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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
White Police Officer Charged With Black Man's Murder In South Carolina; U.S. Officials: Russia Hacked White House Computers; Obama Slams GOP 2016ers for "Foolish Approach"; Rand Paul Launches Different Kind of Republican Campaign. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 7, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT tonight. Breaking news. We have dramatic video tonight of a white police officer shooting a black man in the back as he runs away. The man allegedly stopped for a broken tail light, the police officer charged tonight.
And more breaking news, Russians hacking into the White House computer system accessing the President's personal schedule.
How do this major breach happen? And the family poisoned on vacation, how the pesticide sprayed at their resort which has left two sons in a coma could be in the food you're eating. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news. We have just obtained this video, I'm going to show it to you. This is a white police officer apparently shooting a black man in the back as he runs away. What you're watching here, see the officer shooting the black man in the green shirt as he runs away. Eight shots. This happened in the town of North Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday. That officer has just been charged with murder. Now, I want to warn you that what you're about to continue to see here is graphic and violent. It's important though to understand this story.
Now, according to the New York Times the Officer Michael Slager is his name, have pulled Walter Scott, that's the man he shoots over a traffic stop for a broken tail light. At some point Scott ran. Officer Slager chased him, fired his taser and a scuffle may have ensued before Scott again ran away. Eight shots were fired in total from the officer's gun. The New York Times report says, Slager had said Scott seized his taser and the officer said he feared for his life.
Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT tonight. Ed, we're going to show everyone more of this video including right after those shots, what the police officer does, how he treats that man. What more can you tell us though about the incident right now?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a stunning development Erin especially when you consider that this shooting took place on Saturday. So, within three days the officer in this case has been charged with murder by state authorities there in the state of South Carolina. So, just a fast pace of this investigation is quite stunning. Obviously, the video playing a key role in this investigation for authorities there in South Carolina. As they were saying initially that the officer said he feared for his life because a 50-year-old Walter Scott had reached for his taser.
But obviously this video that we've seen at least from what we've been able to see so far, doesn't show anything like that at this point. And what you see is Walter Scott, the 50-year-old victim here being shot in the back as he's running away from the officer. So, a great deal of emotion surrounding this case. Family members have been saying there to local reporters over the last few days that they did not want this situation to become a Ferguson situation. Obviously, relating to the issue of Michael Brown who was shot in Ferguson, Missouri back in August. But a great deal of attention being paid to this case now.
BURNETT: And Ed, let me just ask you a follow up here. Because when you see that initial shot and then you see how the officer reacts. You know, he shoots and he's walking slowly as he's shooting. He obviously says he feared for his life because the victim, Walter Scott had reached for his taser. The victim was unarmed. Did the officer at any point try to say he thought the victim was armed or he acknowledges that he knew he was unarm and just thought that the was reaching for his taser?
LAVANDERA: Everything we've heard is that the officer was talking about fearing for his life because the taser had been reached for. There's an object right in front of the officer's foot that's hard to make out exactly what is seen when Walter Scott falls to the ground. You don't see anything in his hands and then what's interesting is in the New York Times points this out, that at one point the officer walks by the body of Walter Scott and you see him drop what appears to be the taser and then later on in the video picking it up.
And as the reporter of the New York Times just telling just us a little while ago, kind of odd behavior given the situation and the circumstances that is in that. Whether or not that played, what kind of role that played into investigators decision to charge this officer with murder we're not exactly sure at this point. But obviously, the magnitude and the power of this video, I think played a key role in this investigation and these charges being announced so quickly.
BURNETT: All right. Ed, thank you very much. And Ed is going to stay with us.
I want now to go to the police chief of North Charleston, South Carolina Eddie Driggers. I really appreciate you taking the time, sir. Can you tell me what your thought is when you first saw this video? You have seen this now many, many times. What do you think?
EDDIE DRIGGERS, NORTH CHARLESTON POLICE CHIEF (on the phone): My initial reaction to it was it was a tragic event. We're sworn to uphold the law in the state of South Carolina and the city of North Charleston. And there are a group of men and women here dedicated for that.
[19:05:22] BURNETT: Do you know anything more? Your Officer Michael Slager is saying that he feared for his life. Obviously, they went ahead with charges against him for murder very quickly. This incident happened on Saturday. Do you think they did the right thing going ahead with those murder charges?
DRIGGERS: I think they -- the investigation revealed what it revealed. And we are obligated to do what the law dictates if the investigation so revealed that and it appears that through this video tape that's where it fell.
BURNETT: Have you heard anything that would justify the officer's version of events here at all as the police chief?
DRIGGERS: You know, a lot of this has been taken over by SLED. We turned everything, all the investigation over to SLED as an independent agency to take a look at this.
BURNETT: They're the ones doing investigations, correct?
DRIGGERS: A lot of those questions are going to have to be answered as this investigation still continues to unfold.
BURNETT: Can you tell us anything more about this officer? Michael Slager, his history, his past, his record?
DRIGGERS: The record has been sent out. We don't have anything. I think there were two previous complaints on him but I can't recall exactly what they were at this time.
BURNETT: And obviously, as you know this is something that the whole nation is now watching and going to be paying attention to. Chief, do you think that race played a specific explicit role?
DRIGGERS: You know, I want to believe in my heart of hearts that it did not but it certainly, a white officer and a black individual, I want to believe in my heart of hearts that it was a tragic set of events after a traffic stop of an individual who had a minor infraction on his vehicle, a brake light being out.
BURNETT: Is there anything in your mind though that could lead that incident to this conclusion?
DRIGGERS: You know, again, I always look for the good in folks. And so, I would hope that nobody would ever do something like that.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Chief Driggers. I appreciate your taking the time tonight. Chief Driggers of course the police chief in North Charleston, South Carolina. It was his officer Michael Slager who is now been charged with murder in that shooting that we are showing you.
I want to bring in now our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Tobin, civil liberties attorney Alan Dershowitz, and our political commentator Van Jones.
Let me go straight to you Van. You just heard the police chief say in his heart of hearts he wants to believe and hope that this isn't about race but obviously not ruling out that it is about race. When see it, when you hear this is about a broken tail light and it ends up with a guy running away being shot from behind eight times. New York Times reports five of those struck him three in the back, one in the upper buttocks and one in the ear. What do you think?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, all condolences have to go to the family who is probably watching this tonight. The whole country I think hearts broken. What I would say is, well, what we just saw was a cold-blooded murder. And what we saw a blatant attempt to cover it up and it's not the first time. African-American communities have been saying for years, for decades that there are two standards of justice and that you can wind up, we have to tell our children, you can wind up dead over a minor traffic stop. Had it not been for the video, we would be in situation where the police report said this was a violent black man was threatening my life and as they always say, I feared for my life.
That's the legal standard whether it's true or false they put it in the police report. Had it not been for this video, it would be another dead black man and people would say that it was a justified killing, and the person shouldn't have fought back. This is the kind of thing that's happening across the country. And it's wrong. It's a cold-blooded murder and a blatant attempt to cover it up. And it's got to stop. It's wrong for these things to continue to happen and for the families to be put on trial and the black community of being accused of playing the race card when this happens over and over again.
BURNETT: So, you said two things, Van that were very crucial, one cold-blooded murder and two covered it up. I want to go back to the video and show everybody a couple of things that we haven't shown you yet that would address both of those points. Alan, let me show this to you. The shooting itself, when he's standing there and the man is running away. He's standing. He's not running as if he's terrified. Then he's walking very slowly over to the man after he shoots them eight times. Is that something somebody would do when they feared for their life or does that fit with what Van said, cold-blooded killing or more to use another word, execution?
[19:10:32] ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Well, the law distinguishes between subjective feelings and objective. Objectively this was a homicide, no question about that. No policeman can justify shooting somebody in the back.
BURNETT: Eight times. Right.
DERSHOWITZ: Subjectively who knows what he believed. He may have feared. There doesn't seem to be any evidence of it if you would have testify --
BURNETT: Yes. He doesn't look like he's afraid.
DERSHOWITZ: He doesn't look like he's afraid but we don't know what's in his mind. But I think we have to distinguish two things very clearly. One was this racial and two was it homicide? Clearly it was homicide. And clearly the stop seems like it was racial. White people generally are not stopped for a tail light and then arrested and then tasered but the question is once he was involved, did the policeman shoot him because he was black or did he shoot him because he was a policeman who had a gun and authority and policeman sometimes do that and then cover it up even if it's a white person.
DERSHOWITZ: So, we have to at least withhold judgment on the racial element of the actual killing itself as distinguished been stopped.
BURNETT: All right. So, Jeff Toobin, let me go to another part of this video and something else Van said, Van talked about covering it up. And Van maybe talking about some other things as well. Which I'll give him the chance to respond to. But this is really important. After the officer shoots Mr. Scott, he wakes over to him and he says put your hands behind your back. At that point it's unclear whether he believes he's dead or not. Put his hands behind his back. And then you see the cop drop what appears to be the taser next to the victim. And that's actually a very clear moment when you see that which we're going to show you right here.
All right. So, Jeff, you can see. It's in his hand and then it flings out of his hands and it drops next to Mr. Scott. Can we wind it and show it again just to make sure everybody can see it? And so, Jeff, let me just ask you, when you see that, what could possibly have happened? Could he just dropped it by accident? Could that be something done to cover it up? That the taser was next to him? Is if the guy taken the taser? I mean, how are we supposed to interpret that? Again, there it is. You see it's flinging out of his hands. And it falls on the ground next to Mr. Scott.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, certainly the most obvious interpretation is that he's planting it there. That he's putting it there as if it was indirect proximity to the victim and thus potentially a threat to the officer. You know, there is a lot we don't know about this situation, at least the parts that were not on video.
TOOBIN: But, you know, one of the things I think I learned in Alan Dershowitz's criminal law class is a Latin phrase res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself. And the video speaks for itself. There is nothing in this video that looks helpful to the officer. This does look like a murder. We will eventually hear his side of the story, but certainly based on the video, this does look like a straight out murder.
BURNETT: And Van, the mayor of Charleston, of North Charleston, we just spoke to the police chief there. The mayor also weighed in on this today. And I want to play for you what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR KEITH SUMMEY, NORTH CHARLESTON, NORTH CAROLINA: When you're wrong, you're wrong, and if you make a bad decision, don't care if you're behind the shield or just a citizen on the street. You have to live by that decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Did he say the right thing, Van?
JONES: Well, absolutely. And you do see in this case all the establishment, all the authorities are doing the right thing because of the video. My concern is that people begin to believe that a police report is an absolute state from God himself about what happened. And in fact, officers are taught to put in the police report, I feared for my life even if in the situation like this it's obvious. He may have been angry but there is now way he thought a guy running away from him was a threat to his life. And we have to start as the news media, as jurors, as voters, ask the question every single time you're fearing for your life, every single time it's the exact same legal language. This is being coached by lawyers. These are legal documents that lawyers are coaching them, these police reports. It's not always the truth. And here is a classic case where somebody was not in fear of their life. It's unlawful use of force. And yet, I guarantee the police report says the opposite.
BURNETT: All right. And of course, he did say he feared for his life.
All right. Our panel is going to stay with us. Next, our breaking news. Coverage continues of this. The white police officer now charged with the murder of a black man for shooting him eight times in the back. The Justice Department is weighing in tonight. We have that breaking news. And we'll going to show you part of this video, a new part of this video right after the break.
And then breaking news of a hack into the President's personal schedule. Details highly, highly important details hacked into, breaking news tonight.
[19:15:16] And a family nearly killed after exposure to a paralyzing chemical. Our report ahead on how farmers are still using that pesticide right now on American strawberries and tomatoes.
[19:19:03] BURNETT: Back with our breaking news tonight, a White South Carolina police officer charged with the murder of a black man. Again, I want to warn you, the video we're going to show you is very graphic. It is this killing. We have just obtained it. The officer as you see on the right shooting the man in the back as he runs away. That's 50-year-old Walter Scott being shot. He was shot eight times. According to the New York Times the officer, Michael Slager had pulled Michael Scott over for a broken tail light. Scott ran. The officer chased him, fired his taser. Scott ran away again and that's when those eight shots were fired from the officer's gun. The Times report, Slager's version of the story is Scott tried to seize his taser. The officer said, he feared for his life.
Justice reporter Evan Perez is OUTFRONT from Washington. Evan, this happened on Saturday. You already have murder charges a couple of days later. A very unlike these other case that we have seen. They went straight to it. The police chief just appeared on this program, the mayor spoke. They have both condemned this. The Justice Department is already involved. And what are they telling you?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. This is really, really fast moving story now. And I think this is a lesson from Ferguson is what we're seeing here. The Justice Department says that the FBI in South Carolina and the civil rights division for the Justice Department here in Washington are now opening their own investigations alongside the state officials. According to the Justice Department's statements, they say the Justice Department will take appropriate actions in light of the evidence and developments in this case. Clearly, the video is making the big difference here. Because you don't have to rely only on the officer's version of the story and what he said happened.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan Perez. Evan talking to the Justice Department already moving on this story. Alan Dershowitz is with me, of course, the criminal attorney. And Don Lemon. Don, you now have watched this video.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.
BURNETT: And we were just talking briefly in that commercial. I was saying one of the things that is so chilling about it is how that officer is standing there so calm and stoically as he just fires his gun. He doesn't look afraid, he doesn't look like he's running. There's no physical signs of duress or fear and yet he shoots three times in the back.
LEMON: He's a person in control, he's a person in charge. Right? He's the long arm of the law. And what's stunning to me is that he shoots the man eight times, you hear it. It's in the report from the report department and that he says, put your hands behind your back.
BURNETT: Right. And he sort of strolls over.
BURNETT: I mean, it's not a sprints and he asked him to put his hand behind his back.
BURNETT: What's your interpretation, we also will play this again, the moment where the police officer is over. He had said put your hands behind your back and then you see his hands release what appears to be a taser. It's some sort of, looks like taser. Could be a gun, next to the guy.
LEMON: Well, it looks to me, it looks like a plant, you know, to the late person.
BURNETT: So he say this guy tried to take my taser.
LEMON: They say, the guy tried to take his taser and then he ran away. I guess he said the taser didn't work on him. And he's tried to run away.
LEMON: But then, you know, he shoots him eight times with a gun and then you see that. So, it looks like he's planting something. That will come out in evidence. But, I mean, you know, you can't unsee that. Your eyes see what they see. He's definitely putting something next to him.
BURNETT: Alan, you saw that as plant also.
DERSHOWITZ: I saw that clearly. And that would be admitted as a kind of acknowledge of guilt that he knew he done something wrong. But that is not necessarily racial. Tragically there's a police culture among bad cops, most cops and good cops, but among the bad cops, you plant a gun if you've shot somebody and it's bad shooting. Some cops historically have carried Saturday night specials in their waist.
BURNETT: Just to plant?
DERSHOWITZ: Just to plant.
LEMON: Other evidence as well, right?
DERSHOWITZ: This is unfortunately fairly common -- commission in New York.
DERSHOWITZ: Documented some of this over the years. So, we have to be careful about which aspects of this we attribute race to in which we attribute the police under culture that has to be stopped regardless of race.
BURNETT: It's fair question. Of course, as the police chief says, in his hearts of hearts, he hopes it's not race but wasn't able to say, it isn't.
LEMON: It is definitely power no matter what it is.
BURNETT: It is power no matter what -- yes.
DERSHOWITZ: If you combine the race and power, it's a very dangerous combination.
BURNETT: Alan, before we go I have to ask you about the other breaking news today. That of course is related to you. There was a woman who had charged Prince Andrew, you, others with rape. Those charges have been thrown out.
DERSHOWITZ: Charges have been stricken. The judge struck them all, said they were improperly put in. I've been vindicated legally. But I'm going to continue to be vindicated factually. Because I don't know this woman. It never happened. She made it up at -- the lawyers never ever should have put that allegation and a complaint, and the judge held us -- to the fire, saying that they should never have done it and imposed the sanction, of striking it. So, we're now back to the position as if it has never been done before. But you can't un- ring a bell. My reputation has still been harmed. So, that's what happens when there's false allegations. And the real victims are real rape victims, you have really been raped. When you have a woman making up a story like this whether it's this one, whether it's the "Rolling Stones," whether it's the story that happened at Duke University a few years ago. The real victims are rape victims who shouldn't be burdened by false stories of this kind.
[19:24:10] BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Alan Dershowitz and Don Lemon.
And now the breaking news. An attack at the White House. A hack attack. Officials telling CNN Russia actually succeeded at an incredible hack. Tonight, the FBI and the Secret Service, other agencies are now desperately investigating the breach. They call it one of the most sophisticated attacks ever launched against the United States government.
OUTFRONT tonight, Colonel Cedrick Leighton, he spent a quarter century as a military intelligence officer in the Air Force. And he specializes in cyber-security. Colonel, we heard, this is one of the most serious breaches ever. The most serious against the United States government. They got access to the President's real-time none public schedule. That's pretty terrifying.
COL. CEDRICK LEIGHTON, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET.): Well, it is. And especially from an intelligence perspective. The types of information that you can glean from a schedule are enormous. You know, where the President is just going, who he's meeting with. Perhaps whose phone he's going to be talking on. You know, what types of things he's going to be looking at, maybe what his legislative agenda is, what his foreign policy agenda is. So, all of these things are critically important. From a technical standpoint, Erin, what you're looking at here is the ability of a foreign power to get into systems that belong to the U.S. government. It's well documented that the State Department had been hacked for basically several months, several years really.
LEIGHTON: And that's what they used to move forward with and actually find another way in to the government so that they could get into the White House.
BURNETT: It's pretty scary though. Does the U.S. says they have the best cyber-defense and offense in the world? Obviously, someone else had a better offense. I mean, that's the bottom-line here when you look at it that way. Is anything safe?
LEIGHTON: Well, the answer is it is not as safe as it should be. There are a lot of technical things that one can do. One can protect messages, for example, one can encrypt things. There's a lot of stuff that can happen that we are not doing. And that's, we as a collective, we you know, across the U.S. It's not just the government but also private industry can do a lot more to protect their data. So, what you're looking at here Erin, is really a lot of vulnerability. So, we may have a good offense. But if we don't have a good defense --
LEIGHTON: The other offense can actually score a point or two.
BURNETT: Right. Thank you very much, Colonel.
LEIGHTON: You bet.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, President Obama firing back at Governor Scott Walker. He said if he was elected president he would back out of the Iran nuke deal. The President tells him the bone up on foreign policy.
And exposure to a pesticide nearly kills a family on vacation. They're fighting for their lives tonight, still in a coma. We're going to show you that chemical because it's still being used on the food in your fridge.
[19:30:46] BURNETT: Tonight, President Obama striking back on his critics on Iran. Taking potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates, including the Wisconsin Governor Walker to task. Walker said he would pull out of the U.S. deal with Iran if he was elected to the Oval Office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It would be a foolish approach to take and perhaps Mr. Walker, after he's taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT in Washington tonight.
Jim, you know, the president coming out and talking about Scott Walker by name and saying something that directly insulting, take some time to bone up on foreign policy -- that's not normal for this president. He's under a lot of pressure because it's the candidates and it's the GOP. It's Congress that can scuttle this deal.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It is, and Democrats increasingly in Congress. You have Democrats, Chuck Schumer and others who are saying they're going to vote for Republican Senator Bob Corker's proposal, that they get a chance to vote on this deal. They are nudging their way, Erin, towards a veto-proof majority to do just that.
This makes the administration very nervous. They say it could scuttle the negotiations with the Iranians. They say that Congress will have other chances to pipe in. They'd have to vote to lift sanctions on Iran. The White House said it's willing to discuss other ways that they can have buy in.
But that's not satisfying to Republicans or Democrats. And you're now seeing them they're moving towards what could be a damaging vote, not just for the administration but for these very delicate nuclear talks with Iran.
BURNETT: Certainly. And, of course, you know, the president gives his word and the U.S. doesn't follow through with it. There are repercussions to that.
BURNETT: All right. Jim, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, a man adamantly opposed to this deal, Naftali Bennett. He is Israel's minister for the economy, a member of the inner security cabinet.
Naftali, good to have you with me again. You just heard Jim. President Obama coming out and saying, look, to Scott Walker, who is running for president, most likely. He needs to bone up on foreign policy. If the president makes a deal, another president shouldn't come in and renege on it.
At this point, the United States has given its word it's going to do everything to push this deal forward. Why isn't that the right thing to do?
NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAEL'S ECONOMY MINISTER: Well, first of all, the deal is not finished. The deal as we sit is worse than the worst case scenario that we anticipated. This is a bad deal that doesn't destroy one centrifuge. It doesn't shut down one underground facility and paves the way for Iran to acquire nuclear weapon but when they're free. You know, they've got all their economy up and running. It just doesn't make sense. And you know what? It's not too late to fix it.
BURNETT: So, one of the things to, quote/unquote, "fix it" that you have supported and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has supported, it say that any deal with Iran must include Iran recognizing Israel's right to exist, as a fundamental premise of the deal.
President Obama says forget about it. Here's exactly how he put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The notion that we could condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won't sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. That is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Naftali, what do you say to that? Is Prime Minister Netanyahu fundamentally misjudging this situation? Asking for something that's impossible just for the sake of it?
BENNETT: No, this is very possible. First of all, I just want to point out, you know, Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran recently published a document that says what is the proper way of eliminating Israel.
This is the leader of Iran coming out with a document, talking about eliminating and destroying Israel and all we're asking is to do away with this. You can't go sign a deal with someone who explicitly said he wants to destroy us.
Now, it is possible to achieve a good deal. Here's what you need to do. Just keep the sanctions. You don't need to change anything. Just wait.
[19:35:01] For the past two years, the crippling sanctions in banking and finance have succeeded in bringing Iran to the table. If you don't let up now, sooner or later within a year or three years, they're going to be at a point where their economy just cannot sustain the sanctions and they'll have to give up on their nuclear weapon program, and that's what it is. And it is possible.
BURNETT: What I want to ask you is when Prime Minister Netanyahu says it should be recognition of Israel, a lot of people watching say that makes complete sense. If Iran says they want to eliminate Israel, they should have take that back as part of the deal.
But the former Mossad chief himself, Efraim Halevy, actually agrees with President Obama. In an op-ed today, which I know you saw, Naftali, but let me read to our viewers. He wrote, "Clearly, Iran is not going to change its spots. Therefore, anyone who voices such a demand is signaling that he doesn't want an agreement and has his eyes on an aggressive solution."
That's a pretty slap in the face to Prime Minister Netanyahu and to the point of view that you just were explaining. That's the former chief of the Mossad saying, asking for the recognition of Israel. It makes no sense.
BENNETT: Yes. I think a Mossad leader 15 years ago, you know, right now, we have a prime minister who is responsible for the security of the only Jewish state that we have. We have to defend ourselves. It's Passover now. In just a few days ago, all Jewish (INAUDIBLE). Every generation there's someone that wants to annihilate the Jewish, the Egyptians, ancient Egyptians and Greeks and Romans, Nazis. Now, it's Iran who explicitly wants to eliminate us.
We will persevere. We will win. But here's what we need to do to avoid a war. We need to insist on not giving the oxygen to go ahead and pave their way to a bomb. I think President Obama himself said when the time is out the break out time will be zero when this deal is over in about 10 years. My daughter, Abigail, is going to be 15 years old. This is nothing in
the time of a nation. What we're doing effectively, this bad deal legitimatizes and paves the way for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. I don't see why it doesn't make sense to insist on them not wanting to eliminate Israel, not wanting to destroy my country, and in fact, doing away with that, and dismantling nuclear weapon program.
If they want nuclear energy, fine but not weaponize it. That's all we're asking here. I don't think it's an unreasonable request.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to you, Naftali Bennett. I appreciate that.
I will also note, it wasn't long ago where Israel wasn't allowed for the possibility of nuclear power from Iran. So, that in and of itself will be a pretty significant concession that Naftali just said.
OUTFRONT next, two children in a coma, their father paralyzed, all from exposure to a pesticide that's still widely used to help grow your food. We have a special report ahead.
And Rand Paul now running for president, already under fire from the right for flip-flops. Who is the real Rand Paul?
[19:42:10] BURNETT: Tonight, serious questions about a chemical that poisoned a Delaware family on vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Steve Esmond and his teenage sons tonight are still fighting for their lives in hospital. Both sons remain in comas.
They were exposed to a pesticide that was sprayed at their resort. Now, EPA banned this chemical, methyl bromide, for indoor use more than three decades ago. Now, we're learning that the chemical is more widely used on things to this day, at this hour like our food.
Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a toxic chemical ruled so dangerous, it's been banned for indoor use by the EPA since 1984, because of its harmful effects on human beings.
JUDITH ENCK, EPA REGIONAL SUPERVISOR: It's a potent neurotoxin. There's been a movement among advocates to recommend that it'd be used at all.
CASAREZ: It's used by a fumigation company in the U.S. Virgin Islands has left a family of four seriously ill, after they inhaled the odorless fumes in a luxury condo in St. Johns. They had no condo beneath them had been sprayed with the toxic chemical a day before they arrived. Now, three of them remain hospitalized, two in critical condition.
So, why is methyl bromide still being used on fruits and vegetables all across America? The USDA says the chemical is used to prevent bugs, fungus and weeds from damaging crops.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation confirms more methyl bromide is used for strawberries than any other California crop. Methyl bromide is being phased out internationally under the 1992 Montreal Protocol because it effects the ozone layer which protects the earth from harmful radiation.
And while the USDA says there has been a gradual decline, CNN has been told it hasn't been tracked by the department since 2000. The USDA says California is currently the leader in the country when it comes to using the pesticide.
MARVIN PRITTS, CHAIR OF HORTICULTURE, CORNELL UNIVERSITY: The reason for that is the crops are grown on a year round basis.
CASAREZ: Advocates of the chemical say it is not dangerous to consumers because it never touches the produce we eat and only goes into the soil.
But the EPA says the pesticide can be harmful and is used once crops are harvested and stored and also on imported produce.
Those believed most at risk, the farm workers who apply methyl bromide because the dangerous chemical is airborne. Something the Esmond family is now trying to recover from.
CASAREZ: And experts do tell me, Erin, strawberries had the most because they're the first to go into the ground. They're the first crop. And before they go in the ground, the methyl bromide goes into the soil.
[19:45:01] And some say, oh, well, it completely leaves the ground because it's airborne but others say, not necessarily.
And remember, food that is harvested and imported gets methyl bromide.
BURNETT: Right, right.
CASAREZ: I read the National Institute of health where a warehouse worker in California was breathing in grapes from Chile and he got methyl bromide in his lungs and was seriously ill.
BURNETT: That's incredible. Jean Casarez, thank you very much.
I want to go straight to our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, this is pretty unbelievable. The stuff gets ban from indoor use, and they don't track it for outdoor use because they're phasing out for the past 15 years, and then they say, California is using it on strawberries in my fridge.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORERSPONDENT: They've got these exemptions, Erin, to allow that to happen. And, you're right -- I mean, it's been surprising because it was phased out ten years ago. But these exemptions allow -- we did some digging into this, close to 800,000 pounds of it are still predicted to be used this year.
So, phased out, lots of concern, toxic to humans. But still, 800,000 pounds used this year, as Jean mentioned, most of it in strawberries, most of it in California. That's one of the big products that got that exemption.
GUPTA: But I will tell you, Erin, this degree of toxicity, this degree of poisoning we're hearing from this family -- talking to folks in the EPA, they haven't heard of someone becoming as sick as this entire family has become. So, dangerous but this particular case is pretty extraordinary.
BURNETT: Extraordinary. Also extraordinary, is there any way to avoid it? I mean, a lot of people watching, I would imagine, are in shock. Strawberries and tomatoes in their fridge. Is organic even safe for sure?
GUPTA: Well, with organic, you're obviously not using pesticides. And it's worth pointing out we eat a lot of strawberries, we a lot of strawberries that have been treated with this sort of pesticide and people have done OK. So, it's not something that lingers indefinitely, but I think that's obviously a concern.
I think it's worth asking why so much methyl bromide is still being used, especially when there are other options.
BURNETT: There are options. And I should point out, it's banned, it's supposed to be phased out.
Thank you very much, Sanjay Gupta.
And OUTFRONT next, Rand Paul announcing he's running for the White House. Can he actually win?
Plus, Jeanne Moos hitting a whole new level.
[19:51:08] BURNETT: Tonight, Rand Paul. This Republican senator launched his bid for the White House today, running on a message of anti-establishment, but is it going to win?
Dana Bash is OUTFRONT with why Rand Paul is already being called a flip-flopper.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rand Paul's path to the Republican presidential nomination would be an unorthodox one.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have come to take our country back.
BASH: He must reenlist the young, libertarian-leaning activists who faithfully backed his father's presidential runs.
PAUL: If we nominate a candidate who is simply Democrat light, what's the point? Why bother? We need to boldly proclaim our vision for America.
BASH: At the same time, Paul must broaden his appeal among mainstream Republicans, that means trying to allay GOP concerns about some of his views, like his non-interventionist foreign policy.
PAUL: I will do whatever it takes to defend America from these haters of mankind.
BASH: It's a tough needle for Paul to thread, especially on his steadfast opposition to warrantless wiretaps as an invasion of privacy.
PAUL: I believe we can have liberty and security, and I will not compromise your liberty for a false sense of security.
BASH: But on other national security issues like defense spending, Paul's gone from wanting cuts to supporting an increase as GOP primary voters have moved from war weary to fearful of threats like ISIS.
PAUL: Without question, we must defend ourselves and American interests from our enemies.
BASH: But even before he announced, the man who made infamous swift boat ads against John Kerry released one against Paul criticizing his stance on Paul.
AD NARRATOR: Rand Paul is wrong and dangerous. Tell him to stop siding with Obama, because even one Iranian bomb would be a disaster.
BASH: In an unusual move for an announcement speech, Paul got into the weeds to explain his Iran position, saying he would oppose any deal that doesn't end Iran's nuclear ambitions but --
PAUL: Trust but verify is required in any negotiation, but that our goal always should be and always is peace, not war.
BASH: And Paul is already on the campaign trail tonight in New Hampshire, the first in the primary state, I should say. He's also going to make trips to Iowa and to Nevada, to states that have caucuses where the Paul family traditionally do pretty well because it's all about organizing and they're very good at that.
And then, Erin, he's also going to South Carolina because that is a place he has to do OK, but it's going to be a little bit difficult because of that issue he has with defense cuts -- Erin.
BURNETT: Absolutely. And I know a lot of people point out one of the biggest hurdles he has. Thank you so much, Dana.
And next, Jeanne Moos on one man's terrifying idea how to settle a road rage dispute.
[19:57:52] BURNETT: In a case of extreme road rage, a guy brandishes a blade. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There have been road rage incidents where someone used their bare hands or even a golf club. But this, this is a new low for road rage. This threat has teeth.
No, this isn't some remake of the chain saw massacre with its drive-by slicings. This actually happened in the suburb of Montreal, Quebec.
Alexander Hermaney (ph) and his partner Karine Sere (ph) were driving with their two kids.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hear, come in.
MOOS: It was a tree specialist driving this van.
The couple said the van and the minivan cut them off from driving erratically, so they followed him to try to get his license and to tell police where he went, but then ended up in a dead end street.
The couple blocked his exit. He brandished the chainsaw, yelling, do you like this? And making an obscene gesture, Karine Sere yelled back that they called police.
"OK, your chainsaw," she yelled. "Bring it on."
The minivan drove off. The next day, police arrested 37-year-old Manuel Delile (ph) who pleaded guilty to armed assault.
But this case of road rage led to a bit of Internet rage, much of it directed at the couple.
What in God's name were they thinking with the children in the car as well? The couple agreed. Hermaney telling TVA Novell (ph), "It wasn't the most intelligent move."
We haven't seen such road rage since the tailgater pulled alongside to give the one finger salute and then cut her off only to lose control, instant karma.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what you get!
MOOS: He wasn't hurt and at least there was no chain saw massacre. The only thing massacred was this guy's dignity.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to DVR OUTFRONT so you can watch us at anytime.
"AC360" starts now.