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FBI Says California Terrorists Planned Bomb Blast; Terrorists Launch Deadly Attack On Hotel In Africa; Email May Derail Case Against Bill Cosby; Twelve Marines Missing After Hawaii Collision; 2016 Presidential Politics; Third Party Candidates fight for Exposure; Iran Sanctions May Be Dropped Today; Significant Drop in U.S. Stocks This Week. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 16, 2016 - 08:00   ET

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


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Malik, planned to detonate a bomb at the Inland Regional Center.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: The same day they shot and killed 14 people in December. Now the two were killed in a dramatic shootout with police last month. Police believed they could have been planning a wave of attacks. Still a lot of unanswered questions.

Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes. Tom, this new development, FBI saying they planned on detonating a bomb that was planted inside the building earlier that day. What is your take on that?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think, Christi, we, you know, figured that they had other targets intended. The fact that there were more bombs in the building, I don't think it's a surprise. It's just now it's been confirmed by the FBI.

PAUL: Do you think the -- do you think their plan was to detonate something later once first responders got there so they could inflict more pain, more possible casualties?

FUENTES: That's often the plan, is to do that. In this situation, it's hard to tell because we don't have anybody else that's still alive to tell us what they were planning. That seems to be the plan, that that bomb would have gone off later and possibly the rescuers and first responders would have been killed by the second bomb planted.

PAUL: Tom, what do you know about where this investigation stands right now? What more do you think has to be done from this point forward?

FUENTES: Well, Christi, there's probably aspects of this that we still don't know and may never know. That's -- that would concern whether a new cell or multiple cells were identified even from the limited information they have and the cooperation of Marquez who has since been charged.

That's the friend who acquired the weapons and was making explosive devices a couple years ago with Farook and claims that he changed his mind and backed out. He knew people they were talking to at that time and may be able to shed some light if others were involved.

If spin-off investigations have resulted, we would not know about that. The FBI would not tell us, we are now looking at a cell in such and such city and it has so many members. That would still remain a secret while they conduct that investigation.

PAUL: All right, Tom Fuentes, always so grateful to have your insight. Thank you.

FUENTES: Thank you, Christie.

PAUL: Meanwhile, another breaking story that we're following. An al Qaeda affiliate is claiming responsibility today for massacre inside a luxury hotel in West Africa. We know at least 27 people were gunned down. Some of them at point blank range. This was in last night's bloody siege.

BLACKWELL: It went on for hours. In addition to the dozens who were killed, more than 100 were held as hostages. Listen to one of the survivors here, a recount of what happened as those hours went on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YANNICK SAWADOGO, SURVIVED ATTACK (through translator): It's horrible because everyone was panicked and was laying down on the floor. There was blood everywhere. They were shooting at people at point-blank. The sound of the detonation was so loud, we could hear them talking, and they were walking around and kept shooting at people that seemed alive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Officials recently reclaimed that hotel from the terrorists, they killed four terrorists in their counterassault. We're told that two of them were women.

PAUL: CNN's David McKenzie is live in Johannesburg with the very latest. So David, we understand the siege is over, they had retaken that hotel. We had heard about a second hotel that was also under siege. That has been retaken as well?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's unclear, Christi, good morning, how many people were involved in that second siege. One attacker was killed at that second hotel that was close to those original location of the devastating scenes that unfolded overnight on Friday.

As these attackers pushed in first to a cafe where more than 100 people were, according to authorities, and then across the road to a hotel. Now we're learning that the attackers may have had some of their members there during the day hours mask reading as tourists or business people, and then joining the attackers for the ultimate assault.

There were Burkina Faso forces that went in that waited several hours before ending the siege in that hotel. They were supported in fact actively by French Special Forces. At least one American soldier was on the ground monitoring and there was an American drone in the sky.

PAUL: Do we have any idea as to whether there were any Americans in that hotel at the time?

MCKENZIE: Earlier one hostage was confirmed by the authorities as being an American. No word if they are safe. The U.S. Embassy in Burkina Faso says they're trying desperately to account for U.S. citizens in the country or certainly in the capital.

They say none of their embassy staff were involved in that in terms of being hostages. But there are indications there might be more news on American hostages or casualties, nothing confirmed at this stage.

[08:05:08]But 18 nationalities according to the security ministry in Burkina Faso were amongst those killed and that death toll has been rising in the past hour -- Christi.

PAUL: All right, David McKenzie, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: All right, CNN contributor, Michael Weiss, is joining us now. Michael, this is a group that has also claimed responsibility for the November attack, similar M.O. at the Radisson Blue in Mali. What can you tell us about AQIM, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and this leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar?

MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: They've gained a lot of steam since the intervention in Libya, the aftermath in Libya in terms of state building. This is what we're seeing unfold essentially is what I would call both a cold and hot war between al Qaeda and its former subsidiary, what we now call ISIS or the Islamic State.

You mentioned the attack in Mali. That followed very quickly on the heels of this Paris attack that ISIS had claimed credit for. Every time ISIS strikes, be it in the region or the west, it's soon followed by an al Qaeda-linked spectacular.

That's not a coincidence. They're both trying to one up each other and steal each other's thunder in terms of being the vanguard or the leading jihadist organization on the planet.

The leader of this organization is known as the sheikh of the Sahara. They've got a lot of weaponry. They've got a lot of funding. Africa is going to be a major battleground for this cold war.

You've got Boko Haram which had pledged allegiance to ISIS last year, giving that terror franchise about 20,000 square miles in West Africa. Of course, now you're going to see this, essentially what's playing out on the battlefield in Syria, is bleeding out throughout the rest of the world.

It's going to start in the Middle East, move to North Africa and then western Central Africa. As we've seen -- and this is only the beginning -- Europe is a major staging ground for this confrontation.

We keep saying this is a worse period now than after 9/11, because now you have two organizations. The way they compete is by killing innocent people.

BLACKWELL: From that point I want to move to the second point of tactics. We have seen, as it relates to ISIS, that they empty their clips and kill as many people as possible. In these two cases from this al Qaeda affiliated group, they take hostages.

Can you explain why that difference is, at least to me, standing out here between al Qaeda and the ISIS-affiliated groups?

WEISS: Yes, I mean, I never thought I would say that any organization would make al Qaeda look like the softer Jihadist brand. This is similar to what Nusra, their franchise in Syria does.

Nusra will take people hostages. They recently took a Syrian activist called (inaudible) in Idlib province hostage, but unlike ISIS they don't just kill them right away. They try to barter and negotiate usually through an intermediary, which in many cases is a state actor.

I mean, Qatar, for instance has been a chief interlocutor between Nusra and Syria and the United Nations or any other foreign country taken hostage by Nusra.

ISIS, of course, they prefer to just kill everybody that they detain. It is true that in the early periods before the establishment of the so-called caliphate. They were negotiating with the European Union.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in money were spent by EU countries trying to get citizens that have been taken by ISIS back. But now, I mean, we saw this most recently with the Jordanian airman that they burnt alive in a cage.

They were negotiating with the Jordanian monarchy well after he had already been killed. People ask why were they bothering to do this?

One of the thing ISIS wants to do is force the international legitimization of their movement and organization. They call themselves a state and want to be treated as such.

Al Qaeda going back to 2004 when Zarkawi (ph), founded Al Qaeda in Iraq, which is now ISIS, there's always been this conflict between the two brands.

Bin Laden thought that Zarkawi was too brutal, too fond of ultra- violence and too willing and ready to go after fellow Muslims, which is another major dividing point between the two organizations.

BLACKWELL: All right, Michael Weiss, as we see this one up-manship for global jihad supremacy, thousands of people being killed around the world. We thank you so much for helping us understand exactly what we're watching week after week on television.

WEISS: Sure.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Michael.

PAUL: First on CNN, the Department of Defense has released new video of coalition air strike blowing up -- you know what that is? Millions of dollars of ISIS cash.

[08:10:02]You can even see clouds of money fluttering through the air. This is at least the second time the U.S. has bombed ISIS cash stockpiles.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, explosive revelations unearth by CNN that risk derailing at least the entire criminal case against Bill Cosby.

PAUL: We're also tracking search efforts off Hawaii right now, 12 Marines are still missing at sea this morning.

BLACKWELL: Donald Trump said the bromance is over. Trump and Cruz attacking one another again over his eligibility. We are talking about Ted Cruz's eligibility to run for president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How are you going to be president if you don't know about a million dollar loan from Goldman Sachs and you say it's something you don't know about. Now he doesn't know he was a Canadian citizen?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: All right, this could be a game changer in the criminal case against Bill Cosby.

PAUL: In a CNN exclusive, we're learning that the case may have been essentially doomed from the start so to speak by a secret deal. We understand Cosby was charged when a new district attorney was elected in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Cosby's deposition from several years ago was a cornerstone in this case. In it he admitted to giving sedatives to women that he wanted to have sex with. You remember this.

The old DA, the former DA never charged him criminally. CNN's Michael Smerconish says that is because there was a secret deal struck to make sure that didn't happen.

So let's hear about this from host, Michael Smerconish, himself. Michael, this is your exclusive. This is your deal. How did you uncover this e-mail and what was in it that stuck with you most?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, "SMERCONISH": Christi, what has come to light now is an e-mail that I'm holding in my hands, that in September of 2015, meaning, this past September, was sent from the former DA to the then DA of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Essentially saying, wait a minute, you remember, we struck a bargain here in an effort to try to assist the alleged victim in this case in her civil case, we agreed not to prosecute Bill Cosby in his criminal circumstances because we didn't think we could meet our burden beyond a reasonable doubt. [08:15:09]And so we struck an accord with his attorney and said, we're not going to prosecute you in the criminal case, but he needs to give full testimony in the civil deposition. And of course, Cosby then testifies in a civil deposition.

It remains secret for ten or so years, only recently came to light and it's on the strength of that deposition that he's now been charged so picture this.

On February 2nd or whenever it is that they hold their next hearing, there is now the prospect that Cosby's attorneys will call the former prosecutor, he will take the stand. In accord with this e-mail, he will say I promised Bill Cosby he would never face this criminal prosecution.

If that happens, the deposition that Cosby then did sit for and give all that testimony theoretically goes out the window. I'll have all the details at 9:00 a.m.

PAUL: Yes, everybody please do watch, Michael Smerconish at 9:00 a.m. right here on CNN. Michael, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.

SMERCONISH: Thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely. Let's bring in CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson. Joey, when I listen to what Michael is saying, it sounds to me as though, without this deposition there is no case and, therefore, this is a get out of jail free card for Bill Cosby.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's absolutely right, Christi, the way I read it. Good morning to you. Just parsing it out for one moment, I think the first question becomes can a former DA bind a new DA, who makes an agreement not to prosecute?

I think the answer to that question is no. If I'm the newly elected DA, I do what is my prerogative. I've been elected by the public and I'm going to do and enforce the laws in the manner I deem appropriate.

This however raises a separate question. The separate question is to what extent now -- it's the only reason we have Cosby in a deposition and we have him on record is because of a commitment that was made to say, you know what? I'm not going to prosecute you.

So because I want the victim to have some measure of justice, I don't believe I can prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt which deals with people's liberty and Cosby's freedom.

But civilly, is he liable to you for money damages? Have at it go do it. The only reason we have his deposition is because the prosecutor said anything you say I won't use against you. That's the question here.

So can this new DA, if he wants to prosecute, use those statements in the deposition. Remember this, Christi, two things. In the probable cause affidavit that led to Cosby's arrest and is now leading to his prosecution, the deposition is all in that, OK.

So that means the probable cause was buttressed and supported by that deposition. The actual press release that the DA did, the new DA, Steel has that deposition based on newly discovered evidence they site the deposition.

So the big question, can Cosby be prosecuted on a deposition that he would not have given but for that agreement? I think the answer to that question is no.

Because you're talking about a constitutional waiver of my right not to testify and my right to a fair trial, both of which would be implicated if a judge allowed this to move forward based on a prior agreement. This is big news.

PAUL: Two things. One, as I understand it, there was just a verbal agreement. If not for this e-mail, there's no written documentation of it. Number two, I'm just wondering how common this kind of tactic is?

JACKSON: Number one, in terms of a verbal agreement, you had a verbal agreement by a district attorney who now is going to come in and testify -- I saw Michael Smerconish's great work in terms of the e- mail and giving his insight on it.

You have a DA who is going to come testify and swear under oath I had this agreement. Based upon that, verbal or not, agreements are measured by the intention of the parties and they are given judicial recognition if both sides acknowledge that this was an agreement.

So that's step number one. Number two, in terms of the commonality of it, it may not be that common, but understand that the DA is going to say, based on information I had then, we could not prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt.

I wanted and I very much believed that the victim deserved justice. I wanted her to go to civil court. She would not have been able to have her day in civil court had I not entered into this agreement and Cosby would have never testified had I not entered into this agreement.

So based upon me, I allowed the victim to get justice by having Cosby open up and give remarks. Therefore, now you can't use these remarks against him based upon what I promised, which is that I would never use them at all.

They weren't used. Ten years went by and, boom, all of a sudden they're revealed. This is fascinating stuff. It will be up to a judge to decide.

[06:20:03]PAUL: Yes, it's going to be interesting to see what they do decide there. Joey Jackson, always appreciate your insight, sir. Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, well, if you didn't see it during the debate on Tuesday, it's pretty clear now that this love-fest between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, it's over. Trump and Cruz fighting over Cruz's eligibility to be elected president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How are you going to be president if you don't know about a million dollar loan from Goldman Sachs and you said it's something you don't know about? Now he doesn't know that he was a Canadian citizen?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: We're on the cusp of a major landmark in American-Iranian relations. Iran's foreign minister saying he expects punishing economic sanctions on his country will be lifted today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Developing story we're following right now. Search crews are still working this morning to find 12 Marines who have been missing since their helicopters collided off the coast of Hawaii.

This happened Thursday night. Rescue teams are looking about 7 miles from Oahu's north shore. Now there was no mayday call prior to this collision. We know that it happened during a training flight. Witnesses did report seeing a fireball.

BLACKWELL: The debris has been found by search crews including an empty life raft. Rough weather there is making the search much tougher. Visibility yesterday was only about a mile.

CNN military analyst, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling joins us now. As Christi just said, Lt. General, is that this happened at night. Now we know weather is complicating the search during the day. Help us understand the challenge that these search crews, these rescue crews are undergoing.

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I tell you, Victor, you know, whenever you hear of an accident like this, being a former military guy, it gives you a tight feeling in your gut.

What I think a lot of Americans need to understand is we often hear about soldiers giving their life and sacrificing their life in combat. In order to go to combat, you have to train under difficult conditions.

You should never do anything in combat for the first time. You have to prepare for it. The things these young Marines in Hawaii we doing in Hawaii were continual training mission to prepare for the next time the nation calls them to arms.

It's tough, very difficult on the families when something like this happens. The number of Marines that were involved in this accident is really unfortunate.

[08:25:08]But I would bet that we're now talking two days into it, the hope is starting to wane that we'll see any survivors given the conditions the night it happened and the rough seas since.

BLACKWELL: And of course, we know that this is still a rescue operation, not a recovery operation. There will be this investigation into what happened, but from what we've learned thus far, about 7 miles of the offshore, no mayday call, happened during a training flight. Is there any element here that leads you to believe that this is what the culprit is, what caused this crash?

HERTLING: I would guess -- when you're talking helicopters, Victor, you're always talking about working in pairs. These two C Stallions, CH-53s are very big aircraft. They are very powerful aircraft.

You know, when you're talking about night and bad weather operating close together as a buddy team or as wingmen. You always have the potential that you lose situational awareness or lose environmental conditions.

Pilots have a very tough job. I would guess given the description of an explosion and a crash and a lot of debris at the scene, some of which has already washed up on some of the beaches, it was probably a mid-air collision, but that's just conjecture on my part.

BLACKWELL: All right. Still the investigation continues, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thanks so much.

HERTLING: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, now coming up on the presidential campaign trail, you know you've got it bad when the Democrats are praising Donald Trump. That hasn't happened very often. Even Hillary Clinton said "just this once" before she did it. Ted Cruz, some troubles for him continuing.

PAUL: Also a disastrous week on Wall Street has so many people asking where the heck do I put my money right now?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: It's 29 minutes past the hour. This morning, Ted Cruz is offering an apology, of sorts -- I saw that nod there -- of sorts, to those offended by his recent criticism of New York values.

This week, Donald Trump accused Cruz of offending 20 million people when Cruz said Trump embodies New York values. What did Cruz mean by that? A lot of people are asking.

Here is his explanation from Thursday night's debate followed by what he told reporters yesterday in South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal, are pro abortion, are pro gay marriage, focused around money and the media.

I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state. I apologize to the hard-working men and women of the state of New York who have been denied jobs because Governor Cuomo won't allow fracking even though there have been many high paying jobs just south in Pennsylvania.

New Yorkers are denied the ability to provide for their families. I apologize to all the pro life and pro marriage and pro Second Amendment New Yorkers who are told by Governor Cuomo that they have no place in New York because that's not who New Yorkers are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, Donald Trump has three campaign events in two states today beginning with a stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

And that's where we find CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly this morning.

Phil, let's start with this discussion of New York values from Ted Cruz. I don't think there's anyone who believes that New York is going to be Cruz country as we get to that primary. It's a safe Democratic state once you get to the general. So this is obviously a play for Iowa voters. Is this resonating in Iowa, this criticism of New York values?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Cruz campaign sees this as something that's going to benefit them, no question about it. Look, the relationship between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump is somewhat analogous to what you're seeing behind me here in New Hampshire. It's dark, it's cold, it's stormy -- it's a major churn from where they've been in all of the months up to this point.

And here is why kind of both parties are set in their specific camps right now. They each think this helps their campaign. Ted Cruz fundraising off of the New York Daily News cover that had that not-so- subtle gesture from the Statue of Liberty, trying to raise cash from his supporters outside of the East Coast where they think they have the most support.

Donald Trump quickly taking to Twitter again this morning attacking Ted Cruz on this issue, on the unreported Goldman Sachs loan to his senate campaign, on his Canadian citizenship. So both men on this issue specifically and more broadly on their relationship think that this benefits their campaign.

Donald Trump asked by Jake Tapper in an interview that's airing tomorrow on "STATE OF THE UNION" what he thought Ted Cruz was trying to say. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: What do you think -- he was going after something -- a dog whistle of sorts talking about ethnic people or --

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, probably. You'd have to ask him. I don't know what he was thinking about. I think he came across badly. I mean some people gave him pretty good reviews in the debate. I think he came across very strident and not a nice person. And people don't like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: Now Victor -- obviously Trump is thinking he can seize on this and move forward. Obviously a quick pivot not only politically but also emotionally beneficial during that debate related to 9/11.

Ted Cruz's folks Victor telling me they will attack more on this. They like this issue. They think this is a winning issue for them. Don't think this specific argument is going to end any time soon -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Phil, as we look at the early state polls and the national polls and then, you know, the wake of the debate on Tuesday -- aside from a little noise coming from the Marco Rubio camp, is this essentially a two-man race as we look at Cruz and Trump dominate?

MATTINGLY: What's been interesting, Victor, is more and more over the last couple of days especially after that debate you start to talk to Republican -- establishment Republican operatives who are unaffiliated with any of the current campaigns, and they're starting to think that that is the new reality.

Now something to keep in mind here -- New Hampshire, where I'm standing right now, obviously Donald Trump has a major lead in the state polls that we've seen. But there's a very real race for that second place position. Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, John Kasich -- all trying to fight for that position.

There's still a sense among those campaigns that there's a lane for an establishment candidate to take on the winner of the current Ted Cruz- Donald Trump battle.

As it appears clearly in Iowa, Victor, it is a two-man race, but there is a lot more campaigning to go -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Phil Mattingly for us there in Portsmouth, New Hampshire -- the first of three events that will be hosted by the Trump campaign today across two states. Phil -- thanks so much.

PAUL: So if the current presidential front runners hold on here, you're going to be choosing between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in November. Way too early to tell, of course but writing in the "New York Times" opinion pages, Republican Peter Winters said this about that decision. He said, quote, "If Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton were the Republican and Democratic nominees, I would prefer to vote for a responsible third party alternative. Absent that option, I would simply not cast a ballot for president. A lot of Republicans, I suspect, would do the same," unquote.

Now there are other options, such as the Green Party.

Let's talk to Dr. Jill Stein who is Green Party candidate for president and I know you're part of this lawsuit that you brought against the Commission on Presidential Debates. And I want to get into that in just a minute. [08:35:02] But I want to give you a chance to talk here. Let's look at some of the issues right off the bat. Stocks are tanking, stock market down 8 percent just in the first couple weeks of 2016. How do you fix the economy?

Dr. Stein, can you hear me?

DR. JILL STEIN, GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ok. Sorry. I couldn't hear you for a second. Can you just repeat that question?

PAUL: That's ok. Sure.

I was just wondering, how do you -- with stocks tanking right now, how would you address the economy, how would you fix it if you were president?

STEIN: Great -- thank you. Yes. I mean the economy is not working for most Americans now. We've had a huge surge in part-time and temporary jobs. Wages average for workers are now just barely above the poverty level. Household wealth has crashed by about 40 percent. Racial disparities make all this much worse.

We have an entire generation of young people who are locked into debt. So we really need an economy that works for everyday people. And we have two political parties who have been managing that economy that are basically controlled by corporate interests and the super wealthy.

So my priority is to create an economy that works for everyone, that puts people over profit instead of profit over people which is the way it's going. So specifically, I will create a green new deal which is an emergency program like the new deal that got us out of the Great Depression.

The green new deal would create 20 million jobs that would green our economy, green our energy, our food and our transportation systems. And by creating 20 million jobs, these are full-time living wage jobs, it would revive our economy. It would turn the tide on climate change and it would make wars for oil obsolete.

And in addition, I would bail out the students. We bailed out the bankers. We need to bail out the students who are the victims of that waste, fraud and abuse on Wall Street.

PAUL: Who had student loans at the time --

STEIN: Yes -- to basically cancel their loans, exactly.

PAUL: Ok. I want to move in to national security because obviously ISIS has been in the news and it's frightening an awful lot of people. How would you move forward militarily and how would you handle the national security?

STEIN: That's a great question. Because what we see the other two parties and virtually all their candidates doing is essentially repeating the mistakes of the past and, in fact, intensifying them. For 14 years we've been conducting a war on terror. It's cost us $6 trillion which turns out to be $75,000 per household. We have lost tens of thousands of American soldiers either killed or maimed and we have killed over a million people in Iraq alone. So it's no wonder that this has been throwing gasoline on the fires in the Middle East.

We need to really change direction here because it has only made terrorism far worse. All of the terrorist forces, al Qaeda, Taliban and now ISIS and their spinoffs are worst. So we're calling for a peace offensive to stop the flow of money and weapons and to focus on what are truly the threats to American lives and well-being, and that is deaths from poverty, from lack of health insurance, homelessness and gun violence.

PAUL: Real quickly, I want to ask you about this lawsuit -- again brought against the Commission on Presidential Debates. You're seeking fair and equal debate time for all candidates, not just Democrats and Republicans. But what is the biggest obstacle you find being in a third party? What do you want this lawsuit to gain?

STEIN: Exactly. You know, I think you put your finger on it because as third parties, it's not just the candidates who are locked out it's really the voters who are locked out. And in fact polls show now that 50 percent of voters do not identify anymore with either Republicans or Democrats. So that's much more who are basically Independent voters now -- Independent or small party; way more of them than there are of Democrats or Republicans.

So we need to open up the debates. That's what we're looking the do through this lawsuit. And I encourage people to go to my Website and become a part of this because it's up to us as citizens to open up our democracy so it represents us, and we have more choices and more voices.

PAUL: Well, Dr. Jill Stein, we appreciate it. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today.

And by the way, coming up at 10:00 a.m., we're talking with libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. If you have any questions you'd like to ask these candidates, just tweet us. Our Twitter handle is @newday.

[08:39:58] By the way, big weekend on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper -- he's got a full interview with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders on the show as well. Don't miss "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. It is tomorrow Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern only here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: And up next, we're expecting a decision from the IAEA at any moment on Iran's compliance with terms of the nuclear deal. If all goes as expected, Iran will see the first wave of economic relief and more.

Plus, heavy losses for Wall Street this week as you just heard Christi's interview with Dr. Stein. So what does it mean for your money? Should you buy? Should you sell? Should you just sit tight? Our financial adviser has some answers for you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: All right. Some big news could happen today. It's expected that after more than three decades the crippling sanctions against Iran may be lifted. It could happen at any minute. That's the word from Javad Zarif, the country's foreign minister. He's in Vienna right now meeting with officials from the U.S. We know that John Kerry is there, also officials from the United Nations.

Earlier this morning Zarif offered praise for these diplomatic talks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAVAD ZARIF, IRAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Today is a day when we prove to the world that threats, sanctions, intimidation, pressure don't work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Iran says it has now complied with all terms laid out in the deal to scale back its nuclear program which could prove to be a key moment in the legacy of the Obama administration.

Chris Frates is following the story from Washington.

Chris -- what is the U.S. doing to make sure this deal goes through? We know that the conversations are happening at this moment.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Good morning, Victor. A little bit of breaking news this morning. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting right now with the Iranian foreign minister and is expected to meet with a representative from the European Union today. All sides are saying that good progress has been made toward implementing this nuclear, but all eyes are on the international atomic watch dog as the world waits to hear whether Iran has held up its end of the bargain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you.

FRATES: The deal the United States helped cut to curtail Iran's nuclear program is a cornerstone of President Obama's legacy -- one that the White House is watching very carefully.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's ample reason to distrust what Iran says about their nuclear program. Their track record on this is less than stellar.

[10:45:01] FRATES: Earnest said that's why the deal calls for the International Atomic Energy Agency to independently verify that Iran is holding up its end of the bargain before economic sanctions are lifted and tens of billions of dollars flow back into the country. The independent oversight will continue to ensure Iran doesn't cheat.

Progress on the nuclear deal comes after Iran detained ten navy sailors when they drifted into Iranian waters while trying the fix their ship's engine earlier this week. Republicans used the incident to slam the President and the deal.

TRUMP: I thought that was humiliating for the United States -- to have these people on their knees with their hands up and guns at their head, and then we have Kerry saying wasn't it wonderful that they let them go? I think it was disgraceful. Remember this -- if we weren't giving them a check in two, three days for $150 billion, they would have never let them go. They would have kept them.

FRATES: But the White House and others credit the relationships built with Iran during the nuclear negotiations for the servicemen's quick release.

JOHN NEGROPONTE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAN: Let's say we hadn't had the nuclear negotiations and we were still in a relationship of much higher tension between the two country, it's completely conceivable they would have held on to this people for a longer amount of time. I have no doubt about that.

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FRATES: So despite progress on the nuclear deal, the relationship between Iran and the U.S. is still very tense. Iran continues to detain Americans, including "Washington Post" reporter Jason Rezaian. And the White House says there are still plenty of reasons to distrust the country and has not ruled out imposing sanctions over Iran's ballistic missile program -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Chris, if we understand from the IAEA and from the officials there in Austria that Iran has reached these benchmarks, how soon will this money begin to flow, the tens of billions of dollars that will be thawed, in essence and returned to Iran?

FRATES: We expect that that money almost immediately will be back at Iran's -- back in Iran's banking account essentially -- Victor. There won't be a lot of lag time. These accounts had been frozen. Once they're unfrozen, Iran will be able to get into them very quickly. That's what they're (inaudible) for and that's what we've heard from Republicans who've criticized it.

BLACKWELL: Chris Frates for us in Washington -- thank you so much.

FRATES: Thank you.

Now, when we come back, do you need to gather up your nerves of steel to jump into the markets right now? You don't know when to buy, when to sell, if you should do nothing at all? We'll find out if there are any safe places left to put your money, aside from under the mattress.

PAUL: Of course.

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[08:50:15] BLACKWELL: You know this. It's been a bad week for Wall Street, the stock market tanking again because of oil global markets. Yesterday oil plummeted below $30 a barrel; tech stocks, they're also taking a beating, too. CNN's business correspondent Alison Kosik has details for us.

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ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Stocks close off their lows of the session, but clearly a brutal session anyway. The selloff began in China, spread to European markets and then came here to the United States.

You look at China's stocks. They're in a bear market, meaning they've fallen 20 percent from a recent high. That spooked U.S. markets right off the bat.

Also, oil prices falling -- that also rattled the markets. Oil prices hit levels we haven't seen in 12 years -- oil prices falling below $30 a barrel for the first time since 2003.

Add to that, a drum beat of disappointing economic data coming out of the U.S. Retail sales data coming from December showing a fall in retail sales numbers -- that's not good because that's the crucial holiday shopping period when retailers are hoping to have a win. That clearly didn't happen.

Also a regional manufacturing report falling to a level we haven't seen since March 2009. That was during the recession. Bottom line here, not a lot of reasons for investors to buy into the market, especially because it's Friday and it's a weekend, but not just a weekend, it's a long weekend. And we're seeing investors not want to hold on to positions because Monday, the U.S. stock market will be closed and investors are reticent to hold on to any shares knowing that China's stock market will open Sunday night.

I'm Alison Kosik in New York.

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PAUL: Alison, thank you. Take a look at this week's losses, if you dare.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The Dow you see there -- each down more than 2 percent, S&P 500 down as well, Nasdaq down about three and a third percent.

Let's bring in Jim Lacamp with UBS Wealth Management. He's on the phone with us because we had him up in front of the camera, a bit of technical difficulty but we want to get you the information anyway.

Jim, let me get to the simple question. What should people do? Should they invest now because there are some deals to be made or should they sit tight and just ride this out?

JIM LACAMP, UBS WEALTH MANAGEMENT: Yes, that's a great question. If you look back at the previous market downturns, the ones we saw in 2008 and the ones we saw 2000 to 2002 -- for those people that are in a 401(k) or in some sort of long term program, buying in those downturns was really a good decision. Now a lot of people are very worried about the market. So if you have a 401(k), you can actually take some of your balance and switch it out of the market, but keep buying at these low levels. I think investors also need to remember that right now the U.S. economy, although it's a little soft, it's not in a recession.

Interest rates are likely to remain very low. In fact, I would be shocked if the Federal Reserve board raised interest rates anymore with what's going on in this economy and with what's going on in the markets, China and oil.

So I think interest rates remain very, very low. So I think people just don't need to panic -- remember their long-term plan. And with rates as low as they are probably stocks will find a bid once the dust settles a little bit.

BLACKWELL: Well, certainly some short-term good news there with low gas prices if you're correct with this prediction that interest rates will not go up again for people who are borrowing money -- good news there.

Jim Lacamp joining us from UBS Wealth Management -- thanks so much for the advice. I'm sure a lot of people are breathing a bit of a sigh of relief this morning hearing that things will be ok.

PAUL: I had to take a nice big exhale.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Jim.

PAUL: Yes. Thank you -- Jim.

Wal-Mart though, meanwhile, has announced that it's closing 269 stores worldwide this year. 154 of those in the states alone as the company tries to revive its slumping finances. As many as 10,000 employees could be out of work here in the U.S. The retailer does say it's going to try to transfer many of them to other Wal-Marts.

This has come as good news to workers at the small cash saver chain of groceries in Texas. They were closing down some locations because of the competition from Wal-Mart, but have now decided not to do so.

BLACKWELL: All right. When we come back, you've got to see this moment that an explosion ripped through a cafe in Mexico City. Nine people were hurt. You'll see more of this video.

PAUL: And David Bowie's final album released days before his death soars to the top of the charts.

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PAUL: At least 27 people were killed when terrorists stormed a luxury hotel in West Africa and opened fire on these unsuspecting victims. We're talking about an al Qaeda affiliate that's claiming responsibility for the massacre. Survivors are describing the scene. They say there was, quote, "blood everywhere".

BLACKWELL: The military and local police were only able to put this to an end very recently. In the last few hours they say that they killed four terrorists in the counterassault; two of them were women.

We have new video now -- turn to the screen -- of a violent explosion at a cafe in Mexico City. You see the debris launched there into the street. Nine people were injured it was apparently caused by a gas leak that ignited in the kitchen. Thankfully, no deaths reported here.

PAUL: David Bowie's final album "Blackstar" released just days before his death is skyrocketing to the top of the British album chart. This album is also expected to hit number one in the U.S. next week. The album producer says this record is the late singer's parting gift to his fans.

Beginning tomorrow night on CNN there's a week-long special event "THE PERSON WHO CHANGED MY LIFE". Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: My son helped make me change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people changed lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you believe we're back here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join the familiar faces of CNN as they share their special someone with you.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN HOST: The voyage that your suggestions sent me on --

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: But I learned this from you. You have to ask important questions on the most important issues of the day.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Without my mom, I am certain I would not be where I am.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you want to ask them how important is a mentor, and if they told you not that important, it probably means they've never had a great mentor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that the letter?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the letter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You found it?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Very few people will tell you the truth. You do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "THE PERSON WHO CHANGED MY LIFE" -- a week-long CNN event starts tomorrow on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[09:00:02] PAUL: Yes. Tomorrow night 8:00 p.m. Eastern -- "THE PERSON WHO CHANGED MY LIFE". We hope that you're going to join us for that.

BLACKWELL: All right. That's it for us.

PAUL: "SMERCONISH" starts now.