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Berlin Attack Suspect was Known to Police; Trump Tackling Terror & Trade; NC Lawmakers Fail to Repeal Controversial Bathroom Bill. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired December 22, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The manhunt is on for 24-year-old Tunisian Anis Amri.
[05:58:28] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the moment he came into Germany, they were suspicious of him. They wanted to deport him, arrested him. Deported him. Let him go.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's an attack on humanity. He's got to be stopped.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM: It's a race against time. This man is armed and dangerous and is likely to strike again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: North Carolina lawmakers failing to repeal the state's so-called Bathroom Bill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state is representing pragmatic middle America, which has been using common-sense bathroom rules for decades.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day, we let HB-2 remain on the books, it's a scar on North Carolina.
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 Thursday, December 22, 6 a.m. in the east. This morning, police still searching for that suspect in Monday's terror attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. They have named him as Anis Amri, and they say he is violent and armed.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And known. German authorities admitting he had been arrested over the summer with forged documents and was linked at that time to extremism. So why was he still on the streets?
And is President-elect Trump's renewed calls for some kind of Muslim ban here in the United States the right response?
CNN has all of the updates covered this morning beginning with Chris Burns, live in Berlin -- Chris.
CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Chris. Good morning.
Well, you know, this is what we're seeing this morning. We're seeing a n intense manhunt going on. Hundreds of German police across Germany waging different searches, one in Emavisch (ph), by the way, in the Western Germany, in a refugee house where Mr. Anis Amri had been staying. We don't know the results of that.
There are all kinds of reports swirling around about what's going on. The German authorities are keeping things very close to their chest. But at the same time, we're seeing headlines like these: "They knew him, they did nothing." Well, that's not exactly right. Let's take a look at our report.
BURNS (voice-over): German authorities under scrutiny this morning, amid the search for their country's most wanted man, 24-year-old Anis Amri, the fugitive walking free months ago despite concerns about his connections to extremism.
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE), SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: One of the questions we're going to be sifting through to make sure that we understand how German intelligence failed to intercept this particular radicalized individual.
BURNS: Amri, a native Tunisian, arrived in Germany a year and a half ago, his father telling a radio show in Tunisia that his son headed to Cologne after spending almost four years in an Italian prison.
Italian authorities say he was convicted of damaging state property, assault and arson in September 2011. But they note he was considered a petty criminal.
In Germany he was quickly placed under surveillance, believed to be in touch with radical Islamists. In June his request for asylum in Germany was denied, even as he was unable to return to his native Tunisia, because he didn't have a valid passport.
Two months later Amri was arrested after being caught with fake papers but was released. He was still considered a risk by authorities, with known links to a radical preacher.
REP. WILL HURD (R-TX), HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: The Germans are a very good service, and they're going to put all their resources to find this person and this killer and bring him to justice.
BURNS: Now police warning that Amri could be violent and armed, and offering an over $100,000 reward for any information leading to his arrest, after finding his I.D. in the truck that killed 12 and injured nearly 50 this Monday.
Authorities believe Amri is part of an extensive extremist network inside Germany recruiting for ISIS. Authorities say the ring leader of the network is this man, Abu Walla, arrested in November on terrorism charges.
BURNS: So the fear of another attack -- there's kind of a mix here in on this morning here in Germany, in Berlin especially: intense security, at the same time this Christmas market where the truck plowed into on Monday is reopening as we speak, with concrete blocks being laid around the periphery. You see a lot of police, armed police that are watching around the periphery.
At the same time we're seeing people starting to come to that Christmas market. We're seeing people in Santa hats, but we also see people walking by with flowers, laying flowers, laying candles still around that market, mourning the tragedy -- Chris.
CAMEROTA: Chris, thank you much for all of that reporting.
Joining us now to talk about it, our CNN terrorism analyst and editor in chief of "CTC Sentinel," Paul Cruickshank; and counterterrorism expert and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross. Nice to have both of you.
Paul, your reporting has been out front ever since this attack. You've been breaking news on our program and elsewhere. So tell us what the latest threads are that you're following.
CRUICKSHANK: Well, that this is an investigation proceeding with great velocity right now. There are ongoing raids across the country. They are trying to find this suspect before he can attack again. There's concern that because of his ties, close ties to this ISIS recruiting network inside Germany, that they could provide him shelter, help hide him from the police just like we've seen in other ISIS-sponsored attacks in Europe. Notably, the Paris attacks and Saleh Abdeslam, who was hid for four months or so. Concern that that network could even smuggle him out of the country.
This is somebody with a very violent past who's, really, from a young age, been engaged in violent crime. And also someone who has become deeply radicalized, they fear. They think that this is somebody that is likely to want to carry out some kind of martyrdom operation at the end, to go out, according to his beliefs, in a blaze of glory and go to paradise. So this is a race against time in Germany right now.
Also concern that other members of this network still at large could themselves be security risks in Germany in the hours ahead. And concern that this is somebody that may well have been in touch with ISIS in some way, because he would have had plenty of opportunity to connect with the group, given all his radical contacts inside Germany in this recruiting network.
CUOMO: Daveed, you've been very careful to instruct that it's a different dynamic in Europe than back here in the U.S., where we are sensitive to the one-off, the lone wolf. You keep pointing out that the analysis in Germany is necessarily having an eye on this being part of a broader plan, and especially around the holidays.
[06:10:12] Why are you thinking that and what do you see here that is suggestive?
DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: Well, a few things. First of all, the networks in Europe are just much more robust. I think Paul did a good job of articulating a lot of concerns that investigators have -- are at this moment.
If you look at the cell that carried out the attacks in Paris late last year and then in Brussels earlier this year, it was a network that was enormous in scope, the kind of thing that you haven't seen the size of that kind of network in the United States, and previously you hadn't seen it in Europe either.
But when you look at the various myriad challenges that European security services are facing, it ranges from the refugee crisis, which has allowed some operatives into Europe, as well as some radicalized individuals. It's spread intelligence resources thin. You have pre- existing networks there, such as the Abu Walla network, which was -- which Paul had just mentioned and which was mentioned in the report.
All of those make it a very difficult job for investigators and give people who are part of radicalized networks a lot of geographic space where they can play and a lot of potential to, you know, both hook up with networks and also carry out physical attacks.
CAMEROTA: So this suspect was a bad guy, and Germany knew that. And Italy knew that, because he had entered Italy without documentation and gotten in trouble for arson and assault, vandalism. He was jailed in Italy for four years there, then somehow made his way to Germany.
Yesterday journalists caught up with his father about what his father knew. Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He went I legally to Italy with some friends where they burned a school. He was jailed for four years. Then he moved to Germany.
I have not spoken to him in a long time. It has been about seven years since he left home. I have not spoken to him directly for that long. I do not even have his cell phone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Paul, since Germany knew that he was a bad guy, and they didn't want him there, why couldn't they deport him?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, what the Germans are saying is that they were not able to confirm his real identity. And of course, if you don't actually know who you're dealing with legally, constitutionally, you cannot then launch deportation procedures against an individual.
And it appears that this was the case both in Italy, after he had served that jail sentence there, and also in Germany, that each time the Tunisians weren't able to confirm his real identity. So it was a kind of Catch-22 situation for both the Italians and the Germans. But I think the dropping of the balls here is that they did not put
this individual under more intense and sustained surveillance. I think that is perhaps what will turn out to be the big failing here from the German side.
CAMEROTA: Daveed, do you agree?
CUOMO: So what do you think of that?
GARTENSTEIN-ROSS: Yes, I think that these are kind of bureaucratic excuses. You know, at the end of the day Paul is correct, that you have to understand someone's identity before you deport them. Among other things, you need to be able to know which country to deport them back to.
But things like, you know, just putting -- detaining someone prior to starting deportation proceedings are things that really should be on the table in situations like this.
They -- they understood the depths of his links to Islamic extremism. You know, he previously spent this time in prison in Italy. He was suspected of being involved in planning to carry out an attack. All of this points to a tremendous failure.
And the fact that bureaucracy moves slowly as it does, and there are tens of thousands waiting to be deported, you know, in cases like this they should be able to, you know, detain a suspect and prevent them from being out and about and perhaps carrying out some sort of violent act.
At the end of the day, surveillance is extraordinarily man-intensive. It takes about 24 investigators to surveil someone around the clock. And so there are other measures that really, in cases like this, should be on the table.
CUOMO: Same problem we hear about here with U.S. intel all the time. It's easy to put somebody on a list, but actually monitoring somebody, very labor-intensive.
CAMEROTA: Thank you, gentlemen.
CUOMO: All right. Now, we also have the political component of this back home. Our President-elect, Donald Trump, saying what he saw in Germany is proof of the need for a ban of Muslims here. Is that the right response?
Also ahead as you start your NEW DAY, CNN is told that inside the Trump transition there's talk of imposing a tariff on foreign imports. Could they do this? Should they do this? The impact on trade and your wallet ahead.
[06:13:35] CAMEROTA: President-elect Trump talking both terror and business. She has added two major names to his administration, and his team is floating the idea of an early executive action imposing tariffs on foreign imports.
Let's bring in CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny. He's live at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
What have you learned, Jeff?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
Donald Trump is making his first comments on that rampage in Berlin. He called it an attack on humanity. He did that as he was meeting with his national security advisers here at Mar-a-Lago yesterday as well as a set of generals.
But this morning, we are getting a sharper view of Donald Trump's economic policy, particularly who will lead that. Peter Navarro was named to a new office of -- inside the White House focusing on trade policy. Now, Peter Navarro is a harsh critic of China, someone who Donald Trump seized on his words throughout the campaign. He believes that Donald -- or he believes that China is waging an economic war here in the U.S. And he wrote a book, "Death by China." So Donald Trump took a lot of his ideas in the campaign from Peter Navarro. Now he'll be front and center in the administration.
We are also learning this morning that the Trump administration is discussing, in Washington, the idea of an early executive action on tariffs, a 5 percent tariff on any foreign import. Now, that would cause great consternation in the business community, particularly among Republicans in Congress, as well. It is being floated right now as an idea, but it is one of the central ideas of Donald Trump's economic policy, again, that is coming into sharper view.
[06:15:13] One more name we learned yesterday, in this growing administration. Carl Icahn, the New York billionaire investor, is going to be placed in charge of regulatory reform. Of course, that is a position that is largely continuing what he did during the campaign. He was a top adviser to Donald Trump. But he will also be in charges of appointing the new SEC commissioner.
So these new names coming into view this morning as well as the harsh view on China really, Chris and Alisyn, is setting up a team of rivals, if you will, on trade. Many of his advisers are pro-trade. Some of them are not, particularly Peter Navarro. This is why, in 29 days when he takes office, very interesting view as Donald Trump goes front and center against China on trade.
CAMEROTA: Yes, it will be, Jeff. Thank you very much.
CUOMO: Let's discuss this. We have CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief of "The Daily Beast," Jackie Kucinich; and CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, Errol Louis.
All right. Let's take our broccoli first here, Errol, because whether or not the president can tariff, that is something that would tax even your mind. Our tariff laws are a hodgepodge. I was reading through them last night. It took me an hour just to get a basic understanding.
Title 19 seems to be the main law. The big burden is that Congress is supposed to tax, not the president. But under that specific law, when it comes to trade, Congress delegated some of its ability to tax, in the form of a tariff, to a president. Some say that's unconstitutional.
CAMEROTA: This is broccoli. Can we get to the dessert?
CUOMO: But here's the point, is that when he says, "I'm going to tariff -- I'm going to pass a tariff," there almost certainly, Errol, will be lawsuits saying, "You can't do it." And those hurdles could take a very long time. But at the end of the day, do you think they could pull this off if they say they are protecting U.S. industry from a nonfunctioning marketplace?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think they can get away with it, in part because, just jawboning it, you know, sort of saying we want to do this, we want to tax this, we want it make it harder for people to import certain goods, or we want to make it more expensive for them, industry will adjust. They'll adjust right up front. Even if it's going to end up in court, even if it's going to be delayed.
It's the uncertainty, I think, is where you're going to see the markets reacting, because what people want to do, as they're creating their supply chains, staffing up, making their plans for financing and getting ready for the next four quarters, is to know what the cost of everything is going to be.
CUOMO: And passing it along in pricing, which means you get hit.
LOUIS: Exactly right.
CAMEROTA: Jackie, let's talk about the political broccoli of this. If Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and, at one time, Mike Pence did not believe in tariffs and support free trade, then how does this -- how is this going to work?
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's the open question. Because Republicans have really been loath to stand up to Donald Trump yet. And it's going to be interesting to see if they do so right out of the gate on this issue.
Because you're right: this is -- this is a Republican establishment orthodoxy that we're talking about. This is why, foundationally, why some people are Republicans.
But especially when the decision is -- if this does happen, that are seeing the price of goods rise. Because businesses aren't just going to take a hit and not pass that cost down. The costs are going to be passed down. And the Trump -- and the Trump, the fledgling Trump administration hasn't really worked out or hasn't said how they would keep those costs down, should they decide to tariff imports.
CUOMO: Look, I mean, the reason you have to go through it is because I think what you're looking at is Congress trying to take power back from the presidency. They talked about it all through the Obama administration. They're talking about it now. And this is a situation where Trump may think he can step strong, and he'll get proven wrong by Congress. That's why I'm pointing it out.
Another area of that will be the Muslim ban, registry, whatever he wants to call it. It worked well during the campaign, because there's such xenophobia here surrounding Muslims. But his reaction to Berlin, saying, "Hey, you know my plan. You know, we've been right all along," which is referring to his Muslim ban/registry. Here's the sound.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has it caused you to rethink or reevaluate your plans to create a Muslim register and ban migration to the United States?
TRUMP: You know my plans all along. It's been proven to be right, 100 percent correct. What's happening is disgraceful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Everybody agrees that it's disgraceful, but Alisyn and I were debating, what is his plan? Because he started with a ban. Then they moved off it and said "extreme vetting. It's not about a ban." "Well, maybe it will be regional." "No, it's really about vetting."
But his idea of banning Muslims? What's the plus and minus?
LOUIS: Whether he calls it a ban or extreme vetting, that will end up in court. There are constitutional questions right off the bat about whether you can do it, how you can do it, how you would implement it.
Look, the reality is somewhere between what we have now and what has happened, for example, in Germany: 900,000 refugees allowed in with minimal vetting. Somewhere in between is where we're going to end up. Somewhere in between is where common sense lies.
For him to say that he was 100 percent correct and that the Muslim ban would have somehow saved Europe from what is going on now is a very shallow...
KUCINICH: Guys, we really...
LOUIS: ... very wrong sort of misstatement. Not only of the facts but of the reality that we confront.
CAMEROTA: Go ahead.
[06:20:15] KUCINICH: We really should say that it is hard for refugees to get into this country. It can take 18 months. There are -- there is a lot of vetting already for refugees to get into this country. And when Republicans say or when opponents of refugees say that they're just basically a revolving door to get in the country, that's just -- that's incorrect. That's false.
CUOMO: But you've got perception and reality. All right? The reality is the vetting for refugees is the most onerous and most layered we have within our system. The reality is that the numbers of crimes committed by refugees into this country are very low, almost immeasurably low; but the perception is they're dangerous.
CAMEROTA: But I'm glad -- Jackie's pointing out something important, which is it's completely different than Germany.
CAMEROTA: So you can't look at Germany and say, "Look, there you go, exhibit A. See what happens?" We have a completely different system.
CUOMO: Or can you, though? Because that's always been true. Right? The fears here in the U.S. have never been substantiated by what happens here. It's all about, well, that's going to happen here, what we see abroad, Errol.
LOUIS: And look, it's important that -- the experience that the United States has had, and we've had a great success for decades in bringing immigrants into our system, totally different. It's a world away from what goes on in Germany, where you can be, say a Turkish, you know, or the son or the grandson of Turkish immigrants; and you still can't become German.
So I mean, you know, there's an isolation there. There's a failure to assimilate. There's a problem that they are going to have to deal with on their own terms. They've got elections this year. That's why they're going to sort of work that out.
In the United States it is key to our security. Everyone says this. The police commissioners say this. The national security people say this. It is key to our system that we not be xenophobic, that we not be racist, that we not be exclusionary, that we not isolate these communities.
And to the extent that you hear Trump's rhetoric taking us in that direction, it is a real problem. It might appear to be sort of a great simple way to keep America safe, but the reality is we could be undermining our public safety. That's the discussion that needs to happen.
CAMEROTA: Very good point. Errol, Jackie, thank you very much.
KUCINICH: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Coming up at 8 a.m., we will ask President-elect Trump's senior advisor and former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, about all of these issues, 29 days away from the inauguration. CUOMO: Also, North Carolina state legislature fails to repeal the so-
called Bathroom Bill. What happened? There was a political surprise in there. We've got a live report from Raleigh ahead on NEW DAY.
[06:26:06] CUOMO: Protesters at North Carolina's state capital building erupting in anger, because lawmakers failed to repeal the so- called Bathroom Bill in a special session that was called to repeal the bill. As of now, the controversial measure is still the law of the state.
CNN's Nick Valencia live in Raleigh, North Carolina, with the very latest. It seems a political play near the end foiled the process.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lots of surprises. Lots of surprises yesterday, Chris. Good morning.
It was nine hours that they were in session. The legislature adjourning without resolving the issue that they were scheduled to meet about.
The day started with drama, Republican representatives standing up in protest to say that the special session was unconstitutional and that anything that happened yesterday should be null and void.
It ended with state Democrats blasting Republicans for not living up to a deal that was reportedly brokered early this week.
For now, House Bill 2, the so-called Bathroom Bill, is law in the state.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Frustrations boiling over in North Carolina. Lawmakers failing to repeal the state's controversial Bathroom Bill after more than nine hours of closed-door meetings and negotiations.
Known as House Bill 2, the legislation requires transgender people in public buildings to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender assigned at birth.
ROY COOPER (D), GOVERNOR-ELECT, NORTH CAROLINA: The legislature had a chance to do the right thing for North Carolina, and they failed.
VALENCIA: Incoming governor, Democrat Roy Cooper, slamming the Republican-controlled legislature for their actions during Wednesday's special session, which was called solely for the purpose of overturning the law.
COOPER: I'm disappointed that we have yet to remove the stain on the reputation of our great state.
VALENCIA: The law, signed by outgoing Republican Governor Pat McCrory in March, sparked outrage across the country and resulted in economic losses for the state, with businesses, sports associations and cultural figures all pulling out the state in protest, and the Justice Department filing a suit to challenge the matter.
McCrory, who has blamed his election loss on the bill, pointing the finger at Democrats Wednesday, saying in a statement, quote, "This was at least the third time that pressure from the left sabotaged bipartisan good faith agreements for political purposes."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're her unconstitutionally.
VALENCIA (on camera): Are you planning on voting no, then, against the repeal?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm planning on voting no on anything that's done here, because it's all unconstitutional.
VALENCIA (voice-over): The bitter back and forth coming as each side accuses the other of playing politics and failing to live up to the terms of a reported deal to ensure the repeal of the contested bill.
VALENCIA: The legislature is expected to be closed for the rest of the year. When they reconvene on January 11, there's a chance that House Bill 2 will be put on the agenda, but that's not a guarantee -- Chris, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: This just -- thank you very much, Nick. This chapter just keeps going.
CUOMO: Also, look. I mean, this is all about politics and definitional politics, identity politics. Who do you want to be? That one lawmaker said, "I'm voting no; this is unconstitutional." Most legal analysts will tell you that any law that bans transgender people from a bathroom would be found unconstitutional. It's a violation of equal protection. So this is more about politics, less about the law.
CAMEROTA: It goes on.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin describes U.S.-Russian relations as, quote, "frozen." What should President-elect Trump do about Russia? We'll discuss that next.