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Investigators Search for Motive in Ohio State Attack; Source: Trump to Name Tom Price as HHS Secretary; Bipartisan Rebuke of Trump's Voter Fraud Claim. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired November 29, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy ran a car through a crowd of students.
[05:58:36] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looks normal. Like everybody else. I never suspected anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it an act of terrorism?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing that you can say, based upon common knowledge, this was done on purpose.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IL), VICE-PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a number of very important announcements.
LT. GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS (RET.), FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: See where it goes from here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They spent a year and a half beating up Hillary Clinton. There's a lot of similar, as far as revealing classified information.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know one thing about Mitt Romney. He's going to be loyal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do I know about Mitt Romney? He is a self- serving egomaniac.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just cautious and ready to go.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In Tennessee, wildfires burning out of control.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of that red are flames.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR; Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, November 29, 6 a.m. in the East, and up first, there are new details about the attack at Ohio State University that injured 11 people. Investigators are looking into what led a 18- year-old Somali-born student to plow a car into pedestrians, then stab people with a butcher knife.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We also have breaking news. There was a plane crash overnight in Colombia that killed 76 at this point after an alleged power failure. There were 81 people on this charter flight. Almost all of them are members of a high-profile Brazilian soccer team. There was also traveling media among them, as well.
Access to the site. It happened near Medellin in Colombia, a mountainous region. Access isn't easy. This happened overnight, again, so when we get details, we'll bring them to you. What we know right now we have covered.
Let's begin with CNN's Rosa Flores, live in Columbus, the site of that campus stabbing, with the latest -- Rosa.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, good morning.
Law enforcement not ruling out terrorism, but they haven't established a motive just yet. They are interviewing witnesses, talking to family, and scouring through surveillance video, some of that video taken here at university before that attack.
But perhaps the biggest clue is coming from a Facebook message posted around the time of the attack.
FLORES (voice-over): Ohio State University police naming student Abdul Razak Ali Artan as the OSU attacker.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Abdul Razan Artan.
FLORES: A U.S. official telling CNN Artan was a legal permanent resident originally from Somalia, who came to the U.S. in 2014 via Pakistan.
Authorities now looking into posts he made on his Facebook page, expressing grievances about crimes against Muslims, posted moments before the attack, saying, quote, "I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured, and I can't take it anymore."
Back in August, OSU's campus newspaper quoted Artan in a profile, saying he was scared to pray in the open as a Muslim. Investigators are looking into possible motives for the attack and say they cannot rule out terrorism.
POLICE CHIEF KIM JACOBS, COLUMBUS, OHIO: We're always aware that that's the potential. We're going to continue to look at that.
FLORES: Police say just before 10 a.m. Monday morning, Artan deliberately jumped the curb, ramming a car into a group of pedestrians.
CRAIG STONE, OSU CHIEF OF POLICE: He exits the vehicle and used a butcher knife to start cutting pedestrians. FLORES: Eyewitnesses desperately calling 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy ran a car through a crowd of students. He did it purposely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm at Ohio State right outside of Watts Hall, and there is a guy crashed his car into a bunch of people and ran out with a knife.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need an ambulance here fast.
FLORES: A minute into the attack, OSU police officer Alan Horujko arrived on the scene, confronting a knife-wielding Artan, shooting him three times, killing him.
MONICA MOLL, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY, OHIO: The officer engaged the suspect and fired shots and used deadly force to stop the threat.
FLORES: Eleven people wounded in the attack, all are expected to survive. As the attack unfolded, students barricaded doorways to avoid becoming a victim. The campus on lockdown for an hour and a half.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Ohio State will be stronger, having come through this.
FLORES: Now, classes resume today here. Students still shaken up, attending a vigil late yesterday.
Now, as for the Somali community, I've been in contact with both community leaders here and in Minnesota, as well. And they tell me, Chris, that they're very worried about possible retaliation against that community.
CUOMO: Hi, Rosa, thank you very much. So the obvious question is this whether or not this was a terror attack. Let's discuss with CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd and Tom Fuentes, CNN senior law enforcement analyst.
Gentlemen, thank you for being with us.
Phil, you say that common sense isn't always the best guide. You look at a situation like this, a Somali-born U.S. resident. He's got the Facebook post that shows some sympathies to the absurd, to hateful, terroristic type rhetoric. But you say don't jump to a conclusion. Why?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: If you look at these singleton cases, in comparison or contrast with more complicated conspiracies, I often find you have mixed motivations here. For example, this was an 18-year-old. He had just transferred schools. We don't understand his background with the family, an immigrant. We don't know the issues he had integrating. One of the difficulties in these is looking at what he's claiming and
comparing it to the rest of his life, to say is that the only thing that motivated him.
Last thing, Chris. When you have a singleton, you don't have communications, e-mail, for example, text with somebody else. Understanding what's going in his mind without any trail that will allow you to get into that mindset is pretty difficult.
CUOMO: So you're saying singleton as a trade term of a one-off...
MUDD: That's right.
CUOMO: ... a loner.
So Tom, where's the line for you? Because again, when people look at this and they see what he was writing about and what he did and where he's from, and they say he's a terrorist.
Right now, Chris, we're going by the one posting that he did on Facebook right before the attack. I would like to see more of the communications, what other websites was he searching when they examined his computers, his phone records, who else was he in contact with, talks with classmates to see who he may have been discussing these grievances with, and expressing a desire possibly to commit a terrorist act or just that he had grievances and was deranged in not being able to cope with the stresses of his college career.
CUOMO: There had been something written about it, right? He had said that he was worried about praying on campus, that there was a fear of intimidation. "I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media. I'm a Muslim. It's not what the media says. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don't know what they're going to think, what's going to happen."
[06:05:15] What does this mean to you, Phil?
MUDD: Not much yet. Look at this. If you're going to think of this person as a well-considered, trained terrorist who was motivated through the course of months or years because he was frustrated about integration.
Let me give you a scenario, Chris. Steps back, looks at the Internet, including ISIS or al Qaeda postings, buys himself a truck, buys himself a couple of weapons, looks at a location where people are gathering. Let's go back just a couple days ago. Ohio State and Michigan on Saturday.
Instead, you have an impulse act. Gets a knife, doesn't even get a weapon, a small car, mows down a few people. This suggests to me that something triggered his action beyond months of planning or thinking inside that one person's brain led him to do this.
CUOMO: Why do I care in terms of the subtlety of your analysis, as opposed to just saying, "Well, ISIS just put out some B.S. briefing about how to use a knife to attack the nonbelievers. This kid picked up on it. He had hate in his heart. He wrote about it, and he went out and did it. He's a terrorist, period." Why have this sophisticated analysis?
MUDD: I don't understand it either, Chris. Let me give you one suggestion. Maybe there's something we can learn. Does he have a pattern of activity looking at websites that we can apply to other cases? Let me make you inside the room when I was at the agency or the bureau.
We don't care when we're doing these cases inside the room. It's the American public in this polarized political atmosphere where people say you've got to call them a terrorist or not. Those of us who are investigating it, why would that guys kill people? My first question isn't why he did it. My first question is who. Are there other people involved or co-conspirators? This stuff about motivations is interesting. But it's not a practitioner's question.
CUOMO: Tom, it does seem to fall right in line with what ISIS had been trying to motivate in the U.S., which is "We don't want to have to plan these things for you. Just remember, go out there and kill infidels any way that you can," so that we're seeing more lone wolves that don't have the more ordinary chain of communication in their planning.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, that's true. That is something they've been putting out now for over two years of, you know, use your car, use a knife, use a hammer, whatever you have at your disposal, if you don't have a firearm or do not know how to construct an explosive device.
But I think that, you know, I would agree with Phil. Let's get a little more information. We should have it pretty soon when we get the feedback about what's on his computer and who he's been talking to and how this grievance came about.
And I think what Phil said about the football game is important. If this was a planned, ISIS-driven or even inspired terrorist act, that he was motivated to become a terrorist, then you have 100,000 people attending a football game two days before the attack. Why not do it then? Similar to San Bernardino. You have -- you know, they attack 40 people at a luncheon when they could have attacked people at the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game a matter of a week or two earlier. So it sounds more like an impulsive act that just occurred to him that morning to go ahead and do that.
CUOMO: All right. Gentlemen, thank you very much for helping us understand what is almost impossible to understand for someone thinking normally -- Alisyn.
FUENTES: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: All right. We do have some breaking news to get to now. Seventy-six people killed after a charter plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashes on its way from Bolivia to Colombia. Miraculously, rescuers have pulled five survivors from the crash site. Here is video. This is the Chapecoense soccer team. And they just
posted this on their Facebook page four days ago. You can see them celebrating a win, continuing their Cinderella run to the final of a press attention to South American tournament. You can see the team now boarding the plane on their way to that final game. This is the video of them at the airport.
The pilot declared an emergency, reporting an electrical failure. They say moments later, the aircraft went down 22 miles from the airport in the city of Medellin. Authorities say a crew member and two athletes are among the survivors.
CUOMO: That is a tricky name. I have a soccer player in the family. So the Chapecoense team.
CAMEROTA: How do you say it, Chapecoense?
CUOMO: Yes, they are well known club there. They've become kind of local heroes. So to have the whole team -- you know, we did hear there are a couple survivors. And again, this information is raw. This happened overnight. This is a tough area to access. So certain things may change. But to lose a huge group like that that had just come into stardom is going to be hard for that community.
CAMEROTA: Oh, it's heartbreaking. But also the idea that people survived that when you look at the aftermath of that, that there are five survivors this morning. So we need to get a lot more details about what happened there.
CUOMO: Let's turn now to the Trump transition. President-elect Donald Trump meeting with Mitt Romney tonight for dinner. The question is why. Members of the transition team have been savaging Romney for the last few days. But we are told that there is some progress in this relationship, and there may be some big announcements coming.
[06:10:16] We did hear that Trump has decided on a vocal critic of Obamacare to be the next secretary of health and human services. With the latest, CNN's Sara Murray live in Washington. What do we know?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
Well, it's going to be a double whammy on health care announcements this morning, an indication that Donald Trump is moving ahead, despite a little bit of stalling elsewhere. We are expecting him to name Tom Price as HHS secretary, but also Seema Verma. She's the CEO of SVC, the healthcare policy consulting company. She is going to be Donald Trump's pick as administrator for the center of Medicare and Medicaid services.
So, you know, even though he's moving forward on some of these announcements, still some wrinkles when it comes to other big ones, like secretary of state.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump is barreling ahead with another round of cabinet picks today. Sources say he's slated to name Georgia Congressman Tom Price, a fierce critic of Obamacare, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
REP. TOM PRICE (R), GEORGIA: The most important thing that the American people understand and appreciate is that it's destructive to their health care.
MURRAY: And after this teaser from Vice-President-elect Mike Pence Monday evening...
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IL), VICE-PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: A number of very important announcements tomorrow.
MURRAY: More announcements could be in the pipeline today. But on one of the thorniest issues, who will fill the coveted position of secretary of state, it appears Trump is still pondering his options. The president-elect is slated to dine with Mitt Romney tonight, a sign that the 2012 Republican nominee is still in the running for the job, in spite of the protests of some of Trump's top aides.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: The number of people who feel betrayed to think that a Governor Romney would get the most prominent cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt Donald Trump.
MURRAY: Adding to the intrigue, Trump plans to sit down with another candidate for the role of the nation's top diplomat today, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker. After meeting with David Petraeus on Monday, Trump tweeted that he was very impressed.
PETRAEUS: Very good conversation, and we'll see where it goes from here.
MURRAY: But Petraeus, who's in the running for a variety of national security and defense slots, could be a problematic pick. While Trump continually attacked Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for her handling of classified information...
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: She deleted the e-mails. She has to go to jail.
MURRAY: Petraeus comes with his own baggage. He stepped down in 2012 as CIA director amid fallout from an extramarital affair and was convicted of a misdemeanor for sharing classified information with his mistress. He's currently on probation in that case.
MURRAY: Now in the latest chapter of Donald Trump is not going to change just because he's the president-elect, he spent last night going after journalists. This time it was CNN's own Jeff Zeleny, who was reporting on the fact that there's really no evidence to back up Trump's claim that there were millions of people who have voted illegally. And Chris and Alisyn, it's worth noting that Donald Trump's own
transition officials could not cite evidence backing up this claim yesterday.
Back to you guys.
CAMEROTA: Neither can scores of secretaries of state across the country. So Sara, we will be talking about this more in the program. Thank you for that.
CUOMO: It's hard to justify, because it's a lie. There weren't millions of people who voted illegally. They're citing bogus studies that have been debunked by the people who put out the data. This is hopefully -- hopefully part of the learning curve. You screw up, move on. They're in the double down business there, and it's going to hurt them over time.
CAMEROTA: Up next, more on the Trump transition and the decisions that we expect to see today. And of course, Donald Trump facing pushback, actually, from both sides of the aisle over those false claims that millions of people voted illegally. So our panel will discuss that next.
[06:17:45] CAMEROTA: President-elect Donald Trump continuing his false claims about millions of illegal votes in this presidential election. Well, now Democrats and Republicans are rebuking these unprecedented comments from an incoming president.
Let's discuss this and more with our political panel. We have "Washington Post" reporter Abby Phillip; CNN political commentator and Spectrum News anchor Errol Louis; and CNN contributor who also is with "The Washington Examiner" and "New York Post," Salena Zito. Great to see all of you. And welcome, Salena. Great to have you here at CNN with us and here on NEW DAY.
And for our viewers, everybody should know that you are the reporter who coined the now-famous expression that Trump's supporters took him seriously but not literally and the media took him literally but not seriously.
Do you think that what we are all trying to figure out in terms of his claim that there were millions of people who voted illegally is another example of that?
SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, exactly. He does not use words the same that we are used to. So politicians and reporters, they place great value on, and they massage them, politicians do, but reporters, we make sure everything that's great. Our A.P. stylebook. We fact check everything. And he does not use words the way that we do.
And the other thing is we have to look at it through viewers' eyes. Viewers are also the same way. They don't use words the way politicians do. And they're also sort of tired of these perfectly massaged messages that they know went through, like, a factory of people and minds so that when it's delivered with a smile, it -- you know, it creates this great moment for this politician. And that's part of this appeal.
CUOMO: Absolutely. The author of his own style, and he is entitled to his own messaging. There's no question about that. But he is not entitled to his own facts. And what we're dealing with here, Errol, is fact.
The only way that this is not a lie, what he's saying, because it's certainly a lie to say millions voted illegally in this country. It's a lie. The only way it is not a lie for Trump is if he's relying on somebody else that he decides to believe. Even if it's a conspiracy theorist. But there's just nothing to this idea.
[06:20:08] So you're seeing Republicans and Democrats running away from this and saying it's not true. He's got to move on. This didn't happen. I mean, it couldn't be more clear.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's right. I think you know, sort of the top layer of this cake that you've described is that he does it so often that, at some point, you have to decide either we're not going to report on the latest lie, the complete fabrication that has no basis in any fact, not even anything that was told to him, so it's not even in good faith. We either have to sort of report on it over and over and over again or we just have to ignore it.
CUOMO: Dangerous to ignore. Well, ignoring is -- or downplay it, which is something of an option. I mean, there were stories that Ronald Reagan told that were clearly untrue. He had all kinds of sort of fables about welfare queens who did all kinds of things that he never justified any of it.
And after a while you start to realize he wants to say that he hates the welfare system. He's not making any specific claim that anybody's ever going to be able to track down, and it is a waste of time to pretend otherwise.
I think we're sort of reaching that point with some of these Trump claims. He'll make up something every if we're going to chase that rabbit out into the field. It might better to sort of say, "Look, once again, he has said something that is not true." Now we have a big government that we have to put together and a big nation to take care of. Let's focus on the policy.
CAMEROTA: Errol, I mean, this is exactly the challenge for journalists. How much time are we going to devote to chasing every one of these? And we do go back and we fact check. And we look at all the secretaries of state. I can read them to you right now, all the different statements where they've come out and said, "Nope, no voter fraud. We've checked. We've double checked. There was no voting illegally."
We could do that, and we could spend days doing that. Or we could just dismiss it, as Salena says, as this is how he speaks and we're going to move on.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do think it's important to actually fact check. We have to continue to do that. Because there needs to be some source of correct information out there. But to Salena's point, we need to understand that Trump is trying to create a sentiment with his words. He's using his words to make his supporters feel something, to make them feel like they really won, to make them feel like he's a winner, like they're winners, as well.
And so it's part of his whole ethos as a candidate to exaggerate, to make things up, and use them to create a sense around his candidacy that lifts his supporters up with him. And that has nothing to do with the truth, but I think it still behooves us to point that out.
CUOMO: When I look at covering politics, so much of it is B.S.. We can talk about the B.S. surrounding Romney right now. You know, this is the worst case of subterfuge I've seen in this campaign is what they're doing to Romney. So I think you've got to stick with the facts when you know them, because now we move into this Romney discussion. I don't know what's going on except for this, Salena. There is zero chance that Kellyanne Conway, spinmeister in chief, took to the airways to say something Trump didn't want said.
ZITO: Right. I mean, she has his ear. She -- those two are really tight. And he -- he has listened to her in the past. I mean, that's how politicians get their message communicated when they're sort of, you know, hunkered down. They send their people out there, and they get their message across.
CAMEROTA: So Errol, why is Mitt Romney going back today to meet with Donald Trump after he's taken this public tongue lashing or denigration or whatever you want to call it from not only Kellyanne Conway but Newt Gingrich, another Trump supporter.
CUOMO: All of them. Chris Collins yesterday.
CAMEROTA: Yes, yes, Chris Collins was on our air.
CUOMO: Almost made my hair move, what with the wind coming out of him.
CAMEROTA: So what is -- why is Mitt Romney taking this?
LOUIS: Well, first of all, let's not rule out a pretty good meal, you know. Manhattan is lovely.
CAMEROTA: It's not you and me.
LOUIS: Fifth avenue is lovely around the holiday time, so you never know. But I do think seriously that there is a possible role for him. I mean, I don't -- I don't think it's crazy to imagine a role in which, surrounded by national security advisors, and of course, the president-elect himself, who have made all kinds of really disparaging anti-Muslim statements that could dislodge foreign policy and make it really, really difficult, to have somebody who comes from a different place, from a different space, who can walk in and do something. I think it's conceivable that he could fit into even this administration.
CAMEROTA: You think he is still being considered for secretary of state, as we sit here today?
LOUIS: I don't see any reason to think otherwise.
PHILLIP: I think the debate is very much real within Trump's mind and within his campaign. There are some people, and I think Trump may be among them, who values loyalty, but they also value what Romney brings, which is stability to foreign policy. That's probably the most important place where you can have that.
CAMEROTA: Panel, thank you very much. Great to talk to all of you.
CUOMO: We'll get more insight into this. We're going to have Jason Miller on the show. He's the communications director for Trump's transition team in our next hour.
CAMEROTA: So raging wildfires in Tennessee, forcing evacuation of a popular tourist area that's home to the Dollywood theme park. We'll take you there live next.
CUOMO: We're following breaking news. There's some terrifying wildfires fueled by a punishing drought and ferocious winds, scorching resort towns in Tennessee. Hundreds are being forced to evacuate. We have someone at the scene. CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray live in Gatlinburg with more. Where is Gatlinburg in terms of this crosshairs of concern?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's still a major concern, Chris. There's still active wildfires going on now, despite the rainfall, which started falling late yesterday. Unfortunately, not soon enough, though, to save portions of this historic and tourist- driven city.
We are here at this evacuation center where about 1,300 people have checked in. This happened so fast. They had to leave their homes with what was on their back, not enough time to save much of anything, not knowing what will be there when they return.
GRAY (voice-over): Wildfires threatening popular resort towns in east Tennessee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are a person of that prays, we could use your prayers.
GRAY: At least 14 fires near the Smokey Mountains National Park forcing mass evacuations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We packed our valuables. We're ready to go if we need to. GRAY: Endangering homes and businesses in nearby Gatlinburg and
Pigeon Forge. At one point, 30 buildings engulfed in the fires, including the 16-story Hilton Hotel.