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THE SITUATION ROOM
New Video of French Terror Attack; Interview With California Congressman Ed Royce; Aviation Fears; American al Qaeda Leader Likely Inspired Brothers; Rubio Slams Hillary Clinton; Rubio: Decision Soon on White House Run
Aired January 13, 2015 - 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, breaking news: Chilling new video shows the brothers behind one of the Paris terror attacks in a gun battle with police on the street of the French capital heavily armed and clearly well-trained. Did they have help?
Heightened alert, growing fear of hard-to-detect explosives being used to bring down a U.S. airliner, I will talk about it with the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce.
Terror money trail -- new clues about who may have trained and funded the men who carried out the terrorist attacks. Was it an American citizen in Yemen?
We want to welcome to 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: And we're following the breaking news, chilling new video from the Paris terror attacks showing the brothers who killed a dozen people in a gun battle with police.
At one point, they are outside their stolen car with their guns firing on a police car which backs away. The gunmen then escape. The horror of the Paris attacks now has the U.S. on a heightened alert amid new fears that terrorists will try again to target a U.S. airliner.
We're covering all angles of the breaking news with our correspondents and our guests, including the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce.
But let's get straight to Paris.
CNN's chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is on the scene for us and he has been over the past several days.
What is the very latest, Jim?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I will tell you, one of the most shocking moments in this new video of the attack on "Charlie Hebdo" is to watch those gunmen calmly and patiently reload their automatic weapons in broad daylight on a downtown Paris street before they then encounter police again. You will remember, they were on the loose for two more days following
that moment. Just a clear sign of how much this was a shock and a surprise not only to the city of Paris, but to all of France.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): Startling new video of the "Charlie Hebdo" attack under way, the gunmen, Cherif and Said Kouachi, slowly reloading their weapons as they leave the murder scene. One of the gunmen raises his finger in the air, possibly a sign of defiance often used by Islamists.
Later, down the street, you see them come face-to-face with French police, the moment before they executed a French policeman. It's a chilling change from six years ago, when one of the attackers, Cherif Kouachi, covering his face as he exits court, proclaims his innocence. He was on trial for recruiting jihadists to travel to Iraq.
CHERIF KOUACHI, JIHADIST (through translator): The whole thing has been set up. We're just young kids from the suburbs. That is all. We get passionate. We talk like this, but there's nothing more. We did nothing wrong.
SCIUTTO: Kouachi was found guilty and sentenced to prison. French police are now frantically searching for other members of his cell still at large. Today, a contact of Kouachi's, Fritz-Joly Joachin, was charged with terrorism in court in Bulgaria, captured there on his way to Syria. Bulgarian officials said Joachin was in contact with Kouachi several times and left with his son before the attacks.
The partner of kosher market attacker Amedy Coulibaly is now believed in Syria, but authorities are still searching for this man spotted with her as she traveled through Turkey. He is by French authorities to be part of a Pakistani-Afghan jihadi cell and is still at large.
With police in France protecting prominent locations, police from New York, Washington and Los Angeles showed support by visiting the "Charlie Hebdo"e memorial.
(on camera): Two police officers lost their lives that day, one just down the street here. What comes to mind as you come to the memorial?
MICHAEL DOWNING, LAPD DEPUTY CHIEF: It's just horrific. It's a real tragedy. I think law enforcement all over the world is grieving for the French, and this isn't a problem just for France. It's not a problem just for Europe. It's a global problem.
SCIUTTO: "Charlie Hebdo" will come out with a new edition of its magazine tomorrow. We're learning some new details about it, including that it will include cartoons by some of those cartoonists murdered last Wednesday in their newsroom.
Normally, just 60,000 copies a week. There are going to be three million copies, 50 times the normal run, almost one copy, Wolf, for every one of those people who showed up on Sunday around the country to show their support marching through the streets of Paris and other cities around France, a real important moment again tomorrow as France stands up to the threat of terrorists.
BLITZER: And security already very tight, right?
SCIUTTO: No question, measuring in the thousands, nearly 10,000 soldiers deployed around the country, another 10,000 police. That is a measure of the level of alert here.
But I will tell you, Wolf, and I think I have said this to you before, that still country is living. Restaurants are full. People are out on the streets. The security is present, but people are not -- they are not cowed by this threat. They are doing their best to live their lives as they would even before these attacks.
BLITZER: That's good to hear. All right, Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.
All of this has the United States on heightened alert, raising new fears of new terrorist efforts to try to bring down a U.S. airliner.
Our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, is working this part of the story for us.
What are your sources, Pamela, telling you?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we have learned that DHS is ramping up airport security after a renewed push by al Qaeda in Yemen to active extremists living in the U.S. They are asking to create new types of hard-to-detect bombs with the goal of bringing down an airplane or wreaking havoc at the airport.
BROWN (voice-over): Amid renewed fears of hard-to-detect bombs like these being smuggled onto commercial flights, the U.S. is expanding random security checks of passengers in U.S. airports once they have already made it through airport security.
Those second checks at the gate could include an additional bag search, passenger pat-downs and hand swabs for traces of explosives.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: One part is the potential threat to airplanes. The other part is the threat to passengers who are queuing up in a security line and somebody is trying to bring a bomb, maybe rudimentary device along and could blow people up in the security lines.
BROWN: The stepped-up measures are partly responsive to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's propaganda magazine, "Inspire," laying out a new recipe to concoct nonmetallic bombs with simple household products.
U.S. government officials says airport body scanners can normally detect these hard-to-detect explosives, but the advanced technology is not available in some smaller U.S. airports.
CRUICKSHANK: AQAP say that even if this doesn't get through airport security, enough fuss will be made about the people attempting to do this that it will spread terror in the West and their aims will be achieved.
BROWN: This move comes after enhanced security measures over the summer put passengers on U.S.-bound international flights through additional scrutiny, such as turning on their electronic devices to prove they weren't hiding explosives.
Following the latest terror attacks in Paris and renewed efforts by ISIS to target U.S. government officials, DHS is also stepping up security at federal buildings in more U.S. cities, as U.S. law enforcement is being asked to stay on a heightened state of vigilance.
BROWN: And law enforcement officials I have speaking to today say there's a heightened concern among them that it's more plausible today for someone influenced by current events or some sort of terrorist propaganda to act out and, as a result of this, Wolf, sources say certain cases are going through even more scrutiny than perhaps they did before -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It's very, very worrisome stuff. Pamela, thanks very much.
Let's talk about this.
Joining us, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce.
Your reaction to this report? It's pretty devastating.
REP. ED ROYCE (R), CALIFORNIA: It's devastating.
And we must remember that one of these terrorists was in fact a roommate of the underwear bomber, who was in Yemen for one reason, in order to be trained in this use of explosives. And fortunately we have had three attempts now that have all been thwarted to hit commercial airliners on the part of al Qaeda in Yemen, but that doesn't mean that they are not going to try to ramp it up.
BLITZER: And so it's AQAP, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen that right now you're most worried about launching these kinds of attacks?
ROYCE: That's the key concern for the U.S. government in terms of all the terrorist organizations on the planet. They are the ones that have put the most effort into this and, as you have seen, have developed quite a following.
BLITZER: And they have the technology for these hard-to-detect bombs. That's one of their specialties.
ROYCE: That's what they have tried to specialize in. Now, so far, we have thwarted those attacks. But we should also remember that their explosives capability is such that on the very day that they were carrying out -- that the attacks were carried out in Paris, on that day, 31 cadets in Yemen being trained by the United States were attacked and killed, just as they have attacked our embassy there. They took out a hospital in Yemen. They use explosives on a regular basis.
BLITZER: And the Paris attack, AQAP?
BLITZER: You're convinced of that?
ROYCE: Oh, I'm convinced that not only were they trained there.
In 2011, one of the brothers involved there, we actually sent the information to the French government. And they had for close to four years surveillance on him for that very reason.
BLITZER: Which brother was that? Said? Said Kouachi?
ROYCE: Yes. That was the brother who was -- yes, who was trained.
BLITZER: That's the older one, 34 years old.
ROYCE: That was trained there.
BLITZER: And so just walk us through that again. What exactly...
ROYCE: So, what transpired was, he made that trip in order to get the training and, as part of that training, was a roommate of the underwear bomber.
We, the United States government, found out about this. We transmitted that information over to the French authorities, who then put him under surveillance and, for close to four years, he was under surveillance. It finally got to the point, as French officials say, so many of them, so few of us. They hadn't seen anything for six months or so and so they dropped the surveillance and, unfortunately, that was just before this happened.
BLITZER: I just want to be precise. It was the United States that first learned about this Said Kouachi and shared that name with the French? They didn't know about him before?
ROYCE: That's my understanding. That's my understanding.
BLITZER: Wow. That's pretty significant. That's very significant.
And so why would the French drop surveillance?
ROYCE: Well, because they are overwhelmed. They have some 5,000 of these -- of individuals suspected of terrorist
ties that they have to keep under surveillance. And, at some point, after monitoring day in and day out, it's so labor-intensive that they say, OK, this individual has gone a certain number of years without taking part in any hostile activity. And they move on to some more immediate threat.
That, unfortunately, is what has happened. Now there might be a change in the calculus on this.
BLITZER: Because these are sleeper cells that could be sleepy for a while, right?
ROYCE: Apparently, that's been the methodology here, from what we're learning.
BLITZER: Are there sleeper cells in the United States?
ROYCE: Well, I think the suspicion would be that there certainly are.
BLITZER: Dianne Feinstein, who is the ranking Democrat on Senate Intelligence, she believes there probably are.
And you consider the number of individuals who have gone into Yemen in order to receive training, you consider the number who have gone to fight with ISIS, and then think about also, as we have discussed in the past, the fact that people can come here on a European visa as well, it is very, very easy for people to gain access, very hard to monitor them all.
BLITZER: So they have stepped up security at U.S. airports.
BLITZER: Although smaller airports may still be lacking in that security. That's very worrisome. What about international airports?
ROYCE: Well, that's the other big element in what is being done here.
We are also, especially in Europe, working with airport security there in order to pre-clear and have the same type of enhanced, shall we say...
BLITZER: In other words, before a flight takes off for the United States, do the security there, but the host government has to approve that?
ROYCE: They do. But we're working much more closely now, not just on surveillance issues, but now also on airport security issues right now with European parliamentarians and European governments.
BLITZER: All right, stand by. We have more to discuss. The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, is with
us. We will be right back.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, the dramatic new video that surfaced of French terrorist suspects Said and Cherif Kouachi in a gun battle with police only moments after their deadly attack on the office of the magazine "Charlie Hebdo."
We're back with Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California. he's the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
It's so chilling, that new video that we obtained today. You hear these two guys yelling several times, "We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed" and then they possibly say something about al Qaeda in Yemen.
But this sends a pretty powerful message to global terrorists out there, doesn't it?
ROYCE: And the magazine "Inspire," when the targets...
BLITZER: Which is the AQAP magazine.
ROYCE: And this is who funded that -- they say funded their operation.
But there is a caption, a bullet a day keeps the infidel away, as they put the photo of who they are targeting to kill. And the chilling aspect of them going in there and then asking for the names, by name, of each of these individuals who was on "Inspire" magazine and then assassinating each, murdering each.
BLITZER: And these al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen, they seem to be getting stronger. Where is the Yemeni government? Is there a Yemeni government? Are they doing much? I know they're doing the best they can, but it's almost like a failed state right now.
It's basically a situation with a failed state environment, because so many of the institutions have come under the attack of these radical Salafists. And if you consider, as these institutions have been taken down, the attacks on the military barrack, taken out the hospital in town, as I mentioned, the 31 cadets killed on the very day of attack.
ROYCE: Yemeni cadets that we were training. And so what they are clearly trying to do is create anarchy on thehe
ground, because that's the environment that al Qaeda in Yemen wants to operate under, because when you have a failed state, you can pull off these types of attacks. That's why they are the number one threat.
BLITZER: I am worried about the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. I'm sure security is very intense. But you know what's going on.
ROYCE: Yes. It's been ramped up. That embassy has been attacked before by this al Qaeda franchise.
And I would say, at this point, a lot depends upon the ability of the international community to wrest some kind of order in Yemen. As you know, this was the home of American-born Anwar Awlaki, who was inspiring from Yemen all across Europe, United States, Australia, people to commit themselves to jihad. Now, he's been taken out, but...
BLITZER: By a U.S. drone strike.
ROYCE: By a drone strike.
But if we could bring some measure of order out of that chaos there, we could do a lot to set back al Qaeda.
BLITZER: How do you do that?
ROYCE: Well, what we're doing is working with those young cadets and with policemen in Yemen and going -- giving them the training. And they are putting their lives on the line as they fight with these jihadists.
BLITZER: The woman, Hayat Boumeddiene, the girlfriend or whatever she was of one of these terrorists, Amedy Coulibaly, who went into that kosher supermarket and murdered those four young -- not so young, all of them -- those four men who were in there, all Jewish men, she somehow, days before, fled France for Turkey, a NATO ally, and then got into Syria, even though she was well-known to Interpol, well-known to U.S., French, presumably Turkish authorities. Right?
What she managed to do was get herself down to Spain and fly from Spain and then into Turkey, waited there a few days, and then managed to get into Syria. So, now my guess would be she's with ISIS in Syria, and we could probably suspect working on a video, or who knows. We will probably hear something.
BLITZER: We will hear something from her. She wasn't just a girlfriend. She was a player in all of this, right?
ROYCE: And you saw a little bit of the aspect of that in terms of the pictures with her training with the crossbow and other weapons. Clearly, she was a jihadist. BLITZER: What else should France be doing right now? Because I know
there's good cooperation, but presumably there could be better cooperation.
ROYCE: And better cooperation throughout Europe, obviously, because Europe now has to work on its border security. That's one of the issues that the European parliamentarians have been talking with us about.
Another is working on the trust for intelligence-sharing between European states and, of course, with the United States. And so all of this is not only relevant to France, but yesterday in Germany, a newspaper was firebombed by jihadists. And so, for all of Europe now, I think there's a heightened awareness of the necessity of sharing, sharing information on the jihadists.
BLITZER: And you're deeply concerned about potential security threats here in the United States?
ROYCE: Especially given the opportunity for people to fly here on a European visa.
That's why the new steps to secure those airports that fly directly to the United States and make certain that the scans and the checking is done is an important step forward.
BLITZER: But if most of the European countries are allies of the United States, you don't need a visa to come to the United States.
BLITZER: Should that be changed?
ROYCE: This is the challenge.
Well, I think it's a tough question, because can you imagine how many flights a day come out of Europe? We're talking about tens of thousands of people flying here from Europe. So I'm not sure that it's practical to change that.
But I do think the intelligence-sharing could be ramped up considerably. And, clearly, we need to change a situation where you have people involved in jihad in the past and they are allowed, you know, into society, in the way that these young brothers were, to make their way through society without the type of observation that's necessary.
There has to be rethinking of this in terms of people who have committed themselves to jihad. Maybe once you have attacked your homeland, you're not allowed back in. But there has to be some critical thinking...
(CROSSTALK) BLITZER: And you have shared the information that one of these Kouachi brothers was actually known to the U.S. The U.S. told France about them. They watched him for a while, but then they stopped doing it. And we know what happened after that.
BLITZER: Mr. Chairman, thanks very much for joining us.
ROYCE: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Ed Royce of California.
Just ahead, training, funding, exactly what kind of help did the Paris terrorists receive, and from whom?
And are terrorist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS now in battle to try to outdo each other with increasingly deadly attacks? We're digging deeper.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news in the Paris terror attacks, including growing signs the brothers who massacred a dozen people were inspired by an American al Qaeda leader in Yemen.
Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, is joining us now.
What are you picking up, Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's beginning to look like the trail does lead back to Yemen more than three years ago.
STARR (voice-over): U.S. officials now believe Cherif Kouachi, the younger brother, was the more ardent jihadi of the two, but both were heavily influenced by Anwar al-Awlaki, the now deceased head of external operations for al Qaeda in Yemen, the group that has been at the top of U.S. worries for years.
BOB BAER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: We should be concerned because they have the ability to blow up airplanes.
STARR: The Obama administration right now is trying to confirm Cherif traveled to Yemen in 2011 and met Awlaki and, if so, what transpired.
Just before he was killed, Cherif spoke to a Reagan reporter, saying:
CHERIF KOUACHI, JIHADIST (through translator): I was sent, me, Cherif Kouachi, by al Qaeda in Yemen. I went there. And Sheik Anwar al- Awlaki financed my trip.
STARR: Awlaki was killed in September 2011 in a U.S. drone strike.
As the complexity of the Paris attack emerges, investigators want to know how the attackers were financed. The brothers may have had other help. Amedy Coulibaly, the attacker at the kosher market and colleague to Cherif, in this video claimed he, too, gave the brothers money for the attack on "Charlie Hebdo."
And still, conflicting intelligence on whether both brothers went to Yemen. The U.S. scouring for video or photos or any signs of a meeting with Awlaki. The Yemeni government insists it was Said, the older brother, who left Paris for Yemen in 2011, where he was accepted to study in the capital, Sana'a. But he never showed up, instead surfacing east of Sana'a in an al Qaeda stronghold, where like hundreds of other al Qaeda militants over the years, he received the weapons training.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do not want (ph) people on the streets of Paris that's never fired a Kalashnikov or never detonated a bomb. You need to simply go train them in Yemen and send them away and say, "Go do God's work. We don't want to hear from you again until you're in heaven."
STARR: And al Qaeda in Yemen has long vowed to attack the United States, so any linkages to Yemen makes the U.S. worry about who else may be out there and who else might have gotten training from al Qaeda in that country -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Barbara, thank you.
Let's get some word from Phil Crowther. He's joining us. He's the Washington correspondent for the French channel France 24. Also, our counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd; our national security analyst Peter Bergen; and our CNN global affairs analyst retired Lieutenant Colonel James Reese.
Philip Mudd, U.S. officials believe both of the Kouachi brothers were heavily influenced by the American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who was, as you know, killed in a U.S. drone strike. Do you think the U.S. has a strategy now in how to deal with these -- with these terror fighters, if you will, the threat they pose coming from Yemen and elsewhere?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Sort of, but Wolf, I think there are huge limitations. Look, I think where we are with Yemen today is not dissimilar from what I witnessed when I was at the CIA: tremendous provision of money, training. There's a lot of intelligence. Not only intelligence, for example, about individuals but drone strikes that are based on intelligence. There is diplomatic pressure during Arab Spring to get Yemen to evolve.
But if you look across the problems we've had in the recent years, northern Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, now Yemen. They have a common characteristic, Wolf, and that is they are divided by tremendous unrest or civil war, and jihadists can operate when those governments are preoccupied in the war. So we can provide all we want and come up with strategies, but when you're dealing with countries divided by civil war, there's only so much you can do. BLITZER: And Yemen, for all practical purposes, Colonel Reese, was
almost a failed state, right, Colonel Reese? Is it the new Afghanistan?
LT. COL. JAMES REESE (RET.), CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes, Wolf, it is. I mean, it's -- unfortunately, there are several of those. You have Afghanistan. You've got Yemen. You've got Libya that's out there right now. Phil mentioned Somalia. Those are all failed states right now, and Yemen seems to be the newest one on the block.
BLITZER: Peter Bergen, how dangerous was this French man who was arrested in Bulgaria and seems to have a connection at least to one of the Kouachi brothers?
BERGEN: Wolf, I really don't know. It's not clear what role he played in this conspiracy. And we've had people who have been identified by the authorities. Remember, the 18-year-old who was supposed to be the third party of the triumvirate turned out to be in school on the day of the "Charlie Hebdo" attack.
Let's just go back to Yemen for a second. Yemen is the poorest country of the Arab world. It's running out of water. It's running out of oil. It's the most heavily armed nation per capita in the world. It is a country with not just one civil war but three civil wars.
The Houthis, a sort of Shia group, basically took over the capital back in the fall. It is -- to call it a failed state is almost too polite. This a country which is a perfect breeding ground for these kinds of groups. And al Qaeda in Yemen can kind of present itself as a group that is now going up against the Houthis, which are a Shia group, and that doesn't -- it certainly doesn't hurt them to have this narrative in Yemen where the Shia group is marched on the capital, Wolf.
BLITZER: Philip, you worked for France 24, the television network in France. You heard Ed Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, say that the U.S. warned, gave information to France about one of these brothers after leaving Yemen. The French watched him for a while but eventually gave up surveillance. That's a significant development.
PHILIP CROWTHER, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, FRANCE 24: It's quite damning for the French services. If they are told by U.S. authorities who to put surveillance on. And, of course, then you get the creation of a sleeper cell or at least of some members of a sleeper cell to disappear for long enough. We know that surveillance stops after a while. That is what happened in this case. The French ended their surveillance, and that means the American intelligence services don't have that surveillance either.
Most of the information that we're getting right now on intelligence comes from intelligence sources here in the United States. For example, about the travel of, say, Kouachi to Yemen.
From the French we're not hearing all that much, and that is why we heard today from French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. He wants to change some things in terms of how French intelligence works. They want a new database of potential terrorists and also convicted terrorists, so they can have a database that will last a little bit longer than it does now. Plus, the domestic intelligence services, the French want to ramp up their staff members -- that is the DGSI -- should be able to put surveillance on all of these potential terrorists, all of these radicalized French citizens that apparently are around, you simply need more personnel that France at this point does not have.
BLITZER: And, you know, it's interesting, Colonel Reese. You've got core al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, ISIS, now al Qaeda of Maghreb, all of them seemingly trying to compete with each other to outdo each other in these attacks. That's so worrisome.
REESE: Wolf, it is. But one of the concerns that I have is that everyone keeps trying to force, you know, where these guys are, who they're working for. At the end of the day, does it really matter? It's Islamic extremism, and they're bad people. And who the bad people are working with and who they're getting funded for, that's really what we have to find out and really start knocking the heads off these guys.
BLITZER: In France, Philip, how worried are the people right now with the publication of the new issue, with the 3 million copies of the new issue of "Charlie Hebdo" that there could be more violence as a result of that?
CROWTHER: Well, there could be. We've seen this in the past, after all. This new edition will hit the newsstands in the coming hours. It is incredibly provocative. That is what "Charlie Hebdo" does. It is unapologetically provocative. We've only seen the cover so far, that some news organizations, of course, are not publishing at this point, but what we're hearing are the inside pages are very provocative, as well.
And when you look at the past, the first depiction of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover of "Charlie Hebdo," that was in 2006, and that engendered all sorts of trouble.
There is absolutely a worry in France, because all news organizations in France at this point have decided to publish that front cover. It's not only on newsstands with those 3 million copies of new editions. It's seen in every single French newspaper. On every single French TV channel, you're now seeing a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed.
BLITZER: Yes, it's a worrisome development indeed.
All right, guys, thanks very much.
Coming up, there are new developments, new details of the chilling new video of this Paris terror attack. Much more of the breaking news right after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: We're going to have much more of the breaking news in Paris, the terror attacks, in just a few moments, but we're also following breaking news here in the United States in Ohio, where a bartender has now been indicted for allegedly threatening to murder the speaker of the House, Representative John Boehner, by serving him poisoned drinks.
Our CNN affiliate in Cincinnati, WCPO, reports the man served drinks to Speaker Boehner at a country club for at least five years. The statement from Boehner's office acknowledges the speaker is now aware of the situation.
We're going to stay on top of this story for you. Obviously, very, very disturbing information.
Other political news we're following. Senator Marco Rubio is on many people's short lists of possible -- possible Republican presidential contenders for 2016. And Senator Rubio has some sharp criticism of Hillary Clinton, blasting the possible Democratic candidate in his brand-new book.
BLITZER: Let's talk about "American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone." A lot jumped out at me, especially some of the things you wrote about Hillary Clinton, who might be, might be -- might be -- the Democratic presidential nominee going forward towards 2016. "Another Clinton presidency," you write, "would be a death blow to the American dream."
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Yes.
RUBIO: And I'll tell you why. Because first of all, we have to understand what's the challenges that are being faced today, and the challenges, that we were once a nation, like my parents experienced, where even if you had a limited education, you could find a job that paid you enough to make it to the American middle class and fulfill the American dream. That's becoming harder for people to do and increasingly hard for people to achieve.
The reason is not because of a cyclical downturn but a deep structural change to the very nature of our economy. Globalization, information technology, automation has destroyed many of these jobs or sent them overseas. New jobs are being created that pay more, but they require training and skills many of our people don't have; and the cost of everything keeps going up. These structural changes is what we have to deal with. You cannot deal with 21st century structural economic changes with 20th century policies. And that's what she's an advocate for.
BLITZER: You also write in the book, "The election of Hillary Clinton to the presidency, in short, would be nothing more than a third Obama term."
RUBIO: Yes. Absolutely.
BLITZER: You don't see any difference between president Obama and Hillary Clinton?
RUBIO: I see differences, but at the end of the day, she supports all of his policies, especially its disastrous foreign policy. But it's about the same thing. Let's take our existing programs and spend more money on these programs. Or let's continue to raise taxes and increase regulations, even if they make us globally uncompetitive. And these things are not going to change the structural causes of this economic opportunity gap that millions of Americans now face.
BLITZER: The next two years, the Republicans are in the majority not only in the House but in the Senate, as you know. What do you think? Is there going to be some cooperation with the president? Is this going to be a disaster?
RUBIO: Well, I hope so. Look, I mean, the agenda that I outline in my book one that I don't think necessarily has to be a partisan one. In fact, in the boo, I outline examples of how I've worked with Chris Coons or Mark Warner or Corey Booker on a number of ideas that I think are bipartisan. I mean, the notion that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed is not necessarily a partisan one. I think how you achieve that sometimes becomes partisan. There will be issues that we have strong disagreements on. And at the end of the day, the reason why the American people elected a majority of Republicans in the House and in the Senate is because they disagreed with some of the policies that are in place, policies the Democrats have advocated for.
And so, why would we now turn our back on the clear mandate that came from the American people on those topics?
BLITZER: Do you want to be president of the United States?
RUBIO: Well, that's a decision I have to make here fairly soon. And I think it comes down to a simple question. Where is the best place for me to achieve the agenda that's contained in my book and the other things I believe strongly? And where is the best place for me to achieve that? Is it in a majority in the U.S. Senate or is it running for president of the United States and ultimately succeeding hopefully? That's the decision I have to make at this stage in my life. Where is the best place for me to achieve that agenda?
BLITZER: What is your family --
RUBIO: What my family is in favor at this point of whichever choice we make and that's a big consideration. It's my number one consideration, after my faith, because I think it's -- you know, their lives will change, too. And we've surmounted that. I think it comes down to the very fundamental question of where can I best serve this country and pursue this agenda right now at this stage in my career?
BLITZER: When will you make that decision? RUBIO: Well, obviously, soon in the sense that the practical
implications of running a campaign require you to put together the organization and raise the money. I'm confident that if we decide to run for president we will be funded -- we will have the funding and the resources necessary to credibly run a campaign and win.
BLITZER: What about Mitt Romney? He's now telling donors he's seriously thinking of running.
RUBIO: And he's certainly earned the right to consider that, and if he decides to run, he, too, will be a credible and well-funded candidate.
BLITZER: In a competition like that, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, can you stand out?
RUBIO: Well, I think we're going to have an agenda, which is what I hope to run on that will appeal to many people and I believe we'll have the resources to communicate that. Ultimately, voters are going to choose who they want beginning in some early primary states and moving on to the rest of the country.
BLITZER: So, when you say, soon you have to make a decision, is that a matter of days, weeks, months?
RUBIO: I wouldn't say days but certainly months. I mean --
BLITZER: The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes.
RUBIO: Sure. I know there's a time. I don't have a date or time or month in mind but certainly soon enough so that you can build the kind of campaign that it takes to win.
BLITZER: So, within the next few weeks, you think you'll make a decision?
RUBIO: Yes. Soon. I'll let you know, promise.
BLITZER: Senator Rubio's book, by the way, is entitled, "American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone." The book was released today.
We'll have more on the interview here on CNN coming up tomorrow, especially what he has to say about the president's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. He's not happy about that.
Let's bring in our chief political analyst Gloria Borger.
By Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, jumping into this so early, so quickly, he's forcing everyone's hand.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. He's really sped up the process, Wolf. Everybody now has to decide whether they're going to run or not because they are out there with their tin cups looking for donors and looking for big money. And once Jeb Bush got in, a lot of the establishment money that might have gone to Chris Christie, for example, sort of had a decision to make and now, of course, you've got Mitt Romney very likely to throw his hat in the ring. So, it gets very complicated.
Candidates like Marco Rubio are going to have a tougher time raising money. On other hand, candidates like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul will have an easier time differentiating themselves from the candidates who have been around for many, many years and they are going to present themselves as the face of the new Republican Party as opposed to these folks who have run before.
BLITZER: You've been talking to your Romney sources.
BORGER: Oh, yes.
BLITZER: It looks like he's trying to put together that old team once again.
BORGER: Well, the band might be getting back together again. I don't think all of them will. A lot of them were conflicted, Wolf. Some of them are committed to Jeb Bush. Some of them are committed Chris Christie.
I've talked to so a bunch of them. Some have talked to Mitt Romney directly and they say to me, don't overcomplicate this in trying to figure out and peel the onion about why Mitt Romney might be doing this. They say he wants to be president. He thinks he should be president.
He thinks there were a lot of things he didn't -- he got mocked for in the last campaign, particularly on foreign policy regarding Russia. You remember that. And that he wants to talk about that agenda and take it forward.
And that the more he looked at this, he had a great midterm election. A lot of his candidates won because they ran in states that he won. He looked at the field and how he felt and how his family felt and he sort of feels, you know, third time could be a charm for him. So --
BLITZER: It was for Ronald Reagan. A lot of his
BORGER: It was for Ronald Reagan.
BLITZER: It took Ronald Reagan three times to gain nomination.
BORGER: The big story here, one of the big stories here about Romney is there's a lot of head-scratching going on, and there isn't sort of an outpouring of support that we hear, of course, it should be Mitt Romney. Yes, it should be Mitt Romney. You're not seeing that. You're seeing people stay kind of silent and
because they are trying to figure out right now how to position themselves and they don't know a lot about Jeb Bush and they don't know enough about Chris Christie and they don't know about the other candidates. And so, you know, you sort of -- you don't see this sort of groundswell for Mitt Romney third time's the charm, not yet.
BLITZER: You heard Marco Rubio say the next few weeks, presumably soon, he kept saying.
BORGER: They have to do it soon. And I presume from talking to my sources that we'll hear what Mitt Romney is going to do, whether he forms an exploratory committee within the next few weeks as well.
BLITZER: I suspect he will, as well. All right. Thanks very much.
BORGER: So, here we are 2016, welcome.
BLITZER: All right. (INAUDIBLE) getting excited.
Thank you very much, Gloria.
Just ahead, investigators are scouring dramatic new video of that Paris terror attack for clues. There's more of the breaking news. That's coming up.
BLITZER: Tonight at 9:00 eastern, CNN will air a special report on the O.J. Simpson trial "Drama of the Century". Twenty years later, CNN's Kyra Phillips reexamines the key players at odds with each other, new juror revelations and a botched demonstration that changed everything.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Handing Mr. Simpson that glove right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's people's 77.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What were you thinking when you heard prosecutor Christopher Darden request that Simpson try on those gloves?
ED LANGE, LAPD DETECTIVE (RET): Sitting in the courtroom, I couldn't find a seat, so I was kind of in the back. And when he did that F. Lee Bailey came up and grabbed me and whispered and laughing. Why the hell did you let him do that? I said I didn't know he was going to do anything.
No, Chris is a good man. He's a good prosecutor. He's a bright man. He should have known better.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I remember watching the gloves in the courtroom, and thinking to myself, he's not going to ask O.J. to put on the glove. That's too much of a risk. You never ask a question in a courtroom, much less do a demonstration where you don't know what the outcome is. It was like a slow motion disaster movie for the prosecution.
PHILLIPS: After the trial, Christopher Darden would admit to Larry King it was a mistake.
LARRY KING, LARRY KING LIVE: When it happened in court, did you know you were in trouble?
CHRISTOPHER DARDEN, PROSECUTOR: I knew it hasn't gone as well as I hoped it should have gone.
KING: Did you regard it as earth shattering to the case?
DARDEN: No. Not necessarily. Not particularly.
It wasn't until I went upstairs and left the courtroom that I realize that people thought it was a monumental failure, monumental mistake.
PHILLIPS: Was it Chris Darden that blew this case?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR O.J. SIMPSON: Chris Darden blew it. Marcia Clark contributed pretty heavily to blowing the case too. But Chris Darden blew. When O.J. was able to walk in front of jury and say it's too small, he didn't have to testify. He has had already testified in front of the jury. He wasn't cross examined. So, for us, it was a win-win.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. He appears to have pulled the gloves on, counsel.
PHILLIPS: But to juror David Aldana, it didn't seem like a big deal.
So, O.J. Simpson was right in front you have when he put on that glove.
DAVID ALDANA, JUROR: He was about maybe two feet away from me.
PHILLIPS: What do you remember from that moment?
ALDANA: A lot of people make a big deal about it, but I was a truck driver. I wear gloves all the time. I know that when my gloves get wet they shrink up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. Kyra is joining us right now.
Everyone remembers Johnny Cochran's famous line, Kyra, about the gloves, if it doesn't fit, you must acquit, right?
PHILLIPS: Right. We all remember that. We remember that as Johnny Cochran's famous line. But 20 years later, Wolf, when I was going back and interviewing the same players that I interviewed two decades ago, I found out that Johnny Cochran never coined that term. That was actually the most unknown member of the defense team, Gerry Uelmen, he was the dean of the Santa Clara Law School, Wolf. And now, 20 years later, he's finally getting credit for that famous phrase.
And you know something else I learned from Alan Dershowitz, he told me that after the acquittal that Benjamin Netanyahu who had just become prime minister called him up and said he needed to talk to him. He thought, oh my gosh, Netanyahu is going to ask me about security concerns, you know, things going on in the country.
So, he goes to meet with Netanyahu. Netanyahu says, come to my private room. They step into the office. They close the door. And, Wolf, you know what Netanyahu said to him?
PHILLIPS: Did O.J. do it? Tell me, Alan, did O.J. really do it?
BLITZER: I think everybody around the world was watching that trial.
BLITZER: Everybody wanted to know. And Alan Dershowitz and Netanyahu, by the way, they happen to be close friends. So, it's not all that surprising that the new prime minister of Israel would call and talk about it.
You've got amazing new details in this documentary that's going to air later tonight, Kyra. Excellent work. A lot of us who covered that story will be watching, for sure. Thanks for joining us.
PHILLIPS: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: The special report, "The O.J. Trial: Drama of the Century", it airs later tonight. 9:00 p.m. Eastern only here on CNN.
Remember, you can always follow us on Twitter. Go ahead, tweet me @wolfblitzer. You can always tweet the show @CNNSitroom. Please be sure to join us tomorrow right here on THE SITUATION ROOM, watch us live or DVR the show so you won't miss a moment.
Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.