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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  September 4, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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cooperation and in a statement from michael brown's family, it says in part, we believe that transparency in law enforcement is the only way to build trust in the community not just in the killing of can michael brown but for other who have suffered, as well. >> thank you so much. that is it for me. i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." >> thanks very much. happening now, terrorist suspect, a boston man being investigated for possible ties to isis. is he helping drives the group's social media campaign? we have new information. federal probe, a major new development in the shooting death of michael brown. justice department now targeting the ferguson, missouri, police department. and the sad breaking news. the comedienne joan rivers dies one week after being put on life support. was it the result of a botched medical procedure? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> 30 years old. you're not married.
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you're an old maid. a man, he's 90 years old, he's not married. he's a catch. when i was 21, my mother said only a doctor for you. when i was 22, she said all right, a lawyer, cpa. 24, she said we'll grab a dentist. 26, she said anything. if he can make it to the door, he was mine, you know? what do you mean you don't like him? he's intelligent. he found the bell himself. what do you want? >> she did standup comedy on the ed sullivan show" in the 1960s and was going strong till last week with her current tv show "fashion police." we're following this afternoon's breaking news in new york city where meed yen joan rivers died a few hours ago. it was a week ago she stopped breathing, went into cardiac arrest during what was supposed to be routine throat surgery at eight new york city clinic. she was rushed to the nearby mount sinai hospital where she had been on life support. cnn's miguel marquez is outside the hospital joining us now.
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i understand that there are new york state, new york city investigations that are now under way? >> yeah, there's a lot of frustration, a lot of anger and a lot of questions about her death. the family holding out the possibility they may sue yorkville endoscopy where she had the supposedly outpatient procedure eight days ago. the new york state health department saying it has opened an investigation into yorkville, one of the accrediting agencies that accredits these sort of facilities also says it is investigating. and the new york city medical examiner says the cause and manner of ms. rivers' death will be released at some point, indicating that an autopsy will be done and that they want to get to the bottom and understand what exactly happened. what went wrong and how this woman that was going strong just until hours before she had that procedure, how it is she ended up dead. wolf? >> the whole notion of these investigations raises all sorts of questions about the initial procedure. what was it that she was undergoing to begin with?
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>> it's not entirely clear though yorkville specializes in digestive dids or. it's not clear that's what she was going in for. it may have had something to do with her larynx. that would cause her or there would be the need to put her under at least locally if not heavily under sedation so they could do that. at some point during that procedure, she went into the cardiac arrest, stopped breathing and emergency services were called and she was brought a few blocks away to mount sinai. what is amazing is she was doing a show the night before this giving no indication that anything was wrong that she had any reason not to go through the procedure. she was out out and had dinner after. she must have been in very early in the morning because it was 9:30 in the morning we got the call that something was wronging >> is there anything coming from hospital officials where you are? >> the hospital has not released
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anything other than melissa rivers saying that the family was around her. there is other reporting saying this is a woman who had her nails done. she was had her hair done. she was -- she had her favorite blankets with her, she had everything that she would have wanted around at the end. including her family. melissa, conner, her grandson cooper, her grandson, everybody that she knew and loved was around her when she passed. >> there is word now of a funeral. a time and date for the funeral. is that right? >> no time yet. we know it's sunday. we don't know exactly what time or if it will be open to the public. the guess is it will be closed to the public but at emanu temple in manhattan on this sunday. i'm sure that it will cause a lot of people, a lot to come out here in manhattan and around the world. already at her apartment on 62nd street and fifth avenue, right on the park there, people are coming by, dropping off flowers, saying their good-byes to this
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legend drill comedian. >> thanks very much. miguel marquez reporting very sad news about joan rivers. joining us is tim tee man "the daily beast"". he did the last major interview with joan. thanks very much for joining us. first of all, when was the interview kucked? what did she seem like? did she seem healthy? what was your impression? >> hugely healthy, in great spirits. wonderful interview. we did it in late july in the russian tea room. she was publicizing her new book. she did talk about mortality and facing death. she joked that she had left orders not to revive her unless she could perform an hour's worth of comedy. in a more serious way, she talked about her daughter melissa and her grandson cooper. with melissa, she had survived the suicide of her husband edgar in 1987 and they had survived that together. the thing she she couldn't bear about dying and said it over and
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over again was the thought of melissa being left on her own. that would be devastating for melissa and the thought that was devastating for joan, as well. otherwise, if the interview, she was in immensely good spirits being wonderfully caustic about people as she always was and extremely funny. she was a rare comedienne, as funny off stage as on. >> was it is she or you who raised the issue of her mortality? >> oh, i asked her did she consider her own mortality, and she said constantly. it was something she constantly felt because her friends as she put it were dropping like flipz. she herself had no sense of that. she was an extremely good health. there was no sense of frailty about her or anything like that. indeed, the day before she was in hospital, she taped her "fashion police" vmas, emmy special. as you can see when you watch that show, that hour and a half show, she's in sparkling form as
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ever. this is a terrible, terrible thing. >> did you get any impression she had an issue with her voice? did it sound weak, not the same joan rivers all of us have known over all these years? >> not at all. the interview was conducted over lunch at a dining table. she was quieter than she was on television. but no sense that the voice was in any way damaged or anything like that. she feel had had a full day of. you be lisity that day. she was being followed by a tv crew. as i say, she taped "fashion police" just the day before she was taken into hospital. no one exactly knows why she was having that procedure done. if she was having some work done on her vocal cords. no one knows if she felt her voice was too raspy. certainly that day, i can't emphasize enough she seemed very far from frail and her voice was in good health. >> when you saw her on television, she seemed very far from frail, as well. she was incredibly funny but
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also serious. did the serious joan rivers come through when you had that meeting with her in new york? >> absolutely. yeah, she was extremely serious about celebrity. i said you're incredibly rude about people. she said i'm not rude. i tell the truth. for joan, comedy was a vehicle for her to you know, explode inflated eeg goes, explode pompousness. she was a thorn in hollywood's side. she was also hollywood's crown jester. she had been rejected by hollywood. she had fallen out with johnny carson, the nbc debacle that happened for years, the failure of her own late night show, that led to edgar's suicide she felt. she was extremely serious when talking about edgar's suicide. you know, that had been a terrible, terrible blow to her and her family. and she felt you know, that what happened with nbc had led to that. she also felt in a funny way at the edgar's funeral she told me that a friend had said, this has
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freed you, and in some sense joan knew that to be true, as well. after his death, she had to come through for herself. as you can see, she reinvented herself for an entire new generation. can you think of anybody else of her age who reached a younger demographic and younger audience with as much genuineness and with as much vitality as joan did every week on "fashion police"? i can't. >> she had an incredibly important important impact opening for women in the field of comedy and acting to a certain degree over these many decades. didn't she? >> absolutely. i can't really think of sarah silverman, chelsea handler, tina fey, amy poehler, there's a whole generation of comics may well have come through but joan in her way of being fantastically again sacred cows, fantastically rude, fantastically outrangious, she blazed a trail for things being
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said and women being able to say them in a away no other female comic has. she was absolutely a trailblazer and broke new ground. all those female comics coming through today who either is exist on the margins or say things slightly against the grain, they can thank joan rivers for blazing that trail. >> she had so many fans not only of her generation or a generation earlier, but young people today, they obviously know joan rivers. they watch her show. how do you explain that generational opportunity that she provided that there are people, young people in their 20s and people in their 80s, all of whom loved joan rivers? well, what links those two demographics are they believe in truth telling. whether you agreed with joan on things she spoke about or the people she went after, she spoke from the heart. she was very serious about joke telling. and i think both young and old are probably linked by appreciation of someone who told it as it was.
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but also told it with a great big smile on their face. i interviewed her. i interviewed her three times. the second time i went to her apartment which your correspondent just mentioned. she had the most astonishing filing system. she actually filed away her jokes. she was incredibly serious about the crafting of jokes and about the telling of jokes. and. human moral itself. and the benefits of humor. she told me in the interviews that humor is one of the most palliative things you could have. humor helped. you just had to watch the documentary about her if you saw it in 2010 where she carried on working, working, because joan rivers always wanted to be in the game. so maybe young people and old people saw that. she wanted to be relevant. she hugged popular culture. she liked popular culture and she traveled. she did shows. she did a show in new york regularly in "hell's kitchen." she went to indian casinos. she carried on working.
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she had a great fear of stopping working and what would that mean. there was to way she wanted to stop working, absolutely not. she absolutely adored it, cherished it and needed it. absolutely needed. >> when she spoke about people what they were wearing on the red carpet on "fashion police," she worked hard to get those lines right. those were not just off the cuff ad libs, were they? >> she had a team of close team of writers who she worked with. she told me about them. but she also, i can't emphasize enough, those people who helped craft her jokes with her weren't around when i interviewed her on those three occasions. she was as funny and as quick and as close and as you felt the burn on your face, you felt the razor cut without those people, as well. she had a natural reservoir of joan rivers humor. that wasn't practiced. that wasn't put on. yeah, her gags were honed like any good comediennes were honed
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but the humor was all her own and naturally occurring, as well. >> we will certainly all of us miss joan rivers. tim teeman, thanks for sharing thoughts with us on this sad day. we appreciate it very much. >> thank you very much. we'll have more on the breaking news. coming up, the investigation into the clinic where joan rivers suffered cardiac arrest. we're learning new details. d-sanjay gupta is standing by. plus fears of an isis attack on the u.s. embassiness baghdad. i'll talk about that with the white house top terror advisor lisa monaco. >> miss joan rivers. there it is. congratulations. over 20 million kids everyday in our country
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we're copying to follow the sad breaking news, the death of comedienne joan rivers. she was 81, had been on life support after she stopped breathing, wentz into cardiac arrest during what was supposed to be routine throat surgery only a week or so ago. with us now on the phone, tv host kelly ripa. i'm so sorry we very to speak under these conditions. tell us something about joan. what was she like. >> had i, wolf. i'm really sorry we have to speak under these conditions, as well. joan was a dynamo. i feel that a lot of people know her from her tv persona which
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was larger than life but she was larger than life and she took her business and company very seriously. she was a tireless professional. a brilliant comedienne. but a thoughtful, lovely, caring woman who i don't think i've ever complimented her on anything whether it was her perfume or her necklace without immediately her sending it to me to the studio the very next day. she was just a generous, kind, funny, would make you laugh until the back of your skull ached. that's the kind of person she was. >> you had her on your show i think twice over the past year or so. is that right? >> i mean we have her on as much as she's willing to come. literally she's my go to fill-in co-host. i worked with her many, many times. she's just the easiest person to work with and i was saying earlier today that i was just at a wedding with her. our good friends' wedding a month ago. i sat next to her and i laughed
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all night. and she's just such an innovat r innovator. she's constantly reinventing herself. she was talking about creating an app. we were having this fascinating conversation. we laughed and we were reminiscing about we've shared some bad times together and some really great times together. if i had only known that that was going to be the last time i saw her, i would never believe that would have been the last time, wolf, because we saw her every september on our show. i just said see you later like i'll see you in a month. it never occurred to me. i would have held on to her for dear life if i had known. >> i heard what happened a week or so ago, like so many millions of other people. i was shocked. it just came out of the blue. when you heard about that, what was your immediate reaction, kelly? >> i thought it was an errorious report. like everybody else. it wasn't till i heard from my girlfriend liza whose wedding we were just at, she said, oh, no, this is serious and i'm scared.
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and i thought, well, they'll put her in this medically induced coma so they can stabilize her and she'll wake up and be back at it, she'll be back at it in no time. i really -- i don't know if it's denial or you know, you hope against hope that joan's going to be that one person, that one bright about shining star that gets to live forever because she's done so much for so many. she's given not just to the entertainment community, but so many communities. she really is a giver. and i will miss her for the rest of my life. >> what did she do for women in show business especially in comedy? >> well, i mean she was a pioneer, certainly. she has a long history of blazing a trail for female comics. but what she showed me personally and professionally is nothing is impossible. you can have everything. you can do it all. and when you think that the
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chips are down and they knock you down and you can't get back up, she's somebody that pulls herself up by her boot straps and never stopped re-creating herself, reinventing herself anytime there was a new area of entertainment to explore, she explored it and she did it with completely without fear. and with a self-deprecating witt that certainly has influenced my life. i don't think there's a single thing i joke about on my show that i have not completely ripped off from her somewhere some conversation we've had over the years. >> she inspired so many women and men i must say. when i watched her over the past few years and i remember watching her many, many years earlier, you know it was basically the aim joan rivers. i didn't see any great change. she was still telling great jokes now, and she was telling great jokes 408 or 508 years
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ago. >> yeah, exactly. but you the know, i think the thing is that she's persevered when people told her she couldn't do something, she just didn't listen to it. she found a way to do it and make it work. and you know, it wasn't easy for her. she did take her licks and she did get knocked down but she always came back from it, bounced back funnier and stronger and smarter and more clever. boy, i just endentless good times. endless and even in the bad times, she would still find a way to make you laugh. you know? >> i think all of us want to express our deepest condolences to melissa, her grandson cooper. this it is really a sad sad time even though in the past eight days, a lot of us have been bracing for this bad news, once it happens, it's still so so awful. give us a finally thought, kelly, before i let you go. >> i just -- i don't know. i just think heaven got a whole lot funnier and brighter.
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i just -- i don't think there's going to be another one like her, wolf. i really don't. i think we really lost a true legend today. we lost a legend. there's not going to be another. >> that's very well said. i totally agree. kelly, thanks very much. i know this is a sad time for you, add time for me, sad time for millions and millions of people who have grown up watching joan rivers. we're so sad she has today passed away. coming up, we'll have more on the breaking news. especially the investigation that has now me gun into the clinic where joan rivers suffered cardiac arrest. sanjay gupta is standing by. also ahead, a very different story. an american man now suspected. of ties to isis. is he helping drive the terror group's social media campaign? kid: do you pay him? dad: of course. kid: how much? dad: i don't know exactly. kid: what if you're not happy? does he have to pay you back?
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before we learned of joan rivers' death this afternoon, a spokesman for the new york state health department confirmed it's opened an investigation into the yorkville endoscopy, the clinic where she suffered cardiac arrest during what was supposed to be routine throat procedure. her long-time friend, is jay rad dick saw her the night before she went to the clinic. >> but you were saying you had dinner with her the night before. >> yeah. >> and she said what about the procedure? >> pardon me. >> she said what about the procedure? >> she said she was having the procedure on either her vocal cords or her throat in the morning. >> didn't seem concerned. >> not at all. >> what was she like that night? >> pardon.
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>> how did she seem? what was she like that night. >> what was she like. >> yeah. >> alive and having a ton of fun. we laughed our ass off. >> so the usual joan. >> i'm sorry. >> the usual joan. >> the usual joan, yeah. >> let's bring in chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. we say routine or minor throat procedure but when you're under some sort of anesthesiology, it's never all that routine, is it. >> well, it sounds like it was completely elective type surgery in an outpatient setting. what that means usually is you go through all the prechecks to make sure someone's ready to have a procedure like this from a medical standpoint and they also expect to go home. that's why it's an outpatient procedure. is sounds more routine. if it was in fact throat surgery as you just heard there, the type of anesthesia can be a variety of things. anything from as six as spraying
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the back of the throat with something that numbs the back of the throat. it could be pain medication, an iv. could even be something like e propofol that would make her sleepy but not require a breathing machine machine. we don't know what she had done. the expectation was she would go home. that's the routine part of it, wolf. >> when you're 81 years old, does that raise further complications? >> it's an interesting thing about age. in that world, the biological age is less important than the physiological age. there are people in their 50s too sick to have a procedure like this and people in their 80s who should be able to do just fine. it sounds like she was doing well otherwise. very active. even socializing the night before. so it's a little bit hard to say. but again, because it's elective, typically you go through the sort of visit ahead of time with the anesthesiologist to make sure
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you're cleared for the procedure. regardless of age, that's the standard procedure. >> she was speaking to joy behar and filled in for larry king here on cnp. late me play this little clip for you. listen to this. >> aren't you scared to go under anesthesia? >> it's very serious. my dad ways doctor. the anesthesiologist is as much a part of that group as the plastic surgeon. very serious. but you also want to look we're a society that wants people to look good. >> november it, 2007. so she's obviously familiar with the procedure. should that type of procedure be really done in a hospital in case there's complications as opposed to some sort of office visit as an outpatient? >> it's a long debated thing within medicine, wolf. i'm sure it will be debated again now. part of this is that you look at the types of procedures we do in outpatient settings. and you know, for the most part
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patients do really well. it saves them the time of going to the hospital, staying in the hospital overnight. all of those things. but you're right. it's not a cut and dry sort of thing. the concern is, you know, if they what is called lose their airway, their airway is no longer secure because there is swelling, because there is spasm of the muscles of the airway, for a variety of reasons, if you lose the airway, that's a much more difficult thing to manage in an outpatient setting. it's to your point, wolf. if it can't be managed in that situation, someone starts to go into respiratory arrest, the term that you've been hearing. respiratory arrest means most of the point is not enough oxygen is getting into the blood and going to the brain and to the heart. and that obviously adds further complications. that is the sort of sequence of things. we don't know precisely what happened here. we're hearing it was a respiratory arrest followed by a
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cardiac arrest. >> sanjay, quickly, because i raise the question because my own gastroenterologist when i had a colonoscopy, he said i like to do these procedures in a hospital just in case something goes wrong. they could do it in the office but i would prefer to go to a hospital. we went to the hospital to do it. is he being overly cautious, this is gastroenterologist or is he being wise? >> you know, it's retrospect is always obviously he had the benefit of that in this case. it would seem wiser to have done this in a hospital to have on stand by for this sort of thing. but i can tell you a lot of these procedures are done in outpatient settings. it's become more of the trend. part of that is cost driven. part of it is because hospitals are full. all sorts of different reasons. i should point out there is an investigation into this particular situation, and sometimes that can be at the request of the family, sometimes it can be because this is just an unusual unexpected thing. so yes, you always want to err
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on the side of caution. it is still worth pointing out, this is unusual. most outpatients do just fine when they have procedures in an outpatient setting >> thanks very much. we're going to have much more on the sudden very sad death of joan rivers coming up in our next hour. but there's other important news we're following in "the situation room," including a american man now suspected of ties to isis. is he helping drives the terror group's social media campaign? also the federal investigation into the ferguson, missouri it, police department and the shooting of michael brown. his family's attorney now standing by to join us live.
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developments in the isis terror threat including a boston man now being investigated as a possible key player behind the group's social media campaign. our national correspondent deborah fairic is learning new details. what are you learning? >> well, wolf, we're being told by intelligence sources that the fbi is going back and scrubbing all available files on anyone, any american, any green card holder, any visitor, anyone who may have hit the radar in the past including people with unusual travel, their associates and certainly people on the fbi's most wanted list. intelligence sources say it makes sense that isis would want to recruit a guy like american hmad abousamra. he grew up near boston, holds both a american and syrian passport and graduated with a degree in the field of computer technology. believed to be in his early 30s, he is fluent in both english and
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airic. the fbi released this audio recording they say is abousamra. it's unclear who he's speaking to. >> if they don't have a warrant, they don't have the right to do that. tell your mother that the next time because they might scare her. >> the although authorities will not confirm his role in isis if any, they're looking into whether he might be involved in the murder group's media wing, specifically its english social media including facebook, an online magazine and twitter which recently suspended the group's account. abousamra's friend tarek mehanna was accused by heading the media wing of al qaeda in iraq which morphed into isis. he's currently serving 17 years in the u.s. for providing material support to terrorists. both men were indicted together in 2009, accused of attending terror training camps in yemen for the purpose of traveling to iraq to kill u.s. troops. abousamra was last seen in syria with a woman and child believed
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to be his wife and daughter. ironically, two years ago, the fbi tried using social yamidia, specifically facebook and twitter to find abousamra. >> we take very seriously the threat of american citizens who join these organizations and take additional care when thinking about options for taking them off the battlefield. your citizenship can't be as a she would. >> a retired law enforcement source says finding abousamra is a top priority for the fbi. he's been a fugitive for nearly five years. and areas of suspected travel include syria and iraq, possibly lebanon and turkey. wolf? >> debra feyerick, thanks very much. and lisa monica is the assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism. thanks very much for joining us. i want to get right to the story that a boston man may have joined isis, may have actually have been responsible for some
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of isis's highly sophisticated social media campaigns. what can you tell us about that? >> well, wolf, i can't speak to any on going investigations, but what i can tell you is reports like that are exactly the type of thing that we're concerned about when we think about the potential homeland threat from isil. we are concerned. in the first instance with the regional threat that isil poses and the threat it poses to our personnel in iraq with, which is why you've seen the president take decisive action to address those threats and to address the threat that isil poses, as well to vulnerable populations in iraq. and why he's worked and this administration has worked so hard to put in place and to see realized an inclusive iraqi government to provide assistance in the form of arms and training and assistance to the iraqi security forces and the peshmerga to try and push back and blunt the momentum from isil. with regard to a potential homeland threat, we're always going to be concerned and are
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concerned with isilal. when you have a group like isil that has established safe havens, that has secured resources in the form of money and other resources and that has manpower at its disposal. by that i mean foreign fighters those who travel to syria and iraq to join isil and other extremist groups and who may have western passports and then who can come either through you or in other ways to the homeland. so we're going to be quite concerned about that threat. >> is there a credible they're the right now to the u.s. embassy in baghdad from isis. >> let me be very clear, wolf. we do believe that isil poses an immediate threat to our personnel in iraq, in baghdad and erbil. that is exactly why the president authorized and directed military actions under taken in order to protect our personnel and in order to conduct and assist the iraqi absecurity forces and the
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peshmerga in pushing back sisal and in addressing the threat posed by isil to vulnerable populations into is that why the president ordered 350 additional u.s. military troops to baghdad to the u.s. embassy there because there is some sort of credible threat potentially even on the anniversary of 9/11 which is a week from today? >> what i would tell you, wolf, first, the additional troops that the president ordered and that we notified the congress about and have talked about was at the recommendation of his military commanders about what is prudent and appropriate step to take to ensure the continued security of our personnel in baghdad and in erbil. that's what those forces are about because his first priority and his overriding concern is the protection of our personnel. we have no credible information about any isil planning against the homeland or about 9/11
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related plots. but i will tell you the intelligence community, the law enforcement community, the homeland security community here is going to be as they always are, incredibly and consistently vigilant as we lead up to the 9/11 anniversary. >> but as you know, the british government in recent days raised their terror threat level to a much higher level. is the u.s. government thinking about doing the same thing? >> wolf, we are always reviewing the threat picture and whatever steps we can take with our homeland security professionals to make sure that we are tailoring our security measures to the threat that's posed. what the british did and i've been in touch with my british counterparts and obviously the prime minister has spoken to this, is take steps prudent to the intelligence picture that they see with regard to british nationals that they know have traveled from the uk into syria
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and iraq. and they're addressing that very specific intelligence picture. >> you're heading to the region in the coming days. will you be going and what's your mission. >> i will be, wolf. what i'll be doing there is traveling to see a number of our partner inside the region, in the gulf countries in order to continue to build the regional coalition that is so important and essential to our strategy and our goal. which is as the president said, are to degrade and ultimately to defeat isil. and what we need in order to do that is first and foremost, an inclusive iraqi iraqi government and we need regional and international partners to join in this fight. this is a shared threat first and foremost a threat to the region and to our partners in the region. i'll be talking to a number of my counterparts in the gulf about how we can combat that the threat together. >> lisa monaco, good luck in your travels. we'll stay in close touch with you. thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf.
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much more on the isis threat that's coming up at the top of the hour. also a new federal investigation into the use of force by the ferguson, missouri -- police department. i'll speak with an attorney for the family of michael brown, the teenager who was shot and killed by ferguson police. ♪ eenie. meenie. miney. go.
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breaking news today in the wake of the fatal police shooting of the teenager michael brown and the days of disturbances that followed in
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the st. louis suburb of ferguson, missouri. eric holder announced the justice department is opening a separate and broader investigation of the ferguson police department. >> in ferguson, our investigation will assess the police department's use of force, including deadly force. it will analyze stops, searches and arrests. and it will examine the treatment of individuals detained at ferguson's city jail. in addition to other potentially discriminatory policing tactics that were brought to light. >> joining us now benjamin crump, the attorney for michael brown's family. mr. crump, thank you very much for joining us. what is the family reaction, your reaction to what the attorney general announced today? >> well, wolf, the family's encouraged because it gives them some belief that transparency is at the forefront of the investigation by the justice department and they are
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wondering, was their son's death part of a pattern and practice of police excessive force? they want to know those answers, as many around the country want to know those answers. >> this is a broader investigation of the entire ferguson police department by the u.s. justice department. how will it impact the specific case of michael brown? >> i think as attorney general said in the clip you just showed, they're going to look at how they conduct the stops. how they conduct the use of force. remember, many of the witnesses said after michael brown put his hands up that the police kept shooting and that is clearly excessive force. when you put up the universal sign of surrender. so, people all over america have often questioned the police use of force victor white's case or arkansas or travis carter. so, this is the crux of the
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matter, ground zero in ferguson for the nation on these issues of police departments having bad practices that are killing our children. >> as far as i can tell now there are several separate investigations under way. there is an investigation in ferguson of precisely what happened. that as the grand jury is now investigating that. then the justice department has a civil rights investigation. now, this investigation, are there more investigations? am i missing something? >> well, the ones that are important to michael brown's mother and father are the justice department investigations. remember, the grand jurors is a separate proceeding and those were to many people, wolf, because if in the secret proceeding you don't know what the local prosecutor is doing and what local law enforcement is presenting. but in the federal investigation, they are going to look at everything independently and i think it is almost oversight saying to the family and to america, please have
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faith that we're going to look at everything, if you don't trust the local law enforcement agencies. because there's mistrust there, wolf. >> the grand jury investigation, i suspect, we're going to get a result in the next month or two. but federal investigations into these kind of matters can go on for a few years, right? >> they could and i think the justice department has really taken a very aggressive response to this, wolf. because i think everybody is concerned about a secret proceeding in this matter when the community has such issues with mistrust. transparency is why everything that happened in ferguson took place because the community said, we've seen our children being killed and nobody held accountable. and this, with michael brown, was different. it was in broad daylight and everybody watched him in that community get executed and they have strong emotions that the police were going to try to sweep it under the rug. so, this is why they're saying,
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we don't want this left to just the local authorities because, based on the history, they have never done right by that community when it came to holding the police accountable. >> benjamin crump, thanks very much for joining us. we're going to, of course, continue to stay in touch with you and the family. benjamin crump joining us today. coming up, nato leaders talk terror. the isis threat. we'll go there live. the latest on the death of the comedian joan rivers. i every time i stand backstage i think where i started out.
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happening now destroying isis as world leaders back the use of military force against the terror group. a deputy spokeswoman is here. we'll discuss isis videos. and joan rivers is dead. the legendary comedian and fashion critic made people laugh as they cringed at some of her outlandish routines. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." we're tracking several major stories right now. an urgent meeting of world leadards as president obama
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grapual the blooding fighting in ukore ukraine. also, a federal investigation of the police department in ferguson, missouri, where an officer shot and killed an unarmed teenager, michael brown. our breaking news. the death of the legendary comedian joan rivers a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a routine medical procedure. our correspondents and our guests are all standing by for full coverage this hour. let's begin with our senior white house correspondent jim acosta with the president at the critical nato summit in wales. jim, what is the very latest? >> wolf, president obama has been busy at this summit trying to line-up an international coalition to go after isis in both iraq and in syria and tonight top white house officials are confident he will get that support. holding what may be its most critical summit yet, nato appears to be gearing up for a new battle. that would take the fight to isis terrorist in iraq and
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syria. >> the president will have a coalition. >> we will have a coalition absolutely to go after isis. >> that's happening? >> that's happening in iraq today. >> u.s. deputy say they're signaling they will join a military coalition, president obama is cobbling together to defeat the terror group. roads cited the allies participating in air drops to isis victims as an early first step. >> intelligence, law enforcement, lots of ways for nations to step up to the plate and be a part of this coalition. >> reporter: president obama and british prime minister david cameron set the tone with an op-ed in the "times of london" if they think we will weaken in the face of their threats, they could not be wrong." whether this decade's long alliance is ready. >> we must refocus this alliance to tackle new threats and foster stability around the world. >> reporter: nato secretary-general said it has to be. >> international community as a
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whole has an obligation to stop the islamic state from advanc g advancing. >> reporter: but first comes diplomacy, a delicate art that sometimes involves passing notes from one top administration official to the next. aides say the president hurried from one crisis meeting to another. talking isis, mr. obama was running late to a session with ukraine's president on finding peace with russia. a deal with moscow, the ukrainian leader thinks is in the works. >> the only thing we need now is peace and stability. >> reporter: if russia doesn't change its tune, u.s. and nato leaders warn more sanctions against moscow are on the way. >> sanks are coming? >> we are preparing sanctions
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and so have the europeans. >> reporter: now as for isis ben rodes cautions the president has not made a decision on using air strikes against isis targets in syria. so don't expect an announcement on that. tomorrow nato will unveil new measures aimed at helping ukraine deal with russia. ben rhodes says some significant announcements on that front tomorrow. >> we'll hear what they have to say. jim acosta traveling with the president in wales. the u.s. strategy to destroy isis. that strategy may be taking some shape. let's get details from barbara starr. what are you learning, barbara? >> well, wolf, as the administration begins to put that military coalition together one of the key questions is to take the ultimate step and move to kill the leader of isis. iraqi government troops and kurdish fighters use machine guns and rocket-propelled
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grenades trying to drive isis out of one more town in northern iraq. it's a ground war president obama says u.s. troops will not be part of. but u.s. officials say the strategy to degrade and destroy isis working with other nations is taking shape. >> there's a division of labor that needs to happen, including focusing on the fighting capacity and the foreign fighters, the financing, the propaganda, focusing on some of its local supporters. >> reporter: a major goal to get sunnis in northern and western iraq to cut their ties to isis and this time make it not look solely like a u.s. military operation. >> even if we use our air power, some on the ground needs to be able to take and hold the territory that we freed up. >> reporter: could the next step be killing isis leader. believed to be inside syria so far outside the scope of u.s.
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military action. u.s. military and intelligence officials say for now there are no targeted kill missions. president obama would have to approve them. even so, killing al baddadi won't end isis' grip. >> probably someone who will step up and take his place. we don't know what that next generation leader might be like. >> reporter: the head of the counterterrorism center said at this point there is no credible information isis plans to attack the u.s. homeland. >> as formedable they are as a group, it's not invincible. >> reporter: 350 additional u.s. troops are going to the u.s. embassy in baghdad out of concern isis could try to launch a suicide bomb attack there. u.s. officials say there is no direct specific threat against the u.s. embassy in baghdad from
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isis. but, wolf, this now puts well over 1,000 u.s. troops on the ground inside iraq. wolf? >> i suspect more will be on the way in the coming days and weeks. thanks very much, barbara, for that report. after the beheadings of two americans and the brutal slaughters carried out by isis in iraq and syria, president obama under increasing pressure to step up the u.s. military response. he's getting support from the british prime minister david cameron who spoke with cnn's nic robertson. president barack obama yesterday in estonia saying that isis should be destroyed and also went on to say that it should be to a manageable size. >> squeezed out of existence is the way i would put it. we should be clear what we're facing here. this is the muslim extremist narrative, poisonous narrative. it isn't just in iraq and syria, we've also seen in it somalia and, of course, in afghanistan
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when mohosted by the taliban. this is a generational struggle. >> joining us now the state department deputy spokesman marie hart. thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> the u.s. embassy in baghdad, is there a specific threat? 350 american troops are now on the way there to protect hundreds of american diplomats, contractors, other military personnel. that's the biggest u.s. embassy in the world, i believe, is there a specific threat there from isis or any other terror group? >> there is not, wolf. we reevaluate our security needs because we want to have people on the ground to be doing this very critical work that they are doing. some folks deployed to help our embassy was a rapid response force. this is a longer term security strategy to help protect our people there. >> we know two years the
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diplomatic consel iic consulat benghazi. have you asked the state department or u.s. military or other law enforcement at other u.s. diplomatic missions around the world? >> we're constantly reevaluating our security around anniversaries, like 9/11. we always addressed our security posture and increased security on the ground, if we need to. we don't outline what that looks like for obvious reasons. something we're focused on and something we're constantly aware of. >> secretary of state john kerry is heading from the nato summit. which countries will he visit and what's his mission? >> we haven't announced his full mission but we'll do that soon. consult with a number of partners in the region to talk about the various ways we can join together in a coalition, not just military, but financially, diplomatically and a whole host of ways here to fight against isis. they are already doing quite a
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bit, particularly in iraq on the hum humanitarian side. we can all do more, that's the conversation we'll be having. >> for security reasons, you don't want to announce in advance what countries he'll be visiting. show up in baghdad, we don't know about it until they actually show up in baghdad. >> we're still working out the schedule and i'm confident we'll have more sophistics s spec to talk about soon. on the phone with members from turkey, jordan, saudi arabia, the uae, all the countries he's been on the phone and talking to foreign ministers and world leaders about what we can do together and also conversations going on at nato of what we can do with our european partners. >> are you encouraged by what saudi arabia announced in the recent days and the uae, the united arab emirates announced. they both seem willing to take on isis. i don't know how far they are willing to go but saying from the u.s. perspective, the right
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thing. >> this is a threat to them and they're very clear about that publicly and privately. we've seen them come out and publicly say isis does not represent islam. condemn what they've done. that's an important step and also seen them come out and say we all can take additional steps. these are all good signs and bringing people together to fight this threat. >> we know the iranians, iran doesn't like isis either and they have a lot of influence in iraq right now. are the iranians who are in iraq including iranian military personnel playing a helpful or hurtful role? >> what we've said, particularly when it comes to the iranians but anyone who has influence in iraq needs to do that to bolster the government as they go through government formation to not encourage sectarian divides and to help the security forces of the government really grow stronger and militias aren't the answer here and a history here with iran and that we all need to be focused in iraq particularly helping the
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government and the kurdish forces grow in capacity to really fight isis on their own on the ground. >> the iraqi prime minister has work to do to so that he can represent all the iraqis, not only the shiites, but the sunnis and the curds and all the other groups. many christians have fled, but still some christians left inside iraq. >> he said a lot of the right things. encouraging to hear from him. what iraqis should find encouraging what he wants to govern inclusively. he's working towards that and on track for that and that is what needs to happen. >> what is the timeline when the president of the united states, based on everything you know, will sdwrib describe in congres congress and the american people the strategy to destroy isis? >> well, the president and the secretary and the whole national security team have been talking about this for many, many days now and numerous times to the american people, but they are
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having an ongoing conversation about what options we have, what options we need to develop and how we will really more aggressive take this fight to isis. i think you'll see coming out of the nato summit where we'll have a number of conversations, particularly with the united kingdom who faces a threat from this, as well. then after the onward travel that the secretary will have, more robust discussions about this in the public and important topic for us to discuss and debate because the american people see the same things we see. the videos and the photos and they're concerned about it. we want to have that conversation. >> does the united states government know the executioner, the person who killed those two americ americans? >> we're still working to confirm that, wolf. obviously a lot goes into this. we have videos, of course, any nugget of information we're poring over that to see if we can determine that and also determine where and when they were filmed. this is something that we are very committed to doing. but you've seen us throughout this administration, no matter
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how long it takes, we will find who is responsible and hold them accountable. >> the person who killed these two americans is the same person? >> not yet. a lot of information we have, but it's a difficult and tedious process that's ongoing. >> you heard ben rhodes the president deputy national security adviser tell jim acosta, the reporter on the scene at the summit, that the u.s. and the europeans are about to increase sanctions, economic sanctions against russia. so far doesn't have a whole lot of effect on the russians, has it? >> the russian government has suffered quite a bit. >> they're still doing what they have done two months ago. >> i can't imagine they're not hearing from those people in russia who are suffering because of them. we're really playing the long game here, wolf. a long-term strategy to squeeze russia and get them to change their behavior, but if they don't to impose cost on them, to isolate them, i mean, look, we talk a lot about nato right now.
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they're looking back to a time, you know, before the founding of nato when we were in some cold war era, quite frankly, that we've moved way beyond and we think president putin in russia should, too. that's not the relationship we want. that's not the kind of situation the russian people want. they have a choice to make. he has a choice to make for his people. if he continues down this path, we will continue the pressure and their economy will suffer and they will have to deal with those consequences. >> when will the new sanctions be enough? >> you'll see comments coming out of wales as early as tomorrow. we're looking at additional measures, if they don't take it, we'll continue increasing the pressure. we're in this for the long haul. we will make sure they pay the consequences. >> the status of the cease-fire in ukraine? >> the president met today with the president, secretary kerry talking about this. we think the ukrainians have to agree on this.
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the situation is very fluid in eastern ukraine. while we are hopeful they can get a cease-fire and peace process and plan in place, we're realistic about the fact that the separatists continue, very challenging situation. >> marie harf, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. still ahead, the breaking news we're following here. the comedian joan rivers has sadly passed away a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a routine medical procedure. now serious questions are being asked about her treatment. the life and the work of the legendary comedian and the fashion critic. >> i hate old people. i say i hate, hate, hate, oh, the bodies. the bodies. enjoy your bodies now. this is how i go to the bathroom. narrator: summer. you know it can't last forever. but that's okay. because a fresh start awaits. with exciting worlds to explore,
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looking at live pictures of the hollywood walk of fame and bouquets of flowers people are already leaving at the star, for the comedian joan rivers. she died this afternoon, a week after suffering cardiac arrest during what was supposed to be a routine medical procedure. for decades she made people laugh and cringe very often with her scathing stand-up routines and she turned the fashion world upside down very often with her red carpet reviews and her tv shows. let's go live to cnn miguel marquez outside mt. sinai hospital in new york. has the hospital released any specific information on what precisely happened, miguel? >> the hospital has not released information yet, wolf. we do know that melissa has just arrived back home at their 67th
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and fifth avenue home here with her son in tow. she was, she was dressed with a coat. she had sunglasses on, clearly, a very tough time that this family is going through. the family saying that they are leaving open the possibility of a lawsuit or some sort of legal action against yorkville endoscopy. this is the place she was at getting what should have been an outpatient procedure of some sort. some concern for her larynx. under sedation but wasn't something that would have been that invasive where she suffered cardiac arrest and then stopped breathing and then was brought here several blocks away to mt. sinai hospital. her daughter announcing today with great sadness that ms. rivers passed away at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by her friends and family here at mt. sinai in new york.
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wolf? >> i take it new york state or is it new york city, they've launched an investigation into what happened, is that right? >> yeah. more than one investigation. new york state health department says it has now launched an investigation into yorkville endoscopy. the accrediting agency that credits these sort of facilities says it's also launching its own investigation into yorkville and the new york city medical examiner says the cause and manner of death of ms. rivers death will be made, the determination will be made soon. so, clearly, they will do, they will investigate exactly what happened to her and they will have that ruling and it looks like this will probably be a long and difficult legal struggle, as well. >> a memorial in new york on sunday, is that right? >> there will.
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temple emmanuel in new york. not clear if it will be public or not. all bets it will be a very private event, invitation only and that she will be laid to rest then. in new york, you know, looking at facebook and twitter, some people saying thank god joan rivers died in new york. she would have been very unhappy to have died in los angeles. wolf? >> miguel marquez, very sad story. thanks very much for joining us. let's look now at the groundbreaking career of joan rivers. our entertainment correspondent nischelle turner is standing by. she really did an amazing job paving the way for a lot of other women, especially in comedy. >> oh, thought by many, wolf, as the mother of reinvention because she had a career that spanned five decades. you know, earlier, you were speaking with kelly ripa and she said joan rivers persevered. when someone told her no, she found a way to do it. at one point i heard joan rivers say she was simply smart enough to walk through any door that was open. >> can we talk?
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>> reporter: joan rivers could always talk. >> do you know what it's like to go in the morning to take off a facial mask and realize you're not wearing one. you don't know. >> reporter: sometimes outrageous jokes nothing was ever off limits. >> i hate old people! oh, if you are old, get up and get out of here right now! >> reporter: born in 1933, rivers says even as she was growing up in the new york suburbs, she wanted to be an actress. >> i never had a choice. i always say, it's like a nun's calling. >> reporter: her show business career didn't start until she was 25 years old. one failed marriage behind her moved out of her parents' home and tried to get a job as an actress and while her acting career didn't take off right away, she got her first break write on "the ed sullivan show." >> give me a kiss good night. >> reporter: and joined the
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iconic second city comedy theater in 1961. as her comedy career was taking off, she married producer edgar ros rosenburg in 1964 who would manage her career and become the focus of so many of his wife' jokes. the pair had one daughter together, melissa. in 1965, rivers saw her career get a huge boost when she appeared on "the tonight show" with johnny carson for the first time. >> he gave all of us our starts. i went on the show the first time, coming out of second city and on the air he said, you're going to be a star. and the next day my life was different. >> reporter: a start of a 21-year professional relationship with carcen and the show. she made regular appearances, eventually becoming the show's substitute host in 1953. her decision to launch her own show ended her relationship with carson and "the tonight show." >> he should have been proud.
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i finally, after my contract was up, done, i took another job. i think because i was a woman he never thought i would leave or maybe he liked me better. but the minute i became competition, it became, out to kill me. out to kill me. and that's what came down forever. never spoke to me again. >> reporter: the show was canceled in 1987, just a few months later, rivers husband, edgar, committed suicide in a philadelphia hotel room. >> i was in the hospital and some idiot called the house and they said, where your mother? somebody from philadelphia. and melissa said, she's not here. please tell her your father killed himself. how's that for a phone call? >> reporter: rivers regrouped by doing what she always did, putting her life out in the open. >> is there any area you would not go to? >> no. if i think i want to talk about it, then it's right to talk about it.
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and i purposely go into areas that people are still very sensitive about. >> why? >> if you laugh at it, you can deal with it. that's how i lived my whole life. if i were in auschwitz, i would have been doing jokes just to make it okay for us. >> reporter: her career surged again when her withering take on red carpet fashion, full of biting remarks and celebrity put downs, exposed her to a whole new group of fans. >> i love performing. it's like a drug for me. >> reporter: in 2010, she felt she was at the top of her game. >> i think i'm working the best i've ever worked now because it's all been done to me. what are they going to do? are they going to fire me? i've been fired. not going to like me? a lot haven't liked me. i have been bankrupt. my husband committed suicide. it's okay. and i'm still here.
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so, it's okay. >> reporter: 2010 is when she came back to e on "fashion police" and skyrocketed her into another stratosphere and gained fans for joan. we are on the eve of merced mercedes-benz fashion week in new york which was like super bowl for joan rivers. e had actually brought their entire production here to new york. they were going to tape two "fashion police" shows here and they decided to cancel those and they did release a statement saying right now they're simply mo mourning joan's death. i have to tell you, on joan's twitter page, she was very active on social media, wolf. her profile simply says, a simple girl with a dream. >> that was so amazing she had had so many fans, not only people in their 60s, 70s, 80s
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and 90s, but young people in their 20s they loved her, as well. a whole new generation, as you correctly pointed out. she was one amazing person. and we will miss her. >> dynamic. >> especially those of us who grew up watching her over all of these years. our deepest condolences to melissa, her daughter, to cooper, her grandson and the entire family. i speak for all of our viewers here in the united states and around the world. thanks very much. just ahead, we're getting back to our top story, a man from boston who may be playing a key role in the isis propaganda machine. could an american, yes an american, be behind the camera in these videos? the federal government opens a new investigation into what happened in ferguson, missouri. will we learn any new details about what happened that day between michael brown and the ferguson police?
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we learned today the federal government is planning to investigate the police in ferguson, missouri. the attorney general of the united states eric holder made the announcement almost one month after police shot and killed michael brown, an unarmed teen aage teenager. our justice correspondent pamela
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brown has been digging into all of this. pamela, what are you finding out? >> wolf, attorney general eric holder said he weighed several factors in making this decision, a history of mistrust to police in ferguson. a review of documented allegations and his own personal visit to ferguson recently. holder defended the timing of this investigation saying it's entirely separate from the michael brown shooting investigations. as tensions continue to simmer in ferguson, missouri. the justice department announces its civil rights division will now investigate the ferguson police department from top to bottom. >> our investigation will assess the police department's use of force, including deadly force. it will analyze stops, searches and arrests. and it will examine the treatment of individuals detained at ferguson's city jail. in addition to other potentially
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discriminatory policing tactics and techniques that were brought to light. >> reporter: the nearly four weeks since officer darren wilson shot and killed unarmed michael brown, federal investigators will now be looking at the department's officer training programs and review its operational procedures and practices to find out if they violate any federal laws or the constitution. >> this investigation will be conducted both rigorously and in a timely manner. so, we can move forward as expeditiously as possible to restore trust, rebuild understanding and to foster cooperation between law enforcement and community members. >> reporter: other african-american residents complain ferguson police have a history of singling them out and using heavy handed tactics. >> trust their apublic safety officers. >> reporter: a report by missouri's attorney general conducted before the michael brown shooting found ferguson police were twice as likely to arrest african-americans during traffic stops as they were white. >> it's not about black or white. it's about right. >> reporter: under eric holder
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the justice department has been much more aggressive about investigating local police and in the past five years the doj has launched 20 investigations into police departments nationwide. more than twice the number compared to the previous five years. this most recent one comes as the grand jury weighs evidence in the michael brown shooting criminal investigation. whether or not officer darren wilson will face charges will hinge on their decision. and in response, michael brown's family says in part we believe the transparency and law enforcement is the only way to build trust in the community, not just in the killing of michael brown, but for others who suffered, as well. wolf, we want to point out we reached out to ferguson police department for comment and have not heard back. doj officials say officials in ferguson pledge cooperation. in the past the police chief has defended his department saying the claims of discrimination are more, you know, are really not the reality of this situation. wolf? >> pamela brown, thanks very
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much. so, what does a federal investigation really mean for the ferguson police department? joining us now to discuss john of the naacp, don lemon and our cnn law enforcement analyst tom fuentes the former assistant director of the fbi. what's been the reaction there in missouri, john gasket? how important is this civil rights probe, for example, for african-americans on the scene? >> well, as i've spoken with the local naacp leadership here, this is long overdue. many people feel finally our cries have been answered. people feel that now that this is getting national attention finally some light is going to be shed on issues that were taking place for decades. not just in the city of ferguson, but within other neighboring municipal. this is a big problem and it needs to be addressed and a
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small victory efor the naacp since day one. we have been asking for the justice department and the civil rights division to come in and take a clear look at this and evaluate what has been taking place. the attorney general in the meeting that we had with him when he was in st. louis mentioned that he was taking a look at it and this just goes to show that he's about action and not just talk. he's got to do something about it. >> jeffrey, legally speaking, how significant is this investigation announced today by the attorney general? >> well, it's potentially very significant, depending on how it comes out. you know, troubled police departments have been investigating and effectively taken over by the justice department many times. most famously in new orleans, cincinnati, san juan, pouerto ri rico. this is what the justice department does when there is a pattern of allegations against the police department. given what has come out about ferguson since the shooting of
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michael brown a couple weeks ago, it is not at all surprising that the justice department has taken this step. usually these end with some sort of agreement. what's called a consent decree where the justice department takes a bigger role in monitoring or even ordering changes in the department. >> because, tom fuentes, you worked in the fbi. does the fbi actually get involved in this new investigation? >> no, they won't. the civil rights division, the people that will work on this are separate and they have to be. you can't have the bleed over of the investigators that are working on the actual shooting incident itself to be involved in this. this is more of the proceedal day-to-day operation of the department. how do they operate and how do they treat the people that they serve in their community. >> don, you were there, you did the anchoring from the scene and all of our viewers remember your outstanding coverage there. give us your reaction when you heard the attorney general of the united states today make this announcement?
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>> i wasn't surprised because i knew the first investigation would center just around the shooting and then this one now centers around the police department and their actions. i actually was not surprised by it. i was surprised by how quickly it happened but not surprised to hear it. so many people who complain there about the police department and it's not just black citizens that are complaining there about the police department. and as mr. gaskin said, it's in ferguson, st. anne and different municipalities. not surprising. >> how do you store, john, the trust between the local community and law enforcement? >> things like this that are taking place to show that people do care. to show that leadership does care about the rights of those individuals on the ground. mr. lemon just mentioned one of the things i just said. i'm so happy he sees what's going on on the ground in
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decades. but it takes these types of things going forward. it is our hope that the attorney general and the department of justice will see some of the real concrete problems that we've been speaking out on for decades. so, once they come up with common sense solutions, they can begin to implement some different programs and some new regulations that will stop the police brutality. the discrimination, the heavy handed force that is being used on our citizens in ferguson and surrounding communities. >> the good news, don, based on everything i can tell, you have been watching this more closely than i have. it has been quiet over these past several days. >> it has been quiet over the past several days and i think things like this help, regardless of what this investigation or these two investigations turn up. at least there is a feeling there and there's some sentiment that something is happening and that it is being overseen outside of the police department that they deem corrupt there. and it's not really just about whether, you know, the heavy-handed treatment of the citizens.
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that's very important, but it is also the disconnect between the citizens and the people who are supposed to protect and serve. so, that will be looked into, as well. maybe more and probably more community policing will come out of this and that will be a good thing. >> that would be a good thing, indeed. all right, guys, thanks very, very much. just ahead the druamatic, well-produced videos that isolate isis brutality. we're learning new details about the american, yes, an american man who could be behind these videos. stand by. [ shutter clicks ] hi there! [ laughs ] -i'm flo! -i know! i'm going to get you your rental car. this is so ridiculous. we're going to manage your entire repair process from paperwork to pickup, okay, little tiny baby? your car is ready, and your repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own it. the progressive service center -- a real place, where we really manage your claim from start to finish. really.
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into this for us. what did you find, brian? >> isis is a powerful force in the media. its execution videos and combat footage are slickly produced and one reason they make western audiences shake because in some clips they remind them of their favorite movies and tv shows. it's a slick, horrifying video with hollywood-like production techniques. this is the opening of that video created by isis, showing steven sotloff's execution. this is a clip from the opening showtime terrorism drama "homeland." >> we must and we will remain vigilant. >> reporter: similar phrase, similar grainy video effect. >> there's no coincidence here. this is western media production personnel for isis drawing on their knowledge of western
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popular culture to not only get our attention but kind of stick it to america. >> reporter: one isis video has a scene similar to one in "the hurt locker." isis drone video looks like a scene from "zero dark thirty." syrian soldiers being paraded in the desert in their underwear to their execution the camera at one point swings around to show militants on the production team. one man holding a camera. another one with his face shown, driving. >> these frame grabs any use to western intelligence? >> western intelligence looks at a frame grab like this. there might be someone's face and someone they recognize. you can't see anything about his face here, maybe you can see ca right-handed. but given that there's so many westerners involved in the slick isis prop gapd da machine on social media, digital media, one of the things they'll be looking at is if this is one of the known westerners. >> cnn has learned that investigators are looking at
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ahmad abu sanra. he's now joined isis and whether he may be behind some of its social media campaign. >> these groups themselves understand that you need to get somebody who understands the vernacular, if you like. you need to get somebody who knows what images are going to appeal. >> our analyst peter bergen calls the isis videos dynamic and the videos from al qaeda core boring by comparison. what does he mean? we're going to show you. look at this isis video next to the latest al qaeda core video. the al qaeda video is on the left. that announcing operations on the indian subcontinent. it opens with an image of bin laden, then a map, then 15 minutes of ayman al zawahiri giving a speech on camera compared to the isis video on the right and the production and the visuality of it. that's 40 minutes of a speech after ayman al zawahiri with a simple graphic over it. the lowest of low tech production values in that
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al qaeda video, wolf, compared to that isis video, it seems like the world of media might have passed al qaeda core by. >> ayman al zawahiri very boring looking into the camera, the isis video looking like the opening of "homeland," many of us watch that show. isis has been so effective with this media dpcampaign, the u.s. government is responding to it. >> the state department has produced a counternarrative. a new video. we can show you a clip. it sarcastically tells potential isis recruits that they can, quote, learn new, useful skills by blowing up mosques, by crucifying and executing muslims. they show gruesome images to that effect much of the rest of that video was too graphic for us to show you. again, what's extraordinary. that video produced by the state department just to counterthe isis videos. >> battle of the videos on social media. thanks very much, brian todd for
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that report. brian will have a lot more information to share with you. he's been working on that subject now for a while. he'll be jumping on twitter to answer your questions about the media strategy of isis. tweet your questions, use the #sitroom. just ahead, politics, beer, football, with texas governor rick perry. we go behind the scenes out there on the campaign trail. so what we're looking for is a way to "plus" our accounting firm's mobile plan. and "minus" our expenses. perfect timing. we're offering our best-ever pricing on mobile plans for business. run the numbers on that. well, unlimited talk and text, and ten gigs of data for the five of you would be... one-seventy-five a month. good calculating kyle. good job kyle. you just made partner. our best-ever pricing on mobile share value plans for business. now with a $100 bill credit for every business line you add.
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to help, sleep train is collecting donations for the extra activities that, for most kids, are a normal part of growing up. not everyone can be a foster parent... but anyone can help a foster child. that corporate trial by fire when every slacker gets his due. and yet, there's someone around the office who hasn't had a performance review in a while. someone whose poor performance is slowing down the entire organization. i'm looking at you phone company dsl. go to comcastbusiness.com/ checkyourspeed. if we can't offer faster speeds or save you money we'll give you $150. comcast business built for business. fresh off his indictment on felony charges texas governor rick perry is back out touring the country as he once again seriously eyes a run for the
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white house in 2016. cnn caught up with him in south carolina. that's a key early primary state, as you know. but this isn't the usual boys on the bus political reporting. this is the hamby-cast. >> why were you impressed by him? >> i thought he seemed real. like he could talk to me. i could have a conversation. >> meet people and talk about sports. >> typical thing. >> that's what you're here for. the central thrust of this trip to south carolina is the south carolina/texas a&m football game. what he's saying to these guys is just talking about sports. to be honest, it's a really big part of the culture down here.
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we actually just got a glimpse of behind the scenes stuff that happens when you're campaigning for president. perry just spent a good two hours hobnobbing with donors and republican legislators in these c cockaboose. which is a tradition here. so much of politicking is going to a place hike this which is a big carnival. what's the reaction been from south carolina folks since you've been here? >> there's a couple of big issues with them. one is they really appreciate what we've done in texas on the border. >> what's the other one? >> and the other one is just standing up for the rule of law. this indictment. they kind of see it for what it is. they think it's absurd. >> rick perry certainly has flaws to overcome if he runs for president again. he has to earn the trust of donors and voters who didn't take him seriously after the
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last campaign. one thing he's always been good at is retail politics. this environment is tailor made for him. >> peter's with us right now. you'll be doing this what, once a week you're going to go out there? >> yeah, we'll be doing this weekly. it's called hambycast. you can watch it on your phone, on cnn.com. the goal is to get out there, to bring people into my world, which is campaign politics, take them on the road. introduce them to characters and places that you don't usually see in political coverage, not every episode will be at an s.e.c. football game, obviously, but we'll try to keep it interesting and really just sort of introduce people to this world of politics that often doesn't make it into the mainstream media. >> our political news junkies and everybody out there, including me, are going to love these. >> and it's short. two minutes. digital attention span, it's perfect. >> we'll love every second of those two minutes. thanks very much, peter. you can look forward to it on cnn.com as well as here on "the
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situation room." we're going to be showcasing peter hamby's work. one other programming note, be sure to catch the new cnn film about a former navy s.e.a.l., a decorated veteran who reveals a shocking secret to the world. lady valor the kristin beck story premieres tonight only on cnn. that's it for me. thanks for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, breaking news. joan rivers dead at the age of 81. americans tonight paying tribute to a trailblazing comedian. plus her death under investigation tonight. how did a minor medical procedure go so horribly wrong? and yet another american suspected of fighting for isis. how many others are answering the call for jihad? let's go "outfront."

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