Return to Transcripts main page
THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Carly Fiorina and Dr. Ben Carson Enter the 2016 Race; NYU Student Detained in North Korea; Streaming the Pacquaio-Mayweather Fight. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired May 4, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Do you think these are entirely self- radicalized individuals that -- that may not have even had contact with ISIS?
TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT: They may not have been in formal contact. They may have had e-mail communication or read communications from ISIS, but I don't think they were directed by ISIS. I think it's the other way around.
They were kind of applying for membership into ISIS. And so they were doing this act, sent out the tweet in advance, because, if they know that there's a possibility they are not going to make it out of this, then they can't give recognition to what they were trying to do after the fact.
So, they do it in advance. Let ISIS know we're doing this because Emir Almoun Menin (ph), the head of al -- al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, is who they're pledging loyalty to. And they want to make sure that's known.
TAPPER: Let's talk a bit about the fact that the FBI knew about one of these individuals, had launched a four-year sting into Elton Simpson.
How do you lose track of someone like this? He had been convicted of lying to the FBI. Put that in context for us. Does that happen a lot? Is that no big deal?
CLEMENTE: Well, that's all he was convicted of, was lying to the FBI.
Unfortunately, the judge in that case says there was no proof of the real terror connection there. And so because they don't have the real proof of the terror connection, which is what the FBI was primarily going after, then it's very hard to justify continually looking at somebody.
I can't keep going through your underwear drawer when I have been told, I'm sorry, you don't have any proof of that now. So, what he was convicted of, lying to the FBI, that ends with that conviction. It's over. I can no longer continue, where if he was convicted of supporting a terrorist organization, trying to fight with a terrorist organization, providing material support a terrorist organization, then we could continue to look at him, because there's justification there.
TAPPER: All right, Tim Clemente, as always, great to see you. Thank you some for your perspective.
CLEMENTE: Thank you.
TAPPER: In our politics lead today, one announcement included a choir singing and Eminem. The other featured a cameo from Hillary Clinton, two very different candidates jumping into the 2016 race. Stay tuned.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
Our politics lead, do you think there aren't enough Republicans running for president? Well, OK. Two more, how do you like that, joining the crowded Republican field today in the race for the White House. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson officially announcing today they are indeed running for president, with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who you might recall won the Republican Iowa caucuses in 2008, expected to declare his candidacy tomorrow.
CNN's chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, joins us live now with all the latest developments.
Dana, do Republican officials think that either Fiorina or Carson could actually gain traction?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the short term, probably not.
But I think what is fascinating is, you just talked about six. Of the six so far, two Hispanics, one black candidate and one woman. It's a far cry for -- from what you're used to seeing during Republican presidential primary debates, a GOP stage almost entirely of white men.
BASH (voice-over): A black choir in Detroit singing the songs of rapper Eminem, not exactly what comes to mind when you think Republican presidential announcement, but that's exactly what it was.
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Ben Carson, and I'm a candidate for president of the United States.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BASH: In a more subdued, but hardly subtle, online video, Carly Fiorina became the only woman in the 2016 GOP field by taking direct aim at the woman on the Democratic side.
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our founders never intended to us have a professional political class.
BASH: A pair of presidential campaign kickoffs, notable not because they're front-runners, but because they're even running at all. Neither has ever been elected to public office.
Ben Carson, a son of a single mother with a third grade education, who became a world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon:
CARSON: I do have a lot of experience in solving problems, complex surgical problems that have never been done by anybody before.
BASH: Carson was largely apolitical until his highly political speech just two years ago at the National Prayer Breakfast criticizing Obamacare.
CARSON: We spent a lot of money on health care, twice as much per capita as anybody else in the world, and yet not very efficient.
BASH: That catapulted Carson into Republican superstardom, but the staunch conservative also became notorious for controversial remarks, arguing homosexuality is a choice.
CARSON: A lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and, when they come out, they're gay.
BASH: He later apologized, but today owned his gaffes.
CARSON: I'm probably never going to be politically correct, because I'm not a politician.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Thank you, Carly, for being here.
BASH: Carly Fiorina's only political experience was advising presidential candidate John McCain...
FIORINA: Government does not create jobs.
BASH: ... and running unsuccessfully for Senate in California in 2010.
She has an American dream story, too, a secretary who rose so far in corporate America, she became the first female CEO of a Fortune 100 company, Hewlett-Packard. Her biggest applause line for conservatives, nominate her and you take the first female president thing off the table for Hillary Clinton.
FIORINA: Like Hillary Clinton, I, too, have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe, but, unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BASH: But being a former corporate executive comes with baggage. She lead off tens of thousands of workers, but when she was forced out, she left with more than $20 million in severance.
BASH: Now, at this point, neither Carly Fiorina nor Ben Carson is registering much in the polls of what will be a very crowded Republican field. Both are in single digits, barely.
But, Jake, long-shot candidates are often sometimes very impactful in ways that we don't expect, primarily because they don't have a lot to lose.
TAPPER: That's right.
And we should note that Dr. Carson's mother, Sonya, who you mentioned in that piece, is very ill. And obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to...
BASH: And he's not going on the campaign trail. He's going to Texas to be with her.
TAPPER: Yes. Well, best of luck to her and our thoughts and prayers with them.
Let's make a deeper dive into the White House race.
CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile joins us now, as does Bill Kristol, editor of the publication "The Weekly Standard."
Bill, candidly, what do you make of either Fiorina or Carson?
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": I like them both. I think they will add a lot to the race. I think they're -- each is unlikely to be the nominee.
TAPPER: What are they going to add to the race?
KRISTOL: Well, Ben Carson actually is one of the leading neurosurgeons in the country, knows a lot about health care, and has a very impressive life story, which he can reflect on.
Carly Fiorina, CEO of a major company, a very articulate spokeswoman for conservative views. So, it's good the Republicans -- we have -- Democrats should have some diversity. That's a problem. A bunch of people between 65 and...
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We have a lot of diversity.
KRISTOL: A whole bunch of white people between 65 and 70. I think it's a real problem for the Democratic Party.
TAPPER: Donna, as we saw in Dana's spot, Carly Fiorina really trying to position herself as the anti-Hillary, and in fact recently she told an interviewer that she can take on former Secretary of State Clinton because: "I am a woman. There are many things she can't say. She can't play the gender card. She can't talk about being the first woman's president. She can't talk about the war on women."
Do you agree? Does she offer that as a -- as a quality that the others don't?
BRAZILE: But, you know, on the other -- on the flip side, Carly Fiorina cannot talk about many of the issues that Hillary Clinton can talk about in terms of foreign policy, and talk in terms of the economy.
She can't talk about the role that she played in helping New York City recover after that horrific attack on 9/11. So, I don't think this is about woman on woman, that this is -- it's much larger than that, but clearly what Hillary Clinton can talk about is the future. She can talk about the economy. And I hope that Carly Fiorina will also talk about those issues.
TAPPER: And, Bill, Ben Carson is very, very religious. And this is a big part of his pitch and when he talks to people, his relationship with Jesus, and how important God is -- is that his base that he's going -- I mean, I know that he holds those views sincerely, but are those his base voters, conservative Christians?
KRISTOL: I think to some degree, but I think it's very good that he's running, because no one can say he's one of these know-nothing religious conservatives who doesn't know anything about science. The guy is one of the leading neurosurgeons in the world, and has been, and has run a whole department at Johns Hopkins. So, I'm happy to have him in the race.
And it's good that Donna's defending Hillary here.
BRAZILE: Of course. I will defend her every day, but I will defend Bernie Sanders and any number of other Democrats if they decide to toss their hat in the ring.
You know, what I like about Dr. Carson -- clearly, I will not be supporting him, but I have met him on one or two occasions. He's very passionate, not just about faith, but also about community. And I hope that he will get an opportunity to talk about these issues in the Republican primary, because the Republicans need this conversation, not just on faith.
There are many preachers in that congregation. And when I mean preachers, I'm talking about those who know the Bible, but there are not many Republican candidates who could actually talk about what's going on in communities like Baltimore. And I think Dr. Carson will be a much needed voice for that conversation.
TAPPER: He does have an amazing life story.
TAPPER: Let's turn to the Democrats and the other side of the aisle. The questions about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation have continued today. I want you to take a listen to what former President Bill Clinton had to say to NBC about his foundation accepting foreign donations while his wife was secretary of state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think there's anything sinister in trying to get wealthy people in countries that are seriously involved in development to spend their money wisely in a way that helps poor people and lifts them up. I don't think there's anything bad with that. I think it's good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I think it's good. Donna, this controversy, though, doesn't seem to be going away.
BRAZILE: Well, hopefully, there's no controversy about helping poor people, allowing wealthy people to give back to society, and give back on a global scale.
That is what the Clinton Foundation is about. President Clinton has chosen to use his celebrity and his power to empower others to give back and to reach to those who don't have resources. So, I support the foundation. I'm one of those $100 donors. So, don't go out and start a foundation any time soon. But I support what they're doing, because he's reaching into places that others have forgotten.
TAPPER: Bill, you're shaking your head.
KRISTOL: No, the foundation is a big problem. There's huge conflicts of interest, and there are reasons that other secretaries of state have not set up foundations that their husband and daughter are running, where huge contributions are coming from foreign governments, which then those government have business at least pending before the State Department.
I am struck -- my colleague Daniel Halper put it this way. The Hillary Clinton campaign is like a movie that you have paid good money to attend. You pay your $12. You sit -- you're a third of the way through and you realize, uh, this is really a bad movie. But you sort of pay the money, you hate to leave. So, you say, I will just stay a little longer.
And you stay another third of the movie. And then it gets too late to leave. And they are stuck. They're a third of the way through this bad movie and it's getting worse.
BRAZILE: Well, no.
KRISTOL: And will anyone -- and where is Elizabeth Warren to save us -- to save us from Hillary Clinton?
BRAZILE: Bill, Bill, Bill...
KRISTOL: That's what I ask you, Donna.
[16:45:06] BRAZILE: This is the Republicans trying to find some juice and drippings from a book where there is no gravy. So they're trying to make innuendoes where there's no -- there's fire where there is no smoke. So I'm sorry that we don't have the controversy that you guys love.
TAPPER: Juice and drippings and fire. Bill Kristol, Donna Brazile, we appreciate it. Thank you so much as always.
Coming up, a New York University student held in North Korea. Our own CNN correspondent is inside the country digging to learn details about his detention.
And no need to hack Pay Per View. Instead, thousands saw the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight for free thanks to new live streaming apps. But will they be punished? That's ahead.
TAPPER: Today's World Lead. Today, some shocking news now about a student from New York University apparently currently in the custody of the North Korean government. North Korea says it arrested Won Moon Joo when he crossed into the country from China. He's a 21-year-old NYU student originally in South Korea.
[15:50:00] NYU says Joo was not on campus this semester and did not know about his travel.
CNN only found out about the arrest while going to interview two other detainees. CNN's Will Ripley has more from inside North Korea.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just after landing here in Pyongyang the North Korea government officials who we're working with flagged us to the detainment of a South Korean citizen who's a permanent resident of the United States. That's 21 year old NYU student Won Moon Joo. We've requested access; we've requested to speak with this young man who's accused of trying to cross illegally into North Korea from China. We don't believe that he's had any contact with his family yet, although NYU has reached out to the South Korean embassy to try to get more information. We're working our sources on the ground as well.
But we were given access, exclusive access, to two other South Korean citizens accused by the North Korean government of being spies.
Will Ripley with CNN.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Tension fills the room in this North Korean hotel. Kim Guk-gi's fate could hang on every word he says.
I wasn't tortured or interrogated, he says, describing his arrest on charges for spying for South Korea. I had to gather information, he said, because I was told to do so. The former missionary made a full confession, claiming he made half a million dollars working for South Korea's NIS, the National Intelligence Service.
The North Korean government is giving CNN exclusive access to Kim and an another accused South Korean spy, Choe Chun-gil. I worked as a spy for the South Korean government for about three years, he says.
The stories of these South Korean citizens are strikingly similar, accounts that CNN cannot verify. They say they were recruited in Northern China, close to the border, one of the rare place where is North and South Koreans live and sometimes do business together. Both men insist they're being treated humanely. Nothing like the United Nations' recent report on human rights, claiming North Korea prisoners are often beaten, tortured, executed.
Spies are not. Both men must face the hard truth. They may never go home again.
(on camera): Right now, these two men are not being kept in prison cells. They're being kept in what are described as small housing units under guard but allowed to go outside during the day, allowed to read newspapers and watch television. We don't know if those are the same conditions of the 21-year-old NYU student but we'll continue to try to gather as much information as we can here in Pyongyang.
Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.
TAPPER: And our thanks to Will Ripley for that report. When we come back, it's against the law but dozens of you did it anyway, which meant thousands were able to see the big Mayweather/Pacquiao fight for free. So what's going to happen to the people who streamed the fight live? Are they going to jail? That's next.
[16:57:10] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. The Money Lead now.
A new fight sparked by this weekend's hyped up arguably lackluster boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Sure, HBO and Showtime made gobs of cash as Mayweather dodged and ducked and celebrities made their grand entrances, but the companies could not stop thousands, maybe even millions of people from watching the fight on illegal live streams. Even "Saturday Night Live" made its own pirated version as it competed for airtime Saturday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because this is a pirated broadcast of the fight some visuals may appear distorted. For example, Floyd Mayweather may appear slightly taller while Manny Pacquiao may appear to about white woman with a fake goatee and a t-shirt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Instead of coughing up $100 for Pay Per View, many watched on mobile apps like Meerkat or Periscope free of charge, also illegal. Let's bring in Samuel Burke, CNN's tech correspondent. Samuel,
Twitter owns Periscope and Twitter made no apologies for the live streams.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECH CORRESPONDNET: Yes, that's right. You would think that people wouldn't have such a great experience putting a camera to a television and broadcasting it to the world. But that's how lots of people watch. And then take a look at this tweet from Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter. You'd think he might be apologizing or be a little embarrassed that people are basically using his platform to pirate, and this is what he said. "And the winner is... not Mayweather, not Pacquiao, Periscope."
But after that, it seemed like Twitter and Periscope were walking it back just a bit. They said, look, there were only a few dozen broadcasts of this. We took down 30 out of the 66 because half of them had already stopped. So we took them down. But just remember, Jake, one person broadcasts on Periscope and thousands of people can watch.
TAPPER: That's right. New estimates, of course, show Mayweather likely made around $180 million for the 36-minute fight. Pacquiao about $100 million. HBO and Showtime, about $400 million. Would prosecuting people who livestreamed the fight, would that even be worth the payoff?
BURKE: Well, let's say Jake Tapper was in his living room doing this. If they go after one person at a time, it will cost them tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. So at the end of the day, whether it's companies going after Napster or YouTube, they tend not to go after the individuals; they tend to go after the platforms. They try to work with these platforms just like they have with YouTube and they've created ways to bring this content down.
So I don't think if you did it, you have much to worry about, if history is any indicator. But it looks like Twitter is going to have to work closely with some of the more traditional media, old and new together.
TAPPER: All right, Samuel Burke, thank you. And for the record, I did not do that. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @jaketapper, all one word of course. Also @theleadCNN, check out our show page at CNN.com/thelead for video blogs, extras.
That's it for THE LEAD. I am Jake Tapper; I am turning you over now to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM". Wolf?