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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  February 17, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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ben jealous, please join us again. i wish we had more time. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming on. that will do it for us this hour. thanks for joining me and erin. "the lead with jake tapper" begins right now. >> thanks, poppy. ted cruz tells donald trump, go ahead, sue me. "the lead" starts right now. he says he's calling trump's bluff. he's calling marco rubio, quote, trump with a smile. senator ted cruz carpet bombing the republican field in a remarkable news conference just three days away from the south carolina republican primary. the battle between privacy and security. apple refusing to take an extraordinary measure to help the fbi unlock an iphone belonging to one of the san bernardino terrorists. apple is saying it's for our own protection. plus, he's known for his unparalleled affection for humanity, so what got pope
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francis this angry while greeting the faithful? good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. now, we did warn you that politics in south carolina tends to get a little nasty, but this is exceeding even our expectations. donald trump and ted cruz now warning one another i'll see you in court. it began with trump's objections to a cruz attack ad. trump further needled his rival in a statement warning time will tell, teddy, whether more lawsuits can follow, perhaps about cruz's eligibility given his canadian birth. now, in response, cruz's stinging takedown of his rivals today suggest he may be concerned that their jabs may be swaying some south carolina voters. in the midst of all of this bruising competition, a coveted endorsement from the governor of south carolina, nikki haley, is about to be handed down. hint, it's going to neither of those guys we were just discussing. cnn correspondent sunlen serfaty
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is live outside a ted cruz event in spartanburg, south carolina. cnn is hosting the first of two town halls with republican candidates in the palmetto state this evening. sunlen, this is a new level o y ugliness, these attacks today. >> reporter: that's right. we saw ted cruz go on offense in an unprecedented way, channeling his old days as a lawyer as if he was in a courtroom arguing the case against donald trump. he brought with him file folders of evidence, even props. of course donald trump not handling this attack lightly. >> you can't lie about people like that. it's just incredible. >> reporter: it's a dramatic escalation. donald trump and ted cruz's fight boiling over. their war of words now being dominated by legal threats. >> one of the things i look forward to most of all is deposing donald trump. >> reporter: cruz outright daring donald trump today, saying go ahead, sue me. >> so, donald, i would encourage
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you, if you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad claiming it is defamation, file the lawsuit. >> reporter: at issue, this ad from the cruz campaign, which attempts to paint trump as being supportive of abortion rights, using a tv interview of trump's from 1999. >> i am pro choice in every respect. >> we cannot trust donald trump with these serious decisions. >> reporter: trump has said he is opposed to abortion rights now. the trump campaign slapping cruz with a cease and desist order to try and stop him from running the ad. >> i have to stay to mr. trump, you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life. even in the annals of frivolous lawsuits, this takes the cake. >> reporter: trump today not backing down, laying into cruz.
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>> i'm pro life and he'll say i'm pro choice. i got a call from a reporter. i hear you're pro choice. who told you that? cruz. cruz? it's unbelievable. no, i'm pro life. i say to myself how can a guy be so dishonest. >> reporter: marco rubio echoing trump's arguments against cruz. >> ted unfortunately has proven he's willing to say or do anything to get elected. >> reporter: cruz firing back rubio is taking a page from trump's playbook. >> marco rubio is behaving like donald trump with a smile. >> reporter: the infighting comes as donald trump is coasting above every other candidate in the polls. a new cnn/orc poll out today shows trump with a commanding lead in nevada, 26 points ahead of any other candidate. >> beyond belief actually. maybe i don't even have to go there and campaign, i don't know. >> reporter: meanwhile, jeb bush is still fighting for traction, feeling energized with his
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family's help, sharpening his attacks. >> with all due respect, senator rubio, your four years or five years or whatever it is as senator does not match up to my capabilities of understanding how the world works. >> reporter: but receiving a big blow today, losing out on the endorsement of south carolina governor nikki haley to marco rubio. this is a huge get for marco rubio. nikki haley's endorsement was so coveted by so many within the field, she will formally endorse him tonight in chappin, south carolina, and then stay with him out on the -- >> all right, we lost sunlen's feed there. sunlen serfaty, thanks. tune into cnn tonight where voters can ask the candidates questions. tonight features ben carson, marco rubio and ted cruz. you can see it tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. meanwhile the democratic race, new questions for hillary clinton's campaign after our
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latest poll suggests her race against bernie sanders in nevada is much closer than anyone originally thought. nevada's democratic caucus is this saturday, but today hillary clinton is already looking ahead to south carolina. cnn senior washington correspondent joe johns is live in chicago, illinois, where he's covering hillary clinton. joe, is the clinton team getting worried about nevada? >> reporter: i think they have been focusing on nevada in a new way since the weekend for sure, jake. look, they say they think it's going to be tight and down to the wire, but they do point to their organization as a thing at the end of the day that they think will put them over the top. tonight a democratic dead heat in nevada. >> when we stand together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. >> reporter: bernie sanders and hillary clinton suddenly locked in a close battle with just three days to go until saturday's caucuses.
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>> thank you, new hampshire! >> reporter: sanders is trying to build on his momentum following a big win in last week's new hampshire primary. >> everything in my political gut tells me that we have the momentum here in this state. that if people come out in large numbers on caucus day, we're going to win here in nevada. >> reporter: underneath the nevada numbers, some advantages for clinton. she's seen as better able to handle foreign policy, immigration and race relations, while clinton and sanders are more evenly split on the economy. >> we're going to go out and we're going to convince people to caucus on saturday. then we're going on to south carolina. then we're going on to the march states. then we're going to wrap up the nomination and then we're going to win this election. >> reporter: a sanders victory in nevada could upend clinton's strategy to take command of the
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democratic race as it shifts to states with more diverse electorates. in nevada the state is home to a heavy union presence. both groups are crucial when it comes to winning the nomination and in the general election battle this november. tonight clinton is keeping up her outreach to african-american voters campaigning in chicago with the mother of sandra bland, a texas woman found dead inside a jail cell following her arrest last year. >> my core emphasis and commitment was knocking down the barriers that hold back african-americans. >> reporter: a high-profile sanders backer, the rapper killer mike, has stirred controversy over comments he made at an atlanta rally tuesday night, repeating what he said was a quote from a woman speaking about her support for sanders. >> a few weeks ago, she said michael, a uterus doesn't qualify you to be president of the united states. >> reporter: but the clinton campaign is seizing on the remark calling it disappointing. >> obviously the suggestion that
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hillary clinton is asking anyone to vote for her based on her gender, that's completely off base. >> reporter: hillary clinton has more fund-raisers today and it's back to nevada to enter the closing arguments. jake, back to you. >> joe johns in chicago, thanks so much. while bernie sanders is energizing new supporters, hillary clinton right now has a lock on endorsements from one very exclusive club, the senate, where almost all the democratic senators are backing her. none have endorsed sanders, except of course for sanders. prominent clinton backer and new jersey senator cory booker who's one of those supporters joins me now. he's the author of "united," a book charting his meteoric rise from mayor to senator. i've known you since you ran for mayor of newark the first time. >> yes. you finally let me at your table. >> i want to get your reaction to what killer mike said because it is causing some consternation on the campaign trail. he said he was quoting a woman who said a uterus does not
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qualify you to be president. the clinton campaign and some of their supporters seem rather offended. what do you think? >> you know, look, it's a comment that's distracting us from what the real issues are. there are a lot of folks out there that are struggling in this country. it is what it is, but the reality is this is a contest between secretary clinton and senator sanders. i'm excited about secretary clinton because she has the right answers for communities like the one i live in. >> president obama is considering who to nominate for the supreme court, in the wake of scalia's demise. your name has been floated as i'm sure you have seen in some of the clips. >> yes. >> you have seen that? >> i have seen that. i have sent those clips to my mother. >> if you were asked, would you accept? >> i am not focused on that. i'm going to be the united states senator. i'm riding out my term until 2020. i'm very confident of that fact. >> we've got a lot more to discuss in the next block.
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i want to get your thoughts on the republican field, including donald trump's latest attack against the president and we'll talk about your book. that's after this break, stay with us.
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welcome back to "the lead." we have more in our politics lead. i want to bring back senator cory booker. he just published a new book called "united" which chronicles all the people in your life who taught you valuable lessons. i want to get to that in a second but i have to ask you a few political questions. the democratic national committee is rolling back the obama era ban on contributions from federal lobbyists and from pacs. i'm wondering, you're somebody who has extolled good government, whether back when you were mayor of newark or even as a u.s. senator. do you think that's a good idea? >> i think the campaign finance system is broken. i've now been in this town for two years and i think it really works against the best interests of government. i think citizens united led us into reality that supreme court justices warned about.
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they warned of the corrupting influence so something has to change. was their decision to mirror what the other side is doing? i have no criticism of that in and of itself. >> as long as -- you think that the level of the playing field being level is more important because obama obviously did this as a way of unilateral disa disarmament sending a signal and being a leader on the issue. >> i guess my point is i don't like the race to the bottom, which we're doing right now. i really don't. but i can't blame the democratic party for trying to compete with the republican party, especially, i remember i was in the senate during a big budget battle and we were biting for extension of child care tax credit, extension of the earned income tax credit and we were trying to keep things balanced on what they were fighting for, which is all these tax breaks for wall street and the like. i was like, wow, we're in the trenches fighting for working class and poor americans. they're in the trenches fighting for more tax breaks that are not to the benefit -- it's not like trickle down economics actually
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works in any way. so that bothers me that you have the people that benefit from not having that policy or get hurt by not having that policy or further undermines that. >> then why are you supporting hillary clinton? isn't bernie sanders so much more forward-leaning on the campaign finance thing? that and wall street are his two big issues. >> that's what bothers me about this campaign. somehow people are trying to frame it -- take the wall street plan. i look at objective folks who have analyzed what hillary clinton's plan is, better than bernie sanders. his rhetoric may be fiery and the like, but as far as somebody who has the plans and strategies to reform wall street, i think if you look at on objective observers, i'd stick with hillary clinton. >> president obama yesterday in his press conference going after donald trump pretty hard, especially when it comes to trump's conversations about banning muslims and the like. now, you represent new jersey. trump said, and we can find no
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evidence of this ever anywhere, but trump said that he saw thousands of muslims celebrating 9/11 on the day of 9/11 in jersey city. you're from new jersey and newark is not far from jersey city. what do you say to that? >> i'd say it's ridiculous. i brought to the state of the union one of new jersey's renowned muslim leaders from jersey city that was appointed by a jewish mayor, chris christie brought him in, the fbi works with him, knows that community well. that was fiction. and so i don't understand, number one, how you can get away with telling such a bold-faced nontruth there. and i also don't understand how we can be at a point in american history where not only the values of our country are under assault, but embracing differences and celebrating differences and basic ideas of human decency and kindness. for me to watch my governor just drop out of the race and watch
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him be excoriated for touching and embracing during a storm the president of the united states and we're making it a political deficit that you hug somebody, that's a low when such acts of human expression and human kindness are being villified. >> let's talk about your book because that's one of the themes of your book, the idea of bringing people together. one of the things you write about is your work on reforming the justice system. you've worked with ted cruz on that issue. why do you think he's so unpopular? >> i think the point i'm trying to make is that despite somebody's popularity or not, despite whether you agree with somebody's politics or not, we've got to recognize each other for who we are. our country was founded -- everybody says the declaration of independence. but in that is a declaration of interdependence. you see people pledging to each other, very different people, their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. so if you come to washington with a sacred obligation, it's
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got to be recognizing that you may be different than me, but i need you. this is what i don't like about this idea of patriotism when it's used as a sword when really love of country must necessitate love of americans, even of different race, religion or political philosophy. love is a hard way to go. so i've been able to get a lot of things done in the senate because i don't look at mike lee as a tea party republican. i look at him first as a human, as a fellow american. there's got to be something we can work on together, whether it's chairman inhoff who i don't believe with his climate denying. i could go back to the floor and shout him down and score points with my base or say, hey, let's work on something like we did to an amendment to an education bill on homeless children and foster kids. >> and this is actually what he's like off camera too. you love to pivot to humanity. you are one of the most optimistic people i've ever met. >> the greatest heroes i've
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known are not the people that make headlines, they heal communities, build bridges and do things other people think can't be done because they create uncommon connections with others. >> the book is "united." good luck with it. thanks for coming. >> before i got down here, you took me out, we had a nice drink. now you ignore me down here in washington. >> that's not true at all. you know that's not true at all. >> are you calling me a liar? >> no, it's an untruth. >> an untruth. >> thank you so much. good to see you. appear 'le is saying hackin terrorist cell phone could lead to all your secrets getting out. the battle could go all the way to the supreme court. plus he's the guy who made so many rediscover the power of a smile. what did one worshipper do to make pope francis scowl like this? tired of working for peanuts? well what if i told you that peanuts can work for you? that's right. i'm talking full time delivery of 7 grams of protein and 6 essential nutrients. ever see a peanut take a day off?
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. the national lead now. tech giant apple is taking some heat for fighting a court order that would force it to help the fbi break into a cell phone once used by one of the san bernardino terrorists. the government wants to scour that device for any information about other terrorists who might pose a danger to innocent people, like the 14 killed in san bernardino in december. to give you a sense of the sharply divided debate. arkansas senator tom cotton, a republican and a veteran, said this in part. quote, apple chose to protect a dead isis terrorist's privacy over the security of the american people. now, on the other hand,edward snowden tweeted this, the fbi is creating a world where citizens rely on apple to defend their rights rather than the other way
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around. cnn tech correspondent lori siegel joins me now. the government only wants to unlock this apple phone, but appear 'em is warning creating the ability to get into this device poses a risk for everyone. >> absolutely. that's what's fascinating about this. we've had this debate before, privacy versus protection, where do you weigh in. this particular case, jake, this case has the ability to set a major precedent. it's a move apple ceo tim cook is calling unprecedented and a threat to the security of customers. a judge is ordering apple to help the fbi break into a cell phone used by one of the san bernardino shooters. the fbi is asking to disable an iphone security feature that locks out users and erases the phone's data after the wrong password is entered ten times. cook says that would mean building a new operating system with the potential to unlock any iphone. he said if the fbi could use it
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as a back door into your iphone, hackers could too. he's spoken openly about this in the past. >> there have been people that suggest that we should have a back door, but the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door is for everybody, good guys and bad guys. >> help me understand how you get to the government's dilemma. >> i don't believe that the trade-off is privacy versus national security. >> reporter: today the white house spokesman disputed it would open the door to all phones. >> they are not asking apple to predesign its product or to create a new back door to one of their products. they're simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device. >> reporter: using other means like cell phone tower data, the fbi has been able to extract location data from the phone. they are hoping to gain more valuable information. but security experts say this particular move could have implications for regular civilians. >> this basically reduces the security over all iphone devices and platforms and wouldn't be
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the most secure platform out there today. >> reporter: putting apple in the position of choosing between the fight of terrorism and the fight against hackers. given apple's choice it's not only facing a legal fight but a reputation battle that's hit the campaign trail. >> to think that apple won't allow us to get into her cell phone, who do they think we are? we have to open it up. this is one case and a case we should certainly be able to get into the phone. >> if you passed a law in the u.s. that says we don't allow encryption, there's already existing software that will remain in place and we can't control what's designed in other countries. >> reporter: bringing center stage on an election year a debate on privacy versus protection, more relevant than ever in the digital age. a teeny bit of background on this, you had the snowden revelations years ago and people were surprised on how much government oversight they had into the tech companies and how much data was being handed over. so tech companies immediately
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distanced themselves and they have been very publicly nervous about saying we are helping out. but in many of these cases they do help out. but now we're seeing this all come to a head. we're seeing washington and silicon valley have to play nice together and you'll have to see this debate come out in the public. >> apple is saying they have done everything they could do to help except for create this back door. laurie, thank you so much. we'll have more on that issue coming up in the next block when we interview the ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee. let's turn to another story. donald trump embracing the word "torture." >> they want to knock out our cities, and don't tell me it doesn't work. torture works. >> our next guest has spent years fighting to end the government's enhanced interrogation techniques. stay with us. this is a gay car. this is a short man's car. this is a cute car. slow car. this is a single, young, professional's car.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. let's go back to politics. the white house is laying the groundwork to fill the supreme court vacancy after the death of justice antonin scalia. on friday the president and first lady will visit the supreme court where a black cloth drapes scalia's empty seat. he told senators to do their jobs and is pushing them to move forward with a confirmation process when he presents a nominee. joining me now, pamela brown. pamela, the president will need 14 republicans and all the democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold to go forward on a vote for his nominee. is that even possible, 14 republicans in the senate to agree with that? >> let's put it this way, there are a lot of doubters but today the white house said they're reaching out to politicians on both sides of the aisle to try to get to that number, jake. as this nomination process is ramping up, so is the political fight. today democratic senators and
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special interest groups joined forces to push the president's message that a vote needs to happen. back at the white house for the first time since justice antonin scalia's death, president obama is meeting with his legal team to decide who will replace the conservative giant. >> we've been in touch with both parties on this question and i would anticipate that there will be more conversations in the days ahead. >> reporter: on the heels of president obama demanding the senate do its job, senator chuck schumer, a democrat on the judiciary committee, is blasting republicans who are threatening to block any nominee. >> the level of obstruction that we've seen since saturday is mind boggling. grass root voices are going to be the key getting senator mcconnell to back off and let the senate do its job. >> reporter: some senate republicans are taking a softer approach, saying it's too soon to make any decisions. senate judiciary chairman chuck
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grassley suggests he may be open to hearings and senator thom tillis warning fellow republicans not to look like obstructionists. >> the interesting question is whether the american people will react the way president obama is expecting them to. is there a backlash if the republicans won't have the process to a candidate whose qualifications are unquestioned. >> as the high court is expected to be back on monday, any announcement on a replacement will likely wait until after the justice is laid to rest this weekend. >> as soon as the white house believes that the mourning period has ended, that it won't look uncouth to proceed with this process, i think they'll move as quickly as they can. >> reporter: president obama and the first lady will pay their respects on friday at the supreme court where justice scalia's body will lie in repose and vice president biden will attend his funeral mass in the basilica on saturday. let's bring in senator dianne feinstein, vice chair on
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the senate intelligence committee. senator, thanks so much for joining us. dean heller, your colleague, republican senator from nevada, said president obama should nominate a consensus candidate, a centrist, a moderate. do you think that is a good idea, a good path for the president? >> i think what is a good idea is perhaps nominating someone that has been confirmed before and confirmed by a substantial margin, and there are those that such has been the case. i think there is no reason for the president not to move and not to move quickly. 14 justices have been handled in the past. i guess the last one was ronald reagan's appointment of justice kennedy, and that was a final year confirmation. i think the average time is 67 days, so there's no reason not to do it.
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the president in his last year is entitled to make these appointments, and i feel very strongly that he should. i think it is possible to get someone confirmed. >> the white house today said that president obama regrets when he was in the senate and he voted to filibuster and block samuel alito's nomination in 2006. he said that he should have taken his own advice. you were one of the other democrats who voted to filibuster now justice alito. do you have any regrets? >> well, in that case i don't based on the testimony that was before us at the time. i did, however, vote for two of bush nominees for the high court when my colleagues on the democratic side did not, so i think i've shown some degree of independence. but what has become very clear to me is that my first confirmation was that of justice ginsburg and i remember both senators hatch and grassley
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saying why they were going to vote for her, and in fact she was confirmed with a very big margin. and it was because a president is really due the appointment if all queries are satisfied by the committee. in justice ginsburg case, it was clear that she was highly competent, that she was able, that she had the requisite skills, the legal background, and therefore, should have been confirmed and in fact was. so i think senator grassley, who has said that we may move ahead with a judiciary committee hearing is perhaps reconsidering. i applaud him for that because one thing we know, we have only confirmed 11 judges, title 3 judges in the year 2015. there are 78 awaiting confirmation. this should not make any of us proud as a record.
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>> senator, i want to turn for a second to this debate heating up over privacy versus security. do you think apple should be ordered to create technology that can unblock this is phoiph belonging to one of the san bernardino terrorists? >> in fact apple has been ordered to do so by a magistrate judge. this particular iphone 6 was owned by the county, and the county has supported this legal action. absolutely this should able to be done. last year i wrote a letter to tim cook after in judiciary we had the attorney general before us and he made a very strong and cohesive statement as to why this should happen. and now we've had this terrorist act in my state where 14 people were killed and there is a phone encrypted that could yield additional information.
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and i believe that as a government we have every responsibility and duty to see that apple provides that information. and here we have the first court order of a phone owned by the county in which a terrorist act has taken place. and i believe very strongly that this -- that apple should voluntarily agree to it. in the event that doesn't happen, senator byrd, the chairman of our intelligence committee, myself as vice chairman, we are prepared to put forward a law which essentially would require that. i think the public safety, the national security of this country makes eloquent testimony as why this should happen. >> i think there are a lot of people in the tech world who would welcome the clarity of a law given that this is based on a writ from 1789, this legal
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order. senator dianne feinstein, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it as always. >> you're welcome, jake, thank you. women are being warned about the zika virus. now we're learning men are really the ones who should be concerned, at least according to one physician. why the virus could present a greater danger to them. then ted cruz telling trump go ahead and sue me. trump is expected to fire back in just minutes. 7 days ago, phil wasn't thinking about dancing. he was thinking about his joints. but now he's taking osteo bi-flex, and noticing a real difference in his joint comfort. the feeling originates in this area...
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spreads throughout the body... to here, inducing hilariously high levels of embarrassment in his son. he knows it's working by that look of abject humiliation on his son's face. you were made to dance, phil. so dance. shows improved joint comfort in just 7 days. osteo bi-flex. made to move.
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welcome back. i'm jake tapper. in our world lead today, pope francis about to make history in an hour from now. he will celebrate mass in the u.s.-mexico border city of cuidad juarez, which was the murder capital of the world because of drug cartel violence. we also caught a side of the pope we had never seen before. you can see right here an aggressive worshipper grabbing the pope's sleeves, pulling him down. the pope loses balance and falls on a disabled man. after regaining his footing, the pope scolds the person saying twice in spanish, don't be selfish, don't be selfish. also doctors have been warning women about zika virus, telling them not to get pregnant because they believe the
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mosquito-borne virus is linked to a devastating neurological birth defect that leads babies bowing worn with abnormally small heads and brains but men should be more worried about the virus. that doctor joins me now, a professor at vanderbilt medical center and a member of the advisory panel for the centers for disease control and prevention. when hope solo said she's considering not going to brazil for the summer olympics because she fears this virus, you said she had it all backward. what do you mean? >> well, i would like to counsel her. you know, she can prevent her pregnancy between now and august. while she's there, she can do a lot of things to avoid mosquito bites and then when she comes home, she'll be ready to be pregnant. it's important for women to understand even if they do get infected with zika, their bodies will eliminate the virus. it will be gone in seven to ten days. so after that, they don't have to worry about their babies
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getting infected. however, their partners, her husband or a woman's partner, if they get infected, it can remain in their semen for an indefinite period of time. we don't know how frequent this is or for how long, but that man can then infect his partner and that's why the cdc now recommends men coming back from zika-infected areas, when they have sexual intimacies with a partner, should wear condoms. we don't know for how long that recommendation will be. stay tuned as we get more information. >> as of now, as you know, bill, people can't go into their doctor's office and submit a blood sample to see if they have zika, although dr. tom frieden said earlier this month the cdc would be rolling out blood test kits. has there been any progress in making those blood test kits and distributing them? >> absolutely. they are working overtime at the cdc. as dr. frieden likes to say, they're trying to do two years
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work in six weeks. so they're developing the reagents that are being sent out to all the state laboratories across the country and training the personnel. but at the moment testing pregnant women, women who have come from zika-infected areas and think they might be infected, they have the first priority. >> so the bottom line for people watching right now is not only should women who want to get pregnant or who are pregnant be wary and be careful, but men who might want to impregnate somebody some day, not even soon, should also be careful when traveling to areas where there's zika. >> you bet. that's exactly what we're delg everyone. >> and not just in the near future but any time. thank you so much, doctor, really appreciate it. adding insult to injury, flint, michigan, residents forced to drink poisoned water for over a year, also forced to pay the highest water bills in the country. stay with us. of miles, ♪
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get organized at voya.com. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in our money lead, flint, fit michigan, residents paid more for water than anyone in america last year, that same water that was poisoned with lead. that's according to the advocacy group food and water watch. they paid $864 a year, almost twice as much as america's average water bill. the flint mayor's office declined to comment but the governor's office said the governor has proposed $30 million in additional funding to give residents credit for water dating back to april 2014. the earlier a child with autism is screened and diagnosed and treated, the better, but
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yesterday the influential u.s. preventive services task force stated that more evidence is needed to make a recommendation on the benefits and harms of screening young children for autism. 1 in 45 children in america is living with autism but there remains so much we still don't know about the mysterious disorder. in a new book two journalists tried to guide us through this confusing world. karen and don are the authors of "in a different key, the story of autism. " thanks both of you for joining me, former colleagues of mine at abc. >> thanks for having us. >> john, i want to ask you because as a journalist, the thing that i confront the most when talking about autism is this myth that you write about in the book that vaccines or more specifically the mercury in some vaccines is responsible for the epidemic. but you say that there was a silver lining to the controversy. >> yeah. the myth is a myth in the sense that the science has refuted
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that claim that vaccines cause autism. but the fact is that most people in this country probably heard about autism for the first time in the last 15 years because the vaccine story came up and they were motivated by fear. not the best motivator but it really works. and so in a backwards way, it actually raised the profile as autism as no advocacy or movie had ever done. >> a silver lining indeed. you have a son who lives with autism. it's amazing to go through the history of this and see that they used to blame moms, refrigerator moms for causing this. >> yeah, it's pretty extraordinary because here were these families who had children who were mostly severely disabled. many of them in institutions. and the ones that were home, the psychiatric community decided it was the parents' fault, and because it was the mother's fault they didn't provide any treatment. the person who was treated was the mother who was psychoanalyzed. we have a number of stories in our book in a different key does
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sort of the personal perspectives, personal experiences of how people lived through this time in history. >> and people forget or don't even know that it's relatively new the diagnosis of autism. in fact the first person diagnosed, donald gray triplett, he's still alive and apparently driving? >> i will say our friend, donald gray triplett lives in forest, mississippi, which is where he was born. back in 1938 he was the first person identified -- essentially the diagnosis was a maugodel ofs behaviors. now because he lives in a community, forest, which embraced him so well. people would cheer for him when he was in the school plays and things like that. they kind of thought he was a genius. there was a myth about him that he could count by looking at it all of the bricks in the side of the school gymnasium. he would toss out a number and everybody would be amazed donald could count all the bricks although nobody actually fact checked him. they loved him and respected him. yes, he plays golf, he drives a
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car, he travels the world because in this safe place of acceptance, he got to grow to his full potential. >> if you could bottle the way forest has accepted the first person ever diagnosed with autism, the world would change significantly. it's just about embracing him. >> i wish we could bottle it. but since we can't, are there any treatments that you think are better than others when it comes to helping people who are living with autism? >> well, you know, on a personal level i used applied behavior analysis, which is now sort of the gold standard for teaching people with autism, children specifically, but there's a lot of controversy, a lot of people want to try other things. you know, you meet one person with autism, you've met one person with autism, so there's a part of me that sort of says you need to do as a parent what you think is best for your kid. >> thanks so much. >> thanks for having. >> that's it for "the lead." turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room."
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happening now, sue me. senator ted cruz dares donald trump to follow through on threats to file a defamation lawsuit because of ads cruz is running in south carolina. we're standing by for a trump rally. we expect to hear directly from him. he will return fire, no doubt. senator cruz gets his own chance to fire back during tonight's cnn republican presidential town hall. haley's comet. we're standing by for what could be a major turning point in the 2016 campaign. senator marco rubio about to pick up the endorsement of south carolina's very popular republican governor, nikki haley. will that be rubio's ticket to the republican establishment's inside lane? nevada's dead heat. our brand new cnn poll shows hillary clinton's once big lead has evaporated. is senator bernie sanders about to punch a hole in clinton's firewall with minority voters.

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