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Another Lone Wolf Attacker; Make or Break Vote; Threat Sender Caught. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 24, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Following the investigation into the terror attack that rocked this city.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: Thanks, Foster it's good to be with you. I'm George Howell here in Atlanta.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN HOST: And I'm Natalie Allen. And you're watching CNN Newsroom live from London and Atlanta.

We will have more with Max in London in just a moment. But first in just a matter of hours the republican plan to roll back Obamacare in the U.S. heads for a make-or-break vote in Congress. But passage seems more unlikely than ever.

The vote was scheduled for Thursday, the seventh anniversary of Mr. Obama's signature heath care law. But it was postponed when republicans could not get enough support from within their own party for the new bill.

After a day of intense negotiations, the Trump White House and republican leaders finally threw down the gauntlet. No more talk. Vote.


PAUL RYAN, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because it's collapsing and it's failing families. And tomorrow we'll proceed in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have the votes? Do you have the votes?


HOWELL: And you hear that question there, do you have the votes there. Defeat would be a major setback for the president after he campaigned to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Many conservative republicans refuge to go along because the bill does not get rid of the Obamacare so-called essential benefits. They require insurance companies to offer policies on maternity care, addiction treatment, prescription medicines, lab tests, and other health services. ALLEN: A source tells CNN President Trump is unhappy with House

Speaker Paul Ryan for not securing the necessary votes. As our Sara Murray explains the president seems ready to cut his losses.

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House is making it clear that negotiations are over. That is the message they are sending to Capitol Hill as of Thursday night. This was supposed to be the day when they got the vote on healthcare. It was supposed to be the day they moved forward.

It quickly became clear they did not have the votes to do this. Now in a best case scenario the White House is hoping for a vote on healthcare o Friday. But one thing is clear, the president himself is frustrated. He is ready to move on.

As one senior official put it to me, he's just done. For that President Trump has made clear they need to do this healthcare repeal and replace. He certainly campaigned on it every day, and this a promise that republicans have made for years, essentially ever since Barack Obama passed Obamacare.

But in President Trump's eyes this is certainly not the sexiest agenda item on his menu. So he wants to do tax reform, he wants to do infrastructure spending. And so he wants to get a win first and foremost on healthcare so he can move onto these other priorities that he is much more personally passionate about. We'll see if he gets his wish.

Sara Murray, CNN, White House.

HOWELL: Sara Murray, thank you. To talk more about this let's bring James Davis. He's the dean of the School of Economics and Political Science at the University of St. Gallen. James, a pleasure to have you with us this hour.

This all comes down to the one question will the republicans have the votes that they need to move forward, keeping in mind this is something that they have been pressing for repeal and replace for nearly eight years. What is the overall impact on the republican brand at large if they can't come together on this?

JAMES DAVIS, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF ST. GALLEN: Well, I think the first thing we need to notice that the votes was supposed to take place yesterday. So if they had their votes, the vote would have taken place and the president would have claimed a great legislative victory.

So, obviously they don't have the votes. Of course this is important. If the president can't get his party together on the singular issue on which they ran on in the last election, it's going to be hard for him to get them together on other issues which are very contentious.

And I think we know that there's not a lot of support for big infrastructure spending. The republicans blocked Obama on that very issue. So the question is can he get some momentum going here and if this goes down today as a defeat for the president and a defeat for the speaker, it's going to be very hard to move forward.

HOWELL: The moderates want to keep certain things, the far right wants to throw many things out. We're looking at a president who is known as a negotiator, and we've seen him do just that, making the full-court press here, reaching out to legislators even sending his top advisors to Capitol Hill and making it very clear this is it. Vote on this bill or keep the Affordable Care Act as it stands now. Is there any indication that this pressure is going to work?

DAVIS: Well, this is not the kind of negotiations that the president is used to. The president is used to negotiating with business partner, perhaps one or perhaps two, he's not negotiating with hundreds of individual Congress persons. Each of them has a different constituency at home that they are trying to please.

[03:05:01] And so, this is a complicated negotiation. When you get to way to the conservatives, he makes it more difficult to keep the moderates onboard.

And what this shows us is that it's very easy to be against something, it's very easy to be for repeal. It's very hard to replace. And trying to get a program together around which you can get a big tent party to agree is very difficult. And the president is being challenged in a way that I think he really didn't expect.

HOWELL: James, you made the point, you know, if they had the votes, this would have already, you know, been a done deal. Clearly they don't have the votes. But let's say republicans do come together in the House that they do have the votes to move this forward to the Senate, then comes into play an entirely different set of challenges for this proposal.

DAVIS: You're right. If this thing comes through the House, then it has to go through the Senate. Then the Senate has demonstrated the women is to slow things down, that's it's job, that's what the founders wanted to do.

This vote is being pushed. This bill was put together hastily. I think the Senate is going to take its time. It's going to read this bill. It's going to add some amendments to this bill, and then we'll have to see whether or not the Senate and House can agree to a single package that eventually lands on the president's desk.

HOWELL: Sara Murray pointed this out in her report this president was more focus on other things, tax reform. This was not the one that he wanted to start with but this is a president who wants a win with his first major piece of legislation.

So here's the question here. Who stands to lose the most if this thing flops? Is it President Trump or is it the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan?

DAVIS: Well, first it's the American people. Because the American people need to know what the future of their headache looks like. And you know, President Obama have said time and time again that there may be room for improvement on Obamacare but it doesn't make sense to create chaos on the market -- on the insurance markets and threaten the health of the American people.

But in the political gain, it's an interesting question. I mean, the president followed the advice of the speaker and decided to go with healthcare reform first and then bring the other issues up later. I think if this thing -- if this thing blows up the relationship between the president and the speaker is going to be very strained. And I think it's the speaker who is going to have the difficulty moving forward.

HOWELL: James Davis, giving us some insight there. James, thank you so much for taking time with us.

DAVIS: Thank you.

ALLEN: Let's cross now again to Max Foster. He's in London covering our other major story back.

FOSTER: Natalie, at least eight people are under arrest in connection with the deadly attack outside the British parliament here. Six of them are being held on suspicion of preparation of attacks of terrorism. Police say the man who carried out the attack is 52-year- old Klahid Masood.

An ISIS news agency says he was a soldier of ISIS. The British Prime Minister Theresa May revealed that information.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What I can confirm that the man was British born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI-5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic. He was not part of the current intelligence picture.


FOSTER: Now London Mayor Sadiq Khan lead a vigil from Trafalgar Square for the people killed in the Westminster attack. And Queen Elizabeth offered her thoughts, and prayers, and deepest sympathies.

Meanwhile, Belgium police say they have stopped what may have been an attempted terror attack. They arrested a driver speeding towards a busy shopping area and refusing to stop on Thursday.

Prosecutor say the man had knives and a pellet style gun in the car. Belgium media say the driver was too drunk to answer questions from police.

Let's bring in CNN's Europe editor Nina dos Santos also live in London. And the main suspects in the attack here, he had multiple identities, so police are trying to work through that.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: Yes, you're right, Max. They believed that Khalid Masood may indeed be one of those aliases. What we do know so far about this 52-year-old man is that he was born in Kent, which is a county to the east of London but that he had been living in Birmingham in the midland, which is the second biggest city of the U.K. About 180 miles away from where I'm standing outside New Scotland Yard.

He had never actually committed a terrorism offense, but he was known as we heard yesterday to MI-5 and he'd been investigated in a historic case, as Theresa May said, for violent extremist activity. But he seems to have dropped off the radar between now and then.

What we do know is that this is an individual who also had a lot of links with the police and being arrested and sentenced in some cases. He's got a history of convictions that go all the way back to 1983. The criminal damage the most recent conviction, though, was a number of years ago in 2003.

[03:10:01] He's somebody who is also known for having been convicted for possessing weapons, in particular knives as well and has a history of violent behavior.

So the big question the authorities are going to be trying to answer is who exactly is this individual, which aliases did he use, what motivated him to commit this attack, and was he re-radicalized, if you like?

The suspicion is that maybe he was on the watch list of authorities at one point in the past because he may have had activities that linked him to groups like, for instance, Al Qaeda sympathies that link into that.

But then as the extremist terrorist threat morphed into what we've seen as ISIS-led activity. Why didn't he come up on the radar for that if indeed he was inspired by ISIS to commit this attack? As you just pointed out there they have claimed him as one of their so-called soldiers. Max.

FOSTER: Interesting language around these arrests as well, the eight arrests that being held on suspicion of preparation of acts of terrorism. But yesterday we were told that he wasn't part of a plot, and he was acting alone.

DOS SANTOS: Yes, this is the big contradiction in terms, if you like. And it's something that investigators are trying to get to heart of, you can bet here in New Scotland Yard quite quickly. They do have a significant window of time of which they can question these individuals because as you quite rightly pointed out they have been arrested, most of them, not all of them, most of them under the terrorism act.

And that means that officers have an initial window of 48 hours to gather evidence from them. They can actually with due justification from this superior officers and sometimes judges get a window of up to 14 days to question these individuals if they suspect they have more relevant information without actually charging them.

What we see, though, Max, is then the reality of many of these cases some of these members were tied up in this kind of investigations are often sometimes family members who know very little and on table to add too much to the investigation. And some of them are released pretty quickly along the course of the way.

But as you said, eight individuals still held for questioning. I can give you some details on them. We obviously don't have their identities or their links to Khalid Masood. But we know that three of them are women. Five of them are men. The ages range between the age of 21 and 52 years old.

And there was no one individual who was arrested here in east London as well. So, obviously authorities trying very quickly to get a picture of Khalid Masood who was part of this immediate physical network and maybe even his network online, Max.

FOSTER: Nina, things pretty back much to normal now as well in Westminster?

DOS SANTOS: Yes. I'm about a 100 yards away from Westminster Bridge because the new headquarters of new Scotland Yard is actually very close to the site of where the attack took place. One of the reasons why actually there are a couple of senior officers who were caught up in it.

We saw you remember that there were about three police officers who were actually mowed down by, or injured by the vehicle, two of them still remain in serious condition in the hospital. And then of course there was PC Keith Palmer who tragically lost his life.

Things have gotten back to normal though. Despite the fact that those are very heavy security presence this time yesterday. It took us about an hour and a half just to get pass this security checkpoints to get to this position yesterday. Now all of the streets are open.

But I can point out that there is a very significant police presence, both uniformed, unarmed officers -- ununiformed officers and armed officers across all of the streets in London. We know that across the British capital, across the rest of the U.K., there has been a significant uptake and the police presence to trying to reassure the public.

Although I should point out that the level of security threat level still remains as the same one as it was before the attack which is severe. That means there is a threat of an attack but one isn't imminent for the moment. Max.

FOSTER: Nina, thank you. We always need to remember the victims first and foremost in these situations of course. I want to bring you some time to -- take some time to tell you about those innocent people killed in Wednesday's attack.

Now we're still waiting for authorities to identify a 75-year-old man who died of his injuries later on Thursday. American Kurt Cochran was celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary in London with his wife. She suffered serious injuries but is expected to recover.

Forty-two-year-old teacher Aysha Frade was a British national. She was reportedly on her way to pick up her children from school. And parliament pay tribute on Thursday to the police officer that Nina

was mentioning, that Keith Palmer. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson talked about the victims on the visit to the United Nations in New York.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Today there are victims in London from 11 nations, which goes to show that an attack on London is on attack on the world.


[03:15:00] FOSTER: Well, the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaking there yesterday. And I'll be back later this hour with new details on the man who carried out the Westminster attack. You're watching CNN Newsroom.


KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN World Sport headlines.

London is still coming to terms with Wednesday's terror attack on parliament. And the football association in England have said they will pay tribute to those who died and recognize the bravery of the security services an all those involved.

When England play Lithuania on Wembley on Sunday stars and clubs took to social media to show their support. The England football team posting on Twitter saying, "Sometimes football isn't everything. Our message to London, our city, stay strong, stay safe. Stay together."

David Beckham who captain England 59 times took to Instagram "My thoughts are with those who lost loved ones and were injured in London. Prouder than ever of our great city and the people who protect us."

And three-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton who is in Australia ahead the start of the first race of the season tweeted "Praying for all those affected in London."

One of the lives claimed was Keith Palmer, a policeman. And a season ticket holder of the league one of football club at Charlton Athletic. The team posted a video on their Twitter account to show their support.

The club all laid a red and white scarf over their seat who occupied who many years since the local supporter of the club and will remain there until their next home fixture on April 4th.

That's a look at all your sports headlines. I'm Kate Riley.

HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. We're following the story of the head of the U.S. House intelligence committee. He's reportedly apologized to his colleagues. This after Devin Nunes set off a political controversy Wednesday in

the U.S.-Russia investigation.

ALLEN: The republican briefed the president about how intelligence agencies may have picked up communications of him and his associate. Nunes also told the public but did not tell his democratic colleagues. This is what he said Thursday to reporters.


DEVIN NUNES, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: It was a judgment call on my part. And at the end of the day, you know, sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the wrong one, but you've got to stick by what you, what decisions you make.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did this come from the White House? Did this information that you got came from the White House?

NUNES: As you know we have to keep our sources and message here very, very quiet. I've told the American public several times that we want people to come to us, to bring us information if they have it.


[03:19:59] ALLEN: Well, now many democrats are questioning if Nunes can conduct an impartial investigation. And they are not backing off allegations against President Trump.

HOWELL: In fact, the top house democrat now says he's seeing new information on possible collusion between Trump associates and Moscow.

For more here's Jessica Schneider.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The FBI is examining information that associates of President Trump's may have communicated with suspected Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign. U.S. officials tell CNN.

The FBI is reviewing information sources including human intelligence, travel, business, and phone records, and accounts of in-person meetings. One law enforcement official said the information already in hand suggests people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready.

The information, referring to hacks into DNC computers and the subsequent release of campaign staffer's e-mails. Other U.S. officials caution it's premature to so-quickly come to that conclusion since a lot of the information gathered so far is circumstantial. But House Intel committee ranking member Adam Schiff says the evidence he seem is stronger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You said there's more than just circumstantial evidence of collusion. What did you mean by that?

ADAM SCHIFF, (D) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: I don't feel talking about the particular evidence either that the FBI is looking at or that we're looking at. But I do think that it's appropriate to say it's the kind of evidence that you would submit to a grand jury at the beginning of an investigation. That's not the kind of evidence you take to a trial jury when you're trying to prove something you got reasonable doubt.


SCHNEIDER: Officials caution they can't yet prove it, but the information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the FBI investigation. Sources would not say who connected to Trump is being investigated, but the FBI is already investigating four former Trump campaign associates, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Carter Page for their contacts with Russians known to U.S. intelligence.

All four have denied improper contacts. The White House insisted the information trickling out is too vague to prove anything.


SEAN SPICER, UNITED STATES WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: When you use a term like associates you don't even put a time frame around it. It's a little bit nebulous at best to suggest that somebody over and over again making a claim the way you do and the narrative continues without any substantiation.


SCHNEIDER: The FBI won't comment. Director James Comey made that bombshell disclosure that the FBI is investigating possible Trump campaign ties to Russia during a congressional hearing Monday. But he refuses to answer when a student asked him a question about the investigation this morning at the University of Texas.


JAMES COMEY, UNITED STATES FBI DIRECTOR: I'm not going to talk about it.


ALLEN: He's not talking about it, but he is investigating something. And CNN's Clare Sebastian is joining us now from Moscow. Hello to you, Clare. And you know, Moscow said it wouldn't pay attention to the hearings. Before they began, it wasn't interested. Have they?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're sticking to that line, Natalie. You know, I put that question to a veteran Kremlin advisor earlier this week and he said he really does think the Kremlin did have better things to do, they got elections coming up in a years' time which he says are much more important to them.

But throughout all of this of course the Kremlin has denied and dismissed any allegations coming out of Washington on any kind of collusion with the Trump team or any kind of meddling in the U.S. election.

On the latest CNN reporting out this week that the FBI may have evidence that Trump associates coordinated the release of key information harmful to the Clinton campaign with Russian operatives. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this is another piece of information without any sources which can't be commented on. Neither can it be taken as some serious things.

So they have very much sticking to, you know, denials, dismissals even downright derision here in Moscow. The question of course, where does this lead U.S.-Russia relations that President Trump has for a long time said he would like to improve?

Well, I put that question yesterday to the foreign ministry spokeswoman. She said they have talked about this enough. They now would like to get down to business, and they're simply waiting for Trump's team to formulate their foreign policy direction. And they are still ready to work with them. But as for these accusations the U.S.- Russia they are still not commenting.

ALLEN: All right. And Clare, meantime, a Kremlin opponent was killed in Ukraine. What is known about the motive and who was behind it perhaps?

SEBASTIAN: Yes, Natalie, this was Denis Voronenkov, a former Russian member of parliament. He had moved to Kiev last year. He was vocally critical of the Kremlin gunned down in broad daylight that had a luxury hotel in Kiev.

Now, the Ukrainian president has called this an act of Russia terror, the general prosecutor in Ukraine calling this a demonstrative execution of witness referring to the fact that Voronenkov was a key witness in Ukraine's treason case former President Viktor Yanukovych.

[03:25:06] Russia says those allegations are absurd, denying it had anything to do with this. We know that the assailant has now died in the hospital. That's the latest that we have from Ukraine. But in Russia very big story here, very much attention its getting on state media.

But the line that they're taking here is questioning whether or not Kiev could be behind this. Authority of ministry saying that given that pronouncement from Ukraine's president accusing Russia of an act of terror, they cannot be sure that Ukraine's investigation into this can be impartial.

But certainly this is part of a pattern or fits a pattern that we've seen of Kremlin critics dying in suspicious circumstances. This very much raising that question of that specter kind of coming up all over again, Natalie.

ALLEN: Yes, it certainly does. Clare Sebastian, following it all for us. Thank you, Clare.

HOWELL: Here in the United States it's all about healthcare. The question will they or won't they the ultimatum from the Trump White House to republicans vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act now or suffer the consequences come election time.

Around the world you're watching CNN Newsroom.


ALLEN: And welcome back to CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta and in London.

Republicans are just hours away now from a vote on their plan to roll back Obamacare. Chances for passes seem slimmer than ever. But in an ultimatum Thursday the White House insisted, President Trump insisted the vote go forward anyway.

HOWELL: Here's the thing, though, some conservatives have been digging in because the republican plan does not eliminate main provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

[03:30:05] The latest now from CNN's Phil Mattingly.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was abrupt as it was not subtle, a message from one of President Trump's top advisors to the entire House republican conference. The House republican conference that simply would not get into line for this healthcare bill. The time to negotiate was over. The time to vote was now.

In fact, the president according to Mick Mulvaney, his budget director, was demanding a vote on Friday, even though both the president's team and Speaker Ryan's team know they don't have the votes. But it is a strategy that is backed by house leadership. Just listen to what White House Speaker Paul Ryan had to say after that late night conference meeting.


RYAN: We have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law because its collapsing and its failing families. And tomorrow we're proceeding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have the votes? Mr. Speaker.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have the votes? Do you have the votes?


MATTINGLY: So, guys, here's where we stand right now. The deal on the table is this. In order to try and secure some of the conservatives support from the Freedom Caucus, that group that just has refused to get into line over the last couple of days, the house leadership has proposed that they will repeal the essential healthcare benefits that are included in Obamacare.

This was a crucial component. Ten items. Things like the maternity leave, even the ambulances. Those are the things that would be covered in Obmacare. That would be gone. This is a key conservative push to try and take out as much of the Obamacare infrastructure as possible.

Here's the problem, those moves, those precisions also risk losing moderates. So as leadership, as the White House is trying to navigate this, trying to thread the needle, they're doing just enough to bring conservatives in, just enough not to lose moderates.

What's clear right now, they don't know that they have the votes. In fact, they're pretty sure they don't. At least going into this huge enormous very consequential day. Something needs to change. The hope was that in President Trump's decision to back all of these individuals into a corner, really give them no other option that they'll eventually come along. Will that work, well, we'll see in just a couple of hours.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.

FOSTER: I'm Max Foster in London with the latest on the terror attack just outside the British parliament here. The death toll now stands of four after a 75-year-old man died from his injuries later on Thursday.

The investigators are combing the scene looking for forensic evidence. Even today not far away London's Westminster Bridge is open once again. That's where the attacker drove his car into crowds of pedestrians.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan led a vigil in Trafalgar Square for the attack victims. And Queen Elizabeth offered her thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies.

Police have arrested eight people in London and Birmingham in connection with to the terror attack. Investigators are also revealing new information about the man behind the deadly rampage.

CNN's Nic Robertson has more on that.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Khalid Masood, 52 years old with a three decade history of violence. Named by police as the terrorist believed to be responsible for the deadly carnage in London Wednesday.

According to police he had several aliases, was born in Kent just south of London most recently living in the west midlands. Masood's most recent conviction was in 2003 for possession of a knife, one of many brushes with law enforcement including for radicalism.


MAY: What I can confirm is that the man was British born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI-5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure.


ROBERTSON: ISIS' propaganda wing claiming him as a soldier of ISIS acting in response for appeals for attack but offered no evidence of a direct link. Police say he was acting alone.


MARK ROWLEY, ACTING DEPUTY COMMISSIONER FOR SPECIALIST OPERATIONS: It is still our belief which continues to be borne out by investigation that this attacker acted alone and was inspired by international terrorism.


ROBERTSON: Even so in an unarmed raid in Birmingham in the west midlands early Thursday morning witnesses report police taking several people from this building.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see police arrest one lady. And I see two, three people, but I don't know how many people arrested. But I see one lady and two, three people and police with gun, and outside waiting and that's it. I see these people. That's it. I never ever see these people before.


ROBERTSON: A mile away at the enterprise car rental agency, owners called police to state their vehicle was used in the attack. Birmingham a once fabled industrial heartland 100 miles from London appears to be emerging as a center of gravity in the attack.

[03:35:01] Police say of the eight people arrested Thursday six of them including those detained here are all being held on suspicion of preparation of acts of terrorism. Police caution the investigation still has a long way to run.

Nick Robertson, CNN, Birmingham, England.

FOSTER: Joining me here in England, Fawaz Gerges. He is the chair of the contemporary Middle East studies at the London School of Economics and the author of the new book "ISIS, a History" but also an eyewitness to the attack.

FAWAZ GERGES, "ISIS: A HISTORY" AUTHOR: By accident, Max, I was really passing by the parliament when the attack happened. I heard two shots. I did not take it very seriously. And suddenly the entire area turned into a war zone, people crying. French students -- hundreds of French students were crying and screaming, police officers, helicopters. It was really extremely random.

It tells us, Max, one of the lessons I've taken I worked on these topics for many years. It could happy anywhere and everywhere. It's very random. Its criminality really, not organized criminality.

FOSTER: But this is what you're preparing for, wasn't it?


FOSTER: A targeted attack against an iconic building, you know, it was always going to be parliament or Buckingham Palace they were aiming at, and they got one of them.

GERGES: Absolutely. The message was delivered. Delivered because the attack was designed to send a powerful message. Attacking the nerve center of Brits democracy and British power. I mean this is it. This is really where British government is. And this exactly what called Masood.

Basically the killer wanted to send is I will strike at the nerve center of your power of your democracy of your institutions. What surprise me is that he was able to kill a police officer with a knife. It tells me that even though the security forces, I mean, we're expecting an attack, there was really no, they were not really prepared for such...


FOSTER: They were expecting something more complex this.

GERGES: Probably, yes.

FOSTER: Really.

GERGES: Imagine, Max, if Khalid Masood had access to explosions and firearms.


FOSTER: How much worse it would have been.

GERGES: Think.

FOSTER: It was interesting. A lot of people are making of this. The newspapers are really pointing it out is that normally the attackers in Europe of this ilk are millennials.


FOSTER: This guy was 52. How does that change there?

GERGES: So, Max, the most distinctive feature about Khalid Masood, the killer, was his age. Fifty two years old. Much mature than your rest of other militants. Much older, settled down. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was on a mission to kill. And this really changes our view of previous attacks by deluded young men and women who basically could be brainwashed. This guy could not be brainwashed because he was settled 52 years old. And this tells you how complex the phenomenon of the so-called lone wolf is.

FOSTER: Can we call it a suicide attack?

GERGES: Yes, absolutely. He knew exactly. Khalid Masood knew exactly that he was going to be killed, but he was willing to be killed for a particular ideology, a particular message.

FOSTER: We learned a bit more about him, he had a criminal past. He's changed his identity. He had what we think a very English-sounding name when he was born in Kent, just outside London. What do we learn from that?

GERGES: Well, we have learned that basically most of these attacks whether you're talking about Paris or Brussels or even Germany and here are really home.

FOSTER: Homegrown.

GERGES: Absolutely. They're not really coming as refugees. Because the debate in the United States that, you know, somehow most of these militants are coming from Muslim countries. He was born in Kent and raised in midland.

What we have learned about him too, is that he had a criminal background. Time and again, Max, whether you look at past or Brussels or even Germany and other places, there is a thin line between a criminal background and a terrorism background. Why, redemption.

Basically these petty criminals are looking for redemption. And ISIS and Al Qaeda their message gives them the hope that ultimately by killing themselves committing suicide and killing other people for the message, they'll have redemption. And that's what, you know, motivated Khalid Masood.

FOSTER: And that's the propaganda coming from ISIS effectively ticks them over the edge. So they are doing something they wouldn't have done without ISIS, so they are doing it in the name of ISIS.

GERGES: Absolutely. Even though I don't think there was any operational relationship between the so-called Islamic state and Khalid Masood. It was motivation and inspiration.

The message and the ideology resonate with some people like Khalid Masood and other militant. And obviously the message is not going away even though ISIS now is on the defensive and on the retreat.

FOSTER: One word on the arrest because people have been arrested on terrorism charges which suggest the plot. But all the language from a police is they acted alone. So what do you make of that?

GERGES: I am a bit doubtful about the narrative of the security forces and we should be. First of all, I mean, obviously there was no cell organize it was a one. But obviously the British authorities have some information that some people knew Khalid Masood and there could be potential, I mean, attackers.

[03:40:01] So, in a way it's a double message, a two-prong strategy to find out about there were other people involved. And also prevent it. The British authorities in the past three years they have been expecting an attack. They have been really for more active and preventive. And that's why so far eight suspects have been arrested so far.

FOSTER: A bit of backlash today for the first time without the fact that they had Intel on him and they didn't act on it. They don't allow investigation go.

GERGES: You know, Max, there was no intelligence about him in terms of terrorism background. He had a criminal background and some information about potential activities. I mean, how do you monitor everyone?


GERGES: I'm not defending. You have thousands of people who buy into this message, so it's a very complex and difficult -- I mean the lone wolf phenomenon, what people -- individuals who are willing to kill is a complex phenomenon you cannot get rid of it overnight.

FOSTER: Fawaz, thank you very much for joining us, and glad to see you safe, as well.

News from around the world with George and Natalie, after this short break. You're watching CNN.


HOWELL: Welcome back. A Jewish teenager is under arrest in connection with a series of bomb threats of Jewish institutions in community centers in the United States and other countries.

ALLEN: Police say the 19-year-old suspect camouflaged to his computer and changed his voice when calling in the threats.

For more about it let's turn in to Oren Liebermann. He's in Jerusalem with more and what we're learning about this young man. Oren?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, it's those efforts, the efforts to camouflage himself to police and to investigators that made this a difficult investigation, a month's long investigation between Israeli police and the FBI.

Police here say that the U.S. wasn't his first target with his bomb threats. That was actually New Zealand, then Australia. Then police even say he focus his efforts on the U.S. He is the primary suspect behind scores of bomb threats in the Jewish community centers and other locations in the U.S. Police even say at one point he forced Delta to cancel a flight because of his bomb threats.

[03:45:01] Now, police have not yet released his name. That remains under gag order, but they do say they've also detained his father as part of this investigation.

So, we got word yesterday afternoon. Police made the arrest yesterday morning, as well as pulling evidence and computers from the suspect's house. The person this and it was quite stunning especially because of where those bomb threats were targeted at.

Police say he was a 19-year-old American-Israeli Jewish teenager who used his computer to make these robo calls these automated bomb threats that disguise his voice into dozens or scores of these Jewish community centers across the U.S.

Now, we did speak with the suspect's lawyer. She says that he has a brain tumor that has affected his behavior. She has he was pulled out of school in first grade. She also says he was deemed unfit to serve in the Israeli military, which is where we would expect somebody to be at 19 years old in Israel.

So police have the suspect in custody. At this point the investigation continues. Natalie, the critical question is why? Why is it that American-Israeli Jewish teenager would make bomb threat to Jewish community centers in the U.S. And that police haven't quite figured out yet. That remains part of the investigation.

ALLEN: Certainly needs exploring, doesn't it? And what about the next step for this young man? Will he be extradited to the United States?

LIEBERMANN: That's unclear at this point. We spoke at Israeli spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld and he says he very well could be expedited. Although the calls and the bomb threats were made from here, obviously they targeted JCC and other institutions in the U.S.

That will come down to a negotiation between the prosecutors here and there. Although, Rosenfeld says he could likely be extradited if he's charges in the U.S.

ALLEN: All right. Oren Liebermann, following it for us there in Jerusalem. Oren, thank you.

HOWELL: Well, here on Newsroom we always cover the complexity of politics, the delicacy of domestic issues in the United States. But still to come, the president says he can't be doing badly because in his words, quote, "I'm president and you're not." What prompted confidence when we return.


DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All the ingredients are coming together for a day of strong storms across America's heartland when we get warm, moist air coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. On the backside of a low pressure system dropping south put of the plains. These two air masses collide and bring the potential for severe weather.

And that's exactly what we anticipate through the course of the day today. Eastern sections of Texas, Oklahoma, parts of Arkansas, and into Louisiana. That's where our bull's eye is for severe weather. In fact, our forecast radar shows this line of storms moving through.

Again, that's for Friday afternoon and into the evening hours. We'll monitor that very closely at the CNN World Weather Center.

[03:50:00] Temperatures for Dallas, 28 degrees. Again, morning thunderstorms for you. Look at the sharp contrast in temperatures for Denver, we anticipate a few morning snow showers for you. Have your snow shower expected across the mountainous regions.

San Francisco, a bit of rain for you, 15 degrees for the afternoon. Montreal, 2 degrees. Look at the temperature roller coaster for the nation's capital, as well as the big apple. We warm-up to the middle teens for the weekends. But drastically cool things off to end of the weekend.

Seven degrees for New York City on Sunday, temperatures staying pretty consistent for Atlanta, and into Charlotte for the weekend as well. Guatemala City, 27. Mexico City. 28 degrees. Showers and thunderstorms expected across Cuba and into the Bahamas.

ALLEN: Well, U.S. President Donald Trump trotted out countless falsehoods during his campaign and into is presidency. And now he's defending them in a confounding interview he gave to Time magazine.

HOWELL: The cover there of Time, "Is Truth Dead?" And the exchange left many people with similar questions.

Our Tom Foreman is on the fact check duty of Mr. Trump's claims.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Time and again the president's statements seem to collide with the truth. On his allegation he was wiretapped by President Obama after the chairman of the house intelligence committee said communications of Trump and his associates may have been collected by intelligence agencies, Trump told, Time, "So that means I'm right." But hold on.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Just to be clear there's still no evidence that President Trump himself was wiretapped?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is correct. That is correct.


FOREMAN: The chairman said the intelligence agencies were surveilling foreign targets. On tweeting, specifically on the four tweets that started the wiretapping uproar the president echoed his own his press secretary. "When I said wiretapping it was in quote. What I'm talking about was surveillance."


SPICER: The president was very clear in his tweet that it was, you know, wiretapping.


FOREMAN: But even if you buy that, only some tweets have the quote marks. Others including the most damning one, did not. On the unemployment rate.


TRUMP: It is such a phony number. These numbers are an absolute disaster.


FOREMAN: Just as he did in the race, Trump insisted government figures on jobs they are not real statistics. Because never mind the Trump's own team praise them earlier this month following a positive jobs report.


SPICER: I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly, "They may have been phony in the past but it's very real now."


FOREMAN: On the election he did not back down from his unproven claim he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton because of millions of people who voted illegally. He merely repeated an early defense. I mean, mostly they registered wrong.

In other words, for the votes they registered incorrectly and/or illegally and they didn't vote. Still, there's no evidence whatsoever that millions voted illegally.

And on dirty tricks during the campaign Trump cited the story suggesting that Ted Cruz's father kept company with President Kennedy's assassin.


TRUMP: His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being, you know, shot.


FOREMAN: Cruz howled saying that was not his dad.


TED CRUZ, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: This man is a pathological liar.


FOREMAN: The story came the National Inquirer which never offered any proof. And though Trump cited it as true at the time, now he says, well, that was in a newspaper.

ALLEN: The National Inquirer.

HOWELL: Yes. Well, that was Tom Foreman reporting in for a fact check in. And there is more to the story arguably the most notable comment came when the president told the magazine, quote. Natalie, you got this one.

ALLEN: "I guess I can't be doing so badly because I'm president and you're not."

HOWELL: Well, there you have it.

ALLEN: CNN asked the reporter who did that interview what prompted the president to make those remarks.


MICHAEL SCHERER, TIME MAGAZINE REPORTER: It was the very end of the interview and it was the second or third time I asked him essentially the same question because I hadn't really got an answer in the earlier times about this issue of losing the credibility in office. If he repeats false things as if they are true, and then says, well, I'm just saying what somebody else said.

And it wasn't -- it wasn't an angry, you know, -- it's hard to tell from the transcript, but you know, he wasn't raising his voice. He was just restating this idea that because I won the election that shows I'm right.

Even if factually I'm wrong, even if you're criticizing now the tactics I'm using, that the basic, you know, the process by which I determine what I say and why I don't say, the fact of me winning the presidency should give me some credibility.

And this was the broader theme he was trying to develop in our conversation. Which was that the fact that the things he said in the past that had been controversial or disputed or unverified that had later come to be true, should give him some more leeway, that we should all sort of back off and give him more deference when he says things that are pretty clearly not true.


[03:55:07] ALLEN: All right, that's a Time magazine article, I think it'll be talked about maybe a few more times.

HOWELL: I figure it will.

ALLEN: All right. This we have from social media for you, video of a New Jersey man stepping in between two teenagers who were beginning to fight.

HOWELL: It's been viewed millions of times. It shows Ibn Ali Miller breaking up a street fight between two young men there. Miller calmly gets them to stop, even getting them to shake hands. Witnesses are now praising that action.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was minding his business. He just came out the car and stopped it. Like he didn't like -- he didn't like that at all. He said -- he said -- he said I will not leave until you guys shake hands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this was not staged?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir. It was like, Ibn Ali won't thinking a lot because if it wasn't for him, it probably could have went a whole different way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's made them shake hands, and they did it. And I just wish there was more people, we need some more Ali's out here.


ALLEN: Miller was honored by Atlantic City Council. He told the council these sorts of acts should be the norm.

HOWELL: Wonderful.

ALLEN: Well, some airlines has started enforcing the White House order to keep most electronic devices out of the cabin on U.S.-bound flights from certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa. And Royal Jordanian Airlines is responding with its own list.

HOWELL: It has. Twelve things passengers can do without their laptops or tablets including meditate, appreciate the miracle of flight. But if you're really desperate you can always pretend the tray table is a keyboard.

ALLEN: Re-claim territory on armrests.

HOWELL: Yes, how about that.

ALLEN: Thanks for watching CNN Newsroom. More news from Max Foster in London after a short break.