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Evacuations of Civilians from Aleppo Restarted; McCain: We Need Select Committee On Russia Hacks; Electoral College Members to Vote Monday; Van Jones Talks to Trump Voters in Ohio; Weir Speaks to So- Called "Dutch Donald Trump"; 10 Killed in Jordan Terrorist Attack; Wall Street Watching the Dow's Post-election Rally. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired December 18, 2016 - 18:00   ET


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

We begin this hour with breaking news in a part of the world that is desperate and dangerous, where innocent people may finally be moving toward relative safety tonight.

[18:00:02] I'm talking about Syria, particularly the war ravaged city of Aleppo. Just in the past few moments, news that the mission to evacuate thousands of families and children out of Aleppo is now back on. That is after several days of on again, off again evacuations because of serious safety concerns.

International agencies have been trying to get people out of Aleppo for days but the operation keeps getting called off because nearby fighting is continuing. Also some of these buses they're using to bring people out of Aleppo have literally been set on fire.

Let me take you now live to the border between Syria and Turkey. That's where -- it's after 2:00 in the morning. That is where we find our Muhammad Lila.

We're hearing now that these evacuations, Muhammad, are become on. What are your sources telling you about how many people, especially those children are still trapped inside of Aleppo?

MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, we know that there are still several thousand people trapped in that eastern part of Aleppo. But the fact that we're starting to see some buses move now is certainly very good indication especially if it holds. I mean, people have been holing out hope that the buses would be moving all weekend. That they haven't until now just literally at the last moment.

And, of course, you know, we're not talking about a lot of movement just yet. We understand, it's only about five buses or so filled with people who are being evacuated in eastern part of Aleppo, the last rebel stronghold. They're going to be taken to the Aleppo countryside.

Now, in conjunction with that, we understand that some civilians who are trapped in neighboring villages that have been under siege by the rebels, those civilians are going to be released as well. So, it's part of a complicated plan. But the fact the buses are moving is definitely a very good sign.

HARLOW: The images speak volumes and looking at the faces of these children is horrifying for everyone. Here is just one. Another picture just released today of a little boy, a teenage boy holding a bag of stuffed animals hiding behind one of the remaining walls in eastern Aleppo.

When you talk to these people, those who have made it out and those who are still there, have they given up on the international community or do they somehow still hold out hope that frankly the world will do more?

LILA: You know, every single person I've talked to, including people who have been evacuated from Aleppo, they basically feel like the world has turned their back on them. I don't think they in general hold out any hope that, for example, western countries are going to come and support them.

I mean, these are people who lived through months of merciless airstrikes from the Syrian government, as well as Russian air force. I mean, they endured all that and their feeling is that, you know, western countries, and even other neighboring countries didn't do anything to stop it. They really feel as though they have been abandoned by the rest of the world.

HARLOW: Muhammad Lila, on the border of Syria and Turkey for us tonight, please keep us posted. Thank you very much. And I'm so glad to hear the evacuations are back on.

LILA: Thank you.

HARLOW: Let's bring in Andrew Tabler. He's with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He wrote the book "In The Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria."

Thank you for being here, Andrew.


HARLOW: Are you heartened by this news that the evacuations, as Muhammad was just reporting, appear to be back on, or is it just, you know, hours and days until once again they're halted and people are stuck freezing and starving in Aleppo?

TABLER: It's hard to get your hopes up in such a situation. The people seem to be moving. Of course, it was after a day in which buses were burned outside of two Shia villages in Idlib province, surrounded by the rebels.

We do have some progress potentially at the Security Council tomorrow, where French draft seems -- it's going to be voted on, very early. There seems to be some sort of consensus. In the past, we thought there was consensus and then we had --


HARLOW: I mean, let's say there is a consensus. What will the reality be for the people on the ground in Aleppo. How would that play out for them?

TABLER: Well, there's some issue of access but mostly, it's monitors. This is first time the U.N. monitors will be placed inside of these areas. And it would put Blue Helmets, so to speak, or of sorts into the middle of this, whereas until now, (INAUDIBLE) the International Red Cross and their local affiliate, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, which have been able to see evacuations from checkpoints.

HARLOW: So, speaking about the United Nations and, frankly, the role of the international community, as you heard our Muhammad Lila reports, so many people have given up that the world is going to help them. Back in 2005, regarding the responsibility to protect, the United Nations used these words, "The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the state, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty."

What has happened to that when it comes to Aleppo?

[18:05:03] TABLER: Well, I think very clearly, the responsibility to protect is, RTP, as it's called, is RIP. I think Syria pretty much iced that. Whether, you know, whether that's the case, I don't know.

What's ironic is that, of course, Samantha Power is our representative to the United Nations, says this is going. I think her team has worked very hard to push this. But ultimately, responsibility to this, Western leadership, comes down to President Obama who very famously and quite prominently and publicly did not want to intervene in Syria and continues to not want to intervene in Syria, even though we have these events, these events going on in Aleppo.

HARLOW: You have said that Iran is making demands for any support of evacuations for any support of these evacuations from Aleppo. What are you talking about?

TABLER: Well, in the sense that an exchange for Aleppo, and what's left of it, the opposition areas, it's no longer just about that. The Iranian backed militia, Hezbollah, Iraqi and Afghan and other Shia militia have been participating in the siege of Aleppo. They say they worked that out, the oppositionists, until Syria members, two villages in Idlib province, talking about the rebels, are also allowed out.

And that's what caused the most recent hold up in the evacuations in the last 48 hours or so. So, that's an interesting twist. It shows Iran's involvement in the conflict and how they can be even when Russia gets involved and tries to negotiate evacuations with the international community.

HARLOW: Andrew Tabler, thank you much for coming on. And, obviously, for everyone watching as you go to bed tonight, remember how lucky we all are. Thank you very much, Andrew.

If you want to help, go to A lot of ways there that you can help the people of Syria.

Turning now to politics, prominent Republican Senator John McCain slamming President Obama's response to the Russian meddling in the U.S. election. McCain says the current investigation into the Kremlin's interference not enough. Here's what he told our Jake Tapper.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We need to have a select committee. Jake, the responsibilities for cyber is spread over about four different committees in the Senate. And each doing their own thing, frankly, is not going to be the most efficient way of arriving at a conclusion. This is serious business.


HARLOW: The push for a select committee is bipartisan. Joining McCain's push is Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan want investigations conducted through the already existing Senate and House committees.

Tomorrow, the 538 members of the Electoral College meet to formally select the nation's next president. They meet in their respective states, make their votes. Remember those electors are not constitutionally bound to follow the will of the people they represent, meaning the way you voted and the way your state went, they don't have to vote that way but they almost always do. Some Electoral College members say they are being pressured to go rogue and become so-called faithless electors.

President-elect Trump tweeted earlier tonight, "If my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned and called terrible names."

Right now, President-elect Trump is projected to have 306 electoral votes, 270 are needed to win.

Let's talk about all of it with our panel. Joining me now, CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson, host of "The Ben Ferguson Radio Show", and political analyst Michael Nutter, former mayor of the great city of Philadelphia, and a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Gentlemen, thank you for being here.



HARLOW: So, it's interesting, Ben. This tweet tonight by the president-elect, saying essentially, we can pull it back up, "If my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned and called terrible names." He's saying vote the way your state went.

Some of these folks and their tactics aside, inappropriate to threaten anyone, but are calling into question the legitimacy of the election. Some of them, as you know, ten electors wanted a CIA briefing about the Russian hack and intelligence there. Those are some of their concerns. So, they are questioning the legitimacy.

At the same time, as you know, during the campaign, the president- elect questioned the legitimacy of the process. How do you square the two?

NUTTER: Right.

FERGUSON: Look, I think it's pretty clear that Donald Trump is the president-elect and Hillary Clinton was the loser in this campaign. And there are some people that are using this for their own personal gain, to become I guess for 15 minutes of fame, or here is their moment. They get to talk about these things they want to demand. They get to, you know, continue to be upset with the election.

But the fact is, this to me really isn't as big of a story as some have made it out to be because Donald Trump is the president-elect.

[18:10:06] He's going to get everything that's due to him tomorrow, which the American people voted for him. These others that are sore losers.

And Donald Trump is right. You know, as being one of the deplorables out here, if people on the right had done there when Barack Obama had won the first and second time, you would have been called racists and bigots and homophobes and xenophobes and all the deplorable names. So, I think there's a bit of a double standard here.

But again, it's time to move on past it. Let's get to January. We have a new president coming in. If these people want to be famous more a moment for being this whatever they want to call themselves, go ahead and do it, knock yourself out. You still lost.

HARLOW: You think that's what's it about, Mayor Nutter?

NUTTER: Not at all. It's shame you don't want to give acknowledgement to the fact that part of your statement was incorrect. The American people, by a popular voted for Hillary Clinton. So, this is an unusual circumstance or situation. The electors are not robots. They're real people who have real concerns. A bunch of things happened during the course of the campaign and I think Poppy mentioned, even Mr. Trump was questioning the legitimacy of the election. Now that he's won, of course, all those issues, in his mind, at least go away. So --

FERGUSON: Do you think that he's not the president?

NUTTER: Ben, hey, Ben, we're not going to do this tonight. You're going to let me finish.

The number of intelligence agencies have now indicated clearly that there was Russian interference in the overall election process. Mr. Trump said one thing during the campaign. Post campaign, he says something else.

So, I think the electors have a right as they do in many states to follow their conscience. And we'll see what happens tomorrow.

HARLOW: Ben, you know, the 12th Amendment doesn't obligate the electors to vote one way or another. You still take issue with what Mayor Nutter is saying. Why?

FERGUSON: Well, I mean, look, I think, Mayor Nutter, the fact that you're even implying that somehow this may have not been a free and fair election, I would ask the people that vote in this election if they felt like it was --

NUTTER: I didn't imply it. The intelligence agencies did.

FERGUSON: OK, let me finish. Second thing is, you say that all of a sudden, because Hillary Clinton got the popular vote, you use that again to kind of dig at Donald Trump to imply somehow he's not truly the president-elect. He is. This is just undermining --

NUTTER: I didn't say that.

FERGUSON: You did. You said this is unprecedented and we have a president that didn't win the popular vote.

NUTTER: Ben, you said the American people --


FERGUSON: I'm not going to do this tonight. To quote you we're not going to do this tonight. Let me finish my point. Let me finish my point.

NUTTER: Right, sure.

FERGUSON: The Electoral College is what it's all about. And everyone that went in to vote and every candidate to sign up to run, including Hillary Clinton, knew that. It's her fault she didn't win enough electoral votes. Blame her for that. You can blame the team for that.

NUTTER: No dispute.

FERGUSON: Not going to states and taking them for granted. There's many states she didn't go to that you took for granted and you lost. That's why she's not president.

HARLOW: So, Mayor Nutter, as we heard --

NUTTER: That's not under dispute, Ben.

HARLOW: Mayor Nutter, as we heard President Obama say in his press conference on Friday, obviously fed up with the fact that Russia was interfering with the electoral process -- NUTTER: Yes.

HARLOW: -- but he never once said that this election wasn't a free and fair election. He never once said the voting machines were tampered with.

I think if my team can pull up the sound bite, I think we have it. Hillary Clinton did say earlier this week about Russia's interference that it was personal. Listen.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Vladimir Putin directed the covert attacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me.


HARLOW: So, Mayor Nutter, some of her critics read two things from that. They read, A, it sounded like to them that she was implying the voting machines themselves were hacked. The election, itself, was hacked. And, secondly, that she is pointing her finger for the loss at Russia rather than taking responsibility herself.

How do you see it?

NUTTER: Yes. First, I saw the president's press conference. It is great that President Obama continues to have press conferences. We await the first one from Mr. Trump.

But putting that aside, I heard what the president said. I agree with President Obama. I have no evidence and no one has really laid out any direct evidence that machines were interfered with.

But we cannot deny, again, what the three intelligence agencies have laid out. There was, in fact, these fingerprints as they call them, that it appears that Russia did hack into the DNC and access John Podesta's e-mails, may have coordinated with WikiLeaks to then get them out. So, that's the level of interference that I think most people are talking about.

[18:15:04] I couldn't exactly hear --


HARLOW: Ben, to that point --

NUTTER: These are facts. All the intelligence agencies agree with.

HARLOW: Ben, to Mayor Nutter's point. As you well know, as I turn my alarm off that's going off. As you well know, the president-elect has not said what his fellow Republicans have said calling for a select committee to investigate, what the head of the CIA said in statement this week in agreement with the director of national intelligence and the FBI that indeed Russia did interfere in the election and they agree on the scope and the intent. Instead tonight, he's tweeting about electors and people threatening

electors. He can tweet about that but he hasn't tweeted once or said one negative thing or damning thing about Russia interfering in our electoral process, or about Vladimir Putin being, as the president pointed his finger to, you know, at the head of it. Not once. Why is that?

FERGUSON: I don't think he has to tweet about every single thing.

HARLOW: Ben, he hasn't said one thing about it and it is a big deal. Every American should be angry that -- should every American not be angry that Russia tried to screw with our election?


FERGUSON: We have a president of the United States of America that looked at Vladimir Putin and told him to cut it out but did nothing else to stop this hacking. That's something that we should be angry at.

HARLOW: The president-elect in his last press conference 144 days ago, the last thing he said about Vladimir Putin and hacking is perhaps Russia should find Hillary Clinton's e-mails. That's the last thing he said to address it. He is now the president-elect, Ben. Would you like to hear him say more?

FERGUSON: I'm fine with him tweeting something about this. But I also think he has Republican leaders that he is talking with who made it clear on Capitol Hill that they're going to investigate this and stop this.

But let's also remember this, he's not the president yet. He may have a very big plan.


HARLOW: Ben, I love having you on the program but I want you to answer my question. Do you want to hear the president-elect in the next 30 days before he takes office address this and say Vladimir Putin, this is not okay?

FERGUSON: I have no problem with him saying that, if he wants to it.

HARLOW: Do you want him to say this? Does he need to say it?


FERGUSON: -- why don't you tweet so it people look at the irresponsibility of Barack Obama by not handling this when we is the president of the United States of America. I'd be fine with him tweeting that right now. I hope he does tweet it right now.

NUTTER: Nice try, Ben.

FERGUSON: (INAUDIBLE) president and all he did was, hey, we know you're hacking into our elections, cut that out. HARLOW: So, Mayor Nutter, to Ben's point --


NUTTER: You don't know what else the president said or did.

HARLOW: Ben brings up an interesting point, and, look, one of the fiercest critics of Vladimir Putin, Gary Kasparov, you know, said this week, he believes that it's the eight years of failed Russian policy on behalf of the Obama administration that has allowed it to get to this point. A failed Russian reset.

Do you believe -- does Ben have a point on that?

NUTTER: I'm not exactly what Ben's point is other than not answering your question.

FERGUSON: I answered it.

HARLOW: He did answer.

NUTTER: No, you didn't. You responded.

HARLOW: He said he wants to see it.

NUTTER: In any event, Ben --

HARLOW: Do you believe -- here is my question. Do you believe the Obama administration should have taken a harder line on Russia?

NUTTER: I think President Obama, A, because he is the president, knows more about all of this than the three of us on the show right now. Second, he said what he said. That's what he shared. We don't know what else was said. And I think te president, I'm certain what he said the other day and said before, that the United States of America will take a series of actions with regard to what Russia has done. Some we will know about. Some he won't know about.

FERGUSON: What has he done?

NUTTER: I trust President Barack Obama.

HARLOW: So, Ben, to that point --

NUTTER: What has Donald Trump done? He goes after "Vanity Fair" and restaurants.

HARLOW: Hey, guys, we got one minute. Let's get one final question in. Ben, the president said we're going to take action. The public might see some of it. They might not see some of it.

Do you want the president-elect to follow through on the action that the sitting president takes?

FERGUSON: Absolutely. But he should have done it months ago when he knew they were actually trying to interfere before the election. This is a president that underestimated Russia, failed on a Russian reset, and most importantly, mocked Mitt Romney when he said the Cold War is over, buddy, and basically acted like Russia was completely under control. Look at what that have been involved in Aleppo. And this president has done nothing to help the people in Aleppo.

He continues to give us words, empty words, the same way that Russia knew when he said, cut it out. That was meaningless rhetoric from the president who was going to do nothing to stop them. That's why they were successful.

HARLOW: Mayor Nutter, 30 seconds.


[18:20:00] President Obama made clear in the press conference on Friday the complications of Syria and Aleppo which Mr. Trump completely does not understand and if he went to a briefing, he might get some more information. So, I think the president is being very measured, he's been very focused and very direct on these issues. But it really does take a coalition to make these things happen.

HARLOW: It's nice to have you both on the program, gentlemen. Ben Ferguson, Mayor Michael Nutter, thank you both.

FERGUSON: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: Coming up, Electoral College voters told not to vote Trump with harassing calls and letters. Some of them even getting death threats. We're going to hear one man's story.

Also, riding wave of populism in Europe. Is this guy the Dutch Donald Trump?


HARLOW: Noon tomorrow is when the Electoral College convenes to officially cast votes for president. Some pro-Trump electors say they are getting death threats pressuring them to break ranks. One man said he received 600 letters in day demanding that he not vote for Trump.

Our Rosa Flores reports.


MICHAEL BANERIAN, MICHIGAN ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTER: So, this one came in a day before the election. "Hey, blank head, I'll find you and put a bullet in your fat blanking mouth."

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Death threats fill Michigan elector Michael Banerian's social media accounts.

BANERIAN: So, this is a tweet I received. It has a picture of a noose on it.

FLORES: His mailbox packed with commands coming from around the country, 2,000 just this week he says.

BANERIAN: Oregon, Oklahoma, Washington states.

FLORES: The mailman even interrupting our interview to deliver another 600 letters, all calling on him not to vote for Donald Trump. Something Banerian, along with Michigan's 15 other electors, pledge to do, regardless of the pressures.

BANERIAN: I've had death wishes. People just saying I hope you die. Do society a favor. Throw yourself in front of a bus.

And just recently, I was reading a blog about me. And, unfortunately, these people not only called for the burning of myself but my family, which is completely out of the line.

FLORES: Banerian has no choice. Michigan state law keeps him from changing his vote. Electors in 27 other states and District of Columbia also have faithless elector laws.

[18:25:01] But in 22 states, electors can go rogue. Anti-Trump groups are not letting up, posting the names and addresses of 283 electors on the Internet, encouraging people across the country to write the electors, asking they vote against Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe I'm going to cast my vote for an alternative Republican.

FLORES: The group Hamilton Electors is leading the charge to block Trump from 270 electoral votes. They say at least 20 electors are on board. But they need 37 for the election to go through the House of Representatives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republican members of the Electoral College, this message is for you.

FLORES: Hollywood stars are pushing for an alternate ending as well, releasing this video.

RICHARD SCHIFF, ACTOR: By voting your conscience, you and other brave Republican electors can give the House of Representatives the option to select a qualified candidate.

FLORES: But that's never happened before. And Banerian says his vote won't help this year be the first.

BANERIAN: It's utter hypocrisy because I don't think if the roles were reversed, most of these people would be OK with electors being faithless and voting for anyone other than Hillary Clinton had she won.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Chicago.


HARLOW: Rosa, thank you so much for that. We appreciate it. Coming up next, a story you want to see. Our Van Jones takes us to a deep blue corner of Ohio that turned deep red this year. Hear why these voters put their faith in Donald Trump and the Republican Party for the first time in many years.


HARLOW: Tonight we return to the heart land to hear from voters who helped push Donald Trump across the finish line. Van Jones has been out in the field listening to voters, including long time Democrats who cross party lines this election.

[18:30:04] One of his stops, a corner of Ohio that until Election Day had been reliably remarkably blue.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR (voice-over): For the first election in more than 40 years, Trumbull County, Ohio has turned Republican red. Union Democrats ruled this blue collar hub of mills and manufacturing. Well, they did until Donald Trump ran for President.

So how did it happen? How did Hillary Clinton, my candidate, lose these people? There's only one way to find out. Oh, lord. First stop is the Mocha House where local political rivals often hash out their disagreements over breakfast.

JONES (on camera): Hey, how are you?


JONES (on camera): Thanks to you. My name is Van.

ANGELO: I'm Marcy.

JONES (on camera): Hi.


JONES (on camera): Hi. Laurencia, good to meet you.

CANZONETTA: Nice to meet you.

JONES (voice-over): It's where I meet up with two young Trump voters. Laurencia Canzonetta is the president of her college conservatives group. Marcy Angelo does outreach work for children's charity.

JONES (on camera): So you're both young women. There was a lot of controversy about that tape that came out, a lot of controversy about things that he said. That didn't impact you guys?


CANZONETTA: No. ANGELO: I guess, for me, it's easy to portray that you're this

perfect person and you've never had sex or sent a nude picture or said the "P" word before, but more people than people think do those things on a daily basis. And for me, I look at it like a lot of those things wouldn't have come out if he wasn't running for President. That's how I feel.

JONES (on camera): I've said that a part of what was going on with the Trump phenomenon was that it was a White lash, that there's an element of the Trump phenomenon, not the whole thing, there's an element of it, that does seem to be very animated by racial resentments against Mexicans, against Muslims, against Black people, et cetera. Have you seen any of that?

CANZONETTA: I can't say I personally have. I think it just boiled down to we've had a failed presidency for the last eight years. And, yes, some things good came out of it, but at the end of the day, you know, jobs were taken away. Manufacturing was gutted. And I think, especially in this county, you see that these people lose jobs and I think a lot of people, you know, looked at that and you know, felt that emotion, and Trump's happen to speak about it.

JONES (on camera): Yes.

CANZONETTA: And that's where they connected at. That's personally.

JONES (voice-over): Job loss, especially manufacturing jobs, is definitely an emotional topic in Trumbull.

RANDY LAW, CHAIRMAN, TRUMBULL COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY: A large number of folks here feel very disenfranchised from both parties, frankly.

JONES (voice-over): Randy Law is the GOP Chairman in Trumbull County.

LAW: This is R.G. Steel or the former R.G. Steel plant.

JONES (on camera): But it's just a big vacant lot.

LAW: Yes, they erased this about between a year and 18 months ago.

JONES (on camera): It must have been heartbreaking to see?

LAW: It has been.

JONES (voice-over): He shows me mills and factories that have shut down or scaled way back in just the last few years.

LAW: This is a 100-plus-year-old motor company, and they've shut down in the last six months or go. This is Delphi Electric. They used to employ 18,000 people in our community.

JONES (on camera): That's a lot of people.

LAW: They will be lucky to have 600 and we're going to have to fight to hold on to those jobs. And this G.E. plant held well over 100 years. JONES (on camera): Now gone?

LAW: Six months ago.

JONES (on camera): So what you're saying is that while the Democrats are running ads showing Donald Trump saying offensive things to women, arguably offensive things about women, people are looking out their window and they're seeing factories shut down in the middle of the campaign season.

LAW: Oh, yes. This is Copperweld Steel.

JONES (on camera): Whoa.

LAW: This was just a vital facility to us here for years, employing tens of thousands of people. I believe they poured steel here last about 18 months ago. They're in the process of gutting this plant out and tearing some of it down.

JONES (on camera): You feel like people here feel abandoned?

LAW: Yes, I think that was a big factor in this entire election. People feel disenfranchised, abandoned, a little bit of everything. And it's a lot of disaffected Democrats who came into the primary headquarters and said, we're switching over. This is the first guy I've heard that speaks what I'm thinking. At the end of the day, it's economics. It's jobs. It's trade.

We voted big for hope and change with President Obama. It didn't get delivered here and people were willing to look for that other change, sort of give another guy a chance, and I think a lot of votes were driven that way.


[18:35:02] HARLOW: Fascinating, Van. Thank you so much for that.

Straight ahead for us, my colleague, Bill Weir, on the man being called the Dutch Donald Trump. A preview of tonight's brand new episode of "THE WONDER LIST" in the Netherlands.


HARLOW: Bill Weir might just have the best job in television. I think, hands down, he does. He travels the world to disappearing places. He dives deep into untold stories. And tonight, on a special airing of "THE WONDER LIST," he takes us to Amsterdam for a city that, for centuries, has been one of the most liberal cities in the world. But in this episode, he uncovers a different sentiment. He meets with Geert Wilders, the so-called Dutch Donald Trump.


BILL WEIR, CNN HOST: Amsterdam, every historian will tell you, became this intellectual, rich capital because it was the most open-minded, accepting, tolerant society of the time. GEET WILDERS, FOUNDER, PARTY FOR FREEDOM: I agree. Yes.

WEIR: You're going against everything I thought the Dutch were about.


WEIR: How can Amsterdam be Amsterdam with your ideas?

WILDERS: Well, that's a good question. And I think the problem is that we, Dutch, are known for our tolerance. We are a tolerant people. We are a tolerant country. But in the process of the last decades, we made one mistake. And that is that we started to become tolerant to the intolerant as well. To the ideology of hate that has no tolerance for us, we became tolerant as well.

And hey, we have in Holland, whether it like it or not, and enormous problems with the Moroccan community. Of course, not with everybody. And I pick Moroccans because both when it comes to the dependency on social benefits as when it comes to the public crime rates, they are over represented enormously. I didn't say and I didn't mean that all Moroccans are wrong or bad people or Moroccans should leave. I would never say that. But less Moroccans? Yes, indeed.


[18:40:07] HARLOW: Bill Weir, host of "THE WONDER LIST" joins me now. Nice to have you back.

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Poppy.

HARLOW: After more world travels.

WEIR: Yes, it's good to be back in the zone.

HARLOW: Tell us more about him, about Geert Wilders. Who is he? And he's really popular. This wave of populism resonating here.

WEIR: Exactly. And that's what was so interesting is, you know, the Dutch, they built that country out of salty marsh. Nobody wanted it.

HARLOW: Literally, it should be under water.

WEIR: It should be under water and as a result, they're been one of the more tight-knit communities, very open-minded, most liberal society. But those values are being challenged in the age of immigration and ISIS terror, these sorts of things. And he was actually a member of the Liberal Party years ago but just came out with -- he's from a rural part of the country -- this one thing that Islam, as a religion, does not belong in this democracy. They're intolerant --

HARLOW: At all?

WEIR: At all. And he was just lone voice crying in the wilderness. Now, he's favored to win the Prime Minister --


WEIR: -- become Prime Minister of Holland next year.

HARLOW: He's obviously not the only voice you talked to in this.


HARLOW: You also sat down with Amir, a Palestinian who left home, Syria, to go to the Netherlands. What did he say life is like for him there under this scenario, under this situation?

WEIR: Well, he's a wonderfully generous spirit. And he is a professional musician so the country has embraced him in ways, you know, it would be more difficult for a carpenter or someone.

HARLOW: Correct.

WEIR: But his story is so telling about just how hard it is, first, to get to a country like the Netherlands then to go through their system. Five different camps or different settlement areas. And now, he's in. But the mayor of Rotterdam is a Muslim from North Africa. He says it took him 15 years. He had to learn to ride a bicycle so he could get to the lessons where he could learn Dutch.

So you know, the pressures of all these people wanting to come to this country and the time it takes for them to ingratiate is a shock to the system, even for a very open society like the Netherlands.

HARLOW: I mean, it's interesting. When you watch tonight, people, wait for the opening shot. It will catch you by surprise.


HARLOW: It's a great shot, but it exemplifies how open and liberal this culture is especially in Amsterdam is.

WEIR: Yes.

HARLOW: Did you leave there, Bill, thinking it is changing?

WEIR: Very much.

HARLOW: I mean, why are people drawn to him and his ideology? What is it?

WEIR: It is everything that you see happening in the United States. It was such sort of a mirror of what's happening here. You had people on the coast going, Donald Trump, come on. You had people in the industrial, the farming centers go, "Hey, I like what this guy is saying. He's saying what I'm thinking."

Because we live in economically scary times, as human beings, we're just naturally tribal -- who's that guy? Does he look like us? You know, and the most homogenize societies, which the Netherlands was for a long time, tend to be the happiest. But, yes, I think it's part of a global thing that's happening from Brexit across Europe, western Europe, this liberal open-border democracies, you know, have seen better days for sure.

HARLOW: And you ask the question in "THE WONDER LIST," what happens to such an open-minded place when so many minds and borders are slamming shut. Did you answer that question?

WEIR: I hope I did. I hope that what you find there are people who very much care about their values. They're proud of being one of the most progressive places in the world, but they're coming to grips with this. This is life on a more crowded planet. You know, some of the notorious pot-smoking coffee shops have shut down. The red light district in Amsterdam is gentrifying.

So in some ways, if things become more uncertain day to day, people become more conservative in various ways. And this is just a fascinating place because we owe so much to the Dutches, Americans. Freedom of speech --

HARLOW: Of course, as New Yorkers, the New Amsterdam.

WEIR: Yes, New Amsterdam. Freedom of speech and religion and trade, democracy.


WEIR: They invented the book and the newspaper. And we're also seeing what they have cooking for the future, how they're imagining life, a better life, especially in big cities.

HARLOW: Well, it's beautiful and beautifully shot. As always, thank you so much.

WEIR: Thanks, Poppy.

[18:44:10] HARLOW: Nice to have you back. Watch it tonight, a special episode of "THE WONDER LIST WITH BILL WEIR." It's tonight, 10:00 p.m. Eastern only right here on CNN. We'll be right back.


HARLOW: We are following developments in Jordan tonight where at least 10 people are dead at a popular historic tourist site. Officials there calling it a terrorist attack. Take a look. This is the middle of a gun battle between police in southern Jordan and a still unknown number of attackers who, witnesses say, opened fire on the police and visitors, including some foreigners. Jordanian officials now say four gunmen are dead. Our Jomana Karadsheh is in Jordan's capital, Amman, tonight with what we know thus far.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, Jordanian officials say the attack is over. What is ongoing right now is clearing and combing operations following what they have described as a terrorist attack. And they say what is ongoing right now is clearing and combing operations around the area of the main attack, around that castle in the city of Karak, to the south of Jordan. They say four attackers, who they described as terrorists, were killed

in this operation. They say they found a large number of automatic weapons on them as well as a large amount of ammunition. Also, in the house that these attackers described as terrorists were using in a town near Karak, they say that they found suicide vests and explosives there.

According to Jordanian authorities, this was multiple shooting incidents that took place in southern Jordan. To the north of the city of Karak, in the town of Qatranah, their security forces came under fire and also in Karak itself, these two shooting incidents, one where a police patrol came under fire. But the deadliest, most serious incident was when gunmen positioned themselves in the Karak castle, that 12th century crusader castle, one of the main tourist attractions in southern Jordan, and they opened fire on a nearby police station there. They were surrounded by security forces and gun battles ensued for a few hours.

This type of attack is rare in this country. Jordan really prides itself with its security and stability in the midst of this turbulent region. But this key U.S. ally has been a target of terrorist organizations according to the officials here who say they have thwarted several terror plots over the year, including one by ISIS.

[18:49:56] It is still unclear who is behind this attack on Sunday being blamed on terrorist groups by Jordan where the government says that it is investigating their identities and their affiliations, Poppy.

HARLOW: Jomana, thank you very much, live from Amman tonight. We appreciate it. Quick break. We'll be right back.


HARLOW: The hunt for Dow 20,000 is on, but that is not all Wall Street is watching this week. Paul La Monica is New York with more. Hey, Paul.

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN MONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Poppy. The big question on Wall Street this week, will the rally keep going? The Dow hit a major milestone last week. Now, I'm not talking about Dow 20,000. It's now the strongest post-election rally of all time.

In the five weeks since the election, the Dow is up more than 8 percent. That's better than 1996 when the Dow jumped 5 percent in the five weeks following Bill Clinton's re-election. The industrials went on to gain 22 percent during the first year of Clinton's second term.

We'll also be watching the U.S. dollar this week. It's sitting near a 14-year high. Since November, the greenback is up nearly 10 percent against global currencies. Good news for travelers, you're getting a better exchange rate for your U.S. dollar, but bad news for U.S. multi-national companies like IBM, G.M., and Coca-Cola. That's because it makes their goods more expensive overseas -- Poppy.

HARLOW: It does, indeed. Paul, thank you so much. And remember to check out the new CNN MoneyStream app.

Meantime, let's have a little fun, all right? The halls of the White House may be decked out with boughs of holly, but it's President-elect Donald Trump who decides who has been naughty or nice. It is the subject of Jake Tapper's "STATE OF THE CARTOONION."


[18:55:08] JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It's the most wonderful time of the year.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Merry Christmas, everybody. We're going to start saying "Merry Christmas" again.

TAPPER: And this year, Donald Trump wants to make Christmas great again. And he's starting right inside Trump Tower, which closed down early this week for its annual Christmas party.

TRUMP: Ho-ho-ho.

TAPPER: We in the press were not invited, so we have to imagine the festivities, such as Kanye singing carols.

One imagines that Santa Trump has a list of naughty or nice, which he is definitively checking more than twice. There are plenty of gifts he has to dole out, such as this one for former Texas Governor Rick Perry.


TAPPER: Others, however, should probably expect a lump of coal. I'm looking at you, Governor Romney.

TRUMP: Happy New Year, but merry Christmas.


HARLOW: Pretty awesome, Jake. Thank you for that.

All right. Coming up in the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM, ominous words on Russia from Republican Senator John McCain who warns of a possible unraveling of the world order because of Moscow. We'll hear what more he said on that.

Also, President-elect Donald Trump tweeting his irritation with a last-ditch effort to try to stop him from becoming President. Folks, this is highly unlikely. We'll talk about the Electoral College and that vote tomorrow. Straight ahead.


[18:59:58] HARLOW: Seven p.m. Eastern, you're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. So glad you're with us. We begin tonight with a dire warning from prominent Republican Senator John McCain telling our Jake Tapper Russian hacking that's influencing the U.S. election threatened to, quote, "destroy democracy."