tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN February 11, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
>> i love that you have the iss on the speed dial. of course you do. please wish him well from all of us here on earth. we'll talk again i'm sure. thank you all for watching. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. thanks, brooke. countdown to a critical democratic debate right here on cnn. "the lead" starts right now. hillary clinton and bernie sanders set to battle tonight live on cnn. i stress the word "battle." details of clinton's new plan to get aggressive after that 22-point shellacking in the granite state. the race on the republican side set to put the hospital in southern hospitality. candidates bracing for low blows as they all fight to stop trump. plus he was once one of kim jong-un's closest advisers but now he's disappeared. north korea executing a top
military chief and close advisor. what's going on inside that nation with an unstable leader and nukes? good afternoon, everyone. i'm jake tapper. welcome to "the lead." we'll begin with our politics lead and what is shaping up to be a brutal competition for the african-american vote between hillary clinton and bernie sanders, with clinton deploying a major civil rights icon this afternoon who questioned where was bernie sanders during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s? this as the two candidates prepare to debate in milwaukee, wisconsin, this evening. you can watch that pbs news hour debate live tonight right here on cnn. senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny joins me now from the debate site in wimilwaukee. jeff, i don't know if it's accurate to call hillary clinton the front-runner anymore. will we see her behaving this evening more as an underdog? >> reporter: jake, an underdog might be a bit of a stretch but she's a wounded front-runner for sure. the clinton campaign tonight is
trying to draw more distinctions as they have been trying to with bernie sanders but there's no question she has far more to lose. a showdown in milwaukee. >> you are the reason we are here. >> reporter: hillary clinton and bernie sanders on the same stage tonight. their first face-to-face meeting since tables turned in the democratic primary fight. >> i want to begin by congratulating senator sanders on his victory tonight. >> reporter: sanders suddenly in the driver's seat after a commanding win in new hampshire. >> thank you, new hampshire. now it's on to nevada, south carolina and beyond. >> reporter: but clinton is well positioned for a long battle ahead, winning a key endorsement today from the political arm of the congressional black caucus. >> and there is no question that the person that has obtained the most results and benefits for communities of color and everyone in america in my
opinion is not even close, it's hillary clinton. >> reporter: congressman john lewis, a leader of the bloody sunday sizzle rights march was asked about the civil rights record of sanders, who as a student played a far less visible role in the march on washington. >> i was way, way back there, one of the several hundred thousand people who was here. >> i never saw him, i never met him. was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom ride, the march on washington, the march from selma to montgomery and directed the voter education project for six years. but i met hillary clinton. i met president clinton. >> reporter: not all members were on board. keith ellison, a minnesota congressman and sanders supporter said on twitter the endorsement was without input from cbc membership, including me. in a battle of endorsements, the sanders campaign weighed in with one of their own today, harry belafonte. >> just use your platform and your power to do good for social
welfare. >> reporter: the sanders-clinton contest is playing out to a far more diverse electorate. the nevada caucuses is a state where 20% of voters are hispanic. the south carolina democratic primary is the following week. 55% of democratic voters in 2008 were african-american. sanders, who says he raised more than $6 million since new hampshire took a victory lap on "the late show with stephen colbert." >> why do you think the young lings like you? >> i think for two reasons. by definition, young people are idealistic and they look at a world with so many problems and they say why not? >> now, young voters are a challenge but raising money is also a challenge for the clinton campaign. their campaign manager sent out a note trying to shake up their donors. listen to what he said. he said we can't allow you are team to be outraised and outspent. our team is more diverse and enthusiastic. it's time for us to show it.
tonight here on this stage behind me, it's time for hillary clinton to show that she is the better candidate of these two democrats. jake. >> it should be interesting. jeff zeleny, thank you so much. the entire democratic party watching to see how clinton will respond to his bruising new hampshire defeat when she squares off against bernie sanders tonight. joining me to preview the democrats matchup, democratic national committee chair debbie wasserman schultz, thanks for joining us. >> thanks, jake. great to be here. >> so in an exclusive interview with cnn just now, senate minority leader harry reid, the democrat from nevada, said he expected the democratic race to go on for months. he said there might even be a contested convention. is that possible? >> i mean i have enormous respect for leader reid and he's been absolutely remarkable in fighting for our agenda. i do think that this will be -- continue to be a robust primary that will play out over the
course of the next several months. but there were predictions of a brokered convention, a fight that would go all the way to the convention in 2008, if you recall, jake, and that didn't happen. it didn't happen because this was wrapped up in a timely process through the normal primary schedule, and i think that will be the case here. >> all right. so a respectful disagreement with leader reid. hillary clinton lost to bernie sanders in new hampshire by 22 percentage points, the biggest victory in a contested democratic primary there since john f. kennedy, but it looks as though clinton and sanders are leaving the granite state with the same number of delegates in her pockets because clinton has the super delegates, the party insiders. what do you tell voters new to the process who says this makes them feel like it's all rigged? >> well, let me just make sure that i can clarify exactly what was available during the primaries in iowa and in new
hampshire. the unpledged delegates are a separate category. the only thing available on the ballot in a primary and a caucus is the pledged delegates. those that are tied to the candidate that they are pledged to support and they receive a proportional number of delegates going into the -- going into our convention. unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don't have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. we are, as a democratic party, really highlight and emphasize inexclusiveness and diversity at our convention and so we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse committed democrats to be able to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention. so we separate out those unpledged dealts to make sure that there isn't competition between them. >> i'm not sure that answer would satisfy an anxious young voter, but let's move on.
here's a contrary concern that i do hear from some democrats out there. can bernie sanders, do you think, win a general election? >> i mean i've said repeatedly that i think that either one of our two candidates will ultimately be elected the 45th president of the united states. it's very simple. look at the insultfest that is going on on the other side of the aisle that occurs at every one of their debates. at our debates, you have substantive deep dive discussions about how to build on president obama's legacy of 71 straight months of job growth in the private sector, cutting our deficits by nearly three-quarters, 19 million americans who now have health insurance. and the distinction between hillary clinton and bernie sanders is really on how to continue to move in the direction to help more people reach the middle class. compared with the backwards direction that republicans would take us, all of them have hugged the most extreme right wing of their party, would take away health care, would turn medicare
into a voucher system, would roll back all the economic progress and take care of the wealthest, most fortunate americans. that's the contrast, no matter who the nominees are. the american people will continue to choose to go in the direction that we have been, like they have in five out of the last six presidential elections. >> you were a big supporter of hillary clinton in 2008. were you surprised that she lost the woman vote in new hampshire? >> you know, it's not for me in my role as national party chair to be handicapping or analyzing the results of our primaries. what i am thrilled about is if you look at the 11 and then 8 republican candidates who drove voters to the polls and had record turnout, our candidates also, although there were only two really driving voters to the polls nearly equaled the record turnout that occurred on the republican side. so that shows you what kind of enthusiasm and organization we have and the big difference between the republicans and the democrats is that we have a central voter file that both
secretary clinton and senator sanders are feeding their data into our data file which will eventually bode well for our nominee and the republicans still have a fractured process, different vendors, no memorandums of understanding and so they're going to be all over the place and we'll maintain our digital and technological advantage we've had for many years and that allowed us to propel our nominee to victory and we will again. >> congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, thanks so much. hope you enjoy the debate this evening. you can see the debate tonight here on cnn as well as pbs stations at 9:00 eastern this evening. after a crushing defeat in new hampshire, a critical endorsement for hillary clinton today. several members of the congressional black caucus say they are backing her over her rival, bernie sanders. one of those supporters will join us next and tell us why. let's celebrate these moments... this woman... this cancer patient... christine... living her life... loving her family.
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with the welcome back to "the lead." bernie sanders and hillary clinton each going on the offensive trying to court african-american voters in the south. early polls suggest clinton has a healthy lead among african-american voters. today she earned a key endorsement from the political action committee of the congressional black caucus. but as the candidates begin to
focus in on south carolina, sanders is trying to make his case and his huge win in new hampshire could prompt some to give him a second look. missouri congressman and former chair of the congressional black caucus emmanuel cleaver joins me now. thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you. >> so john lewis said today that he never saw bernie sanders during the civil rights movement in the '60s, but he said he did see bill and hillary clinton. now, bernie sanders was involved in the civil rights movement in 1962. he was arrested for protesting segregated schools in chicago. he was at the march on washington. is this fair criticism? >> well, i'm not sure that that has very much to do with the decision that we made, but john lewis obviously has the history and the credibility to speak
about what he saw during the very turbulent days of the civil rights movement. and i don't think there's anything that bernie sanders has done or said that would cause us to believe that he is anti-civil rights. so i think that issue is settled b by a number of things, including the way the senator has voted. what we're simply saying, and i think what john lewis was saying, is that with hillary clinton we have boots on the ground, somebody who's been there and was visibly there that doesn't negate all the other unnamed, faceless people who participated in the march. there are 250,000 people at the march on washington. all of those people are civil rights icons, as i look at it. >> i don't doubt hillary clinton's support for civil rights and i don't doubt that she's been a supporter of the cbc and the issues you care
about. but in 1964 she was a goldwater girl. by her own description she was a republican back then. i mean she was in high school. but she was not doing what bernie sanders was doing at that time. >> well, the thing that i think we all have connected with was that after her awakening, hillary clinton was able to participate in programs and put forth policies that were revolutionary at the time, working with the children's defense fund is just one. but keep in mind that back in that same time, ronald reagan, who was almost a deity for republicans, was a democrat. so i think if we're going to get into that part of things, i would say bernie sanders has just become a democrat. but i think the thing we need to focus on, frankly, is history. i think history says something
about what a person's future will be like and hillary clinton has a history of getting things done and actually visibly working for civil rights. >> ben jealous, the former head of the naacp, as you know he supports bernie sanders. i had him on my show a couple of days ago. one of the reasons he said that he is backing sanders is because in the 1990s he said hillary clinton was pushing the super predator theory. quote, this notion that i child at age six months could be so sociopathic as to be beyond redempti redemption, that was only used to describe the actions of young black men. what was your response to that? >> i heard -- i saw that interview with ben jealous, who i have respect for. but look, what he did on your interview, which is unfortunate, and kind of beneath who i've seen him to be, he spent a time just throwing bomb after bomb
after bomb at secretary clinton. i don't think that that's necessary. i think what we need to be doing, especially african-americans, is point out to the public, to african-american voters and others of what we have experienced with these individuals. and what we've experienced will lead to what we think they can do. i'm not sure that i saw mr. jealous just attack after attack after attack and i've seen him on two other shows during the same thing and it's unfortunate. i think everybody likes him and respects him and i think that's unnecessary. i don't think this is a war of black leaders trying to outdump trash on their particular choice for the presidency. i think, you know, i'm not going to participate in that circus. i think it's unfortunate. >> congressman clov maman cleav good to see you.
thanks for coming on. >> good to be with you. there's also a brutal battle going on on the republican side as ted cruz prepares a direct onslaught of ads on marco rubio. donald trump is pulling his critical ad about ted cruz. why the change of heart? on the front lines in syria, our own cnn reporter in aleppo as forces try to take that city back. he'll join us live from syria coming up. see see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know that psoriasis is just something that i have. i'm not contagious. see me to know that i won't stop. until i find what works. discover cosentyx, a different kind of medicine for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. proven to help the majority of people find clear or almost clear skin.
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talking point and he had kept the focus on one thing, to dispel once and for all that barack obama doesn't know what he's doing. today rubio said a few of the people in his own party have no idea what they're doing. sunlen serfaty is with ted cruz in rock hill, south carolina. sunlen, who did rubio go after today? >> it felt like a laundry list that marco rubio was ticking through his rivals. he went after trump, bush and cruz directly by name. many candidates here in south carolina are really sharpening their lines of attack today, indicating that here in south carolina, it's game on. >> nine days actually until the big event. >> reporter: the republican field now a six-man race and a southern slugfest is under way. >> you vote for trump, we win here, we're going to run the table. >> reporter: donald trump and ted cruz on a collision course. >> in the state of south carolina, i don't think people are interested in someone, a republican candidate who's
pushed partial birth abortion, who won't defend marriage and who supports government bailouts. >> reporter: both on the hunt for the same bounty, evangelicals, a powerful voting block in south carolina. >> it's going to be such an unbelievable week and a half. i'm going to be with you almost all the time. >> reporter: trump hammering away at a familiar rival, jeb bush. >> he's a low-energy person. i said -- no, i said he's a stiff. >> reporter: bush punching back at trump as he spends his 63rd birthday on the campaign trail. >> i don't care how popular he is. he's wrong. and you better believe that if we elect him, that we're not going to win. other than that, i'm having a great birthday. >> reporter: others in the field bracing for the attacks. >> you know, i'm not going to be a pin cushion, though. i don't take crap from anybody. >> reporter: john kasich, eyeing bush. >> i'm worried about jeb. it's all negative. how the heck can you sell
negative? >> reporter: while marco rubio debuting a more aggressive tone following his disappointing finish in new hampshire is launching an across-the-board attack, calling out three of his rivals by name. >> donald trump has zero foreign policy experience. negotiating a hotel deal in another country is not foreign policy experience. jeb bush has no foreign policy experience, period. ted cruz has a little bit of foreign policy experience. >> reporter: meanwhile the rubio campaign now signaling they are digging in for the long haul, even if the fight leads all the way t a brokered convention. >> we're ready for that. we're ready for a long primary process. we're ready for it to end in a more traditional way. nobody can predict this year, it's completely unpredictable. >> reporter: the cruz campaign is trying to frame it as a two-man race with trump but the latest television ad in south carolina has a different target, senator rubio. >> maybe you should vote for more than just a pretty face. >> reporter: a sign the southern brawl is just getting started.
>> do you guys have room for one more? >> reporter: and while his rivals dig in here in south carolina, donald trump tonight is campaigning instead in louisiana. that's a state that votes in march, so, jake, at least for today donald trump looking ahead further down on the primary calendar. jake. >> sunlen serfaty, thank you. joining me now, s.e. cupp and ben lebolt. s. empt s.e., let me start with you. terry sullivan, the campaign manager for marco rubio, said the republicans might not have a nominee until may and even talked about possibly a brokered convention. rubio was asked about that today and he said i don't think it is necessarily negative to have a brokered convention. possible? >> yeah, before new hampshire and iowa, before this race started, time was everyone's enemy, right? the rnc republicans were of the mindset we want this process to be as quick as possible because the longer it goes on, the more damaging it is. now that trump has really sort of blown this up, time is everyone's best friend. we want more time.
we need more time. and so i get why rubio and other candidates are now thinking, well, maybe it wouldn't be so bad to let this go on a little longer. >> and now democrats are talking about it too. take a listen to this interview with senate democratic leader harry reid. he was asked about how long this might go on by our own man manu raju. >> we've had these races go on for a long, long time. so certainly no one can say there haven't been enough debates. >> do you think there's any possibility that they could be going into a democratic convention without a consensus nominee? >> i don't know, but it would be kind of fun. >> i mean is it possible for a brokered convention? >> sure, sure. i seriously -- some of the old conventions produced some pretty good people. >> harry reid longing along for the days of estes kafaver versus stevenson there. do you think it's possible, a brokered convention on the democratic side?
>> it's possible in some universe but i think it's very unlikely. the clinton campaign expects to have this wrapped up in march. the sanders campaign has the benefit of small dollar fund-raising and the potential to do well in caucus states. but in big states with diverse populations, i think that will favor the clinton campaign and favor it pretty quickly. >> s.e., i want to play a little bit more of the ted cruz ad that is playing in south carolina against marco rubio. we saw a little glimpse of it but let's watch a
little bit more of it. >> i voted for a guy who was a tea party hero on the campaign trail. then he went to d.c. and played patty-cake with chuck schumer and cut a deal on amnesty. >> does that make you angry? >> angry? it makes me feel dumb for trusting him. >> maybe you should vote for more than just a pretty face next time. >> do you guys have room for one more? >> that's a pretty negative ad. >> that's a pretty negative ad,
yeah. look, ted cruz,
the fight was always supposed to be between ted cruz and marco rubio. and again trump and 18 other candidates threw a wrench into that, so now i think those two in particular are finally starting to train their eyes back on each other and try to draw out those more substantive difference tws their policies or their faces. >> donald trump had an ad attacking ted cruz that was vicious. he pulled it. what do you think is going on there? >> yeah. remember when sears in the '90s unveiled that new campaign, come see the softer side of sears? >> i do not. >> you're too young to remember. no, it's a little too late to come see the softer side of donald trump. i know that corey lewandowski, his campaign guy, thought that the softer side of donald trump after new hampshire was a real winner, and that's true. i like the softer side of donald trump. but i think it's pretty baked in that donald trump is a rough guy. so i think it's a little late to
start pulling negative ads in hopes south carolina voters see donald trump as a softy. >> ben, yesterday jay carney, former white house press secretary, said that he thinks it's pretty clear that president obama supports hillary clinton. you worked at the white house. is that fair? >> look, i don't think the president is going to make an endorsement. >> that's not what i'm asking, though. >> i think that the governing style of secretary clinton and her vision is more similar to president obama's. president obama is a pragmatist. he's a progressive but a pragmatist who always believed in reaching across the aisle to get things done. >> and your buddy, bill burton, says he thinks it's a mistake bernie sanders is so directly running against the obama presidency. >> well, today bernie sanders said that he closed the leadership gap between the president and the american people. i think a lot of democrats were offended and surprised by that statement. we thought there was a lot of leadership demonstrated when he pulled us back from the brink of another depression, for example.
>> so you agree it might be a mistake for bernie sanders to run against the obama record to a degree? >> president obama's numbers among democrats are about 90%. and part of his critique here, you know, bring the revolution, that's a revolution after eight years of a democrat in office. so in some ways it's a bizarre message to have during a primary with a popular president. >> s.e., just quickly if you could, ted cruz is out there saying iowa has weighed in, new hampshire has weighed in, now it's a two-man race. i kind of see his point. do you disagree? >> well, in that iowa picked one person and new hampshire picked another person. >> just that it's kind of hard to see any of the other guys getting in there. >> well, i don't know. i mean if you think there's no room for an establishment candidate, then that wouldn't explain why john kasich did so well in new hampshire. i think, you know -- >> trump still did twice as well as he did. >> sure, but it's still just -- it's not a majority yet. he hasn't been able to really solidify a majority of support.
so while the other republican voters, 70% of whom are still shopping for a candidate, you know, there's still quite a few choices. and i think it's a little bit of sensory overload. once the field staurrts to winn, i think you'll see someone like jeb, someone like kasich or rubio emerge to take on a donald trump. >> that's what you're hoping for anyway? >> that's what i think will happen. >> all right, thank you so much, appreciate it. a once bustling city turned into a ghost town as syrian forces look to take out rebel forces. fred pleitgen is live, next.
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more destruction, more deaths in syria and today one u.n. official describing the condition in the war-torn country as grotesque. the latest report by the syrian center for policy research detailing how more than 11% of syria's population has been killed or wounded. and the death toll is rising. with more gun ballottles, more strikes, more bombings every hour of every day. russia is now accusing the united states of bombing civilian areas in the most populous city in syria, aleppo. let's bring in frederi pleitgen. you were in aleppo where the alleged bombing happened. what did syrian officials have to say? >> reporter: well, it's interesting, jake, they didn't say anything about any american warplanes that might have been in the air there. i was in two places in aleppo. i was on the front line right in the city center and later on i
was actually in the north of aleppo, which is actually the main place where the syrian armed forces are currently conducting that offensive. of course what they're trying to do is trying to encircle the rebel-held areas and work their way up to the turkish border. while we were in both of those areas, there were actually warplanes in the air at all times or almost all the times that we were there. you could hear thuds from what appeared to be bombs being dropped but there was no one on the ground that would have said they spotted an american plane or they believed there would have been american planes conducting bombings inside aleppo, jake. >> while you were in aleppo, you also gained exclusive access to the syrian government front lines as the pro-assad syrian army backed by russia is trying to amp up its attacks to crush the forces, the rebel forces. what did you see? what were some of the most horrific things that you witnessed there? >> reporter: well, it was all horrific. the front line in aleppo inside of the city goes right through
the old town, which is one of the most historic places in the world really. a lot of that has been reduced to rubble. but what we also saw is a very confident syrian army. they also made no secret of the fact that the reason why they're so confident is because they now have that support from russia. let's have a look. years of urban combat have laid waste to aleppo's old town. syrian army snipers scan the terrain for possible movement on the other side. >> we're right on the front line in the syrian government's offensive against the opposition and the soldiers tell us they frequently see rebels on the other side but they often pick them off from the sniper's nest. >> reporter: this soldier tells me morale has never been higher. thanks to god, everything here is under control, he says. our fingers are on the triggers ready to destroy the rebels. bashar al assad's forces have made major gains in the aleppo area in recent weeks, while the
opposition rebels say they're simply being slaughtered. but for years this battlefield was in a stalemate, the front line right around aleppo's ancient citadel. as syrian and russian warplanes hover overhead, the commander knows who to think for the newfound momentum. it's only a matter of months now until we win, he says, thanks to the russian support with their air strikes. we will defeat the rebels once and for all. aleppo was syria's largest and one of its most historic towns. tourists from all over the world used to flock to the old town before it was engulfed by syria's brutal civil war. some of these buildings are hundreds if not thousands of years old. now as you can see, most have been completely destroyed and burned out. but now assad's troops believe they are on the verge of a decisive victory. the commander warns the u.s. not to interfere.
we are steadfast, he says. you cannot defeat the syrian army because we are determined to win and we're loyal to president assad. amid this divided and destroyed city, syrian government forces believe they're dealing a crushing blow to the opposition. one that could end this five-year civil war that's destroyed so much more than just the landscape. and, jake, there were a couple of other things that really stood out as well. one was the really horrible state that many of the people were in there in aleppo. not only the ones in the rebel-held areas but ones in government-held areas. psychologically this war that has been going on five years, aleppo was on the front line. one of the places where the most horrific battles took place. it's really taking a toll on the people there. the other thing that stood out to us as well, this is a syrian government offensive. there's a lot of syrian army troops but there's also a lot of influence by hezbollah. there's a lot of pictures of the leader of hezbollah that you see
in many places and iran as well. many people tell us that they are very grateful to the help that they have received, the pro-government people that they have received from iran. also a lot of iranian flags hanging near the front line as well, jake. >> excellent reporting. please stay safe, my friend. isis determined to strike inside the u.s. intelligence officials saying it will likely happen this year, at least an attempt to attack in the u.s. so what's being done to stop any attack before it might happen. plus more erratic behavior from kim jong-un. this time executing a top advisor. why are so many people vanishing around him, and what is the north korean leader trying to prove? that's ahead. they say you shouldn't spoil your kids. but your grandkids? how about front row seats to the best show in town?
welcome back to "the lead." the national lead now. whomever is elected the next president of the united states will inherit the terrorist threat that will not be vanquished before inauguration day next january. one of the most compelling of those terrorist threats we are told is the determination by isis to attack in the u.s. within the next year. today the secretary of the
department of homeland security said isis is the most prominent terror group on the world stage and with six new terror-related arrests in the u.s. already just this year, it could be a matter of time before another successful plot against the homeland. joining me now from capitol hill, congressman mike mccall. he's chairman of the house homeland security committee, a republican from texas, and out with a new book called "failures of imagination, the deadliest threats to our homeland and how to thwart them." congressman, thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> so the director of national intelligence is saying isis is determined to attack the united states in 2016. last year, of course, we saw terrorist attacks in chattanooga, tennessee, san bernardino, california. you get daily intelligence briefings. what type of attacks are officials most worried about? >> i think an active shooter type attack like what we saw in paris. i think an attack on military installations, police officers. they send a lot of internet
traffic into the united states really with two messages. one, come to syria and join the fight or, if you can't do that, then attack and kill where you are. that's the one that impacts the homeland. in addition to the foreign fighters who travel to the region and have come back to the united states. >> is there anything new that officials are doing to combat this threat? >> well, what we're trying to do is get the administration not only to come up with a military strategy, obviously to deal with isis wi isis where it exists at its root cause to deal with the phenomenon over social media and on the internet. and what can be a counter narrative to that message. what we've seen from companies like going el recentogel recent out with ads that pop up with jihadist websites, twitter has shut down good 25,000 twitter accounts because that's what isis cyber commanders use to radicalize from within the
united states. >> in your book you describe a number of potential terrorist scenarios, ones that really concern you. in one case you explore what if terrorists hacked the u.s. power grid. do you ever get concerned that a book like this might give terrorists more ideas or is this just -- you're just going where the terrorists are already talking? >> well, we did a fictional scenario in each chapter to get the interest of the reader. in each chapter we say could this really happen and that's an important educational piece for the american public that they have actively either tried to do this or are actively plotting it. so they have already thought of all these. it's an open source document, obviously. and what i'm trying to do is educate not only the american people but policy makers as to what the true nature of the threat is. and then also importantly what can we do to stop it. >> president obama unveiled his 2017 budget proposal. you're very critical on the
spending or lack of spending you say on national security. what's an area that could use a boost in funding? >> well, i think obviously fbi and homeland, defending the homeland. we stopped a lot of bad things. 82 isis-related arrests, more than one per week. but countering violent extreme it issue is not being addressed within the administration. something i've been trying to w with the secretary, jeh johnson, to strengthen our ability to counter their ability to use the internet and really prey on young military-aged males in the united states. we can do a far better job than we're doing. we don't have a counternarrative right now and i think we ought to be focused on that. >> all right, congressman mike mccaul, thanks so much. >> jake, thanks for having me. a high-level military leader executed as north korea suggests the region is on the brink of war. what is kim jong-un preparing? that story next. actually be exactly what i am.
i got to hang a picture. it may not seem like much, but to that resident it was the best thing in the world. it's amazing to me because it takes me seconds. but yet, when i go into the apartment, i'm there for half an hour. it is not just hanging a picture, it is conversing, it is being a friend. there aren't old people there. there are actually young people with old clothing on.
welcome back to "the lead." just days after alarming the u.s. and its allies with the launch of a long-range rocket, one that could be used to carry a nuclear device, the north korean dictator is again demonstrating his capacity for brutal and erratic behavior continuing his assault on his own people. he reportedly executed yet another high-level advisor, a former confidant of his father's. just days after that so-called
satellite launch, today the north is now saying that the korean peninsula is on the brink of war. the u.s. and south korea militaries are on high alert in the region. let's bring in jim sciutto. jim, does this latest execution of a high-ranking official signal political instability within north korea or the opposite? >> well, there's actually two different schools of thought on this. the conventional wisdom is that this is a sign of weakness, that kim jong-un can't trust his own military, he's eliminating potential rivals. but there's another school of thought that this is a sign of strength in effect, that he's gaining control over the military, establishing his supreme authority and really it's the part of what can only be described as an internal reign of terror. some 80 midlevel killed since kim jong-un took power. this latest victim, the suspicion is he was leading too lavish a lifestyle and was
killed for corruption. we learned a little more than a year ago when one was killed, he was kim jong-un's uncle and that established the fact that really no one is safe in terms of this what can only be described as a reign of terror, kim jong-un establishing his authority in the country. so whether it's a sign of weakness or a sign of strength, no one feels safe in that north korean leadership. >> jim, north korea is now warning that the peninsula is on the brink of war. obviously there is often a lot of bluster from the north, but how serious is the pentagon taking that threat? >> they're taking it seriously all the time, and particularly in these periods that follow nuclear tests, as we saw a month ago, or missile tests as we saw just a few days ago, because you have the tit for tat response. that comment from north korea about the peninsula being on the brink of war followed a south korean step to shut down a joint industrial complex.
there were sanctions, et cetera. of course the interest is to keep those from escalating to a military conflict. >> thank you so much. a reminder that you can see hillary clinton and bernie sanders tonight in the pbs news hour democratic presidential debate here on cnn as well as pbs stations at 9:00 eastern. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. debate night. hillary clinton and bernie sanders face off for the first time since new hampshire. sanders is riding high after his stunning victory, but clinton's new strategy is to go right after him. the fireworks just a few hours from now. toned down trump as other republicans step up their harsh rhetoric out there on the campaign trail, is donald trump trying out a kinder, gentler approach? and how long will that last? and un-opposed. kim jong-un's inner circle gets smaller as the north korean dick tarlt executes his