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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Discussing the Campaign Trail; Uber Driver Shootings Examined; ISIS, Al Qaeda-Linked Group Not Included; U.S., Russia Agree To Plan For New Syria Ceasefire; Blair: Roots Of Terrorism Based In Religious Extremism; Protesters Plan Rallies To Support Apple. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired February 22, 2016 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: OK, mathematically, now we can't beat her, and they tone it down. They back off. Like, today, he's saying release the transcripts.

[16:30:07]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Right.

KING: And they're hoping that when the -- if they can build this delegate lead, he will back off and become more of a message candidate.

So, March is absolutely critical to Secretary Clinton. And for Senator Sanders, if he's going to win more than four or five states, he has to break through with African-Americans, because, Jake, you know these states. You have a majority or a plurality of the Democratic votes in those states will be African-Americans, in Texas, the combination of African-Americans and Latinos. So Sanders needs a breakthrough and he needs it soon.

TAPPER: He really needs to broaden his appeal beyond white voters.

Let's talk about the Republicans now. It's weird because the Republicans have been going after each other and not so much Donald Trump. They all have this theory that they need to beat each other in that lane and then take on Trump.

At this point, looking at what's going on, do they need to start looking at Trump instead of trying to kill off each other?

KING: The Republicans have this new scenario I have never heard before. I guess my Patriots won the Super Bowl, right, even though they were eliminated. That third is the new first?

No, you're absolutely right. Donald Trump loves this. If Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and to a lesser degree John Kasich keep fighting it out amongst themselves, Donald Trump could win. Different rules on the Republican side. Democratic rules are proportionate.

Republican rules are proportionate in some states, but they're more generous to the winners. Let's just say here's the first three contests. Let's just go through Super Tuesday. This scenario has Donald Trump winning them all with about 33 percent, 34 percent of the vote. That's what he did in New Hampshire and what he did in South Carolina.

And the second-place finisher in our scenario here is Marco Rubio followed by Ted Cruz. Now, again, you could flip them, but this is essentially what starts to happen. Trump pulls ahead.

Let's say in a big state like Texas, let's say, no, actually, Senator Cruz wins his home state and Donald Trump comes in second and Marco Rubio comes in third. You start to play around a little bit here.

Up in Massachusetts, it's John Kasich who thinks he wins. Again, who knows. But for the sake of argument, Donald Trump is way ahead right now, but let's just give this one to Kasich just for the sake of argument. Say Trump comes in second, Rubio comes in third and Cruz comes in first.

Even if you start to trade off a few states, Trump in a crowded race is still pulling away because he will get some of the delegates in some of the states he loses, not all. Some are winner-take-all, but he will get some.

But if he keeps winning most states where he's ahead now, where he's ahead, he will start pulling it away. If he pulls away under that scenario, I just want to show you. For the Democrats, 33 percent would not get you the nomination. For Republicans, if Trump keeps winning with 33 percent, those states flip back, we could switch some of them back if we wanted to, but it's over.

If Cruz and Rubio keep waiting for the other guy to drop out and Trump keeps winning the majority of the states, that's what happens in the end.

TAPPER: Because so many winner-take-all states on the Republican side.

KING: Again, even if you give this one back to Cruz and give two or three to Rubio and two or three to Cruz, this still happens if they both stay in until the end. So the scenario on the Republican side at the moment, they keep saying, we will get Trump eventually, but when's eventually?

TAPPER: Right. The bottom line, stop acting as though bronze and silver are gold. You need wins.

KING: They need -- the only way to beat him is to beat him.

TAPPER: All right, John King, thanks so much.

Coming up next, charged with six counts of murder and now detectives say the Uber driver admitted he "took people's lives." What else did the drive have to say? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:37:13]

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. In our national lead, a mass murder suspect making his first court

appearance just minutes ago, now detectives say he admitted to them he "took people's lives." Six people died and two others were wounded over a seven-hour period. The victims were Richard and Tyler Smith, a father and his teenage son gunned down while looking at cars at an auto dealership, also a group of close friends. Dorothy Judy Brown, Barbara Hawthorne and sisters-in-law Mary Jo Nye and Mary Lou Nye shot to death after a night out with close friends and family.

This man, a married father of two who moonlighted as an Uber driver, is being charged with pulling the trigger at three different locations. And in between those terrible shootings, the suspect apparently picked up Uber passengers.

Let's now go to CNN correspondent Ryan Young, who's in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Ryan, police say Dalton admitted to taking lives. Do we have any idea of his motive?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, as this whole community tries come together behind us and you were reading the names of those victims who everybody has been reaching out to, their families, you have got to think they wanted to know what the motive would be.

And we were looking for that in court today. What we did get from court today was the idea that he did admit to detectives that he was involved in the shooting. He admitted to killing those people. I can tell you when you go through this timeline, it's quite scary what was going on in this community.

The idea that around 6:00 that he went to an apartment complex and aimed a gun at a woman walking with her children, that's according to police, shot at her several times. She was hit I believe three or four times and survived. She's in critical condition.

That second shooting was then at the car dealership where the young man and his father were killed. We're told his girlfriend was actually there and dove in the back seat of the car to avoid being shot. Then 15 minutes later, there was that other shooting where four people were shot and killed. Those four ladies who were hanging out together were shot and killed. And then a 14-year-old was shot during that as well.

She survived, but I can tell you he was doing those Uber rides all throughout this and that put a lot of scare, a lot of fear into this community.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got maybe a mile from my house. He got a telephone call. After that telephone call, he started driving really erratically. We were kind of driving through medians, driving through the lawn, speeding along and then finally, once he came to a stop, I jumped out of the car and ran away. He didn't seem like the type -- our interaction with him was very

basic. It was like a five-minute ride. And I said, "You're not the shooter, are you?"

And he said "No."

And I said, "Are you sure?" And he kind of just said, "No, I'm just tired. I have been driving for seven hours."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YOUNG: So you can see that just right after that he was obviously still going around picking up Uber -- drivers.

We know that Richard Smith and his son Tyler Smith were shot and killed. The mother released a statement.

[16:40:02]

And I'm read part of this, Jake, to you that says Laurie Smith put on Facebook: "My precious baby boy was taken away before he even graduated from high school. I'm so grateful to have been blessed with a sweet, caring, witty, handsome boy for almost 18 years. I miss you and love you more than life itself."

You can tell this community is still torn by what has happened here.

TAPPER: Ryan Young, thank you so much.

Apple is pushing back on the FBI, now saying that the government had the chance to get the data off the terrorist's phone, but they blew it.

Plus, imagine going to get a drink of water or take a bath, and this is what comes out of your faucet. And, as if that's not bad enough, now imagine there is no one in the city government to fix the problem.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We're following some breaking news in our world lead today.

A cease-fire has been reached in Syria. The U.S. and Russia have negotiated a temporary break to the deadly violence that's rocked that country since 2011. The truce is set to take effect this weekend, but CNN has learned it will not include the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, or the al Qaeda-linked group al-Nusra.

Let's get right to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh. He's live in Beirut, Lebanon.

Nick, what are the details of the agreement?

[16:45:00] NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know now the sequencing. That's clear. By Friday the people who are supposed to be party to the ceasefire have to state that openly. That's by noon on Friday Damascus time.

Twelve hours later, the midnight between Friday and Saturday, the guns are supposed to fall silent. The real issue though, this was negotiated between Washington and Moscow. No Syrians at the table there.

Since it's been announced, we've heard from the Syrian political opposition that they conditionally will back it. There may be armed groups that they can bring into that ceasefire too and Moscow said it will get the Syrian government to play ball as well.

But the big question is ISIS and al Nusra, al Qaeda in Syria. Russia has been accused by the west of using its, quote, "campaign against ISIS to really actually target the opposition groups the U.S. backs.

Will they continue to do that? Because ISIS and al Nusra aren't part of this deal, nobody really knows. There's another big deal too, though.

Last weekend, just passed marked the most deadly attack yet activists say of the whole war when ISIS attacked a shrine near Damascus killing 134 people is the latest death toll.

We have to go from that pinnacle of violence all the way through six days later to cessation of hostilities. This is about cold war air brinkmanship from Vladimir Putin. He wanted this to be settled in a phone call with Barack Obama.

He seems to have gotten an element of the stagesmanship he wants out of this, but does that really translate to Syrians having less violence inflicted upon them, we'll have to see.

So much political process is passed with no real affect, Jake. A huge ask to see something really change by midnight, early Saturday. Back to you.

TAPPER: All right, we're hoping it will work, but we'll see. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much.

Today's announcement, of course, does not mean that ISIS will stop its reign of terror in Syria or elsewhere. In fact, today, we saw what's being called as you heard from Nick the deadliest attack in Syria since the civil war began.

A series of suicide and car bombs rocking the capital of Damascus and the city of Homs. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights now reporting close to 200 people are dead across Syria because of these ISIS attacks.

This latest carnage comes as we right now bring you exclusively a study from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation with some frightening new numbers on the rise of Islamist extremism.

And joining me now is the former prime minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair. His foundation focuses on combatting religious extremism around the world. Mr. Prime Minister, thanks for joining us. TONY BLAIR, FORMER PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: So this new exclusive report from on global extremism from your foundation lists 16 terror groups killing and kidnapping in 21 different countries with a total of close to 1,700 killings last month alone. That's triple what it was just before the attacks of 9/11. After 15 years of war, how did we get here?

BLAIR: Well, it's a good question, but I think what is very clear from the studies that we've done is that this is a problem with very deep roots and it has been growing over a number of decades. It's now a global problem.

So as well as the 21 countries, which actually people dying in terrorist attacks, there are about 50 or 55 different countries that were having to take serious measures against terrorism just in January alone.

So it's a global problem now. And I think the key thing is to understand we're not going to defeat it simply by security measures alone. We've got to tackle the underlying ideology of Islamism.

TAPPER: Your successor, David Cameron, was here and talking alongside President Obama about terrorism and they had very different tones because Prime Minister Cameron said this isn't just about poverty, this isn't just about people who are hopeless.

Do you think that there is a, for want of a better term, political correctness about some of the ways that leaders address this that is unhealthy?

BLAIR: Well, I just think we've got to be very direct about it and I actually agree with what David Cameron was saying. The issue is an ideology that's based on a perversion of the proper faith of Islam, let's be clear about that.

And it's contrary to the tenets of Islam that's practiced by the majority of Muslims. But the fact is it is based on a perversion of religion and yes, of course, in situations of poverty and economic despair, this ideology can find fertile soil.

But the actual roots of it are in religious extremism and many of the people that lead these movements, there Jihadist movements are not people who are poor. They are often education.

TAPPER: As you know, we are in the thick of the political season here. The Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, has repeatedly bragged throughout his campaign that he opposed the Iraq war. Something obviously that you along with George W. Bush strongly supported.

[16:50:01]What do you say to those like Trump who say that those who pushed for the war have some culpability for the rise of ISIS from the ashes of that war?

BLAIR: I just simply say at the moment that at least in Iraq we've got a government we can actually work with. So I'm not saying there aren't still huge challenges there, but if you look at the four most difficult countries today, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya.

There's only one of those countries whose government with whatever difficulty is actually fighting terrorism, only one that has international legitimacy supported both by Saudi Arabia and Iran, and only one whose prime minister turns up in the White House and that's Iraq.

TAPPER: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

BLAIR: Thanks very much, Jake.

TAPPER: The battle between Apple and the FBI heating up. Now Apple says the government already missed its chance to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist cell phone. That story coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:55:22]

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Let's do the Money Lead. The sharply divided feud between Apple and the FBI could soon play out on a street corner near you. Tomorrow, a nonprofit group that focuses on internet freedom called "Fight for the Future" plans to hold protests in more than 30 cities supporting Apple.

The rallies come as the tech giant fights a court order that would force Apple to invent a way to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. Apple says that doing so for this one phone would assuredly compromise security for all of its customers.

But was there another way to get the phone's information without going to court? CNN justice reporter, Evan Perez, joins me now. Evan, we know now that this phone was backed up to the Cloud, to the iCloud. Why didn't they just get the information that way?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: It was, Jake, it was. But those backups stopped about a month before the San Bernardino terrorist attacks. Apple officials say that the FBI could have gotten this missing phone data by simply restarting backups to the Cloud.

But the feds couldn't do that because they had already reworked with county officials to change the Apple I.D. password on the phone that Syed Farook used. He was a county employee and the county owned the iPhone.

The password was changed just hours after the massacre and that prevented the FBI from secretly forcing the iPhone to back up its data to the Apple Cloud. But the FBI says even with all that data from the Cloud, investigators still need to get to the phone itself.

An FBI spokesperson says, quote, "Even if the password had not been changed and Apple could have turned on the auto backup and loaded it to the Cloud, there might be information on the phone that would not be accessible without Apple's assistance since the iCloud backup does not contain everything on an iPhone."

Jake, FBI Director Jim Comey used a blog post in the last 24 hours to make the argument that this fight is about getting justice for the victims.

Comey says, quote, "Fourteen people were slaughtered and many more had their lives and bodies ruined. We owe them a thorough and professional investigation."

TAPPER: What does Apple have to say about all of this? I imagine partly law enforcement screwed up here.

PEREZ: Well, law enforcement screwed up and that this is a bigger fight. So CEO Tim Cook told his employees this morning in a letter that the company has to continue this fight because this is a bigger privacy issues are at play, Jake.

And he -- in a statement he said, quote, "It does not feel right to be on the opposite side of the government in a case centering on the freedoms and liberties government is meant to protect." We are hearing from some of the other tech companies as well who were siding with Apple.

TAPPER: All right, Evan Perez, thank you so much.

More in our Money Lead. Was it just bad luck or an unfortunate choice of a word? An Indian car maker was forced to change the name of its latest model after the infamous Zika virus outbreak began because the car had been originally been named Zica.

Now it's called Tiago instead. The company held an online competition asking people to suggest names. Out of 37,000 suggestions, the company decided to go with Tiago which also oddly means James in Portuguese.

First Flint, now this in our Buried Lead. That's what we call stories not getting enough attention. Black, sludgy, stinky water pouring out of the faucets in a rural Texas town. That's what residents in Crystal City, Texas saw when they turned the water on last Wednesday.

The color of the water was so dark some residents were comparing it to oil. Officials said the dark water was caused by sediment from a water tank which had been drained and cleaned for the first time in at least two decades.

Here's the real issue here. Compounding the problem in this small town, population just over 7,000, was that there was almost no one in reliable in authority to call to complain about this because almost every top city official had recently been arrested by the FBI.

The mayor, city manager, city attorney and members of the city council are facing corruption charges for taking bribes and kickbacks. City residents were told the water is safe to drink after testing water samples over the weekend. That's what the city government says what's left of it anyway. The Pop Culture Lead, Bill Cosby's wife was forced to weigh in on the accusations against her husband today despite last minute efforts. Camille Cosby answered questions in a deposition.

Eight women are suing Bill Cosby for defamation that claimed the comedian tried to ruin their reputations by calling them liars after they accused him of sexual assault or rape.

In a separate case, Bill Cosby, faces felony charges of sexual assault in Pennsylvania. He could face a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted.

That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Thanks for watching. I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer who's in a place called "THE SITUATION ROOM."

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, fake video fallout.