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U.K. P.M. to Raise U.S. Leaks with Trump, Troops Added to Streets; Surprising New Turns in U.S. Russia Probe; Manchester United Wins for Their Wounded City. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired May 25, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
ISHA SESAY, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, we're learning more about the person responsible for the Manchester terror attack. Police say he was in Libya until just days before the bombing.
VAUSE: Plus, a NATO summit like no other. For the first time, Donald Trump will meet with the military alliance which he once described as "obsolete."
SESAY: And a candidate for the United States Congress is accused of body slamming a reporter just one day before the election.
VAUSE: Hello everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. This is NEWSROOM L.A. Well, British police have detained six people in connection with the Manchester concert bombing; they say it's clear, 22-year-old, Salman Abedi did not act alone. Investigators say, he spent three weeks in Libya and returned to England just days before the bombing.
VAUSE: Meanwhile, a Libyan militia group says Abedi's brother is under arrest in Tripoli accused of plotting a separate terror attack. He reportedly told authorities, he and his brother were members of ISIS.
SESAY: Nearly a thousand military personnel have been deployed in Manchester and London, and police have been raiding suspected terror locations as they try to find anyone connected to the bombing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAN HOPKINS, GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE CHIEF CONSTABLE: I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating, and as I said, it continues at a pace. These extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester, as we speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, CNN's Erin McLaughlin is at the Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital, and our own Nina dos Santos is outside 10 Downing Street in London. Erin, to start with you, we have seen raid after raid; what's the latest in this investigation? ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, overnight
Isha, police carried out a raid in the mosque side area of Manchester, which is about four miles away from the Manchester Arena where the attack took place. The raid included a controlled explosion. Police didn't say why they carried out that controlled explosion, why the raid at this particular location other than to say that this is a fast-paced investigation, and they are keeping an open immediate.
Some seven arrests in total: six men and one woman, although police say in the overnight hours the woman was released without charge. They do believe that the 22-year-old bomber was part of a much wider network. Currently, the investigation's spanning at least two countries: the U.K., as well as Libya. Meanwhile, here, at this hospital as well as seven other hospitals across Manchester - the wounded continue to recover, 64 People being treated, 20 in critical conditions. Isha.
VAUSE: Let's go - Erin, thank you. Let's go to Nina dos Santos outside of number ten. And Nina, the sight of soldiers around landmarks like Buckingham Palace is a reminder just how serious this threat remains. What more do you know about the increased measures across the U.K., and how much longer will they be in place?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, John! Well, what we know is that there are about 1,000 troops that have been deployed; 3,800 that have been made available within up to 96 hours - 12 to 96 hours' notice of then being needed. As per this Operation Tempera, which has been revived. The last time that it was put no place was 2015, or at least it was originally conceived in 2015. This is the first time that it has been used to this scale, and I'm just looking down - number ten downing street to the gates of the entrance - where two soldiers, paratroopers actually standing side by side of the two police officers guarding the gate there, so lots of security.
This is a country, of course, on the state of high alert. We know that the state of alert has been raised to critical yesterday, so this is the second day that it's - it means that further attack may well be imminent. And that's very much in keeping with the new line of investigation here. Authorities believing that Salman Abedi may not actually have been the person that built the IED that he used to kill - 22 people in Manchester Arena this week. He may have just been a mule and that raises the prospects of potentially a master bomb maker being on the loose even inside this country.
That's why it's absolutely imperative that authority to try and track down anyone who's close to him, lest they be the individual who's responsible for making the advice. But in the meantime, number ten is also busy getting embroiled in something of a security spat with U.S. authorities because they're extremely irritated about - leaks to the international press, particularly the U.S. media. Overnight, what we saw is the New York Times published a photographic - what appeared to be photographic evidence of debris left on the scene of the detonator of the backpack that may have been carried by Salman Abedi and these appear to be forensic police photos.
Now, the police has come out here in the U.K. with a very strongly worded statement here saying this undermines what is a crucial live investigation as more raids are being carried out across the country and more arrests are being carried out. You can bet Donald Trump will have to discuss this with the British Prime Minister Theresa May when she heads to the NATO meeting in Brussels later on today. The two of them set to have a one on one chat, and it's likely that this of security leakage and information-sharing, which is so crucial to the counterterrorist method, of both of these two countries will come up first on the agenda. John, Isha.
[01:05:59] VAUSE: Well, Donald Trump has certainly made his feelings known about leaks; he does not approve of them. So, I'm sure they're of like mind. Nina, outside number ten; and Erin there live in Manchester. Thanks to you, both.
DOS SANTOS: Thank you.
SESAY: Well, details are still emerging about the suspect in the Manchester terror attack. Police say they are piecing together how Salman Abedi made the journey from Manchester native to a suicide bomber.
VAUSE: Well, the questions now is how did he get ahold of the powerful explosives which killed more than 20 police? Atika Shubert reports now on a police raid not far from the site of this attack.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Heavy weapons, mobile phone jamming equipment, and body armor - more than a dozen police suited up to search an apartment in this building. Police won't say what or who they are looking for but they now believe the Manchester bombing was not the work of one man alone but a network. Now, this location is very different from the other suburban homes that police have searched. This is city center, and it's about a mile and a half away from the site of the attack. There are a lot of students that live here, also young professionals; there are also apartments for short-term rent. But it's still not clear what exactly linked this location to the attacker.
This is Salman Abedi, the attacker identified by the Manchester police. Investigators now believe he visited Libya weeks ago and only returned to Manchester in the last few days. This Facebook photo was taken a few years ago and it was shown to us by a neighbor, an Abedi family friend: Akram Ben Ramadan, a member of the Libyan community here. He remembers Salman as a quiet child, and last saw him and his brother - three months ago, heading to evening prayer at the mosque. One relative he spoke to was distraught, reeling from the shock that the killer was one of their own.
AKRAM BEN RAMADAN, SALMAN ABEDI'S NEIGHBOR: He in - he said that if - I don't really say anything to him apart from if you need anything just knock on the door.
RAMADAN: He was shattered. He was broken. Tears in his eyes. It's like somebody has died very close, you know. It's something you can't describe. It's - when you get some bad news, you don't know how to react.
SHUBERT: Akram says, Libyan youth here are especially vulnerable to terror recruiters.
RAMADAN: They feel like they're being disbanded from two societies: the Libyan society and British society.
SHUBERT: The local Didsbury mosque issued a statement but would not confirm whether Salman prayed there. But friends tell us, the Abedi family was part of the community; devout, but not extremist. They had recently returned to Libya, Salman too. ISIS has carved out a substantial presence in Libya. His return to Manchester would have been a red flag to terror investigators. Police are now trying to retrace Salman Abedi's steps to understand how he was able to return and obtain such deadly explosives. Atika Shubert, CNN, Manchester.
SESAY: Well, former FBI Special Agent, Bobby Chacon, joins us now. Bobby, always good to see you. This individual Salman Abedi clearly, as we know now, with Libyan root was there just a few days before returning to the U.K., and this horrific attack unfolded. The fact that Libya, the country has a connection to - is effectively in the eyes of many a failed state, various militia controlling parts of the country, and a weak central government. How much does this complicate the effort of investigators to get the whole picture here?
BOBBY CHACON, FORMER FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SPECIAL AGENT: Sure. It makes it much more difficult because we know that the services we're relying on in that country have broken down. And you know, we're getting reports from the militia now, but we can't confirm them or the people in the U.K. can't confirm them. We're having a real hard time piecing that together because of the lack of cohesiveness and a lack of structure in that country since 2011-2012.
What they do know though, is that this area of Manchester, apparently, was an enclave of former fighters with the Libyan Islamic fighting group: the LIFG, and that his father was a member of that, and was precursor offshoot of Al Qaeda. And so, in fact, I think that I've read reports where the master bomb maker of that group, who left in 2014 to go back to Libya to take over part of the group, had lived in the same neighborhood in Manchester. My thinking is he may have had proteges, and he may have had taught them how to build these bombs, and they may have still been in Manchester.
[01:10:20] VAUSE: So, with that in mind, we've seen photographs of debris which includes parts of the bomb that was published by the New York Times, and they paint a picture of a really complicated, sophisticated device even having a backup detonation system apart of all this. Chances are, in your view, what - Abedi was just the mule here?
VAUSE: And so, this master bomb maker, would he be in the Manchester neighborhood or would he be in Libya or where would he be at?
CHACON: He'd be some safe haven prior to the act taking place. They'd want to move him out of there, and that's why they're doing the raids and probably not coming up with him. I'm assuming, and this is my own theory, that he was a protege of the master bomb maker that left in 2014 to go back to Libya, and that he left some of his pupils there, and they were probably advancing their capabilities. And now that they've, you know, several days before, they probably left the area - either Libya or somewhere elsewhere they wouldn't be captured.
SESAY: Bobby, how big a cell could we be looking at here? Typically, what have we seen in past investigations?
CHACON: You could be looking at a cell on the smaller side of seven to eight people. They could probably carry this out with the planning that's needed in the building, obtaining the materials, doing the surveillance, and things like that. On the larger side, you could be looking at 15, 20 or more.
VAUSE: With that in mind, one of the leads here, one of the sorts of lines of investigation. It's a link between Abedi and Mohamed Abrini, he's known as the man in the hat. He was part of -- suspected as being part of the bombing at Brussels airport last year, also part of the Paris attacks the year before that. How seriously do you consider this lead? And what does that say about just how big this terror network could be if someone like Abrini is involved?
CHACON: It's - if - the way I can confirm it, it's extremely concerning because it puts a much more trans-Euro look to this whole group and to possible attacks. We heard the Prime Minister say that they felt that an attack or future attack was imminent, right? So, that's a really important thing. When they have a sense of an imminent threat taking place that means everybody drops everything they're doing and that means all of Europe gets, basically, put on alert.
And I'm sure after this rumor, whether it's confirmed or not if it has been confirmed; not publicly, has probably been confirmed with their partners across the intelligence community in Europe. And they're probably dropping everything they're doing and working on this because of the potential for an imminent threat. And we all know that an imminent threat, you know, lives are hanging in the balance.
SESAY: When it comes to confirming this lead, does the digital footprint of Abedi become critical here? Does that yield the most clues here?
CHACON: Yes, absolutely. That's where you have to look, and that's where you can confirm it the quickest. If you can do that, if you get into any kind of digital footprint online he had online, on the Internet. If you can take that device, and start tying it to other devices that they've seen, you know, anywhere in the world because now there are databases that cover the whole world with these devices. You know, that's where it's going to happen.
VAUSE: So, Abedi's brother and father both arrested in Libya. The brother accused of planning an attack in Tripoli, it's not clear why the father was arrested. But before that happened, he gave an interview - basically, he said he had no idea that his son may have been planning this. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAMADAN ABEDI, FATHER OF MANCHESTER TERRORIST (through translator): At the beginning, one of the girls was on the internet and saw on the news that Salman is a suspect of the explosion in Manchester, so I went on the internet and watched BBC World and started following the news. They said he was only a suspect, and I kept waiting for news until morning. At 1:00 p.m. I saw the news that the suspect is Salman Abedi. I was not expecting this to happen and didn't know anything about this matter because he didn't say he was going to Manchester and stay in there. He said he was going to O'Mara and he got a special offer from Manchester, and he will go to O'Mara from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: As we were going into this, I saw an eye roll from you. So, you don't think this is possible, you think the family; the father at least knew what was going on?
CHACON: Yes. I mean, depending - based on what we know about the father's history with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and his history in Libya, it doesn't seem genuine to me. It doesn't seem like that's a believable story. I think he knew what his son was up to. I think he may have helped in the planning. I think the brother; obviously, planning an attack in Libya was probably part of the pre- planning of this attack. Yes, I mean, when I first heard it, you know, I kind of always kind of, you know, father sticking up for a son type of thing. But then when I started researching and hearing about the father's background as well, then that kind of made me believe that this is all a story.
VAUSE: Sort of a family affair.
VAUSE: Bobby, good to see you.
SESAY: Bobby, thank you, as always.
CHACON: Thank you.
SESAY: Well, CNN has confirmed identities of several more victims killed in the terror attack they include: 17-year-old, Chloe Rutherford; and 19-year-old, Liam Curry. In a statement - they're family said, the pair wanted to be together forever and now they are.
[01:15:07] VAUSE: Nell Jones, 14-year-old, a student from Cheshire. Her school's head teacher said, that Nell was a very bright and a popular student and his wife and mother of three from Lancashire. Her family says we hope her to draw from courage and strength she showed in her life to get through this extremely difficult time.
SESAY: Well for a little ways you can help those affected by the terror attack in Manchester go to CNN.com/impact.
VAUSE: There you can also help with the investigation, upload any photograph or videos from the scene for the Manchester police. Website again CNN.com/impact and we'll be back in a moment.
VAUSE: U.S. President Donald Trump is in Brussels to meet with NATO allies, the same allies and the same military alliance he once called obsolete. That's when he was candidate Trump. The Belgian Royals welcomed the President and the first lady at the Royal Palace shortly after they touched down. Mr. Trump will meet with European Council leaders in a few hours. Another group he's had some harsh words for.
SESAY: Now after that, he'll sit down with the new French President before the NATO summit begins. Fighting terrorism was already an issue he wanted to push in these talks and the events in Manchester have pushed terror to the top of the agenda. Here's President Trump from earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Number one right now is terrorism, and we are fighting very hard, doing very well under our generals and making tremendous progress, but when you see something like happened two days ago, you realize how important it is to win this fight, and we will win this fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well our Phil Black joins us live from Brussels. Phil, what we have some idea of what President Trump is looking to extract from this gathering but are we clear what NATO leaders are looking to get out of this gathering?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are all looking to try and impress, satisfy appease President Trump. There are two key issues that are entirely Trump driven. One you've touched on counterterrorism, President Trump's belief that the NATO alliance hasn't focused on that enough. The other is his stated view that other NATO members, most of them, are not paying their way. They're not spending enough on defense they're not getting close to the two percent of GDP target to spending on defense. So it is expected that those two issues and measures trying to satisfy those two issues will be the result of what is essentially a pretty informal summit. They're meeting over dinner tonight, on the counterterrorism point; they will also be unveiling a new memorial at the brand new NATO headquarters today marking the 9/11 attacks. It's going to contain a fragment of the world trade center. It doesn't just mark the 9/11 attack itself, but that attack which triggered the only ever use of article five, the common defense treaty of NATO. The attack on one being an attack on all and a reminder to the U.S. President that the only time NATO has declared, invoked that was in response to a pretty major terrorist incident, Isha.
[01:20:14] SESAY: With that in mind, what the president is seeking, does he have the leverage to extract the concessions that he wants?
BLACK: Well, the U.S. underwrites European security through NATO, removed the United States from NATO and it's a pretty hollow defensive alliance. So it is very important. That is why all of this is taking place. The hope is to not just appease but impress and bring President Trump on board with NATO in a way that he hasn't been up until now. Remember, he's repeatedly called the alliance obsolete. He's backed away from that slightly and says it's no longer obsolete and his criticisms have been consistent so what the allies really hope to get from President Trump in return is an unequivocal declaration of support for the alliance and the really important idea that it's built on and that's the idea of collective defense and they believe that that idea of if you attack one, you're attacking all of us, that's the whole deterrent power of NATO. That's what prevents wars from happening in the first place. They want to get that sort of support from the President, a degree of support he's been unwilling to voice publicly up until now.
SESAY: Fascinating. A couple of hours lie ahead. Phil Black, joining us there from Brussels. Phil, appreciate it. Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, for more on this, Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson, Republican consultant, John Thomas, join us here live in Los Angeles. Good to see you again after a late night last night. Good morning, welcome back. OK. So, I guess the question for the other 27 members of NATO which, Donald Trump will show up at this meeting? Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: NATO is obsolete. It was 67 years or over 60 years old. It is -- many countries don't cover terrorism.
I complained about that a very long time ago and they made a change and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And then he went to the coast guard graduation ceremony and he said, you know, we've got to make new friends. So, there's been a lot of back and forth on this. John, will NATO still be asking the same question even once Air Force One is up in the air and heading home?
JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Probably. I mean, I think Trump's general philosophy is we need to negotiate more deal that is more American friendly, that America is paying too much of their share in this process and other countries need to pony up more. I think that's more just from a financial standpoint of what we're going to see but it looks like as of now, he's supportive of NATO. I suspect he'll stick to that through the meetings.
DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: But one of the key sticking points though is he hasn't actually publicly endorsed Article five which is an attack on one is an attack on all and after 9/11. That's the only time that law was actually, or that rule was implemented. So, it will be interesting to see whether or not he comments on that specifically.
SESAY: Yes. I also want to flag the fact that in the budget proposal that the administration released on Tuesday, they are proposing an increase of funding for U.S. military presence in Europe, up some 40 percent on last year. I mean, he says one thing and then we hear about this increase in funding, and I'm wondering how that's going to read with his supporters. I mean, Dave, what are your thoughts?
JACOBSON: It's fascinating because at a time when you have a guy who campaigned on populist message, that he was going to lift up poor and working class folks in Middle America, he's getting services for poor and working class folks; education, environmental protection agency, food stamps, but then he's spending money overseas. And so I think it's going to raise questions about how the base reacts to that once they start to digest this information.
THOMAS: I mean, I don't think it's inconsistent. He campaigned of a stronger America, stronger military. I think that's largely consistent, so I don't think his base will hold him in a negative light. Now, it is consistent that he doesn't like NATO and I think his base probably doesn't like NATO.
VAUSE: OK, so with the spending priorities in mind, the Congressional Budget Office came out with the numbers on the new replacement bill for Obamacare. The headline out of all of this, 23 million will lose health insurance by 2026. The federal deficit will be cut by almost $120 billion and many with pre-existing conditions will no longer be able to afford insurance premiums. So, John, this bill passed the House and is now with the Senate but when you look at those numbers, is that sort of a Republican Senator's worst nightmare right now?
THOMAS: It is today but I don't think we're ever going to see the same bill that came out of the House succeed in the Senate. So, it will get completely reworked so I don't put a lot of stock in this current budget analysis because it's not the plan that's going to get approved.
JACOBSON: Well, Mitch McConnell also has 13 Senators that they have created this working group with to create their own plan but the issue there is there's no woman Senators who actually work on this plan and the House bill that completely defunds Planned Parenthood. So it will be interesting to see whether or not any of the women Republican Senators actually weigh in on this upcoming bill.
[01:25:02] SESAY: Away from Trump and the administration and the budget for a moment, let's talk about some remarkable events in Montana ahead of this special election which is scheduled for tomorrow. The Republican nominee, Greg Gianforte, got into a physical altercation with The Guardian newspaper's reporter, Ben Jacobs. We have some sound which kind of details how it played out. The Guardian put it out there.
VAUSE: He was asking about health care.
SESAY: He was asking about health care, very good point. Take a listen to all of this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The CBO score because you know you've been waiting to make your decision about health care until you saw the bill.
GREG GIANFORTE, REPUBLICAN NOMINEE: We'll talk to you about that later.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but you're not going to be talking. I'm just curious.
GIANFORTE: Speak with Shane, please. I'm sick and tired of you guys. The last guy came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with The Guardian?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And you just broke my glasses.
GIANFORTE: The last guy did the same damn thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just body slammed me and broke my glasses.
GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would like to get the hell out of here and I would like to call the police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I get you guys' names? He just body slammed me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: John, it is remarkable. I want to get your reaction to it and also ask this, is it a coincidence that this kind of thing is happening at a time when there's a President in the White House with an administration that has had such harsh things to say about the press, that the press is the enemy?
THOMAS: First of all, I run campaigns for a living. I understand that tensions run high in races, especially high-profile races, not that that's any excuse for ever touching anyone. But you can see how a rookie candidate like him made a major screw-up. He shouldn't have done it. It could cost him the race. I don't think it will. Latest polling I saw had him up by 14 points with much of the electorate that's already cast their ballot, so unless just none of his supporters show up tomorrow, he probably still squeaks it out. I don't think it's a fair criticism to attack the President for this kind of behavior.
SESAY: No, it's just a question, the climate.
THOMAS: No, no, no. I know because it can cut both ways. I mean, Democrats are attacking conservative speakers out at Berkley's. I think, you know, look, these are raucous times, but this is just something completely inappropriate. VAUSE: We should know that Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault and he gave a $250 donation to Gianforte's campaign so it had no bearing on the investigation.
JACOBSON: one other thing real quick, the reporter from The Guardian, this is the guy who broke the news about the Republican ties to Russia where he had $250,000 that were invested in some of the funds that were sanctioned by the U.S. government. Thought that's noteworthy.
VAUSE: Interesting. OK. Well, anything else which is noteworthy, we're covering the Pope and meeting with the President just 24 hours ago. It all went quite well apparently, but it seems Donald Trump has managed to do the impossible. He's managed to generate sympathy for White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer. Spicer is a devout Catholic but he was not part of the celebration. He was eagerly looking forward to it. One source told CNN, well, that's all he wanted. The source was saying should it be seen as a slight? The source said very much. Dave, it just seems rather petty.
JACOBSON: Yes, I mean, you got to feel bad for Sean Spicer. Besides the President --
VAUSE: For the first time ever.
JACOBSON: Right. I mean, he's got one of the toughest jobs at the White House.
VAUSE: He carried water for Donald Trump over the last 125 days.
JACOBSON: Although he has not done a perfect job but you're right, and was also interesting to notice Pope picks the head of strategic communications. She was in all the photos.
VAUSE: And the golf caddy was there.
JACOBSON: Yes. Everybody was there. It was definitely a slight.
THOMAS: Well, the question is how long he's going to get booted.
THOMAS: And that's been the story ongoing is, you know, Spicer is banned and Priebus, are they all being pushed out slowly?
VAUSE: Either. They could have squeezed him in.
JACOBSON: Yes. Pretty petty.
VAUSE: Dave and John, good to see you.
SESAY: Thank you. Appreciate it.
VAUSE: OK, we had this just in. Manchester police say they have made two more arrests into their investigation into Monday's terror attack. That means eight men are now in custody. Both happen in the Manchester area and police are calling it a fast moving investigation. SESAY: Well, yes. Next, in NEWSROOM L.A., leaking intelligence over
the Manchester bombing could cause an uncomfortable meeting between the British Prime Minister and the U.S. President. We'll get the view from a security expert.
VAUSE: Also ahead, glory of Manchester United about the players. They're helping fans at home means more than the Europa League that they played at, also ahead.
[01:32:09] SESAY: Hello, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: Thanks for staying with us. I'm John Vause.
We'll check the headlines now.
SESAY: Don't expect any hand-holding when Theresa May meets with the U.S. president at the NATO summit. The British prime minister will be looking for explanations after U.S. officials leaked graphic photos of the Manchester terror attack.
VAUSE: This comes after the U.K. said an extra 1,000 armed police officers will hit the streets across the country in addition to thousands of troops deployed nationwide.
We get details from Fred Pleitgen
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The UK on the highest terror alert after the government here said another attack may be imminent. At the same time, the investigation is in full swing.
British authorities expressing anger at the U.S. after American security sources leaked the name of the attacker to the press.
AMBER RUDD, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise, so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources. And I have been very clear with our friends that that -- that that should not happen again.
PLEITGEN: The U.S. already under scrutiny after reports that President Trump shared top-secret information from Israel with Russian officials. Now another key U.S. ally apparently blind-sided.
Although Britain's home secretary says the leak didn't hamper the investigation, analysts say it may have cost authorities the element of surprise. PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Time is everything in those
sorts of situations, and if others in the network know the dragnet is coming down on them, there's a possibility that they may try to evade capture, may try to even launch attacks.
PLEITEN: Meanwhile, Britain is beefing up security, deploying its military to the streets.
(on camera): The British government says its armed forces, including the elite SAS, will guard key locations to free up the police for additional patrols.
(voice-over): All part of an emergency contingency plan called Temperer.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We will take every measure available to us and provide every additional resource we can to the police and to the security services as they work to protect the public.
PLEITGEN: Britain is a nation in mourning but also a nation on high alert, scrambling to find possible accomplices of the Manchester suicide bomber while assuring the public that they are safe.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, London.
[01:35:11] VAUSE: Security and terrorism expert, Glenn Schoen, joins me on the line from Belgrade in Serbia.
Glenn, thanks for being with us.
Britain's national police chief issued a statement of the leaks coming from the U.S., and they talk about the breach of trust here. This is what it reads: "When that trust is breached, it undermines these relationships and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their families. This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counterterrorism investigation."
Glenn, in real terms, how do these leaks undermine the investigation and what's the biggest problem here?
GLENN SCHOEN, SECURITY & TERRORISM EXPERT (voice-over): Well, a good number here. On the one hand, it tips members of these networks just how far police are along in their investigation. In other words, there may be a terrorist that has a plan to strike next week but because they are tipped that police are hot on their trail and might reach them in the next 24 hours, they are going to accelerate the schedule of their attacks and might do it in the next few hours. So it tends to cause sort of a -- a hurry up and attack mode, and we've seen this in terrorist campaigns in previous years and in other countries.
The other thing is that it doesn't optimize the assets that the authorities can bring to bear for an investigation. So if perhaps they know they have season who might be low level in a network and might want to do a surveillance operation or they might want to tap their phone and learn more about the larger network, they don't get the opportunity to do so because the minor players start shifting. So there's a whole number of these kinds of things that mean that essentially the British authorities cannot run their investigation in any optimal manner, and that might cause them problems as people prompted by what's in the news start to take their own actions sort of off schedule for their own group.
VAUSE: Surely though, the U.S. officials, they would be aware of these problems, so with that in mind, why then would they be leaking this information?
SCHOEN: Well, we're not sure here if it's officials, multiple leaking it, or if it's, for instance, one person working either in the law enforcement circuit, the diplomatic circuit, or even purely in communications who might have access to images such as these that are being transferred. I think more likely it's not an official leak in the sense that there's a strategy behind it and that the U.S., as a government, sees some form of advantage to this. I think more likely that's going to be the one-on-one play where it's one individual getting money or getting favors from journalists passing on the information. It's hard to conceive that people in the United States with their closest ally and at a moment of great peril for the UK would be playing with some formal strategy as a design behind these leaks at the moment such as this.
VAUSE: I just want to slow down on what the potential problems are because the British seem especially annoyed about what set this all up, leaking of the photographs from the scene of the debris left of the explosive device, the bomb that was used here. They were published in "The New York Times," which reported that the bomb was made with forthright and care and a high level of sophistication. What's the problem here with those details being released to the public?
SCHOEN: Well, it may be that the British -- in the first instance, they are looking at an evidentiary chain and want particular pieces of evidence only shared with particular parties in the legal system. But further than, that I mean, they are tipping basically to the public here that we're likely looking at a network, with one or more competent bomb-makers, which tells you something about, you know, next to what we're seeing as evidence in their behavior, meaning the critical alert level, the deployment of law enforcement, the high velocity of this investigation, is it shows you the level of concern that they are dealing with. So it may also be a management piece on the order of we don't want people to panic and we don't want people to be concerned about certain things until we think it's necessary. We also might not want to give away that we found particular pieces of evidence which, in situations in the day ahead, they might have been able to leverage for their investigations. So I think it's a number of factors here and not just one.
SCHOEN: But most particularly that they have a strategy to follow and that a leak like this from the U.S. side messes with the strategy.
[01:39:56] VAUSE: Very quickly, the search is on for the bomb-maker and the wider network, which may have been involved in planning and carrying the attack. Is there a time frame that police will be working on with the terror threat at its highest, which indicates a terror attack is imminent? What does that mean? Are they looking at days here or what?
SCHOEN: Yes. I think they are looking at days and may literally be imminent. I think they are looking at a number of factors. One is whatever evidence they have on the group, who is still missing in this group, what key people may still be out there. Second is the time factor of the explosives themselves. If there was one large batch made, it may be they might deteriorate over time, so there's an option here for the terrorists to use them quickly while they explosives still work and function properly. Third, they are going very fast with the investigation. Terrorists might want to strike before police catch up with them. And fourth, the critical level. You can only hold that for so many days. It's a major national law enforcement exertion effort. It's not something you can readily carry on. Finally, I think they probably have some timing factors they're looking at. It may be the start of Ramadan, which, in a number of countries, we've seen ISIS attack more often. It may be the president's visit to Belgium and Europe right at the moment. So I think we have a number of factors here that the British are looking at and trying to really reduce that risk of an attack somewhere really close by.
VAUSE: OK. Glenn. Thanks so much for being with us. Glenn Schoen, on the line from Belgrade, security and terrorism expert. Thanks, Glenn.
SCHOEN: Thank you.
SESAY: Quick break here. Next on NEWSROOM L.LA., U.S. investigations into the Russia election meddling have taken several surprising new turns. We'll discuss all the angles with a former Justice Department official.
VAUSE: When U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions applied for security clearance last year, the Justice Department says he failed to disclose at least two meetings he had with Russia's ambassador.
SESAY: Well, as the various investigations move ahead into Russian election meddling, the new information about Sessions could have far- reaching consequences.
And we get the latest now from CNN's Elise Labott.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the House Oversight Committee has not received the documents it requested from FBI Director James Comey about his meetings with President Trump. The committee chairman, Jason Chaffetz, set today as the deadline for those memos to be turned over. Sources say before testifying, Comey first wants to talk to special counsel, Robert Mueller, a sign that Mueller's investigation is taking precedence over Congress. One memo saying Trump asked Comey during a meeting to shut down his investigation into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is central to all of the probes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he has such a document, that would add credence to the testimony and given his training as a lawyer and his professional skills he would want to document not just verbally but in writing he has such documents.
LABOTT: Michael Flynn.
And lawmakers are turning up the heat on Flynn, who today refused to provide documents to the House Intel Committee. Flynn already invoked his Fifth Amendment rights this week to avoid cooperating with the Senate probe.
Now the Senate Intel Committee is narrowing its request with new subpoenas targeting his businesses.
[01:45:23] SEN. MARK WARNER, (D), VIRGINIA: And it's even more clear that a business does not have a right to take the Fifth if it's a corporation.
LABOTT: Flynn has until May 30th to comply. And the chair of the committee pledged to do whatever it takes to get Flynn's documents.
SEN. RICHARD BURR, (R-NC), CHAIRMAN, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We'll seek additional counsel advice on how to proceed forward. At the end of that option is a contempt charge, and I've said that everything is on the table.
LABOTT: Investigators appear to be focused on allegations of White House interference and want any memos written by director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, and Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, about their meetings with the president.
On Tuesday, Coats faced questions from lawmakers about reports Trump asked both men to deny charges of collusion with Russia.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: Have you talked about this issue with Admiral Rogers?
DAN COATS, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: That is something that I would like to withhold, that question at this particular point in time.
LABOTT: Sources tell CNN Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is cooperating, handing over more than 300 pages of documents from his time on the campaign. He was asked about his ties to Russia, but curiously not about his work as a lobbyist for the party of Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's former pro-Russian prime minister. President Trump reportedly discussed his firing of Comey with Russia's
foreign minister and called the former FBI director, quote, "a nut job." Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed back.
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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does it concern you that the president referred to the former FBI director as a nut job?
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Yeah, I don't agree, and he's not.
LABOTT (on camera): And as the investigations proceed, President Trump has tapped as his outside counsel, Mark Kasowitz, one of Trump's longtime attorneys. Now he doesn't know Washington, but he is a well- known trial attorney who also represents Russian companies.
Meanwhile, the White House is resetting its search for an FBI director after wide-ranging dissatisfaction with the leading candidate, former Senator Joe Lieberman. Lieberman is actually a partner at the same law firm as Kasowitz, but officials say Trump simply wants to see a broader range of candidates for the job.
Elise Labott, CNN, Washington.
SESAY: For more on all of this we're joined by Liza Goltein. She's a congressional law expert and a former trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Thank you so much for joining us, Liza.
LIZA GOLTEIN, CONGRESSONAL LAW EXPERT & FORMER DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TRIAL ATTORNEY: My pleasure.
Let's start with General Flynn's mounting troubles and his refusal to hand over documents to lawmakers or appear for an interview. From where you sit, what's your sense of the calculation he's making by refusing to cooperate?
GOLTEIN: Well, he's certainly in some legal jeopardy here. His firm received at least half had a million dollars from the country of Turkey to represent his interests and he still didn't register as a foreign agent as he was required to do by law. He also engaged in conversations with Russian Ambassador Kislyak, trying to influence foreign policy as a private citizen during the transition and that's a potential violation of the Logan Act. And then he didn't disclose some of his foreign contacts and foreign sources of income on his security clearance forms back in February -- in February 2016, and if that was deliberate that, too, could be a violation of the law. So you can certainly understand why he wants to plead the Fifth Amendment here. The problem is that the Fifth Amendment doesn't usually cover documents. It usually covers testimony, original testimony. And so it will be interesting to see how hard Congress pushes for these documents which it badly needs in order to investigation Russian interference with the election and potential ties between Russia and the Trump administration.
SESAY: As you talk about efforts on the part of Congress to get these documents, what options do they have to compel him to and them over?
GOLTEIN: Well, they could take the soft approach, which would be to offer him immunity in response for his testimony.
SESAY: But that's off the table, they are saying right now.
GOLTEIN: They are right now saying that that's off the table and I think that's very understandable. We've seen in the past that when people testify in return for immunity that can scuttle criminal prosecutions. For example, that happened with Oliver North and John Poindexter, who had their convictions reversed because of testimony given before Congress. That's a last resort. And there's criminal contempt and civil contempt proceedings. These things could potentially result in Flynn being jailed. So this could get very serious. I think that's going to be a test of how vigorously the committees want to prosecute this investigation, want to conduct this investigation. And that's absolutely critical because, you know, while it's great news that there's a special counsel at the head of the criminal prosecution, or I should say the criminal investigation, we absolutely need for Congress to do its job and do its investigation on some of the broader questions that are at stake here.
[01:50:25] SESAY: As we -- let's stay focused on this hunt for documents. How surprised are you that the former FBI boss, James Comey, hasn't handed over documents requested by the House Oversight Committee? What does that say to you?
GOLTEIN: I don't think we know enough at this point about what that means. There are several potential explanations for that, and I think -- I think that's a little too early to come to any conclusions about what's happening, especially since we haven't had any direct statements about the reason for the delay.
SESAY: OK. Moving aside from Comey, let's give it time and see what happens in the days ahead.
CNN is learning that the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, didn't disclose meetings he had last year with Russian officials and other foreign contacts when he applied for his security clearance. First of all, let me ask you how big of an admission is that, and then following on from there, I want to get your take on the explanation we're getting from the -- from the DOJ. First of all, how significant is this omission?
GOLTEIN: It's very significant. It's critical to the determination that's made about the national security interests involved when classified information, top-secret information is given to somebody in their official capacity. So it's absolutely necessary for people applying for security clearances to give full information. And if they deliberately conceal information, that could be a criminal offense and they could be prosecuted. They could even be put in jail for up to five years, so I think this is quite serious. SESAY: All right. Well, the explanation we're getting from the
Department of Justice from the spokeswoman is he had initially listed a year's worth of meetings with foreign officials when he applied for this clearance and then a member of the FBI told him that he actually did not need to do that if these meetings were had in his capacity as a Senator. Does that explanation make sense to you?
GOLTEIN: Well, I think we've heard other stories as well. We've heard some other FBI officials coming forward saying, no, that's not the usual practice. Usually, we advise members to disclose all of their foreign contacts. And there's a question of whether these meetings were Russian officials were truly in his capacity as a Senator or whether he was in fact acting in some way as a Trump campaign associate during these meetings and these communications. And so I think that, again, is something that Congress needs to look at very, very closely.
SESAY: So that being said, with those unknowns, those unanswered questions, does this new information, this failure to disclose these meetings, does it increase the chances that the attorney general could find himself drawn into the special counsel's investigation and, furthermore, actually be interviewed by the various committees on Capitol Hill investigating all things Russia.
GOLTEIN: That's certainly a possibility, and that creates an incredibly awkward situation when the attorney general of the United States is actively under investigation for potentially collaboration with a hostile foreign power who attempted to interfere with our election.
SESAY: Liza Goltein, really appreciate the insight. These are -- these are incredible times we're living in.
Appreciate the analysis.
GOLTEIN: Thanks very much.
VAUSE: There is a lot to keep track of.
SESAY: Certainly is.
VAUSE: A lot of moving parts in all of this.
So we'll take a short break. When we come back, a bittersweet victory for Manchester United helping the fans back home. All the details in just a moment.
[01:55:23] SESAY: Manchester United has given their fans at home something to smile about.
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VAUSE: The legendry football team won the Europa League final on Wednesday. The team says they played for those who died in Monday's attack.
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SESAY: The match began with a moment of silence. And players wore black arm bands to honor victims.
Alex Thomas reports from Stockholm.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: As fans leave the Friends Arena in Stockholm, behind me, it's Manchester United who are celebrating victory in the Europa League, formerly known as UEFA Cup, for the first time in their illustrious history.
The events in Manchester early this week shocked the world, and United's players were no different, to not only put up with the pressure of being the favorites to win this competition, they also shouldered the burden of an expect of a city desperately looking to have a smile put back on their faces.
JOSE MOURINHO, MANAGER, MANCHESTER UNITED: Obviously, people's lives, city of Manchester will be happier. We just come to do our job.
THOMAS: And Paul Pogba, United's record signer, who scored the opening goal in this game with 2-0 win over Ajax, admitted afterwards that the team really wanted to win this one for the city of Manchester. They have done so, and they will celebrate along with their supporters on this night. But when they get back to Manchester, there will be no victory parade. If anything has taught us this week, it's that football, at the end of the day, is only a game.
Alex Thomas, CNN, Stockholm, Sweden.
VAUSE: You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay.
We'll be back with much more news right after this.