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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Netanyahu Addresses Congress; Justice Department Releases Ferguson Report; Hillary Clinton's E-Mail Use During Time At State Dept. Criticized
Aired March 3, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN GUEST HOST: Good evening. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington sitting in for Anderson.
We have breaking news. The justice department's report on policing in Ferguson, Missouri. The investigation was launched in the ugly wake of the police shooting that left Michael Brown dead. The conclusion, a pattern and practice of racial bias against African-Americans by the nearly all white Ferguson police department targeting blacks disproportionately. According to one official familiar with the report for traffic stops, use of force, and jail sentences. The investigation also revealed the number of outright racist emails from within the department.
We are going to have a much more on this shortly including reaction from Benjamin Crump and our own Sunny Hostin. Standby for that.
But let's begin tonight with the nuclear reaction to Benjamin Netanyahu's speech. The Israeli prime minister went before Congress today with U.S.-Iranian nuclear talks at a turning point, not to mention White House-Israel tensions at the breaking point.
And war against ISIS now at a full swing. Israeli elections is just around the corner. The prime minister did not mince words nor tonight are his critics and supporters. We're going to hear from all sides tonight.
First though. Highlights from the prime minister's speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: When it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
NETANYAHU: The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapon and You Tube. Whereas Iran could be soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. If anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we'll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare. Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. (APPLAUSE)
NETANYAHU: But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel. I know that you stand with Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: President Obama said he did not watch Netanyahu's speech. He said he read the transcripts. Safe to say, the president was not impressed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region, the prime minister didn't offer any viable alternatives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: More from Michelle Kosinski. She is joining us in the White House.
Michelle, clearly, the White House, the president, not happy at all but here's the question. How angry are they?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, they don't want to come out and say that, of course. It's what you read between the lines. I mean, the president did say that this was a mistake to do this speech now, only days at this point before Netanyahu faces election. But what we have seen this White House try to do, in fact, over the last two days is try to preempt and pre-butt virtually everything he said in the speech and make an argument against it. Saying that, you know, if you try to add more restrictions on to Iran now, make the time frame for the deal indefinite and add more sanctions, try to get them to stop the nuclear program altogether, the administration will walk away. This administration is in stark opposition to Netanyahu that no deal is going to be far worse.
I mean, what they say is when there was no deal and no negotiations, that's when Iran did advance its nuclear program and the White House says only once negotiations started did we really see Iran halt it and even roll it back in some respects, Wolf.
BLITZER: Michelle, how confident is the administration that a deal with Iran can actually be reached?
KOSINSKI: We were surprised to hear not confident at all. I mean, we see Kerry keep up this almost punishing schedule working on the negotiations right now. But the president yesterday said, look, it is now more likely than not that Iran walks away from this deal, at least as it stands as far as we know, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Michelle, thanks very much. Let's go to Congress right now. The reception there and the reaction
from lawmakers. Dana Bash is joining us from Capitol Hill.
Some very visceral reactions to the prime minister's speech on Capitol Hill today, right Dana?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Visceral is a great word. You had the rousing applause which that was truly the moment that people saw and it was the image that people saw for the most part for mostly Republicans.
And you know, on the Democratic side, we talked about the fact that about 50 Democrats boycotted the speech. But the image that was probably most lasting when it comes to the democratic side was the House democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, grimacing, visibly angry and agitated at the things that she was hearing the prime minister was saying. At a certain point, kind of turn around looking at her colleagues who are standing up and uploading and saying what are you doing? This is something that we should not be applauding. Afterwards she said that she was insulted because she felt that the prime minister was insulting the intelligence of Americans and she said it brought her to near tears. Here's what she explained what she meant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: I was near tears because I love Israel very much. I value the importance of the relationship between Israel and the United States.
United States of America has as one of the pillars of its national security and its foreign policy to stop the proliferation of weapon of mass destruction. And that's what we do and that is what the president is doing in the negotiation. And if the good for the deal isn't good enough, we won't accept it. I don't think we needed any lectures on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Strong words from Nancy Pelosi.
So Dana, what will Congress do next? Will they try to insert themselves into this deal?
BASH: They might likely do exactly that. I think it was very telling that even just a couple of hours before the prime minister finished his speech, in fact, hadn't left the building yet, the Senate majority leader moved to fast track legislation to give Congress a role in this.
Now, you know, technically, this is not a treaty. So constitutionally, Congress doesn't officially have a role. But they want to insert themselves. Republicans and some Democrats, this is bipartisan. And effectively what this would say is that any deal that the Obama administration makes with their allies and Iran would have to come to Congress first for debate, about two months of debate and then Congress could either approve it, vote it down or say nothing. And this is something, again, that has bipartisan support. The question is whether or not they're going to wait to move on this until after these talks are finished. It's just three more weeks or not. It looks like there's enough support to hold off and let the talks play out.
But it certainly does seem as though Congress wants to have a role in this. And there's no question that the prime minister's speech was in many ways for consumption at home in Israel, politically. But here, it's clear he wants a congressional backstop for these talks if nothing else.
BLITZER: What's been the reaction, Dana, up on Capitol Hill, to the minority leader Nancy Pelosi's very tough words saying this was an insult to Netanyahu, an insult to the United States, an act of condescension to the United States?
BASH: Well, look. A lot of her colleagues agree with her. As I said, you know, still many of them, about maybe just a short of a quarter for caucus, her Democratic colleagues, they didn't even go to the speech to make a point.
But at the same time, a lot of Republicans are really upset in saying that they thought she was rude. And that she shouldn't have behaved that way and that, you know, then needed to go and others needed to go even if they didn't agreed if they agreed to go that they should be polite.
But clearly, she is an institutionalist. She is somebody who expressed herself very clearly that she thinks that the creation of the state of Israel was the shining light in the 20th century. And thinks that him coming into her house, the House of Representatives and criticizing, in her words, lecturing the American people in the Congress was just wrong.
BLITZER: I could not but notice she often would remain seated. She was not happy with what she heard. But Sonny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the house, he was popping up. He was standing up with Republicans left and right.
All right, Dana, thank you very, very much.
Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman called the speech in her words a deceitful theater play. That's not all she sad as you can imagine. Official reaction in Tehran was not exactly welcoming but were there nuances to the Iranian position beyond the public statements?
Frederik Pleitgen is working his sources. He is join us now live from Tehran.
So what's been the reaction over there, Fred?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, the Iranians have had anger reaction that they have lashed out at Prime Minister Netanyahu and certainly didn't mince any words. It was interesting because the speech wasn't broadcast here, of course, on television. The Iranians would never broadcast the speech by an Israeli prime minister, Wolf.
However, there was video that was shown of it and it had a banner over it that said Iranophobic (ph) speech and that is certainly the way that the Iranians are trying to label all of this. And the other thing that they are also doing is they are also playing on what they say is this growing rift between the Israelis and the administration of Barack Obama. There were commentators here on Iranian TV who called the speech a humiliation for Barack Obama.
But I want to get back to the spokesperson for the foreign mini ministry because we did reached out to her. It is interesting because Iranian officials are not always this forthcoming with statement. But today, they clearly felt that they wanted to make some. And one of the most interesting lines I got from the statement is this.
"The continued lies," this is me quoting her, "the continuous lines of Netanyahu regarding the aims and intentions of peaceful nuclear program of Iran are repetitive and sickening." And then goes on with the continuation of the negotiations and the serious will of Iran to remove this artificial crisis. The politics of Iranophobia (ph) are facing major problems.
So that again plays on that with the Iranian to say this rift between the Israelis and the Obama administration. But it also seems to indicate that this speech has not killed negotiations and that the Iranians are still very much willing to continue these negotiations, Wolf.
BLITZER: I'm sure they're happy about this rift in the relationship between the Obama administration and Netanyahu government.
In terms of the nuclear deal, Fred, actually being hammered out right now. They've got about three weeks left before they're supposed to reach the framework agreement. How confident are Iranian officials based on everything you're seeing and hearing, that a deal will in fact be reached?
PLEITGEN: Well, you know, it's very interesting. Because it doesn't seem as though Iranian officials are necessarily as confident as they might have seemed the last week or so. I mean, if you take Iran, you know, of course always two sides to all of this. On the one hand, you have the people who want negotiations, who want some sort to come forward. Those are the people around president Rouhani, the moderate.
But on the other hand, also you have a lot of hardliners here in parliament who felt that Iran should have walked away from negotiation a long time ago. There is people who say, quite frankly, they would rather deal with sanctions than to reach an agreement with the United States and allies.
And in the middle of all this, of course, Wolf, you have the supreme leader of this country and he is someone who has been playing all this very, very carefully. He said from the beginning that he doesn't believe a deal is likely. But at the same time, he also says he backs these negotiations and hopes that a deal can be made. But he also said he would only accept a deal that's, quote, "good for Iran," Wolf. BLITZER: All right, Fred. Thanks very much. Fred Pleitgen reporting
for us from Tehran.
A quick reminder, make sure to set your DVR so you can watch "360" whenever you would like.
Up next, the implications and the repercussions of speech today. What Prime Minister Netanyahu really wants, what critic say President Obama fails to see and what the policy alternatives really are. Our experts are weighing in.
Later, we have more details from the explosive report on racial bias in the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, including racist emails now coming to light.
BLITZER: Whatever you think of the case that drop Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made today or the wisdom that injecting himself so overtly into the Washington freight, there is no denying the Israeli leader is a formidable public speaker with an act returning a phrase.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle but lose the war. We can't let that happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Just a little while ago, I spoke with three individuals who are deeply versed in U.S./Israeli relations. Former George W. Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleisher, Aaron David Miller who has worked with numerous secretaries of state, Democratic and Republican on Middle East issues, currently he is a vice president at Woodrow Wilson international center. Also, our CNN political commenter Peter Beinart. He is a contributing editor at the Atlantic and senior fellow at the New America foundation.
BLITZER: Ari, so what did the prime minister's speech from your perspective accomplish? Because most Republicans were already supportive of them as you know. Some Democrats are now flat out furious including the House minority leader Nancy Pelosi who said the speech was condescending and actually insulting to the United States.
Here is the question. Did it make the situation between the U.S. and Israel even worse?
ARI FLEISCHER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we'll find out soon. I think it sort of two key moments, Wolf. One, there's going to be a vote in the United States Senate to give Congress a role in approving whatever it is that the president negotiates. And two, whether or not Congress moves forward. The past additional sanction against Iran. I think he probably picked up several votes today. There will have to
be a veto majority to do it. So it is going to be close probably.
BLITZER: Peter, don't you agree, though, that the U.S. Congress, they got to consider this, it's a very important issue, that it is important for them to hear directly from the prime minister of Israel.
PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Everyone knows that Benjamin Netanyahu believes about this. And we also don't know what the deal would be. So yes, there are appropriate form for Benjamin Netanyahu to express himself, to come, to be invited behind the president of the United State's back to attack his foreign policy, no, I think that was not the appropriate forum.
BLITZER: The relationship and you've studied it, Aaron, for a long time between the U.S. and Israel. There have been ups and downs, there have been riffs, if you will. But the public anger between president of the United States and a prime minister of Israel, I don't remember that anything like that before.
AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER SENIOR U.S. ADVISOR: No, it's unprecedented. Shamir (ph) and Bush rangel over long guarantees. But there, you actually produce something. And here, you've got a durable dysfunctional relationship between these two leaders and there is no reset, I'm afraid.
BLITZER: What exactly no reason?
MILLER: No reset. In other words, you are going to need a new Israeli prime minister and new American president to set the U.S.- Israel back on track.
BLITZER: So you mean, even if Netanyahu is reelected in two weeks, two weeks from today, the Israeli elections, for the balance of the Obama administration, nearly two years, you think there's going to be this anger?
MILLER: It doesn't have to get worse, the question is whether it can get better. It's going to be frosty. I mean, there's a sense of betrayal, broken confidence, broken trust. And look, there's an agreement, then you are going to have to figure out a way to manage the relationship with the Israelis.
BLITZER: Ari, what do you think?
FLEISCHER: Sure it's tough, Wolf. And you know, relationships aren't between people, that between countries. If they were between people, this relationship has been bad for a long time. There is only two or three months ago, a senior administration official called Netanyahu a chicken, swear word, in an interview they gave.
And so, the Obama administration has not exactly gone out of its way to be kind to Benjamin Netanyahu and I think he is returning the favor. But again, relations are between nations and they're both mature leaders and I think they will have to realize that if BB is elected if two weeks. BLITZER: I was surprised, Peter. I believe you probably were two,
all of us, where at how bitter the language was from both of these leaders and direct and blunt, basically the Israeli prime minister saying to the president of the United States we don't trust you because it's not just a matter of security for Israel, it's a matter of survival.
BEINART: Benjamin Netanyahu has spent his entire political career wanting to be Winston Churchill. He now talks about Iran as the Nazis. That he goes back into the 1990s. He has talked about the Palestinians as the Nazis all the time. Every single year he's been in politics, it's been 1938. And this is the way he seasons that. But I think it is sincere.
Barack Obama sees himself as Richard Nixon going to China, the guy who is going to change the geopolitical map of the Middle East with an opening to Iran. These are legacy questions for both of them. That's why they can't back down.
BLITZER: But is that even doable, Aaron? You are an expert in the region. For Iran to basically change its attitude and cooperate, no longer support what the United States considers to be terrorist organizations, actually accept Israel's right to exist, is that even doable?
MILLER: Not a chance, Wolf. This is a business deal. They need really something from sanctions and the Obama administration needs something which preempting an Israeli military strike and to prevent an American strike. And that seems to me a pretty unsentimental bargain. This is a transactional. It is not a transformation.
BLITZER: So where do we go, Ari, from here?
FLEISCHER: Well, I think we are going to go to two votes in Congress. And it going to be crucial and it will be a massive fight over those votes and there is a lot of democratic support for Israel and the United States Congress. I think that's what's next.
But I think also there's a chance here to fundamentally redo the Middle East. You know, Israel is a line behind the scenes, especially, with Saudi Arabia, each of the United Arab Emirates against Iran. And that's another reason and so surprising that the president is so willing to cut this deal with Iran. He is not only going to antagonize Israel, but will antagonize a lot of our Arab allies at a time when we can form an unusual alliance in the Middle East.
BLITZER: But Peter, there is no deal yet. And I don't know if the speech by Netanyahu today is going to make the prospect greater or reduce that prospect. They still have a lot of work to do.
BEINART: Right. They have a lot of work to do. Barack Obama still said he doesn't think it's necessarily, 50/50. But there does seem to be some progress here. And I think actually you'll find that if there is a deal, the Democrats will stand behind President Obama. And, you know, there's reporting that the Israelis tried to get some of the Arab leadership to come to Benjamin Netanyahu's speech. They wouldn't come to his speech. So in fact, I think you'll likely to find that the Obama administration can sell the deal.
BLITZER: you think they can?
MILLER: Sell the deal.
BLITZER: If the Congress has to have an up and down vote on this deal, whatever emerges, do you think it will pass?
MILLER: I'm not sure you'll get enough Democrats basically to cross the line on this one. I think they feel offended and even humiliated by Benjamin Netanyahu's tactics with respect to the invitation visit.
BLITZER: All right, Aaron Miller, thanks very much. Peter Beinart, Ari Fleischer, guys, appreciate it very much.
And just ahead, breaking news. The U.S. justice department launching an investigation after Michael Brown's killing confirming now what many African-Americans of Ferguson, Missouri, have long maintained. The city's police department is engaged in a widespread pattern of racial bias. The report is scathing.
BLITZER: More breaking news tonight.
The U.S. justice department investigation has found a sweeping pattern of racial bias within the Ferguson, Missouri police department. The civil rights probe, you may recall, was ordered by the attorney general Eric Holder after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by the police officer Darren Wilson. Officer Wilson was cleared by a grand jury.
The full report by the justice department expected to be made public tomorrow. The first look though is sobering. Investigators found that Ferguson police routinely violated the civil rights of African- Americans by using excessive force and making unjustified traffic stops. Officers also made racists jokes at their sitting email accounts.
The report also found racial bias to the city's municipal courts. Our justice correspondent Evan Perez is with me. You are watching what is going on. The details are really pretty stunning when you go through that.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: This is a damning report, Wolf. Because you know, when we went to Ferguson, we heard a lot from people on the streets there that -- of what their experiences were with the police department. And now we have statistics from the justice department which indicate what those protesters said their experience is exactly what happened.
We have a few of them right here, 85 percent of vehicles stopped made by the Ferguson police departments were of African-Americans, 93 percent of arrests were of African-Americans, 90 percent of citations were African-Americans and 88 percent of the times they put Ferguson police department to use force to make an arrest, it was against African-Americans.
Again, these are findings that the justice department is going to be releasing tomorrow as part to kick off a legal process to try to get some fixes made with the Ferguson police department.
BLITZER: It's hard to believe in this day and age, but police officers, court officials, they were circulating racist jokes, if you will, racist comments on their official email accounts.
PEREZ: On their official email accounts, Wolf. There was one in 2008 after the election of President Barack Obama in which these, one official apparently sent an email saying he didn't expect the president to last long in office because after all, which black man keeps a job for four years, is what the joke went. And again, there are other jokes that were also being circulated according to the justice department. And what we expect is that they are going to ask for court order process to be able to bring some fix to the police department and the municipal courts which were, you know, the city was using to basically tax, you know, African-American drivers who went through the city of Ferguson.
BLITZER: We know the attorney general, the outgoing attorney general Eric Holder, he wanted this report out while he was still the attorney general. He's wrapping up in the next few days but where do we go from here, legally, what's next?
PEREZ: Well, legally, you know, we also expect that there will be no charges announced tomorrow. They're going to close the books on Darren Wilson because that was also a separate ...
BLITZER: He is the white police officer.
PEREZ: The police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. So, we expect that they're going to close the books on that investigation, Wolf, and then legally, this is going to be a process of years to try to repair this police department and bring it to something that's actually serving and protecting the people of Ferguson.
BLITZER: Evan Perez, thanks for the reporting. Many residents of Ferguson no doubt will feel vindicated by this U.S. Justice Department report. Whether or not they will see police reforms, though, as a result of this remains to be seen. The tensions between police and the community have deep roots. When Michael Brown was shot dead last summer, Ferguson was a powder keg ready to explode even if the rest of the country didn't realize it. Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice!
CROWD: No peace!
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Michael Brown, the people of Ferguson found their voice. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we going to do to get justice? Because
you see the whole part (EXPLETIVE) city in an uproar. The whole city in an uproar
KAYE: Still in the weeks that followed Brown's death, it became clear the anger here extended far beyond the shooting death of the unarmed teen. It had been brewing here for years.
ANTONIO FRENCH, ST. LOUIS ALDERMAN: There's a broken trust between the government, local police, and the community.
KAYE: Thousands took to the streets as nearly all-white Ferguson police force tried to keep protests peaceful. Though 67 percent of Ferguson's population is black, there are just three black police officers in the city. Three out of 53 officers. And their response, tanks and tear gas, riot gear and rubber bullets, hardly bridge the racial divide in this community.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) This is not right. We want to try to get unity. This is what y'all do. This is unity.
KAYE: It only got worse from there. Listen to what this officer says to protesters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring it. (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
KAYE: And there's more. Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson, who is white, for days refused to release the name of the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, which only fueled more anger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need more than your regulation. We need more just to clean this up. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
KAYE: Many found the police chief tone deaf.
CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE: It's never been the intention of the Ferguson police department or of any police department that I know of to intentionally target individuals because of race. If there is that happening, it's a crime and it needs to be addressed.
KAYE: But it was never really an "if." Even before the Michael Brown shooting, Missouri's attorney general found in 2013 that Ferguson police were twice as likely to arrest African-Americans during traffic stops as they were whites. That same report also found that African- Americans were the target of 92 percent of searches and 86 percent of traffic stops.
After the initial miscues in Ferguson, Captain Ron Johnson, who is black was brought in to try to calm the protesters.
CAPTAIN RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: If our intent is to make things better and ensure that our kids know that they're going to grow up in a better place and that their voice means something, no matter what your race is, no matter what your age is. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop to kill ...
KAYE: In a city where the police chief, the mayor and five of the six city council members are white, promises like those tend to fall on deaf ears. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
BLITZER: Michael Brown's family has long maintained that the unarmed teenager's fatal shooting was the result of the systemic pattern of racially biased policing. Benjamin Crump is the family attorney. He is joining us now. Ben, these findings from the Justice Department, what was your reaction when you read them?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN'S FAMILY: Well, as we said all along, we believed that the tragic killing of this unarmed teenager in broad daylight was part of a bigger pattern, a systemic pattern within the Ferguson community of how African-Americans are policed, Wolf. And so this really shows that the protesters, the people who wanted their voices heard were correct in doing so, because it was almost as if they knew if they didn't speak up, it was going to be swept under the rug and it was going to continue to happen. What we want to see is not just officers held accountable, but you want solutions, real solutions because we don't want to keep having to bury our children at the hands of the people who are supposed to protect and serve them.
BLITZER: Have you spoken to Michael Brown's parents about this Justice Department report? If you did, what was their reaction?
CRUMP: Well, we have not spoken at length about it, Wolf, because as you know and you reported, it's still not official yet. One of the things, they have been on an emotional roller coaster through the grand jury proceedings, through losing their child in this tragic manner. Which you would want to, hopefully, and pray, Wolf, that they would be able to see that this is going to make it better for Ferguson. This is going to make it better for the community. It does nothing to bring their child back to them, and if the rumors are accurate, the killer of their child is not going to be held criminally liable, and that is a tough pill to swallow. But hopefully and preferably, they can see this Department of Justice findings as something that they can say, well, at least his death was not in vain.
BLITZER: You know, the racist jokes or comments that were being e- mailed by Ferguson police, not just police, but court officials, there as well, the fact that they were sending them on their city e-mail accounts, it's pretty outrageous when you think about it in this day and age. I know you're going to be in Selma, Alabama, this weekend, but give us some thoughts on that.
CRUMP: Well, it really goes to where we're at in America. You know, when President Barack Obama was elected, everybody said we are now in a post-racial America and then you saw the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin and everybody said, well, we still have a long way to go. But now, when you look at Michael Brown's death, you are continuing to ask yourself, how will we fix this problem? Everybody acknowledges, Wolf, that there's a problem, but the question is what is the remedy? How do we get to solutions?
There is an epidemic going all across America whether it be Eric Garner in Staten Island, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Antonio Zambrano Montes, Hispanic person. People of color getting killed by police officers and nobody is being held accountable and so the consent degree is a good thing, but we believe until some of these officers are held accountable criminally, there's no deterrent and that is the problem. That's what the young people are telling me that they never get held accountable when they kill us, attorney Crump.
BLITZER: I want to ask you something about the former mayor of Ferguson. What he told the St. Louis "Post-Dispatch", he said that the statistics from this report are actually in line with Ferguson's demographics because African-Americans from surrounding communities routinely go in and out of Ferguson making the daily African-American population there even higher, the daily population about 67 percent. So, what do you make of that assessment from the former mayor?
CRUMP: There lies the problem. We have to start saying that we are going to expect more of our leaders, of our police. We're going to not profile people. We're going to treat people as people, as American citizens, and we're not going to try to justify the excessive force. The pattern of racial discrimination. We're not going to do that anymore because that leads to tragedies like Michael Brown. What we're going to start doing is making sure that we have good police officers who are properly trained, who are properly supervised. Nobody is against police, we're against bad police because bad police kill our children and we got ourselves a problem and we want to find a solution. Until we acknowledge that, it is a problem. And we say we're going to find a solution as Americans, we're never going to get beyond this.
BLITZER: Let's hope we do. It's a huge, huge challenge, for our country right now. Benjamin Crump. Thanks very much.
Just ahead, we are going to have more reaction from Ferguson. Take a look at this, you are looking at live pictures of police headquarters in Ferguson. I'll speak with St. Louis Alderman, Antonio French and our own Sunny Hostin.
BLITZER: Take a look at this live picture coming in from police headquarters in Ferguson, Missouri. Tonight's breaking news. The Justice Department has completed its civil rights investigation of the city's police and courts. And the findings are damning. investigators have found that Ferguson police have engaged in what's described as a widespread pattern of racial bias, routinely violating the civil rights of African-Americans by using excessive force and making unjustified traffic stops. Investigators also found racial bias in the city's courts. The full report is expected to be released as soon as tomorrow. Joining us now, the St. Louis alderman, Antonio French. He's been an
important voice in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting. Also joining us, our legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin.
Antonio, the people you've been talking to in Ferguson, what's been the reaction to the details of this report that we know about right now?
ANTONIO FRENCH, ALDERMAN, ST. LOUIS: Well, the overall theme of the report confirms what many people knew here for a long time. The level of, you know, racial bias from the Ferguson police department and neighboring police departments was something that African-Americans have known about for years. But some of the specifics listed in this report, including e-mails, some of those are shocking. And it really tells us we need a new level of accountability and some people need to lose their jobs.
BLITZER: It's amazing when you think about. I know the statistics didn't surprise you, but those e-mails. When you read some of those awful e-mails, really racist e-mails, hard to believe people in this day and age would write that on their official, I guess, city accounts.
FRENCH: Yes. What it really shows I think is a culture that was allowed to thrive and continues to be allowed to thrive in some of these small municipalities in these police departments in St. Louis County. I hope this really makes the broader community aware of what so many African-Americans have been protesting about, have been calling attention to in the last few months, and it leads to real action and change.
BLITZER: Sunny, you say you weren't surprised by this Justice Department report at all. Tell us why?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I was not surprised because when I was in Ferguson covering this case, what was fascinating to me, Wolf, is that resident after resident after resident approached me and told me these very same things, that they felt they were being targeted because they were African-American, that they were being fined because they were African-American. They were being pulled over because they were African-American. And in fact, the rental car agent from whom I rented my car told me a similar story. So I wasn't surprised at the findings, and I think that now that we have the federal government, the Justice Department, the home of so many of the best of the best in terms of investigators, I hope now that this is some vindication for those residents, and I think that we really will see change, Wolf, because what we will see now is the Justice Department meeting with Ferguson officials, and, you know, trying to reach an agreement, which is called a consent decree.
And what usually happens is you get a monitor that comes in, oversees wholesale reform. I mean, we're talking about wholesale reform, and generally, that does lead to people at the top losing their jobs, because those are the people that have allowed this insidious culture to continue. If the Ferguson police department does not agree to these changes, then the Justice Department will sue. So the result remains the same. The Justice Department is not going to lose a lawsuit. So we will see that sort of wholesale change, and the last thing I want to say about it is it's not over in terms of charges or should not be over in terms of some sort of action against Officer Wilson, because now we know you have this wholesale discrimination going on at the Ferguson police department. And after looking at the grand jury transcript, it's very clear to me, Wolf, there was prosecutorial misconduct. And I know that's not popular to say and it gives me no pleasure to say it as a former federal prosecutor, but the bottom line is, I think this lends credence to the fact that there were problems with that grand jury process, and perhaps we should see some sort of state action.
BLITZER: You know, Sunny, and I'll ask Antonio first, that all of the reports we're getting, there will be no Justice Department civil rights charges filed against Darren Wilson, the white police officer. You've heard all of those reports, Antonio, haven't you?
FRENCH: I have. There have been a lot of leaks that have come out in the last few months that have kind of prepared the community for a lack of action against Officer Wilson. And Sunny would know better than I about the legal recourse the Brown family would have. But what I do know is people have been out there for months and have been voicing their frustration, really want to see real change, and this DOJ report can be a tool that leads to that, but it's not change in and of itself. And in order to actually better the quality of life for African-Americans around here, it's got to extend just beyond the Ferguson city limits. This kind of behavior is enacted by police departments all around Ferguson, and so what we need is change at the state level, and also at the county level, to make sure we have a new level of accountability with the way we police these African-American communities.
BLITZER: We'll follow up on all of this tomorrow when this official report could be released. Antonio French, Sunny Hostin, thank you very much.
Controversy meanwhile over e-mail sent by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state during the course of four years, not because of what was in the e-mails, but how she sent them. Tonight, we have new information from a Clinton insider. We have breaking news when we come back.
BLITZER: And there's more breaking news. Hillary Clinton's team now responding to the controversy over the way she kept in touch with her staff and others while she served as secretary of state. Turns out that Secretary Clinton never used her State Department e-mail account. That's because she never had an account set up and instead she used her personal e-mail account to conduct official government business and didn't routinely archive the e-mails. The questions tonight. Did she break the law? Is she hiding something? Team Clinton is now responding. Brianna Keilar reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the most memorable images of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is of her checking her e-mail while on a trip to Libya. We're now learning it was likely her private e-mail because it appears Clinton relied solely on a personal account while heading the State Department.
It's raising questions about whether Clinton skirted the Federal Records Act designed to preserve e-mails for historic reference, though the White House says Clinton followed the rules.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The policy as a general matter allows individuals to use their personal e-mail address as long as those e-mails are maintained and sent to the State Department, which if you ask Secretary Clinton's team, that's what they completed in the last month or two.
KEILAR: In 2014, Clinton and her team turned over tens of thousands of pages of her emails to the State Department after a White House request to former secretaries of state. "The New York Times" reports 300 e-mails were sent to the House Select Committee on Benghazi investigating the 2012 terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Libya.
But revelations of Clinton's sole reliance on a personal account has political opponents hammering her. Jeb Bush tweeted, "Transparency matters. Unclassified Hillary Clinton e-mails should be released. You can see mine here." He recently released thousands of emails from his time as Governor of Florida, but like Clinton, he also used a personal e-mail address and he was able to choose which e-mails to release.
A Clinton spokesman says both the letter and spirit of the rules permitted State Department officials to use non-government e-mail as long as appropriate records were preserved insisting they were. But there may be no way to verify it. David Kennedy, a cybersecurity expert who used to work with the Marine Cyber Warfare Unit says personal e-mail isn't backed up the way a government account would be.
DAVID KENNEDY, CYBERSECURITY EXPERT: When you delete There's no more recovering it. All that information is now completely destroyed.
BLITZER: Brianna is joining us now. So, did they explained the Clinton camp, why she only used that private e-mail address?
KEILAR: No, they've said this wasn't anything nefarious. I - an aide told me that she was using private email, she was using her BlackBerry before she was secretary of state and she continued to use it after she became secretary of state, but whether or not she broke a law and we haven't found any evidence that she has, Wolf, it seems that she certainly violated the spirit of it, even though she's released some e-mails to the State Department, she has full control over this account. Cyber experts say that means that in addition to security issues of not being protected, perhaps, this email account, they could have been deleted. And you would never know. So that's really certainly a concern I think of a lot of critics. BLITZER: I suspect this story is not going away, Brianna. Thank you
In the next hour of "360," more on the reaction to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech today before Congress. He warned against the nuclear deal with Iran. How's it playing out here as well as back in Israel and Tehran? That's next.