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THE SITUATION ROOM
News Conference on Ferguson Manhunt; Chief: 'Good General Idea' Where Shots Came From; Ferguson Mayor Not Planning to Step Down; Video Shows Teenage Girls Crossing Into Syria; Pushback in Secret Service Agents Scandal; North Korea Fires Missiles
Aired March 13, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JON BELMAR, POLICE CHIEF, ST. LOUIS COUNTY: I don't feel like, at this point, that's going to lead us anywhere regarding this investigation. I would tell you that I would appreciate -- I appreciated the cooperation and the forthrightness that we got from the individuals that were in that house at the time.
We've had several leads since then. I cannot tell you at this point that an arrest is imminent. There is certainly nobody in custody. And when we get to the point where we feel like that we have active leads, if we can do anything through you to have the community assist us, we'll certainly let you know.
The amount of donations toward a reward are absolutely pouring in. In fact, that was one of the reasons that I talked to Congressman Cleaver, because he's out there making sure that where can I send the donations coming in toward this reward?
I pointed him toward Crime Stoppers. But those things are remarkable. They really are. And I'm thankful, again, that we don't have a situation to where we're looking on an investigation regarding a homicide and that these officers will recover, but yet it does express the support that the community has.
And please understand the amount of folks that are involved in expressing their First Amendment rights who have contacted me and said hey, listen, what happened to those officers was wrong. And we certainly support the police department and law enforcement, because if we don't have you, then we have no sense of security and we have no ability to do what we're doing.
So that's critical. And I certainly appreciate that.
The detectives are looking into this investigation around the clock. They will not rest until we get to the point of where we have a conclusion regarding this investigation. As you know, there is substantial reward money out there right now. And that's something that we hope can further the investigation. I would certainly hope that that would happen.
I would like to take any questions that you guys have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks. My name is (INAUDIBLE)...
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer.
We're listening to a news conference. The St. Louis County police chief, Jon Belmar, just made an opening statement.
Here's now answering reporters' questions.
Let's go back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- were responsible for you interrogating them.
BELMAR: Yes, so we interviewed them is what we did. And without going into a whole lot on that, because, again, I appreciate their cooperation and I wouldn't want to do anything to compromise them. But as you might imagine, there's all sorts of information that comes in regarding an investigation, especially of this magnitude. And when that happens, then we have the obligation to follow up on those on those statements made to us, on those clues, on those facts and circumstances that would lead different people, perhaps in two different areas, to say, hey, I saw this, I don't know what this necessarily means. But, you know, people speculate on different things that leads law enforcement to it.
And I would tell you that that was a whole lot more, without getting into a whole lot of details that I think are very inappropriate to share with anybody else at this time, since these leads are going away, that we felt like that, at that point, in time, that that was a very good path for us to take as far as the investigation.
You also have to understand with leads, if you don't have the ability to take a look at those things and ask those questions and talk to those folks and solicit their helping us with that, then we never understand if we've done everything on that investigation that we possibly can. So I hope you appreciate that.
But you really have to make sure that you never have to go back and look at leads again, I think is what I'm trying to tell you. And I appreciate that.
You know, you see the officers on top of the roof, you know, looking in that vent. They would have preferred not to do that. But when they got up in the attic, there was not a way for them to get back to a certain point. So those things happen. And they probably look extraordinary to other people. But those are part of what we do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you share what you've learned about the shell casing recovery?
BELMAR: I can't share any evidence regarding any detail of any information regarding any evidence we may or may not have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gun?
You didn't find a gun?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been more than one day now since the officers were shot.
Is there a critical point after which it becomes (INAUDIBLE) to find the suspect?
BELMAR: Yes, but we're not there yet. We really aren't. You really -- it's hard to figure out exactly if it's one day or two days or one week or whatever it is beyond that. It's really when you begin to get the absence of credible information that is coming forward in our investigation, where you kind of need to stop, regroup and figure out where you are. We're not at that point yet, however.
So I still think we have the ability -- in fact, we are having the ability to still track down certain leads. And, again, even if they're not positive leads, at least we need -- we know we're not going to go in that direction any further.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) suspect or suspects (INAUDIBLE)?
BELMAR: That's a good question. We don't know yet. So I can't say with any sort of conviction on whether I have a .9 millimeter or a .22 or a .40 caliber or a .45 or whatever at this point. Those are things that the detectives are taking a look at. Those are things that might make a difference in the investigation. But we're going to kind of go from there and see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, was it -- we didn't see many officers in riot gear last night.
Is that a calculated risk?
Can you talk about your strategy there?
BELMAR: I would tell you that probably there is a whole lot of calculated risk in law enforcement, no matter what we're doing. But, yes, we're trying to, obviously, always portray the best possible image and stance that we can. But it's a very important responsibility of the police chief to make sure that my officers know that they have the equipment they have to have to keep themselves safe.
And I would tell you that the absence of the riot gear and different things like that, you know, I think it would be a very good question for one of our officers to say, hey, what does it feel like tonight, 24 hours after a shooting or so, to be in a position of where here I am standing on the street and I don't have a lot of cover, it's dark, I can't really see what's going to happen.
So I commend those brave men and women who are out there doing that.
But we didn't have a riot last night, either. So, you know, from time to time, that -- riot equipment is not necessarily ballistic equipment, it's riot equipment. So, you know, at times, that equipment is -- we have it for certain different reasons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are they telling you about what it's like to stand out there that night after?
BELMAR: You know, that's interesting, because I went up with Deputy Chief Cox and some other commanders to the command post and I visited with my officers because I want to make sure they have smiles on their faces, not frowns on their faces. And I want to really kind of take a pulse of what their attitude is out there, you know, how do I expect them to perform that evening?
And I found that the officers, both from the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the St. Louis County officers, they were doing fine emotionally. They were good to go. There wasn't a sentiment of anger or frustration or anything like that. These guys understand that they're going to move forward and do their jobs.
So -- and, you know, I'll be back up there tonight talking with my officers, making sure that they're OK and they're where they need to be mentally. And I assure you, they are squared away. It's a situation to where we've been through a whole lot since August. So these officers are salty and experienced when it comes to that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, is there any indication that the suspect or suspects were tied in to the protest group or had been in protests or anything (INAUDIBLE)?
BELMAR: I honestly couldn't tell you for sure at this point. I mean just to be -- we really don't know that. So it's kind of really hard to speculate what kind of nexus there may or may not have existed regarding the shooters and any individuals who would have been out there, you know, for whatever reason. So it's very difficult to know that. I wouldn't be able to say for sure at this point, no -- I know these people didn't do it, because I don't know who did it at this point.
So it doesn't seem to be a coincidence that it happened there. That's interesting. I mean that's one thing. But beyond that, it's very hard to speculate at this point.
I've got one over here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, based on the investigation so far, do you have a better sense of where the shots came from?
And do you have any images of the shooter from surveillance video or protester video or anything like that? BELMAR: Yes, you know, we pored through our images last night before the day watch detectives went home. We actually had arrived about midnight, you know. But they wanted to make sure that they had those things looked at.
I can only tell you at this point, without prejudicing the investigation, that we have reviewed all of those things and we are certainly looking at them to find out if there is anything that would give us any sort of an indication on who might be responsible for this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know the location of the shooter?
BELMAR: Yes, we have a pretty good idea, maybe, on this. But I mean I've even talked to community leaders as recently as the last couple of hours that have been down there and saying, you know, what's your thoughts on this and different things.
So I think we have a pretty good idea on the investigation. I'm not going to pinpoint that area. But I think we have a pretty good general idea of where we think the shots came from.
BLITZER: All right. So that's the St. Louis County police chief, Jon Belmar. He's been answering reporters' questions, saying they've got some leads, but clearly, the suspect or suspects, the shooter or shooters -- and he did use the word shooters -- are still on the loose right now. So this mystery continues.
This is a massive, massive manhunt underway in Ferguson, St. Louis County, indeed, around the country right now, for a shooter or shooters who shot and presumably tried to kill two police officers.
Those police officers are out of the hospital. They seem to be OK. But they suffered very severe wounds.
Jason Carroll is our national correspondent.
He's on the ground for us in Ferguson -- Jason, you've been covering this from the very beginning. It looks like the mystery has by no means been solved. They don't -- they have some clues, but they don't know who these shooters are.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not yet. As you heard from Chief Belmar there, Wolf, they're following up on many leads. And they've questioned several people according to what investigators are telling us.
But the bottom line is still no one in custody at this point.
One interesting point that he brought up there in the press conference, he really stressed the point of having to follow up on every lead. In a case as serious and as crucial as this one, you simply have to. He said, quote, "It's our obligation."
So perhaps that explains why we saw what we did yesterday, when we got the report that three people were brought in for questioning. As you know, Wolf, we spoke to all three of those people once they were released. One of them, Iresha Turner, was actually out here. She had participated as part of the demonstration, like so many people did. And when the shooting happened, she sped off just to get away.
But that raised the interest of police when they saw this woman and three other men get inside this car and speed away. That was one of the leads that they followed up on, a lead that brought them nowhere.
So at this point, they have questioned several people, but you heard from the chief there, Wolf, at this point, still no one in custody.
BLITZER: Yes. And they haven't identified anyone. There's no suspects, no names. No pictures have been released, at least so far.
Jason, stand by.
Tom Fuentes, our law enforcement analyst, the former assistant director of the FBI, he's in Ferguson watching -- you were listening very closely to what the police chief had to say.
What jumped out at you, Tom?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think, Wolf, just the fact that it reminded me, when he talked about going to the home and taking the three people downtown for questioning, of the DC sniper case. When shots were fired, people look up, see a car speeding away and call that in as the subject vehicle. And in this case, as in many cases, it's just people who heard the shots and are fleeing for their own safety.
So I think that, you know, he explained that very well, that that's why the tactical operation took place at that house.
BLITZER: Tell our viewers, Tom, where you're standing right now, because the assumption is the shooter, or shooters -- and the police chief did use the phrase "shooters," the word "shooters," meaning plural -- were about 125 yards or so, more than a football field from the police headquarters where the two police officers were shot and seriously injured.
FUENTES: Based on the limited information we have, as far as pinpointing where the shooters were, we think we're in the approximate location.
What I want to point out here is that if you look down this street, the cars that are going by on that street would be about the height of people, so that if you had the crowd still on the street, the protesters still on the street, the shooter, at this elevation, would not have been able to fire a shot over the people hitting the police officers in the grass behind.
You see the height of the vehicles, that would be about the height of the people.
However, we learned today that the protesters were completely moved out of the way. So the police had moved them starting at midnight. They moved them into the parking lot here on the left, the parking lot to our right over here, and therefore, the street which was still closed to traffic, would have been wide open for a clear shot from up here on this hill straight down to where the police officers. The police officers were in the grassy area just beyond the wrought iron fence, beyond the lamppost. And they were shoulder to shoulder in a line and the two officers in the middle of that line standing next to each other were hit, one in the shoulder, one in the cheekbone, in his face.
So I think now that -- and also, in looking at the other buildings in the area, I don't think anybody was on the roof. Witnesses are very adamant that the muzzle flashes were coming from up the street, up the hill and not on rooftops nearby or from within the crowd itself.
BLITZER: And you're now walking to exactly the area where those two police officers were in a formation with other police officers and those two were shot, right?
Is that where you are now, Tom?
FUENTES: Yes, exactly, to the site here where the grass is and where the camera is. That's where the police officers were, in a line right by this fire hydrant.
Susan Weich, the reporter from "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," told us this morning she was just a few feet over here by the brick walls. And she also believed the shots came from up the street. And she then watched as paramedics came out of the firehouse and more police officers came over to assist the wounded police officers and rescue them, started administering medical care for them to take care of them. That all took place right here in this grassy area beyond here.
BLITZER: Tom, I just want to remind our viewers you started off as a street cop, but then you joined the FBI, you worked your way up to become assistant director of the FBI.
What you're doing right now, trying to recreate what happened, that's what you used to do for a living when you worked at the FBI, right? You're looking for evidence, if you will, that could back up a theory.
FUENTES: Yes, Wolf, I used to be a real agent. I just play one now on television.
BLITZER: You're always a real agent. Once an FBI agent, you're always an FBI agent. But you still believe the police believe it was a pistol, it wasn't some sort of modified rifle, because from 125 yards, for someone to use a hand gun and be that precise, aim for police officers, hit one in the face, one in the shoulder, you've got to be an expert marksman.
FUENTES: Yes, and they're very adamant about that, Wolf. They're not saying, well, it might have been a rifle. It might have been a different type of gun. They're saying that the cartridges or the casings that they found up the hill, they believe were involved in the shooting and that they were fired out of a pistol. The way that search was conducted, by the way, looking back up this
street, the reporters told us that the police were shoulder to shoulder, curb to curb, each with a flashlight, slowly meticulously going up this hill to look for those casings, to look for any evidence or debris, and then were able to find the shell casings up on the hill.
Now, the police do not want to provide any more detail than that, as to the caliber of the casings or how many or exactly where they were, but they still insist that they think they were fired from a hand gun.
BLITZER: What does it say to you, Tom, that the police, we just heard the St. Louis County police chief. He didn't release a name or a picture, no suspects, no most wanted, no all-out manhunt for a specific individual or individuals. What does that say to you?
FUENTES: Well, they would have their reasons for how much information they're releasing and at what point they're going to go ahead and tell the public this is who we're looking for. And I think it might be that they just don't have a strong enough information yet, and they want to wait until they do before they release names or descriptions or photographs of suspects.
BLITZER: Tom, I want you to stand by. Tom Fuentes, our law enforcement analyst, former assistant director of the FBI, he's in Ferguson. He's recreating, trying to make all of us better appreciate what was going on.
Let's get some reaction. Joining us now, the president and the CEO of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks.
Cornell, thanks once again for joining us. I just want you to stay put for a second. You absorbed what the police chief said; you heard Tom Fuentes; you heard Jason Carroll. We've got some issues to discuss. I want to take a quick break. We'll come right back. CNN has just spoken also to the mayor of Ferguson. He's still refusing to step down. He's saying he's not going anywhere. More of that, plus the head of the NAACP when we come back.
BLITZER: Facing very strong pressure to step down, the Ferguson mayor, James Knowles, is digging in his heels. He just spoke with CNN's Sara Sidner in Ferguson. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why should they trust you since you were here during all of the madness that has unfolded in this city?
JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON MAYOR: Sure. Well, I can tell you this. There's ways to remove me if that is the will of the people. I've stood for office five times over the last decade and won every time. But this past time, just a year ago, less than a year ago now, I was unanimously, or rather, unopposed for office.
SIDNER: So you're not going anywhere is what you're telling us.
KNOWLES: Unless the residents decide to remove me. But right now, that's not the indication that I get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Let's get reaction to all of this. Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the NAACP, is here with me in THE SITUATION ROOM. Cornell, give me your immediate reaction to what we just heard from Mayor Knowles.
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, PRESIDENT/CEO, NAACP: Well, certainly the mayor has the right and the option to remain in office. I will note that when he says that he's been re-elected, this in a town where African-Americans have been serially disenfranchised.
BLITZER: When you say disenfranchise, what does that mean?
BROOKS: Here's what I mean. African-Americans have voted in very significant numbers in on-year presidential elections, but in off-year municipal elections, less so.
BLITZER: This is their choice, right?
BROOKS: Their choice in a city where they have been preyed upon by the police department, by the municipal courts, so that they don't trust their municipal government.
BLITZER: Let me just be precise, because this is very sensitive. The black residents of Ferguson, Missouri -- there may be 60 percent or 70 percent of the community -- they're afraid to go to the polling stations for municipal elections? Is that what I'm hearing?
BROOKS: What I'm saying very clearly here is when your local government sees you as a source of revenue and is willing to use their police force as amateur tax collectors, that does not engender trust. The same folks voted at very significant numbers in national elections.
So my point here is this is not a vote of confidence with respect to Mayor Knowles. And the fact that you have a major global civil rights crisis blow up in your backyard, a city manager that was rogue, a municipal court system that was rogue, and you claim to maintain the confidence of the people? I don't find it plausible.
BLITZER: So what do you do, a community that's 60 or 70 percent African-American, and you've got a mayor that they don't like, next time there's an election, you're going to encourage them to go out and vote. They have every right to vote. It's not as if they're not being allowed to register or anything like that.
BROOKS: That's absolutely it. We just celebrated the Voting Rights Act. We just celebrated the Selma to Montgomery march. We had people lay down their lives for the right to vote. The so fact of the matter is while you may not have the best city hall in the world, you've got to vote. Period. Day in, day out. You have to vote. BLITZER: And your quick reaction to what we heard from the police
chief in St. Louis today?
BROOKS: I will simply say this. Here we have a very powerful moment in the history of Ferguson, where the police and the citizenry most need each other. We have a potential cop killer in the community's midst, and we have a police force that needs witnesses to come forward. The fact that they have leads says that people are willing to come forward, but we really need each other right now. And we've got to find this person and put them behind bars.
BLITZER: So if anyone is watching you right now in the community, outside the community, and thinks that they have a lead on the killer or killers. Excuse me, they weren't killers, they were shooters. Fortunately, the two police officers were not killed; they were seriously injured. But if anyone has a lead on the shooter or shooters, and the police chief did use the word "shooters," you say to those people who might be watching right now?
BROOKS: I'd say to them very clearly go to your local authorities and bring forth any information that will lead to the apprehension of a person who's willing to target police officers in your town. Come forward and do all that you can to make your community safe. And your community includes police officers.
BLITZER: And don't be afraid, even if you don't trust police. If you suspect you know who the shooter or shooters might be, just go to the police and tell them. Give them the information and just do it, right?
BROOKS: Absolutely. The fact of the matter is, Wolf, when Michael Brown was killed, the NAACP worked on the ground to bring witnesses forward, to reassure them that we will walk with you, we will stand with you, as you participate in the process. Because at the end of the day, we've got to trust the process enough to try to keep us safe. We've got to do that.
BLITZER: Cornell William Brooks, thanks very much for joining us. He's the president and CEO of the NAACP.
Coming up, we have new video showing runaway girls, school girls, apparently entering Syria to join ISIS as the CIA director issues a grim new warning about the terror group.
And there are also new developments tonight in a pair of stunning embarrassments for the U.S. Secret Service. Was the service's new director kept in the dark for five days?
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: There is new video tonight which shows three runaway school girls about to enter Syria, apparently on their way to join ISIS. This comes as the CIA director, John Brennan, issues a new warning on the ISIS threat and how it may impact the U.S. homeland. Brian Todd has been looking into all of this for us.
What do you know, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, that's an ominous warning from the CIA director. We're going to have that in just a moment.
First tonight, disturbing new video of those three British school girls, these teenagers, showing them preparing to cross the border from Turkey into Syria. These girls are believed to have gone to Syria to join ISIS. Two of the girls are wearing fur-lined coats in this video. A third wears a hijab. They're shown standing outside a car with luggage talking to at least one man who's helping them with the bags.
This video was apparently recorded on February 19th in the Turkish border city of Gaziantep. British officials say just two days earlier, these girls, two of them, 15 years old, one 16, had boarded a plane from London to Istanbul without their parents' knowledge.
This new video was released by a Turkish TV network, distributed by Reuters. CNN could not independently verify the authenticity of this footage. This comes of course as CIA director John Brennan is giving chilling new information on the number of foreign jihadists who have gone to fight in Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: We roughly estimate that at least 20,000 fighters from more than 90 countries have gone to fight. Several thousands of them from Western nations, including the United States. Among the dangers that these fighters pose upon their return is a top priority for the United States intelligence community as well as our liaison partners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Now on those foreign fighters, such a crucial part of getting them across the border into Syria are fixers. And we're learning tonight that the man who got those British girls across the border may have been a double agent.
Turkey's Foreign minister says his security forces arrested a man he called a spy who allegedly helped those girls get into Syria. The Foreign minister says the man also worked for a country that is part of the international coalition against ISIS.
Turkish officials say he is not Turkish and he's not a citizen of the country he is working for, Wolf. There's a chance he could be Syrian but it's amazing, he works for the coalition and smuggled those girls across the border.
BLITZER: Yes. It's very, very disturbing. All right, Brian, thank you.
Let's go in depth with our counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd, who's a former CIA official. Our CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen and our CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer, he's a former CIA operative.
Explain, it's pretty confusing to me what's going on. You've taken a closer look. You understand the world of intrigue. These three -- the bottom line is somebody helped these three young school girls get from Turkey into Syria and now God only knows what's going on to them in ISIS hands.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Wolf, this is an intelligence gold mine. It's a rare evening where I wish I were back in the business. This is somebody we would call at the CIA a facilitator, helping people get from Europe an into Syria and Iraq. He's got information about individuals in the network on both sides, in Europe and in Syria and Iraq. When you take him down, you've got a couple of avenues over the coming days that you can exploit to see if there's a broader network you can take down with him.
One, I want to know if he's got a cell phone or laptop because that'd going to have contacts of people you can identify. Two, I can guarantee to you right now he's in a room sweating because people are saying where are those who are involved in recruiting young girls, young men in Europe, and who is involved in Syria and Iraq and bring them in. This guy is a terrific intelligence.
BLITZER: I assume, Bob Baer, and you've been involved in this kind of business for awhile, the Turks are in control of this person who may be a double agent, right? They have their own methods of interrogation.
ROBERT BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, they do, Wolf. And the other thing is you have to keep in mind is the Turkey has a long history of not giving full cooperation to the west. You have the president of Turkey, Erdogan, the Arabs call him a Muslim brother, he would still like to get rid of Bashar al-Assad. That border with Syria is wide open.
For a couple dollars, you and I could cross it. Turkey could completely control it. I have been along that border. But they choose not to because as I said, it's a schizophrenic game. So how much information we're actually going to get out of the Turks. It depends. I mean, I have driven to the border with the police, the Turkish police. It was a five-hour drive and they never said a word. I kept on asking questions. So it depends if they will cooperate or not. It's a case by case deal.
BLITZER: Peter, what does it say to you, this mystery?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I mean, I'm not that surprised. I mean, this -- we don't know what the motivations of this intelligence officer are. Is it financial? After all, ISIS has significant financial assets. Is it ideological? After all, ISIS enjoys a fair amount of admiration amongst a rather slice of the Sunni population. To me, it's unsurprising, I'm curious about his motivations. BLITZER: You know, what's so worrisome to U.S. officials I have
spoken to senior ones, NATO, Turkey is a NATO ally. Aren't there special rules for NATO allies in terms of intelligence cooperation, security cooperation, military cooperation?
MUDD: There is but let's take -- let's go inside this for just a moment, Wolf. So let's say you pick up a laptop and cell phone or say you're in the midst of an interrogation of this individual, the intermediary, and you are a Turk. One of the things you're likely to find is corruption along the border. That is he's got contacts that he could pay to bring these British girls across.
What's the likelihood, regardless of the quality of your interaction with the Americans, that you want to sit there and say hey, we just talked to this fellow, we just picked up his cell phone, let's tell you how border agents are corrupted in Turkey so these people go across.
It's not just about the quality of the cooperation with the Americans and the Turks. It's about revealing embarrassment.
BLITZER: And Bob Baer, I assume you agree?
BAER: I agree totally with Phil. We don't have any reliable, you know, allies in that part of the world. Neither Iran or the Syrians, of course, and Turkey as well. They've all got their own motivations. And we are just desperately trying to hold together some sort of coalition against the Islamic State. And it's not easy. It's not because we haven't tried. Just we don't have reliable allies.
BLITZER: And we did hear from the CIA director John Brennan also say this war against these terrorists, there is no short term victory. It's going to go on for years, he said.
All right, guys, stand by.
Coming up, new questions on the latest scandal at the U.S. Secret Service. A new pushback about what really happened the night a pair of agents drove into a White House barrier on their way back from a party.
Also, disturbing new details about why North Korea just sent a swarm of missiles into the sky.
BLITZER: Tonight, there are new developments in a pair of major embarrassments for the U.S. Secret Service. In court today, the man who jumped the White House fence, ran into the mansion, got as far as the East Room, pleaded guilty to two crimes, including carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon into a restricted building. Omar Gonzalez will be sentenced in June.
There's also new pushback and new questions concerning the agency's latest scandal. Reports a pair of agents drove their car into a White House barrier on their way back from a drinking party. Let's get the very latest from our White House correspondent, Michelle
Kosinski. She is joining us now -- Michelle.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. Law enforcement sources familiar with this investigation now say these two agents are officially accused of misconduct. And that the director of the agency, who's just appointed to clean up problems in the Secret Service, wasn't even told about an incident until about five days after it happened. It's possible even White House staffers knew before he did and that should not have happened.
Also, we are hearing some serious pushback now from law enforcement about what allegedly happened that night.
KOSINSKI (voice-over): This story broke as two possibly drunk top Secret Service agents coming back from a party and crashing through a crime scene, slamming into a White House barrier. Officers wanting to test them for alcohol, but a supervisor intervening and sending them home. The Secret Service director kept in the dark for five days.
Yet now law enforcement sources familiar with this investigation are casting doubts about what happened that night. They say yes, the agents did drive into the area where a suspicious package and bomb threat was being investigated near the White House, after driving under police tape. But these sources say the agent driving the government car was going, quote, "literally one mile an hour," nudging a plastic barrel type barrier out of the way to get to the first checkpoint on to the White House grounds.
They rolled down their window, showed their badges for about 25 seconds, were waved through to the next checkpoint and they drove on. Sources say there was no crash, no damage, no disruption to the scene.
And now they are also questioning the suggestion that these agents might have been drunk or that a supervisor allowed them to go home over the objections of officers at the scene who wanted them tested. They now say that story is seriously in question, that they know of no one who corroborates it.
There is still the possibility, according to sources, that the agents did drink while at the party. This former agent says there seems to be a lot here that should not have happened.
RONALD KESSLER, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: They obviously, you know, were driving recklessly. If you or I went through some tape, some police tape and then nudged some other obstacle and then it turned out we had been drinking, we would have been arrested. We would have been given sobriety tests. You know, it doesn't mean you have to crash into the White House to have an improper incident.
KOSINSKI: Now members of Congress are demanding answers from the Secret Service director. In a briefing next week.
(END VIDEOTAPE) KOSINSKI: Big question here is where did the allegations of drunkenness come from and were they brought up that night or later, possibly days later? And why did this information come out the way it did?
And by the way, Wolf, what they were investigating out here that night was a woman who said she had a bomb, left a suspicious package behind. Now it turns out when she was arrested in Virginia four days later, she had in marker scrawled across the side of her car White House bound, told deputies that she was running for president and it turns out she was someone who is well known to the Secret Service here -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It's all pretty, pretty embarrassing and very scary, too, I must say.
All right. Thanks very much for that, Michelle.
Coming up, Kim Jong-Un's North Korea firing new missiles as the U.S. warning to the -- as a warning to the United States, but declaring a year of friendship, those words, year of friendship with Vladimir Putin's Russia.
It comes just as the Kremlin is going out of its way to erase doubts about Putin's whereabouts and his health. Is there really a problem?
BLITZER: We're following a series of troubling new moves by Kim Jong- Un's North Korea.
CNN's Brian Todd is with us once again. He's here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
You've got some disturbing details, Brian.
TODD: Absolutely, Wolf. Tonight, once again, Kim Jong-Un is threatening the U.S. and its allies. He is rattling the cage and he's making a dangerous new friend.
Kim and Vladimir Putin are telling the world they have a new alliance. Putin's economy is in shambles and he still canceled $10 billion of North Korea's debt to Russia. This all comes as Kim shows the American and South Korean militaries just what he's escapable of hitting them with.
TODD (voice-over): Under Kim Jong-Un's intense glare, North Koreans forces fire seven surface-to-air missiles into the Sea of Japan. Saber-rattling to counter joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises which the North Koreans call criminal war moves.
The Pentagon calls the North Korean's test firing irresponsible, an aggravation of tensions. It comes as the CIA director openly worries about the dangerous young dictator. BRENNAN: With the unknown actions of a Kim Jong-Un as far as where he
is going to go next, I think this is worrisome.
TODD: And here is where Kim may be going next. North Korea and Russia have just announced 2015 is a, quote, "year of friendship between them."
PATRICK CRONIN, CENTER FOR A NEW AMERICAN SECURITY: I'm not sure there are two bigger adversaries of the United States than Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un on the planet. I think that these are two individuals who are out to hurt the United States any way they can.
TODD: You wouldn't know that by glancing at North Korea's propaganda statement on the friendship saying they will cooperate in, quote, "politics, economy and culture."
(On camera): Politics, economy and culture, what do you think that means?
CRONIN: The sinister side of that is basically it does say, we're going to be closer to Russia and we're going to rely on them for intelligence, for air defenses perhaps, for other defense technology.
TODD (voice-over): And these two U.S. adversaries both have nuclear weapons. Putin has got the largest stockpile on the planet. And analysts say he could help Kim build up his arsenal.
With the Sony hack, North Korea has already shown it can and will strike Americans where they live.
Why is Kim pivoting toward Russia? He's had a falling out with his chief ally China because of North Korea's nuclear build-up and Kim's execution of his uncle Jang Song-thaek.
MARCUS NOLAND, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: Who is essentially China's man in its dealings with North Korea. So now they're tilting toward Russia. And that coincides with a Russian interest in reminding Washington, we can cause trouble if you press too hard on the Ukraine.
TODD: Now the big question here is, will Kim Jong-Un accept Putin's invitation to go to Moscow in May for a big celebration of the end of World War II? The Russians say the North Korean leadership has accepted, but it's not clear if Kim himself is going to go.
Analysts say Kim may be reluctant because he's never been outside North Korea as its leader. And there's the possibility of a coup against him if he does leave -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Fascinating if he does show up in Moscow.
BLITZER: We'll watch it closely. Thanks very much, Brian. Coming up, a troubling new warning that Russian missiles are now a
direct threat to the United States of America. Are tensions with Vladimir Putin's Russia as bad as they were during the Cold War?
And police give an update on the manhunt for whoever shot two police officers in Ferguson. They think they know where the shots came from but they do not know who fired them.
BLITZER: Happening now, threatening America. The admiral tasks with keeping North American skies safe, says Russia may soon be pointing sophisticated new missiles at both U.S. coasts. Is the Cold War heating up again?
Putin on a show? The Kremlin releasing what some suspect are old pictures of Vladimir Putin as questions now swirl about the Russian president's health. Why hasn't he been seen for more than a week? And who's in charge?