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Interview With Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; Interview With Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired January 25, 2017 - 4:30   ET



REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII: In order for any peace agreement, in order for any possibility of a viable piece agreement to occur, there has to be a conversation with him.

The Syrian people will determine his outcome and what happens with their government and their future. But our focus, my focus, my commitment is on ending this war that has caused so much suffering to these Syrian people, to these children, these families, many of whom I met on this trip.

It's important for us to stay focused on doing what is in their best interest, and what is in our best interest, and doing what is necessary to make that happen.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: So, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a friend of yours, also a military veteran, a Republican, he said on Twitter when he heard about your visit -- quote -- "Fact-finding mission, fact, 50,000-plus dead children in Syria. Tulsi Gabbard, I hope you didn't meet with their butcher, Assad."

Now, Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people. You said it is going to be up to the Syrian people. But there really aren't free and fair elections in Syria.

GABBARD: I'll tell you what I heard from the Syrian people that I met with, Jake, walking down the streets in Aleppo, in Damascus, hearing from them.

They expressed happiness and joy at seeing an American walking through their streets. But they expressed a question. They said, why is it that the United States, its allies and other countries are providing support, are providing arms to terrorist groups like al-Nusra, al Qaeda, Ahrar ash-Sham, ISIS, who are on the ground there raping, kidnapping, torturing and killing the Syrian people, children, men, women, people of all ages?

They asked me, why is the United States and its allies supporting these terrorist groups who are destroying Syria, when it was al Qaeda who attacked the United States on 9/11, not Syria? I didn't have an answer for them.

TAPPER: Obviously, the United States government denies providing any sort of help to the terrorist groups that you're talking about. They say they provide help for the rebel groups.


GABBARD: The reality is, Jake, the reality is -- and I'm glad you brought up that point, because this is an often talked about thing by people like Adam Kinzinger and others, saying we have got to support the moderate rebels.

Every place that I went, every person that I spoke to, I asked this question to them, and without hesitation they said there are no moderate rebels. Who are these moderate rebels that people keep speaking of?

Regardless of the name of these groups, the strongest fighting force on the ground in Syria is al-Nusra or al Qaeda and ISIS. That is a fact. There's a number of different other groups. All of them essentially are fighting alongside with or under the command of the strongest group on the ground that's trying to overthrow Assad.

The Syrian people recognize and they know that if President Assad is overthrown, then al Qaeda or a group like al Qaeda that has been killing Christians, killing people simply because of their religion, or because they won't support their terror activities, they will take charge of all of Syria.

This is the reality that the people of Syria are facing on the ground and why they are pleading with us here in the United States to stop supporting these terrorist groups. Let the Syrian people themselves determine their future, not the United States, not some foreign country.

TAPPER: And we have been showing video of your trip, from your trip. In the minute we have left, tell us the most striking image you have from your visit to this war-torn region.

GABBARD: Yes, Jake, you know, the destruction is very real, both on the physical buildings and the things that people have gone through, looking into their eyes and hearing firsthand from a girl who is now 19, but who, when she was 14 years old, these rebels that people say we should continue supporting, they came and kidnapped her.

They raped her multiple times. They killed her father in cold blood right in front of her and her little brother. All she is asking for, literally, is for the United States to stop supporting these so-called rebel groups, stop supporting these terrorists, so that the Syrian people can begin to try to get back to some semblance of normalcy in their lives.

TAPPER: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat of Hawaii, thank you so much. We appreciate your coming and telling us the story.

GABBARD: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: President Trump says he believes torture is an effective way to get intelligence. Will he bring back interrogation tactics like water-boarding and worse? Senator Rand Paul will weigh in next.

Plus, she was a pioneer for women on television. Today, we say goodbye to Hollywood icon Mary Tyler Moore.



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

Continuing with politics now, President Donald Trump telling ABC News earlier today that torture absolutely works and that the U.S. should -- quote -- "fight fire with fire" against terrorists.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence, and I asked them the question, does it work? Does torture work? And the answer was, yes, absolutely.

I want to do everything within the bounds of what you're allowed to do legally. But do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works.


TAPPER: Now, the president added that he will rely upon the counsel of CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense General James Mattis. Mattis has said torture does not work.


Joining me now is Republican Senator Dr. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Senator Paul, thanks for being here.

What is your reaction to what the president had to say about torture?

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: You know, I was comforted about a month ago, when I heard that he had had a conversation with General Mattis, who unequivocally has said that torture doesn't work.

But we have also studied this. The CIA detained 119 people; 39 of them were tortured, and the conclusion of the Senate committee's report was that it didn't work. But there was also something very alarming. Of the 119 people that the CIA detained around the world, 26 of them were mistakenly identified, sometimes with people who had similar names, but they detained the wrong people.

I think most Americans would be alarmed if 22 percent of the people we picked up and tortured were the wrong people. So, yes, I think there is a real problem, one, whether it works or not, but, two, if we get the wrong people, there's no due process. There's no sort of time to say, well, let's have a trial to find out who we have here. So, yes, I'm alarmed by anybody that wants to go back to torture. The people in the Senate who have been tortured, mainly John McCain, don't think torture is a good idea. Also, it's currently against the law, and I hope it will remain against the law.

TAPPER: And correct me if I'm wrong. You voted against CIA Director Pompeo because he left the door open to using what is called enhanced interrogation techniques.

PAUL: That, as well as that I think the CIA needs more oversight.

Our intelligence community has very little oversight. There's only eight members of Congress that truly know what's going on in the CIA, that truly know what's going on as far as covert war around the world. And I really think that war, really, unless there is extraordinary exception, should be fought with the approval of the Congress and the approval of the American people.

That's what our founding fathers thought. They took that power away from the president and they gave it to Congress. They specifically precluded the president from going to war without the approval of Congress.

TAPPER: President Trump is expected to announce some new restrictions on refugees and immigrants with visas from countries that included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya.

You offered similar legislation that was rejected by the Senate in 2015. The effort obviously is to keep out Islamic extremists. But how do you respond to those who say that this legislation will also keep out victims of Islamic extremists, Yazidis, Christians, Muslims who have been terrorized by terrorist groups, including children? What is your response to that criticism?

PAUL: I think that our national defense does begin with protecting the border, not only against just sort of migrants walking across the border that might be dangerous, but also those who are coming as refugees.

And one of the things about the Statue of Liberty and the motto that says bring us your poor and your huddled masses, when my grandparents and great-grandparents came to this country, you came, you had to have a sponsor and you had to work. Many of the people we bring in now, we immediately put in government housing, and really work is not the first order of business.

So, I think if we are able to vet people and know that they are safe to come into the country, they ought to work and they ought to become part of America and have an American sponsor who takes care of them if they can't find a job.

We have a lot of poor, a lot of homeless, a lot of people that we need to take care of who are already in our country. We borrow a million dollars a minute. So, we just can't take of everybody. And I think primarily here there is a national security risk that needs to be addressed. TAPPER: You released your Obamacare replacement plan today. What

would it do with those who now have health insurance because of the Medicaid expansion through Obamacare?

PAUL: Well, most of the people that have gotten any kind of health care under Obamacare have been through Medicaid. But what they did was some dishonest accounting.

They said, oh, the federal government will pay for it, the states don't have to. But in the past, really, the states have been a primary funder of it, and since states don't have a printing press, they have to make decisions based on how much money they have.

But Obama came in as Santa Claus and said, it's free, it's manna from heaven, here, you can have all this federal government money. But there is no money up here.

So, I think we have to be humanitarian. We have to have a heart, we have to try to help our fellow man, but just borrowing more money from China to do it doesn't work. We do have to live within our means at the same time.

So, I think that any kind of Medicaid expansion, the states should say, you know what, if we're going to do this, we're going to have to raise taxes on everybody who lives in the state, and not act as if it's going to be free and we're just going to get it from Washington. There is no money in Washington.

TAPPER: All right, Senator Rand Paul, thank you so much. Always a pleasure to have you on, sir.

PAUL: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Snow and wind and freezing temperatures, and not even the president of the United States able to stop protesters from fighting to halt the Dakota Access pipeline that President Trump just said he wants to happen.

We're going to be live in North Dakota, where protest leaders just met to figure out their next move. Stay with us.



[16:45:00] JAKE TAPPER, CNN THE LEAD ANCHOR: Welcome back. Now, the "NATIONAL LEAD", a new push back against President Trump's executive order to advance major pipeline projects that he says will create more American jobs. One of his orders included a call to expedite land permit reviews for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which of course has protesters braving bitter cold and snow right now. Many are from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who say this pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen to their water and to their sacred lands. CNN's Sara Sidner is live at the protest site near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. And Sara, you just spoke with some of these tribal leaders with Standing Rock, they say President Trump violated the law with his executive order. How so?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's interesting because they say what they think he is trying to do is violate the law. But indeed, in his very memoranda, he says as long as federal laws are followed, and so you have the split. However, there is a very harsh reaction from the tribe about this memoranda, and partly because they believe that what it's really trying to say is that he's going to go ahead and try to push this plan through that they have been fighting.

[16:49:54] I want to give you some idea of what the camp looks like now because as you remember I was here talking to you just a month, ago and it looks very different. There were thousands, 10,000 people that were here. Now, it's about 500, and it's been a very subdued reaction from the folks who have been inside of this camp, Jake. They have not come out in big numbers to protest this. They have not gone and had clashes with police or on the other side or the National Guard right now. What they're doing is they are sitting there trying to figure out what to do next, and whether or not President Trump or anyone in his administration wants to hear their voices or will react to their voices. And we asked Dave Archambault, who is the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe himself if he thinks that the president will take into account anything the protesters have been asking for or demanding.


DAVE ARCHAMBAULT, STANDING ROCK SIOUX TRIBE CHAIRMAN: He values money. He doesn't value people. So, he's not going to hear anybody when they're talking. But if you hear a cha-ching, he's going to turn his head. It might mess his hair up, but he's going to turn his head. It's money that drives this man, and that's the scary thing for this nation.


SIDNER: The end there, talking about it being scary, and that is the theme of the day, that people are frightened about what's going to happen next and they're not sure of their next move. But they do know one thing, Jake, they are going to fight. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Sara Sidner. Buckle up, we're going to come to you a lot of times over the next few weeks and months. Thanks so much.

She rose to fame on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and later broke barriers in her own television show, playing an unmarried career woman. A look at Mary Tyler Moore's life and career, next.


[16:55:00] TAPPER: We're back with more on our "POP CULTURE LEAD". The beloved actress Mary Tyler Moore has died at 80 years old. Here to talk more about her life and her legacy is one of the most popular T.V. stars of all time, actor Henry Winkler. Mr. Winkler, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.


TAPPER: So, before there was "The Fonz", people might not know this, your big break in Hollywood, was appearing on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show". We're showing some of it right now. Tell us about it.

WINKLER: I landed on September 18th, 1973 in Los Angeles. Five days later, I got a four-line part on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show", which was at the time, one of the most popular shows on all of television.

TAPPER: And what was it like working with Mary Tyler Moore? If you were so green and she was such an icon?

WINKLER: Well, first of all, because she was an icon, she was very warm. And what the team that was there was very supportive. And, you know, she was a powerhouse. She and her husband at the time, Grant Tinker, just dominated the television landscape with Mary Tyler Moore productions.

TAPPER: In the 70s, you were an icon and she was an icon. I don't know how much you got to know her at all, but what do you think her impact was on the T.V. landscape at the time?

WINKLER: Well, one thing for sure is that she had the most incredible comic timing. You know, before the "Mary Tyler Moore Show", there was "The Dick Van Dyke Show" on which she was a major force. And she opened the door along with Lucille Ball for unbelievable comic women to come in and know that, yes, they could lead on a T.V show.

TAPPER: What would -- what do you think you're going to miss most about her as someone who knew her and also as a - as a fan?

WINKLER: You know, I would have to say that the -- missing her being, of course, no longer being here on earth, but we do have the wonderfulness of all of her episodes on the, you know, on television, and you can enjoy her wonderful sense of humor forever.

TAPPER: Are there any episodes or any performances of hers that resonated with you? I was just thinking the other day about the episode -- and this might just be because I'm a journalist, the episode where she goes to jail to protect a source in -- on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show".

WINKLER: You know, the idea of -- I just like the whole entire body of work. I don't have one episode, but every time I see either "Dick Van Dyke" or the "Mary Tyler Moore Show", it is just magical. You start watching and then you don't stop until the end. You walk into a room, it's on T.V., you sit down, and then you're there until the end.

TAPPER: We're showing a picture right now of her and Dick Van Dyke. I remember watching my first few episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" when I was a kid. Boy, she really was the hero of that show, Laura Petrie. WINKLER: Well, you know, the thing is that you can't have one without the other, you know. You have to have the yin and the yang. So, her completing the circle was "Dick Van Dyke" made that show magical. And then, of course, everybody else added in the mix. TAPPER: And then she went on to bring down that iconic role. She was

nominated for an Academy Award in "Ordinary People". Henry Winkler, thank you so much. An honor to talk to you, sir.

WINKLER: Thank you so much. And I'm so sorry it's under this circumstance.

TAPPER: Yes, me too. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, @JakeTapper, or you can tweet the show, @TheLeadCNN. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I turn you over now to one Mr. Wolf Blitzer. He's in "THE SITUATION ROOM". Thanks for watching.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN THE SITUATION ROOM HOST: Happening now, breaking news. Wall paper: President Trump signs orders for the construction of a border law insisting Mexico --