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Clinton to "Hug It Out" With President; Rand Paul Tweaks Christie, Hillary; A Look Inside ISIS; Late Night Shows Pay Tribute to Williams

Aired August 13, 2014 - 07:30   ET


JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": Let's go INSIDE POLITICS. Back to you guys in a minute. With me this morning to share their reporting and their insights and maybe a hug or two, Molly Ball of "The Atlantic", CNN's Peter Hamby.

We're joking about hug outs because in Martha's Vineyard tonight, Secretary of State Clinton, the former Secretary of State, will be in the same room with the President of the United States. This after a big dust up after some comments she made, Molly, in "The Atlantic" where she says she disagreed the president on arming the Syrian rebels. She makes the case that maybe, just maybe, things wouldn't be as bad in Iraq today if we had dealt with this sooner. She also mocks this don't do stupid stuff as we say on television.

David Axelrod decided to tweet yesterday, "Just to clarify, don't do stupid stuff means like stuff occupying Iraq in the first place, which was tragically a bad decision." Most took the Axelrod tweet as an elbow in the back at Hillary Clinton because she voted for the Iraq war -- yes?

MOLLY BALL, "THE ATLANTIC": Absolutely. I don't think anybody doubted that at some point Hillary Clinton was going to establish some distance with President Obama. You know, running for the third term of the same party you always got to show you'll take a different course.

I don't think anybody doubted that they had authentic honest disagreements on many aspects of foreign policy including this one. We basically knew already that this was what she would have done something different in this situation. So you know, this happens to be the way it's coming out and of course, it's being played up as a soap opera. I think it was inevitable.

KING: The timing was bad. She gave this interview to Jeffrey Goldberg before the president announced the air strikes, which in the middle of that does magnify it some.

Here's what he spokesman, Nick Merrill, says, Peter, "Secretary Clinton has at every step of the way touted the significant achievements of his presidency, which she is honoured to have been a part of as secretary of state. Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when they see each other tomorrow night." To Molly's point it's in the book. It's not like she made this up at this moment to pick a fight. However, things do get magnified. Does team Obama have the grace, if you will? He's ran for president twice. He has to understand that sometimes this is necessary.

PETER HAMBY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Obviously once Hillary Clinton does run for president and maybe Joe Biden too, President Obama will not going to get out there in public and criticize her or his vice president, but I do think the Axelrod tweet was unmistakably actually a jab at Hillary Clinton.

And is indicative of residual friction on the political side, on their political staffs. They both tried to tamp down on any kind of divisions there. I'm sure on the official side on the policy side.

I think Hillary Clinton has to be careful here if she does run for the Democratic nomination. Look, she is the safe bet, but she is not inevitable and she does have to be sensitive, at least, to the -- not the anti-hawkish wing of the Democratic Party. That's where Barack Obama is from. That's where he emerged from. She has to be a little bit careful.

KING: That's a critical point. We focus on the personalities because it's interesting. The Clinton-Obama race was fascinating to watch. If you see any differences between them, we want to focus on him and her. This is about an ideological divide within the party.

And even now you see some Democrats raising reservations about what the president is doing. Senator Tim Kaine, who is the president's friend, who is his former Democratic National Committee chairman. He said the president should come to Congress for air strikes.

Senator Kaine said since the administration has conceded that 2002 Iraq authorization for use of military force is obsolete and should be repealed. It is now up to the administration to receive congressional authorization for the current campaign against the Islamic State.

The president want to vote, number one and number two, if you're looking at Barack Obama in the White House and there's a vote, if you're a Democrat, I assume you think the safe vote is no.

BALL: In a way it is that Iraq vote all over again and that was the vote that, you know, Hillary Clinton calls a mistake now in her book, but never apologized for it during the 2008 nomination process when it was the only significant ideological difference between her and Barack Obama.

And this is the substance in a larger sense of her criticism of him is that there isn't a quote-unquote "organizing principle" to his foreign policy. It's interesting that's what she's been criticized for as well for not having established a sort of Clinton doctrine as secretary of state and not having real accomplishments that she can show for that

When my colleague, Jeffrey Goldberg asked her what is your organizing principle it was sort of nothing? It was peace and prosperity. She will still be under pressure to first of all do this dance with the Democratic base.

Where she shows somehow she's still -- she's in touch with them when a lot of them disagree with this point of view, but second of all coming up with an organizing principle of her own.

HAMBY: Only because the wars are not flaring like they were when she was running for president the last time. It doesn't mean the mood of the Democratic base is tempered with respect to overseas intervention.

I think the base still wants sort of a sober mined approach to foreign policy, again, sort of the small ball foreign policy that Barack Obama likes to talk about another way she has to be quite not careful.

KING: The question will be, who will draw that out and have that conversation with her or it is done in town hall settings. One of the best things you can do with a politician, ask long foreign policy questions and sometimes the old word associates works out well.

Listen to Rand Paul. He's obviously on Kentucky education television and asked to play word association with his friends. Listen.


BILL GOODMAN, KENTUCKY EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION: OK. Back to the personalities and in one word or couple of words, praises. Chris Christie.

RAND PAUL: Hillary Clinton. Yesterday's news.


KING: Bridges for Chris Christie. Ouch. A little shot there. Yesterday's news for Hillary Clinton. What do we make of Rand Paul playing word association?

BALL: He's not pulling any punches. He's been showing for a while that he's going to wage a very aggressive presidential campaign. He's been saying about Hillary for more than a year now and somehow it gets a fresh headline that she's unqualified to be president because of Benghazi.

And so this is -- this is also an attack line that Republicans have been preparing against Hillary for quite some time and Democrats tend to respond to it by saying that's ageless, that's not nice. They think the most effective way to attack Hillary Clinton is by painting her as this vestige from the '90s.

HAMBY: Rand Paul is already running for president. He makes no bones about that. He's avoiding the polite conventions where people typically avoid naming the unnamed crypts that they talk about.

And he understands the state of the media, that we love a fight, we love a clash, and by sort of pick fights with Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton he's able to elevate himself, get himself out there and there's no front-runner for the Republican nomination but he's in the top three usually in most Republican polls. KING: We'll see Chris Christie if he responded to that game, Hampton. All right. Molly and Peter, thanks for coming in. Have you taken ice bucket challenge?

We'll get back to New York with this one. There are a lot of Kennedys. If you follow this ice bucket challenge it's a great cause. Boston college athlete came down with ALS disease. This awareness campaign has gone viral including the Kennedys. Look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today I'm nominating my entire family to dump buckets of ice over their heads for ALS.

ETHEL KENNEDY: Welcome to Cape Cod, President Obama. I nominate you.

KING: That's Ethel Kennedy. The administration says he won't dump a bucket of ice, but will make a contribution to ALS so that's some progress, although Chris Christie did dump it on his head. The mayor of Boston has done it. Scott Brown has done it. Maybe the president will reconsider at some point.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: He might reconsider. It makes my excuse, but I think it's against doctor's orders for me to be dumping buckets of ice over my head. If Ethel Kenendy is doing it, I don't think my excuse works so much.

KING: I think to be a gentleman, Mr. Berman should just do it twice.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That seems fair. That sounds completely fair.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Can we make it three times please?


BERMAN: Three times, come on, bring it on. I'll do it as many times as there were Kennedys in that line. I thought that line was going to go all the way to like Gloucester, John. It just kept going on and on.

KING: You could put them all in one place, it's hard to lose an election. Boom.

BOLDUAN: There you go. There's the strategy. Thanks, John.

All right, we're going to take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, we'll talk much more about the crisis in Iraq. How did ISIS get so powerful and quickly as it seems to some? How is the group recruiting people to join their cause? A rare remarkable look inside the militant group coming up in moments.

And then remembering Robin Williams. A few of TV's late night hosts play tribute to the comedian. We rounded up all the best sounds, emotional heart felt memorials. That's ahead.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. This morning an unprecedented look inside the operations of ISIS. Vice News spent three weeks embedded with the militant fighters. We have an up close look at the group's efforts to recruit young people to its cause. Here's a look.


BOLDUAN (voice-over): In the militant group self-declared Syrian capital, Vice News cameras capture a rare and remarkable look inside the world of ISIS militants and their influence on the younger generation.

Inside this mosque militants deliver their message to a packed room of men and boys, declaring war with the enemies of Allah they are asked to sacrifice their money and lives.

This 11-year-old boy came to swear allegiance to the terrorist group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Here ISIS member asks his young son, why do we kill the infidels? What have they done? They kill Muslims the boy re-price.

Vice News cameras were rolling during this celebration, the reporter describing it as an important recruitment opportunity for is. The rally, a startling reality of how youth are indoctrinated by the militant group.


BOLDUAN: Truly startling look inside this militant operation that you've never really seen before thanks to Vice News for that. Let's discuss this further, Haras Rafiq. He is the outreach officer for Quilliam, a think tank dedicated to reducing extremism.

Haras, thank you so much for your time. I know you were watching that and amazed as I am when I see that video and access that Vice News was able to get. It raises so many questions and simple ones for many people, not only really what is ISIS, but what is unique to ISIS, do you believe, that has allowed them to grow so powerfully and so quickly in many people's minds?

HARAS RAFIQ, OUTREACH OFFICER, QUILLIAM: Yes. ISIS is an organization in different names has existed for a while. Baghdadi at one time was arrested and a prisoner in Iraq and one of the first things that President Obama did was release him. He's been around for a while.

But what these guys have done in different guises they have actually managed to bully people through protection money, some oil companies have related stories that they charged half a million dollars a month for protection and they have raised a lot of money from wealthy donors from around the world as well.

But the key thing now is they have actually won some battles. They believe God is on their side. They now have over $2 billion worth of assets and operating in a 21st Century jihadi manner and operating almost like a corporate entity.

They are issuing annual results, slick recruitment videos. This for them was almost like a tourism video. A way to recruit people from around the world. They have done something al Qaeda never managed to do and that is set up an Islamic State and now asking for people to come join them.

BOLDUAN: Some of our military analysts they looked at just really this unbelievable surge that they have pushed from into Syria as well as into Iraq and they said someone within that organization has had war college training because of how they have been able to operate and win some of these battles. What do you know more about that operation?

RAFIQ: Yes. There are people that are war veterans from Chechnya. People gone from Holland. They have now got foreign fighters from over 80 countries in the world, that's nearly half the countries in the world.

With these foreign fighters they've had people who used to be in the military in Holland and other places, war veterans and people with expert military and tactical knowledge and have allowed them to bring them into this 21st jihad and allowed them to within battles.

They indoctrinate in such a fashion that they believe it's their religious duty and political and religious duties and now expanded around the world. They are looking at this as a long term project with this indoctrination of children, they call all sorts of people to come to their state.

We have people today, newspapers in the U.K. say there's recruitment for ISIS in the streets of London and other countries as well. This is something that really should be a worry for all of us.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. When you talk about that they've had some key wins that has helped their morale, if you will, quite frankly they have billions of dollars of assets at this point, which is key to spreading their operation, it's clearly a threat in the Middle East. No question. Is it -- how big of a threat is ISIS, do you think to the United States?

RAFIQ: I think ISIS is a huge threat to the whole western world not just the United States. As you mentioned they got over $2 billion worth of assets. They are running over $3 million a day from oil revenue from selling oil on the black market.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wants ISIS to be the go to Jihadi organization for the world. In order to do that he has to do something that he's more renowned than Osama Bin Laden did and we all know what he did and al Qaeda did in New York. And what worries me is that he wants to make a statement.

He has these foreign fighters and many people who fought there and gone back. In order to make this statement he has to do something in the west and that's what really worries me. We don't manage to A, attack this now in the region and B, in the long term tackle their ideas and stop people, win people's hearts and minds and stop them from joining them in the first place.

We're going to have a lot more serious threats in the U.S. and around the world because these guys have got money, motivation and they are well, well organized.

BOLDUAN: Then it raises many questions that go to not only what can and should to be done to stop the threat in Iraq but, of course, then from spreading much, much further even here to even further west as you pointed out. Thank you so much. Haras Rafiq, thank you so much. It's great to see you. Thank you for your insight on this.

RAFIQ: My pleasure.

KING: Let's take another break. Coming up next on NEW DAY getting back to the touching tribute to Robin Williams from some of TV's late night hosts. We'll show you how they honored the man who inspired many of them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're very lucky to have had him at all. So yes.




JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: One-in-a-million, unbelievable. If you ever saw this guy stand up -- if you don't know stand up, go to you tube and watch it. Amazing. He was funny. He was fast. He would weave in and out of characters. Yes thank you. What the hell going on there. Yes. The kid no. Yes, thank you


PEREIRA: Jimmy Fallon last night paying beautiful tribute to Robin Williams and that comedic genius, Jimmy, Conan O'Brien, Seth Meyers all took a moment to remember Robin Williams. The actor left his mark on comedy. His comedic style hard to repeat.

Jimmy did a good job. And he was giant Robin Williams. Many comedians called him an idol. Nischelle Turner is here. Not only the legacy but the impact he's had on the world of comedy just seeing Jimmy there. He was a regular on the late night circuit. Jimmy called him the Mohamed Ali of comedy.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Greatest of all time Mohamed Ali. A lot of people feel that way when you see Robin Williams' standup comedy almost like a risk. A stream of conscience. He just went and wherever he ended up, OK.

PEREIRA: Most guys rehearse their material in smaller clubs before they do their big shows. Do you get a sense he ever did that? I would think no two shows would ever be alike?

TURNER: That's a good point. We heard Gilbert Godfrey earlier this morning say he would see Robin because robin would pop up in the clubs. Paul Rodriguez talked about the fact that Robin popped up in the club and made sure he got on the bill. He was a working stand-up comedian. We hear those guys who work on their craft. Let's take a look what Seth Meyers had to say last night on late night.


SETH MEYERS, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: The saddest part is robin was battling depression and if there's anything we can do to honor his memory, I would hope it would be to use this opportunity to educate us more about this terrible affliction. So we just want to say that we miss Robin, we're also very lucky to have had him at all. So, yes, just, you know, just thank you to robin Williams. That's all I can say.


PEREIRA: You can tell that was a real reaction. I want to leave with could Conan O'Brien. He tells the funniest story.


CONAN O'BRIEN, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: He bought me this bicycle and he had it delivered to my house and it was the most absurd bicycle you've ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hooked like a Mardi Gras parade.

O'BRIEN: It did. It was beautiful and top notch but it was bright orange and bright green and had shamrocks on it. I called him up and I said Robin I'm floored by this bike and all he said I knew you ride and I knew you could use it. Does it look ridiculous?



PEREIRA: It shows that he developed a relationship with these guys going back on these late night shows over and over on Letterman and Leno and all the shows.

TURNER: And inspiring them he was a comedian of a certain ilk. He made comedians cool in a lot of way, fun in a lot of ways. Those guys did look to him. I think it was interesting how we saw totally three different reactions and tributes to him last night and I think Seth was poignant, speaks to his sensibility.

PEREIRA: We don't want it to get buried. He made us laugh, but we do need to address that. Nischelle, thank you.

Take a short break here on NEW DAY. We'll be watching our breaking news. New reporting on the U.S. advisors heading to Iraq in addition to the ones already there. Could these new advisers be headed to the mountain top? We'll speak to the Pentagon spokesman right after this break.