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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  May 28, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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quotes. dating these days. >> having sex. call it what it is. >> elizabeth cohen. thanks. that's it for "the lead." wolf blitzer is next door to "the lead" in the place we like to call "situation room." thanks for watching. happening now anthrax scare. disturbing new revelations of shipments of live anthrax from a u.s. army lab to nine states and to south korea. all by fedex. more than two dozen people treated for positive exposure. how could such a potentially deadly mistake happen? spying deadline. time is running out quickly for one of the nsa's most critical terror cracking programs. set to expire sunday night, unless the u.s. senate takes action. the white house is making dire warnings about national security. i'll talk live to the president's communications director. tracking isis. cnn has learned that federal officials are asking local police to step up surveillance of isis supporters in the united
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states as the fbi struggles to keep tabs on positive terror suspects. is it enough top prevent another attack? inside the united states? north korea nukes. satellite images reveal major nuke construction at north korea's main rocket launch site. is kim jong-un's regime building mobile missile launchers capable of a nuclear attack? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." there are shocking new details tonight about the anthrax scare sparked by u.s. army researchers who sent live anthrax samples to labs around the country and north korea where 22 people were exposed, and now this disturbing revelation. the potentially deadly shipments were sent by fedex. we're covering that story. much more this hour with our correspondents and guests including white house communication director jen sake standing by live at the white
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house. begin with our pentagon correspondent barbara starr learning more about the little tear anthrax shipments. barbara what are you finding out? >> reporter: i have to tell you, wolf there seems to be no other way to describe it than a major screw-up by the pentagon. they can't even tell us right now that all of the 22 shipments over the last year were actually carried out by fedex, though fedex was the contractor for this project. >> now, where are we? 22 shipments over the last year to nine states and the u.s. air force in south korea. but it was not until may 22nd, just last week, that one lab that received the shipment discovered it was live anthrax agent. it was supposed to be irradiated. essentially rendered dead before it was shipped for research purposes. one lab in maryland reports on the 22nd of may that they got live anthrax. but here's another question. it's not until five days later that if a safltfacilityiy in christine
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romans realizes what it has apparentlily because it puts 22 of its people on this's preventative care antibiotics and vaccinations. mystifying the pentagon can't answer all the questions. for other work in the united states also on prevechbltntive care the centers for disease control has taken charge of the investigation, talking to the pentagon and the army talking to these labs across the country, trying to figure out how 22 shipments, which began in march of 2014 how nobody noticed it was live anthrax. wolf? >> and what about those civilians, military personnel, who actually handled the anthrax? first of all, has anyone been sickened? have they all been put on cipro, a major medication preemptively to deal with this? what's going on. >> reporter: at this point the pentagon is saying there are no reports anyone is sick and they
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do not believe it's a threat to public health. that's really important, of course. this is not a terrorist attack. this is not like in 2001 when letters full of loose anthrax went through the u.s. mail and killed five people. this is not that situation. they were shipped in approved containers but those containers were supposed to be for dead anthrax. not quite as stringent as the live anthrax that went into the them. right now you have four people in the united states getting some protective treatment, and those 22 people over in south korea. the anthrax that went to south korea was for a training exercise. not for research. so they are taking that preventive step of giving them those vaccinations and antibiotics, wolf. >> a disturbing. a major screw-up as you reported. thanks. more on this coming up. barbara starr at the weng. the obama administration also urgently warning of
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dangerous sprupgsdanger ous interruptions of tracking if the key provision of the patriot act isn't extended. major intelligence program including collection of bulk phone data expires. go to our white house correspondent michelle kaczynski with much more. what are you hearing there, michelle? >> reporter: what we see, the white house making this push for the senate to act. to keep these parts of the patriot act up and running. calling failing to do so national security russian roulette. an unnecessary risk legal limbo, and saying the fbi's work will be severely impacted. 9 clock is ticking. three days to the deadline. if the senate again fails to approve at least an extension, the government will no longer be allowed to collect and save americans' phone data. the nsa says precisely eight hours to deadline at 3:59 p.m. sunday. >> senate will come to order. >> reporter: that's one minute before the senate even returns
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to deal with this. officials will have to start shutting down servers, reconfiguring software severing the data collection pipelines from your phone companies. if the senate acts by 8:00 p.m. they can start it all back up without interruption. the issue, of course security versus personal privacy. the white house says congress is playing national security russian roulette. >> these are programs that have provided valuable information in the past. these are critical tools used to keep the american people safe. >> reporter: yet it is impossible for u.s. officials to point to even one case where these programs saved the day. thwarted terrorism. senator rand paul who held up the senate in approving even a reformed version of accessing that data remains adamant. today -- >> one of the most cherished rights to be left alone, and what they're doing now i think is unconstitutional and illegal. >> reporter: but it's not only phone data collection set to expire. it's also collecting business bank hotel and other records on
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individuals. officials say used around 200 time as year. there are other ways to get that info, though. just more limited and less secret. also roving wiretaps on people who switch cell phone. used only less than 100 time as year but the government says there is no other way to track these people as quickly or effectively. and why wiretaps on so-called lone wolves. not connected to any known terror group. but officials concede, that one has never even been used and it only applies to people outside the u.s. not americans. what we're left with a big question still, is our national security going to be at risk? remains pretty unclear. depends on whom you ask. looks like the biggest loss would be the roving wiretaps. especially for potential isis types. again, it's only used less than 100 time as year. the white house and counterterrorism officials say new terrorism cases will be affected and why take any risk? especially at the privacy
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concerns that can be addressed through a bipartisan bill the house already passed. wolf? >> michelle kosinski at the white house. thanks. more on what's going on. joining us the white house communications director jen sakai. thanks very for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> what's plan b if the senate fails to act by sunday night? >> well wolf there isn't a plan b. flz no magic bullet. no switch here. this is really an issue that the senate needs to work through and 338 democrats and republicans voted to move foerz on the usa freedom act in the house. the question is can the republicans work through a family feud to get to agreement over the next couple days? we're waiting and looking to see. >> but let me press you on that jen. if it's so important and the senate fails to act by the deadline don't you think there should be some sort of plan b in place? a backup plan ready to kick in
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in case this authorization is not renewed? >> wolf the laws are in place for a reason and congress likes to have the authority to vote laws into place. we certainly support that. this is a case where these programs are authorized by congress and it goes back to the question of -- the common sense question i'll say, of why take tools off the table that our national security team is relying on? we have a couple of days. obviously, discussions are happening and we're urging for senate leaders to work through, senate republican leaders, to work through a resolutions and get to agreement where they can hopefully vote on the house package that's already passed. >> if nots extended what will happen? >> the national security team and intelligence community laid out some of these pieces and what will be wound down and the process of that. so we've already started to lay that out. that's obviously not our preference. and, again, this is something that -- i think the average american would look at this and
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say, this is common sense. why aren't we moving forward on a package that such a majority of the house, democrats and republicans, moved forward on? something where we're put reforms in place to protect people's security to protect people's privacy, but that also allows the tools that are necessary to protect our national security to remain in place. >> but you just heardsenator rand paul, saying the 3r578program is illegal and basically unconstitutional. clearly is a porters in the u.s. senator? >> he does or it would have passed. and it's time for him to put those aside and for people to move forward with what's in the best national security interests of the united states. >> will americans be more endangered if this authorization is not renewed? >> well, wolf, i think no one i think, wants to take tools off of the table of the national
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security. the people the intelligence community, the people who keep our country safe every day. that they may need in the future. we don't want to ask that question. we don't want to test that proposition, and that's why it's so important they move forward in the next couple of days. >> and quickly, i want to take a break and continue the conversation, but are you suggesting senator rand paul is doing this for political reasons? he really doesn't believe what he's proposing? >> well he's obviously spoken out quite fervently on that. i think, though we're at a point in time here wolf where a couple days away we need to find resolution. need to find compromise and clearly there should be a way to get there. >> all right. stand by jen psaki, white house communications director. more questions on this on isis. what's going on right now. stay with us. ♪ color is a beautiful thing.. ♪ ♪ i know, i know... ♪ ♪ color is a beautiful thing ♪ if you feel it, you can find it.
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we're back with the white house communications director general psaki joining us like from the white house. >> hi wolf. >> talk about iraq. democratic congresswoman told me right here in "the situation room" it's time to abandon this notion of one iraq except what she call as three-state solution. sunni state, shia state, kurdish state. what's your response to that? >> our view the united states government's view is that a united iraq is a stronger iraq, and obviously there is quite a history here wolf you've covered extensively over the last couple of years, in terms of division and divisiveness among fighting forces among
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political factions and when prime minister abadi came in last summer he folkcused on and continue to focus on pulling together. we're working on bringing together all the forces the sunni and shia fighting against the enemy, which is isil. we respectively disagree and believe a united iraq is the strongest iraq moving forward. >> you believe that's still realistic given the hatred we've seen at least over these years? >> well as you moengsentioned there is a long history and it takes time to rebuild trust, factions unite political forces and military forces and that something the iraqi leadership and the iraqi government is working hard on at this time. >> we seem to be getting some conflicting messages seemingly conflicting messages i should say, from some type officials in the obama administration.
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isis you know takes over ramadi in the anbar province. your former boss secretary of state john kerry says in a few days that will be resolved not to worry so much. meanwhile, the defense secretary ash carter says the iraqi army basically showed no will to fight at all. are these two secretaries, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense on the same page? >> they certain are and have a great relationship. i know that from my time working with secretary kerry. the fact is the iraqi military the iraqi government themselves acknowledged over the past week there were some command issues some command and control issues on the ground with these forces over the last couple of days. these are also a group of forces that have been fighting bravely and proudly for the last 18 months but haven't benefitted from the training that the department of defense and the united states government has been implementing in other parts of iraq. and we've also seen which is i
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think what secretary kerry referenced the iraqi government come out and say they want to take aggressive actions to take back ramadi. i remind you just a month ago with the backing of the united states with coalition forces they took back tikrit. they've had successes. they've taken back about 25% of populated areas. obviously ramadi was a setback, but they are committed to fighting and committed to taking back land from isis. >> you heard our pentagon correspondent barbara starr report that the u.s. military inadvertently shipped anthrax to nine states as well to a base in south korea. has the president been informed about what's going on, and how this could possibly happen? >> well obviously the president stays in close touch with all of his national security team and leaders. i don't have an update for you today. this is something as your reporter barbara starr reported that the pentagon and the department of defense is tracking closely and working on. they're obviously in the lead
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but it's the responsibility of any commander in chief to remain up to speed on events going on around the country and around the world. >> yeah, pretty disturbing obviously, a major blunder. hopefully they'll figure what exactly happened so it doesn't happen again. a final question what's going on in the korean peninsula now. south korea, japanese officials, meeting in south korea to try to deal with north korea's nuclear program. would it be wise to bring the north koreans in to engage in direct negotiations with pyongyang right now? similar to the direct negotiations of u.s. and other members of the u.n. security council and germany have been engaged in with iran? >> well they're simply different scenarios, wolf. i think the united states and the international community and certainly the group of asian countries that are in the region and impacted directly by the threatening rhetoric and accesses of north korea have long said that the ball is in their court. if they are serious, if they are
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willing to take actions to abide by the 2005 joint statement to show the international community that they are -- they are eager to make changes then that's a different conversation. we haven't seen any indication they're willing to do that. >> an iranian opposition group put out a report alleging that a north korean nuclear delegation is visiting tehran. do you know about that? is that true? >> i have no details on that wolf. i encourage you to ask the north koreans or iranians if you can get them on your program about that. >> see if we can. maybe that's possible. wouldn't be the first time. we'll see. >> it wouldn't be. you're pretty good wolf. >> thanks were jen psaki, thanks very much for that. coming up the fbi asks for help struggling to keep tabs on isis supporters inside the united states. can local police help prevent another terror attack inside the homeland. plus dramatic new video of a flood disaster. new storm warning out for some of the hardest-hit areas. breaking news.
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the fbi is asking for help amid growing fears of attacks by isis supporters sympathizers. sources tell cnn the fbi is reaching out to local police all across the country asking them to step up surveillance of possible terror suspects. our just it reporter evan perez
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is working the story for us. what's the latest you're hearing? >> wolf all of this is really the result of a heightened threat that law enforcement across the country feels with regard to isis. the fbi says they have enough resources to handle what they're handling. what they're simply asking is for the police departments around the country to keep an eye out for isis supporters who may be trying to plot things attacks here in the homeland and so that's what this is all about. we have that the -- we've been told by sources that the nypd lapd are dedicating more resources to surveillance and to simply keeping an eye on communities where they feel they might be -- there might be problems that could crop up. we had the fbi director jim comey in new york yesterday talking about this issue. he said simply one of the things he's worried about is he cannot stop what he cannot see. we have more isis supporters in this country trying to use peer
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to peer communications and encrypted communications. that is unnerving law enforcement, wolf. >> fbi director james comey does he have confidence the fbi can handle this? it's obviously a huge undertaking? >> he does. we saw in garland, texas, earlier this month, wolf we had two isis supporters who tried to attack the prophet muhammad drawing contest, what they are concerned about is that you know, they don't know when people are going to go from simply talking online to actually carrying out an attack. and so the problem for the fbi is simply one of trying to make sure that they know where people are -- when they know someone is planning an attack they have plenty of resources to dedicate it towards that. what they don't know is simply, you know what they can't see, and that's what at issue here, wolf. >> evan. >> thank you. evan perez reporting for us. more on this and joining us
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former counterterrorism official phillip mudd and also joining us former cia operative, cnn intelligence and security analyst robert bair. our cnn national security analyst fran townsend former president bush's homeland security advisor and former fbi assistant director our cnn law enforcement analyst tom fuentes. tom, at what point when in the fbi you ran surveillance operations to track criminals. does the fbi have the xpabltcapability to do the what it needs to dop to monitor these isis sympathizers or supporters in the united states? could be hundreds if not thousands? >> no they don't. i don't care what they say. i know it would take a squad of 30 people and i had a team of that in chicago that i ran, to follow one gangster 24/7. took about 30 people. that's a whole squad. you have to prioritize between who you think might be the threat who might do something and they still have organized crime cases along with the terrorism cases and national
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security cases requiring extensive physical surveillance. it's just they have to try to pick the right people to follow at the right time and hope they're correct. in the case of the two in garland, they weren't in a position to watch them 24/7. next thing you know they're out of pocket and on their way to texas. >> outside of dallas where they had that prophet muhammad incident. both of them killed by a law enforcement officer who was there on the scene, but it could have obviously been a lot worse. fran, why is it so hard to track potential domestic threats? >> it's just as tom fuentes explained, wolf. they get overwhelming amounts of lead information. you can remember the fbi director jim comey is a saying they've gotten investigation in every of the 50 states. i was talking to a terrorism investigator just yesterday who was explaining what they have to do is then take this vast amount of information and intelligence that they're getting, including about foreign fighters, those
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who are on social media accounts, sort of encouraging violent acts inside the united states they have to watch them. they tier them right? make priorities. who do they think is most likely to go operational? it's a little a game of russian roulette. rolling the dice of course making qualitative judgments about who and who they do not have the resources to adequately cover. when you make those choices you may be wrong, like garland, texas. there's no way they have the resources at the federal and -- even this person said to me with state resources, to cover all of the potential leads and so they've got to make very sort of serious choices here. >> bob, what are officials looking at besides social media traffic, for example, as far as these threats are concerned? because it's possible with a more aggressive stance if you will the fbi would target innocent americans in the process as well? somebody just trolling along the twitter, facebook social media sites, not necessarily having a
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desire to do anything bad towards the united states? >> well wolf as fran just said we're overwhelmed with leads. there's a lot of people on social media complaining about our policy in syria and iraq. you know the defense of the sunnis and the rest of it, and implicating they would become involved in violence but what they have to do is take an overt act before the fbi can move against them. the problem is law enforcement, they tell me once they catch on that if you go on social media sites, you're going to be flagged. and if you don't, and can obtain a weapon you can probably get away with a crime, but it's locating those people that we're going to need all of our police and you're going to need a lot more data bases that the police and the fbi just simply have to get into and the risk of our privacy, but there's not much of a choice. >> phil you just heard the white house communications director jen psaki say there really is no plan b. if the senate doesn't extend the
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authorization for the patriot act, collection from the phone companies, no plan b. they have to do something. you think they need to extend it that's it's vital? >> a simple case here and i think every american can understand it. in the morning we have fbi briefings. i went through a thousand of them and forget how many. simple proposition. somebody walks in an analyst 7:15 says john doe in atlanta or chicago cropped up on the radar. maybe because they started communicating with an isis recruiter. your first question as an analyst or investigators is simple. what's the circle of the potential conspiracy? that is who gave him money? where did he get travel documents and most simply who many he communicating with? by phone, for example, by e-mail, by twitter? the only way to do that one way. especially if you want to look at a history of activity in that individual's life. that's to have a database of information that you can draw on. this ain't that complicated. >> fran should there be will plan b, though if the senate doesn't act? >> yeah. wolf i actually find it a little surprising that jen psaki
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was saying there's no plan b. it may be a little bit of a game of chicken that the white house is playing with congress, but there's no doubt in my mind when you talk to intelligence and signals intelligence folks, plan b is initially to shut down a system-wide the capability and then figure out what they have the legal authority or not to turn back on but i will tell you in this environment, intelligence officials are going to be very very cautious and stay inside the line not getting anywhere close if they don't believe they have the league authorities to act. >> tom fuentes, you abree? >> absolutely. >> you think the program is vilgtsz? >> yes. >> disagree with rand paul who says it's unconstitutional? >> i disagree with him and the other thing you're doing, basically requiring the mehta data part of this is requiring the storage of old phone bills and so two or three years back you can look at somebody and say, okay. at that time this number calmed that number. this number texted that number.
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nobody's listening to conversations, there's 50 million call as day in this country. they want the ability to go back because the phone companies don't want to keep the records, and some of these congressmen that have talked just subpoena all the phone company. there's over 3,000 voice-over internet protocol companies. you couldn't issue 3,000 subpoenas. they're storing data to go back and look who did this guy call then? who are other potential co-spawn spiritco-spawn co-conspirators. if you can track back to previous associations that will help you in the future. >> stand by. we'll continue our reporting going on. other breaking news we're following now in texas and oklahoma. a new storm warning, right now in effect. we'll show you where they're expecting yet a new round of flooding tonight and tomorrow. and a report of nuke construction at a north korean construction pad for long-range
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there's breaking news. we're reporting on right now. %-pvery disturbingews. dennis hastert, for eight years republican speaker of the u.s. house of representatives has been indicted on federal banking charges. he's also been accuses of lying to the fbi. according to the indictment which has just been released dennis hastert evaded government rules when he withdrew nearly $1 million from a bank.
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u.s. attorney's office says between 2010 2014 hastert withdrew nearly $2 million in banks in order to "compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against an unnamed individual." hastert, who's 73 years old, speaker of the house of representatives from 1999 to 2007. let me read in part from this indictment that has just been released against john dennis hastert. this is the united states of america v. john dennis hastert. "he had been withdrawing cash from banks and providing the cash to individual a in amounts of $50,000 or $100,000 to satisfy the agreement he made with individual a to provide $3.5 million in order to compensate for and con seem his prior misconduct against individual a. the indictment goes on to say this --
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"specifically, in response to the agent's question confirming whether the purpose of the withdrawals was to store cash because he did not feel safe with the banking estimate as he previously indicated, john dennis hastert stated yeah. i kept the cash. that's what i'm doing. whereas in truth, the indictment says and in fact as john dennis hastert then well knew this statement was false." major breaking news. a formal indictment against the former speaker of the house of representatives dennis hastert. much more on this story coming up. that's obviously a very very disturbing development. we'll stay on top of it for you. other breaking news coming into "the situation room" right now as well. new severe thunderstorm warnings and flash flood warnings in effect in texas and oklahoma even as the death toll continue to rise from the devastating storms earlier in the week.
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jennifer gray meteorologist, joining us from austin. one of the hardest-hit areas. jennifer what are you seeing right now? >> reporter: yeah wolf. in wimberley we've been lucky throughout the day today, because we haven't had those really strong storms. a couple showers pass by nothing too major. you can still see the blanco river behind me just looking at it is haunting knowing the stories that came out of here through the weekend. in fact eight people still missing. four faytalityiesfatalities. three identified. michelle charba found. she is the latest person to be identified. unfortunately, though the rest of her family is still missing including her husband, son and her parents. then the story of jonathan mccomb, recovering in a hospital should make a full recovery. unfortunately, the rest of his family that was swept away is still missing as well. all of this and still getting new pictures in from what happened that weekend makes it even more scary.
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tonight, new video captures the moment river water burst into this home in wimberley, texas. >> it was insane. we watched the water rush in, and we -- the power go off and then we smelled, you knowish the fire. the electric was burning. so we -- it became very, very real and scary at that moment. >> reporter: as the region braces for more severe weather, which is forecasted for tonight and into the weekend -- [ sirens ] and it's not just heavy rains and flash foods. this was a tornado that touched down in the texas panhandle. hitting a drilling rig. >> this effort is not over. >> reporter: meantime the frantic search for the missing, their families desperate to find them. >> right now we must focus on finding those who are still missing, and just as importantly, pray for the living
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whose hearts are broken. >> reporter: rescuers were able to save this family who was trapped in the second story of their home outside of houston. >> lives have been lost. >> reporter: today president obama said the rebuilding process will take time. >> i'm confident obviously that these communities will ultimate ultimately get back on their feet. it does remind us that it is never too early for disaster preparation. . >> and jen, new video in showing the devastation in women we areimberley. tell us how hard the area you are in was hit? >> reporter: this is the worst flood they've ever had in the history of this area. you know that river rose so fast and so high and they are still cleaning up and will be cleaning up for a very very long time and it's going to take a while. they are hoping they do not get a lot of rain.
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we're expecting an inch or less throughout the rest of the week and the weekend, but at that press conference today, they did assure everyone that crews are going to be out and they are searching for the missing. those eight people still missing, and they will not let up until they are found. there are some 40 and 50 crews out there as well as nine canine teams. they're searching by air, searching by water, searching on foot and not giving up wolf. >> jennifer gray reporting for us. jennifer thank you. coming up a new report that says satellites have spotted new construction in a launching pad north korea could use for long-range rockets. what is kim jong-un up to right now? the network that monitors her health. the secure cloud services that store her genetic data the servers and software on a mission to find the perfect match. and the mom who gets to hear her daughter's heart beat once again.
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a new report says north korea is building up a launching pad for long range rockets. it comes just as the u.s. and its partners are trying to pressure north korea leader kim jong-un into giving up his nuclear weapons. brian todd is here in "the situation room." >> those new images of the rocket launch site are the latest example of how kim jong un has been aggressive expand ing his nuclear arsenal, bragging he could miniaturize a warhead, claiming he could lawn frch a submarine, threatening his neighbors, internal rivals. the u.s. and its allies are pushing back. north korea's violent, erratic young dictator under a new round of pressure from the world's top powers diplomats from the u.s., south korea and japan discuss tight en tightening sanctions on kim
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jong-un putting the squeeze on his main sources of cash to pressure him to negotiate an end to his nuclear weapons program. >> we agreed on the importance of enhancing pressure and sanctions on north korea even as we keep all diplomatic options on the table. >> reporter: the u.s. envoy talked about putting more pressure on kim over his human rights abuses. they're not tying human rights directly to nuclear talks, a move that could kill those discussions. why is america's top nuclear negotiator talking about human rights? >> we're trying to essentially poke north korea, kim jong un and his family dynasty where is hurts most. europe not legitimate. you're abusing your people. you're oppressing your people and keeping them out of the global economy. >> reporter: but most analysts believe kim jong un will not give up his nuclear arsenal. they say right now he's moving in the opposite direction, building his stockpile at a dangerous rate. >> north korea could have 10 to 15 nuclear weapons now, and it
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can grow that amount by several weapons per year. >> reporter: possibly to between 50 and 100 by the end of 2020. satellite photos show new construction at north korea's flagship rocket lawnunching site just over the last two months. at the top a new building can be seen going up. and at the bottom new rails to the launch pad according to researchers are 38 north. kim also seems to be unrelent ing in the alleged abuse of his own people. human rights monitor greg scarlotto met with defectors and intelligence officials saying he's been expanding his prison camps, has clamped down on defectors and since coming to power in 2011 purged 70 senior officials including his uncle and defense minister using gruesome methods. >> they are executed by antiaircraft machine gun
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battery. the bodies are pulverized. there is nothing left behind. >> reporter: cnn has not been able to independently confirm those methods of execution. he says they often execute his entire family or send them to prison camps, up to three generations of them. they deny doing that. >> there's pressure to charge kim jong un with human rights offenses. >> a scathing report detailed all the killings and abuses in the north korean gulags. the u.n. general assembly has passed a resolution recommending kim and his regime be referred for criminal charges that will take an act of un.n. security council to endorse that. and russia and china will probably block that. there is a push in the u.n. to actually charge him with crimes. >> brian todd reporting for us. coming up live anthrax sent to labs across the united states and to korea by the u.s. army
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[ female announcer ] traveling is stressful. but you can count on our 1,000 americas and canadas best value inns for room discounts, upgrades instant rewards, and a home town touch. happening now, exposed to anthrax. we're learning who may have been in contact with the potentially deadly bacteria after a shocking mistake by the u.s. military that went on for over a year. nsa deadline. hours away from pulling a plug on a controversial program. senator paul's gop presidential rivals are using that against him. the former house speaker
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indicted. stand by on new charges against dennis hastert. they are accusing him of a cover-up and lying to the fbi. and person of interest. as police search for possible accomplices in the d.c. mansion murders, we're learning more about a key witness who is now under scrutiny. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking now, as many as 26 people are being treated for possible exposure to the often deadly bacteria anthrax. an investigation now under way into the u.s. military's mishandling of live anthrax samples, they were mistakenly sent to labs here in the united states and overseas. a u.s. defense department official tells cnn the anthrax was shipped by fedex and there are now new questions tonight about whether anyone else might be at risk.
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the former chairman of the house intelligence committee, representative mike rogers is standing by along with our correspondents and our analysts all covering the news that's breaking right are now. first, let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr for the very latest. barbara? >> reporter: good evening, wolf. tonight the centers for disease control is taking charge of the investigation into what the pentagon did. the only problem is the pentagon right now doesn't even know what happened. nearly two dozen shipments, all potentially live anthrax and, worse, for over a year nobody knew it. the military now scrambling to explain how it could have happened. >> it's a great question. that's exactly why we brought in the centers for disease control and their investigators. >> reporter: the army contracted with fedex for the shipments. the company says it's working with the federal government. the anthrax was to be shipped as dead agent, supposedly a less
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dangerous form. >> that doesn't have much meaning to me. anthrax can exist for decades, centuries, under ground in a spore form this hard, crusted, inanimate form that eventually can change into an active poisonous type form. >> reporter: a history of anthrax fears. weeks after the 9/11 attacks, letters laced with anthrax were sent killing five americans in what the fbi calls the worst biological attack in u.s. history. this time no indication of a deliberate act and the pentagon says no one is sick. a growing investigation is spreading across nine states and overseas to south korea where 22 people are receiving precautionary antibiotics and vaccinations after a potential exposure during a training exercise. they began medical care may 27 five days after the pentagon
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first received word from a lab it got live anthrax from the shipment not dead agent for research. the pentagon says it's working into why the late notification. the anthrax was in south korea for over a year. no one knowing it was live. it all began last year on march 18, 2014 at dugway proving ground, an army base. the intent to kill the live agent before shipment. over the next year the material was divided into a number of lots and it was shipped 22 times until last friday when a maryland lab discovered it had live anthrax. and tonight, wolf no one can say when the centers for disease control will be done with their investigation into all of this. wolf? >> what a story that is. barbara, thank you. also breaking tonight, the white house accusing congress of playing dangerous games with
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u.s. national security. key provisions of the patriot act are set to expire more than 72 hours from now. the national security agency is getting ready to pull the plug on a controversial phone data collection program if the u.s. senate doesn't act before time runs out. let's go to our white house correspondent michelle kosinski standing by with much more. michelle? >> reporter: we see the white house pushing the senate to act to keep these parts of the patriot act up and running and they say failing to do so is like playing national security russian roulette an unnecessary risk saying the fbi's work will be severely impacted. here here's the white house today. >> professionals told us these are programs that have provided valuable information in the past. these are critical tools that are used to keep the american people safe. they use these tools to collect information that has not been otherwise available to them, that was then used to prevent individuals from carrying out acts of violence to round up
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people who wished harm on the united states. >> reporter: that's what they're saying. the thing is u.s. officials can't point to any one case where these programs saved the day and thwarted terror. if you look at the other programs besides the bulk data collection that are going to expire being able to collect an individual's data bank data hotel data things like that that's used about 200 times a year. officials say, yeah there are other ways to go about getting that kind of info but those would be more limited and less secret. also roving wire taps on people who keep switching cell phones. that's used only less than 100 times a year but officials do say that this is the only way they can quickly and effectively track people like that. also there's wire taps on lone wolves people who aren't connected to any known terror group. it turns out this has never even been used before. and it only applies to people outside the u.s., not american
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lone wolves. so this big question that lingers lingers, how is our national security going to be at risk? it just depends on whom you ask. the white house's take is why allow any risk especially when the privacy concerns can be addressed through this bipartisan bill that's already been passed through the house. that's what the white house wants it this senate to pass. >> they assume it will happen, at least an extension for a few days, michelle, because we heard jen psaki, the white house communications director say there is no plan "b" right now that the white house has if it isn't extended. >> reporter: right, exactly. and they're calling this legal limbo, that if these expirations do happen it's going to throw the whole system into these legal questions even for current cases. that they're going to have to see if it's still legal. even the grand fathering in of the warrants that have already been obtained officials say even that is thrown into question in addition because of lawsuits recently on some of these programs. >> michelle kosinski at the white house for us. thank you.
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let's get more now from the former chairman of the house intelligence committee mike rogers, now a cnn national security commentator. thank you very much for coming in. what happens if the senate fails to act by midnight sunday? >> well, it actually starts earlier. there are servers that have to be shut down at the national security agency and that takes time to do. >> that's supposed to start around 3:00 p.m. on sunday. >> that's correct. and once that kicks off it's nearly impossible to stop it. they'd have to stop and regroup and try to reprogram the thing to get back. >> the centers ofsenate isn't even coming back into session. >> i'm certainly disappointed in both the senate and the house actually for just leaving town. this is an important issue and to that question where people say, well can you point to one case one smoking gun? in an investigation, it's never just the smoking gun, it's all the pieces of evidence you can put together to stop an act of terror this provides a very important tool. and by the numbers that they're giving you, 100 on the roving
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wire taps you know it's used judiciously but an important piece of a very big and complicated puzzle. >> are senator rand paul, republican presidential candidate, says it's unconstitutional and illegal. >> well no court has said that it is unconstitutional for sure. the appeals court said they believe the way the warrants were obtained were wrong. and then actually provided a path to do it correctly. remember nine judges 40 different times has this program been reviewed and approved. >> well, what happens if it isn't extended? the white house says there is no plan "b".." will america be more in danger if it isn't extended? practically speaking what's going to happen? >> think of it. one of the reasons we have this program they missed -- the intelligence and law enforcement missed the phone call from yemen from a safe house, a known terrorist safe house in the united states after the event of 9/11. that was one of the calls to the
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9/11 hijackers. wouldn't it have been great for that to kick off an investigation to determine who did they call and why did they call? you'll lose that. terrorists are savvy these days. they understand switching phones and switching frequently will screw up the warrant process when trying to listen to those phone calls. without that, you run the risk of a very savvy terrorist organization getting an operation in the united states and circumventing legal surveillance. i think that's a problem. especially with what's going on with isis in syria knowing that they're trying to get an act of terror to happen in the united states. >> you were chairman of the house intelligence committee for a long time. you were fully briefed on this nsa program. if senator rand paul were sitting with us right now, what would you say to him? >> first of all come you up with an altern tetch. saying no to all of it and letting it expire is irresponsible. if you want to be commander in chief, taking these important tools away do you have an alternative that you believe protects privacy more than a
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bipartisan vote in the house of representatives which is hard to do and said we think this is the way forward. he's saying no to any of it. i think that part is irresponsible. let them vote on it. if he disagrees, vote no and then tell us why he voted no. that's appropriate. to stop the whole process, i think, is irresponsible knowing that we have terrorists in syria, in iraq who want to conduct attacks. >> mike rogers i want to you stand by. there's more to discuss. we're following other breaking news.
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you total your brand new car. nobody's hurt,but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do, drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had a liberty mutual new car replacement, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. new car replacement is just one of the features that come standard with a base liberty mutual policy. and for drivers with accident
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forgivness,rates won't go up due to your first accident. learn more by calling switch to liberty mutual and you can save up to $423. for a free quote today,call liberty mutual insurance at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. we're back with the former house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers.
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i want you to stand by. we're getting new information right now on a major breaking story here in washington. the indictment of the former speaker of the house of representatives dennis hastert. let's go to our senior washington correspondent joe johns. he has details. this is pretty startling. tell our viewers what you've learned. >> reporter: former speaker dennis hastert is charged with false statements making false statements as well as structuring payments to an unknown individual in an attempt to avoid irs indictments. hastert had agreed to make payments and that he withdrew approximately $1.7 million in cash and gave it to this person identified as individual "a" between 2010 and 2014. the indictment says these two men discussed past misconduct against this individual that had occurred years earlier. then when the fbi asked this
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individual about the payments asked the speaker about it, the speaker made a false statement according to the indictment and now reading from the indictment confirming whether it was to restore cash because he did not feel safe with the banking system as he previously indicated hastert said i kept the cash. that's what i'm doing. this indictment does make reference to other things that hastert was a high school teacher in new yorkville, illinois from 1965-1981 before he entered politics. it does not specify whatever the alleged misconduct was that hastert was actually paying. a lot of questions in this indictment. the speaker of the house well known here in washington, d.c., for a long time. now dennis hastert in retirement facing a federal indictment wolf. >> yeah obviously startling,
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major development. all right, joe, thanks very much. mike rogers is still with us. he was the chairman of the house intelligence committee. you know dennis hastert. you worked with him, next in line to be president of the united states, very, very startling developments. your reaction? >> from a personal perfectspective i'm shocked and disheartened he found himself in a position he felt today do something this drastic. clearly he must have known it was illegal to do it in the way they structured it. shocked, dismayed my heart goes out to his family. from an fbi agent perfect spektspective, lots of questions. i used to be an fbi agent. was he extorted? likely the way they've written the indictment means individual 56 is "a" is likely to have cooperated. i think there will be a lot more story to be told here.
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>> we don't know who individual "a" is and what his alleged prior misconduct against individual "a" is. we don't know what that alleged prior misconduct hastert commit committed against individual "a" is. >> and if it happened during his tenure as speaker or his tenure in the house of representatives. we don't know. a lot to be determined. now it sounds like that is not the case. a lot of holes in that indictment. >> and he was very well liked. >> ran the house with a genuine spirit trying to accommodate both guys was known as the gentle giant as speaker. a lot of people will be shokt. >> we don't have any reaction from dennis hastert or his attorney. as soon as we get that we'll share it with our viewers as
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well. a mayjor development here in washington, d.c. let's talk about what's going on in iraq right now. barbara starr saying the administration is not yet thinking of providing what happens it in the anbar province. they go through the central government in baghdad. the u.s. doesn't provide weapons directly to the kurds or sunnis. what's your analysis? should they be helping the government of the prime minister right now? >> currently what's happening isn't working. i would say, yes they probably should do this. we had relationships with that awakening, the sunnig. that was a good relationship. the cia was providing huge sums of money to those sunni tribal
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shakes sheikhs. there were hundreds of millions of dollars doled out. they were giving away a lot of money. >> money, equipment, they were digging wells. they all helped consolidate and pusht out the people that were isis at the time. they were under a guy named zarqawi. the head of isis worked for zarqawi. he was in custody when the u.s. pulled out. he escaped with 1,500 people and reconstituted under isis. the relationships with those tribal lead ersers is still real but they're going to have to have something of consequence. shia militia heavily equipped in humvees is only going to create more problems. i think it's critical to put
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special capabilities groups on the ground and reconnect with those who helped pull out extremeists in the past. >> mike rogers former chairman of the house intelligence committee. a surge in home grown terror attacks. the fbi is getting new help but is it enough? and the spotlight is on a key witness in the d.c. mansion murders. what does this witness know and why has he allegedly been changing his story? ortho bug b gon gives you season-long control of all these types of bugs. spectracide gives you season-long control... of just ants. their label says so. bugged by more than ants? get ortho bug b gon. the label tells the story. ortho home defense gives you year long control of all these household bugs - roaches, ants, and spiders. spectracide gives you year long control... of just roaches. their label says so. got more than roaches moving in? get home defense.
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tonight the fbi is getting new help as it struggles to keep up with the threat from isis supporters here in the united states. the new york police department and other law enforcement agencies around the country are increasing their surveillance of possible terror suspects. also joining us tom fuentes, retired lieutenant general mark hurtling and counterterrorism analyst phillip mudd. you've been reporting on what the pd is doing. what else are you learning? >> the fbi can't keep up with all of these people the hundreds and hundreds of people online talking to isis communicating with them on social media and in ways that
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the fbi cannot see. they have said look we want you to be our eyes and ears. they cannot stop what they can cannot see. that is what's happening. the nypd says they're adding about 400 new officers to their counterterrorism section, the lapd i know is adding some morp re more resources. they all see an increased threat an increased activity in isis. after garland, texas, which this attack against pro-fet muhammad drawing contest, people got really worried about not being able to see things before these people act out. >> is this the short-term move by these local law enforcement agencies like the nypd until the fbi can get a better long-term plan in place? >> the fbi says they don't have any resource issues. when they know what's coming they can stop it. they can dedicate the resource ss.
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more are using encrypted communication and that is incredibly difficult to stop. they just can't access it. they want local law enforcement to do more to again, give them an early start on any of these suspects. >> you're a former assistant of the fbi does this really change the game right now what's going on? >> not really. all they can do is address with the resources they have. the fbi even when i was running international operations whether it was mi-5 in england or our counterparts around the world saying we don't have enough resource ss to follow every known group or cell we've identified and we've seen this for a decade and of course the attacks in europe most recently. europe, australia, canada none of the agencies have enough
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resources, they're not going to have enough. these are all police departments that we're talking about being more alert, having more counterterrorism officers that are supposed to be stepping up community policing to ease racial tensions. they all have finite resources and it will be difficult to follow isis members if you're trying to meat with civic groups and rotary clubs and chambers of commerce. a lot to ask. >> what needs to be done now? almost every day we hear about anotherr or supporter. >> if you're facing a few small al qaeda cells, let's say a decade ago, it's about the old business of spying. that's sources and wires. get an informant and listen to conversations. the revolution with the cia and the fbi sources and wires are
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fine but we have a social media revolution where we have thousands of kids looking on websites listening to what isis says. partnerships with silicon valley with the intelligence community to say how do we sort through this stuff? the second is what is the american people -- what's their comfort level with the feds collecting a bunch of the social media? >> it's a huge huge problem. general hurtling let me shift gears. barbara starr reporting the u.s. military inadvertently shipped deadly live anthrax to several states -- i think nine states as well as to a u.s. base in south korea. here is the question a lot of viewers were asking me. why is the military even shipping anthrax around right now? >> wolf it's all about this. everyone knows that america's military fights our nation's
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wars. when they're not fating, they're preparing to fight the next war. it may be chemical biological or radiological weapons. you have to learn to detect treat, and immunize against it. what's going on here these dry spores as they were called were not supposed to have any capability were sent to different location ss to develop training kits. that's part of the assessment and detection. they were in the middle of an anthrax detection program. that's what happened the executive agent for department of defense and chemical weapons is embarrassed by this. early interkators it was a process ing processing error. >> all of us remember the anthrax terror attacks after
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9/11 that occurred here in the united states sent out via fedex. that's a major blunder. not so much when you know the processing. the wet spores were supposed to have been irradiated. they were not. so early indicators it was a processing issue. there are certain procedures to use agencies like fedex and u.p.s. it doesn't come in a normal fedex package. you need to get it to korea somehow. >> figure out exactly what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again. let me talk about the mewuhammad cartoon event that is supposed to happen tomorrow outside of phoenix, arizona. we saw what happened in garland,
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texas. >> i don't get too excited often. the director of the fbi says there's investigations that require so many resource ss we have to ask for more eyes and ears from city cops like los angeles and nypd and an anger management class can't figure out incitement to riot is not a good idea in this environment. i learned in civics in high school that free speech is incredible. this is incredible they think it's a great idea in this environment. i don't get it. >> do you agree? >> not quite. we have the first amendment for a reason. it might be stupid and horrific that they're having these cartoons. this is the usa and you should have a right to do it and people should accept that. they only did have two jihadis
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that showed up. >> they showed one a lot of weapons. >> but, still, the mere fact people don't like what you say and will use violence it's tradition to let people say what they want to say and protect them. >> we'll watch and see what happens in phoenix tomorrow as well. just ahead the growing scrutiny of a key witness in the d.c. mansion murders. what might police learn from the assistant to one of the victims.
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new details about the man known as witness one in the mysterious murder case here in the nation's capital. police now searching for possible accomplices after one suspect was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. pamela what are you learning? >> a friend i spoke to today tells me he has been cooperating with police. he is one of several people still being investigated in connection to the quadruple homicide. tonight we're learning more about a key witness in the quadruple homicide. the assistant of savopoulos trying to lawn after car racing career and began working as savopoulos driver just a few months ago according to a source. police say his last errand for
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his boss was to drop off $40,000 in cash at the family's home while they were held hostage. police say his phone had a number of text messages and calls with mr. safevopoulos. >> to get the $40,000 back to the house. he's going to play a hugely important role in resolving this case. >> reporter: listed as witness one the assistant allegedly changed his events where he left the package. when he was told to get the package and how he received the package telling authorities he lied when he stated the money informs a manila envelope. he texted a picture in a red bag to another witness the morning of the murders. >> is it possible that you misremember putting money in a manila envelope? it's possible but it becomes less possible. you texted a picture of that same bag. >> reporter: according to local washington affiliate wttg the
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assistant's instagram account shows pictures of fancy cars including from inside his boss' blue porsche where he writes another day on the job. my office today is pretty nice. #porsche #turbo #porsche 911 #work. police say the savopoulos' blue porsche was stolen and set on fire after the quadruple homicide. according to police records they say the driver of the stolen are porsche has short, well-groomed hair. the only suspect named so far daron wint has mid length dreadlocks dreadlocks. he was arrested after they say his dna was found on a piece of pizza crust in the home where the murders took place. >> this is a mystery. it's almost like a crime novel with an elaborate and complex plot and we're only being given pieces. >> reporter: and sources say police continued to investigate the five people who were with wint when he was arrested including his brother, cousin and two women who allegedly purchased money orders with the
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murder money, that $40,000. wolf? >> pamela, thank you. let's bring back our law enforcement analyst tom fuentes. also matthew horace, a former atf agent in charge. we heard about this one witness according to this indictment lying about the nature of this $40,000 delivery if you will. what does all of this say to you? >> it's very suspicious, wolf. if he laid on something that really should be pretty easy to know or remember in terms of the facts of this case it's one thing when witnesses in the heat of trauma see a bank robber run out the door and misidentify that person. in this situation the role that he played you know it's hard to imagine how you would not be accurate in telling that story to police. >> matthew, what does is day to you? >> when you look at the tone of the investigation, the investigators will ensure three things that this investigation is complete that it's correct, and that it's comprehensive. a part of that is going to be interviewing each and every
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person that's coming in contact with wint or the family. his story might change one time, two times, three times, or more before we determine the full scope of this investigation. >> would you be surprised if there are other arrests coming forward in the days or weeks ahead, matthew? >> i would expect there to be other arrests coming forward in the days weeks ahead. let me tell you why, wolf. every day investigators are discussing what's being taken out of the house. what evidence they recovered initially after the fire. what digital evidence they're recovering from the cell phones and computers and they're developing case management systems to link all these things together and develop more witnesses. >> you work for the a it tf for a long time, matthew that fire was supposedly -- i assume whoever launched that fire was trying to destroy evidence but could they really come up with more evidence following a are horrendous fire like that? >> wolf i've seen evidence recovered in the dead of winter in alaska and in 100-degree heat
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in phoenix. the atf certified fire investigators as we said before are amongst the very best arson investigators in the world and they will stay on that scene until the scene is complete. >> where does this next go? >> there's still a lot of work continuing in terms of forensic andalysis, the investigative material that was collected, now being analyze. the rest of the investigation concerning the courier. the assistant to savopoulos. a lot of stories have to be looked at and i think someone at some point in this case for so many people that have some piece of it someone will be cooperate ing and tell the story. >> thanks very much. just ahead there are now new political attacks against senator rand paul. rival political presidential hopefuls going after him right now?
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with xfinity from comcast you can manage your account anytime, anywhere on any device. just sign into my account to pay bills manage service appointments
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and find answers to your questions. you can even check your connection status on your phone. now it's easier than ever to manage your account. get started at we're following a major breaking story. dennis hastert, the republican former speaker of the u.s. house of representatives has been indicted on federal banking charges. he's also accused of lying to the fbi. according to the indictment which has just been released hastert evaded government rules when he withdrew nearly $1 million from a bank. the u.s. attorney's office says between 2010 and 2014 hastert withdrew nearly $2 million from banks and ordered a, quote, compensate for and conceal his
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prior misconduct against an unnamed individual. hastert is 73 years old. was speaker of the house from there's another storely breaking right now. the national security agency preparing to shut down a domestic surveillance program that's due to expire 72 hours from now. republican senator and presidential candidate rand paul has led the charge against the nsa's mass collection of phone records. cnn athena jones is working the story for us. >> he's at just 7% in the latest presidential pole, but rand paul is at the center in a debate in his party. and that's made the kentucky senator is punching bag in the gop field. tonight, rand paul increasingly at odds with key members of his
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own party. doubling down on his opposition to government surveillance tools supporters say are vital to finding terrorism. paul has led the charge against the nsa's mass collection of phone data. he took to the senate floor this weekend to block attempts to extend the program. that prompted an eye roll from one fellow republican. >> i object. >> objection is heard. >> our forefathers would be agast. >> a libertarian with an isolationist streak, he's also blaming some in his party for the rise of isis. >> because of the hawks in our party who gave arms and most of those arms were snatched up by isis. >> also drawing fire from his fellow presidential hopefuls. >> his statements yesterday and some of the previous statements i think were under unsuitable -- >> i think there's a lot of good
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things about him. i think he's just wrong on this one. >> i would expect to hear that from someone like bernie sanders. >> sending snarky tweets like this to president obama. in 2006 you said we should defend privacy of americans. so you were for privacy before you were against it. and alling on his supporters to stand with rand and throw in some cash. his campaign even selling this filibuster starter pack with a t-shirt that reads, the nsa knows i bought this t-shirt. still, his opponents say he's wrong on the nsa. >> there's nobody engaging on this national conversation other than me who's used these tools. i've used them for seven years now as a prosecutor. what i talk about is actual. >> paul's campaign says voters want a candidate with coherent views and that he's the only
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republican running who's willing to learn from america's mistakes in the middle east. we expect to see paul once again in action on the senate floor sunday night when the senate comes back to try to pass an extension before they expire at midnight. >> thanks very much. let's bring in our chief political analyst cnn politics reporter and our cnn political director. is it really rand paul versus the rest of the republican field right now? is that what's going on? >> it certainly is on this issue of isis. about him saying right-wing hawks inside the party are the ones that caused this moment where isis is having this resur gent moment. that he stands alone. he's got a tricky challenge standing alone. he needs to appeal to the group of folks that appeal to that rise in the party. and grow beyond that. and if he is right now on these issues of the nsa or of isis and
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appealing just to that wing his competitors are well aware of that and they're eager to jump on this. >> could he throw benefit from being a punching bag right now? >> yeah, it's all about name recognition. right now, there's the debate the ideological debate going on. they're campaigning in iowa and new hampshire. and there's another primary going on. the primary that's going on is to get on that debate stage, the first fox debate in august is going to take the top ten folks. so it's like the hunger games out there, only without the fun for these guys. so the more your name recognition goes up all you need to do is get a little bit of a sliver of the elect rat. you don't need to have a wing of the party. you just need to have a little sliver of the party supporting you so you can qualify for these
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debates which actually give you oxygen. >> you wrote a column saying one of the motivations for the attacks going on right now is to get name recognition. >> sure. everybody wants to get into the act. jeb bush doesn't have to do because he has that recognition. but everybody wants to get into the act right now. >> if you look at a place like iowa you don't need that large of a percentage of the vote to turn out a strong showing in iowa. so if rand paul can make a name for himself doing this kind of thing and find enough voters in iowa who are worried about america being too interventionist, it's a matter of turning out a really strong performance in iowa. >> the supporters is it the same base his father had? >> it's definitely going to be some of the same base. he walks this line between not totally alien ating the establishment republicans, but
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also trying to bring in the ron paul supporters. the more ron paul supporters he's going to lose. >> can that resonate in iowa the iowa caucuses, that ron paul rand paul base if you will? >> it certainly resonated and he got a healthy turnout there. sarah's point is so critical. when he goes to the senate floor, this is a fund raising opportunity. this is build e-mail lists, this is really jazzing up those folks that are psyched about having this libertarian guy standing in the party as a real contender. the more he gives voice to that wing of the party, he's retracting those mainstream folks he's been trying to win over. >> what is today, thursday new -- >> he announced he's running for the republican presidential nomination. i want to put up this poll of
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potential republican candidates out there. the top five all at what 10% right there. jeb bush marco rubio, ben carson, mike huckabee. >> that's why they're all getting in. first of all, they think hillary clinton is beatable and they think she might beat herself in the primary. they look at this field, and say why not me. i know there's a joke about every member of the senate looking around and saying why not me. but that's what george pa taky is doing. he's trying to see, i'm going to get in, see who fails, and then see who's left standing. you can say the same for john cast sick who hasn't made a decision yet to get in. >> all of these people are doing pretty well because the claws are just now starting to come out. jeb bush being at 10% right now, he's talking about raising
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insane amounts of money. you can carpet bomb everyone else with negative ads. the minute anyone else starting to rise up as we get closer to that voting day in iowa you can -- >> that's why all those 10%s are not necessarily equal. jeb bush is going to have you know $100 million waiting in reserve to launch as needed not every one of those guys -- >> and there are national polls which will determine who gets on the debate stage for now and there are polls in iowa in which case jeb bush doesn't look so good. so we're looking at different sets of polling to determine different outcomes one for debates and one for who might well win the iowa primary, the new hampshire primary. >> can a moderate republican like new york state and repeatedly reelected in new york state, can he do well in iowa
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new hampshire, south carolina nevada florida, places like that? >> he is a pro-choice pro-gay marriage pro environmental republican. i think that is a tough portfolio to have and win the modern day republican presidential nomination. >> and rudy giuliani learned that four years ago. >> exactly. everyone's kind of like gives you a sign of just how many options there are this time and how strong of a field it is this time. >> i want to leave our viewers with these disturbing pictures coming in right now. take a look at the flooding. this is near oklahoma city right now. it's been horrendous in oklahoma in texas. we're going to be monitoring this throughout the night here on cnn. obviously tomorrow as well. significant flooding near oklahoma city right now. and more bad weather in texas as well. stay with cnn for complete coverage. guys thanks very much. that's it for me.
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you can always tweet the show @cnn. join us tomorrow. erin burnett out front starts right now. up front tonight, we begin with breaking news. dozens of americans being treated for possible exposure to deadly anthrax. why were they fedex'd? plus a black woman eight months pregnant wrestled to the ground, handcuffed on her stomach by a police officer. we have the video. and dennis hastert indicted. why did he agree to pay someone millions of dollars in coverup money. let's go outfront. and good evening. i'm erin burnett. outfront tonight we begin with breaking news the anthrax