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Report: Obama to Transfer Gitmo Detainees, Manhunt Underway in Berlin; Trump and Bill Clinton Escalate Twitter Feud; $40,00 Reward for Road Rage Killer of Boy. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired December 20, 2016 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: From GITMO, tell me more about that.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, my colleagues at the Pentagon have confirmed that the Obama administration has alerted Congress that they have -- they to plan to transfer a number of detainees. The "New York Times" has a 17 or 18 -- they put it at 17 or 18 detainees to other countries. That would amount to nearly a third of the inmates remaining at Guantanamo bay. This, as you mentioned, was a campaign promise of the President eight years ago, something he's never been able to fulfill but their goal is to reduce the number as much as possible before he leaves office. This is another area where President-elect Trump disagrees, he wants to not only keep that prison open but to fill it up with more bad news. Brooke?

BALDWIN: 32 more days to go. Athena jones.

Up next, a memorial is growing in Berlin for the 12 people killed in the Christmas market attack. Meantime, back to square 1. The manhunt is under way. They don't have anyone in custody. We'll discuss the different ways President Obama and President-elect Trump have been responding. The Senate's top Republican responds to bipartisan calls for a select committee on Russia hacking saying it's not going to happen. What does that mean for the investigation?


BALDWIN: We're keeping an eye on the breaking developments across Europe, the Middle East, that includes the ongoing manhunt for the individual responsible for the devastating truck attack at the Christmas market in Berlin.

[15:35:00] Both President Obama and President-elect Trump are away on vacation but they are get getting -- or in the case of Trump maybe regular updates on this case. Trump's team hasn't answered repeated questions on whether the President-elect received his daily intelligence briefing but they have said he is "closely monitoring the situation." Let's start with senior Washington politics reporter Jeff Zeleny in beautiful Palm Beach, Florida.

Maeve Reston is our political reporter in L.A. great to see both of you. Jeff, let me begin with what's happed in Berlin and how the President-elect is reacting on twitter, tweeting "today there were terror attacks in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany. It's only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking."

When it came to the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey he called the shooter a radical Islamic terrorist. We know police are investigating this as a terrorist attack. Is there concern that he's getting ahead of the investigations?

JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, he got ahead of what U.S. officials have said and what European officials have also said. but it follows a pattern for quite some time throughout the course of the campaign for President. Of course, everything he says is looked at more carefully but his spokesman Sean Spicer said this morning this is not a time to be politically correct, to be P.C. it seems like the facts where the statement was so he did get in front of what the U.S. government was saying and the German officials as well but not surprising after we've been watching this for 18 months or so.

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: And this raises the whole issue that we've been talking about, about Donald Trump getting his daily intelligence briefings and Sean Spicer said he was getting them three times a week. He was not getting briefed by member of his team. There are some reports that there are concerns he's not getting the information he needs which makes the tweets more interesting. Former senator Rick Santorum was on our air saying he hopes that Donald Trump does get into that routine because he needs to know what threats are facing the country so that will be a point of debate going forward.

BALDWIN: What's fascinating me is how public this back and forth has been over the President-elect and former President. Between Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was in New York and talking in a bookstore where it got picked up in a local paper where he said Trump doesn't know much, one thing he does know is how to get angry white men to vote for him. So, Trump jumped on a twitter and wrote Bill Clinton stated I called him after the election, wrong, he called me with a nice congratulations. He doesn't know much, especially how to get people even with an unlimited budget to vote in the swing states. Ng states. Then Bill Clinton was caught on camera saying things yesterday, he's responded on twitter saying here's one thing Donald Trump and I can agree on, I calmed him after the election. I don't know if it's incredulous how this is playing out publicly.

ZELENY: I think both, Brooke. This loss has been difficult for Bill Clinton. I have talked to people who the former President talked with personally who he's making phone calls with since the day after the election still saying as recently as last week, talking about the FBI, talking about James Comey. I was talking about to the President pre- social media when he was back in the office going back and forth like this. One of those things we should not be surprised by.

There's still some combative campaign instinct in Donald Trump's -- inside of him. He says he's not going to stop all of that. Certainly, nothing vitriolic but is interesting to see this side by side thing going on. At Mar-a-lago, you can see Donald Trump is somewhere on these grounds, he's holding meetings with some people and he clearly is tweeting as well because we've seen a handful of them come out from him so far today, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I want to loop back on the Carlos Slim dinner.

RESTON: Jeff and I were both at the Harvard campaign manager's conference a couple weeks ago, where the two sides came together to debate and just the raw feelings on both sides and the fact that you have Brian Fallon, Clinton's former spokesman tweeting today about the FBI, this is so raw and fresh and this will be fought for a long time so it's interesting to watch.

BALDWIN: I was talking to Cokie Roberts. When Cokie speaks, I listen and I said well eventually is the Clinton side in time going to be able to say we got it wrong

[15:40:00] And she said eventually, yes. But let me ask you, Maeve, let me start with you on this. The amazing interview between two incredible women, the first lady, and Oprah. So, the first lady Michelle Obama had some firm words when it came to her support for Donald Trump. Here's what she said.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: The words that we say moving forward, all of us, it matters which is one of the reasons why Barack and I are so supportive of this transition. Because no matter how we felt going into it, it's important for the health of this nation that we support the commander-in-chief. It wasn't done when my husband took office but we're going high, this is what's best for the country so we are going to be there for the next President and do whatever we have to do to make sure he is successful because if he succeeds we all succeed. There were people who did not support his presidency. There were leaders in Congress who did not support his presidency which was not something that was good for the country. It was good for politics.


BALDWIN: Maeve, what do you take away from that answer?

RESTON: Really, really remarkable the extraordinary change in tone that we've heard over the last couple months. As you remember, Michelle Obama was one of the most important surrogates for Hillary Clinton getting out there, talking about Trump's words about women and girls and saying that that was on the ballot and clearly the Obamas are taking this seriously that this needs to be a moment of unity. We're not seeing Donald Trump do that so much but the Obamas are trying to not get into a back and forth with him, say we're going to do everything to support this administration and it was extraordinary. In that same interview. she also talked about how we're living in a time where we're not feeling hope and Donald Trump took offense to those remarks. So, there has been a little bit of back and forth there between those two. That was a gracious thing to say and I would expect that relationship to evolve over the coming months. Because Trump took such a liking to President Obama right off the bat. It's a small circle.

BALDWIN: I think she was so gracious but I think she was so gracious also when she was talking about Laura Bush and how Laura Bush was there for her for her entire eight years and she plans to be there for her. Jeff, can we talk about one of the richest men, if not the rich nest the world? Carlos slim is who I'm talking about. This Mexican businessman billionaire who apparently had dinner at Mar-a-lago recently. But let's jog back in time and remember what candidate Trump had to say about him.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Carlos Slim, as you know, comes from Mexico. He's given many millions of dollars to the Clintons and their initiative so Carlos Slim, largest donor of the paper, from Mexico. Reporters at the "New York Times," they're not journalists, they're corporate lobbyists for Carlos Slim and Hillary Clinton.


BALDWIN: So, Trump tweeted "yes, it's true, Carlos Slim, the great businessman from Mexico, called me about getting together for a meeting. We met, he is a great guy." Jeff Zeleny, what do you make about this? Is this more about who Donald Trump is in private versus public? What do you think?

ZELENY: Look, Donald Trump won this campaign, he is President-elect and he's trying to mend fences with some Mexican business leaders starting with Carlos Slim, no question. A point of clarification there, just fact checking what Donald Trump said throughout the course of the campaign, journalists at the "New York Times" are not lobbyists for Carlos Slim. They work there.

BALDWIN: I thought that went without saying but thank you.

[15:45:00] ZELENY: He invested into the company because it was struggling. But Donald Trump is making this clear this is yet another example of someone he is more than eager to bury the hatchet with, if you will, he invited Mr. Slim to Mar-a-lago. They had a private dinner and Donald Trump is the winner here. So, he invited Carlos Slim, a Mexican billionaire, into -- on to his space so that shows he won and he does want alliances, he wants to forge those alliances across the border in Mexico despite all the talk of the wall. He knows he needs business help in Mexico and Carlos Slim is apparently a great guy in Donald Trump's words.

RESTON: This can be good for all of us that he's building these bridges.

BALDWIN: Yes, a good thing, moving ahead, Maeve Reston, Jeff Zeleny, thank you. Happy holidays if I don't see you soon.

Coming up next, investigators have now increased the reward for the driver to $40,000 who shot and killed this three-year-old little boy in an apparent road rage. A local pastor has a warning for whoever did this.


PASTOR TERRANCE LONG, COMMUNICATING WITH SLAIN TODDLER'S FAMILY: We want to let the killer know we're on your trail. We're looking for you. We're going to find you.


BALDWIN: We'll talk to the pastor and his wife live in a couple minutes.


BALDWIN: I want to talk about this three-year-old boy because the manhunt is still under way for the driver who police say shot and killed this toddler possibly during a fit of road rage. Acen King was riding in the backseat of his grandmother's car when police in Little Rock, Arkansas, say a man driving just behind them got impatient, got out of his car and fired into theirs. Acen was shot in his neck. When the grandmother called 911 she was apparently so distraught she could barely talk.


911 OPERATOR: Hello, hello?

GRANDMOTHER OF ACEN KING: Hold on one second. They're getting him out. Hold on. They're laying him on the ground.


BALDWIN: The reward for the driver's capture has doubled to $40,000. Joining me is pastor Terrence Long who has been in touch with the family and his wife, Dee. Thank you for taking the time. I wanted to highlight this story and help you help your community find this individual. First of all, pastor, to you. You have talked to the uncle. Is that correct? How is the family even getting out of bed?

[15:50:00] PASTOR LONG: It's a struggle, Brooke. They're not taking any phone call, they are not taking any visitors. It's a hard time for them right now. They are trying to get through Friday. As you know, the services will be here in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Friday at 2:30. And they just are asking for your continued prayers and support. And they are just asking the media to give them a little time to get themselves together. This is all new to them. Like I said, they just want your prayers, want people to just continue to pray for them, that they can make their way, again, through Friday. And then through Christmas. Because they have gifts under the tree for Acen. So, that's their plea.

BALDWIN: Yes. Dee, how are you -- how are you responding? What is your message to the community?

DEE LONG, MERCY CHURCH: My message to the community is, the violence has to stop. I still do feel, through education, we can educate the community, educate the children. And then, when they grow up and be young adults, this society will see things in a different way.

BALDWIN: On the violence note, pastor, I read something where you had said stop the snitching. That kind of culture has to stop. Tell me more about that.

PASTOR LONG: It has to. It has to. I believe all that came about in the late '80s, early '90s, the no snitching law, no snitching rule went into effect in the communities on the streets. But we need to be outdone with that. We need to throw that out of the window. It's not snitching when you bring to justice someone who killed a 3-year-old child or the 2-year-old child that was just murdered a month ago, in the same city. We were able to eulogize this young lady, Ramaya Reed, in our own church. That's why we are at the point where we're saying enough is enough. We have to. We have to talk about what's going on in our communities.

DEE LONG: Be involved.

BALDWIN: As a leader in your community, of course, being involved, getting people to help find this person. I mentioned the reward is up to $40,000. Hopefully -- where I am going is, do police have leads? Do you know?

PASTOR LONG: Yes, I am aware that we have leads that are coming in by the hour. The Little Rock Police Department is getting closer. As we continue to appeal, the neighbors, and the people who live in that community, that know something. This is a community where it's almost one way in, one way out, or you have to know someone in that community to be there. So, he had to be at someone's house. We're getting the word out, if he was at your house we're looking for you because you're not coming forth giving the information that needs to be given.

DEE LONG: Just be involved. Be a community. Keep your eyes open. You know, it's getting to where now communities don't even know their neighbors. And we need to know our neighbors. And that's how you can make a community better. And situations like this. If something did happen, you would be aware of knowing what's going on or aware of a car in an area or things like that. I do feel that, as the community comes together, the neighborhood, a lot of the crimes will be able to cease. There are a lot of neighborhood alert, where people are walking the community and so forth. But if you have neighbors that say, that's none of my business, or that doesn't concern me --

BALDWIN: That's not good enough.

DEE LONG: You won't be able to speak out.

BALDWIN: That's not good enough. Pastor Long, Dee Long, thank you so much. And good that you are speaking up and out.

PASTOR LONG: Thank you. Brooke, we'll be having a candle light vigil for baby Acen at the spot this took place in southwest Little Rock at Warren Drive and Mapleville cutoff tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Please keep our city in your prayers.

BALDWIN: We will. Thank you so much. We'll be right back. [15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Investors got a pre-holiday bounce today. The Dow flirting again with the 20,000 mark, getting the closest it has with an inter- day high about 12 points shy. Paul La Monica is here to walk us through this from the New York Stock Exchange. You spend all of your hours watching these numbers, trying to understand what's happening with the markets. How did we get here, and when, Paul, will we hit 20,000?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: That's a great question. Could be tomorrow if we get good earnings from Nike after the close in a few minutes. Nike is the worst Dow stock this year. They'll be reporting results. If they're good, maybe it finally pushes us above 20,000. We have had a ferocious rally because of bank stocks. Health care stocks, energy stocks. A lot of it having to do with Trump winning the election and excitement about the possibility of less regulation in all those industries. That's one thing that I think is driving the market higher. And it's the proverbial Santa Claus rally as well. We usually do see a nice move at the end of the year. But this is more than your typical holiday rally.

BALDWIN: Proverbial Santa Claus rally! It's also not just here. You wrote a piece today for CNN Money about Russia. Russia's stock exchange also seeing big jumps since, what, especially the win of Donald Trump. Talk to me about that, 60 seconds.

LA MONICA: It's really stunning. Russian stocks have surged. A lot of it is due to what people refer to as the "bromance" potentially between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Also, oil. You can't discount the OPEC decision to cut production. Russia is heavily dependent on oil with oil prices surging it's good news for Russian oil giants and their stock market.

Watching the numbers tick away. 40 seconds away from the closing bell. You can always read what Paul La Monica has written at CNN Money. Especially about Russia. It's fascinating especially with regard to the news about Russia, the relationship between the President over there and the President-elect here. Go to Paul, thank you very much.

Let's go to Washington here. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me on this Tuesday afternoon. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.