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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Chicago Superintendent Garry McCarthy Has Resigned; Donald Trump Story Remains Focused on Muslims 14 Years Ago; State Department Release More of Hillary's Emails; Mayor of Juneau Found Dead in His Home. Aired 8-9p
Aired December 1, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:09] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us.
Tonight, there is breaking news in a videotaped police shooting of a teenager on the streets of Chicago. A shooting that many there now call a cover-up with some very serious implications.
City police officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed Laquan McDonald back in October of last year. He emptied his entire clip into Mr. McDonald. He was the only officer to fire even a single shot.
The city and police union put out a statement about the shooting that later proved misleading. However, the only way to tell for sure was to look at the video you just saw, which only came out last week, and only after people went to court to get that released. Officer Van Dyke was charged in the killing only last week.
Chicago's mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel only took action with respect to the police department today, asking superintendent Garry McCarthy for his resignation. Only after Chicagoans took to the streets in protest.
And just this evening, 13 months after the shooting, Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan sent a letter to the U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch, asking the justice department civil rights division to investigate the Chicago police department itself.
So there's a lot to cover tonight, starting with the very long road to where we are now.
CNN's Ed Lavandera has that.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Six seconds. That was the time it took for Officer Jason Van Dyke to leave his vehicle and open fire on Laquan McDonald, killing him on the spot. It is the six seconds that have rocked the city of Chicago with protesters citing distrust and a lack of transparency within the Chicago police department.
The dash cam video released last week by order of a judge revealed some discrepancies regarding what happened the night McDonald was killed, including the initial claim by police that the 17-year-old had lunged at officers.
PAT CAMDEN, SPOKESMAN, CHICAGO FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: Going at one of the officers. At that point, the officer defends himself.
LAVANDERA: It's a claim the McDonald family attorney says the video does not support.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The video clearly shows Laquan walking away. And he was not threatening anybody. And he is certainly didn't lunge at the police officer. This was originally presented as an act of self- defense.
LAVANDERA: The Chicago police department initially claimed McDonald was shot in the chest. An autopsy later revealed he was shot a total of 16 times, nine of which were in the back. Another issue, there is an 86-minute gap in surveillance video from a local Burger King. The police dash cam video shows McDonald running through the restaurant's parking lot. The Burger King manager alleges the surveillance video was reviewed by police, then they deleted it, erasing potentially pivotal evidence.
The top prosecutor in Chicago says the video was not tampered with, but the manager says in part, "I was just trying to help the police with their investigation. I didn't know they were going to delete it." Former Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy quickly swatted down those allegations.
GARRY MCCARTHY, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT, CHICAGO POLICE: It's absolutely not true. And I think the state's attorney addressed that today. There were apparently technical difficulties, but in no way, shape, or form is there any evidence that anything was tampered with.
LAVANDERA: But perhaps the darkest cloud of controversy continues to be how the Chicago police department seemingly went to great lengths and cost to try to make sure the public would never see the video.
First there was the $5 million settlement paid to the family. Critics say that was in part to keep the video from ever being released. Then the questions emerging about why the Chicago police department continued to employ Officer Van Dyke for a full year before pressing charges. Van Dyke had 20 complaints against him, ten of them were use of force. The police only suspended him without pay the day before the judge's deadline for the release of the dash cam video.
ANITA ALVAREZ, COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY: I felt compelled in the interest of public safety to announce these state charges today.
LAVANDERA: For some in Chicago, that was too little too late.
COOPER: That was Ed Lavendera reporting.
Dissatisfaction with the Chicago police department, of course, stems from not only from excessive force incidents, but people living where gangs run the streets. The other complaint is ineffective policing or outright neglect. The sense that their neighborhoods and children are being abandoned. So it's really a toxic combination, they say, of brutality and neglect.
Now, less than three weeks ago, 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was buried. Police say he was lowered into an alley and shot again and again in the face and back, deliberately targeted, the victim of gang violence, a fourth grader.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FATHER MICHALE PFLEGER, THE FAITH COMMUNITY OF SAINT SABINA: Tyshawn was not in the wrong place. The murder, the executioner, the assassin, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tyshawn was doing what every child has a right to do, be a child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That is father Michael Pfleger, who has made stopping violence his mission. That mission in a larger problem is now the focus of the new Spike Lee film, "Chi-Raq" which premieres tonight.
Father Pfleger is here tonight in connection with that. But wasn't good to see him under any circumstances. Also with us, political commentator Charles Blow.
The Illinois attorney general calling for a department of justice investigation of the Chicago police department. Is that a good step?
[20:05:11] PFLEGER: Absolutely. There has to be a special prosecutor that comes in, goes back to the day Laquan was killed. And say who knew about it, who covered it up, who didn't speak about it, who tried to push under the rug, who held this himself, and everybody has an his opinion, from the mayor on down to the cop on the scene to the chiefs at (INAUDIBLE), the police headquarters. Everybody has to be asking this. Anybody who covered it up, anybody who tried to make this thing go away.
Let's remember, if it wasn't a reporter who fought and fought and fought to have this videotape, we wouldn't be talking about it today. So anybody as part of that cover-up has to be accountable.
CHARLES BLOW, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: And the request goes further because it includes the review boards, which the NAACP has also called for a federal investigation of all review boards of police review boards in Chicago. And what they point to is a local university study that looked at 2002 to 2004. Ten thousand complaints against police. Only 19 of 10,000 were ever resulted in any kind of major action. And of the last 30 years, we have one charge, like serious charge for police shooting. And that, you know, that kind of piques your attention and says OK, either all the citizens of Chicago are falsely claiming that police are behaving in a way that's not appropriate, or something is going wrong with the review process itself.
COOPER: And Father, you believe there has been a cover-up on this? PFLEGER: I do. I believe there's been a cover-up. First of all,
this man had 18 accusations against him for excessive force and racial comments. Nothing was ever done. So it amazes me that a young black man on the street, the first comment is the officer felt threatened. What about the young black man on the street who sees an officer who has 18 consequences and feels threatened? Nobody deals with that. I believe there's been a cover-up on this.
COOPER: Charles, you were out there with protesters. What are your thoughts about this?
BLOW: A lot of people came over just to talk. And they wanted to talk about not just what had happened very recently with Laquan, but also just what had happened over a very long period of time.
I talked to one older activist who talked about being a kid, and how the police officers come to the neighborhood and one notorious officer would just jump out and beat kids or whatever. And I think this idea that there is a history in particular cities across the country, not just Chicago, but Chicago as its own particular kind of ethos, but this exists across the country. And we don't really address it until something flares up. That's a problem.
The fact that we're getting rid of the police chief today because of video that was made over 400 days ago that nobody ever apparently wanted to ever be seen by anyone. And if a judge did not have the courage to honor that (INAUDIBLE) request, we would still have that same police chief in office.
And so, I think we have to look more systematically and across the board at a lot of these cities, and say there is a problem. It's an endemic problem to the way we look at certain pockets of the population, and that we don't value somebody in the same way that we value other bodies. And that is a bigger issue than just Chicago.
COOPER: Father, do you think the superintendent being asked to step down will make a difference?
PFLEGER: I think it is only a step, only a step. The body is sick of the police department. You takeout the head, but you have still got the same sick body. Until we go into that whole community of blue code, I mean, look, you're talking about a police department that keeps talking about community has got to come forward, community has got to talk, community has got to be honest. Even if you're afraid, tell the truth.
COOPER: Report crimes that you see.
PFLEGER: Yes. For 13 months, nobody in the police department did. The other officers there on the scene. What about the supervisors? What about the supervisor over them? What about the police commander? So you have had a cover-up for 13 months but you want the community to come lean right away and say don't be afraid. But where was on the system side? You can't ask people to trust the system. So unless we have courage at this time to go, as you mentioned, to go in deep into the whole culture of the police department, and deal with the real issues, nothing is going to change. We will be right back here again.
COOPER: Father, it is great to have you. Thanks very much. Charles as well.
More tonight on the breaking news, and a very different question relating to it, namely are the Chicago police getting too much blame? That's what one former police detective I will speak to next thinks.
Later, Donald Trump not only sticking to his discredited 9/11 story, but adding a new twist. Details on that when we continue.
[20:13:38] COOPER: With the Illinois attorney general this evening calling for a federal civil rights investigation into the Chicago police department, we are talking about the resignation today of the police superintendent Garry McCarthy.
Now, it comes with the city's murder rate rising and trusting the police in parts of the city's circling the drain. In those neighborhoods, filled we should add, with people who want nothing more than to live in peace and raise their families like everybody else, the central fact of life has been turned upside down. Instead of children burying parents, far too often it is parents burying kids. In a world of strong women, that strength is being tested to the breaking point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BOSLEY, TERELL BOSLEY'S MOTHER: Terell was murdered April 4th, 2006. It's nine years for me and the pain has not went away. And it's frustrating because his case in unsolved. And I see so many children being shot every single day. In Chicago, 70 percent of the cases are not solved. I feel like they don't value our children's lives. Nobody cares. It's not a national conversation. And we don't want just conversation. We want action.
DANIELLE STEWART, SPENCER CORTEZ STEWART'S MOTHER: I lost my son, Spencer, August 2nd of this year. He was my only child. He was a good child. Responsible. Good young man. Responsible. And it's a struggle every day for me.
COOPER: And have they found the person who did it?
STEWART: No. And I call the detectives, and you get no answer. You're assigned to a detective. And the detective I had, he works nights. And when you call and call, you get no answer. When you finally do get someone, they take a message and say he's not in, he's on the street. And no one calls back. No one calls back. It's no justice. And that's what I'm looking for today, for justice.
[20:15:11] ANNETTE HOLT, BLAIR HOLT'S MOTHER: They have to show that they care, you know. Just saying you care is not enough. Just put more police officers. It's just not the answer. More has to be done.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Those are three moms I talked to recently in Chicago, all of whom have lost their children. More has to be done, she said. A clear dissatisfaction with the police you heard there, but there are certainly different views about what mayor Rahm Emanuel did today and what's the best way to move forward with all this to try to keep Chicago safe. Keeping Chicagoans safe from bad policing as well.
CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck joins us. He is veteran at the NYPD. Also CNN political commentator Van Jones, a former senior adviser to President Obama.
Van, you heard those moms in Chicago. Each of them have lost a child. They say putting more police officers on the streets isn't enough and that more has to be done. What also needs to happen in your opinion?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, I just want to say that Rahm Emanuel as mayor has to be asked tough questions. What did Rahm Emanuel know and when did he know it with regard to the video? Before we talk about the mothers, I want to say what did Rahm Emanuel know and when did he know it? If, in fact, he knew about this video and was a part of covering up in any way or knew about the cover-up, he can't lead this city anymore. I don't know if he shouldn't be asked to resign.
COOPER: You're saying Rahm Emanuel should resign if, in fact, he covered this up or knew about it.
JONES: Yes. If, in fact, Rahm Emanuel knew about this murder and knew about the cover-up, he should resign. We can't have a situation where a city is grieving this much and the leader possibly was involved in a cover-up so he could be re-elected.
This is a very, very major crisis. Those mothers are in a situation where they are crushed between street violence and unlawful police violence. And they deserve much, much better. I am tired of funerals either from street violence or police violence, but you need a mayor who cares. If this mayor knew, if Rahm Emanuel knew about this take and - this tape and he did not do anything today, he should resign.
COOPER: So Van, do you think the superintendent, you know, resigning, is that just -- did he get thrown under the bus by Rahm Emanuel?
JONES: Listen. That is a classic kind of a scapegoating move. Of course the superintendent should go away. But the question is what did Rahm Emanuel know and when did he know it? Look, I served with Rahm Emanuel. I admire Rahm Emanuel. He did a great job for the president. He has tried to be a good mayor. But I'm going to tell you this.
If, in fact, he knew there was a cover-up and he knew that there was a cover-up happening maybe to keep him from losing a re-election and he put his re-election over a murder, he does not deserve to be the mayor of Chicago. He has to be investigated. Those mothers are not alone. There are mothers across that city who could tell you the same story. The police either don't protect or they abuse. You have communities that are not feeling every single day that the police do a good job of punishing, a bad job of protecting. They could cover up their own crimes, but they can't solve crimes in the neighborhood. And this mayor may not be able to lead that.
COOPER: Harry, I got to say, you know, you saw the police spokesman soon after that shooting coming out and saying the officer was, you know -- Laquan McDonald lunged at the officer. I mean, the video certainly doesn't bear that out at all.
HARRY HOUCK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No. I mean, I spoke about this before also. You know, I think that officer acted improperly in the Laquan McDonald shooting. That officer is going to, you know, pay the price.
COOPER: But the fact that this lasted for a year --
HOUCK: Well, that's a question. You know, I have investigated a lot of shootings like that. Dozens of them, alright. Two weeks, it should be over. When I was a detective and officer got in a gun fight and they shot people, we would investigate those. And then what happens, you know, two weeks, that case is over. And the fact -- you're not looking for a prep here on a case like that. So, you know, it should be even a shorter period of time.
Now, the fact that this video took a year to come out, I'm sure that was not on the police department. Because if that mayor wanted that video out, he would have told the commissioner or the superintendent McCarthy I want that video and I want it out to the people right away. So, and I'm sure McCarthy would have did it because listen, McCarthy acquiesced to everything he wanted to do. And I put full blame on what's going on in Chicago, not only on mayor Emanuel, but the mayors before them. This has been going on for a very long time.
COOPER: You believe that the National Guard should come in.
HOUCK: Yes. I mean, listen. It's virtually a combat zone. If you probably got all the good people together in the inner parts of Chicago and talk to them, they would probably say yes, please bring something in so my children can go out and play in the park again. You know, the fact here, is that we had a 9-year-old executed by a gang member, alright. Executing and setting this 9-year-old up.
[20:20:00] COOPER: Allegedly because his father was involved in a gang.
HOUCK: Right. Listen. When you get to that type of crime and to that point in an inner city, something now is really got to be done.
JONES: There are a number of solutions here, not just bringing in the National Guard. I think more militarization might actually backfire. We need a better mix in cities across the country.
Look. I remember they used to have summer programs. I remember midnight basketball. I remember mentorship. I remember apprenticeships. All that stuff is gone.
COOPER: By the way, Father Pfleger does that but that's, you know, through his church. It's one person.
HOUCK: Yes. He's one guy.
JONES: But here is what I believe. I believe that we need to have a better mix of programs that give kids opportunities. Give people a reason to put down the guns. African-Americans have to continue to be outspoken as we have been against the street violence first. But when you have police violence and you have a mayor who may have covered it up to secure its own election, you don't have leadership. And that is the problem we have right now. You don't have a mayor that can be trusted.
COOPER: I've heard people say look, there weren't demonstrations when young African-American kids are being killed. There are, actually.
JONES: That's not true.
COOPER: I know. And I'm saying there are actually demonstrations. They just don't get the coverage, and it happens so frequently --
JONES: Thank you for saying that, Anderson.
COOPER: It's sort of routine.
JONES: It's a horrible background. Listen. You have this horrible background noise now for the media of vigil after vigil, protest after protest, funeral after funeral. But to say that African-Americans don't care about all these street murders, it's not true.
COOPER: There are marches all the time.
JONES: All the time.
HOUCK: I don't see, you know, marches all over the country because this 9-year-old kid was assassinated, alright.
HOUCK: And I don't see bridges being blocked. I don't see streets being blocked and people out there every single night because this 9- year-old was assassinated. That is a problem. And the answer not only -- listen, you're not going to be able to bring jobs or make that neighborhood better until that crime rate is down. And once that crime rate is down, like what happened here with Rudy Giuliani, the crime rate in New York City was so high, and I worked here then, that until we are able to enforce the law the way it should be did things change in New York City.
COOPER: Van, just very quickly.
JONES: Look. Listen, what I know for sure is that nothing stops a bullet like a job. And there are a lot of communities where you have the job first and the guns and the drugs come later. And so, the idea that the reason of this is not there is because you have got it actually in reverse. But the reality is right now we have a situation, we have a major American city in full crisis. A cloud over a mayor and the investigation has to include him. You cannot have leadership. You are going to have a big problem, that's it.
COOPER: Van Jones, thank you. Harry Houck, as well.
Up next, Donald Trump given one more chance to back away from his discredited claim that he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating when the twin towers came down. Instead, you will hear him take it to a new level.
[20:26:55] COOPER: Even Donald Trump can be found in New Hampshire tonight. Part of the Donald Trump story remains focused on New Jersey 14 years ago. Trump, you will recall, says he saw Muslims there, thousands and thousands of Muslims in Jersey City celebrating when the twin towers came down. When challenged on it, he said he saw it on videotape. And when no one anywhere could actually find that tape, he suggested the networks had erased it and he cited a "Washington Post" reporter story. When the reporter who is now at "The New York Times" and with has a physical disability, differed with Trump's read on his story, Trump mocked him and appeared to mock his disability, saying you have got to see this guy, and then made that gesture. Trump said he did no such thing. So you can take a look and decide for yourself. It brings us to today.
This afternoon, he went on Hugh Hewitt's show and made a new twist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Are you sticking with your Jersey City estimate?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, sure. I will tell you that a article came out recently that was -- meaning we found it recently. I think it was on September 13th of obviously that very terrible year, and it was a story this the post, I put it on twitter @realDonaldTrump. And I have another one @realDonaldtrump where Curtis Sliwa, you know, the guardian angels, he was doing a radio show and he talked about what was happening over in New Jersey. And, yes, people know, and I've been called by hundreds of people, Hugh. I've been called by literally hundreds of people. And also, you know, the twitter, which is so big between Facebook and twitter, I have 10 million people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, two new claims there. Neither of which is true. We contacted Curtis Sliwa. He said the clip that Mr. Trump tweeted out was edited and that he believes the opposite of what Mr. Trump is actually claiming. As for that "New York Post" story that Trump mentioned, there wasn't a news report. It wasn't an editorial. It was an opinion column written by a local professor at the time, Fred Segel, whom we also contacted, he says he never claimed to have seen any celebrations firsthand. Mr. Segel told our producer that he thinks Trump saw video of celebrations on the West Bank and conflated it with New Jersey. He went on to call Donald Trump quote "a master of misdirection." Joining us is radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt who conducted the
interview and he is going to take part in our next Republican debate. Also, CNN political commentator Amanda Carpenter and Peter Beinart. She formerly worked for Sen. Ted Cruz. He is a contributing editor for Atlantic media and a senior fellow at the New American Foundation.
So Hugh, you were very clear later on during that interview that Trump is off the mark in your opinion when it comes to what happened in New Jersey on September 11th. Do you believe he's just confused or is it something intentional? Do you think he saw the video from Gaza and is conflating it?
HEWITT: I think he is conflating it. Elizabeth Lap (ph) who is a professor at the University of California Ervine did a great ted talk on people who conflate memory and add to memory. And I said that to Donald Trump tonight.
On the other hand, earlier today, Rudy Giuliani on this network told Alysin Camerota there were isolated incidents in New York, including a candy store that Mayor Giuliani recounted. And I do believe that Donald Trump remembers the West Bank or Gaza demonstration. And that I'm certain hundreds of people have told him they saw the same thing because hundreds of people have told me they saw the same thing, that I'm wrong. So I don't think we should fact check memory.
And I also think most American people have move passed this debate and want to talk about other things that I did in the interview.
COOPER: Peter, you wrote recently - and I want to get this right. Because - I my glasses. You said that Trump has "turned the terrorism debate into an extension of the immigration debate that powered his candidacy this summer." What do you mean by that?
PETER BEINART, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ATLANTIC MEDIA: And the question is, why is Donald Trump going on, and on, and on about this. It's not just that he's dishonest. It's that he's dishonest about something which is very, very important. What he's implicitly doing is questioning the loyalty of American Muslims. He's also called for closing mosques. He's talked about registering Muslims. He moved from demonizing Mexicans in the summer to now demonizing Muslims after the Paris attacks. We're seeing the number of attacks against mosques in the month of November is staggering. Every two or three days now, another mosque is being either threatened or shot up or vandalized, and it's the climate that people like him are creating. That's why this matters.
COOPER: Amanda, what do you make of all this? I mean two months away from the first primary voting and Trump is still leading big. Do you think people just do not care if he says something that isn't true? Is it the hatred of the media, of political correctness, whatever you want to call it?
AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, I think we're witnessing a man that has an ego so big that he thinks he can construct his own reality. I mean, we have the ultimate reality TV candidate constructing his own reality. We're leaving ourselves the question, you know, the video aired and Donald Trump is the only one who saw it, did the video air? I mean, this is just ridiculous. Donald Trump has vast resources. It's on him to produce the video at this point. Otherwise we just need to move on. But what this is really about is Donald Trump and his ego is so big and he thinks his memory is so perfect, no one can dare question it. And the only people that corroborate his story are people who won't go on the record, a friend of a friend of an uncle. We've all heard these kind of a conspiracy theory stories of someone who saw the thing, video Donald Trump did, but no one can produce the evidence. I mean, this is really verging on the edge of insanity.
COOPER: Sure, it is interesting. I mean have you ever heard a CNN political candidate or interviewed a political candidate who refuses to say that they ever have gotten something wrong? Or say, you know what, maybe I did make a mistake, or maybe I did conflate -- I mean, no one likes to do it, but have you ever -- I mean, Trump -- have you ever seen somebody who refuses to the degree that Trump does?
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HOST, "THE HUGH HEWITT SHOW": I don't know that anyone is as deft at Donald Trump at refusing to answer questions that he doesn't want to answer. But I've had 85 interviews with Republican candidates since the first debate and often they deflect and move along. Anderson, you just said something that's the heart of this matter. Is it that people hate the media. That's it. They hate me, they hate Amanda, they hate Peter, they hate you. They hate the media. And so, when Donald Trump is attacked by the media for conflating or getting details wrong, his numbers don't go down, they if anything tick up because they understand that in a meta sense, it's not being, as Peter said, about anti-Arab Americans, or anti-Muslims, they understand about being anti-media, and there's a whole bunch of people that hate us.
BEINART: It's not all Americans. We're talking about a very specific subset of the population that thinks the media has a left wing bias. Those people are also -- we have a poll which came out a couple of months ago, which showed that only a minority ...
COOPER: Because there's a lot of people on the left who don't like the media for other reasons.
BEINART: Right. But the people Donald Trump is appealing to are people who have a lot of resentment against the media, and also a lot of resentment against Mexican immigrants and a lot of resentment against Muslims. The poll came out last month showing that only a minority of Republicans in Iowa think Islam should be legal in the United States. This is the larger context. So yes, there's a lot of frustration with the media. The media is certainly far from perfect. But there's a paranoid nativist and bigoted strain that Donald Trump is tapping into here, which is very frightening.
COOPER: Amanda, I want you to be able to respond to that.
CARPENTER: Yeah, well, I don't like the idea of predicting the worst of Donald Trump as being representative of the entire Democratic Party. COOPER: Republican Party.
CARPENTER: I don't think. Yeah, sorry. Excuse me, the Republican Party. You know, I don't buy the polls at this point in time that really show him as a frontrunner, primarily because I don't think he has organizing power to actually win an Iowa caucus and take that state.
COOPER: So, it's actually interesting. Do you think then that people are just kind of answering that poll saying oh yeah, Trump -- to kind of stick it to ...
CARPENTER: Yes, I do. I think Donald Trump frontrunner - said - rebuke (ph) to the media and political correctness. But I do not think that means he will take the early Republican primary states. I mean, look at the organizational disaster that was the black pastor's press conference last week. I mean, he couldn't even roll out endorsements. He put out a press release claiming these people were going to endorse him. It fell apart. And one of the only people that would stand next to him in that camera in front of the media, was one of his former reality TV prodigies. I mean, he doesn't have the organizational power to pull this off. But at the same time, I think Republican primary voters do want to say they support Trump to stick it to the media.
COOPER: Hugh, I'm looking forward to the debate. It's going to be awesome. And I'm glad you're going to be asking questions. Amanda Carpenter, Peter Beinart, thank you all. Obviously, the debate right there is coming up December 15th, 9:00 p.m., Tuesday here on CNN.
Up next, nearly 8,000 newly released Hillary Clinton e-mails get a looking over. And Republicans say that one of them shows they called it right on Benghazi when we continue.
COOPER: The State Department has released a new batch of Hillary Clinton's e-mails from her private server when she served as Secretary of State. And it's the largest set so far. 7,800 pages, mostly from 2012 to 2013. Republicans, though, are focusing on one e-mail in particular that could be a big factor on the campaign trail. Brianna Keilar tonight explains.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The e-mail was sent just hours after the attack in Benghazi, from Hillary Clinton to Diane Reynolds, actually a pseudonym used by her daughter Chelsea, telling her two officers were killed today in Benghazi by an al Qaeda-like group. In a public statement that night, Clinton raised the possibility that inflammatory material posted on the Internet, a reference to a video portraying the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, was a precursor so-to-the attack. Five days later, U.N. ambassador Susan Rice expanded on the inaccurate assessment when asked about reports that Libyan officials had arrested suspects in the attacks.
SUSAN RICE, U.N. AMBASSADOR: What this began as, was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what had transpired in Cairo.
KEILAR: Republicans have seized upon Clinton's emails to claim she was covering up the cause of the Benghazi attack for political reasons less than two months from President Obama's re-election.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R) OHIO: You tell the American people one thing, you tell your family an entirely different story. You can live with the protest about a video. That won't hurt you. But a terrorist attack will.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: There is no doubt in my mind that we did the best we could with the information that we had at the time.
KEILAR: The new e-mails also revealed behind-the-scenes insights into this moment from Clinton's 2013 testimony.
HILLARY CLINTON: Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?
KEILAR: And e-mails newly released by the State Department show denial among top Clinton aides, that that controversial moment in her testimony was damaging. As congratulatory messages from Clinton supporters poured in, longtime confidant Mark Penn aired this concern. "I don't think the emotion in the hearing works to your advantage. Looks more like they rattled you on something no one outside the crazy right blamed you for anyway. But a top aide dismissed the assessment, e-mailing the secretary, give me a break, you did not look rattled, you looked real. There's a difference. A big one." Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Joining me now, CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord, a Trump supporter and a political director in the Reagan White House. Also, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, a Clinton supporter. She's senior adviser to the pro-Hillary Clinton super-PAC "Correct the Record." So, governor, I mean how do you explain the discrepancy between what Secretary Clinton e-mailed her daughter and what she stated publicly?
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, (D) FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: I explained it in the same way. All of the fact checkers who have looked at this explained it, which is that there were conflicting explanations. That night, that very night of the terrible tragedy, Ansar al Sharia, which is an al Qaeda-like group took credit for it. The next day, they disavowed it. Then, the CIA had several different explanations. There wasn't a clear explanation that night or in the few days that followed about exactly what was responsible. It's understandable that the video, which had caused an attack on the Cairo embassy, might have been one of the reasons. But this other group was taking credit for it as well. So there was a fog of war, and that's what the fact checkers, that's what the -- anybody who has looked at this has said, this is actually the same subject that was raised during the 11-hour testimony that she had in front of the Benghazi committee. Asked and answered.
COOPER: Jeffrey, do you believe it's asked and answered? Because I mean Republicans are certainly pointing to this and saying that it fit the Obama administration narrative that it was linked to the video as opposed to a direct terror attack, which, you know, would show that al Qaeda was not necessarily on their heels, or certainly maybe not play into the Obama administration narrative.
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN W.H. POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. I don't think it's been answered. And, you know, she's got a couple of problems here. And I think the underlying problem that she has, I wrote a column back in August about this. But way back in 1996 when she was first lady famously at the time, "The New York Times" columnist, now the late William Sapphire wrote a column accusing her of being -- and it's his words, not mine, a congenital liar and went through chapter and verse about how she had a tendency to be untruthful about things. She got a clean slate as Secretary of State, and yet here we are again in an issue that revolves around her honesty. And as you may remember, Anderson, there was a poll a couple of months ago where people were asked to pre-associate their descriptions of her, and the first, the top pick of the respondents was liar, and I think the second one was dishonest. So this is the problem that she's going to have. And her second problem is FBI Director Comey, who's got a real reputation for independence. He's looking into this. If she's cleared, then I think this may help her a considerable degree because he's quite an independent person. If, on the other hand, he comes down the other way, she's going to have a problem.
COOPER: Governor, I mean, you know, this is obviously the knock that many conservatives and Republicans make on Hillary Clinton and have for a long time, that she will say anything to get elected, that she sort of takes the temperature of politics, and there is an honesty problem.
It's clearly not any new criticism of her. How do you respond to it?
GRANHOLM: Well, except that every time these issues have been raised -- I mean I know Jeffrey wrote this column about white water and travel gate. All of that has been proven to be false. She was not lying. This - in this particular case, Glen Kessler from "The Washington Post," who does the politic fact - fact checking, he actually called Marco Rubio a two Pinocchio - making a two Pinocchio falsehood for making this exact same claim that Jeffrey is alleging. I think it's somewhat ironic that Jeffrey supports Donald Trump, who really is the congenital liar, who's received 11 pants on fire lying assessments from the fact checkers. And every day, even today, he got another one for saying that President Obama is going to allow 250,000 Syrian refugees in. And the bottom line is, I believe the people who are trying to get this right. There are independent sources who have raided these candidates. Hillary Clinton was not found to be lying in that. In fact, those who accuse her of lying were found to be lying. And Donald Trump is really, honestly, not worthy of running for president. Given how dishonest he's been.
COOPER: Jeffrey, I mean ...
LORD: Donald Trump is not the director of the FBI.
COOPER: But do Republicans lose some credibility - or a credibility argument if Donald Trump is the nominee? You know, doesn't Hillary Clinton have plenty to throw back at him if they were to face off next fall?
LORD: Oh, I mean, believe me, a Trump-Clinton campaign will be a joy to watch. There will be lots going on on both sides. Once again, though, I would say that we get into these polls and favorability ratings and all of this kind of thing. When we get down to November of next year, the choice is going to be Hillary Clinton and somebody else, whether it's Donald Trump or whomever. I think at this point, it will be Donald Trump. But even if it's not, this issue is not going to go away, no matter who the Republican nominee is.
COOPER: Governor Granholm, I appreciate you being on, and Jeffrey Lord as well.
GRANHOLM: You bet. You bet.
COOPER: Thank you both.
COOPER: Up next tonight, a mysterious death in Alaska. The question, who or what killed the newly elected mayor of Juneau, Alaska?
COOPER: Tonight, a mystery in Alaska's capital city. Greg Fisk, the mayor of Juneau, is dead, he was found in his own house by his son just weeks after he took office. Elected with two thirds of the vote, the popular mayor with a lot of plans to make the city better. Tonight, family, friends, and colleagues are grieving and seeking answers. Randi Kaye has the details.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: About 3:30 in the afternoon, the 911 call came in. Mayor Stephen Greg Fisk of Juneau, Alaska, was dead.
ERANN CALWARA, JPD PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE: At about 3:34, we have received a 911 call from a man and there was someone who appeared to be deceased inside. Quickly, officers were on scene in about four minutes. KAYE: Mysterious deaths like this one, let alone the mayor, rarely
occur in this remote capital city of 32,000. A community tucked away on Alaska's panhandle. Often reached by boat and sea plane. The strange circumstances have many in town speculating about what happened. The detectives here are for now stumped. The mayor's son had gone to check on him Monday afternoon, and after getting word that others in town were having trouble reaching him. After he looked inside the home where his father lived alone, neighbors said the son could be heard shouting. That's when he called 911. Officers rushed to the scene, but the mayor was already dead.
Right now, there are more questions than answers. Juneau police say they found no sign of forced entry, and they've also concluded that Mayor Fisk did not commit suicide. So what happened? Some are already suggesting that the mayor was assaulted. The police are playing that down, though the chief did tell the "Juneau Empire" newspaper that assault is one of the possibilities out there. But that it also could have been a fall or something else.
Meanwhile, Juneau's deputy mayor will take over his duties. She was a longtime friend of Greg Fisk, even taught his son when he was in the sixth grade.
MARY BECKER, JUNEAU DEPUTY MAYOR: My husband and I are devastated. He was a wonderful person and a friend. And from the calls I've been receiving tonight, I'm not the only one who has felt that he was a wonderful person and a good friend to Juneau.
KAYE: A neighbor told us, Fisk was active and in good shape. He hiked and swam often. She said he had a great smile and was a great guy. Greg Fisk was elected mayor just about two months ago. He won with 66 percent of the vote over the incumbent mayor after running a very positive campaign. He was looking forward to diversifying Juneau's economy and improving the housing market, and fixing a tight budget, but all of that is on hold as mystery now hangs over this town.
BECKER: It's just so devastating to have this happen. It's basically unbelievable.
COOPER: And Randi is here now. I understand there's some new information on this?
KAYE: Yeah, the chief of police in Juneau just shared some new information with our affiliate there in Alaska. And these are the key points, Anderson. The mayor's body, he said, was found in the front room. He said there were injuries clearly on the body. He didn't say if they were head wounds, if he was showing injuries on the arms or the legs. He wouldn't really elaborate on that, but he did say there were injuries on the body. That they could have been caused naturally, maybe from a fall, maybe from a heart attack, maybe he hit his head, or maybe there was an assault. He's not officially ruled that out. He said he was not shot and he did say that the autopsy will get under way in the next few days. So, we should get some answers because they're going to do the toxicology tests, even though he said, there wasn't any visible sign or obvious sign of drugs involved, but they will test the body, make sure there weren't any drugs involved and, of course, look closer at those wounds.
COOPER: All right. Randi, thanks very much.
Just ahead, more American troops on their way to Iraq to fight ISIS. We'll tell you who's getting the orders when we continue.
COOPER: There's a lot more happening. Amara Walker has "360" news and business bulletin. Amara.
AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson. There will be more U.S. boots on the ground in Iraq fighting ISIS. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is sending a new special ops force to help Kurdish and Iraqi forces conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture leaders.
In Indonesia, investigators say a faulty rudder system and pilot error caused the crash of AirAsia flight 8501 last December heading from Surabaya to Singapore. The rudder had been getting steadily worse. Malfunctioning 23 times in the year before the plane crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people onboard.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are celebrating the birth of a new daughter in a big way. In her honor, the CEO of Facebook will over his lifetime give away 99 percent of his shares, currently worth about $45 billion to charity. And one lucky Oregon pooch is home for the holidays. Now, she was dognapped a year ago, but recently someone spotted the thief and the pup named Pippen was rescued. As you can see, she and her family are ecstatic. I wonder what will be waiting for her under the tree? Adorable.
COOPER: Glad she's home. Amara, thanks very much. That does it for us.
We'll see you again at 11 p.m. Eastern for another edition of "360".
COOPER: Right now, a CNN special report, the "360 Team" produced we're very proud of, "Being 13: Inside the Secret World of Teens" starts now.