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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Widow Of "American Sniper" Shares Her Story; NFL: Brady "Aware Of Inappropriate Activities." Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired May 6, 2015 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MARSH: Well, this is just a preliminary report. The investigation is still ongoing. Germanwings, they refused to respond to the findings all found in this 30-page preliminary report.

TAPPER: Chilling. Rene Marsh, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

In our politics lead, Bill and Hill, are they a package deal? The former president, pushed on his wife's policies, weighs in on what "we," in his words, would do if they find themselves back in the White House. What did Bill Clinton have to say to our own Christiane Amanpour? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.

We are continuing to monitor the breaking news in our national lead, twisters touching down in Oklahoma, tornado warnings and watches across the Plains states.

(WEATHER UPDATE)

[16:35:44]

Our politics lead now: the Clinton campaign defiant today, former President Bill Clinton firing back against allegations of potential wrongdoing regarding foreign donations made to the Clinton Foundation while his wife was secretary of state.

Some political analysts have expressed the belief that questions about these donations to the foundation will severely damage Clinton's candidacy. And while there are some polls indicating voters in some states have questions about Clinton's trustworthiness, a new CBS/"New York Times" poll suggests more Americans believe she's honest and trustworthy than they did earlier in the year, before questions like these even began.

In an interview with CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, earlier today, Bill Clinton said the foundation's practices are transparent. He also talked about how his policies on crime while in office impacted racial tensions in cities like Baltimore, and he weighed in on a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is

this book which has suggested that there are quid pro quos or inappropriate influence-peddling regarding foreign donations, foreign government donations to the Clinton Foundations. Did any of those donations ever affect Secretary Clinton's policy?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. She didn't know about a lot about -- about a lot of them. And we had a policy when she was secretary of state that we would only continue accepting money from people who were already giving us money.

And I tried to recreate that policy as nearly as I can now during the campaign. So there's just no evidence. Even the guy that wrote the book, apparently, had to admit under questioning that he didn't have a shred of evidence for this. He just sort of thought he'd throw it out there and see if it would fly. And it won't fly.

AMANPOUR: Well, he did actually -- what about the mistakes that the foundation itself admitted it made in tax filings, conflating private donations and government donations?

CLINTON: Well, there was no -- that was just an accident. People refile their taxes all the time.

We reported all the donations from all the governments and the private sources. And last year, for some reason nobody really understands, they were put together. The year before, they were filed properly, which shows you there was no deliberate intent. If there were some -- and there would be no benefit to the foundation for doing that.

We -- everybody admits that we are the most transparent of all the presidential foundations and more transparent than a lot of private foundations.

AMANPOUR: Do you think you will do anything with the foundation and the transparency into who gives you what if Hillary Clinton becomes president of the United States?

CLINTON: Well, if she becomes president, then we have to ask ourselves two questions. One is, is, what we did when she was secretary of state enough? Yes or no and why? We will have to cross that bridge.

And, secondly, what does she want me to do?

AMANPOUR: What does she want?

CLINTON: And I think -- I have no idea. We -- she hasn't won the nomination yet. The thing has just barely begun. This is going to be an endless, long campaign.

AMANPOUR: Baltimore has been on everybody's screens all over the world, not just in America. And, yes, some police, six, I believe, were indicted for the death of this unarmed black man.

Hillary gave a speech recently, and she decried the number of young black people in jail, the overincarceration. And it did sort of happen in your time, the three strikes and you're out.

CLINTON: It did.

AMANPOUR: Is she moving legitimately away from your policy? Do you agree with that?

CLINTON: Oh, absolutely.

Well, first of all, let's go back and look at the whole fact. My criminal justice initiative was to put 100,000 more police on the street, create more positive activities for young people, ban assault weapons, and limit the magazine size, pass the Brady Bill.

And the Republicans basically wanted to emphasize three strikes you're out and all that. But I wanted to pass a bill. And so I did go along with it.

[16:40:00]

And there was a whole movement toward emphasizing that, especially that three strikes deal, because we had evidence that a very small percentage of the criminal population created a very high percentage of the -- committed a very high percentage of the serious crimes.

The problem is, the way it was written and implemented, we cast too wide a net and we have too many people in prison. And we wound up spending -- putting so many people in prison, that there wasn't enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs, and increase the chances when they came out, so they could live productive lives.

I strongly support what she's doing. And I think any policy that was adopted when I was president in federal law that contributed to it should be changed.

AMANPOUR: Let's move on to some foreign policy issues.

The deal that President Obama is trying to strike with Iran, do you think it's a good deal, and do you -- who do you think is going to win in this tussle between Congress and President Obama?

CLINTON: Well, first, I think he did the right thing in agreeing to let Congress review it.

Secondly, the deal is not done yet. That is, they haven't filled in the blanks about exactly the -- how the inspection is going to work, how long will they go on, what are the failsafes?

And the flip side is, if it looks like a good deal, and the United States walks away from it, I think it will be almost impossible for us to reinstitute the sanctions regime, because our other allies won't agree, if they think it's a good deal. You don't want it to be a sham. But if it looks like a real deal, I think it is a far safer course.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: And our thanks to Christiane Amanpour.

Coming up: He was the deadly American sniper played by Bradley Cooper in the movie version of his life, but what was it like for Chris Kyle's wife to move on after his death? She will tell me next.

Plus, he claimed his innocence at the time, but now the newly released Deflategate report is suggesting Tom Brady might have known his footballs were intentionally deflated. So, what is the star quarterback saying now?

That's ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: We saw the heavy toll of war on a family in the hit film "American Sniper." Now in today's Buried Lead, the all- too-real struggles of one military wife now that her husband is gone. Taya Kyle is the widow of American sniper, Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.

His wife dealt with his constant deployments, his distant behavior when he returned home and the reality for her now is far from a Hollywood script. She is a widow and mother of two children coping with the loss of her father. And she gets candid about that in her new book "American Wife."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAYA KYLE, WIDOW OF CHRIS KYLE: I stand before you a broken woman.

TAPPER (voice-over): Taya Kyle prefers to face hardship head-on, no filter.

KYLE: I'm not a fan of people romanticizing their loved ones in death.

TAPPER: And she's had no shortage of opportunities.

CHRIS KYLE: She means the world to me.

TAPPER: Legendary Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle was the love of her life. He was murdered in 2013 by a fellow veteran. Taya's husband was known as the deadliest sniper in American history, completing four deployments.

He was also a bestselling author and the inspiration for the highest grossing war movie of all time "American Sniper." She was his rock. And as Taya laid the father of her two children to rest two years ago, she found the strength to laugh with him one last time.

(on camera): We was wearing a shirt that said, do I look like a blankety-blank people person, why was it important for him to be wearing that.

KYLE: We laughed through the hard times and you have to have that release. It was one of those things, I'm really glad I did it. No regrets.

TAPPER (voice-over): In her new book, "American Wife" out this week, Taya gives us the other side of the American sniper's story, the intimate details of her life with Chris.

CHRIS KYLE: Two more and then go to bed.

TAPPER: And the challenge of raising their two children without him.

CHRIS KYLE: When I'm gone, you can look at the tape.

TAPPER (on camera): One of the most moving parts of the book for me was Bubba is a little tough guy and he holds in his feelings when he's upset.

KYLE: Yes.

TAPPER: One night you call him into the bed and you hold him and you ask him to -- I'm going to lose it right now. And you ask him to tell you what he misses about his dad. It must be very tough to deal with this on your own and then also have to worry about two other people and how they're dealing with it.

KYLE: It is. It's very insightful of you to pick up on that, too, because I can't fix what's broken. I can't make it better and that is a form of torture to any parent.

TAPPER: Taya Kyle says there are times she senses Chris' presence, even hearing him sometimes. Do you believe that this is Chris' spirit? Do you believe he's alive in your mind? Have you come to peace with what this is exactly?

KYLE: Right, no. It's a really fair question. I've asked myself that a lot of times. Nuts and bolts, honest answer, I feel like there have been times where I've definitely been touched and reached by him, and I cherish it.

TAPPER: You have a moment with Chris or Chris' spirit where he says he's working on something for you, meaning he's looking for a man for you.

[16:50:05] KYLE: Right. That was -- at the time, it was absolutely devastating. I feel like that's so true to who he was and is still -- that he just wants to protect and he wants to make sure that people are OK. And I feel like he might want that. He might want to fix it and make it OK.

But there are some things that can't be fixed and especially at that time, I felt like -- you know, I'm nowhere near wanting you to fix this because the only thing in my mind to fix it is to come back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: And our thanks to Taya Kyle for that interview.

Coming up, Tom Brady said he didn't even know the locker room attendants who deflated his footballs. But newly released text messages seem to suggest a different story. The evidence released in the investigation next.

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[16:55:16]

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Today's Money Lead, sure, the cash rained down for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on fight night. But now three new lawsuits could hit their bank accounts hard. It's not just that many feel the match didn't live up to the hype.

But two groups of fans both say the fight was an outright rip-off and they are suing Pacquiao's camp for fessing up about the boxer's shoulder injury only after the fact.

Two class action lawsuits were filed on behalf of ticket buyers, pay- per-view subscribers and even people who made legal bets. Floyd Mayweather faces his own legal fight with his ex-girlfriend, Josie Harris, who wants $20 million after an interview Mayweather did to promote the fight.

He said Harris was on drugs and he was trying to restrain her during the domestic violence incident that he ended up pleading guilty to. She is claiming his comments constitute defamation.

The Sports Lead now, the New England Patriots vociferously, angrily, indignantly denied knowing anything about the so-called deflate-gate Super Bowl scandal. Now the air seems to be coming out of that balloon as it were.

This afternoon, the NFL released the results of the investigation it began in January to determine why 11 out of 12 Patriot footballs were underinflated in that playoff game against the Colts.

The 253-page report includes text messages that suggests quarterback, Tom Brady, likely knew his team deflated footballs used in the AFC championship game they won right before their Super Bowl victory.

Let's go to CNN's Rachel Nichols. Rachel, great to see you as always. These text messages are between a locker room attendant and an equipment assistant. What do they say?

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, there is a long trail of text messages, Jake, over several months. They talk about Tom Brady being unhappy with the inflation level of the football. They talk about one providing the other with a needle.

They talk about the one who is being provided with the needle joking or maybe not joking about getting cash and sneakers for his services. And one of the staff on the equipment management talks about tom knowing he had a hard job.

He says, Tom sucks. I'm going to make that next ball a blank balloon. He says, talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done. He says, I told him it was.

He was right, though. Interesting because according to ted wells, the investigator, Tom Brady claimed in an interview he didn't even know this guy. And yet in the text message it says, Tom brought you up.

Inconsistencies in the Tom Brady interview are highlighted in these text messages. There's no smoking gun video here. There's no video of someone deflating the football and Tom Brady sitting over him pointing his finger.

There isn't that kind of definitive evidence. But there is this trail of circumstantial evidence and what we'll call in the civil court a preponderance of the evidence. And that's probably enough for the NFL.

TAPPER: And back in January, of course, Brady held that big news conference, said flat-out he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing. The NFL saying Brady likely knew of inappropriate activities. What comes next for Tom Brady and the Patriots?

NICHOLS: Yes, the NFL will digest this report and there will likely be serious discipline for Tom Brady. The NFL doesn't like being lied to. The report says, we can't definitively report with video that Tom Brady is lying, but it sure looks like it. They gave a lot of back-up for that claim.

So I think that there will be a penalty for the rule breaking in the first place, a penalty for what they perceived as lying about it. And we'll have to see how far it extends, to the rest of the team?

They said that Bill Belichick, the coach, didn't have any knowledge of this. But we've seen the NFL in other cases, with the New Orleans Saints, with the Cleveland Browns, with the Atlanta Falcons, say that ignorance is not an excuse.

And they have penalized high-ranking members of those organizations for things that underlings, or in this case a player, may have done.

This is going to be a big decision for the NFL. We're talking about a golden boy of the league, Tom Brady. We'll have to see what they do here. There are going to be many eyes watching on this one -- Jake.

TAPPER: Does this -- do you think, Rachel, this somehow ruins the sport in any way? Is there always going to be a cloud of speculation of cheating when it comes to football in general or even just the Patriots and their win in the last Super Bowl?

NICHOLS: Look, the NFL is a juggernaut. People are going to watch football games. We've seen that for sure over the last year or so. This is a bit of a Teflon league. But the one thing that no sporting league can take over the long term is cheating. That's why the NFL office is expected to come down really hard here.

TAPPER: All right, Rachel Nichols, thank you so much as always.

NICHOLS: Thanks. TAPPER: That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Turning you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."