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Tamerlan Tsarnaev Buried; Boston Never Got Tamerlan Warning; Defense Distributed Shut Down; The Great Gatsby Is Back; "Louwanna Died Of A Broken Heart"; Interview with Rep. Michael McCaul

Aired May 10, 2013 - 16:30   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. The "National Lead," the FBI had Tamerlan Tsarnaev on its radar back in 2011, but they did not tell Boston police about it until it was way too late. Now the head of the House Homeland Security Committee, well, he is demanding answers and he's our guest.

The "Buried Lead," cease and desist. He put blue prints for a 3D printable guns online for the whole world to see, but days after test firing the very first one, the government shut him down. Cody Wilson one of "Wired" magazine's 15 most dangerous people in the world will join us live.

In other national news, Louwanna Miller, she never gave up. The mother of Amanda Berry, she kept the faith that her daughter was still out there somewhere. Tragically, she would not live to see the faith rewarded.

In national news, there were no takers for miles, but nearly a month after the Boston marathon bombings, the accused terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev is now in the ground. CNN has confirmed that the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in a Muslim cemetery in Deswell, Virginia. Now we're learning the Boston police had no idea Russia warned the United States about him two years before the carnage at the finish line.

Joining me now is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Republican Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas. Congressman, thanks for being here.


TAPPER: So you held the first hearing on the Boston bombings this week. What was the biggest takeaway for you? What questions remain unanswered?

MCCAUL: I think from Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. I asked him did you know about the Russian intelligence? The answer is no. Did you know about his foreign travel? The answer was no. And virtually every aspect of the FBI's investigation on Tamerlan was not disclosed to the Boston police despite the fact that they had two police officers assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force. So here's a guy in charge of security for the city of Boston completely in the dark in terms of what's going on.

TAPPER: So the information sharing issues we've heard about since 9/11 seem to still remain.

MCCAUL: This is a real problem. It's 12 years after 9/11, billions of dollars and yet we have this stove pipe of information not connecting the dots, not sharing information, which arguably, you know, when he came back he was so radicalized with the web site that he had, the Jihadist web sites, that had the Boston police been able to take a look at him they maybe just could have stopped him.

TAPPER: You really believe that.

MCCAUL: I think -- Senator Lieberman did a fantastic job talking about the fact that not with certainty, but that the possibility that when he came back if people had looked at him in terms of the radicalization at the mosque, his friends, his YouTube website, you know, all of this information wasn't shared. In fact, the FBI didn't even know he traveled over to the Chechen region and of course, Homeland Security has the flag, customs. They don't share that with the FBI and certainly not with the Boston police.

TAPPER: Let's talk about the travel to Russia. How much do you think there may have been some radicalization by individuals in Chechnya or Dagestan?

MCCAUL: It's very likely. Remember what Chechnya is and Chechen rebels. They have fought alongside with al Qaeda in Pakistan, Afghanistan. They killed a constituent's son of mine in Fallujah, in Iraq. They are very fierce warriors.

I think this area of Dagestan, the people we think he was associated with over there, very likely may have trained him that the pressure cooker device that he used is a signature of Taliban and Pakistan, very destructive, very sophisticated as well. We think -- I personally believe he was trained, possibly over there, came back, and then perpetrated the biggest attack since 9/11.

TAPPER: I want to play something that Senator Lieberman said, former Senator Lieberman said at the hearing.


JOE LIEBERMAN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Even members of the Tsarnaev family including Tamerlan's wife could have saved lives including Tamerlan's if they had said something or asked someone for help.


TAPPER: Do you still have questions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's family and what they knew, especially the wife?

MCCAUL: Especially the wife. I mean, they're living in a small apartment. The pressure cookers are inside the apartment. We know they had at the time executed the search warrant up to ten explosive devices. The idea she knew nothing about that is very difficult for me to believe. She's radicalizing along with him.

I think every step of the way and is right in the middle of this. I think she does have information. I think she is in the sites of the FBI right now. They are looking at her very closely. With respect to the mother I think she radicalized him and the father I think there is a reason why he has declined his trip to come back to the United States.

TAPPER: Why? What is the reason?

MCCAUL: I think, you know, we don't know for certain, but I think he had some influence over him. Remember, he is going over to Russia to visit his father. His father lives in the Chechen region and again, one of the most dangerous parts of the world. So he met some very interesting individuals over there and I think the family influenced him a great play in this.

TAPPER: Congressman Mike McCaul, thanks so much for sharing your views.

MCCAUL: Jake, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

TAPPER: He was one of the first responders at the scene of the massive explosion in West, Texas, but now a paramedic is under arrest for allegedly possessing materials for a pipe bomb. We want to stress authorities are not, they are not linking him to a criminal investigation that's been launched into this plant explosion at this point.

Bryce Reid is in the custody of the U.S. marshals right now. Reid is a volunteer who responded to the huge blast at a fertilizer plant in West on April 17th, a blast that killed 14 people.

Meanwhile, in a separate announcement, the Texas Department of Public Safety has launched a criminal investigation into the explosion. The state fire marshal's office has already ruled out a number of causes, but it's still trying to find the exact spot where the initial fire began.

Coming up, he proved that you could shoot a gun that comes out of your printer, but now the government has ordered him to take his plans offline. Once something is on the internet, well, we'll talk to Cody Wilson, one of the most dangerous men in the world according to "Wired" magazine, that's next.

And what is it about Jay Gatsby? Hollywood just cannot get enough of him. They're remaking his tale for the big screen for the fifth time. Will this be the best thing since your high school English class?


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now it's time for our "Buried Lead." This is actually a follow up to a story you might have missed. The State Department is ordering Cody Wilson to yank his design of a printable gun off his web site. Wilson told me back in March that he would have a printable gun ready for download by the end of April and when he posted his plans for an all plastic handgun online just a few days behind schedule, well, he got a letter from the State Department's Office of Defense Trade Controls ordering Wilson to shut down his site immediately.

At 10:46 a.m. Thursday Cody Wilson's company Defense Distributed pleaded Defcad has gone dark. Take it up with the secretary of state. Here now to take it up with me is Defense Distributed's Managing Director Cody Wilson. Cody, thanks for joining us.


TAPPER: So we just read a portion of a letter from the State Department. You've told others you're disappointed, but not very surprised by the decision. So what are you going to do now?

WILSON: I think we see what the State Department wants to do. It's very interesting and it's necessary that we act carefully because what we do next with the Department of Defense Trade Controls could set a regulatory precedent as to how that office will print all 3D CAD files or CAD files generally going forward.

TAPPER: Explain what a CAD file is.

WILSON: Sorry. Computer-aided design files, pieces of software that might in some sense represent material objects but at the same time are really just pieces of information. This administrative group claims for itself or is seeing if it has for itself the regulatory jurisdiction to control that information and its spread online. So when it tells me to take it offline while it determines what it wants to do, one, I see it as kind of a prior restraint and two as a kind of overreach.

TAPPER: So Congressman Steve Israel from New York was on our program Monday talking about your guns as I'm sure you know. Let's listen for a second to what the congressman told me.


REPRESENTATIVE STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: My solution is to extend something that has been on the books for 10 years, the Undetectable Firearms Act that says you cannot manufacture and transport weapons that cannot be picked up by metal detectors. It is getting easier to make these weapons. We shouldn't make it easier for terrorists and criminals to bring these plastic weapons on to planes. It is just that simple.


TAPPER: So Cody, doesn't he have a point? Aren't you making it easier for people to get guns on to planes?

WILSON: I disagree. The TSA uses advanced imaging technologies, millimeter wave, x-ray. These guns are imminently detectible by those technologies. The metal detector is a standard from the 1980s written into that law but never updated by Congress. In fact a law to suggest one day Congress anticipated the technology especially those in weapons detection would advance in time, but Congress hasn't updated the law.

TAPPER: So let's just talk about the design of the gun and the technical aspects of the gun. The CEO of 3D Robotics Chris Anderson told "Forbes" that your gun would literally blow up in your face. Now we have played the video of you shooting the gun. It looks like it worked. You looked to be shrapnel free right now. You don't seem to have any wounds. Did you shoot more than just that one round? Did the gun perform the way that you had hoped it would?

WILSON: Yes. We've tested multiple prototypes multiple times. I love it that so-called experts might have an opinion about something they've never tried to do before, makes it that much more fun for me.

TAPPER: The liberator, the name of the gun, is not your only foray into gun making. You've produced plastic barrels and parts for so- called assault rifles. Are you going to move beyond the hand gun and try to produce a fully functional, printed, semiautomatic rifle or automatic rifle?

WILSON: No. I don't think with the current materials we can create that semiautomatic rifle. If I could turn back to the Undetectable Firearms Act, I accused Congressman Steve Israel of acting in bad faith. He is not just stopping guns from getting onto airplanes.

If you read the law what he has inserted into his law he is making it impossible for you to make any functional gun part on a 3D printer, receivers, magazines, everything. Basically is not interested in security but in taxing the production of gun parts.

TAPPER: Cody, I'm sorry. We have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time. Have a good weekend.

WILSON: Thank you.

TAPPER: This weekend, movie producers are banking on the fact that you will not care the latest Hollywood release has been made before and before and before and before. So what is so special about this version of the great Gatsby? Our "Pop Lead" is next.


TAPPER: Rapper's delight, Sugar Hill game, but get ready for some flapper's delight. The Great Gatsby is getting a fresh coat of paint. Director Buzz Lerman brings his trademark Ritalin addled style and Cuisinart editing technique to the new movie version starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Toby McGuire opening across the country today. There have ban few big and small screen versions over the years so what is new about this one?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't repeat the past. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But of course you can.

TAPPER (voice-over): Of course, you can indeed. This weekend the 1920s roar into theatres with the latest, greatest, and 3D version of Gatsby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You must know Gatsby.

TAPPER: Surely we do know Gatsby, the namesake of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 classic.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: Gatsby is the Seminole American novel. It sort of defines America in the 1920s and at the center figure is this very complex, mysterious character known as the great Gatsby.

TAPPER: Leonardo Dicaprio, of course, is hardly the first to play the opulent icon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you do, old sport? I'm Gatsby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see I'm Gatsby.



DICAPRIO: I think everyone has a little Gatsby in them.

TAPPER: Seems so, old sport. There have been at least five adaptations of the story. The newest ups the party factor with rapper Jay-Z. You could say it's a slightly different sound than this silent version of the film that debuted just a year after the novel's publication.

Fast forward a few decades and there he is again, Gatsby butler hopping for gold in this computer game from an outfit called Film Shaw Industries. So what is it about this guy that keeps studios beating on borne back ceaselessly into the past?

KURT ANDERSEN, HOST, PRI AND WNYC'S "STUDIO 360": It's never been done perfectly or even maybe arguably well before. So in each new generation there is some talented, ambitious director who says, I can finally get it right.

TAPPER: Public radio host Kurt Andersen has explored the legacy of Fitzgerald's tale in depth and says the moral of the story is especially striking now.

ANDERSEN: We've just been through a period of spend, spend, spend, party, party, party leading up to the great recession. So I think with the great recession it's more of a perfect time to go see this story and think about its implications than ever.

TAPPER: Not to be deterred by the anti-decadence theme, advertisers are hoping Gatsby tie-ins will inspire more spending. Brooks Brothers Gatsby collection boosts snazzy separates like this party ready jacket for $800 and for modern day Daisys, Tiffany and Company has the film inspired head band for a mere $200,000. I hear it's the cat's meow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love is made entirely from your own imagination.

TAPPER: So this weekend re-read your high school copy and get dolled up in your flapper finest because the great Gatsby hits theatres today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm certainly glad to see you again.

TAPPER: And probably again in a few years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm glad to see you, as well.

TAPPER: That green light still shining, drawing us back every time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about to keep going up.


TAPPER: It's 23 ski doo. A reminder this weekend, Anthony Bourdain goes to Tangier, Morocco, a place where they care free attitude and serious food. Anthony Bourdain "PARTS UNKNOWN" Tangier, all new Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.

Coming up, she made daily phone calls to police and the media, begging them to keep looking for her daughter. Just days before Mother's Day, Amanda Berry's mother is remembered for never giving up her fight to find her daughter alive. That's next.


TAPPER: Flowers, chocolates, cards, Mother's Day will have mothers all over the world showered with gifts this Sunday, but for one mother the only gift she wanted was her daughter back home safe with her.

Louwanna Miller, Amanda Berry's mother, she never gave up the search for her daughter after she disappeared. When Louwanna died, three years later, her friends and family promised to keep Amanda's story alive.

And today, we remember Louwanna with the words of Regina Brett, a columnist for the "Cleveland Plain Dealer." While Louwanna was still alive, she'd call Regina every month begging for more attention to her daughter's case.


REGINA BRETT, FOLLOWED MOTHER'S SEARCH FOR HER MISSING GIRL: They said she died of heart failure, but everybody that knows her said she died of a broken heart, if you take the worst day of your life and live it every day for three years that is what killed Louwanna Miller.

Louwanna was angry. She was angry that somebody took her daughter and never stopped being angry or hurt. She was the only person that really kept the story alive, month after month. She pestered me. She called local TV. She wrote national people saying my daughter is missing and I know she didn't run away.

You know what? She convinced me. I've called the FBI, the detective. Every so often I'd keep -- I need more tips. They ran out of tips and clues. They ran out of leads. You know what was sad, I dreaded the phone calls when she made them because she called and she'd be, first she'd yell at me.

How come you're not doing anything? She'd swear at me. Then she'd start crying. Then she'd call me honey and thank me. We had this kind of relationship like I'm the person to go to, but I can't help you. I felt helpless for her because there was nothing new to say and that is why I couldn't keep writing about it because nothing changed.

You know, it's almost like I can't tell the same story without any new ending. When I heard she got sick and then died, it broke my heart that she died not knowing. A Conway Twitty song about Amanda the light and love of my life and it's funny because she didn't love country music, but this daughter was the light of her life and she named her Amanda. She always called her Mandy though. That was her Mandy.

Louwanna, I can't imagine the celebration, to see all the satellite dishes and media from around the world she has to be beaming saying, they finally are looking out for my little girl. What is beautiful about this is Amanda was the one to break free. Louwanna loved her like a mother bear.

You get in the way of my daughter I'll hurt you kind of love. It was Amanda that broke through that door and I thought that is the Louwanna in her, fire of her mom in her. I feel like she has to be shining down and smiling on her going, that's my daughter.


TAPPER: A bitter sweet sentiment this Mother's Day weekend. Hug your moms this weekend. Tell them you love them. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I'll leave you with Kate Bolduan in "THE SITUATION ROOM."