tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN May 31, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
teflon trump strikes again. he hurls insults at the press, insults a judge hearing his lawsuit and meanwhile hillary clinton is turning up the heat against donald trump. plus the moment that shocked america. a 3-year-old gets into the gorilla enclosure at the cincinnati zoo. minutes later officials shoot and kill the gorilla but who's to blame for what happened? we'll discuss all of that this hour here on cnn. let's begin with donald trump's war with reporters and why it may just be what the voters want to hear. cnn's dana bash has that.
>> reporter: of all the many revealing moments of trump's conference -- >> you think i'm going to change, i'm not going to change -- >> it's a window into what looks like his primary campaign. >> it's rubio! >> a steady stream of sound bites nobody would dare say. >> let me tell you, these people are losers. >> reporter: but over the past week trump made even more controversial comments, like attacking the federal judge presiding over his trump university fraud case. >> i have a judge who is a hater of donald trump, a hater. he's a hater. his name is gonzolo curio.
>> reporter: and then he tells the crowd the judge is mexican. but it is not accurate. his parents may have been mexican but he was born in indiana. during the primaries when trump made remarks about mexicans that made many in his party cringe, his popularity crew. >> they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists and some, i assume, are good people. that was one of many teflon moments for trump, unconventional and offensive statements. the question now is whether that trump teflon still works with the general electorate, especially when hillary clinton's central case against trump already is that he's unhinged, too risky for the oval office. >> donald trump is an unqualified loose cannon who cannot get near the most powerful job in the world.
>> reporter: in a poll out last week, only 31% said trump has the personality and temperament to serve effectively as president compared to 61% for clinton. even though most republican voters and leaders say they will rally around trump, there is some evidence they will expect more from him now as their nominee. after he said this about john mccain, fellow veteran denounced trump. >> he's a war hero because he was captured. i like people that weren't captured. >> reporter: now dole is backing trump but still wants him to say he's sorry. >> i'm going to try to get trump to issue an apology. i mean, john mccain suffered, tortured, broken arm, what do you expect? >> reporter: but don't expect trump to morph into the apologizing type.
last week in new mexico, he went after the republican mexico martinez. >> your governor has got to do a better job. she's not doing the job. hey, maybe i'll run for governor of new mexico! i'll get this place going! >> reporter: and today an explanation that produced that revealing moment. >> she was not nice and i was fine, just a little bit of a jab but she wasn't nice. you think i'm going to change? i'm not changing, including with her. >> reporter: dana bash, cnn washington. >> here to discuss all of this, alan dershowitz, author of "my life, taking a stand." >> he was able to raise close to $6 million, which is an amazing feat, something we've never seen in a presidential campaign. he said he was not looking for accolades for this, which was -- i don't want to use the word lie but it was certainly -- >> disingenuous.
>> it was disingenuous on his part to say so because he was looking for accolades. he kept on saying he did this for the vets, he did this for the vets. yes, he did do it for the veterans, however, i was there in iowa the night he did the event. this was a deflection because he did not want to attend a fox presidential debate because he felt they weren't being fair to them and this was his way of deflecting. so yes, he raised the money but this was a political play on his part. >> and he said he wanted the ratings to be bigger than theirs. >> and the ratings were good if you go back. >> and his supporters, especially if you're a trump supporter, they love the tough talk. but you say there is a down side to this rhetoric. >> i think so. i mean, i think that the tough talk has gotten him to this point. he was able to appeal to conservative republicans who don't have much trust in the media, okay. but now we're transitioning to a
general election campaign where he has to have outreach to independence and disaffected democrats. that's what his goal is at this point. i think taking on the media and trying to fight every reporter in the world is just not a smart strategy. you know, his people -- >> because people, it's not -- people think it's a popularity contest. in some ways it is but it's really about delegates and states and different demographics and that's the important part of it. go on, sorry. >> exactly. and look, for donald trump to try to take on the media, which by the way is a very fractured industry, okay, we're not necessarily friends with our competitors, but what he's doing is he's bringing us all together in this solidarity for the fact that he has decided to take us on and quite frankly has personalized it. i think that's the real issue is he has made it personal with specific journalists. >> mr. dershowitz, there are so many things he has said and done that we have discussed, you and
i, with panels, it would sink other candidates. how long do you think he can continue to be teflon? >> i think he can continue to the election but he shows very, very bad judgment. for example, attacking this judge who has the case pending before him. you can see it already had an impact. the judge actually said in his opinion one of the reasons he was releasing all this damaging information about trump university was, and i quote from the judges opinion, because trump has placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue. and so the judge actually took into consideration the fact that trump attacked him and the court proceedings and he allowed that to influence his judgment about turning over these documents, which are very, very harmful. the documents themselves don't show criminal conduct, but they show the kind of fraudulent allegations about the university, which i think when
the public reads them will be -- will not help donald trump. so, you know, he has to -- he doesn't worry about even short-term or longer term implications of what he's saying. he gets immediate feedback. but if he were the president and made statements like that about judges and other political leaders, it certainly would not serve the interests of the united states. >> i want to ask you since you brought up the judge. there are two active class action suits filed by former students and a third civil case by new york state attorney general eric snyderman. the first trial is set to take case in november. do these cases have merit? >> i think these cases have merit. they wouldn't have merit if they were brought as criminal prosecutions but they do have merit as civil. after all, people are paying an enormous amount of money, as much as $30,000 and they were told that they would be getting something in exchange for that. i think the evidence will show
that they didn't get what they bargained for. and i suspect that he will lose those cases. but he will lose them probably after the election is over. but i think when we see what's in the material, we'll find it quite disturbing. now, look, he has a right to criticize the judge, that's protected by our constitution. he has a right to say what he wants to say but we as voters have the right to judge him on the basis of what he said and the attacks he's made on the judiciary. the judiciary is not above reproach or above attacks, but to personalize it, pointing out the ethnicity of the judge, will not in the end help him when the independent voters he going to need to win to win the electoral votes of key purple states. >> the question is is it going to help him, mark, win over some of the establishment, we heard
the speaker of the house say tonight this was about principles. he was on tonight with sean hannity talking about not having the establishment behind him. >> bob dole endorsed me. that was very nice. he called me last week and that was great. i mean, i don't need their endorsements. i don't think it matters whether or not i get potential presidential endorsements or past. look, the world is a mess. this country is a mess. and i'm not looking for their endorsements. i just want the people's endorsement and i'm getting that because, as you said, the biggest group of people ever, i mean, we have so many millions of people, we're not just talking about by a little bit, i have millions more than -- you look at dwight d. eisenhower, ronald reagan, millions more than they had. so it's been a great thing actually. but nobody has to endorse me. what i want is the endorsement of the people. that's the only thing that matters to me, sean. >> do you think he's right? do you think his supporters care
what endorsements he get? >> perhaps the supporters who helped him win the republican primary don't care. but the fact is if he does want to win in november, he needs a very high turnout of republican and conservative voters to come out in addition to the new voters he has brought along. what's interesting is he'll say so and so endorsed me last week, it was very nice of them to endorse me. and then when someone doesn't endorse him, he says, ah, i don't want their endorsement anyway. the thing for donald trump is he can't have republican thinkers and lead that's are out there questioning his candidacy. that's the big problem. are they questioning his candidacy. paul ryan's refusal right now to go all in with donald trump does not necessarily help donald trump. >> this is how hillary clinton responded to trump's press conference today. listen to this. >> his attacking everybody, fellow republicans, democrats, i mean, the press, you just name
it, he attacks everybody is a recipe for gridlock in washington. and that's what we've got to break and get away with. he seems to believe or at least is demonstrating that insulting and attacks is his mode of operation and, you know, i just don't think that's going to cut it. >> so she is taking a page as you can see from donald trump calling in now to news programs, last we she called him a loose cannon. do you think she can get that definition to start resonating and to stick with people? >> well, i think it's about crying wolf. she uses it very infrequently and he calls everybody by names. so people begin to ignore what he calls people after a while. she's been very selective, calling him a loose cannon i think will stick. it's not only that it will cause
gridlock in this country, just imagine our foreign relations with great britain, with other allies, it's going to be a disaster if he starts making national security decisions based on his personal dislike for people in other countries. and i think the name calling may get him votes in the republican primary, but i think that middle group of voters, that large group undecided and independent voters are going to want stability, they're going to want to see the market being stable and the markets will react more positively to hillary clinton than they would to donald trump. so i think he has to -- i think both candidates have to look for the voters in the middle and she's doing a much better job of doing that. now, if she's pushed to the left by sanders, she's going to lose that middle. so i think this is going to be a fight to the middle and i hope that hillary clinton has the determination to stick to her kind of centerist liberalism rather than be pushed hard to
the left, which may make her lose some of the middle votes. >> mark, quickly. >> i think that the donald trump, don, that we see right now is not going to be the donald trump should he win the presidency. as a businessman he's shown he's willing to adapt and change his positions to do what he has to do to get something done. >> we have to get to the break but this is important. >> that's a risk. that's a risk. that's speculation. >> this david french thing, bill kristol's third party candidate, is this something or no? >> i think it's a real thing in bill kristol's guy but nobody's knows this guy. >> what do vets themselves think? i'm going to talk to two of them when we come back. and i couldn't wait to get my pie chart. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. just to know this is what i'm made of,
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tower, trying to hold trump accountable for his attempt to defraud the veteran community. we are trying to call attention to his ongoing use of veterans as political props to support an agenda of bigotry and hate. >> i gather you feel differently about that. >> very much. it's a lit petulant to say he's only donated $5.5 million. it's more than hillary clinton has ever dreamed of. donald trump, what is he so hating about? he hates people who hate america. why don't you speak out about islamic people that are trying to tear us apart? why don't you -- you mean people who practice jihad, not necessarily talking about muslims -- >> i'm talking about a significant portion of muslims who don't support our way of
life. >> that's an utterly racist comment. >> oh, it's racist? that's what we need to be very clear is that islam is not a race, it a religion. >> salaislamophobia has a deepl racist -- >> when we were just chatting, you are blanket said i don't like muslims. >> i don't like their culture. i don't like the islamic culture and the influence it's trying to have on my culture. >> that is the we are trying to
say, the activity military, the vast majority of whom like myself worked very closely with muslim interpreters, active duty soldiers who were muslim and all of whom donned a uniform and served our country, unlike donald trump, who i think it has become increasingly clear only is interested in serving himself. >> you worked with a large number of muslim veterans. you're the co-organizer of this. >> i'm one of many organizers around the country. it's been a spontaneous emergence of veterans around the country who is fed up with a public figure trying to use veterans in this way, particularly given his incredibly insulting history towards veterans. >> to talk about the muslim reality in general and that you don't like it, are you certain
of the word you just said on the air? >> absolutely. the culture of islam -- islam is not a religion, it's a political ideology masquerading as a religion. it's trying to have influence over our way of life. can donald trump enforce an all-muslim ban? probably not. >> but part of our constitution was founded on freedom of legislation -- >> but as long as it doesn't interfere -- there's other amendments to that constitution that allow us certain ways of life. look at saudi arabia. predominantly islam beiic, yet n can't vote, women can't drive. it's directly in contradict to the 14th amendment, right to vote and have equal protection under the law. you cannot have an islamic rule and western democracy. >> it wasn't so long ago that women couldn't vote here. >> so what you're saying is that
folks in other countries who don't share our exact same constitution should be banned in a way that for our own constitution is unconstitutional? >> no. and i just said i don't think that's entirely enforcibrentiree that's entirely enforcibnforcea. >> so why would the candidate that you're -- is he trying to rile up? >> no. he's trying to say america first. >> you do know where america first comes from, right, charles lindbergh, a fascist -- >> you're totally on board with the fascist slogan of "america first" slogan comes from? >> i would imagine -- you got out of the military as a conscientious objector.
you got out. you can go hang out with beau berg dal. and right out of trump's play book is the minute a veteran doesn't fit in with his nave ti -- narrative, doesn't act like the puppets he wants us to be, he tries to discredit us and it's straight out of his play book. you don't like what i'm saying, rather than answering my questions, you're trying to attack me personally. >> are you diminishing because he's a conscientious objector? >> i would say you got out after your first deployment because you didn't agree with the cause, a lot of us stayed and fight
because i agreed with the cause. >> is there something for him for standing up for his beliefs even if they're not your believes? >> absolutely. this is a free exchange of ideas, this is america, america first. he has an opinion, and i have an opinion. >> clearly you googled me and you're trying to undermine me in terms of your candidate -- >> a large part of our group has spoken out against that way of life. >> donald trump said an effective counterterrorism strategy, one would be targeting the families of enemy combatants, which you and i know is an unlawful order. the second is the execution of enemy prisoners of war, muslim
enemy prisoners of war in a largely invented historical story with bullets dipped in pigs blood. would you follow those orders if you were still in the military? every veteran i know worked very closely with muslim soldiers to save our lives. it's insane. it puts not just american lives at risk but our brothers and sister in uniform. >> war is not pretty. sometimes you have to do things that are not pretty. in world war ii we decimated cities. sometimes you kill innocent people and if that's what it takes to protect america, i'll do it. >> you're in favor of executing enemy combatants. >> i'll do whatever it takes. >> do you think there's anything honorable and genuine in what donald trump is doing? that's a lot of money to give to
veterans. >> god knows veterans need support from society in general. it would be fantastic if trump had a long history of using his wealth to support the veterans. unfortunately he didn't do that until he was running for commander in chief. >> this is surprising. it took a turn that i did not know what it would take, especially talking about islam and -- >> free speech. >> that's what this show is about. we'll be right back. (vo) whatever your perfect temperature... you'll enjoy consistent comfort with the heating and air conditioning systems homeowners rank number one. american standard heating and air conditioning. a higher standard of comfort.
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that that perry o'brien who had a hat on, he's actually the new york city director of veterans for bernie sanders. in fairness, i think that should be disclosed because it made it seem like he was just a veteran who was going to play down the middle and talk politics. that's a bernie sanders guy so i think that's important. but obviously i identify with the trump surrogate, the former navy seal as opposed to the -- >> other guy is a pro trump vet. i have to say he did not invokes bernie sanders once -- >> that's fair. >> carl higbie is on here all the time and he's an avid trump supporter. that's why we have him on there. >> and that's fair for the balance. but, look, to the end of perry o'brien, don, today is actually a momentous day and it is the two-year anniversary of when
bowe bergdahl walked off the base. one could say a conscientious objector but he did it in a way that i believe was a traitorous activity -- >> perry decided not to go back. he did not walk off. >> no, perry o'brien didn't but bowe bergdahl did walk off. he makes me very, very angry and so does perry o'brien. >> we just witnessed something that was quite horrifying. and i think we just need to take a moment. if you're a muslim parent and you just watched what he just saw, if you're an american citizen or anywhere around the world, you just saw something that was horrifying. you just saw one of our veterans say that he would execute innocent people, that he would follow unlawful orders, you
heard someone say that all muslims apparently oppose women's rights. pakistan is a muslim country, they have a female prime minister. there are more than a billion muslims. they have different cultures, they come from different places, they have different politics, have different views, they have different views, and we have now veterans come on encouraged by donald trump to say despicable things and that's just wrong. somebody should just say it wrong, it's unfair and scary. we have to stop this. >> i don't know if that was a fair characterization -- >> andy, let him get in. >> i don't know if that's a fair characterization with what he said. maybe he wasn't as specific as he should have been. >> no, matt, he said all of islam. i gave him a chance. i said clearly -- i asked him, i
said i said i want to make sure you clarify your words what you just said here on cnn, are you talking about jihad, radical jihad, he said no, i'm talking about all of islam -- >> the culture, correct. >> the last thing i was going to say to wrap my part of this up is i think van jones saw this and was sort of put off by it. i thought this was amazing television. i thought it was like a service. for all the criticism that we talking heads get sometimes for talking about politics day in and day out, that was incredibly good tv -- >> and honest. >> and it was honest. these are two heavyweights. both guys were really smart. nobody outmatched the other, both representing very different viewpoints within the military and i thought that was really compelling tv and actually a productive conversation. i walk away from that kind of
uplifted a little bit, not demoralized. >> go ahead, mo. what did you think? >> there was very little about that conversation that was uplifting to me, frankly. the back and forth was -- i mean, i appreciate what you're saying, matt, i just -- when you've got someone out there saying that islam is not a religion, it is a political ideology masquerading as a religion, talking about executing innocent family members, i can't be -- >> i think he's talking about sharia law. this is a legitimate problem. >> there's not what he said. >> that's not what he said. >> there's no way he said that. there's no way you can say that here. >> that's not what -- and listen, i know him, he's on all the time and i did not know that side of him but he did not make that distinction. and the only time i jumped in was to clarify because i thought it was great television and it was a great conversation but to clarify, he didn't say that, matt. that's not what he said. >> you know him better than i do. is he a political -- i mean, is
he a communications expert that would make that -- >> you don't have to be -- no, no. >> neither is perry o'brien as well. >> let me say something, don. you don't have to be a communications expert to speak at ratly accurately on this. there are christians in this country that went and shot up planned parenthood and killed people. nobody would say christians did that, extreme nut heads did that. if i denounced all christians, you would think i was nuts. we've gotten to a place now where you can denounce all muslims. you have to speak with clarity or you're a bigot. >> van, stop for a second. what i think is so dangerous about that viewpoint is there is a real problem here that the
trump surrogate had the courage to confront -- >> what culture are you talking about? >> van, you need to read -- may i? the pew research poll which surveyed muslims in the middle east and south asia and their views on women and sharia law and their views on jews and israel. it's the majority of many of these countries filled with hate towards america and women and it's important to discuss these cultural issues and i think the trump surrogate did an excellent job. >> van. >> first of all, there's not a small subset in america that will say the kind of things just said today. i think if you said all americans hate all muslims, you would say that is not constructive. and so the problem that we have is that we do have a standard and the standard is if we're going to be engaged in these discussion, we need to do it in a way that does focus on the actual problem.
there is an islam being culture that is violent, that is horrible but it is not islam being culture. islam has many, many cultures. when you are trying to solve the problem, the first thing you have to do is define the problem. if you define the problem too broadly, you become a part of the problem. >> i agree a little bit. >> when we come back, another story everyone is talking about tonight and we'll be talking about it tomorrow, the 3-year-old boy who got in a gorilla enclosure at the cincinnati zoo. we'll discuss that when we come back. dawn helps open... something even bigger. go to facebook.com, dawn saves wildlife. how does rock and roll work? it takes all kinds of jobs. and the best place to find the job that's right for you is on the world's number-one job site.
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show me "previously watched." what's recommended for me. x1 makes it easy to find what you love. call or go online and switch to x1. only with xfinity. . people all across the country are arguing tonight about who is to blame for this, a 3-year-old boy slips into the gorilla enclosure at the cincinnati zoo. minutes later zoo officials shoot and kill the 450-pound endangered gorilla. the child is safe but now the boy's family is the focus of an investigation by cincinnati police. let's discuss now. lisa bloom, mark hill.
li lisa, why are so many people so upset? >> the gorilla is identifiable, he had a name. a gorilla in the wild roams 15 miles. it's simply no longer moral or ethical to keep animals in confined situations like this and these kind of tragedies happen over and over again when we do. >> mark, i want you to listen. you know the wildlife expert described it this way. listen -- >> this is an incredibly powerful creature who no fault of its own found itself in a terribly precarious and highly chaotic situation. what we need to keep in mind about these gorillas, these are primates with incredibly
diverse, complex emotions and in a stressful environment like this, anything is possible. the other thing to remember, incredibly powerful creature, easily eight times stronger than someone built like myself. >> what did you think when you saw this video? >> he said the gorilla was in a highly dangerous situation, he's in a precarious spot, it's nervous, all this stuff. i mean, like, what about the kid? i think if you're a 4-year-old, you consider being trapped with a 500 pound gorilla precarious and nerve racking. i'm muff more worried about this kid and the gorilla. a lot of people have much more regard for this animal than they do the child. i agree with lisa that we shouldn't be doing this in this century. kids get away from parents. they shouldn't end up trapped
with a gorilla. those are the two big issues here. >> lisa, the backlash against these parents here. who is really at fault here? no one can watch a child 100% of every moment. if you have a child that's your responsibility for them 100% of the time but you can't do that. who bears the responsibility for this? >> well, i think the zoo has primary responsibility because let's be clear, they invite families in. they invite children in. this is a place where you are encouraged to bring children. many people bring groups of children. when my kids were little, i would bring my kids and their friends to all kinds of places. we didn't go to zoos. if this woman brought four or five kid and one wriggles through, there should have been
a better barrier. this 15-foot moat was supposed to separate the gorilla and the people and yet both the gorilla and the little boy got into the moat. >> the cincinnati police say they're going to review it is only regarding the action of the parents' family that led to the incident and not related to the operation and safety of the cincinnati zoo. does that seem fair to you? >> it seems shameful to me. it's so easy to beat up on parents. i'm sorry, i just don't imagine white parents getting the same treatment. when i looked at the headline, it said "father has criminal history," his criminal record had nothing to do with the kid being in a moat. the fact that there's a gap this big that a 3 or 4-year-old can get through is a problem and the police are only investigating parents. i heard people here say that. it's not a horrible parent. i see people's kids running
around the supermarket. i go through target and kids are running up and down the aisle. >> and people screaming about time-out. time-out? i didn't know the parents were black until i was at somebody's house and they said do you think it makes a difference because the parents were black? >> i think people are more concerned with this gorilla being killed than black kids being killed. >> here's the thing. think about if it was your child. i think if it was my child, i don't know if i'd be saying, can we rescue -- i think i'd say let's get my child out of there. of course >> if you were threatening my child, i'd shoot you.
i'd do anything -- >> they said if they tranquilized him, he may have become more agitated -- >> we could have had more effective barriers given that zillions of children go there every day. this is highly foreseeable. mark, don't create an adversarial position between animal rights and human rights. it's not fair to say people care more about the gorilla than the child. >> no, i'm not saying, i'm talking about some people who have only come out on the animal's side but you're right. >> we'll be right back. thank you. strawberry, strawberry... strawberry... salad with chicken. at panera. food as it should be.
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believe it or not, the 2016 summer games are just two months away, but in the wake of a storm of bad news in brazil, is rio ready? ivan watson has more. >> reporter: it's hard not to be seduced by rio de janeiro, this spectacular city soon to be the host of the 2016 summer olympics temperature two months before the start of the game, crews are
putting on the final touches. >> everything is going to be ready on time. we'll deliver fully commissioned the 24th of july. >> reporter: despite rio's beauty, city as a whole is facing daunting challenges, a series of setbacks leading some to wonder are rio's olympics somehow cursed? a warning from more than 100 doctors calling for the game to be postponed or moved because the zika virus could threaten half a million foreign visitors. that view rejected by the world health organization, which does advise pregnant women to avoid the olympics entirely because of the risk of severe deformities to unborn children. and then there's the political and economic crisis. turmoil after congress suspended brazil's elected president in an
impeachment process last month and high-level corruption scandals during the worst economic recession in generations, which has left more than 10 million brazilians unemployed. the economic hardship aggravating rio's endemic problems with violent crime. daily gun battles between police and drug gangs in the city's impoverished areas, as well as a surge in area. this month members of the span, li -- spanish olympic sailing team mugged by gun point. >> we turned around to see what was happening and we saw the pistols. >> reporter: olympic sailors also worried about rio's notorious polluted bay, a dumping ground for much of the city's raw sewage. >> we don't want to swim in it. >> reporter: rio's mayor warns
this isn't a first world city. >> don't expect everything to be perfect. we live in a country with an economic crisis and lots of inequality, with all of the problem we've seen concerning corruption, bribes. but the city will be much better than it was when we got the games. >> reporter: but even one of the mayor's new infrastructure projects is now a deadly failure. this brand new spectacular cliffside bike path was supposed to be a showcase project for the olympics. instead it became a tragic setback when the waves took out part of the trail, killing two people last month. in the turbulent run-up to the olympics, a virtual storm of bad news that leaves you wondering what could possibly happen next. ivan watson, cnn, rio de janeiro. >> we'll be right back. and evers carefully to work,
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setback when the waves took out . lulu's hair just floats. uhh help me! (doorbell) mom, check this out. wow. setback when the waves took out . look at that. sticks to this better than it sticks to lulu. that's your hair lulu! mom, can we have another dog? (laughing) trap and lock up to 4x more dirt, dust and hair than the store brand stop cleaning. start swiffer ing