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Report: Kimmel's Tearful Health Care Plea; FBI Translator Goes Rogue; Ex-Cop Plead Guilty to Killing Unarmed Black Man. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired May 2, 2017 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: A little over a week ago on Friday, April 21, my wife, Molly, gave birth to a boy. His name is William. We call him Billy. It was an easy delivery. Six pushes and he was out. He appeared to be a healthy baby until three hours he was born and we were out of the delivery room and moved to the recovery room. Our whole family was there and introduced him to his 2 1/2- year-old sister. She was cute with him. We were happy. My wife was in bed relaxing and when a very attentive nurse at Cedar Sinai Hospital checked him out and heard a murmur in his heart but also noticed he was a bit purple well, which is not common.
She asked me to come with her and my wife and I assumed it would be nothing. Our daughter had a heart murmur too and we didn't notice he wasn't the color that he was supposed to be. So now more doctors and nurses and equipment come in and it's terrifying thing. My wife is back in the recovery room. She has no idea what's going on. They did an echo cardiogram and found that Billy was born with a heart disease, something called tetralogy of fallot with pulmonary atresia. He has a hole in the wall between the left and right sides of his heart and they brought my wife in and they wheeled her in and the doctor told her what was going on and what our options were.
We decided to take him to children's hospital where there's a world renowned cardiac surgeon. He's a genius. We put the baby in an ambulance to children's Hospital Los Angeles and on Monday morning, the doctor opened his chest and fixed one of the two defects of his heart. He went in there with a scalpel and did magic that I can't even begin to explain. He opened the valve and the operation was a success. It was the longs guest three hours of my life. We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world. But until a few years ago, millions of Americans had no access to health insurance at all. If you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there is a good chance you'd never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition.
If you were born with a pre-existing condition and if your parents did not have life insurance, you may not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition. If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do whatever your party is, whatever you believe or support, we need to make sure that the people who are supposed to represent us and people meeting about this right now in Washington understand that very clearly. Let's stop with the nonsense. This isn't football. There are no teams. We are the team. It's the United States. Don't let their partisan squabbles divide us on something that every decent person wants. We need to take care of each other. I saw a lot of families there and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life. It just shouldn't happen. Not here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. I'm going to bring in Brad Carson and Beverly Halberg. Thank you both for being here. First up, your reaction, Brad, to what we just heard from that very emotional plea from Jimmy Kimmel.
[15:35:00] BRAD CARSON, FORMER UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think he speaks for tens of millions of Americans who find themselves with health conditions and find it difficult to access insurance, perhaps not even possible to get insurance and I think it's a fundamental debate rather than all of the intricacies of health insurance. Do people have the right to have health insurance or not? And should it be based on your income level or not? That's why Republicans are finding it so hard to repeal Obamacare.
BROWN: Rebecca, you don't necessarily agree with the point that he made about pre-existing conditions, is that right?
BEVERLY HALBERG, CONSERVATIVE STRATEGIST: When I watched that, I teared up the first time I saw it.
BROWN: It's hard not to.
HALBERG: I'm an aunt of a little boy who had open heart surgery because of a heart defect. When I heard this story, I teared up. I think it's great that he was that transparent and open. I would agree with him that we as Americans, whether Republican or Democrat, any child going through this should get the care that he or she needs. What I disagree about is that the answer to these problems is Obamacare. So, when it comes to pre-existing conditions, Republicans are talking about having a health care that does have pre-existing conditions as an element of that. But the issue is, one of the reasons why health care is so unaffordable to begin with is because of so many of these policies of Obamacare. My premiums have tripled since Obamacare. We need to get to the heart of the issue which is cost and quality of care.
BROWN: Let me ask you this, Brad. We heard the President say that the GOP bill will guarantee coverage for those with pre-existing conditions but the reality is, states can opt out. I mean, this is sort of the big sticking point between conservatives and moderate conservatives.
CARSON: The freedom caucus and perhaps the people on the far right of the house GOP conference don't believe in covering pre-existing conditions. The waiver will no doubt be exercised by 30 or more states effectively ending the requirement that pre-existing conditions be ignored in the issue wants o issuance of insurance.
BROWN: Beverly, our reporting is that Republicans are one "no" vote away from this crashing and burning again. What do you think is going to happen? Do you think they are going to get it?
HALBERG: I would hope that the Republicans make sure that they have all of the votes. It's a PR disaster the first time and will be this time. One of the reasons they are working so hard, because let's not forget that President Trump said he was going to move on to tax reform, the reason they are pushing this forward is because this is what Americans want. This is one of the reasons why many of them got re-elected, that people are struggling under the weight of rising health care costs and they are saying that you have to do something about it. And so, I think you're going to see Republicans continue to battle this out. I would be surprised if they put anything on the house floor for a vote that they weren't sure they had all of the votes on. It would be disastrous if that happened.
CARSON: Paul Ryan won't bring it to the floor unless he knows he has the votes.
BROWN: Beverly, Brad, thank you. Appreciate it.
In South Carolina, a police officer pled guilty for killing an unarmed man after shooting him in the back. Details on the deal he's getting and how long he could spend in prison.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BROWN: Happening now in Charleston, South Carolina, Michael Slager who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a traffic stop just pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge after insisting it was self-defense. Slager shot Walter Scott in the back five times during the 2015 encounter. This incident was caught on tape and reignited nationwide protests over police killings of black men. Slager pleaded guilty to one felony count using excessive force. Other charges, including the state murder charge, were dropped. His state murder charge ended in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial. Slager could be sentenced up to life in prison. Joining me to discuss is Paul Butler, professor at Georgetown Law School. Convictions are rare for police officers when it comes to on-duty killings.
PAUL BUTLER, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN LAW SCHOOL: That's right.
Brown: So, what do you think happened with this plea deal? Do you think he knew he was going to lose this civil case?
BUTLER: Most criminal defendants end up pleading guilty but cops are the exception. They usually are not prosecuted. When they are prosecuted, they usually prefer to take their chances with the jury. Well, officer Slager did that and it didn't work out so well for him. He got a mistrial but reportedly this split was 11 for conviction, 1 for acquittal. So, the state promised to retry him. Officer Slager had to be concerned if he was con convicted of murder, he would face the death penalty. Death is off the table. It's even unlikely that he'll get the maximum punishment, which is life in prison. BROWN: What could his sentence be?
[15:45:00] BUTLER: Under the federal law, if you accept responsibility, which means plead guilty, you get points, which means you get time taken off your sentence. The prosecutors have worked out other arrangements for him to be punished for a lower level offense. The judge doesn't have to go for this but frequently they do. Both defense attorneys and prosecutors like plea bargains. You never know what will happen when put before a jury.
BROWN: Paul, thank you for your analysis.
Up next, an FBI translator gone rogue marrying an ISIS fighter she was assigned to investigate. The stunning story up next.
BROWN: And now to a CNN exclusive. The real-life story of an FBI investigator gone rogue, traveling to Syria to marry the ISIS fighter she was assigned to investigate. Drew Griffin has the story.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is known by ISIS as the German. Abu Al Amani, a notorious ISIS fighter, a former German rapper who called for violent jihad and held this severed head of an is victim. Denis Cuspert is his real name. He's a German national targeted as a specially designated global terrorist who survived a U.S. missile strike in 2015 and is believed to be still alive somewhere in Syria.
What has not been disclosed until now is that an FBI employee with top secret clearance lied to her bosses, secretly traveled to Syria and married Cuspert for a short time, becoming the bride of the very terrorist she was assigned to investigate. That now former employee is Daniella Green, her face obscured for her safety. Green served just two years in prison and is now free.
She wouldn't answer CNN's question saying, if I talk to you, my family will be in danger. The information about her case comes from previously sealed court documents. The records unsealed only after green finished cooperating with authorities. And after prosecutors asked the judge to make them public, unsealing these documents, they write, will allow appropriate public access to this case. Greene, who was already married, travel to Syria in the summer of 2014 and not only spent time in the company of members of ISIS but ended up marrying an infamous ISIS terrorist.
[15:50:00] GEORG HEIL, FREELANCE JOURNALIST: He is calling upon his followers to commit attacks inside Europe. He says, I quote, Europe is in your battleground. Go and slaughter them. And shed their blood, take hostages, kill them.
GRIFFIN: Daniela Greene was born in Czechoslovakia and met and married a U.S. army soldier. Greene enrolled in Clemson University history department seeking her master's degree.
ALAN GRUBB, CLEMSON UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Daniela was a hard-working conscientious student.
GREENE: This was her thesis adviser. Greene was assigned to the field Detroit office and tasked with helping investigate a terrorist labeled "individual A" in court documents. CNN has learned individual A is the German rapper turned ISIS fighter Denis Cuspert. Greene was able to track the terrorist using three skype accounts, but it turns out the FBI knew of only two accounts, Greene has sole access to a third skype account. In June 2014 Greene told her supervisor she was making a trip to Germany to visit family. She flew from Toronto into Istanbul and into Turkey and crossed the Syrian border with the help of the terrorist and disappeared. There in ISIS-controlled Syria, government prosecutors say Daniella Greene met up with the ISIS terrorist and not only married him and told him she was employed by the FBI and that the FBI had an open investigation into his activities. Professor Alan Grubb says any tale involving terrorism simply could not involve the Daniela Greene he knew. If I told you she got wrapped up in a terror investigation where she was the target, I would assume you would find that hard to believe.
GRUBB: I would be dumbfounded by that. It would be hard to believe. I don't think there's anything in her background that would suggest to me or any of the people she worked with her proclivities in that direction, so, yes, I would be surprised.
GRIFFIN: Shortly after arriving in Syria, Daniela Greene had a change of heart and within weeks was sending e-mails back in the United States. I was weak she wrote in one. I really made a mess of things this time. The following day she wrote I am gone and I can't come back. I'm in Syria. I'm in a very harsh environment, I don't know how long I will last here, but it doesn't matter. It's all a little too late. She goes on, I will probably go to prison for a long time if I come back, but that is life. On August 6th, it 2014, Daniela Greene left Syria, left is and did return to the United States where she was immediately arrested. Unlike other terrorism-related cases, Daniela Greene's arrest and plea deal would receive no publicity at all from the Department of Justice. The case quietly hidden. Court records sealed for months. Even after her case became a matter of public record, still, silence. A look on the FBI and the Department of Justice website show page after page of press releases about similar terrorism arrest over the years, but this one stayed buried until now.
SCOTT GLOVER, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: This is a very wild tale involving terrorism, the FBI, matters of national security, and it's hard to imagine that there would not be public interest in it.
GRIFFIN: CNN investigative reporter Scott Glover discovered the court documents.
GLOVER: I think it's a fair assessment to say it's embarrassing that an employee with a top national security clearance secretly travels to Syria and marries a terrorist who is the subject of the investigation that she's working on.
GRIFFIN: Who is even more stun begun this secretive case is how it ended. Greene began cooperating with the FBI immediately upon her arrest. She pleaded guilty to making false statements involving international terrorism and the government said she skirted a line dangerously close to other more serious charges. The assistant U.S. attorney wrote the nature and circumstances of this offense weren't serious punishment. Serious cases have ended in sentences of 8, 10, 15 years in federal prison. Greene was sentenced to just two. According to prosecutors, it was because of her cooperation. She's already out on probation but free. As for Denis Cuspert the German rapper turned is soldier who remains the FBI agent's husband and still remains at large.
[15:55:00] BROWN: Joining me now, investigative reporter Scott Glover. What an incredible story that you really stumbled upon in many ways.
GLOVER: It sounds like, you know, the script for a thriller, for a movie.
BROWN: Really, it does, and, I mean, this is something obviously that the FBI does not want out there and you really have been doing digging about the sentence that she received. The two years. What the can you explain about the two-year sentence.
GLOVER: I mean, to the extent that it strikes people as something less than they would expect. The government cited Miss Greene's substantial cooperation. I think they said this long running, significant and substantial. The details of that remain a secret because that portion of the case remains sealed for security reasons and, you know, various other reasons, so we can't learn everything about that, but that is the reason that the prosecutor asked the judge to give a sentence that was below the guidelines for this crime.
BROWN: All right. Scott Glover, incredible work. Thank you so much.
And up next, a shameful episode of racism at Fenway Park targeting a player. We'll discuss after this break.
BROWN: Well, the mayor of Boston is joining the Boston Red Sox in apologizing to a Baltimore Orioles outfielder after he was taunted by racist fans inside Fenway Park. Now, during the game Adam Jones said fans called him the "n" word and threw a bag of peanuts at him. Quote, "It's unfortunate. The best thing about myself is I continue to move on and still play the game hard. Let people be who they are. Let them show their true colors."
The Red Sox said they were sickened. With me now is sports editor for "The Nation." Does Fenway have a problem? What's going hon here? I mean, this really beyond, crosses the line.
DAVE ZINN, SPORTS EDITOR, THE NATION: Yes. The only thing that's really distinct about this particular issue is Adam Jones has always been an outspoken ballplayer on political issues, decided to be outspoken about what took place. I mean, when you talk to African American major ballplayers they speak of Fenway Park being a specific environment where they are subject to this kind of invective and it runs very deep. What Jackie Robinson, Jim Rice and Barry Bonds all have in common beyond hall of fame numbers is they were all called the "n" word at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox were the last team to integrate in major league baseball and a street leading to the park is still named after the owner Tom Yawkey who kept the team from integrating.
It is certainly true it's not every Boston fan and you see a lot of people online saying this is not all Boston fans, et cetera, but that doesn't change the fact that the Boston Red Sox are not confronting this issue at their park, and if they are not going to confront, it major league baseball needs to confront it. It's going to take a lot more than words. I think the team maybe needs to be fined. Maybe they need to take a page from European soccer and play an entire game in front of empty stands. That's what they do in Europe when racist incidents occur but something needs to be done.
BROWN: And the mayor of Boston has also spoken up. He talked to a local radio station. This is not something that he approves of. What about the city of city of Boston?
ZINN: It is fascinating, because Boston is such a city of contradictions, and it was recently in the news big time when comedian Michael Che said that Boston is the most racist city and Boston has a reputation of being a very liberal city so as long as there's been a city of Boston, it's been reflected in sports so many times in the 20th century. I'll recommend a book called "Shut Out" about the history of race and baseball in the city of Boston, and I think because it runs so deeply it's so baked into the cake of Boston sports that it needs to be confronted much more fundamentally.
BROWN: And like you said though, not every fan, of course, is racist.
ZINN: For sure.
BROWN: But clearly this kind of behavior is unacceptable. Thanks so much for coming on. We appreciate it, and "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.