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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

FBI Arrests Man in Connection to San Bernardino Attack; Disney Installs Metal Detectors in Paris; Cruz-Rubio Immigration Fight Spreads To Campaign Trail; Putin: Trump is Outstanding, Talented. Aired 7-8:00p ET

Aired December 17, 2015 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[19:00:14] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, much more of the breaking news tonight. The FBI making a major arrest in the San Bernardino terror attack.

Plus, Vladimir Putin calling Trump brave, talented, the absolute leader in the presidential race.

And Chelsea Clinton for the first time tonight headlining a major fundraiser for her mother. Can Chelsea's friendship with Ivanka Trump withstand their parents' nasty battle? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Terror charges. A man has been arrested by the FBI in connection with the San Bernardino terror attack. Also, for plotting two additional terror attacks that are just coming to light tonight. Enrique Marquez, a long-time friend of the male shooter, was charged with plotting with Syed Farook to attack a community college cafeteria using pipe bombs. He was also charged with the plan to shoot drivers in their cars on a busy freeway. And there are stunning details in these plots.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT tonight. And Kyung, what more do you know about the attacks?

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well everything we're learning about those attacks were coming from the federal complaints. These were attacks that were planned some four years ago. Enrique Marquez telling investigators that they didn't go through with it. He says that he and Farook grew more distant and then the San Bernardino attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAH (voice-over): Just hours after the terror attack in San Bernardino, Enrique Marquez called 911. According to a federal complaint, he told the operator he was the shooter, talking about Syed Rizwan Farook. Marquez said, the expletive use my gun in the shooting. Those AR-15 rifles were purchased by Marquez in late 2011 and early 2012. Why? Farook and Marquez were childhood friends. Court documents say Farook first introduced Marquez to Islam. Marquez would convert in 2007. The complaint says in 2010, Farook also introduced Marquez to

radical Islamic ideas, like the lectures of al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al Awlaki. In 2011, the men began discussing attacks using homemade pipe bombs and their newly purchased rifles. First, a nearby Riverside city college and on an Orange County California freeway, deploying their pipe bombs during rush hour and then gunning down drivers who tried to flee. Investigators say, Marquez also purchased explosives, a bottle of smokeless powder when he bought the guns. That explosive powder was found in the undetonated bombs in the San Bernardino attack and also traced back to Farook's apartment.

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: At this point in the investigation, Marquez can supply a lot of information. That's a critical thing, is that he can fill in a lot of blanks about a time period that electronically the FBI may not be able to recover at this point.

LAH: The terror plot stunned Marquez's family who remain out of public view, telling reporters only that he was, quote, "a good boy."

JERRY MORGAN, MORGAN'S TAVERN: He couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag.

LAH: Morgan says, Marquez worked at the bar for three years. Marquez never mentioned his sham marriage to Farook's relative. He never talked about the hobby he would tell investigators, building pipe bombs with Farook or the guns he bought that would murder and terrorize his community.

MORGAN: That's what makes him so spooky, he's just a normal every day Joe blow that you don't give the time of day to and the next thing you know --

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: And the next thing you know, I mean, Kyung there now saying he bought the guns, plotted to kill people at a community college, as you're reporting on a freeway. I mean, terrifying acts and what was the reasoning that he was the one that bought the weapons that Farook used?

LAH: Because Syed Rizwan Farook had already purchased guns. He didn't want to be questioned about additional weapons that he was going to be buying. That's why he asked -- according to the complaints -- that's why Marquez was asked to go ahead and purchase them for Farook. You know, it's a bit of a mystery as to exactly why he did it other than they had this very close friendship. We should add, Erin, that he is expected to make an initial court appearance in federal court today.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much.

And the breaking news of Marquez's arrest came just a few hours after President Obama addressed the nation admitting that the government cannot stop lone wolf attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Because they are smaller, often self-initiating, self-motivating, they are harder to detect. And that makes it harder to prevent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT live in Washington. And Jim, the President warning Americans to be vigilant during the holiday vacation?

[19:05:15] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Repeating that familiar phrase, if you see something, say something. That we all have a responsibility to do that. But his message was largely meant to be reassuring. He said there is no credible or specific threat to the U.S. Homeland right now. He visited the National Counterterrorism Center to say, listen, we have this great team here fighting every day to prevent attacks. But -- and I hate to say but again, as you highlighted there, Erin, the trouble with lone wolf attacks is that they are harder to prevent because you don't have those points that are warning signs. A phone call from a cave in Afghanistan or things like that, that you can detect in advance. That's the new normal that the President was in effect laying out today.

BURNETT: And part of the new normal and unprecedented from Walt Disney today, Disney World, Disneyland putting in metal detectors, extra police, specially trained dogs. I mean, is Disney now an ISIS target?

SCIUTTO: We don't know that Disney is an ISIS target. There's no specific or credible threat that we've heard to Disney World but it's one of many businesses, college campuses, schools, et cetera that are taking precautions like this now in light of the new threat and we saw earlier this week, with the L.A. schools shutting down, the New York schools not, based on which turned out to be a hoax threat, that different communities, different places are making their own judgments and it's really hard to make those judgments correctly. Again, it is the new normal. And the one thing I would say -- and this is something that counterterrorism officials say to me all the time, you know, still the real risk to you and me from terrorism remains infinitesimal but it's hard to predict and that's something we're likely going to have to live with.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Sciutto. OUTFRONT now, former CIA operative Bob Baer and Seth Jones, director of the Security from RAND Corporation.

Bob, the breaking news. We're learning in these charges of at least two more specific terror attacks planned by Syed Farook. More people were involved, one of them at a cafeteria at a college, the other one, they were going to throw pipe bombs on a highway. Once car stops, they were going to run car to car killing people on the inside of these cars, on a very busy stretch of the freeway. Multiple attacks over a period of time. How surprised are you that no one picked up on any of this? ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, Erin, not at all. I

mean, they were not on the internet. They were not exchanging e-mails about the planning. They were not calling home. This wasn't directed from the outside. So as far as we can see, these people simply have absorbed an ideology, this death cult that told them to do this and it's the randomness of this that I think is really surprising for most of us because obviously those people on the 91 or the school in Riverside are totally innocent of anything as were the co-workers in San Bernardino. But this is the sort of jihadism that's come out of Syria and Iraq over the last two years.

BURNETT: And when you say 91, you're referring of course to the freeways where they were planning the attacks. Seth, do you think there are many more people out there planning attacks like these?

SETH JONES, RAND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE POLICY CENTER: Erin, I'm afraid to say, yes. In the last year, really since March of 2014, according to a recent George Washington University report, there were 71 arrests for individuals with -- involved in ISIS-related activity in the United States alone. About a quarter of those were involved in terrorist plots. All of those in the U.S. and I think that gives us a sense of a trend that we face right now. These kinds of lone wolf or stray dog-style attacks.

BURNETT: Right. And as the President, you know, was forced to admit, I mean, the government cannot stop these. Bob, you know, we're learning that it wasn't just the plots that they were working on together, Farook and Marquez, but that Marquez, who was arrested today, bought the assault rifles in the San Bernardino attack and in the complaint it says that one major reason for that was, he said because he was white and he and Farook thought he would not attract attention as Farook would because he is Middle Eastern. How significant is that that they thought through and really outplayed any sort of racial profiling?

BAER: Well, I think, it's, you know, speaks to the planning of this. I mean, Hispanic American going in and buying a gun is less suspicious than a Muslim. It is. I mean, we do profile. Gun stores do as well just as airports. We don't like to admit it but we do. And these people wanted to be very careful. And if they were careful enough to go out and have somebody else buy their weapon, it wouldn't be as suspicious, they were careful about the planning and they know how to stay off the internet. And they used to know encrypted acts in fact they did. What's happening is these people are evolving, they're getting better, and as Seth said, there is a lot of them out there. And as I speak today, the FBI is still worried about other cells out there ready to attack, ones that they just cannot see on the internet and their informants don't tell them about.

[19:10:04] BURNETT: Which of course is the terrifying reality here. And Seth, you're talking about the raw numbers. Today, not only did the President say they can't stop these sorts of attacks, the assistant secretary up for the State Department testified before Congress and what she said today was that the State Department has revoked 9,000 visas. Nine thousand visas because of security concerns. And the U.S. has lost track of all of those individuals. They don't know anything about what happened to those 9,000 people. They could be anywhere?

JONES: They could be anywhere. I would say this that the vast majority of those 71 individuals arrested for terrorism-related plots that I mentioned earlier --

BURNETT: Yes.

JONES: -- were U.S. citizens. So even regardless of these --

BURNETT: Yes.

JONES: You still face a major threat from people living in the United States and they are citizens of the United States.

BURNETT: Which is very scary. And of course we saw that in this case. Well, this case the San Bernardino attacks where you had citizens and you also of course had noncitizens. Bob, how significant is the news from Disney. The Disney installing metal detectors. I mean, in a sense you might say, well, why didn't they do it earlier? But it is an unprecedented move. And it is a very significant change and something a lot of Americans view as a rite of passage. You're now going to have metal detectors at Disney World.

BAER: Well, Erin, I think it was inevitable, you know, after the Paris attacks and going after the stadium. I mean, a lot of lives were saved because those suicide bombers didn't get inside the stadium. Didn't even get near the French president. And so it does work. And the suicide vests have a lot of metal in them and I should add they are very easy to make. And the San Bernardino attackers, I believe, could have made them if they had chosen to and that's what scared Disneyland and Sea World and everybody else or anywhere that people congregate, you could commit mass slaughter with those suicide vests.

BURNETT: Thank you both very much tonight.

JONES: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, Vladimir Putin speaking out today calling Donald Trump outstanding. What is behind their mutual admiration?

Plus, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in a fierce battle. But is one of them lying? And tonight, Chelsea Clinton headlining a fundraiser for her mother for the first time.

Our special report on this surprising friendship between Chelsea and Ivanka Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:15:30] BURNETT: A brutal fight between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz tonight on the campaign trail today both candidates accusing the other of, well, muddying the record, lying on immigration reform.

Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marco Rubio attacking Ted Cruz on the campaign trail.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's the one that has supported legalization and legalizing people that are in the country illegally.

FOREMAN: Cruz hitting right back at Rubio.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He still supports amnesty and citizenship today.

FOREMAN: Both men are locked in a bitter battle over immigration with dueling claims about each other. So who is right? Start with Cruz's accusation.

CRUZ: There was a battle over amnesty and some chose, like Senator Rubio, to stand with Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer and support a massive amnesty plan.

FOREMAN: That's a bipartisan immigration reform plan in 2013 that was crafted by Rubio and seven other senators, the so-called gang of eight. That legislation did include a pathway to citizenship for many who came illegally.

RUBIO: We have an obligation and the need to address the reality of the situation that we face.

FOREMAN: Many conservatives never liked Rubio's support for it and Cruz know it is. But Rubio is counterattacking.

RUBIO: Ted Cruz supported a 500 percent increase in the number of H1B visas, the guest workers that are allowed in this country and Ted supports doubling the number of green cards.

FOREMAN: The problem for Cruz, that's true, too. He pushed amendments to that same bill that would not have offered citizenship but would have legalized the status of many who came illegally.

CRUZ: I don't want immigration reform to fail. I want immigration reform to pass.

FOREMAN: Cruz's camp now says the amendments were meant as poison pills, forcing Democrats and others to abandon the plan. But listen to Cruz in a radio interview back at the time.

CRUZ: Legalization is the predicate of the Gang of Eight bill and in introducing amendments, what I endeavored to do was improve that bill so that it actually fixes the problem.

FOREMAN: Essentially, Rubio is saying that he and Cruz are not really that far apart in terms of what he said about this issue. Cruz is vehemently denying it either way to go, this is what the two men have in common. As they are both saying that they will be very tough on immigration going forward, each of them potentially has a problem with this issue in this race -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you, Tom.

And now, political commentator and the former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz, Amanda Carpenter. Also joining me senior columnist for the Daily Caller Matt Lewis. His wife was a former consultant for Cruz's Senate campaign.

All right. Good to have both of you with me. Matt, let me start with you. Do you believe Ted Cruz's explanation for his apparent flip-flop on the issue?

MATT LEWIS, SENIOR COLUMNIST, THE DAILY CALLER: No. No, I don't. Look, these are the facts. During the debate he said that he never supported legalization and he doesn't intend to support it in the future. As we just saw in that segment, in 2013, just two years ago, he did in fact introduce an amendment that would legalize illegals. Now, at the time, he was pressed by conservatives like Byron York, a conservative writer for the Washington Examiner, and Robby George, a highly respective conservative at Princeton. They pressed him. Is this a poison pill? Are you just trying to kill the bill? He assured them, no. This is a compromise. He's negotiating in good faith. And he said, I want immigrant to be able to come out from behind the shadows and to pass immigration reform. So honestly he was either misleading us during the debate Tuesday night or he was misleading us in 2013.

BURNETT: Amanda, that's a tough issue, right? I mean, which is it?

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ: Well, it's very simple and I can tell you what the record is because I was there working for Ted Cruz at the time. The Gang of Eight bill did contained two things. It contained a path to citizenship and the path to legalization. Now, the issue when this bill was presented by the Gang of Eight, including Rubio, they wanted everyone to believe this was an enforcement bill. And you could go look at the interviews that Rubio did where they tried to convince conservatives to go along with this and not contain a path to citizenship. So, what Ted Cruz did in proposing that amendment, he proposed an amendment to strengthen the citizenship plank out.

That's leaving the legalization plank in. And when he made a speech talking about it, he said, here, listen, you guys can have what you want if you're willing to give up the citizenship in play. Just because he was silent on the legalization, does not mean he supported the legalization play which is what Cruz is trying to misconstrue the record to try to muddy the waters between. But really, this is so far in the weeds, it's so simple. Marco Rubio was for the Gang of Eight bill, Ted Cruz was against it. Ted Cruz won by defeating the bill through this amendment strategy and has the entire conservative movement, talk radio behind him because they were with him in this fight. So, for the life of me, I can't figure out why Marco Rubio is picking this fight rather than just standing by the fact that he tried to broker this deal and he's just trying to go against Ted Cruz. I don't think it's the right strategy for him. I think it's causing a lot of people to be skeptical of Marco Rubio who are inclined to like him including myself.

[19:20:36] BURNETT: Matt?

LEWIS: Well, again, Ted Cruz, when he was trying to pass this amendment, which would have legalized illegal immigrants, he was pressed by --

CARPENTER: There was no amendment. The amendment strengthen the citizenship planked out. The Gang of Eight bill contained the legalization itself.

LEWIS: He was pressed by prominent conservatives like Byron York and Robby George who followed up and asked him multiple times -- multiple times and Ted Cruz said that he wants immigrants to be able to come out from behind the shadows. He said he wants to pass commonsense immigration reform. And let me just say, if I'm being snookered, if I am somehow maybe not smart enough to follow this, because I wasn't working for Cruz, it's funny because Bret Baier apparently thinks that Ted Cruz is in this leading us, Charles Krauthammer, Steven Hayes, Jim Garrity almost every conservative --

CARPENTER: Well, we can line up Mark Levine and Rush Limbaugh and all the rest as well.

LEWIS: The talk radio hosts, I think, are different. They may not be as intellectually honest as a conservative writers and columnists.

BURNETT: So, let me just asked you one question --

CARPENTER: You know, I'm going to address what Matt raised. He raised the fact that Ted Cruz said he wants immigration reform. You know what, a lot of people say they want health care reform, too. That doesn't mean that they want ObamaCare. I mean, you can just look at the record --

LEWIS: Oh, come on! Come on!

(CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: Why didn't he lead the fight against Obama's -- amnesty? Why didn't he proposed individual legalization bills? I mean, it just doesn't make any sense.

LEWIS: There was an immigration reform bill in the Senate. And by the way, it passed the Senate. Ted Cruz did not stop him. The immigration reform bill was in the Senate. At the time, Ted Cruz said he supported the bill and he supported commonsense immigration and he said that --

(CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: He supported a bill that would actually do what people were saying it would do, to be a border enforcement bill.

BURNETT: But Amanda, he also, I mean, are you taking issue -- when Marco Rubio said that Ted Cruz supported a 500 percent increase in the number of H1B visas, right? People who are coming to work for tech companies are worker visas of some sort. And doubling of a number of green cards, that's what he is saying Ted Cruz did in this amendment. Do you dispute that?

CARPENTER: No, there were a series of amendments. An amendment at issue is whether or not he supported legalization. The amendment that is being disputed was the one that attacked the citizenship plank. That was everything in that debate and you can even look, Ted Cruz was successful in the judiciary committee markup, if you look at what Chuck Schumer was saying after and why you must reject Ted Cruz's amendment on citizenship, because it would take down the entire bill. Everyone knew what was going on at the time and for the life of me, I don't know why Marco Rubio is choosing --

LEWIS: Erin, can I ask a question --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Hold on, Matt. One second. I just want to understand though, Amanda, you're saying, so he wanted to bring more people into the country but not allow them to be citizens? I mean, doesn't that kind of make the problem worse, I mean, intellectually?

CARPENTER: Listen, Ted Cruz has been very consistent in saying that he supports legal immigration. He has supported ways to legally expand existing programs. Everything that has been disputed in this is the citizenship plank. That is what the fight was over, it's what it's always been about. And Marco Rubio is compromised on this issue. Ted Cruz is not. That is why Marco Rubio is trying to muddy the waters for Ted Cruz on this issue and I think it's going to backfire because Marco Rubio really should just own what he did and campaign on that rather than trying to tear down somebody else.

LEWIS: Erin, can I ask you a quick question? First of all, I would say that I think, you know, legalization in itself may be a bad thing in the sense that you'd have second class citizens. One, I'd give them a pathway to citizenship and take some ten years, they pay back taxes, they have to have a clean record. We can have that debate. But the question I have for Amanda is, when Ted Cruz told --

CARPENTER: I don't have to answer your questions, Matt. I'm here to talk about what happened.

LEWIS: You don't have to answer it. I'd like to ask it, though. When Ted Cruz told Byron York that he wanted this immigration bill to pass and legalization, was he lying? Was it just a poison pill? That's fair. Maybe he just wanted to kill -- if it's a bad bill, maybe Cruz just wanted to kill it and maybe he was misleading people. Was that what it was?

CARPENTER: As I said throughout the whole time, the entire purpose of the amendment strategy was to expose the fact that the Gang of Eight contained a path to citizenship. I mean --

LEWIS: So he never really supported the amendment? CARPENTER: Other strong conservatives just as Jeff Sessions and

others in the entire conservative movement acted upon this and supported what Ted Cruz is doing and he won the debate. I can't go any further than that.

BURNETT: All right. Well, we will leave it there, then. Thank you both very much. Obviously that fight a lot more to come.

OUTFRONT next, Putin calling Trump an outstanding personality. Trump saying late tonight that that is a great honor.

And Baltimore's prosecutor wants the focus of glowing magazine profiles for her charges in the Freddie Gray case. Now major questions. Did her strategy blow the case?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:29:12] BURNETT: Tonight, Putin praising Trump, the Russian president calling the Republican presidential front-runner, quote, "Outstanding and talented." Donald Trump has said, he would, quote, "Get along very well with Putin." And now, well, Putin obviously agree. So, will this matter if Trump can't get along with U.S. allies in his own party?

Dana Bash is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russia's Vladimir Putin is all about projecting strength. That's what his shirtless horseback riding is all about. So it should probably come as no surprise that Putin admires the GOP candidate obsessed with winning, saying this about Donald Trump.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through a translator): He is a very flamboyant man, very talented. No doubt about that.

BASH: Formal words no doubt, prompted by the fact that while other GOP candidates slam Russia's leader for things like intervening in Syria, Trump praises him and he welcomed Putin's statement saying, "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond." But outside of Russia, most world leaders are more concerned about Trump rather than complementary, especially after his call to temporarily ban Muslims from coming into America.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to stop the Muslims until we find out what's going on. Does that make sense, by the way?

BASH: Britain's prime minister took the unusual step of slamming Trump from the floor of parliament.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think he's remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong and I think if he came to visit our country, I think he would unite us all against him. BASH: And Trump achieved a difficult feat, uniting leaders in

the Arab world and Israel in condemning them. Saudi Prince al-Walid bin Talal tweeted last week, "@realdonaldtrump, you are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all of America. Withdraw from the U.S. presidential race as you will never win."

That criticism is not likely to matter much to conservative primary voters who like Trump's talk on the trail to late night TV.

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: Do you think Jeb Bush is scared of you or scared in general?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think he's scared.

I defined him. I gave him this term low energy. I said he's a low energy individual.

BASH: But earning an endorsement of sorts from the calculating Russian leader may not go over well with Republicans. Perhaps Trump can send everyone, including Putin, a mock Trump children's book by Jimmy Kimmel --

KIMMEL: Winners do deals. And winners get rich. While said little losers just sit there and bitch.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: Now more on Trump's statement warmly welcoming Putin's praise of him. Trump said that he always felt that Russia and the U.S. should work well together restoring world peace and not to mention trade.

When it comes to GOP primary voters, Putin is a boogie man. So, it may not help Trump on the trail so much, but, you know, Erin, when it comes to Putin, people who know him and have studied him, his whole life has been about restoring Russia's power and relevance. That's the best thing he can hear from somebody like Donald Trump.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Dana, thank you.

And now, Donald Trump's campaign spokesperson, Katrina Pearson is with me, along with radio host, Ben Ferguson.

OK, Katrina, Putin comes out and calls Trump outstanding and talented. Is that an endorsement that you want?

KATRINA PIERSON, DONALD TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: Well, not at all. This wasn't an endorsement. This was simply just a powerful man recognizing someone in the United States running for president who is also a powerful man. It was not an endorsement.

BURNETT: It was not an endorsement. That's your way of saying you don't really want one. Let's be honest, Americans don't like Vladimir Putin, 70 percent of them in the most recent poll, and 76 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the man. PIERSON: Well, I think that's why he also said that it's up to

the American people to choose their leadership. He just recognize that Trump is a strength to be reckoned with.

BURNETT: Ben?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I don't think he was saying he's a strength to be reckoned with. And let's also be clear: I'm pretty sure Donald Trump gave him an A on leadership, referring to Vladimir Putin, a man who had a plane shot out of the sky with innocent women and children in it. A man that has innocent people killed in Syria as he's gotten involved in that war. A man who overran in the Ukraine earlier last year.

And you really want to be buddies with that guy? And to say -- for Donald Trump to say that Vladimir Putin gets an "A" mark from him on leadership at killing innocent people, invading countries that are not his, expanding the world reach of Russia and going into Syria and having innocent women and children, refugees be killed at his command and you want me to believe that Donald Trump would give him an "A" rating, how do you defend that?

PIERSON: Well, it's not defending the entire rating, Ben, because as we've discussed in the past, context is extremely important here. This was in specific regard to ISIS, period.

And let's not talk about invading countries, Ben.

FERGUSON: He's not going after ISIS.

PIERSON: The United States has been invading countries in the Middle East, toppling dictators and creating a vacuum for ISIS. So, let's not talk about right and wrong here.

FERGUSON: So you're saying the foreign policy of Donald Trump -- let's be clear.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Are you saying that Donald Trump's foreign policy is the same as Vladimir Putin and you're saying that you wouldn't have gone after Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan?

PIERSON: OK, which context do you want to talk about, because we're talking about --

FERGUSON: Let's talk about Afghanistan. Are you saying that the Trump campaign --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Let's talk about ISIS right now. Go ahead, Katrina, and then, Ben, you can reply.

PIERSON: Mr. Trump's statement was specifically with regard to ISIS, and people who don't like Trump really want to go out and make this broad-brush stroke, just like you're doing, Ben -- it doesn't work. It doesn't work.

FERGUSON: I didn't give Vladimir Putin an A rating.

PIERSON: He gave him an "A" rating for bringing the fight to ISIS, Ben. Acknowledge that.

FERGUSON: Do you actually believe that Vladimir Putin is on the same team with the United States of America and going after ISIS or are you really naive enough to believe that he's not there to prop up Assad, which is completely the opposite of what the United States interest is?

PIERSON: I think the American public is not on the same side as the president when it comes to fighting ISIS. Just look at the poll.

FERGUSON: We're also shouldn't be on the same side of Vladimir Putin on propping Assad.

[19:35:01] Do you want to keep Assad in power?

BURNETT: On this issue of the rating, take the "A" out of it for one moment. Donald Trump responded tonight, Katrina, to Vladimir Putin calling him outstanding and talented, and said, quote, "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man highly respected within his own country and beyond."

FERGUSON: He's giving him accolades.

BURNETT: Again, I simply say, 76 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of him. Should Donald Trump have talked about it being an honor to get a compliment from the man?

PIERSON: Well, I think he was speaking being an honor, because he is the one out front fighting ISIS. Again, this is in the context of fighting terrorism, fighting ISIS in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin has stepped up. Many people do respect him for that, including Americans who may not like Vladimir Putin but they like the fact that he's stepping up and taking action against ISIS.

FERGUSON: Katrina --

PIERSON: Whereas, the American government is not doing that. They're continuing to arm people we don't know whose side that they're on, Ben.

FERGUSON: Katrina, with all due respect -- with all due respect, let's be intellectually honest here. Don't tell me that you actually -- maybe the Trump campaign believes this -- that somehow he's a savior in the Middle East and Donald Trump is somehow in line with Vladimir Putin on foreign policy is kind of embarrassing if you actually think that's what the foreign policy of the United States to be, in propping Assad up --

PIERSON: No, let's be intellectually honest here, how many countries has the United States invaded in the Middle East, taking out dictators, creating vacuums, making ISIS grow stronger. Ben, is that what you're saying?

FERGUSON: Are you saying that Donald Trump's foreign policy would be not to go into Afghanistan specifically and not go after al Qaeda after 9/11?

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: You said we had wars in the Middle East. The first war that we're talking about is Afghanistan.

PIERSON: Actually, Iraq is the first war. Actually, Iraq.

FERGUSON: We went in to Afghanistan first after 9/11. You should know that. We went into Iraq second. You should also know that.

PIERSON: We are talking about ISIS, Ben. Mr. Trump has said from the beginning we need to fight them, go where they are and take the fight to them. Vladimir Putin is the only one that has stepped up on the world stage and leading on this issue.

FERGUSON: Putin is propping up Assad. Putin is propping up Assad. You should understand that, so should Donald Trump.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: He's also struck ISIS as well, but, of course, is propping Assad. We'll see what viewers think about how each of you won that battle. Thank you.

OUTFRONT next, no decision today on a new trial date for the first police officer tried in the death of Freddie Gray. Could he go free?

And Chelsea Clinton headlining a fund-raiser for her mom tonight in New York. The first time she's headlined an event. Her friend Ivanka Trump is one of her dad's top aides. Could those two women who are close friends stay that way?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:41:07] BURNETT: Tonight, one officer in the Freddie Gray trial may be free for good. Lawyers meeting today failing to set a new trial date for the first Baltimore police officer tried in Freddie Gray's death, this after a jury was unable to agree on the four charges against 26-year-old William Porter.

Tonight, the heat is on Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby, a name, no doubt, you're familiar with now. She's become a national figure, profiled in magazine after magazine. Did she file the charges too aggressively, too quickly? Will all six officers get off as a result?

Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was just seven

months ago when a confident Marilyn Mosby announced charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE STATE'S ATTORNEY: I have heard your calls for no justice, no peace. However, your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.

CASAREZ: The 35-year-old's decision to charge one of the officers with second-degree murder surprised some and suddenly put the youngest elected state attorney in the country in the national spotlight.

MOSBY: I look at criminal justice system that has historically and disproportionately affected so many communities of color and I wanted to reform that system.

CASAREZ: Gray was arrested April 12th and broke his neck while being transported in a police van. One week later, the 25-year-old was dead. The community reacted with weeks of protest and looting as the city of Baltimore was placed under a National Guard curfew. Mosby helped restore peace and sense of justice when she decided to bring a case against the six officers.

"Vogue" magazine called her a national figure and a portrait of self-control and the Boston college law school magazine described her as the prosecutor who quieted a troubled city.

MOSBY: As a prosecutor, you should not bring charges if you believe you're a probable cause, that these individuals are responsible for the charges.

CASAREZ: But after a hung jury in the case of Officer William Porter, the one confident state attorney is now under mounting pressure.

UNIDENTIFEID MALE: I'm terrified. Are we going to have five more mistrials?

ANDY ALPERSTEIN, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: There are people that are going to say she overcharged the case and can't get a conviction. This is a defining case. There is no question that she will be defined by this case for the rest of her career.

CASAREZ: Mosby is not commenting. The case is under a gag order.

BILLY MURPHY, FREDDIE GRAY FAMILY ATTORNEY: 100 percent that he'll be retried. I don't think she's going to take this setback lightly.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CASAREZ: And what we do know is that attorneys for William Porter met today with Judge Barry Williams in his chamber. The meeting lasted for about 30 minutes. They walked out, didn't say anything.

The public information officer has told us that a new trial date has not been set.

But, Erin, even though the defendants does not have any discretion as to whether there will be a retrial, they can't ask for a postponement because these are trial attorneys and they do have other cases. They can also renew that change of venue motions, that this trial should not be retried here in Baltimore City, but it's ultimately up to the judge to see if the citizens of this community, the community of Freddie Gray will be allowed to be jurors once again.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jean.

I want to go straight now to Paul Callan, our legal analyst.

So, Paul, let me start with the bottom line here. Today, they met. They were going to possibly announce the date for new trial. They didn't do that.

So, does that mean it's most likely done? He's not going to be charged, he's done?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, I don't think we can jump to that conclusion. I think it indicates state attorney Marilyn Mosby has learned a lesson. Let's be careful about making a decision about what she's going to do next.

She didn't announce we're going to re-try the case immediately. They are going to look at the case and decide strategically, does it make sense? And I think that's what a good, smart prosecutor should be doing.

BURNETT: Did she overcharge?

CALLAN: I think she made a big mistake in the way she charged this case.

[19:45:00] When I was trying murder cases as a prosecutor, we used to have a motto that you start strong and you finish strong. So, you want to start with the strong case that you're going to win because that's going to send a message to the community and other potential jurors that this is a good case. She starts with her weak case, loses and sets a bad tone for the future cases.

BURNETT: That trial has not yet happened. The driver, of course, was actually charged with murder.

CALLAN: Yes.

BURNETT: Does this change the likely outcome of that?

CALLAN: It certainly weakens her position with respect to the driver because any panel of new jurors coming in are going to say she lost the first case, there are going to be references to the first case. It just puts her in a weak position as opposed to a strong position in front of a new jury in the case.

And one more thing, it's like dominos. The first domino goes down the one way and the others may fall as well. If she loses two in a row, there's no chance she's going to win those four remaining cases. So, she desperately needs a victory on the next case.

BURNETT: And she's at a crucial point right now. All right. Paul, thank you very much.

And next, Hillary Clinton hosting a major fund-raiser tonight, daughter Chelsea center stage for the first time, as the campaign heats up, can Chelsea's friendship with Ivanka Trump survive?

And new homes so cheap they are a steal, literally. We'll show you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:50:10] BURNETT: Tonight, Chelsea Clinton taking center stage for the first time to help her mother's campaign for 2016. Chelsea the headline speaker at a holiday fund-raiser in New York City for Hillary Clinton. It's threatening to test her close friendship with Ivanka Trump who is playing a key role in her father's campaign.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She was the worst secretary of state.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As their parents sling insults at each other on the campaign trail --

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has gone way over the line, and what he's saying now is not only shameful and wrong, it's dangerous.

SERFATY: Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton's long-standing friendship is about to be put to the test.

It's a test their parents have failed. After once appearing like friends themselves, Hillary Clinton attending Donald Trump's wedding, Trump making donations in the past to the Clintons and their foundation, they are now rivals, not holding anything back.

So far, their parents' rivalry has had little impact on Chelsea and Ivanka's friendship.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: I have respect to her. She's been a great friend to me, I've been a great friend to her. The politics of our parents is not relevant to our friendship.

SERFATY: The two women both in their 30s, new moms and living in Manhattan finding bonds in their similarities, their unconventional upbringing in the spotlight. CHELSEA CLINTON, DAUGHTER OF HILLARY CLINTON: I love Ivanka.

She and Jarrett are expecting their third child. I can't wait to meet the newest member of her family and I just am so grateful to be her friend and grateful that I know she feels the same about me.

SERFATY: Their unconventional upbringing in the spotlight.

HILLARY CLINTON: Do you talk to kids about why math and reading are important?

SERFATY: Their career paths from high profile tv gigs.

IVANKA TRUMP: You both are amazing.

SERFATY: To big roles now in their respective family businesses.

On social media, they both seem to be president of the other's fan club Ivanka quoting Chelsea in a tweet with a hashtag #wisewords.

Chelsea telling "Vogue" magazine, there's nothing skin deep about Ivanka saying she's always aware of everyone around her. Quote, "It's an awareness that reminds me of my dad and his ability to increase the joy of the room."

While both have enjoyed lighter moments with their parents in the spotlight --

DONALD TRUMP: How is the White House? How's everything going?

IVANKA TRUMP: The private swimming pool and cabanas are already completed.

SERFATY: -- both are fiercely loyal to their family and big boosters of each of their parents' presidential bids.

IVANKA TRUMP: I can tell you that there is no better person than my father to have in your corner when you're facing tough opponents or making hard decisions. He is battle tested.

SERFATY: A battle that could now become a rivalry for this Trump and Clinton, too.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SERFATY: And headlining today's fund-raiser in Manhattan was a big first for Chelsea Clinton. It was a splashy event hosted by Drew Barrymore and her husband and just one more signal that Chelsea Clinton is about to take on a much bigger role for her mom's campaign ahead -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you so much, Sunlen.

And OUTFRONT next, is this the solution to the high cost of housing? Yes. Imagine living in one of these.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:57:12] BURNETT: The Fed raised interest rates for the first

time in years and years and years and years, and that means mortgage rates are going up. So, down housing cost, some are thinking inside the box, literally. That's tonight's "I.D.E.A."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're an essential component from moving things from point A to point B. Now, there is life beyond the sea for the trusty old shipping container.

It turns out those massive metal boxes, they hold the future for cheap, sustainable housing.

CHRISTIAN SALVATI, SHIPPING CONTAINER ARCHITECT: Probably the most difficult part of the process is to get people to look beyond the box and to come inside.

SIMON: Christian Salvati built a six-unit complex in New Haven, Connecticut.

SALVATI: When you walk into the amounts, you see, wow, this looks like a house. That's the goal. So, once we can get people off the street and come inside, the reaction is amazement that it actually looks like the way it's supposed to.

SIMON: Shipping container construction is growing in popularity around the world because it's cheap and environmentally friendly.

(on camera): This is a huge shipment container. The price is $2,000. And when you walk in, you can see why this might be a good, cheap solution for housing. But the key thing here is durability. These things weigh several tons and are built to withstand the most wicked conditions.

STEPHEN STEELE, CUSTOM BUILDER: They can withstand a lot, wind, fire.

SIMON (voice-over): Stephen Steele a custom builder in Oakland. His office is a 40 by 8 container.

STEELE: The ceiling was dropped about five inches in order to put a three inch ducting system for the AC. Legitimate, real hardwood floors. All the lights are LED. So, this thing draws hardly any power.

SIMON: It's getting traction in the bay area. The average rent for a one bedroom apartment is $3,500 a month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, yes, it's pretty much like my dream post- apocalyptic cyber funk set up.

SIMON: Luke Iseman and Heather Stewart got so fed up with their high rent, they bought a container, leased a plot of land in Oakland and made it their home.

LUKE ISEMAN, LIVES IN SHIPPING CONTAINER: It's pretty post- apocalyptic looking, on the container that Heather and I live in, we have a lot of solar on the roof, then this weird micro wave dish is internet.

SIMON: It has a bedroom, a kitchen and even a bathroom. Others soon followed and the place has grown into what Iseman calls container-topia, now the subject of an online documentary.

ISEMAN: I think it's way more scalable than the alternative of having corporately owned apartments that people can't even afford to rent.

SIMON: And anyone time, nearly 20 million shipping containers are moving around the world. But millions more are sitting idle, past their life span, just waiting for a new home.

Dan Simon, CNN, Oakland.

(EN VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Pretty neat looking.

Well, thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR record OUTFRONT so you can watch the show at anytime. Thanks so much as always for watching.

"AC360" starts right now.