tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 1, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
monday afternoon. let's send things to washington. t "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. >> the final four is set. president trump now facing a full-court press from house democrats. "the lead" starts right now. dems about to unleash a whole new round of legal troubles for the president, trying to find out whether the white house played it fast and loose at all with top security clearances. right now, hundreds of officers are rushing south as president trump threatens to close the border and cuts off aid to some central american countries. critics warning, that could cause an economic disaster here at home. plus, george clooney and sir elton john leading worldwide outrage over one islamic nation's new medieval anti-gay law that involves death by stoning. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the politics lead. president trump, may i introduce you to democrats with subpoena
power. we could soon see the first subpoenas directed at the trump white house by house democrats this week. house judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler of new york will authorize one for the full unredacted mueller report. and the underlying evidence. the committee, we're told, will also vote to authorize subpoenas for five former top white house officials. but we're not even sure chairman nadler will be the first democrat to officially subpoena the white house, because house oversight committee chairman, elijah cummings of maryland, plans to issue a subpoena to interview the white house personnel security director. this after a whistle balour low revealed the trump administration pushed for security clearances for 25 vigilance, including senior aide jared kushner and ivanka trump. aides that are initially denied those security clearances because of issues that they have concerns they have the potential to be subject to foreign influence or because of possible conflicts of interest. as cnn's alex marquardt reports for us now, democrats are warning of grave security risks.
>> reporter: a white house whistle blower is alleging the trump administration's handling of security clearances is threatening u.s. national security. the 18-year career official claiming the trump administration gave security clearances to dozens of people who shouldn't have had them, including, according to a source, the president's daughter, ivanka trump, and son-in-law, jared kushner, overruling the office that determines whether a person should get access to the country's biggest secrets. inform a letter to the white house counsel, house oversight committee chairman, elijah cummings, said the whistle blower named tricia newbolt, a career official in the white house office that oversees security operations, believes that congress must intervene immediately to safeguard our national security. it's the latest sign that democrats plan to use their new subpoena power in the house to demand answers from the trump administration. chairman cummings has now suspected the former personnel security director, carl klein, who allegedly pushed through the
clearances, the whistle blower says, despite potential conflicts of interest or possible manipulation by foreign powers. >> at what point do you say enough's enough? >> there will come a moment that i will do whatever is necessary to be done to carry out my responsibilities under the constitution. >> reporter: the president can give out security clearances, as he sees fit, but has denied a role in pushing through these clearan clearances. >> you tell anyone in the white house to overrule security clearances? >> i don't think i have the authority to do that. i'm not sure i do. >> you do. >> but i wouldn't do it. >> reporter: the ranking member on oversight, congressman jim jordan, called the investigation reckless. that it's an excuse to go fishing through the personal files of dedicated public servants. this as the house judiciary committee, under congressman jerry nadler, announced it plans to subpoena to obtain the full unredacted mueller report. he also wants to subpoena some of the biggest names who have
worked in the trump white house, including steve bannon, hope hicks, and former white house counsel, don mcgahn, in relation to their roles in the mueller probe. and jake, i've been speaking with that whistle blower, tricia newbold for several months now. she was deeply concerned about the way her boss, carl klein, was running the office and the security clearance decisions, like the one for ivanka trump and jared kushner, which we now know he overruled. republicans have also responded to the democrats' memo, arguing that newbold had limited knowledge, as they said, about specific applications and pointing out on her list of those 25 people, she had very serious concerns for just four or five of them. jake? >> all right. alex marquardt, thanks so much. let's talk about this with my experts, kaitlan collins, white house reporter. does the white house have a strategy to deal with these incoming subpoenas? they've never faced them before? >> so far, they haven't responded to this, but they've known this was coming ever since democrats won back the white house. but what's going to be
interesting, we already know what pat sip lowny thinks about this. he has a very strong feeling that the executive branch has full authority to grant whoever or deny whoever has a security clearance as they see fit, and he doesn't think that democrats or congress has the authority to step in and do what he says are intrusive measures. so you can imagine, he's either going to accommodate these requests or they're going to end up in a court battle. that is seemingly, likely the option. but security clearances specifically, there has been a sense of unease in the white house about so much scrutiny on this, because there were so many issues with that. that was really a big problem in the white house, especially with the rob porter scandal. so white house officials don't really feel like their slate is clean on this one, so they don't want an extra set of eyes looking at how they've been handling these. >> what's the point here for democrats when it comes to -- obviously, we know what they want when it comes to the mueller report. what's the point when it comes to these security clearances? the president does ultimately have the final say? what are they hoping to achieve? >> the president has bad judgment. that's the question that's on the table.
the president goes to meetings with foreign leaders and kicks out all over staff, takes the notes of interpreters, to keep anybody from finding out what's happening. the president gives security clearances to people who people in the intelligence agency say shouldn't have them. at some point, we sort of have to ask the question, is this the kind of judgment about our national security that we all want? i've been through this process. it's intrusive. they go through everything. they knock on the doors in your neighborhood and your friends come and ask your dad if you did something wrong because the fbi was here. you know, this is a -- this is how this is supposed to work. but apparently, in the trump administration, that's not how it works. they give them whoever the president thinks is okay. >> aisha, in the past, what the white house has been doing is just ignoring letters from house democrats, just acting as if they didn't even send them. but they're going to have to respond to a subpoena, and if not, it will go to court, as kaitlan points out. >> they're going to have to come up with responses. and they're probably saying, look, we're ready for a fight, and if it goes to court, it will drag out for a long time. but the problem with that is
that things can come out. when you're doing these type of investigations, things come out, you have subpoena power. what is going to come out? and the issue with security clearances in particular when you talk about ivanka trump and jared kushner is the close relationship to the president. these are family members. and so there's always been that question of having people that close to the president working in the white house, is he willing to look the other way, even though there are concerns about risk. >> and scott, just to give the republican response on this, the republican ranking member on the oversight committee, congressman jim jordan of ohio, he's pushing back saying, quote, chairman cummings, that's the democratic chairman from maryland, chairman cummings' investigation is not about restoring integrity to the security clearance process, it is an excuse to go fishing through the personal files of dedicated public servants. but there is this whistle blower, there is this individual saying that something has gone wrong here. is this not theoretically what the house oversight committee is supposed to be looking into? >> sure, if she wants to go talk to the house oversight committee, i don't have a problem with that.
i do get very nervous when you have extremely partisan democrats digging through peoples personal records. and they would clearly publicize it. another issue i don't know that the house democrats have considered is it's long-standing doj precedent and policy that the senior-most advisers to a president cannot be suspected and compelled to appear before congress. >> if they work in the white house. >> if they work in the white house. this has been reaffirmed many times, most recently during the obama administration and by their doj. i think they're going to run into some serious roadblocks if they come after kushner and ivanka and the poster who exist as the senior-most layer in this white house. >> let's turn to the fact that jerry nadler and the judiciary committee is trying to subpoena the full mueller report. president trump tweeted today, quote, no matter what information is given to the crazed democrats from the no-collusion mueller report, it will never be good enough. does he have a point there? i know you disagree with him, but the bottom line is, democrats are going to be trying to talk about the mueller report no matter what it says. >> but the american public wants to see the mueller report. people feel as if they paid for
it, they feel as if this is something they want to see. democrats are acting on behalf of people who elected them, the majority. and they want to see the report and underlying data. here's the problem. bill barr may not be the most objective source on what's in that report. and so until people see it, i think you're going to continue to see democrats raise questions >> we're hearing conflicting things from the white house about whether or not they really want to release the mueller report. what's really going on? >> well, they say they want it released, but there is a sense of concern, not just in the white house, but in the president's world and his inner circle, some people outside the white house, that what's in the mueller report could be politically damaging to the president. maybe that's why they don't want it all to come out. the president raised some questions about whether he truly wanted it to come out when he tweeted on friday, we should just take our victory and go, because that letter that nadler responded to barr, barr said he would release the report with redactions. he would be happy toll appear in may. he wasn't going to meet their april 2nd deadline, which is tomorrow. and the white house response to that was essentially, they're not meeting bill barr halfway, like he's trying to do this here
and they don't feel like he's being met halfway. but i do want to know about barr going through that, when he said he would issue some kind of the report with redactions, he did say he was going to go through it with the special counsel, robert mueller. so that does lead you to believe that he wouldn't publish something that is vastly different than what robert mueller submitted. but of course, most people do want to see the full report that they could publish without releasing anything intelligence-related. >> and let's be frank. it's several hundred pages and it's not several hundred pages of things that look great. it might be several hundred pages and the ultimate conclusion was that nothing was illegal and nothing could be proven, but it's several hundred pages of things they had to investigate because things lo looked fishy. >> yeah, when you interview hundreds of people and go through all of these documents, there could be embarrassing things in there, i don't dispute that. but as barr's letter said, quoting directly from the report, there was no evidence of collusion or coordination with the russians. that's a good fact for the president. he has said from the beginning that he wants the report to come out. most americans want it to come out. and i think it will come out.
this subpoena is completely unnecessary. today is april the 1st. barr says he can have it done by april the 15th or sooner. this sort of aggressive confrontationalism is going to weaken public trust in this process, because it's going to look hyperpartisan. >> aisha? >> the idea that being very aggressive in investigations really weakens the public trust. i don't know that it weakens the public trust. you've seen republicans do the same thing when it came to benghazi and all these other things. this is what happens in congress. when you have an opposing party and there is an investigation of the other party, they are going to be aggressive in looking into that, and into the possibility of corruption or whatever comes out. the problem for the white house is when you say you've been completely vindicated, you've been completely exonerated, then why not release the whole report? and president trump is on the record saying, let's release it, before the summary came out, let's release it, let's let the public decide. so it seems like they're walking it back. >> this is not their first time at the rodeo, either.
the president is someone who promised to give the american people his tax returns and we still haven't seen those tax returns. >> and what's key about the mueller report, in bill barr's letter, he said that the president wasn't going to assert executive privilege, because he's referring to bill barr on that, as he statedicly, but it doesn't make it clear whether or not barr is going to decide what's going to be covered by executive privilege. he could be the one making those decisions. >> everyone, stick around. what may be the first signs of the president following through on his threat to shut the border down, despite warnings that that could theoretically trigger an economic disaster for the u.s. plus, breaking news, another woman now accusing the former vice president joed biden of inappropriate conduct, not sexual harassment, but inappropriate. details of this latest investigation next, stay with us.
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already stretched thin. this comes as president trump is renewing his threat to close the u.s./mexico border this week unless the mexican government does more to stop the flow. ed lavendera is at the u.s./mexico border in el paso, texas. ed, are officials there preparing for the border to be closed? and how would that even work, exactly? >> well, that's what many people around here want to know. it would essentially -- you know, this is the welcome sign that you get once you cross the bridge from juarez, mexico, into el paso. this is the port of entry you see behind me. you take this road and a lot of people walk back this road into mexico. they drive back and forth. this is used over and over throughout the day. so the idea of closing all of this down would have a devastating effect. if you look back here on to the main street that takes you into el paso, hundreds of businesses that depend on that foot traffic coming back and forth, that's just one small piece of the economic puzzle that would be impacted by the closure of the border here, jake. and that's why the news of this has really sent shock waves up
and down the southern border. >> ed, you've been to the border countless times. what are you seeing on the ground there over the last day or so? >> well, you know, we've heard so much over the last couple of weeks, from customs and border protection, federal government officials, talking about the increase in how the number of migrants arriving at the southern border is straining the system. you know, throughout much of el paso, there is border wall that already exists through here. and what we saw here in the last couple of days is -- for example, we witnessed one group of about 50 migrants, right in front of the border wall that were being processed by border patrol agents. so there's this -- so people understand, there's this no man's land between the river, which is the actual border, and the border wall that exists. and many of those migrants simply getting up to the southern side of that border wall, and that gets them into the united states and that's why you see those border patrol agents processing those large numbers of people here, even though there's a border wall in place. jake? >> ed lavendera at the border in el paso, thanks so much.
when asked whether the president will close the border, a white house official told cnn, quote, you never know. it's anybody's guest. while acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney told me on "state of the union," the president will indeed cut off aid to el salvador, guatemala, and honduras, otherwise known as the northern triangle, because the countries could, quote, do more to stem the tide of migrants from their countries, despite the fact that experts and top officials within mr. trump's own administration say that cutting off that foreign aide will only cause more migrants to flee to the united states. cnn's abby phillip is at the white house now. abby, is the white house preparing for the president to close the border? >> well, jake, they're preparing for anything at this point. but officials are telling us that it's not clear that the president has gotten to the point where he's ready to make a decision on this. one official telling me that it doesn't appear that something is imminent as of this moment and that key parts of this decision haven't been made, like, for example, what would be the scope of such a closure, if one were to happen? but there's also something else the white house is considering. according to my colleague, jeremy diamond, officials have been -- have been throwing
around the idea recently of appointing some kind of immigration czar. the idea to have one person focused on dealing with the issue of people crossing the border illegally and this surge that we've seen in recent weeks and months at the border. this is happening at the same time that the department of homeland security saying that there is a crisis and the crisis and getting worse by the day. there are some names being kicked around, including kris kobach, the kentucky secretary of state, and also ken cuccinelli, the former official in the state of virginia and also cnn political commentator, as well. jake? >> i've heard a lot of republicans, abby, talking about how they think cutting -- shutting down the southern border will be a horrible idea, because it will be a self-inflicted wound on the united states' own economy. what type of economic impact would a border closure have? >> reporter: jake, that argument is also being made within the white house. officials briefing the president over a period of months about these economic impacts. and let me just show you a little bit of what we're talking about here. mexico is the second largest
trading partner for the united states, as of this moment. and 78%, almost 80% of u.s. exports go to mexico by truck or rail. so we're talking over that southern border. mexico also accounted for almost half of the agricultural produce that comes across the border. and that's not even talking about the flow of people. people who work in the united states or work in mexico, and vice versa. but in the face of all of that, this is what mick mulvaney told you yesterday on "state of the union." >> are you concerned at all about closing the border, given the effect it will have on the american economy? >> sure. but we're also concerned about the effect to the american economy and the nation as a whole from having 100,000 -- more than 100,000 people cross illegally this month. >> reporter: so this is the argument that mulvaney is making to the president and the president also believes that closing the border is a unilateral action he can take to do something about this issue at the border. it also, in the president's
view, is something that will put some pressure on mexico to do more to stop people from getting over into the united states, jake. >> all right, abby phillip at the white house, thanks so much. let's talk about this with our experts. aisha, obviously, there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, especially with all of these families seeking asylum and overburdening a system that can't take them. but shutting down the border, closing off legal immigration, closing off all the interactions going son, does that make sense? might it work? >> what it seems like president trump is trying to do is to say that he's going to do something to stop this flow across the border, because this is what he ran on, right? he ran on being able to get illegal immigration under control. and now you have illegal immigration at record levels under his watch. and so that's a huge thing for him to try to address. but if you try to shut down the border, yes, you may get mexico to act, but you're going to get some americans to act, too, because you're going to affect americans. it doesn't -- if you're trying
to do something politically to make a point, but you hurt your own citizens, that's going to be an issue. and you saw this with the shutdown, where he tried to take this very kind of staunch point of view, i'm going to get my wall, but then when you started to see the repercussions of it, he ultimately had to give in. >> jamal, take a listen to what acting chief of staff mick mulvaney told me yesterday. >> mexico could help us do it. they need to do a little bit more. honduras could do more. nicaragua could do more. el salvador could do more. and if we're going to give these countries hundreds of millions of dollars, we would like them to do more. that, jake, i would respectfully submit to you, is not an unreasonable position. we could prevent a lot of what's happening on the southern border by preventing people from moving into mexico in the first place. >> i think he meant honduras, not nicaragua, but the larger point, if you cut off aidself-d.
>> it often seems like the president doesn't really understand how these things work. the same questions come up when he deals with nato, this question about giving aide to these countriesed in south and about how -- you know, i'm from michigan. so many auto companies are now sourcing their parts from south of the border. and when people can't get parts for their cars and the prices go up and cars aren't available, that's going to hurt the american economy. and the economy seems to be the only thing that is holding this president up in terms of any of his poll numbers. so i just think this is cutting off his face to spite his nose. >> and scott, let's look at the state department data i was just referencing. this is homicides per capita in el salvador, cut in half from 2015 to have 2018. and officials in the trump administration, dhs, cbp, state
department say that aide, the customs and border patrol commissioner kevin mcalane just last month said that help aide helped the officials make it less violent and that meant fewer people fleeing to the united states. >> i have worked in this space and i have experienced firsthand usai r usaid products out in the field. i believe in american foreign aid. i believe it works. and i believe in this case, based on the data, it is working. and yoi don't greet with the president that it's the answer. but i do agree that we need more aggressive tactics from these countries to help us get this crisis under control. look at the numbers, the thousands of people who are coming across the border. so the president is trying to come up with things. i think some may be good, some maybe not so good, to stop what many, many americans, and certainly the vast majority of his supporters believe is an absolute crisis.
you have people coming here for good reasons, fleeing violence, but you also have people coming here absolutely for the wrong reasons. and the president is trying to find a way to do something about it. and i hope he ends up finding the right levers to pull it off. >> everyone, stick around. we have some breaking news coming in about former vice president joe biden. a connecticut woman is telling a local newspaper that the former vice president, in her view, inappropriately touched her, rubbing noses. details of these latest allegations, next. stay with us. wednesdays. at outback, they're for steak and beer. walkabout wednesdays are back! get a sirloin or chicken on the barbie, fries, and a draft beer or coca-cola - all for just $10.99. hurry in! wednesdays are for outback. outback steakhouse. aussie rules.
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breaking news in our 2020 lead. there is another woman making an accusation that former vice president joe biden inappropriately touched her. not sexually, not violently, but in her view, inappropriately. "the hartford courant" newspaper reports that at a 2009 fund-raiser, amy lapo said the vice president put his hand on her neck and pulled her in to rub noses. lapo tells the currant she was afraid he was going to kiss her, but she never filed a complaint because he was, quote, the vice president and she was, quote, a nobody. arlette signs covers the former vice president for us. what are you learning about this new accusation? >> reporter: the ha"the hartfor courant" posted the account on facebook yesterday. biden's team didn't have a direct response to this latest allegation, but pointed to a statement yesterday, when biden said he didn't believe he acted inappropriately in his public
interactions but is ready to listen to women's experiences. a new stop in the growing democratic apology tour. joe biden in damage control mode today. defending himself after a former democratic nevada lawmaker alleged he made her feel uneasy, gross, and confused during a 2014 encounter. >> very unexpectedly and out of nowhere, i feel joe biden put his hands on my shoulders, get up very close to me from behind, lean in, smell my hair, and then plant a slow kiss on the top of my head. >> a day and a half after the allegation first surfaced, biden reacted. "in my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, i have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support, and comfort. and not once, never, did i believe i acted inappropriately. adding, if it is suggested i did so, i will listen respectfully, but it was never my intention."
>> i'm glad that he is clarifying his intentions. frankly, my point was never about his intentions and they shouldn't be about his intentions. it should be about the women on the receiving end of that behavior. >> also speaking out, the woman at the center of this viral photo. stephanie carter, the wife of former defense secretary, ash carter, says the photo of biden with his hands on her shoulders was misleadingly extracted from video of her husband's swearing in ceremony in 2015. writing, the joe biden in my picture is a close friend, helping someone get through a big day, for which i will always be grateful. over the weekend, some of biden's possible democratic rivals said the allegations by flores should be taken seriously. >> i have no reason not to believe her. >> i believe lucy flores. and joe biden needs to give an answer. >> reporter: it's not the first time biden's had to reckon with hilz past. just last week, biden offered
this mea culpa on anita hill. >> to this day, i regret i couldn't come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing that she deserved. >> and other 2020 hopefuls have embarked on apology tours of his own. from beto o'rourke saying he's sorry for these comments. >> i just got a call from my wife who's raising ulysses to their little brother henry. >> responding to bernie sanders. >> it was very painful. very painful. and it will not happen again. several former female staffers have come to biden's defense in recent days, including his former press secretary, elizabeth alexander. she wrote in a "usa today" op-ed, quote, joe biden thrives on personal connections. he emotes and empathizes like no other, and when he reaches out to you man or woman, he's
reaching out to touch your heart. if that's a failing, i'll take it. >> arlette signs, thank you so much. you just heard, there's a second woman told you that the former vice president biden touched her inappropriately. we need to point out again, they are not alleging that it was sexual or violent, but saying that it's inappropriate. what do you think? i mean, is he in trouble? he hasn't even declared yet. >> i think this is the kind of world we live in now. and a 76-year-old candidate like joe biden is going to have to face these allegations and he's going -- and we're in an era of me too, where women now are coming forward at a record rate, talking about the mistreatment they faced from men. and i think that's something he's going to have to take and walk a fine line of believing the woman but also responding to allegations made against him. but it's funny, these allegations are very fairly made against women candidates. so you see joe biden entering this world in a very sensitive time, where so many people have lost their jobs because of
allegations made against them. and i think that's something he's going to have to deal with. one aspect i think is interesting to this is that if he does enter the race, how the white house will weaponize this, because you already saw kellyanne conway trying to do so yesterday, but we have a president himself who's been accused of sexual assault by multiple women and is it on tape that came out right before his election, bragging about grabbing women. so i don't think the white house is going to be able to turn the tables around on joe biden here and try to say something about that. >> i want to turn to that kellyanne conway sound in a second, but first, aisha, i want to ask your opinion. because i have to say, if any of the men around this table behaved this way at our places of work, we would get reprimanded, we would get potentially even fired. you are not allowed to touch women inappropriately. again, it doesn't matter if your intention is sexual or just friendly, you can't massage a woman's shoulders and sniff her hair and kiss the back of her head. that's not appropriate. >> i think we should be clear, too, even though, you know, we always say, this is a new era,
but it is a new era in the way that women are talking about it, but women have been feeling uncomfortable and have been put in uncomfortable situations for decades, for eoneon rks, foreve. the difference is that women are speaking up about it. the difference for joe biden, having one person speak up and say they felt uncomfortable is one thing, now you have two. how many more stories are going to come out? and what is really sustainable if you're getting into a race if you're going to have stories coming out every other day from a woman saying she was made to feel uncomfortable. and when he says, he's going to listen. okay, you're going to listen to these women, then are you going to dismiss them or apologize? what happens after the listening? what happens next? >> jamal, one of the things that lucy flores said, former nevada assemblywoman lucy flores said yesterday in the interview i did with her, along the license of, this has been going on for a
long time and this has been a meme on the internet for years. has no one said anything to the vice president? and it is important to have people around you who can say, you know, maybe not so much with the hands. >> i don't know if anybody said anything that who worked for him. there have been some stories. you know, that time he was touching people during the swearings in, he was getting stories about that. but here's the thing. i think the vice president's learning this, men across america are learning this, obviously, the democratic party is dealing with this a lot. the things that men thought were okay, that women gritted their teeth through, are no longer sort of being tolerated. and so, for men, particularly someone like joe biden who has been around for so long, there are all of these eras of things -- if you go back to his public statements and public interactions, he's going to have to answer for all of these things in a modern context, which if i'm in, i'm just wondering if this is something i really want to subject myself and my family to. and maybe he should spend some time kind of reckoning with his bayer and learning how to behave differently. >> scott, let me play for you,
you're the lucky one, the kellyanne conway sound talking about former vice president biden. >> if anybody just types in creepy uncle joe videos, you come up with a treasure-trove. >> okay. so that's fair enough. but as kaitlan pointed out, president trump has been credibly accused of sexual harassment and/or assault by about a dozen women, and of course, there's the "access hollywood" tape which is, inarguably, far worse than what joe biden is accused of doing, if he actually carried out those actions. i mean, so shouldn't the white house just maybe like sit back and let democrats sort this out? >> yeah, there's no reason for the republicans to engage here. it strikes me that democrats are going to tear joe biden apart over the next several months. you already saw elizabeth warren who's struggling, she needs somebody to get out of the way, she's on the attack. and that's going to continue. what i find amazing is the question you raised, that these sorts of behaviors aren't okay in the workplace. well, it was sonnet long ago
that joe biden's workplace was the white house. he was the vice president of the united states. and we all knew this was going on and at that point, it was, he's our well-meaning goofy uncle joe, now he's this creepy personal space-invading hair-sniffing lecherous whatever. that all happened in a span of just like that. and where were the democrats during the obama years, during the senate years when this was going on and everyone knew it? >> and it's interesting that you say that, you know, you're framing that, why aren't democrats, where was the outcry then? but for women who have experienced this, experienced uncomfortable situations in everyday life, it's never been okay to greet someone like that, to smell someone's hair, to touch them inappropriately. and i think it's interesting, it's time and time again it's the men who are in trouble for inappropriately hugging, touching, kiss, but very rarely do you ever see a woman who does that. it's a problem that women have faced, as you pointed out, for decades and hundreds of years. >> it is important to remember. this is about gradations of
behavior. the vice president -- nobody is saying the vice president was -- vice president biden was intending harm to someone. but the perception of what he was doing was harmful to people. and so this is part of this conversation that i think men are sort of wrestling through is, it seemed like it was okay to me, that doesn't make it okay. >> what about stephanie carter, the former defense secretary, ash carter's wife, who's in some of the famous photographs and videos where he's rubbing her shoulders. she wrote a post on medium saying, this was my friend, it was totally fine, stop using my image that way. it's her story, she can own it. >> and that's very important to own it. it's not that every interaction that vice president biden had was uncomfortable. and that's clearly an example of a woman who said, no, that was fine. i was totally fine with that, we are friends and i appreciated his comfort in that moment. the problem is, those women who didn't appreciate it. and whether he knew what that line was or who appreciated it and who didn't. >> you talked about elizabeth warren. i just want to bring up one
thing. cnn has learned warren's campaign finance director has resigned after she announced she would no longer hold big money fund-raisers or seek out wealthy donors. "the new york times" reports her rivals on either ideological flank will raise substantially more money in the first quarter than she does and her focus on policy has not yet translated in the polls. as a campaign veteran, do you think that she should have made that pledge against big money donors? >> well, i understand why she did it, because that's the politics of her primary, but it's hard to get in a race when you've got so many well-funded operations and hope to break through. she's already running sort of behind sanders on trying to capture the socialist flank. and she's, you know, maybe missed her moment in some eyes back in 2016. so i think, if it were me, i would have opted to have the resources. because being able to communicate your message -- and i think it's true, she's arguing more policy stance out there than most candidates, but who will ever know about it if you don't have the money and the resources the to communicate it. probably a mistake.
>> everyone, stick around. more breaking news coming in this time on boeing and the process to try to get grounded airplanes back in operation. we'll have that story, next. this is the family who booked the flight, ♪ who saved by adding a hotel, which led to new adventures, ♪ that captured their imaginations ♪ and turned moments into memories. with flights, hotels, activities and more
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breaking news in our national lead right now. the faa now says it will take longer than expected for those grounded boeing 737 max flaeeen to get back in the sky. drew griffin joins me now. >> definitely a blow for boeing. an announcement that comes out just after the markets close this afternoon. the faa saying that the software package that boeing was supposed to be delivered to faa is still
weeks away. why? according to the faa, time is needed for additional work by boeing as the result of an ongoing review of the 737 max flight control system to ensure that boeing has identified and appropriately addressed all pertinent issues. this is just the software package that is going to be delivered to the faa by the faa of these planes get approved to fly again. so this is definitely a setback in the timing of that fix. of course, the 737 max grounded worldwide. jake? >> all right, drew griffin, thank you so much. in our world leader today, the united nations joining actor george clooney and singer sir elton john against a strict new law targeting people who are gay. in a matter of days, the small asian islamic country of brunei wants to punish gay sex as well as adultery with stoning. as alexandria field reports,
clooney and elton john hope a boycott of hotels tied to brunei can call attention to this. >> reporter: brunei now the target of international outrage. this week, it will fully implement their plan for sharia law, punishing adultery and homosexuality with death. >> it's hard to think that just being who you are you could get stoned to death. >> reporter: george clooney leads a pack of global superstars speaking out. he says, brunei will begin stoning and whipping to death any of its citizens that are proved to be gay. let that sink in. in the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism, this stands alone. and from elton john, discrimination on the basis of sexuality is plain wrong and has no place in any society. both now urging people to boycott hotels around the world owned by the sultan.
like all other independent countries, enforces its own rule of law. a transgender woman whose identity we are protecting fled the country to be able to live freely in canada. >> i just want my friends to be safe and if possible flee brunei. it's not a good place to have your freedoms taken away from you. your human rights not there. >> shaw left brunei after he was charge e ed by the government. he sends this message home. >> stay safe and please watch out for yourselves. if you feel that you're in danger, i made it out. you can too. >> a lot of questions have now been asked about whether a boycott of hotels would be effective in moving the
government to have brunei's position on imposing sharia law. you've had activists inside the country and outside the country saying that hitting the hotels hard won't have much of an impact on the government. george clooney has now written a second op-ed, clarifying his first and responding to some of that criticism. he reaffirmed his position. activists have been quick to say that boycotting the hotels might not hurt the sultan directly, but it is doing its part to raise international awareness of a terrifying situation, frankly, inside brunei, jake. >> and what about the united nations. what else did that organization have to say about this controversy? >> reporter: we have had a statement from the u.n. human rights high commissioner saying that brunei must keep this law from being imposed. that they must act now. again, as we talked to people in the lbgt community, they say that time is running out now. there's a clock on all of this. the deadline is april 3rd. that's when the country plans to impose the law. they do not believe it will be stopped, but they have mounting
questions about the extent to which brunei is willing to enforce these brutal laws. >> alexandria, thank you so much. he's peddled outright lies to his followers for years and now conspiracy theorist alex jones is explaining himself after swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth under oath. stay with us. -we bought a house in a neighborhood with a lot of other young couples. then we noticed something...strange. oh, could you, uh, make me a burger? -poof -- you're a burger. [ laughter ] -everyone acts like their parents. -you have a tattoo. -yes. -fun. do you not work?
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in our national lead now, after years of peddling the vicious and evil lie that the sandy hook massacre was a hoax, alex jones is now struggling to defend himself from lawsuits. in a newly released deposition, for one of those defamation suits, from some of the families of the victims, we're seeing for the first time the infowars host
on tape and under oath struggling to demonstrate any remorse to the loved ones of those who were killed and even offering more by way of deluded conspiracy theories. >> i am not the only person who questions sandy hook. >> reporter: conspiracy theorist and professional liar, alex jones, swore to tell the truth in this recent three-hour deposition. it was seemingly an uncomfortable spot for the info wars founder, who shared the revolting lie with millions of his followers that the deaths of 20 first graders and six educators at sandy hook elementary school in 2012 was a hoax, prompting his followers to harass the grieving families, who he smeared as coached actors. >> don't ever think this couldn't be staged. >> reporter: jones is now being sued by some victims' families, he's talking to lawyers instead of fans, and it seems he's struggling to explain. >> what does staged mean? >> i'm just asking you what you were telling your audience. >> no, i'm -- >> i'm not answering your question, mr. jones.
you're going to tell me what staged means when you said it. >> reporter: some of the grieving families were harassed so much they were forced to move homes and last week, one of those harassed parents took his own life. a conspiracy theorist boosted by jones repeatedly falsely claimed aviele was still alive. jones in his march 14th deposition blamed his false conspiracy theory on psychosis. >> and i, myself, have almost had a form of psychosis back in the past where i basically thought everything was staged. now, you know, i'm learning a lot of things aren't staged. >> reporter: whether you think his is the face of evil or delusion, jones has made farther than with lies such as these, claiming sandy hook and 9/11 were inside jobs, attacking mainstream media outlets. millions of dollars earned by feeding people's worst fears with lies and through it all, jones has managed to host more mainstream figures, from lou dobbs -- >> the majority in this country are simply ignored. >> reporter: to in december
2015, in the midst of jones' sandy hook smears, a certain presidential candidate. >> your reputation's amazing. i will not let you down. you will be very, very impressed, i hope. and i think we'll be speaking a lot. >> this is modern global corporate colonialism. >> reporter: in 2018, many social media platforms and several radio stations banned jones and info wars. in the defamation suit, jones tried blaming his woes on hillary clinton. >> this is all just cold-blooded, you know, a fit because hillary lost the election. >> so do you think it worked for hillary clinton or something? or george soros gives me money or something like that? >> i know this. hillary lost, a light switch went on, i've never been sued and i got sued a bunch. >> reporter: jones laid bare before the world still cannot see the damage he has done. >> my opinions have been wrong. but they were never wrong consciously to hurt people. >> jones also faces two other lawsuits by parents of children killed at sandy hook.
those cases each seek $1 million in damages for mental stress, anguish, and psychological pain suffered due to jones e' covera of the shootings. tweet me show @thelead on cnn. our coverage on cnn continues right now. thanks for watching. happening now, subpoena fight. house democrats plan to issue a subpoena after a white house whistle blower says two dozen denials of security clearances were overturned by senior trump officials. and democrats will also authorize a subpoena to obtain the full mueller report. how republicans are fighting back. not a bluff. a top white house official says the president isn't bluffing about closing the border with mexico as early as this week. but others at the white house say it's anyone's guess if the president will follow through, warning of dire consequences if he does. second accusation. a second woman alleges that former