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Democrats, European Leaders Rattled in Trump's Rock Start; Trump Comments on NATO Make Europe Uneasy; Trump's Feud with John Lewis Causes Domestic Backlash; Arrests Made in Istanbul New Year's Attack; Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search Suspended. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired January 17, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:38] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
A headline-grabbing feud with a civil rights icon, a growing number of Democrats staying away from Friday's inauguration, and European leaders rattled and alarmed. It's a rocky start to the last few days before Donald Trump is sworn in as president of the United States.
More now from senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On this MLK Day, Donald Trump met behind closed doors with Martin Luther King III, the son of the civil rights icon.
MARTIN LUTHER KING III, SON OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR: Certainly, he said that, that he is going to represent Americans. He said that over and over again.
ACOSTA: But it was only a brief reprieve from the controversy swirling around his inauguration. The incoming 45th president is slamming German Chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing Syrian refugees into her country.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have great respect for her. I felt she was a great, great leader. She made one very catastrophic mistake, and that was taking all these illegals, taking all of the people from wherever they come from, and nobody really knows where they come from. You'll find out.
ACOSTA: That drew this sharp response from Secretary of State John Kerry to Christiane Amanpour.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I thought, frankly, it was appropriate for a president-elect of the United States to be stepping in to the politics of other countries in a quite direct manner. And he'll have to speak to that as of Friday, you know, he's responsible for that relationship.
ACOSTA: Trump appears to be placing Merkel in the same category as Vladimir Putin.
TRUMP: Well, I start off trusting both. But let's see how long that lasts. May not last long at all.
ACOSTA: Trump is once again signaling a new, softer policy on Russia, hinting in an interview that he wants to work out some sort of deal with Putin. "Russia is hurting badly right now because of sanctions. I think something that can happen that a lot of people will benefit."
And Trump sounds like he's not sold on the NATO alliance.
TRUMP: And I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one, it was obsolete because it was, you know, designed many years ago. Number two, the countries weren't paying what they're supposed to pay.
ACOSTA: The president-elect is still fuming over the disclosure that U.S. intelligence officials briefed him on unsubstantiated allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising information on him.
Trump is slapping back at outgoing CIA director, John Brennan, who said the incoming president should treat Russia with caution. Trump tweeted, "Oh, really. Couldn't do much worse. Just look Syria, Crimea, Ukraine and the buildup of Russian nukes. Not good. Was this leaker of fake news?"
SEAN SPICER, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRTARY: It was John Brennan, someone the president-elect is supposed to it be trusting, that came out and attacked him on his breadth and depth of understanding of Russia, which is unbelievable.
ACOSTA: Trump is again answering questions how he will replace Obamacare, telling "The Washington Post," is his plan is insurance for everybody. But the transition is offering few details.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president- elect made it very clear to the leadership in the Congress he wants to do repeal and replace simultaneously and we're working earnestly to do that.
ACOSTA: Despite the firestorms whipped up by his Twitter tirades, he is vowing to keep on tweeting.
TRUMP: I'd rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump. It's worked. And the tweeting, I thought I'd do less of it, but I'm covered so dishonestly by the press, so dishonestly.
ACOSTA (on camera): And now, more than two dozen Democratic members of Congress announced they won't be attending his inauguration in solidarity with Democratic Congressman John Lewis. Trump, so far, has yet to the comment on the Democratic defections.
Jim Acosta, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: As Jim mentioned, Trump called NATO obsolete in his interview with the European newspapers. Now NATO is responding. A spokeswoman for the alliance says, "NATO is absolutely confident that the U.S. will remain committed to it." And she said the NATO secretary-general has talked with Trump about terrorism and security worries.
Germany's foreign minister says he's concerned but remains hopeful the relationship between NATO and the U.S. will remain strong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, GERMANY FOREIGN MINISTER (through translation): Either way, it is difficult to read this interview to the end without feeling concerned. I just can't believe that an American administration would follow the thought process that Europe is not somehow important to the U.S. With a look at the history of the U.S., I can't believe this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[02:05:28] CHURCH: All right. So, let's get more now from CNN Paris correspondent Melissa Bell. She joins us now there from Paris.
So, Melissa, France's former prime minister, Manuel Valls, calls the comments on NATO, Brexit and Russia, a declaration of war to Europe. What are other leaders saying about this in France?
MELISSA BGELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's difficult to exaggerate how far hackles have been raised within the European Union. We've heard the san Francisco Angela Merkel fairly measured for her part and in the clip you just played it's difficult to get through to the end of the article without sort of counting the number of attacks on European policy. In fact, on Europe itself. Angela Merkel remained fairly poised saying let's wait till he takes office and we can get talking about these issues with the president whose actually in place. Perhaps the most interesting reaction came from Francois Hollande yesterday giving an honor to the outgoing American ambassador here in Paris. He went so far as to remind the president-elect that the relationship between the European Union and America is one that is based on fundamental values and he listed them, pointing out these values were all about equality between men and women, the attachment to liberty, respect for one another, and of course, the right to asylum, something that the very American nation had been based on. Hollande reminding President-elect Trump that what is going on, the content of that article which is the beginning of something we're likely to see much more of is a fundamental rupture of a pact that's existed between the United States and the European Union and that is based on so much more than one incoming or outgoing government, something of a liberal consensus that -- and everyone in Europe feel now could be under threat.
CHURCH: So, Melissa, there is so much that he's commented on. We've talked about NATO. And the words that he said about Angela Merkel particularly when he saw her as an equal to Vladimir Putin has astounded and astonished many across Europe. What do France's leaders see as the next step here?
BELL: They're very much hoping that these very provocative statements will be reined in by the facts once President-elect Trump becomes president after Friday's inauguration. For instance, on the question of NATO that you mentioned, these statements in these -- in this is interview that came out yesterday come even as the United States has just sent last week thousands of extra troops to Poland in a bid to reassure its NATO alliance members, its partners of its commitment to the alliance and indeed, to remind Vladimir Putin that he is facing an alliance. And this of course, as the man who is President Donald Trump's, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for defense secretary of the United States has said in front of the Senate that in fact he believes NATO is it central to American defense policy. The hope here in Europe and within NATO is that as he takes power, Donald Trump will find that the forces that hold him in on issues like this will be such that whatever his private views it will be very difficult to dismantle an alliance that proved so central to the protection of both the -- of both Europe and United States.
CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to our Melissa Bell with that live report from Paris just after 8:00 in the morning there.
And domestically, there's more backlash against the president-elect over his exchange with Congressman John Lewis. It all started when Lewis called Trump's election illegitimate. Trump replied with a serious of critical tweets saying, among other things, that the Congressman was all talk. Lewis is one of the last living giants of the civil rights movement. And many are siding with him in this feud. Now, more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers have announced they will not attend Trump's inauguration in solidarity with Lewis.
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter with the "Atlanta Journal Constitution," and he joins us now.
So, those Trump tweets, they were very critical of this district of Atlanta where we live. He specifically said it's crime infested and falling apart among other things. So, what has been the reaction because, of course, your newspaper put out a huge front-page article on this. Talk to us about what people are saying.
[02:10:10] GREG BLUESTEIN, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: The front-page article said "Atlanta to Trump, wrong." There was outrage throughout the district because not only was he attacking and insulting a Congressman beloved by people on both sides of the aisle but called the heart of metro Atlanta, the home of many of its finest jewelries and historic gems, an area that was in horrible shape and falling apart. So, we interviewed dozens of people from both sides of the aisle who lived in that district, CNN's headquarters, as well who said there's not a whisper of truth there who are very upset and a lot of people took it personally that the president-elect was calling beak the heart of metro Atlanta a horrible area.
CHURCH: Yeah, and as far as the stats go, too, he's wrong when it comes to crime infested. So, let's -- the Trump camp doesn't seem to be backing down at all. We want to listen for a moment if we can to what Vice President Mike Pence had to say about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE (voice-over): I was just so disappointed that he would make the statement that he made suggesting that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate president. I urged him to reconsider that statement and for someone of John Lewis' stature to lend credibility to the baseless assertions of those who question the legitimacy of this election is deeply disappointing. I hope he reconsiders it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: What's interesting here is that Donald Trump himself questioned the legitimacy of Barack Obama, didn't he, in the initial stages. What do you make of this?
BLUESTEIN: And called the run-up to the election rigged. Vice President Pence is echoing a lot of national Republicans who are saying in essence that is what John Lewis did was extraordinary which is question the legitimacy of an elected president who is taking office in just a few days but what he did not go to or did not defend Trump's remarks about the city of Atlanta which is what has so many people here in Atlanta so infuriated.
CHURCH: And, of course, the inauguration is supposed to be a bipartisan event. There's going to be a situation where there's going to 24 or so House Democrats who won't there be. What sort of impact is that likely to have?
BLUESTEIN: It really questions the unity of the nation before the inauguration of a president. There will be four living presidents there. There will be -- it's usually a time of coming together and peaceful transition of power. But there's talk of walkouts and protests and giant rallies all over the nation including in Washington so I think Donald Trump's presidency will begin under a cloud.
CHURCH: Greg Bluestein, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
BLUESTEIN: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: And now more than three dozen Democrats will be skipping Donald Trump's presidential inauguration on Friday. At last count, the list was up to 38 lawmakers.
Two members of Congress tell CNN why they are not attending the event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BARBARA LEE, (D), CALIFORNIA: I don't want to celebrate you know, a president-elect coming in that campaigned on a campaign of bigotry and divisiveness and who has continued to campaign even after he won the campaign on the platform. So, I decided that I'm going to work on a variety of issues with many people in terms of planning, details of how we're going to resist many of the policies that he has proposed such as to end the Affordable Care Act and take away health care from millions of people and other issues.
REP. JULY CHU, (D), CALIFORNIA: I do want to see if he can make some progress but I think if we make progress it has to start from him. He has to stop denigrating people gratuitously with his tweets on a continuous basis. If I were him, being only a few days before his inauguration, I would attempt to unify the people who are coming from all kinds of different places this very diversity country of ours. Instead he deliberately picked on the leading civil rights icon of this nation on Martin Luther King weekend and chose to pick a fight with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And some Democrats say they will spend the day protesting in Washington, others in their own districts.
An intensive manhunt is over in Turkey. Authorities made five arrests including the suspected gunman in the mass shooting at an Istanbul nightclub. Turkish news reports a second man and three women were also arrested. The gunman killed a police officer guarding the Reina nightclub early on New Year's Day, then went inside and murdered 39 people. Dozens more were wounded. ISIS claimed responsibility, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.
For more on this, CNN.com contributor, Frida Ghitis, joins me now. She is also a world affairs columnist for "World Politics Review."
Thank you so much for being with us.
I want to start with what's happened in Turkey, of course. We've seen that there were 14 different nations represented in the victims of that nightclub killing, the attack that took place. Now of course, we've seen the suspect captured alive. How important would it have been for Turkish authorities to ensure that happened?
[02:15:41] FRIDA GHITIS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's an important victory for Turkish security. It shows Turkey as having a handle at least somewhat of a handle on the security situation which has been under assault for so many months with so many terrorist attacks. It's a feather in Erdogan's cap and it brings some encouragement to the people that maybe there is some FOX safety can be restored.
CHURCH: And why do you think it is that Turkey has become a target of so many different attacks there?
GHITIS: Well, Turkey is suffering attacks from two different groups primarily from, ISIS and from the PKK, so this is -- this arrest, this detention of the suspect is important but it's unfortunately is probably not going to mark a major turning point. Turkey is still a target for both of these groups. Turkish forces are fighting in Syria. They are -- we heard today they may be sending thousands more soldiers into Syria to fight against ISIS and the government of president Erdogan is determined to stop the Turkish, the Syrian Kurds from holding significant amounts of territory in Syria. So, the Turkish population will continue probably to suffer some of the consequences of policies that have also antagonized the Kurdish population in Turkey and in Syria.
CHURCH: All right. Frida Ghitis, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your perspective.
GHITIS: Thank you.
CHURCH: And we will have more on the arrests in Turkey later this hour, including the reaction from the nightclub's owner.
The search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been suspended after nearly three years. How the son of a woman who varnished with the plane is reacting as the mystery remains unsolved.
We'll be back in a moment.
[02:21:39] CHURCH: The search for one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history has been suspended. We might never know exactly why Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared, almost three years ago, with 239 passengers and crew members on board.
Our Alexandra Field joins us now from Seoul, South Korea with more.
Alexandra, why did authorities make the decision to suspend the search at this time?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a decision that's being met with dismay from some, particularly victim family members. This is something that three countries primarily involved Australia, China and Malaysia had agreed to do. They agreed to this extensive exhaustive and expensive search of 120,000 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean where they believe that the plane had gone down. They have now conducted that search and without turning up any credible evidence that could point them in a more specific direction that could lead them to discover the plane itself, they say this is the time now to suspend the search. We should remind people that parts of this plane have been found before, pieces of mh-370 were discovered off of east Africa. Several other pieces that could belong to the plane were also discovered in that area. Those have not yet been verified by investigators. But what exactly happened to mh-370, where it went down does very much remain a mystery that is still wide open. Frankly, rosemary, if you consider this, the fact that this has been going on for nearly three years, it's left a lot of people dumbfounded. This is a search that gripped so much of the world three years ago. There were so many questions what happened to all those people on board. It's astonishing to we aren't closer to any answers. There was the data that did show the plane went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean despite the hope more of the wreckage would be located. That just isn't the case which is why officials confirm that the last search vessel has left the area. We'll remind people this is a plane that took off in march of 2013 headed for Beijing. Disappeared from the radar an hour later. We still don't know the where it is today, rosemary. CHURCH: Heart breaking for family members. You mentioned them and
their response to this. What are they saying?
FIELD: Well, look, they are protesting the end of the search insisting that this search must go on. They say that is the duty that officials have to people all over the world who fly commercial who have questions what happened to this airliner. They speak with a group called voice 370 which represents the families of the victims. They are very much pressing officials to reconsider this decision especially in light of a recent report from the Australian government that suggested that the search area should be solicited that there should be a 25,000-square kilometer search area north of that 120,000- square kilometer area that has now been extensively searched and asking them to take this the search on. They say in our view extending the search is an inescapable duty owed to the flying public in the interests of aviation safety. Commercial planes cannot just be allowed to disappear without a trace. And rosemary, we know from some of the family members of the victims that Malaysia Airlines has reached out to them and they will be holding some kind of briefing to answer questions from family members tomorrow in Beijing. Of course, they don't have the Athens these families have waited so long for.
[02:25:16] CHURCH: And we will watch this closely to see if pressure from family members and beyond has any influence on then decision.
Alexandra Field, joining us from Seoul in South Korea where it is nearly 4:30 in the afternoon. Many thanks.
In just a few hours from now, British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to deliver a clean-break speech on Brexit. Her office says she doesn't want a deal that leaves the country half in, half out of the European Union. May is expected to lay out a dozen priorities for upcoming Brexit talks. You can watch the British prime minister's speech right here at 6:45 a.m. in London, 7:45 p.m. in Hong Kong.
The last man to talk on the moon has died. He was Astronaut Eugene Cernan. He was the flight commander for Apollo 17 when he left his footprints on the lunar surface back in 1972.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EUGENE CERNAN, FORMER ASTRONAUT: I was strolling on the moon one day in the merry, merry month of --
UNIDENTIFIED ASTRONAUT: December
CERNAN: May, May.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Cernan's family says he died after ongoing health issues. He was 82 years old.
An Australian family has been found alive after they went missing while skiing in Japan. A mother and her three sons spent the night in freezing temperatures and without food. They went missing near the summit of a mountain in central japan on Monday. The report says they had warned skiers of a major snow blizzard. The family is said to be safe and receiving medical care.
Time for a quick break.
"State of America" with Kate Bolduan is coming up next for our viewers in Asia.
And an intense manhunt comes to an end. Ahead, major developments in the investigation of Istanbul's nightclub attack.
Donald Trump's recent interviews are prompting criticism from NATO allies and praise from Russia. The details still to come.
[02:30:32] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A warm welcome back to viewers all across the globe. I'm Rosemary Church.
The main stories we've been following this hour --
CHURCH: After more than two weeks of intensive searching, Turkish police have arrested the man suspected of gunning down 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub.
We get more details now from Ian Lee in Istanbul.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A nationwide manhunt is over. Closer to home than many thought. Police caught the alleged gunman who carried out the deadly attack at the Reina nightclub on New Year's Eve. Authorities found him after conducting an operation in the neighborhood of Istanbul about 30 to 35 kilometers from the nightclub. Along with the alleged gunman, police arrested four other people, including three women. They are now at police headquarters in Istanbul's district. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 39 people.
Monday night's arrest is good news for Turkey. Authorities feared the gunman might try to slip away into neighboring Syria. The manhunt lasted for over two weeks with hundreds of security personnel scouring the country. Police rounded up dozens of alleged is members they say knew or aided the gunman and a few days ago, police detained two Chinese nationals they accuse of having links to the attack.
The owner of the Reina nightclub reacted to the arrests, telling us, "I felt an immense wave of relief rush through me. I think a huge weight has been lifted off the shoulders of all the victims and their families just knowing that this man is no longer walking free."
He went on to thank security forces and Turkish intelligence for apprehending the suspect and ending this ordeal.
Ian Lee, CNN, Istanbul.
CHURCH: Donald Trump's comments on NATO are raising concerns among some European leaders as questions about his stance on Russia also linger.
CNN's Barbara Starr has the story.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the new frontline in battlefield training, nearly 4,000 American troops, tanks, artillery and armored vehicles deployed to Poland. It's all part of a massive U.S. and NATO effort to send a pointed message to Vladimir Putin: Hands off, eastern Europe.
UNIDENTIFIED MILITARY OFFICER: Our soldiers will be showcasing their lethal abilities.
STARR: But the current CIA director openly questioning if President- elect Donald Trump even understands Russia.
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: I don't think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia's intentions and actions that they are undertaking in many parts of the world.
SEAN SPICER, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The idea that you can question the president-elect's knowledge and understanding of Russia is pretty remarkable.
STARR: Trump's incoming defense secretary, James Mattis, has no doubts about what Russia is up to with NATO.
GEN. JAMES MATTIS, INCOING DEFENSE SECRETARY: The most important thing is that we recognize the reality of what we deal with Mr. Putin and we recognize that he is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance.
STARR: The president-elect still doesn't seem on the same page when it comes to NATO.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Number one, it's obsolete because it was, you know, designed many, many years ago. The countries weren't paying what they're supposed to pay.
STARR: The alliance is worried. The German foreign minister says Trump's latest remarks have caused bewilderment and agitation inside NATO.
U.S. and NATO troops are bolstering Europe's eastern flank, with thousands of troops scheduled for joint exercises and training in the coming months. The Kremlin spokesman calling it all a threat to Russia. Russia has responded, putting S-400 missiles in Crimea and adding to
missiles in Kaliningrad, an enclave between Poland and the Baltics, missiles that can strike Europe.
All of this leaving the incoming defense secretary caught between the new president and what he sees as a top U.S. military priority.
[02:35:28] MATTIS: I would see us maintaining the strongest possible relationship with NATO.
STARR (on camera): Donald Trump says NATO is important to him. He just hasn't said how important and under what circumstances.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
CHURCH: And CNN contributor and former Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty, joins us now from you Moscow.
Jill, the international community will be closely monitoring the upcoming news conference of Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that is expected to happen any moment now. Waiting to hear what he may say about Russia's relations with the U.S. and what plans it has for the Syrian peace talks next week. What are the expectations?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, rosemary, at this point, I think if I were to guess what Minister Lavrov to do, I don't think he would want to get into specifics in reacting to what Donald Trump has been saying. Because these comments by the incoming president have been very broad and sometimes very internally contradictory. You're picking that up here in Moscow in the expert commentary and others who are talking about Trump's ideas. It essentially as one expert put it, they don't really, the new administration doesn't really know exactly yet what to do with Russia. So, the idea that Russia would really jump in and say pick up on some idea such as Mr. Trump's idea of trading you know, getting rid of sanctions for a nuclear deal, there is no way that Mr. Lavrov is going to probably even touch that because it's not an operative proposal. It's not a concrete proposal. Now, on the -- it's really a challenge to this incoming administration because after all, you know, those talks in Kazakhstan that are going to be coming up on Monday, the U.S. apparently invited to that. Essentially, they are Russian and Turkish talks. And if Donald Trump's administration says yes, weal go and participate, they essentially put themselves into a situation where perhaps it will work and that will redound to the favor of president Putin or if it doesn't, Mr. Trump would be left holding in his hands a failure which is not what he wants to do. And then also, if they don't go, then they see the ground to president beauty tin and he comes out as he has a lot recently looking like the leader. You can see the dilemma. It's all in the details not just words of what the president is going to be saying.
CHURCH: All right. Jill Dougherty joining us from Moscow. It is 10:38 in the morning. Many thanks to you. We'll be keeping an eye out what comes out of that press conference. We want to go now to Istanbul in Turkey. Officials there are holding
a news conference on the arrest of the nightclub attack suspect. Let's listen in.
[02:39:32] VASIP SAHIN, ISTANBUL PROVINCE GOVERNOR (through translation): He came to our country in 2016 in January. We're expecting it, we're assuming it. During this operation, we have done 7,200 camera -- 2,000 police was actually involved in this. Anid Izmer. We had a lot of assistance also from there. We worked all together in this operation. The terrorist before he came, he rented a House. And then he changed couple of other Houses. He's trying to hide himself. The same day when this all happened, he actually does this attack the same day. You have to listen to all the police really have helped in this operation. This whole operation and help. We have gotten 252 addresses and 50 people were in major analysis. We have also assumption that 16 foreign terrorists are involved. With the terrorists, 197 U.S. dollars were captured and two guns and one gun was air pistol. And some SIM cards. And several other materials were captured. The terrorists actually said that he did it. And, his -- now this is all we can say. We are actually -- we are thanking everybody who is involved in this and helped in this whole operation and I have to say that they did very good job. Everybody involved. We hope that it's not going to happen in Istanbul again. And we will make sure we will make sure that we'll be safe and not that it's not going to happen again. We also want the populace each citizen to be active involved. 2,200 people helped in this whole from the populace to find these people. We actually hope that this will continue that every citizen is involved in helping us. Thank you so much. With the terrorist, one Iraqi man, three women from different places, Egypt, Africa.
CHURCH: Listening to Istanbul province governor and other officials there in Istanbul talking about holding this conference and giving us more details on the arrest of the nightclub attacker. The suspect was from Uzbekistan we understand. Trained in Afghanistan. And authorities there say that the suspected attacker has confessed. He commended the governor there commended those who were involved in the arrest of this suspect and told citizens, too, to be on the alert and to participate and nep future operations like this.
We will take a very short break here. We'll have a live report from our Ian Lee the other side of the break. Do stay with us.
[02:46:48] CHURCH: All right. We want to go to CNN's Ian Lee in Istanbul, Turkey, right now with a live report.
Ian, just before the break, of course, we heard from the Istanbul province governor, specific details on the shooting that occurred at a nightclub in Istanbul on New Year's. Talk to us about what all they revealed in that news conference.
LEE: Rosemary, there had been a lot of questions about what police were doing after that attack and this press conference shed some light on that. We are told that they had 7,200 hours of surveillance tape that they were going through to try to figure out where the suspect was, and it has been about 17 days since the shooting when they finally captured him. A lot of surveillance footage to go to try to trace down his steps. He said this was a massive operation spanning the entire country. 2,000 police officers involved in it. Raiding over 100 different residences, detaining 50 people. So, this was a massive operation to try to find this one person, a person they said had quite a bit of help. Also, hearing that when he was arrested they arrested four other people that were with him, one person was Iraqi, the three other were women, one was from Egypt, and the others were from other African countries. This is what we're hearing from the -- from officials. So, this is something that is a bit of relief for people here in Turkey that this manhunt that spanned over a couple of weeks is finally over.
CHURCH: And we also learned, Ian, that this suspect was from Uzbekistan apparently, trained in Afghanistan. And confessed to murdering these 39 people at the nightclub. What does that tell them about who might be behind this whether it's bigger than then one man?
LEE: Well, from everything that we heard in this press conference, rosemary, it does seem to be a lot larger than just this one person. Especially from what you said. This is a man from Uzbekistan, trained in Afghanistan, came to Turkey, they say in January, 2016. So, about a year ago, he arrived here. When they found him, it's also interesting to point out he had according to officials $197,000 with him at the time. So, it does appear that this is a lot larger than just one person, especially with ISIS claiming responsibility for it. This does have all the hallmarks of an ISIS attack. So, you know, and with those arrests that they had these were all people that the government says had alleged ties to is. So, this was a big, big planned operation.
[02:49:48] CHURCH: All right. Our Ian Lee reporting there live from Istanbul in Turkey, where it is nearly 11:00 in the morning, with those specific details coming out of that news conference relating to the arrest of the suspected gunman in that nightclub murder back in New Year's. Many thanks to you, Ian.
We'll take a short break here. But back in a moment.
CHURCH: In just a few days, Donald Trump will take the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States. Official inaugural events begin Tuesday.
CNN's Phil Mattingly has a preview of the big event.
ALEC BALDWIN, COMEDIAN & ACTOR: Who is excited for my Inauguration Day?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORESPONDENT: The countdown to Donald Trump's big day.
MATTINGLY: The historic event not immune to controversy or ridicule.
BALDWIN: We've also got some huge A-list actors coming like Angelina Jolie, Ryan Gosling and Jennifer Lawrence. They will all be at my inauguration, courtesy of Madame Tussaud's.
MATTINGLY: Unlike years past, much of Hollywood is sitting this inauguration out. The latest example, Jennifer Holliday.
MATTINGLY: The Tony Award-winning singer who reconsidered her own performance saying it would be a political act against her own personal beliefs.
But the entertainers who are showing up, organizers say, reflect the wishes of the man who will be the 45th president of the United States.
The program begins in earnest on Thursday night, the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. A concert.
MATTINGLY: Headlined by country star, Toby Keith. And the early 2000s, rock group Three Doors Down.
MATTINGLY: Leading revelers right into the first day of the next administration. From tea at the White House with the 44th President Trump and his wife, Melania, will head Friday to the west front of the capitol building where past opponents and ridiculers will be in attendance. It's a group that includes President George W. and Laura Bush, President Jimmy Carter, and, yes, President Bill Clinton --
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE & FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, hey.
MATTINGLY: -- and 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton.
But even as more than 20 Democrats are pledging to boycott the event, hundreds of thousands are expected to be in attendance, treated to performances by "America's Got Talent" star, Jackie Evancho --
MATTINGLY: -- the Mormon Tabernacle Choir --
MATTINGLY: -- and in true Trump fashion, New York's Rockettes. Those skipping the event will also miss Trump's speech to the nation
just after his historic swearing in, a speech which aides say he's been hard at work on for weeks with top advisers.
By 12:30, as the Obama family choppers away into life as private citizens, Trump will be off to the traditional luncheon hosted in the capitol. Then to the parade from the capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue, and even swinging by Trump's own brand-new D.C. hotel, they'll go settling in front of this grandstand in front of the White House. It's the breather of sorts before the partying.
[02:55:13] MATTINGLY: The inaugural ball, if tradition holds, will last long into the night. The final respite before reality sets in. Donald Trump now has a country to run.
CHURCH: Well, a mystery solved on Capitol Hill just days before the inauguration. Workers have been seen covering up the company name on portable toilets to be used during Friday's festivities. Don's Johns resembles the president-elect's full name Donald John Trump. The agency in charge of the area on Capitol Hill covered the logo due to what it says are restrictions on advertising, though the name was never covered during previous inaugurations.
I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment.
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