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Cleveland Police Shooting; More U.S. Troops to Iraq; Manhunt; Interview with Rep. Ed Royce. Aired 18-19:00p ET

Aired June 11, 2015 - 18:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Special connection. She told the police he made her feel special. And a man who's known her for years is telling CNN about her -- quote -- "wild side."

Expanding battlefield. The U.S. is looking for more places for American forces to aid the battle against ISIS. Is a new deployment to Iraq just the beginning?

And murder charges? A judge in Cleveland just released a bombshell opinion in the Tamir Rice case. Will two police officers now be prosecuted in the shooting of a 12-year-old while he was playing with a toy gun?

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: Breaking news.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers may be closing in on two escaped murderers right now. They plan to work into the night. They're searching an area not far from the Upstate New York prison where the convicts busted out six nights ago.

Police have zeroed in on that site after dogs picked up a scent that likely came from fugitives. Other evidence was found suggesting they had slept there, that they'd eaten there, and tonight the area is on lockdown. Nearby residents are living in fear of these two brutal killers, knowing that they're probably getting desperate and determined to avoid capture.

We have correspondents, analysts and newsmakers standing by as we cover all of the news that is breaking right now.

We go first to CNN's Miguel Marquez. He is near the site of the manhunt -- Miguel.


Law enforcement sources have pored through some 600 tips. Some 500 searchers are out there right now searching hundreds of homes. They are narrowing now on an area about five square miles.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): The search intensifying. Bloodhounds picked up a strong scent three miles from the prison where murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped. Investigators found bedding in the form of matted grass or leaves, as well as imprints of a shoe and multiple food wrappers, giving authorities confidence they are closing in on the fugitives.

JENNIFER FLEISHMAN, NEW YORK STATE TROOPER: We're looking underneath every rock, behind every tree, and inside every structure, until we catch these two.

MARQUEZ: Authorities creating a perimeter around the bedding sites, canvassing the woods and area homes, leaving a community on edge.

JULIE HANSON, DANNEMORA RESIDENT: It's scary. I mean, they literally could have been in my backyard the whole time running through, making their way by to keep going where they're located now.

MARQUEZ: Tonight, Joyce Mitchell, a prison worker who sources say may have helped the prisoners escape, says that one of escapees, Richard Matt, made her feel special, but the official would not say she was in love. Authorities are holding off charging Mitchell because she's being extremely cooperative, and continues to provide information critical to the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If these relationships or if this relationship occurred over months or years, there's a lot of potential intelligence value in these debriefings.

MARQUEZ: Investigators believe Mitchell planned to pick up the inmates after their escape, but changed her mind at the last minute. Her cell phone was used to call several people connected to Matt. It is unclear who made the calls, when they were made, or whether Mitchell knew anything about them.


MARQUEZ: And now what you're looking at are several State Trooper, New York State Trooper, police cars that have just pulled up here, all of them with three or four or five of them in one case in an SUV. They have all gone into the area that's now blocked off there.

We saw several trucks come through, flatbed trucks with the sodium lights that they will be lighting up this area with. We saw buses of state troopers coming in as well, replacements for those searchers out there. We also know that they have helicopters up with the FLIR or the night vision, the ability to see heat sources as well. So they will be flying that as well, all hands on deck basically to find these people.

They think that they will find them and they hope that they are looking in the right place -- Brianna. KEILAR: And they hope they find them soon. Miguel Marquez,

right there near the search zone, thank you.

Right now, we are learning even more about that prison worker who knew these fugitives and possibly played a role in their escape.

Our Brian Todd spoke with a man who's known her for many years.

What did he tell you, Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some interesting things about their past, Brianna.

But, first, we have new information tonight on Joyce Mitchell's involvement in this case. Corrections officials had previously received a complaint about Joyce Mitchell's relationship with one of the two escaped inmates. That is according to a state official briefed on the investigation.

The complaint is what led to investigators zeroing in on Mitchell as a possible accomplice. The Department of Connections did not return calls seeking comment. The official who spoke on that did not specify which inmate, but, as we have been reporting, a source familiar with the investigation says Mitchell told police that escapee Richard Matt, seen here, made her feel -- quote -- "special."

Mitchell's son Tobey told NBC News she is not the kind of person who would help inmates escape. Now, on a possible relationship with Richard Matt, here's what he had to say on that.



TOBEY MITCHELL, SON OF JOYCE MITCHELL: She definitely wouldn't have an affair against my father and it definitely wouldn't be with an inmate. There's no truth to that.


TODD: He was referring to Mitchell's current husband, his stepfather. I spoke with Joyce Mitchell's former brother-in-law, Thomas Premo. I asked Premo about Joyce Mitchell's short marriage to his brother years ago.


THOMAS PREMO, FORMER BROTHER-IN-LAW: Rocky, very rocky. She cheated on my brother, and that kind of broke his heart.


TODD: Thomas Premo says Joyce Mitchell met his brother when they were very young and that she goes by the nickname Tillie. Premo does not think very highly overall of his former sister-in-law.


PREMO: She likes the wild side of people, I guess, always looking for the ones that are a little bit in trouble.


TODD: Thomas Premo admits that he has not seen Joyce Mitchell in at least 25 years. CNN has made multiple requests, but neither Joyce Mitchell, her ex-husband or their biological son could be reached for comment -- Brianna.

KEILAR: If she's involved, Brian, you would think that authorities might charge her. Are they going to?

TODD: It's a very delicate situation tonight, Brianna, on that. A New York State official tells CNN authorities are holding off charging her on the moment with being an accomplice, concerned that if they take any legal action against her, she might stop cooperating.

The Clinton County district attorney has declined to comment on any decision regarding that.

KEILAR: All right, Brian Todd, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

And joining me now, we have CNN's Polo Sandoval. He is outside of the supermax prison where the convicts escaped.

Give us the latest from there, Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, some new numbers that were just released by New York State police really are an indication that law enforcement here searching the area have support from the community, and plenty of it.

In fact, a spokesperson for that agency released some brand-new numbers just minutes ago saying that at least 650 leads have been received by their agency. And those are just local here. Officials believe that there are potentially hundreds more that have been received from across the country, even from other countries like Canada, which is not far from here, and Mexico.

I can tell you that people here in Dannemora and also in several of the nearby communities, like Cadyville, which is close to really the focus of the manhunt, and even West Plattsburgh, which are really where Miguel Marquez was a few moments ago, people here are tremendously impacted by this search. For example, some businesses are closing. The ones that are staying open, they're saying there's very little business.

So, again, people here are ready to get their lives back to normal, Brianna.

KEILAR: Polo, thanks so much.

And joining me now on the phone, we have Bernie Bassett. He's the town supervisor of Plattsburgh. This is inside of the search area, very close to this prison.

Give us a sense, what it's like for citizens there.

BERNIE BASSETT, SUPERVISOR, PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK: What I have been hearing, using the words on the edge, wanting to get lives back together, that really does a great job to describe it. People woke up this morning in my community and they learned the school was closed.

Many of them weren't able to leave their homes to get to work. Some who do shift work were coming back had trouble getting back into their home. When you hear helicopters directly overhead, you see the search lights and the troops, life is a long way from normal.

KEILAR: Have any of them reported seeing these men?

BASSETT: No, we haven't heard that. And, in fact, the information we get oftentimes, I mean, this is a very active search, is what's able to come out through the media.

KEILAR: What's the terrain like in this area where these men may be?

BASSETT: It's very wooded. We would say there are areas of swamp, et cetera. But these last couple of days, we had an enormous amount of rain.

And even where swamp wasn't previous, it's there now. It's been very difficult. And we sometimes relate that to the escapees, but these law enforcement officers, a great number of them, the county sheriff, the state police, corrections officers, forest rangers, et cetera, these are family members of those who live in the community. They're husbands and brothers and sons.

And we're concerned about them as well, the conditions they have been working in and what they may be facing.

KEILAR: All right, Bernie, thanks so much for joining us, Bernie Bassett, the town supervisor of Plattsburgh, which is inside of the search area.

And we want to take now a closer look at this manhunt. We have former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes. He's a CNN law enforcement analyst.

Let's pull up our first map here, so that we can take a look. This is -- I think there had been some thought before that these convicts might be heading towards Canada. And yet the search area, it keeps kind of getting closer in. Right? So this is by Lake Champlain. And this is where we have seen some of the closures on Route 374.

TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right. Initially, they thought they could have gone north and west to head toward Canada. But then, when they learned that the ride didn't show up for them and now they're on foot, and sightings came to the south and to the east this way, that's why the search area went down here, various roadblocks along Route 374, and thinking that they may have been headed toward the Lake Champlain area.


KEILAR: OK. And this -- and so this is Cadyville. This is the Saranac Lake, certainly. And this is sort of -- let's go to our next map.


FUENTES: And Cadyville is about five miles from Dannemora.

KEILAR: OK, so not very far.

FUENTES: So, now...

KEILAR: This is a small search area.

FUENTES: Now they have refined the search area. They found the bedding material and the food wrappers in this area within this search area

So, now they have tried to concentrate on this particular area. And one of the things that is interesting here is that part of the search area still immediately near the prison in Dannemora and then into the greater surrounding area, where there are just many residents, many buildings.

KEILAR: A little more spread out. Right?

FUENTES: A little more spread out.

KEILAR: But this is great. It gives us such a good picture.

FUENTES: This particular shot is -- we wanted to bring up every little residence, shack, garage that they could use for shelter and count them up.

So, the shaded area up here is the town of Dannemora. So outside of the town, we have 330 separate buildings that they could use for shelter, that they could hide in. Some of these are vacation homes that, in the wintertime, people leave them. The house would be abandoned. It might be locked. It might be unlocked.

And then they would return in the summer months. So, this is -- these premises have to be searched and searched over again.

KEILAR: Yes, because they could be moving.


FUENTES: And one of the concerns here is, if they go to a house and the doors are locked and it looks secure from the outside, are they breaking in, are they going in to look inside? Because, if they're not, it's possible that these guys found a house that's unlocked, went inside, then they locked the door, and from the outside it would look perfectly secure. But they could be fine. And this is very similar to what

happened with Christopher Dorner...

KEILAR: That's right.

FUENTES: ... the Los Angeles police officer two years ago that was fired by LAPD, went on a shooting rampage, went up into the mountains of San Bernardino County into the forest and found a house to hide in.

And so he was hiding less than a mile from the police command post for a week in a house.

KEILAR: Yes. Let's zoom in a little bit just to see how close these houses are together. Can we -- we can hit one of these, right, to sort of see?


KEILAR: OK. We will go to next slide here. So, this is -- these houses, some of these also have shacks out the back, sort of little, little areas. There we go. There you can see it.


KEILAR: So, this is -- you have got even little -- these are gardening sheds or things that someone might not even check that often, right?


FUENTES: Well, the advantage is that it's rained heavily many of the nights. The temperatures dropped into the 20s, very bitter conditions to be outside if you're not prepared for that.

And so you would want shelter. This would not only protect them from the elements, to some degree, maybe not completely for a long period of time, but at least for a couple of nights, but it would also shield them from the helicopter search and the plane search, which are using infrared devices.

And what happens in those devices, having used them, is that, at night, when it's dark, the cold ground would look dark, and a mammal, whether it's a living, breathing human or a bear or a deer, would look like a white ghost on the ground.

And the people, if you have a close enough view, would look like they're like walking ghosts.


FUENTES: And that's where they would want to be shielded from that kind of a view. And then, when it rains heavily and is foggy, they could move around that way, knowing that there's no aircraft above them.

KEILAR: Yes. All right, fascinating look. Tom Fuentes, thanks so much for showing us that.

We really get a good sense of the terrain there.

And just ahead, we're going to change gears. We will talk about the just-released opinion by a judge in Cleveland in a fatal police shooting caught on video. He says that there's probable cause to file charges against the officers involved in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. We will get reaction from the Rice family's lawyer.

And how many more U.S. troops might be sent to Iraq to help the fight against ISIS? The Pentagon is now scoping out some new places to station Americans.



KEILAR: Breaking news right now on a controversial police shooting that was caught on video.

A judge in Cleveland just released an opinion finding that there is probable cause to prosecute the officers involved in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Will this though actually lead to charges, including a charge of murder?

Let's bring in our justice reporter, Evan Perez. He's here with the latest on this.

This is complicated. This may be something that is nonbinding, but maybe it amps up the pressure on the prosecutor.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It certainly will amp the pressure up for the prosecutor there in Cleveland to decide whether to bring charges against these two officers.

According to this ruling from a Cleveland municipal judge, there is probable cause to bring charges against officer Timothy Loehmann for murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide, and dereliction of duty, and against the second officer, Frank Garmback, for negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.

The ruling from this judge says, in part: "The video in question in this case is notorious and hard to watch. After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly."

And, Brianna, what this signifies is that this judge is saying to the prosecutor, I think you should charge these officers, but he also says that, under this very rarely used law, which is -- allows outside citizens to ask a judge to bring these charges, that he can't really force the prosecutor to do this, that it is still the prosecutor's final decision.


We have a statement from prosecutor Tim McGinty in Cleveland. He says: "This case, as with all other fatal use of deadly force cases involving law enforcement officers, will go to the grand jury. This has been the policy of this office since I was elected. Ultimately, the grand jury decides whether police officers will be charged or not charged."

And what's remarkable about this case is, again, it's an unusual law. It's not very common around the country to have laws like this. We saw what happened in Ferguson with a prosecutor who went one direction, basically threw up again everything to a grand jury, and seemed to rig the system to a result.

And then we saw what Marilyn Mosby did in Baltimore. This is certainly another way to go about it, which is to increase pressure on a prosecutor to bring charges against these officers.

KEILAR: All right, Evan Perez, thanks so much. Appreciate that report.

Hard stuff to explain, but it's important to detail it.

PEREZ: Absolutely.

KEILAR: And joining me now on the phone, we have attorney Benjamin Crump. He is representing Tamir Rice's family.

Benjamin, can you tell us, have you spoken to the family of Tamir Rice since this news broke? Can you give us their reaction to this?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF TAMIR RICE: I had an opportunity to speak to his father and his grandmother.

And they are very, very grateful to the community leaders and the attorneys for coming up with this strategy of taking this matter directly to the judge based on the evidence that an illegal activity occurred. And so the judge agrees that there's probable cause to charge the people who killed their 12-year-old son.


And let me get your reaction to something. The video, this is what the judge in this case said. He says: "The video in question in this case is notorious and hard to watch. After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly."

What's your response to that?

CRUMP: Absolutely.

Everybody who watches this video says that, how could you do this? The police are supposed to de-escalate a situation, not escalate a situation. And we have to take it in full context of everything that's going on. Right after this, the police released a statement that they said three times they asked him to put his hands up and drop a weapon. Well, that is contradicted by that video, Brianna. And so the people don't trust the system. And so that's why they

took this very, very unusual scenario to go directly to the court with the evidence and say, it's been over six months. There's video of what happened. Why are you waiting so long? Are you trying to sweep Tamir Rice's death under the rug? And that's what everybody's asking.

KEILAR: The judge in this case, Benjamin, he makes the point he's not able to order these arrests. So what does this really change?

CRUMP: Well, what it changes is, you have a judge in a court of law saying there is enough probable cause to charge these officers with a crime.

Now, whether the district attorney does it or not is still going to be up to the district attorney, and we know from what happened in Staten Island and Ferguson that there's never a guarantee when you have the police being charged with a crime or being questioned in a crime. And so the judge doing this here, Brianna, sent such a powerful message to the DA that even a court official is recommending that there's probable cause to arrest these officers for some crime.

KEILAR: Does it make you more optimistic about the outcome here?

CRUMP: It certainly makes me optimistic. I, like Tamir Rice's family, feel that we got one step closer to justice today.

KEILAR: All right, Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for the family of Tamir Rice, thank you for talking to us on the phone there.

Just ahead, will a possible new plan for fighting ISIS put more American troops in danger? CNN is learning new details about a Pentagon proposal for additional military bases in Iraq.

And then later: Jeb Bush is in Europe. He's trying to show off his foreign policy chops. But there are lingering questions about his views on single mothers, and they're threatening to overshadow his trip.



KEILAR: A series of high-profile failures by the Iraqi army is forcing the Pentagon to reevaluate its strategy in the fight against ISIS.

And the latest possible plan is a series of so-called lily pad bases that would be near the front lines. Such a move may require additional U.S. troops to be deployed to the region.

CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto has been tracking down the detail on this new development.


Brianna, we just learned yesterday of the plan to send 450 additional advisers to the western part of Iraq and Anbar province, forward- deployed, outside of the main centers where they have been concentrated in Baghdad and Irbil.

And now we're learning that's just a model, that the Pentagon may do the same in other not quite bases, but outposts around the country, putting these troops, not in combat, but certainly closer to combat, and, as a result, closer to danger.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): The 450 additional U.S. troops heading to train Iraqi forces are just the beginning.


SCIUTTO: Today the Pentagon saying the deployment of U.S. advisers in Taqaddum Air Base in western Iraq could be the model for more U.S. outposts around the country. Lily pads, joint chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey called them, telling reporters, quote, "Our campaign is built on establishing these lily pads that allow us to encourage the Iraqi security forces forward. We're looking all the time to see if additional sites might be necessary."

The military is now considering three to four possible locations, including a base in between Baghdad and the ISIS-controlled city of Kirkuk. These U.S. forces would not be involved in combat, but they would be closer to combat, and possibly in greater numbers.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), U.S. AIR FORCE: When you bring forces out to that far out in the front, what you're doing is you're getting them as close to the front line as you possibly can without actually stepping onto the front line. It's a very risky strategy.

SCIUTTO: The new plan is, at its core, a recognition of failure by the Iraqi military. In battle after battle, from Ramadi, to Baiji, to the fall of Mosul one year ago today, Iraqi forces were often overwhelmed, even as they greatly outnumbered ISIS fighters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to start by the...

SCIUTTO: U.S. forces will give Iraqi troops command support, logistics and, crucially, confidence. The administration acknowledged the danger to U.S. troops while drawing a distinction between these new deployments and a full-scale occupation of Iraq.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's a significant difference between 150,000 troops in a combat role and 3,500 U.S. troops not in a combat role.


SCIUTTO: One motivation for this plan is to get U.S. forces closer to the battle without being forward deployed on the front lines, another option that's been on the table and mentioned by General Dempsey a number of times. And in fact, I'm told that this has been under consideration for some months, and if the events of a recent week, seeing those Iraqi forces push back in places like Ramadi, that helped energize this decision now, Brianna, to get those Iraqi forces fighting and challenging ISIS forces in greater numbers and with greater success.

KEILAR: Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.

Joining me now to talk about this a little more is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Congressman Ed Royce.

Chairman Royce, thanks so much for being with us. Really appreciate it. And when you hear this -- when we hear this, Americans, I'm assuming look at this -- this call for these lily pads, these outposts that would be closer to the front line with ISIS, and the first thing I think a lot of folks think is, isn't this going to take a lot more than those 450 troops? Aren't there going to be additional troops being sent over?

REP. ED ROYCE (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Well, I think what -- what many of our citizens across the country hear about is the fact that so many of our attempts to suppress ISIS with air power have resulted in the flights returning without actually being able to attack the targets. And one of the reasons is because, without forward controllers on the ground, being able to call in the targets, it's not possible. In three cases out of four for our military to hit the ISIS targets, to be able to really identify them.

So yes, there is an understanding, I think, a growing awareness that ISIS is taking additional territory, because we can't effectively use the air power to suppress it or to support the Iraqi forces on the ground when they're fighting ISIS.

KEILAR: Do you think it's...

ROYCE: This is the first step in approaching that problem.

KEILAR: But do you expect that there will be more troops, and certainly, you know, I know a lot of experts want to be very clear about this. They don't expect that this is going to be some giant wide-scale reinvasion. But at the same time, they say, "Let's be realistic. This is going to take more than these few hundred troops that are in this latest request."

ROYCE: It's going to take taking steps, like what I just mentioned. Putting those forward-deployed controllers, those spotters on the ground, close enough to the combat to be able to call in the air power, and had this been done, we may well have blocked the ability of ISIS to take Ramadi.

The reality is that we had less than two flights a day over that area, because we didn't have that capability. And three quarters of those flights, as I say, did not drop any ordinance on ISIS when ISIS was taking the area. So, some adjustment is going to have to be made in order to more effectively use air power to support the Iraqis. And also, for any operations in Syria against the ISIS leadership.

KEILAR: What do you think prompted this change? Last week, really, here in the last week, President Obama, he met with the Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi. Do you think that he got some new information or they came to an agreement, and that's what prompted this?

ROYCE: I think it was the fall of Ramadi.


ROYCE: You know, you had Sunni fighters, tribal fighters, fighting ISIS on the ground, whose own families were taken out of their homes and slaughtered, and yet they stood their ground. But there was a request for U.S. air power, and the same on the part of some of the Iraqi troops. And because we weren't able to give, you know, effective cover, and because the -- frankly, the generals, the Iraqi general gave the call to retreat prematurely, we ended up with a debacle. We ended up with that city falling to ISIS unnecessarily, in the view of many in the military.

So now they ask themselves, what steps could we take to make certain in the future that those mistakes are not made? And also that we are able to give better training to the Iraqi forces and maybe mitigate for the fact that many of the political leadership that have been given the responsibility of commanding these Iraqi forces frankly, frankly, they cashiered their old officer corps, you know, last year under Maliki. Now you've got a new government.

But still, he's got so many political appointees in there that we need to show them how to do this, and at the same time, have them do the fighting, but buck them up a little bit with the assistance.

KEILAR: OK. And I want to ask you, because there are many in your party who say -- who support what the president is doing, and yet they say he needs to have a more comprehensive strategy. He needs to be -- he needs to really outline it for the American people. And I think privately, there are some Democrats who, you know, maybe they want a little more meat on the bones, too.

But let me ask you about the fact that today Congress rejected an amendment that would require lawmakers to debate and to vote on this new authorization for use of military force. How is it that you have Republicans who are saying, "You know what? He needs to outline it and be more clear," and yet it seems like they're abdicating their responsibility to take part in this debate.

ROYCE: Well, the amendment was actually brought in the intention of stopping the president from having the authority.

But the reality is that I would like to see it detailed out, but ultimately, the president has to make the decision, and under current law he has the authority to do so. And I would give you an example of what's causing the argument.

Right now, pilots can't really make the decision in real time to hit a target. This is the secondary problem. That request has to go to Washington, D.C., and come back. And you know, sometimes it's an hour or later that they get the answer. The target has moved. Their opportunity to be over that target has long since gone. So there's enormous frustration. And a feeling that there needs to be a strategy that really allows for effective use of air power. That's going to be critical here.

And also a strategy for arming the Kurds. You have a 600-mile front. Thirty percent of the Kurdish battalions are female, and they are fighting ISIS; and they do not have artillery, long-range mortars. Nor do they have anti-tank weapons. And they've asked for them.


ROYCE: They're not going to get them out of Baghdad. We need a strategy that helps the Kurds hold back ISIS along this long front.

KEILAR: And Chairman Royce, thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate your insight.

Just ahead, what will President Obama do if the Supreme Court guts his signature healthcare law? A decision is expected very soon. And millions of Americans risk -- are at risk of losing coverage.

And Jeb Bush's past views on unwed mothers. It's catching up with him in Europe just days before he officially launches his run for the White House.


[18:44:05] KEILAR: Tonight, there is building anticipation and worry about a U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obamacare that's expected any day now. It's a ruling that could put more than six million Americans at risk of losing their healthcare coverage.

Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta is here with us. The president is really out there at this point fighting for his law, Jim, right?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brianna. Just as the Supreme Court is nearing a decision that could cripple Obamacare, the president has jumped into campaign mode to tout the law's benefits for millions of Americans.


ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is working hard once again to sell the public on a signature healthcare law, taking swipes at Republicans who are still trying to repeal it.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Once you see millions of people having health care, once you see that all the bad things that were predicted didn't happen, you'd think that it'd be time to move on.

ACOSTA: But there's an even bigger threat to Obamacare, the Supreme Court, which is just days away from a decision that could send the law into what the administration calls a death spiral.

[18:45:08] In the case of King versus Burwell, the high court could rule that Americans buying coverage on Obamacare's federal exchange are no longer eligible for financial assistance. That means in 34 states, an estimated 6.4 million people could lose insurance, after seeing an average premium increase of nearly 300 percent.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, this should be an easy case. Frankly, it probably shouldn't have even been taken up.

ACOSTA: Under the Obamacare doomsday scenario, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says there is no plan B.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: You're not going to answer the question, are you?

SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: No, the answer is the problem that gets created is subsidies aren't available. They aren't available for millions of Americans. They lose their insurance.

ACOSTA: Republicans in Congress are in no mood to salvage the health care law. They want to scrap it.

RYAN: Obamacare is just-flat busted. It just doesn't work. And no fix can change that fact.

REP. SANDER LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: What's busted is not ACA, it's your attacks on it.

ACOSTA: Just as the court is nearing its decision, the president is trying to spread the word that Obamacare is working, sitting down with the syndicated TV show "Extra."

OBAMA: One of the things I always try to remind people of, what we do here, what the Supreme Court does, what Congress does, these are things that really matter in people's lives.

ACOSTA: But the White House insists this is no PR attempt to influence the justices.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: In all likelihood, the decision in this case has already been reached and written.


ACOSTA: Now, if Obamacare loses at the Supreme Court, the White House is not optimistic that Republicans in Congress will offer up much of a solution to fix the law, but aides of the president say GOP lawmakers should be just as worried about Obamacare going down in flames. As one official put it, they're up for re-election, not us -- Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Jim Acosta at the White House -- thank you. And as we head into the 2016 election, there is a lot of talk

about tough political attacks, and coarse language, especially online. But it's worth remembering that decades ago, some pretty shocking things were said on commercial television that you would never hear now.

As CNN launches an original series on the '70s, our Stephanie Elam looks back at a ground breaking era in TV, but a warning that you will hear some words that are considered extremely offensive by today's standards.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Television in the '70s was a shock to the system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our world is coming crumbling down. The coons are coming.

ELAM: After decades of shows that sanitized the American condition. In the '70s, language on primetime TV took a grittier tone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you like it if I called you nigger?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He called me nigger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's no worse than honky.

ELAM: It was television legend Norman Lear who revolutionized primetime with his brand of blunt, in-your-face comedy.

NORMAN LEAR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "ALL IN THE FAMILY": It was prompted by what you were thinking about and talking about in our newspapers and in our lives. Everything came from that. We didn't have to make up stories.

RON SIMON, CURATOR, THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA: They were able to walk that tight rope in the early '70s. It's a little more difficult now, in a much richer, more diverse, multidimensional society that we have.

ELAM: Take "Modern Family."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's important that you celebrate the culture of your ancestors. You are Vietnamese.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: No, I'm not. I'm gay, I'm gay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey, you are not gay, you are just confused.

ELAM: And "Blackish."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mexicans can't be jumping the line. It's bad enough they started taking black people's jobs. ELAM: These multi-culture comedies may still tackle race and

sexuality, but they don't dare touch the language used in TV's golden age. So, what's happened? A pendulum swing.

MICHAEL O'CONNELL, SENIOR TV WRITER, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: It was sort of the floodgates of we no longer just say things behind closed doors, and then the reaction to that, of course, was being more politically correct.

ELAM: And while the themes are still similar, the language they use so blatantly on TV in the '70s, in many cases, is now just cringe- worthy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't you arrest some white drivers?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do? Well, where are they? Look at all these niggers in here.

ELAM: Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.


KEILAR: And be sure to watch the original series "The Seventies." It debuts tonight at 9:00 Eastern, only on CNN.

Just ahead, we're going to have the latest on the manhunt for two escaped killers. New clues leading to new hope that authorities may be closing in.


[18:54:19] KEILAR: An old commentary about publically shaming unwed mothers is threatening to overshadow Jeb Bush's trip to Europe. I want to get details now from CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash. She's on the trip -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, if Jeb Bush had his druthers, the headlines he was making here in Europe would be about his trip to Europe. But he is learning early, four days before his announcement, the candidate doesn't all control the narrative.


BASH (voice-over): It was Jeb Bush's time to look presidential on world stage, but it was interrupted of rough politics back home.

JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: It's a huge challenge for single moms to raise children in the world that we're in today.

BASH: Being an almost candidate means fielding questions about past statements.

[18:55:02] And in his 1995 book "Profiles in Character", Bush argued for the "restoration of shame" in society, saying, the reason "young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their obligation is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame."

Now, 20 years later, no regrets.

BUSH: My views have evolved over time. But my views about the importance of dads being involved in the lives of children hasn't changed at all. It limits the possibilities of young people being able to live lives of purpose and meaning.

BASH: In fact, he sounds like the current Democratic president who grew up without a father largely.

OBAMA: Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWOL, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our family have suffered because of it.

BASH: When it comes to culture wars, the battlefield has changed since 1992 when Dan Quayle was ridiculed for going after the fictitious Murphy Brown for having a baby out of wedlock.

DAN QUAYLE: The character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers.

BASH: But Jeb Bush is also facing questions about a 2001 so- called Scarlet Letter Law in Florida when he was governor, requiring single mothers to put a notice in the newspaper before they could give up a child for adoption. A court later deemed it unconstitutional, and it was repealed. Today, Bush insisted it was about bringing fathers back into the picture.

BUSH: If I can remember, the purpose of the law was to enhance the ability to collect child support because men have the responsibility of taking care of their children.


BASH: Now, Democrats are pouncing on Jeb Bush's comments saying it is proof he is out of touch. But for Bush who is not entirely comfortable with conservatives or maybe vice versa, it is certainly not a bad thing for them to see that he is talking about and still very much an advocate of traditional marriage -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Dana Bash, on to Estonia next, we will talk to you from there. Thanks for your report.

Now, I want to discuss this now with our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny, as well as Ryan Lizza, he's the Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker", and he is a CNN political analyst.

So, Ryan, what do you think about this? Did Jeb Bush clean this up? Or is this going to continue to be a problem for him?

RYAN LIZZA, THE NEW YORKER: You know, I think it's a function of how long he has been in politics and how long he has been a Republican politician. When he was writing that book in the mid '90s, he was coming off his 1994 gubernatorial campaign which he lost. He was way to the right in that campaign. He came back in 1998 as a slightly more moderate Republican.

And frankly, a lot of what he was saying in the book was textbook Republican conservative policy at the time. It has not aged well. I think it's a little bit like Hillary Clinton on same-sex marriage or criminal justice reform where she evolved.

KEILAR: Yes, she certainly has.

So, you, Jeff, we see in Dana's story there that she likened his cleanup to what we have heard from President Obama. But if you talk to African-American thought leaders, they don't love even President Obama's message on this.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right, that's true. I think the message is largely the same, how Jeb Bush wrote about it 20 years ago is certainly different than what Barack Obama said. But the message is the same, that families need fathers.

But no, he has been criticized for that. I think Ryan is right. I mean, you can analyze anyone's view from a different time. We have evolved on things, no question about it, and in a much shorter period of time than 20 years.

So, I think the Jeb Bush campaign has many, many more things to worry about than this. This is not going to hurt him in a Republican primary at all.

KEILAR: OK, let's talk about what may be a little bit of a snub here. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, he says that he is a Bernie Sanders fan. OK, keeping in mind, he was Hillary Clinton's campaign manager when she ran for the Senate. He says he is not -- you know, he is not going to be at Hillary's campaign kickoff speech which is on Saturday.

Is that like a serious snub? Or is this just maybe a little personal issue between them?

ZELENY: I think he is trying to call her out and hoping that she will embrace his agenda for income and equality. He is not ready to sign on with her yet. But I'm not sure it's that big of a diss.

KEILAR: Not too big of a diss. You think so, Ryan?

LIZZA: Not too big I agree with Jeff, this is -- a few candidates who are trying to influence Hillary Clinton and this is one way to do it, by withholding support until she agrees with you.

KEILAR: Yes, sure is. And you see a lot of folks on the left --

ZELENY: And I'm also told some other senators aren't going to be there. Senator Gillibrand from New York is not going to be there as well. So, she supports her as well. But this is Hillary's day. KEILAR: Very interesting. Jeff, Ryan, thank you guys. Remember

that you can always follow us on Twitter. Be sure to join us tomorrow in THE SITUATION ROOM. That is it for me. Thanks for watching.