimately all those studies are mere bunk. it all comes down to what that individual male juror feels about this particular case and whether or not he or she has a connection with the deft or has a connection with the alleged victim. i think that's what it comes down to more than anything in these sexual assault type cases. >> well, it might be difficult to defend this young girl, you know, because she said she didn't want to disrespect him. she didn't quite know how to tell him a definitive no, right? because he was popular and she was afraid. but that would send a conflicting message to this boy, right? >> well, it's no secret that young victims of sexual abuse often blame themselves. and we've heard this many times before.
that's why they don't immediately report it. that presents a special problem in the prostitution of sexual assault cases, especially those against children, because they frequently don't report it until long after there is any potential forensic evidence in a case. and that always presents a problem in these cases, no matter what. >> labrie is expected to take the stand himself. is that unusual? >> as a general rule, it's unusual that a deft take the stand. but this is a unique case and here is why. this is an instance where the only two people who know what happened are the alleged victim and the defendant. under new hampshire law as i read it, i believe this de-- normally in a rape case you have two defenses. the sex was consensual or there never was sense. in this case the defendant must argue there was not sex.
because consent will not get him out of the misdemeanor sexual assault charge because that only requires sexual penetration with someone this age and him being his age and consent is not a factor. if he wants to get out of all these charges and be acquitted he must argue that there never was sex. >> so this young girl will take the stand again today and she's going to be cross examined. she was sobbing on the stand yesterday. >> i've had a lot of juvenile delinquency cases. i've cross examined children as well as adults. it's an unenviable position for any attorney. it's incredibly difficult. it's also difficult ascertaining the credibility of young people.
there is a certain floor age under which children may not be competent to testify. this witness is well beyond that age. absolutely, cross examining younger p eer people is always , very difficult thing to do and not something i think that any defense attorney or prosecutor looks forward to. >> thanks so much. i'll be right back.
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guilty to charges of child pornography and paying to have sex with minors. he's supposed to give each of his victims $100,000. fogle travels across state lines to new york to have sex with two under aged girls. he even offered finders fees for sending him young girls he could take to bed. and requesting that one of his victims find other girls for him. quote, the younger the better. let's talk about this. i'm joined by heather stockdale. good morning. and thank you so much for being with me. >> good morning. thanks for having me today. >> i think the question foremost of everyone's mind is why would he do this? he has all of this money. surely he could get a grown woman to have sex with him. >> that remains a question that i think all of us are trying to
answer. why do adults and adult men in this country perpetrate our young children and focus on sex with minors under the age of 18? that's a question that all of us are trying to answer. as an american public, it brings awareness to the fact that this is happening in our country, that there are adults that are respected members of our community that are our public figures, leaders and are searching for sex with kids under the age of 18. >> fogle's lawyer says he has a medical condition and he's seeing a world renowned expert in sexual conditions. is there some sort of medical condition that makes a man want to have sex with a 14-year-old girl? >> i mean, they're claiming that it is a sexual dysfunction that he has that makes him want these younger children. i'm not research can support that besides, like i said, these
perpetrators that specifically look for sex with children that are pedophiles and that seek this out. clearly what we've seen from the jared fogle case is that he was willing to cross state lines to set these things up, to entice these children online, to ask them to find friends. this is not a one-time deal. this is an ongoing thing that he had been engaging in for years. and for years it had gone unknown by his family, by friends, by subway, the company that he was working with, by the foundation that was serving and helping children and focusing on getting kids access to education. so i think i'm looking forward to seeing the research on what this sexual condition is besides pedophi pedophile. >> he will pay his victims $100,000 apiece. what do you think about that? >> i don't think that makes up for the trauma and abuse these
kids have endured. these kids didn't wake up one day and decide they wanted to sell their bodies and that the money that he gave them for these sex acts was worth it. these kid had no choice in the matter. he solicited them and found them. so it's hard for me to believe that 100,000 to these 14 children which are the 14 boys and girls that they've found so far will really make a difference in the life after some of these kids had abuse over years by fogle, going to new york time after time to see specific children to engage in these sex acts. so while i'm glad that restitution is being paid and that they're abiding by federal law in this case, i find it hard to believe that's going to make up for everything these kids have endured from him. still to come in the "newsroom" tensions escalate in the korean peninsula.
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the stage is set for an extraordinary and historic press conference. president jimmy carter will soon be sitting in that chair at the carter center in atlanta and he'll be talking about his recent cancer diagnosis. we don't know exactly what he's going to say, but it will be interesting to hear how he explains what kind of cancer he has and if he will treat his cancer or not. these are pictures, by the way, of president carter in church last sunday, hugging his fellow
parishioners. we understand he taught sunday school last sunday as he normally does. president carter expected to take the chair at the top of the hour. the united states is closely monitoring the tense situation between north and south korea after the two countries fired rockets and artillery at each today. good morn, brian. >> reporter: a lot of concern over this incident. here is the latest that we have for you. a defense department spokesman told me a short time ago the pentagon is closely monitoring the situation on the korean peninsula, is keeping in close contact with its south korean counterparts and taking steps to ensure the safety of u.s. personnel in the region. and for my colleague barbara starr, she got this from a u.s. official. a north korean soldier fired one
shot at a south korean loud speaker. they fired one shot at a south korea loud speaker. and that south korea fired back with 36tillery shells. south korea is making a point of upping its responses lately because of previous shooting incidents in that region, especially along the dmz. also, carol, u.s. official telling barbara starr that u.s. officials believe that north korea deliberately placed the mines along the southern end of the dmz back on august 4th. those mines exploded, almost killing two south korean soldiers. that's what started a lot of tensions recently. there's just been several things recently that have escalated tensions there along the
demilitarized zone. you've got the freedom exercises, annual exercises between the u.s. and south korea. they are massive in scale. 30,000 american troops involved. about 50,000 korsouth korean trs involved. certain to provoke the ire of kim jong un. the land mine explosions really nearly killed two south korean soldiers is what started these tensions and it is escalating this morning. >> can we focus for just a second on these loudspeakers? >> reporter: after the august 4th incident, carol, we were told the south koreans would resume those loudspeaker propaganda messages which they actually ceased for about a decade. they blare these messages toward north korean soldiers across the border that their leader kim
jong un is doing a bad job and that life on the other side of the border in the south is much better than what they're facing in the north. these messages are always a point of tension between north and south korea. that was certain to provoke the ire of kim jong un and it seems to have done that. now we're getting word that both u.s. officials, south korean officials are looking to see what happens next. u.s. officials certainly hoping for a de-escalation at this point given the presence of tens of thousands of u.s. and south korean troops right in that area. >> now that exchange of fire between north korea and south korea comes weeks after kim jong un vowed to leave no americans alive in the event of a war. he said, quote, gone forever is the era when the u.s. blackmailed us with nukes. we are the very source of fear
for it. north korea takes on the world. welcome, welcome, gordon, thanks for being with me. >> thanks so much. >> what do you make of the latest incident. >> what we have is a cycle of escalation which has continued pretty deep into this series of events because you have the land mine explosions that brian todd talked about, the south korean propaganda broadcasts. north korea's counter broadcasts and now this exchange of fire. this could be serious largely because kim jong-un is in a precarious position. he needs a good incident to bolster his position at home and this is the perfect opportunity for him to cause some problems on the korean peninsula which can radiate out through north asia and affect the united states. >> so south korea has vowed to push back harder when north k korea does something it doesn't
like. is south korea handling this right? >> south korea is handling this according to a 2013 counter proliferation plan that the united states and south korea agreed to. and the reason why there is what some people may say is an excessive south korean response is because in the past there's been no south korean response to north korean provocations such as the sinking of a south korean frigate that cost 46 lives and then two deaths in 2010 when a south korean island was shelled. i think the lack of response in the past has caused the north koreans to be more provocative. if south korea responds in a way which it will basically stop the north koreans from more provocative events. as i said, this is a problem in north korea which i don't think south korea can affect.
>> gordon chang, thanks for your insight. still to come in the "newsroom," an e-mail from 2011 may loom large over the presidential race in 2016. why the intelligence community are concerned over this information that passed through hillary clinton's private server. pubut to get from theand yoold way to the new,d. you'll need the right it infrastructure. from a partner who knows how to make your enterprise more agile, borderless and secure. hp helps business move on all the possibilities of today. and stay ready for everything that is still to come.
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we now have a better idea of how hillary clinton's use of private e-mails -- of a private e-mail server triggered concerns among the nation's intelligence community and helped lead to a federal investigation. this e-mail from a trusted aide to then secretary of state clinton updated her on the crumbling security situation in benghazi, libya. the unsecured exchange included critical secrets like how to evacuate key staff. a year later ambassador chris stevens and three other americans would die in a deadly attack on the u.s. consulate. cnn's evan perez is following
this for us this morning. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. well, you know, if you want to understand the latest in the clinton e-mail controversy, it really helps to watch episodes of the tv show "mad men." don drainer tells a client dealing with bad publicity, if you don't like what people are saying about you, change the conversation, and the clinton campaign says these two e-mails, let's put them up on the screen, show this controversy isn't really about clinton getting classified information on her private e-mail server. they say this is about intelligence agencies, quote, overclassifying information that really isn't that sensitive, but let's take a closer look at one of the e-mails. the 2011 e-mail in particular was forwarded by huma abedin to then secretary of state clinton. it describes the worsening security situation in eastern libya and possible plans to evacuate american officials from benghazi, including the u.s. envoy chris stevens. he was killed in terrorist attacks more than a year later.
this e-mail was publicly released in may, but the e-mail sparked concerns with the inspector general for the intelligence community because it contained classified information about potential evacuation plans at the time it was sent. the state department declassified the e-mail after it was released and we'll see if changing the conversation really works for clinton, but right now, carol, they're still having a problem explaining why did clinton set up a private e-mail server to do government business in the first place. >> understood. evan perez, thanks so much. evan perez reporting live from washington. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" starts now. in just a few moments, former president jimmy carter will sit at this table at the carter center in atlanta to discuss his cancer diagnosis. just one week ago carter revealed that the disease he had had spread from his liver to other parts of his body. good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. at any moment as i said a news
conference that could be as emotional as it is extraordinary. former u.s. president jimmy carter will publicly discuss for the first time the cancer diagnosis that he revealed just last week. it's a poignant conversation likely to resonate with millions of american families who have faced their own battles with the deadly disease. cnn's chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is inside the carter center. he joins us to set the scene. >> good morning, carol. we're right outside here, just any minute now president carter, known for being very punctual is going to come through the doors and have this very historic press conference. i don't think we remember from president reagan writing a letter about alzheimer's, president clinton having urgent heart operation several years ago, but the first time the president, a former president, gets to sit down and talk about what exactly he's been experiencing, what his diagnosis is, and what he plans to do about it.
obviously, we know at this time that he had an operation back on august 3rd to have a small mass removed from his liver. at that time the statement was that everything went fine, the prognosis was excellent, but it was just last week, carol, as you know, that he said there's now evidence that the cancer has spread throughout my body. it's going to affect my schedule, and, carol, i can tell you, i don't know if you can see this, but the president is walking in now. >> i see him. >> he's walking by himself wearing a pair of jeans going over to the podium. rosalynn carter right behind him, and many members of his staff. so he's very punctual, as i said. there's some pictures of him recently you may have seen from last week in church looking very vibrant. he said he's going to teach sunday school last sunday as well. we know where his mindset is a little bit but we're now going to here for the first time exactly what this is that's been ailing him and what he plans to do about it.
>> let's pause, sanjay, to listen to president carter. >> well, thank you all for coming this morning. i first want to express my special thanks to my wife roslyn who is busy talking right now and to all the folks at the carter center, my doctors, and hundreds of well wishers who have called in and sent me letters and e-mail and i tried to answer as many as i could. i'll outline what's happened so far with my medical condition and then toward the end i will give you a brief run down of what i plan to do in the future and then i'll answer some questions from the news media. in may i went down to guy anna to help monitor an election, and i had a very bad cold and i left down there and came back to emory so they could check me over and in the process they did a complete physical examination, and an mri showed there was a
cancer or a growth, a tumor, on my liver, and they did a p.e.t. scan, and that kind of lights up a bad place, and it lit up, so they're pretty sure there was a cancer before they operated on august the 3rd and removed it. the tumor was only 2.5 cubic centimeters and they removed about 85 cubic centimeters which is a tenth of my liver, and they did a biopsy and found out it was, indeed, cancer, and it was melanoma. and they had a very high suspicion then and now that the melanoma started somewhere else on my body and spread to the liver. the doctors tell me about 98% of all melanoma is skin cancer and 10% of the melanomas are in internal. so then i came back up here after that and they did a biopsy
and found that -- they did an mri and found that there were four spots of melanoma on my brain. they are very small spots, about 2 millimeters if you can envision what a millimeter is and i get my first radiation treatment for the melanoma in my brain this afternoon, and then i understand i'll have four treatments scheduled at three-week intervals. in addition to that, yesterday they fitted me with a mask to hold my head perfectly still while the radiation goes into the right places and i am prepared for that which takes place this afternoon. in addition they've given me an iv with 30 minutes of a medicine that they use for melanoma that
ep ha enhances the activity of the anti-immune system, and this is medicine that's been approved in the united states. there are similar ones that have also been tested in europe. my doctors -- and they'll also continue to scan other parts of my body with mri and c.a.t. scan and p.e.t. scan to see if and where the melanoma originated and so that will be an ongoing examination of my body for the next number of months i presume, if it goes on that long. dr. david lawson is a special tis on melanoma and dr. curren who is here is a specialist on radiation treatment and he's in
charge of the cancer center. and they're working very closely with other cancer centers around this nation in particular, md. anderson in houston, texas, national cancer institute sloan-kettering and others. i have had a lot of people call and recommend different places, and i referred no offers of help to the doctors and they have reached out to get their acquiesce sense or approval of what they have decided to do in my treatment. for a number of years ros lynn and i have planned on dramatically reducing our work at the carter center but haven't done it yet. we thought about this when i was 80 years old, to begin when i was 85, again when i was 90, and so this is a time for us to carry out our long delayed plans. so i'm going to cut back fairly dramatically on my obligations
at emory, at the carter center. the carter center has a full legal partnership with emory. half of our trustees selected by emory and we approve them and vice versa. the president of emory university is on our board of trustees as are roslyn and i, and we have built up a fairly substantial endowment to tide the carter center over. i'm not any longer able to raise funds. we have now got a little over $600 million in the endowment, but i will continue to sign letters requesting contributions and making key calls to people that might be prospects for funting. i will continue for funding. the trustee meetings at carter center, i will continue to attend those, and i would like to also skchedule the regular meetings with our fellows and directors as they give detailed
reports quite regularly with what we're doing with our peace programs and other health programs and so forth so i'll continue to do that. i can't really anticipate how i'll be feeling obviously, but i'll have to defer quite substantially to my doctors in charge of the treatment. i understand that the radiation treatments and also the injections will be every three weeks for four times and then stop and take a look at what's -- what the results might have been, and i'll try to adhere to that schedule as much as possible. the carter center is well prepared to continue on without any handicap if rosa and i do back away from a lot of the activities that we have been doing. we have decided last march that our grandson jason would take
over as chairman of the board replacing lars nelson which was his suggestion and the board of trustees made that decision in march to be effective at our meeting in november. so jason will be the chairman of the board of trustees of carter center which is a body that makes the ultimate decisions about what projects the carter center works on and budget matters and things of that kind. if he wants me to give him advice, i'll be delighted to do it as i've done some other people in the past. i was a chairman for a while but i stepped down a number of years ago to give other people a chance to work on it. so i'll try as best i can to continue my work as a professor at emory and to attend some of the meetings, but i would say that the rest of my plans will be determined by my consultations with the doctors and what i need to do to get adequate treatment for the melanoma that exists at least has existed in my liver.
they think they got it all there, but they're showing now in four places in my brain and it's likely to show up other places in my body as the scans detect it in the future. so that's all i wanted to say to you, but i'll be glad to answer a couple questions if you have them. >> we'll alternate microphones. >> good morning, president carter. lori geary with wsb tv. just want to get what was your initial reaction when you heard that "c" word, the cancer word, and, you know, what doctors have said about your prognosis. you seem very optimistic, your spirits are very good. >> well, at first i felt that it was confined to my liver and they had -- the operation had completely removed it, so i was quite relieved, and then that same afternoon we had an mri of my head and neck, and it showed up that it was already in four places in my brain, so i would
say that night and the next day until i came back up to emory i just thought i had a few weeks left, but i was surprisingly at ease. you know, i have had a wonderful life, i have got thousands of friends and i have had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence, so i was surprisingly at ease, much more so than my wife was, but now i feel, you know, it's in the hands of god and my worship and i'll be prepared for it when it comes. >> thank you. >> mr. president -- >> yes. hi. >> mr. president, you've just said you expect there will be further cancers diagnosed. >> yes. >> was it at all difficult given the fact you also just said you thought it was a matter of a few weeks, was it difficult at all
to decide to go ahead with treatment? i mean does your faith play any role in the fact that you did that or did you consider at any time not doing anything at all? >> no, i never have doubted that i would carry out the recommendations of emory doctors, and so when they said that they wanted to go ahead and find out other places it might show up cancer and treat them, i'm perfectly at ease with that. and i'm perfectly at ease with whatever comes. i do have deep religious faith which i'm very grateful for, and i was pleasantly surprised that i didn't go into an attitude much despair or anger or anything like that. i was just completely at ease as roslyn would testify i think if you have any doubts about my veracity, but i have just been very grateful for that part of it. so i'm ready for anything. and looking forward to a new
adventure. >> president carter, katy foodie with the associated press. you just said that you felt at ease. can you tell us a little bit more about your discussions with your doctors, with your family, and how you came to decide that you did want treatment and you wanted to pursue anything that your doctors did recommend would be appropriate for you? >> it never was a difficulty for me because i don't think i've ever deviated from a commitment to do what my doctors recommended, so that one was not a big decision for me. i decided that to begin with. and so dr. curren is here and i understand if you have any technical questions to ask him or medical questions, he'd be willing to answer any questions that you might have later on. but the three doctors that worked in close harmony with me and the surgeon who did the operation on my liver and dr. curren who is a specialist on treatment of cancer and also dr.
lawson who is a specialist on melanoma itself, so they have been like a team working very closely with me, and i have complete confidence in them, and they've been gracious enough to reach out to others who have volunteered to consult with them and i understand they've shared even the mri with some others. so they're consulting i guess with the best cancer treaters in the world and i'm very grateful that emory is in charge. >> reporter: lynn anderson with the atlanta journal constitution. first of all, president carter, i'm so sorry and sad to hear this news, and i just have a basic question. how are you feeling? >> i feel good. i haven't felt any weakness or debility. the pain has been very slight. right after the operation on my
liver i had a little bit of pain in my stomach that was laparoscopic operation, made three very tiny incisions in my stomach. i had some pain in my right shoulder strangely enough, but the doctor said that's expected. that's kind of a resonating pain that goes from your liver internal organs up to your right shoulder if you have liver prawns and i think if you have a heart problem it goes to your left shoulder, but i survived that. only took the pain medicine for a few hours and then i didn't have to take it anymore. i had a slight reaction last night to the first treatment of the medication, and i had a little bit of pain in my shoulder and i went to bed about 6:00 and slept until 8:00 this morning. i think that's probably the best night's sleep i have had in many years. so i feel at ease about it and i have been very lucky that the
emory doctors have been able to control any aspects of pain from the operation or from the presence of cancer. >> mr. president, tom jones from wsb tv. you mentioned all the well wishers. has there been any one correspondence or call that really touched you? >> well, both of the former president bush called me at one time and george h.w. bush, bush sr., called me yesterday afternoon again. i think i appreciated that very much and the wives were on the telephone with them. president obama called, the vice president called, bill clinton called, hillary clinton called, secretary of state called. first time they've called me in a long time. but i think the close friends that i have had around home that have done special things or brought us peach pie, stuff like that, it's really made me feel
emotionally. and my whole family, all the folks, we have 21 other carters that live in georgia and they've been down to see us, they'll be down again this weekend for my wife's birthday celebration, so i just had a multiple infusion of gratitude. >> thank you. >> hi, jonathan carl with abc news. two questions. first i saw a report you told habitat with humanity you would still like to go forward with your trip to nepal in november. do you still hope to make that trip? >> i would still hope to go. it would require an airplane flight from kathmandu to the chitwan area down toward the indian border, and if i do that, i understand -- i haven't talked to the doctors yet, but i understand from a schedule that would require a five-week postponement of my last treatment, so that's what i'm going to have to consider, but
up until this morning, i was completely committed to go to habitat, but if i don't go, the rest of my family will probably go to take my place. >> and if i can ask, you have really redefined what it means to be a former president. can you reflect on the work you have done since you left the white house and what you hope to still do? >> well, the work of the carter center has been i'd say more personally gr lly gratifying to because, you know, when you're president, you have a responsibility for 350 million people and members of the armed forces and budget and congress and so forth. i was able to do a number of good things when i was president for which i was grateful and that was a high point of my life politically speaking and i had say my having been president of the united states, a great country, has made it possible for me to have the influence and contact with people and knowledge that has been the foundation for the carter center, but the carter center
has a completely different approach. we deal with individual people in the smallest and most obscure and suffering villages in the desert and in the jungles of africa and we've had programs in 80 different countries on earth for the poorest and most destitute people in the world, and that has been i'd say far more gratifying personally because we actually interact with families and with people who are going blind or who have lymphatic -- or guinea worm and going into villages and learning about them and what the actual needs are and meeting those needs with the superb carter center medical staff i think has been one of the best things that ever happened to me. i said several times that my life since the white house has been personally more gratifying, although the presidency was obviously the pinnacle of my
political success and also it laid the groundwork for my work at the carter center. >> and you still feel you have a lot of work left to do? >> well, i do, and within the bounds of my physical and mental capability, i will continue to do it, but i'm going to have to give the treatment regimen i think top priority. >> thank you. >> good morning, mr. president. hallie jackson, nbc news. given your current cancer diagnosis, given your family history with this disease, what message do you have to other cancer patients who are watching you go through this now? >> well, i have learned a lot about cancer with the death of my father and my only brother, both my sisters from pancreatic cancer, and for a long time my family was the only one on earth that had as many as four people who died with pancreatic cancer. it's a very rare thing. i think now they found two or three other families. after i left the white house and my brothers and sisters continued to die, then they did
some special checks on my blood samples and things of that kind, and some scans of different kinds. so pancreatic cancer i understand does have some genetic cause. that's what i have read, some of the scientific documents, but it's exacerbated by smoking cigarettes which i have never done, and so the melanoma is a completely different thing. and it might be that in the future the melanoma would show up on my pancreas, but they have not found that to be true in the last few weeks. they have examined the pancreas quite closely, and so so far the only place they've known about the cancer has been on my liver and my brain. so i would say that one of the greatest scientific developments in the last five years has been with two kinds of cancer, one is lung cancer and the other one is
melanoma, and so the treatment for melanoma in addition to radiation or chemotherapy has been the giving of these medicines that exacerbate or enhance i'd say is a better word, that enhance the function of your self regulating aspect, the autoimmune system. so they -- autoimmune system more active, so that's a basic approach, but there are several of these medicines. >> so the message to other patients, is your message one of hope, is it acceptance? >> it's one of hope and acceptance, yes. hope for the best and accept what comes. i think i have been as blessed as any human being in the world with having become the president of the united states of america and governor of georgia and the work of the carter center and a big and growing family and
thousands of friends, so i don't think -- living until i will be 91 years old the 1st of october so everything has been a blessing for me so i'm thankful and hopeful. >> president carter, voice of america. i wanted to ask, what has been -- you said you have sort of taking a pragmatic approach to the treatment and the news, but what has been the most difficult part about the news for you in the past couple weeks? >> well, i haven't had any difficult treatment aspect yet. the liver surgery was fairly extensive. they removed one-tenth of my liver i understand but it healed up quickly and i had minimal pain. and the first treatment i had yesterday will be followed this afternoon by the radiation, and that will be every three weeks four times and then they will reassess. so i haven't had any unpleasantness yet. >> is it difficult to step away
from the busy activities do shall. >> i really wanted to go to nepal to build houses. this would have been our 33rd year ros lylyn? 33rd year of going without fail and i was hopeful about that, but if it interrupts the straight treatment regimen, then i think i need to get the treatment. >> thank you. >> hello, president carter. cbs 46 news, and just wondering, you touched upon it a little bit, in your illustrious career, as you said, governor here, president, even as husband, father, grandfather, is there anything or tell us, share with us, what you're most proud of and if there's anything you might have done differently or thought maybe i wish i had not done that. >> well, the best thing i ever did was marrying roslyn. that's the pinnacle of my life, and we've had 69 years together,
still together, and so that's the best thing that happened to me, but i think getting involved in politics and going up as a state senator, then governor, then president of the united states is obviously a glorious event. and we have a growing family. we have 22 grandchildren and great grandchildren. 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren now and they're coming every year. so we have a good and harmonious family, and i would say the haven for our life has been in plains, georgia. i plan to teach sunday school and every sunday as long as i'm physically and mentally able in my little church, and we have hundreds of visitors who come to see the curiosity of a politician teaching the bible. so i'll continue that. i've just had a lot of blessings.
>> and anything you wish that you had not done or done differently? >> i wish i had sent one more helicopter to get the hostages and we would have rescued them and i would have been re-elected, but that may have -- and that may have interfered with the foundation of the carter center and if i had to choose between four more years and the carter center, i think i would choose the carter center. >> thank you. >> could have been both. >> president carter, donna lowry with 11 alive, i just talked about your big family and with this diagnosis, have you encouraged them to see the doctor or are you seeing that there's more interest in finding out what's going on with each one of them? >> i don't think there's any doubt that my descendants have some genetic challenge from the pancreatic cancer and my melanoma. so whatever the doctors recommend for blood tests or things like that as a precautionary measure for the other family members, i think
that would probably be put into effect but i haven't discussed that with them and i don't know the answer yet. two or three more questions. >> president carter, greg with the atlanta journal constitution. i wonder how did you break the news to your family? >> well, i found out toward the end of may that i had a spot on my liver that was a suspect, and i think i put in my diary that i didn't tell roslyn until about the 15th of june, and then when i found out that i had definitely cancer, key members of my family came in to the carter center and i gave them a briefing and gave our chief executive officer a briefing what the prospects were, and so -- and then i put out a
statement as soon as i knew about it to the public that i did have cancer and when we found out that it had metastasized, we also put out a press conference on that. i didn't say what kind it was, didn't say it was melanoma. i didn't say it had spread to my brain, i just said to other parts of my body. so as quickly as i could, i have said -- i have told the public and my family the things about which i was absolutely certain rather than just guessing what might happen. >> president carter, thank you. sanjay gupta with cnn. >> yeah, i know. i have been taking all these other questions so i could get to you, sanjay. >> i have a couple questions, a little more specific about the medical aspects. you became ill you said in may and came back early to the united states. >> yeah. >> they had an mri at that time that showed this liver mass but it wasn't until two months later, my understanding from your comments, that you had the operation. >> that's right. >> i'm wondering about that time
period. was there a consideration not to do anything during that time period? >> no. >> and also just quickly the medication you said you're following the recommendations of your doctor, were you given options and how did you weigh those options? >> i was given a complete rundown on the options that were available and when they made a recommendation on the particular kind of medical treatment, i had an iv yesterday, i took their advice, and we knew i would say the end of june that i had to have an operation on my liver, but i had an extensive book tour scheduled, 14 or 15 cities, and i wanted to do that and the doctors told me it was a very slow-growing cancer apparently. it wouldn't make any difference between the middle of july and the 3rd day of august so we scheduled it when i got through with the book tour and coincidentally and not more importantly, my surgeon had
scheduled a vacation trip in spain and so the combination of all those things just caused me to wait until everything was ready. so i stayed very busy during that time and i didn't tell anybody much about it. except rosa. >> thank you. >> thank you. did you have another question, sanjay? >> no, that's it. >> you mentioned planes and talk about the support there and what that meant to you. >> planes is my home. i was born there, my wife was born there, and i neuroknew rosn she was first born. i'm three years older and still am and planes has always been a haven for us. when i got out of the navy in 1953, i came back to planes and i was a farmer for 17 years and then when i got through being governor i came back to planes when i got through with being president, i came back to planes, and now no matter where we are in the world, we always
looking forward to getting back home to planes. that's where our land is. we've had the same farm since 1833. we have a newer farm we got in 1904. we still grow peanuts and cotton, corn on the farm, and so my roots are there and my closest friends are there and our little church is there which is very important to me, so planes has just been the focal point of our life and a good many visitors come there every year, 80,000 according to official count, they come to find out how did this tiny town, how a future president could have come, they learn about my schooling so plane means a lot to me. let's not add anybody else to the line, please. >> thank you. president carter, i wonder if
you have discussed with your family or closest circle how do you see this organization in the future, the carter center? >> how do i feel what? >> how do you see the carter center in the future? have you discussed this -- >> well, i think the carter center's future will be equal to what it's been in the past. it's been expanding every year as far as the number of people we treat for terrible diseases and things of that kind. i understand that coming year we'll treat 71 million people on earth for diseases so that they won't have the afflictions that they've had throughout their lifetimes, and so we've added -- we've finished 100 troubled election to bring freedom to people and we still try to bring peace. so we'll concentrate on peace and human rights and democracy, freedom, and alleviation of suffering, and i would say in
every one of those areas the carter center's overall function and plans for the future are still expanding, and i'm completely confident that those plans can be realized without my everyday constant involvement in different projects. and i'll still be coming to the trustees meeting as long as i'm able and meeting with our directors and others who carry out the programs. >> and have you received messages from latin america where the carter center has participation? >> well, i had a lot of messages the last few days from latin america. i'll be meeting next week, i presume, i don't know if it's next week, with a group from panama and i have already approved that program on my schedule. so we maintain a wide range of programs in latin america primarily to try to do away with
conflicts within the country, the relationship between the news media and the executive branch of government when they try to stamp out freedom of the press, and also peaceful relationships and we have still an ongoing program in six countries in latin america to just about finish that, to do away with river blindness. we still have just a small cluster of people, about 25,000 i think total population on the border between venezuela and brazil, so we're going to continue to try to work on that. so we'll continue our work in latin america. >> good morning, mr. president. i'm scott kimbler news radio 106.7 in atlanta. as jason is preparing to take over as chairman of the board of the carter center, you have very much been the face of peace
negotiations since the time that you left office. as he is continuing the efforts in the health and humanitarian efforts of carter center, will he also be active and will you be advising him in future international conflict that the carter center may be asked to become a negotiator of types with? >> well, the children of a board of trustees and entire body of troous yeses, about 23 i think, they make the final decisions. they make the ultimate choices of what we do and how much money we spend, how many people we send there, and that sort of thing. and so the chairman of the board is very deeply involved in making those ultimate decisions and presenting it to the board of trustees. so i presume as lars nelson has done in the last few years superbly, that the new chairman, jason, will use the best experience that he can derive for all the programs of the carter center. he may not be directly involved in as many direct peace
negotiations and so forth as i, but he will be going for instance to myanmar for the election the first part of november, and he'll be heading up the carter center delegation to monitor that very important election. >> thank you. >> maria, a long time journalist in atlanta with the business chronicle. >> i know. >> you have had such a scope of work in your life. in the time you have left, what would give you the most satisfaction to see something happen, peace in the middle east or eradication of polio or what are those things that you would hold onto the most that would give you the greatest satisfaction for the world and if you can look at the state of the world and how you've been working in efforts to try and keep -- >> well in international affairs i would say peace for israel and its neighbors. that's been a top priority of my
foreign policy projects for the last 30 years. right now i think the prospects are more dismal than anytime i remember in the last 50 years. there's practically -- the whole process is practically dormant. the government of israel has no desire for a two-state solution which is the policy of all the other nations in the world, and the united states has practically no influence compared to past years in either israel or palestine. so i feel very discouraged about it, but that would be my number one foreign policy hope. as far as the carter center is concerned, i would like to see guinea worm completely eradicated. i would like the last guinea worm to die before i do. we started out with -- i think
we have two cases in south sudan and one case in ethiopia and one case in mali and seven cases in chad. that's all the guinea worms in the world and we know where all of them are, so obviously that would be my top priority. >> this will be our last question. >> good morning, president carter. christopher king with cbs 46 news here in atlanta. you fought many political battles throughout your career. how tough do you expect this fight against cancer will be? >> well, it won't be tough on my part. i'm an acquiescent and cooperating patient and within the bounds of my judgment i will do what the doctors recommend to extend my life as much as possible. i don't look on this as any h d hardship on me. they have means they say and i trust them completely to alleviate the after effects or side effects of a the different treatments.
they've had different treatments going on with different patients, thousands of them in the world, so i don't anticipate any troubling pain or suffering or deprivation on my part. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. >> is that it? >> thank you. >> thank you all very much for coming, and i appreciate it. i don't know if -- dr. curren, do you want to add anything? if you have any particular questions, dr. curren can correct my mistakes. i'm sorry? after. okay. i'm leaving. thank you all very much. [ applause ] [ applause ]
>> just a truly extraordinary historic news conference. i've never witnessed any american president talk so openly and frankly about his health, about a disease that affects so many americans. perhaps though it's no surprise the president who chose to do that was jimmy carter. i have met and interviewed jimmy carter many times. he is a true gentleman, down to earth and i just can't express how kind he is. i want to bring in wolf blitzer right now. i don't know about you, but i think i experienced every emotion humanly possible. i cried, i laughed, i felt hope, i felt despair. it was just extraordinary. >> he was so open, so honest, so lucid in discussing what couldn't be a more personal issue, the fact that this cancer has now spread and spread to his brain, the treatment he's going to have to endure over the next several weeks, months, who knows what's going to happen next, but
it really was, carol, i totally agree with you an amazing moment for those of us who remember covering jimmy carter while he was president of the united states. i was a young reporter here in washington. i remember very vividly those four years he served as president. he spoke a little bit about the ups and the downs of his own presidency and i remembers those 444 days when american -- 50 american diplomats and others were held hostage in iran. the u.s. tried to rescue those hostages, failed in that operation. he wished -- he acknowledged right then and there today that he wishes he would have sent some more u.s. military helicopters in that operation. those helicopters went down, as all of us remember. eventually those 444 americans were freed on the day that ronald reagan took office, was inaugurated as president of the united states beating jimmy carter in his bid for re-election, but it was a moment certainly he'll never forget, didn't forget it today, those of us who remember covering him at that time remember, and he also spoke very passionately about
what was probably his greatest achieve am as president of the united states, the camp david piece accords that led to the signing of the peace treaty between israel and egypt. egypt and israel are still at peace, they still have a peace treaty, full diplomatic relat n relations and jim yib carter brought them together. they met for 13 days at camp david in september of 1978, worked out the deal that would eventually be signed in march of 1979 on the north lawn of the white house. and that peace treaty still exists between israel and the largest of all of its arab neighbors, namely egypt. jimmy carter deserves an enormous amount of credit for that as well. just a very sensitive moment for all of us who remember jimmy carter over all of these years for him to speak so openly about what couldn't be a more personal issue, namely the spread of this cancer. >> and perhaps that's the most important thing he's done yet
for the nation, right? because so many people go through the very thing that he is going through. you heard him say, well, i have had a wonderful life. god has blessed me. if this is my time, i'm ready to go, and perhaps that struck me because i just lost my stepfather to cancer a couple months ago. he said the expect same thing to me. he said it's been tougher on my family than it has been on me, k and i can totally understand that. i think a lot of people are worried about what the kind of treatment jimmy carter will receive will mean to him. will it be painful? so i want to bring in jonathan reckford -- actually let's bring dr. ken lichtenfield. i want to ask you about jimmy carter's treatment. he will have his first radiation treatment this afternoon. what will that be like?
>> hi, carol. it's jonathan, i'm with habitat for humanity. i think we have a camera crossed. >> i think we have our cross wires. let's bring in dr. ken licttenfield. are you with me. >> and it's dr. len, by the way. >> i'm getting everything right today. i apologize. seriously jimmy carter will have his first radiation treatment this afternoon. what will that be like? what will his treatment be like? how will he feel? >> it's hard to predict how the president is going to feel. as you mentioned, we just witnessed an incredibly emotional and frankly spectacular moment with his willingness to sit and share with us what's going on with him at a very difficult moment in his life. he's going to receive one of the new immunotherapy drugs and he's going to get radiation therapy to the brain. he's going to have some side effects. if there's good news in here,
the side effects he's going to have are probably going to be less than what most people associate with traditional chemotherapy. the radiation therapy i suspect is going to be very targeted radiation. these lesions in the brain are very small, and there's a very real possibility he could have minimal side effects. that doesn't mean that's a guarantee, but these newer treatments are more effective and they're also easier to tolerate. what's interesting, carol, and for the audience, is that these are treatments where the basic scientific research was started just around the time that jimmy carter was president, and it has taken us that long, until very recently, these drugs have just been approved, and they've been much more effective in treating the type of cancer, the melanoma, that jimmy carter has. so in a difficult moment, there's also reason for hope and
optimism that he will do well with this treatment. >> well, doctor, something else i found difficult to understand, so they found a spot on his liver, right, and now they found melanoma in his brain. so, you know, the liver and the brain are far apart. how does that happen? >> well, let's also understand that melanoma is a skin cancer, and usually we can see a lesion on the skin that's a primary lesion. as the president pointed out, there was no visible lesion that suggested where this cancer actually started. but when melanoma becomes invasive, it can spread, and what makes it so serious as a skin cancer is it can spread to many parts of the body. the liver and the brain being two such locations. but the important message here and what's so -- also so interesting about the president's situation is that the tumor in the liver is a small tumor that could be completely resected and the tumors in the brain are also very small and the probability
is they're going to be effectively treated with radiation. so when we approach a patient with melanoma, sometimes, unfortunately, this disease is widespread and rapidly growing and sometimes we're able to actually treat or remove all of the cancerous tumors. when we can do that, the prognosis is actually much better. and the president mentioned as well that this was a slow growing cancer. someone and one of the questions was, well, if you knew this diagnosis in may or you knew there was a problem in may and you waited until august to have your surgery, isn't that delaying things? and he made the comment the doctors said this was a slow-growing cancer, he could continue what he wanted to do, his surgeon could take a vacation, but the reality is that they have fundamentally removed all visible signs of canc cancer. over that four months no additional cancer has shown up, now they're treating him and there are probably cancer cells elsewhere but they're starting a treatment that will hopefully
deal with that remaining disease. >> dr. len, stand by. i want to go to dr. sanjay gupta. sanj sanjay, you were inside that room. rosalynn carter, was she sitting nearby? >> reporter: she was sitting nearby. other members of his family were, members of the carter center, and often times he obviously referred to his wife roslyn and talked about their 69-year marriage, and he was looking right at her when he was making those comments. it was very touching inside the room, very emotional. >> i just wanted to know what you think mr. carter's prognosis will be? >> well, you know, he was asked that question and it's always one of those tough things to sort of put into some context because if you look at the numbers for everybody across the board, when you're talking about metastatic melanoma which is what he's describing, melanoma that started somewhere in his body and has spread to his liver and to his brain, it's a very tough cancer to treat, no question. he's talking about getting a
specific type of therapy which is going to boost his immune system to help his immune system better fight the cancer, if you will, and also going to get radiation, but it's very hard to put numbers on this, carol. everybody wants numbers, likelihood of survival in terms of numbers. it's just very hard to do. he looked good today. it's going to be a tough treatment on him and i think the next few months will give us a better idea in terms of his prognosis overall. how does he respond to these treatments. >> he seems so positive, too, sanjay. will that help? >> you know, i think his optimism is really remarkable, and there was a couple things. one is that when he was first told, and this was one of the more remarkable moments in the conference, when he was first told, he said i thought i just had a couple weeks to live at that point and he also talked about the acceptance that he had around it. you could hear this hush in the audience when he said that. it was i think tough for him to talk about, but then he pivoted quickly to his optimism saying
that he's listening to the advice of his doctors. he is going to follow their recommendations pretty thoroughly and, you know, be aggressive in terms of this treatment. it is quite remarkable, i asked president carter about this, that from the time he was first diagnosed to have this mass in his liver to this operation was over two months. perhaps that didn't make a difference. generally you want to try to operate as quickly as possible so you can reduce a chance for future spread. he said, look, i was on book tour still, my surgeon was on vacation in spain. so that was the decision, to wait until august 3rd when he had that mri originally in may. so, again, who knows if that makes a difference. what we do know now is that he is planning on fighting this and being very aggressive with the therapy. >> absolutely. dr. sanjay gupta, thanks so much. on the phone with me right now is reverend jeremy shulta at the church in planes, georgia, where jimmy carter teaches sunday
school. thank you for being with me this morning. >> thank you. >> have you discussed with president carter his cancer? >> i have. i have spoken with him individually and he spoke with us at the church this week to let us know essentially what he let others know during the press conference today but as a community of faith we have spoken with him and list be een him and we are prepared to walk alongside him in the coming months as he prepares to receive his treatment. >> you know what many people are wondering. jimmy carter has done such great things throughout his life. why does he get cancer? why does god let that happen? >> well, that's one of the questions that theologians of all ages have sought to answer. i think in one breath we can say it is not fair, it's not fair
for anyone to have to go through something like this, but at the same time we all realize and president carter realizes this is a part of life. it's a part of what all of us will have to deal with at one point or another, and so given the reality of that, we can just hope to continue to live in a way where we can continue to love one another and to live out our call in the best way we know how, and president carter will continue to do so even though it may look a little different in the coming months. his responsibilities may shift, and as he turns some responsibilities over, he's going to continue to live out the call that he has received even if in a different way. so we're looking forward to seeing how he's going to continue to do that even as he goes through this treatment. >> i suspect this will be even more difficult on his wife, roslyn, which, of course, she
was in church with jimmy carter when he told the congregation. is she doing okay? >> miss roslyn has been in i think very good spirits throughout this process, and for both of them to give the kind of support they give to one another, they both hold each other up as husband and wife but also as a brother and sister in christ, and they are both strong in their faith. it is something that they have shared together intimately for all of their years, and so no doubt she is going through some of those difficult times that i think any spouse would when learning about this sort of diagnosis, but at the same time she has been in very good spirits and i think as you did watch the press conference and as you see president carter with a huge smile on his face and great optimism and great faith throughout the press conference. you can see that would bring comfort to her, and so in the
times that we have spoken, she is hopeful and optimistic and she is taking this in stride as well. >> thank you so much, reverend jeremy shoulta for joining me this morning. i want to go to jonathan reckford, a friend of president carter. why do you think president carter decided to do this? >> i think it's so consistent with who he is and the way he treats -- has engaged life all the way along and it's a little emotional for me. he's one of my heroes. i think president carter is in my definition of integrity one of those people that is the same in all situations. when he's in very difficult situations or joyful ones, you see the same person. i have traveled with him with heads of state and some of the poorest people in the world and you always get the same person. so it doesn't surprise me that he has handled this with such grace as well. >> i know he's going to try to
continue his work at the carter center in a diminished capacity, but i would suppose you fully expect him to do as much as he can. >> i do, and obviously his treatment has to come first and we are -- i and all of the habitat for humanity family are keeping the president and mrs. carter in our thoughts and prayers in the days ahead as he goes through our treatment, but knowing him, if there's anyone i would bet on, it would be him, and i'm sure he will be doing all he can around the edges to continue to have impact. >> all right, jonathan reckford thank you for being with me this morning. i want to bring in douglas brinkley right now, a cnn presidential historian. hi, doug. >> hello. >> this was amazing. i have never seen anything like it. >> well, there's nothing like it, but it's classic jimmy carter. you know, he mentioned the guinea worm disease and that there's some cases, it's one of the things he'd like to get done
in his life is eradicate it. he wars against disease, river disease, guinea worm. you will see him take on a war against cancer and we'll all be rooting for him but the concern he has is with his wife, roslyn, that he always wanted to be her caretaker and that flash of how much time do i have left, he wanted to take care of her through her senior years and that's the only thing that he's not at peace with. otherwise he's a man of such a healthy spirit, he may be sick with cancer but his spirit is so healthy and that's what we saw in today's press conference. >> it was still amazing because american presidents don't like to talk about their health, even after they leave office. >> well, jimmy carter is not typical. jimmy carter -- first off, he could have been a doctor. the carter center since '82, '83 has been working global health problems all over the planet. he constantly meets with
doctors' groups. what we saw today was jimmy carter being really america's great patient. he's showing us how to listen to doctors, to believe in modern medicine, but also keep faith and hope alive and to try to live out your last months of your life with dignity. so it's an amazing moment because he's teaching us on how to cope with something as heinous as cancer which as you mentioned affected your family and it affects everybody's family. we can't wipe cancer out like guinea worm right now, but if ever the ideas of getting rid of cancer are going to come, it will come from places like the cart center working with emory center or md anderson. he was spot on wonderful today. >> absolutely. douglas brinkley, thanks so much. i want to bring back in wolf blitzer. i have met jimmy carter myself many times. i met him when i was a very young reporter. he was monitoring some election
in some country and i can't recall which one because i got to meet a president of the united states, even though he was former at the time, he was surrounded by secret service, right? about 26 years old. i want a one-on-one with jimmy carter. the secret service wouldn't let me near him. he stopped in his tracks, i was chasing him down the street, and he said to the secret service, allow this young lady to ask me a question. and i have always appreciated that because it meant so much to me as a young reporter and, you know, he was doing such great things throughout the world at that time. >> he's really done amazing work since leaving office in 1981 when he lost his bid for re-election to ronald reagan. over these many years at the carter center as douglas brinkley and so many others have pointed out, he really has made a difference around the world. he's helped people obviously in south america and latin america, central america, africa, asia,
all over the world. he's traveled. he's been -- and what we saw today was -- and i agree with doug, typical jimmy carter. this is a man who is not afraid to go out and speak the truth even if it's not pleasant to certain people at certain times and be honest out there and he certainly was so candid and honest about his own physical condition right now and the spread of this cancer from his liver to his brain and what he's going to have to endure in the coming days, weeks, and months. so i wasn't surprised because i would have expected jirm eed jr to be as honest and bold and courageous in dealing with this issue as he has dealt with issues over the decades. >> i appreciate you being with me. i'm carol costello. that does it for me. cnn will continue after this. having a perfectly nice day, when out of nowhere a pick-up truck slams into your brand new car. one second it wasn't there
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>> i'm john berman. this is cnn special breaking news coverage. just moments ago candid and incredibly at ease, former president jimmy carter opened up about his health and a new serious battle with cancer. mr. carter says that four spots of melanoma were found on his brain. he begins radiation treatment for that today. doctors made the discovery after removing a cancerous tumor from his liver. this was the president's reaction after he learned that the cancer had spread. >> i felt that it was confined to my liver and that they had -- the operation had completely removed it, so i was quite relieved, and then that same afternoon we had an mri of my head and neck, and it showed up that it was already in four places in my brain. so i would say that night and the next day until i came back up to emorju