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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  July 3, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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announced in the past few hours in egypt. the egyptian president morsi is -- i'll be back with our coverage one hour from now. jake tapper picks up our coverage in "the lead" right now. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." i want to welcome or viewers in the u.s. and around the world. breaking news, egypt's now former president mohammed morsi has been ousted. the egyptian army is not using that worse, but morsi is on his twitter account. he tweets -- measures and nounced by armed forces leadership represent a full coup, categorically rejected by all free men of our nation. this after the military announced that morsi is out and that the constitution has been suspended. according to the military, egypt's constitutional cord will serve as a temporary presidency until a new constitution will be drawn up and new elections can
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be held, both in support of the opposition on monday he was given 48 hours to come up with a political solution. that deadline came and went hours ago. if u.s. official decide to label this as a c only up, that money could dry up. egypt is a center if not the center of middle eastern culture. hundreds of american says work there, and tenning of thousand thousands have dual american/egyptian passports. we're all over this story with reporters in every corner of cairo. i want to go to christiane amanpour.
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tell us exactly what the response has been from the muslim brotherhood. >> well, ib talking to several members, including a key spokesman and key advisers action and also someone who used to be a member of parliament there is a deep sense of despair. they believe this is a c opt up, and they're correct, they talk about the first democratically elected president has been overthrown. and the presidency, well, now the former presidency of mohammed morsi. on the other hand, in the tahrir square area, where millions and millions of people have, by popular vote with their feet and bodies and voices have said they have a vote of no confidence, and this is a replay, jake, of the demonstrations that came
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out -- against the military a year ago, and now against mohammed morsi. so what we have here is a semantic debate over the word "coup." we had the general that delivered what would be a new road map, suspend the constitution, the head of the constitutional court in, election prepared for the future. this may take 9 months to a year, according to a military general i just spoke to. we simply dot don't know the reaction in the streets in the days to come. i want to go to becky anderson in tahrir square. paint a pictures for you. what are you watching? >> reporter: absolutely remarkable. it was about an hour away that the government of president morsi was over and we are
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entering this transitional period. the people in the square below me, hundreds of thousand of of people in the square below me reacted with an incredible roar. it was absolutely remarkable. jubilant scenes. now, do remember these people in the square below me are antigovernment protesters. they've been protesting what is the democratically elected president morsi now for days. these are is the same people ironically who are cheering the downfall of president hosni mubarak twoiers and we are delighted to see the first democratically elected president of egym ever, a year ago same people looking now toward egypt. it was absolutely remarkable to hear the sounds. you've had apache helicopters
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flying low, the military helicopters, low over the crowd. and the crowds are cheering the military. ironically the same military that was sent back to their barracks 18 months ago after helping to oust the former president hosni mubarak. i think it would be right to say tonight the crowds here certainly don't see this as a coup. they see this as hitting the reset button for egypt. people you speak to here on the streets, taxi drivers, whoever you speak to, were looking for -- they've learned this is a nascent democracy, and they have learned in the last two years that things aren't eaty, but they are in and out looking to the future with this transitional government. they will assume the presidency, like christiane said, we don't
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know how long this period will last nor how long it would be until new presidential and parliamentary elections, but certainly tonight here, the hundreds of thousands in tahrir square absolutely delight ed. becky, we'll come back in a minute. ben wedeman is standing by in a different part of cairo with supporters of the muslim brotherhood and president morsi. ben, how aprilry are the demonstrators there? >> reporter: very, jake. when they heard this announcement that president morsi has been officially deposed, a huge chant, a roar of anger came up, and people started to chant "down down with military rule." just a few minutes after that, i spoke with a senior member of
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the muslim brotherhood who i've known for years, who is normally quite upbeat. he looked quite downtrodden. i asked him, what is your reaction to the end of president morsi's reign, hess rule, he said, pointing to the crowd behind me, he said they are willing to die to stop that from happening. what we've heard is also chants of people saying it's either victory on martyrdom to make sure this does not come to pass. the question is now that it's official, how will the people react? violently? we're hearing reports of some gunfire just up the road here now, we don't know if that's to keep people back or what. now there are helicopters overhead, hearing a mixture of chants and whistles, so there's
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a lot of anger here at the moment, much of it directed at egypt's powerful army. >> ben, i'm wondering if you could let us see some of the scene behind you. i'm told also that's president morsi's voice speaking on the loudspeaker. i'm not sure if that's accurate. is that who that is? >> he did appeal to his supporters, as he did on twitter, for them to react peacefully to the end of his term as president he was not very -- he doesn't sound very bellicose in that particular speech. now you're just hearing a long line of speaker we've been
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hearing through this very loud public address system. >> ben, we hear on occasion gunshots in the background from where you are. is that part of the demonstration? or is there anything more sinister going on? >> reporter: no, i think what we're seeing is this is fireworkses this is not gunfire. if it's occurring, it's about 500 yards from hoar what you are hearing is fortunately simply fireworks. >> ben wedeman with pro-morsi supporters in cairo. right now i'm going to go to reza sayah. reza, how is the crowd responding beyond the initial jubilation? >> reporter: that hasn't come. it's just jubilation. they are just walking, it's a party.
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they have accomplished this mission, this mission that started months ago with a campaign for all new election and all for president morsi's ouster. what an effective campaign. it started with a petition drive for 13 months. it called for president morsi to step aside. 9 more million votes than he received votes when he won the presidency. the campaign's message was clear, mr. morsi, more people want you out than they want you in. but amid the euphoria, it's easy for the muslim brotherhood's position to get lost for president morsi's position to get lost. they maintain they never had a chance to succeed. remember five months after president morsi took office there were initial calls for his ouster. he always claimed that there were institutions in place that still had remnants of the mubarak regime that wanted to undermine his government.
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certainly behind us, at least some elements within this opposition include some supporter of the mubarak regime, some supporters of the military. they have accomplished their mission, too. but the president's position has always been i was democratically elected, let me finish my term, and then you can come out like you're doing right now, and with the ballot box vote me out. obviously it will never get to that. >> reza, one thing i wanted to ask, i'm seen in the media some pictures of demonstrators, not only protesting against former president morsi but also against president obama, saying he allied with terrorists with the brotherhood, with a fascist regime against the ambassador there. i don't know how prevalent that is in the crowd, how prevalent would you say it is that this anti-morsi sentiment is also
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anti-obama? >> reporter: it's no secret that u.s. foreign policy is not popular, throughout the arab world. egyptians love americans, but they don't love u.s. foreign policy. remember, they will never forget that for decades, it was washington that supported the dictator hosni mubarak in his bruceal police state. they believe washington had never been out for the people. then came standpoint mohammed morsi, the islamic president, washington supported him. that's why you're seeing many in this crowd criticizing washington for that support. earlier today, the leaders of the campaign, this rebel campaign with this petition drive, with a hard statement aimed at washington, suggesting that washington should stay out of the egypt's affairs, accusing washington of trying to impose its will on egypt for the
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interest of israel. some harsh words, and a glimpse of how complicated washington has it. >> reza, what kind of military presents dodds there? with these demonstrators? are they out in force? or playing a more of a behind the scenes role? >> not where we are. where we are, the army is engaging in that he ricks. they're flying above here, as becky anderson tooled you, with their helicopters, and people are cheering. right now it's just a lot of fireworks let me step aside here, but no army presence here. most of the army's presence from what we heard is where ben wedeman is. that is the present ailing in support of president morsi. there's some occasions that that
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demonstration with tanks perhaps in an effort to prevent any clashes. we don't see from our vantage point any evidence of military here. >> reza, we'll come back shortly. roider is reporting that the head of the constitutional court will be sworn in as interim head of state tomorrow. we'll have more on that in a moment, as we continue our live coverage from cairo, where there has been a coup.
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plus, you could save hundreds when you switch, up to $423. call... today. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? welcome back to "the lead." we're bringing you live coverage after president morsi was ousted in a koup. >> let's get to our becky anderson live in cairo right now. becky, tell us right now the difficulty that you think the president of the united states is having right now in deciding what to do. we have not heard much of a response from the british prime minister or from any other
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western leader. >> well, i think it's going to be rough. what do you do when you're the head of the world's greatest democracy, the united states, or some of the world's most developed democracy, britain, france, germany, the whole eu, what is your reaction when the first democratically elected president of egypt is overthrown? somebody who you recognize, who you have worked with, whose foreign policy has been by all accounts actually been in lockstep with you. is probably going to lament all of this, we'll see, but there are already reports in israeli newspapers that they may regret the fact he is gone. they say he was very instrumental in keeping up the camp david accord -- this is morsi i'm talking about -- in helping the last gaza war, pa controlling the sinai rather vingantly. what about the money that europe and the united states sends to egypt? obviously there's a lot of
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wiggle room. each government, each parliament will make those decisions based on how they see fit and what they see the facts are. i think this is a double-edged sword for the west. the egyptians are saying look, we are the people and we have put our voice on the streets, marched with our feet and said no confidence to our president of one year. we'll see if it can actually bring egypt off this failure of governance into some kind of more rational set of politics. as you know, in this emerging democracy, there has been no political parties. they clearly showed they weren't able to govern. i want to go to cairo, to becky anderson and ivan watson,
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who with paint more of a picture of what's going on. first, i want to start with becky. the response, i think a lot of people have been taken aback at how quickly this all unfolded. the protests are relatively recent, the military gives a 48-hour ultimatum to president morsi. he doesn't achieve any success with the protesters, there's no political solution, and that's it, he's out pretty quick for a middle eastern koup. >> absolutely. it was really remarkable, just 24 hours ago, we heard from president morsi. he made his speech, a 45-minute speech to the nation, long in rhetor rhetoric, short in specifics, but some 50 times he talked about being the legitimate president of egypt. he was talking to his
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constituents, effect tiff live. people will tell you he was effectively fluffing the military, that had basically gave him 48 hours or get out, and that's exactly what they did. you pointed out only 48 hours ago, it seems not quite as big here in tahrir square, by what's called the rebel movement, a huge coalition of opposition group, really making their voices heard in this square. 48 hours later, the same people are back because they have seen the end of president morsi. it is absolutely remarkable. as we speak, so fireworks going off seems a complete jubilation, the antigovernment protesters here in tahrir square. >> ivan watson action your thoughts? >> reporter: well, it's
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incredible the scenes that we saw of the troops fanning out, the egyptian army and special forces riot police fanning out in parts of central cairo in the two hours that led up to this momentous announcement by the head of the egyptian military. also, if you put 2 into context, i mean, the military was running the show here more than a year ago, and the demonstrators were gathering in this square, were actually attacked on multiple occasions by the military police action and those times you had terrible confrontations. now we have this incredible scene of what could very much be described as a military coup with immense popular support from the same people 18 months were cursing the military. a remarkable reversal. the protests we've seen the last couple days, they have clearly
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been supported by the military the the military deployment we have seen in the last three hours is not around these people. it's around the remaining encampments of muslim brotherhood protesters. that should very much indicate to you that the military chose sides a couple days ago and have been backing this popular movement, and not the will of those who voted for egypt's first emekly elected president mohammed morsi. we have on the phone a former general in the egyptian military sameh seif el yazal. >> this is not a military court at all. this is the will of the egyptians supported by the army. we haven't seen in the last -- even in modern history, any country in the work millions in
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the street for four days asking the president for an early -- and the ejigses are making new history. that's why it's not a -- military coup, mean it would rule the country and control the country. and the country is not doing that, as they have said many times, today as well, that they would not be involved in the -- >> when do you think the election will take place? how soon? >> i think the entire transition period would be between 9 to 12 months. we have to have a new constitution, a new lawful parliamentary election and then the procedures of the parliamentary election followed by the presidential election. i think that's the road map coming in 9 to 12 months. >> what happens now? i know the constitutional court will have the tiular head of the
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government, but what will change for the egyptian people? we're talking about ruling the country by what they call islamic fascism. in fact there was something of that, mistake after mistake, which put the country in real trouble and everything. we don't have any stability, economic stability as well as controlling everything. we have lack of services for the first time, people -- in -- to get ten liters of fuel for 18 hours, and sometimes more. the power every day -- my home, for instance, i have three times of power, even time for only a half hour. so they actually -- lots of
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mistakes puts the country in real trouble, and we have to recover that now, and this will take a few years, as well as the price will be heavy. >> general, before you go. i just have to ask -- president morsi flawed leader as he may have been, was democratically elected. i realize that democrat is i is new -- new to egypt, but it seems the military stepping in action because there are protests in the streets, saying okay, he's no longer going to be president, is not really how democracy is supposed to work. how do you justify this? and how do you make sure that this doesn't just happen every time there are protests in the street? >> no, that's not the way. actually, the story is very, very simple, that 12 1/2 million people elected morsi and gave him the votes to be our president. right now democratically 33 million people came out in the streets, some of them definitely
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give him their votes. right now they said, no, sorry, we cannot -- any more of that. you have made big mistakes, and not only that action but you put the country in jeopardy. that's why the same people said enough is enough. again, this is democrat you cannily. people wanted that, and that's why they are forcing him to step down. >> general, thank you so much for your time. we're going to take a very quick break. when we come back, we'll go back live to cairo for this incredible breaking news, a coup against the president of egym. egypt. does your dog food have? 18 percent? 20? new purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at purinaone.com a friend under water is something completely different.
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welcome back. we're bringing you live coverage from cairo. these are supporters of president morsi and the muslim brotherhood demonstrating. they are distressed, outraged, upset after the egyptian military ousted the democratically elected president morsi in a coup, though the military is not calling it a coup, saying they're setting the stage for parliamentary and presidential elections. call it dpa gentleman have you, egypt tired of another someone who led the country and did not share the highest concerns, putting president obama in an awkward position. i want to go to the white house, where dan lothian is covering for us. dan, the president is in the
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west wing, what is the reaction from the administration? >> reporter: all indications are that the president at this hour is meeting with top members of his administration within the last on hour or so, we saw chuck hagel, eric holder, john brennan and others arriving. we were told by senior officials that the president was receiving update throughout the day from the national security team. all expectations were that the situation in egypt could have been handled through a smooth political process, that pressure on morsi could have led to perhaps early elections, then came these drammic turn of events. we are waiting official reaction from the obama administration, which we expect to come from the white house. >> we'll check back with you in a minute. joining us is former chief of staff, jeremy bash, and the
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executive director for the institute for near east policy. you've been in some of those meetings. what is the president trying to decide rite now? >> this is a tough situation, jake, because usually revolution happened more by the bullet or the ballot, and this is really more by the bullhorn. even inp even in 2011, the president was still in a tough spot. mubarak had been our alou. we had interests in maintaining borders, the canal, so at that time the president decided ultimately to pull mubarak out and go with the street. here we have a democratically elected morsi. the administration has been trying to work with the morsi government. there's been fits and starts. some progress, they've maintained the peace treaty, they have maintained passage through the suez, maintained good operations on counter-terrorism, but he had an
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islamic agenda, didn't listen to the ultimatum, so the question is really how far out there will the president go to stay he has agreed with what happened here. >> robert, some interesting reaction from the general there when i tried to explain that democracy doesn't work like -- you don't like the president, therefore you get the military to remove him. if you had been that general, what would you have said? >> i don't think general el yazal gave an effective explanation. a more com pegs explanation is millions had a face-off, and to protect hows of lives that would have been lost if violence began, the military intervened, stopped historic bloodshed. the question really is how quickly they hand this over to civilian leaders. the president does have a decision to make about whether to formally label this a coup, and thereby suspend u.s.
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assistance. i think that would be a mistake. >> you think there's wiggle room in the u.s. law, where it says you can assess it and do what you want to do. >> yes, i think that would be a mistake to label it a do you want coup, and to penalize the egyptians for what just happened. the opportunity is to turn a leaf, and see whether or not civilian leadership can emerge and an orderly constitutional process take place. we have to do it right the second time, because our engagement with the military the first time, two years ago, led to this. >> jeremy, if you were in that room advising secretary hagel or president obama, what would you be saying is the most important thing for him to do in the first statement they give? >> first, they have to maintain open lines. >> to the military. >> they're it talking to al sissi. they have talked to him before,
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and they have to wait a bit and watch and see. obviously they want to get behind the popular sentiment, and gel behind the military. but they also want to make sure they send a signal they are for democracy and democratic evolutions and transsessions. i don't think there's any question we'll see thens work with whoever -- >> all right. we're going to come back to you guys in a second. we're going to take a very quick break. you we're going to go next back live to tahrir square as the protests and rallies continue. it's 10:35 at night there. we are just getting a response from the muslim brotherhood. stick around for that. what makes the sleep number store different? what makes the sleep you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you wanted a firm bed you can lie on one of those. we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. oh, yeah!
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democratically elected mohammed morsi. let's go to our becky ander sore, morsist's group, the muslim brotherhood, is reacting. what are they saying? >> reporter: just about an hour ago that you suggested that the military went on television and announced they had effectively deposed the democratically elected president, defeated president morsi, and were installing a transitional government going forth. this is what the muslim brotherhood, who are behind president morsi and hess government have said tonight. they said, and i quote -- this is a conspiracy against legitimacy, a military coup, the waste, the will of the people, and return egypt to tyranny. they went on to say on their official website just moments ago. millions condemn the coup and
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support the legitimate presidency, the former is at the cost of the january 25 marches. that is what the muslim brotherhood are saying tonight. when they refer to the former regime returning at the cost of the blood of the january 25th martyrs, just to give you a sense of what i believe they mean by that, there is much talk here that there are elements of the former hosni mubarak regime who are exploiting what is a -- for leverage, for their own gain, for back into politics. you ask anybody here, even staunch members of the opposition, and they will say that's probably true, that there are elements of the old hosni mubarak regime who will be package at a timing here in egypt once again. very interesting to hear from the muslim brotherhood. they are by no means giving up. this is an organization that
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took 18 years to get a foothold in egyptian politics. now they see the end of that looming, and they are very, very angry, as are their supporters this evening. >> becky anderson, i want to bring in egyptian commentator and activist mona elat the present time ahawy. mona, stad -- etahawy. i hope your family and friends have been able to stay safe. just a basic question for americans at home who don't understand why all these demonstrators who presumably, many of them are the same people who are marching again mubarak, why they would think it acceptable for there to be a coup against somebody who is democratically elected. even if he was a horrible leader, why the act of a coup is okay? >> for many people marching the
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past few days, jake, this has been much more is this a coup or not, and was morsi a horrible leader? it's quite simply that morsi usurped his position to consolidate the brotherhood and his own power. from the very beginning, when we got rid of hosni mubarak in 2011, egyptians have maintained all along that anyone who tries to lead us, we will stand up against. this is a strong message we also send out to the military. this is not a coup. what happened in egypt is millions of egyptians, many of whom voted, but have watched him over the past year marginalize, intimidate and send into detention any opponents, basically prevent egyptians from forming the kind of institutions that we could use to stand up against him. the only avenue we had left as egyptians was the streets, and we are sending a clear message to the military today we will not allow them to return to rule. mona, there is another avenue, which is another election, you defeat president morsi.
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i mean -- look, i don't want to defend president morsi. >> how, jake? >> the next election, you defeat them. >> how could we have formed political parties when most activists, and many heads of political parties were being sent to jail or being prevented from travel or being intimidated by mohammed morsi. he used his own installed if inspector general to intimidate comedians. we had more -- on it's easy for you to say from outside of egypt you should have waited, but how, when we are being prevented from creating the very political institutions that we need to lead us to the elections by the same man who in november last year consolidated amazing amounts of power to create a constitution to basically making two bodies powerful, the muslim brotherhood and the military, and the military, which he left unchecked turned against him after millions of egyptians told -- told mohammed morsi,
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that you are no longer our leader. you failed to represent is. >> and hussein, your thoughts? >> i think it's a very sad day for egypt. this is not the end of morsi more nor the end of brotherhood. mona is a very good friend of mine. it's sad to sit here and see the defense of the overthrow of however dislikable and detested a democratically elected president, the way to overthrow him is at the ballot box. they have held five elections, and more elections are in the offing. morsi had three more years to go, and before that, there were parliamentary elections, too. the opposition has been divided, the opposition has not had a leader, a vision, and the mobilization of the masses on the street is not to the credit
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of the opposition as such, but for the failure of the morsi government. and i fear -- i fear that the worst is yet to come, in the sense that we have not yet seen the response of the muslim brotherhood or its more stream violent cousins. they will not sit back and say jolly good job, morsi is out of power. they will do everything in their power to rise against military rule and the government of whoever comes next, if it's not a government that they are somehow in control of. the last point, if we're worried about anti-americanism of the secular variety that your program alluded to, the anti-americanism is the type of violence we're sealing play out by deposing muslim brotherhood president, we have not disengaged the muslim brotherhood from the political process for at least the next few months. the result, i'm afraid, in greater division, greater violence, and greater chaos in the arab world's most important
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country. >> that's a big fear. sitting in the studio with me is ambassador ed walker. he was u.s. ambassador to egypt from 1994 to 1998. the u.s. right now, ambassador, is in a very difficult situation. you see the crowds out there on this side of the screen, the left side of the screen, they are essentially in support of -- people can disagree with my dix shun, but of a coup. >> right, but it's a coup based on an enormous outpouring of people, and popular pin, moving against morsi. i looked it up on wikipedia -- [ laughter ] >> and coup is not very clear to what it means by a coup, but one thing it said is an authority could be a popular uprising against a authoritarian or totalitarian regime, to topple the regime for the limited
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purpose of holding a election, and that's called a democratic coup. >> a democratic coup, when there are supposedly elections coming up. >> right. >> jeremy, whatever it's called, there's going to be enormous pressure on the united states from all directions. explain what the president and others are talking about right now. >> the first thing they are thinking about is how do we achieve our strategic objectives in egypt? we want to maintain the peace treaty with israel, keep the suez open, keep the momentum going on counter-temple. we do want to say we're for democrat sick, always for the ballot box, but here we have a trusted actor. >> the general who led the coup. >> who led the effort to get morsi out. >> the effort, whatever you want to call it. >> and one middle east commentator sent me an e-mail that said this is really revolution 2.0. it's a continuation of the revolution that began in january
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2011. if you look at it holist lickly, this has been an effort by the egyptian people to have their voice heard. morsi was not pursuing democratic -- >> i don't want to get into the position of defending morsi, i'm not, i'm playing devil's advocate, but robert, you saw on monday president obama trying to talk about how he was giving a press conference about how the u.s. has really looked at the democratic efforts that have been made by muslim brotherhood and by egyptian golfs. that's not necessarily where some critics say the u.s. has put its efforts. others say it has more to do with the security considerations. what do you expect to hear from president obama when he finally speaking on this? >> i hope that the president says what jeremy said about the security side, but doesn't limit itself to the security side, because that really has been missing over the last two years, where we have essentially given the muslim brotherhood a free rein domestically as long as
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they played by our regional security interests. what this tells us, with millions of people in the street, is that there is a civic society in egypt that wants to be engaged, wants or support and wants to be heard. >> we're closely following the developments. we will bring you the latest when we come back after this very quick break. and the prosecution wrapping up the case in the george zimmerman trial. we'll go back live to the courtroom as the final prosecution witness it was. testifies. i'm the next american success story. working for a company where over seventy-five percent of store management started as hourly associates. there's opportunity here. i can use walmart's education benefits to get a degree, maybe work in it, or be an engineer, helping walmart conserve energy. even today, when our store does well, i earn quarterly bonuses. when people look at me, i hope they see someone working their way up. vo: opportunity, that's the real walmart.
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welcome back to "the lead."
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we're following the breaking news out of egypt. the coup is what former president moshi is calling it. it has forced him, a democratically elected president, out of power. more on that shortly, but first we want to catch you up on a major story back here in the united states. the trial of george zimmerman for the shooting death of trayvon martin. martin savidge is standing by in florida. what's the jury seeing right now? what is going on? >> reporter: right now they have been dealing with dna, very complicated and consumed much of at least the later part of the afternoon. the gist of it right now is that so far none of trayvon's dna was found on the gun. also none of george zimmerman's dna was found under the fingernails of trayvon martin, and all of that not necessarily good for the defense, because george had said at one point trayvon tried to reach and actually got ahold of his gun,
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and the fact that george said he was being beaten. if there's no dna on martin's fingernails and none on the cuffs of the hoodie, so it might make jurors wonder. i want more analysis from chaney mason, jeffrey toobin, and today prosecutors have showed martin as hoodie, the famous hoodie, with the bullet hole in it. we want to show you that moment in court as the firearms analyst describes what tests she did. >> explain to the jury first what this is, and then what you did. >> this was -- evidence that i examined for distance determination, and what i did was i was looking at the surrounding this hole. i was looking for partially
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burned or unburned gun powder particles. i was looking for any kind of sooting present around the hole as well as looking at the ends of the fibers to whether they were blackened, singed or melting. >> if you would just stand back so the court reporter has a visual of you, that would help. what did you do to test-fire with this particular -- you took a cutting or what did you to? >> i did. i removed a portion of the back of the sweatshirt for testing purposes. >> all right. mr. de la ronal arondald it -- more forensic in nature or psychological?
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i can't -- we can't hear his volume right now. something is wrong with it. jeff toobin, i'll go to you. was it more forensic or psychological, the impact of that hoodie in court today? >> well, i think the prosecution has -- the prosecution has to introduce how he died, and certainly the hoodie is indispensable. there's no controversy about how he died. the only issue in this case is whether it was self-defense, but there's symbolism to seeing the gun and the famous hoodie in the courtroom. so i don't think it makes conviction significantly more likely, but it is certainly a moving thing to see the actual murder weapon and the actual hoodie in which the 17-year-old boy died. >> jalani, what did you think?
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>> i think the same. when we look at the bigger picture here, this is kind of part of a longer trajectory that the prosecution has had. it seems that they put a long arc in laying out their argument, but you've been able to see in the last two days them bring together the points they want to may about just what they believe happened that night. i think bringing in this hoodie right now is a reminder of who trayvon martin was as a person and the connection to action you know, everything we saw with people going out wearing hoodies in public in protest, and so on. >> chaney mason, you know something about high-profile cases in florida. how do you think the defense is doing in general over the last week or so? >> i think they're doing a very good job with what they have. i would be a little concerned about all of the inconsistent statements that keep coming out, the product of letting mr. zimmerman talk and go on tv
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shows. that's not something i would support. i think that's likely to hurt him. going back to the hoodie, i would be interested in what meaningful forensics there were. is there gunshot residue? is there stippling on the outside of the hoodie that can give the forensic experts the ability to say with a certain amount of precision just exactly how far away the gun was when he was shot? you've got different stories about the victim being right on stop or sitting up, and that's bothersome to me the i would want to pin it down and know just exactly. was the gun shot from one inch away, or a contact wound? or from 8 or 10 inches away? that can be determined by test-firing and determining the pattern of discharge of the gun powder. >> jalani, only about 15 seconds left. i want your thought on today, whether or not you think that the prosecution continues to have a difficult time with its case, as many commentators seem
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to suggest there are. >> i think so. the one important thing that came out today was the absence of his finger pripts or dna on the weapon, which raises the question of whether trayvon martin even knew that george zimmerman had a gun. >> all right. thank you so much. that's it for "the lead." 4 . thank you, jake. the first democratically elected president in that country has just been ousted. we're also taking a much closer look at the critical implications for the united states. plus the prosecution nears the end right now, presenting what's been a very controversial case in the george zimmerman murder trial. our legal team is standing by. we'll break down all the testimony. that's coming up today as well. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room."