tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 9, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PDT
coverage of watergate. see the whole list of recipients on cnn.com. that's it for me. have a great weekend. brooke baldwin takes it from here. this is cnn breaking news. >> good to see all of you on this friday. i'm brooke baldwin. we begin with breaking news here just into us as we've learned of three people now missing because of a plane crash into a home in east haven, connecticut. take a look at these pictures. here's what we know. two children are missing. a 1-year-old and a 13-year-old, after a small plane crashed into this home in east haven. we are just now getting some of these details for you here. so far, officials are telling cnn that these two children and the pilot of this turbo prop plane are missing after this plane crashed into at least one home. you can see the damage here and multiple fire units responding to this right now. other homes, we're being told, potentially damaged. the mayor of east haven
describes the scene as, quote, total devastation. he says that the mother of those two children was also home when the plane crashed. >> the victims might have been young children. we are doing everything we possibly can for the mom who is here with her -- her priest. and family. and we'd just like to say our hearts fgo out to her and her family. >> the plane was approaching an airport nearby. this news conference under way here, hearing from the mayor and fire chief. let's take a listen. >> indicated this is the first time something like this has happened since 1973, whether that's true or not, i can't report. but i have spoken to neighbors while i was here. and the mayor has also spoken to neighbors. there'll be time to take a look at that. i think what we have to do is figure out what happened, first and foremost.
who's been injured or deceased as a result of this incident. then obviously put together best ways to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. this is a standard approach to the airport for instrument assisted landings. [ inaudible question ] >> there is no more danger. water is being shut off to the house. [ inaudible question ] >> it was manned. it was manned. so that -- please report that. okay? >> at this point do you know how many people -- >> we are receiving reports of anywhere from one to three people who would have been in the airplane. obviously the pilot would be one. there's a possibility of two additi additional. but we can't confirm that and we have not been able to confirm that with any viewings in the house as i speak. understand that this is a disaster site. there's a lot of damage and a
lot of fire damage. a fair amount of water that's probably now about thigh deep in the basement. all i can confirm is what i confirmed. >> was this a corporate jet? >> i don't believe it is. i think it's a personally owned jet. but -- or a private jet. >> plane. >> i'm sorry. plane. >> this is the governor of connecticut, dannel malloy. he is standing next to the mayor and also a number of fire officials there. just to be clear this happened just about two hours ago, east haven, connecticut. as soon as we get more information for you we will bring that to you coming up. big afternoon here. breaking news out of connecticut. breaking news also now out of california and idaho. this time in the hunt for the missing teenage girl from southern california. police say a vehicle matching the description of suspect james dimaggio's blue nissan versa has been spotted in idaho. let me go straight to miguel marquez who is in los angeles.
miguel, tell me what you know. >> reporter: we know that authorities are rushing -- of several different agencies are rushing to this area of idaho. the nearest town to it is cascade, idaho. in the river of no return wilderness area. they stress that this is a very, very rough area. that the car matches the description, but they have not seen the license plate yet or they won't confirm the license plate yet. they won't also tell me what shape the car is in. they say they are rushing law enforcement up to the area to get people at every known egress and access to the area so that if mr. dimaggio, hannah anderson or ethan anderson are in that area, that they will hopefully find them and apprehend mr. dimaggio and, perhaps, bring this to a happy conclusion, at least for hannah anderson. but the strongest indication so far in this case that a positive
information has been made on that car, authorities will certainly be approaching it very, very carefully. because they're concerned about possible explosives. brooke? >> and this is the biggest break on the case, miguel, that we've seen thus far. we know there's going to be a newser in just about 25 minutes from now. a news conference. we will bring that to everyone live. as you say, as we all hope, good news, positive news, comes out of this latest breaking development. miguel marquez for us in los angeles. thank you. stay tuned for that. meantime, cnn has learned that president obama will announce new measures aimed at restoring public trust in government surveillance programs. he's set to hold a formal news conference in less than an hour there in the east room of the white house. our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, is joining me. she broke news of the changes to the spying regime. here he is, wolf blitzer, joins us from washington as well. jess, let me just begin with you and your news from this administration source. what should we be hearing from the president when it comes to
this surveillance program? >> reporter: brooke, in less than an hour now, he's going to lay out more detail that as i understand it, is intended to help with transparency in the program. help the general public feel that they have a better understanding about how the programs work and why they do what they do. why the leaks we've gotten from edward snowden, what kind of system they fit into. beyond that, there'll be more detail when he speaks. i think we'll have a lot more detail coming out later today. you know, this has been a topic of very heated discussion for some nine weeks now, ever since snowden released these documents. i expect the president to be pressed pretty hard on all of this. you know, why didn't he bring this out himself, in essence, if they want so much transparency? why did it take edward snowden for him to release this information?
this will be his third full press conference of this term. 14th -- i think 15th time he's taken questions from the press, brooke. >> just to put this in perspective, wolf, to you, we know the president's approval rating, it was slipping even before this whole nsa story first erupted. is this announcement today in the east room a political necessity for the president? >> i think it is, brooke. i think the president's got to do a better job explaining to the american public why this nsa surveillance program exists. because there are a lot of skeptical people including in his own party among the democrats. why does the united states government need to do all this, go through all these -- have this massive program collecting information on everyone's phone numbers, e-mails. even though there is a process, legislative process, judicial process to make sure it isn't in violation of people's privacy, a lot of americans don't believe that. they're very nervous about it. they toedon't like it. i think the president recognizes and certainly his aides recognize they have to do a
better swrjob explaining the necessity of this in the war against terrorism, if you will. i think that's what the president hopes to do. score some points and reassure the american public their privacy is being protected. >> right. wolf and jessica, thank you both. stand by. as we mentioned, the president will be speaking from the east room at the top of the hour. we will bring that to you live in full. we'll actually begin our special coverage at 2:50 eastern time. ten minutes before the president is scheduled to speak. thank you. now to an atlanta courtroom where r & b star usher arrived just a short time ago for this emergency custody hearing. his ex-wife, tameka foster raymond, wants a judge to fwrant her immediate custody of their two boys. so usher, you see him here. he is expected to speak in "today's" hearing. we're keeping an eye on the proceeding. we can tell you as we did earlier in the week, the reason for this, one of their boys almost drown. got caught in this drain at
usher's pool on monday. and we're seeing him here first time since the accident. and we have a picture for you. it's an instagram photo. looking at usher entering the court, fulton county superior court. here's the instagram photo. this is the photo his mother tameka foster raymond posted on instagram. foster raymond says usher has wrongfully shut her out of parenting. she says usher is always gone, out of town, leaving her sons in the hands of third party care givers. she says she's done with that. she's had it. defense attorney tanya miller and former prosecutor monica lindstrom, ladies, let's begin with who has the burden of proof here? who needs to prove he or she is the better parent for the boys? >> well, essentially, brooke, what's going on is the judge is going to look at what is the best interest of the child. it's not so much who has the burden. but now that she's brought up the issues, it needs to come to the court. and the court decides, what is
the best interest of the child here? have circumstances changed so much that the original custody order now needs to be changed? >> so, tanya, back to you. you say, tameka. what does tameka need to prove, what does she need to say. also how much of that long, lengthy battle in which usher won primary custody, how much does that leak into today's proceeding? >> well, it's going to be important for today's proceedings. because in order for tameka to modify this custody agreement that's already -- this order that's already been issued by a previous judge, she has to show that the circumstances have changed since the last time they were in front of the court. this isn't an opportunity to keep coming back and litigating this issue just because you at no time win it the first time. in order to have a change in custody, there has been to be a change in circumstances. she has to show the court that it is now in the best interest of the children to be in her custody. and it's an emergency. so it needs to happen now.
>> monica, procedurally speaking, could today be the day the judge says, okay, tameka. you know, you get what you want. is this just the moment when everyone listens, hears this out and then later on decides? >> the judge could absolutely make a decision today. because it was an emergency petition and the judge granted a hearing this quickly. so the judge knows that it's an emergency situation. even though the child or the children are not in danger right now, he still granted the hearing. what's unfortunate is accidents happen every day. the judge is not going to change custody just because of one accident. like tanya said, there needs to be the change in circumstances. so he very well could change custody today. >> okay. like we said, we have -- and you can see him earlier today. we have cameras around this atlanta, this fulton county superior court. as soon as we start to see some action, some speaking, we will bring this custody proceeding to you live. monica and tanya, thank you both very much. coming up, murder on
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now to this awful story. this horrifying facebook post that has caused a lot of shock, a lot of outrage. 31-year-old derek medina appeared in a florida courtroom. he is charged with first degree murder after turning himself into miami-dade police. police say medina confessed to killing his wife. then this guy posted a photo of her bloodstained body on his facebook page for anyone and everyone to see. just a heads up. you have kids in the room, get them out. we're going to show you this picture just for a second as it's part of the context of this story. this is what police say medina posted to his page. i know it's tough to look at. this is what he says. quote, i'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. love you guys. miss you guys.
take care, facebook people. you will see me in the news. my wife was punching me and i am not going to stand anymore with the abuse so i did what i did. i hope you understand me. okay? this is a quote from this man who confesses to doing this. nick valencia has been working the story for us today. it's disgusting all the way around. >> doesn't get easier to look at that photo. >> who is this guy? >> he's a self-help e-book publisher and author. he gives marriage counseling tips. talks about effective communication. >> really? >> talks about his own marriage and how he was married for three years, divorced and remarried the same woman. he wants his readers, he said, to find the true meaning of life. very ironic twist considering his alleged action. >> so he puts this apparently picture of his dead wife on facebook. how long was that photo up? >> here's where criticism is going and directed at facebook. it was up for five hours. just a few weeks ago --
>> five hours. >> at least five hours. just a few weeks ago facebook said they were going to be more strict and police these types of images. they take down breast-feeding photos faster than they took down this photo. third party, sites also are receiving criticism. buzzfeed.com. atlantic wire. new york magazine. all three of these third party websites published this photo unblurred. they're receiving a lot of criticism. we reached out to buzzfeed.com. we have not heard back yet. but it goes without saying people are blaming them for perpetuating this image. unless you are friends with the guy, friends of friends or friends with his wife -- >> why would you do anything with this picture? >> you wouldn't have seen the know toe. some people or not, they shared it. over 150 times. they shared it on their own facebook pages. gruesome. i've been reporting this story all morning. it doesn't get any easier to look at. >> it's awful. nick valencia, thank you very much. >> you bet. coming up next, a story that has everyone talking. dr. sanjay gupta will join me
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we have been misled for decades about medical marijuana. that is cnn dr. sanjay gupta's stunning conclusion after reporting and reading research, getting all this information together for just about a year. his new documentary may make you rethink what you think about weed. sanjay is sitting next to me in the studio. i read your op-ed yesterday. i watched you on piers. i said, holy cow. this is the good doctor apologizing and changing his mind. why? >> i think part of this is, you know, when you look at the science of this, you know, if you do a search for medical marijuana, look through the journals, you find about 20,000 papers. i realized the vast majority of them were designed to look for harm of marijuana. designed to look for the per ills, problems. about 6% i found were designed to look at benefit. u realized it was giving a very distorted image. that led us out of the country, looking in other countries like israel and spain, the search that was going on there. i think most of all talking to patients who, you know,
admittedly, i put this in the op-ed. i dismissed them. i said these are high visibility malingers who are trying to get high. that's why i was so critical of medical marijuana in the past. there are legitimate patients who have legitimate problems who marijuana works for them and nothing else does. let me give you a quick example. >> i always have -- >> reporter: meet 19-year-old chaz moore. he uses many different strains of marijuana. many of them high in cbd to treat his rare disorder of the diaphragm. >> my abs will, like, lock up. >> reporter: that's why he's talking this way. almost speaking in hiccups. like he can't catch his breath. it's called myoclonis d dyofragmatic flutter. it becomes pretty painful, i imagine. >> after about 15, 20 minutes is where i can start to really feel it. >> reporter: he's about to show me how the marijuana works. he's been convulsing now for
seven minutes. how quickly do you expect this to work? >> within, like, the first five minutes. and i'm done. >> reporter: that's it. >> that's it. >> reporter: it was actually less than a minute. >> less than a minute, you can tell. >> yeah. this is a guy who had been in the icu. he's been seen by plenty of doctors. was on several different medications including narcotics, including muscle relax ants. some pretty high powered stuff. ultimately it was marijuana of a certain strain that worked for him. the strain was important. it was a high cbd strain, they call it, and low thc. thc is the stuff that gets you high. cbd is the stuff that has the more medicinal quality. there's different strains for different things as well. >> there is this teeny tiny caveat. we talk all the time. you're a dad, not just a doc. as a dad you wouldn't exactly say to your girls that it's okay
to try this stuff until their brains are fully formed? >> look, i don't think i want my kids doing this stuff if they don't need to. this isn't about recreational use. i very much focused on a medicinal use. the mid-20s thing sort of came from because that's really when brain development comes to a stop. mid-20s. not 18 or 21. those are oarbitrary numbers. the finishing trade-off, some people say, look, this going to deem it as safe. kids are going to start using it. i don't want that. i also don't want the counter of that which is because of those concerns, legitimate patients can't get a treatment that could alleviate their suffering. that shouldn't be the trade-off here. i'm not sure exactly what the answer is. the fact that we can't give people the treatment we need that we know can work, i don't think that's responsible. >> it's incredible. i can't wait to watch the documentary. it's called "weed." this is dr. gupta's fascinating documentary. it airs sunday night, 8:00 eastern. set your dvrs.
watch it live, 8:00 eastern only here on cnn. sanjay, thank you very much. appreciate it. coming up, as we mentioned at the top of the hour, this breaking news here out of this amber alert story we've been watching for you for the last week. we're waiting on this news conference. in just about five minutes from now out of san tdiego on the search for the missing teenage girl. the news we have today is the car police have been looking for has been found in idaho. stay with me. we'll take it live coming up. [ gerry ] you really couldn't have come at a better time. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah, excuse me. the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first. it's mine. i called about that one. it's mine. customers: [ echoing ] it's mine, mine, mine. it's mine! no, it's not! it's mine! better get going. it's chevy model year end event. [ male announcer ] the chevy model year end event. the 13s are going fast. time to get yours. right now, get this great lease on a 2013 chevy malibu ls for around $169 a month.
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disappeared just a couple of days ago here. we should be getting some new information because the news is the fact that they have found a car that is similar in make and model to that of james dimaggio up in idaho. over the last couple of days, this amber alert has shifted from where the story emanated in southern california, northward toward oregon. now the latest is specifically idaho. we miguel marquez who is standing by for us in los angeles. he's been working this story. we have another correspondent there standing by for when this news conference begins. miguel, just begin with what you know. tell me about this car that they found in idaho. >> this is the biggest break in this case so far. there have been so many tips that have come in. and this one is in an area called the river of no return wilderness area. it's about 50 miles in a very, very remote area near cascade, idaho. authorities saying the car
matches the description of james dimaggio's. they have not said whether or not the license plate is the same. they have also not said what sort of shape the car itself is in. they also have not recovered anybody in the car or around the area from what they're saying so far. i do know that law enforcement resources are from several different agencies, federal down to local, are rushing to this area now to try to close off areas into and out of this very rough area to hopefully stop anyone from leaving that area, if indeed they are in there. at this hour, mr. dimaggio, hannah anderson, the 16-year-old believed to be in his custody right now, in his hands, and ethan anderson who may also be with him, none of them have been spotted. none of them found. but this car certainly the biggest break in this case so far. and i can tell you this.
the sheriff himself will be coming out to address the media here shortly. which is a very telling sign that they are -- that they are on to something. brooke? >> that we could have some significant news. couple of questions for you. one, you had mentioned when we spoke earlier the possibility of explosives in or near this car that's been found in idaho. tell me about that. >> yeah. as authorities have gone through mr. dimaggio's house in the aftermath of the fire and the deaths in that house, they have found increased evidence, they say, that he was building explosives and evidence that he may have rigged the car or been -- try to figure out how to rig the car. that has caused them concern. that either he would ditch the car somewhere like a remote wilderness area and rig it so that it would explode like an improvised explosive device like you would see in iraq or afghanistan so it would further complicate law enforcement, or he could have just been using it to go out in a blaze of glory or to protect himself or to keep
authorities at bay. this is a guy, it's a shocking case. this is a guy who nobody, nobody i've talked to said they would ever expect this out of this guy. the family compared him to jim carey. he was this lovable, laughable sort of silly guy. in the last six or eight months, though, they say his character has changed. his physicality has changed. he got very, very thin in the last several months. they're not sure what that is about. clearly, authorities taking this with the utmost of seriousness, brooke. >> we've been showing this picture from facebook with james dimaggio sitting alongside him is 16-year-old hannah who has been missing. to your point, we heard that incredibly emotional interview from -- between chris cuomo and between mr. anderson, hannah's father. and he just sort of reinstated -- or reinforced your point. that this was a very, very close friend. but at the same time, there's been news over the last couple of days, miguel, that one of the friends apparently said that this man had a crush on this young woman. correct? >> yeah.
this is something that we also heard from the family. i spoke to several members of the family. and they said over the last few years, there were worrying signs that he was spending more time with the kids. that he was -- with hannah. that as she began to blossom -- she's a very, very lovely 16-year-old. very popular. she was on the cheerleading squad. lots of friends. this is a guy who knew her from just about the time of her birth. her watched her grow up. in the last six months, even in the last couple of years family members saying there seemed to be an unhealthy relation -- untoward type of relationship between him and her. brooke? >> miguel, stand by. we are continuing to watch this live picture. we are awaiting potentially huge, huge news in this amber alert case as this car matching the make and model of joe dimaggio has been found. quick break. back in a moment. backed by ad match.ice guar, you got your list? i do! let's go! here we go cinnamon toast crunch. yay! a perfect school day breakfast. i know if you find a lower advertised price
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>> search for james dimaggio. on wednesday a group of horseback riders in cascade -- or about 70 miles northeast of boise, idaho, in -- outside of cascade, idaho, came across a man and a woman that they believed after subsequent discussions when they returned were possibly james dimaggio and hannah anderson, the two individuals we've been obviously looking for for the last week. when they -- after they encountered these people, at the time they encountered them, they didn't know that there was an amber alert issued for these two people. they came back late wednesday night and upon seeing some news of the -- of the missing hannah and dimaggio, contacted local law enforcement. and led to a subsequent search for that vehicle in the area.
this morning, about 8:00, the blue nissan versa was discovered covered in brush. the license plates had been removed. but local law enforcement in the area were able to confirm through the vin number that the vehicle did belong to dimaggio. local law enforcement in the area, the valley county and ata county sheriff's department, idaho state police, the fbi, the u.s. marshal service, customs and border protection, have all joined in the search for the missing hannah and james dimaggio. it is a wilderness area. and extremely difficult terrain to navigate. like you say, the campers or the hikers that came across them on wednesday were on horseback and didn't return back till late
wednesday night. we've been in contact -- i've been in contact personally with the valley county sheriff, patty bolen, this morning. they're coordinating the investigation and will be working with all the of the resources brought to bear on the search. again, it is a very difficult terrain. and we have a lot of resources. and we're bringing -- we're sending some of our investigators from san diego up there to assist with the search. the car will be examined by bomb and arson technicians in idaho so they can render that vehicle safe. and then obviously further forensic examination will be done. i'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. >> did these witnesses give any indication of the condition of the 16-year-old girl?
>> from the account we received, they both appeared to be in good health. >> was she being held against her will according to them? >> okay. this is pretty huge. some of the details that are coming out. the biggest thing, we have now heard from folks on horseback midweek in this very, very rugged terrain area of idaho where they did, in fact, see who they later realized upon returning home and watching the news was james dimaggio and hannah anderson who police have been looking for, for a number of days. miguel marquez, let me bring you back in. really what i heard is the fact that they saw this car. they know it's james dimaggio's car. but he had covered it up. >> look, my blood is running cold right now. the idea that you had on wednesday horseback riders who came across these people, thought, huh, a little strange. two people out here in the middle of nowhere. wednesday night, get back, see the amber alert, realize who they were. and now james dimaggio and hannah anderson are somewhere in
the wilderness in idaho. it's -- it's frightening beyond belief at the moment. covered by brush. the license plates removed. they were able to get the vin number so we have a positive id on the car. we know that the ids of the two individuals they saw, what the sheriff did say, the most important question is, were they okay, they seemed to be in good health. it's not clear she was struggling. it's not clear she was trying to get away or trying to signal them in any way. perhaps she was -- if she witnessed whatever happened in that house, i'm sure she was scared to death. having talked to the family so much over the last few days and knowing the story so well, i don't know what's going on in their heads, but my heart goes out to them right now. because this is a very, very frightening situation. >> absolutely. fingers crossed that this ends well for this family and that they find hannah anderson alive. miguel marquez, thank you very
much. big news coming out of san diego as they are looking for these two people. very, very hard. miguel, thank you. now, coming up next -- >> we're opening the door. please stop. we're opening the door. please stop. okay. please stop. you're being -- you're being filmed. please stop. please stop. >> authorities raid a georgia home in the wee hours of the morning. but was this raid justified? we will hear from the side of the sheriff's deputies and from the two people who were inside that home. the voice you just heard will join me live in studio 7. stay with me. this day calls you.
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law enforcement. they're meant to serve and protect, right? one family in georgia says they needed protection from the officers that came to their door just last month. deputies from dekalb county, georgia, that's in the atlanta area, had a warrant for this mother. eight of them showed up at this front door 1:30 in the morning last month pounding on the door. family says they tried to figure out why the deputies were there in the first place. they even picked up the phone, called 911. got no specifics. for more than 40 minutes the mom decides to open the door but is terrified as far as what would happen next. what was her warrant for? not murder. not drugs. but an overdue court fee. 1,000 bucks. watch. >> lord, please. lord, please.
>> send satan back to the depths from which he came! send satan back to the depths from which he came. i haven't done anything! i haven't done anything! [ indecipherable ] >> we're not doing anything! we're not doing anything! >> the dekalb county sheriff's office is investigating the deputies. a spokesman tells cnn this. quote, the warrant was for the correct address. the video is misleading. no excessive force was used. but the cursing is against protocol. when deputies arrived, lights went off. people were peeking through the windows. it took 45 minutes for those inside to open the door. joining me now next to me, tanya griffin who was arrested july 26th. this was that day. you've paid that $1,000 fee since. >> i tid. >> also with her, her son
donovan hall who shot some of the video. we hear some of your voice. tanya miller, joining us here, attorney here to walk us through legally what's okay. welcome to all of you. let me begin with a question i know, it's the easy question. i'm just going to ask this. in the very beginning when you hear knocks on your door and you know it's police. i'm thinking if i have nothing to hide, you open the door. why didn't you? >> you want to speak first of all? >> i'll speak first. i was the first person to notice the banging that was on the door. it wasn't -- it wasn't a knocking. you know what i mean? it's a difference between a police officer coming and knocking on your door and someone outside the door banging the door down, screaming, you know what i mean?ng door. in the beginning once i heard these sounds, it immediately confused me as to what was going on. you know, so i responded, why are you here? please tell us what's going on. they would never respond with an answer. >> they never explained why they
were there. tanya? >> yes. so officers who have an arrest warrant, they can come to your house and seek to execute that arrest warrant. right? the question becomes, at what point do they exceed the force necessary to do that? now, i would advise people that when the police knock at your door and you've been told that the police are there lawfully, you should open the door. the question is not whether or not they did what they were supposed to do. the question is did they go further than what they needed to do in order to execute this warrant. we hear them cursing. we hear them threatening to tase people who are already handcuffed. they make entry into the house and question these young men for a significant period of time after they've already executed the arrest warrant. >> we hear your voice. comparing it to that of the deputies, very calm. what's going on? at one point, you know, i've watched this whole vid wroe. you're doing the lord's prayer. you're praying. you're crossing yourself. you said you thought you could die. >> i absolutely did.
>> why? >> i felt like this because we had a previous experience with the police in which they came to my home three days after i purchased it, profiled me, telling me they thought i was a sovereign citizen because i looked too young to own a house of that caliber and came -- we called them back two months later for an incident that occurred. they busted in my house without a warrant. body slammed me to the floor. four officers. two of them broke my thumbs while one held a gun to my head. i have no trust. for the past two years, i've been requesting an investigation for internal affairs. i have been going back and forth with the police department and dekalb county. they've done nothing but attempt to cover it up. >> so you're frustrated. this is a separate incident. cnn hasn't confirmed that. this is just according to you. >> sure. >> let me end this by saying quickly, what are you doing with this tape? are you doing anything legally with this? >> absolutely. we want the united states attorney, eric holder, to come in and put a specter of light and look into this. because we can't trust dekalb county police themselves. just based on their conduct, it
lets you know that they lack professional conduct. and professional ethics. they're not following the standards and procedures set forth for the police. we cannot trust them to police themselves. if they feel like they're justified in their actions, let the federal government come in and look. let the department of justice come in and investigate what was done. >> ten seconds. do they have a case? >> well, i don't know. i mean, it's too soon to really tell. it looks really bad on this tape. the question is whether or not they were excessive. they certainly looked like bullies. and, you know, in the court of public opinion it really looks bad. >> tanya, donovan. quickly. >> let's make no mistake. they say, you know, you can only hear cursing. but it was a lot of excessive force. sauf officers stood on top of my head. officer had his knee on my back. two officers bending my arms backwards. a shorter officer stands on top of me with both feet. that is extremely forceful. once i was handcuffed. >> they weren't looking for you. dekalb county sheriff says it
was not excessive force when they came in the house. just their side. thank you. coming up, we're minutes away from a news conference from the president. president obama set to answer a wide variety of questions there from the east room of the white house. we're live in washington, coming up. [scream] ♪ don't tell mom. don't tell mom. don't tell mom! don't tell mom. okay. don't tell mom. don't tell mom. don't tell mom? yeah. the best stories you'll ever tell start with, don't tell." don't tell dad. start yours in the new santa fe. from hyundai. iand we're talkingl time with maria about the walmart low price guarantee. you got your list? let's go. if you find a lower advertised price they'll match it at the register. really... yeah, in a "jif". you ready? what?! that's the walmart low price guarantee backed by ad match. bring in receipts from your local stores and see for yourself.
hello. i'm wolf bliter in washington. we want to welcome our viewers to the "cnn newsroom." our viewers here in the united states and around the world. president barack obama is about to meet reporters in the east room of the white house. he's expected in his opening statement to announce some changes to government spying, to
government surveillance programs. changes designed to reassure a skeptical american public. polls show the president's popularity at the same time slipping somewhat. our most recent cnn survey back in mid-june had his approval rating dropping to 45%. several newer polls have put it even lower than that. we have assembled a team of reporters and news analysts to report and assess what's going on. let's go to chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. he broke the news about the changes in the surveillance regime, the explanation the president is about to give. jessica, tell what you say you know. >> reporter: wolf, the president will come out and make a statement about a new transparency measures designed to, as we're told, improve public trust in our surveillance programs. this comes after officials here at the white house have held several meetings which we have previously reported on in the last weeks. not just with people on the hill, but also with privacy groups and organizations, internet groups and others who
have had a stake in this issue and have been deeply concerned. as you know, there's been a heated discussion about all these issues ever since edward snowden went public with so many of these nsa documents. some nine weeks ago. but while this will be the topic at the top of the press conference, expect the president to take a host of questions on a far range of topics. he has not held one of these east room press conferences by our counts since yan. by cbs's mark knoller's account. he's the unofficial historian smiles over here. we expect the president to get questions on the moscow summit that was just postponed with vladimir putin. the gridlock ongoing on the hill. the upcoming debt fight they'll face with congress and so many more questions, wolf. >> guys, stand by. i know you're getting ready to ask a question yourself, jessica. jill dougherty, foreign affairs correspondent is over at the russian embassy right now here in washington.
some high level meetings between u.s. and russian officials. we do expect the president will be asked about his decision to cancel that one on one meeting with the russian president, vladimir putin, in moscow just before the g-20 summit in st. petersburg, russia. what's the latest? what are you getting over there, jill? >> reporter: wolf, we're right outside of the embassy. just a few minutes ago the car of foreign minister lavrov also carrying the defense minister came into the russian embassy. they're going to be giving a news conference in just a few minutes. they will be summing up what happened at that meeting over at the state department. the secretary of state, secretary of defense, and the russian officials meeting to discuss this relationship. and hopefully something for the g-20. but the relationship really is having a lot of difficulty, primarily because of the snowden affair. the nsa leaker. there is a raft of other issues that they don't see eye to eye on. i want to hear from this -- from
both gentlemen what they think was accomplished, if anything. >> we'll hear from the president. presumably, he'll be asked about u.s./russian relations as we. let's go to capitol hill. dana bash is standing by. even before the president has spoken, tan ndana, some republi already starting with some preemptive reaction, shall we call it. >> reporter: that's right. it's going on so far in private in conversations that i've had with some republicans here on capitol hill. the nsa surveillance program is one of the few areas where you've actually seen republicans agree with the president. think that this program is the right thing to do for american security. so expect republicans to say that they're concerned about what jessica reported, widening the transparency of this program. because they say the problem isn't the program, it's the way the president has communicated about it or maybe the better way to say it, has not communicated about it. i think you're going to see some criticism, maybe skepticism on the republican side. the whole question, though, is what democrats are going to do.
because they have been probably the most vocal critics of this program. particularly those on the left. you have senators like mark udall of colorado. i just spoke with his office. they say transparency is fine, it's a good first step. but they're not going to stop fighting the white house. they're going to continue to push to narrow the program, not have what sources called a dragnet of information. just keep it focused on what the u.s. needs. that's something we'll hear more about. of course, as jessica said, there's so many issues that are quiet right now because these halls are really empty. which is is, i think, another reason the president is talking. he's got the stage to himself. the upcoming fight on the debt ceiling, on whether or not the government is going to shut down. ok wi of course, on what the president wants to be part of his legacy, immigration reform. i can't expect those won't come up as well. >> our analyst, kevin madden, former romney strategist. donna brazile, democratic strategist. donna, the president would have loved to have signed into law
comprehensive immigration reform package. now it's the end of the summer. he's getting ready to leave tomorrow for a week or ten days in martha's vineyard. that hasn't happened. there's no indication it's going to happen any time soon. a pretty significant disappointment. >> look, the president has a lot on his plate, wolf. he's trying to re-enact the grand bargain with the republicans to come up with a very strong yobs program and do something about tax reform. on immigration reform, look, speaker boehner can control this situation. there are about 17 or 21 republicans who are eager to sign on to an immigration bill. what we need speaker boehner to do is to release those republicans. get away from the rule which requires him to only use republican votes. basically come up with a compromise for the democrats and we can have comprehensive immigration reform. >> you think that's going to happen? >> immigration reform is a very tough challenge. everybody up on capitol hill, i think, is unhappy with the current system. everybody out in the country i think is unhappy with the current system.
but the process by which they're going to reform it, it's going to take a long time. there are significant challenges. i think with all the host of other issues the president's going to have in the fall like the budget battles we're going to see up on capitol hill, that's going to suck a lot of oxygen out of the room. it's going to be increasingly difficult. >> briefly back to jessica yellin, she's over at the white house. i know the president will be walking into the east room momentarily. i assume it's a packed crowd in there. usually these news conferences, what, they last for about an hour or so. he'll open with an opening statement for a few minutes. then he'll start taking questions. i suspect 8 or 10 or 12 report rs will get a chance to ask some questions. the president likes to give lengthy answers. give us a little flavor of the mood over at the white house as the president gets ready to head out of town tomorrow. >> reporter: i'll tell you, that's very optimistic, wolf. i think you recall a different era when maybe you got a president who had even shorter answers. we expect to get not through 8 or 10 or 12 questions, but it's
probably more likely we'll lucky to get through six. he sometimes gives ten minute answers to each question or seven minute answers to each question. if you are right, that would be fantastic. so we're all hopeful. of course, he blames us for asking very long winded questions. the room is somewhat tense and quiet. i'll tell you, it's a different vibe because he doesn't do many of these. one of the frequent tensions between the press and the white house is that there's always a clam mooar for more opportunities to question the president. as i pointed out earlier, this is the first since january, first time he's been in here. his third full press conference. but there's so many questions to ask him. you know, this is the first time he's taking questions since he postponed the moscow summit, as we've discussed. he was with reporters where he had. when a reporter shouted a question about it at him, he said i'll answer that tomorrow in the press conference. he likes to kick it over to this event. but there are also egypt, iran,
syria. questions up on capitol hill not just about immigration reform, but what is his relationship these days with speaker boehner? there are domestic questions related to obama care and its implementation. the irs. all these things he's now recently termed, quote, unquote, phony scandals. benghazi. the list of topics well exceeds what i described as potentially six to eight questions, wolf. we'll see what he gets through. >> the thing about these news conferences, jessica, as you well know, is is that a reporter can stand up, ask a question. the president answers it. rarely does the reporter have a chance to follow up if the president doesn't necessarily completely answer the reporter's questions. one of the features of these kinds of white house news conferences. as we await the president, he should be walking into that room, the east room of the white house moment fairly, let's go back to dana bash for a second. dana, all this is taking place as the u.s. is on a worldwide terror alert right now. deep concerns, i assume the president will talk about this,
he's heading on vacation, he's heading out of town tomorrow. but members of congress have been on vacation already. they're going to be on vacation for a few more weeks. nothing really substantively is going to get done at least until september sometime. >> reporter: that's right. although i can tell you i've spoken to some of the republican senators. that's right. i said republican senators. who have been in contact with the white house about this whole question of the budget and trying to come up with a deal to make sure the government doesn't shout down and that deadline, we should remind our viewers, is september 30th. they said they actually tid expect to have conversations from their home states, from wherever they are during this summer recess with the white house. my understanding is that that is likely to go on. one thing to keep in mind is that when they -- when congress comes back, which is not going to be for three weeks, three and a half weeks or so, they're really going to have a limited time to figure this out. there is kind of a toing and froing. one thing i want to point out which has surprised me on the
issue of immigration reform, everybody has been -- had looked to the recess as the potential time when immigration reform would actually get killed. because most house republicans are from very conservative districts where they would be hearing from their conservative base, don't touch this. actually, so far we've heard the opposite. we've seen comments from the house majority whip, kevin mccarthy, other congressmen like aaron schaub, more positive, at least maybe more leaning forward to the idea of at least offering legal status to illegal immigrants. that's something we at no time hear when they were walking around the halls here in the capital with their fellow republicans. definitely a different dynamic than we expected going into this recess. >> we just saw an aide put up on the podium over there presumably the president's opening remarks. he'll have a chance to look at that. he's going to be walking out in a moment. i think phil black is joining us from moscow. phil, there's presumably going to be some serious questions on u.s./russian relations right now. they are clearly strained,
especially now that the president has canceled that visit to moscow in the aftermath of edward snowden, fwgetting temporary asylum at least for a year in russia. how would you describe this relationship between president obama and president putin? >> reporter: well, it's clearly very much a low point, wolf. what we've seen over the last few days or so is very much the culmination of what has been steadily declining, degrading over the last 18 months or so. relations between these two countries have been in very much a downward trajectory ever since it became pretty clear vladimir putin would be returning to the presidency of this country. that was about 18 months ago. it was at that time you first saw some big street opposition, unprecedented protests in this country against the continued leadership of vladimir putin here. that really set in train a series of events including a crackdown on that political opposition, a lot of anti-u.s. rhetoric. what it mean the relationship between these two countries has been increasingly colored not
just by big international events, also events in this country as well. on top of that you had things like syria and the lack of progress on missile defense and so forth. it is really at quite a poor point. the real question now is how will russia react to this in the long term? its reaction so far has been pretty restrained. really quite stoic. president putin has a reputation for taking these things quite personally. i think the expectation here is the relationship has hit a chill and it's likely. >> reporter: to continue for the foreseeable future. >> we'll see what happens when the the president goes to st. petersburg early in september for the g-20 summit. he will not go to moscow because of edward snowden's getting asylum in russia. he will instead go to sweden. we're watching, awaiting the president of the united states. as we do, kevin madden and donna brazile are still with us. all this taking place, kevin, as a serious split among
republicans is increasingly evident out there before, shall we say, the rand paul, ted cruz wing of the republican party versus mitt romney, your side of the republican party if you will, and some others like john mccain. >> well, yeah. i think that's what happens when you have a loss in a presidential election like that. a party comes together and they look to see what is it they can do to rebuild. the one thing that has united many republicans is the opposition to this president's agenda. an agenda that increasingly the president is finding is also at odds with the hopes and aspirations of the american public. >> it's no longer a governing party. this is a party that once a candidate described as a party of gridlock, obstruction -- >> you're talking about the republican party? >> the republican party. we know about the farm bill which has significant deficit reduction. what we saw last week before they left to go back home they couldn't muster up enough republican votes to get the transportation and housing bill out. this is serious republican party has two personalities.
until we figure out which side the republicans stand on, confrontation or compromise, it's very difficult to work. >> it's a good debate for the republicans to have right now to try and sort out which direction the party wants to move. >> absolutely. but i think what's also increasingly evident is that republican party has an opportunity to align themselves with a lot of the anxieties that the american public has about the obama agenda on things like spending, obama care, growth of government. i think republicans have an opportunity to show that they have the policies that are more consistent with what they want to see, the direction they want to see the country go. >> the president, donna, he's going to be walking through that door within a few seconds, we're told, the president will go up. he'll begin with his opening statement. always curious to see what the president has to say as he -- the doors are now opened. here comes the president of the united states. you know what? we'll listen. >> good afternoon, everybody. please have a seat. over the past few weeks, i've been talking about what i believe should be our number one
priority as a country. building a better bargain for the middle class and for americans who want to work their way into the middle class. at the same time, i'm focused on my number one responsibility as commander in chief. that's keeping the american people safe. in recent days we've been reminded once again about the threats to our nation. as i said at the national defense university back in may, in meeting those threats, we have to strike the right balance between protecting our security and preserving our freedoms. as part of this rebalancing, i called for a review of our surveillance programs. unfortunately, rather than an orderly and lawful process to e debate these issues and come up with appropriate reforms, repeated leaks of classified information have initiated the debate in a very passionate but not always fully informed way. now, keep in mind that as a senator i express a healthy skepticism about these programs.
as president, i've taken steps to make sure that they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the american people. but given the history of abuse by governments, it's right to ask questions about surveillance. particularly as technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives. i'm also mindful of how these issues are viewed overseas. because american leadership around the world depends upon the example of american democracy and american openness. because what makes us different from other countries is not simply our ability to secure our nation, it's the way we do it. with open debate and democratic process. in other words, it's not enough for me as president to have confidence in these programs. the american people need to have confidence in them as well. that's why over the last few weeks i've consulted members of
congress who've come at this issue from many different perspectives, i've asked the privacy and civil liberties oversight board to review where our counterterrorism efforts and our values come into tension, and i directed my national security team to be more transparent and to pursue reforms of our laws and practices. and so today i'd like to discuss four specific steps, not all inclusive, but some specific steps that we're going to be taking very shortly to move the debate forward. first, i will work with congress to pursue appropriate reforms to section 215 of the patriot act. the program that collects telephone records. as i've said, this program is an important tool in our effort to disrupt terrorist plots. and it does not allow the government to listen to any phone calls without a warrant. but given the scale of this program, i understand the concerns of those who would worry that it could be subject to abuse. so after having a dialogue with members of congress and civil
libertarians, i believe that there are steps we can take to give the american people additional confidence that there are additional safeguards against abuse. for instance, we can take steps to put in place greater oversight, greater transparency, and constraints on the use of this authority. so i look forward to working with congress to meet those objectives. second, i'll work with congress to improve the public's confidence in the oversight conducted by the foreign intelligence surveillance court. nose as the fisc. the fisc was created by congress to provide judicial review of certain intelligence activities so that a federal judge must find that our actions are consistent with the constitution. however, to build greater confidence, i think we should consider some additional changes to the fisc. one of the concerns that people raise is that a judge reviewing a request from the government to conduct programatic surveillance
only hears one side of the story. may tilt it too far in favor of security, may not pay enough attention to liberty. while i've got confidence in the court and i think they've done a fine job, i think we can provide greater assurances that the court is looking at these issues from both perspectives, security and privacy. so specifically we can take steps to make sure civil liberties, concerns, have an independent voice in appropriate cases by ensuring the government's position is challenged by an adversary. number three, we can and must be more transparent. so i've directed the intelligence community to make public as much information about these programs as possible. we've already declassified unprecedented information about the nsa. but we can go further. so at my direction the department of justice will make public the legal rationale for the government's collection activities under section 215 of the patriot act. the nsa is taking steps to put in place a full-time civil liberties and privacy officer.
and the least information that details its mission, authorities and oversight. finally, the intelligence community is creating a website that will serve as a hub for further transparency. this will give americans and the world the ability to learn more about what our intelligence community does and what it doesn't do. how it carries out its mission. and why it does so. fourth, we're forming a high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies. we need new thinking for a new era. we now have to unravel terrorist plots by finding a needle in a haystack of global telecommunications. and meanwhile, technology has given governments, including our own, unprecedented capability to monitor communications. so i'm tasking this independent group to step back and review our capabilities. particularly our surveillance
technologies. and they'll consider how we can maintain the trust of the people, how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used, ask how surveillance impacts our foreign policy, particularly in an age when more and more information is becoming public, and they we'll provide an interim report in 60 days and a final report by the end of this year so that we can move forward with a better understanding of how these programs impact our security, our privacy and our foreign policy. all these steps are designed to ensure that the american people can trust that our efforts are this line with our interests and our values. and to others around the world i want to make clear once again that america is not interested in spying on ordinary people. our intelligence is focused above all on finding the information that's necessary to protect our people and in many cases, protect our allies. it's true. we have significant
capabilities. what's also true is we show a restraint that many governments around the world don't even think to do. refuse to show. that includes, by the way, some of america's most vocal critics. we shouldn't forget the difference between the ability of our government to collect information online under strict guidelines and for narrow purposes and the willingness of some other governments to throw their own citizens in prison for what they say online. let me close with one additional thought. the men and women of our intelligence community work every single day to keep us safe because they love this country and believe in our values. they're patriots. i believe that those who have lawfully raised their voices on behalf of privacy and civil liberties are also patriots who love our country and want it to live up to our highest ideals. so this is how we're going to
resolve our differences in the united states. through vigorous public debate guided by our constitution, with reverence for our history as a nation of laws, and with respect for the facts. so with that, i'm going to take some questions. let's see who we've got here. we're going to start with julie pace of a.p. >> thank you, mr. president. i wanted to ask about some of the foreign policy fallout from the disclosure of the nsa programs that you discussed. you're spokesman said yesterday there was no question the u.s. relationship with russia has gotten worse since vladimir putin took office. how much of that decline do you attribute directly to mr. putin given that you seem to have had a good working relationship with his predecessor? also, will there be any additional punitive measures taken against russia for granting asylum to edward snowden or is canceling the september summit really all you can do given the host of issues the u.s. needs russian cooperation for? thank you. >> good. i think there's always been some
tension in the u.s./russian relationship after the fall of the soviet union. there's been cooperation in some areas. there's been competition in others. it is true that in my first four years in working with president medvedev, we made a lot of progress. we got s.t.a.r.k. done. or s.t.a.r.k. 2 done. we were able to cooperate together on iran sanctions. they provided us help in terms of supplying our troops in afghanistan. we were able to get russia into the wto which is not just good for russia, it's good for our companies and businesses because they're more likely then to follow international norms and rules. there's been a lot of good work that has been done. and that is going to continue to be done. what's also true is, is that when president putin, who was prime minister when medvedev was president, came back into power, i think we saw more rhetoric on the russian side that was
anti-american, that played into some of the old stereotypes about the cold war contest between the united states and russia. and i've encouraged mr. putin to think forward as opposed to backwards on those issues. with mixed success. you know, i think the latest episode is just one more in a number of emerging differences that we've seen over the last several months around syria, around human rights issues where, you know, it is probably appropriate for us to take a pause, reassess where it is that russia's going, what our core interests are, and calibrate the relationship so that we're doing things that are good for the
united states and hopefully good for russia as well, but recognizing that there are just going to be some differences and we're not going to be able to completely disguise them. and that's okay. keep in mind that although i'm not attending the summit, i'll still be going to st. peterburg. russia is hosting the g-20. that's important business in terms of our economy and jobs and all the issues that are of concern to americans. i know one question that's been raised is is how do we approach the olympics. i want to just make very clear right now, i do not think it's appropriate to boycott the olympics. we've got a bunch of americans out there who are training hard. who are doing everything they can to -- to succeed. nobody's more offended than me by some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation that you've been seeing in russia. but, as i said just this week, i've spoken out against that not just with respect to russia, but a number of other countries
where we continue to do work with them, but we have a strong disafwree disafwreegreement on this issue. one of the things i'm really looking forward to is maybe some guy and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold, silver or bronze, which would i think go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there. if russia doesn't have guy or lesbian athletes, it will probably make their team weaker. [ inaudible question ] >> keep in mind that, you know, our decision to not participate in the summit was not simply around mr. snowden. it had to do with the fact that frankly on a whole range of issues where we think we can make some progress, russia has not moved. and so we don't consider that strictly punitive. we're going to assess where the
relationship can advance u.s. interests and increase peace and stability and prosperity around the world. where it can, we're going to keep on working with them. where we have differences, we're going to say so clearly. my hope is, is that over time mr. putin and russia recognize that rather than a zero sum competition, in fact, if the two countries are working together, we can probably advance the betterment of both peoples. chuck todd? >> thank you, mr. president. given that you just announced a whole bunch of reforms based on essentially the leaks that edward snowden made on all of these surveillance programs, does that change -- is your mindset changed about him? is he now more a whistle blower than he is a hacker, as you called him at one point or
somebody that should be filed charges and should he be provided more protection? is he a patriot? you just used those words. just to follow up on the personal -- i want to follow up on the personal -- >> i want to make sure everybody is asking one question. it would be helpful. >> i understand. it was a part of the question you didn't answer. can you get stuff done with russia, big stuff done without having a good personal relationship with putin? >> i don't have a bad personal relationship with putin. when we have conversations, they're candid. they're blunt. oftentimes they're constructive. i know the press likes to focus on body language and he's got that kind of slouch. looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom. but the truth is, is that when we're in conversations together, oftentimes it's very productive. so the issue here really has to do with where do they want to take russia? it's substantive. on a policy front.
no. right now this is just a matter of where mr. putin and the russian people want to go. i think if they are looking forward into the 21st century and how they can advance their economy and make sure that some of our joint concerns around counterterrorism are managed effectively, then i think we can work together. if issues are framed as if u.s. is for it, then russia should be against it, or we're going to be finding ways where we can poke each other at every opportunity, then probably we don't get as much stuff done. see, now i've forgotten your first question. which presumably was the more important one. no, i don't think mr. snowden was a patriot. as i said in my opening remarks, i called for a thorough review of our surveillance operations
before mr. snowden made these leaks. my preference, and i think the american people's preference, would have been for a lawful, orderly examination of these laws. a thoughtful, fact based debate. that would then lead us to a better place. because i never made claims that all the surveillance technologies that have developed since the time some of these laws have been put in place somehow didn't require potentially some additional reforms. that's exactly what i called for. so the fact is, is that mr. snowden has been charged with three felonies. if, in fact, he believes that what he did was right, then like every american citizen, he can come here, appear before the
court with a lawyer and make his case. if the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, i signed an executive order well before mr. snowden leaked this information that provided whistle blower protection to the intelligence community for the first time. so there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions. but having said that, once the leaks have happened, what we've seen is information come out in dribs and in drabs. sometimes coming out sideways. once the information is out, the administration comes in, tries to correct the record. but by that time, it's too late or we've moved on and a general
impression has, i think, taken hold not only among the american public but also around the world that somehow we're out there willy-nilly, just sucking in information on everybody and doing what we please with it. now, that's not the case. our laws specifically prohibit us from surveilling u.s. persons without a warrant. and there are a whole range of safeguards that have been put in place to make sure that that basic principle is abided by. but what is clear is that whether because of the instinctive bias of the intelligence community to keep everything very close, and probably what's a fair criticism is my assumption that if we had checks and balances from the
courts and congress, that that traditional system of checks and balances would be enough to give people assurance that these programs were run properly. you know, that assumption, i think, proved to be undermined by what happened after the leaks. i think people have questions about this program. and so as a consequence, i think it is important for us to go ahead and answer these questions. what i'm going to be pushing the ic to do is rather than have a trunk come out here and a leg come out there and a tail come out there, let's just put the whole elephant out there so people know exactly what they're looking at. let's examine what the working. what's not. are there additional protections that can be put in place. and let's move forward. there's no doubt that mr. snowden's leaks triggered a much
more rapid and passionate response than would have been the case if i had simply apointed this review board to go through and i'd sat down with congress and we had worked this thing through. it would have been less exciting, it would not have generated as much press. i actually think we would have gotten to the same place. and we would have done so without putting at risk our national security in some very vital ways that we were able to get intelligence that we need to secure the country. major garrett? >> thank you, mr. president. i'd like to can you about this debate that's playing itself out in editorial pages, in the blog steer, e sphere about the next federal reserve chairman. there's a perception among democrats that larry summers has the inside track. perhaps you've made some assurances about that.
janet yellen is the vice chair, federal reserve. there are many democrats who believe they are breaking the ceiling. do you find it unseemly? do you believe this will be the most important if not one of the most important economic te decisions you will make in the remainder of your presidency. >> it's definite one of the most important economic te sigss i will make in the remainder of my presidency. the federal reserve chairman is not just one of the most important economic policymakers in america, he or she is one of the most important policymakers in the world. that person presumably will stay on after i'm president. so this along with supreme court appointments is probably as important a decision i make as president. i have a range of outstanding candidates. you've mentioned two of them. mr. summers and mr. yellen. ms. yellen.
and they're both terrific people. i think the -- the perception that mr. summers might have an inside track simply had to do with a bunch of attacks that i was hearing on mr. summers preemptively, which is sort of a standard washington exercise, that i don't like. because when somebody's worked hard for me and worked hard on behalf of the american people, and i know the quality of those people, and i see him getting slapped around in the press for no reason before they've even been nominated for anything, then i want to make sure that somebody's standing up for them. i felt the same way when people were attacking susan rice. before she was nominated for anything. so, you know, i tend to defend folks who i think have done a good job and don't deserve
attacks. but i consider them both outstanding candidates. my main criteria, i've stated this before, but i want to repeat it. my main criteria for the fed reserve chairman is somebody who understands they've got a dual mandate. a critical part of the job is making sure that we keep inflation in check, that our monetary policy is sound, that the dollar is sound. those are all critical components of the job. we've seen what happens when the fed is not paying attention. we saw prior to paul volcker coming into place inflation shooting up. in ways that really damaged the real economy. but the other mandate is full employment. and right now, you know, if you look at the biggest challenges we have, the challenge is not inflation. the challenge is we've till got too many people out of work, too
many long-term unemployed, too much slack in the economy, and we're not growing as fast as we should. so i want a fed chairman who's able to look at those issues and have a perspective that keeps an eye on inflation. makes sure we're not seeing artificial bubbles in place. but also recognizes, you know what? a big part of my job right now is to make sure the economy is growing quickly and robustly and is sustained and durable so that people who work hard in this country are able to find a job. frankly, i think both larry summers and janet yellen highly qualified candidates.
[ inaudible question ] >> you know, except i just told you i haven't. major, i'd defend you if somebody was saying something that wasn't true about you. i really would. in fact, i've done that in the white house sometime. carol lee. carol, congratulations on hudson. do you have pictures? >> i do. i'll have to show you. >> i appreciate you making it a slow news week. i wanted to ask you about your evolution on surveillance issues. part of what you're talking about today is restoring the public trust. the public has seen you e evolve from when you were in the u.s. senate to now. even as recently as june you said that the process was such that people should be comfortable with it. now you're saying -- you're making these reforms and people should be comfortable with those. why should the public trust you on this issue and why did you change your position multiple times? >> i think it's important to
say, carol, first of all, i haven't evolved in my actual assessment of the programs. i consistently have said that when i came into office, i evaluated them. some of these programs i have been critical of when i was in the senate. when i looked through specifically what was being done, my determination was that the two programs in particular that had been at issue, 215 and 702, offered valuable intelligence that helps us protect the american people. and they're worth preserving. what we also saw was that some bolts needed to be tightened up on some of the programs. we initiated some additional oversight reforms, compliance officers, audits and so forth. and if you look at the reports, even the disclosures mr. snowden
has put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you're not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs. and listening in on people's phone calls or inappropriately reading people's e-mails. what you're hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. now, part of the reason they're not abused is because these checks are in place. and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the fisc. having said that, though, if you are outside of the intelligence community, if you are the ordinary person and you start seeing a bunch of headlines saying, u.s., big brother, looking down on you, collecting telephone records, et cetera, well, understandably people would be concerned. i would be too if i wasn't
inside the government. and so in light of the changed environment where a whole set of questions have been raised, some in the most sensationalized manner possible where these leaks are released drip by drip, you know, one a week to kind of maximize attention and see if, you know, they can catch us at some imprecision on something, in light of that, it makes sense for us to go ahead, lay out what exactly we're doing, have a discussion with congress, have discussion with industry, which is also impacted by this, have discussion with the civil libertarians. "c," can we do this better? i think the main thing i want to
emphasize is i don't have an interest and the people of the nsa don't have an interest in doing anything other than making sure that where we can prevent a terrorist attack, where we can get information ahead of time, that we're able to carry out that critical task. we do not have an interest in doing anything other than that. and we've tried to set up a system that is as fail safe as so far, at least, we've been able to think of to make sure that these programs are not abused. but people may have better ideas. and people may want to jigger slightly sort of the balance between the information that we can get versus the incremental
encroachments on privacy that if haven't already taken place, might take place in a future administration. or as technologies develop further. the other thing that's happening, as technology develops further, technology itself may provide us some additional safeguards. so, for example, if people don't have confidence that the law, the checks and balances of the court and congress, are sufficient to give us confidence that government's not snooping, well, maybe we can imbed technologies in there that prevent the snooping regardless of what the government wants to do. i mean, there may be some technological fixes that provide another layer of assurance. and so those are the kinds of things that i'm looking forward to having a conversation about. [ inaudible question ]
>> no. i can't. [ inaudible question ] >> the fact that i said that the programs are operating in a way that prevents abuse, that continues to be true. without the reforms. the question is, how do we make the american people more comfortable? all right? if i tell michelle that i did the dishes, now, granted, in the white house i don't do the dishes that much. but back in the day. and she's a little skeptical. well, i'd like her to trust me, but maybe i need to bring her back and show her the dishes. and not just have her take my word for it. and so, you know, the program
is -- i am comfortable that the program currently is not being abused. i am comfortable that if the american people examined exactly what was taking place, how it was being used, what the safeguards were, that they would say, you know what? these folks are following the law and doing what they say they're doing. but it is absolutely true that with the expansion of technology, this is an area that's moving very quickly, with the revelations that have depleted public trust, that if there's some additional things that we can do to build that trust back up, then we should do them. jonathan carl? >> thank you, mr. president. you have said that core al qaeda has been decimated. that its leaders are on the run.
now that we've seen this terror threat that has resulted in embassies closed throughout the arab world, much of africa, do you still believe that al qaeda has been decimated? and if i can ask in the interest of transparency, can you tell us about these drone strikes we've seen over the last couple of weeks in yemen? >> what i said in this same national defense university speech back in may that i referred to earlier is that core al qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated. but what i also said was that al qaeda and other extremists have metastasized into regional groups that can pose significant dangers. and i'd refer you back to that speech. just back in may. where i said specifically that although they are less likely to be able to carry out spectacular homeland attacks like 9/11, they
have the capacity to go after our embassies. they have the capacity potentially to go after our businesses. they have the capacity to be destabilizing and disruptive in countries where the security apparatus is weak. that's exactly what we are seeing right now. so it's entirely consistent to say that this tightly organized and relatively centralized al qaeda that attacked us on 9/11 has been broken apart. and is very weak. and does not have a lot of operational capacity. and to say we still have these regional organizations like aqap that can pose a threat. that can troodrive potentially truck bomb into an embassy wall and can kill some people.
and so that requires us, then, to make sure that we have a strategy that is strengthening those partners so that they've got their own capacity to deal with what are potentially manageable, regional threats if these countries are a little bit stronger and have more effective ct and so forth. it means that we've got to continue to be vigilant and go after known terrorists who are potentially carrying out plots or are going to strengthen their capacity over time. because they're always testing the boundaries of, well, maybe we can try this. maybe we can do that. this is an ongoing process. we are not going to completely eliminate terrorism. what we can do is to weaken it and to strengthen our partnerships in such a way that it does not pose the kind of
horrible threat that we saw on 9/11. and, you know, i'm not going to discuss specific operations that have taken place. again, in my speech in may, i was very specific about how we make these determinations. about potential lethal strikes. i would refer you to that speech [ inaudible question ] >> i will not have a discussion about operational issues. ed henry? >> i hope you would defend me as well. >> i would. >> okay. thank you. i want to ask you about two important dates that are coming up. october 1st you're going to implement your signature health care law. you recently decided on your own to delay a key part of that. i wonder, if you pick and choose what parts of the law to implement, couldn't your successor down the road pick and choose whether they'll implement your law and keep it in place? on september 11th we'll are the
first anniversary of the benghazi. you said on september 12th, make no mistake, we'll bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. 11 months later, where are they, sir? >> i also said we'd get bin laden. i didn't get him in 11 months. so we have informed, i think, the public that there's a sealed indictment. it's sealed for a reason. but we are intent on capturing those who carried out this attack. and we're going to stay on it until we get them. >> do you have a suspect in custody? >> i will leave it at that. but this remains a top priority for us. anybody who attacks americans, anybody who kills tragically four americans who were serving us in a very dangerous place, we're going to do everything we can to get those who carried out those attacks.
with respect to health care, i didn't simply choose to delay this on my own. this was in consultation with businesses all across the country. many of whom are supportive of the affordable care act. but -- and who -- many of whom, by the way, are already providing health insurance to their employees but were concerned about the operational details of changing their hr operations. they've got a lot of employees. which could be costly for them. and them suggesting there may be easier ways to do this. now, what's true, ed, is that in a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what? this is a tweak that doesn't go to the essence of the law. it has to do with, for example, are we able to simplify the
employers as to whether they're providing health insurance or not. it looks like there may be some better ways to do this. let's make a technical change to the law. that would be the normal thing that i would prefer to do. but we're not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to quote, unquote, obama care. we did have the executive authority to do so. and we did so. but this doesn't go to the core of implementation. let me tell you what is the core of implementation that's already taken place. as we speak right now, for the 85% of americans who already have health insurance, they are benefits from being able to keep their kid on their -- on their plan if their kid is 26 or younger. that's benefiting millions of young people around the country, which is why lack of insurance among young people has actually gone down. that's in large part attributable to the steps that
we've taken. you've got millions of people who've received rebates because part of the affordable care act was to say that if insurance company isn't spending 80% of your premium on your health care, you get some money back. and lo and behold, people have been getting their money back. it means the folks who have been bumping up lifetime limits on their insurance, that leaves them vulnerable, that doesn't exist. seniors have been getting discounts on their prescription drugs. that's happening right now. free preventive care. mammograms. contracepti contraception. that's happening right now. i met a young man today on a bill signing i was doing with the student loan bill who came up to me and said, thank you. he couldn't have been more than 25, 26 years old. thank you. i have cancer. thanks to the affordable care act, working with the california program, i was able to get health care and i'm now in
remission. and so right now people are already benefiting. now, what happens on october 1st in 53 days is for the remaining 15% of the population that doesn't have health insurance, they're going to be able to go on a website or call up a call center and sign up for affordable, quality health insurance at a significantly cheaper rate than what they can get right now on the individual market. and if even with lower premiums they still can't afford it, we're going to be able to provide them with a tax credit to help them buy it. and between october 1st, end of march, there will be an open enrollment period in which millions of americans for the first time are going to be able to get affordable health care. now, i think the really interesting question is why it
is that my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail. their number one priority. the one unifying principle in the republican party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don't have health care. and presumably repealing all those benefits i just mentioned, kids staying on their parents' plan, seniors getting discounts on their prescription drugs. i guess a return to lifetime limits on insurance. people with pre-existing conditions continuing to be blocked from being able to get health insurance. that's hard to understand as a -- an agenda that is going to strengthen our at least they used to say, well, we're going to replace it with something better. there's not even a pretext now at that they're going to replace
it with something better. the notion simply that those 30 million people or the 150 million who are benefiting from the other aspects of affordable care will be better off without it. that's their assertion, not backed by fact, not backed by any evidence. it's just become an ideological fixation. well, i tell you what, they're wrong about that. there is no doubt that in implementing the affordable care act, a program with this significance, there are going to be some glitches. no doubt about it. there are going to be things where we say, you know what, we should have thought of that earlier or this would work a little bit better or this needs an adjustment. that was true of social, that was true of medicare, that was true of the children's health insurance program, that was true of the prescription drug program part d that was rolled out by a republican president and supported by republicans who are
still in the house of representatives. that's true, by the way, of a car company rolling out a new car. it's true of apple rolling out the new ipad. so you will be able to whenever you want during the course of the next six months and probably the next year find occasions where you say, ah-ha tha, that d have been done a little better or that's an administrative chang. that's not how they originally thought it was going to work. exactly. because our goal is to actually deliver high quality health care for people and to reform the system so costs start going down and people start getting a better bang for the buck. i make no apologies for that. and let me just make one last point about this. the idea that you would shut
down the government unless you prevent 30 million people from getting health care is a bad idea. what you should be thinking about is how can we advance and improve ways for middle class families to have some security so that if they work hard, they can get ahead and their kids can get ahead. jessica yellin. >> thank you, mr. president. and following on what you just said, republicans in the house might give that you choice soon to either allow the government to shut down or see obama care defunded. would you choose to let the government shut down to ensure that obama care remains funded? well, i'm not going to engage in hypotheticals. i can tell you that the american people would have difficulty standing why we would weaken our economy, shut down our government, shut down vital services, have people who are
not getting paid, who then can't go to restaurants or shop for clothes or all the other things that we're doing here because republicans have determined that they don't want to see these folks get health care. again, they used to say they had a replacement. that never actually arrived, right? i've been hearing about this whole replace thing for two years. now i just doesn't hear about it because basically they don't have an agenda to provide health insurance to people at affordable rates. and the idea that you would shut down the government at a time when the recovery is getting some traction, where we're growing, although not as fast as we need to, where the housing market is recovering, although not as fast as we would like,
that we would precipitate another crisis here in washington that no economist thinks is a good idea, i'm assuming that they will not take that path. i have confidence that common sense in the end will prevail. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]. >> we'll see what happens. we got a couple months. >> reporter: when is the last time you spoke to speaker ba boehner? >> fairly recently. probably right before they left. okay. scott. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. part of the political logic behind immigration reform of the strong showing by latino voters last november. that doesn't seem to resonate with a lot of house republicans who represent overwhelmingly white districts. what other political leverage
can you bring to bear to help bring a bill to the house? >> well, we've got an economic report that shows that our economy would be $1 trillion stronger if we get immigration reform done. we've got evidence that our housing market would be stronger if immigrants are in a situation in which having paid a fine, having paid back taxes, that they now have the ability to actually enter into the housing market. we've got strong evidence that our technological and research edge would be better if we get immigration reform done. we know that the senate bill strengthens border security, puts unprecedented resources on top of the unprecedented resources i've already put in to border security. so if your main priority is
border security, i'd think you'd want to vote for this bill. we know that the senate bill create as system in which employers are held accountable for when they hire undocumented workers in is something that people say is a bad thing. i agree. let's make sure that that system for holding employer accountable is in place. so when i hear the opposition to immigration reform, i just run through the list of things they're concerned about. i look at what the senate bill does and i say to myself, you know, what the senate bill actually improves the situation on every issue that they say they're concerned about. now, what they may argue is this doesn't solve the problem 100%. i don't know a law that solves a problem a hundred percent.
social security lifted millions of seniors out of poverty but there are still some poor seniors. the civil rights act and voting rights act drastically reduced discrimination in america but there's still discrimination. it doesn't make them bad laws. it just means that there are very few human problems that are a hundred percent solvable. what i see right now is a strong bipartisan vote coming out of the senate. i think the speaker and others said they need to do something and i'd urge when they get back to do something, put forward a bill that has an opportunity to actually pass. it may not be precisely what's in the senate bill. my preference would be for them to go ahead and call the senate bill, but if they've got some additional ideas, i think the senate's happy to consider them.
and get that bill on the floor. put it up for a vote. i am absolutely certain that the votes for the senate bill, which strengthens border security, demands responsibility from undocumented workers to pay a fine, pay a penalty, get to the back of the line, reforms our legal immigration system, holds employers accountable. i am absolutely confident if that bill was on the floor of the house, it would pass. so the challenge right now is not that there aren't a majority of house members, just like a majority of senate members who aren't prepared to support this bill. the problem is internal republican caucus politics.
that's what the american people don't want us to be worrying about. don't worry about your washington politics. solve problems. this is one where you've actually got some pretty broad consensus. i don't know of an issue where you have labor, chamber of commerce, evangelicals, student groups, you name it, supportive of a ball. let -- of a bill. let's get it done. thank you very much, everybody. >> there he is, the president of the united states, nearly an our answering questions from eight reporters during the course of that nearly one-hour news conference, the president going through a wide range of issues, probably most importantly making the case for greater transparency, outlining a series of proposals, to go forward and explain the nsa surveillance program in a better way. the president made it clear he does not think of edward snowden
as a whistleblower. he said he is not a patriot in his words but it did inspire to trigger this debate that the president believes is positive. he was very passionate in defending obama care, going after the republicans, making it clear that if the republicans had their way, he said 30 million americans would not be eligible for affordable health care and he's clearly indicated he's willing to make a major fight on all of these issues. we're going to have extensive coverage coming up on "the lead." later i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. in "the situation room." but let's turn it over to john berman. he's picking up our coverage in "the lead." >> thank you so much, wolf. i'm john berman filling in for jake tapper while he's away. the president just wrapped up his press conference as you