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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Interview With Former President Jimmy Carter; Baltimore Police Commissioner Fired; Interview With Texas Congressman Will Hurd; New York Stock Exchange Shut Down; Donald Trump Talks With Anderson Cooper. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired July 8, 2015 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Jake Tapper.
Breaking news in our national lead, one day, three separate computer issues bringing down three hugely important pieces of the U.S. economy to a sudden and unexpected stop, departure boards blank after United Airlines grounds its planes, an error message plastered across "The Wall Street Journal"'s Web site, and, most significantly, all trading put on hold at the New York Stock Exchange for hours.
Right now, federal law enforcement agencies say they do not know whether these three events are connected. And they do not know as of now if there's any evidence that these outages were triggered by hacks or any malicious activity, though they acknowledge that remains a possibility that they're investigating.
Let's get right to CNN's Alison Kosik. She is at the New York Stock Exchange.
Alison, the stock exchange just halted trading, but after 11:32 this morning, it had stopped. When did traders realize something odd was going on? At that moment, 11:32?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At that moment, Jake, at 11:32, a trader put it this way, saying the music just stopped, the computers just stopped moving.
They had some indication that there was some sort of technical difficulty earlier today, before the opening bell rang. One trader told me he was having connectivity issues. Also, another trader tells me there was a software update done overnight.
In addition, the New York Stock Exchange sent out an alert to all the traders here on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange saying there was some sort of connectivity issue with 220 stocks, but I don't think any of these traders expected the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to be shut down today for more than three hours.
The closing bell just rang. I don't think a lot of the traders on the floor expected that to happen. There was the usual clapping at the closing bell. And I think this time around, Jake, they were clapping because they were literally happy about there being a closing bell, something that a lot of these traders didn't think was going to happen today, because a lot of people were skeptical about whether or not the New York Stock Exchange was going to able to get its computers back online -- Jake.
TAPPER: Alison, the market took a hit today.
KOSIK: It did take a hit, Dow down 260 points. There's a lot more going on in the world than just the fact that the New York Stock Exchange shut down for business for a few hours today.
We saw China's market in tumult, and of course the Greek situation certainly throwing the market for a loop. A down day, but many traders will tell you that what happened here today on the floor, they don't think had much impact on the actual trade of the day -- Jake.
TAPPER: Alison Kosik at the stock exchange, thanks so much.
While the New York Stock Exchange insists an internal technical issue short-circuited the trading, federal investigators are sorting through the digital evidence to make sure these three massive and mysterious mishaps are just that, mishaps, not cyber-breaches, not coordinated.
Let's go now to aviation correspondent Rene Marsh.
Rene Marsh, this afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security secretary, Jeh Johnson, said he had personally spoken with the CEO of United Airlines and said at least at this stage there's no indication that these glitches were caused by any nefarious actor.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
But it is still, in your words, mysterious at this point. You had three major U.S. operations at a standstill today because of computer glitches. Right now, at least two of the three operations say this was not the work of hackers. The New York Stock Exchange calling it a technical issue. United Airlines blaming it on a faulty router, and we still don't know the cause of "The Wall Street Journal"'s computer problems, but the confluence of tech failures in one day within hours of each other, a strange coincidence, to say the least.
MARSH (voice-over): From California to Chicago, a backlog of passengers stuck on long airport lines while all of United Airlines' flights were grounded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: United 1256, when you say it's going to be a long wait, how long does that mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they have a systemwide ground stop due to a computer outage.
MARSH: A systemwide computer failure shut down operations for the major U.S. carrier for hours, in all, more than 800 United flights around the world grounded, as agents were forced to issue hand-written tickets.
SETH KAPLAN, AIRLINE ANALYST: The problem is that when it happens at a giant airline like United, you can get chaos of the kind that we saw this morning. Passengers just have a matter of minutes to make their connecting flights. So, when you have flights that are held sometimes not for minutes, but even hours, that can cascade through the entire system.
MARSH: Just hours later, trading came to a halt at the New York Stock Exchange, as a separate computer system failed. And at the offices of "The Wall Street Journal," the home page stopped functioning, although that site is now back up. But government officials quickly tried to reassure the public that these were not malicious attacks.
JEH JOHNSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I have spoken to the CEO of United, Jeff Smisek, myself. It appears from what we know at this stage that the malfunctions at United and the stock exchange were not the result of any nefarious actor.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's no indication that malicious actors were involved in these technology issues.
MARSH: Well, after nearly four hours, the New York Stock Exchange, as we just heard from Alison, resumed trading. President Obama is being kept abreast of the situation.
And on the airline front, passengers still feeling the ripple effect, even though the systems are corrected, still dealing with lots of delays. That could go until the rest of the day and even into early tomorrow.
TAPPER: All right, Rene Marsh, thank you so much.
Let's bring in the chairman of the Information Technology Subcommittee for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Republican Congressman from Texas Will Hurd.
Congressman Hurd, thanks so much for joining me.
We have these three bizarre stoppages, United, the New York Stock Exchange, and then, of course, the Web site of "The Wall Street Journal." What's your best information? Do you believe the head of United and the head of the stock exchange that these were not hacks?
REP. WILL HURD (R), TEXAS: That's the information I have gotten -- and thanks for having me on the show -- is that these are technical attacks, but we wouldn't be in this situation of wondering if it was an attack or not if we had real-time information-sharing between the federal government and the private sector.
And we would have a lot more information and know what was happening, instead of being concerned the way we are right now. TAPPER: If this had been a coordinated attack -- I'm just speaking
hypothetically because there is no indication that it was, but if it had been, does what happened today show that the country is not prepared for something like that?
HURD: I don't think we are prepared.
And I think this is a good example of why we need to be having these conversations here in Washington, D.C., so that we're prepared for these kinds of events. The reason that there's been a lot of questions about this is because this could actually happen. This is something that micro-actors, you know, one young kid in his garage could possibly do.
The Iranians could definitely do this. The Russians, the Chinese have the capability. We need to be prepared for this type of eventuality.
TAPPER: And just to help communicate this to our viewers, Congressman, a cyber-attack, what does it mean to the American people? I guess we're already seeing trading on the stock market potentially. This is not a cyber-attack, but we're just talking about what could be hypothetically. Trading was shut down, flights shutting down, information through the "Wall Street Journal" Web site shut down.
How will this affect people when an inevitable cyber-attack actually does come through?
HURD: It would be general chaos.
You know, this is people being scared. You know, this is what terrorists do, create terror. And this is one way in order to do this. What happens if the lights turned out at the same time? So these are the types of multi-disciplinary things that we need to be prepared for.
And that's what we're trying to do here and in Washington, D.C., and I spent nine years as an undercover officer in the CIA. And I have seen some of these things in other parts of the world. We have got to be prepared to make sure that this doesn't happen here in the United States of America.
TAPPER: All right, Congressman Hurd, thank you so much for you time. We appreciate it.
Now some breaking news in our national lead. The Baltimore police commissioner just got the boot, the mayor of Baltimore firing Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. CNN confirming the story just minutes ago. The mayor is expected to announce her decision in a press conference in a few minutes from now.
Let's bring in CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.
Suzanne, you were meeting in Baltimore earlier today. You were meeting with police officers. What is the back story here? Why did the mayor do this?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's really an extraordinary development that happened here.
This is the report we got earlier today. It was a scathing review of the commissioner, Commissioner Anthony Batts, essentially saying he failed, his department failing in responding to what was initially uncivil unrest that turned into these riots.
Millions of dollars damaged when you saw the fires, the looters, as well as 200 police officers who were injured. What happened out of this report essentially...
TAPPER: Who did the report?
MALVEAUX: This is the FOP. This is the Fraternal Order of Police. I talked to the president, Gene Ryan, today.
I asked him point blank, because it's scathing, is it time for the commissioner to go? He said, no, this is not a time for him to go. It's a time for him not to step down, but to step up. That was his response. Also got a response from the mayor earlier today saying this report essentially was a political document, that this was baseless, that it had no useful information.
Since then, there was a press conference and that was supposed to be the commissioner who was going to talk to us at 4:00. That since has changed. It's now the mayor, and the news from the mayor, that commissioner is out, that he Is gone.
TAPPER: Stunning turn of events in just a few minutes, really.
Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much.
We will be providing more coverage of this developing story as it happens. We will bring that to you.
But turning now to our politics lead, Bernie Sanders seems to be slowly chipping away at Hillary Clinton's lead for the Democratic presidential nomination. It's a story we have seen play out before in the Democratic field. And, no, I'm not talking about then candidate Obama knocking off then Senator Clinton. I'm talking about Jimmy Carter. and the former president will join us next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
The politics lead now, Election Day 2016 is 489 days away, but the race for the White House already looks like a madcap dash, candidates sprinting across the country, using the first leg of this election marathon to stake out their positions.
And we have got it all covered right here on THE LEAD, including what one former president thinks of the current field. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sitting down for her first national TV interview yesterday, but she made some statements that might not square with the facts. The CNN truth squad is on the case.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump turning up the volume on his immigration message in a sit-down a short time ago with our Anderson Cooper. And we will bring you a sneak peek at that as well, while just a few hours ago, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham got candid and a bit emotional when I asked him a question about all of the above, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and immigration.
But before all of that, let's talk to the 39th president of the United States, James Earl "Jimmy" Carter.
Mr. President, thank you so much for being here. And congratulations on your book. It's fantastic, your 29th book, "A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety," really just beautifully written, and congratulations on it.
[16:15:01] JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much, Jake.
TAPPER: But, first, I do, of course, have to ask you a little political question.
CARTER: I expected that.
TAPPER: So, Senator Sanders' message seems to be resonating with a lot of Democratic voters are out there. His crowds are going up. His polls numbers are shooting up. He's raising more money. There seems to be something of an enthusiasm gap, compared with supporters for the front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Why do you think that is? What do you think Clinton needs to do to turn it around?
CARTER: Well, I think a lot of people wanted Elizabeth Warren to run, and when she decided not to, when Bernie Sanders came in, he kind of filled a gap there. You know, Hillary has been out of the limelight as far as political realm now for a number of months, and she's getting back in. But I don't think there's much doubt that in the long term, Hillary is still the preeminent candidate for the Democratic nomination.
TAPPER: In your book, you write about what you call a miscalculation in your reelection bid in 1980. You write, quote, "A serious political mistake was not being more attentive to the Democratic Party, both in preparing it for the 1980 election and in avoiding the schism between my supporters and those of Senator Ted Kennedy."
Do you see Hillary Clinton making some of those mistakes?
CARTER: No, I don't think so. I think she and Bill together have made probably the most acutely aware and knowledgeable and competent of political team that we've ever seen. And I think they maintained their close ties with the Democratic Party. And they have also kind of healed wounds within the Democratic Party,
much better than I did, because for the last two years I was in the White House, Ted Kennedy was running against me for president. And I didn't reach out to him adequately to try to get him to stay as one of my allies instead of an opponent.
TAPPER: And, in fact, he helped sink your plan for health care, you write about that in the book.
CARTER: Well, he did that too, yes, but, you know, he was a candidate then. And I have to understand -- I'm not criticizing, because he had his own agenda, too, before. He felt he should have been president when I was, and so he obviously felt that he should be president when I left. It didn't work out that way for him or me, as a matter of fact.
TAPPER: In his -- Donald Trump's in the news a lot. What's interesting is he wrote about you in the "Art of the Deal", his book from a few years ago. A lot of it wasn't so nice, I'm not going to read that to you, but he does tell this one admiring story about you asking him for a $5 million donation to your presidential library.
Trump wrote, quote, "Jimmy Carter had the nerve, the guts, the balls to ask for something extraordinary. That ability above all helped him get elected president."
I thought that was an interesting section of the book.
What do you make of Donald Trump and the controversies he is causing for the Republican Party?
CARTER: Well, I remember going to him like I did to almost every rich person in America, asking for help with the Carter Center. He decided to not give me any money, by the way, which is his privilege.
But I think he's made some stupid statements, and I think ill-advised statements about immigrants, and he'll get a tiny part of the Republican Party support, the ones that agree with him in an extreme way, but I think he's a flash in the pan and he's getting all the publicity he wants, which is probably his main goal in saying such ridiculous things.
TAPPER: You write in your book that one of the happiest moments of your life came after you informed by your military -- you had left the presidency at that point, just a few hours before, but you'd informed that the plane carrying the U.S. hostages had taken off from the airport in Tehran, Iran.
TAPPER: I know you're supportive of President Obama's efforts to reach a deal over Iran's nuclear program. But I have to ask, given your experience with the ayatollahs, and the extremists running that country, do you trust the Iranian government?
CARTER: Well, I don't think it's a matter of trust. I believe whatever John Kerry negotiates -- and I hope he's successful -- I think would be the better for the country and the world, as well as Iran. If we reach an agreement, I think we're going to monitor very carefully -- and my understanding is we will lift the sanctions step by step as the Iranians comply with their commitments.
TAPPER: A lot of interesting stuff in the book about race and your personal experience, your personal upbringing. When the son after wealthy black neighbor would visit your house, when you're a child, your father would leave the house. Obviously, we have come a long way since then as a nation, but there's still lots of raw feelings out there, as seen with the debate over the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina.
I have to ask -- you're a former governor of Georgia. The flag of Georgia is based on the actual Confederate flag and there are license plates in Georgia with the Confederate flag on them. If you were governor of Georgia, would you move to change them?
CARTER: Well, we had a very courageous and wise governor 14 years ago, Roy Barnes, who did away with the Confederate battle flag, which has a connotation of racism. And he was defeated for reelection because of that, and that's the main reason he was defeated. Since then, the Republicans have been in governorship, but they haven't chosen to go back and reassert the Confederate battle flag into our agenda in Georgia. So, I'm very proud of what Georgia has done.
[16:20:00] TAPPER: What about the -- what about the license plates? I guess the larger question I'm asking is: is there anything from your time when you were governor -- I get it was a very different era -- where you either embraced or turned a blind eye to symbols of the confederacy that maybe caused pain to people that you might regret today?
CARTER: It wasn't a matter of a Confederate flag. When I was inaugurated as a governor, I made a statement at the time that the time for racial discrimination is over. That was such a momentous news item in 1971 even that late, that two weeks later, I was on the front cover of "TIME" magazine just because I said that.
So, we made great progress in the South throughout the South because of that, and I think that there are very few people that still look upon the Confederate flag as a racist symbol, but for those who feel that way, the black family in our country, we should do away with the Confederate flag and its emblem as white superiority and replace it instead (ph).
TAPPER: Mr. President, I have to say the book has a lot of lovely remembrances of your time in the Navy, your time as president, your charitable works, but there's probably nothing more moving than the way you write about Rosalynn, your wife. The book is dedicated to her, "To Rosalynn, who has kept my life full of love."
This week is yours and Rosalynn's 69th wedding anniversary. And I have to ask you --
CARTER: Yes, sir. TAPPER: -- I'm nowhere near 69 years with my beloved, but what's the
secret, Mr. President?
CARTER: Well, yesterday was our anniversary as a matter of fact. We were in 1946, and Rosalynn has been the foundation for my entire enjoyment of life. And we have just had, first of all, it's best to choose the right woman, which I did, and secondly we give each other space to do our own things.
We try to be reconciled before we go to sleep at night, and try to find everything we can think of that we like to do together. So, we have a lot of good times. We have a big family now. We have 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, 38 of us in all. So, we try to hold our family together and just enjoy the family life.
TAPPER: President Carter, thank you so much. I'm writing it down as soon as the commercial break comes. Find things you like to do together, never go to bed -- thank you so much, Mr. President. Good luck with the book.
CARTER: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: When we come back, Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton the worst secretary of state ever. So, why has he donated to her in the past when she was a senator? Trump answers that question in a sit- down interview with Anderson Cooper. We'll have that, next.
[16:26:32] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We're back with even more in the politics lead. Donald Trump not backing down from his controversial, some say racist language, that has sparked debate about illegal immigration and cost him millions of dollars in canceled business deals in the process.
Just a few hours ago, the Republican presidential candidate spoke with our own Anderson Cooper for an interview that will air tonight on "AC360".
The real estate mogul taking nonstop political and financial hits, but potential voters apparently like Trump's blunt style. He is ranked near the top of polls nationally and key states, Iowa and New Hampshire.
And joining me now, CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Anderson, what did Trump have to say?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, AC360: You know, we talked about 40 minutes. It's a wide-ranging interview. He was very open to really discussing anything we wanted to. Obviously, I asked him a lot about illegal immigration. But I started off by asking him about Hillary Clinton, given that she
gave her first national interview yesterday to CNN. I started off by asking Mr. Trump why he thinks she hasn't been more forthcoming with interviews, and also, why he used to give so many donations to Hillary Clinton. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: First of all, Hillary Clinton gave her first interview yesterday in a long, long time, first national interview, she gave to CNN.
You give interviews all the time. You're out there. You're talking contemporaneously.
Why did you think Hillary Clinton is not talking?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDAE: Well, Anderson, she's got a lot to hide. She gets a subpoena on e-mails and she -- I mean, from the United States Congress, and she gets rid of the e-mails, and her server and everything gone (ph).
COOPER: She said yesterday in the interview, by the way, she didn't get a subpoena. That it was, there is no --
TRUMP: They said they issued the subpoena. But, you're right, I mean, she handled like, you know, like, you know, what's going on, how can you do that?
She has a lot to hide. She doesn't want to talk to the press. Look, she was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States.
COOPER: But you used to donate -- I mean, you gave a lot of money to her over the years.
TRUMP: Sure. Because I was a businessman, I guess I still am. But I was a businessman, I was with everybody. Everybody loved me. When I called them, they always treated me well. And that's part of the game.
And that's part of what is wrong with in country, because as a businessman, I could have gotten anything from anybody. And that is part of the problem.
COOPER: But you know when you get on a stage on those debates, and your Republican challengers are going to say, look, you're all over the place politically. You say you're a conservative Republican, you've given money to Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reid -- Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi.
TRUMP: I get along with everybody. And that's part of the problem we have in the country --
COOPER: So, you weren't giving money based on political beliefs. You were giving money based on currying favor, like many people do?
TRUMP: People love me, and you know what? I've been very successful. Everybody loves me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, there you go, Jake. Everybody loves him.
TAPPER: It's interesting, and -- I know I wasn't expecting that response. Stay right there, if you will. We're going to have much more of your interview with Donald Trump. We're going to have to take a quick break.
He has railed against illegal immigration, even claiming some undocumented workers are rapists, but Trump admitting to Anderson that he can't guarantee that every worker he employs is legal. That part of the conversation after this very quick break.