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Germans Killed in Istanbul Terror Attack; Actors Caught on Tape Meeting with El Chapo; Man-Made Water Health Disaster in Flint, Michigan; N.H. Poll: Sanders Has Biggest Lead Yet Over Clinton; Obama Says State of the Union Will Be Nontraditional Speech. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired January 12, 2016 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not someone Turkish officials were tracking. Someone we're being recently crossed from Syria into Turkey.

According to the prime minister, he said in a press conference that he had spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to extend his condolences for those German citizens that lost their lives.

We understand from Turkish officials that all 10 who were killed in this deadly attack were, in fact, foreign nationals. A source telling us that nine of them, though, were German.

You can hear the call to prayer going off around us right now.

Now, Turkey has for quite some time been very vulnerable when it comes to security. Certainly not an isolated incident. There were two very significant attacks that happened last year. Both of them blamed on ISIS by Turkish authorities as is this one. And Turkey has been trying to clamp down. Both along that very porous border it has with Syria. Also conducting numerous sweeps, rounding up hundreds of Turkish that have alleged ties to various terrorist organizations.

But this most certainly a very tragic example of just how vulnerable this country continues to be in face of the numerous threats it is facing.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Arwa Damon is there for us. Arwa, thank you so much.

We're also learning new details right now in the arrest and capture of el Chapo. Officials say his meeting with Actor Sean Penn and Actress Kate Del Castillo, in their view, was essential in recapturing the drug lord.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New video from Mexican intelligence of the actor and actress arriving in Guadalajara meeting up with el Chapo's associate who led them to their meeting with the drug kingpin.

CNN correspondent, Nick Valencia, joins us from the prison where el Chapo is being held. That, itself, is a dicey situation with that man.

Nick, we keep learning new threats and how this all went down at the end.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the latest threats are these new images that appear to have helped authorities capture el Chapo. Sean Penn talking this morning in a brief e-mail exchange with the associated press simply saying, I have nothing to hide. Of course, Mexican investigators have said all along they want to question Penn as well as Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo. She helped broker this meeting, evidently, between Penn and the drug kingpin. Mexico attorney general saying that meeting between Penn helped them establish more intelligence, helped them gather more information. They were already keeping track of el Chapo's defense attorney. This meeting just helped move the process along.

We're also getting new video this morning. A 17-minute clip posted to "Rolling Stone's" website where we hear more information in el Chapo's words about his life and his role as a drug trafficker.








VALENCIA: Of course, there is looming extradition for the cartel leader. At least seven states across the United States have leveled drug charges against him from New Hampshire to as far as west Texas. It is more likely that he'll end up in at least one of three major cities between San Diego, New York or Chicago, where recently he was named public enemy number one there for his role in supplying drugs to the city -- Kate, John?

BOLDUAN: And the extradition, we'll see how long that actually takes.

Nick Valencia, thank you very much.

Coming up for us, the new fight to fix a man-made public health disaster. Children being tested. Emergency crews handing out bottled water as protesters call for the governor's resignation. The mayor of Flint, Michigan, joins us live on that city's toxic water problem.

[11:34:33] BERMAN: Plus, Hillary Clinton speaking live right now in Ames, Iowa. This, as we see new poll numbers that show this race ever closer in that state. And with Hillary Clinton behind in New Hampshire, how is she responding on this stage today? Stay with us.


BERMAN: New this morning, a lead poisoning alert near a major American city. Residents in Flint, Michigan, under a state of emergency, being told, don't drink the water, don't even touch the water. Right now response teams are going door to door to help.

BOLDUAN: State workers are delivering bottled water and testing kits so people can drink, cook, even brush their teeth. It's a crisis residents say has been unfolding for more than a year now. State officials changing the water supply in order to cut costs. After folks noticed changes in color and taste, testing showed elevated levels of toxic lead.


RHONDA KEIKO, FLINT, MICHIGAN, RESIDENT: I'm paying for poison. Paying for water that's a toxic waste.


BOLDUAN: Medical officials say every child younger than 6 should be tested because exposure can cause irreversible harm, harm them physically and mentally in their development.

A big question, why did this take so long to figure out? Why is this still going on right now?

Let's talk about this with Flint's newly elected mayor, Karen Weaver.

Mayor, thank you for joining us.

As we pointed out, and you know this very well, this all started back in April of 2014. You can't hand out bottled water forever. That is nowhere close to a solution. What is the latest?

[11:40:20] KAREN WEAVER, MAYOR OF FLINT, MICHIGAN: And that is correct. It did start -- it's been almost two years. That's a Band- Aid solution but something we need to have in place right now, is to get this bottled water out.

But you talked about how long ago it happened. One of the concerns was our voice is not being healed about this water. It took the grassroots people, it took a group of pastors, but it wasn't until Virginia Tech and the medical community spoke out that our voices really began being heard. One of the things that I had talked about even when I was campaigning was that I believed Flint should be declared a disaster area. That was one of the first things I wanted to have happen when I got in office.

BERMAN: You know, is this enough right now? I mean, this happened because of choices that were made --

WEAVER: Exactly.

BERMAN: -- and now kids could be at risk, you know, kids could be damaged, you know, have health issues for life. Does someone need to something to jail over this?

WAVER: For life. You know what, there's an investigation going on right now because one of the other things we also have been asking for is for people to be held accountable. That's what we wanted, was for our voices to be heard, we wanted people to be held accountable. We're waiting to see the results of that because I'm sure it's not going to be just one person that comes up on that list.

BOLDUAN: Mayor, you say you're waiting to see the results of the investigation. But honestly, where is the outrage here? This could cause irreparable harm to these children.

WEAVER: You know what -o exactly.

BOLDUAN: You grew up in that city. Do you expect --


WEAVER: I grew up in this city.

BOLDUAN: Do you expect anyone to move to Flint right now?

WEAVER: No, that's the problem. That's why this needs to be addressed because we're asking for help. We didn't ask to be in this situation. We didn't have a choice when that switch was made to the Flint River.


BOLDUAN: Who's going to --


WEAVER: -- as a result of that -- who's going to address the needs?

BOLDUAN: The problem.

WEAVER: Of the community? Well, that's -- I know I've put a plan forward and we moved it up from the city to the county and, at this point, the governor needs to do something. And that's what we were talking about. We need some help. We need help right now. Flint doesn't have the finances to handle this or the resources. I don't believe the state has the finances or the resources. There are some things they should have in place right now. But it needs to go up to the federal level. That's why the declaration was put there. We need some federal assistance as well as well. We don't have resources.

BOLDUAN: Poverty level is --


BOLDUAN: About 40 percent of Flint is living under the poverty level.

BERMAN: Mayor, my question to you is, do you think this would have happened in Grosse Pointe or some affluent suburb? Do you think this happened in Flint because people -- they forget about places like Flint?

WEAVER: Right. That's how we have felt. We have felt forgotten until we started getting this national attention. That's why I'm so happy about that because it has let us know our voices are heard, that we have not been forgotten but we need more help.


BOLDUAN: Mayor, are you happy with how the governor has handled this so far?

WEAVER: You know what, that is why we had that meeting yesterday because I had some concerns. One of the things -- and I thought the citizens deserved to hear from him because what we've been asking is, when is it going to get moved up to Washington, D.C.? What are the steps? You know, what is the process? What's taking so long? And so he was here yesterday and that's what the media got to ask him. What are the steps that need to be taken and when is this going to happen? Because right now, waters and filters aren't enough.


BOLDUAN: Are you happy with the governor's answers?

WEAVER: We need more. Am I happy with the governor's answers? I want this to get moved up. I think this needs to get moved up quickly because Flint needs help. We have kids and families that need more than what we're getting right now. And we have to put some services in mace. You said it. We have kids that have going to have -- that have irreversible brain damage. We have to get that addressed. They didn't deserve what has happened but there are support and services that those kids and families deserve. We haven't talked about the seniors that have been impacted and all the residents of the Flint deserve. That's what needs to happen. That's what I'm looking for.

BERMAN: It's because of a choice.

BOLDUAN: Because of a choice. I'm not sure I've heard anything that should make residents of Flint feel any more comfortable that they'll be able to drink out of their tap, one of the most basic services that a government -- as taxpayers, you pay for clean water.


WEAVER: You pay for it. And --


BOLDUAN: Mayor, I appreciate it.

WEAVER: Right.

BOLDUAN: We're going to stay on this. I really want to have you on again. I appreciate your time today.

WEAVER: OK. I appreciate it, too. Thank you so much.

[11:45:03]BOLDUAN: Thank you.

We're going to stay on this. It's an outrage.

Coming up next for us, breaking news in the manhunt for the fifth suspect in the alleged gang rape on a playground in Brooklyn. Hear what the police just found.

BERMAN: Plus, new insight into the president's State of the Union address, his very last one. He says it will be a nontraditional speech. What exactly does that mean? How do you give a nontraditional speech in front of the House and the Senate in the capitol building in front of the entire country?

BOLDUAN: Hand puppets?

BERMAN: Music? Hand puppets? Stay with us.


BERMAN: All right. On stage at Ames, Iowa, Hillary Clinton is facing a whole new campaign, folks. The new poll out the beginning of the hour in New Hampshire showing her down 14 points there, and Iowa is close, too.

BOLDUAN: And in Iowa, she's neck and neck with Bernie Sanders, and he is the close in the latest polling in Iowa, but she is feeling the heat. She is taking on the key issues that Bernie Sanders is taking on, women's issues, income inequality.

[11:50:16] HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: And we need to open the doors to more education if we focus on making it affordable. I do not believe that the federal government should be making a profit off of lending money to students in order to get their education.


CLINTON: And let me also say when it comes to foreign policy and national security, I hear the Republicans, and they have one of two approaches. One, bomb, carpet bomb, and bomb some more, send American ground troops, call it a day. That is their national security policy, best I can understand it. There are a few who say, no, we should not be involved anywhere and nothing is important enough to do anything to help anybody. Equally unrealistic.

So let me tell you are where I stand and what I tried to do as secretary of state in President Obama's first term. The United States must lead. If we do not lead, it is not that we have someone else step up and lead consistent with our values, consistent with increasing peace and prosperity, and we have a vacuum, and it is filled by aggressive states, and it is filled by networks of criminals, terrorists and others. So we are to lead. It is a question of where are we leading and where what are we trying to accomplish.

And now when I hear the Republicans, and they string our names together, and they will say, the failed Obama/Clinton foreign policy. I listened for a while. I have been waiting for them to blame me for the fall of the Roman Empire, and they have not gotten quite that far yet. They are on the way. And then I thought to myself, OK, maybe they don't know what I did. So I sent them the all a copy of my book "Hard Choices" about the hard choices I made and I was part of --


CLINTON: -- and my time as secretary of state.


CLINTON: I figured --

BERMAN: Hillary Clinton in Ames, Iowa, right now. That is Hillary Clinton giving her imitations, her impression of the Republican candidates in their voices.

BOLDUAN: Speaking in their voices. That is collective -- that's the sound of what she believes is the collective Republican field criticizing her, but she is still waiting for them to blame her for the fall of the Roman Empire. That's one thing she definitely pointed out.

BERMAN: And still no reference to Bernie Sanders, and perhaps she will talk about him soon.

Meanwhile, we have break news on the Powerball front.

BOLDUAN: And also known as the Kate and John Berman retirement plan.

BERMAN: And it is big. How big?

BOLDUAN: World-record big, $1.5 billion, people.

BERMAN: With a "B", and ever been that high on any lottery anywhere on earth, never. We still have a day to go.

BOLDUAN: You have not bought the ticket?


BOLDUAN: Really? You haven't? It is not that hard.


BOLDUAN: You can't win if you are not in the game. I will say it again.

BERMAN: Next, the president is making a rare admission ahead of the final State of the Union address, and what the president says he gets the most about his two terms in office.



[11:57:35] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We wanted to unite people, and they are not united.


OBAMA: It is a regret. But there is no doubt that politics in Washington are so much more divided than the American people are. And part of what I want to do in this last address is to remind people, you know what, we have a lot of good things going for us, and if we can get the politics right, it turns out that we are not as divided on the ideological spectrum as people make us out to be


BOLDUAN: That is President Obama reflecting to NBC on the regrets while in office.

The White House is promising that tonight's State of the Union address is going to be like no other. No more to-do list for Congress, but instead, issues that will be debated for generations to come.

BERMAN: Joining us now is a man who has written State of the Union addresses, Michael Waldman. He worked for Bill Clinton.

And now you are the president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School.

President Obama promises this will be a nontraditional speech. What does that mean? How to you do a nontraditional State of the Union? The Constitution --


MICHAEL WALDMAN, PRESIDENT, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE, NYU LAW SCHOOL & FORMER BILL CLINTON STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS WRITER: That's right. John Adams said, this time, we're going to do it differently after George Washington.


I think they've been saying that a lot. I'll believe it when I see it. These speeches by their nature have a lot of policy meat. And I hope President Obama takes advantage of that.

Even on the theme of partisanship and coming together there are proposed pieces of legislation that still have a chance. One very good example is criminal justice reform. Used to be a very divided, bitter wedge issue, if you remember back in earlier elections, earlier times. Now it's something where Republicans and Democrats actually support reducing or ending mass incarceration.

BOLDUAN: Michael, how is tomorrow going to be different from today? What's the goal of the goal of the speechwriter going in? Do you look to change the scope of the conversation in one speech?

WALDMAN: Well, the speeches can sometimes help to set a national tone or at least focus a national debate. As President Obama said in that interview clip, there is a great disquiet in the country, an unrest, an unhappiness, but in a lot of ways, he is going to want to argue that things are much better than they have been. Unemployment is at 5 percent, and we have one of the strongest economies in the world. And he will try to calm people's nerves and get them focused on what is going well. That is not going to happen in one speech.

BERMAN: Michael Waldman, I'm embarrassed that the president does not have a time limit tonight, but we do.

Thanks so much for being with us. Really appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, Michael. We really appreciate it.

And don't forget, you can catch the president's final State of the Union address tonight. Coverage starts on CNN at 7:00.

Thank you so much, everybody.