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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Police Tear Gas Crowds, Nine Arrested; Carter Placing Fate "In God's Hands"; North And South Korea Exchange Fire; Shock TV Pioneer: Morton Downey Jr.; Josh Duggar Outed In Data Dump. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired August 20, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The grass left stained with his blood.
CHIEF SAM DOTSON, ST. LOUIS POLICE: There were two officers in the alley, both officers fired, the suspect was struck. He dropped his gun and continued to run through a gangway until he collapsed.
LAVANDERA: Police say four guns were recovered from the shooting scene, three of them stolen. Tonight police brace for more violence, worried about relations between police and the public since the shooting death of Michael Brown just over a year ago, just miles away in Ferguson.
LAVANDERA: John, the clergy members that met with the police chief and the mayor here in St. Louise credited with the way they responded last night during the violence and the outbreak of those protests. The police chief says if confronted with the same situation tonight, they will respond the same way.
They do point out that they believe it is a band of criminals within these lawful protesters that are causing the problems. This is a much more difficult area to control, the police given the neighborhoods that they are working in. Obviously calls for calm and peace once again going out throughout the streets of St. Louis -- John.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: All right, Ed Lavandera in St. Louis. Let's hope for a quiet night there. Thanks, Ed.
In our Politics Lead, President Jimmy Carter upbeat and smiling, as he vows to fight cancer that he has said has now spread to his brain. Listen to him explain his own treatment and why he still hopes to travel to Nepal. That's next.
BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Also in our Politics Lead today, a new and very personal challenge for the nation's 39th president, Jimmy Carter. In 1976, he rose up to beat out more well-known Democratic candidates to become the nominee and then a president.
In 1977, he took on an energy crisis creating the Energy Department under his administration, later the whole world saw as he tried but failed to safely negotiate the freedom of 52 American-held hostages in Iran. He launched a failed rescue operation as well.
But now in 90 years old, it's a much more intimate challenge. Today Carter told reporters that his future is in God's hands, as he takes on cancer that has spread to his brain.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux joins us now. Suzanne, the former president, he seemed optimistic, or as he would say, at ease with his condition.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, he really was, John. It was an extraordinary press conference. We both watched it and President Carter, he was warm, open. He was at peace with his future. I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview him several times in Atlanta.
He's always the same. He's straightforward. He is generous with his time. Today, Carter described his battle with cancer as a new adventure that was in God's hands.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): President Jimmy Carter appearing relaxed at the Carter Center in blue jeans and a blazer announced doctors had already removed cancer from his liver nearly three weeks ago, which has spread to his brain.
FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: They think they got it all there, but it showed now in four places in my brain. It's likely to show up other places in my body, as cancer detected in the future.
MALVEAUX: Carter will undergo four radiation treatments over the next three months to treat his melanoma and has already begun taking a drug to boost his immune system. His family has a history of pancreatic cancers which killed his father, brother and two sisters. Carter described coming to terms with his diagnosis.
CARTER: I just thought I had a few weeks left, but I was surprisingly at ease. I've had an exciting and adventurous, gratifying existence. Now I feel, you know, it's in the hands of God, and I'll be prepared for anything that comes.
MALVEAUX: Carter said while he would still like to travel to Nepal in November for Habitat for Humanity, he will put his treatment first. The 90-year-old former Georgia peanut farmer who became president was reflective about his life.
CARTER: Well, the best thing I ever did was marrying Rosalind. That is the pinnacle of my life. We've had 69 years together, still together. And so that's the best thing that happened to me.
MALVEAUX: Carter said his biggest regret as president was that he was unable to free the Americans taken hostage in Iran on his watch. CARTER: I wish I had sent one more helicopter to get the hostages. We would have rescued them and I may have been reelected. That may have interfered with the foundation of the Carter Center. If I had to choose between four more years and the Carter Center, I think I would choose the center.
MALVEAUX: He's amazingly upbeat today. Carter said he received calls from both presidents Bush, Clinton, Obama and their wives. Obama tweeted, "We are pulling for you, Jimmy." They've been sending peach pies, which is his favorite. He plans on teaching Sunday school this weekend as he does every Sunday -- John.
BERMAN: Amazing. Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much.
I want to bring in Ambassador Stewart Eisenstat. He was President Carter's chief White House domestic policy adviser. Ambassador, thank you so much for being with us.
AMBASSADOR STEWART EISENSTAT, FORMER JIMMY CARTER ADVISER: Thank you very much for having me, John.
BERMAN: Jimmy Carter is 90 years old. I found that news conference to be remarkable, arresting even. I couldn't take my eyes off. To see this 90-year-old man to speak with such poise and grace, as he was at that point hours away from the first radiation treatment for cancer in his brain. I wonder if you were surprised or if this is just the Jimmy Carter you have come to know over the years.
EISENSTAT: This is the Jimmy Carter I have come to know from the first days when he ran for governor, and then president, and then in the White House. He's a person who takes pressure with great grace. I watched the news conference with a mixture of obvious sadness at the condition.
But with great pride in the way he's facing his challenge. He's done that with every challenge he's ever face in the White House and afterwards.
[16:40:03] I think the fact that he's reached this age and he's accomplished so much, gives him a sense that whatever happens, as he put it, he's in God's hands, but he's done the very best he can.
He served his country and the world in a very remarkable way, and at 90, he is as articulate literally -- and I don't exaggerate -- as he was in his 40s and 50s when I met him.
BERMAN: Articulate is one of the things that really jumped out of you because he was talking about medicine, oncology, and the geography of Nepal, all of the same thing interchangeably. It was just amazing to see someone with so much command of information at this point.
EISENSTAT: He's a renaissance man. He loves the outdoors, climbing, history, and politics. He's deeply involved in religion. He reads voraciously, and let's not forget that he's a man of letters. He's written poetry, over 20 books, including the most recent one, "Life at 90," which I think it's particularly poignant.
BERMAN: He was laughing and joking, smiling throughout this news conference, even kind of exchanging jokes with our very own Sanjay Gupta. You spoke about his faith. This is a deeply religious man, has been his whole life.
I think he expects to teach Sunday school, by the way, this weekend despite the radiation treatment. How much do you think his faith is playing into the ease with which he seems to be dealing with this?
EISENSTAT: A great deal. You know, his faith shouldn't be exaggerated. People somehow think he did things like the Middle East peace process and human rights only because of his religious faith. But it is imbued in him, and I think it gives a sense of quiet confidence, that whatever happens in the future, as he put it he's in God's hands.
You know, he in effect left his church, First Baptist Church of Plains at a time when he tried to integrate that church. This is way before he was running for president, and when they refused to allow any black members, he and his family left and formed their own church, which was integrated.
So religion is not just theological exercise, it's an exercise in values. He carried those values of tolerance, equality, I think, John, it really is suffused in his character, and I think you saw it today that it gives him confidence that whatever happens in the future, he's done his best and God's will as he's seen it.
BERMAN: He says he is not done yet. Ambassador Stewart Eisenstat, thank you so much for being with us.
EISENSTAT: Thank you.
BERMAN: Coming up, shots across the border, new fears about what's happening between the two Koreas. How serious are the chances now of an even bigger conflict.
Plus just weeks ago he admitted to molesting his sister as a teenager, now family values champion and reality star, Josh Dogger, coming clean about his cleating on his wife. That's ahead.
BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Making headlines in our World Lead, tensions between bitter enemies, North and South Korea dramatically escalating today after both sides trade fire. South Korea says Pyongyang hit first firing a small rocket at a South Korean speaker that was blaring propaganda over the shared border.
Seoul shot right back blasting its neighbor with a barrage of artillery shells, all this comes just days after North Korea threatened to attack the United States if it refuse to suspend military exercises with South Korea. CNN's Will Ripley live nearby in Beijing for us. Will, what is behind all of this?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This all, John, has to do with the fact that the U.S. and South Korea are engaged right now in joint military exercises. It usually happens twice a year and twice a year North Korea gets very upset about it.
On August 4th, you'll recall, there was an incident where some South Korean soldiers hit a landmine that detonated that seriously injured them. South Korea believes that the North intentionally placed the landmines on the DMZ, the demilitarized zone, the border between North and South Korea to provoke the South Koreans because of their anger over these joint military exercises.
So then on August the 10th, South Korea sets up these big loudspeakers and starts blaring anti-North Korean propaganda across the border that of course infuriates Pyongyang, because they hate anything that insults their regime.
So they set up their own speakers. They threatened to launch an attack and then you see this latest escalation where they fire apparently a rocket to try to destroy South Korea's loud speakers. They missed. South Korea responds back with 36 artillery rounds.
So this is not unprecedented, but it is a pretty serious escalation, something that needs to be watch very closely.
BERMAN: No, it's not unprecedented, but it has been sometimes an exchange of live fire. Words are one thing. What are the concerns that could spiral into something even worse?
RIPLEY: Well, there is concern that there could be more provocation from North Korea. Remember last year, they opened fire to send some propaganda leaflets that were sent across the border from the South.
And then back in 2010 there were two deadly escalations that happened, one was artillery fire that killed four South Korean soldiers, the other was an alleged North Korean torpedo attack on a South Korean ship, 46 sailors died in that attack. So of course, the hope is this will de-escalate before it gets to anything like that -- John.
BERMAN: All right, Will Ripley watching this situation, tense situation for us. Thank you so much, Will.
In our Pop Lead, he is calling himself a hypocrite in the wake of reports that he paid for a profile on a secret cheating web site. What exactly is reality TV star, Josh Duggar, admitting he did now? That's next.
BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. He was the pioneer of Shock TV. His name is Morton Downey Jr. and he is our Pop Lead today. Downy was crude, crass, he cursed at his guests. He was the TV ravel rouser of his time. Tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, CNN debuts "Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie."
Joining us to talk about the man himself and the film is CNN senior media correspondent and host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter. Brian, you know, Downey really did set the stage for a lot of what we see now.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: He did. For better or worse, there are echoes of his voice all over television and radio today. Wherever you see a blurring of the lines between news and entertainment, you see a bit of Morton Downey, Jr.
STELTER (voice-over): Before Bill O'Reilly -- before Glenn Beck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America, socialism is coming. It's time to wake up.
[16:55:10] STELTER: There was Morton Downey Jr.
MORTON DOWNEY JR.: As you're going to find out in the weeks, months and years ahead, certain things really burn my buns.
STELTER: His self-titled show premiered in 1987 with conservative talk, foreshadowing the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Springer.
Critics dubbed him the father of trash television, but they conceded he sure knew how to play to the camera.
BILL CARTER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It felt like a theatrical performance, and his father had been a singer. He was a singer as well.
STELTER: Racism, gun control, abortion, Downey tackled it all with edginess, sometimes going over the edge. When the Twana-Brawley (ph) rape scandal made headlines, he seized on it.
DOWNEY: A brutal racial rape. The story is developing every single minute.
STELTER: A grand jury concluded that Brawley had falsified her account. TV experts say that was the beginning of the end. By the fall of 1989, Downey had been canceled. But not before, in a seemingly desperate stunt for attention, Downey claimed he was attacked by skinheads in an airport bathroom stall. Police could never verify it. Many assumed he did it to himself.
CARTER: You can only do this so long. You can only stir up a pot before it spills on you. And all he was doing was stirring the pot. I didn't feel it was dare there.
STELTER: After Downey's show came the rise of cable news and more incivility in confrontation, with perhaps Downey to thank or blame.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, "SMERCONISH": Morton Downey Jr.'s program was absolutely a turning point. So much of what we see today is entertainment that is masked as news.
STELTER: If you're watching those clips, John, thinking there's a little bit of Downey reflected in Donald Trump? Maybe it's not a surprise. The two men were friends back in the day. Downey even used to live in Trump Tower, an evocateur, indeed.
BERMAN: Interesting. I did not know that. Brian Stelter, thank you so much. Be sure to watch "Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie." It airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
We have the first celebrity name dug up in the data dump linked to the adultery web site, Ashley Madison. He is a person who made his name on family values, the disgraced reality star, Josh Duggar.
Josh Duggar was now on the canceled hit "19 Kids and Counting" he is releasing a statement calling himself the biggest hypocrite ever. You can remember back in June old police records went public showing that Duggar was investigated for molesting his sisters.
Let's go to CNN Money tech correspondent, Laurie Segall. Laurie, what is Josh Duggar now saying about all this?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH CORRESPONDENT: Yes, remember, this is a conservative moral leader, the guy who is talking quite a bit about traditional family values. So when this came out he issued a statement.
He says, "I've been the biggest hypocrite ever while espousing faith and family values. Secretly I've been viewing pornography, on the internet and this became a secret addiction. I became unfaithful to my wife." He is admitting to wrongdoing in light of the massive, massive data breach -- John.
BERMAN: His name came out earlier today. It was like, was it really him? You did cross checking, now the cross checking is irrelevant. He came out and admitted it.
SEGALL: He came out in light of this, but I will say there's been another data dump, right? Right now as we speak, we are sifting through twice the amount of data that has just been put out on the web. This kind of data, they had a message.
The hackers said this to the CEO. They said, "You can make it real now." Because essentially the company had said, you know, this might not necessarily be a data dump. In this I've been talking to security researchers, what they have said is it actually open source code proving it is that.
What's scary is now this open source code is out there, anyone can hack Ashley Madison site.
BERMAN: These are people who largely put in their own names that are going to be found out? SEGALL: A lot of people do. A lot of people use fake names, but when you cross-reference it with home addresses, phone numbers, they enter that credit card information. There are millions of people on the site. People are now analyzing it via company, last name, putting it on the open web for anyone to see it -- John.
BERMAN: Secret sites not so secret. Laurie Segall, thank you so much.
Be sure to follow this show right here on Facebook or tweet us @theleadcnn. You can also follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. That is all for THE LEAD today. I am John Berman in for Jake Tapper. I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer, ten years into "THE SITUATION ROOM."