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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
ABC: Woman Says Hastert Sexually Abused Her Brother; U.S. Teen Beaten By Israeli Police Speaks; American Pharoah Looks To Break 37- Year Drought. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired June 5, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: -- I was -- I don't know about you guys, but I was angry. Man, I was angry.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Giving advice he may now need to listen to himself once again.
BIDEN: There will come a day, I promise you, and your parents as well, when the thought of your son or daughter, your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: Here at this church the public part of this wake continues this afternoon and tomorrow at this very church President Obama will deliver the eulogy at the funeral and said to be taking this loss very personally as well -- Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
She said her brother never told anyone because he figured nobody would believe him. The sister of an alleged victim of Dennis Hastert comes forward saying that the ex-speaker of the House sexually abused her brother decades ago. And she says, she once confronted Hastert about it. What was his reaction? That story is next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Some shocking revelations today in the scandal involving former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, in an ABC News interview today, a woman said that Hastert sexually abused her brother while he was in high school.
This is the first time an alleged victim or survivor has been named since Hastert was indicted in that $3.5 million hush money case. CNN's senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny joins me now. Jeff, a shocking turn of events, but I guess you have to expect it.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It is shocking, Jake. I mean, it's a story more than four decades-old. Here in Washington we knew of Dennis Hastert as the longest serving Republican speaker of House. But these allegations are from a far earlier chapter in his life as a high school teacher in the 1960s and '70s.
ZELENY (voice-over): After the shocking revelations in the indictment, another accusation against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, alleged abuse of four decades ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He damaged Steve, I think, more than any of us will ever know.
ZELENY: This is Jolene Burdge who accused Hastert of sexually abusing her brother back at York Ville High School in Illinois while Hastert was a wrestling coach. She told ABC News that her brother, Steven Reinbolt (ph), confided in her years ago when he revealed he was gay. He's now deceased.
JOLENE BURDGE, ALLEGED VICTIM'S SISTER: I asked him Steve when was your first same-sex experience? I mean, he just looked at me and said it was with Dennis Hastert. And I just -- I know I was stunned. I said why didn't you ever tell anybody? He just looked at me and said who is ever going to believe me?
ZELENY: She was approached by the FBI in recent weeks about Hastert before his indictment became public. He faces charges of bank fraud and lying to the FBI about hush money paid to another former student who was also abused.
The Justice Department says he agreed to pay $3.5 million to cover up his past misconduct. But Burdge told ABC News she's not the one who got hush money. CNN learned the FBI has spoken to a second person as part of the investigation.
Not Burdge who was also alleged to have been a victim. Hastert was a wrestling technology coach and Boy Scout leader before coming to Washington in 1987. He became the longest serving Republican speaker leaving Congress in 2007 after Democrats won control of the House.
He's been in hiding since the charges were made public last week. Jolene Burdge said she confronted Hastert when he tried to attend her brother's funeral.
BURDGE: I looked at him and I said I want to know what you did to my brother. I want you to know that your secret didn't die in there with my brother.
ZELENY: She didn't respond to messages today from CNN. On her Facebook page, she posted a story about Hastert and wrote, "I can say with certainty there's so much more to the story, finally, the truth." His former colleagues say they are stunned at the charges against Hastert.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I was shocked and dismayed by the reports I read as anyone else around here.
ZELENY: Now Hastert and his attorney have not responded to our request for comments, but he did deny the allegations to ABC back when they first arose in 2006. They were never reported at the time, but given the new federal investigation that's why his sister came forward this week. He has a court appearance in Chicago next week.
TAPPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny, let's talk more about this with Drl Steven Marans, the director of Childhood Violent Trauma Center at Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Marans, thanks so much for joining us. Before he died, Steven Reinbolt, the alleged survivor of child abuse here told his sister he didn't come forward because he didn't think anyone would believe him. Is that usually why survivors of these types of things stay quiet?
DR. STEVEN MARANS, DIRECTOR, YALE CHILDHOOD VIOLENT TRAUMA CENTER: Well, obviously I can't comment on the specifics of this case, but it is actually very common that people who have been the victims of sexual abuse remain quiet for a variety of reasons.
The experience of helplessness and loss of control and humiliation leaves people with an experience of isolation that is, in part, because of shame, and in part because it is so difficult as we all can experience with the shock that you described.
That anybody could tolerate hearing such a story and often the individual's experience is they will be met with condemnation and not feel the support and acceptance that leads to keeping such an experience buried and leaves so many victims of sexual abuse as isolated as they so often are.
[16:40:08] TAPPER: When victims have the courage to come forward, are they often met with skepticism. Does society discourage them from coming forward?
MARANS: Well, look, there's a reality of a legal process and this is part of our country is based on a constitution and that legal process can be an arduous one. But I think there's a way in which the experience itself is one that's characterized by such intense feelings.
And often leading to a kind of self-condemnation that the expectation of receiving no support or the absence of empathy is unfortunately often met by our silence, and I think that this spot on your show is an opportunity to begin to perhaps move our country in a different direction because the problem of sexual abuse is actually really quite disturbing and prevalent in our country.
TAPPER: Let's hope so. I also want to get your take on the Duggar family scandal. The family spoke with Megyn Kelly about their son, Josh molesting four sisters and a babysitter. We know two of the sisters were around 9 years old and 11 years old at that time. I want you to take a listen to the parents describing some of what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we went to bed at night during that time frame, were you scared, were you worried, you know, he's 14, he's having this problem. What's going to happen when we go to sleep?
JIM BOB DUGGAR, JOSH DUGGAR'S FATHER: Right. Nothing ever happened like that again in the girls' bedrooms after that. We had safe guards that protected them from that. But there was another incident where, two different incidents where girls were laying on the couch and he had touched like over the couch and actually touched the breast while they were asleep and so, over the clothes.
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TAPPER: I don't know how much of the entire interview you listened to, but the father there has been criticized for the way he described what happened between his son and the daughters as they slept in terms of describing what a seven-year-old's chest as breasts.
And also saying things along the lines of it was stupid. Saying things along the lines of it was over the shirt. How would you describe what he did? Was it child molestation?
MARANS: Well, again, I really can't comment on the specifics of the case. But I do think that we often -- because these are such understandably emotionally laden issues for good reason, contact, sexual contact between siblings and the abuse of children between strangers and children who are not yet of age of consent does stir up a tremendous amount of feeling.
However, I think that we need to get beyond simply our emotional response and actually take advantage of what we know is needed. That is, that children who are potential victims because the impacts of sexual abuse of a variety of kinds can have such long term effects need to be identified and protected.
But there's another part of this, which is really taking the signs of this kind of behavior on the part of an adolescent as more than simply a reflection of under developed brain functioning and judgment, but rather a symptom of struggles that a kid is needing help with.
And so in any situation such as this, there are two issues that need to be addressed, number one, the protection of potential victims, number two, the assessment of the impact to determine whether or not they need help with well proven treatments and interventions.
And actually third an understanding of what's driving the adolescent's behavior in the first place in order to ensure it's not repeated and in order to then provide the appropriate treatment so that the underlying causes of the symptoms are addressed.
TAPPER: All right, Dr. Steven Marans, thank you so much. Great having you on the show.
The Buried Lead, the video shown around the world, a Florida teen beaten by Israeli police happened last summer. Now he's explaining why this story needs to stay in the headlines and fearing retribution. Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. An American teenager brutally beaten by Israel's police force last summer is speaking out. Tariq Abu Khdeir then a 15-year-old from Tampa, a Palestinian dissent was visiting a family in Jerusalem when he was brutally beaten by Israeli police.
The beating came when Tariq was watching protests related to the murder of his cousin, Mohammad. Mohammad had been kidnapped and burned alive by Jewish extremist says revenge for the death of three Jewish-Israeli teens.
Israeli authorities later cleared Tariq of all charges. His family is now preparing to head back to Jerusalem this summer, which is why Tariq visited Washington, D.C. to ask for help to make sure he doesn't have any problems returning to visit America's close ally, Israel.
Joining me now are Tariq Abu Khadir and Laila Abdelaziz, director of Legislative Affairs for the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Florida. Thank you both for being here. I know it's difficult to talk about a painful experience.
But Israeli forces initially said that you were part of a violent protest. Bring us back to that day, what you did. I know you were cleared of all wrongdoing ultimately. What happened that day?
TARIQ ABU KHDEIR, PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN TEEN BEATEN BY ISRAELI POLICE: That day my cousin, he was in front of his house and I passed by him. I was on my way to the bakery and I came back and I saw police. Nobody was there and there was maybe one or two of my cousin there's.
And that's when I -- that's when the whole family came out and we were asking what was going on, what happened and then we found out Mohammed was kidnapped and we like, we were scared for his life.
[16:50:11] And a couple hours later we found out he was murdered, stabbed and burnt alive. To even make worse, later on I was chased and --
TAPPER: By Israeli police?
KHDEIR: By Israeli police, yes. I was chased tackled and zip tied and beaten until I was unconscious. And even when I went unconscious they kept on beating me. I was in an alley watching from a distance.
TAPPER: This is in east Jerusalem?
KHDEIR: Yes. I was in an alley watching from a distance of the protest of the police and they are shooting at the whole village.
TAPPER: Ultimately, you were cleared of doing anything wrong. Laila, one of the police officers involved in this has been charged with assaulting a minor. But you and your organization and the family are pushing for there to be punishment against the others as well.
LAILA ABDELAZIZ, DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS, CAIR, FLORIDA: Well, the one officer was charged and indicted but his name was not released. So this is very common in the west bank. We don't know if that charge ever went anywhere or if ultimately that police officer that beat Tariq was ever held accountable for what he did.
It's very clear by the video footage played all over the world there were two other officers involved in Tariq's beating. So yes, we do believe that all three officers should be held accountable for what they did.
TAPPER: Do you think that we would be sitting here right now if it weren't for fact that Tariq is an American citizen and living in Florida.
ABDELAZIZ: Absolutely not, every single year 500 to 700 Palestinian children are tried in Israeli military detention centers and military courts. So Tariq's case is very unique and Tariq understands this himself that because he's a U.S. citizen he's granted rights and visibility, that other Palestinian children are not.
TAPPER: I have spoken with your mother and she says she thinks you have post-traumatic stress. You have bad dreams, that this has been really rough on you, not just the physical pain, but also the emotional pain and the emotional scars from the beating. KHDEIR: Like until I go back I'll be traumatized because when I go
back I'll feel I'm back to a place where I've been here and something bad has happened to me here. I just want to be sure I'm safe when I go there and when I come back.
And, yes, I do, I am having problems as in like not able to control because I feel, I remember all the times with my cousin and how we used to go out and have so much fun, and then there he's just murdered. It's like easily like to them it's so easy, another life lost, another Palestinian life lost.
TAPPER: I think there are a lot of people throughout the world including in Israel who think what happened to you was injustice and should not happen to anyone, Israeli, Palestinian or whatever. We're glad you're here and we wish you the best with your trip. There are a lot of people rooting for you. Thanks for being here.
ABDELAZIZ: Thank you for having us.
TAPPER: When we come back, is a 37-year-old curse about to be broken?
TAPPER: We're back with the Money Lead. No horse has managed to win a triple crown since 1978, 37 years ago. Could tomorrow's race end the drought?
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TAPPER (voice-over): Tomorrow the world will find out if American Pharoah has what it takes to break the Triple Crown curse. Yes, curse. No horse has won the Triple Crown, the biggest prize in horse racing in the last 37 years.
But now another chance, American Pharoah has already won the Kentucky derby and the Preakness. All that's left between the horse and history is the Belmont stakes, the third and longest race in the series.
CRAIG FRAVEL, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BREEDERS' CUP LIMITED: A great test of stamina in American racing and mile and a half on the dirt. It's a tough race for any horse particularly a 3-year-old to win.
TAPPER: It's even tougher to win all three races. Only 11 horses have accomplished the feat in nearly 140 years. Affirm was the last horse to hoop it all the way back in 1978, that's a long time ago, the disco years. Last year, Jockey Victor Espinoza, came close to a Triple Crown victory riding California Chrome, a horse thought to have it all, but it was not meant to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: California Chrome, he was just a little bit empty today.
TAPPER: Tomorrow, Espinoza will be riding American Pharoah with high hopes to capture the $1.5 million purse and a spell breaking victory.
VICTOR ESPINOZA, JOCKEY: I'm trying to do something different this time.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Like what?
TAPPER: But it won't come easy.
FRAVEL: The Belmont is an extra quarter mile longer than the derby. You have fresh horses taking a shot at somebody who has been through the first two legs of the Triple Crown. It makes it very hard to do.
TAPPER: No matter how rare, 20 million viewers are expected to tune in for a win with attendance at the track itself capped at 90,000. But fans will miss what's really at stake at the stakes, the money that comes afterwards. If he takes top prize, American Pharoah will be an even greater draw for breeders who bid just for the chance at a foal like its father.
FRAVEL: Rumors are in the range between $15 million and $20 million for the breeding rights. There might be additional incentives built into those deals.
TAPPER: The offspring of a three-race winner could be worth up to $100,000 each. The last Triple Crown victor fathered 808 foals.
(END VIDEOTAPE) TAPPER: That's is a lot of foals. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Turning you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM". Have a great weekend.