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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Attack; NFL Playoffs Officially Set; Trump Kicks Biographer Off Golf Course. Aired 6:30-7a ET.

Aired January 2, 2017 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:03] PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDET: The palace says it is a cold, a nasty, lingering one, but she is recovering. There was concern as she missed the successive holiday church services because, well, that never happens. She's the head of the Church of England here, she takes that seriously. Getting to church at this time of year is a big part of the job. And she hasn't been able to do so.

So the palace is trying to get out ahead of any speculation about the Queen's health by letting everyone know that she is OK. She is getting better, she's up and about, and they say she is working, she's still going through government papers and documents that she stays on top of as part of her job as Britain's head of state, but she's staying indoors and that's probably a good move. Don't let the blue skies behind me fool you, Britain's winter weather is no place for anyone with a cold, especially a 90-year-old.

Alisyn, back to you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. It does look chilly there, Phil. Thank you very much for the update.

Well, breaking overnight, ISIS claims responsibility for the Istanbul night club attack. There is an international manhunt underway for the gunman. Why is Turkey a target for terror now? We wll discuss that next.


CAMEROTA: ISIS is now claiming responsibility for that deadly New Year's attack at an Istanbul night club. The gunman opened fire, killing 39 people, injuring dozens more. There is a man hunt underway at this hour. It is intensifying to find the attacker. Let's bring in CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA counterterrorism official, Phillip Mudd and CNN military analyst, former Army commanding general for Europe and seventh army, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.

[06:35:07] Gentlemen, nice to see you. Thank you for being here. Phil, I want to start with you. Any surprise that ISIS is claiming responsibility? What jumps out at you?

PHILLIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, the first is the claim. We haven't seen ISIS claim in Turkey before. I think the reason was that they were hoping beyond hope, obviously mistakenly, that the Turks wouldn't align for so long with the Russians and that eventually the Turks would pull away from the fight as a result of earlier attacks by ISIS unclaimed in Turkey. Now clearly what's happening is ISIS is saying the Turks are not only bombing us, but their alliance with Russia appears to be unshakable. We're going to start not only attacking in Turkey but claiming attacks so that the government of Erdogan, the leader of Turkey, knows that the cost of cooperation with Russia is dead bodies. I think the implication behind the ISIS claim clear.

CAMEROTA: So, General, what does this mean for Erdogan since Turkey has born the brunt of many terror attacks now?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: You know, I'm going to add to what Phil said first, Alisyn, if you don't mind. And happy New Year. First of all, Turkey is a cauldron of all kinds of things going on right now. It is, first of all, called jihadi central for a reason. There's a lot of things happening there in terms of the flow of jihadis into Syria. It has been going on for several years, in fact, over a decade.

You have a president who ha basically been the victim of a coup attempt and he has dissolved much of his armed forces and he's suspect of his intelligence community. That's not a good thing to do. He has a combination of enemies, not only ISIS, that sees him as aligning with Russia, as Phil just said, but he also has a threat by the PKK that he perceives.

All of these things contribute to him, Mr. Erdogan, doing some things that are not quite in line with a normal Democratic Republic. He's rolling up a lot of people, throwing just thousands of people in jail with no evidence. He has banned reporters in many cases. All of these things will contribute to some problems finding who the right terrorists are. You know, I had a conversation with an intelligence official not named Phil over the holidays and we were talking about where the next terrorist attack would be. To a degree they said it will certainly be in Turkey. There will be many more in 2017 just because of these policies of Erdogan.

CAMEROTA: That's chilling, General. I mean, you've laid it out perfectly. The situation could not be more complicated for Turkey. So Phil, what does that mean for the U.S. relationship with Turkey? What does that mean for trying to stamp out terrorism?

MUDD: I think there's going to be a difficult conversation in the Oval Office when the President-elect takes his oath, and he's already indicated where that conversation will head. We have a decision to make, that is to continue to support Syrian oppositionists who are at some level more moderate, obviously, than ISIS or Al Qaeda who want Bashar Al-Assad out, tthe dictator of Syria, who has used chemical weapons against his own people.

But just in the past week or so we've had the Iranians, the Russians, the Turks get together and coordinate a ceasefire without really American participation. I think we have a simple bottom line. Do we support the continuation of the Assad regime so that we can all focus on ISIS? By all I mean the Turks, the Americans, the Russians and everybody. Or do we continue to try to argue that Assad has to go quickly? And I think the answer is going to be pretty straight forward with the new president. We're going to cooperate with the Russians.

CAMEROTA: Well, how do you see it, General?

HERTLING: I see it pretty much the same way. The other thing you have to consider, too, that's part of this play is Turkey is a member of NATO. When you take a look at the people who are coming together that have - coming together in this peace approach, no NATO members are involved other than Turkey. The passing of intelligence to the rest of Europe is critically important. The rest of Europe has taken on much of the immigrants and the refugees from Syria.

All of these things and Turkey is allegedly an ally with the United States and is somewhat going on its own in many areas. So all of these things play a part to more complexities, not less, and any kind of a peace accord that doesn't include the Syrian -- Democratic forces, the SDF, is going to be problematic in the future.

CAMEROTA: So ISIS said basically that they helped perpetrate this attack in retaliation for Turkey's involvement in Syria and Iraq. They also seem to revel in their statement that their -- that it was during the Christmas holiday and that they were Christians who were targeted.

So Phil, ISIS, I mean, we've talked about this a lot on the program, that we just have to be prepared for more of these virtually smaller attacks, not 9/11 style attacks, and does that mean that ISIS is more powerful or less powerful now?

[06:40:00] MUDD: They are less than powerful than they were two years ago. You can look at the pace of attacks in western Europe and the ISIS inspired attacks in North America, the United States, and you can draw conclusion that ISIS is on a roll. That would be the wrong conclusion to draw.

Look at the characteristics of terror groups: territory, leadership, money, recruiting. There is none of these where ISIS stands as strong as they did two years ago. I think one of the implications of this attack is that ISIS, look how they're characterizing the Turks, as apostates, non-believers, as defenders of the cross. ISIS is trying to use this attack to portray Turkey as allied with the West, with the Christians and to portray itself as defenders of Muslims because I think most people in the Muslim world, including in Turkey and Syria, view them as themselves the people losing the way. I think they're on a - they're - they're losing, Alisyn. I think it's clear.

CAMEROTA: We really appreciate that context. Phil Mudd, thank you. General Hertling, thank you very much, gentlemen.

HERTLING: Happy New Year, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: You too. John?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, the NFL playoff picture is set. This after the Packers beat the Lions to win the NFC north. We're going to have a look at wildcard weekend. That comes up in just a few days. The Bleacher Report is coming up next.


BERMAN: The NFL playoffs officially set, 12 teams fighting for the chance to be crowned this year's Super Bowl champion in Houston. Speaking of Super Bowl champs, Hines Ward has more in this morning's Bleacher Report.

Good morning, Hines.


Yes, there's nothing like playoff football and last night's game between the Packers and the Lions decided who wins the NFC north. Winner gets a home playoff game while the loser has to go on the road to Seattle.


WARD (voice-over): And midway through the season, the Packers, hey, they were struggling. They were on a four game losing streak. Aaron Rodgers predicted his team could go on a winning streak and still take the division.

[06:45:06] Well, guess what? They haven't lost since. Aaron Rodgers throws four touchdowns against Detroit in a 31 to 24 win. The Packers are peaking at the right time. This was their 6th straight victory going into the playoffs.

So, let's look at the playoffs. The playoff slates look like this, Saturday you have Houston Texas. They'll host the Oakland Raiders. And the Lions, they will have to travel to Seattle and face the Seahawks. And then on Sunday the Dolphins, well, they visit my Steelers, and the Packers, they will host the Giants.

Now, the top two seeds in both conference will have byes which means the Patriots, Chief, Cowboys and Falcons all get a week off. And finally, for the second straight year, it's Alabama and Clemson for the national championship in college football. The Crimson Ride was rolling past Washington in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve. Bama is currently favored over Clemson, who dominated Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. The championship game is next Monday night in Tampa. It should be a great game. Last year Bama won in a shoot out 45 to 40.


WARD (on camera): Now, there's four more bowl games today which include the Rose Bowl. You have USC and Penn State. But it's a nice day to sit back, watch some college football and have fun.

CAMEROTA: If there's nachos involved, I'm there, Hines.

WARD: Always.

CAMEROTA: All right, right on. Thank you very much for all of that. So, there was this golf course confrontation between Donald Trump and one of his former biographers. What happened when the two came face to face? That's next.


[06:50:28] CAMEROTA: There is a man hunt underway at this hour for a driver who shot an Oklahoma city police officer during a traffic stop. The officer was walking back to his patrol cruiser when the driver opened fire hitting him in the leg. That officer is in critical condition. Meanwhile police found the suspect's abandoned car. Police are reviewing dash cam footage of the shooting for clues.

BERMAN: Chicago police announced that 2016 was the deadliest for the city in nearly two decades. Police say there were 762 murders last year. That's the most since 1997. Chicago also saw a surge in overall gun violence with more than 3,500 shootings, 4,300 victims. Nearly 100 officers are joining the city's police department in 2017.

CAMEROTA: Convicted church shooter Dylann Roof plans to represent himself in the sentencing phase of his trial which resumes Tuesday. First, thought, the 22-year-old must undergo a mental competency test today. Roof was convicted of murdering nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

BERMAN: A busy New Year's weekend for President-elect Trump from a controversy at one of his Florida golf courses. Two tweets that made headlines. We want to discuss the latest developments with Brian Stelter, CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES."


BERMAN: So President-elect Trump went golfing this weekend, right, and bumped into someone he apparently did not want to see, a man named Harry Hurt who wrote a biography of Donald Trump some years ago that Donald Trump does not find in any way flattering. In fact, it wasn't flattering. I mean, this was a hard-hitting biography.


BERMAN: Which, among other things, talked about, you know, Donald Trump's former wife, Ivana, accusing Donald Trump of rape in divorce proceedings. He denied it, she later denied it. Anyway, they had this altercation at the golf course this weekend. Harry Hurt posted this on Facebook, he said this is what happened, he said, "I said congratulations, sir, and shook his hand," Hurt recalls. Trump said, "You were rough on me, Harry, really rough. That blank you wrote," Trump told Hurt, "was inappropriate for him to play at the club and had a security detail escort Hurt, Koch, and their playing partners to the parking lot."

STELTER: And this is not just Harry Hurt, the biographer, it's David Koch, the billionaire conservative heavyweight, someone who donates to conservative causes, Republican party leaders and he's being kicked off the golf course with Trump's biographer?

CAMEROTA: I mean, David Koch...


STELTER: An amazing story.

CAMEROTA: ... disputes that, actually. David Koch disputes this version of events, basically saying that when Harry Hurt came back, he came something to the effect of I have to go and David Koch said, all right, we came as a foursome, we're going to leave as a foursome.


CAMEROTA: That he decided on his --- like security wasn't escorting David Koch...

STELTER: On his own to go.

CAMEROTA: off, but either way...

STELTER: The detail about the biographer, though, just to focus on Harry Hurt, the idea that he's there, playing, he's had this relationship with Trump for decades and that perhaps Trump wanted him to leave, I mean, it's interesting that Hurt decided to share this because it may be very revealing of where the President-elect's head is at with regards to people he views as enemies. In fact, he said on Twitter this weekend, his enemies.

BERMAN: Let's ready that, by the way, because you brought it up. He goes, "Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly. They just don't know what to do. Love!" Yes, there we go, "Love!" right there. But this combined with what happened at the golf course just shows, I mean, this -- President-elect Donald Trump doesn't give up fights. I mean, he has people he doesn't like and he will hold a grudge for a long, long time.

STELTER: And he always says he is counter punching, that he doesn't take the first punch, that he always fights back when he feels he has been - he has been fought. Now, that...

CAMEROTA: Aren't you supposed to hold a grudge to somebody who included a rape accusation that was later recanted in your book? I mean, in other words, of all the grudges, isn't this one sort of an understandable one against the biographer?

STELTER: But well, I would say it did happen at least a couple of decades ago. This Harry Hurt book came out a couple of decades ago. It's an awfully long time to remember what happened and to bring it up again. But you know, without knowing the details of that case, certainly we're going to see what it's like when you apply grudges and this sort of behavior to foreign policy or to domestic policy.

I think voters knew what they were getting with Donald Trump. It shouldn't be a surprise that he's a fighter, that he always is on the - is on the offense or believes he's on the offense. And so, to see this tweet on New Year's Eve talking about his enemies, this is exactly what he was saying years ago before he was running for president.

BERMAN: Not your typical New Years message. You know, good will towards all.


CAMEROTA: No, it's not.

STELTER: It was also on New Year's Eve, he referred to a happy New Year, it was a little bit early. You know, I have to say, though, he was relatively, dare I use the word, restrained on Twitter the last few days. People are analyzing his Twitter account for clues on how he's going to...


BERMAN: But talking about his enemies on Twitter on New Year's Eve is not restraint. Kicking a guy off a golf course...

STELTER: Only by Trump standards.

BERMAN: ... over the weekend is not restraint.

STELTER: Only by Trump standards.

BERMAN: So - so I don't know what standards are being used here, but...

CAMEROTA: All right, let's talk...

[06:55:02] STELTER: I was thinking about this, that he hasn't said anything factually untrue on Twitter for a few days. If that's the new low bar, then he's at that bar.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that because the Wall Street -- the editor-in-chief of the "Wall Street Journal" has sort of spoken out about his policy for what he's going to do when Mr. Trump says something untrue. So listen to this.


GERARD BAKER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, WALL STREET JOURNAL: When Donald Trump says thousands of people were on the roof tops of New Jersey on 9/11 celebrating, thousands of Muslims were there celebrating, I think it's - It think it's right to investigate that claim, to report what we found, which is that nobody found any evidence of that whatsoever, and to say that. I don't - I think it's then up to the reader to make up their own mind, to say this is what Donald Trump says, this is what a reliable, trustworthy news organization reports, and you know what, I don't think that's true. I think if you start ascribing a moral intent as it were to someone by saying that they've lied, I think you run the risk that you look like you are being - you're not being objective. (END VIDEOCLIP)

CAMEROTA: I think that's interesting because it's -- you can say this is demonstrably untrue.


CAMEROTA: But when you go a step further and say he's lying, doesn't that ascribe a moral intent that as journalists we normally don't do?

STELTER: I mean, lying is like the word divorce, right? You don't want to throw it around too loosely. It's a very powerful word. You want to be careful with the word lie. And yet, with Trump in particular, he lies differently than past presidents have. Certainly the Obama's administration's claim that you can keep your health care plan if you liked it, that was called the lie of the year back in 2013. The administration said it over, and over, and over again even though the policy documents demonstrate otherwise and Americans were experiencing otherwise. That's one kind of lie, right? It's a lie that was used to advance a policy agenda.

Donald Trump lies differently. He lies very casually, he contradicts himself when he's at a stage or on Twitter, and so that - that's a different kind of misleading falsehood. I think there are certain cases with this president-elect where you do want to -- need to describe it as a lie. But you're right, this does sometimes -- you run the risk of thinking you know what's in a person's head and that's why this word has to be used carefully.

BERMAN: All right, Brian, we have this book. CNN has this book, "Unprecedented," coming out, or is out right now, available in bookstores. It looks much like this picture on your screen right now when you are shopping at a book store right now. I understand you got some new details about sort of that Tuesday night, election night, about what reporters were thinking and realizing as that night was going on.

STELTER: Well, for the inauguration edition of the book, which is coming out this week, we went back and interviewed dozens of reporters and anchors and commentators about what was really happening during that evening. You know, people went in at 5:00 p.m. truly believing Hillary Clinton was going to win. That wasn't just based on people's assumptions. It was based on exit poll data, it was based on lots of different date points, and it was the Trump campaign as well that believed she was going to win. 7:30 p.m., a Trump aide tells Jim Acosta it's going to take a miracle for us to win. By 10:30 p.m. a Trump aide says to Acosta, "Do you believe in miracles?" You know, so I tried to do a tick tock from 8, 9 10:00 p.m. of exactly what happened in those hours, how this battleship turned around, and that will be online later today.

BERMAN: Fantastic. Brian Stelter, thank you so much. And of course you can get your copy of CNN's "Unprecedented: The Election that Changed Everything." It's available now and online and on bookstores - at bookstores, on bookstores, nears bookstores. Get it anywhere. CAMEROTA: We want to thank our international viewers for watching.

CNN NEWSROOM begins in just moments, and we're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to sit down with the intelligence committee heads next week, get a full briefing on the situation.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want them to be sure because it's a pretty serious charge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he's going to have any credibility as president, he needs to stop talking this way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to make sure that there is a price to pay.

CAMEROTA: President Obama announcing he'll deliver his closing remarks as commander-in-chief next week.

TRUMP: He's president until January 20, and then after that it's our turn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans will try to pass a budget that will allow them to repeal much of Obamacare.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Almost every country on earth sees America as stronger today than they did eight years ago.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Chris is off today. John Berman joins me. Great way to start the new year.

BERMAN: It's the happiest new year ever.


BERMAN: We shall see.

CAMEROTA: You seem very happy.

BERMAN: Over the next two hours we will see.

CAMEROTA: Up first, President-elect Donald Trump casting new doubt on Russia's meddling in the U.S. election. Mr. Trump claims he has inside information about the cyberattack that others don't know and he;s promising to reveal those details this week.

BERMAN: Plus going on, Trump's transition team says he plans to repeal, quote, "a lot" of President Obama's executive actions on day one, while the outgoing commander-in-chief spends his final days in office trying to protect his legacy. We're now just 18 days away from the inauguration, so let's begin our coverage with CNN's Sunlen Serfaty live in Washington.

Good morning, Sunlen.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, John. The president-elect is back in New York after spending two weeks at his resort in Florida and he heads into this briefing with intelligence officials this week skeptical of their conclusions that Russia was behind the hacks and insisting that he knows some secret information about this that many people don't.