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THE SITUATION ROOM
Widespread Violence on Palestinian 'Day of Rage'; Turkey Shoots Down Drone Near Border with Syria; Officials: U.S. Knew Airstrike Target was a Hospital; Trump Versus Everyone in New Round of Attacks; Cyber Hacker Arrested in Malaysia; Clinton Aide Testifies to Benghazi Committee; Flash Flooding Leads to Mudslides in California; Aired 5-6p ET
Aired October 16, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TAPPER: A source close to the situation telling CNN that the former basketball star told Khloe Kardashian that -- "Hi," was the statement he said, "Hi." But his condition remains guarded, and it's not clear if he's still awake right now.
[17:00:13] But this is good news for people watching this story. Odom, of course, was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel earlier this week where employees said he'd been using cocaine. It's also where he reportedly spent $75,000 over three days.
Khloe Kardashian, meanwhile, remains at his bedside. Their divorce was never officially finalized, so she will still be in charge of making medical decisions for the former NBA star. You can follow much more of this story on CNN.
That's it for "THE LEAD" from New Hampshire. I'm Jake Tapper turning you over now to Brianna Keilar. She's in for Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Have a great weekend. We'll see you on Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION."
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, Mideast on edge. With parts of Jerusalem in lockdown amid a wave of terror. There are battles between violent protesters and troops in the West Bank and at the Gaza border as Palestinians answer a call for a day of rage. Are things getting worse?
Shoot-down. After three warnings Turkish jets down a mysterious aircraft near the border with Syria. Russian warplanes are swarming the skies over Syria, but Moscow denies any involvement in this incursion.
ISIS hacker. U.S. officials are trying to get their hands on a cyber- attacker who's accused of stealing personal information of U.S. military personnel and passing it onto ISIS.
And dumb puppets. Donald Trump is back on the attack, hurling insults at a FOX News anchor and her guests. And he's going after the Bush family over 9/11. Jeb Bush hitting back on that.
Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM. ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: Breaking news. An explosion of rage by Palestinian protesters, with Jerusalem under tight guard against a wave of terror attacks, bloody clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops spread in the West Bank and at the Gaza border fence.
And Palestinian protesters torched the compound surrounding a revered holy site. President Obama says Israel has a right to protect its citizens and warns random violence will only bring more hardship. And with more planes crowding the skies over Syria, the air war danger has now spread to neighboring Turkey.
After recent violations by Russian jets, Turkey, a NATO ally, says it has now shot down a mysterious aircraft near the Syrian border. Suspicions immediately focused on Russia, which has carried out hundreds of combat missions over Syria. Russia though denying any incursion by one of its drones. Our correspondents, analysts and guests have full coverage of the day's top stories.
And Palestinian groups calling this a day of rage. And it's lived up to its billing with Jerusalem under tight security after earlier attacks. The violence spreads to the West Bank with an arson attack at a holy site. And bloody clashes between protesters and Israeli troops.
CNN's Oren Liebermann is live for us from Jerusalem -- Oren.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, that arson was the first attack of the day but not the last. And as this wave of violence pushes into its third week, the question how many more attacks will there be and how many more lives will be lost?
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Fanning the flames of tension across an already-explosive region. Israeli media have shown this video, saying it's the fire at Joseph's tomb.
The Israeli military says Palestinian rioters torched the site, holy to Jews and Christians, Friday morning before Palestinian security forces dispersed the rioters and put out the fire. The tomb appears to be unharmed. Palestinian and Israeli leaders condemned the attack.
The day was just beginning. Israel imposing heavy restrictions on Palestinian movement in and around the old city of Jerusalem after a wave of deadly attacks, checking I.D.s, stopping cars and blocking off Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
The city remaining relatively quiet during Friday prayers, the attacks moving into the West Bank.
A Palestinian disguised as a press photographer stabbed an Israeli soldier in the Israeli (UNINTELLIGIBLE) by the West Bank, according to the IDF. The four soldiers shot and killed him. Clashes broke out in Bethlehem between Palestinians throwing stones
and Molotov cocktails. Israelis firing tear gas and bullets, littering the street with a debris of clashes and filling the air with the acrid smoke of tear gas.
In Hebron, Palestinian protesters marched through the streets, carrying miniatures of the al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, waving Hamas flags.
In Gaza, Islamic Jihad and Hamas called for a day of rage, the third in eight days, as tensions flared on both sides, with the questions lingering when will this round of violence end?
LIEBERMANN: In this wave of violence since the beginning of the month, there have been seven Israelis killed and 39 Palestinians killed and many more injured.
Secretary of State John Kerry speaking on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the king of Jordan, King Abdullah to try to bring these groups together and try to ease the situation, calm the situation, that tension, that fear that's so palpable here, to try to calm everything down before this continues too much longer, Brianna.
And we're hearing that Secretary Kerry may be making a very important trip soon. What are you hearing, Oren, about this? The expectations of this?
LIEBERMANN: Well, there's still details to be hammered out. We know he spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the two sides trying to arrange a meeting, as both could be in Europe. And that will be an attempt to bring both sides, the Israelis and Palestinians, back to peace talks, to peace negotiations.
Secretary Kerry very obviously wants to restart the peace process here. Well, there isn't much hope on either side, on either the Israeli or Palestinian side, that that could lead anywhere with tangible results.
We also, of course, still on the agenda know that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet with President Obama on November 9. That's still scheduled will be more of an attempt to bring people back, to bring the sides here back to the peace process, get that peace process moving forward. But again, the prospect of that creating real results here not too optimistic from the sides here.
KEILAR: All right. Oren Liebermann for us in Jerusalem. Thank you.
And now I want to get to the shoot-down of a mysterious aircraft by Turkish jets. This is near the Syrian border. You see these pictures here.
Russia is denying initial accusations that one of its drones was involved. I want to get now to CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto. He has the latest -- Jim.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, there's been a lot of talk, a lot of concern, a lot of warnings about conflict in the skies over Syria. And while this was an unmanned drone, now you have had one. U.S. officials believe that this was a Russian drone, and it was shot down by Turkey, which is a U.S.-NATO ally.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): The wreckage of the drone lay in pieces smoldering on the ground. Turkish forces say they shot it down Friday inside Turkish air space near its border with Syria, where the skies are increasingly crowded with aircraft from multiple foreign powers, including Russia and the U.S.
U.S. officials tell CNN they believe the drone was Russian. Moscow says all of its drones are accounted for. Turkish officials say they had no choice but to destroy it.
NURHAN KURTULMAK, TURKISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Turkish armed forces have warned foreign elements about violating Turkish air space. And after several warnings, if these elements do not comply, they are shot down.
SCIUTTO: Here, new video, which witnesses on the ground say show Russian airstrikes against villages in Homs, Syria. Just days ago two U.S. and two Russian aircraft came within miles of each other, so- called visual range, before they moved away. U.S. officials immediately protested, and the two sides are expected to reach an agreement soon to avoid conflict in the air.
PETER COOK, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: This is why we are working with the Russians, been in communications with the Russians specifically on this notion of safety protocols be put in place to make sure that coalition air crews and Russian air crews, for that matter, are not at risk of some sort of accident in the skies over Syria.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As I suspect Russia starts realizing that they're not going to be able to bomb their way to a peaceful situation inside of Syria that we'll -- we'll be able to make progress on that front.
SCIUTTO: The fight on the ground is becoming more crowded and more volatile, as well. The United States recently air dropped ammunition for Syrian rebels it is supporting, promising more, but only if used to attack the target the U.S. is focused on, ISIS. Former commanders say this strategy is risky.
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), U.S. AIR FORCE: It becomes very important to know who you're dropping these weapons, these arms to. And if you don't know exactly who's going to be at the receiving end, there's a risk that these weapons will fall into the wrong hands.
SCIUTTO: In his press conference today, the president said the U.S. and Russia have now reached agreement on so-called deconfliction in the air space over Syria basically to keep U.S. and Russian planes from shooting each other. Still technical deals to be worked out.
But on the larger issue, Brianna, on the functions of these strikes, the U.S. still does not believe Russian planes, they are against ISIS. They believe they're primarily to defend the regime of Bashar al- Assad. You heard the president say there, from the U.S. point of view, Russia cannot bomb its way to victory, bomb its way to a solution here. On that issue, still major disagreement between the two sides.
KEILAR: All right. Jim Sciutto, thanks so much for that report.
Let's bring in CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA official Phil Mudd. And we also have CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer. He's a former CIA operative.
So Bob, let's -- let's take a look at this picture of this drone that has been shot down, this sort of mysterious drone. You have Russia saying this isn't ours. But take a look at this. What do you think?
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It looks Russian. On the other hand, we don't know what the Russians are doing with their drones. They could be giving them to Hezbollah, which is in fighting along the Turkish border, or even the Iranians. Technically, it may -- they may not have been in control of the drone, or I simply don't believe the Russians, but I -- who else could the drone possibly belong to?
KEILAR: And that's the question, Phil. So this may be Russian and Russian operated, or Russian and operated by some other entity. What do you think? Is there anyone else that this drone could belong to?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Sure. A lot of people developing drones these days. There's an explosion in drone technology around the world. In the intelligence business, they are ideal to dwell over a target like what the Russians are doing.
If the Russians are looking, for example, at an ISIS facility, there's no better way to get intelligence from the air than to sit over that target with the drone.
My question here is there are other countries that could do this. Israel for example, Iran, but the Russians have an interest in flying in this area. It's not clear to me whether they violated air space purposefully, though, or whether they simply lost a link, the sort of technological link that allows the ground controller to communicate with the drone, and that's why it went into Turkish air space.
KEILAR: Doesn't this speak, Bob, to a problem that we're seeing there? You have Russian airstrikes. The air is so dense with Russian jets, with U.S. jets. We've had incidents earlier this week, there was a Russian jet that flew within just a couple of miles of a U.S. plane in Syria for identification. You have all of these U.S. Air Force pilots who are operating there. How much danger do you think they're in?
BAER: I think the danger is enormous. I don't think the Russians would intentionally attack the air force. There's also a problem in the Mediterranean. The Russians are shadowing an American fleet there.
The possibility of an accident is what concerns everybody in the military. And that they could accidentally shoot down an American airplane or vice versa, or if a plane strays into Turkish air space. And I think at this point the Turks would shoot it down, and this could cascade into a major armed conflict.
KEILAR: We've seen, Phil, a Russian missile go down in Iran where it was not supposed to be. Tell us about the accuracy of Russia's missile capability.
MUDD: Well, if you look at the American side, Americans have been using these kinds of missiles for years. The question here, though, is whether the Russians have developed guidance systems that are good enough to get this missile -- these are highly technical missiles. You're flying low to the ground. You're hitting a target from 1,000 miles away.
So if you're using that kind of technology on a relatively new missile, I think the question is not whether they can be accurate. The answer from the American side is absolutely the American missiles can be. The question is, rather, the Russians have developed guidance systems that can be as accurate as what we've seen from the American side. And the fact that they launch some that landed so far and away in Iran suggests to me that they've got a long way to go on perfecting their guidance systems.
KEILAR: All right. Phil and Bob, stay with me. We're actually getting some new information on that Doctors Without Borders hospital strike in Afghanistan. We'll be back after a quick break to talk about it.
KEILAR: After the deadly U.S. airstrike on one of its hospitals in Afghanistan, the charity group Doctors Without Borders now says investigators have made things even worse by driving an armored vehicle into the hospital complex.
Meantime, we are getting new information on what the U.S. knew about this building before it was even targeted during a battle with the Taliban.
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has that -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, multiple defense officials now tell CNN that at least some part of the U.S. military knew in advance that this, indeed, was a hospital.
They're saying that Doctors Without Borders, and I quote, "did everything right." They informed the military of where they were located, and there was that information available to the U.S. military. It was in databases. The key question now for investigators is at what point did that
information perhaps not get passed along on that night when that airstrike happened? Who knew? Who did not know? When the airstrike was authorized, did the crew, did the groups on the ground know it was a hospital? Did they know that Taliban might be there? Did they think it was OK to strike a hospital?
It most certainly is not, according to the top commander in Afghanistan. He says that is absolutely against the rules. Doctors Without Borders spoke to CNN today. Their view remains unchanged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON CONE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDER: The only theory we have is that we had a hospital fully operational, full of staff with patients, up to 200 patients and staff.
It was bombed. It's one of the hugest loss of life that we've ever experienced as an organization. It is one of the most clear-cut cases that we can think of where the laws of wars have been violated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: To be clear, if it is a hospital, and even if there are Taliban there, if there are insurgents there, multiple U.S. officials say hospitals are not targets to ever be hit. Hospitals, schools and mosques are completely off the list, not to be hit. This investigation may go on for some time -- Brianna.
[17:20:14] KEILAR: All right. Barbara Starr, thanks so much.
I want to bring back our experts, Phil Mudd and Bob Baer, to talk about this. Bob, you heard Barbara's report there. And it seemed as if there was some information about this being a hospital that certainly, for days, some U.S. authorities knew of. So what do you think? Was this knowingly struck?
BAER: Well, I find it hard to believe that CentCom would strike a hospital and Afghanistan. On the other hand, I do know that Doctors Without Borders sent people to CentCom and even during the combat sent the coordinates to the hospital to the U.S. military in Kabul. And even those airplanes, the AC-130s, which attack the hospital, have what's called a safe box. They should have the coordinates of all hospitals and targets that are off-limits.
Why that system didn't work, we have to wait to find out. But if that plane did attack, and it was a -- knew it was a hospital, that's a war crime.
KEILAR: So it's essentially geotagged as these airplanes are flying so that they can avoid these certain areas and that they are knowingly off limits, right?
BAER: Yes. There's even a name. I think it's called Falcon View, but somebody may correct me on that. And that should have been preprogrammed into the plane's computers. And if it wasn't, that's just a tragic mistake. But again, if the hospital was hit on purpose, it's a violation of international law.
KEILAR: Do you think there needs to be a separate U.N. investigation?
BAER: Absolutely. I think we need to get the cockpit tapes. There's some rumors out there that that plane was targeting a Pakistani intelligence officer leading the Taliban. I don't know if that's true.
But if you look at the overhead from the hospital, it's clear that they hit one building. And from my view is they're probably after one person. Somebody was leading the attack. Otherwise, the whole compound would have been hit. This attack went on for over an hour.
KEILAR: My goodness. All right.
Phil, I want to do -- I want to turn back now to talk about Russia's involvement in Syria. You have President Obama, who has addressed these airstrikes now, today these Russian airstrikes. He had a joint press conference today. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There's no meeting of the minds in terms of strategy, but my hope is, is that as we continue to have these conversations and, as I suspect, Russia starts realizing that they're not going to be able to bomb their way to a peaceful situation inside of Syria that we'll be able to make progress on that front.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Is Russia's aim here, though, a peaceful process in Syria?
MUDD: Not right now it's not. But I think the Russians, to be blunt, have a much clearer vision than we do, and than the president does. The Russians have said quite simply, "We can't afford to have ISIS roll through Syria and have Assad ousted." Assad's a long-time Russian ally. They clearly, the Russians, have a political interest there.
But their strategy is captured in one sentence,: we're going to show up and support Assad so ISIS can't win.
We've said we're going to support a sliver of the opposition -- that is the moderate opposition -- that doesn't have a prayer of countering ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria; doesn't have a prayer of ousting Assad. I think Washington was surprised and embarrassed by what Putin's -- what done.
So we're sitting back saying we don't like what Putin's doing. We don't like the resolution that will leave Assad in place. But we don't have a better solution. I think the president's scrambling to say what do we do now that Putin trumped us.
KEILAR: What is Russia's strategic interest in Syria?
MUDD: A couple things. You look tactically, if you're a Russian ally you're looking at what's happening in Syria, saying is Putin's Russia going to stand by traditional allies around the world?
I think there's a much simpler way to look at this, though, Brianna. And that is, as Putin tries to expand the Russian empire after the embarrassment and the decline of the empire in the early 1990s, he's looking at places like Crimea and Ukraine, and I think Syria fits in the same category.
If I were the Baltic states, if I were the central Asian states, once satellites of Russia, I would be worried, because Putin is clearly saying, "We don't like what the Americans have done. They've expanded in NATO. So I'm going to match them pound for pound, if not more." And I think Syria's just a piece of that big puzzle.
KEILAR: Phil, Bob, thank you guys so much.
And coming up, Donald Trump, he is on the attack again. He's playing the 9/11 card, going after Jeb Bush and his brother, the former president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want. The World Trade Center came down during his time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:29:38] KEILAR: New battles are breaking out tonight in the Republican race for the White House with frontrunner Donald Trump at the center of all of them. It's Trump versus Bush. That's both Jeb and George. Trump versus FOX and more.
CNN political reporter Sara Murray joining us now with the latest. Sara, the candidates are really making some sharp new attacks here.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You are absolutely right. Today Donald Trump is not just going after Jeb Bush. He's going after the Bush family, now bringing 9/11 into it.
MURRAY (voice-over): Republicans are back on the attack, and this time Donald Trump is going after the Bush family for 9/11.
TRUMP: When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time. If you --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Hold on, you can't blame George Bush for that.
TRUMP: He was president, OK. Don't blame him or don't blame him but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.
MURRAY: Jeb Bush slamming Trump's comments tweeting, "How pathetic for Donald Trump to criticize the president for 9/11. We were attacked and my brother kept us safe," and calling Trump a novice on foreign policy.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He hasn't shared his views. When he talks about foreign policy he talks about how Putin ought to go take care of ISIS and the week before ISIS ought to take care of Assad. He would send refugees back to Syria to their slaughter. I mean, these are serious times.
MURRAY: But Trump is back to attacking FOX host Megyn Kelly re- tweeting users' comments and writing, "Every poll, TIME, Drudge, Slate and others, said I won both debates,
but heard Megyn Kelly had her two puppets say bad stuff. I don't watch." Although he watched long enough to go after the FOX News guests saying one is a failed Bush speech writer whose work was so bad that he has never been able to make a comeback. A third-rate talent.
And the Republican frontrunners, Trump and Ben Carson, pressuring CNBC to change the format of the upcoming debate. After threatening not to show up, sources tell CNN the Republican National Committee called campaigns this morning informing them CNBC agreed to limit the debate to two hours including an opening and closing statement. Trump tweeting, "Fantastic news for all especially the millions of people who will be watching," which prompted this taunt from Carly Fiorina.
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think apparently they're worried about answering questions for three hours. For heaven sakes we have 10 candidates on the stage. I don't think three hours is a long time.
MURRAY: Carson promising he'll bring more energy to the next debate.
DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hopefully as time goes on we will get into substance and real solutions. That's what I want to look forward to.
MURRAY: And of course you saw how beneficial those first two debates were for Carly Fiorina. So no surprise that she wants more debates and for them to be as long as possible.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Sara, you're going to stick around. We're going to bring in CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp and we have CNN political commentator and the host of CNN's "SMERCONISH," Michael Smerconish.
So, Michael, you see them here. They're arguing over whether former President Bush was responsible for 9/11. I mean, what do you make of this argument? Also, who's right here?
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, did the towers come down on his watch as Donald Trump said they did? Of course they did. But can you hold George W. Bush responsible? I don't think that you can. I don't think that the American people will. I don't think that the evidence supports that. First of all, if the American people believe that, he would never have been re-elected in 2004. And, Brianna, this whole back and forth caused me to go back to the
infamous PDB of August 6th, 2001, bin Laden determined to strike in the United States which sounds awfully compelling, but it really is as President Bush described it a general briefing that speaks to bin Laden's intentions and I don't think that you can say that he was ever provided information as far as we know of an impending attack.
KEILAR: All right. I want to ask you, Sara, about something that Jeb Bush said about Donald Trump. So before he calls him pathetic today in a tweet, he spoke about Trump to CBS and he said something very different. He said he admires Bush or admires Trump that he's way too politically incorrect. Does this an indication that Jeb Bush is still struggling to figure out how to handle Donald Trump?
MURRAY: I don't think that anyone aside from Carly Fiorina who seems to have figured this out has managed to find a way to handle Donald Trump. I think I'm hearing from more and more Republicans, especially after our polls from South Carolina and Nevada that showed Trump with such a wide lead saying, what are we going to do about this? The summer of Trump is over and now it's Trump and Ben Carson on top. Someone needs to step up. Someone needs to put some money behind this and figure out a way to get this guy out of the race. So far that's something Jeb Bush and his super PAC have not done.
KEILAR: What do you think, S.E.?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, it's really hard to be critical of the frontrunner even when he is completely deserving of criticism, right? I mean, the things that he has said are completely disqualifying if they were said by anyone else. But yet every time he says something offensive or damaging he either sticks or goes up in the polls. So if you're Jeb Bush or someone else, I mean, you have to pick your moments to weigh in and know that it might not have the kind of, you know, consequences that you were hoping.
KEILAR: What do you think, Michael, about this CNBC change to their debate? What does it say to you that Trump and Carson were able to get the format changed?
SMERCONISH: Well, I think first of all it speaks to their dominance. They're first and second position in their party standing right now. And I also think that it speaks to the fact that neither, at least in my opinion, had a good night at the Reagan Library where the debate was far longer than two hours.
[17:35:16] So, I mean, if you looked at Donald Trump by the end of the evening he looked fatigued. It was a hot room. I remember walking into the library earlier in the day on that set and saying to myself this could be a problem later. But it didn't bode well for him. And so I think not only is he probably complaining about the length, he's probably also going to complain about the temperature.
KEILAR: What do you --
KEILAR: Can you get that adjusted, do you think?
CUPP: Yes. I didn't find the requests actually to be all that unreasonable.
CUPP: And I think, you know, the frontrunners clearly -- and both parties, have influence over these proceedings. You know, Hillary Clinton clearly has some influence over how many debates --
KEILAR: How many debates.
CUPP: -- the DNC is allowing to happen. Much to the chagrin of the rest of the Democratic field. So I don't think this is something unique to Trump or Carson. I think this is what you do when you want people to pay attention to your debate.
MURRAY: I think that's absolutely right. And I think we see this every cycle. But usually a lot of this jockeying happens behind the scenes with the networks with the party. You know, it's Donald Trump who's the guy who comes out there and makes it a fight and a deal that he gets the better of.
CUPP: Or Martin O'Malley.
MURRAY: Or Martin -- right.
CUPP: In the Democrats' case.
KEILAR: That's right. OK. I want you guys to listen to something that Jeb Bush had to say. This was at a town hall in New Hampshire earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: You know, I made a mistake. I was asked on a sports talk show, I was asked my views on the Washington Redskins. And I said, look, you know, there are a lot of big pressing problems here. I don't think we need to be so politically correct to try to through government take the name Redskins off of -- if that's what they want, leave them alone for crying out loud. And someone sent me an e-mail and said, Jeb, the term Redskins isn't the pejorative, it's Washington that's the pejorative. If they're going to change their name --
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BUSH: I don't know what you'd call it, Northern Virginia Redskins or something like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: OK. So why?
KEILAR: That is the question. CUPP: Why did he do --
KEILAR: Why? It seems like he sort of is almost looking in a way -- he sort of steps into these things.
CUPP: He does. You know, his instinct is right. His instinct to say that there's too much political correctness or that the country is concerned about other things, that's right. Why resurrect, though, an old controversy that I know he does not want to be talking about, you know, for the next news cycle as a way of dealing with that point. He could easily make the point that the country has bigger concerns than the Washington Redskins without wading into the Washington Redskins controversy. I mean, it's just baffling. It was a baffling decision.
KEILAR: What did you think of that, Michael?
SMERCONISH: I think that the turf of being the anti-PC candidate is firmly in the grasp of Donald Trump. And I agree with what's been said. There's no upside for Jeb. This was -- it's not huge, but it's just another unforced error.
KEILAR: Yes. What do you think?
MURRAY: I think Jeb is not going to be able to sell himself as the outsider candidate, as the Washington outsider. Look, people aren't going to forget that his dad and his brother were president. And, you know, he has a record that he can run on. He has a lot of things that he could be talking about there if he wants to win over voters. And it just seems like the Washington Redskins is probably not one of those things.
KEILAR: Maybe stay away from that.
All right, Sara, S.E., Michael, thank you guys so much.
And be sure to join Michael Smerconish for his show tomorrow morning at 9:00 Eastern and tomorrow evening at 6:00 Eastern only here on CNN.
And tonight, you actually have another chance to see the Democratic candidates go head-to-head at the CNN-Facebook debate. That will be at 10:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.
And coming up, a computer science student arrested accused of helping ISIS publish a kill list of American service members. Will he face justice in the U.S.?
And they're bracing for more of this in southern California. Flash flooding, mudslides that trapped 200 cars and the people inside.
[17:43:48] KEILAR: U.S. officials are trying to get their hands on a cyber attacker who's been arrested in Malaysia. He's accused of stealing personal information of U.S. military service members and passing it onto ISIS.
CNN's Brian Todd has been looking into that. What have you found, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, stunning new details tonight on how this young man named Ardit Ferizi allegedly ripped off the personal information of more than 1,000 U.S. service members. And he handed it all to ISIS. Prosecutors say Ferizi got that information into the hands of a notorious ISIS operative who's connected to a well-known attack on U.S. soil.
TODD (voice-over): A 20-year-old studying computer science in Malaysia accused of helping ISIS publish a kill list of American service members. Ardit Ferizi, Originally from Kosovo, arrested in Malaysia. And tonight U.S. officials are seeking his extradition. According to a criminal complaint, Ferizi hacked into the computer system of an Internet hosting company in Phoenix, stole the names, addresses, phone numbers, photographs and passwords of more than 1300 U.S. service members and other government staffers. Then gave the data to ISIS, quote, "to target the U.S. personnel for attacks and violence."
(On camera): How dangerous is this 20-year-old alleged hacker?
[17:45:04] PHILIP SMYTH, JIHADOLOGY.NET: In terms of effort with the right amount of money, with the right amount of ideological commitment and enough time on your hands, you can pull something off like that. And I mean, ISIS has said that they will commit themselves to combating their infidel enemies wherever they are present. That also includes online.
TODD (voice-over): Prosecutors say after he hacked the U.S. service members' data, Ferizi gave it to Junaid Hussein, the notorious head of ISIS' hacking division killed recently in a U.S. drone strike.
Hussein is believed to have inspired this ISIS-instigated attack on U.S. soil, the foiled attempt in May to shoot up a Prophet Mohamed cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas. U.S. officials say Hussein and his British-born wife Sally Jones published the kill list online this summer encouraging lone wolf attacks, warning, quote, "Oh crusaders, know that we are in your e-mails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move." And that ISIS operatives, quote, "will strike at your necks in your own lands."
MATTHEW LEVITT, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: This drives people to follow up on this information. Maybe it will get a hit on someone. Maybe it won't. It also does really freak out U.S. government, military and law enforcement personnel.
TODD: CNN attempted to reach dozens of people on the kill list. Some e-mails bounced back as being old addresses. Others went through. One retired serviceman confirmed to us the phone number for him on the list was accurate. And he said the Pentagon alerted him. A U.S. military official tells CNN so far they have no indication any U.S. service members have been attacked. But analysts warn there are more ISIS hackers out there. SMYTH: They could live anywhere from western countries like western
Europe, England, France, Germany, or they could be in Malaysia like Mr. Ferizi.
TODD: Contacted by CNN a relative of this accused hacker Ardit Ferizi says the family is shocked at the notion that he might be involved with ISIS and they are skeptical of the charges. The relative who did not want to be named says Ferizi recently planned to return home from Malaysia, that he suffers from mental health issues and they were getting worse -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Brian, I know you have some information from an intel source on the fallout from the death of that top ISIS hacker. What did you find out?
TODD: That's right. Junaid Hussein. A U.S. intelligence official tells us Junaid Hussein's death is a significant loss for ISIS, Brianna. That they're struggling to find someone to step into his shoes but this official says ISIS is certainly not abandoning its efforts to inspire acts of violence online. They're concerned about possible future attacks. There was some thought that his widow Sally Jones might step into his role as the head of ISIS' hacking division. She may not have the skills, but they'll find someone else who does.
KEILAR: All right. We know you will stay on that. Brian Todd, thank you.
And coming up, a flash flood watch in the same area that's still digging out from a dramatic deluge that closed highways and left cars buried in mud.
Plus, a drone shot down over Turkey. Is this part of the arsenal that Vladimir Putin is building in Syria?
[17:50:00] KEILAR: All right. Let's listen in, top aide to Hillary Clinton who just testified before the Benghazi committee. This is Huma Abedin.
HUMA ABEDIN, HILLARY CLINTON'S TOP AIDE: To the committee, I wanted to honor the service of those lost and injured in the Benghazi attacks. I am proud to have served at the State Department and I was honored to work with Secretary Clinton and alongside distinguished diplomats and foreign service officers. I appreciated the time of those members and the committee staff today and I answered all their questions the best of my ability and with that I'll be making no further comments. Thank you.
KEILAR: All right. So some limited remarks there from Huma Abedin, top aide to Hillary Clinton and the vice chair of Hillary Clinton's campaign back when Benghazi happened. Huma was a top aide to Hillary Clinton at the State Department. She said there before after coming out from a day of testifying before this congressional committee led by Republicans that she wanted to be there. She wanted to honor those who had lost their lives, the four who had lost their lives in Benghazi.
Elise, what do you make of that? She's giving these limited remarks. But, you know, we've seen other people testify who don't necessarily come to the camera to sort of, I think, say hey, I was here today doing this.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Well, and you know that Huma is a very private person.
LABOTT: She's a public figure but, you know, as the right hand to Hillary Clinton, she was always kind of behind the scenes and so she very rarely speaks out but I think this is, you know, what Hillary Clinton's aides, Cheryl Mills, her chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, her foreign policy aide, both testified before this committee and wanted to come out and say look, this is about four lives who were lost, a tragic attack, and they want to keep the focus on that.
There has been a lot of charges, you know, swirling around this about politics, but they want to remind everybody that they are there to answer questions about the attacks themselves.
KEILAR: Do we know anything about what Huma said to the committee? Will we find that out?
LABOTT: Well, I understand -- look, it was eight hours of testimony. I heard from some, those close to Huma that it was a respectful hearing. It was -- she answered all the questions posed by the members. I think what they were looking for was because she was so close to Hillary Clinton, how Hillary Clinton responded to certain things, e-mails that she forwarded to Hillary about the attacks, how she was involved in, you know, the infamous talking points and doing in the days leading up to.
You know, this committee has really expanded its scope over the course of the last year from just talking about the attacks to saying look, this was in essence about the decision to go into Libya and the conditions that it created afterwards. So, you know, Hillary Clinton thought that Libya was going to be one of her main achievements. And so they want to get at that. If this is one of -- going to be one of her main achievements, why wasn't she involved in the security surrounding Benghazi.
KEILAR: All right. Elise Labott, thank you so much.
Flash flood watches, they're in effect right now in the same part of southern California that's still digging out for mudslides that trapped 200 cars, closed part of Interstate-5 all triggered by as much half a foot of rain.
We have meteorologist Jennifer Gray who's monitoring conditions in the CNN Severe Weather Center. What are we seeing here, Jennifer? JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, Brianna, we still have rain
on the radar. Most of these showers have pushed a little bit farther north from where we saw the slides happen but we still have rain in the forecast for this afternoon, as well as into the weekend. So because of that, we still have those flash flood watches. And even flash flood warnings still in effect in some areas.
So I'll take you back and we can see what happened. You see those white dots. That's where two of those major slides happened that we saw over Interstate-5. We saw areas of up to three inches of rain in just 30 minutes and you have to remember a lot of this rain is falling in areas that have been burned and so there is no vegetation up there to absorb any of this rainfall and also, the drought that's been going on for the last four years. The rainfall goes down the side of the mountains, nowhere for the water to go and it basically just takes the mountains with it. That's where we get those mudslides.
And so we go forward in time, we are still going to see a couple of showers as we go through Saturday. We're not going to see anything as intense as we saw yesterday but still, we do have a couple of systems that are pulling in from the Pacific that are bringing these surges of energy and bringing this moisture on shore in southern California and we have to remember we are in an El Nino year that we've talked a lot about so that is going to bring more rain -- expected to bring more rain into southern California during the winter months, it's a good thing we need the rain but of course, we don't need those mudslides -- Brianna.
KEILAR: It's almost like you can't win for losing there. I have family there, I know.
[17:55:04] KEILAR: All right, Jennifer. Thanks so much, appreciate it.
Coming up, after three warnings, Turkish jets shoot down a mysterious aircraft near the border with Syria. Russian warplanes swarming the skies over Syria but Moscow is denying any involvement in this incursion.
KEILAR: Happening now. Day of rage. Palestinians unleashed more anger at Israel with new clashes and attacks and the torching of a Jewish shrine. Tonight President Obama is putting pressure on both sides to avoid fueling the violence.
Drone wars. Turkey shoots down an aircraft invading its skies and ignoring repeated warnings. Was it a weapon in Russia's military assault in Syria?