Skip to main content

tv   60 Minutes  CBS  April 24, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

7:00 pm
captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> tonight, the director of the f.b.i. on the rise in violent crime in america, lessons from january 6 and what he believes is the greatest threat to the united states. in counterintelligence, does anything worry you more than russia? >> the biggest threat we face as a country from a counter- intelligence perspective is from the people's republic of china, and pees communist party. they are targeting our innovation, our trade secrets, our intellectual property on a scale that's unprecedented in history. ( ticking )
7:01 pm
>> 11 years ago, a team of two dozen navy seals flew under the cover of darkness into abbottabad, pakistan to carry out one of the most important counter-terrorism missions in history, to capture or kill osama bin laden. 30 minutes into that mission, the seals had their man and something they were not expecting: thousands of pages of osama bin laden's personal letters and notes. how important was that last- minute decision by the seal team to take those documents? >> bin laden's greatest fear was about exposing al-qaeda's secrets. ( ticking ) >> new york city has had all kinds of larger-than-life mayors, but never anyone quite like eric adams. dapperly dressed, with a pierced ear and dramatic life story, he says and does things that a lot of other democratic politicians would not. there's probably a lot of liberals who are concerned you're a republican. >> listen, there are 8.8 million
7:02 pm
people in this city, 30 million opinions, but there's one mayor that's going to make the decisions. ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm sharyn alfonsi. >> i'm jon wertheim. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories, tonight, on "60 minutes." ( ticking ) since i left for college, my dad has gotten back into some of his old hobbies.
7:03 pm
and now he's taking trulicity, and it looks like he's gotten into some new healthier habits, too. what changes are you making for your type 2 diabetes? maybe it's time to try trulicity. it's proven to help lower a1c. it can help you lose up to 10 pounds. and it's only taken once a week, so it can fit into your busy life. trulicity is for type 2 diabetes. it isn't for people with type 1 diabetes. it's not approved for use in children. don't take trulicity if you're allergic to it, you or your family have medullary thyroid cancer, or have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. stop trulicity and call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction, a lump or swelling in your neck, severe stomach pain, changes in vision, or diabetic retinopathy. serious side effects may include pancreatitis. taking trulicity with sulfonylurea or insulin raises low blood sugar risk. side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration, and may worsen kidney problems. the choices you make can help control your a1c. ask your doctor about once-weekly trulicity.
7:04 pm
growing up in a little red house, on the edge of a forest in norway, there were three things my family encouraged: kindness, honesty and hard work. over time, i've come to add a fourth: be curious. be curious about the world around us, and then go. go with an open heart, and you will find inspiration anew. viking. exploring the world in comfort.
7:05 pm
>> scott pelley: the f.b.i. is engaging the war in ukraine with an around-the-clock cyber defense against russian military hackers. in a rare interview, f.b.i. director christopher wray told us how the bureau is engaging that war while fighting rising violence at home, terrorism abroad, and the unprecedented scale of theft by china. it's a lot to take on. wray leads 35,000 men and women world-wide with the dual missions of fighting crime and counterespionage. we spoke, this past thursday, at f.b.i. headquarters in washington and started with the bureau's cyber
7:06 pm
defense of ukraine. you have put the f.b.i. on a war footing? >> christopher wray: in effect, we have. we view this as combat posture, with respect to cyber activity. >> pelley: your orders are to help ukraine keep the lights on, keep the communications flowing, and keep their critical infrastructure from being taken down? >> wray: my instructions to our folks is to lean in, to lean forward, to be as helpful to them as we possibly can be to help them anticipate, prevent, defend, mitigate malicious russian cyber activity. >> pelley: has russia increased cyber-attacks on the united states since the ukraine invasion? >> wray: i'm not sure i would say they've increased it, but certainly they've continued what they've been doing for years. and the prospect of that becoming more destructive and more severe is something that we're keenly watching for. so, we're treating it as sort of
7:07 pm
combat tempo. we have a 24/7 cyber command post running, and we've had now for several weeks. we've been pushing out intelligence products to private companies and others. we've been pushing out technical information to network defenders at a lot of these companies. the botnet disruption we're announcing today strikes a blow against russian intelligence. >> pelley: in march, wray's f.b.i. defeated russian military malware discovered on networks in the u.s. and around the world. the malware, prepared and laid in advance, was waiting to be activated. but the f.b.i. electronically severed russia's connection with its cyberweapon. >> wray: and i can't get too specific about it here-- but where we see a lot of those same sorts of activities, scanning, probing, preparation-- you know, trying to develop access. and so, the key is to work closely with partners, whether
7:08 pm
it's the ukrainians when it's their critical infrastructure, whether it's private companies here in the united states to try to make sure that we're interrupting and disrupting that before it becomes more damaging and destructive. >> pelley: wednesday, we followed chris wray to his morning briefing. >> wray: are we ready to roll? >> pelley: we joined the unclassified part which was, essentially, "good morning" and... >> wray: what do we got? on any given morning, i'm going to be hearing about say a domestic terrorist trying to blow up a hospital in the middle of a pandemic-- or an isis- inspired subject who's trying to blow up a synagogue or-- you know, our cyber agents racing out to a children's hospital to prevent them from falling prey to a looming ransomware attack. >> pelley: why did you take this job? you have to be right 100% of the time. >> wray: i realize that this is not a job for the faint of heart.
7:09 pm
and i can assure the american people that i am not faint of heart. i was inspired to come back and take on this job because i believe deeply in the work, the mission of protecting american people and upholding the constitution, and the people of the f.b.i.. >> pelley: christopher wray is 55, married with two grown children. he graduated from yale, and yale law. in the '90's, he was a federal prosecutor in atlanta. over the years he rose to headquarters and led the justice department's criminal division. in 2005, he left for private practice but in 2017, after president trump fired director jim comey, wray was recruited. the senate confirmation vote was a bi-partisan landslide-- 92 to five. let's switch for a moment from counterintelligence to crime fighting, in 2020, there was a
7:10 pm
29% jump in murder in the united states, nearly 5,000 more people killed than the year before. what is behind this leap in homicide? >> wray: certainly the pandemic didn't help. there's a variety of ways in which that contributed to it. we're seeing more and more juveniles committing violent crime, and that's certainly an issue. we're seeing a certain amount of gun trafficking, interstate gun trafficking. that's part of it. and we're seeing an alarming frequency of some of the worst of the worst getting back out on the streets. >> pelley: in 2021, there was a 59% increase in the murders of police officers, 73 officers killed. >> wray: violence against law enforcement in this country is one of the biggest phenomena that i think doesn't get enough attention. last year, officers were being killed at a rate of almost one every five days. >> pelley: but why are more officers being killed right now?
7:11 pm
>> wray: some of it is tied to the violent crime problem as a whole. but one of the phenomena that we saw in the last year is that an alarming percentage of the 73 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year were killed through things like being ambushed-- or shot while out on patrol. >> pelley: they were killed because they were police officers. >> wray: right. wearing the badge shouldn't make you a target. >> pelley: wray lost two f.b.i. agents last year. laura schwartzenberger and daniel alfin were shot while executing a search warrant in a child pornography case. >> wray: i heard about laura and dan's murders within really moments of it happening, from our miami field office. and i was on the phone with their spouses within a few hours. and i was in their living rooms the next morning.
7:12 pm
and my reaction was a feeling of ache, almost sickness, inside-- in my distress. you know, it's the hardest thing i've encountered in this job. >> pelley: can you say you're making any headway in violent crime? >> wray: we are working very hard with our partners, state and local law enforcement partners, through task forces, task forces all over the country. and through surging rapid deployment teams to try to combat violent crime in specific hot spots. last year i think we arrested something like 15,000 violent gang members around the country. and part of what fuels us to pursue this mission is our deep conviction that law enforcement's most sacred duty is to ensure that people can live free from fear in their own homes and neighborhood's.
7:13 pm
>> pelley: but mr. director, some people are in their homes living in fear of the police coming through the door with a no-knock warrant. and i wonder how the f.b.i. can contribute to the reduction of police brutality, which also occurs in our country? >> wray: well, we take very seriously our responsibility to both protect the american people and uphold the constitution. and that includes where it happens, going after police misconduct if it violates federal criminal law. >> pelley: perhaps the greatest controversy on chris wray's watch was the attack on the capitol. the bureau has been criticized for failing to develop intelligence that might have predicted the assault. >> wray: over 800 people have now been charged. agents in field offices all over the united states engaged in it, and we take this incredibly seriously-- >> pelley: but what you'd like to have is prevention.
7:14 pm
>> wray: our goal is to prevent terrorist attacks of any kind, domestic or international. >> pelley: the criticism of the f.b.i. after january 6th was that the plans of these people were on social media and the f.b.i. didn't see that. >> wray: we at the f.b.i. shared information through a variety of intelligence products for a solid year leading up to january 6th that raised the potential for violent extremism. what we did not, to my knowledge, have was intelligence indicating that thousands of people were going to physically storm the u.s. capitol in the middle of the constitutional process. >> pelley: what did you learn? >> wray: you can bet we have been taking a hard look at how we can be even more preemptive, even more aggressive, even more responsive to make sure that we prevent something like that from ever happening again. and you can be sure-- americans can be sure-- the f.b.i. is
7:15 pm
fiercely determined to do our part with the other agencies to make sure that that never happens again. >> pelley: one of the things you learned was that these militia groups can organize and mobilize. >> wray: and that's part of a broader phenomenon that we've seen over the last couple of years, of a variety of anti- government, anti-authority violent extremists. but a lot of the domestic terrorist threat that we face is not from well-organized, structured, traditional groups. in many ways, the hardest, biggest threat, terrorist threat that americans face here in the homeland, is from what are essentially lone actors or people conspiring with one or two other people and using crude attack methods, a gun, a knife, a car. so, if you think about the expression that a lot of americans have heard about connecting the dots, for the kind of attack i'm describing, there are not a lot of dots to connect.
7:16 pm
>> pelley: wray works to connect the dots from headquarters with a $10 billion annual budget, 56 u.s. field offices and more than 90 offices abroad. in counterintelligence, does anything worry you more than russia? >> wray: the biggest threat we face as a country from a counter-intelligence perspective is from the people's republic of china, and especially the chinese communist party. they are targeting our innovation, our trade secrets, our intellectual property on a scale that's unprecedented in history. they have a bigger hacking program than that of every other major nation combined. they have stolen more of americans' personal and corporate data than every nation combined. it affects everything from agriculture to aviation to high tech to healthcare, pretty much every sector of our economy. anything that makes an industry tick, they target.
7:17 pm
>> pelley: what is the f.b.i. doing about that? >> wray: we are now moving at a pace where we're opening a new china counter-intelligence investigation about every 12 hours. there's well north of 2,000 of these investigations. all 56 of our field offices are engaged on it. and i can assure you that it's not because our agents don't have enough else to do. it's a measure of how significant the threat is. >> pelley: christopher wray is not quite halfway through his ten-year term. that means, by our count, nearly 1,400 more perfectly good mornings spoiled by that classified briefing. do you go to bed at night and ask yourself, "what did we miss?" >> wray: i'm always wondering about the-- as i think secretary rumsfeld famously said, "the unknown unknown." and that's probably the one thing that i worry about the most. >> pelley: what is the best guarantee you can make to the american people?
7:18 pm
>> wray: i can't guarantee outcomes. what i can do is promise that i will try everything i can to make sure that we do the work in the right way-- that our process has integrity, has rigor, has objectivity-- that we bring those qualities to the work-- and that we will follow the facts wherever they lead, to whomever they lead, no matter who likes it. ( ticking ) and it's easier than ever to get your projects done right. with angi, you can connect with and see ratings and reviews. and when you book and pay throug you're covered by our happiness check out today. angi... and done. to be a thriver with metastatic breast cancer means... asking for what we want. and when you book and pay throug you're covered by our happiness and need. and we need more time. so, we want kisqali. women are living longer than ever before with kisqali... ..when taken with an aromatase inhibitor
7:19 pm
or fulvestrant in postmenopausal women or in men with hr+, her2- metastatic breast cancer. kisqali is a pill that's significantly more effective at delaying disease progression versus an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant alone. kisqali can cause lung problems, or an abnormal heartbeat, which can lead to death. it can cause serious skin reactions, liver problems, and low white blood cell counts that may result in severe infections. tell your doctor right away if you have new or worsening symptoms, including breathing problems, cough, chest pain, a change in your heartbeat, dizziness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, tiredness, loss of appetite, abdomen pain, bleeding, bruising, fever, chills, or other symptoms of an infection, a severe or worsening rash, are or plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. avoid grapefruit during treatment. ask your doctor about living longer with kisqali.
7:20 pm
>> sharyn alfonsi: 11 years ago, a team of two dozen navy seals flew under the cover of darkness into abbottabad, pakistan, to carry out one of the most important counter-terrorism missions in history-- to capture or kill osama bin laden. 30 minutes into that mission,
7:21 pm
the seals had their man, and something they were not expecting-- thousands of pages of osama bin laden's personal letters and notes. in 2017, the c.i.a. declassified most of those letters, without context and little translation. author and islamic scholar nelly lahoud wanted to read it all. she's spent much of her career researching al-qaeda, with stints at harvard and cambridge universities, and she's fluent in arabic. so, she dug in, carefully examining many of those documents, line by line. tonight, we'll hear what she found, gaining a rare glimpse into the inner sanctum of al-qaeda through the "bin laden papers." this is the bustling city of abbottabad, pakistan. from overhead, you can still see the scar in the landscape. this vacant lot-- where boys now play cricket-- is where osama bin laden's home once stood, and where the world's most wanted
7:22 pm
terrorist hid until the evening of may 1, 2011. >> president obama: tonight, i can report to the american people, and to the world, that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden. >> alfonsi: the operation, called neptune spear, took 30 minutes. but then, one seal alerted command that they'd found a ton of computers and electronics and needed more time. the seals were granted ten more minutes, that stretched into 18. they grabbed computers, v.h.s. tapes, books, thumb drives, hard drives and notebooks, carrying them out in bags strung around their neck. how important was that last- minute decision by the seal team to take those documents? >> nelly lahoud: bin laden's greatest fear was about exposing al-qaeda's secrets. and so, the fact that the seals decided to recover these letters ensured that al-qaeda's secrets were exposed. >> alfonsi: in 2012,
7:23 pm
nelly lahoud was teaching at west point when the c.i.a. declassified the first 17 documents from the raid. she was asked to lead the analysis of those documents for west point's combating terrorism center. for the last five years, she's been reading, translating, and analyzing the remaining declassified documents. consulting with u.s. generals, admirals, and members of the special forces community, to make sense of it all. there are home videos, like this one, of osama bin laden's son, hamza, getting married in iran. family photos, audio files, and letters. 500,000 files in all. nelly lahoud focused on 6,000 pages of them, for her book, "the bin laden papers." so, you were creating kind of a narrative based on all of the documents? >> lahoud: and you couldn't do it any other way. you couldn't have a division of labor where several people will take it on, because they're all so connected. vague references in one letter
7:24 pm
can only be explained if you looked at several other letters. so really, to get a grasp of what was really going on, you really need to be able to have read them all together. >> alfonsi: letters were the only way osama bin laden communicated with al-qaeda associates for nearly a decade, because he was trying to evade capture. bin laden had television in his compound, but didn't have access to the internet, or phone, so everything was written by hand or on computers, and encrypted on flash drives that were given to couriers to deliver. all the letters were backed up on hard drives. >> lahoud: we see in the letters diminutive bin laden, somebody who is very different from this powerful figure that we were reading about daily in the newspapers for over a decade. and the disconnect between his ambitions and between his capabilities is confounding.
7:25 pm
>> alfonsi: that "disconnect" was clear immediately after the 9/11 attacks. >> lahoud: al-qaeda did not anticipate that the united states would go to war. >> alfonsi: what did they think was going to happen? >> lahoud: a limited air strike; but they didn't think that they would go beyond that. ( explosion ) >> alfonsi: but as the war raged on in afghanistan, lahoud says, these letters show that osama bin laden was surprised by how americans reacted to 9/11. >> lahoud: he thought that the american people would take to the streets, replicate the anti-vietnam war protests and they would put pressure on their government to withdraw from muslim majority states. >> alfonsi: a large miscalculation. >> lahoud: huge miscalculation. >> alfonsi: in november of 2002, u.s. intelligence officials warned al-qaeda might be planning "spectacular attacks" that could cause "mass casualties." but lahoud says letters show that by that time, al-qaeda was weak.
7:26 pm
( explosion ) top leaders had been killed or forced into hiding, and the terrorist organization was rudderless. there is definitely a narrative that bin laden was still controlling al-qaeda from behind the scenes, "the puppet master" somewhere, hidden away. but is that what the papers show? >> lahoud: far from it. >> alfonsi: so he was not calling the shots at that point? >> lahoud: absolutely not. >> alfonsi: she says osama bin laden didn't communicate with his al-qaeda associates for three years, because he was on the run. it's still unknown exactly where he was hiding. but, in 2004, he reconnects with al-qaeda in this letter, offering surviving members his new plan to attack america. >> lahoud: he's very eager to replicate the 9/11 attacks in the united states. you know, he is mindful that now the security conditions are very difficult at airports. >> alfonsi: she read us part
7:27 pm
of this chilling letter from osama bin laden to the head of al-qaeda's international terror unit. bin laden writes that rather than hijack a plane, operatives should charter one for their next attack on the u.s.-- and adds, if that's too difficult, they should target u.s. railways. then, bin laden, who had a degree in civil engineering, explains exactly how to do it. >> lahoud: he wanted to have 12 meters of steel rail removed so that, this way, the train could be derailed. and we find him, explaining the simple toolkit that they could use. you know, he said, "you're-- you could use a compressor. you could use a smelting iron tool." >> alfonsi: he's in-- in those small details. >> lahoud: at the granular-- most granular level, yes. >> alfonsi: what does that say to you? >> lahoud: he's very methodical. very methodical. he thinks-- he doesn't want to leave anything for chance. ( speaking arabic ) >> alfonsi: fortunately, he was
7:28 pm
never able to execute his plan, because, lahoud says, al-qaeda had been gutted by the war. she read us this letter from tawfiq, a young associate who was running operations for al-qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan. he is telling osama bin laden just how incapacitated the terror organization had become. >> lahoud: "the weakness, failure, and aimlessness that befell us were harrowing. we muslims were defiled and desecrated. our state was ripped asunder, our lands were occupied, our resources were plundered." >> alfonsi: and so, he's giving the state of al-qaeda to osama bin laden, who probably hasn't heard this at this point? >> lahoud: he didn't know. he didn't know the reality. and he actually warns him, that "i'm going to tell you the truth as it is. and i know that some of the brothers here are not telling you everything in detail because they don't want to upset you, particularly because of the delicate situations in which you find yourself with." >> alfonsi: that delicate situation, is bin laden's life in hiding.
7:29 pm
by 2005, osama bin laden was living behind the 18-foot walls of the abbottabad compound he shared with some of his wives, children, and grandchildren-- seen here in this video seized during the raid. ( speaking arabic ) >> alfonsi: in this clip, bin laden's 22-year-old son, khalid, is showing off the compound's meager gardens and animals he tends to. khalid also recorded his fathers' public statements, that were intended to be seen around the world. ( speaking arabic ) >> alfonsi: you can hear him giggling, as the lights malfunction. but nelly lahoud says it was actually two of bin laden's daughters who played the greater role in crafting their father's messages and jihad missions. >> lahoud: the people who really worked on osama's public statements were mostly his daughters, miriam and sumaiya. and one of the pages, you know-- we find osama soliciting
7:30 pm
explicitly, "start preparing, start thinking about the ideas that need to go into the public statement." that's his own words. >> alfonsi: is this surprising how involved they were? >> lahoud: yes, it was. it was surprising to me. in the world of al-qaeda, and of jihadism broadly, women are not part of the public face of jihad. >> alfonsi: but privately, the bin laden women were very involved. in this letter to a relative, bin laden's wife siham is mourning the loss of a daughter who died in childbirth, but then the tone quickly changes. >> lahoud: and then she goes on to shame and, at the same time, incite the men to take up jihad. and she says, you know, "our women and children are suffering, while the men are being servile and coward." so, that's the kind of personality that we are encountering-- >> alfonsi: wow. >> lahoud: --about the women in the compound, yruoing low on ca.
7:31 pm
lahoud says documents show that in 2006, al-qaeda had ju unable to support or control an increasingly fractious jihad. still, she says, osama bin laden kept plotting. lahoud showed us this letter to another young associate, younis, who'd impressed bin laden with his sharp intellect. >> lahoud: it says, "this is specifically addressed to you, top secret. do not share it with anyone." >> alfonsi: it is osama bin laden's plan for another terror attack in 2010. this time, he wanted to target multiple crude oil tankers and major shipping routes around the middle east and africa. >> lahoud: he says, "it does not escape you, the importance of oil for industrialized economy today. and it is similar to blood for human beings. so, if you cause somebody to bleed excessively, even if you don't kill him, you will at least weaken him." and that's-- he really-- what
7:32 pm
he really wanted to do to the american economy. >> alfonsi: she says bin laden details how al-qaeda operatives should integrate themselves into those port areas as fishermen. he instructs them exactly where to buy a specific kind of wooden boat to evade radar, and then once again, goes into the granular details of his plan. >> lahoud: "the boats need to carry a large volume of explosives, preferably placed in an arch position, facing the vessel." >> alfonsi: so, he is not only telling them what explosives to buy, he's telling them how to place the explosives. >> lahoud: in an arch position. >> alfonsi: but his final plan to attack seems to have been halted by something he never saw coming. ( protests ) >> alfonsi: the arab spring. according to this family notebook-- a unique item seized in the raid-- the peaceful protests were confusing and concerning to the bin ladens. >> lahoud: on one level, they were very excited by the fact
7:33 pm
that the people were able to bring down dictators. but at the same time, there were all these question marks about, "what is the value of jihad at the moment?" and we find this really throughout this notebook. "is jihad still necessary?" >> alfonsi: lahoud says bin laden-- seen here in the final months of his life-- was struggling with the answer to that question before he was killed. u.s. intelligence agencies say most al-qaeda terrorist activity is now being carried out by smaller al-qaeda offshoots. bin laden's second in command, ayman al-zawahiri, now heads al-qaeda. ( speaking arabic ) >> alfonsi: this month, he appeared in a new video, denouncing the enemies of islam. ( ticking ) >> cbs sports h.2 is presented by progressive insurance. here in new orleans,
7:34 pm
xander schauffele and pat kant are the winners. they finish at 29 under par. elsewhere in the sports world, nba playoffs, defending the bucks beat the bulls to go up 3-1. defending the bucks beat the bulls to go up 3-1. f24/7 shi'i sports, going to bundling their boat insurance with progressive. no one knows who those people are. -it can be painful. -hand me your coats. there's an extra seat right here. no, no, no, no, no. we don't need a coat wrangler. progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home, auto, and more with us. no one who made the movie is here.
7:35 pm
why do people who live with generalized myasthenia gravis want a new treatment option? because we want to be able to get up and get ready for work.
7:36 pm
because the animals need to be cared for, and we like taking care of them. because we want to go out to dinner with our friends. because, in family photos, we want to be able to smile. a new fda-approved treatment for adults with generalized myasthenia gravis could help them do more of the daily activities they care about. to learn more, go to and talk to your neurologist.
7:37 pm
fantastic things start to happen when you step aboard a princess cruise. doors open up for you, your favorite drinks start finding you. and everything seems to be... just how you like it. how does it all happen? it's no secret. it's our job to discover what makes you feel special. yes, you! and you. and you too. making sure you feel taken care of.
7:38 pm
that's what a princess cruise is all about. cruise this summer from san francisco with up to 40% off. ( ticking ) >> anderson cooper: new york city has had all kinds of larger-than-life mayors, but never anyone quite like eric adams. dapperly dressed, with a pierced ear and dramatic life story, he says and does things that a lot of other democratic politicians would not. he talks openly about being a victim of police brutality as a teenager, who then went on to become a police officer. he speaks out forcefully about addressing economic inequality, while also reaching out to work with some of the wealthiest business leaders on wall street. adams got to city hall by winning a hotly-contested democratic primary in which he promised to restore "law and order."
7:39 pm
he's described himself as "the face of the new democratic party," and people all over the country will be watching to see how he addresses rising crime, new covid outbreaks, and the serious economic damage caused by the pandemic. has there ever been a mayor who was in a gang-- ( laughs ) --grew up as you did, got beaten by police, and then joined the police force? >> mayor eric adams: there's a subtext to the election, you know? i'm hoping the young man that is sitting in rikers island-- because he's dyslexic and did not get the tools he deserved realizes that, "hey, eric adams was dyslexic." "eric adams sat in a cell." i'm hoping those who are on the verge of homeless, or homeless, will say, "dammit, eric was on the verge." you know, there's a great moment here. a bend in the road is not the end of the road. just make the turn. >> cooper: mayor adams has been trying to help the city make a turn since he took over 114 days ago. tens of thousands of small businesses here have disappeared since the pandemic; unemployment is nearly twice the national average; and major crime is up
7:40 pm
43% from this time last year. ( gunfire ) nearly two weeks ago, a gunman pshot ten people on a crowded subway in sunset park, brooklyn. the alleged perpetrator was arrested after wandering the city for 30 hours. >> cooper: is the subway shooting an indication that this city is in real trouble, in terms of crime? >> adams: no. i don't believe so. when that shooting happened on tuesday, wednesday, people were back on the train. >> cooper: what do you say to new yorkers who are-- are scared, and feel that the city is headed in the wrong direction in terms of crime? >> adams: we've moved 1,800 guns off the streets of our city since i've been elected. 1,800. and so, we're putting in place the foundation of dealing with the immediate needs of violence, but we're also stopping the pipeline that causes children to get involved in violence. >> cooper: adams supports social and educational programs designed to steer young people away from crime. but, he's also called for a police crackdown on low-level
7:41 pm
offenses like public drinking and shoplifting, and taken steps to clear homeless encampments and stop people from sleeping in the subway. he's deployed new uniformed police units that he says have been specially trained to confiscate illegal guns in high-crime neighborhoods, without repeating the abuses of "stop and frisk" policies under mayors rudy giuliani and michael bloomberg. new york's last mayor, bill de blasio, disbanded the plainclothes units that did a lot of this work. >> adams: we were so far in the wrong direction of, really, abusive policing in our city, and country, that people got so fed up that they turned the ship too far in the wrong direction. there is-- >> cooper: too far to the left, you're saying? >> adams: to the left. there is a middle ground. we only talk about, "how do we protect the rights of those who commit a crime?" how about start talking about, "how do we protect the rights of people who are doing the right thing?"
7:42 pm
>> cooper: there's probably a lot of liberals who are concerned you're a republican. >> adams: listen, there are 8.8 million people in this city, 30 million opinions, but there's one mayor that's going to make the decisions. ( humming ) >> cooper: adams is nothing if not confident. watching him walk down the street, you'd never notice the weight of the city's problems on his shoulders. you've talked about swagger. ( laughs ) walking down the street with you, i-- you have swagger, certainly. and you've said that when the mayor has swagger, the city has swagger. >> adams: that's right. ( laughs ) >> cooper: "saturday night live" has already taken notice. >> "s.n.l." >> the city's never had a mayor with so much swagger before. i mean, y'all seen me outside. woof! the peacoats, the scarf, the shine on the baldie. >> adams: i love that skit, by the way. >> cooper: so, what is swagger? >> adams: it's, you know, feeling as though you've overcome so much, that you can overcome whatever is in front of you. i, eric adams... >> cooper: new york has overcome
7:43 pm
hard times in the past, he says, and so has he. as adams took the oath of office in times square just after new year's eve, he held up a picture of his late mother, dorothy, who struggled to support six children as a housekeeper and cook. he told us there were times she feared the family would get evicted while he and his siblings were in school, so she sent them to class with extra clothes. >> adams: she used to give us, anderson, a garbage bag full of clothing every day, because she thought the marshals was going to throw us out. my siblings and i... they used to call us the garbage bag children. i can still remember having this feeling in my stomach, you know, "darn it, don't let the marshals be out there." we'd get embarrassed. >> cooper: you had joined a gang when you were 14. is that-- is that right? >> adams: 14 when i joined, but i was a well-known number runner at 12. >> cooper: you were running numbers at 12 years old? >> adams: yeah, that was the illegal gambling system. >> cooper: when he was 15, he and an older brother were arrested for criminal trespassing and taken to the
7:44 pm
103rd precinct in jamaica, queens, where he says police officers beat them. >> adams: they just continually-- they kicked us, kicked us in the groin, over and over again. every time i would see a police car, i re-lived the beating. every time i heard a siren. >> cooper: how did somebody who had that experience with police decide to join the police force? >> adams: the reverend herbert daughtry and a group of the civil rights leaders brought 13 young men to the house of the lord church, and stated that it was time for us to go into the police department and fight for reform inside. >> cooper: what did you think when they said to you that you should join the police force? >> adams: i th-- thought they were out of their minds. ( laughter ) >> captain eric adams... ( applause ) >> cooper: he spent 22 years on the force, rising to the rank of captain, and emerging as a leading voice for reform within the department. after serving seven years in the state senate, and another eight as brooklyn borough president... >> our first choice is eric adams. >> cooper: ...he defeated 12 other candidates for the democratic mayoral nomination, and then easily won the general
7:45 pm
election in november. you said a while back that you were the "new face of the democratic party." where are you on the political spectrum? >> adams: i am a simple, pragmatic democrat. ( laughs ) >> cooper: but mayor adams was a registered republican for seven years, when rudy giuliani was mayor and bill clinton was president. what was your thinking then? >> adams: it was clear-- ( laughs ) no, my mother'd say, "boy, what's wrong with you?" ( laughter ) >> cooper: did she say that to you? ( laughter ) >> adams: she did. i was a police officer, and i saw the violence, and i wasn't seeing any help on the federal level. it was a protest vote. >> cooper: did you vote for rudy giuliani? >> adams: no. ( laughs ) i did not. i have the backs of my police officers. >> cooper: mayor adams was barely three weeks on the job when he spoke at this vigil for two police officers who were fatally shot while responding to a call in harlem in january. >> adams: and i'm saying, don't give up. don't become so frustrated and disenchanted to allow the
7:46 pm
violent people around us to do what they think they can do. stand with families like these. >> cooper: he's also met with the families of victims of gun violence, like 12-year-old kade lewin, who was shot to death while sitting in a car, eating. adams argues that people who attended black lives matter protests over killings by police should be supportive of his efforts to prevent people like kade lewin from being gunned down by criminals. >> adams: democrats don't like talking about intervention. but we have to lean into the discomfort of the immediate things we must do. because, you can't say black lives matter when a police officer shoots a young person, but does that black lives matter when a 12-year-old baby was shot? >> cooper: you say the democrats don't like to talk about that. why is that? >> adams: because when you talk about intervention, you have to use the term of giving police officers the tools to deal with violence right now. >> cooper: that makes a lot of
7:47 pm
very liberal democrats a little worried-- >> adams: yes, it does. >> cooper: --because that's rudy giuliani language. >> adams: they have allowed rudy giuliani to hijack something that the overwhelming number of people of color want. they will tell you, "we want our police. we don't want our police to be abusive." and that is the balance that i know we can do in this-- in this city. >> cooper: he delivered that message to police on his first day as mayor, at the same precinct house where he says he was beaten as a teenager. >> adams: there is a covenant that we are establishing. we will give them the tools and the support that they need. but we are also going to hold them to a high standard. >> cooper: mayor adams is 61 years old. he's not married, but has a long-time partner, and a 26-year-old son from a previous relationship. when he's not paying unexpected visits to police precincts, or sliding down fire poles... ...he's popping up at nightclubs, openings, and parties, rarely missing a chance to promote the big apple.
7:48 pm
>> adams: so, everyone who moved to florida, get your butts back to new york city, because new york city is where you want to be. >> cooper: you get around. >> adams: i love the city. and i love my job. >> cooper: you are an interesting new york character, don't you think? >> adams: no, just the opposite. i personify the energy of new york. our leaders have not always done so. >> cooper: getting tourists and commuters to return to the city is one of his big priorities. >> adams: i just have one ask: spend money! ( laughs ) >> women: we are. >> cooper: only about 40% of workers are believed to have returned to their offices, so far. the mayor's tried to lift some covid restrictions to help businesses, without causing a major new outbreak. a federal judge has ruled that centers for disease control and prevention, they can't require masks on airplanes and other transport. you think it's a mistake to not require masks on planes, on trains, and in high-traffic areas? >> adams: yes.
7:49 pm
i think it's a huge mistake not to require. we're still requiring it in our subway system and on our buses. >> cooper: the mayor likes to describe himself as "perfectly imperfect." his critics would certainly agree with the "imperfect" part. some progressive democrats believe his law-and-order approach will lead to more police abuses, without reducing crime. advocates for the homeless argue it's inhumane to evict people from subways or encampments without offering them a safe and suitable place to stay. and, government watchdog groups are deeply concerned about some of the mayor's appointments. his deputy mayor for public safety, philip banks, was once the n.y.p.d.'s highest-ranking uniformed officer, until he resigned in 2014 and was later named an un-indicted co-conspirator in a police corruption case. is that the kind of person you really want to have in your inner circle? >> adams: we're in a city of perfectly imperfect people. during a time that we have a law enforcement crisis, phil
7:50 pm
brings a lot to the table. >> cooper: there was testimony that he let a businessman pay for his vacation travel and expenses. you said you're not going to tolerate wrongdoing by your officers. are the things he did okay? >> adams: listen, he could have made better decisions of who was around him. what i do know is that we're going to have a very transparent government here in city hall. transparency is the best way to make sure those who are hired are doing their jobs. >> how are you, mr. mayor? >> cooper: the latest marist poll shows eric adam's approval rating is over 60%. but it's early still, and new yorkers are not a particularly patient lot. >> adams: how are you, man? >> cooper: adams told us he's studied the history of past mayors, so before we left, we asked him for his assessment of some of his famous predecessors, whose portraits hang in city hall. i just want to try a quick, like, speed-round, just-- >> adams: yes. >> cooper: --asking you what words come up when i talk about some former mayors. david dinkins. >> adams: compassionate, caring, kind.
7:51 pm
>> cooper: michael bloomberg. >> adams: thoughtful, kind, loved the city. >> cooper: ed koch. >> adams: eric adams. many personalities. ( laughs ) real life. >> cooper: really? you see a similarity with ed koch, a little bit? >> adams: yes. thick skin. >> cooper: ed koch used to go around asking, "how am i doing?" >> adams: "how am i doing?" ( laughter ) >> cooper: what do you say? ( laughter ) >> adams: i just give a thumbs up. ( laughs ) if they give me a thumbs up, i know i'm doing the right thing. >> cooper: okay. ( laughter ) >> adams: if they use one of the other four fingers, then i've got a problem! ( laughter ) ( ticking ) >> what keeps the mayor of new york city up at night? >> eric adams: if you don't have public safety, everything crumbles. >> at of the year is bigger than eve! for two days only, april 27th and 28th, get the lowest prices on thousands of items for your home. shop outdoor furniture up to 65% off... rugs up to 80% off... and lighting up to 65% off... plus, get bonus savings with a wayfair credit card
7:52 pm
and free shipping on everything! shop way day our biggest sale of the year. happening april 27th and 28th at ♪ wayfair you've got just what i need ♪ thanks for coming. now when it comes to a financial plan this broker is your man. let's open your binders to page 188... uh carl, are there different planning options in here? options? plans we can build on our own, or with help from a financial consultant? like schwab does. uhhh... could we adjust our plan... ...yeah, like if we buy a new house? mmmm... and our son just started working. oh! do you offer a complimentary retirement plan for him? as in free? just like schwab. schwab! look forward to planning with schwab. plain aspirin could be hurting your stomach.
7:53 pm
vazalore 325 liquid-filled aspirin capsule is clinically shown in a 7 day study to cause fewer ulcers than immediate release aspirin. vazalore. the first liquid-filled aspirin capsules...amazing! oh, i had never seen a picture of her until i got on ancestry. it was like touching the past. my great aunt signed up to serve in the union army as a field nurse. my great grandmother started a legacy of education in my family. didn't know she ran for state office. ended up opening her own restaurant in san francisco. paralee wharton elder, lupe gonzalez, mary sawyers, margaret ross. there's a lot of life that she lived. who are the strong women in your family?
7:54 pm
7:55 pm
when you need help it's great to be in sync with customer service. a team of reps who can anticipate the next step genesys technology is changing the way customer service teams anticipate what customers need. because happy customers are music to our ears. genesys, we're behind every customer smile.
7:56 pm
>> cooper: next sunday on "60 minutes:" jon wertheim heads north to iceland, not for volcanoes or geothermal pools, but for that tiny country's eruption of enthusiasm for eurovision-- europe's eccentric annual song contest. >> wertheim: this helps you feel more a part of europe? >> rúnar gíslason: definitely. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> cooper: eurovision is a traveling circus with a big tent-- one you truly have to see to 40 countries d one act-- and over the years, they have run the gamut-- to perform a three-minute song for a panel of judges, and millions of tele-voters. i'm anderson cooper. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." ( ticking )
7:57 pm
cal: our confident forever plan is possible with a cfp® professional. a cfp® professional can help you build a complete financial plan. visit to find your cfp® professional. ♪♪ meet ron. that man is always on. and he's on it with jardiance for type 2 diabetes.
7:58 pm
his underhand sky serve? on fire. his grilling game? on point. and his a1c? ron is on it. with the once-daily pill, jardiance. jardiance not only lowers a1c... it goes beyond to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease. and jardiance may help you lose some weight. jardiance may cause serious side effects, including ketoacidosis that may be fatal, dehydration that can lead to sudden worsening of kidney function, and genital yeast or urinary tract infections. a rare life-threatening bacterial infection in the skin of the perineum could occur. stop taking jardiance and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of this infection, ketoacidosis, or an allergic reaction, and don't take it if you're on dialysis. taking jardiance with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. a once-daily pill that goes beyond lowering a1c? on it with jardiance. ask your doctor about jardiance.
7:59 pm
( ticking ) captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. captioned by media access group at wgbh
8:00 pm
nicki: what does your mom do again? i don't know, charity stuff. robyn: i'm the one you call when you can't call 911. previously on the equalizer... delilah: you don't work for a charity, do you, mom? no matter what i do, i'm always your mom. i know that you lied to me. i am a nypd... morales: stop! (grunts) this guy's a cop. we'll take him out to youngstrom's farm. no one will ever know. (gunshot) (grunting) dante: give that to the chief for me. i'm afraid of who i might become. ♪ here we are ♪ ♪ under the stars... ♪ (laughter) okay, what about leroy, if it's a boy? leroy? oh, you can't be serious. what? it's distinguished. my uncle's name is leroy. (laughs): your uncle is also 82 years old. i will not do that to our child. our child.
8:01 pm
♪ so far ♪