tv Americas Newsroom FOX News April 30, 2013 9:00am-11:00am EDT
mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell tweeted out this picture. he needed somebody to drink with. camera three operator ted will follow up. >> brian: tomorrow is ted normal or nuts? dr. keith ablow answers that question. on a tuesday morning. good morning. breaking developments moments ago from the white house. president obama will hold a news conference in about 9 minutes from now. it is slated for 10:15 eastern time. there is so much to cover. i'm bill hemmer. welcome to "america's newsroom." a bit of a surprise. martha: a news conference coming up in a while. good morning, everybody, i'm martha maccallum. there is whole host of issues the president could address but one would think the situation in syria would be front and center. bill: we have wendell goler
on the north lawn. wendell, what is this all about? >> reporter: last time the president held a solo news conference was mid-january. his aides said he wowed them at correspondents dinner but didn't take questions. so he is due. he will take questions about 10:15 or so. as you say syria likely to dominate the list of questions and whether or not the president has backed away from his warning to bashar al-assad using chemical weapons could cross a red line. his aides now say the president wants definitive proof of the two alleged occasions where chemical weapons were used last month. u.s. intelligence agencies are not all on the same page on this. republicans are accusing the president of making an empty threat but no one wants to boot u.s. boots on the ground in the middle of syria's civil war. there are dozens of fixed and mobile chemical weapons sites to secure. there is just concern that bombing them would whack a
chemical cloud over israel and jordan and u.s. warplanes would have to evade russian-built and perhaps russian-staff air defenses in order to get at those chemical weapons sites. so the u.s. is continuing to push for a diplomatic solution to the problems in syria, to the civil war there, trying to keep the u.n.'s envoy from quitting and trying to get you know inspectors to document these alleged chemical weapons uses in syria, bill. bill: as you know, wendell this is big and important matter not just here but around the world but chuck hagel appeared to chemical weapons last week. he appeared to draw back on that yesterday. the reported reason he went public last week that members of congress were about to find out the same information that he had. back to the point you're making. is this a way of clarifying what a definition of a red line is and how that is interpreted? >> reporter: well i think it's a way of defending the
president's definition of a red line and defending if you will, the president's position to push for continued investigation and not take some action without getting everybody, all the u.s. intelligence agencies, on the same page. remember this is president who very much as a senator opposed the war in iraq and is very mindful of what u.s. forces did not find in iraq and what he considers to be the same mistake again. bill: we wait for that at 10:15. wendell, the whistle-blowers on benghazi. a story that blew up on the fox news channel. can we expect that to come up in this? >> we expect the president will be likely asked about that and we can expect that we will hear from him what we have heard from other administration officials, up to, former secretary of state hillary clinton and that is that the u.s. did all it could to defend the
people at the consulate in benghazi in light of a fluid situation, and what they consider to be the lack of military assets positioned to the respond after the attack began. i'm not sure that the president is going to offer access to survivors of that, that attack and that is what some members of congress have been pushing for. bill: wendell, thank you. we will wait for the question and answer, 10:15 eastern time. thank you, wendell, from the north lawn. martha has a bit more on benghazi. martha: bombshell developments on the terror attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. the state department and u.s. forces always said that our military could not respond to that attack because it happened too fast. here is former joint chiefs chair admiral mike mullen on this back in december. watch. >> there simply was not enough time for u.s. military forces to have made a difference. having said that, it is not reasonable nor feasible to at the time they are u.s.
forces at the ready to respond to protect every high-risk post in the world. martha: but now sources telling fox news that was not the case. a special operator with specific knowledge of the attack that night tells fox news that a response team could have swooped into benghazi within hours according to their knowledge of the events. and that would have possibly saved lives. remember the two former seals were killed in the final hour of that battle. so there are big questions ahead of the president's news conference this morning. adam housley joins me live on this in los angeles. good morning, adam. >> reporter: good morning, martha. we talked to a number of people over the course of the last four months or five months as this goes forward and all said the same thing. no one would go on camera. fours sources i personally spoke to would not not go on because of personally where they stood. that changed with this source that not only could they have been there in time but should have been there
in time. >> i know for a fact, c-110 the ucom was doing a training exercise in the region of northern africa but in europe and they had the ability to react and respond. >> reporter: the c-110 is commanders and extremist force. in layman's terms, 40-man special operations force capable of rapid response and deployment specifically trained for incidents like the attack in benghazi. they were training in croatia that night just 3 1/2 hours away. >> we have the ability to load out, get on birds and fly there at a minimum stage. c-110 had the ability to be there, in my opinion, in to six hours from their european theater to react. >> they would have been there before the second attack? >> they have been there before the second attack. they would have been there the a at minimum to provide a quick reaction force that could facilitate their exfill out of the problem situation.
nobody knew how it was going to develop. you hear a whole bunch of people and a whole bunch advisors say, hey, we wouldn't have sent them there because the security was unknown situation. >> reporter: no one knew that. >> if it is unknown situation at a minimum you send forces there to facilitate the exfil or medical injuries. we could have sent a c-130 to benghazi to provide medical evacuation for injured. >> reporter: given time lines by a number of different agencies. they don't add up, just the open source intelligence shows that. we've been told these teams could have made it there. the response from the administration, some of the people in the military has been they flew to italy, would have taken too much time. this source and other ones said from the outset a team specifically training in croatia could have been on the plane within an hour. they say there was a team available possibly in spain that could have made it there in time as well as germany. martha, as you can see a lot of information is coming out as people are getting more confidence to step in front of cameras. we'll see what the response is if there is any response, so far they told us we had
no way of getting there in time. now now people directly involved say that is just not true. martha: this raises so much questions obviously, adam. thank you very much for that reporting. >> reporter: all right. martha: a lots more coming up this morning. bill: certainly is. critical timeline in benghazi affair. eight to 9:00 p.m. local time in libya. september 11th last year a mob approached consulate at the front gate where four libyan guards are posted. 9:30 p.m. the mob fires the first shots. militants breach the front and east walls around the consulate and americans fire from inside. 10:30 p.m., to 11:00 p.m.. americans, except for the ambassador chris stevens, retreat from the front gate in two cars to an annex a half mile away. 11:00 p.m., sometime after 11:00 p.m. there is a lull in the fighting. after midnight, looters on consulate ground pull the ambassador, unidentified at that time from inside the burned consulate. martha: the other big story that is coming out of the
benghazi investigation is that three employees at the state department and one at cia are now preparing to blow the whistle and share what they know about that attack. but now they have, say they have been threatened, by administration according to some of these reports that talking could put their careers in jeopardy. victoria toensing, former justice department official and chief council to the senate intelligence committee is now an attorney representing one of these state i am most east. >> i'm not talking generally. i'm talking specifically about benghazi. that people have been threatened, and not just in the state department. people have been threatened at the cia. it's frightening and they're doing some very despicable threats to people, not, we're going to kill you or not we're going to prosecute you tomorrow but they're taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over. martha: it appears now they
are ready to talk and we will talk with victor toensing later this hour. she is our special guest here in "america's newsroom" on this story. don't miss it. bill: looking forward to that. signs of life in the economy. a record-setting day on the wall street. s&p closing at an all-time hy/fn ishing monday just under 1594. that is really a reflection of the broader market. moments ago new housing numbers show the price in the year-over-year price gain, a spike of 9.3%. stuart varney, anchor of "varney & company" of the fox business network. put this together. where are we? >> two pillars to the financial well-being, stocks and your house. you're looking good on both of them. number one, ben bernanke printing up a storm. a lot of that extra money is finding its way into the stock market and various indicators are all at record highs as of right now. s&p 500, the nasdaq, the dow
is within 100 points of 15,000, or a couple hundred points. so stocks up. everybody benefits. number two, home prices, up 9.3% over the past year. best yearly gain since 06. more importantly, home prices in each of the 20 big city areas studied went up. nowhere did prices go down. so you add it all up. what you've got is, ben bernanke, printing a lot of money, raising stocks, raising home prices and hoping that there's a wealth effect. we all feel better off. so we go out and spend. and we improve the third pillar of the financial well-being which is your job. bill: inflation is kept in check for now. >> yes. bill: interest rates still near historical lows? >> yes. bill: are you feeling better? >> financially, personally, i think most people are, because as i said, two pillars of your own wealth, stocks and housing. that is where most people put their money if they have
got money to spare. that's where it goes. personally people are feeling a lot better off. but the economy, underlying economy is still not doing well. bill: to that point you wonder how the middle class is doing as a big part of this whole equation. >> they're down. bill: stuart, see you at 9:20. fbn. stuart varney. martha: we're we're just getting started on a busy tuesday morning. obama administration appears to walk back claims that syria used chemical weapons on its own people. why would that be? we're about maybe find out. the president will speak 40 minutes from now. bill: a race to find a young mother who vanished from work. why police believe she may have known her abductor. martha: new clues from the bombs used to kill and injure so many people during the boston marathon. is it yet another sign that the suspects may have had outside help? >> i think given the level of sophistication of this device, the fact that the pressure cooker is a signature device goes back
to pakistan, afghanistan, leads me to believe, and the way they handled these devices and the tradecraft leads me to believe there was a trainer look what mommy is having. mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle. [ male announcer ] that's why there's ocuvite to help replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. ocuvite. help protect your eye health.
martha: tragedy in the skies after two small planes collide in midair. killing one of the pilots and injuring three other people. it happened over the mountains in southern california. there's a picture. police say one of the planes was able to maneuver a belly landing on a golf course while the other ended up crashing into a ridge and burst into flames. >> they said that the reason for the crash was because they got hit by a bird by their plane. >> they apparently connected. we can't get into why we believe that because the ntsb, they will decide exactly what did and did not happen. martha: the exact cause of this crash is still under investigation. more as we get it. bill: breaking news now. one hour from now we hear the president in all likelihood talk about what
is happening in syria. the question today is whether or not the administration is it back tracking about syria's use of chemical weapons. if true, that move would cross president obama's so-called red line. here is what chuck hagel, secretary of defense first said about these events just last week. >> the u.s. intelligence community assesses with many so degree of varying confidence that the syrian regime, has used chemical weapons on a small scale in syria. specifically, the chemical agent sarin. bill: that from last week. this,000 chuck hagel from yesterday. >> we are continuing to assess what happened. i think we should wait to get the facts before we make any judgements on what action, if any, should be taken and what kind of action. bill: ambassador john bolton now, former u.n. ambassador to the you know, fox news
contributor. >> good morning bill. bill: deadly, serious stuff here. what is going on? >> the administration is not performing well here. it is not sending a signal of strength, clarity or certainty what we know or what we're going to do. these comments by secretary of defense hagel are the most troubling of all. he reads one thing, obviously put in front of him last week and then he appears to back track yesterday. it goes consistently with what administration spokesmen are saying, we really don't know and need the u.n. to investigate which is not going to happen. to the assaud regime and other rogue states around the world, north rea and syria, it sends a signal of american weakness and that is bad thing. bill: what does the president say about this in one hour, mr. ambassador? >> i think he has a very difficult task ahead of him. he laid down a red line. that is a phrase with
meaning. if that is not what he meant to say he shouldn't have said it. because the cost to his own credibility and i think worse to america's credibility, we've already paid. it almost doesn't matter now whether he tries to redefine the red line or a couple of months from now we do something about syrian chemical weapons. unfortunately, the damage is done because of his repeated references to how this would be a game-changer and would have enormous consequences. bill: two quick points here. it was said over the weekend the reason chuck hagel said what he did a week ago because members of congress were about to be privy to the same information that he had and administration wanted to get in front of that evidence or that information. does that explain it? >> i don't think so especially what he said yesterday. secretary hagel looks like this year's version of susan rice. they shove talking points in front of an administration official who unfortunately goes out and repeats them and they have to back away from them. this is showing trouble
conducting serious national security matters and i think the president will have a lot to explain here. bill: second matter here, "wall street journal" from you yesterday, the title of your piece. obama put america in a red line box on syria. explain. >> well, i think by laying down a red line and then not adhering to it, the president undercuts his own credibility. unfortunately in the case of syria, the red line he laid undo was the wrong red line. although people say, well we've got to do something because the red line's been crossed, i don't agree with that. i think you don't compound one error by engaging in another error. and the fact is the most serious issue at stake here, the iranian nuclear weapons program, i think both in israel and iran, they look at the president's statements. they conclude he is not serious when he says all options are on the table about iran's nuclear weapons program. we're right back where we were before the president's recent trip to israel. the israelis will have to make their own decision
about iran's program or else iran's going to get nuclear weapons sooner rather than later. bill: john bolton, thank you. >> thank you, bill. bill: 55 minutes away. we'll see what explanation we get then. thank you, mr. ambassador. here's martha. martha: congressman tray gowdy is promising explosive hearings on benghazi. fox news is now confirming new details in that terror attack. we'll talk to the congressman what he expects to hear from the new witnesses coming forward. bill: there is frantic search underway for this woman in michigan who vanished from her work place. listen. >> i'm concerned nobody is here. i just walked inside. there is nobody. there is a car here. there is another car out front but it just, very suspicious why there's nobody here.
ball gun to a real gunfight. watch what police in washington state are calling a meth deal gone bad. guy popping out the blue truck firing shots, they're paint balls. the dpir firing at him has two real guns. two bullets hitting a guy in blue truck. later airlifted to hospital in serious condition. they're facing felony assault charges. eyewitnesses say it is lucky thing no innocent bystanders were hurt. martha: west michigan police are now tracking down tips from around the nation after investigators believe, a 25-year-old mom, jessica heeringa was abducted while she finished up her shift at a gas station last night. unfortunately the station did not have a security camera, if you can believe it. but her grandparents say jessica normally calls her fiance every night to check in from work. >> she just called and to make sure everything's okay
and to let him know that she's okay and i suppose that at times it is pretty desserted in the station. martha: yeah. very quiet there at night for this woman. mark fuhrman is a former l.a.p.d. detective and he joins me now. mark, no surveillance. we'll show surveillance from another spot but none from the gas station. her purse was there. her car was there. there was no money missing from the cash register. what does all of this point to, to you? >> well, all the ingredients that you just described would make it apparent that she didn't intentionally leave without her purse or belongings. leaving her place of employment to open and unsecured. she left. her car's there, all these indicate she left that location probably not intentionally and then she actually walked outside of the gas station as there was
no evidence of any kind of a violence or any struggle. martha: the grandparents said that she called her fiance about an hour earlier than the time she is believed to have been abducted. she has a 3-year-old child and by all accounts she's a good mom and, you know, loves the child very much. we have some video also i want to show everybody at home. this is from a surveillance camera that is a from a bar that is nearby. they are particularly interested, this is the norton shores bar in michigan, west michigan, in the vehicle you see over to the right there, which is a gray vehicle that is sort of whidss past the bar at that time, that they think that she disappeared. what do you think of all that? >> well, martha, when you look at what they're doing here, no surveillance camera at the gas station is kind of odd. it is kind of hard to tell if it was just inoperable and has been for a period of time or there simply isn't a
surveillance camera but they're using any available surveillance footage from any of the nearby area during a certain time frame to try to target between the phone call to her fiance and the time that the store was supposed to be closed. this window is obviously the window when she was be a dubbed. but, martha, when you look at what michigan police are doing, they're wasting no time going into the nuke can close -- nucleus of her life, finding close relationships, love relationships. they are interview, they are seeking out any kind of an alibi and they gave polygraphs. they are centering around this so they can eliminate, that inference or that misdirection and now they're focusing that it was a, an unknown party, or at least unknown to anybody that knows the victim. martha: yeah. mark, thank you. before we go, i want to leave everybody with one more fact which is that a 911 call, we played it before we went to the break,
came in from somebody who went there for gas. there is nobody here. i don't understand what is going on. the place is empty. that is what helped them to set up this whole timeline. mark, we'll see you very soon, thank you. >> thank you. bill: there is misterry there in michigan. we're awaiting a news conference from the president as a republican congressman promise, quote, explosive new hearings over the benghazi terror attacks. congressman trey gowdy is here live to explain that. martha: a man held at gunpoint but what happened next will shock you. bar high by going low. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 like offering schwab etfs tdd# 1-800-345-2550 with the lowest operating expenses tdd# 1-800-345-2550 in their respective lipper categories -- tdd# 1-800-345-2550 lower than ishares tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and vanguard. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and with all our etfs commission-free tdd# 1-800-345-2550 when traded online in a schwab account, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 it leaves our investors with more money to invest. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 something they've come to count on with us. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so as investors continue to set their portfolio goals high, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 we help keep their costs of investing low. tdd# 1-800-345-2550
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bill: if you're just joining us welcome to our broadcast, first of all. second of all we know 45 minutes from now the president will brief in the press briefing room in the white house. expect syria, the issue of chemical weapons, the red line, no red line. the whistle-blowers on benghazi, all this could be on the front lines right now of the question and answer session. that will begin at 10:15 eastern time. we'll certainly have live coverage when that happens. stay tuned. we're awaiting that. >> c-110 had the ability to be there in my opinion, in four to six hours from their european theater to react. >> reporter: they could have been there before the second attack? >> they would have been there before the second attack. martha: you just heard from a whistle-blower speaking
about benghazi. his identity hidden for fear of reprisal. the u.s. had the time to intervene and possibly save lives. as we know the two former navy seals were killed in the last hour of that fighting that night. our next guest is promising explosive hearings on benghazi in short order. he says that these will happen soon. trey gowdy, house oversight and government reform committee. congressman, good to have you here. >> good morning. thank you for having me. martha: i know you know a lot of the background on this when you listen to that whistle-blower's sound bite, talk about where the c-110 group was positioned, what goes through your mind? >> that is one of the central issues that remains unanswered despite the fact it's been seven months. remember, martha, there are three tranches here. the decision not to provide security beforehand. what happened during the siege. why assets were not employed. and then why susan rice misled all of us on five sunday talk shows. you have competing narratives. you have the so-called
accountability review board. what i'm primarily interested in are the eyewitnesss. it is sad that someone would have to cloak themselves in confidentiality for fear of repriseal but that is where we are. so that is why darrell issa is very clear. there will not be any retribution. we will protect you. we will provide you with counsel if necessary but we need people with first-hand knowledge to come forward. we have had some but we need them all. martha: we had john boehner, the speaker on the show last week and here's what he said that sort of hinted where we are now on all this. >> i don't think that we've gotten to the bottom of what the did the state department know, when did they know it? why they didn't take action? and then during the attack itself, why weren't assets brought in? why weren't, why wasn't our government doing more to protect the americans that were on the ground?
martha: i thought it was interesting when we got the accountability review board look at all this and there was definitely an effort to close the book on this thing after that. we've done our reserve. we know what happened. the pentagon was not to blame was one of the outcomes of that report. there is no way they could have gotten any one there in time. we heard from the joint chiefs of staff, mike mullen also basically said the same thing. this is coming from very high up that there was no way they could have made it there. so this is a huge revelation if it is true, congressman. >> well, welcome to washington. here's my question, martha. how did they know they couldn't have made it there? they had no way to know when it was going to end. they knew when the attack started but how in the world could they possibly know when it was going to end while it was going on? nobody would have for seen this lasted seven hours. so that is the middle tranche. let me say with respect to the accountability review board. martha's a reason we don't let students grade their own papers and don't let
defendants sentence themselves or investigate themselves. people lack the objectivity to question themselves. the fact that the state department may have cleared the state department doesn't matter. i could care less. it is congress's job to provide oversight. the other point that i think speaker boehner hopefully will make is this. we know susan rice was wrong. we know that she was demonstrably wrong. what i want to know is whether her intentional misleading of her fellow citizens actually hampered the investigation going forward? we know she contradicted the evidence. we know she contradicted the president of libya. what i want to know, did her misrepresentations affect our ability to investigate what happened in benghazi in the hours and days thereafter? we know the crime scene wasn't secured. we know the bureau didn't go for two weeks. what i want to know was it because susan rice directly
contributed the president of libya with her sunday morning talk show appearances because there's a difference between just being wrong and being intentionally misleading. martha: that is a big question and you're right about that. what about hillary clinton and her role in this? she has testified at one point, you another, she said what difference does it make? we lost four people that day in benghazi. what difference does it make what why or what triggered the events that day? will we learn more about that. >> i wish she asked that in a committee i was present. anytime the government fails to provide security for people we send under our flag into a foreign land to represent us it matters. anytime the government has the ability to provide aide during a siege and does not do it matters. anytime high-ranking officials we trust deliberately misrepresent facts to us, it matters.
i understand she has political aspirations, that's great. if she wants to run for president, more power to her. i'm more concerned about four murdered americans and our response as a country has been more so than her political future. martha: we'll talk to victoria taensing, one of the attorneys representing one. four people, one from the state department and one from the cia what they know happened in benghazi. congressman gowdy we'll be watching very closely. we'll speak to you soon we hope. >> yes, ma'am. thank you. bill: speaker boehner said last week on our program was the precursor to what happened last night because he said witnesses are starting to cooperate with investigators. we're seeing where it goes. we look forward to what toensing has to say. martha: coming up. bill: could a third suspect be involved in the boston bombings? why investigators are checking to see if another person may have had their hands on these bombs and what evidence they have that might lead them there. we'll tell you. martha: there is the scene at the white house right
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just last week the company's new ceo touched off a firestorm suggesting that hostess would never again hire union labor. now, it appears that is water under the bridge for the company. hostess is preparing to hire some 300 new employees over the coming months and they're open to the unions. we will see. bill: got breaking news now. new developments in the boston bombing investigation. the sus scheck. dzhokhar tsarnaev has a high powered attorney representing him. her name is judy clark. she represented nation's most notorious killer, unl that bomber, jared loughner, susan smith, the woman who drowned her children in south carolina. this many could as fox news learns that female dna was found on parts of the bomb that were recovered. fbi was at the family home of tamerlan's widow said to taken away evidence, bags of evidence, including some marked dna samples. phil mudd, former cia counterintelligence analyst out of memphis.
good morning it you. >> good morning. bill: a lot we don't know clearly. let's work through this one at a time. is the wife now considered a suspect? how do you handle her? >> i don't think suspect is the word i would use. she is probably a person of interest. you want to know whether she was not only a participant in the plot, but i think the bigger question if she knew something was afoot even if she doesn't know there was conspiracy going on. bill: do you question her? i assume at great length, right? >> absolutely. she will want to have a lawyer there. fairly young person. i'm sure she is a little confused, disoriented. lost her husband. has to raise a child without the child's father. the questioning to be clear, doesn't necessarily include only whether she was a participant, who did he talk to? did he radicalize anyone? when did this start? is there a network that is broader than what we know today. bill: phil, how long would it take for them to know that it was her dna that was discovered? >> that shouldn't take that long. depends on extent.
dna but we should find that out pretty soon. bill: wouldn't we know that already? >> i wouldn't say already but we should know in couple days. bill: the possibility, the person that sold the pressure cooker or handled it prior, or person that sold the fireworks, right? they all have to be tracked down as well, one would assume? >> sure. you have to prove some negatives first here though. when you pick up dna you see whether it matches any victims in the hospitals. whether with it matches any dna you pick up in the house hole. we have a long way to go here before we have any conclusions. bill: could it have been from one of the victims? >> i think it could have been, sure. bill: how is that possible? how does that dna survive after an explosion like that? >> well, my judgment here, if you get the explosive device going out into an enclosed area with bunch of people around, pick up, let's not get too brutal, pick up someone's skin as device hit as human beings leg or torso to me that could explain some of the dna i don't know whether we have a piece of hair, a
fingerprint or someone's flesh. bill: would you need a lot of that dna or could you do a lot with very little? >> you could do a lot with a little in this case. remember, we can pick up dna off envelopes when someone licks them. you don't need a whole lot to figure out someone's dna. bill: how well do you know judy clark the defense lawyer working for the 19-year-old? >> don't know her at all. bill: do you know any of the cases she covered? unabomber, susan smith, neighboring state south carolina near tennessee? >> sure, obviously for what i did in my past life but as an american i know cases. i understand this clearly. i suspect not only is she dealing with complex capital murder case, in other words this kid might be sent to die, she is also dealing with a the case that will have a media crush that will be difficult for any attorney to handle. it is not only court dimension but public dimension requires a lot of experience. bill: you think her priority is to keep the guy alive away from the death penalty? >> yes, yes. bill: not easy.
because the other consideration you have to give, phil, whether or not this guy is cooperating. you never know, he might. he may tell these investigators a lot of things in the hospital bed already. >> sure. even if he cooperates you have a conspiracy to commit murder that goes back some time and that resulted in the murder of three and then four individuals. so, she's got a tough road to hoe here. bill: phil mudd, thank you for your time down there in memphis. >> my pleasure. bill: good to talk to you. we'll bring you back because we have a major clue right now where this dna sample will lead us. phil mudd in memphis. >> i'll be here. thank you. bill: martha. martha: there is growing concern today for the american pastor being held in a notorious iranian prison of the his family says they have word you in that he has been slammed into solitary confinement and that they are not allowed to see him. they had been allowed visits. his wife will join us with the latest straight ahead. bill: desperate too. don't try this at home. what happens when a victim turns the tables on his armed an attacker.
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bill: reminder here now, breaking news from the white house, the president will be in that room in a news conference in about 25 minutes. expect topics like syria, chemical weapons and whistle-blowers in benghazi. we'll have that live at 10:15 eastern time here on "america's newsroom.". martha: white house canceled tours and federal employee furloughs have taken a toll across the country. americans are stepping in to fill the programs that mean the most. dan, how are people getting creed tiff on this? >> reporter: there are limits to what the public can do to make up $85 billion in sequester cuts
but where it is really important and feasible people are trying. take, for example, the blue angels. they pulled the popular jets from every airshow for every event rest of the year. that saves taxpayers, $20 million. but the blues have been featured at sea at tell's show for 40 years. they to the creative and dug into the general fund to pay for a replacement. a patriot jet team out of california. that cost $80,000. according to planners they're worth every penny. >> we had to look outside the box and find new ways we can fill the gaps where our government is not able to provide those services. >> reporter: they are planning to bring in a ship from the canadian navy to replace the u.s. warship that won't be coming this year. the park service decided to save money by plowing snow at yellowstone national park two weeks later than normal. that would delay clearing of four park gates well past the may 1st opening. total savings to taxpayers?
$150,000. but would cost the communities of jackson hole and cody, wyoming, a lot more than that because they depend on park related tourism. both cities held fund-raisers and raised money for the state to clear the road so the gates will open on time. >> we needed to act and, if there was a way that we could make, make a difference we wanted to do that because people rely on that opening date. and, the moment that the park opens, things are different in cody. >> reporter: not surprisingly many of the donations came from businesses which stood to lose if the park didn't open on time. now 20,000 visitors can get through the gate on may fist when they want to get there martha? martha: dan, thank you very much. dan springer in seattle. bill: so the tables are turned on one of the bad guys. look at this image here. from the city of new orleans, a robber pointing a shotgun at a man's face. the would-be victim, grabs the weapon. chases the bad guy down the
street with his own shotgun. story gets better because police say two men drove you have to get shotgun backed and returned to them. what they got was a smaed up wind shield from new orleans. we'll figure out whether anybody was arrested on that. martha: start packing your bags because private space travel is here, folks. the founder of virgin galactic, sir richard branson is here with us, bill. he will tell us how this will all work and more importantly how much it will set you back if you want to go. ♪ . ♪
martha: good morning and we have a fox news alert because we're awaiting a news conference to get underway any minute now from the white house. president obama is expected to take questions from the press about 15 minutes away. and boy, there are a lot of questions. welcome to a brand new hour of "america's newsroom." i'm martha maccallum. bill: i'm bill hemmer. good morning. use of chemical weapons and red line could dominate discussion in today's briefing. chuck hagel, the defense secretary referred to it last week and appeared to draw back on that claim just yesterday. martha: chief white house correspondent ed henry is live outside the white house with more this morning. good morning to you, ed. what do you expect will top the agenda today? >> reporter: to me
personally entering a news conference the economy and how it affects people's lives and we don't want to forget about the important domestic issues. you're exactly right the benghazi and syria and boston terror plot and terror attack and not forget north korea and the threat we faced in recent weeks from that regime. so the economy is always important. we can't forget that but national security right now is front and center. pick them apart one by one. on syria as you said this president said months ago it would be a red line not just for the use of chemical weapons by the regime in syria but the spreading around the chemical weapons. and it now appears that that red line is maybe becoming a dotted line and they're sort of hedging, they say, inside the white house because they want to be certain they have the evidence that chemical weapons were used before getting in a war in area using iraq example as an important note. but, then, in terms of benghazi, it is not just the whistle-blower coming forward that we talked about, that exclusive report on
"special report" last night with bret baier, saying that perhaps u.s. military forces could have gotten there sooner to help save lives. you also have the survivors of the benghazi attack including some state department employees, some of the president's own ad mig sfrags saying they want to testify what they saw. will the president let that happen? i mentioned north korea as well. that's important. and then the boston terror attack. remember the president did an interview with nbc earlier in the day of the boston terror attack because it had not happened yet. he has not been question whether it was isolated or he thinks it is part of islamic jihad. these are important questions and he is likely to get a lot of them. martha: not to mention the timing on fbi questioning. whether or not that decision to stop the questioning about 18 hours in, came, where that came from. so, -- >> you're right. martha: there is clearly a lot on the plate. any thoughts on timing of this? he hasn't done one since january. big white house correspondents dinner which you did a great job hosting
over the weekend. >> reporter: thank you. martha: what about the timing? >> reporter: he hasn't done one in a while as you say. there are a lot of these issues percolating. they realize they want to grab the megaphone. why would they want to do it? they're facing pressure whether we back up president's talk on syria with actual military action. whether or not there will be lack of u.s. credibility if he doesn't follow up. he needs to start shaping this, framing this, adding his voice to the debate. boston terror attack i mentioned, this obviously rattled the country a little bit. it has come back strong. we don't want to exaggerate that. this is something that happened right here at home that is bit of a wake-up call. he spoken out publicly as i said, but he hasn't taken questions about the as you said the fbi whether he is still confident in the fbi director and got all the important information. so a lot of important topic. >> we'll look forward to all the questions and seeing you questioning hopefully as well. good to see you, ed. good talk to you later. >> reporter: good to talk to you. >> that will be in a few
minutes. keep you posted when that gets underway. bill: our white house producer saying to me about 10 or 15 minutes. we expect it sometime in the next half hour. we'll be there when it happens. meantime fox news confirms the boston bombing suspect getting a high-profile attorney, a an attorney known for helping could not verial and -- controversial and high-profile clients avoid the death penalty. judy clarke defended unl that bomber and and jared loughner, the man who shot gabby by giffords. >> reporter: bill there has been intriguing development in the last 24 hours, but as intriguing as might be the not clear how significant it is. authorities say they have found on the components of one of the bombs, dna from a woman, not clear though as to whom this dna belongs. is it the dna perhaps from a victim, from someone who unwittingly sold some of the
come points to the bomb-makers? or could it be an accomplice? that is one of the things that authorities are now trying to determine and yesterday in the quest to determine that they paid a visit to the home of tamerlan tsarnaev's wife. they took away a dna sample. they also removed a number of items we're told. among them a laptop, a briefcase as well as a bag containing scissors. a family attorney says that tamerlan's wife is helping as best she can, listen. >> they have answered all the questions that have been asked of them by the authorities. they're fully cooperating. and that's it. nothing more to say. >> reporter: that said, one source that this investigation, bill, nowhere near over. bill? bill: we're hearing there is controversy surrounding the release of the autopsy results. now why would that be, david lee? >> reporter: that's right.
it seems that every aspect of this story has some controversial component. tamerlan tsarnaev is in the morgue here in boston and it is not clear precisely why he died. the authorities have not released the death certificate. they say they will not do that, bill, until his body is claimed. his next of kin, his wife, so far has not done so. what many people would like to know whether perhaps he died in that hail of bullets during a shootout with police or possibly he was killed when he was run over by his own brother who fled the scene. just a few moments ago i talked to the medical examiner's office and they say there is no timetable as to how long they're going to wait for someone to claim his remains. so as to that precise cause of death we might know it today, could still take a number of days if not even longer. we'll let you know. bill. bill: david lee miller on boylston street in boston. martha: there is a massive
manhunt and you way for the person who killed a north carolina, northern california, excuse me, third-grader. this little girl who you see in the picture. cops are going house to house. they're searching attics and basements after 8-year-old leila fowler was found stabbed to death inside her valley springs home on saturday. the sheriff's office promise they will not give up until they catch who did this. >> i have phone to the family of the victim and many citizens. as you can imagine they're quite distraught about this whole incident. we'll not rest until we capture the responsible person. martha: what a horrible story this is. claudia cowan joins me live from san francisco. so, claudia, what more can you tell us today? >> reporter: well, martha, more than 100 officers continue to have this small town of valley springs in a state of alert for a third day they're patrolling this rural community about an hour east of sacramento beefing up security at
schools and asking residents to for anyone who might have unexplained injuries or left town unexpectedly after the crime was reported. investigators are an is looking fingerprints and dna evidence found inside the home and they're talking to ex-cons in the area. >> we want to report that the members the county sheriff's office, california state patrol and sheriff's department completed contacted many cases searching all known sex offenders and paroles in the area where this crime took place. >> reporter: yesterday the coroner listed her cause of death as shock and hemorrhaging from multiple stab wounds. there was no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted. leila was found by her 12-year-old brother who reportedly came face-to-face with a intruder inside the family home on saturday. authorities say another witness saw a man running away that fits a similar description but, martha, are not giving any details who they think this intruder could be. martha: her poor brother walking in on that scene is something he will never
forget. we understand that the parents were able to speak at a news conference last need, claudia. what did they say? >> reporter: well, yes and no, martha. they did appear, their first public appearance at a hastily-called news conference. crystal walters and barney fowler stood quietly behind the sheriff while he gave assurance everything possible being done so find her killer. her parents were scheduled to make a statement but they were simply too distraught to say anything at all. leila's friend are expressing their grief meantime at a growing memorial outside her elementary school where she is being remembered as a popular third-grader who loved people and anything purple. you can see there on the sign there will be a candlelight vigil at the school tonight and we may here from layla's parents at that time. martha? martha: how devastating. claudia, thank you. bill: now onto another story from a few months ago, also
in california. 911 calls have now been released from the final moments of this manhunt for disgruntled ex-l.a.p.d. christopher dorner. have a listen here. >> we have a an officer down, officer down. >> copy, officer down. >> officer down. officer down. >> copy officer down, officer down. >> get the personnel out. >> deputies are still down in the "killzone". >> move the vehicles to out. >> get the victims out. >> deputy in a black chevy pickup. got guy saying something camouflage under the door. blood spatters in the far corner. got a couple mattresses laying up against the bed. we're going to go forward with a plan with a burner. >> sounds like one shot fired from inside the residence. >> copy. one shot fired from inside the residence. >> we still have ammo going off in the fire. >> copy. >> not ready for fire for those reasons because we still have ammo popping here.
>> copy. bill: toward end of those 911 calls. dorner was killed in a february 4 rampage that kept southern california on high alert for days. police say dorner killed himself inside the cabin that eventually burned to the ground. martha: we are going back to washington in a few moments as we await a news conference. you can see the podium all set up and ready to go, a few minutes away from president obama expected to get pretty tough questions in a news conference this morning. that will happen at then: 30 we're now being told. we'll take that of course live -- 10:30. bill: one. possible questions, did anyone in the government threaten is when sill blowers in the benghazi situation? that is story we first reported. a attorney for one of the whistle-blowers is here to explain that story. martha: we'll talk to the rocketman. why we're one step closer to making space tourism a reality, folks. none other than sir richard
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call 1-800-411-7040 or visit trylyric.com for a risk-free 30 day trial offer and free dvd and brochure. get the hearing aid that can. lyric from phonak. lyric can. bill: the new york city medical examiner resuming a its search today for human remains near the world trade center site. this after this discovery of a piece of a wing that boeing now confirms belonged to one of the hijacked planes destroyed in the attacks of 9/11. the twisted metal piece which is still had cables and levers attached to it, was found wedged in an alley between a luxury apartment building and the side of this long-proposed mosque. of the nearly 3,000 victims from 9/11, remains of a thousand were never recovered. part of reason why this was so controversial, boeing come out and confirmed it now which is big part of this puzzle, there was a piece of rope found attached
to this plane part, many thought, perhaps it had been placed there or the plane part had been put there but apparently turns out that the people just trying to recover the part were trying to jimmy it out of there with a piece of rope. that is amazing. as strong niching discovery. martha: after all these years. controversy whether or not that mosque was in the zone of what happened that day. this is --. all right, there are bombshell new revelations in the benghazi terror attack investigation. fox is learning that several whistle-blowers say they are being threatened by the obama administration to keep quiet on the assault that killed 4:00 americans that night including u.s. ambassador chris stevens. officials from both the state department and the cia plan to testify on capitol hill in what congressman trey gowdy says will be explosive hearings. here he is on our show just a little while ago. >> it is sad, that someone would have to cloak themselves in confidentiality for fear of
reprisal but that's where we are. so that's why darrell issa is very clear, there will not be any retribution. we will protect you. we'll provide you with counsel if necessary but we need people with first-hand knowledge to come forward. we've had some but we need them all. martha: victoria toensing is representing one of those state department employees. she is a former deputy assistant attorney general and republican counsel to the senate intel committee. victoria, great to have you with us this morning. >> great to be here, martha. martha: what is the nature of the threats these whistle-blowers received from the administration? >> let me explain, martha. i represent a state department whistle-blower who wants to give congress and me the entire story of benghazi and to do so she or he has to give classified information. the state department is refusing to give chairman issa the process by which i can be cleared and my, my whistle-blower client can be allowed to present this
information. so the state department is violating the law. they are interfering with a federal employee's right to provide information to congress which should not ever be interfered with. the law says that. martha: the law says that if you come forward as a whistle-blower you need to be protected. you need to make sure you feel as though your job isn't threatened by that and you will have a voice. it is very surprising in some ways that the administration would not be open to holding up those laws which they have utilized in other cases? >> and here's the threat, martha. it is not like, we're going to whack your head off. it is, oh, really? if you talk, i just don't think you will get that next promotion. you know what? you might just have to retire. these are people who are very dedicated. these are career people, dedicated to their country and they wouldn't dare violate the law. when i talked to my client, my client says, oh, that is classified so i can't tell you until we go through the process. so what the state department is doing is violating federal law but not only
that, i could not even understand how the spokesperson yesterday said, oh, we don't know about any lawyers who want to be cleared. they have had two letters from chairman issa, one on april 16th, the other one april 26th, that specifically say, we want you to provide a process for clearing a lawyer to receive classified information. how can they possibly get up there and just lie to the press corps and press corps doesn't do much, about what the facts are when it is in print? martha: very, very interesting. and as you point out, they came forward with, you know, i mean the boston bombers have lawyers and representation. your client -- >> within hours. within hours and taxpayers are paying for it. the accused boston bomber has a team of lawyers and i can not get myself cleared doing it for free. martha: now you, can you confirm that your client has specific information about the before period, the during period, the after period, that is in opposition to what was found
in the accountability review board report? >> yes. and, and others besides my client has that information. well, you heard the your, the person on fox news last night who was in silhouette also confirmed what i was just saying, that they have other information and that they're being threatened with retaliation if they talk about it. martha: so what happens if you don't get the cooperation you feel you need from the administration for your client to be able to speak to you about this classified information? where can this go? i mean it sound like it would be a very tough road. >> you can't shut me up. as long as i can keep talking i am going to continue to demand these people have access it lawyers and that the state department provide a process. i only ask the rest of the press besides fox help us do so. i don't care if you're liberal, conservative, republican, democrat you should be appalled the fact that they're keeping, or that they're keeping these people have having
representation when all these people were screaming about giving miranda rights for the accused bomber, for goodness sakes. martha: interesting point. three state department officials, one cia official who want to tell their side of the story. >> there is more. they're afraid. they're afraid. martha: well, maybe they will come forward if these brave folks are able to get their message out. victoria, thank you. i hope you will come back and speak to us more. big story. >> thanks a lot. martha: take care. bill: make some excellent points. 20 minutes past the hour. there is new information on the american pastor jailed in one of iran's more brutal prisons. word he is in solitary confinement, maybe suffering from organ failure. we'll talk to his wife in a moment on his condition. martha: one step closer to space tourism. a new ship and its latest rocket test. really cool stuff, the man behind this, sir richard branson is our guest today. ♪ . [ male announcer ] with free package pickup
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bill: private space travel is now one step closer to reality. cost you some money but it is almost here. virgin galactic spaceship 2 made its first powered test flight breaking the sound barrier. it flew to 55,000 feet, rather, 48,000, then launched spaceship 2 to 55,000 feet. until now that ship had only been on unpowered glider flights and came back down and glided to the ground. this is amazing stuff. sir richard branson founder of this virgin galactic. this is a big, big deal. first step to provide private travel into space some day soon and now that
day is a step closer. in really simple terms, how pig of a deal was this yesterday in order to get you to that next phase? >> i think it was the biggest milestone in this program. it has taken us eight and a half years to get there. now we know that it can break the sound barrier safely. we can start testing it at 2,000 miles an hour, at 3,000 miles an hour, and 4 miles an hour. by the end of the year be actually ready to do flights into space. so it has been a, it was a incredibly important day yesterday. bill: i bet it was. what a team you have. so the next big challenge is to increase the speed, is that right? >> yes. we'll take it from, firing the rocket for 18 seconds to firing it for 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 35 seconds, 40 and so on. and, by the end of the year we will definitely start doing flights into space and, then, we have already given
a go ahead to start building more spaceships, more mother ships, more satellite launches. so, it really is the start of a whole new era of space travel. bill: sure is. i'm reading here, that is 500 people have put up $200,000 each to be the first passengers. now, when do you see them going into space? >> well, if they're the pioneers they have been able to be able to do this program and they will be going into space next year. so they have had a longer wait than they have expected. they stuck with the program. they have been fantastic and supportive and so, you know, in the history of the space travel only 500 people have ever been into space. in our first year we should be able to put 500 people into space. bill: you're saying 2014 you will put these private passengers up in space, right? >> 2014 they will finally become astronauts. bill: that is remarkable. i'm also reading you and two
of your kids, you're going to be some of the first passengers? is that still the story? >> yep. holly and sam, who are adult kids now, they have been looking forward to coming up with us. we'll be going on the first, either the first official flight or the first flight into space. i'm still debating that with the wife. bill: what do you do? you go up, you fly around and take a couple of laps and you land in california ore what happens? >> well the initial, the initial flights are brief. they're about three hours in total. so you go up in the mothership. you get dropped from the mothership in the spaceship. you fire the rocket can. you go into space. you unbuckle. we've got enormous big windows, so you look back and marvel at the earth and then at some stage, when you have had your fill of, you buckle in and get ready for the journey back in. but, and then, we're going to be building orbital
spaceships after that for people who want to go for a week or two. bill: we'll stay in touch with you and your team. we're waiting for a press conference from the white house. sorry to cut you off. congratulations. sir richard branson from california. martha: yes. and we are waiting for a news conference. the president is expected any minute now. we'll take a quick break and bring you back there in a moment. i do a lot of research on angie's list before i do any projects on my own. at angie's list, you'll find reviews written by people just like you. i love my contractor, and i am so thankful to angie's list for bringing us together. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
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bill: 10:31 in new york. 10:31 at the white house the president expected to be out any moment. a former john kerry adviser, and mary katherine ham, a fox news contributor, good morning to both of you. we brought you in to talk about something different. marry ann why do you hold a press conference today? >> well, the president is about a hundred days into his second term. this is a perfect time to really define the terms of the second term, the first hundred days and many of the issues we've all been talking about, the boston bombings, the economy. syria, a host of other issues. it's a perfect time for him to define the terms of this presidency and the debate. >> mary kathrine i'm wondering about syria. about how you define a red line and what evidence we have and do not have. how far does he go today to clarify that? >> i wonder in light of that why hold a press conference today? he doesn't do them very often. this is a really stuff strategic
question on the board where they did make a red line and now others reporting, well there is regret in the white house that they made a red line. they want to make that kind of sort of disappear at this point. americans very skeptical of intervening, even if there is a red line reached. a lot of tough questions on the table. there is of course a benghazi report that came out from the g.o.p. congress last week. maybe he's counting on that they are all feeling a little more cozy after saturday night's dinner so they will be nice to him. i'm sure a jason collins question will come up. bill: you think it will about the nba player who came out as gay? >> if i know the press corp i would bet on that. how trickery is this. how far do you go? >> well, i think the president is going to use this opportunity to talk about the need to pursue the facts, and we need more facts in syria and we need more facts on the bombings. and i think that's what you're going to hear him talk about, that we are not in the place to make any decisions about taking action.
let's follow the facts wherever they go. bill: why did chuck hagel say what he said last week? why did that happen? >> well, i think you're going to hear from the president today that while there may be evidence that materials were used, who ordered them, under what circumstances, and why were they used? i think that has as much bearing as to the facts of of the use of this material. and that is an important consideration, because as we know all too often much of the intelligence used to make huge decisions, that has cost this country blood, pressure and lives, it really needs to make sure that the facts are correct here before the president makes any decision that commits us to any kind of actions in syria or elsewhere. bill: what do you think about that mary kathrine? >> i think that is the problem he's facing, is that a there was a red line to begin with, and b that hagel did speak about it last week. if either one of those elements was missing he wouldn't have to address the issue so
forthrightly. i think he is comfortable with filibustering a little bit on this issue and weighing both sides and saying, well we are not really sure yet, which is fine. as i said the american people, according to polling very skeptical about how intervention would go. of course the libya circumstances making people, and of course the last ten years making people a little wary about that kind of thing. i think he's on some safe ground there. he also needs to be careful about sending signals in the region and contradicting himself and looking like he's not standing up for what he laid down before. so -- >> we were given a two-minute warning here. i want to take you back to benge. we have been reporting that whistle-blowers are threatened with their careers if they go public. how does that come up and how does the white house handle it? >> i pee hope we see a question on it.
there are witnesses that could offer more information that have not gotten press. there are serious facts on the ground that he can bring light to. it's a serious situation, four people died, and has got even short shrift. >> weapon lawmakers say they are going to have hearings and they will be explosive. >> he can preempt some of that by coming out and being very forthright about what he nothing's at this point. that would be an opportunity for him. i'm not sure that the question will be asked or the opportunity taken. >> marry ann would you expect that? >> i think this president operates a little differently than others. he's a very good poker player. more than anything he waits until he has all the information before him, all the facts, and i don't think this situation with benghazi or syria, or boston is any different. he's going to approach all three the same way. plea liplea litpolitizing those
three things doesn't help anybody. he is going to wait, fix the problems, talker action or both. the republicans go ahead and have your hearings. i would ask that they be conduct ned a way that reveals all the facts and not cherry pick some of the facts which unfortunately we've seen outside these hearings and in these hearings over the last few months on this topic and many others. that is a disservice to everybody. bill: go ahead. >> when it comes to the case of louis gates, when it comes to the case of trayvon martin and george zimmermans president is very happy to comment on ongoing investigations, to politisize things and come to conclusions in press conferences. we'll see what the situation lends hand to. bill: there are big issues on the table. and this will be one fascinating press conference too. we await that. >> i look forward to him taking questions. >> thank you both in boston.
>> thank you. >> thank you. martha: a few minutes away from the president walking into the room we under. we want to bring you this that has just crossed in our urgent file moments ago. these are mugshots of catherine russell, tamerlan's wife. she was not married to him at the time. this is 2007. she was arrested for shoplifting, -p $67 worth of merchandise we understand from old navy, 18 years old at the time. so many questions about catherine russell that we are dealing with now. here is a little slice of her from several years back at 18 years old. interesting into the mix here. more on that coming up. bill: also there are concerns for the health of the american pastor jailed in iran. saeed abedini now in scholar tear reconfinement. should the u.s. state department do more to bring him home? his wife will join us live in a moment.
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guns. >> 911 what is the emergency. >> please.com to 1925 east caden road. [sound of gunfire] >> black males, white males, hispanic males. >> white, white. >> we heard shots. three shots in the air. someone got hilt with a baseball bat. we are at the fraternity complex. everyone is scared because there were shots fired. >> so far five arrested, none them said to be students at that school. martha: disturbing through developments on the american pastor jailed in iran's most notorious evin prison. his family is now saying that saeed abedini has been placed in sol even tear reconfinement and may be suffering from organ failure. his wife is here. and we have the executive from
the center for law and justice, they have been both trying to free him. talk to us about what you have learned about the recent movement of prisoners the at evin and how i applies to your client. >> there was a letter tenth to award where political prisoners are health. he they see christianity as a political threat to the regime. he signed a letter, again it was complaining about the medical conditions and the medical care that he -- of course he hasn't received any, but all the prisoners have been lacking in, as well as the way that his family, and the visitors are allowed to visit once a week are harassed and inch tim tkaeuplted and even abused -- intimidated and even abused himself. there was a silent protest in the prison yard. out of all of the prisoners and there are hundreds of prisoners in this ward ten got selected at random by the iranian prison officials to go into solitary confinement. we've learned this morning that he'll be here, the magistrate
has said for at least 20 days in solitary confinement. this is the beatings and torture that got him so injured when he was first put in prison. it's like starting that over again. martha: what is going through your mind right now when you hear all of this? >> i can't imagine one more day, what i've heard from him solitary was horrific. ef wahe was losing his memory. it's a small dark hole. doesn't know when day or night is. it's a psychological warfare, physical, beaten, he's beaten possibly during that time from what i know from previous experience. i have to say i'm in a way just really disappointed in the way our government has been handling this. i really expect our president to step it up here and we try to protect u.s. citizens here who have committed horrific crimes against our government, we protect our rights. what about the rights of a u.s. citizen inside of iran who is going through this because of
his religion belief? it's silence in the face of evil. it's evil itself. even with secretary kerry speaking out we had to fight for that for eight months. we had to ask for it for eight months. >> has it got even you anywhere? >> no, it seems like they are doing -- fox news and aclj have continually brought this to light or it would be forgotten. it seems like what is being done is them doing it under pressure, and it's having we have to ask from them not something that they are doing proactively. i'm really frustrated with how our government is handling this. and every day counts. martha: thank you as always. bill: here now the president. >> i am here to answer questions in honor o of ed henry as he wraps up his tenure as president of the white house press corp
association. you have get the first question. >> i hope we can go back to business and get mad at each other a little bit. a couple of questions on national security. on syria, you said that the red line was not just about chemical weapons, but them being spread and it was a game-changer. it seemed cut and dry, now our administration seems to be suggesting that line is not clear. do you risk u.s. credibility if you don't take military action. then on benghazi there are some survivors of that terror attack who say they want to come forward and testify. some in your state department, and they say they've been blocked. will you allow them to testify? >> well, first of all, on syria, i think it's important to understand that for several years now what we've been seeing is a slowly unfolding disaster for the syrian people, and this is not a situation in which we've been my standards for what
is happening. my position from the beginning is that bashar al-assad had lost credibility, that he attacked his own people, has killed his own people, unleashed a military against innocent civilians, and that the only way to bring stability and peace to syria is going to be for bashar al-assad to step down and move forward on a political transition. in pursuit of that strategy we've organized the international community. we are the largest humanitarian donor. we have worked to strengthen the opposition. we have provided nonlethal assistance to the opposition. we have a applied sanctions on syria. so there are a whole host of steps that we've been taking, precisely because even separate from the chemical weapons issue, what is happening in syria is a blemish on the international community generally and we've got to make sure that we're
doing everything we can to protect the syrian people. in that context what i've also said is that the use of chemical weapons would be a game-changer. not simply for the united states, but for the international community. and the reason for that is that we have established international law and international norms that say when you use these kinds of weapons you have the potential of killing massive numbers of people in the most inhumane way possible, and the proliferation risks are so significanc significant that we don't want that jeannie ou jean jenie out of the box. when i said that the use of chemical weapons would be a game-changer that wasn't a position unique to the united states, and it shouldn't have been a surprise. and what we now have is evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of syria, but we don't know how they were used, when they were used, who used
them, we don't have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened, and when i am making decisions about america's national security, and the potential for taking additional actions in response to chemical weapon use, i've got to make sure i've got the facts. that's what the american people would expect. and if we end up rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence, then we can find ourselves in a position where we can't mobilize the international community to support what we do. there may be objections even among some people in the region who are sympathetic with the opposition if we take action. so, it's important for us to do this in a prudent way. and what i've said to my team is, we've got to do everything we can to investigate and
establish with some certainty what exactly has happened in syria, what is happening in syria. we will use all the as s-rbg ets and resources that we have at our -- assets and resources we have at our disposal. we'll work with the neighboring country to establish a baseline of facts and called on the united nations to investigate. the important point i want to make shea here is that we already are deeply engaged in trying to bring about a solution in syria. it is a difficult problem, but even if chemical weapons were not being used in syria we'd still be thinking about tens of thousands of people, innocent civilians, women, children, who have been killed by a regime that is more concerned about staying in power than it is about the well-being of its people. and so we are already deeply invested in trying to find a
solution here. what is true, though, is if i can establish in a way that not only the united states, but also the international community feel confident is the use of chemical weapons by the bashar al-assad regime, then that is a game-changer, because what that portends is potentially even more devastating attacks on civilians, and it raises the strong possibility that those chemical weapons can fall into the wrong hands and get disseminated in ways that would threaten u.s. security or the security of our allies. >> by game-changer you mean u.s. military action? >> by game-changer i mean that we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us. now as i've said we are already invested in trying to bring about a solution inside of
syria. obviously there are options that are available to me that are on the shelf right now, that we have not dee deployed. that is a spectrum of options. as early as last year i asked the pentagon, our military, our intelligence officials to prepare for me what options might be available. and i won't go into the details of what those options might be, but, you know, clearly, that would be an escalation in our view of the threat to the security of the international community, our allies, and the united states, and that means that there are some options that we might not otherwise exercise that we would strongly consider. >> on the benghazi question i know pieces of the story have been litigated and you've been asked about it. there are people in your own state department saying they've been blocked from coming forward. that they survived the terror attack and they want to tell
their story. will you help them come forward and just say it once and for all? >> i'm not nam with thi not not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying. what i will do i will find out what exactly you're referring to. what i've been very clear about from the start is that our job with respect to benghazi has been to find out exactly what happened, to make sure that u.s. embassies, not just in the middle east, but around the world are safe and secure, and to bring those who carried it out to justice. but i'll find out what exactly you're referring to. >> they hired an attorney because they are saying they've been blocked from coming forward. >> i'm not familiar with it. jessica. >> thank you, mr. president. there is a report that your director of national intelligence has ordered a broad review, this is with records to the boston marathon bombings, that a broad review was ordered of all the intelligence gathering prior to the attack.
there is also a series of senators, lindsey graham, et cetera, who allege all these years after 9/11 there still wasn't enough intelligence shared prior to the attack. and now lindsey graham is a senior member of the armed services committee and he has said that benghazi and boston are both examples of the u.s. going backwards on national security. is he right and did our intelligence miss something? >> are no, mr. graham is not right 0 on this issue, although i'm sure it generated some headlines. i think that what we saw in boston was state, local, federal officials, every agency, rallying around a city that had been attacked, identifying the perpetrators just hours after the scene had been examined. we now have one individual
deceased, one in custody. charges have been brought. i think that all our law enforcement officials performed in an exemplary fashion after the bombing had taken place and we should be very proud of their work. as obviously we're proud of the people in boston, all the first responders and the medical personnel that helped save lives. what we also know is that the russian intelligence services had alerted u.s. intelligence about the older brother, as well as the mother indicating that they might be sympathizers to extremists. the fbi investigated that older brother. it's not as if the fbi did nothing. they not only investigated the older brother, they interviewed the older brother. they concluded that there were no signs that he was engaging in
extremist activity. so that much we know. and the question then is was there something that happened that triggered radicalization and actual -- and actual decision by the brother to engaging in the attack -- the tragic attack we actually saw in boston? and are there things, additional things that could have been done in that interim that might have prevented it? what director clap eriper is doing is standard procedure around here. when an event like this happens we want to go back and review every step taken. we want to leave no stone unturned. we want to see is there in fact additional protocols and procedures that could be put in place that would further improve and enhance our ability to detect a potential attack? and we won't know that until
that review is completed. we won't know that until the investigation of the actual crime is fully completed. and that is still ongoing. what i can say is that based on what i've seen so far, the fbi performed its duties. the department of homeland security did what it was supposed to be doing. but this is hard stuff. and i've said from -- for quite some time, that because of the pressure that we've put on al-qaida core, because of the pressure that we've put on these networks that are well financed, and more sophisticated, and can engage and project transnational threats against the united states, one of the dangers that we now face are selfradicalized
individuals who are already here in the united states, in some cases may not be part of any kind of network, but because of whatever warped, twisted ideas they may have, may decide to carry out an attack. and those are in some ways more difficult to prevent, and so what i've done for months now is to indicate to our entire counterterrorism team, what more can we do on that threat that is looming on the horizon? are there more things that we can do, whether it's engaging in -- engaging with communities where there is a potential for self-radicalization of this sort? is there work that can be done in terms of detection? but all of this has to be done in the context of our laws, due
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