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Widow of Nightclub Attacker Faces Federal Charges; Kerry: Trump's Foreign Policy Comments "Inappropriate"; Warriors Blow Out Cavs, 126-91. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 17, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:30:07] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We have some breaking news about missing Malaysia Flight 370. The under water search for the missing airplane has been suspended. The plane vanished nearly three years ago over the Indian Ocean en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Two hundred and thirty-nine people were onboard.

Searchers spent millions of dollars. They scoured thousands of square miles of Indian Ocean. A joint statement released by Malaysia, Chinese, and Australian officials says this decision was not made lightly nor without sadness.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Also breaking, Istanbul's government says the suspect arrested in a New Year's attack at a nightclub confessed to the massacre, calling the shooting an ISIS-influenced terror attack. Police captured him and four others late Monday. The attack at the night club left 39 people dead, dozens more injured.

CAMEROTA: The widow of the Pulse nightclub attacker will be in court just hours from now. This is months after her husband carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. She is facing federal charges, including providing material support to ISIS.

CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown is live in Washington with more.

What have we learned, Pam?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we should point out, Alisyn, she is charged with aiding and abetting her husband's attempted material support to ISIS, as well as obstruction of justice and we've learned the FBI took Omar Mateen's window, Noor Salman into custody in part based on what she told investigators. And her story not standing up to the facts, according to law enforcement officials we've spoken with.

She is now facing these two federal charges and she will be in court later this morning in California in order to face a judge for the first time. She allegedly told investigators her husband as you pointed out the man responsible for the deadly rampage at Orlando's Pulse nightclub was violent and abusive to her, and at times, she feared for her life. But officials say she was complicit in her actions, and her husband's actions, I should say, by her own free will, based on the information uncovered in the seven-month investigation.

Officials tell us she accompanied Mateen in potential targets and went with him to buy ammunition. She told investigators allegedly, initially, she didn't know about his specific plans. And officials also tell us that Omar Mateen put documents, including his life insurance into her name and bought her an expensive piece of jewelry just before the shooting.

And the night of the shooting, she told investigator she saw him leave the house upset with guns in his bag and, of course, as we know, she never called authorities. And during that three-hour massacre the two exchanged text messages and Salman repeatedly called her husband.

Her attorneys have released a statement since her arrest and that statement says that "Noor Salman had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night. Noor has told her story of abuse at his hands. We believe it is misguided and wrong to prosecute her and that it dishonors the memories of the victims to punish an innocent person."

Back to you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Pamela, thank you very much.

So allies and adversaries around the world are growing increasingly concerned about Donald Trump and his foreign policy, so what exactly is the end game for the incoming administration? Christiane Amanpour joins us next.


[06:36:32] CAMEROTA: Three days until inauguration day and the outgoing administration is scolding Mr. Trump on foreign policy. Secretary of State John Kerry speaking out in an exclusive CNN interview with chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. Listen.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I thought, frankly, it was inappropriate for a president-elect of the United States to be stepping into the politics of other countries in a quite direct manner, and he will have to speak to that. As of Friday, you know, he's responsible for that relationship. But I think we have to be very careful about suggesting that one of the strongest leaders in Europe and most important players with respect to where we are heading --


KERRY: -- make one mistake or another, I don't think it's appropriate for us to be commenting on that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Christiane Amanpour joins us now morning from London.

Good morning, Christiane. So, great interview there. Very insightful.

What Secretary Kerry was talking about was Mr. Trump talking about Angela Merkel, calling her refugee policy catastrophic. Mr. Trump also talked about NATO and he called that obsolete. What did Secretary Kerry say about that?

AMANPOUR: Well, this was a lot to digest for Europe, you know, here in Europe, people have been reacting, quote/unquote, "with astonishment and agitation," that was the word from mainland Europe after this interview was published, because it was taking aim at Europe's strongest leader in terms of calling the refugee policy catastrophic. Before, he had called it insane.

He hasn't even met these people yet and is considered unusual for a president-elect to take such specific language and policy sort of directions without even coming into office.

So, another thing that was really irritating to the Europeans was what seemed to be a prediction, quote/unquote, "a call" for more European nations to leave the E.U., just as Britain had done and calling NATO obsolete. And it caused a pushback, immediately, the NATO secretary- general, you know, said, no, we believe the U.S. is committed to NATO in defense of all the alliance and we will make sure and work hard with it.

Angela Merkel said, look, I've heard this before. He has his ideas. I have mine. Europe has control of its own destiny, and the French immediately, including the person pushing back and saying what we need is to defend ourselves, our unity and we don't need any help or comments from outside.

But it really has put European allies on a state of anxious, awaiting this next administration, because it looks like certainly from the words that the entire post-World War II raison d'etre of America and its alliance and liberal, economic political world order that was created is about to be turned back, and that is what they're worried about.

CAMEROTA: Christiane, I've also just been handed out this bulletin out of Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum is meeting. I know you've been monitoring that, and Mr. Trump, of course, has been very outspoken about China. So, the Chinese president has spoken.

What are his response?

AMANPOUR: Well, imagine this. This is truly an amazing and epic situation right now. You have the president of China for the first time coming to Davos. So, this is a communist country, and the world's second biggest economy. And he's there in Davos talking and defending globalization and free trade. [06:40:001] He said no one will be a winner from a trade war. He also

-- got a lot of applause from that and obviously that reflects and responds to what Donald Trump on the campaign has been talking about, and that is punishing with tariffs. He has even said up to 45 percent on Chinese goods.

So, Xi Jinping said nobody would benefit from a trade war. And then he also said, and this again in response to Donald Trump -- China has no intention of boosting its trade by devaluing the currency, the renminbi, unless by launching a currency war. So, putting himself on the record about that and defending the Paris climate accord which again Donald Trump has called into question, saying that this is a time where we must not walk away from it. And all of those statements won big applause.

So, you've got China standing up for liberal trade, capitalist free trade and globalization at a time when in Europe, in Asia, people are wondering whether the leader of the biggest democracy, the world's biggest economy, might turn towards protectionism and nationalism as an economic and political project. So, that's what's going on as we wait another two or three days before the inauguration.

CAMEROTA: So many shifting stands as you've just pointed out. Let's quickly touch on Russia. Mr. Trump gave an interview to "The Times of London" yesterday. Here's a little bit about what he said about Russia.

"They have sanctions on Russia. Let's see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially. That's part of it. But Russia's hurting very badly right now because of the sanctions, but I think something can happen that a lot of people are going to benefit."

What's been Russia's response?

AMANPOUR: So, we have to break a lot of that down. First and foremost, the idea of removing sanctions is something that neither the Europeans abet because it's all about Crimea and about the annexation of Ukraine. In other words, Russia violated the whole, you know, raison d'etre of international relations, which means a big country doesn't march in and invade and annex a little country. So, that's what those sanctions are about, and Europe and Angela Merkel has been with the United States on putting those there.

And then, Donald Trump talked about a nuclear accord and lifting sanctions, the American sanctions in return for that. But the Russians are saying that we don't quite know what that means. There isn't any nuclear accord up for grabs at the moment or any work to be done in that area right now. So, that remains a mystery.

Then, Europe got very upset because in that interview -- and, by the way, let's not call it an interview, it was a conversation with a politician, Michael Gove, who is the leader of Brexit. It was two aligned politicians, Donald Trump and Michael Gove, talking to each other. So, it wasn't an interview. It was a conversation about what he would like to see going forward. But what he said in that conversation was that for the moment, he

would trust Angela Merkel, the U.S. main and most robust ally on the continent of Europe, with Vladimir Putin, the current biggest adversary of the United States and the west. So, that got people very upset.

CAMEROTA: Christiane, thank you very much. Always great to get context from you. Thanks for being here.

Let's get over to Chris.

CUOMO: All right. The ice storm that paralyzed parts of the Midwest and the Plains now heading east. Is it going to affect the inauguration? We have answers, next.


[06:46:58] CUOMO: The severe storm that crippled the central U.S. is now heading east. It's expected to blanket New England with ice and snow. What does that mean for the inauguration?

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has the forecast.

What do you see? A lot of pressure on this call.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, I think there's rain coming in for the inauguration but not from that storm.

So, this weather update is brought to you by Purina, your pet, our passion.

The storm that affected Oklahoma and Kansas will make ice for Upstate New York and into Vermont for the next couple of days. But by Friday that storm is long gone. It is way out into the ocean.

We're watching the next storm system coming up from the south. So, we're talking about Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and by Friday, it does get right on top of Washington, D.C.

In fact, I think the chance of rain is likely 100 percent. They are going 50-50-50-50 for all the hours, you add that up and I get more than 100. But right around 2:00, I believe that's where the heaviest showers come in, somewhere around 48 to 49 degrees.

Now, remember, if you are going to the inauguration and you are going to the closed section, umbrellas are not allowed there. If you're going to the parade route, so far, umbrella are allowed, but I would check with the PDF file the government is putting out before you take your brand new umbrella with you, because they may take it away.

CAMEROTA: Very good to know. Thank you, Chad.

Well, the Golden State Warriors looking to end a four-game losing streak against LeBron and the Cavs.

Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report". Hi, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alisyn. Before this game yesterday, LeBron James and the Cavs said that the Warriors and Cavs aren't a real rivalry, saying it's nothing like the NBA rivalries from the '80s.

Well, yesterday, the Warriors are looking like the bad boys Pistons playing against the Bulls. Look at this, watch the replay as Draymond Green goes beast mode on LeBron James. James goes down, you know, Draymond Green gets into a scuffle with Richard Jefferson and he lets the fans know that he thinks that LeBron flopped a little bit.

In the end, it was the Cavs who flopped. They got walloped by 35 points. The Warriors win 126-91.

The Chicago Cubs visited the White House has world champs yesterday and President Obama he grew up rooting for the other Chicago team, the White Sox, but many people on his staff are lifelong Cubs fans. He had fun telling the stories yesterday.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When they won, the next day, she said, this is the best day of my life. I said what about me winning the presidency? What about your wedding day? She is like, no.

There were a lot of sick days during the playoffs. One of my staff members was caught being interviewed at a bar outside of Wrigley.


WIRE: Busted. Cuomo, that would be you when your Jets win the Super Bowl some day. I know, you are going to call in sick and celebrate and rightfully so.

It was pretty cool stuff from the president.

CUOMO: I would gladly take any arrest that comes from that moment in time. That's a big if, my brother. Good to see you.

WIRE: You too.

CUOMO: All right. So, the widow of the Pulse nightclub attacker is facing federal charges today. Could she have prevented the massacre?

[06:50:02] Did she help in the planning of the massacre? The police chief says he has doubts about her complicity. We discuss the role of the wife in this case and others, next.


CUOMO: The wife of the Pulse nightclub attacker will be in court this morning facing federal charges for her role in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Could she have stopped the attack? Let's discuss with "Orlando Sentinel" reporter Paul Brinkmann and CNN

terrorism analyst Phil Mudd.

Paul, what are you hearing about how law enforcement is viewing this case with her right now?

PAUL BRINKMANN, SR. BUSINESS REPORTER, ORLANDO SENTINEL: Well, law enforcement is saying they are very confident that she had some role in this. With when we look specifically at some of the details that have come out over the past six, seven months, you know, she knew that he bought a gun. She knew that he had gone to Pulse or drove with him to Pulse.

Did she know exactly what he was planning? I'm not sure that that's certain, but there's also supposedly she had made statements that she tried to prevent him from doing some kind of attack, which that in itself would be -- that would be a pretty important statement. That would indicate that she did know something was happening.

CUOMO: It would be more important if it went along with her contacting authorities before or during the attack, which there's no proof that she did is my understanding at this point.

Phil, the delay, how do you view that in term of the timing of when the attack happened versus when she's brought in?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Pretty straightforward, Chris. First, what's the rush to judgment here? This is a complicated case. I'll get to that in a second in a federal court.

The incident is done. The mass murder is finished. The federal authorities investigating this, I'm sure, are working with federal prosecutors are saying no rush to judgment here.

[06:55:07] We've got to get in front of a court. And the incident is already done.

But on that issue of complication of the case, remember, I mean, you allegedly have a law degree so follow me here, Chris. Remember, the issue here is there are two individuals involved in a conspiracy. One of them is dead. One of them is destroying or somehow fuzzying up the evidence.

Building a case that says no only was she aware that he bought a weapon and that he traveled to Pulse, she was somehow cognizant that he was going to commit an act of violence -- that's pretty tough when you have two people participating and one is dead. The time issue to me was federal authorities in a difficult case saying, let's take our time because the incident is over.

CUOMO: Well, if you're worried about her muddying up proof of the conspiracy, why give her time out there?

MUDD: Because you got to go into court and say not only did she -- as the reporter from Orlando was talking about -- not only did she know that she was purchasing weapons and he went to Pulse, but she had to know that something was going to happen. That involves intent. Not just an act -- knowing between two people, one of whom that is dead, that an attack of this magnitude was going to happen.

So, they've got to do forensic work, for example, examining computers, to see if there were emails between them. That's pretty complicated, Chris.

CUOMO: Phil, that reporter has a name and it's Paul Brinkmann.

Paul, let me ask you something -- the people of Orlando, what's the community reaction you are getting from Salman's attorney, the wife's attorney, saying that these charges, quote, "dishonors the memories of the victims to punish an innocent person"?

BRINKMANN: That's completely bizarre statement to me. I got two messages on Facebook almost immediately after "The New York Times" story broke and other stories. People saying, wow, thank God they finally charged her, what the heck took so long.

A lot of people were mystified by that. There's some feeling here to see if maybe she were watching her to see if she would give away any other connections to radicals, or -- which would have been surprising if she had. There were definitely building their case.

But there's a sense of relief here. There's a feeling like, well, because this was just a big open question mark. People were very confused as to why she wasn't charge earlier.

CUOMO: And, obviously, if they're going to bring charges, hopefully they stick. It takes us to Phil's point about putting together a case.

Phil, when you look in terms of some context here, the wife in the Boston marathon bombings, the wife in San Bernardino especially, we know how deep her roots went into developing that man's supposed agenda. No charges. Why? Why do we see a lapse there in these cases?

MUDD: I think because you've got to show intent which is what's happening in somebody's mind. We're not just talking about whether somebody else was aware that her husband had violent tendencies or that had he had traveled to Pulse nightclub and perhaps came back and talked about his anger. You got to go into the courtroom and say, she wasn't just hiding evidence. There's one charge as you know here about obstructing justice.

CUOMO: Right.

MUDD: She was charged with material support, which means that she was aware she was aiding something that was happening. That's getting inside somebody's head and explaining that with evidence in a courtroom. That's a pretty high bar to get over when you have a conspiracy this small.

CUOMO: Phil Mudd, appreciate it.

Paul Brinkmann, please keep us loop in how the community is reacting to this, what your understanding about the case as it moves.

Gentlemen, thank you very much.

MUDD: Thank you.

CUOMO: There's a lot of news for you this morning. Let's get right to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said that he is going to represent Americans.

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: Never give up! Never give in! Stand up! Speak up!

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP ADVISER: It's disappointing to have somebody with that platform go out and say he somehow was not elected fairly and squarely.

CAMEROTA: The list of Democrats who say they will boycott Mr. Trump's inauguration grows.

SEAN SPICER, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He's not going to sit back and just take attacks without responding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just cannot celebrate in good conscience.

CUOMO: Donald Trump with an historic low approval rating heading into the White House.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: The president-elect has a firm grasp of the realities that we face in the world.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. It was obsolete.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As of Friday, he's responsible for that relationship.

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


CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

We begin with a new CNN/ORC poll showing Donald Trump with a historically low approval rating going into the White House. Only 40 percent of Americans approve of the president-elect's performance during this time of transition, 52 percent disapprove.

CUOMO: This as the list of Democratic lawmakers who say they are boycotting Trump's inauguration continues to grow. Now, take a look at your screen, that's one in five of the number of House Democrats declaring that they are not going to be there. We're not seeing a similar move on the Senate side.

Now, Mr. Trump is going to become the 45th president of the United States in just three days.

Let's begin our coverage with CNN political director David Chalian live in Washington with a new poll numbers. What do you see?


You guys said it's an historic low that number you gave, 40 percent approval -- take a look historically just how low it is.