Return to Transcripts main page
Donald Trump Threatens to Run as an Independent; California Shooters Radicalized before They Met; Trump Defends Muslim Ban Comments; Macri Taking Office as Argentina's New President; South Africa's President Fires Respected Finance Minister; Dialogue That Saved Tunisia; Exploring How Radical Ideas Take Root; Golden Globe Nominations Announced. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 10, 2015 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Hi, everyone, welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.
Our top story: U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump is not only defiant in the face of criticism but he's also threatening to split the
Republican vote by running as an independent if he says he's not treated with respect. Fellow Republicans fear that could pave the way for a
decisive Democratic victory. Here's what he said to CNN's Don Lemon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If they don't treat me with a certain amount of decorum and respect, if they don't treat me as the front-
runner, by far the front-runner, if the playing field is not level, then certainly all options are open. But that's nothing I want to do.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: How will you know that? What determines that?
TRUMP: Well, I think I'll know that over a period of a number of months. We'll go through the primaries, we'll see what happens and I'll make a
determination. But I would imagine they would treat me properly because I'm leading by a lot.
LEMON: So the pledge is you keep your word if they keep their word.
TRUMP: Hey, done. I want to run as a Republican.
LEMON: OK. Here's my question. I asked you last time, I said -- and people -- some people were shocked -- if you were racist.
You knew why I was asking you that.
Are you racist?
TRUMP: I am the least racist person that you have ever met. I am the least racist person.
LEMON: Are you bigoted in any way, do you think?
TRUMP: I don't think so. No, I don't think so.
TRUMP: I am a person -- no, not at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Don Lemon asking some tough questions there.
Meanwhile, the global backlash against Trump continues over his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. A petition calling for Trump to
be banned from entering the U.K. now has almost half a million signatures. That's more than enough for a petitions committee to consider sending it to
Parliament for debate. That's scheduled to happen in early January.
More information but also more questions are emerging as lawmakers follow the trail of the couple behind the fatal California shooting attack. Now
they're trying to profile the husband and wife, determining the nature of their relationship and trying to figure out whether they had any
connections to known terror groups. Ana Cabrera has the latest on the investigation.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New shocking details emerging about the husband and wife terrorists behind the San Bernardino attacks.
The FBI revealing Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook were radicalized before they even met each other or started dating online two years ago.
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: As early as the end of 2013, they were talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and then
married and lived together in the United States.
CABRERA (voice-over): Malik is seen here, arriving to the U.S. on a fiance visa in the summer of 2014. A State Department official says the Pakistani
native was never asked about her jihadist or radical views when interviewed by a U.S. consular official in Pakistan.
Officials say it's because the Department of Homeland Security found no flags in her visa application and she passed two other security database
Since Farook is an American-born citizen, officials are now wondering if their marriage was a sham, arranged to carry out a long-planned terror
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is there any evidence that this marriage was arranged by a terrorist organization or terrorist
COMEY: I don't know the answer to that yet.
GRAHAM: Do you agree with me that, if it was arranged by a terrorist operative, an organization, that is a game-changer?
COMEY: That would be a very, very important thing to know.
CABRERA (voice-over): This as investigators learned the husband may have planned other terror attacks before with another U.S. citizen. Farook's
friend and former neighbor, Enrique Marquez, told investigators that they were both radicalized in early 2011 and plotted an attack back in 2012.
But after terror-related arrests in the area, they stopped the plan.
Marquez also admitting to buying Farook guns, two of which were used in the San Bernardino killings. But he told investigators he didn't know about
the couple's plans. He has yet to be charged with a crime.
COMEY: We're also working very hard to understand whether there was anybody else involved with assisting them, with supporting them, with
equipping them. And we're working very, very hard to understand, did they have other plans?
CURNOW: Well, to Australia now, where the country's youngest-ever terror suspect has been arrested by police. The 15-year old and four others are
accused of planning an attack on government buildings in Sydney. Here's (INAUDIBLE) Network's Chris Riesen (ph).
CHRIS RIESEN (PH), CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barefoot and bearded, wearing board shorts and singlet, the latest arrest in Australia's counter
terror crackdown, a 20-year old from Raby, Ibrahim Ghazzawy. The most disturbing, a 15-year-old student from Bass Hill High.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From this school? That's scary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the news I've heard that's just shocking.
RIESEN (PH) (voice-over): Even --
RIESEN (PH) (voice-over): -- more so for classmates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seriously?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No way!
RIESEN (PH) (voice-over): The pair was charged with conspiracy to conduct a terrorist act. The George's Hall (ph) boy, age 14 at the time of his
alleged offenses, now Australia's youngest terror arrest.
Senior police call it beyond disturbing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are charging a 15-year old with a very, very serious offense. This is an offense that has a maximum of life
CURNOW: Police say they do not know how the 15-year-old student was radicalized but that ISIS did not organize the alleged terror plot.
Now to Geneva, Switzerland. The alert level has been raised and police are out in force. A security guard tells Reuters that the U.N. facility in the
city is under, quote, "maximum alert" and that authorities are searching for four people who might be connected to last month's terror attacks in
A statement by the Geneva Department of Security did not identify who was being sought but an international manhunt has been underway for two of the
men. Salah Abdeslam and Mohammed Amri both are believed to be involved in the Paris attacks.
You're watching the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Still to come, a riot to be sworn in. There's something you definitely won't see beside Argentina's new
president. That's his predecessor. She's refusing to have anything to do with him. More, next.
CURNOW: Welcome back. Let's return now to our top story, the controversy surrounding U.S. Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Let's get more on
the harsh criticism Donald Trump is facing. CNN's MJ Lee joins us now from New York with that.
Now, hi, there, MJ. Thanks for joining us.
Some Republicans sort of hope that they could take two aspirin, lie down and hopefully when they got up again, Donald Trump would be gone but that's
not going to happen, is it?
MJ LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, that's not going to happen. Look, Donald Trump keeps coming back at the GOP with his best piece of ammunition, which
is this threat of an independent run. And the bottom line with that scenario is that it's difficult but it's definitely doable.
And this is why Donald Trump keeps threatening the party with it, especially after he's been criticized so much by everyone in the party for
his latest comments about wanting to ban all Muslims from entering the country.
And let's just put this in perspective for a second. Donald Trump, a couple of months ago, met with the head of the Republican National
Committee and actually signed a pledge, saying that he would not run as a third-party candidate and that he would eventually back whoever the nominee
from his party ends up being.
So we're seeing him sort of backtrack a little bit and becoming a little more defensive as he's coming under fire for his recent controversial
CURNOW: He's effectively threatening the Republican Party, isn't he?
What does that mean for Hillary Clinton, at least for the Democrats?
LEE: Look, this would be a great piece of news for the Democrats. They would be thrilled if Donald Trump ran as an independent because they know
that that would essentially guarantee them a path to victory.
It is very difficult for an independent to run -- to win, rather, in the general election. And we know that if Donald Trump were to run as an
independent, that would be very bad for the Republicans, essentially stealing some of the Republican votes away from whoever the Republican
nominee ends up being, whether it's Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio.
So Republicans are very much aware that this is bad news for them and they want to prevent it from happening, which is why they have been sort of
measured, as critical as they have been, they have sort of held back a little bit, too, not going all the way, not being too harsh in their
criticism so that Donald Trump is kept in check.
CURNOW: OK, MJ Lee in New York, thanks for that.
CURNOW: Well, Argentina is beginning a new chapter in its political history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): You're looking at live pictures from the country's capital, where right now Mauricio Macri's inauguration is underway to begin
his term as president. This ends over a decade of rule by the Kirchner family. On Wednesday, the outgoing president, Cristina Fernandez de
Kirchner, gave this bitter farewell speech to thousands of her supporters and causing a political fiasco.
She also refused to attend the event for the ceremonial handing-over of power taking place now.
For more on that spat, CNN's Diego Laje joins us now live from Buenos Aires.
Hi there, Diego. This has been a complicated political handover and is perhaps indicative of the challenges facing the new leader.
DIEGO LAJE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, absolutely. It has been a very few challenging days, even for a journalist, to try and cover what was
going to happen because the outgoing president wanted to do a ceremony, an inauguration ceremony in one way and the incoming president wanted to do it
in another way.
At this point here in the -- in congress, where right opposite from congress itself where the president is offering his inaugural speech, what
we can see is a few first elements of the incoming administration, very interesting points.
First of all, a promise to fight corruption, regardless of who is the culprit. This is, of course, a message to the outgoing administration,
after countless accusations against many of its officials.
At the same time, a strong -- a determined fight against the expansion of drug trafficking, the drug trade in Argentina, has taken over many shanty
towns and many parts of the country.
And this is, at least in the speech, the beginning of a change in the tone, to use resources, to test in security forces and to, with determination,
try and fight the criminal activities that grow in the country.
So there's a number of new promises that come with this president.
At the same time, remember, Robyn, this country is in a technical default, so returning to the international credit markets is another of the
priorities of this incoming administration, that has to mend fences with just about every country or at least every major country in the world.
Difficult relationships with the U.S., difficult relationships with the E.U. and many other countries, counting maybe China, Russia and a few Latin
American countries as main allies. So major challenges for an incoming president that has been president for about half an hour, just for only
half an hour, and already facing a daunting task -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Indeed. And as you're talking, we can see these pictures. Lots of cheers, lots of hugs.
But tell us who is he? Who is --
CURNOW: -- this man? Where did he come from?
LAJE: Mauricio Macri is a man who does not come from the people, so to speak. He's a man who attended an international school, actually an Irish
school in Argentina. He was educated later in the U.S. He's very fluent in English. Actually we'll be able to interview him in both languages, as
we usually do.
And another point to add here is that he comes from one of the richest families in the country but he has worked his way up in politics. He was
not, you know, placed as the top man directly. He started in politics in a very odd way, being the manager of the biggest football club in Argentina,
Boca Juniors. And that's how he gained publicity. That's how he became a public man.
And later he was mayor of Buenos Aires City, obviously the most important, the capital city in the country, for two terms, for eight years. After
progressing in that job, he went into -- he went for the main, of course, position, the main office in Argentina and now he gained it. Back to you,
CURNOW: Great to have you there on the ground, Diego Laje, thank you.
Well, in South Africa, the country's president, Jacob Zuma, has caused widespread dismay and outrage after firing his respected finance minister
and putting a relative unknown in his place. The markets as well as voters aren't taking the news very well, either.
Let's cross live to Johannesburg now where CNN's Eleni Giokos joins us now live.
Hi, there, Eleni. South Africans are outraged because it again calls into question President Zuma's integrity, they say. They say they worry this is
just another example of him acting with impunity.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, this, of course, is a story that you've covered quite extensively through the years as well. And
this isn't the first time Jacob Zuma has engaged in changing his cabinet.
But there's one ministry that he hasn't changed in the past and that was finance. It was always the pillar within the chaos. It was always very
credible and very well respected and also held in very high regard by the international community.
So as to why he decided to ax Nhlanhla Nene last night, during this time, two months ahead of the national budget, remains to be seen. He didn't
give an explanation.
But it certainly has sent shock waves across the world and it's creating a lot of concern because many are questioning why now. And it seems that
Nhlanhla Nene was the man who always questioned some of the big ticket projects in the country, such as South African Airways wanting a deal with
Airbus or the nuclear deal as well.
So those are the kinds of projects that are now coming under speculation.
CURNOW: Yes. Also, he was apparently the man who stood up, as you say, and asked tough questions. So he's out now. The financial implications of
Zuma's actions, you kind of mentioned it, are dire, I mean, the "Financial Mail" magazine warns of fiscal suicide.
GIOKOS: Well, what does fiscal suicide mean?
It means that we're going to be overspending as a country, spending money that we do not have, something that South Africa has already been doing.
Remember debt-to-GDP has risen to 45 percent. It might seem very small relative to other developed nations. But for an emerging market like South
Africa, it's not a good thing.
When you've got the local currency, Robyn, sitting at the level that we're seeing at the moment, record lows against the dollar, you've got the
banking stocks that were down in some cases 14 percent today, Barclays Africa taking a 14 percent knock. It shows that investors are worried.
Remember, there's an old adage that some have now mentioned, that money is a coward and when there's uncertainty, there is flight out of that specific
country. This is what we're seeing right now.
So the financial implications are going to be dire. Another thing is that David van Rooyen today, the new finance minister, had an opportunity to
allay fears to the international community. And he didn't do a very good job of that. So we didn't get much clarity from his speech in today's
CURNOW: And he's relatively inexperienced at this.
Eleni Giokos, thanks so much, appreciate it.
Up next, these negotiators built a government from the protests that started the Arab Spring. We'll have more on this year's Nobel Peace Prize
CURNOW: Hi, welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow.
They may not be household names around the world but a group of negotiators from the birthplace of the Arab Spring has just received one of the most
prestigious awards for its work, the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet made the aspirations of the 2011 revolution a reality and has been recognized for helping to build a
pluralistic democracy. The quartet consists of a labor union, a trade group, a human rights organization and a lawyers group.
Now the group established a channel for dialogue and saved Tunisia's fragile steps toward democracy. Jonathan Mann looks back at how the
quartet brought stability in a turbulent time.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was unprecedented, never before had an Arab people toppled a tyrant.
Driven by the memory of that fruit seller, Mohamed Bouazizi, and spurred by his anger, Tunisians took to the streets in 2010, and forced Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali from power after 23 years. It was the start of an upheaval that would force out the leaders of four nations and start a war in Syria
that would shake the region.
At first, it didn't deliver stable democracy to Tunisia. The new election put Islamists at the head of a coalition to run the country and write a
constitution. But while the work of the constitution dragged on, weighed down by debate, Islamic terrorists carried out assassinations and attacks,
in one incident, ransacking the U.S. embassy.
Some Tunisians blamed the elected Islamist leaders for being sympathetic or complicit.
Tunisia's stagnant economy suffered even more and protesters took to the streets, demanding the young government's resignation.
The revolution was unraveling, until the country's largest trade union joined forces with three other associations of employers, attorneys, and
human rights activists to push and pull Tunisia down a different path: dialogue.
The National Dialogue Quartet brought the government and the opposition together and eventually worked out an agreement. The Islamists agreed to
give up power.
MANN: The completed constitution is considered a model for the Arab world. Because of the National Dialogue Quartet, Tunisia's Arab Spring delivered.
The Nobel committee summed it up this way:
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Quartet was formed in summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of
political assassinations and widespread social unrest. It established an alternative peace-filled political process at a time when the country was
on the brink of civil war.
CURNOW (voice-over): Well, Jonathan Mann sits down for an exclusive interview with the Tunisian International Dialogue Quartet next hour,
that's at 4:00 pm in London, 5:00 pm Central European Time as well as in Tunis, only on CNN.
People in the U.S. state of Oregon have been wondering for months now who won the lottery jackpot for $6.4 million?
Well, it turns out it was not anyone local or even someone living in the country. We now know the winner was an Iraqi citizen who bought the ticket
online. The website apparently sends someone into the store to buy the ticket on the buyer's behalf wherever they may be.
Oregon is not naming the winner publicly to keep that person safe back home in Iraq.
We'll have much more on the INTERNATIONAL DESK after the break. Stick around, much more.
CURNOW: There's a lot of news this hour. I'm Robyn Curnow, so let's get to it. Here's a check of the headlines.
CURNOW: So a question, how do some people become radicalized enough to carry out attacks like the ones we've just seen in Paris or California?
Well, I want to bring in Adam Deen in London to discuss that. He's head of outreach and a senior researcher at the Killian Foundation. He was once a
radical himself with links to a dangerous Islamist group.
So my question is that, how do people get radicalized, particularly in a university setting?
How easy is it?
ADAM DEEN, KILLIAN FOUNDATION: To onlookers, it seems that these sorts of acts of these terrorists are irrational and many people can't make sense of
But what they tend to overlook is the rational steps that one takes to take someone who's normal, who's a citizen of a Western country and then
suddenly becomes an extremist and then turns to terrorism.
But there is a rational process and it's down to the -- if you like the Islamic education. And it's comprised of what I call sort of toxic
You have this type of binary outlook of the world and it's this stark contrast between Islam and everything else. So everything that is good is
on one side and everything evil on the other side. And on the side of good is our only sort of Muslims and the Islamic faith.
And what this does, this sort of -- this binary outlook dehumanizes "the other" and creates a sense of alienation within the Muslim.
When that happens, that sets the foundation for someone to start rationalizing committing violence against "the other" -- or Muslims, if you
The other aspect, which is quite important, is a teaching of Islam that is above and beyond reason, that does not function within the ethical sphere.
And this type of Islam is sort of propagated by what is known as puritanical Muslims, which can be traced back to Wahhabi Islam.
And it is the idea that we must implement Islamic laws, even if they contravene human rights. This type of idea is very, very dangerous because
it means that any type of idea, any type of religious idea or any type of religious belief, even if it screams out intolerance and injustice, must be
So these types of ideas, these toxic theological ideas play a major role in turning someone who is very normal into an extremist and someone wanting to
perform, commit terrorist acts in the West.
CURNOW: Thank you so much for a very comprehensive analysis answer on that. Unfortunately, we'll have to leave it there.
Adam Deen from the Killian Foundation, appreciate you joining us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK.
Well, still ahead, Hollywood awards season is about to get into full swing. The nominations for the 2016 Golden Globe awards are in. Which stars of
television and film made the cut?
CURNOW: The Hollywood awards season kicked off this morning with nominations unveiled for this year's Golden Globe awards with several films
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): "Carol," a story of romance between two women in 1950s New York leads all movies with five nominations, including both of
its star actresses, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
"The Big Short," a comedy about the global financial crisis was close behind with four nods, including Best Picture Comedy. Its two lead actors,
Christian Bale and Steve Carell were both nominated.
The frontier adventure, "The Revenant," was also receiving -- also received four nominations, including one for its star, Leonardo DiCaprio.
And "Steve Jobs," the biopic about the late Apple cofounder also nominated four times.
Let's bring in Matt Atchity, the editor-in-chief of film and TV review website, Rotten Tomatoes.
What do you make of this year's list?
MATT ATCHITY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ROTTENTOMATOES.COM: You know, it's a really interesting list. I'm glad you pointed out "Carol" has five nominations.
It's interesting that it's the front-runner with only five nominations. The awards are really spread out across a lot of films this year and I
think that's really interesting.
CURNOW: Yes, absolutely.
And some of them, it's a very strong field, isn't it?
These are meaty films, even the comedies are strong, meaty. I can't think of another word to describe it.
ATCHITY: Yes, absolutely. It's amusing and maybe a little bit surprising that "The Martian," of all films, gets nominated for Best Comedy. That
movie is funny but I don't think they set out to make a funny movie when they started doing that.
It's easier to understand why "The Big Short" ends up in comedy. That's a fantastic movie, very funny although it's also kind of infuriating as you
watch it, really start learning about the financial meltdown.
One of the other really interesting moments that I think happened was when they first announced the TV awards and you have the Best Comedy Series,
they nominate six TV series, only two of which are actually shown on TV channels, the two HBO shows.
Everything else is streaming. And I think that that's a sign of the times, it's a sign of how people are consuming media these days.
CURNOW: OK. Well, let's talk about the TV awards, because frankly, as a mother and a working mother, I rarely -- only get to see the TV stuff
rather than going out to the movies.
I mean, you've got "Narcos," you've got "Game of Thrones," we've got "Wolf Hall," "Mad Men," "Grace and Frankie," I mean, all -- some fantastic TV
ATCHITY: Yes. A lot of people have said for a long time that we are in another golden age of television and I think that's absolutely the case.
ATCHITY: You've got such great TV, it's really hard to stay on top of it all. And I think that this year's nominations shows that.
And again, similar to what we see in the movie side, it's not that there's one show that's kind of hogging all of the nominations, it's spread out.
It's very diverse. This is a great time to be watching TV.
And if you've got time at home and can't make it out to the movies, boy, there's no shortage of stuff to watch. I do want to point out I was really
kind of happy to see Lady Gaga get a nomination for a Golden Globe --
ATCHITY: -- yes, for "American Horror Story." I thought that was kind of fun.
CURNOW: And what about Jon Hamm?
ATCHITY: Yes, you know, Jon Hamm, this may be his last bite of the apple, we'll see.
We love Jon Hamm. You know, we'll want to see more of him in the future. Maybe he'll be freed up to do more movies.
Although, you know, it's changed. It used to be that you would graduate from TV into movies and never go back. But that time has changed. We're
seeing movie stars go back to TV left and right and there's no stigma attached to that.
CURNOW: And also, I think there's also some -- if you look at "Narcos," for example, it's quite historical when you're watching it. It's quite
thoughtful and intellectual besides being fabulous.
Also look at "Wolf Hall," a very weighty piece of historical drama, enrapturing at times but also coming off a really best-selling book. I
mean, you're seeing some pretty, -- again, I'm going to use the words meaty topics made into television that are huge successes.
ATCHITY: Yes. You know, I think if you look at who's creating television, you look at the show runners, you look at the writers and they're going to
television because, even with a short season, you look at something like "Narcos" or you look at something like "Better Call Saul," which is 10, 12
episodes, that's longer than you get in a movie. You get two hours in a movie to tell your story.
But now you get 10, 12 hours to tell a very meaty, very deep story. You know, think of a story like "Narcos" and you'd have to thin that out so
much if you were going to do that on -- in a movie environment. But now you've got hours upon hours. And if you can earn that and if you can keep
the audience interested, you're in great shape.
The other thing, too, is you look at something like Netflix, you look at something like HBO and you have the opportunity to tell these stories that
you don't have on a traditional broadcast network, like an NBC or an ABC, where you've got to really hit a broader audience. You know, you can
afford to hit only a niche audience on something like Netflix because, as long as your subscribers are subscribing, you don't have the pressure of
the ratings. So I think you can tell more interesting stories.
And if you look at the Netflix model, god, they have got such quality series right now. The two Marvel shows, with "Jessica Jones" that just
launched, I think that we're looking at -- you know, and then you look at Amazon and what you're seeing with "Transparent," I think you're seeing
kind of the future and the highest quality TV on these streaming platforms. And it's really exciting to see.
CURNOW: Yes. Really exciting. Also, if I look at this list, there's really some strong roles, strong actresses that are on this Golden Globes
Matt, thanks so much for your perspective.
ATCHITY: Thanks for having me.
CURNOW: Madonna's concert in Paris this week was a sellout event but afterwards outside she surprised her fans with a unique encore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): You can hear them singing at the Place de la Republique, the memorial site for the victims of the Paris terror attack.
She's surrounded by fans she asked to join her honoring of the victims.
That does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thanks so much for watching. I'll be back in just over an hour. In the meantime, I'm going
to hand you over to Alex Thomas and "WORLD SPORT."