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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Slager Jury Says They Can't Reach a Consensus; Trump Effect Could Ripple Across Europe; Interview with Nigel Farage; U.N. Fears Aleppo Becoming a Giant Graveyard; Jury Unable to Reach Consensus in Officer's Trial; Veterans Prepare to Protest Pipeline. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired December 2, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:30:48] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back.
We have some breaking news in our national lead today. The jury in the murder trial of South Carolina police officer Michael Slager has told the judge they cannot reach a consensus because of one juror. Slager, as you might remember, is charged in the death of Walter Scott an unarmed black motorist who was shot and killed during a traffic stop last year.
Video that you're seeing right now shows Slager being shot in the -- Slager shooting Scott in the back five times while he was running away. Scott's death sparked days of protests.
CNN's Boris Sanchez joins me now from downtown Charleston.
And, Boris, the judge just asked the solicitor to go to the jury and ask them if they're hopelessly deadlocked, so a mistrial has not yet been declared. Is that right?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's correct, Jake. It's really unfolded in dramatic fashion.
Let's go back to about 1:00, when a jury sent a note, after about 13 hours of deliberation to the judge asking for testimony from Feidin Santana. You remember, that's the witness that now viral video of Walter Scott being shot. Twelve minutes later, only 12 minutes later, another note came to the judge saying it is clear that the jurors will not be able to reach a consensus.
The judge then asked them if perhaps listening to Santana's testimony might change their minds. They came back and said, no, they were deadlocked at that point. It was still unclear just why or how they were deadlocked if there was kind of a split in the middle or if it was just one juror. It turns out, as you said, Jake, it is just one juror.
The judge then asked them to go back in and try it again, considering the fact that this case is going on for more than five weeks. A lot of money has been spent on the case. They came back just a few moments ago saying that one juror is essentially the deciding factor in this case. He sent a long letter to the judge saying that he cannot in clear conscience convict Michael Slager.
We're going to keep following this Jake and bring you the latest.
TAPPER: All right. And we'll come back to you when you more. Thank you so much, Boris Sanchez, in South Carolina.
Turning now to our world lead, like falling dominoes, could President- elect Donald Trump's win cascade across the globe and topple the current world order?
CNN senior international correspondent Atika Shubert is live for us in Berlin.
Atika, Italians and Austrians head to the polls this weekend and somewhat to the U.S. election, it's the establishment and globalism on the ballot versus outsiders?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, these are far right and populist parties, some of which have been around for years, but they're no longer on the fringe. They've become a real political force in many different countries here, but particularly in Austria and Italy, they're hoping really for a Trump boost to help them at the polls.
SHUBERT (voice-over): President-elect Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. has now put a spotlight on possible political shifts in Europe. So, is Europe caught in the same wave? And could it sweep far right and nationalist parties into power in Europe?
While the Austrian presidential election will be t first test, here are the candidates. Norbert Hofer, a gun-toting, refugee-blocking candidate of the far right Freedom Party. He says immigration needs to be stopped to preserve Austria's ethnic culture. His rival is Alexander Van der Bellen, a crusading ecologist for the Green Party.
Now, Hofer narrowly lost to Van der Bellen this summer by little more than 30,000 votes. But the results were annulled over concerns about how ballots were handled. So, the two are set for another showdown on December 4th, both candidates believe the Trump effect will work in their favor.
Hofer thinks Trump's victory will invigorate the silent majority to vote for him. Van der Bellen says the chaotic first days of the U.S. president-elect shows Austrian voters exactly what they don't want.
Others thought that Trump would have no effect in the vote.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No, I don't think so. Not so big.
SHUBERT: Now, that may amplify the chances of other far-right candidates facing their own elections last year. Marine Le Pen in France, and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, all are looking to crack down on immigration, particularly from Muslim countries. [16:35:07] All while Italy holds a historic constitutional referendum
next week. Parties across Italy's political spectrum have pulled out all the stops in the lead-up to the referendum, which on the surface may not seem to merit all this sound and fury. Italy's ambitious 41 year old Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is trying to convince the perennial skeptical people to modify Italy's constitution, slim it down and defanging its bloated Senate. The chance for real changed Renzi told this crowd in Rome, is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Now, Renzi promises a streamlined constitution will be a tonic for Italy's anemic economy, high unemployment, and mind-boggling bureaucracy. But if the latest polls are right, no wins, trouble might follow. After Brexit and Trump, could Italy be about to shake the established order?
Matteo Salvini, head of the anti-migrant Lega Nord is driving around northern Italy in a camper, spreading the gospel of no. He takes inspiration from the U.S. president-elect.
That is why the world is watching very closely how Europeans will vote.
SHUBERT: Now, no matter which way the vote goes, nothing will change overnight. But in Italy, if there's that no vote, then Matteo Renzi is expected to announce his resignation within hours. And in Austria, if Hofer does in fact become a president there, even though it's largely ceremonial, he will be the first far right president as the head of state in Europe since the World War II, very symbolic, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Atika Shubert in Berlin, thank you so much.
And joining me now, former head of the U.K. Independence Party, Nigel Farage. He helped engineer the U.K.'s exit from the European Union, so-called Brexit.
Sir, thanks so much for being here. We appreciate it.
NIGEL FARAGE, FORMER HEAD OF U.K. INDEPENDENCE PARTY: Thank you.
TAPPER: So, you have called 2016 the year of political revolution, first with Brexit and then the election of President-elect Trump, a surprise win. Mr. Trump has called for an end of what he called the false song of globalism. What do you think globalism is? And why should it end?
FARAGE: It depends. I mean, you're quite right. Globalism can be a good thing, in the sense that the world is becoming a smaller place, we're more interconnected. There are a lots of poor countries that are getting a bit richer. All of that is great.
And actually, one of the reasons I said we should vote for Brexit was to get ourselves out of an outdated customs union, which forbade us for making our own trade deals across the world. So, it can be good. The problem is what globalism has become. The European Union in a sense is a prototype for what Hillary Clinton and some of the big Wall Street banks want to see, namely where individual nation states effectively give up their democratic rights, give up the supremacy of their courts and hand it over to a higher global order, but wants to homogenize, harmonize, make everything the same.
And what it's done, it's played into the hands of the giant multinationals and done nothing for small and medium-sized enterprises. So I believe this -- I believe that individual nation states can make trade deals, can cooperate together, we need to live in a world where we work with each other, but not one where we give away our democratic rights.
TAPPER: When you talk about these big multinationals, when you talk about bankers and the like. Goldman Sachs was a boogeyman of Donald Trump and of Bernie Sanders for that matter --
TAPPER: -- on the campaign trail.
President-elect Trump's nominee for the secretary of the treasury is a former Goldman Sachs executive and there are obviously a number of financiers and turnaround experts and the like that are anticipated to be in his cabinet.
Does that concern you at all?
FARAGE: No, because actually what Goldman Sachs do is they employ brilliant people. No one is doubting that Goldman (INAUDIBLE) aren't very good at what they do. What I doubt is a political motive behind what they do.
I mean, look, you know, I'm from Europe. I mean, Greece joined the euro on the basis of a report put together by Goldman Sachs. When the prime minister of Greece was removed a few years ago, who was the new nominee? A former Goldman Sachs director. They've been allowed through this process to simply have too much power.
TAPPER: You're not a concern about Goldman Sachs executive to be a treasury secretary?
FARAGE: No, I'm not because actually, you know, we will find somebody who's incredibly well-trained and would be very, very intelligent.
TAPPER: You personally offered your assistance to the U.K. government to help mend fences with President-elect Trump.
TAPPER: Does the U.K. have a bad relationship with the U.S. right now or is there more particular to Mr. Trump?
FARAGE: There are two things. Firstly, you know, the special relationship during Obama's time did slip away. I think Obama looked towards Germany really as being the most important country in Europe, and he saw the United Kingdom's role as being part of a European political process rather than seeing us as an independent state. So, I'm hoping to press the reset button on this relationship.
[16:40:01] TAPPER: Watch out. That's not a good precedent, the recent. You know what I mean.
FARAGE: OK, fine. But, you know, we voted for Brexit, so we are going to be an independent country again. We've got an incoming president who is an Anglophile, he's mother was a Scott, he feels very strongly about it. So, yes, I'm very positive, you know, about this relationship. One of the first things we can do to prove the anti- globalist movement isn't insular, isn't small-minded is for the U.S. and the U.K. to put a trade deal together.
TAPPER: I do wonder, because both you and your Brexit team and Mr. Trump, President-elect Trump, and a small part of his political base have been criticized for being bigots, for being xenophobes. By no means am I saying that everybody who voted for Brexit is that way, or that even the vast majority of people who voted for Donald Trump are that way. But there is an element.
Why do you think they are attracted to the Brexit forces and to the Trump forces?
FARAGE: Well, if I look at Europe as a whole, and, look at you, the Euro skeptic movements that are saying the euro is a bad thing, the control from Brussels is a bad thing, they manifested themselves on left and right, you know? It is a left-wing party, for example, in Greece, that won the election and right-wing parties in the north of Europe. Look, if you take away from people their democratic rights, they're feeling that they're in control of their own culture, they will go anywhere they can, you know, to try to find a solution.
I can say this to you hand on hat, when we debated Brexit, you know, we didn't even mention Islam, we didn't talk about some of the cultural issues. We did talk about was that it's sensible to control borders, it's sensible to vet who comes to your country.
And I would reject utterly and totally any allegations of deliberately pandering to extremism. And I was pleased that Donald Trump did call these people down and say stop it.
TAPPER: But you did talk about immigration and you did talk about refugees, yes.
FARAGE: But that's a respectable thing to do. You know, we got such a crazy place, where actually I was told ten years ago oh, Nigel, please, when you go on television, don't talk about immigration, don't talk about border controls. Only bad people do this.
What we've had to do is shift the sensor of political gravity, that mean that we do talk about it and do say sensibly.
TAPPER: All right. Nigel Farage, thank you so much for taking our questions. FARAGE: Thank you.
TAPPER: Really appreciate it.
Toxic flames, ISIS now leaving its mark by setting oil fields on fire.
Then, even as more protester pour into North Dakota, construction continues on that controversial pipeline. Why they can't stop the construction.
[16:46:50] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Sticking with our "World Lead." Terrorists igniting a fiery hell, fleeing ISIS fighters, torching Iraqi oil fields, sparking massive flames, blistering key toxic billowing smoke.
This as Iraqi-led forces are facing stiff resistance from ISIS terrorists still holed up in Mosul. Innocent civilians including children are breathing in these toxic fumes. Their hands and faces stained black. Firefighters have been battles the flames for three months, but the heat is so intense much of the ground near the wells has reportedly melted.
From those infernos, we now turn to a humanitarian hell, the crisis in neighboring Syria. The violent airstrikes and artillery shelling continue to kill innocent civilians in eastern Aleppo. This week alone activists say more than 600 were killed. After a brief two-day break, the Russian backed Syrian regime resumed airstrikes on the rebel-held Syrian city, putting more Syrians, including children, in danger.
This as the U.N. is once again alerting the world about the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, where food is running out and medicine has been depleted.
CNN's senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen joins me now from inside Syria and the capital of Damascus.
And Fred, in addition to the growing death toll, we're told that tens of thousands of people are now displaced. What is the latest?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're absolutely right. And more and more people are becoming displaced every day, Jake. And the big problem is that a lot of those places where those displaced people are going to actually besieged areas themselves. So basically these people are just trying to run away from the frontlines. They're getting deeper into that besieged territory, and there of course they are prone to getting also attacked by the air by some of the bombings that are going on, by some of the artillery shells that are falling.
And there simply aren't any goods in those besieged areas for those people to subsist. And the United Nations says their big problem is they can't run any convoys into these besieged areas near the front lines because of the violence, of course, that's going on. Also because they don't have any permissions from the Syrian government either. And they say a lot of the supplies in those areas are really drastically running short.
And one thing, Jake, that we can't underestimate is that right now it's winter here in Syria, it's very cold, people not getting enough to eat. There's a lot of people who are wounded who have medical conditions as well. And that's one of the reasons why the U.N. says that the people right now who are stuck and trapped in these areas in eastern Aleppo are among the most vulnerable in the entire world, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Frederik Pleitgen in Syria, thank you so much.
Thousands of military veterans preparing to descend upon North Dakota to protest that controversial pipeline. That story next.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
[16:53:35] TAPPER: And we're back with more breaking news in that Michael Slager trial, the South Carolina police officers seen on video shooting and killing an unarmed black motorist, shooting them in the back five times during a traffic stop last year.
CNN's Boris Sanchez is in downtown Charleston.
So, Boris, just bottom line, is there mistrial?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, it appears that way. Right now the jury is being brought in so the judge can confirm a note that they just passed along to him, saying that they are hopelessly deadlocked.
The defense has already filed asking for a mistrial so it appears that they are going to confirm that this will in fact be a mistrial. This all started at about 1:00 p.m. when the jury requested some testimony from Feidin Santana. He's the witness that filmed the video of the encounter between Michael Slager and Walter Scott. Just 12 minutes later they came back with another note for the judge saying it's clear that they will not be able to reach a consensus.
The judge sent them back in saying, we've spent a lot of time here, it's unclear that we would get a different decision if we went through the questions with the same attorneys, perhaps the same answers and then had 12 different jurors, so he asked them, saying that it was their duty to come to a decision. They came back out a short while ago with three different notes for the judge.
The first one was a letter from a single juror saying that they could not consider a guilty verdict in clear conscience. That juror saying that the jury may never be unanimous in part because they could not go beyond a reasonable doubt to convict Michael Slager.
[16:55:01] They also added, I should point out, that they would have a hard time looking in the eyes of the family of Walter Scott and telling them that Michael Slager was innocent. After that, the foreman of the jury passed along two more notes to the judge, one of them saying that it is just one juror. The 11 others were looking to convict Michael Slager. And then one more note after that saying that that juror was, quote, "having issues," they were apparently undecided. After all of that, the jury ultimately decided, Jake, that they could not come to a consensus, they are hopelessly deadlocked as we look forward to, perhaps, a retrial -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Boris Sanchez, thanks so much. We'll check back with you after the judge makes his final ruling.
Next, an outrageous story in our "Buried Lead" coming from a Wisconsin Veterans Affairs' Hospital. Nearly 600 veterans may have been infected with HIV or with hepatitis, all because a dentist working for the VA did not clean his instruments. This happened at a facility in Tomah, Wisconsin, a representative from the medical center there said one dentist used his tools during routine exams over and over and over, which of course violates a VA rule which orders medical providers to disposable equipment to ensure that something exactly like this does not happen.
Officials are now investigating what's a potentially a massive case of deadly negligence, calling up each of the potentially impacted patients to make sure that he or she is checked for these diseases.
Just to give you at home an idea how deadly serious this is, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 12,000 people died from HIV/AIDS in 2014 in the United States. Treatment for HIV can cost as much as $5,000 a month. Hepatitis-C now kills even more than HIV does in this country, claiming nearly 20,000 lives in 2014 in the U.S. according to CDC Data.
As for the dentist who potentially jeopardized the lives of all these heroes, he's no longer treating patients, we're told, but as of now he has not been fired.
Now let's turn to the largest campsite set up to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. It will soon get even bigger with some 2,000 military veterans expected to arrive and join the Standing Rock Sioux tribe there this weekend. Despite winter setting in, the protesters vow to remain camped out in the snow and cold to stop the remaining construction. Protester fear the pipeline could one day contaminate their water and destroy their sacred land, but as our CNN team is learning, construction is continuing, protests notwithstanding.
CNN's Sara Sidner now joins me live near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
Sara, protesters saying they want to stop the construction. But the question, of course, can they really stop it?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that is the question. And that's -- they're hoping to stop it.
I want to give you some idea because I think there's a bit of confusion. If you look behind me that is the Oceti Sakowin camp, that's largest of the camps that are out here. And it is getting more and more and more populated. We're seeing lots of vehicles with more people coming in, but let me show you what's happening on the other side. And I'm going to walk with you a little bit because just -- if you can see those lights of those hills far -- you see some what looks like very, very dark colors on the very top of the hill where there's a big bright light.
That is where the Army Corps of Engineers is. So just beyond that is where the pipe is being built, where they're trying to put the pipes from there under the Missouri River, which is just past that. What is happening is the land here doesn't physically stop the pipeline from going in, but it is the legal battle and also the show of how much the Oceti Sakowin that has stopped this, and also, of course, you've got them trying to bring in the Obama administration to help stop this as well and now we have a group of veterans who are expected.
We can tell you, and I want to show you some video from just a few seconds ago that's still happening. There is what they call an action going on. And that has involved Wesley Clark Jr., who is standing with some of the commanders from the Army Corps of Engineers who are on the other side of that line. And he is talking with them. And this happens every now and then. But he is one of the people, the Oceti Sakowin say, helped bring in this large group of veterans that are expected over the next couple of days.
I also want to bring in someone who's already here. Joshua Tree is a veteran. You are a U.S. Navy vet. You served between '93 and '95 in Japan. So thank you for your service, initially, first, I want to say that to you.
Can you tell me why you're here? What brought you all the way to North Dakota?
Well, it's an honor and a pleasure to be here. You know, I really felt the call along with part of my community and the best way to support the historic events that are occurring here and an opportunity to stand in solidarity with a group of, you know, tribal and indigenous people against an oppressive, and also certainly standing against the pipeline, but also to come here and stand for a new paradigm, to bring wind and solar to help support the community here as they prepare for winter.
SIDNER: So Joshua Tree there, a U.S. veteran that's already here. There'll be many more coming this weekend.
TAPPER: All right. Sara Sidner in North Dakota, thank you.
This Sunday be sure to tune in to "STATE OF THE UNION." The Trump and Clinton campaign managers sitting down with me together in an exclusive interview you can only see on CNN. All starting at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Turning you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thanks for watching.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now. Breaking news, hopelessly deadlocked. A single juror --