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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 16, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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in hollywood. >> thanks, very much, happening now, mitt romney's plans to turn around, what the can date said when he didn't know reporters were listening in. also new polls on the presidential contest just coming into "the situation room." the first since rick santorum dropped out of the presidential contest. how does romney do in a head to head matchup with mibarack obam. kim jong-un's first speech in public. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room."
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it can be a politician's worst enemy as politicians from ronald reagan to barack obama have learned the hard way. now a would be president is having his own open mike moment, mitt romney speaking candidly at a public fund-raiser about eliminating tax deductions and other loopholes. jim, tell our viewers what's going on. >> this is sort of an open mike moment, even though there were no microphones, mitt romney has been reluctant to offer many details to voters. yet at a private fundrai-raiser over the weekend, romney was willing to get specific. >> reporter: for mitt romney, it was supposed to be a private
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fund-raiser. but two reporters overheard specifics from romney's deficit reduction plan that he has yet to share with the public. among other things, romney was considering eliminating the department of housing and human development, he talked about console -- the obama campaign was quick to pounce, accusing romney for having a penchant for secrecy. to be able to lift up the hood and kick the tires and make that determination before election day. and what's clear is that governor romney is trying to make the specifics of his policies off limits for the american people. >> reporter: even at the fund-raiser, romney didn't spell out all of his plans, saying things like house and human
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development may not be around leader, but i'm not going do go through these one by one. i will send a lot of what happens in washington back to the states, former governor said on a conference call that voters shouldn't read too much into the comments. >> he talks about different ideas as they come up on the stump, he wasn't announcing a policy. >> reporter: the chairman said that the remarks were meant for a private comment. >> this is my last election and after my election, i will have more fexability. . >> obama was slammed when he -- >> the idea that our president is planning on doing something with them that he's not willing to tell the american people before the election is something i find very, very alarming.
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>> reporter: meanwhile, the wife of the likely gop nominee, ann romney was also at that fund-raiser, wolf, she called that accusation from democratic strategist hillary rosen that she hasn't worked a day in her life. ann romney called it an earlier birthday present, she called it a defining moment in this race. >> all that is said at a fund-raiser as you point out in palm beach with very, very wealthy individuals and they were trying to raise money for the super pac and that you can give unlimited sums to that pro romney superpac? >> by and large, campaigns try and keep the press away from these fundraising events, but many times those news organizations will put a security perimeter outside of
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this event. it just so happened that these two reporters were positioned where they could -- comments that i will have to tell you, wolf, i have covered mitt romney for many months now, he has not talked about eliminating hud at any of these events up until this point, so these are definitely new disclosures from this candidate, wolf. >> jim acosta, thank you. and this just coming into "the situation room," a grand new poll putting him rot anymmi head to head against president obama. 52% for obama and 36% for mitt romney. >> some early strength, very early, we should say 6 1/2
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months before november, an encouraging sign at least this month for the president. >> very encouraging and let me tell you where this strength is coming from, if you look at our poll, we ask about who is in touch with the problems facing the middle class, barack obama 51%, mitt romney with 33%. likable obama $56 romney 27%. and the individuality number is that this means the voters will give the president the benefit of the doubt when it comes to issues of the economy. >> there ee's vulnerability.
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>> that is very close within the margin of error, when you go even closer, mitt romney is beating the president in that key swing vote, and the question who can move the economy among men and among white voters and among white male voters. some of these other categories because they know they have a stealing of support when it comes to white male voters. >> but on this independent vote, you don't see that large gap that you see in the overall population because of women or white men. >> but it's close. >> and that is of course the key
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voters that the president or mitt romney needs to win over before the elect someone. >> take a look at the gender gap. when it comes to men, you see it's pretty even, 49% for romney, but look at this, for women, 55% for obama and 39% for romney. >> you have to keep in mind that romney has been fighting off over folks in the 3r50ir78. i think he will gain among women as he seeks to define himself going forward. >> and the president challenges the white men you were talking about because our internal polls show that mitt romney beats president obama by 17 points with white men.
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so that can kind of balance out the gender gap here and that's sort of the game they're both playing. >> there's a lot of white men, there's a lot of african-american men, hispanic men, they're not just white men out there. >> but they vote and they have always been a problem for president obama, and the question is what he can turn some of them around. >> i still think t. >> thanks very much. some remarkable exchanges at a house hearing at a scandal for a lavish las vegas council. republicans tore into witnesses, another lost their job and the other pled the 5th amendment and refused to answer their questions. there were some pretty dramatic moments in this hearing. >> there were and it actually just wrapped up.
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it lasted more than 2 1/2 hours. he said it pisses me off, he said i'm just pissed. >> when the community's top democrat rips into them, you know it's bad. >> he only invited personal friends to the conference, writing and i quote, and this is incredible, quote, we'll get you guys a room near us, we'll pick up the room tab, could be a blast. why not enjoy it while we have it and while we can. ain't going to last forever. end of quote. well, mr. deneely, it stops now >> mr. neely is the organizer of the las vegas conference costing taxpayers more than $800,000. thanks to a committee subpoena,
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he showed up but wouldn't answer questions. >> i respectfully decline to answer based on my constitutional privilege. >> darrell issa still asked several more rights. >> i refuse to answer based on my constitutional privilege. >> other gsa witnesses took a very different approach. fall on their swords? hardly. they dove on them. >> i am extremely aggrieved by the gal of a handful of people to misuse federal tax dollars and defile the great name of the again services administration. >> martha johnson was gsa administrator a month ago. she said she needed a final report until she could take disciplinary action. >> i personal apologize to the american people, i will mourn for is rest of my life the loss
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of my appointment. >> reporter: the inspector general who unearthed the excess spending said that many of neelys appointees were afraid of retaliation spending. >> were you aware there was significant excess? >> i had received a communication from the ig with nonconclusive results. >> and you give him a $9,000 bonus. it just seems almost unthinkable. and even if you didn't know for sure, you would have taken the precaution of putting him somewhere where he could never bully again. >> reporter: ms. johnson, why were you giving out bonuses when the president said there was a pay freeze? >> the senior executives were entitled to bonuses under our -- were entitled to bonuses.
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i don't believe the pay freeze affected those bonuses. >> reporter: what the actual white house new about this report, which again martha johnson, the former gsa administrator she was briefed on the finding back in may. and the chief of staff of the gsa told -- shortly after they were briefed, may of 2011, about 11 months ago, at least someone in the white house council's office according to this testimony knew about this scandal. >> where does this go from here? >> to the next hearing, this is the first of four hearings we'll have. these lawmakers are not giving up on this because they understand the politics of this, they are expressing the outrage
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of the american people and this really chris tarystallizes it. >> even though the money is minuscule by washington standards, it's caused enormous, enormous outrage for the waste. thanks have much dana. the romney campaign is playing the mom scattered with a video tribute to ann romney. will will. the young new leader of north korea, addressing his country and the world. for the first time, we actually hear him speak. plus this. i'm rob marciano, we're in oklahoma where six people lost their lives with the tornado late saturday night and early sunday morning, now hundreds are homeless. we have got their amazing survival stories and you're going to hear them next in "the situation room."
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jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." gun sales in this country are booming and women are a big part of the reason why. daily reports on the national rifle association is getting in touch with it's family nine s-- feminine side.
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there's even a bra holster. here's a picture as the inventor of the flash bang women's holster tells the daily beast, quote, nothing comes between a girl and a gun. of course if you're going to carry a gun like this, you want to be doubly sure the safety is on. 37% more women are shooting today compared to ten years ago and the gallup poll last year showed that one in four american women own at least one gun. the membership in the nra has -- gun ranges hold ladies nights and one class in oklahoma reportedly up 400%. female gun enthusiasts give different reasons for the growth in ownership, some state security. they say they want everyone to be a member of the nra, overall
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gun sales are way up in the united states, big profits for gun makers like smith and wesson. some say it is due to fears of president obama's second term. what do you think is behind the surge in women gun owners, go to or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. >> that picture you showed us of the bra with the gun, let's put that up on the screen, jack, because if you take a look at that, maybe we can understand, sometimes when you go through these tsa security screens at the airport, they do a pat down, a woman forgets she's got a gun there, she's going to get a little extra security. >> indeed, she'll get a lot of extra attention and she won't be getting on a plane any time soon. all right, jack, thank you. one of dozens of people
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injured in thatlast weekend's tornado outbreak. the worst damage in all of the fatalities were in woodward, oklahoma, where more than 100 homes and businesses were simply destroyed. rob marciano is on the scene for us. tell us what you're seeing over there. >> reporter: well, wolf, the cleanup effort continues to today, it was a fevered and frantic pitch, the heavier equipment has been out, so there's plenty of that to go around, we had a lot of tree debris to remove as you can imagine, and they have made some progress, the weather obviously is pretty good. throughout the day today, we had so many people whothrough the storm had truly remarkable stories, he went to bed unknowingly that the tornado is coming, a brother who lives in
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another town called and said, hey, you got a tornado on its way toward you. he got up and went in the bathroom and his house was destroyed and he was spared. >> reporter: charles hogue lived 30 miles away, but he remembers it well. >> i was 10 years old and i seen it, and it wiped out this whole town. >> reporter: but now he lives in woodward, and this latest tornado tore up his home. look how the tornado actually shoved this house off its foundation, last night before the storm hit, mr. hogue and his wife got warning, they came outside of the house to the backyard, why? because there's a valuable commodity out here, a storm seller, extremely fortified. he and his wife got down there, and that's what saved them.
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>> that door is heavy. you're a strong man. >> paul lord's family didn't have a storm cellular or any basement and now they're lucky to have their lives. the tornado threw paul out of the house and on to the street. >> when i was laying down there on the curbs and i looked up and saw the house gone, i didn't know what to do. then neighbors started coming over and pulling bricks off. >> reporter: how many injuries did you sustain? >> i got a big gash on the side of my head and they stitched that back up. >> reporter: his grand son had develop cuts too after getting buried in appliances. >> he was underneath in the tub and they had the washer and dryer on top of him. >> he drove himself and his bleeding grandson to the
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hospital. the lords are getting a helping hand with the cleanup. but searching for keepsakes and sentimental item right side a low priority. >> what specifically are things that you want to find in this rubble? >> i found them, my son, my daughter, son-in-law, my grand babies. >> reporter: well said, mike as you saw in that piece, community members come together, it was a pretty narrow tornado, you either got hit and hit hard, our your house may have been saved. it's amazing how friends, neighbors and relatives are coming to help. this is a very appreciative man, he's been through for brain surgeries and the house that was destroyed was supposed to be
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closed and sold, that obviously is not going to happen. but he's definitely going somewhere, but not out of this town. new information coming on those secret service agents busted for hiring prostitutes. we're also hearing more about members of the u.s. military who apparently have been involved in that as well. and for the first time since taking over for his father, we're going to hear from the young and still very mysterious leader of north korea. ♪ ♪ ♪ wow... ♪ [ female announcer ] sometimes, all you need is the smooth, creamy taste of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special.
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orc poll, registered voters across the country, obama versus romney right now, 52% for president obama, 43% for governor mitt romney. what does romney need to do in the short-term to pick up that number? >> not panic to begin with. there's a gallup poll out today showing romney ahead and a fox news poll showing the same. let's just remember four years ago at this time, john kerry was ahead of george bush. spring polling is probably the worst indicators of what's going to happen come november around labor day, things will begin to shape up. but mitt romney does have a gap in the poll whether they're ahead or behind with him. the poll shows that 80% of women don't even know what his positions are. there was a bruising primary, he
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does seem to some degrees out of touch and he needs to in some way figure out how to connect with women voters. >> donna, between men and women, registered voters across the country, among men, it's pretty close, obama 49%, 46% romney. but among women, president obama's doing much better, 55% to 39%. but eric makes a great point. it's still so early in this process, you know those numbers are going to change dramatically. >> and as you know, wolf, we're really concerned about the numbers in the battleground states. but there's enough for both of them to go home tonight and relook at the playbook and see if they're reaching out to the voters they want to win this fall. president obama in that poll, most of the women that you all polled say that they are comfortable with his policies and they feel that he
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understands their issues and that he cares about their concerns, they know he's working to address the economy. that's why we have had 25 months of job growth. tomorrow's equal payday, it takes women this long, a year plus a couple of months to make the same amount of money as men do. that's why under this president, he passed the ellie ledbetter act. let's take a look at this new video, the romney campaign put it out with ann romney's 63rd birthday today. listen to this. >> will you do me a favor? will you please sing a song for us? ♪ rudolph the red nosed reindeer
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♪ >> okay, hold on. now you show me how it's supposed to be done. >> me? >> yes. >> i can't. >> that's why we want to see it. >> we got the point, eric, she's going to be a huge asset for romney going forward over these next six or seven months. take this past week and hillary rosen's comments on cnn on anderson cooper. a friend of mine pointed out, you know, it's terrific, finally all the republicans are rallying around romney, it's just the wrong romney. people really like ann romney, she's a relatable person, she humanizes mitt romney in a way he hasn't been able to humanize himself. if she gets out on the campaign trail too much, does she become a political target? if the candidates spouses, michelle obama as well, out on the campaign trail, where will the parties draw the line so
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they don't have any more situations like the democrats had last week? >> i think you agree, ann romney probably should be off limits, michelle obama should be off-limits, certainly the children should be off-limits. >> on many occasions i have had to come on this show, that the first lady should be off limits, especially some of the personal attacks we have seen against her as well as her daughter, just even recently on the trip to mexico. i just want to wish ann romney a happy birthday, i hope i look as good as she looks at 63, but i'm working on it. >> donna, you don't looks a day over 32 years old. guys thavjs very much for coming n north korea's young and mysterious leader, he's under 30, saying the north korean
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this just coming into "the situation room" from our national correspondent john king, he has learned that the 11 members of the u.s. secret service who were apparently involved in this prostitution scandal in columbia, south carolina. all 11 have had their security clearances revoked as of today. they could be reinstated if they're cleared. all 11 have been interviewed at least once, follow-up interviews are likely in many of the cases because of conflicting accounts. most if not all of the 11 secret service personnel arrived in columbia the same day last wednesday. they were not all at the same club, they were out in several groups, though. they range in experience from relative newcomers to those with 20 years. a lot more coming up at the top
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of the hour on this developing scandal. and peter king, the chairman of the house homeland security committee has been briefed, he'll join us live at the top of the hour as well. in other news, the united states security council is strongly condemning last week's missile launch. kim jong-un surprised everyone, unexpectedly actually speaking words in public at the celebration for the first time since assuming power. we actually heard his voice. cnn's stan grant is in north korea. >> reporter: supreme court commander of all he sees, jim john unstands kim jong-un. he is adored here yesterday they have never heard him speak until
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now. his tone was soft, a stark contrast to the deafening roars of his people. he pledged to build on the legacy of the two leaders who have gone before him and a hope to reunite a fractured korean nation. we have suffered the pain of separation for nearly 70 years, he says, we have lived as one people on the same land for thousands of years, to suffer like this is heart breaking. but this was a military parade and with menace. >> this is not just a show of strength to the north korean people, this is designed to send a deadly message to the rest of the world. the supreme court leader, kim jong-un says his minutes -- he also has the firepower to
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prevail in any war. >> translator: our military has become a powerful military, able to handle any kind of modern warfare with complete offensive and defensive capabilities. the foreign powers are not the only ones with the monopoly of military supremacy and the days of their threatening and lying to us with atomic weapons is forever gone. >> reporter: this was all to mark the anniversary of 100 years since the birth of the founding father of the country, kim il-sun. and if seeing is believing, their answer to western high-tech weapons, drones, and the technology that can strike thousands of military.
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this is an army always battle ready, a country still technically at war with the united states and with soldier determined to follow any order. >> translator: with the strategy of the great leader il-sung, and kim jong-un, we will destroy them, these soldiers say. >> reporter: in north korea, the army comes first, no expense spared. while it shows off its guns to the world, people here go hungry. the military is well fed, but aid agencies say rural people scounge for food. >> translator: our fellow citizens who are the best citizens of the world, who have
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overcome hardships, it is our party's firmest resolve not to let our citizens go hungry again. >> reporter: and in this country, loyalty to the regime is demanded. the people know exactly what to say. >> kim jong-un? [ applause ] >> translator: i want to how to the world how proud we are, this man says, to have such a great man as leader of this country. #. >> reporter: on this day, kim jong-un a man who has inherited power can reign over this specific --
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it's hugely popular according to the grand orc poll for the american people. here's the question, why is congress expected to vote down a new tax on millionaires. there are no straight lines. only the twists and turns of an unpredictable industry. so the eighty-thousand employees at delta... must anticipate the unexpected. and never let the rules overrule common sense. this is how we tame the unwieldiness of air travel, until it's not just lines you see... it's the world. handle more than 165 billion letters and packages a year. that's about 34 million pounds of mail every day. ever wonder what this costs you as a taxpayer? millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? not a single cent. the united states postal service
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let's go to capitol hill right now. the senate expected to reject a bill that would impose a 30% tax on millionaires. this despite a new cnn opinion research corporation poll that shows 72% of americans right now actually favor the tax hike. 27% oppose. let's bring in cnn's erin burnett from erin burnett "out front" why are democrats pushing this so hard, the so-called buffet rule if they know it's going to fail. >> you just showed the poll really seems to favor the democrats' point of view. if they lose, they even have more fodder to say that republicans are standing in the way of fairness and what the american people want. when you look at the numbers, it's interesting, when the democrats try to say it's fat cats, they're not paying their fair share. people that make between $30,000
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and 5 $54,000. millionaires earn 10% of the income in this country and pay 20% of the taxes, according to to the tax foundation. on the other side, the republicans try to say, this is clou ridiculous, only 1% of small businesses actually have enough money to fall into that million dollar plus level. there i think bottom line it's a victory for the democrats and even more if a victory if it doesn't pass. we're going to talk to a man, john paul pejoria, and also paul
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missil mitchell. >> i'm going to talk to some senators who are in sensitive re-election campaigns, whether it's a republican, stop round in massachusetts, how that could impact his bid for re-election, karen mccaskell to see how she votes. you'll have much more 7:00 p.m. eastern. coming up in our next hour, there's new fallout from the secret service prostitution scandal. 11 such employees have had their security clearances revoked. and the gun controversy swirling around prince william's sister-in-law, pippa. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] not everything powerful has to guzzle fuel. the 2012 e-class bluetec from mercedes-benz.
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jack is back with "the cafferty file". >> the question this hour is what's behind the surge in women gun owners. gary in california, my wife has always been uncomfortable with fire amples, especially when our boys were young. one son joined the marine corps, and one went off to college. with her body guards gone, we
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took her to the range a couple of times. fear of being attacked, fear of being stalked. i hope those women know they could end up in prison like george zimmerman. bob in texas writes, one part markets, two parts fearmongering, whether it's pepper spray, electronic -- >> i live alone next to an interstate 35 miles from the nearest law enforcement. i'm getting security bars and doors on my house. i'll have to be able to defend myself and my property. i have absolutely no faith in the government to maintain a civil society. rebecca in georgia writes, women are tired of being taken advantage of so they get a gun for protection. truthfully i would get one too if i thought i could use it.
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i prefer a dagger, though. women are -- same biases and prejudices as their counterparts. just ahead, what were they thinking? 11 members of the secret service facing very serious punishment right now after getting caught with prostitutes in columbia. we have a behind the scenes look at what was going on. and you're looking at a live picture right now, check it out of the space shuttle "discovery." it's preparing for it's final flight. stand by for that. a carfirmation. hey, this is challenger. i'll be waiting for you in stall 5. it confirms your reservation and the location your car is in, the moment you land. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. the pretty incredible to see this historic shuttle on top of another plane. what's going on? explain to our viewers? >> you know, wolf, it is really stunning and surreal. behind me there, the shuttle discovery on top offense that 747. it is also very sad, an
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exclamation point to the end of an era. >> february 24th of last year, the 39th and final liftoff of the shuttle discovery. 148 million miles traveled, over a quarter century. >> discovery now making one last reach for the stars. the oldest of the three orbiters discovery was the first to be retired. at first light tuesday morning, it will leave the kennedy space center one last time. this time no roar of jet engines. destination, permanent display at the smithsonian in washington. >> this beckons, i can take this on again. let's fire it up and let it go again. >> it's sad in that we're done and, you know, it's going away, on the other hand, she's going to the smithsonian where
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hopefully millions of people are going to get to see discovery. >> reporter: the cost about $60 million a seat. nasa is stuck with this arrangement for at least the next four years. that's until a commercial company is ready. >> i a confident that commercial state will eventually succeed and do great things. i won't put my money on any one company, saying this is the one that's going to succeed. >> at the end of this month, the company's toughest test to date, an attempt to rendezvous with its unmanned dragon. by then discovery will be on display. enterprise, a test shuttle which was in the smithsonian, will be
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in new york going the intrepid museum. >> once get get the discovery to the smithsonian, and we have done all the work and we're ready to go, i have to walk away and leave her there. >> reporter: at least now, everyone will have the opportunity to look up close at a space flying machine unlike anything ever built. and you know, wolf, when discovery leaves here tomorrow, it's going to fly down the coastline, fly over launch pad 39-a then back up the visitors's flex, then back over the united states flying at 15,000 feet and then it will be in your neighborhood about 10:30 tomorrow morning, flying over several landmarks before landing at dulles and a ceremony there. you're in "the situation
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room," happening now, inside the u.s. secret service prostitute scandal. widening allegations of misconduct at a columbian hotel at a summit attended by president obama. at the hour, congressman peter king is here, he'll tell us what he's learning. plus no details of how the israeli military might plan to attack iran's -- and is there a bounty on president barack obama's head right now? we caught one a british lawmaker accused of offering a reward for the president's capture. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room."
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>> we have just learned that there's 11 members of the secret security service. they're looking into allegationsa they had press opportunities in their room. president obama is calling for a rigorous investigation. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin for the very latest. pretty shocking developments, especially to those of us like you and me who spent a lot of time with the secret service over the years. >> wolf, the latest developments also include now news that it's grown to ten individuals, the department of defense, ten military individuals who are also involved in this investigation. it would seem that over the weekend, the secret service did not live up to its motto, it's worthy of trust and confidence.
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the president was in columbia to talk trade, the economy and cu e cuba, but his policy agenda was overshadow. >> i expect the investigation to be thorough and i expect it to be rigorous. itch if it turns out that some of the allegations being made in the press are confirmed. then of course i'll be angry. >> secret service and military officers brought prostitutes to the hotel. that's a violation of the agent's k0ed of conduct. when one woman didn't leave the next morning, the hotel manager went up. >> he wasn't allowed into the
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room and the woman and the agent were arguing, she said he owed her money and he paid it. and there was no real incident, no arrest made, but the police did file a report with the american embassy. >> at least five military personnel and 11 secret service agents and officers were sent home and are now under investigation. according to a government official, that list includes two supervisors and one elite sniper. in a statement over the weekend t secret service said none of these agents was assigned to the presidential protection division. these actions have had no impact on the secret service's ability to execute a comprehensive security plan for the president's visit to cartagena. >> the president's security, his
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defense, is what matters the most. >> the idea that there was no risk to the president doesn't hold water. more importantly, five or ten years from now, some of these secret service agents could will be at the president's side. >> they're trained to avoid prostitutes because of the possibility of blackmail and one former agents tells cnn the scandal has sent a shockwave through the secret service. as for the president. >> we're here on behalf of our people. and that means that we conduct ourselves with the utmost dignity and probity and obviously what's been reported doesn't match up with those standards. but, again, i think i'll wait until the full investigation is completed before i pass final judgment. >> reporter: again that investigation is onongoing, this is not the first time the secret service has made headlines. in recent years, july 26, when a
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secret service agent faced public intoxication and other charges after an incident at a bar in waco, texas. it was this time earlier this year when it took someone fired at the white house, then found -- then there was the case of the party crashers, the salahis, it was found that the secret service didn't follow protocol at a checkpoint. >> all of us remember when the salahis managed to get in for that state dinner at the white house. >> staff was at fault at the house, but also secret service as well. thanks very much, jessica, the pentagon now says more than five members of the u.s. military also may have been involved in misconduct of columbia. the joint chiefs of staff said that military leaders let the president of the united states down.
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>> we are embarrassed. you said how embarrassed is the military? i ask speak for myself and my fellow chiefs who were embarrassed by who occurred in columbia. >> martin dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, testifying today. let's go behind the scenes right now, this exploding scandal. american journalists traveling request with president obama were forced to shift gears and cover a story at the same hotel where many of them were actually staying, it's not the hotel where the president was staying, though. our white house correspondent has more from cartegena. >> here they have buried the story. eltiempo ran a story on the second to the last page, a sub headline reading days of liquor and disorder. it read right above two ads for university.
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we traveled with the pd all around the world, sometimes to densely populated cities, other times to beautiful coastal resort towns like here in cartegena columbia. our stories usually involve complicated issues. but rarely is the story about the hotel where we do most of our work at and stay at. this is the hotel caribe. it will forever be linked to the secret service scandal. ironically, this took place in the middle of one of the most secure bubbles we have ever seen. this road that leads to our hotel and the president's hotel is blocked off to the general public. in addition to the secret service, there's more than 5,000 military police right here in columbia. and right across from the hotel is a police substation. the president traveled all this way to attempt the sixth summit of the americas, to focus on jobs t economy, trade, to highlight the importance of the
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latin-american region. as this story was making big news, the president was just up the road meeting with top ceos, but his message was being drowned out by the scandal. >> i think it's been much more of a distraction for the press. he's here engaging in the business he came here to do with the assembled leaders of the americas. to the american economic future. >> from the military to the secret service, officials are expressing deep disappointment. >> the chairman of the house homeland security has been fully briefed on this scandal. thanks for coming in. is there anything new you can
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share with our viewers right now 12k3w4r67 . >> i'm not aware of any dramatic changes. my investigative staff on the counter terrorism unit investigating this. they report back to me on a regular basis. they're in contact with the secret service and also with their own sources. we want to make sure that every fact is known, including what happened minute by minute and hour by hour. and also when people in authority at the secret service found out about it and what action they took. >> the fact that 11 members of the secret service have been named, are they going to be fire 1234d. >> no matter what the ultimate penalty is, this is a serious, serious violation of everything the secret service stands for. i have tremendous respect for the secret service, i work with them on the homeland security committee.
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when the president visits, the vice president. so i have great regard for them. having said that, what these 11 agents did potentially puts any president at risk, themselves at risk, leaves themselves open to black maim amail and threats. and throughout history, we know how enemy forces use prostitutes to penetrate the u.s. security. and any information they have and we have had i know foreign diplomats overseas who have been with prostitutes, have been drugged, had their lap tops taken. in this case alone, just being around the secret service, picking up information about the president's travel schedule, what his agenda is, just names of the secret service agents. all of that, if this were being staged by a narco columbian
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group, this did not happen, there was no threat to the president, every person who was engaged was taken out of the country, they were back filled in, there were others brought in to take their place. >> do you know if these women, these prostitutes are being questioned either by columbian or u.s. authorities? >> wolf, i don't want to get into that right now, but they certainly should be for any number of reasons, but again. >> we know here in our own country, how often prostitutes are linked to organized crime, how much they're linked to drug dealers, and how often they're linked to international spy operations. >> do you think there's a disturbing pattern here? >> i don't see any pattern.
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obviously that's part of what we're looking into here. but as of this moment, i don't see it as being part of a pattern. as i said, the overwhelming majority of secret service agents i have dealt with, the men and women of the secret service, are outstanding professionals. >> as far as that is concerned, agree with you, i spent a lot of time with these secret service personnel. do you have confidence in mark sullivan, the director of the secret service? >> i work closely with mark sullivan and in this particular case, he moved very quickly, as soon as he learned the facts of this situation, he ordered those people taken from the country and the earliest possible flight, he arranged to have each of those 11 poc 1 positions fil. he got secret service from miami flown immediately into columbia. from my dealings with him since
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this started, totally honest and above board. so i have seen nothing at all to make him a scapegoat. we need to be careful not to diet the entire secret service. >> military personnel on duty in connection with the president's visit to columbia were also involved and he's deeply embarrassed by that. what can you tell us about what the u.s. military personnel were doing as far as partying and hanging out with prostitutes are concerned? >> wolf, i have no inside knowledge at all about what the military was doing. from talking to people at the secret service, i'm not certain that there was joint evers effo you will, if this was a joint effort with the military and the secret service, or whatever they did wrong, they did separately. i talked to the secretly service, they were trying to
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find out exactly what the military was accused of doing or what they had done. all i know is that 11 agents were brought back to the hotel, i don't know the relationship between military and the secret service. >> you're saying 11 prostitutes were brought back to the hotel and there were 11 members of the secret service, 11 women were brought to those hotel rooms? >> my understanding is 11 women were brought back with 11 men. >> if i'm involved in this investigation, and i'm sure you want to make sure you have questioned those 11 women to make sure that they're not involved with narco terrorists or others who could potentially get some information. but you're saying right now you don't know if u.s. authorities have access to those 11 women. >> any understanding is they are getting access. and i don't wanting to go further than that at this stage. but finding out who those 11
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women are, and finding out what their backgrounds are and what their connections and associations are, is extremely vital to this investigation. >> some officers, some agents were in fact involved that night with these columbian prostitutes, as far as your concerned, their careers in the u.s. secret service are over, is that right? >> certainly their careers are severely damaged. what the actual finding is going to be, i don't want to prejudge, but they certainly violated the oath they that took and also to do all they could to protect the president because they're bringing people inside the security zone. i don't want to prejudge the final verdict of what this is going to be, but this is a brazen violation of everything the secret service stands for. >> our congressman, thanks very much for joining us. israel's military is bracing for possible losses, if, if it
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goes ahead with a strike against iran's nuclear program. we have new information coming in on supposed plans of an israeli attack. also are afghan security forces ready to take over for u.s. troops, after a dramatic series of attacks in the capital. and a royal inlaw may, repeat may face arrest. new details of this shocking photo of pippa middleton and a man with a gun. [ female announcer ] everything that goes into a lennox system
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millionaires -- pay an effective rate of less than 30%. they still pay a higher percentage than almost everyone else, for example, the tax policy center calculates that federal payroll taxes, the average effective federal tax rate for people making between $40,000 and $50,000 a year was 12%. over a million, it's 20.1%. sort of throws cold water on president obama's argument that the buffett rule would be some sort of exercise in fairness. under the current rules a highly paid executive would pay 35%. while someone who makes the majority of his money from investments would pay 15%. the buffett rule is aimed at
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millionaires who can structure their income to mitigate their taxes. people like mitt romney. also it's worth noting that while the obama administration has annual a trillion, the buffet rule will add $5 million a year to the national treasury. this is called chump change. here's the question, what's the point of the buffett rule if most million airs may a higher effective tax rate than everyone else. po the suspect behind a deadly bomb and gun rampage at norway is claiming self-defense. lisa sylvester is monitoring that, some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on, lisa? >> he is pleading not guilty to the terror and murder charges against him, arguing that the act was meant to save norway
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from a multicultural take over. his attorneys argue that he was sane during last summer's rampage which left seven people dead. if kwublconvicted, he could be d or assigned to a mental facility. a virgin atlantic flight was -- the planes emergency chutes were deployed for passengers to evacuate. four people sustained minor injuries, virgin atlantic won't confirm that smoke was the cause for that landing. even the secretary of state needs to let loose every now and then, take a look at secretary hillary clinton dancing and enjoying a drink in columbia, i
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know that those pictures will have gone viral. she's letting loose, having a little fun. >> she works really, really hard for all of us, she should have a good time. after a dramatic series of attacks on the capital of afghanistan, are afghanistan security forces ready to take over for u.s. troops. we're going inside the fighting. stand by. and mitt romney throws down the gauntlet and tells president obama to start packing. with the plan my financial advisor and i put together, a quick check and i know my retirement is on course. [ male announcer ] with wells fargo advisor's envision plan, you always know where you stand. in fact, 93 percent of envision plan holders say they will retire on their own terms. get started on the plan you need today -- wells fargo advisors. together we'll go far.
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new it's one of the most dramatic signs of concerns of
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the country's nuclear regulations. here's our foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty. >> wolf, these worntd negotiations, they were talks, the bar was set pretty low, that said that iran is beginning to feel the heat. just one day after international talks with iran over its nuclear program, an israeli tv channel broadcasts a supposed blueprint as to how israel would attack iran's nuclear sites if their communications fail. dozens of jet fighters, electronic warfare planes, rescue helicopters. the tv report cleared by israeli government sensors. perhaps intended to up the pressure on iran, even as those weekend talks in istanbul
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yielded a glimmer of hope. they were after all, a test. is iran willing to negotiate seriously about its nuclear program. the answer from the united states and its partners, a cautious yes. >> we're very much at a beginning stage here, but we feel it is a foundation for u.s. talks. >> u.s. officials say iranians brought ideas to the table. but israel's prime minister and the american president are split on whether that's progress. >> my initial impression that iran has been given a freebie. it's got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition. >> a freebie would indicate that they -- they have don't take advantage of these tauxz. i hope they do.
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>> economic pressure on iran is already severe. and it will hit with a vengeance in july with european sanctions on iranian oil that could cut its sales by a million barrels a day. a second round of talks is scheduled for may 23rd. and iran is facing an urgent timetable. >> anyone who knows iran is rather pessimistic about this actually producing something tangibly. the united states has been sticksing to its possession that it has to give it all up, so far. the question is, can you engage in a process that will build confidence? >> but time is breathing down the neck of president obama too, iran will be a top issue in this presidential campaign, his burden to prove it's not just talks for talk's sake. >> the most dramatic and widespread assault on the capital of kabul in months. more civilians, eight afghan
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forces were killed in a series of attacks that lasted almost 18 hours. payton walshing has more from inside afghanistan. >> reporter: some troubling details emerging, the key one is how similar this attack was to the one six months ago. both launched from abandoned construction sites and buildings and both taking around about 20 hours for aftghan security forcs to assess. this is a success for afghan security forces. many will take little comforted after hearing a day's worth of explosions in kabul. we have joined american and
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afghan troops after they launched -- the last stand in the taliban heartland. americans and afghans launched an air assault before dawn into a remote, hostile district of gandhi. >> gandhi with an incredibly flat, enclosed space. america's withdrawal is meant to awakening afghan forces to take over these man hunts. but as they push into the village in search of the americans' most wanted militant, the afghans seem pretty casual. some doors stay locked. their prey like livly vanishingn they heard the helicopters. >> they three immediately. >> but as americans search a
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former weapons cache, they become the weapons targets. >> where is it at? where is it at? where is it at? >> reporter: clearly insurgents are keen to defend this building or at least attack the americans as they get near it. the shots coming close, fired from a distant tree line. the afghans coming to light, firing a rocket and then move to flank the insurgents who keep taking pot shots. >> oh, they don't like me running. >> reporter: warning flares from an attack from above, distant figures probably women and children appear, meaning a counter attack is too risky and the fight's over. >> i think the one in the white is a child. >> reporter: but keen warriors make for poor police, riding
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motorcycles is illegal and they have to decide on a punishment. should they shoot the fuel tank? perhaps not. they let the tires down. and then deliver what is here a rare encounter with afghanistan's government. that night they leave and the taliban will surely return. the afghanistan state's relevance here slips further into the distance. and the key issue is the relevance of the afghan security forces. but very eager to get into a fight with the insurgency. the real worry is that nato and american troops draw down, can they step into those large shoes. the multifaceted role in government, policing, law and order, a sense of security fighting the insurgency.
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nato has struggled themselves in filling that role in the last decade. and they aren't sure if the afghan security forces can step into their place that quickly. romney has a powerful new message for president obama. i'm quoting the governor right now, he says start packing. pippa middleton, the sister of the future queen of england could potentially be arrested. stand by. or ei-ther. or e-conomical. [ chuckling ] or ec-onomical. pa-tato, po-tato, huh? actually, it's to-mato, ta-mato. oh, that's right. [ laughs ] [ car door shuts ] [ male announcer ] visit your local chevy dealer today. now very well qualified lessees can get a 2012 chevy cruze ls for around $159 per month. e.p.a. estimated 36 miles per gallon highway.
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a. republican presidential front-runner has a bold new message for president obama and i'm quoting him now, start packing.
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>> romfully taking the position, once again, that the issue is the economy. >> so in this moment, as it begins, toward november, what would each of you say to president and mrs. obama? >> well, start packing, that's what i would like to say, obviously we have a very different shoe. the president, i'm sure wants another four years, but the first years didn't go so well. now, wolf, you yourself actually interviewed the both of them back in january around the time of the iowa caucuses. i hear this is one of the very first joint interviews that mitt romney and ann romney have done. >> he's very differential to
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her, she's a huge, huge asset. and i can understand why they want to do these joint interviews, because they're probably good for the campaign. >> that's why they call her the secret weapon. >> she's a veryic pressive woman who's gone through a lot, and i'm sure we'll see a lot more of her. although he was blunt, start packing, we'll see what happens. a muslim lawmaker in britain suspend suspended, accused of offering a reward for the -- a story that's sparking outrage. and pippa middleton is used to getting attention, but not like this, just ahead, the gun, the photo and the possibility that the royal sister-in-law, possibility, could even be arrested. [ man ] ring ring... progresso
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congress created the problem. and if our legislators get on the ball, they can make the right decisions.
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ever since the royal wedding, pippa has kbeen gettin
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attention, but now she's in danger of actually being arrested. >> this is what the british tabloid newspaper the sung, cal calls -- driven by someone pointing what appears to be a semiautomatic pistol, pointed at a paparazzi, but undoubtedly both oring them in the center of the french capital. smirking gun, a reference to the fact that pippa and her friends are smiling while one is brandishing a weapon. this is taken very seriously indeed in france, which just this month was rocked by a series of fatal shootings, whether or not the gun is real, and it's not clear from these photos, the gunman could face an extended stretch behind bars and if pippa is accused as an
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accompli accomplice, she could be arrested too. alec baldwin causing a little stir here in washington. >> he is in down advocating an increase in federal fund forgive arts and alec baldwin fielded several questions and also poked fun at himself. he has talked about running for mayor of new york in the past. and he was asked today if he intends to seek public office. >> i have a very important announcement i would like to make too all of you today, i'm glad you're all here. it is today with great humility and a sense of pride and a great love of my country that i announce that i am running for the east hampton library historical society's treasury position. >> okay, so clearly not giving
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any indications on his future political plans, but baldwin also joked about being kicked off an american airlines flight in december after he didn't put his phone away. i was there at the luncheon, wolf, a good time was had by all. we caught up with a british lawmaker accused of offering a reward for the president's capture. and a new home for a dog whose loyalty goes far beyond anything you might be able to imagine. cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
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it's a stunning story that's getting lots of attention out there on the internet. but the question is it true? did a member of the jewish parliament really offer a reward for president obama's capture? >> this member of parliament is being investigated by his own party for these alleged remarks. he vehemently denies calling for any bounty for president obama's capture and he's firing back hard at the reporting of it. he's the first muslim to become a so-called life peer, appointed to the british chamber of
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parolment, upper house. lord nazir ahmed commenting on america's $10 million reward for the alleged mastermind of the 2008 mum bai attack, saidive th u.s. can announce a reward of $10 million for osama bin laden, i can -- britain's labor party says, if these comments are accurate, we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable. we wanted to know if the comments were accurate. >> what is your response to that quote? did you say that? >> i'm appalled that the tribune express has told such a big di obama, and i did not mention any bounty. what i did say was that those
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responsible for war crimes in iraq and afghanistan should be brought to justice. and in my opinion, former president george bush and tony blair are responsible for taking us into illegal war and there have been war crimes committed, and they should be brought to international court. >> reporter: we tracked down a recording of lord ahmed's remarks in pakistan. >> translator: i am ready to offer ten million pounds to bring up charges of war crimes against george w. bush and tony blair and to bring them before the international court of justice. even if i have to sell my house, i am ready to do it. >> reporter: in the part of the speech we saurks there's no mention of president obama or the actual word bounty. contacted by cnn, the newspaper reporter who quoted lord ahmed said he didn't make a remark about president obama during the speech but afterwards in a conversation with reporters. the reporter says he stands by the accuracy of his quote. when i called lord ahmad later he said he never mentioned president obama or the word bounty any time ever.
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we asked one london analyst about lord amud's reputation in british politics. >> the party establishment has tried to disassociate themselves from him for a long period of time, especially since the 9/11 attacks when lord ahmed was critical about u.s. operation enduring freedom. >> reporter: lord ahmed maintains his stance he's been unfairly characterized in this story. he accused that analyst of being pro-indian and biased against pakistanis. gohel adamantly denies that. we could not get response for representatives for former president bush or prime minister blair to lord ahmed's comments about them. >> how far could this investigation go? >> analysts say he could be easily expelled from his party. he could even be removed from the house of lords. that's happened before. at this point it may be tough to prove he actually said it. the supporter says there were others around who heard it. getting audiotaped recordings may be the key here. >> thanks, brian todd, doing
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good reporting for us. let's go back to jack for the cafferty file. >> what's the point of the buffett rule if most millionaires already pay higher effective tax rates than almost everyone else? and they do. ned california writes, the fact that the buffett rule would raise 0.1% of the budget deficit, would seem to indicate it's not all that important. unless you consider that our president wants congress to vote it down to use it as a campaign plank. they are already crying for fair share while not mentioning half the households pay no personal income tax. eric in texas, pure politics. the buffett rules and even less sensible alternative minimum tax. i don't believe anyone with any tax-writing experience in either party actually wants it, but it's easy to put forward, complicated to argue against, very class divisive and nothing that could actually pass making it perfect for the politicians. eric writes if you look at tax on their salaries, then, yes,
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perhaps they do pay more but it's reasonable to say that most millionaires make a substantial amount off their investments and that's why the buffett rule is important. cliff in new york, the buffett rule is a distraction. the only discussion should be to return the top tax rates to the level they were in the year 2000. 39.6% when the budget surplus was handed over from president clinton to president bush. w.r. in florida rights president obama is the most divisive product this country has ever seen. he use race, class, sex and age to divide the american people in an effort to get leff elected. the sad part is the majority of the american people think the sprt s president is sincere. jim writes if passed, the only benefit of the buffett rule that will provide to any of the rest of us is it will give all the other 99% of us a sense of well being. if you want to read more about this go to the blog,
5:54 pm ahead -- new information on the investigation into the secret service scandal. john king will have the latest at the top of the hour. cnn broke some news this hour with my interview with the homeland security chairman peter king. >> all i know is that the secret service, 11 agents brought 11 women back to the hotel. [ wind howling ]
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it's the least that can be done for a dog that risked her tlof sit in the middle of traffic with the fallen fellow canine. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: this black lab is a little skittish. you'd be skittish, too, after what she went through. last week, she parked herself in the middle of traffic. this loyal labrador wouldn't leave a yellow lab that had been struck and killed on this busy highway in california. a guy who shot the video first put up traffic cones to keep cars away from the two dogs. the surviving lab was taken to the baldwin park animal care center where staff named her grace when they couldn't identify her. grace isn't the only one to show loyalty. the motorist who put out the cones and took the video has been to the shelter every day to visit grace.
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the shelter was about to let him adopt her, but wait, grace may be maggie. ktla reports that a couple has come forward saying she's their dog. that she went missing last week and los angeles county animal control says the dog seems to respond to the name maggie. maggie, aka grace, will stay at the shelter until they confirm ownership. this isn't the first time that we've seen a dog risk its life in traffic for another dog. the most famous example was when a dog was struck and killed on a freeway in santiago, chile four years ago. a second dog ran up and dragged the first one to the median strip. the would-be rescuer was apparently a stray that then ran away. grace would have approved. >> take a load off. >> reporter: and then there was chile in the bronx. a dog named chile was hit and injured. chile's son wouldn't leave his mother alone and tried to protect her from the police. they finally managed to carry
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away the mother. she suffered a broken leg. her son ran off the expressway with police in not so hot pursuit. he even managed to pause for a pit stop before heading home where mother and son were reunited. the latest dog to make a splash was a mother trying to rescue her floundering pup in a pool when she couldn't shove the pup out, she used the stairs and grabbed the wet behind the ears and everywhere else puppy. who needs a lifeguard when you've got a guard dog. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> thanks very much. that's it from me. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. good evening. i'm john king. tonight, your tax dollars. and the federal employees who bragged about breaking the rules to waste them. outrage mounts. plus, mitt romney says president obama should start packing. but our brand new poll tonight suggests the incumbentmo