Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Clinton to Deliver Speech on Terror, Trump; Belgium Manhunt Continues for Terror Cells Considered "Dangerous"; Clinton Speech on Counter-terrorism. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired March 23, 2016 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: In part, she is expected to talk about how these attacks in Brussels are a reminder that these terrorist the U.S. is up against are an adversary that knows no borders and that we're constantly adapting.

And we're expecting her to sake sharp aim at Ted Cruz and specifically Donald Trump. We heard a preview, a little bit last night in Seattle when Hillary Clinton talked about this border wall that he is proposing. She painted it as overly simplistic, something that isn't going to keep up with the Internet, isn't going to keep up with the times. She's also expected to take aim at Donald Trump's recent comments with NATO. She is expected to say this is a time to realign European alliances, not to pull away from that. We expect her to invoke the memory of 9/11 in that, that these were European nations that stood by the U.S. in difficult times and we need to do that as well. We do think she will call on European allies to step up their game when it comes to coordinating and to information sharing.

We have also learned she is also going to take aim at Donald Trump over what he has proposed, about keeping waterboarding in the repertoire for the president when it comes to enhanced uses that are no longer allowed. She is expected to say it's important to rely on what works not on rhetorical bluster that certainly runs -- as she is expected to put it, runs counter to American values.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Brianna Keilar, with the rundown of what we expect to hear from the secretary of state, the current Democratic front-runner in the presidential race.

As soon as we see Hillary Clinton, we'll take it live.

Before we do, Juliette Kayyem is with me. And I have Kevin Berry, Art Roderick.

Before we get to the U.S. and the fight on terrorism, Brianna's point on how Hillary Clinton will probably talk about obviously looking to our European allies and saying you need to step up, step up how?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You were needs to. The simplicity on the other side -- I think it's safe to say it, a wall --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Isn't enough.

KAYYEM: The sophistication of how hard it is to fight ISIS, let alone, get the Europeans unified and, let alone, deal with Russia, and the Zika Virus. The sophistication of all that's required is overcoming the simplistic answers. This is where I think President Obama, who spoke a little bit about it today really, you know, for his legacy, needs to very much describe and understand the concern that people are having. I have been in counter-terrorism for over 15, 17 years. If you asked me, would you send your kids to Europe for spring break, I'd think about it, and I tend to be mellow about this stuff.

BALDWIN: There was a State Department warning.

KAYYEM: Yeah.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Kind of rare.

KAYYEM: Yeah, so if I'm sort of feeling it, and I've become somewhat immune to this over time, you have to think that the average American is -- knows that terrorism against them is unlikely. But also doesn't quite know how to get it. In some ways also more from the White House would help Hillary in that regard.

BALDWIN: Detective, to you.

You are listening to all of this, you know, politics or not politics, I mean, you are around during 9/11.

KEVIN BARRY, ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN, DETECTIVE & INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOMB TECHNICIANS AND INVESTIGATORS: Yes.

BALDWIN: With this new iteration or the evolution of terrorism and now talking about is, although you say sort of these bomb techniques what -- what's old is new again. What do you think about all of this, and the biggest challenge for fighting terrorism right here?

BARRY: In the United States? They talked about information sharing.

BALDWIN: Yes.

BARRY: It took until august 11th of 2004 for the attorney general to issue a memo to federal agencies to share information. That should have happened within 12 hours of the 9/11 attacks not almost a full three years later. Information sharing is better, but we're still not at our best yet in the U.S.

BALDWIN: So let me just take it a step farther. When we are talking about cooperation, information sharing among different European borders, specifically with the most recent attacks in Belgium and in France, easy to criticize, but something we had to learn as well.

BARRY: We did. That's the reason that NYPD has people stationed throughout locations in the world now. And a lot of people don't realize that. Why? Because they are going to get their information firsthand and bring it back to New York City, because New York has become the capitol of the world as far as terrorism targets go.

[14:34:53] BALDWIN: Let me ask both of you to stay with me.

Again, we are watching, waiting to hear from Secretary Clinton. This is specifically a speech on counter-terrorism.

Stay with me. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:40:00]ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN special live coverage of the Brussels attacks. I'm Erin Burnett, here in Brussels, along with Brooke Baldwin.

Right now, really a frantic manhunt underway as they are searching for at least two, certainly more members of this ring, but at least two people, a bomb off at the airport yesterday and then fled. Another of whom was perhaps the bomb maker. Both for the bombs here at the airport in Brussels and also use in the Paris attacks. They are hunting across this city. Raids have been going on throughout the day. They have already found 15 kilograms of TAPT, a high explosive. They found chemicals, nails used in nail bombs. All of that found today. So far, those men still at large. And they have the fear of additional attacks.

Derek Blyth is the author of "The 500 Secrets of Brussels (sic)" and has lived here a quarter century.

You know the city incredibly well. I want to talk about the neighborhood where they have been hunting. I've been to Molenbeek, and right at the House where the Abdeslam brothers lived. One of whom was taken into custody the other day and was right along with a couple of these men in a house. Why is that neighborhood still hiding people? It is not big. It is -- everyone in that neighborhood knows everybody else. It is very idyllic, when you walk into it and you don't know what happens there. How is it possible that people could still be hiding there?

DEREK BLYTH, AUTHOR & FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE BULLETIN: That's a very good question. I'm not sure anyone has got the answer to that yet. There seem to be various theories, one that there is a certain sort of solidarity in the neighborhood among young people that they will help these terrorists hide. There is a kind of cat and mouse game going on with the police. Some of these people are hardened criminals, and so they've got techniques of hiding, of evading and so on. They've been on the wrong side of the law for a long time.

But as you say, the neighborhood as a whole is not a terrifying area to walk through. It is not a no-go area. It has modern housing, new housing, new schools. Of, I would say, a small number of people who are hardened, hardens criminals, tough, tough guys who at the heart of this. And they've got a network. They've got support.

BURNETT: When we look at the locations of where the raids were, where Salah Abdeslam was eventually found, and compared to where Salah Abdeslam and his brother, one of whom died in the Paris attacks lived, five or six minutes walk one way or the other way. I mean the proximity here is incredible.

BLYTH: Yeah, yeah. That's amazing. I am not sure there are answers yet to the question of how the police managed to miss these people with quite large caches of as and explosives, as you were saying. It's baffling. It's baffling at this moment. I don't think it's possible to provide an answer. But it does raise questions, I think.

BURNETT: With people watching around the world, they have a lot of questions. When I came to Belgium during the Paris attacks and walked through Molenbeek to your point I didn't feel unsafe in any way. But you used the specific word, no-go zones. That's a loaded word but you said it was not a no-go zone. People are willing to go. Is there any place like that in Brussels, where people would be afraid to go, or even though the communities are specific and integrated they are side by side, and people are afraid to go between them.

BLYTH: I would say not. I walk around a lot. I've been in all 19 districts, all 19 communes of this city. There is no area that's particularly unsafe. Of course, things happen. But they can happen in the rich suburbs as much as the inner city. No-go areas, that concept I don't think applies here.

BURNETT: I mentioned Boston because I was there during those bombings. That city was shut down do you remember that manhunt. This city is not shut down. Yet someone who they know knows how to make bombs and someone who successfully placed a bomb in the Brussels airport in the city right now and people are out and about. Is that surprising?

BLYTH: I was very surprised. I have been here all day. As you say, there are potentially terrorists in that neighborhood. As you can see, there is almost no police presence, no military presence. There is a certain kind of -- what surprised me, a kind of party atmosphere coming out.

BURNETT: All right. Derek Blyth, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

And now a major counter-terror speech talking about the Brussels attacks from Hillary Clinton. Let's listen in live.

[14:44:40] HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: It's understandable that Americans here at home are worried. The threat we face from terrorism is real. It's urgent. And it knows no boundaries. Even as Brussels grieves, the memories of Paris and San Bernardino are painfully fresh as well. On Saturday, a bombing in Istanbul killed four people, including two U.S./Israeli dual citizens. Many other places have been targeted by terrorists in the past year alone, hotels in West Africa, beaches in Tunisia, a market in Lebanon, a Russian passenger jet in the Sinai. ISIS is attempting a genocide of religious and ethnic minorities. It beheads civilians. It enslaves, tortures and rapes women and girls. Walls will not protect us from this threat. We cannot contain ISIS. We must defeat ISIS.

This will be one of the most important challenges facing the next president who takes office on January 20th. Our new commander-in- chief will walk into the Oval Office and find a world of hard choices and complex problems. That president will sit down at the desk and start making decisions that will affect the lives and livelihoods of every American and people around the world. So the stakes could not be higher.

Today, I want to emphasize three points. First, we face an adversary that constantly adapting and operating across multiple theaters. So our response must be just as nimble and far-reaching. Second, to defeat this transnational threat, we need to reinforce the alliance that have been core pillars of American power for decades. And third, we need to rely on what actually works, not bluster that alienates our partners and doesn't make us any safer.

Let's begin by being clear of what we are facing. ISIS controls a shrinking but still sizable territory in Iraq and Syria. It leads a far-flung network that includes affiliates across the Middle East and North Africa, and cells in Europe, Asia, and even here in North America. It's also part of a broader ideological movement that includes other terrorist groups. We need to do battle on all fronts.

Last year, in speeches in New York and Minneapolis, I laid out a three-part plan to defeat ISIS in the Middle East, around the world, and here at home. Recent events have only reinforced the urgency of this mission.

First, we do have to take out ISIS's stronghold in Iraq and Syria. We should intensify the coalition air campaign against its fighters, leaders, and infrastructure. Step up support for local Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground, and coalition efforts to protect civilians. And pursue a diplomatic strategy aimed at achieving political resolutions to Syria's civil war and Iraq's sectarian divide.

Second, we must dismantle the global network of terror that supplies money, arms, propaganda, and fighters. This means targeted efforts to deal with ISIS affiliates from Libya to Afghanistan. It means going after the key enablers who facilitate illicit financial transactions and help jihadists arrange travel, forge documents, and evade detection. And it means waging online battles with extremists to discredit their ideology, expose their lies and counter their appeals to potential recruits in the West and around the world.

Third, we must harden our defenses and build our resilience here at home. We need to counter each step in the process that can lead to an attack, deterring would be terrorists and discovering and disrupting plots before they are carried out.

Our enemies are constantly adapting, so we have to do the same. For example, Brussels demonstrated clearly we need to take a harder look at security protocols at airports and other sensitive so-called soft sites, especially areas outside guarded perimeter perimeters. To do this, we need an intelligence surge and so do our allies. We also have to stay ahead of the curve technologically. That does mean working with the brightest minds here in Silicon Valley to more effectively track and analyze ISIS's social media posts and map jihadist networks online.

[14:50:09] When other candidates talk about building walls around America, I want to ask them, how high does the wall have to be to keep the Internet out? And we also have to tackle a thorny challenge that is top of mine here in the bay area, civil liberties concerns surrounding the encryption of mobile devices and communications. Impenetrable encryption provides significant cyber security advantages, but may also make it harder for law enforcement and counter-terrorism profession to investigate plots and prevent future attacks. Is knows this, too.

At the same time, there are legitimate worries about privacy, network security, and creating new vulnerabilities that bad actors including terrorists can exploit. There may be no quick or magic fix. In the Apple case, the FBI may have found a work-around. But there will be future cases with different facts and different challenges. So the tech community and the government have to stop seeing each other as adversaries and start working together to broker our safety and our privacy. A national commission on encryption, like Senator Mark Warner and Congressman Mike McCall are proposing, could help. And our security professionals could use the advice and talents of technology professionals to help us figure out how we do stay ahead of the terrorists.

Our fight against radical jihadist terrorists will be long. And inside very real risk of future attacks here at home. But pursuing this comprehensive strategy will put us in the best position to defeat ISIS and keep our families and communities safe.

You know, this is a very personal issue for me. Having served as a Senator from New York on 9/11, having seen horrors that were produced by a well planned and executed attack on our country, knowing how important it is that we do stay ahead of those who wish to do us great harm, without panic, without paranoia, but with resolve. Not to give in to t very behaviors that the terrorists are hoping to engender. We can't let fear stop us from doing what's necessary to keep us safe.

Nor can we let it push us into reckless actions that end up making us less safe. For example, it would be a serious mistake to stumble into another costly ground war in the Middle East. If we've learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan, it's that people and nations have to secure their own communities. We can, and I argue, must support them. But we can't substitute for them.

It would also be a serious mistake to begin carpet-bombing oblivion. You sound tough. It makes you sound like you are in over your head. Slogans aren't a strategy. Loose cannons tend to misfire. What America needs is strong, smart, steady leadership to wage and win this struggle. To do that, we need to strengthen America's alliances in Europe, Asia, and around the world.

And that is the second point I want to emphasize. On 9/11, NATO treated an attack against one as an attack against all. On September 12th, headlines across Europe, most notably in Lamont (ph), proclaimed we are all Americans. There were very few planes in the air that day, but one was a British jet carrying the U.K.'s top national security leaders to Washington to offer any help they could. Now it's our turn to stand with Europe. We cherish the same values and face the same adversaries. So we must share the same determination.

This is especially true at a time when Europe faces multiple overlapping crises, from president Putin's aggression in Ukraine to the massive influx of refugees, to continuing economic challenges, to the rise of right-wing nationalist parties. We have made so much progress together toward the goal of a Europe that is free, whole, and at peace, and we can't risk letting it fall apart now.

[14:55:09] For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations have understood that America's alliances make us stronger. Secretary Schultz compared the slow, steady work of building diplomatic relationships to gardening. He knew that when you cultivate effective partners, you can harvest real rewards. Allies extend our reach, share intelligence, provide troops in conflicts like Afghanistan, offer bases and staging areas around the world for our military, and serve as a bulwark against competitors like Russia and China.

And by the way, both Moscow and Beijing know our global network of alliances is a significant strategic advantage they can't match. NATO, in particular, is one of the best investments America has ever made, from the Balkans to Afghanistan and beyond, NATO allies have fought alongside the United States, sharing the burdens and the sacrifices.

In the 1990s, Secretary Perry helped guide NATO's expansion based on the alliance's core tenets of collective defense, democracy, consensus, and cooperative security. They became known as the Perry Principles. And they are still at the heart what have makes NATO the most successful alliance in history.

Turning our back on our alliances or turning our alliance into a protection racket would reverse decades of bipartisan American leadership and send a dangerous signal to friend and foe alike. Putin already hopes to divide Europe. If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin. It will make America less safe and the world more dangerous.

When it comes to the struggle against ISIS, we need our allies as much as ever. We need them to be strong and engaged, for they are increasingly on the front lines. London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Istanbul -- they have all been hit by terrorism. And as we saw when a terrorist cell in Hamburg carried out the 9/11 attacks, what happens in Europe has a way of making it to America. So it's essential that we have strong partners who can work with us to disrupt plots and dismantle networks in their own countries before they lead to attacks in ours.

America needs European intelligence services working hand in hand with our own, including where they may have better reach and expertise, like in North Africa. We need European banks to stop terrorist financing. We need European planes flying missions over Iraq and Syria and European Special Forces helping train and equip local anti ISIS forces on the ground. We need European diplomats and development experts working to improve governance and reduce the appeal of extremism across the wide arc of instability that stretches from West Africa all the way to Asia.

Together, we can do more, and more urgently to support moderate voices and stand with Tunisians, Libyans, Kurds, and others in the region who are trying to do the right thing. And as we should, of course, be closely consulting with Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East, we also have to extend our consultations to Arab partners as well. All of this will make America safer and help defeat ISIS. There is much we can do to support our European partners, helping them improve intelligence and law enforcement, facilitating information sharing, working more closely at every level.

There's also more they can do to share the burden with us. We'd like to see more European countries investing in defense and security, following the example Germany and others have set during the Obama administration. The most urgent task is stopping the flow of foreign fighters to and from the Middle East. Thousands of young recruits have flocked to Syria from France, Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Their European passports make it easier for them to cross borders and eventually return home radicalized and battle hardened.

We need to know the identities of every fighter who makes that trip and start revoking passports and visas, stemming this tide will require much better coordination among every country along the way. Right now, many European nations don't even alert each other when they turn away a suspected jihadist at the border or when a passport is stolen.