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THE SITUATION ROOM
National Protests; ISIS Threat; Obama Vows 'Follow Through' After Ferguson Unrest; FBI: ISIS May Target American Troops in U.S.; GOP Aide Resigns for Mocking Obama Daughters
Aired December 1, 2014 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now. New Ferguson backlash. Protesters across the United States, they put their hands up, they lie down in the streets, as President Obama plans new action to try to curb police violence.
What's Darren Wilson's next move? The man who shot and killed Michael Brown has quit the Ferguson police force. I'll ask his lawyers about his future and whether his family is in any danger right now.
Plus, a new warning for U.S. troops that ISIS may be plotting to attack them right here on American soil. Stand by for new details.
And a senior Republican staffer pays a big price for an online rant about the president's daughters and their appearance at the annual turkey pardon.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: The breaking news this hour, we just heard President Obama promise to follow through to try to ease the anger and the distrust we have seen in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the United States.
Dozens of new protests were held around the country today in solidarity with the people of Ferguson and the slain teenager Michael Brown. It's been exactly a week since a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Brown. The president has been focusing in on the Ferguson backlash all day long in a series of meetings over at the White House.
Listen to some of his remarks just a little while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I tried to describe the people is why this time will be different, and part of the reason this time will be different is because the president of the United States is deeply invested in making sure that this time is different.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: We have our correspondents, our analysts and our newsmakers. They're all standing by to cover all the big stories that are developing right now.
First, let's go to our White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski. She has the very latest -- Michelle.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf.
On the one hand, you have this deep involvement of this administration in Ferguson, the multiple investigations and statements, thousands, thousands of phone calls and meetings since this happened.
But at the same time, the president still doesn't have plans to go there. So it is obvious the White House sees this as a very delicate balance. And, today, here all day, the focus was on Ferguson.
KOSINSKI (voice-over): The fact that the emotion, demonstration has spread well beyond Ferguson, Missouri, today, walkouts and protests from California to New York, a die-in outside the Department of Justice. The Saint Louis Rams angering police, but unapologetic and unpunished over their hands-up statement on the field Sunday.
Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Michael Brown, has now resigned. His lawyer says there were serious threats to his safety. The White House knows this is an issue with a far deeper current that isn't going away and is trying to figure out what to do about it. Today, the president spent his entire day not in Ferguson, but on it.
OBAMA: There have been commissions before, there have been task forces, there have been conversations, and nothing happens. What I tried to describe the people is why this time will be different, and part of the reason this time will be different is because the president of the United States is deeply invested in making sure that this time is different.
KOSINSKI: He held meetings with his Cabinet, young civil rights leaders from around the country, and community and faith leaders, along with law enforcement.
Attorney General Eric Holder is in Atlanta on the same issue, all looking for ways to build trust. What the White House is doing now is asking Congress for more funding for local police departments, more than $200 million that would include training and some 50,000 body cameras for officers, potentially answering some of the difficult questions in the future that are unanswerable in Ferguson.
And the White House continues to look into what some see as the militarization of local police departments. A review commissioned by the president released today shows nearly half a million pieces of federal military equipment given to police over the last five years, including ammunition, planes, mine-resistant vehicles and more than 5,000 Humvees. But the study also found a glaring lack of consistency, training, and
community input in these federal grants. The White House wants to fix that and get at some of the roots of unrest.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These are the kinds of issues that I don't think anybody expects that these issues are going to be resolved overnight, because he recognizes that not just one presidential trip to Ferguson is going to solve the problem here.
KOSINSKI: The White House is really emphasizing this distrust, as they put it, between communities and police. They say this is an issue that comes up whenever there's an incident and then fades back from public view.
We just heard the president said what this needs is a sustained commitment, a sustained effort -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Michelle Kosinski at the White House, thank you very much.
The attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder, also is working today to try to improve the relationship between the African- American community and law enforcement across the country. He's getting ready to hold a meeting at the church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.
CNN's Martin Savidge is joining us from Atlanta with more on this part of the story.
Martin, set the scene for us.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the attorney general is expected, Wolf, at any moment. There's going to be first a small meeting that will take place with community leaders. And then after that, there's going to be a public forum.
And already there are a lot of people that have shown up and been allowed to go inside the church here. You have already pointed out significant point. This is the first of what is expected to be a series of regional meetings on this issue. But the first one takes place right here. Historically, the significance is this.
As you point out, Dr. Martin Luther King. This is where he was born and this is where he preached. This is where he grew up. Then there's the date, December 1. December 1, 1955, is when Rosa Parks decided that she would not sit in the back of the bus anymore. She refused to move and step away from the white section of a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
And that set off a historic chain of events. So history hangs heavy over this gathering here. And many believe it's relevant to the events of Ferguson -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We will stay in close touch with you, Martin. Let's us know how that meeting goes with the attorney general. In the meantime, let's go to the epicenter of the protests and the tension.
CNN's George Howell is joining us what more in what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri, right now.
George, what is going on?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, let's talk about it in different levels.
So, nationally, we know that that protesters here asked for a day of walkouts. In New York City, we saw that happen. In Washington, D.C., we saw protesters surround the Justice Department, even blocking the streets in some cases. Hear in Ferguson, it's hard to forget those images of unrest and the riots by people, some people who decided to break the law that day.
But let's not forget about the main issue and it's being discussed here in this meeting that has been heated at times. We continue to monitor it. The issue here in Ferguson, many people who feel that they're not getting a fair shake when it comes to economic progress or opportunity, when it comes to education, when it comes to how they're treated by police officers.
Again, we're monitoring this meeting, Wolf, because at times people are venting. The comments can be heated. But there is a real deep- seated frustration from much deeper issues and we're hearing that from this community tonight.
BLITZER: George, thanks very much. George Howell is in Ferguson for us.
We're learning also more now about the resignation of Darren Wilson from the Ferguson police force and what's next for him and for his family.
We're joined now by two of Wilson's lawyers, Danielle Thompson And Greg Kloeppel.
Greg, Danielle, thanks to both of us very much for joining us.
A couple technical questions. Then I want to get to some of the big picture questions as well.
Danielle, first to you. Darren Wilson will not be receiving any severance pay from the Ferguson police force. Did he want severance pay? Was he not eligible for severance pay? Give us the background here.
DANIELLE THOMPSON, ATTORNEY FOR DARREN WILSON: With a resignation, basically you're cutting ties with the employer. So here he is resigning from the Ferguson Police Department and with that resignation, he's moving on.
So, as a severance goes in this situation, it wouldn't have been a good outcome for the tension that's going on.
BLITZER: So what about that, Greg? Where does Wilson go from here?
GREG KLOEPPEL, ATTORNEY FOR DARREN WILSON: That's the million dollar question.
Wolf, from the get-go, our two goals throughout this entire case was to protect his due process rights and to protect his safety. His safety is still an issue at this point in time. He's still -- there's death threats out there, and so our paramount issue at this point in time is his safety.
However, he's got to move on with his life as well. He's probably going to go back to school. He's probably going to have to pursue other areas of employment, because I think it's quite obviously a job in law enforcement is highly unlikely at this point in time.
BLITZER: I would say so. Does he have security, Greg? Does he have bodyguards?
KLOEPPEL: Wolf, let me put it this way. He's in a safe place right now.
BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit about what's going on in his life, Danielle. He recently got married. We have seen the marriage certificate and all of that. His wife is now pregnant, right?
BLITZER: And so where do they want to live? Because she's a police officer in Ferguson herself. Is she going to give up her job?
THOMPSON: Those are all decisions that will be made in the future. At this point, they're safe where they are and that's what matters.
BLITZER: And do you suspect they will stay in that area or they will move elsewhere in the country or elsewhere around the world for that matter?
THOMPSON: I don't think they have made those decisions yet. So it would be really difficult for me to say.
BLITZER: Greg, we know that he has been threatened and he's worried about his security. What about his wife? Because she's a police officer in Ferguson. Has she also been threatened?
KLOEPPEL: Wolf, that was the impetus of officer Wilson's resignation.
We found out from the city that his fellow member and women in blue were receiving threats. We also found out that the police station itself, the building in and of itself, was under threats. So at that point in time, Darren Wilson said, for the safety of his fellow officers, for the safety of the city of Ferguson, that's what the impetus was for him to resign.
So, yes, there are threats not only against himself, but his family as well.
BLITZER: So she, I take it, is no longer -- she's on leave as well, is that right?
KLOEPPEL: She's currently on leave. That is correct.
BLITZER: She's being paid, though, administrative leave with pay, as he was until he formally resigned?
KLOEPPEL: She's on a medical leave. It's benefits that she had accrued as a police officer. So she's on paid medical leave right now, that's correct.
BLITZER: All right, but they're obviously both worried. What about other members of their family, Danielle, are they worried as well?
THOMPSON: Well, from the beginning, members of the media and others have tried to get in touch with Darren's family, both here and throughout the country.
So it has been a concern. And throughout the time that Darren has been in the spotlight, his family has been of the utmost importance to him. So he's tried to keep them safe, but there's only so much you can do when information is public and people can be found.
BLITZER: I want both of you to stand by, because I have more questions to ask right now about what's going on, get your reaction to some of the protests that have occurred not only in Ferguson, but elsewhere around the country.
Much more with the attorneys representing Darren Wilson right after this.
BLITZER: We're back with two lawyers for the former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. He resigned from the force about 48 hours ago.
Danielle Thompson and Greg Kloeppel are joining us once again.
Very quickly, Danielle, if he goes back to school now, now that he's given up his job as a police officer, what is he going to study?
THOMPSON: There's been a couple of subjects thrown out there, anything from business to, you know, somewhere in that field, finance, accounting. There's a couple different options.
BLITZER: All right, let's talk a little bit...
THOMPSON: Maybe finish up a criminal justice degree.
BLITZER: Maybe he will do that.
THOMPSON: I said maybe finish up a criminal justice. (CROSSTALK)
BLITZER: We will see what he does on that front.
Greg, you know there's two federal investigations the Justice Department is engaged in right now. One involves whether Michael Brown's civil rights were violated. Have you been told anything about this investigation, when it might be completed?
KLOEPPEL: No, we have heard no word from the Department of Justice on when they may conclude their investigation. As you stated, there's an ongoing investigation and the Department of Justice has undertaken these investigations in the past and sometimes they never close the investigation.
We have heard no word on when or if it will be closed.
BLITZER: Have you heard anything about the Michael Brown family filing a separate lawsuit against your client?
KLOEPPEL: Well, we have heard a lot of Michael Brown's family's attorneys on television, and I think, you know, down the road, that's probably going to occur.
BLITZER: That they will file some sort of lawsuit against Darren Wilson.
If that happens, I assume you guys will be part of the legal team, is that right, Danielle?
THOMPSON: We would always be there to support Darren in whatever legal capacity there is. Typically, though, in a suit like that, he would be sued in his official capacity, so the city of Ferguson would decide whether or not to provide legal coverage as well since he would be sued in his official capacity as a Ferguson police officer.
BLITZER: Given these two separate federal investigations, Danielle, that are still under way right now, would it be appropriate from your client's perspective for the president to go to Ferguson and meet with Michael Brown's family?
THOMPSON: I don't think really from our perspective that's a decision we can make one way or the other.
Our main focus has been on Darren and making sure that he's protected. And we know that there's a lot of tension and a lot of politics and a lot that's involved in everything that's happening in Ferguson. And it's not my place to decide what should happen, you know, politically and what -- or what shouldn't happen regarding the president or any other politicians at this point.
BLITZER: So, Greg, you wouldn't have a problem if the president went to Ferguson and met with the family? I only ask the question because there have been some legal experts out there wondering if that might jeopardize the objectivity of these two federal investigations if the president were to go and do that. KLOEPPEL: I understand what you're saying.
And I don't disagree with that. That's one reason from day one we ourselves made no statements to the media with regards to the criminal investigation that was occurring at the time, because that's one thing we did not want to do is taint the grand jury process. And we also didn't want to taint the criminal investigation.
So will that potentially create a taint in this arena? That's for us to find out down the road, I guess. But, yes, I'm not going to make any comments about whether or not -- with the president coming here to speak where the family, whether or not that may or may not taint, but that's the reason, Wolf, we did not make a statement until the grand jury had made their decision, because we did not want to taint that investigation.
BLITZER: I don't know if you were watching in the last hour, Danielle, our show, but we had the president's comments over at the White House.
He was meeting with activists and officials. At the end of a very lengthy statement, a reporter shouted out a question whether justice was served in the Darren Wilson decision not to indict. The president didn't respond to any questions, didn't answer any questions.
Would you have -- I assume you would have wanted him to respond in this particular case, right?
THOMPSON: And we feel like justice was served for Darren Wilson and that he got the justice that he was entitled to.
We would have loved for President Obama to come out and say, yes, everything happened exactly how it should have happened. But there's a lot of other politics and racial tensions at play here, and to come out and say that would have been detrimental to him.
BLITZER: Greg, did you think looking back on the interview that your client Darren Wilson gave ABC News, George Stephanopoulos, it was very lengthy, nearly one-hour interview. Looking back on that interview, and I know you have had confidences with Darren Wilson, was there anything he said there that maybe he would have been better off rephrasing in a different way? Would he like any take-backs, if you will, any revisions?
KLOEPPEL: I don't think so, Wolf, because I will tell you this.
I was at the critical incident scene within one hour of the shooting that day. And when I met with Darren, I draw a line down my notepad. I take his statement down. We were subsequently interviewed by Saint Louis County detectives. Normally, I have to fill in blanks, fill in a few other things here.
The statement was consistent. We thereafter the next day gave another tape recorded statement to the Saint Louis County Police Department. I didn't have to fill anything on my notepad. His story, his statement has been consistent since day one. We were subsequently thereafter interviewed by the Department of Justice.
Now, obviously, those questions were much more hard-hitting and we have heard a lot of things in the news too about there's been no opportunity to cross-examine Darren Wilson. If you read that statement he provided to the Department of Justice, he was grilled. He was asked every tough question there was.
So with regards to your first question, whether or not he was change anything in the subsequent interview he gave to George Stephanopoulos, I don't think so.
BLITZER: Danielle, there's been some suggestion out there that if you believe his side of the story, and clearly the grand jury did believe his side of the story, that if Michael Brown was, in fact, charging him at that last moment when he raised his weapon and shot Michael Brown in the head, there has been some suggestion why did he have to shoot him in the head, why couldn't he have shot him lower, in his body, for example, not shoot to kill, but shoot to stop him from threatening him?
What is his answer to that?
THOMPSON: As shown in all the autopsies and the witness testimony, at that point, numerous shots were already fired at Michael Brown and the threat still was occurring.
At that point, there was no other option for officer Wilson. He had to eliminate the threat that kept coming to him. And he had been given numerous opportunities before that and took steps each time to try and alleviate the situation. But it just didn't happen. So eventually that was the only option that officer Wilson had left.
KLOEPPEL: Wolf, if I could add, at that fatal moment when officer Wilson fired that fatal shot, Michael Brown had crouched down into a bull-rush position. That was the only thing that officer Wilson saw at that point in time, because Michael Brown had crouched down and was ready to bull-rush him. That's when he decided to take that fatal shot.
BLITZER: But he could have aimed a little bit lower towards the chest or towards his legs, right? That probably would have stopped him. Right?
THOMPSON: Well, that's where the shots were coming earlier, but it hadn't stopped him.
KLOEPPEL: But that's a great question, Wolf. But that shows you just how close Michael Brown was to Officer Wilson at the time officer Wilson had to make the decision to fire that fatal shot.
BLITZER: When you were there -- we showed our viewers, Greg, some video, him in the police station shortly after the incident. There it is right there. What was going through his mind? You were speaking to him even then, right? KLOEPPEL: That is correct.
BLITZER: And give us -- take us inside that police station when he's walking around there. We saw some of the injuries he suffered from inside the car.
KLOEPPEL: Shortly after I met with Darren initially, and the Saint Louis County detectives showed up, I could see he had marks on his left side of his cheek, and the right side of his cheek was really beginning to swell.
So at that point in time, we decided, hey, we better get you checked out. That's the photos I believe you're talking about, the video photos, when we were leaving the police station to bring him to the hospital and subsequently returning from there.
BLITZER: So where does all this go? Button this up for us, Danielle. Where does this all go from here?
THOMPSON: Legally or otherwise?
BLITZER: In terms of his life, his wife's life, legally. They have still got a lot of problems out there, including their own security.
THOMPSON: And, legally, we just have to wait regarding the Department of Justice investigation, and if there is a civil suit.
Regarding their lives, they just try and continue as they have been. They are a fairly quiet and private couple, and they would like to continue with their lives. And there is a version of a new normal that they're getting used to. And it's going to take some getting used to. So they don't know what tomorrow is going to bring, but they just take it head on and deal with it.
BLITZER: All right, Danielle Thompson, thanks very much for joining us. Greg Kloeppel, thanks to you as well, the two attorneys representing Darren Wilson right now.
KLOEPPEL: Thank you.
BLITZER: We will take a quick break, get analysis from our experts, much more on the breaking news at the White House, the protests around the country when we come back.
BLITZER: The breaking news we're following this hour. The president of the United States saying he's deeply invested in solving the problems exposed by the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting case and the violent protests that followed.
Let's bring in our panel. Joining us, the community activist, John Gaskin; our CNN anchor, Don Lemon; CNN legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin; and our CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes.
Don, what do you think about these protests that have come up, sparked all over the country, in New York, where you are; here in Washington, D.C., outside the Justice Department? I assume this is the result of the frustration, the anger. You were just in Ferguson last week. Talk about this.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we saw in Ferguson the night after the announcement of no indictment was quite different than what we're seeing around the country now. What we're seeing around the country now are people who are exercising their rights to protest peacefully, and they are doing it. And so I say amen to them. And whatever you want to protest for or about, that is your right as an American.
What we saw the night of the announcement -- the unrest, the looting, the burning, the violence -- that wasn't right. That should never have happened, and no one should make an excuse for it.
But yes, this is -- these are younger, mostly younger people who are feeling that they're not being heard. And they feel that, you know, Mike Brown did not get a -- at least his family has not gotten a fair shot, and that they feel the officer should have been indicted.
So, you know, the grand jury has reached its verdict. The grand jury says that he should not be indicted. We have to abide by that, but these people have every right to protest.
And so I think, you know, if they want to do it, they want to do it. But justice has been served. Many people just don't like the way justice was served.
BLITZER: John, now that Darren Wilson has stepped down, resigned from the police department there in -- in Ferguson, is the community calmer there? What is the latest on-the-ground feeling?
JOHN GASKIN, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: Well, you know, the last few nights have been relatively peaceful. People are still waiting to see what the family will do from a legal standpoint.
But many people, quite honestly, Wolf, are very disappointed in the grand jury's decision. They're disappointed in what took place in the grand jury room, how the prosecutor handled it. The fact that, you know, these grand jurors that have no legal experience were pounded with mountains of evidence and that there was no indictment. It was almost as though there was a criminal trial that took place versus a grand jury proceeding. So many people are very disappointed.
But I just want to touch briefly on what Don said about the protest. Today is obviously the 59th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycotts, which started as a local struggle. And the boycott became a national struggle. And so today, I'm very happy protestors' cries are now finally being heard by President Obama and his cabinet.
BLITZER: Jeffrey, legislation was introduced today in the Missouri state senate that would require police to wear these body cameras. It would scale back the use of so-called deadly force laws in Missouri. Would that have changed what happened in Ferguson? JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it certainly would have
given us a lot more evidence or a lot more objectively accurate evidence than we had. That's certainly one of the potentially productive things that could come out of this.
But let's be clear about one thing, which is what President Obama did today was nothing. You know, maybe something will happen down the road, but all this talk about having conversations and whatnot, you know, we've been having conversations for a long time. What the president has done is nothing. I don't know what he can do exactly, but just having these conversations seems small to me.
BLITZER: Well, he did create another commission chaired by the Philadelphia police commissioner, Charles Ramsey, who's very experienced, highly regarded in these areas.
And he also -- and I'm going to get -- I want Tom to weigh in on this -- he also basically said, using his executive authority, he's going to continue allowing the Pentagon to provide all of this sophisticated military equipment to local law enforcement across the country and make money available for body cameras for local law enforcement, as well.
FUENTES: Well, I agree now, Wolf, with the cameras. But this whole argument about military equipment, we're the only country in the world that allows our public to carry assault rifles, armor-piercing shells and wear body armor. So this idea -- we have the most militarized public in the entire world. And oftentimes we need a militarized police to deal with it.
BLITZER: If the president, Don Lemon, did go to Ferguson -- you spent a lot of time there in recent months -- do you sense it potentially could undermine these two separate Department of Justice investigations?
LEMON: I think the president is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.
And, you know, I think Jeffrey was very brave to say what he said. Because we heard when the president gave his initial race speech a few years back after the Trayvon Martin thing, and we've got My Brother's Keeper, and now we have this. And so we've been hearing a lot of talk, Jeffrey is right. A lot of commissions have been established. I don't know how, you know, successful they have been. I certainly hope that they have been successful. But I think Jeff Toobin is very brave to say what he had to say.
And so maybe by going there, there will be some action. I don't know. But I think if he goes there, obviously, he's going to be criticized. If he doesn't, he's going to be criticized. So I think he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. But he is the first black president, and many people who are African-American like me want to see more from an African-American president, or at least hope to.
BLITZER: Very quickly, Jeffrey, would it undermine the two separate Justice Department investigations? TOOBIN: I don't think so. I think those will operate on their own
track. Those are independent Justice Department investigators. The fact that President Obama would go to talk to the parents or talk to other people, I don't think it would make any difference. I don't know what good it would do, but I don't think it would be a barrier to any further Justice Department action.
BLITZER: All right. I want all of you to stand by. We have another special guest joining us now live from Ferguson. Queen Barnes- Greene's business was burned and destroyed during the violent protests last week. She's joining us now.
You had a beauty salon, right? What happened to your place of business?
QUEEN BARNES-GREENE, BUSINESS BURNED DOWN IN VIOLENT PROTESTS: It was burned down due to, I guess, some misguided anger. We had some guys, I guess somebody burned down Prime Beauty Supply, and the fire just kept going, and it destroyed the entire strip mall.
BLITZER: How many people were working there at the time?
BLITZER: Seven people.
BARNES-GREENE: For -- my shop, seven. And my shop and quite a few of the other shops in the strip mall.
BLITZER: And so basically, you closed up business that night. This is the second time you had problems, right? Back in August you had some serious problems at your beauty salon, as well, right?
BARNES-GREENE: Yes. My air condition was tampered with.
BLITZER: And because of the disturbances, did you -- you had to lay some people off from work to begin with, right?
BARNES-GREENE: Well, they actually just walked out. We had no heat, because it was so cold outside, and the -- AC -- I'm sorry, it was so cold outside, they didn't -- they messed with the AC unit and we didn't have any AC in the building. It was about 100-some degrees outside. So they all kind of walked out. And we had to shut it down for a couple weeks until we were able to get it fixed.
BLITZER: Do you have any idea who these people were who came into your shop and basically destroyed it?
BARNES-GREENE: No, I don't. I definitely don't believe it was my community.
BLITZER: Do you think it was outside agitators, is that what you're saying?
BARNES-GREENE: I don't know. I just don't think it was my community.
BLITZER: So what do you do now, Queen?
BARNES-GREENE: Stay prayerful. I'm just thankful that we have a lot of people like you who is reaching out to us, who cares about our businesses and the families that -- that are employed by us.
BLITZER: Did you have insurance?
BARNES-GREEN: And now we're just waiting.
BLITZER: Did you have insurance?
BLITZER: So will the insurance allow you to rebuild your business?
BARNES-GREENE: It's not enough. I didn't really take out that much insurance. I didn't think something like this would ever happen.
BLITZER: Is there any indication that either local, state, federal agencies might provide you some money to help rebuild your shop?
BARNES-GREENE: I'm not sure right now, but GoFundMe is doing a great job. Natalie and Christine (ph) has been doing a wonderful job getting my name and business out there. So I definitely want to thank them. In the last 24 hours, 48 hours, they've been on the phone with me every day and just keeping me comforted and putting my name out there, tweeting me every few seconds. So I definitely appreciate them.
BLITZER: And in the meantime, your seven employees are now out of work right now; they're looking for jobs?
BARNES-GREENE: Yes. They're looking for stations at other shops that they can work at to maintain their customers.
BLITZER: Queen Barnes-Greene, the owner of Queens Royal Touch Massage, Barber and Beauty Shop in Ferguson. Queen, thanks so much for joining us. Good luck to you and good luck to all the folks out there who had their businesses destroyed during these demonstrations that erupted after that grand jury decision. Thanks very much.
BARNES-GREENE: Thank you. I'm very grateful for you having me on your show. Thank you.
BLITZER: Thank you very much. Good luck.
And stay with CNN. We're continuing to follow the national outpouring of anger over all of these events in Ferguson, Missouri. Much more coming up.
Also, an alarming new warning about a threat to members of the United States military. Not on the battlefield, but to everyone who is home on leave for the holidays.
BLITZER: We're keeping close watch on Ferguson, Missouri. New protests across the country. We'll have more on that coming up.
But right now, members of the United States military -- they are being warned that ISIS terrorists may be targeting them for attack on American soil. We're learning new details about an FBI bulletin that has just been released.
Let's bring in our national security correspondent Jim Sciutto. He's taking a closer look at this part of the story -- Jim.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there have been previous bulletins about ISIS encouraging attacks on U.S. service members on U.S. soil. But this one is new and different. That's because it includes new information that ISIS members overseas are now, quote, "spotting and assessing" like-minded people here in the U.S. based in part on social media postings who may want to carry out such attacks, what amounts to an alarming online recruiting effort for attacks here on U.S. soil.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): An attacker shoots a Canadian soldier dead in Ottawa. Another runs over two soldiers with his car, killing one. Both attackers allegedly inspired by ISIS.
Now, a new FBI bulletin warns that ISIS members are, quote, "spotting and assessing" like-minded individuals in the U.S. who would carry out attacks on members of the American military on U.S. soil. The first time an FBI bulletin has included such a warning. Bulletins cite the attacks in Canada as reason for increased vigilance.
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: All the commanders across all branches of the services are very concerned about it. They're reminding soldiers, sailors, airmen and marine on daily basis to be careful of their surroundings, to walk in pairs, to not wear uniforms when you don't have to.
SCIUTTO: The FBI is warning members of the U.S. military to be aware of and review their online social media postings, as well. The goal: to make themselves less of a target to a terror group with an unrivaled and aggressive online operation.
The bulletin, obtained by CNN, advising members of the military, quote, "to use caution and practice operational security when posted." One grave concern of U.S. counterterror officials is the so-called lone wolf attacks require very little planning and little, if any, direct contact with ISIS commanders abroad.
JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: The new phenomena that I see that I'm very concerned about is somebody who has never met another member of that terrorist organization, never trained at one of the camps, who is simply inspired by the social media, the literature, the propaganda, the message to commit an act of violence in this country.
SCIUTTO: U.S. law enforcement posted this warning now in advance of the upcoming holiday season. Many members of the U.S. military travel in uniform.
SCIUTTO: The timing of this bulletin based in part on the upcoming holidays, but also the recent attacks in Canada, which the bulletin says might, quote, "embolden" copycat attacks here on U.S. soil.
BLITZER: Does the bulletin -- the FBI bulletin specifically say men and women of the United States military when on leave at home should be wearing civilian clothes, not uniforms?
SCIUTTO: It does. That's a step the U.S. military hasn't taken, directing U.S. service members not to wear their uniform off base here in the U.S. But in other countries, that has become the rule, because the U.S. military follows the host country rules.
In Canada, for instance, after these attacks, has instructed their service members not to wear uniforms off base. So, the U.S. military personnel post in Canada do not wear their uniforms off base there. The U.K. has done something similar. But the U.S. is not taking that step, is not considering it at this time.
BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much, Jim Sciutto, for that report.
We'll have much more coming up on the Ferguson fallout. Plus, we have new details of the Republican congressional staffer under fire right now after slamming the Obama daughters online.
BLITZER: An apology wasn't enough for a Republican congressional aide who railed against the president's daughters online. The staffer now is resigning after her nasty post went viral. Even some GOP leaders agreed she crossed the line.
Our chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash has details.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You are here by pardoned --
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a standard first family event, pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey until a Republican congressional aide wrote a mean-spirited rant on her Facebook page about the president's teenage daughters, "Try showing a little class.", "Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar."
That post chastising Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13, went viral, forcing Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Tennessee Republican Steve Fincher to apologize. But it wasn't enough. Today, she resigned.
SEAN SPICER, RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Children, especially the first daughters, should be off limits in the political discourse from attacks. BASH: That's the Republican Party spokesman agreeing with the White
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I was taken aback that there was some -- you know, a political operative on Capitol Hill who did use the occasion of the Thanksgiving -- of a Thanksgiving themed event to criticize members of the first family.
BASH: It has long been a bipartisan goal to respect and protect the privacy of presidential kids, living in a fish bowl through no fault of their own. But that hands-off policy has limits.
Chelsea Clinton like the Obama girls lived in the White House during her teenage girls and was largely left alone with some glaring exceptions. Like when Saturday night live mocked her appearance.
Rush Limbaugh even compared her to a dog.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: Cute kid. Let's see who is the cute kid in the White House. No, no, no! That's not the kid, that's the kid.
BASH: Amy Carter's first day of school was a media spectacle.
And when George W. Bush's then 19-year-old daughters were charged with violating liquor laws in Texas, it made headlines. But even that was before social media, where anyone with an opinion can express it. And occupational hazard in politics that Elizabeth Lauten learned the hard way with her mean girl Facebook post lashing out at the Obama daughters.
Former GOP leadership aide Doug Heye says it's an important lesson.
(on camera): So, what was your advice to Republican press secretaries like her?
DOUG HEYE, FORMER GOP LEADERSHIP AIDE: We would always tell them, think before you tweet. Think about what your boss wants to say and if that's what you want to echo. Think about one rule that we would say, does mom want to read it? And if mom doesn't want to read it, you may not want to say it.
BASH (voice-over): Good advice for all of us.
BASH: In a toxic environment like our political system right now, it's hard to imagine there is a loin to cross anymore but there is and this unknown staffer working for a low profile congressman tripped over it.
BLITZER: Yes. Gloria Borger is with us as well, Dana.
You know, 13-year-old, 16-year-old, clearly off limits. GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Off limits. And there
ought to be like a 10-second delay before you can post something like that on your Facebook page or tweet something like that.
And particularly since this is a person whose expertise is in the realm of communications, wolf. She ought to know better. I think everyone ought to move on from it, though. It's kind of a sad story.
BLITZER: Let's move on. Let's talk a little about, is it really possible there could be another government shutdown in the next few days in this lame duck session? Because that's what people are worried about.
BASH: If I say no, which is what I really think and it happens, what's going to happen? Will you come back and -- who knows?
No. I really don't think it will happen. The Republican leadership are absolutely -- they're determined not to let the government shut down. But more importantly, most of the rank-and-file Republican who's pushed for a government shutdown last year because of Obamacare don't want to do that with this. They just don't think there's any way that they can actually achieve what they want to, which is to stop, the whole reason we're talking about this -- to try to push back on the president's immigration executive order. I just don't think --
BLITZER: Gloria, you know, our new poll showed that if there were some sort of shutdown, 50 percent would blame Republican, congressional Republicans, 33 percent said President Obama would be to blame. So, this is not a winning issue.
BASH: Well, that's why Republican leaders don't want to do it. But having covered the last election as we all know. You know, Wolf, there was not any hell to pay for shutting down the government.
The public blamed Republicans for shutting down the government and they gained what? A dozen seats in the house? And control. So, yes. And control of the Senate.
So, the public doesn't want the government to shut down. I think they're fed up with everybody. They'll blame Republicans. But they won't like either party if it happens.
BLITZER: You know, this new Congress, and you're going to be covering Congress for us. It's going to have the largest dominant Republican majority since 1929. Republicans gained seats in the mid-term elections. The Democrats in the Senate, they lost obviously seats.
If Mary Landrieu loses in Louisiana, I think the Republicans are going to have 54 seats compared to the Democrats 46, two independents among those 46. Yet Harry Reid stays on as the minority leader. Nancy Pelosi stays on as the minority.
Was there ever any consideration, serious consideration that maybe they should get some new leadership over there?
BASH: Was there serious consideration? No. Was there talk about it? Absolutely.
Just for example, when they had their leadership elections in the Senate in particular, before they left for Thanksgiving Day break, there was a meeting that was supposed to be, maybe 45 minutes. It lasted well over an hour. I think it was about two hours.
And the main reason was because there were a lot of Democrats who stood up and said, sorry, Harry Reid, sorry the rest you leaders. You led us down there path and we don't think you should be doing it now -- Joe Manchin from West Virginia, even Claire McCaskill from Missouri. Having said that, it wasn't enough to really rock the boat. I mean, they rocked the boat but they didn't turn it over.
BORGER: You know, they're angrier at President Obama than they were at their own leadership of. So, in the end, they decided to stick with what they have. But I wouldn't be surprised if in the next iteration, you do get a change.
BLITZER: Yes. I suspect that. We'll see what happens in the next iteration, but we'll watch it, together with you guys. Thanks very, very much. That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching.
I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.