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THE SITUATION ROOM
Interview With Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver; The ISIS Threat; Interview With State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf; Officer Put on Leave after Controversial Comments; New Federal Alert for ISIS Attack on U.S.; Chinese Fighter Jet Buzzes U.S. Navy Plane
Aired August 22, 2014 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, the White House says ISIS terrorists have attacked the United States. Stand by for chilling new statements about the danger to Americans, including the prospect of another 9/11.
Iraqi and U.S. forces open fire on ISIS targets. Will President Obama give the order to expand the battle to Syria? We are getting new information on that.
And breaking news: a stunning new development in Ferguson, Missouri, involving a police officer who took part in crowd control. A disturbing new video of him has surfaced on the Internet and now he's been relieved of duty. Stand by to hear the video and new details.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Brianna Keilar.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
A new warning is going out to law enforcement across the United States to be on alert for possible terror attacks by ISIS inside this country. Federal authorities say the savage militant group may be planning new retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against its fighters.
Three more air attacks were launched today against ISIS targets near Iraq's Mosul dam. U.S. officials are describing ISIS terrorists as an apocalyptic force after the beheading of American Jim Foley. The White House now says that execution amounts to an attack against the United States and it's not ruling out the possibility that the war against ISIS might expand to Syria.
We have correspondents and newsmakers standing by with more on the danger from ISIS right now.
Plus, Don Lemon is in Ferguson, Missouri, the breaking news involving a Saint Louis county police officer relieved of duty. He will have that and we will go live to him in a moment.
But first to our White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski.
More tough words from the administration about ISIS today, Michelle. MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brianna.
Right. And, today, we heard from the president's deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, who said the murder of James Foley is, he agreed, the ISIS' first terrorist attack against the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN RHODES, U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack. That represents a terrorists attack against our country and against an American citizen. And I think all of us have the Foley family in our thoughts and prayers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: OK. So, of course, Americans have been concerned. What threat then does ISIS pose to other Americans who are outside the region, especially given all these foreign fighters, people who travel to Iraq and Syria? They fight alongside ISIS. What happens when they return to their home countries, including the U.S.?
And today Rhodes was asked, could ISIS be capable of, say, a September 11-style attack. The answer right now is probably not. Rhodes said that they have been mainly concerned with these regional operations. They obviously pose a big threat there.
But the U.S. should be aware, should be prepared in case they choose to pivot and attack American interests elsewhere. He said they are willing to do horrific things. And it may be somewhat comforting, this bulletin that went out today from Department of Homeland Security and FBI to American law enforcement, said that there is no credible threat to homeland security, but it warned that they are using social media, looking for followers there. And they could be capable of targeting American interests.
Also today, the White House wouldn't go so far as to agree with Defense Secretary Hagel's comments yesterday that this was a threat beyond anything we have seen -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Michelle Kosinski, thank you.
One U.S. general is arguing that the only way to defeat ISIS is to expand the battle to Syria. The White House says President Obama will explore all options to protect Americans.
Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, has more on that -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, it certainly appears step by step the Pentagon is getting closer every day towards the possibility of airstrikes inside Syria.
STARR (voice-over): U.S. officials tell CNN there are long- standing and ongoing talks inside the administration about increasing airstrikes in Iraq and even the possibility of tailored airstrikes inside Syria against specific ISIS targets. But officials stress, no decisions have been made by the White House.
RHODES: We're actively considering what's going to be necessary to deal with that threat. And we're not going to be restricted by borders.
STARR: And the Pentagon is divulging nothing.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We don't telegraph our punches. I think you can rest assured that the leadership here in the Pentagon understands the threat posed by this group.
STARR: Talk of military options stirred up by this comment by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about the threat of ISIS and its ranks of 10,000 fighters.
CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Oh, this is beyond anything that we have seen. So we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is, you take a cold, steely hard look at it and get ready.
STARR: Officials are taking pains to emphasize that any military action would only be part of a long-term strategy against ISIS involving diplomacy and action from other countries in the region.
STARR: The Pentagon is making the case that airstrikes alone will not defeat ISIS, but it's not ruling them out -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Barbara Starr, thank you so much.
We're joined now by the deputy State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf.
Marie, thanks much for being with us.
MARIE HARF, SPOKESWOMAN, STATE DEPARTMENT: Thank you.
KEILAR: It feels obviously like we're being prepared for an expansion of the airstrikes that are going on, right now limited airstrikes in just a part of Iraq. And now we're hearing from Pentagon top brass, and it feels like we're being prepared for this to perhaps go into Syria. Is that what's happening?
HARF: Well, as you heard Ben Rhodes say today, we're continuing our action against ISIL in Iraq. That's ongoing even today, hitting ISIL targets and taking out their fighters.
But we're activity having conversations about how we can target ISIL. Part of that is a military conversation. And, again, as he said, we're not going to be restricted by borders here when it comes to defending our people and holding terrorists accountable when they attack us.
But it's also about cutting off funding to ISIL, starving them of the oxygen they have needed to really flourish and gain in strength. So, those are conversations that, quite frankly, go beyond a military conversation.
KEILAR: Working with other countries to -- certainly to cut off some of the money to private citizens as well associated with ISIS, or ISIL, as you refer to them.
What are some of the diplomatic options? We know President Obama will be going to the U.N. General Assembly next month. We expect that he is convening a meeting of world leaders. And this going to be really top priority. What will he be asking for?
HARF: Absolutely. It's top priority diplomatically for the president and for the secretary and everyone at the State Department who is working on the diplomatic piece of it.
Part of it is cutting off of the funding, working with countries particularly in the Gulf and other places where private citizens have been sending funds to ISIS. How we crack down on that even more is an ongoing conversation.
We're also having a conversation about how we can stop the flow of foreign fighters. ISIS is by and large a foreign fighter-led group. These aren't Iraqis or Syrians, most of them. So, we need to work with countries in the region to help close their borders, because they know that it's a threat as well, if these terrorists can transit through their countries. That's all part of it.
KEILAR: But if you're talking about stopping the flow of foreign fighters, right now, they have free rein to come between Syria and Iraq. How do you not engage Syria on that? How are they not a piece of the diplomatic puzzle?
HARF: Well, the reason ISIS has been able to grow in strength so much and that really they have able to flourish is because of Bashar al-Assad. He's allowed them to gain strength. He's given them the space to operate.
And he has allowed them to operate between Syria and Iraq. So, he is not an answer to the solution. While on one hand he may sometimes take strikes against them, on the other, he's really allowed them to grow and at times really supported their growth. So, they just can't be part of the solution here.
KEILAR: But if he has an effect on it, how would Syria not be a part of the solution?
HARF: Well, they're just not -- when they kill tens of thousands of people in their own country, yes, they make take a few strikes against ISIL, but they're just not a partner we're going to be working with here.
We will work with the moderate opposition in Syria, with the Iraqis, with the Kurds, with all of the partners in the region. It really is a fight we all have to take on together.
KEILAR: I'm wondering, from your perspective, if we can change topics here and talk about Steven Sotloff, an American who is being held hostage by ISIS. He was in that video where we saw Jim Foley executed.
Sotloff, as far as we know, at least publicly, is still alive and ISIS is threatening to kill him. What, without obviously disclosing sensitive information, as you can't, can you say about active plans to secure his release, whether it's diplomacy or other means?
HARF: Well, what we have done since we became aware that they were being held captive is really put every resource we have, from an intelligence perspective, a military perspective and a diplomatic perspective, to try and find them and bring them home.
As you now know, as we all now know, publicly, we attempted a military operation to rescue Mr. Foley and other American hostages. That was not ultimately successful. Diplomatically, we at the State Department have reached out to countries in the region, asking anyone who may have information or influence over ISIS to help.
But the reality is ISIS doesn't answer to anyone and it's really been a tough path here. But we're going to keep using every intelligence resource, particularly, to try and locate where they are, and hopefully eventually to bring them home.
KEILAR: Do you have any confidence that that could happen? It's not just Steven Sotloff. There are other Americans...
HARF: There are others. And it's a very tough challenge.
I think you have seen us talk a lot in the last few days about the multitude of ways we really go after this problem, try to find them, try to bring them home. But you have a terrorist group who is a very shadowy group operating in a very tough place to get intelligence on.
So, I know our colleagues across the river at the intelligence community are really focused on this, really getting any piece of information we can to try and bring them home. We will certainly keep working on that.
KEILAR: One of the reasons that ISIS, or ISIL, has a toehold and has been able -- and has exploited really a security vacuum, as well as a political fragmentation in Iraq, Sunnis who have been marginalized.
We saw today Sunnis walking out -- they pulled out of talks about forming a new Iraqi government. This was after militants attacked a Sunni mosque. If that's what's happening, and obviously a big piece of the puzzle in tackling ISIS is for Iraq to gets its political house in order, how does this indicate that there's any progress there?
HARF: Well, you're absolutely right.
And that's why we have always said there's not an American military solution here. A huge piece of this is the Iraqis coming together and putting together an inclusive government in place. We always knew there would be fits and starts in this process. There is a path forward here that we think they need to take, because you're absolutely right.
A key piece of this is having a government in Baghdad that all Iraqis look to and want to stand up for and want to defend and want to make very clear to ISIL that that they are harming the Iraqi people and that they're going to come together to fight them. That's what we need to see happen here.
KEILAR: Marie Harf, thanks so much for your time.
HARF: Thank you.
KEILAR: Appreciate it.
Now, still ahead, more on the ISIS threat and what the U.S. will do next.
Plus, the breaking news out of Missouri. This involves a police officer that we saw live on CNN earlier this week when we was working crowd control during the unrest in Ferguson. Now there's a controversial video of him that has surfaced. You have to see this. He delivers a shocking rant and he's now been relieved of duty.
Stand by for a live report and reaction.
KEILAR: Breaking news. A Saint Louis County officer has now been relieved of duty after being shown on video making very harsh statements against gays, women, and President Obama.
You saw that same officer this week pushing CNN's Don Lemon during a crowd-clearing operation in Ferguson.
Let's go live to Ferguson now and to Don Lemon.
And, Don, we're not showing that to put you in the middle of the story, so much as from what I recall, having watched that happen live here on THE SITUATION ROOM, it felt that that police officer was more aggressive than the other officers who were trying to deal with the crowd.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely.
And all of this new information, Brianna, just coming in within the last hour, hour-and-a-half or so. And you're right, we did not show that video after that. I did not talk about it because the story was not about me. What that was, was an example of what the protester were dealing with. We were in a place where the media had told us -- where the police told us that the media should be. He came around the corner and was very aggressive. It was
interesting because I woke up this morning to an e-mail of this video -- of this video in my e-mail and other CNNers as well. We vetted it. I immediately called the head of the Saint Louis County police, the chief, Jon Belmar.
He came. He dealt with the situation, came out and spoke to me about it. But first I want you to hear some of these inflammatory statements that this officer made. He's a 35-year veteran of the Saint Louis County Police Department. He has now been relieved of his duties, going to have to undergo a psychiatric examination.
And there's more that the chief will explain when you hear that. But this is him talking about what people who are involved in domestic violence should do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. MAJ. DAN PAGE, SAINT LOUIS COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: When the inner cities start to ignite, people are going to start killing people they don't like. And I'm going to warn the ladies on something. And this always gets me in trouble, but I got to tell you.
This domestic violence stuff, every time a man turns around and gets jammed up on his wife on this, you are heading for troubles, ladies. A man can be arrested now for domestic property damage, domestic peace disturbance, domestic destruction of property, so forth and so forth and so -- how can you do that in your own house? You can be arrested for domestic trespassing.
I have seen people with lines down the middle of the house. Stupid. If you don't like each other that much, just kill each other and get it over with. Problem solved. Get it done. Don't be wasting cops' time. Just shoot each other and get it over with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: He goes on to talk about President Obama being from Kenya. He also says more disparaging thing about women, about women in the military, about gays. And there's so much. There's an hour's worth of inflammatory comments.
He talks about -- he speaks out against affirmative action. So when I saw this videotape and I saw the link to it, I sent it to the chief of the Saint Louis County police, Jon Belmar. He immediately responded and ran over here to speak to us. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON BELMAR, SAINT LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, POLICE CHIEF: As the police chief, it's embarrassing when you find out about stuff like this. It was uploaded in April. But I don't do Facebook.
I don't surf YouTube. These things can be difficult to unearth at times. LEMON: Can I read something to you? This is a part of your code
of conduct. And it says, "Police officers will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to their agencies or themselves. A police officer's character and conduct while off duty must always be exemplary," and then it goes on, "thus maintaining a position of respect in the community."
BELMAR: That's an outstanding statement.
LEMON: Does that do that? Do his statements do that?
BELMAR: Not at all.
They're not indicative again of the Saint Louis County Police Department. They're not indicative of the officers that he works beside. And, frankly, he's let them down. The internal aspect of this investigation, the internal affairs, that is not the hard part.
I think the issue with it is, we have to be able to hear from me apologize to the community, anybody he's offended by these remarks, and understand from me that again he does not represent the rank and file of the Saint Louis County Police Department.
LEMON: You're apologizing for the remarks?
BELMAR: I am to anybody who was offended by them, certainly.
LEMON: You mentioned embarrassed. Are you embarrassed by this?
BELMAR: Yes, because you know what? I joined this police department 28 years ago because it was a professional organization. I believe today that it still is. But that professionalism can always be perishable. And I never want to walk away from that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, again, a 35-year veteran of the police department, his name is Dan Page. He's a sergeant major in the Army. He's been on nine deployments, approximately 18 months each, 2000, 2003, 2008, 2011.
He was deployed and at other times. As you heard the chief say, this is an embarrassment. But he was more -- but he is concerned about all of it, but he said the thing that gets him as a police officer is when this officer talks about killing people indiscriminately and really appeared to be glorifying killing people. Here he is talking about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAGE: I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, but I'm also a killer. I have killed a lot.
And if I need to, I will kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to be killed, don't show up in front of me. It's that simple. I have no qualms with it. God did not raise me to be a coward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: It's so disturbing to hear that, especially coming from a member of the police department, especially considering what just happened here with Michael Brown, and then also the other incident in Saint Louis city with the man who was killed.
To think about an officer saying, you know, if you don't want to be killed, don't come in front of me, it is explosive, it is inflammatory, it is disheartening. And I asked the chief, I said, this is confirmation to many that there may be members of the police department who have the same sort of attitude as this officer.
And he said he didn't -- he hoped that that was not true. But it's certainly understandable, Brianna, if people wonder about that, especially since this tape is out there, and he has to, at some point, have expressed some of his views to someone he works with. We don't work around people -- it's not in a vacuum. I know a little bit about my colleagues and their views just from being around them every day.
KEILAR: If it was tolerated by those around him. Big question. Don Lemon in Ferguson, thanks so much.
And just a reminder that -- or something I want to tell our viewers. We have reached out to that officer, Dan Page. He has not responded to our requests for comment. As you saw, his police department is apologizing. They have relieved him of duty.
And I also want to mention that the group that he spoke with, which is called Oath Keepers, has told CNN that Dan Page is not a member, that he was an invited guest speaker.
We're joined now by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.
Congressman, first, thanks for joining us. And, first, just tell us your reaction to what you heard there.
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Well, I was mayor of Kansas City, I was the head, the president of the police board at one point.
Most police officers are good and decent people, the overwhelming majority of them. We shouldn't be completely surprised to know that they are infiltrated, like all other professions, with some people who frankly are sick.
I mean, listening to this officer, a lot of people might feel anger. I felt pity because I think he's a sick person. It is also foolish for us to believe that there are not others who think that way. I'm pretty sure there are. And it's going to be the responsibility of people like the chief there to get rid of those people as quickly as they can.
KEILAR: It only takes just one person who feels that way.
I also want to talk to you about an issue that is very important to you, a lot of military equipment that has been going from the Defense Department to police departments across the country. You actually met with Defense Secretary Hagel yesterday to talk about this.
What changes specifically are you hoping that the Pentagon will make?
CLEAVER: Well, we had a good meeting yesterday with Secretary Hagel. He understands the problem. He's been in the Senate. He actually voted on what's called the 1033 program, the excess property program, where police are able to get through an application process, excess military equipment, most of which was left over from Iraq.
The program actually started when the military gave major cities equipment in the drug war, which was appropriate at the time. And then after 9/11, it exploded. We started giving equipment all over everywhere to everybody. In fact, 8,000 agencies have received military equipment.
And so I asked the secretary, along with Congressman Lacy Clay, if they would, you know, do a study, review of what that program is all about because there are some communities that can't afford the training.
It makes no sense to give an MRAP to a community that can barely afford to make police payroll. And so we don't think the program needs to be discontinued all together. But there are some communities that just shouldn't get that equipment.
KEILAR: Is that what -- do you think that some of it, aside from just getting the equipment, I mean, for instance, I think of something like a Newtown or a Columbine and there being certain situations where some of these equipment in an active shooting could be necessary, even if it's in a small town.
But do you think part of it has to do with also how it's deployed?
I mean, the officers there in Ferguson didn't necessarily need to use these military resources the way they should have and the way that so many law enforcement experts have said was really inappropriate.
Should they just be deployed differently?
CLEAVER: Well, Ferguson has a few Humvees. The St. Louis County police were given even more sophisticated weaponry. And most Americans, we've found out since this tragedy started in Ferguson, are completely opposed to seeing heavy military equipment rolling down the main streets of their cities and towns.
Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party, Libertarians are all saying something is wrong with this program. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, the major centers of commerce in our country probably do need that kind of equipment.
But if a community doesn't -- small communities are struggling as it is. Many communities cannot afford to train the officers. They shouldn't have the equipment.
And the other thing that I think that is really troublesome is that because of the requirements you have to use the equipment, people are figuring out ways in which they can justify keeping the equipment by using it.
And so in that way you're going to have cities trying to roll out that equipment at every opportunity; you know, if you have a hammer, everything is a nail.
So we've got to try to figure out how to reform that program. And frankly, Secretary Hagel understands that. So he is in communication with the president. We hope to hear something soon, that that will in fact reform the program and bring it in line with the things that are American. And that is not the things that happen in Tiananmen Square.
KEILAR: We will be watching to hear what the result of that is. As we know, you will be as well.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, thank you.
CLEAVER: Thank you. Thanks for being with you.
KEILAR: And just ahead, we will talk more about that shocking video of a Saint Louis County police officer and the potential fallout in Ferguson in the hours and days ahead.
KEILAR: Our breaking news, a St. Louis County Police officer has been relieved of duty after being shown on video making harsh statements against gays, women and President Obama. It's the same officer who you saw this week pushing CNN's Don Lemon during a crowd control operation in Ferguson.
And joining me to talk about this is CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes, along with CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin.
And my question to you, Sunny, what's your reaction to that this?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think that people are going to be very concerned because we know that the Ferguson Police Department handed over the investigation to the St. Louis County Police Department so that there should be some sort of distance, so that the Ferguson Police Department would not be investigating its own, which would be Officer Darren Wilson.
So at this point, you see something like this, you wonder is this emblematic of the culture of the St. Louis County Police Department? And if so, should they be investigating the Ferguson, Missouri, incident?
I think what we should also be mindful of is the that the Department of Justice has sent, you know, so many FBI agents down there. The attorney general has visited. And what generally comes from something like this is an investigation of not only what happened to Michael Brown but of the police department as a whole?
Are we going to see a police monitor appointed the way we have seen in Detroit, the way we've seen in California, when you had the Rodney King incident?
And so I think this is something that is really, really concerning, not only just for the Michael Brown investigation, of that shooting, but also just the police department in general.
KEILAR: Sure. And you know, Tom, when you look at this incident, you hope Dan Page, this man who has now been relieved of duty and who his police chief has apologized on his behalf, you hope that he's an outlier. But even if he is, do you think there's a concern about the police department?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I think there has to be a concern. And I find myself in agreement with Sunny. But is this indicative of a greater problem with that department?
Because it's hard for me to believe that someone could rant like that in a public place in front of a group of people, whether he's a member or not, but make that kind of a statement or series of statements, and no one in the department has a clue that he has these attitudes about killing everybody? I can't believe that -- that a department is unaware of it in the first place. And, if they were aware of it, failed to take action, because that would certainly affect their insurance policy, their liability if he goes out and shoots somebody, as we're already investigating a shooting, and it comes up.
And St. Louis, the department has come up under the criticism. It was their policy to bring out the military equipment the first day and not maybe stage it at a rear place, to have officers on top of those trucks looking through scoped rifles right at the people.
You know, so there's been a series of these type of events. And you know, we haven't heard much of the chief of the county in terms of the investigation. Again, that's just the investigation. Because that has in large part has to be secret.
But in terms of the deployment. In terms of what happened day after day when St. Louis County's tactical people were running the show.
KEILAR: And Don, you spoke with the St. Louis County Police chief, right?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I certainly did. I called him up and made him aware of it. And he said -- his representative said he would make him aware of it and then have him reach out to me immediately. He called me back and said, "Where do you want to do this interview?" And so he met us here, and he talked to us about it.
He -- he's saying that it's not indicative of the men and women in uniform in the St. Louis County Police department. And I said, but this video has been out there, you know, for a while. This apparently happened back in February -- I mean back in April that he made this speech in front of the Oath Keepers. How could you not know about it?
He said, "I'm not on Facebook. I'm not on social media. I didn't see that."
But the question is, is what -- it's what the panel has been saying. I work every day with Sunny Hostin. Our offices are right next to each other. Sunny and I aren't best friends, but we're friendly; and we know something about each other's views on things. We know something about each other personally. We overhear conversations that we have in the office.
And if you're a police officer and you're working with, you know, maybe you have a partner who works in a police car, in a squad car. You're out on duty with people all the time.
And so it's hard to believe that others around him, his colleagues did not know about it.
And the other thing is that this man is on duty here doing crowd control for protesters who are upset about police profiling.
LEMON: And about what they consider to be police racism. And so he -- he's out here doing that and is having to deal with those people. It's quite disturbing to a lot of people.
LEMON: There are a lot of questions that need to be answered here.
KEILAR: Yes. A couple of note to our viewers that I want to put out there.
As we know, the police department is apologizing for the opinions expressed by this man, Dan Page. He's been relieved of duty. The police did confirm that it was, indeed, this person. The group, Oath Keepers, telling CNN he was not a member. He was there as a guest speaker.
I want to ask you, Tom about -- I mean, obviously, it is exactly what Don said. It's hard to believe that people didn't know he felt this way. I mean, it felt like he was grandstanding on the video. It's hard to believe they didn't know that he had some of these opinions. Knowing that, there is, therefore, a culture of tolerance in that police department. How does that police department need to overcome that?
FUENTES: Well, that -- you know, there's a great deal of things that have to do to try to overcome that. I mean, it's too late in the selection process if they already have people like that. Although this officer was selected 35 years ago. So we have no clue how diligent the processing was then.
But the officers that are there now need to be trained that these kind of attitudes have no place in modern law enforcement and professional law enforcement. And a situation as politically charged and under the public scrutiny on a worldwide basis such as this, other people in that department had to know that he had this kind of attitude and would possibly, you know, break bad in a difficult situation under stress, as he did.
You know, I commented the other night when Don went through that, that this was horrible judgment to be shoving a reporter who's addressing two billion people worldwide. You know, it could wait two minutes.
KEILAR: We do wish it were that many. But yes, addressing -- no, addressing a large audience.
LEMON: Tom and Brianna...
KEILAR: Yes, Don.
LEMON: Can I jump in here? Because I want to say this. Listen, I addressed it with the police chief, that everyone has a First Amendment But sight. Some of these things you're saying, it's way beyond the pale. He's not hiding it. He's not hiding it, Sunny. He's not hiding it, Brianna. He's saying it in front of a group of people on videotape.
KEILAR: Posted on -- posted on Facebook.
FUENTES: Who said he was hiding it? I didn't say he was hiding it.
LEMON: No, no, no. I'm not saying -- I'm saying that people didn't know. I think we're all on the same page here. How could people not know? It's something that he's not hiding. He's saying it openly and publicly.
KEILAR: That's something that this police department is going to need to get a handle on.
I want to mention to our viewers before we wrap up here, we have actually reached out to this officer, Dan Page, and he has not gotten back in touch with us for comment.
Thank you so much to Tom, as well as to Sunny and to Don. We're going to continue to monitor the breaking news out of Missouri just ahead.
And should Americans, as well -- we'll be covering this for you -- should they be worried about the ISIS threat in this country right now after a new alert was issued by federal authorities?
KEILAR: Right now, U.S. officials are ratcheting up their warnings about the danger from ISIS terrorists. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have issued a new bulletin for law enforcement, warning of a possible attack here in the United States.
Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes back with us. He's the former FBI assistant director. Along with CNN counterterrorism analyst, Philip Mudd, he's a former CIA counterterrorism official.
And, Phil, you have the FBI, you have the Department of Homeland Security issuing this bulletin to law enforcement agencies as a reminder to be aware of threats from ISIS. What do you make of this?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I wouldn't read too much into the bulletin. This is pretty much standard operating procedure.
MUDD: But the backdrop, Brianna, is really significant, and that is a backdrop of magnitude that is different than what I've witnessed in 25 years in this business. Look, this is like triage in the hospital. If you have five people coming into the emergency room, you can handle it. If you've got 300, that's a problem.
In this case, when I was at the FBI, if we had five or six major cases at the threat briefing at 7:15 in the morning, that's a pretty significant workload. You're talking about 100, 200, 300 kids from America in Iraq potentially with good documents to come home. That's a significant problem for a long period of time.
KEILAR: Sure is.
And, Tom, so, is that what we're seeing here with this bulletin? We shouldn't worry about some sort of imminent thing. And yet is this putting it on law enforcement's radar to say, hey, this is something you may have to deal with and it's something you need to start thinking about?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes. But I don't think law enforcement needs to have it put on the radar. It's been there for years. I completely agree with Phil in his assessment of it.
But I think what makes this different is when we had the al Qaeda attack on 9/11, that was held pretty close to the vest by bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohamed. In this case, you have these war after war areas involving extreme Islam, whether it's Boko Haram in Nigeria, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, all over and then of course ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
And the problem is that it does, as Phil mentioned, it attracts Americans that won't to go there and join the cause, or Europeans who want to go there. And Europeans or Americans can come to the United States without on -- obviously Americans can. But even Europeans don't need a visa. So, they can go learn how to do everything they need to do, go
back to their country in Europe and they're six hours by air from JFK or Washington, D.C. So, that's a problem.
The second problem is that not knowing -- you know, obviously the government or the FBI would neutralize a cell. If they knew they had it, they're not going to brag about it on television. They'll go and take care of it.
FUENTES: So, that's not an issue that they haven't identified a known cell. They'll deal with that in secret.
But the big deal is that these terrorists don't need bomb-making skills, gun skills, how to fire a mortar any of that. They don't have to. They're reading "Inspire" magazines, still being produced. The 12th issue of "Inspire" came out of Yemen in May.
And it constantly says, if you don't know how to make a bomb or how to shoot a rifle or anything, fine. Drive a car up on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. and mow down people having lunch outdoors. You'll probably kill an important person. Derail a train that has toxic material and could explode. Hijack a tanker truck on a highway and drive into a school.
KEILAR: Showing people how to be a threat.
FUENTES: We don't need war fighters that have this attitude. We need people bent on doing death and destruction in the U.S. or in Western Europe.
KEILAR: Phil, yesterday, we heard Secretary Hagel, he said that ISIS -- the ISIS threat, this is his quote, "is beyond anything that we've seen".
Do you agree with that?
MUDD: You know, I think 13 years into this, we've got to take a cold shower here and get some perspective. Let me give you some bottom lines -- 13 years ago, we had an adversary that had the advantage of surprise, a huge advantage. The Taliban was carrying the fight 13 years ago in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was planning terrorist attacks.
ISIS doesn't have that luxury. They've got F-16s bombing them and whatever else we've got bombing them in Iraq and they don't have as much time as al Qaeda has to sit around and say, how do I get into New York City?
There's a third piece of this I point out that nobody seems to consider, that is the blue team, the home team, the Americans, the Brits and everybody else. We're much better than we were 13 years ago. I agree with the White House and the Pentagon, we need to be prudent about an expanding threat. But before we hyper-ventilate, I think we ought to put 13 years
of practice in perspective and tell the America people, you need to be concerned, but hat we've seen stuff like this before and we've seen it worse.
KEILAR: A final word to you, Tom, before we go.
It sounds like, going back to what you were saying before, the real concern then is the lone actor who is inspired by ISIS.
FUENTES: Right. Lone actor, self radicalized at home, on the Internet, or watching television accounts on what's going on in these countries, the war ongoing, let's say, in Syria and Iraq, and that person if he doesn't share the information.
Phil is right, we're so far more alert to people returning to the U.S. that may have been there and been involved in this effort, but the ones that already here that may never leave and just self radicalized and can do an attack here with no special training, no special assistance, and if they keep it to themselves and don't tell another person, don't tweet it and Facebook it and everything else, it's almost impossible for law enforcement to stop an attack by a so- called lone wolf and a lone wolf can do a lot of damage.
So, I agree, we don't have the large exhale effort of an al Qaeda attack like we did on 9/11. I agree with Phil they're not going to pull that off. But the ones (INAUDIBLE) by lone wolves, they could pull of.
KEILAR: Yes, still very real.
Tom Fuentes, thank you so much. Phil Mudd, appreciate you being with us.
Just ahead: shades of the Cold War, a disturbing close call between Chinese and U.S. military planes.
First, though, we have an NFL star fighting for his son's life.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: When you look at Gunnar Esiason, he seems like a typical 20-something.
But the son of former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason has cystic fibrosis -- a life-threatening lung and digestive disease.
GUNNAR ESIASON: I really just give myself another option, but to live a normal life.
CUOMO: That includes twice daily treatments in a mechanical vest to clear his airway, and medication before eating anything.
GUNNAR ESIASON: I have to do these therapies. I have to take my medication every day if I want to survivor.
CUOMO: Gunnar was diagnosed at two.
BOOMER ESIASON, FORMER NFL QUARTERBACK: When you get that news, you admittedly think the worst.
CUOMO: Boomer was just traded to the Jets. He almost retired, but realized football gave him a national platform.
BOOMER ESIASON: Figuring that I am in the media capital of the world and how I could use that to leverage who I am to raise money and awareness for the disease.
CUOMO: That year, the Super Bowl quarterback and his wife launched the Boomer Esiason Foundation.
BOOMER ESIASON: We raised money for drug development, transplant grants, scholarship grants. We support hospital development.
CUOMO: Over two decades, Boomer says the foundation has raised more than $100 million.
BOOMER ESIASON: It's not easy. It's painstaking. It's time- consuming. But as you can see sitting next to me, I have a passion for it. And this is the best way I know how to have an impact on that.
KEILAR: A U.S. Navy patrol aircraft was stalked and repeatedly buzzed by a Chinese fighter jet in international airspace this week. Pentagon officials are calling it dangerous and unprofessional.
CNN's Tom Foreman has the details -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, this was an extremely close call. Just three days ago, between two state-of-the- art military aircraft.
There can be little doubt about the intent. China clearly meant to shove back against American surveillance and this was a unequivocally a dangerous maneuver.
FOREMAN (voice-over): These pictures taken from the American P-8 Sub Hunter show just how close the Chinese fighter jet came. Close enough for the American crew to easily see details on the Chinese craft and even the pilot inside.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: It's difficult to say with precision, but within 30 feet of the P-8. Very, very close. Very dangerous.
FOREMAN: And it didn't happen just once, as the American plane flew on a routine patrol mission. Repeatedly, the Chinese fighter roared over, under, and beside it.
KIRBY: The Chinese jet also passed the nose of the P-8 at 90 degrees, with its belly toward the P-8 Poseidon, believe to make a point of showing its weapons.
FOREMAN: Military officials say the incident occurred in international airspace, about 135 miles east OF Hainan Island, just off the south coast of China. And it is just the latest sign of friction as America and its allies clash with the Russians and Chinese over surveillance in the region.
Earlier this year, the U.S. moved two of its large drones to Japan. They are called Global Hawks and are used for surveillance. And last April, north of Japan, a Russia jet buzzed another U.S. plane designed to track radar signals. The Russian pilot came within 100 feet that time and again flashed his weapons at the American plane.
The U.S. officials clearly see a pattern of push-backs continuing with this more recent encounter.
BEN RHODES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Obviously, a deeply concerning provocation and we have communicated directly to the Chinese government our objection to this type of action.
FOREMAN: Now, the Chinese have been conducting large-scale military drills and they made it clear they consider the presence of American spy planes to be a provocation, suggesting even if these American planes are in international air space, Brianna, they have no business spying on Chinese affairs, that's their opinion. But, nonetheless, the planes were close. You said earlier, it's like that movie "Top Gun", they were right at each other and looking at each other in the cockpit.
KEILAR: It's like out of the movie, it is unbelievable. Tom, thank you so much for explaining that to us.
And remember, you can always follow us on Twitter. Just tweet the show @CNNSitRoom. Be sure to join us Monday in THE SITUATION ROOM.
I'm Brianna Keilar. Thanks so much for watching.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" begins right now.