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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Search Continues for Paris Attack Suspect; New Details in Planned Parenthood Shooting; Black Pastors Meeting with Trump. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 30, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: They rock so far.
Thanks for joining me. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Pamela Brown. We begin with breaking news out of France on the Paris attacks. As world leaders converge on the city, we're learning Europe's most wanted man, Salah Abdeslam may have slipped away. They're operating under the theory the suspect at large has already escaped to Syria. The night of the attack, Paris prosecutors say Abdeslam may have dropped off suicide bombers and then made his way to another Paris neighborhood before being picked up and returned to Brussels. We also know he bought the detonators from a fireworks shop in October. A source also tells CNN other attacks in Jewish areas, transport networks and schools in Paris were, quote, "ready to go."
Chris Cuomo joins us live from Paris.
Chris, a lot of developments here. What more are we learning about these plots?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CO-HOST, NEW DAY: One insight we certainly cemented since being back on the ground in France, are they looking for that eighth attacker? Yes. Is he the most wanted man? I would argue no. A big reason is investigators are still developing an understanding of, how broad is the network, what is the population, what is the hierarchy of people they have here. Remember how unheard of it was a planner would be so close to a point of attack and cavalierly live another life. The risk profile is still broad here with respect to this eighth attacker. They do know he bought detonators and those vests were made locally. Why do they know that? TATP is a volatile chemical compound. It doesn't travel well. Now that they know the detonators were bought at this fireworks shop, they believe -- they know other sites had been picked for attacks that Jewish sites, CNN sources were told, as well as other sites were targeted for future attacks. The question on that one is, by the team that did the attacks here on Friday or by other teams? U.S. Intelligence is trying to help on that question. They don't have an answer yet. It's unknown nature of how broad this network is. Then the big headline for today is that they do have reason to believe, they're working on the theory that not only has this eighth man managed to escape France but may have been repatriated to Syria. They don't know but they're working on that theory.
BROWN: Because they haven't been able to track him down it's easy to go from Syria, back into Europe. While this is going on, all the world leaders are converging on the city just weeks after the attack. How are they being protected?
CUOMO: President Obama called it an act of defiance. By holding the COP21, conference of parties, that they're showing they will not stop at anything. There will be no regrets. They won't be deterred for the cause of liberty and freedom. But there are others here in France that believe this was a really big risk. By having it, it has meant an unprecedented show of force. Since World War II French authorities have not put together the forces on the ground like now. Over 100,000 personnel of military and police quality. There are numbers in the thousands of eight different categories of different resource right now. They lock down the loop, the Beltway around Washington, D.C. It's actually modeled on Paris what happened there. They closed it down. That rarely happens. So far, so good here. Pamela, as you well know covering terrorism, it's hard to know where a threat is coming from, especially when you don't understand the complete population of risks.
BROWN: Absolutely. And we saw it play out in Paris a couple weeks ago.
Thank you so much. We'll see you on "New day" tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. eastern.
I want to bring in former CIA counterterrorism official, Phil Mudd.
My first question to you here is if Abdeslam is in Syria, how much more difficult will it be to nab him?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: We should have presumed this for a while, though. It looked like when he left Paris, he did not have a plan of action. In the intervening few weeks, the French and Belgian authorities would have looked at every single place they would have contacted him. They would have looked at his digital trail, his cell phone, and talked to every contact, friends and family. Over time, especially with the networks ISIS has to get people out of Europe into Turkey and into Syria, that he would have left. I think he'll have a choice. If he decides to become part of the propaganda machine for is, do propaganda videos, celebrating what he did in France, then he'll crop up on the radar of people like the Americans, British, French. His life span in my judgment will be relatively short. Difficult to track him but eventually he'll go down.
[11:05:26] BROWN: Like we saw with Jihadi John not too long ago.
MUDD: That's right. That's right.
BROWN: Let's say he is in Syria along with these ISIS terrorists. Will he be treated any different in the hierarchy?
MUDD: I think he will be. He has great propaganda value. I would expect to see propaganda videos crop up at some point out of ISIS where he's talking about not only the success from their perspective from attacks but thumbing his nose at authorities saying, look at me. They chased me around Europe and still couldn't catch me. The interesting thing in the past day or so, it's clear from the plotting we're seeing out of that cell, this talk about Jewish sites, for example, he'll be talking to ISIS leaders about upping their game. Going against not only uncontested cafes, soft targets. Metros, synagogues, places al Qaeda used to go after.
BROWN: No doubt. Those are targets they're eyeing. I remember after "Charlie Hebdo" there was the same concern the associates of the attackers went in to Syria. We had the same conversation. Doesn't this highlight the problem for how easy it is for them to sneak back into Europe for an attack?
MUDD: I think we've been concentrating on the soda straw problem of Europe. How do you prevent the radicalization among local population, especially with the flood of refugees? You're seeing in the past day or two where German authorities are saying they're concerned recent immigrants are headed toward more radicalized mosques. I think with Abdeslam leaving Europe to the second half of the story. Until you shut down the magnet for recruitment and training, that is the civil war in Syria, you are not going to be able to stop the number of Europeans who want to cross the border into Syria. Have you to focus on Syria. Not just security in Europe.
BROWN: How much of a priority do you think catching Abdeslam is, in the whole scheme of thing?
MUDD: I would say high priority. Not just the propaganda but he has operational information to give to the group. For the Europeans, Brits and Americans, he'll go to the top of the targeting list.
BROWN: Interesting perspective.
Phil Mudd, we appreciate it.
MUDD: Thank you.
BROWN: Up next, very soon the suspected gunman in the Planned Parenthood attack making his first court appearance. This, as liberals and conservatives debate whether rhetoric inspired him.
Plus, jury selection under way in the trial for one of the Baltimore police officers charged in Freddie Gray's death.
And the entire campus in Chicago on lockdown over threats. We'll have more on that after this break.
[11:12:19] BROWN: New details on that shooting and a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. The suspect has a court appearance a short time from now via video link. Authorities say Robert Lewis Dear has claimed he's anti-abortion and talked about baby parts after he was apprehended. Officials stress it's not clear what prompted his shooting rampage.
And we're learning more about the victims. 29-year-old Stewart, Iraq war veteran, dad and husband, 35-year-old Jennifer Markovsky, married with children, and Garrett Swasey, officer and father, and professional figure skater.
Former Olympic Figure Skater Nancy Kerrigan is one of those grieving his death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY KERRIGAN, FORMER OLYMPIC FIGURE SKATER: He literally became one of my very best friends, like a little brother. Did a lot of teasing back and forth. Very loyal. And loving, caring person. He was sort of passionate about everything. Everything was done with great, big giant smile. He had fun in life. So sad. He's got two young kids that literally run to him every time he comes in the door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Let's go live to CNN Stephanie Elam in Colorado Springs.
Stephanie, we'll talk about the victims in just a moment. First, tell us, what should we expect today when the alleged shooter faces a judge?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He will be arraigned around 1:30 local time. They're doing it by video uplink. He's held here at El Paso criminal justice center. That's how he will face the judge. We know he's being held without bond, Pamela.
BROWN: And the standoff, we know, lasted for six hours. We were covering it. How did police finally get Dear to surrender?
ELAM: It's interesting. They tapped into the cameras inside of Planned Parenthood and able to watch where he was within the building. They were also able to determine where they could go in the building. The police officers were able to communicate with Dear and get him to surrender. This after he was shooting through building walls and that's how so many people were hurt.
BROWN: They also brought in a bear cat, right?
ELAM: Right, they went into the building.
BROWN: Let's talk about those victims again the more you learn about them, the more it breaks your heart. What can you tell us about them?
ELAM: We're understanding from the sister of Kearre Stewart, he went outside because he was having cell phone issues. He came in, called 911, trying to protect other people that were inside the building. We also know that Officer Garrett Swasey, he was at his post at the University of Colorado and rushed to aid his fellow police officers, hoping to help out there. We understand he lost his life while doing this. Obviously, you heard so much about his other life as a figure skater. That's what brought him to Colorado Springs in the first place. This is where a lot of Olympians come to train. Then the mother of two, Jennifer Markovsky, devoted to her family and a native of Hawaii -- Pamela.
[11:15:43] BROWN: I'm sure we'll be learning a lot more about them in the coming days.
Stephanie Elam, thank you so much.
I want to stress authorities are still working to determine a motive for this shooting. That said, Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued a statement calling the attack, quote, "A crime against women receiving health care services at Planned Parenthood."
Vicky Suporta is president of the National Abortion Federation, a professional association for abortion providers.
Vicky, you say the anti-abortion rhetoric has grown so heated that something like this was bound to happen. Do you believe that rhetoric actually incited Robert Lewis Dear to go on that bloody rampage?
VICKY SUPORTA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ABORTION FEDERATION: Unfortunately, I do. The National Abortion Federation has recorded an unprecedented increase in hate speech, in threats and in calls to action against abortion providers since these videos were released. In fact, we had one individual calling for the arson of every clinic in America to stop abortion. Since that call to action, we've had four arsons at Planned Parenthood clinics in less than three months. These calls to action and inflammatory rhetoric do have consequences. We have had a history for violence against abortion providers for four decades in this country. Enough is enough and it needs to stop.
BROWN: There's been violence against abortion providers. In this case, officials I've been speaking to say it's too early to know a motive. It's only been three days since the attack. We have a lot to learn here. Don't you think it's too soon to start blaming anti- abortion rhetoric?
SUPORTA: I don't. I believe he stated certain things when he was arrested, things that were directly the subject of those videos. And I am certain when all is said and done, that he was inspired by the vitriol and extent of the abortion hateful speech and threats that we've been living with since July.
BROWN: Republican presidential hopefuls have all weighed in on this. Not just condemning the shooting but rejecting this notion that anti-abortion rhetoric had anything to do with this shooting. I'd like you to listen to what some of those candidates are saying and then respond after.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLY FIORINA, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER CEO, HEWLETT- PACKARD: What I would say to anyone who tries to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion or opposes the sale of body parts, this is typical left wing tactics.
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: I think he was probably a person ready to go. We don't even know the purpose. He hasn't come out, to the best of my knowledge, with a statement as to why it happened to be at that location.
DR. BEN CARSON, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & RETIRED NEUROSURGEON: The real problem is that we have become coarse and hateful towards each other. We allowed the purveyors of division to put us in separate corners and have us hurl hand grenades at each other.
MIKE HUCKABEE, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Regardless of why he did it, what he did is domestic terrorism and what he did is absolutely abominable, especially to those in the pro-life movement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: What is your reaction to those statements from those Republican presidential candidates?
SUPORTA: The anti-abortion extremists know their anti- inflammatory rhetoric incite violence. In the past four decades we've had eight murders, 17 attempts murders, 42 bombings, 186 arsons and thousands and thousands of other incidents of criminal activity. When they know, in fact, they are purposely targeting abortion providers and purposefully inciting the type of violence and terrorism we have seen for the past four decades.
BROWN: You say you believe these presidential candidates knew they were going to incite violence with their rhetoric?
[11:19:55] SUPORTA: I know that the anti-abortion extremists behind the videos and behind the rain of terror against abortion providers for the past four decades do know their actions and their rhetoric can inflame people to violence. And those that wrap themselves in false accusations, repeating them over and over, need to take a look at their contribution to this contribution of hatred that is responsible for people taking to the law. We live in a democracy. We can't allow people to use violence to settle political differences. Regardless of how politicians feel about the issue of abortion, I think we can all agree it's not appropriate to use violence to settle our political differences. And we need to calm the rhetoric in this country and not continue to incite extremists to commit acts of terrorism against abortion providers.
BROWN: Thank you very much. Appreciate you coming on.
Donald Trump is about to meet with a group of black ministers, but there are a few who are refusing to go. Will any actually endorse the candidate?
Also, breaking news out of France. A key suspect in the Paris attacks may have already escaped to an ISIS safe haven. New details about other attacks that were, quote, "ready to go."
[11:25:38] BROWN: A group of black pastors scheduled to meet with Donald Trump this afternoon, but I want to make one thing clear, it's not an endorsement, which is a stark contrast to how the Trump campaign billed it in a press release, quote, "Trump will be joined by 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders who will endorse the GOP front-runner after a private meeting at Trump Tower."
They clarified Trump expects to pick up the endorsement of some leaders after meeting privately with them.
And joining me with the latest to discuss all of this is CNN political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson.
Why the change?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: We've seen a lot of movement on this since that initial press release from Donald Trump. A lot of pastors have come out to say they don't stand with Donald Trump. They are not endorsing him. Some, of course, will endorse him out of this meeting, but it seems like a lot went on over these past few days. One of the things that went on was, you know, a lot of publicity around this. And then some pushback from other pastors, who, for instance, wrote a letter in "Ebony" magazine saying these African-American pastors shouldn't meet with Trump, shouldn't endorse him. Shouldn't endorse his views, which many people say as antithetical to a lot of the causes to people in the black faith community have been pushing for, for many years.
BROWN: In light of that, Trump is now claiming the black lives matter members have pressured these religious leaders to back down from their endorsement of him. Do you think this will be created in their meeting today?
HENDERSON: I would imagine. No press is allowed. They're saying this is a private meeting at this point but I imagine they'll confront Trump on many things he said, in terms of illegal immigration. I imagine it's going to be a dynamic meeting. He may come away with criticism from a lot of pastors. Some will likely endorse him as well.
BROWN: It will be interesting to see what happens after that meeting in terms of how many will endorse him. Have any of these religious leaders already come out and said they will endorse him before the meeting?
HENDERSON: One, Darrel Scott, who organized this meeting. He has come out and said that he will endorse Trump. He's a backer of Trump, whether or not he'll come away from this meeting with more, dozens or so, who knows. This is such a dicey topic when you mix a faith and politics. So I think a lot of these pastors went into this not thinking it would cause this much of an uproar but it has and they'll have to figure out what to do in terms of endorsing him or not endorsing him.
BROWN: Nia-Malika Henderson, thank you very much.
HENDERSON: Thank you.
BROWN: Breaking news out of France this hour, how Europe's most wanted man may have escaped to Syria. Plus other details about attacks that were, quote, "ready to go," including a school.
Also Baltimore bracing for a trial with huge impatience. Jury selection under way right now for one of the officers charged in the Freddie Gray case. The big question, can they get a fair trial? We just learned what they're hearing inside the courtroom. Stay with us.