Return to Transcripts main page


Report: Nunes Says Trump Communications Possibly Collected; 3 Dead, 20 Hurt in London Terror Attack. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired March 22, 2017 - 15:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, breaking news I'm Brooke Baldwin in Washington D.C., I want to bring in Republican Congressman Ted Yoho, thank you so much for being with me, my goodness busy times there on Capitol Hill.


BALDWIN: We will talk health care, I promise in just one second but I would be remiss not to talk to you about the house intel committee chief Republican Devin Nunes in all of this news he's been making with regard to intel reports he was going through. And essentially saying that he says that it was the President's personal communications that were picked up in incidental collection. We just heard from the President himself saying he feels somewhat vindicated now by Chairman Nunes, do you see this as a distraction from the President's original tweet or do you think this is just political cover?

YOHO: Brooke, no. I'm at a loss because I have not seen the report, we've been involved with other meeting, but if Devin Nunes says that, I believe that, and if he says the President's personal communications were picked up I only have to think that happened and then we need to investigate how that came about, who authorized that? And the way I see this town working so often is that there's this layer of plausible deniability, but people feel that the buck stops at the top that President Obama, him or below him knew about this.

BALDWIN: But it's not actually the same thing what Nunes is saying versus what the President tweeted.

YOHO: OK. I'm going to weigh out of this because I know nothing of the report.

BALDWIN: OK. Let's move on to the health care, you say you cannot support the health care bill as it stands right now. I know you met with the President. Take me behind the doors?

YOHO: He wanted to know where we stood on this bill. The affordable care act is a disaster. It's going to collapse on its own so the President's mindset was where are you, what can we do to help bring you along and it was a very productive meeting, I came into the meeting being a no and I left being a no, but I can tell you there's a lot of negotiations going on and I truly believe and I've got to give credit to our leadership because they have been working tirelessly promoting this, and there's a lot of great reforms in it, but I know we will get this right, we have to get this right. The people that sent us up here number one they're counting on it and deserve it.

BALDWIN: So, I'm clear you said you left the meeting still a no, as of 3:34 current time, you still are a no?

YOHO: Yes, ma'am.

[15:35:00] BALDWIN: Can you tell me about the arm twisting, or whether it's from the speaker or the vice President trying to change your mind?

YOHO: Well, we had a meeting with Vice President Pence today I had one with him at the end of last week, we met with some of the team of leadership today. We're probably going to have more meetings. We're going to have a freedom caucus meeting and there's a lot of negotiating going on and a lot is getting rid of the title one funding on that.

BALDWIN: Help me Congressman understand, what's the magic phrase if they say we change and you're a yes?

YOHO: Well, the magic phrase for me is to do 100 percent repeal of the affordable care act. That's what we came up here to do, I came up here to do the President came up here to do and again this bill done do that and that's an option to bring up a 100 percent repeal bill and so what I see is going to happen is there will probably be more negotiations possibly a pause on the vote tomorrow until we negotiate this a little bit tighter to get these things up here, if we did rid of the essential health benefits in the affordable care act insurance companies can go out now and start drafting new today.

BALDWIN: If there was negotiation and one key piece of this to change to get you to flip, can you put your finger on that for me?

YOHO: We put in a bill called the hold harmless bill, the other thing is 100 percent repeal.

BALDWIN: How confident are you that you have the no votes to sink this bill?

YOHO: I don't want to say I'm sinking the bill. I think we're going to make the bill better. I'm feeling very confident that we have enough people not willing to support this that we can get a better deal out of this for the American people and this is not winning the vote or that, this is fixing health care for the American people. To put health care back into the hands of the individual. Open up free markets. Get government out of this, there's too much governmental involvement and it will turn into a large government funded program that won't ever go away and we have seen too many of those.

BALDWIN: Explain this to me, Congressman Yoho, Secretary Tom Price would not have agreed with this, would you agree?

YOHO: No, I don't agree, I have the utmost respect for Tom Price, he's very credible. I had a conversation with him this morning. You would have to ask him where he would stand on this.

BALDWIN: OK. Congressman Yoho, good luck. We're watching that count very closely. Thank you so much.

YOHO: Thank you have a great day.

BALDWIN: Same to you, let's move on to the breaking news out of London. An attack being investigated as an act of terror, British parliament still on lockdown, at least four people have been killed, a police officer, including the attacker, and others described as catastrophic injuries. We're getting all this new video in, this is Westminster Bridge Looking up toward parliament showing people who were just there out and about walking along who were hit, plowed down by this car that came Careening across the bridge, in addition to the people treated on the ground we're told one victim was pulled out of the water out of the river nearby, this is the car that smashed now into this fence. This is the perimeter of U.K.'s parliament. And it was right here that witnesses say the attacker got out of the car, stabbed a police officer before being shot by police. So, let's go to CNN's Phil Black who is live in London this evening. Phil, you know, so bizarrely quiet where you are. Normally it's the hustle and bustle especially around midday, tell me what you know right now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, you're right. It is eerily quiet in London, but it is calm. It appears that the police are pretty confident that the threat has passed.

[15:40:00] They're not saying with absolute surety just yet because they're still carrying out a search of the immediate area, the parliament building is only a few minutes' walk behind us, the distance includes Downing Street, the prime minister residence. All the other key departmental buildings, this is the very heart of Britain's government. This is the area where the incredibly panicked scenes took place in the middle of the all the other key departmental buildings, this is the very heart of Britain's government. This is the area where the incredibly panicked scenes took place in the middle of the afternoon, of exact opposite of what you see over my shoulder right now. Hundreds of thousands of people here every day, where government workers, tourist, take tours even to go into the parliament itself.

We understand this man in a car drove over the Westminster Bridge, ran over people there before slamming into the gate and got out of the car and attacked a police officer. The police officer was one of three victims today and the fourth attacker was killed there. What we are hearing from the police and their posture, gives every sense that the immediate threat has passed but no doubt it has been an incredibly dramatic afternoon. The job of the police is to determine just who this person was and what motivated him to carry out this attack.

BALDWIN: Just one of the worst scenes to see bodies around one of the most beautiful places in London. Phil Black, thank you so much. Stay with me we will have much more on this terror attack in London. Our special coverage on CNN continues in a moment.

[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: Back, the breaking news from London, four people were killed in what they're calling a terror attack at parliament, including a police officer, and the attacker and some 20 people injured including some French kids on a trip, so with that and as getting more information, Tom McTague is a chief U.K. correspondent for Politico.

Tom, take me back, where you were and what you saw?

TOM MCTAGUE, U.K. CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: At my desk in parliament which overlooks parliament square where the

attack took place. We heard a loud bang of a car crash, so we sort of naturally went to the window to have a look of what was happening and we heard screams and angry shouting and then we saw crowds of people sort of surging past the entrance gate into the palace the Westminster where the house of commons is. At that point you saw a man run through the gates towards a police officer and start to attack him. Also, a stopping motion. I wasn't clear where I was whether he had a knife or not but you certainly saw his arms flashing around and saw the police officer fall to the floor and saw him run further into the parliamentary estate towards Westminster Hall toward the -- of the palace to armed police officers and they started to shout at him making warnings of some sort. I couldn't hear what they were, but he ignored them and they shot him two or three times.

BALDWIN: For people who aren't familiar, this is all incredibly frightening. Anyone can drive over Westminster Bridge toward parliament. So, it appeared to you this was the same individual who came crashing down the bring into the gate and then got out a knife and was attacking the police officer?

MCTAGUE: Yes, absolutely, Westminster Bridge is a road that runs over the bridge and next to the house is the parliament. Parliament has sort of a big wrought iron fence that has protection but you can drive near it and turn on the parliament square where the famous statue of Winston Churchill is, and they are mandated by police officers and shut at night and there are sort of metal barriers to get -- so the cars can't get through and there are armed police at the side, so it is very secure, but of course it's very hard to defend yourself against one man in a car carrying a knife.

[15:50:00] BALDWIN: Hmm. Tom McTague I'm so glad you're OK, thank you for calling in. I can't imagine how people in London are feeling tonight. Colonel Cedric Leighton was good enough to stick around. -- Paul Cruickshank is with us, let's turn to you first, this is like someone driving up constitution avenue crashing his car, jumping out with a knife and trying to run into one of the house or Senate buildings. That's exactly what happened in London today and this whole notion of using a car, it does lead to questions as far as what we've seen calls from ISIS.

COLONEL CEDRIC LEIGHTON, FORMER MEMBER, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Absolutely. And one of the key things, Brooke, is the fact when you compare Washington to London the one big thing is in front of the White House you can't drive anymore on Pennsylvania Avenue. And the other thing is around the Capitol there is also a limit to how far you can get in there unless you have special permits. So, we do have a system set up to avoid some of this. But no system is foolproof and that is one big issues with protecting big institutions like the parliament building in the U.K., there are so many points of vulnerability. Especially, when you're in a crowded area like that, you find that it becomes very, very difficult to protect it with an ironclad degree of protection.

BALDWIN: Paul, let me just bring you in next here. Of course, immediately when you think of a car plowing down innocent people I think of standing next to a niece last summer when that atrocity had happened. When you hear -- we're starting to hear the details of what happened. How do you interpret this?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I think it's an attack that has many of the hallmarks of these ISIS inspired, ISIS linked truck attacks that we've seen, as you and I and Brooke were reported on, 86 killed in niece, an attack at a higher state in November. The attacker got out of the car in November and waiving at people. Was shot dead by police. After that obviously then the Berlin attack which wasn't just is inspired, we now understand, but actually that individual was communicating with ISIS in Libya before the attack and was part of an ISIS recruiting network in Germany. What ISIS are telling their recruits in Europe, in the west also here in the United States, is to launch these kind of truck attacks, car attacks because they're a way to create a lot of casualties and headlines for the group. In a country like the U.K., very difficult to get weapons, much more difficult in the United States, much more difficult even than in Europe. Not many far around circulating in the U.K. so they're having to resort to knives, to vehicles to get attacks through. But the casualty count can just be truly horrific. I mean, if this guy had been driving a truck rather than a car, this could have been on a whole different scale in London today.

BALDWIN: Right. And, Chris, you know, this was for people who are familiar with how parliament works, what is today? Wednesday, forgive me. This is prime minister questions day. Members of parliament can ask the prime minister questions, all of parliament there, staff, hustling and bustling on a Wednesday afternoon midday.

CHRIS NEIWEEM, TERRORISM EXPERT, THE HILL: Absolutely, Brooke. As you said in the initial, this could happen here. We need to take this seriously. London, these are allies our friends. It's an icon of democracy. They're practicing democracy, icon of peace. It's not lost on those dealing with this. The irony that this sort of attack would take place. We have strong security measures here, but as we look at unconventional attacks, using ways, using vehicles, we need to be, is that right and stay smart and look at ways to stop these things and hopefully more information will come in relating to who were they speaking with, where did this attack come from, what generated it because we need to keep those intelligence assets out there to prevent these in the future.

BALDWIN: If was a they, really, we don't know. It could be one individual who had a knife, who took a car and decided he wanted to commit this sort of atrocity in London. And essentially shut the city down, shut parliament down. One person potentially here. LEIGHTON: Absolutely. And it shows, as Chris was mentioning, there

are so many points of vulnerability and, you know, one person could decide at a spur of the moment to go ahead and do something like this. And there would be no intelligence warning whatsoever that that would happen. So, that is really the biggest risk right there. If it is a group, there is more chance that you would be able to find out through intelligence means, law enforcement means, something was going to happen. But you just don't know, depending on the case. You just don't know how it's all going to work out from an intelligence perspective.

BALDWIN: Colonel, thank you so much. I'm Brooke Baldwin in Washington. A quick break, we're back after this.


BALDWIN: And we're back with our breaking news. Before I hand things over to my colleague Jake Tapper, at this hour it is 8:00, just about 8:00 local time in London. Four people have been killed in what's being called -- investigated as a terror attack. There along Westminster Bridge and parliament. Four people killed including the attacker along with a police officer. 20 other people have been injured, some of whom have been described with catastrophic injuries. Also among the 20 we know a couple of French students who were there on a trip. They were injured as well.

There was a car that sort of came out of nowhere across Westminster Bridge which is an open area to, of course, the public and just ultimately according to Scotland Yard, plowed through innocent bystanders walking along taking the iconic photo with big ben in the background, plowed them down is how it's described by Scotland Yard and ultimately crashed into the fence, had a knife, and tried to injure a police officer and that's when ultimately he was taken down. Again, he is included among the four dead. Thank you so much for being with me. I'm Brooke Baldwin. "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.