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Former "Apprentice" Stars to Trump: You're Fired; Navy Commander: Alarming Russian Submarine Buildup; North Korean Missile Launch Fails on Founder's Birthday; Can Puerto Rico Be Saved?; Czech Republic Wants Shorter, Snappier Name; Study: Heartburn Meds Linked To Kidney Disease. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired April 15, 2016 - 16:30   ET


[16:30:00] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Patti and Ben, your response.

BEN WIKLER, WASHINGTON DIRECTOR, MOVEON.ORG: He's literally inciting people to violence, and then they are committing acts of violence.

That's not just rhetoric, that's incitement. This is a genuinely dangerous moment for politics and there are people that have been the victim of that kind of hate.

SCIUTTO: David, I have to ask you to respond to that, because you don't just hear that from Democrats, you hear that from members of Donald Trump's own party.

DAVID WOHL, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, I mean, he's had more -- far more violence directed toward him and his supporters than the other way around. I mean, when's the last time you saw conservative Trump supporters storming a Bernie Sanders or a Hillary Clinton rally and attacking them or vandalizing their property? It doesn't happen.

So, when something happens at his campaign, which he has no control over, one of the rallies, somebody punches one of the protesters, then Donald Trump is held accountable even though he has no absolutely for it. So it sticks to him because he's Donald Trump and because he's a conservative Republican. It just doesn't stick the other way around. But people see through that now.

SCIUTTO: Ron, today, the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, told CNN that he would rather see the party, the GOP, whether it is Trump or Cruz or Kasich, run against Hillary Clinton as opposed to Bernie Sanders. But a new FOX News poll, it shows that both Trump and Cruz, you look at the numbers, losing in matchups to Hillary Clinton.

So, first of all, your response to that. Who would you rather run against?

RON NEHRING, NATIONAL SPOKESMAN, TED CRUZ FOR PRESIDENT: Well, you know, typically people in one party are not very good at choosing their opponents inside the other party because the political dynamic within the other party really is so, you know, so different than it is inside of our own.

So, regardless, of which socialist the Democrats nominate, whether it's the socialist Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, we'll be prepared for that ultimately at the end of the day because the American people don't want to have another eight years of the se type of failed big government leadership, you know, and agenda that's come out of the Obama administration which has been largely supported by both of the Democratic candidates on their side.

What we want the discussion to be going forward is a discussion about serious economic reform in this country, taking the boot off of the neck of small business that is so vital in order to create jobs in America. That's what we want the campaign to be about, both on the Republican side as well as in the general election against presumably Hillary Clinton, although if she continues losing, it won't be her.

SCIUTTO: Hold that thought. Patti Solis Doyle, the socialist Hillary Clinton you heard him say.

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR/HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: That's just -- that's just ridiculous. First of all, be careful, Reince what you wish for in getting Hillary Clinton because she is beating Donald Trump, she's beating Ted Cruz.

And if you look at Donald Trump's unfavorable numbers, he's in the 70s and 80s with Hispanics, with women, with African-American. Hillary Clinton is building that broad coalition of support and, you know, I just think we're looking -- if it's a Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump race, I think we're looking at a blowout.

SCIUTTO: All right. Patti Solis Doyle, Ben Wikler, Ron Nehring, David Wohl -- thanks for joining us now.

Coming up next, the return of Red October. Growing concerns about what the Russian military is doing underwater. It turns out there hasn't been this much Russian submarine activity in more than 20 years, since the Cold War.


[16:37:36] SCIUTTO: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jim Sciutto.

Breaking news today in our world lead: the U.S. is warning of increased Russian offensive submarine activity deep into the Atlantic Ocean and beyond.

In an exclusive interview, America's top navy commander in Europe tells me that Russian sub capability is at a level not seen since the Cold War. This comes after a Russian jet fighter buzzed the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea on Monday, coming within just 30 feet of the Navy destroyer at very high speeds -- just the latest example of Moscow flexing its military muscle across the globe.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): Russia is deploying its ballistic missile and attack submarines in numbers, range and aggression not seen in two decades. In an exclusive interview, the commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe tells CNN the buildup is part of an alarming strategic view.

ADMIRAL MARK FERGUSON, COMMANDER, U.S. NAVAL FORCES EUROPE: They're very clear that NATO is viewed as an existential threat to Russia. Our military capability they view in a very visceral way as a threat to Russia.

SCIUTTO: Adding to U.S. concern, Russia is deploying new submarines that are harder for U.S. naval forces to track and detect. Following years and billions of dollars in investment, they are quieter, better armed and have a greater range of operation.

FERGUSON: The submarines that we're seeing are much more stealthy, they're acoustically quieter. We're seeing them have more advanced weapons systems, missile systems that can attack land at long ranges.

SCIUTTO: The increased Russian sub activity is backed by a much broader military expansion. Russia is adding or upgrading some 12 naval bases across the Arctic Circle, expanding its capability to send subs in numbers through the crucial Greenland-Iceland-U.K. gap in the Atlantic, and closer to U.S. and NATO territorial waters.

Moscow has newly stationed six submarines in the Black Sea, giving Russia new capability into the Mediterranean. The U.S. believes the new activity is designed to deny NATO, including the U.S., the ability to operate within Russia's so-called near abroad.

FERGUSON: What we see in these operations, it's -- one, it's focused on protecting the maritime flanks of Russia but also denying NATO the ability to operate within the maritime flanks as well. I'm speaking of the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and areas in far north Atlantic, around Norway.

SCIUTTO: Increasingly alarmed by Russia's new sub deployments, the U.S. and its allies are launching new training exercises in anti-sub warfare, and deploying new systems, including the P-8 Poseidon.

CNN got an exclusive trip on the Navy's most advanced sub hunter last May.

(on camera): These are sonar buoys dropped into the water to track submarines. The plane can be equipped with torpedoes to destroy those submarines.

(voice-over): Russia's growing military activity extends above the surface as well. A Russian fighter jet's fly-by of the USS Donald Cook coming within 30 feet laterally and 100 feet vertically is behavior that U.S. naval commanders have not witnessed since the Cold War.

FERGUSON: We had issued radio calls in both English and Russian. And the aircraft didn't respond, and proceeded on a course directly at the ship. So, while we've seen these interactions before, this one was different because of the proximity to the ship, the altitude and the flight path that it took.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SCIUTTO: The former NATO supreme allied commander for Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, told me that with this expansion of Russian capability, it is impossible for the U.S. to have 100 percent vision on all those Russian military subs, alarming to many U.S. officials.

Well, North Korea's tough talk followed by a belly flop. It appears that Pyongyang's attempt to fire an intermediate range missile failed. This has to be disappointing if not embarrassing for the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, especially due to the timing. The celebratory missile launch was supposed to happen on one of the most significant holidays for North Korea.

Let's go now to CNN correspondent Will Ripley. He's live in Pyongyang, North Korea, which he visits very frequently.

Will, has North Korea made any sort of official acknowledging this failed missile launch?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have not. More than 24 hours now, Jim, after the United States and South Korea say this attempt happened, there has been no announcement on state media, no government acknowledgement this even happened, even though there was speculation and intelligence on the United States side for days that North Korea was preparing for this, they were rolling this mobile missile launcher into position.

We were invited into the country at the last minute, perhaps to cover the day of the sun celebrations, the birthday of North Korea's founder, Kim Il-sung, but also perhaps to be here in the event of a triumphant moment on a major public holiday. And often, the North Korean regime we've seen in the past, they time these major show of forces on public holidays or major events.

For example, in January, just a couple of days before Kim Jong-un's birthday there was that reported H-bomb test. One month later, he ordered a satellite launch into space on a long-range rocket. He is just a matter of weeks away from the first Workers Party Congress since 1980 where he's expected to gain perhaps even more power and reshuffle the party. So, he's clearly trying to project strength not only to his own country but also to the outside world.

And something like this happening on a major holiday, a big disappointment for the regime, indeed, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, we know that in the past, some members of Kim Jong- un's regime, and very close to the leader paid a price for failures or perceived failures. Is there precedent for failed launches like this that someone is kicked out or even worse?

RIPLEY: Well, certainly the most famous example of that would be Kim Jong-un's own uncle who was executed back in 2013. Disloyalty is certainly something that has punished and the North Korean regime has acknowledged that. There were rumors of dozens of purges of Kim Jong- un's inner circle.

When it comes to the scientists who are developing this military technology and other technology in the country, there are significant rewards for people who are -- who excel in the scientific field. There's an entire housing complex just behind me hidden by the buildings there, but brand new high rises that are built specifically for scientists. They have their own vacation resorts here in the country. There are a lot of incentives for them to succeed.

And even if a particular mission or launch may have failed, of course, part of the North Korean mentality in this culture is that you pick yourself up and keep marching forward, you learn from your mistakes. So, perhaps the people working on this project were not successful this time around, but they will certainly be tasked to try to learn from what happened and attempt this mobile missile launch again. They believe it was a midrange missile that blew up in midair. So, don't be surprised in the coming months to see this happen all over again.

Remember, back in 2012 in April, there was a spectacular failure right when Kim Jong-un, shortly after he took power when he tried to launch a satellite into space in April of 2012. It blew up in midair, but eight months later they had another launch, a successful launch. They put an earth observation satellite into a tumbling orbit and then they did it again this year.

[16:45:03] So, North Korea, despite heightened sanctions and international pressure, continues pushing forward very aggressively expanding its weapons program.

SCIUTTO: A lot of pressure to get it right the next time internally. Will Ripley, thanks very much in Pyongyang.

Maybe you should hold on to that old iPhone. Apple is admitting it has made millions of dollars off out of date phones. What's inside those phones that's so valuable?

Plus a new warning to one of the most prescribed medications in the world. Could something you take every day cause kidney failure?



SCIUTTO: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Now for our National Lead, how much would you pay to protect paradise? If you think Puerto Rico fits the bill, the cost would be around $70 billion.

That is the amount of debt the American territory owes after decades of recession and mismanagement. It is on the brink of financial collapse now. So will Washington step in to avoid disaster and allow Puerto Rico to restructure that debt?

House Speaker Paul Ryan held closed door meetings on a proposed bill today before reassuring taxpayers that the plan will not include a bailout.

Now, Congress was set to vote on exactly how to help Puerto Rico earlier this week, but lawmakers stalled saying they needed more time. For our segment on "America's Debt and Economy," Jake Tapper sat down with Puerto Rico's governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, in Washington to discuss exactly what's at stake.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Puerto Ricans in Congress said there will be more stability going forward?

GOVERNOR ALEJANDRO GARCIA PADILLA, PUERTO RICO: Yes, of course, but we need the tools. Congress is not offering a bailout for Puerto Rico. We are not asking a bailout.

TAPPER: What are you asking for?

PADILLA: Restructuring tools. As you have here a way to bring creditors to the table and restructure the debt. Any action from Congress when it's dealing with an economy's recovery.

TAPPER: How have the people of Puerto Rico been affected by this economic crisis?

PADILLA: For example, last week almost 10,000 kids weren't able to get to school because we haven't been able to pay the drivers. We haven't been able to empty septic tanks in public school and we are having an overflow that aggravate the issue of Zika. It's now a humanitarian crisis.


SCIUTTO: That old world Atlas, which you probably don't own could become even more of a relic. The Czech Republic wants to make some aesthetics changes to their name going from the Czech Republic to just Czechia.

President, prime minister, heads of parliament and foreign and defense ministers signed off on the name last night. Now the Cabinet must also approve Czechia before it can be submitted all the way to the United Nations.

Some critics might say Czechia sounds a little too similar to the Russian republic, Chechnya. However, it is fairly common for countries to be known by shorter names.

We know the Republic of France is just France. We know U.S.A., United States of America, is U.S.A. or sometimes America. So the Czechs have the right too.

Our Money Lead today, in case you were worried that Apple wasn't making enough money, they came up with a way to make a ton of gold, literally. In its annual environmental report released this week, Apple says it recovered more than 2,000 pounds of gold recycled from iPhones and iPads last year.

That is $40 million dollars' worth. The company also collected 48 million pounds of steel, plastic and glass, slightly less valuable. Apple says it reuses many of those materials it extracts from those recycled gadgets to put into new iPhones.

Medications like Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid are all familiar and they may prevent heartburn, but now those drugs could be tied to a very serious and sometimes deadly disease. That's right after this.



SCIUTTO: Welcome back. In more national news, they were the murders that sent a wave of panic through 1960s California. Today, more than four decades later, a former homecoming queen who fell under Charles Manson's spell may get out.

Leslie (inaudible) one of Manson's youngest family members who brutally murdered the Labianco couple is one step closer to freedom today after 19 rejections for parole, a California board is recommending she now being released.

The board describing her as a model prisoner and planning to review the decision in the coming months. She's now 66 years old. She's been in prison since 1971.

If you were planning to celebrate the weekend with some pizza loaded with jalapenos and a cold one, you may want to change your plans. A common medicine to stave off heartburn may do much more harm than good.

In fact, a new study says taking these common drugs like Prilosec and Prevacid could put you at a higher risk of a serious kidney disease. The worst case scenario includes kidney failure.

I want to bring in CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen. So Elizabeth, this new warning has to hit close to home with millions of Americans, it's prescribed so commonly. So why the change now?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Jim, let's take a look at this because it might not be as scary as it sounds. Let's just jump right into the numbers.

In this study done by folks at the Veterans Administration, what they found was that 15 percent of the folks who were taking Prilosec, or those kinds of drugs that were called protein pump inhibitors, they ended up getting chronic kidney disease.

When you look at another type of drug, the type of drug that Zantac would belong to, that was only 11 percent. So it's 15 percent versus 11 percent. That is a significant difference, it is not a gigantic difference.

It's important to remember in the study these were men who were getting it by prescription. Those are higher doses than what a lot of people take when just go to their neighborhood drugstore, plus they were sick enough to need a prescription and also tended to be older. So you see that 15 percent which is 11 percent difference when you look at both getting kidney disease. So the question becomes what should I do? The first thing you want to do is not go off of them cold turkey. That can make the problem worse.

You want to talk to your doctor. Ask if you can take a Zantac type of drug. Many people, it's not going to work, but for some people it might work and they do seem to be possibly lower risk.

You can also talk to your doctor about getting kidney function checked. It's relatively easier to do and might put your mind at ease -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Important because so many of our viewers are taking that right now. Elizabeth Cohen, great to have you on in New York.

That is it for THE LEAD today. I am Jim Sciutto in today for Jake Tapper. I turn you over now to the very capable hands of Wolf Blitzer. He's, as always, in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news, dishonest and disloyal. Former "Apprentice" contestants tell Donald Trump, you're fired, accusing him of racism, violence and hate.