tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN January 18, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm PST
you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. . let's get to it. three americans accused of espionage and held in this iranian prison for more than 500 days are free and home bound after a dizzying run of diplomacy between iran and the united states. "washington post" reporter, former marine and a pastor now in germany getting medical treatment, but at the 11th hour on the tarmac in tehran, the diplomatic breakthrough nearly hit a major snag after a prisoner's wife and mother were not allowed to board the plane. we also know that two others uncolluding a student were also freed opinion we're told the student's release was not part of this official prisoner swap. as for the other guy, not much is known and he opted to stay in iran. now this deal come cans after more than a year of secret
negotiations and the timing is fascinating. labeled by the u.s. as simply coincidental. let's go live to that base in germany. my colleague fred pleitgen is our senior international correspondent. fred, a lot to get through. i know this was a prisoner swap. you have new information about the iranians in the trade. tell me about them. >> reporter: this is information that came out a couple minutes ago in iran on the semiofficial news agency. one of the things people asked is if americans get released, what did iran get in return. we heard seven duel citizens and one iranian were released from u.s. prisons. most of them caught trying to bust the sanctions. an additional 14 had had their charges against them dropped.
now the farce news agency is saying in total some 28 iranians apparently were released from prison or had had the charges against them dropped. we're not sure whether or not this information is accurate. this is coming tr iran's news agency. one thing we do know is some of the relatives of those who have been freed are quite angry because they feel their loved ones were detained as bargaining chips for the iranians to try to get people released. earlier today his brother. was here on cnn talking about just that. let's listen in. >> they were not morally justified to trade them for people who have done crimes. for these folks to have been locked up in prison in iran for all this time is not justifiable either.
>> reporter: the iranians said all three individuals had been convicted of espionage. a different take mongreltives who are happy their relatives are back. >> fred, as you were talking, i got word in my ear we have a photo that we can now show on strecreen from "the washington post." and his family thrilled to be e reunited. so as we look at this, what about the condition of the freed prisoners. how are they? >> reporter: it's so interesting to see that fphoto of jason wit his family just now because his brother is on that photo in the background as well. when we talked to him earlier today, while he'd been able to speak to jason on the phone, he hadn't been able to see him physically because the folks here at the medical center didn't want them to have contact
that quickly because they believe the prisoners could be overwhelmed by having so many family members around them. so they are in a position to do that. the question came up as to the health of these three. let's listen in. >> the indications that we have are that there are no major acute problems right now. that's a relief. we had heard that their health was declining in the case of jason. i heard he lost quite a bit of weight and was under tremendous stress. we hope to hear more good news and. the indications we have at this point are that there's nothing acute right now. >> nevertheless, there's a protocol of health checks that all of them have to go through. at this point it's unclear when they will be able to return to the united states. it could take a couple days. >> fred, thank you so much. you talk about the details we have been getting today. the fits and starts of these
multiple months of negotiations. i just spoke with the ambassador, former undersecretary of state, top u.s. negotiator on the iran nuclear deal. have a listen. >> thank you so much for joining me, ambassador. congratulations. i had read that you said the release of the americans in iran was in many ways even more difficult than making the nuclear deal. can you tell me how many times referring to these 14 months of secret negotiations to bring these americans home, how many times did this deal almost entirely fall apart? >> the reason i said it was more difficult is because it was human beings who were involved in this. these were families that i spoke with that my colleagues spent time with. we heard and understood their heartbreak when we thought about our own families and what we would goo through if we were in similar circumstances.
so that's what made it so hard. there were months of very slow process of seeing if there was something possible. then it became apparent that it was. secretary kerry asked the ambassador to lead an interagency team to the secret negotiations. there were fits and starts, sometimes it came together. then it would fall apart again. as secretary kerry has related, after the joint conference of plan of action was agreed in july, the pace picked up. we thought we were very close. it was one of my great regrets when i left government that this was not done yet, but the ambassador kept going as did the team and the secretary and we saw the results. we have americans who were in germany recovering and will be on their way home. we're going to continue our cooperation to ensure that we find out the date of robert levenson and get him home to his
family as well. so there's more work to be done, but it was a good day for america, a good day for these families and a good day for diplomacy. >> i wanted to ask about robert levenson. we'll get to that. . if you can, as much as you can, take me behind the scenes. you were at the table for so many months. how did the deal get done? and when did the iranians come back and say, no, we'll only do this deal if you release iranian prisoners, which were initial demands long ago rebuffed by the u.s. >> i'm not beginnigoing to go i specific tick tok, but what i can say about the process is on the margins of every nuclear negotiation, i would have a meeting just myself and one of my colleagues with two iranian officials. we talked about this for quite some time. it came up through that process that perhaps an exchange was the way to go as has been reported.
the swiss were very instrumental in all of this. they are protecting power in tehran since we don't have an embassy. so they were helpful in this process. and it became apparent even more i left that we needed a separate channel ask that we needed an interagency team so other colleagues in my government would be involved because there were difficult decisions that had to be made here. law enforcement decisions that had had to be made here. and so that team was put together and had these very secret discussions. quite frankly although the rest of the nuclear team may have suspected something was up, they did not know about all of this. we kept it in a very, very tight circle because people's lives were at stake. and it was critical that e we do this in a very delicate way. secretary kerry engaged with a
zarif and made it quite clear that our relationship, which had had taken an important step but just a first step in getting this nuclear negotiation, would be brought to a very difficult place if we could not bring american citizens home. >> so with the nuclear negotiations, then last week there was the curveball that the ten american sailors detained by iran and then with the prisoner swap it was secretary kerry who referred to the moment as this argo moment where they almost didn't allow the plane to take off because his wife and. mother weren't allowed on this plane. what happened there? >> well, you know, this is why these things are so complicated. instructions don't always get down to everybody who needs to understand them. and it has always been the case
that part of our requirement was that to let jason go, but that his wife and his mother would be able to come out with him and so that had had had always been part of any understanding for obvious reasons. that's his family. along with his brother, who has been such an advocate for jason, who has been traveling the world trying to get him home. so indeed as the secretary related at the last moment it appeared someone had had had not gotten the word so secretary kerry was with the foreign minister in vienna to begin implementation day of the nuclear deal. really said what is this to the foreign minister, which gt on the phone and got people engage. ed in tehran and indeed jason's wife and mother were put on the plane and everyone left iran. >> incredible.
incredible. on the flip side, you have heard the criticisms on the iran nuclear deal. there you are in tel aviv. i'm sure you're hearing about the resentment of the deal there. republican critics here in the u.s. and of this it prisoner swap. here is ted cruz. >> the result of this, every bad actor on earth has been told capture an american. if you want to get terrorists out of jail, capture an american and president obama is in the let's make a deal business. that's a dangerous precedent. >> the let's make a deal business. what was your response to that? >> i think that probably every american is very glad that these american citizens are home with their families. i'm sure we will see the tears and the good wishes when they finally come back to america after getting some medical care and debriefing in germany at one of our bases. and i think the president put it quite clearly.
this is a very unique set of circumstances. they are not going to be repeated. indeed we'll continue to enforce all of our sanctions, including the sanctions on our trade embargo. we'll continue to take enforcement actions when we see violators of those sanctions around state sponsorship of terrorism, in fact, we imposed new sanctions just yesterday. so this is a very eunique set o circumstances. i think the american people believe the president of the united states, secretary kerry took the right decision. we had a moment. we had a set of circumstances that allowed these unjustly detained americans to come home. and we should have seized the moment and i for one am very glad the president did and i think the american people are glad the president did. >> ambassador wendy sherman,
thank you so much. >> we have more on that story, but coming up a frantic hunt for three americans kidnapped in baghdad. gunmen taking them away in a convoy. what security forces on the ground are doing to find them. we have the latest out of iraq. also two weeks from today, the iowa caucuses, donald trump, making a massive play for the evangelical vote today at liberty university. did his attempt to quote the bible backfire. >> 2 corinthians 3: 17. the spirit of the lord, right? [cough, cough] mike? janet? cough if you can hear me. don't even think about it. i took mucinex dm for my phlegmy cough.
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you're watching cnn on this martin luther king holiday monday. thank you for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin. checked the calendar. we are two weeks away to the day from the iowa caucuses. today donald trump is taking his pitch directly to evangelicals promising we will protect christianity. trump spoke today at liberty university in virginia. this is a key stop for republican hopefuls looking to shore up support among conservatives. it is also the precise spot where ted cruz announced his candidacy in the spring. trump trying to reach out to the religious right but stumbles when he quotes a passage from 2nd krit ycorinthians. >> we're going to protect christianity. we're going to protect it. i asked some of the folks because i hear this is a major theme right here. 2 corinthians, 3: 17, that's the
whole ball game. where the spirit of the lord, right? where the spirit of the lord is, there is liberty. and here there is liberty college but it is so true. >> so on the campaign trail, a different tone. trump and cruz continue to trade jabs. he called him a nasty guy. now a warning to trump from conservative mark levin who is scolding him telling him to cut the crap or he will lose lots and lots of conservatives as supporters. so let's chat. ryan williams, a jeb bush supporter and former spokesman for mitt romney along with mark preston. nice to have both of you on. let me begin with you. to this point about donald trump takes on his opponents no big
deal. the fact that he's going after ted cruz, knowing his audience, head iing into iowa in two week. is that a smart move. >> this was inevitable. they were both trying to appeal to the same voters, but we're in the red zone. we're several weeks out from iowa and new hampshire. they realize it's coming down to the wire. trump is bleeding support in iowa. he's rye trying to maintain his lead. he realized he needs to put some points on the board if he's going to head into the voting period strong and do well in one of the two early states. >> mark preston, do you think that this will deflect off of trump and this won't matter going into iowa or will it hit him? >> look, a couple things. one is i think that trump will sidestep the little flub he made in liberty today because trump seems to sidestep any of these controversies whenever he says
something outrageous. i think when you look at what's happening in these closing weeks, it was inevitable that donald trump and ted cruz would be knocking heads and i was in new hampshire last week with ted cruz and ted cruz said at the time i have no intention of going after donald trump. only two hours later ted cruz went after donald trump. we saw what happened at the debate. now we are in a full blown fight between ted cruz and donald trump. those who can benefit from it is someone like jeb bush who ryan is supporting at some of these other folks such as chris christie and others looking at these two at the top of the polls and hoping they destroy each other. >> i'm going to ask you about the flub in another comment he made earlier in the summer. he is saying this message of protecting christianity, which resinates with a lot of americans. but ryan, you were with the romney campaign. in 2012. had successes and failures in the iowa caucuses.
what were the lessons learned? >> iowa breaks late. romney was leading into iowa head iing into the final month. we lost to huckabee. we approached it carefully the second time around not campaigning too hard until we thought we had a chance. it's a caucus. they are unpredictable. >> explain that. how people do tend to change minds. >> the caucus process is a much smaller group of people than a primar primary. you have activists that want to spend a lot of time where it's a primary where they vote and leave the booth. they take their time and trump and cruz realize they are in this period when opinions are beginning to harden. they need to promote themselves and undercut primary opponents. >> obviously, people are thinking front and center on iowa. e we see how this has been a cruz and trump situation. mark, you talk about 2
corinthians flub. . i remember when he said something about a little wine and cracker. this was donald trump back in july. he also was on with tapper just yesterday talking about his relationship with god. roll it. >> i have great relationship with god. i have great relationship with the evangelicals. nationwide i'm up by a lot. i'm leading everybody. but i like to be good. i don't like to have to ask for forgiveness. i am good. i don't do a lot of things that are pad. i try to do nothing that's bad. i live a different like than people would think. >> have you heard any -- i'm looking at your face and see a smirk. maybe that answers my question already. i'm wondering how genuine. people have called into question trump's authenticity when it comes to talking to this important voting bloc. >> it always pains me to talk
about what someone thinks about or feel about their religious because deep inside i don't necessarily know. but the smirk really goes to this as you brought up donald trump saying he has his wine and cracker at the same time he said john mccain wasn't a war hero because he was a p.o.w. i was with donald trump that day in iowa. i went on tv probably ten times and said donald trump's campaign is over and i was wrong. >> a lot of people thought that. >> i was in atlanta when donald trump was disinvited from red state, one of the most prominent gatherings because of harsh comments he said about megyn l kelly. so the authenticity i don't think people care. evangelical voters we often misrepresent them as one issue voters. they are conservative. they want a strong leader. they are hawks when it comes to the military. so while they may not latch on
to everything donald trump has to say or perhaps even believe him when he's talking about god. they do like the fact he's a fighter. he never backs down. i think that's why donald trump is doing so well in this republican primary. >> ryan, i know you're a jeb supporter. e we talk so much about cruz and trump. who in the massive go around, who survives? who hangs in there? >> obviously, i support jeb bush and think he's going to do well in the early states, new hampshire in particular. i think there's opportunity for others to do well, but i think you're going to see the field widow after new hampshire. a numb of candidates will get out and you'll see a consolidation of the responsible, rational republicans. they are looking for a strong candidate heading into the other states. but i think that the field will be different after new hampshire heading into. south carolina. >> ryan williams and mark preston, thank you both so much. coming up next, a police officer in ohio shot and killed just as
a woman calls 911 saying her boyfriend told her he was on the hunt to kill a cop. that story, next. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ i drive to the hoop. i drive a racecar. i have a driver. his name is carl. but that's not what we all have in common. we talked to our doctors about treatment with xarelto®. xarelto® is proven to treat and help reduce the risk of dvt and pe blood clots. xarelto® is also proven to reduce the risk of stroke in people with afib, not caused by a heart valve problem. for people with afib currently well
managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how xarelto® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke. you know, taking warfarin, i had to deal with that blood testing routine. i couldn't have a healthy salad whenever i wanted. i found another way. yeah, treatment with xarelto®. hey, safety first. like all blood thinners, don't stop taking xarelto® without talking to your doctor, as this may increase your risk of a blood clot or stroke. while taking, you may bruise more easily and it may take longer for bleeding to stop. xarelto® may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. xarelto® can cause serious and in rare cases, fatal bleeding. get help right away for unexpected bleeding, unusual bruising, or tingling. if you have had spinal anesthesia while on xarelto®, watch for back pain or any nerve or muscle related signs or symptoms. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures. before starting xarelto®, tell your doctor about any kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. xarelto® is the number one prescribed blood thinner in its class. well that calls for a round of kevin nealons. make mine an arnold palmer. same here. with xarelto® there is no regular blood monitoring
a chilling 911 call came to late to save a police officer's life. a woman warning police they were in danger. she claimed that her ex-boyfriend was on the hunt to kill a cop. we have that phone call. >> 911. >> yes, i'm in danger. >> okay, where are you at? >> washington street. cops in danville are in danger too. my ex-boyfriend is out in camo looking to kill a cop.
he has my house keys. he has my truck keys. he's got guns on him. he's already beaten me and threatened to kill me. he's coming home. i got to go. >> what's his name? >> do you want me to send a cop to your house? >> no, that's a bad thing. he'll kill me. >> not. long after that call came in, the officer was found. his service weapon and squad car missing. then this man right here was taken into custody in a small town north of columbus. it is horrendous to think anyone would ever want to do this. what more do you know? >> this is disturbing on many levels.
that was the ex-girlfriend of. at 11:20 p.m. that phone call came in. the officer was found dead at 11:47. so 20 minutes later, jones was caught. the big, giant, gaping question here is when that dispatcher received that call, one cop was on duty. this is a small town. one cop was on duty. that was thomas california trel. they weren't able to get ahold of him to let him know he may be the target. >> but they tried? >> they say they tried. it's not clear how they tried or how that call went in. knox county is now investigating. it's not clear if knox county is the one that receives the call and how they tried to get that word out to different police agencies that they do dispatching for. clearly a major failure here. we have seen this in other places where the police officers despite the dus patcher having
more information didn't have information as they walked up in a situation. and in this day in age when you have the targeting of the philly cop. earlier in the day a police officer in utah had been shot and killed. in this day in age for a dispatcher and a police agency not to take no matter how the caller sounded with complete seriousness is shocking. so the knox county is now looking into all of this. >> awful. one's worth fear, thank you very much. back to our top story today and what has happened between iran and the united states here. a former prisoner in iran meeting with his family for the first time. this is a new photograph that "the washington post" has released. all smiles. we'll talk to someone who lobbied for his release for 18 months pop one of the key "washington post" editors involved in the story. do not miss my conversation with him from germany.
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ordeal he's faced in the last 18 months. he tells us he feels physically good. he knows that people want to hear from him and he has a lot to share, but it's going to take some time to process the experience before he has a whole lot to say. >> doug, 545 days behind bars. how was he treated? >> we learned today just how isolated jason really was. even after he was moved into. a cell with a cell mate, he really saw no one other than that cell mate most days. his life was confined to 15 by 20 foot cell. when he was moved anywhere else, he was blindfolded. he walked a lot. he walked around and around an 8 by 8 foot concrete courtyard that stood outside his cell.
he read a lot and described that as having provide d him some escape from his long trial. >> was there any one book in particular or anything that got him through his darkest moments? >> i think he would like to tell that story himself as he gets his thoughts together. but i know that fiction provided him as an escape as did his wife and his mother were able to visit him periodically throughout this long time and those visits were the highlight of the week and provided him his only real connection to the outside world. >> how much hope did he have that he would ultimately be rescued? having talked to one key player in all of this, she sort of admitted to me that the deal almost faltered multiple times.
>> you know i think jason would say he's an optimistic guy. he always believed he would escape. or be released. he didn't know how long he would be behind bars. that said, he said that the final days of his captivity and ultimately release were stops and starts, fits until the last minute. he wasn't sure until the plane took off that the end of his ordeal was coming. >> what is next for him? we talked about his brother and wife and mother with him as well. do you know anything about plans to return to the states and sharing his story from the source himself? >> he wants to take some time
attending to his health here first. then his story. while he feels physically well, he's going to want to be sure we consult him with doctors here that he gets all the care he needs. and usually that's multiple day stay here. we don't know the timetable. it's the first full day he's been here. but i must say i was happily surprised to e see him looking as strong and speaking as confidently as he was tonight. >> our best to him from journalists worldwide. doug, thank you so much on the phone from germany on jason's health and sense of hope. thank you. coming up, three american contractors go missing in baghdad. reports indicate they were kidnapped from a brothel. iraqi police conducting raids and setting up check points. we'll talk to a man who was kidnapped in iraq, held for ten
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a hunt is underway for those missing in iraq. gunmen grabbed contractors from a brothel. they haven't been seen or heard from since. iraqi security forces conducting raids and check points here. an entire neighborhood sealed off. no word on a motive or who may be responsible. my next guest knows what it's like being held hostage in iraq. he was working as a contractor and held for ten months before he was rescued in a delta force raid. so thank you so much for being with me today. >> thank you. >> so when you first heard this piece of news that these
americans are kidnapped in iraq, i have to imagine lots of thoughts immediately came back to take me back to the day you were kidnapped. what may be happening with these americans? >> yes, it did bring it all back when i saw it this morning. i was in the office along with some other people. and there were about 20 gang members showed up at the office, took me and a car alone and other people in other cars alone. and they drove us to a house. it was still in baghdad, one of their safe houses, i guess. we were held there for a day and then we moved out of baghdad into the country side. when we went, i was in one car and actually in the trunk of the car and there was another car in the front that the driver of my
car would talk to on the phone to e see if there are any road blocks. >> and was there every a doueve doubt you wouldn't survive that ordeal? you had no idea how long it would last. >> yes, the day i was kidnapped i thought if i lived a week it would be a miracle because there's basically two kinds of gangs over there. one gang wants money. another gang wants to make a political statement. and they are liable to do something to you in the first week. if the gang wants money, they are more likely to keep you alive for a little longer. >> we don't know the who as in who took them or the why. but in terms of time, must be critical in the first few hours or days. you were held hostage for ten months. when did you finally know you would be saved? >> well, i didn't know i was
going to be saved until i heard the army helicopters coming in on the farmhouse where i was being held. i was kept in a little darkroom under the floor. of the house. i was handcuffed all the time with a mask on. one morning i heard the helicopters and then i heard u.s. special forces running around in the house above. that was the first indication i had that anybody was there to rescue me. >> i'm also mindful of your family back home and those ten months. it must have been horrible for them. what advice for would you give for those americans during this? >> well, just don't give up hope. in my particular case, nobody knew i was going -- if i was going to be alive. don't give up hope because there's many, many good people in the government. and in the military that are over there and they will be looking for these people just
like they were looking for me. hopefully they will get a break and be able to find them like they found me. >> hopefully, what a story you have. thank you so much. coming up, no black actors or directors dominated for the big awards of this year's oscars. what director speike lee plans o do about that. plus donald trump speaking to evangelicals today. did he stumble when he quoted the bible? we'll chat about that. ke reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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they are calling it the academy award white out. while the grand hollywood ceremony is a couple weeks away, they have been met with twitter outrage. oscars so white trending as in all 20 nominees in the best actor category are looking pretty much the same. white. and now some of hollywood's african-american stars are taking a stand. spike lee and jada pinkett smith are using the holiday to speak out. spike lee took to instagram
saying, quote, how is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white? and let's not even get into the other branches. 40 white actors in two years and no flavor at all. we can't act. pinkett smith whose husband was not normal rated for his role in "concussion" also took to social med media. >> begging for acknowledgment or even asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power. and we are a dignified people and we are powerful. let's not forget it. so let's let the academy do them with all grace and love and let's do us differently. >> joining me now is chris witherspoon, entertainment editor. good to see you back here.
what a story. two years in a row, why? >> i think you have to look at the studio executives that are in power that aren't e create canning enough black films. also 7,000 oscar voters are older white men. the main point is social media. we have spike lee and jada pinkett smith who are able to have their say. >> she's a powerful woman. >> she's not saying we shouldn't support, but to boycott as is spike lee. over 36 million folks viewed the oscars. the black viewers so i think we could see this trending again possibly oscar eve and oscar broadcast. >> don cheadle went to twitter and joked chris rock will be hosting says, yo, chris, check me out at the oscars this it year. they got me parking cars on g level. really, impact wise, social
media, how much does that translate? that doesn't change the voting bloc. that doesn't change what people look like who are heads of major studios in hollywood. how does that change? >> i think ultimately it's going to be a long and slow process. you have a president right now of the oscar academy is an american woman who is trying to bring more change, more diversity into the academy. the raw numbers are kind of the proof. 32 african-american oscar winners over 87 years. 2 2,947 oscars have been given out. 32 have been black folks. that's absurd when you look at the numbers. so people calling out this injustice will only invoke change. >> chris rock, final question, how does he address it? >> with humor he can evoke change, bottom line. he will be funny but have some moments where he will hit on this injustice. we'll talk afterwards. we'll have a date. chris, thank you very much.
we continue on hour two. i'm brooke baldwin, this is cnn. two weeks to the day from the iowa caucuses here. for the republicans the chase is on for the prized evangelical vote. donald trump delivering a speech at virginia's liberty university. the christian university that has become a popular and significant campaign stop. trump talking tough about how he would take on terrorists. clearly trying to reach out to the religious right, but stumbled a bit when he quoted a passage from 2nd corinthians. >> one of the generals just recently, what do you think of the isis threat? they are very tough. can we beat them? well, it's going to take a long time. i don't want that kind of a general. i want a general who will knock the hell out of them. fast. we're going to protect christianity. i can say that. i don't have to be politically
correct. 2 corinthians, that's the whole ball game. >> both trump and his rival in the polls ted cruz now have turned their focus to new hampshire. trump expected at a rally later this hour. that's where we find dana bash. set the stage for me and talk to me about this strategy here in taking on the conservative darling in ted cruz and how that may hurt or maybe help either of these two. >> reporter: well, it's interesting because you said it perfectly that he's taking on conservative can darling ted cruz. we have seen at least one conservative radio show host come out and say hold on, mr. trump. ted cruz isn't like the others who you have gone after. whether it's jeb bush or lindsey graham. those people are already in some circles in the conservative move not seen as kind of a purist.
but ted cruz is and. so this is more dicey situation for donald trump. i should tell you, though, that you played what donald trump said this morning in liberty university. it's a very, very different kind of republican elect trat where he's about to speak in new hampshire. you don't have that kind of evangelical base that you have in iowa. the first place where they are going to vote. despite the fact that he stom h stumbled a bit, he doesn't have fluency and bib lical verses lie ted cruz, for example. nationally 45% of his support comes from evangelicals. so far hasn't hurt him, pu it's not like those voters think that he is kind of a bible thumping guy. they know he's a twice divorced brash billionaire from new york. and at least at this point, it
seems to be one of the latest examples how he has defied presidential republican convention, if you will. >> and again, just quickly, i know you know this. you have had your calendar mark ed for a year. do you sense that final stretch for these contenders? >> it's all about iowa. it's all about those caucuses two weeks away. and the fact that donald trump is doing quite well here in new hampshire, but iowa is a place where he's neck and neck with ted cruz. ted cruz, his campaign still insists he has a stellar ground game and an amazing organization and can turn people out to the caucuses. and so now it is all about for each of them trying to sort of poke holes in their support. you heard ted cruz saying about donald trump today he's not a real conservative. kind of what we heard from jeb
bush in the past. cruz is trying to paint trump as a maniac. it's trying to take the other one down. the state of iowa, i don't think that's going to work. people there there's a term iowa nice. it's real. so unclear how far each of these are going to go. >> dana bash, thank you very much. let's stay on this and bring in commentator van jones. nice to see both of you, gentlemen. ken, i know ted cruz is your guy. you're going to agree saying don't met with ted cruz, mr. trump. don't even try. when you look at history, nothing seems to ding donald trump. why would this? >> well, when mark levin's approach has been one where he's
praised donald trump over time and a lot of us have for how he came out at times and took on the establishment. but then when ted cruz passes him in one poll in iowa last month, the very first time on december 7th, he turns and attacks him on two things. one of them is that ted doesn't get along with the establishment. where does that come from? the other thing that he attacked them on is not opposing ethanol subsidies for big corn. and a lot of these if you don't think you're going to go to iowa and take on special interests, why do we think you're going to come to washington and do that. so he raised questions with that kind of an attack on ted cruz. >> van, i want to ask you about the dims in your party in a minute. you want to touch on this? >> first of all, 2 corinthians.
listen, if you can't look at a bible verse and notice a 2nd corinthians, that means yoit's gone. they have attacked president obama, president obama knows the difference between 2nd kri corinthians and 2 corinthians. >> i'm guessing donald trump does know by now as well. this is the big debate before iowa. they are pretty feisty. take a look. >> there are things we can do to improve it, but to tear it up and start over again, pushing our country back into that kind of a contentious debate, i think is the wrong direction. >> we're not going to tear up the affordable care act. i helped write it. but we are going to move on top
of that to a medicare for all system. >> i'm going to defend dodd-frank and i'm going to defend president obama for taking on wall street, taking on the financial industry, and getting results. >> secretary clinton, you're not the only one. i don't mean to just point the finger at you. you've received over $600,000 in speaking fees from goldman sachs in one year. i think secretary clinton knows what she says is disingenuous. i have a d minus voting record from the nra. >> i have made it clear based on senator sanders' own record that he has voted with the nra with the gun lobby numerous times. >> have i ever once said a word about that issue? i have not. i'm going to debate secretary clinton on the issues facing the american people. not bill clinton's personal behavior. >> what do you think? how did they do? >> first of all, i can't understand for the life of me why the dnc decided to hide
these debates under rocks over the weekend. it doesn't make any sense at all. whoever came up with that plan needs to go to the wood shed because that was a great debate last night. plus we saw the debut of a brand new candidate, hillary rodham obama. i have never seen hillary clinton defend obama. every turn. what you saw was bernie sanders, who is much closer to the party base on questions like health care. the base wants universal health care. so every time he tries to hit her, she goes and grabs president obama and says, i love president obama's wall street plan. i love the health care plan. he was flum moxed for the first time you saw bernie sanders not able to deal with it. that south carolina audience was eat iing it up. hillary clinton outfoxed him. it was an amazing thing.
>> that was for south carolina and beyond. >> you look at the poll numbers, south carolina has to be top of mind for hillary clinton. >> that's her firewall. she's likely to lose new hampshire. she may lose iowa. south carolina, that's her firewall. she knows if she loses there, it's very bad news for her. she was playing to that south carolina crowd. and you didn't see a bernie sanders coming back and saying, hold on a second, the banks have done this. here's my african-american argument on health care. he didn't know what to do. she outfoxed him last night. >> i think he held his own. i don't think it was like race defining, but it's interesting that definitely hillary clinton bear hugged obama all night long. to you, i'm curious when you look overall at how far left or far right candidates have been doing, it's those who have sort of perhaps surprisingly resinated. >> from the discussion we have
had so far, you'd think hillary clinton won the debate. bernie came out on top of her. debates are about how they fit into the rest of the campaign. bernie sanders continued the trend lines that he brought into that debate. he's in good shape. she came out looking a bit like while she did use the president as a useful shield in their nomination contest, she looked a lot more like the defender of the status quo and he looked a lot more like the change agent that's channelling a lot of the frustration with washington that's happening on both sides of the aisle than hillary clinton did. i think that the momentum that came in -- >> i never thought in my life i would agree with ken on anything. but i have to agree with him on this one. this sanders serge is a real thing. there's a big hunger in this
party for bold ideas and bold thinking. which means that with her being on the defensive, she had to do something and what i thought when she pull out of her hat becoming hillary rodham obama. was a brilliant move. sanders is on the rise and deservedly so. >> she looked like an underdog. >> i was in london over the weekend and i had people saying tell me more about bernie sanders. there you go. thank you both very much. still ahead here, an american pastor, one of three released from custody in iran. the congressman who spent two years working for his release joins me live with an update. more national guard troops deployed to flint, michigan, today to help tens of thousands of people affected by this toxic water. someone who was tested for lead will talk to me live about his concerns of a cover up. you're watching cnn.
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you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. what a story here. three americans accused of espionage and held in an iranian prison for 500 days are free and home bound after diplomacy between iran and the united states. three of the five americans are released include a "washington post" reporter, former marine and a pastor now in germany getting medical tests, seeing family for the first time. this deal comes after more than a year after secret negotiations and the timing is pret fascinating. all of this happened at the same time the u.s. orchestrated the final hurdle to to curb iran's nuclear program and lift sanctions. the wife of one of the americans, the pastor describing
the moment she found out her husband was free. >> i just said daddy is coming home. >> 7:30 in the morning on a weekend and usually they are like, leave us alone. they jumped up. they were jumping, dancing, it was -- i wish i could have recorded it. but it was an amazing moment. >> let's take you to the base in germany where the americans are being treated. i have a congressman who has worked to free the pastor. nice to see you, sir. how is he?
>> it's been a long journey to get him here, but it's going to be a long journey here after. the torture, torment he's been through the last three and a half years by the iranians in isolation all that time and i think we need to realize this has taken a toll on his emotional capacity. whatever time is needed he will be here and have ongoing assistance. >> you say isolation. how was he treat ed pr those may months? >> we lost contact with him over the last year because iranians made his family leave the country. but he had been put in isolation and very brutal treatment, according to the family members. a lot of personal torture and that takes a toll on somebody day in and day out. the simulation process of him get coming back to his family is
what's important. fly here tomorrow and she'll be with her husband and they will have a chance to begin their relationship all over again. when you want to give love and hurting inside, it's hard to do. both of them will love each other and love their families and continue to go on. it's going to take some healing time. i know their community will be in full support of it. >> congressman, you know as well as i do some of your fellow republicans in congress, though, they are highly critical of this prisoner swap. we now know that for four americans held on trumped up espionage charges, the justice department saying 21 iranians were released. was this a fair deal? your opinion? >> i'm glad they are home. i feel like i could have
negotiate. ed something different or better. often times the last two years i wish we could trade negotiators. they have done a fantastic job of getting what they wanted. there were people who had criminal backgrounds to the effect of breaking the sanctions and possibly involved in terrorism financing. our folks are not criminals. they were patriotic people there to do the right thing. so at the end of the day, they are home. there will be a day to discuss that in greater detail. there are no coincidences in politics. these things happen and they are strategic. the fact that iran received $100 billion and had sanctions cleared certainly was a motivation for them to release these three individuals. >> we will continue this conversation as they are important here as folks are out and about on the trail talking about this. for now our best to the american who is are now safe.
congressman, thank you for your time live in germany for us. >> good to be with you, brooke. coming up next, people in flint, michigan, expected to file two new lawsuits against state and city official oefrs lead levels that made the water unsafe to drink. we'll talk live to a researcher who sounded the alarm about the toxic water months ago and the evidence he uncovered that suggests a cover up. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a stag pool party. (party music) (splashing/destruction) (splashing/destruction) (burke) and we covered it, october twenty-seventh, 2014. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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protesters including reverend jackson demanded justice for the entire flint community. >> this is not a natural disaster. this is not a mistake. they hid this from the federal government. and in doing so they knew that the people here did not have the political power to do anything about it. >> the people of flint have been betrayed. it seems to be a manmade disaster. it was a manmade disaster. there are legal and political consequences to that. >> joining me now is virginia tech professor mark edwards, professor, welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> so you're the lead researcher of this group, conducted a bunch of tests on flint's water. you identified high levels of
lead in the water. in the very beginning, what tipped you off? >> in flint, michigan, a mother figured out her child had been lead poisoned from the water. she reached out to an epa employee who came to her house and inspected it and determined that flint was not following corrosion control laws. so we started working with this mother in particular and other flint residents to test the safety of their water and miguel wrote it up in a memo that flint was not following federal law in june. it's now become clear from our freedom of information act that epa knew about this in april. and the regional administrator, and a political appointee decided to remain sin silent ab
this. this represents a betrayal of the public trust not only by the state department of environmental quality, but also by political appointee of the united states environmental protection agency. >> that, to me, seems to be the heart of it other than these children. the children in flint. you said in essence the state took an f grade for flint's water report and made it into. an a minus grade. the allegations are saving money and covering up. how far do you think they went? >> well, obviously, way too far. from the time this epa whist whistleblower wrote his memo, they should have act ed decisively to protect flint's children. even then it would have been a tragedy. but what happened after that is just beyond belief. the fact that epa decided to cover this program up and stood silently as they said the water was safe to drink, it's really
traumatized the flint op. lation here because they now realize that their worst fears about the water have been proven true. that they were being told the water was safe even as the federal government and state government knew it wasn't. had it not been for people completely outside the system, none of this would have been exposed. those children in flint would have still been drinking the water to the present day. >> professor edwards, help me understand what happens to a child. what happens to a child when they drink this kind of water? what kinds of effects? how damaging to one's little body? >> well, lead affects every system in the human body. the damage that it does is irreversible. so it truly is a tragedy. that's why we pay people to make sure something like flint never, ever happens. and it's the very career employees paying to do this that failed not only to follow
federal law in the first place but then covered it up and even more outrageously were telling people the water was safe all that time. so it really defies belief. what you're seeing playing out in the flint population is a complete loss of confidence in government. we're get iting calls from reli workers here at virginia tech who are telling us that no one in flint believes a word they will say, which is really dangerous because they are not using the filters and following advice. they are not even bathing because they are so afraid about the quality of their water. and the reality is the water is now currently safe for bathing and as long as they use the lead filters, they will be protected. >> do you think, final question, because the final response the president declaring this federal state of emergency. he's in detroit this week. there are lots of calls for him to go to flint. do you think he should? what should he say?
it's been going on for so long. >> i think he should go there and i think he should say to flint residents that we are all sorry because the system has served them horribly, failed them horribly. we all owe them an apology. >> mark edwards, virginia tech professor, lead researcher of this group conducting all the tests on the water, thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. coming up next, a fiery debate in the british parliament over a petition to ban donald trump from traveling there at all. hear what lawmakers in the uk think about his anti-muslim rhetoric. we'll take you live to london, coming up. tucson.
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iowa caucuses happen and already presidential hopeful senator ted cruz setting sights on new hampshire, which is the nest one. and focusing his attacks on his closest rival donald trump. during a bus stop today cruz took aim at trump's switch to the republican party. >> donald trump says ronald reagan had a revolution. is he right? is he a ronald reagan? >> you're right, donald did an interview where he described he thinks he's bigger than ronald reagan. i think the american people will make that determination. i would note that ronald reagan spent decades as a principled conservative. spent decades traveling the country sharing his conservative free market views defending the constitution. ronald reagan did not spend the first 60 years of his life supporting democratic politicians advocating for big government politics.
supporting things like the big bank bailout. supporting things like expanding obamacare to turn it into socialized medicine. that's not what ronald reagan did. he was a voice of consistency. and i'm pretty sure that ronald reagan didn't write checks and support democratic politicians like andrew khocuomo, like anth weiner, like hillary clinton. i'm pretty sure ronald reagan didn't write a huge check to rahm emanuel in december of 2010. after, by the way, the big tea party wave, after the 2010 elections, i'm pretty sure ronald reagan didn't give rahm emanuel a big check. i understand every republican candidate try s ies to compare s to reagan. but at the end of the day the american people are going to assess who is telling the truth. who is, in fact, been a
consistent conservative? not has adopted conservative language on the campaign trail, but who has stood for these principles over and over again. you know where they stand yesterday, today and tomorrow. >> it is not just ted cruz attack iing donald trump. british lawmakers just wrapped up a debate in parliament about him that lasted hours. specifically they were debating whether the republican front runner should be banned from traveling to the uk. at issue specifically his call for banning muslims from entering the u.s. here is a piece of these people going at it. >> this ridiculous individual, mr. trump, may be. elected as president of the united states. >> the great danger by attacking this one man is that we can fix a halo, we give him the role which conceived to be an
advantage among those that support him. >> i have heard of a number of cases where people have been excluded for incitement over hatr hatred. i have never heard of one for stupidity. i'm not sure we should be starting now. >> you're talking about a candidate for the presidency of the united states. it's enough that the american people to decide whether husband views are objectionable, not you guys. >> let's go to london for this one and my colleague max foster. it's fascinating to hear this back and forth. let's be real. parliament cannot ban donald trump from coming to the uk, so what's this really about? >> reporter: what was the point? there was this petition that gained more than 500,000 signatures. as a result, parliament decided to hold a debate. it's the first time i u can remember where three hours was dedicated to discussing banning one person. normally it comes up to
questions to the prime minister. so it was an extraordinary moment. it doesn't have any teeth. it didn't lead to a vote and a ban. the home secretary only can decide on that. now she has all of this information to consider and if the debate rises, then perhaps she will consider a ban. but you felt some of it there. there was some really strong language. some called his bonkers. others said he was poisonous. most people were negative about him. but there was this firm split about whether or not a ban would help at all. because it would bestow victimhood on him and help him in his u.s. election effort. much preferred in the daent is the idea to invite him over and to ask him to show people where these no-go areas are in the uk spoken about and perhaps taken to a mosque to meet muslims. so a strongly worded debate.
no teeth, but does play into a debate which might lead to a ban possibly. >> max foster, thank you very much. still ahead here, new questions about the u.s. sailors detained in iran. two important pieces of equipment that appear to be missing from their ship. the possibility of a flare swas almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go...
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ny c >> i spent almost ten years here in victoria. every time i come back, it definitely feels like home. growing up as an adopted child, i always felt. somewhat random. as i was growing up trying to figure out who i was, part of that was also what i wanted to be. i always tell people tv happened to me by accident. a producer at check tv. when i met her, she was producing a campaign called "imagine a world without contra contrast." they needed ethnic people. >> we put out an open call to come to the studio and get in front of the camera and see how they feel for us to take a look and see how they were reacting. >> i answered the open casting call, went to the local tv station and ended up being cast in this campaign. >> and i can't describe what happened to the atmosphere when she walked in. i thought there's something really extraordinary about this
person. >> so following the taping of the psa, my dad had already engrained in all of us if somebody gave you an opportunity, you should show gratitude and thank them. follow up with a thank you card or a gift. so i did. i was a bit of a crafty person. and i decided that i would day kro paj a pot for her and take it down to the tv station. she followed that up when she received my gift with a phone call and invited me out for lunch. it was at that lunch that she said something so profound to me that it changed my life. >> hey, pal, how are you? >> where's the last time you were here? it's been awhile. >> are you hungry? >> it's so great being back here. >> when you and i came to lunch, that's why i brought you here.
you remember that? >> we had lunch on the patio. you looked me dead in the eye u and said you need to seriously consider a career in television. the voice of your suggestion sent me on. think about that time in this city. there was nobody that looked like me on tv. >> there we go. >> my color, my size, my ethnicity, none of that was an impediment to you. to you it was kind of like why wouldn't you. and i remember being so terrified, but you had such confidence. you were so resolute that i couldn't not believe you. >> something really special happened way back in that studio all those years ago. >> you can see how it was easy for me to figure out who influenced my life. >> i'm so humbled and flattered.
i feel kind of protective of you. so i will go that far to acknowledge that. >> i'll take it. you know what i was thinking after we kill our salads? what say you if we go and see if we can find gourd at check. >> he was my co-host at my first gig. it was at the local tv station. it was because of her belief in me and her suggestion that i audition for the show that i met gourd and fell in love with television. >> mikaela! >> it's been forever. >> it's been years. >> wow, look at this. >> he looks exactly the same. >> are you ready? >> day two, still here.
>> her hair today was fashioned by -- >> wow, this was our office. >>. ♪ born to be wild >> this is not the common person we ran into. >> okay. so watching all of that old tape is crazy. >> if i was the type of person to cry, i would have. no, seriously. it was like i haven't seen those for 20 years. >> that is so crazy to think about that because it started with the promo. that's where we worked together. but it wasn't long after that you were looking for new cohost. >> we get to the end of the list. we have not found a person. i don't know what we're going to do. and nick, our camera guy, said one more person's been added to the list. it's this girl michaela pereira. after two minutes of talking to you i looked at nick and he looked at me. >> check her out.
>> it is so rare to see someone else believe so much in another person. this was a woman who believed in me when i didn't believe in myself. and there was nothing in it for her. the truly inspiring among us, the true heroes in life, they don't do it for selfish motives. and they rarely want the recognition. so it makes sense she doesn't want any recognition. >> there she is. hey. hi. pal. how are you? welcome to cnn and new york. how are you? >> great. >> one piece of advice you've given to me that has been invaluable, be yourself. >> i don't think you know how to do it any other way. >> maybe now, yes. but think about a 20 something-year-old kid who didn't go to communications school or broadcast or journalism school, just came up learning on the job. and is surrounded by a whole lot
of people who don't look like her who didn't start out like her. and when you kind of got in front of me and waved that flag like hold up, be yourself, it changed the game for me. being myself has been the only thing i can do that i can bring to the table that i knew i could do with a thousand percent authenticity. i wanted to give you this little gift. it's an upgraded version. >> oh, my gosh. >> the flowers in it, you have continued to nurture my career. here's a little elegant vase to put your flowers in to say thank you, babe. i love you. >> i love you too.
>> all throughout that you see this many years later. girl crushing on you right now. >> this is something you understand more because we're part of this kind of girlfriend sister friend hood. it started with my relationship with this woman who said i'm not going to let you be alone to the wolves in this industry. i'm going to standby you. i'm going to support you. it's been great. it's a 20-year relationship. not only that her son was born on my birthday. >> get out of here. >> how about? >> what an amazing thing to have your boss say to you we want to spend time, find this person that so changed and inspired you and you're just kind of like to see all those old clips of you 1984 called and said they wanted their hair style back. >> i had some serious hair issues back then. no it was interesting because we were saying so often we kwet a chance to say that at the end of our career. a legacy piece. to look back at this point it's really powerful.
yeah. i had a fake nose ring on by the way right there. >> a fake nose ring? i didn't know they could do that. >> it's a really wonderful gift. that man right there to this day is a friend. >> did she have any idea -- that's what i found with my person which i'm sharing tomorrow is i think he knew he had such an impact but not quite fully. >> she'll fight it. to this day we've still been going back and forth. >> humility, right? >> yeah. and also she thinks, these are her words and not mine, she thinks it was inevitable. i don't believe that. i don't believe i would have been bold enough without her behind me pushing me along. >> strong woman goes a long way. >> very strong woman. >> i got your back, lady. can't wait to see yours. >> thank you. mine is tomorrow. i can't wait to share that. also tonight anderson cooper 8:00 eastern reveals the person who changed his life. so definitely watch for that. and watch the entire two-hour special. it is this sunday 8:00 eastern and pacific here on cnn, the person who changed my life. coming up next, sean penn discloses new details about his
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actor sean penn went on "60 minutes" to discuss his interview with "el chapo." he considers himself a, quote/unquote, experimental journalist and explained what he had with "el chapo" himself. >> what was brokered for me to have the interview with "el chapo" was that i would finish the article, send it to him. and if he said no, then that was no harm, no foul to any reader. >> it would never be printed. >> it would never be printed. >> a kind of prior review is
usually a non-starter for journalists. "rolling stone" article published just one day after "el chapo" was captured. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for starting your week off here with us at cnn. stay with me now, "the lead" with jim sciutto starts right now. a bromance with ted cruz is over, but donald trump says he is still tight with him. "the lead" starts right now. going at each other like two new york city cabbies fighting for the same fare. clawing for every last god fearing vote in iowa with just 14 days until the election gets going for real. one american who is not coming home. why wasn't robert levinson included in a prisoner swap with iran? his family, they'll join me live for their first interview here on cnn. plus, people including small children drinking poisonous water for more than a year. did politicians know? did they commit a crime? did theyer