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White House Sends Back Democratic Memo to Intel Committee; Israeli Jet Crashes After Striking Iranian Targets in Syria; Actor Reg E Cathey Dies At 59. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired February 10, 2018 - 12:00   ET



WHITFIELD: -- President Trump seemingly defending administration officials accused of domestic violence, tweeting, "People's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true, some are false, some are old, some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused. Life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as due process?"

The president's tweet today comes on the heels of yet another White House official resigning over domestic abuse allegations. David Sorensen, a member of Trump's speech writing team, is out, after his ex-wife alleged that he snuffed cigarettes out on her and drove a car over her foot according to "The Washington Post."

Sorensen denies the accusations and says he was the victim during the marriage. And this is on top of White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter's resignation earlier this week and criticism of the president's response to that departure, saying nothing about Porter's accusers or anything about domestic abuse. This is the president just yesterday --


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's a, obviously, tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him. But it was very sad when we heard about it and certainly, he's also very sad now.

He also, as you probably know, he says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent. So, you'll have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well.


WHITFIELD: Let's get straight to CNN's Abby Phillip. She is live for us right now at the White House. What more from the president today?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Fred. The president is at home today on a rainy day in the White House. He's tweeting about the allegations that have been roiling his White House all week.

The president has clearly been making it known that he views this as being about -- the importance of believing the accused and not so much about the alleged victims in this case. But it's important here to lay out some of the facts.

The president called them mere allegations. In the case of Rob Porter, his former staff secretary, he was accused by two of his ex- wives of physical domestic abuse during their marriages.

One of those wives produced a photograph of her with a black eye. And even while she says that she had a cordial relationship with him now, she believes that in his private life he was -- he was abusing her.

And similarly, another White House aide yesterday, last night, resigned, David Sorensen, a speechwriter in the White House, whose ex- wife accuses him, as you just mentioned, of domestic violence during their marriage.

Now, Sorensen and Porter both deny these allegations, saying that they are simply untrue, but it's clear that the White House has taken them seriously. They have gone from defending Porter to terminating his tenure in the White House.

And now White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is insisting in the public and to aides privately that he took decisive action. In fact, we know, based on the sequence of events this week, that the White House took quite a while to come around to realizing what was going on here.

And it wasn't until after the photographs of Porter's ex-wife was published that they moved more quickly to get him out of the White House. The president, on the other hand, seems to want to focus the attention on what he says is a need for due process in these cases.

He praised Porter effusively yesterday and to this day has still not mentioned a word about any of the victims involved in either of these scenarios.

WHITFIELD: All right, Abby Phillip, thank you so much. We'll discuss now with my panel. Joining me is Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist and former McCain/Palin presidential campaign adviser, and CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, Alice Stewart. Good to see you both.

So, Alice, let me begin with you. The president's tweet, saying these are mere allegations, some of these accusations old, some new, and still no direct mention of the accusers. Here it is in its entirety.

"People's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere accusation. Some are true, some are false. Some are old, some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused. Life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as due process?" How disturbing is it that the president is still not saying anything about those alleged victims of domestic violence? ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is very disturbing, Fred. And it would be nice if he would send a tweet almost virtually like that but instead maybe the first line says people's lives are shattered and destroyed due to domestic violence.

And to me, I don't care if it happened last night or last year or ten years ago. Domestic violence is domestic violence and there's no space and no tolerance for this.

[12:05:08] And look, I'm very well aware Rob Porter is a man with a wonderful pedigree. He has a tremendous work ethic, very well respected in the White House. Yet, I think it's important to set a tone and example for this country.

When people have personal short comings in their personal lives or abhorrent, that should be disqualifying for public service. And I think that's an important message that would be helpful if we could learn from all of this and a big message coming out of the White House.

WHITFIELD: So, Ford, the president has spoken. He spoke yesterday. He tweeted this morning. Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah said this week the White House could have done better in the handling of this crisis and reportedly the president wasn't that crazy about that characterization.

So as Alice puts it, you know, if the White House just sending a tone? What is the tone that the White House, the president, is sending on this issue? A very serious issue of domestic violence?

FORD O'CONNELL, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it's a little bit of a mixed message. Look, to Alice's point and to Raj Shaw's point, there's no question about it that the White House could have done a far better situation here with respect to Porter.

I think that's also why we're seeing David Sorensen's resignation because they're trying to make the case that we're very, very serious about sexual allegations. Look, I understand, it's going to be hard for a lot people to get this, but I understand why Trump was trying to defend Porter here.

The sense is that Trump is driven by loyalty and he wants to show loyalty to those who have shown loyalty to him. I do think it was a huge mistake to not at least mention --

WHITFIELD: But even --

O'CONNELL: Hold on --


WHITFIELD: -- loyal friend, you would want to call out what they just did or what they're, you know, alleged to have done --

O'CONNELL: Fred, I totally agree with everything you said. What he should have said in the middle of defending Porter is look sexual harassment is a national epidemic. We have to be very, very sympathetic to those who make these claims. So, I don't think he handled that properly. He should have added that on to what he was saying about Porter.

WHITFIELD: Alice, why does the president feel it's important to say, you know, he believes people are innocent until proven guilty and, you know, deserving of due process, but the president was pretty quick to criticize others, you know, Frankel is one of them, based on allegations and based on pictures and didn't seem to be as understanding of due process or arguing that for somebody like Frankel?

STEWART: That's a great question, Fred, but look the reality is, whether we're talking about sexual harassment, whether we're talking about domestic violence, it knows no party, it knows no gender, it knows no race, it knows no color.

So, it really doesn't matter if it is a Democratic senator or if it is a Republican person running for Senate in Alabama. If someone is facing serious allegations of sexual harassment, child pedophile, domestic violence, there should be no tolerance, absolutely zero tolerance.

And the best thing we can do moving forward is to make that case here. The bridge too far is right here and right now. And I am encouraged by Vice President Mike Pence, who has come out and said that there's no place for domestic violence. I hope we can build on that from a national level and set a good tone moving forward.

WHITFIELD: What does that mean that the vice president would say he's going to wait until he gets back to Washington, he's going to weigh in and really doesn't know about it? The president also said at some point he was just learning of it, he really didn't know about the old issue of these allegations involving at least Porter for sure and the White House or at least, you know, John Kelly has known about it for some time.

How can all of these people be in the dark, all these people meaning the president and the vice president, be in the dark over matters like this? Who has security clearance who doesn't, what kind of allegations, you know --

O'CONNELL: No, no, I think the finger goes straight to John Kelly, the chief of staff. Look, as we understand it, he first learned about this in September. And I think when he got the first inkling of news, we don't know what was actually said, but he should have been more aggressive about it and not waited for it and been passive and waited for it to come from him.

Because at the end of the day, his job is to protect the president. We know, Fred, that no one drives the news cycle like Donald Trump. So, therefore, I think the onus falls on John Kelly.

As with respect to security clearances, you got to understand, back in September, the AP wrote a story basically saying there's 700,000 security clearance backlog reviews. So, I don't think it's hardly surprising that Porter didn't have a particular top-secret security clearance takes almost a year and what are we, 13 months in.

And given what's happened with some of the other security clearances, Edward Snowden, et cetera, we do need better vetting, and we do need to move forward with this.

[12:10:00] WHITFIELD: Except you hear from some who have worked in the White House and just on our air we heard a number of them who said, you know, it takes a matter of weeks when the White House usually has all the information they need in which to make a decision about whether someone should get security clearance, that a year is really long for Rob Porter to be working without security clearance given the information was provided by the FBI.

O'CONNELL: Well, look, here's the deal just because the FBI has questions doesn't mean they have evidence. Obviously, we now know now that Rob Porter had some bad marks against him. I will also say, look, there's a lot of people in Trump's White House, there's 30 to 40 as we understand, that don't have security clearance.

Part of that is because honestly his administration minus Porter is essentially a bunch of outsiders who have never been approved like previous administrations in other government jobs. I mean, I think that's probably why Jared Kushner doesn't have a security clearance. If six months from now --

WHITFIELD: -- all the more reason why they should get security clearance or --

O'CONNELL: Well, no, that's the point is if six months out we're still in the same place, I think we should be raising a lot of these questions.

WHITFIELD: Yes. OK, we'll leave it right there for now. Ford O'Connell, Alice Stewart, thanks so much. See you soon.

Coming up next, Vice President Pence seen just feet away from Kim Jong-un's sister but not exchanging any pleasantries. Now Pence is under attack for what North Korea calls nasty and shameful behavior. Why the regime is outright calling him a snob?

Plus, a Tennessee sheriff caught on camera instructing his officers to shoot to kill in order to keep his cars from being damaged.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): I told him, I said take him out. I don't give a (inaudible) what -- shots fired, shots fired. I said, don't ram him, shoot him. (Inaudible) don't tear my cars up. I got two cars tore up again.



[12:16:04] WHITFIELD: A historic move being made by North Korea at the Winter Olympic games. North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un has invited the South Korean president for a visit. He made the offer through his sister, Kim Yo-jong, who is attending the games.

She's the one who actually sat just feet away from Vice President Mike Pence at the opening ceremonies there. Well, Pence is now coming under attack from North Korean leadership. When they published an editorial accusing Pence of, quote, "nasty and shameful behavior while at the Olympics."

It also went on to say, quote, "Pence's blind act and abusive language is a disgusting sight. Reminding one of Trump's craziness," end quote. Among other things, the vice president met with North Korean defectors while he was in South Korea.

I want to bring in my panel. Douglas Brinkley is a CNN presidential historian. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is a CNN military analyst and former Army commanding general, and Rear Admiral John Kirby is a CNN military and diplomatic analyst and a former spokesman for the U.S. State Department. All right, good to see you all.

All right. So, Doug, you first, you know, on the surface this invitation for a meeting in North Korea seems to be a pretty big diplomatic development. How significant is it if there's a yes involved?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, we always have to remember that North Korea is a dictatorial crazy unreliable country. Anything they say one second can change the next. There's no reason to believe that they're good faith operators in any way, shape or form.

With that said, historians are going to look at Donald Trump's Korean peninsula diplomacy, the name calling, the tweets. Maybe it's working. Maybe there is some room for negotiation between North and South Korea.

Maybe these Olympics will be seen as kind of a healing agent for, you know, no other president who succeed in recent decades with getting North Korea to stop its missile madness.

With that said, I wouldn't -- I wouldn't put a whole lot of hope on all of this as the message you just read denouncing Vice President Pence just because he didn't -- wasn't overly friendly or do the handshake and met with some dissidents and write that kind of vicious note. I'm not convinced that we're having big breakthroughs on the peninsula.

WHITFIELD: So, Admiral Kirby, you know, you wrote an op-ed for CNN earlier this week where you suggested that the vice president may have overplayed his hand a little bit at the Olympics. Why do you believe that? Do you believe there should have been a moment where, whether it was eye contact or some sort of dialogue taking advantage of this opportunity with the North Korean leader's sister just feet away? REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: What I meant was, he really need to go into this Olympics striking a fine balance here. I have no problem with him going and criticizing the North and being honest about how brutal the regime is.

He had to be careful not to undermine President Moon Jae-in, who is trying to find a way forward with some sort of inter-Korean talks and some sort of diplomacy. And I felt like he didn't really strike the right balance here.

I mean, I think if I'm Kim Jong-un and I look at the way the vice president behaved, I'm thinking that the timber of our alliance is soft enough to drive a wedge through and that's probably what he wanted to know and to try to explore.

I just think that the vice president should have been a little more supportive of inner Korean dialogue and really helping to support Moon Jae-in as he moves things forward. So, I just -- I think it was some missed opportunities.

WHITFIELD: Is it your feeling that this White House may have felt like that would be a sign of weakness if the vice president were to help forge that kind of diplomacy, that it doesn't look, you know, strong enough, you know, from the president's point of view, after all that saber rattling and, you know, harsh talk?

KIRBY: It's a great question, Fred. I think what it reflects is their own inter-staff, interagency tensions right now over North Korea.

[12:20:09] I think the NSC under McMaster and the president are much more bullish about where to go with North Korea, and the vice president included. But I think the State Department and the Pentagon are really trying hard to find a diplomatic path forward, trying to find some sort of channel of communications.

And I think what you see out of the vice president, sort of unbalanced behavior, is reflective of this inner agency tension. That's really unfortunate because up until very recently, and the president's tweets notwithstanding, the national security team has done a pretty good job getting China to the table, enacting more sanctions, putting pressure on the North.

I do think that -- I agree with Doug, I think there's some degree the president's rhetoric has helped force these conversations to happen for Moon Jae-in to want to reach out to Kim. But the real irony is here they could have taken credit for that during the Olympics because he did kind of spur this interest on both sides to have a dialogue and they didn't do that.

WHITFIELD: So, General Hertling, you know, the flip side of that is instead of it being helpful to bring South Korea and North Korea together to talk, that there is some criticism that perhaps, you know, there is a driving of a wedge taking place here by the two Koreas coming together and kind of isolating the United States. Is that strategy? LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's not, Fred. I think that's what the problem is. We -- as John just said, we do not have right now a coordinated and synchronized strategy towards Korea, towards North Korea. You never want to politicize the Olympics.

That's an unfortunate side bar of all of this, but it's been done so many times before. It's unfortunate that you have the athletes there willing to compete at the highest level and all of this is going on around them.

But as Vice President Pence went over, we did not have, I don't think, a coordinated strategy, not only with South Korea but with Japan and other countries in the region. And I think if you look at this from a national security perspective, North Korea saw an opening and theorists of war will tell you whenever you can attempt to drive a wedge into the alliance, that is a good thing.

That is exactly what North Korea has done by their approach to South Korea. Now what will be interesting --

WHITFIELD: So, outsmarting in other words?

HERTLING: Well, I'm not sure if it's outsmarting, but we certainly allowed them to open that door and stick their foot in it. The interesting thing will be what will happen after the Olympics. Will North Korea go back to the behavior that they've had in the past or will they wait a while and see what happens with a visit from President Moon?

Shinzo Abe has suggested they should not, the South Koreans and the U.S. should not cancel our combined war games over the next several months. But that's been on the table as well. If that happens, that would certainly be another victory for North Korea because it further drives that wedge between the U.S. and South Korea.

So, you know, this period of time of the Olympics is an interesting time to watch because tensions are calmer, but it will be interesting to see what happens immediately after, both on the part of the North, the South and Japan and the United States.

WHITFIELD: And then, Doug, is it striking at all that the vice president, even with body language, wouldn't take an opportunity, you know, to send some sort of message or just for the name of your -- one of the largest peace-time gatherings there is globally, the Olympic games.

And in the spirit of the Olympics, perhaps the vice president would then take the high road and then, say, you know, whether it's looking at the sister of North Korea, or perhaps a handshake could be conflated in a lot of different ways and that wouldn't be wise.

But was it a missed opportunity that perhaps the vice president could have shown something for the sake of diplomacy, an acknowledgement of her presence?

BRINKLEY: Yes, you know, Vice President Pence often errs on being very safe, very conservative. And in Republican circles, they used to hammer on Barack Obama for meeting Raul Castro or shaking the hand of Hugo Chavez. It became fodder for the right and Pence is part of that.

So, he decided to just stare and not look at anybody, not do any body language, not do what obama did and do a kind of friendly Olympic type of outreach to an adversary. I think it is a missed opportunity, but it's a hard line to draw.

What do you do? You just do a wink? Do a handshake? I think Pence has decided to not go that route. So, it may be viewed as a missed opportunity.

WHITFIELD: All right, Douglas Brinkley, General Hertling, Admiral Kirby, thank you to all of you. Appreciate it.

[12:25:02] All right. A number of White House officials handling sensitive information without full security clearances. It's prompting real concerns about national security. Can the White House potentially be compromised? I'll ask national security and law enforcement analysts coming up.


WHITFIELD: All right. Hello, again. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks for being with me this afternoon.

President Trump not releasing the House Intelligence Committee's Democratic memo rebutting a Republican memo, which accused the FBI and Justice Department officials of surveillance abuses in the Russia investigation.

The White House saying the Democratic memo contains classified and sensitive passages and is sending that memo back to the House Intelligence Committee for changes.

Well, just last week, President Trump released the Republican memo citing the need for transparency. Listen.



KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: We want it to be a deliberative process and we respect the process, the transparency, and accountability.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We've said all along from day one that we want full transparency in this process.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Jim Sciutto has the latest.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, one week after the president celebrated the release of a Republican memo known as the Nunes memo, given a Republican view of FBI or alleged FBI abuse of surveillance. One week later, the president blocking in effect the release of a Democratic version of events and referring it back to the committee for reductions that the president, that the White House says were recommended by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

The president, in his letter, the letter from his lawyer Don McGahn saying the department, that is the Department of Justice, has identified portions of the February 5th memorandum the disclosure of which if release would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interest.

Now, it is interesting for the president to cite that opposition from the FBI and the Department of Justice, one week after he ignored similar guidance from the FBI saying that it opposed the release of the Nunes memo at the time. The FBI says, as expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy. That referring to the Republican memo which the president did allow declassification without any reductions.

Of course, Democrats, including Adam Schiff who drafted this memo, very much upset with this, saying that they predicted this, calling this a double standard. The question now is what happens. It's going back to the committee.

The Intelligence Committee to decide what is redacted. But of course that Intelligence Committee has a majority of Republicans. They're the ones who drafted that initial memo.

The question is what version of the Democrat version of events comes out of this process in the end.

Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.

WHITFIELD: All right, let's talk about this. It is rather complicated.

CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd is with us and CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes is with us as well. Good to see you both.



WHITFIELD: All right, so Sam, before we get to extrapolating the whole memo discrepancies, the GOP version being released, the Democratic version has yet to be released even though the president said he wanted it released.

Let's talk about working in the White House without permanent security clearance. Rob Porter, David Sorensen, the two who have recently stepped down because of domestic abuse allegations, did not have full security clearance. And now many are wondering how vulnerable does that leave a White House when so many, not just those two, but somewhere between 30 and 40 officials and administration political appointees are working within the White House without full security clearance. How concerning is that to you?

VINOGRAD: I think it's deeply concerning. I'd actually say I consider this to be an intelligence emergency. We have to remember that this is not happening in a vacuum. The world now knows that 30 to 40 White House staffers are not trusted by the FBI to have access to sensitive classified information on a permanent basis.

So just logically speaking, if you're a foreign intelligence partner, if you're the Israeli Mossad or MI6 in the U.K., why would you share information with the White House when it might end up in the hands of people the FBI doesn't trust? It's just logically doesn't make any sense.

And this comes at a time when our intelligence sharing relationships are already under pressure. We have reporting right after the election that the Israelis were reticent to share information on Russia because of potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Russians. We have this arbitrary declassification of information with the Nunes memo, with the failure to release the Democratic memo last night.

There's also an image that the White House is cherry picking when to release information to the public. So all in all, I think that the CIA, the DNI and other members of the Intelligence Community should be working overtime right now to assure our foreign partners that our Intel processes are legit.

WHITFIELD: And so it's interesting, Tom, because while these are separate issues, they really do kind of, you know, come together when you talk about individuals who do not have clearance, yet at the same time, this White House has been very critical of the FBI and other agencies for being overzealous.

[12:35:06] That's the accusation, they were overzealous in surveilling some people also associated with the Trump campaign which brings us to the whole issue of the memos.

The GOP releasing a memo showing and alleging that the FBI was politically motivated and targeted certain individuals. And now the Democrats have a memo which the president said he was eager to release but it hasn't been released, wasn't released yesterday. Might it be because the White House is alleging there was too much intelligence, too much classified information or perhaps even methods of the FBI were in this Democratic memo.

And so does it make sense to you that more time would be spent to scrub it or even redact it?

FUENTES: Well, Fred, I don't know that, you know -- we know that right now. We know that the Democratic memo was longer. We know that it may have material in there that's more sensitive than in the Republican memo.

But when the director of the FBI objected even to the Nunes memo going out, he didn't say --

WHITFIELD: He had grave concerns.

FUENTES: Yes, grave concerns. He was saying basically that by omission, it's going to create this, you know, this cloud, if you will. And there would be no way to respond to it or for the bureau to defend itself without going to sources and methods, without divulging the basis for the original Carter Page investigation starting in 2013 which would have had nothing to do with Donald Trump.

So I think that -- and then now you've gotten into a congressional committee that's supposed to work bipartisan and in secret are now feuding and in public with the FBI being the political football in between that they're fighting with. And there's no way for the FBI to actually say what the truth is without divulging sensitive material.

WHITFIELD: So, Sam, is this hypocrisy at best, which is how Senator Dianne Feinstein put it, that regardless of, you know, FBI Director Wray's warnings, and the GOP memo was released, there haven't been the same kind of warnings that we know of coming from the FBI that would preclude them from releasing the Democrats. So what's going on?

VINOGRAD: I can tell you what it looks like. It definitely looks like the White House is playing politics with intelligence and all of that makes Vladimir Putin very happy.

Regardless of what happens going forward, whether it's a perception or a reality, the politicization of the intelligence process and of our law enforcement system undermines the credibility of all of our institutions.

And when you read the Intelligence Community assessments it says, Vladimir Putin wants to make our institutions look less credible. Vladimir Putin wants to confuse the American public.

And I can tell you just from reading the headlines, I feel confused about what's going to happen next with this memo. So all in all, this is all playing to Vladimir Putin's game.

WHITFIELD: Do you believe that this memo, whether it's redacted or shorter version of the current 10 pages of the Democratic memo, that it will ultimately be released, Sam, or do you worry now if it is, what is released?

VINOGRAD: Yes. I'm worried because I think we've seen a pattern of the president choosing to listen to his staff when it's most convenient for him, when it serves a political or personal purpose. And we haven't just seen that with this memo. We've seen that when it comes to whether he does or does not listen, for example, to assessments from his Intelligence Community about whether Russia interfered in the election.

So based upon past behavior, I think that the president will likely drag this out as long as possible because he feels uncomfortable with its contents.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there for now. Sam Vinograd, Tom Fuentes, thanks to both of you, appreciate it.

FUENTES: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Still so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM after this short break. But first, the new CNN Original Series "The Radical Story of Patty Hearst" sheds new light on the bizarre kidnapping of the American heiress. It premieres tomorrow night, 9 p.m. Here now is a sneak peek.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To understand the SLA, you have to understand Berkeley in 1973.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: There was anger, and an incredible amount of violence that we can hardly imagine today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was as close to revolutionary situation in some people's minds as we ever had.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of these groups got even more radical because they believed that there should be a revolution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They shot Marcus Foster dead at point blank range.

CAROL POGASH, CONTRIBUTOR, NEW YORK TIMES: They were proud of what they had done and they put out a press release or a statement saying they had done this.

[12:39:59] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My reaction was, who the hell are these guys. We better find out who they are and what they're about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had been acquiring intelligence on potential local targets.

TOOBIN: One idea that Bill and the others start to discuss is instead of killing people, why don't we kidnap someone.


WHITFIELD: The Israeli Military says one of their fighter jets has crashed after coming under massive anti-aircraft fire from Syrian forces. The pilots were forced to bail out of the jet.

You see it was actually caught on camera as you see right there. One pilot was seriously injured.

The Israelis say their planes have been targeting an area in Syria where an Iranian drone had entered Israeli airspace.

CNN's Ian Lee is in Golan Heights. So, Ian, what are you learning about this confrontation? [12:45:03] IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, this incident raises, escalates the tensions in this region. The Golan hasn't seen this kind of tensions in decades.

You know, let's go through the series of events. It started in the early morning hours when the Israeli military says an Iranian drone infiltrated Israeli airspace and an attack helicopter shot it down in retaliation. Eight Israeli fighter jets targeted the command and control center for that drone near Palmyra in Syria, that's deep inside Syria.

A lot of anti-aircraft fire targeted these jets and communities like the one I'm in had their sirens going off because it detected that massive anti-aircraft fire. Those planes carried out their mission but one of those planes did crash.

Now, the working assumption is that it was shot down although the Israeli military hasn't confirmed that yet. In retaliation, they launched another series of raids inside Syria, 12 targets, eight of them Syrian, four of them Iranian according to the Israeli military.

They're also going after anti-aircraft batteries. The kind of batteries that did target those planes.

Also, we're talking to Israeli officials and asked them the last time an Israeli jet went down, they really had to scratch their heads. It's been decades since they could confirm that a plane had gone down in this northern part of Israel which does bring up the questions of Israel's air supremacy over this part of the region.

Now, Iranian officials have denied it. They say that it's ridiculous, Israel's statement. And they say that this is Israeli aggression.

The Syrian Government also said that they were able to intercept some of those missiles that Israel fired. Israel says all their targets were hit and all their planes, except for that one that crashed, was able to make it back to their bases.

Right now, though, the Israeli military says the ball is in Syria and Iran's court if they want to continue. But Israeli officials say they want to deescalate the situation. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right, Ian Lee, thanks so much in Golan Heights.

All right, still to come, a man suspected of driving on a suspended license is shot and killed by deputies during a chase. Coming up, the shocking order the sheriff gave caught on body camera footage.


SHERIFF ODDIE SHOUPE, WHITE COUNTY, TENNESSEE: I told him, I said, take him out. Damn! I don't give a (INAUDIBLE).


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [12:52:12] WHITFIELD: I'm quoting now, shoot him. That was the order from a Tennessee sheriff to his officers during a chase with an unarmed man that turned deadly. That sheriff was caught on tape suggesting he ordered his deputies to take him out so they would not damage the patrol cars by ramming the driver's vehicle.

Kaylee Hartung joins me now with more on this. So, what exactly happened?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, it was last April when officers attempted to pull over a 33-year-old white male Michael Dial. They suspected him of driving with a suspended license but he kept on driving.

This was not a high-speed chase. Officers say they never went faster than 55 miles an hour. As the chase crosses from DeKalb County into White County, dash cam video shows patrol cars as you see here using pit maneuvers to try to ram Dial's pickup truck and trailer off the road.

And from what I observed, you never see Dial's vehicle as the aggressor. And yet orders came from the White County sheriff through the dispatcher to take him out by any means necessary including deadly force.

About a minute later, those first shots are fired and Dial was killed. The sheriff who gave that order was not involved in the chase. He didn't have eyes on the danger the suspect may or may not have presented. But what happens next is the key to why Dial's widow has filed a federal lawsuit against the parties involved.

After arriving on the scene and reassuring the officers who fired their weapons that they were following his orders, the sheriff then leaves the scene with one of his deputies. Unbeknownst to either of them, a body cam still on and recording after being thrown into back seat of the patrol car. Listen to what it captured.


SHOUPE: I told him, I said, take him out. Damn! I don't give a (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn't long after that I heard shots fired.

SHOUPE: They said we're ramming. I said don't ram him, shoot him. (INAUDIBLE) that (INAUDIBLE). You don't tear my cars up. I got two cars tore up again.


HARTUNG: So, there you have the sheriff, Oddie Shoupe suggesting he would rather his officers shoot Michael Dial in this low-speed chase rather than damage their patrol cars.

Now, the sheriff's office won't offer comment because of the pending lawsuit. But also captured on that hidden body cam, the sheriff saying he feared Dial would kill somebody if they didn't kill him first. The district attorney ruled the shooting justified and he's standing by that. And Sheriff Shoupe continues to lead his division, Fred.

WHITFIELD: My goodness, all right, well, bring us more when you learn more. Kaylee Hartung, appreciate it.

All right, we'll be right back.


[12:58:50] WHITFIELD: All right, checking our top stories now.

The autopsy report is back on Las Vegas shooter Steven Paddock. It says he had anti-anxiety medication in his system at the time of his death. It also confirms Paddock died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Paddock is responsible, if you'll recall, for the worst mass shooting in modern history in the U.S. after he killed 58 people during a country music festival.

And the Centers for Disease Control says instead of peaking, this year's deadly flu season is getting worse. Sixty-three children have died from the flu this season. And more than 150,000 cases have been reported so far.

Still a shortage of anti-viral dug drugs and vaccines and the CDC says there are likely many more weeks of the flu to go.

"House of Cards" and "The Wire" actor, Reg E Cathey has died. He was 59 years old. Details around his death have not been released.

The creator of "The Wire" paid tribute to the late actor on Twitter, writing, "Not only a fine masterful actor but simply one of the most delightful human beings with whom I have ever shared some long days on set. Your memory is a great blessing."

And we've got so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, and it all starts right now.