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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Majority Of Voters Don't Trust Or Like Clinton; Jenner Stands To Cash In On Transition To Caitlyn; Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired June 2, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:30:04] JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: So, what is law enforcement doing to protect you, to protect travelers? That's next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
The national lead, right now, air security on alert after more bomb threats were made against multiple commercial airliners today, this time, scares on at least four planes all bound for major U.S. cities and all packed with passengers, a United flight headed to Chicago, a Delta plane bound for Atlanta. A U.S. Airways flight had passengers headed to Philly, and a fourth plane had a bomb threat called in after it left Portland, Oregon, and it was headed to Mexico.
Now, security sweeps were done on each plane. The threats were ultimately deemed not credible.
Let's bring in CNN aviation correspondent Rene Marsh.
Rene, today's threats come after about a dozen others in the past two weeks or so and, of course, this reassignment last night of the top of TSA, after these mock explosives, mock weapons were smuggled through TSA security checkpoints.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, talk about coincidental.
We have the series of bomb threats and we're learning more about TSA failures in detecting prohibited items like weapons at airport checkpoints, not comforting news for the flying public tonight, and now a major shakeup at the top of the agency, but some are asking if it's enough.
MARSH (voice-over): Acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway out after embarrassing news. An undercover operation designed to test TSA's ability to detect explosives and weapons at airport security checkpoints yielded a 95 percent failure rate.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: If in a test the TSA is failing 95 percent of the time, they're failing the American people.
MARSH: CNN has learned undercover teams who smuggled weapons and fake explosives past security were not weapons experts, security or law enforcement. They were regular staff with the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General's Office.
They performed 70 tests. TSA officers failed 67 times, a poor performance not even recently retired TSA head John Pistole can defend.
JOHN PISTOLE, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR, TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: This is very disconcerting, completely unacceptable to have a high rate of failures like that.
MARSH: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson now wants screening procedures revised, more training for TSA officers and screening equipment reevaluated.
CHAFFETZ: They have invested over the years billions of dollars in stuff that doesn't work. Remember the puffers, those whole body imaging machines? Those things don't work.
MARSH: TSA has a work force of 46,000 screeners. Billions have been spent on training and equipment. The agency has been dogged by controversy for years from backlash against revealing full body scanners to pat-downs many find intrusive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're harassing a kid?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MARSH: The focus now, preventing terrorists from exploiting vulnerabilities undercover teams exposed.
PISTOLE: TSA has failed in terms of its ability to detect in this particular circumstance. The good news is that millions of prohibited items have been found over the years, I mean, thousands of guns, tens of thousands of knives and other stun guns and things like that.
MARSH: Well, last month, the DHS inspector general testified on Capitol Hill. He told Congress they were focused on how effective TSA's screening equipment is in detecting threats.
We do know the president said today he believes the American people should feel confident in traveling, because there are multiple layers of security, but he is urging Congress to confirm his nominee for the new TSA head. Of course, this agency has been without a permanent leader for the last five months and counting.
TAPPER: I'll tell you what they're great at. They always catch whenever I have water accidentally in my bag. They're really good at that, if I have any...
MARSH: Sunblock, too, right? TAPPER: And sunblock and all sorts of -- and snow globes. I have to
stop my snow globe habit. Anyway, thank you so much, Rene Marsh.
I want to bring in Bruce Schneier. He's a critic and past adviser to the TSA. He's also a security technologist.
Thanks so much for joining us, Bruce. Appreciate it.
Does reassigning somebody who was an acting head of the TSA really change anything? This seems to be a problem on the front lines.
BRUCE SCHNEIER, SECURITY TECHNOLOGIST: Well, we actually don't know the details.
We don't if this is technology, if it's procedure, if it's training. We don't know what's going on. Certainly, the head of an agency is responsible, as an acting head, a few months. Clearly, something serious is going on in the details and hopefully we will find out and figure it out.
But it's hard to know whether changing the top will make a difference.
TAPPER: So, what do you -- if the fact is that there is some sort of problem, what do you make of what we go through in these TSA security lines? Is it just theatrics to make us feel better?
SCHNEIER: Well, I think a lot of it is. This is $8 billion a year and they can't detect guns and bombs. You think that's their job.
This isn't a new story. There have been tests over the past decade with similar numbers, not as bad, but more isolated. But this is very hard. The other side of the story is, nothing has happened.
SCHNEIER: So we're pretty safe. But we do expect the TSA to do the job we're paying them for, and we should find out why they're not.
TAPPER: Is technology the problem? I'm not suggesting -- let me just state -- that we need to give them more and more billions. But is the technology they're using not new enough?
SCHNEIER: A lot of it is the way you deal with individual incidents.
Pretty much everyone that goes through airport security is innocent. Every time that magnetometer rings, it is a false alarm, every time except once every few years. It's very hard as an officer to stay vigilant.
Every time you see something in the screen, it's not something real. This is a difficult problem. And it's the last line of defense. It's not a very good one. Really, our security comes from investigation and intelligence.
SCHNEIER: The plots we stop before they get to the airport, that's how we're safe.
TAPPER: Yes. This is really the last line of defense, with -- hopefully so much more work has been done with spies and intelligence and the like.
But I have to ask you about this inspector general report. When you hear, oh, there's an inspector general report and they did these mock bombs, mock weapons to get them through security lines and some got through, you would be like, oh, that's alarming. But then you find out 95 percent got through. I understand that we're not exactly sure what the problem is, but, I mean, 95 percent?
SCHNEIER: I was surprised. That is bad even for the TSA. That's really bad.
And what we heard, it's not these stealth CIA agents with super ninja hiding skills. These were normal investigators smuggling stuff through. So, it's a lower competency of attacker, which is even more alarming.
SCHNEIER: So, yes, there's a lot of theater here and it's not very good theater.
TAPPER: In 2008, TSA showed CNN a fake explosive tucked inside a shirt, and the screener missed it. Even then, TSA said policies were corrected.
What do you think needs to be done to fix the system here?
SCHNEIER: Yes, it's hard to know without knowing the details.
We know that modern plastic explosives are very hard to detect. They don't have metal in them. We know that it's easier to bring a weapon through if you split it up among pieces and give each person the piece. There are lots of ways through airport security. And smart bad guys are going to do them. Really, airport security catches the dumb ones. That's its job.
For the smart ones, they are going to pick a plot that gets through the technology, gets through the procedures, and we need investigation and intelligence.
TAPPER: And we had the Homeland Security head, Jeh Johnson, on here not long ago, and I asked him if we were near a time when no bags would be allowed on flights, carry-on flights -- carry-on bags, and he didn't have a comment.
SCHNEIER: It's all a matter of, are we willing to pay for what we get?
TAPPER: Yes. Exactly.
Thank you so much, Bruce Schneier.
SCHNEIER: Thank you.
TAPPER: I really appreciate it.
In our politics lead, the 2016 race just got a lot closer. Brand-new CNN/ORC polls show voters already seeming to be having some serious doubts about Hillary Clinton, yet they're still ready to elect her president. That's next.
Plus, Caitlyn Jenner's big debut, the cover of "Vanity Fair" shot by Annie Leibovitz. And Jenner is admitting she is not stupid. This rollout is not just about showing off her new self and empowerment. It's also about making some money.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Time now for the Politics Lead, brand new CNN polls out today, some show visible cracks in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's armor, while yes, she still sits firmly on top the iron throne of the Democratic Party.
A majority of voters also now say that Clinton does not care about people like them, that she does not inspire confidence, that they do not trust her and they do not like her.
I want to bring in CNN senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny. We call this the Clinton conundrum on the show, Jeff. On the one hand these poll numbers show that people have concerns about her, but on the other hand she is leaps and bounds ahead of the other Democrats.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right, which is why they are not totally up in arms about this because in the short term they are not problematic, but in the long term in the general election, they could be actually.
When Hillary Clinton was out of politics as secretary of state, her approval ratings soared, but the moment she jumped back in, those ratings came back down to earth. Simply put now, she's viewed as a politician once again.
But she's not the only one. Our new poll also shows some warnings signs for another politician in the family business, Jeb Bush.
ZELENY (voice-over): It's been 50 days since Hillary Clinton set off on her presidential campaign. But her reintroduction tour may need a reboot. She's in strong command of the Democratic field, but a new CNN ORC poll shows more people view her more unfavorably than at any point since 2001.
A growing number say she's not honest and trustworthy, 57 percent, up from 49 percent in March. She's struggling on the all-important empathy factor. The poll finds only 47 percent say she cares about people like them, down from 53 percent two months ago.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am so proud of the foundation. I'm proud of the work that it has done and that it is doing.
ZELENY: Two straight months of controversy over the Clinton Foundation and her private e-mail seem to be tarnishing the public's impression of her, particularly among independent voters.
Now she's kicking her campaign into higher gear. Small invitation only crowds will soon give way to the first rally on June 13th at Roosevelt Island in New York where aides say she will give a broader outline of her candidacy.
For Republicans, the polls shows even more hurdles for Jeb Bush, 56 percent of people say his connection to two presidents, his father and brother would make them less likely to support his bid for the White House.
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I'm proud of my family, I love my mom and dad, I love my brother, and people are going to have to get over there.
ZELENY: And only 34 percent say he represents the future. While 62 percent say he's in the past. Even a slim majority, 51 percent, say Hillary Clinton represents the future. Some other Republicans fair far better.
Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Scott Walker all are seen as forward looking candidates. In head-to-head match ups, all three Republicans have closed a double digit gap with Clinton. A reminder the 2016 election is unlikely to be a runaway.
ZELENY: So when you dig into the poll, the one thing that stands out is the independent voters. In March, 52 percent had a favorable impression of her, just 41 percent to now, but in a very crowded Republican field, I can tell you, any candidate would truly love to be in her position in their own party -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much. Appreciate it. Coming up, 1 million Twitter followers in four hours, Caitlyn Jenner formerly known as Bruce knows how to make an entrance and also some cold heart cash. Now even Jenner is admitting her gender reveal isn't just about her new identity. It's also about the money.
[16:54:18] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Time now for the Money Lead, Jenner was immortalized, arms raised, triumphant, forever preserved on the cover of "Sports Illustrated" and also preserved for "Time" for those of us with certain again on those boxes of Wheaties.
But there's no way that that moment will outlive her splashy spread on the cover of "Vanity Fair." Caitlyn Jenner turning heads, possibly redefining or at least making some Americans reconsider the idea of gender identity.
While Caitlyn Jenner says this is about reclaiming her life so many years of living trapped inside the body of a man, albeit an Olympian, she stands to make a whole lot of money from her very public transition, which is why this is our Money Lead today.
Let's bring in CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter. Brian, Jenner herself making no bones about the fact that she wants to make some cash off of this.
[16:55:09] BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. You mentioned 1 million Twitter followers yesterday, now 2 million, plus more fans on Facebook and Instagram. She is building up an entire new identity. It's obviously a very personal decision, but there are financial stakes as well.
STELTER (voice-over): First there was Diane Sawyer's interview, the highest rated "20/20" episode in 15 years giving ABC a chance to break news and make money. Then there was the cover. Driving more than 6 million visitors to vanity fair.com where you have to pay $5 to read the full story.
Caitlyn Jenner is just beginning to tell her story and there is another side to this public transformation, just how much money Jenner will make from it.
But Jenner will profit from her new reality show on E! premiering on July 26th, maybe the first of many lucrative business deals.
BRAD ADGATE, HORIZON MEDIA: She could be a motivational speaker, really sought after. There could be a spinoff of the reality show like there was for "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." All of this, you know, can create millions of dollars, you know, for Caitlyn Jenner in the upcoming years.
STELTER: As for those who think this is all a publicity stunt, Jenner hears the question and answers it this way. "I'm not doing it for money. I'm doing it to help my soul and help other people."
But she adds, if I can make a dollar, certainly am not stupid. I have house payments and all of that kind of stuff. I'll never make an excuse for something like that. Yes, this is a business."
With the Kardashians and the Jenners, everything is a business. E! pays the famous family tens of millions of dollars to keep those cameras rolling. The channel is not saying how much Caitlyn will make with this new series.
But Horizon media expects ad rates for the show to be four times that of a typical prime time show on E!, which could mean more cash in Caitlyn Jenner's purse.
(END VIDEOTAPE) STELTER: And of course, now the whole country, the whole world getting used to saying Caitlyn instead of Bruce, something that will continue to change for the months to come because this is only the most recent step in the roll out of Caitlyn Jenner.
TAPPER: Big social change and big business. Brian Stelter, thank you so much.
Now for our Pop Culture Lead, there's an extra face on the set today in addition to my regular Minecraft mug that was a father's day gift from my 5-year-old son. I now own one limited edition, General Dwight D. Eisenhower Barrington coffee holder straight from my friends at eBay.
Now I got the idea from the mug from Conan O'Brien who's had one just like on his desk for years. So when Conan so graciously invited me to be a guest on his show last night, I felt the need to repay him for the inspiration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O'BRIEN: On my desk since 1993.
TAPPER: Really admired it. I felt it was a little bit lonely. So it's a Douglas MacArthur.
O'BRIEN: Is that Douglas MacArthur? Ike is not making eye contact. He feels so self-conscious without eye liner on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: While I was in Los Angeles Conan also helped me announce my first day as host of the "STATE OF THE UNION" here on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Jake will become the new host of CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" starting June 14th.
TAPPER: This is the announcement.
O'BRIEN: This is the announcement right now?
TAPPER: Yes, the date.
O'BRIEN: Jake will become the new host of CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" starting June 14th. Make sure you check out that show.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I'm excited to host and as we get closer to the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton will, of course, be a big topic of the show on Sunday as she goes about her carefully prepared campaign, I keep thinking of an unscripted zinger she had for me back in 2009 when she just had become secretary of state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I bumped into her and I said, Senator Clinton, how are you doing? I'm sorry. You're Secretary Clinton now because I'm an idiot. Just trying to ask her a question, which do you prefer, Secretary Clinton or Senator Clinton. And she said, well, I prefer either one to what we call you when you're not around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was a sick Clinton burn. Thanks to Conan for helping me reminisce and generally nerd out with my new mug. Get it?
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @jaketapper, that's all one word and also @theleadcnn. Check out the show page at CNN.com/thelead for video and extras.
That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper turning you over right now to one Mr. Wolf Blitzer. He's right next door in a place we like to call "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thanks for watching.