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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  January 19, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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according to the report this is largely due to regulation of health care, finance and energy. it's worth noting this is a report from the conservative heritage foundation. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i'll see you next week. hello, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield. two big stories. new terror concerns for everyone heading to the sochi olympic games. weeks before they begin, cnn obtained an ominous video from terrorists at the heart of the concern. back in this country, another allegation against governor chris christie's office." the mayor of hoboken said the mayor withheld relief funds
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after superstorm sandy. details on both stories start now. we begin with breaking news out of russia and that terror tape. here is what the new threat says in part. quote, as for your olympics, something that you really want, we prepared a present for you. you do your business and we'll do ours. we prepared a present for you and all tourists who come over, end quote a video online shows two men who claim to be the suicide bombers behind one of last month's bloody bombings in volgograd, russia. the video is adding to fear russia won't be able to stop a terror attack. phil, give us more about this video and how it was uncovered. >> reporter: fred, so this video shows two men who claimed credit
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for the bombing in volgograd who killed 21 people on the 30th of december. more, they touched on they promised there was more to come. in that very ominous language they say they have a present traveling to sochi, for tourists. they say they have prepared this for the response and blood for all muslims they say have been spilled across the world. she say they have a list of people involved in this who are prepared to help them and take part in these kinds of actions, enough for effectively an attack every day. an ominous first of all taking credit for the attacks that took place here so brazenly but also promising more to come in the sochi olympics. >> what is the government saying pout how this tape is changing
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this security game plan. >> they haven't commented on this video specifically. when it came to the attacks the men in this video are claiming credit for, the russian officials said they does not change the game plan for sochi because they believe they have everything possible in place. what you did see was a big steppup in security in volgograd, transport hubs. what that showed was the vulnerability, not so much in sochi. a theory suggests if the men thought they could have struck sochi they would have. what it highlighted was vulnerabilities that exist in other heavily populated parts of russia, and the challenge of protecting such a vast country, so many cities, so many vulnerable targets during the olympic. >> in what way has security been beefed up because of these new
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vulnerabilities? >> you've seen a much more visible security presence particularly in volgograd. particularly you see a lot of that tomorrow. the olympic flag arrives in volgograd just a few weeks after those terror attacks here, which i say killed 34 people. interestingly will be arriving by train coming into the same train station that was attacked on december 29th. we're expecting to see a large security presence. there's a sign for that. >> thanks so much. russia may be flooding sochi with more security. that apparently is not good enough for two u.s. lawmakers. they sit on the intelligence committees for house and san mateo. they say they worry russia is really not up to -- not prepared for these serious kerns and threats at the olympic games. >> so what we're finding is not
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giving full story about what are the threat streams, who do we need to worry about. are the terror groups who have success, are they plotting. there's a missing gap. you never want that when you go into something as important as the olympic games. >> i would not go, and i don't think i would send my family. i don't know how you put a percentage on it. it's such a rich target in an area of the world. they have almost broadcast they are going to try to do something there. >> the fear of a terror attack at the games will be hanging over these olympics from the opening ceremonies and all the way to the closing former cia operative and cnn national security analyst robert bair joining me from los angeles with more on this. bottom line, is it your feeling, a, this had threat is credible. how concerned are you about anyone who may be going to these olympic games? >> i think it's absolutely
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credible. i think these people will strike somewhere in russia, probably not olympic city orvilrville arnlgs. i wouldn't go to russia or st. petersburg. when they say they will hit, they will. there's no way they can protect from this. they have been trying to deal with this for years and failed. >> even though putin has said he has security under control, that seven known terrorists have been killed recently leading up to these games to make sure to ensure these will be a secure games? >> fredricka, they cannot control caucuses, in the rest of russia, volgograd, chechens,
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dagestanis. they can't do it. they simply can't protect russia during these games. >> how much might russia allow, whether it be u.s. intelligence or intelligence from other countries, to assist during these games, to try to secure many tourists and athletes who are on their way? >> the russian have never been cooperative about internal security. they say don't bother us, ask us, we're not going to give you anything. we're not going to let you in our situation room. we're not going to get much cooperation at all. we have to take it on faith. frankly i've worked with the russians before, i don't think they can do it. >> what does it mean when the president said there's an evacuation plan whether for u.s. athletes or other athletes if, indeed, something were to happen. what do you envision that means. >> an evacuation plan doesn't sound good to me. sounds like people running for it during an attack. that's not reassuring.
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he's saying we'll keep you safe but we can't guarantee it. >> i think most athletes and tourists would think if there's going to be a secure location it would be in that olympic perimeter in sochi. you're saying not only is sochi vulnerable but tourists outside are in trouble. >> fredricka, it's targets of opportunity, tourist buses, train stations, airports, even airplanes themselves. they can get suicide bombers on these airplanes. they have in the past and they are going to try it will the russian intelligence isn't good enough to take care of it. i'm sure of it. >> this volgograd attack that took place in december, what was the strategy by the terrorists, to do this leading up to the games, make everybody uneasy or to send a message this is a prelude for more? >> absolutely it's a well coordinated military-style
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attack. two targets right in the heart of russia. you know, get people like me on tv saying it's not safe to go but it's not. they want to wreck the olympics for the russians and they are starting to do it. >> very sobering, unsettling for the millions who will be extendidisten descending on sochi or starting to descend on sochi. bob baer, thank you for that. now to our other top stories. >> holding our sandy funds hostage. you have the christie administration using their authority to try and get something. >> that is the hoboken mayor dawn zimmer making stung allegations against new jersey governor chris christie. zimmer standing next to christie in videotape you see right here told cnn state of the union today christie's office is paying politics with sandy relief money. the governor's office is already
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denying it. following this tore live from washington, what more do we know about the mayor's claims and how she will substantiate them. >> reporter: fred, the mayor went farther than before. on cnn she's tying governor christie chris directly to the threats of retaliation. the alleged retaliation from christie's team happened seven months ago. on the state of the union hoboken mayor dawn zimmer told candy crowley why she's coming forward now. >> i was worried no one would believe me and we'd really be cut out of sandy. i see parallel. >> was held hostage until she pushed through a project by rockefeller group, a real estate developer with ties to the new jersey governor. >> after this hoboken event in may in a nearby parking lot, zimmer says christie's
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lieutenant governor communicated what she said was a message that came from christie himself. >> she came and she made a direct threat to me. the lieutenant governor pulled me aside and said essentially you've got to move forward with the rockefeller project. this project is really important to the governor. she said that she had been with him on friday night and that this was a direct message from the governor. >> then zimmer says she told her this. >> you tell anyone, i'll deny it. it's stunning. it's outrageous but it's true. i stand by my word. >> she said her account is backed up by a journal entry she wrote at the time about the conversation. said about christie, i thought he was honest, moral. this week i found out he's cut from the same corrupt cloth i've been fighting for the last four years. the governor's office in a statement called zimmer's characterization of the conversation categorically
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false. mayors with a political axe to grind come out of the wood word and try to get their faces on telephone. zimmer says christie and their team are hiding behind spokespeople but believes the lieutenant governor will eventually confirm her account. >> i believe if and when she's asked to testify under oath the truth will come out. i believe she will be truthful and she will tell the truth. >> the mayor says she feels so strongly she will testify under oath and she bandits a formal investigation to her claims. >> we'll talk more about this this hour, thank you so much in washington. meantime, severe weather situations. no affect in sight for drought stricken california. the state is getting baked with no change in forecast. the governor says it's the worst dry spell in 100 years.
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the impact felt far outside of california. expect higher prices for produce from california in grocery stores. an suv driver chased down and beaten by a group of drivers will file a lawsuit against the city of new york. the man claims the city was negligent in hiring and training its police officers. prosecutors say some off duty police officers allegedly participated in the attack in december. the driver's wife and 2-year-old daughter in that suv. the family is seeking more than $75,000 each in damages. a postal workers union threatening protests and boycotts against staples stores. according to associated press report the union disapproves of postal service retail in the stores. the postal centers are staffed by staples employees not workers. the union says that replaces good paying union jobs with low paying none union workers. the postmaster general says the
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program is about driving up demand for the agency's products. all right. it was a star-studded night at the screen actor's guild. "american hustle" had a great night. a week after golden globes it won the big one, outstanding cast. matthew mcconaughey dallas buyers club and cate blanchett for "blue jasmine." governor christie faces new allegations. what would hurt his popularity among his constituents? across america people are taking charge
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the bottom line the christie administration's response is deflection. the major question is did they connect sandy funding, hoboken sandy funding to the rockefeller project. the fact is that is what they did. i'm coming forward. i'm sharing my story directly. i'm here talking to you. i'm sharing my journal, offering to testify under oath. what are they doing? hiding behind spokespeople. in fact lieutenant governor reached directly and she declined to comment. i believe if and when she is asked to testify under oathish the truth will come out. >> new allegations against new jersey chris christie on state of the union hoboken's mayor accused the christie administration of holding back sandy aid unless she backed a redevelopment project favored by the governor. the governor's office is denying this. how might this affect christie's popularity and the way he does his job.
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joining me now editorial director on cnn's political analyst and larhow damaging cou this be as he loose to run for presidency? >> depends whether substantiated in further investigations. there's no question these are very serious charges. very serious on their own terms, more serious when they occur in combination in the allegations about the bridge. what it does is create a pattern of behavior he's being accused of. this is, i think, a very serious moment for him. we know these are going to be investigated by the state legislature. we've heard the mayor be very unequivocal, i will testify under oath.
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a new chapter has opened that is more serious than where he's been so far. >> the mayor challenging governor christie's office and the mayor saying hiding behind spokespeople is not going to work. at some point he will address this. certainly won't happen during his swearing in ceremony. does he deny this or come clean about her allegations? >> there's obviously going to be an investigation or two or three. i agree with ron. this is very serious. in my view it's actually more serious than bridgegate as it connects to chris christie. >> why? >> no one has alleged with any evidence that chris christie was an instigator of the closing of the lanes on the bridge. this ties directly to christie. i watched all of candy crowley's interview with mayor zimmer. just as i found christie
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credible at his press conference, i found mayor zimmer very credible in this interview. the testimony she presented, was powerful. the lieutenant governor isn't any old aide, this is someone christie picked and is known to be close to him. >> in fact, zimmer saying if you tell anyone i'll deny it. at the same time the mayor said if she were to be subpoenaed, testify, she would likely tell the truth that yes, she was told she wasn't getting funding in exchange for not supporting the governor. >> the mayor has thrown down a gauntlet by saying i will testify under oath. i believe the lieutenant governor will have to validate my story if she testifies under oath. as larry pointed out, the real
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breakthrough, what makes it much more high-stakes for christie, he's tied directly to the activity. the argument that i was told the governor said this was a priority for him. we know, larry wrote a great book about this seven or eight months ago. we know there's more tolerance for public officials than they used to. having said that, these allegations are serious ones and could have a material effect. certainly if proven out, these are serious questions. >> are these serious it comes on the heels whether chris christie misspent sandy money to air television commercials also in the view of some people used as campaign ads for him, ron? >> well, i think, again, i think larry would agree it's the overall pattern that becomes the risk. all of these allegations revolve
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around the idea of improperly using state power to other ends. what's interesting about that, that's something that not only draws from the left but libertarians like rand paul making high from the other direction. we know there's no love lost between the two of them to begin with. >> so larry, is the governor isolated? is it difficult for him to try to get the support of leading republicans? at this juncture it seems very few of willing to come to his aid because he's always been the kind of guy doing it his way. >> that's certainly true. he got a third of the democratic vote, which is extraordinary. no democratic official is going to come to his aid at this point. as for republicans he's potentially facing if he still runs for president, facing half dozen or more opponents. let me tell you something. with these allegations, the tv ads the republicans will use against him in iowa and new
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hampshire are writing themselves. they are potentially very powerful. >> interesting. larry, ron brownstein, good to see both you gentlemen, appreciate it. >> thanks. still ahead, california's devastating drought. why it could help divers solve a decades old mystery. peoi go to angie's listt for all kinds of reasons. to gauge whether or not the projects will be done in a timely fashion and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town. you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare. now that we're expecting, i like the fact i can go onto angie's list and look for pediatricians. the service providers that i've found on angie's list actually have blown me away. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
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california's severe drought
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is spreading so rapidly it's now engulfed the entire state. everything is bone dry and ripe for wildfires. cnn's ken law spoke with one resident who fled the flames and returned to smoldering ruins of his home. >> what is this, all this stuff we're looking at? >> this is my bedroom. >> what was his bedroom, before the colby wildfire swept through the foothills. firefighters continue to battle the blaze as alex larson returned home to what's gone learning firsthand the fury of california's drought. >> it's a ticking time bomb. something happens it would be one lightning bulb. >> charred hills in los angeles to the dried out lake beds of the central valley, hills of the dairy farm, the state's drought is palpable and painful. >> this is the worst year i've ever seen. >> farmers pressured california's governor to act. he says while he can't make it
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rain, he can declare a state of emergency. >> this takes everybody pitching in. >> the message, everyone cut back on water by 20%. the state's reservoirs are at critical levels setting record lows. snow packs are 80% lower than normal, only get worse. areas of extreme drought expanded in just one week. the hills across california are brown. in january this is usually all green. it's summer weather in winter here. that hurts everyone. about half the nation's fruits, nuts, vegetables come from california. as the farms wilt, so does the country's food supply. prices, they are on decline. we're waiting for rain, praying, we're going to do a rain dance. >> there may be no other option as the forecast offers no immediate relief the ever
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browning golden state. cnn, los angeles. >> to understand why california's drought is so relentless, lets turn to jennifer gray in the "weather center." >> fred, this drought is not something that's going to get better overnight. we need rain and a lot of it. this high pressure is what's causing things to be so dry over the past couple of months. this has been the dominant weather feature. it's brought in very warm air and very dry air. that's where we're going to stay. temperatures hot in the middle of the week. 15 above normal. san diego, you, too, you'll be running 10 degrees above normal. look at these records. we've shattered records all across california. this is saturday, high temperatures in the mid-80s across california. we even broke records in oakland at 67 degrees. it's been warm in the west, cold
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in the east. a very different story setting up. 62 on monday. much of the south looking nice. look at that high, 39, should be 52 this time of year. look at new york city, 42 on monday, 21 your high temperature on wednesday. fred. >> thanks so much, jennifer. so the drought is transforming parts of california into a baron landscape with lakes being muddy puddles. there are benefits as a large reservoir dries up using low levels to search for a plane crash." here is kcra. >> reporter: exhausted they pulled their boats out of the lake. with water levels lower than normal, searchers were hoping to find the wreckage of a small plane with the remains of three people still inside.
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they can't say they found the plane but they didn't leave empty handed. >> we are going to regroup. there's several images captured, points in the lake we will evaluate. >> reporter: the plane crashed into the water on new year's day 1965. volunteer divers set out to help after talking to relatives of the passengers still missing. >> you could see in their faces when they were talking with them this morning, they really want to bring it to an end. >> even though water levels were down, divers said they could barely see anything. >> visibility was so bad, usually we'd run into tree branches before we'd see them. >> since the fuselage has been badly damaged and sitting under water for half a century, they aren't sure what shape to be looking for. a number of people standing along the shoreline, even though they didn't know the victims, might be an upside to the shrinking lake. >> eventually lower and lower and they will find what they are
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looking for. >> that was kevin oliver in sacramento. the olympics begins inside three weeks. how safe will the athletes and spectators be? we'll go live to russia next. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street the old dining table at 25th and hoffman. ...and the little room above the strip mall off roble avenue. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪
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new video reveals terrorists
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have put a big bull's eye on the olympic games in sochi. in the video two young men believed to be suicide bombers that attacked volgograd, russia, just a month ago make an ominous threat. they promise a present for any tourist who goes to the game in revenge for the muslim blood spilled. russia's president said he's determined to keep the games safe with 40,000 security officers. >> translator: if we show weakness and fear it will help terrorist achieve goals. i believe we should make joint efforts fighting against terrorist acts and killing of innocent people. our task as organizers is to provide security for participants and guests of the sochi olympic games and we are going to do everything for it. >> president putin is confident the games will be safe. are other russians as confident.
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phil black joining me from volgograd. do other russians share his confidence about the games that everything will be all right? >> fred, there is certainly concern in volgograd among some people the uptech which this city felt the sharp edge is result of the olympic games, the olympics are responsible. the russian government's dedication to hold olympics in this game when there's ongoing insurgency they believe has triggered the attacks we've seen. so people representative entirely happy here. no. there is a theory that suggest the attacks that took place at the end of december which killed 34 people attacking a train station and trolley bus. they believe if possible those terrorists would have struck in sochi if they believe they could have done so. we know the security bubble in sochi is very, very tight.
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what these can attacks here showed is the big question mark that sits over the rest of the country. other cities, transport hougs, civilian areas where there's lots of people, as we've seen and as these people have shown there is clearly vulnerability. there is concern about russians here about what could be to come. >> phil, are russians saying they still want to go to the games? >> well, there's always been something of a mixed reaction here. we spent a lot of time in sochi. there's a mix of people very excited about it. still, consider a party and want russia to put their best possible face to the world and are proud of their country and so forth. people are concerned about what the bacteria will be, both in a security sense, as we've seen, about the vast amount of money spent on these games. an estimated $50 billion, perhaps where else that money
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could have been spent more effectively than on hosting the olympic. so certainly a mix. the expect aig is that once the games kick off, a lot of russians are going to get behind it. they like their country a great deal and want to see it put on its best possible face to the world, fred. >> thanks very much. as you mentioned earlier, the torch will be making its way through volgograd tomorrow. security also heightened. back in this country he says he's not a bully. new jersey's embattled governor chris christie is facing allegations he bullied another mayor. that story straight ahead. the recent increase in cafeteria prices is not cool. when you vote for flo, we'll have discounts. ice-cream discounts. multi-cookie discounts. pizza loyalty discounts! [ kids chanting "flo!" ] i also have some great ideas on car insurance. [ silence ]
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gives you what you need to move forward to your point "c". capella university. start your journey at governor chris christie facing new allegations he mostly sunny used sandy money. the funds withheld unless the mayor backed a project he supported. here is what she said at the state of the union. >> you have the christie administration using their authority to try and get something. i don't know what they were trying to get in the bridgegate, i know they were trying to get in hoboken. they were holding sandy funds hostage to push through and expedite the rockefeller project. >> so she is saying chris christie's office ordered that
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happen. so these new claims come as christie is already knee-deep in a scandal over lane closures on the washington bridge. how much damage does this do to the popular governor? i'm joined by cnn commentator mark lamont hill and cnn commentator lz granderson. >> good to see you. >> appears with these new allegations there's a pattern alleged here. mark, how does this governor combat that? >> a few things. one has to refute at all cost, a partisan attack. obviously democrats saw hip as vulnerable after bridgegate. chris christie says they are just piling on now. there is an element of truth to this. i don't know the hoboken mayor, i assume she is. i don't know why she should lie. there's an element many politicians do this, force the hands of smalltown mayors to get what they want. is it politically and ethically
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apart, absolutely. chris christie isn't alone here so he needs to frame this as a partisan attack. >> lz, is this in your view the way politics unfolds? >> you know, a few weeks ago, i got in trouble with a lot of conservatives. in talking about president obama i said all politicians lie. it depends whose lies you can live with. let me repeat that. anyone shocked about this corruption out of new jersey based on what we've seen recently with corzine before him. this is a state with a history of grns making poor decisions, making trouble skranlous decisions. i don't know if chris christie is guilty of this or not. lets face it, new jersey has proven no one should be surprised if the someone is caught in a scandal.
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>> if that's the case, how tolerant are voters of this latest wave? >> i guess it depends on the depth of the lie. as i said earlier, it depends whose lies can you you deal with. the more we find out about chris christie, the more voters ask whose lies can we deal with. the interesting caveat, too, who is spot lighting those lies. the typical thinking is this is somehow partisan driven, the democrats are behind this. i'm not so sure. you check conservative tea party run websites, voices of the tea party, it's not like they are big chris christie fans anyway. it would appear they have as much to gain from his demise as any democrat would. >> is this setting the stage or damaging the way potentially for governor christie in terms of his hopes for 2016 run? >> absolutely. it damages him on multiple
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levels. the only thing that might save him is in is very early in the 2016 season. people aren't announcing their bids yet. if he can weather it early, perhaps voters will be exhausted from this. democrats are poor winners. we don't play from the front well. if we keep piling on, voters might say enough already. we may do to him what republicans tried to do with benghazi. as a result it may not work, nullify any type of advantage we have. >> is there a feeling this is all interpreted, digested a little differently based on whether you're a new jersey voter or whether you're somebody in iowa or california and you're watching all this unfold. if he does run and comes down to running for nomination, then you start paying attention if you're outside of new jersey, lz? >> there won't be a single republican candidate in the
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primary who will not find a way to craft his press conference and put together some sort of ad attacking his credibility. this isn't a new allegation that can be easily dismissed. we already know he has close confidants who do things behind his back. i wouldn't be so quick to say it's false. you've already seen you have close confidantes behind his wife. lying then, lying now, incomp at any time th, incompetent now. >> go ahead. >> if you look at the time when chris christie knew about bridgegate, that's not consistent. once he starts combing through what he knew in press conferences what he knew when, there's not consistency there either. >> what, if anything, should chris christie do at this point. >> one, he should pray nothing
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else comes out. if he did, all bets are off. he needs to continue to be up front, honest, as transparent as possible. he needs to take responsibility for what he did and try to move past this. >> good to see both you gentlemen. appreciate it. >> you, too. >> ex-nba star dennis rodman back in rehab today. his agent tells us why. next. taylor townsend already achieved what no american has in 30 years. last year she was the top tennis player in the world. >> i'm so proud of myself. it was actually a goal i set. >> taylor honored at an itf event in paris alongside her childhood idol. >> being in the same room with these people was unbelievable.
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ex-nba star dennis rodman is in an alcohol rehab center. rodman's agent said alcoholism has been a longtime struggle for the five-time nba champ.
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the struggle got worse. nick valencia following the story for us. at what point did the agent decide to lay it out. >> this all got laid out after he came back from north korea. we do know dennis rodman has been in rehab a week. according to his agent the pressures of being a basketball diplomat were too much to handle. ever the showman as his rein during nba's most fierce rebounder, dennis rodman was known for his behavior off the court as on it. he's battled alcoholism and drug abuse. rodman's drinking got out of control during his controversial trip to north korea. his drinking escalated to a level none of us have seen before. when he came back i discussed with him on a personal level how concerned i was, his agent said. we sat down and decided for him to go to rehab. part of the nightmare highly
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combative exchanges like this one with chris cuomo. >> ask what the hell you think. i'm saying look at these guys. look at them. >> rodman apologized tore that outburst saying he had been drinking at the time. drunk or not, the trip was filled with odd moments like this. ♪ happy birthday to you happy birthday to you ♪ >> on his return to the u.s., an emotional rodman said he was misunderstood. >> i'm sorry about all the people. i'm sorry. i'm not the president. i'm not an ambassador. i'm dennis rodman, an individual, just showing we can get along and be happy. i'd love to see -- >> those closest to rodman say the pressure of being a so-called basketball diplomat in
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north korea left him an emotional wreck. with four prior stints in rehab already, rodman sporers hope this time he gets clean and sober. >> i think he probably had an awakening. what happened in north korea was a big deal. it was a big deal. it doesn't look good and it back fired on dennis. i think he genuinely needs help. >> dennis rodman is expected to stay in that rehab facility 28 to 30 days. alcoholism, drug addiction, lifelong struggle. it's a disease, something he's battled with himself for so long. everyone in his camp is hoping this time is different hopefully. >> of course. i'm sure everyone is hoping the best for him. appreciate that. big celebration for michelle obama who just turned 50 and the president threw her a really great party. fabulous food, star-studded guests. you name it. we'll have details coming up.
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it's just three weeks usual the start of the winter olympic games in russia. new video just released is raising serious concerns over the security at the games. while russian president putin is giving assurances, some u.s.
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lawmakers are throwing up flags. we'll go live to russia with breaking news at the top of the hour. >> amazing lady, credible party. she had her childhood friends there, of course people from the administration. the most important thing is that beyonce performed. i have to tell you john legend sang happy birthday. the most moving tribute came from barack obama who talked about the woman he met and fell in love with. that was an amazing show. >> that was cnn political commentator donna brazil talking about the the first lady's 50th birthday bash. the president threw her a dance party to remember, for everyone to remember. it was a star-studded affair. national correspondent has more. >> reporter: after the sun went down, the stars came out. >> looking forward to are good old school dance music. >> have a good time. >> thank you, guys. i'm going to have a ball. this is great. >> beyonce performed.
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john legend and stevie wonder among many who sang happy birthday to the first lady. the hottest ticket came with a blunt presidential directive. this could be a dance party. >> the first lady asks you to cut a rug, you cut a rug. >> no dinner, no formalities, loosen the tie, come with a full stomach and wear comfortable shoes. >> have you got your dancing shoes on? >> absolutely. >> i have my flats. >> the entire white house tate floor transformed into a dance floor. the bar was set high. the first lady is known to bust a move. with ellen. at white house event. even doing the dougie. last night it was president obama who stole the show. >> beyonce was pretty good. but seeing barack obama do the dougie was even better.
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>> once the guests got through the gates, they were told no pictures, no cameras. the white house wanted privacy but they also wanted people to let their hair down on the dance floor. she's got a really fun loving streak. she loves to dance. she loves music. why not. you only turn 50 once. >> reporter: that milestone hosted in front of hundreds of guests by the president. >> a wonderful speech. >> moving, inspiring. he raised the bar for all of us. i don't know how we'll live up to it. >> cnn, washington. >> if you're just joining us, hello, everyone. two big stories topping our news this hour. new terror threats for everyone heading to the sochi olympic games just weeks before the olympics begin cnn obtained threatening video made by terrorist. we're live in russia with the te