Return to Transcripts main page


Planned Attack in Manchester; British Investigators Arrest Two More in Connect with Attack; AG Jeff Sessions Failed to Disclose at Least Two Meetings with Russian Officials; Government Raining with Leaks; Trump Meeting with 'Obsolete' NATO; Victory After a Tragedy: Manchester United Wins Europa League. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 25, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta.

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Hala Gorani in Manchester, England. Welcome, everybody.

More on our breaking news coverage of the Manchester arena bombing. British investigators say they are certain that the Manchester bomber was not acting alone, and they've arrested two more people in connection with the attack.

U.S. Military officials say the suicide bomber, named as Salman Abedi, spent three weeks in Libya and returned to England just a few days before the bombing.

Britain's home secretary says that Abedi was on the radar of intelligence services, but obviously not enough to keep a 24/7 track on him. A Libyan militia group says Abedi's 20-year-old brother has been arrested in Tripoli and that he, the brother, was accused of plotting a separate attack.

He told authorities he and his brother were members of ISIS. This is according to the militia group in Libya. Abedi's father says that he had no idea his son was planning anything. Listen.


RAMADAN ABEDI, SALMAN ABEDI'S FATHER (through translator): The situation is normal, but the family is a bit confused because Salman doesn't have this ideology. He doesn't believe in these beliefs. I'm sure that Salman didn't carry out such an act, but there are hidden hands behind this. Security authorities doing something against the Libyan community, especially the youth there.


GORANI: All right. Well, police have been narrating suspected terror locations in and around Manchester as they try to find anyone connected to the bombing. Before we get to that, I was just showing you, you might have seen the

newspapers here in this country. They're obviously all leading with Monday's terror attack, especially as we learn more about the suspected suicide bomber.

The Sun is a tabloid in this country. "Find the bomb gang before maniacs destroy another family like this." A more measured headline focusing on the leak of some of the photos that we saw in U.S. media of the aftermath of the bombing.

This is from the Guardian. "May," this is the Prime Minister, "to confront Trump as U.S. leaks crucial bombing evidence." And we know that Theresa May, the U.K. Prime Minister, will be meeting Donald Trump at the G7 meeting which is happening in Italy.

We also have from the Daily Telegraph there a picture of the increased military presence on the streets of major U.K. cities. In this case, you see Big Ben here, and you see a patrol there of men. And then you have the Daily Mail, another tabloid. "The Jihadi family" there, a picture with the two brothers, but also involving the father though we don't have any evidence he was connected to this.

Now, what about the latest on the investigation? Here's CNN's Atika Shubert reporting on one raid not far from the site of the attack. Take a look.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CHIEF 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 just 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 links 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 and 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 was in a state. I can't really say anything to him apart from if you need anything, just knock on the door.


RAMADAN: From the shot that he was broken. Tears in his eyes. It's like somebody has died very close. It's something you can't describe. When you get some bad news and you don't know how to react. He has a (Inaudible) to be honest.

SHUBERT: Akram says Libyan youth here are especially vulnerable to terror recruiters.

RAMADAN: They feel like they're being disbanded from two societies, Libyan society and the British society.

SHUBERT: The locals did pray mosque issued a statement but would not confirm whether Salman prayed there.

[03:05:00] 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.


GORANI: Now, the New York Times published photos claiming to show the aftermath of the bombing, and they appear to have been taking -- taken by British authorities just after Monday's attack. They show what could be a detonator, battery, shrapnel, and fragments of a backpack where the bomb would have been placed.

A spokesperson for the Greater Manchester police here wouldn't comment on the photos. Britain's national police chief's council has warned that leaks of potential evidence like this could undermine the investigation. After all, you see in great detail some of the components of this device that killed so many people.

Raffaello Pantucci joins me now from our London studios. He is the director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute. Thanks for being with us.

What did you make of the leaking of these -- of these images? Presumably British intelligence sent these pictures to U.S. intelligence asking them for help analyzing the device, maybe asking them if they've ever seen this before, and now we're all seeing these pictures. What impact could it have?

RAFFAELLO PANTUCCI, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES, ROYAL UNITED SERVICES INSTITUE: I mean, it could have a very negative impact. Certainly I think on trust between security forces on both sides of the Atlantic. But I think there's also a question of whether it might damage the investigation.

I mean, the point of an investigation like this is that it's going to be a very fast-paced operation. It's going to be something where security forces are trying to figure out what they're looking at and then responding to it quickly. And so they'll want to make sure they can do that discreetly.

If every aspect to the investigation is getting put out into the public domain as they're discovering it, what ends up happening is you could end up tipping the hand of those they are trying to chase. And this sort of elusive bomb maker who seems to be behind Abedi's device could still be out there and could now accelerate his plans maybe to do something else or maybe do some other thing, which would mean that he doesn't get caught.

So it has a real negative impact both in terms of trust but also in terms of actually damaging the direct operation.

GORANI: Because it's looking more and more as though this Salman Abedi individual did not act alone and that potentially there is some sort of expert bomb maker out there, because usually these terrorist groups do not send their bomb-makers to blow themselves up. And that has to be very worrying.

PANTUCCI: I mean, certainly. I think from quite early on, it was fairly clear that this was not just a case of a lone individual. I mean, if we look back at the history of terrorism, there are very few bomb-makers, lone bomb-makers who kill themselves with their own devices.

When we see lone bomb-makers, we tend to see them doing a whole series of attempted attacks or attacks. We see it as a whole string of things. They don't usually blow themselves up with their own device.

So I think that was a fairly quick and early indicator. The second thing was the kind of relative sophistication and professionalism of the device. You know, it's actually quite difficult to make a bomb properly and to make a bomb that you know will go off when you wanted to demonstrate that someone has either practiced or trained to do that.

So immediately you've got a sense that, you know, something more professional here has happened than a lone individual deciding to cook something up in his kitchen.

GORANI: Right, and we're hearing from the French government that they believe potentially this individual went to Syria, came back. We haven't been able to confirm that.

But obviously the question now has to be this is a sophisticated plot. It involves more than one person, probably a group, maybe even a cell. How was this missed?

PANTUCCI: I think that's the question which I'm sure is on top of everyone's mind. Well, actually I think at the moment on top of everyone's mind is making sure they understand the network and disrupting it as quickly as possible to make sure that there aren't any other attacks plan.

But then I think the longer term questions will be how they managed to slip through. I mean here in the U.K., we've watched over the past few months. There has seemingly been an uptick in tempo in terms of counterterrorism arrests.

And what's sort of disturbing is that if we look at the arrests that we've seen in the past few weeks or months really, they've been ones which have been much more shaped around attack planning, whereas previously, I think last year we were seeing a lot more disruption, some around attack planning but an awful lot which are around sort of, you know, people fund-raising or people trying to travel.

More recently we've really seen a sharp uptick of at least three or four plots in the past few weeks which or the past few months -- sorry -- which have been people trying to plan to do things.

And then of course it's been just over a month, I think, since we had the attack in Westminster. So we can see the threat picture here is clearly going up, and that points to a sort of terrorist men as that the security forces see that is getting more acute.

[03:09:55] And this of course is happening as we see ISIS losing territory on the ground in Syria, as we see Al Qaeda's new leadership Hamza bin Laden issuing new messages, threatening the west. So we can see a sort of terror picture that is looking quite menacing.

GORANI: All right. Raffaello Pantucci of the Royal United Services Institute, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Now, we've talked a lot about this bomber. We've talked a lot about the plot and what the device looked like, but in the end it boils down to this.

Twenty-two innocent people were killed in this attack, and CNN has now confirmed the identities of more of those victims. And they include a 17-year-old, Chloe Rutherford and 19-year-old Liam Curry.

In a statement their families said the pair, quote, "wanted to be together forever, and now they are." Michelle Kiss, a wife and mother of three from Lancashire. Relatives say family was her life. Martyn Hett, 29 years old, close to his mother. He was active on social media where a friend writes he left this world exactly how he lived, the center of attention.

Nell Jones, a 14-year-old student from Cheshire. Her school head teacher said that, quote, "Nell was a very bright and popular student." Jane Twedle, a school worker and the mother of three children. Co-workers called her bubbly, kind, and generous.

And Marcin and Angelika Klis, they were killed waiting to pick up their daughters from the concert. Their children are safe, but now they are left without their mom and dad.

Well, we are just getting word that another victim of the bombing has been identified. Erin McLaughlin joins me live with more about that. Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. So many of the victims were music-loving children. They were excited to be at that concert. Among them, 14-year-old Eilidh MacLeod. Today her family releasing a statement. This is what they want the world to know about Eilidh.

"Our family is devastated, and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh. Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band. As a family, we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time."

Now, one of the many horrifying aspects of this attack is that many of the victims were kids who were at the concert without their parents. They received special permission.

Yesterday, we heard from a doctor from the local children's hospital describe what it was like treating these kids, not knowing their names, not knowing their identities, but knowing that their parents were looking for them. Take a listen.


PETER-MARC FORTUNE, PAEDIATRIC INTENSIVIST, MANCHESTER CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: One of the hardest things that certainly I directly dealt with my colleagues in children's hospital was looking after children who we didn't know who they were. We didn't know their name. We hadn't identified them.

I mean, I can't imagine what their parents were going through until we have done that. But actually it was remarkably hard, somehow more so than doing the medicine, not having a clue of the name of the person you were looking after and not knowing where their parents were to be able to talk to them and share with them actually what was going on. That was really difficult.


MCLAUGHLIN: Such a tragic situation. Some 64 people are being treated by the area hospitals. Of those 64, 12 are children, 20 in need of critical care. Hala.

GORANI: Erin McLaughlin, thanks very much. Still to come, the latest from Manchester where there have been more raids, more arrests following the deadly bombing. And stay with us for an update on the other top stories of the day. We'll be right back.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the U.S. Justice Department says Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose at least two meetings he had last year with Russia's ambassador to the United States. Officials say those interactions should have been noted on the paperwork he submitted for security clearance.

Sessions acknowledged those contacts but only after they were reported in the Washington Post in March. A department spokeswoman says Sessions initially listed a year's worth of meetings with foreign officials on his clearance form, but later he was apparently told by an FBI employee he did not need to list those meetings if they were in his capacity as a U.S. senator.

U.S. Lawmakers also seek to question Sessions about any possible role he played in the firing of FBI Director James Comey. And as for Comey himself, congressional investigators are hoping to get his detailed memos about his meetings with President Trump.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has our report.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lawmakers are waiting for the FBI to turn over memos that fired Director James Comey wrote documenting his meetings with President Trump, including one where the president allegedly told Comey, "I hope you can let this go," referring to the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The House oversight and Senate judiciary committees demanded that acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe submit any memos or tapes, but neither committee has received them.

This week, House intelligence chairman Jason Chaffetz announced public testimony from Comey originally scheduled would be postponed until after Memorial Day to give Comey time to meet with recently appointed special counsel Robert Mueller.

Meanwhile, Capitol Hill investigations into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russia continue to ramp up. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort just submitted 300 documents to the Senate intelligence committee containing drafts of speeches, calendars, and notes from his time with the campaign.


SCHNEIDER: But so far, Michael Flynn isn't cooperating. Flynn plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and hasn't complied with subpoenas from the Senate and House intelligence committees. That refusal has prompted the Senate intelligence committee to send two new subpoenas to businesses run by Flynn for records with a May 30th deadline.

SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), NORTH CAROLINA: If, in fact, there's not a response, 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.

[03:20:06] SCHNEIDER: While President Trump travels abroad, his legal team is assembling here at home. Marc Kasowitz is expected to lead the team of outside lawyers offering legal counsel amid the Russia probe according to a senior administration officials.

Kasowitz has represented Trump for more than 15 years but he also represents a Russian bank and a Russian business tycoon with ties to Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, the White House is resetting its search for an FBI director after wide-ranging dissatisfaction with the leading candidate, former Senator Joe Lieberman. All while Paul Ryan put forth a muted defense of fired Director James Comey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know the former FBI Director Jim Comey. 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: Yes, I don't agree with that, and I -- and he's not.

SCHNEIDER: Sources tell CNN that special counsel Robert Mueller has been briefed on those memos from James Comey. We also know that Mueller has been to FBI headquarters to meet with the counterintelligence agents who have been working this Russia investigation since July.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: Well, as if the Trump White House didn't have enough fires to put out, now a confidential phone conversation between the president and the leader of the Philippines has been leaked. It's just the latest in a rash of high-profile leaks that threaten to undermine U.S. relations with its allies.

CNN's Brian Todd has that story.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary conversation where Donald Trump again seems to heap praise on a strongman. On the phone with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, President Trump says, quote, "I just wanted to congratulate you because I'm hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. What a great job you were doing."

Human rights observers criticize the president for praising Duterte who they say has sanctioned thousands of extrajudicial killings to combat the drug problem in the Philippines.

A senior U.S. official who was briefed on the April 29th call verified the basics of the conversation to CNN, but the official said President Trump was not condoning human rights violations. Now intelligence experts are concerned that another confidential, important conversation between Trump and a foreign leader was leaked. STEVE HALL, RETIRED CHIEF OF CIA RUSSIAN OPERATIONS: The

ramifications of it are again very negative. The president doesn't know who he can trust. It erodes the team, I would imagine, from the inside.

TODD: A leaked transcript of the Trump-Duterte conversation was published by the Washington Post, and the news web site they intercept. It's not clear whether the leak came from the U.S. side or the Philippines side. The cover sheet, marked confidential, bears the Philippine government's logo. On the call, Trump said of Kim Jong-un, quote, "we can't let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that."

GENE COYLE, FORMER FIELD OPERATIONS OFFICER, CIA: American presidents say things in confidence, off the record, that are very blunt and to the point that you don't want out in the public domain.

TODD: Separately, twice this week we've gotten word that U.S. allies were upset with leaks about intelligence coming from the American side. British authorities are irritated with U.S. leaks about the Manchester bombing investigation.

And when Israel's defense minister was asked if an Israeli agent's life was put in danger after Trump allegedly divulged top secret intelligence obtained from Israel to the Russians, the minister would neither confirm nor deny saying only that, quote, a correction had to be made.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned it in that conversation.

TODD: In just four months, the president's conversations with the Russians in the Oval Office, his call with Duterte, and his contentious calls with the Australian prime minister and the Mexican president have all been leaked. Experts warn of the consequences.

HALL: Foreign intelligence services, when they see their information used inappropriately in ways that they have not approved, in very public ways, will simply stop passing that information and they won't tell us that they're not passing the information. They will simply dial it back.

TODD: How can that administration stop that's leagues or at least slow them down? Former CIA officers we spoke to say the president and his closest aides can launch investigations. They can try to prosecute people who have leaked classified information, and they can limit the number of people who have access to these meetings and conversations.

But doing all of that, they say, will be extremely difficult given the number of people in the White House who have access to secrets.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: We now know more about the new health care bill proposed by House republicans thanks to a study by the Congressional Budget Office. The measures would reduce the U.S. budget deficit by $119 billion, but 23 million Americans would eventually lose their health insurance.

The U.S. Senate is working on its own version of a health care proposal, and they've said they will make major changes to the House measure.

Well, it's not easy trying to solve the health care problem, of course. Just ask Greg Gianforte. He's a republican candidate for U.S. Congress in the State of Montana, and he's just been charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly attacking a reporter a night before the election.

[03:25:13] What set him off? A question about healthcare from reporter Ben Jacobs of the Guardian newspaper. Here's the audio recording Jacobs says came from that exchange. Take a listen.


BEN JACOBS, REPORTER, THE GUARDIAN: ... the CBO score, because you know, you've been waiting to make your decision about healthcare until we saw the bill and it just came out. And when you talk about...


GREG GIANFORTE, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: We'll talk to you about that later.

JACOBS: Yes, but there's not going to be time. I'm just curious...


GIANFORTE: Speak with Shane, please. I'm sick and tired of you guys! The last time you came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here! Get the hell out of here!

JACOBS: Jesus.

GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?

JACOBS: Yes and you just broke my glasses.

GIANFORTE: The last guy did the same damn thing.

JACOBS: You just body slammed me and broke my glasses.

GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here.

JACOBS: You'd like me to get the hell out of here? I'd also like to call the police. Can I get you guys' names?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, you got to leave. JACOBS: He just body slammed me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to leave.


CHURCH: Gianforte's campaign is blaming the whole thing on what it calls the reporter's aggressive behavior.

Later this hour, President Trump's busy schedule in Brussels. We will preview the NATO summit he's attending after calling the alliance obsolete last year.

But first, why British investigators are convinced the Manchester concert bomber did not act alone. We're back with that in just a moment.


GORANI: Welcome to our viewers around the world and in the United States. I'm Hala Gorani.

We continue our coverage of the Manchester arena attack. Now, there have been a flurry of police raids in this city as British authorities work to shut down a network they believe is behind that concert bombing.

Police have now arrested eight people, including two new arrests this morning. It's not clear yet how many of them are connected to the attack that killed at least 22 people and wounded so many more. But you're seeing some amateur video there of some of the police activity across the city, and it has been very busy over the last few days.

Police say the suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, did not act alone.

Let's bring in CNN's Nina Dos Santos live outside 10 Downing Street in London. Tell us more about what authorities are doing now because this is really a race against the clock if, indeed, this is a cell or some sort of network and there's a specialized bomb maker out there on the loose. They really, really need to act fast.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: And that is why it's so important that they manage to keep what they can secret, Hala, and that they have the opportunity to ambush some individuals who might well be involve before they're able to escape or destroy crucial parts of evidence.

And that's why, well, there's been this big rift between the U.K. and the U.S. authorities on the issue of information sharing after we've had so many leaks so soon after that attack on Monday evening.

To the U.S. media from seemingly U.S. intelligence and law enforcement sources. The U.K. government is said to be absolutely incandescent about this. Already this time yesterday, brought this home secretary said that it wouldn't be tolerated, that she was irritated by it. Now you can expect Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, who is

about to chair another fourth emergency meeting since the Manchester attack took place, she's leave in about an hour from now, then she's heading to Brussels and she's probably going to raise this issue with U.S. President Donald Trump.

We also could face the prospect of the U.K. deciding temporarily, at least some of its police forces like the one in Greater Manchester leading this investigation, to temporarily stop sharing information with U.S. authorities.

That could be extremely significant because remember that this is not just a fast-moving investigation. It is now fast turning into an international one. We've had two more arrests made earlier on this morning, which brings the total number of people who are currently in police detention across the U.K. to eight, but there have been further arrests that have been made including the brother of Salman Abedi out in Libya.

So, obviously sharing information between U.S. intelligence forces that are on the ground there in Libya, that will be important to try and find out who is involved in this. But at the moment, the tense relationship between U.S. and U.K. security forces because of course, these leaks is also threatening to undermine this investigation according to the British police and dangerously so, they say. Hala?

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Nina. We'll see if British intelligence continues to share some of these pictures and some of the information they're gathering in this investigation with their American counterparts. We'll see with regards to Manchester, if they'll continue to do that.

Carlton King is a former Scotland Yard special branch and MI6 officer and the author of "Black Ops: the Incredible True Story of a British Secret Agent."

Thanks for being with us. I just want to show our viewers first of all that the Guardian is -- let me show this here. May to confront Trump as U.S. leaks crucial bombing evidence.

So, we're seeing that essentially Theresa May herself is going to bring this up with the U.S. president. Because this is causing quite a problem between the two countries.

CARLTON KING, FORMER MI6 OFFICER: It is a problem, and it shouldn't happen. We have a thing called action in the intelligence world which you actually ask the country who provided the information where you can share it. So, in the first instance, not being (Inaudible) of intelligence agencies, but then first it to the press.

GORANI: Yes. Now what impact could it have on the investigation, the fact that we're now all seeing quite detailed pictures of the aftermath of the bombing, the detonator, a battery pack, the backpack it was carried in?

KING: When the first information went out about the actual bomber themselves, that actually pushed the police into action because they could have been putting together operational plans to storm various buildings or whatever else.

[03:35:01] And once they knew or individuals knew who the police knew were the perpetrator of this act, then of course it pushes them into further action quicker than they've wanted to. So that was the first thing.

Now you're looking at detailed bombing, bombing packs and activities like that. What it means is, is that again, those people who may wish to take some other action still or who are still out there, the nexus, if you will, of the operation know exactly what the police have in terms of the intelligence.

GORANI: So they could act quicker do you mean or they...


GORANI: Or they could be spurred into action.

KING: ... could also -- they could spurred into action. They could also think of action in a different way because they know what police have. They might have thought all the evidence was destroyed. Now they know that all the evidence wasn't destroyed. So you get that the operation is just hampered by it.


KING: It's not a very good thing at all.

GORANI: Because the name Salman Abedi, by the way, wasn't confirmed by British officials either.


GORANI: That was confirmed after it had been leaked. The coroner himself or herself had not issued that name.

KING: Correct.

GORANI: Had not confirmed that name yet.

KING: Correct.

GORANI: So you had an initial leak and now the pictures.

KING: Correct. That first leak, the home secretary was very angry.


KING: The second leak, well, I can imagine.

GORANI: Yes. So we wonder if the cooperation will continue at least as far as this investigation is concerned.

Let me ask you a little bit about the idea that you have a bomb maker. Presumably the bomb maker and the suicide bomber are not the same person. That's not normally how it works. It requires expert knowledge putting together a very small bomb in a small backpack that kills so many people.

This would mean, and this is what's chilling for people here and across the country, that there is a bomb maker out there willing to...

KING: Correct.

GORANI: ... willing, we presume, to act again.

KING: It can be the same person, but that would be a gross misuse of resources for you to have a bomb maker who then blows himself up. It could be pointless. So if he hid in a structured organization, but it's one thing they would say to him, you don't do that. You make the bomb and you pass it down to somebody else.

The question is where was the bomb made? Is it made in the United Kingdom? Is it made elsewhere? Has it been moved across in a nefarious manner, or was a stock of actual bombs laid waiting for individuals to utilize?

So all of what you say is the case, you've still got out there now a ticking time bomb, excuse the pun.


KING: Of people looking for individuals who may have access to further IEDs that are actually very, very good.

GORANI: Yes. Now, we know that British intelligence has done an amazing job over the last -- it's the first time a suicide bomber hits successfully this country since 2005. So it's been 12 years.

However, questions obviously are emerging more and more about, well, if we do have this sophisticated bomb plus a wider network, plus possibly a transnational connection with Libya, why did we miss this? I mean how was thi, how did this fly under the radar?

KING: There could be a host of reasons, some of them I won't go into it.


KING: But if you remember back to the IRA days and I'm an old guy, and I was working in those days.

GORANI: Because the IRA did hit Manchester in the early 90s.

KING: Absolutely. Absolutely and they hit throughout the country. They, you know, caused devastation to London. Now, what the major bomb maker said is we only need to be lucky once. You need to be lucky all the time, and that's what you're dealing with.

GORANI: Yes. So you're dealing with a situation there where sadly in this case someone got through the net.

KING: Certainly.

GORANI: Carlton King, thanks so much. We appreciate your expertise as always. Still ahead, glory for Manchester United because a city like Manchester cares about its football. The players say helping their hometown fans after the attack means more than their big victory on the pitch, but they celebrated that big victory nonetheless. I can confirm I heard it from my hotel room. We'll be right back. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. U.S. President Donald Trump is in Brussels for a variety of meetings, but the headliner is a NATO summit just hours from now. As a candidate, Mr. Trump called the alliance obsolete, eventually walking that back as president.

Before the summit, he will also sit down with the new French president and in about half an hour, Mr. Trump will meet with European Council leaders.

Now, Phil Black joins us live from Brussels for a preview. So Phil, what are the expectations? What does President Trump want to see come out of this NATO summit, and what about NATO leaders? What do they want?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, there have been two key concerns often expressed by President Trump in the lead-up to this, criticisms really. His belief that many NATO members are not paying their way, they're not spending enough on defense, and that the organization as a whole, the alliance as a whole is not doing enough to fight terrorism.

So those will be the two key issues discussed over the dinner that leaders will be holding tonight, and they'll be trying to thrash out some sort of measures that could in some way satisfy President Trump's concerns.

The alliance is responding to those concerns. And what they hope in response is that President Trump will really move a long way from his criticism of the organization as being elite. He has backtracked on that slightly.

But what they want is President Trump to adopt a far more traditional American policy towards the alliance, one that backs it completely, unequivocally, and in particular one that speaks very strongly about the idea of collective defense, which is what the alliance is based upon, that is an attack on one is an attack on all. Because they believe that is absolutely crucial to the alliance, having the ability to deter people from attacking any member state.

CHURCH: So, Phil, as we mentioned during the election campaign, Mr. Trump called NATO obsolete. He backpedaled on that as we mentioned. He's criticized other member nations for not paying their way. So as a result of that, just how awkward or even confrontational could this summit be as a result of those comments?

BLACK: Well, it all comes down to Mr. Trump really in the end. The summit is being designed in such a way that there's no doubt to impress and to appease his concerns.

[03:45:04] In the lead-up to the actual meeting over dinner tonight, there will be -- there will be some ceremony. First the opening of the new, very impressive NATO headquarters. There will be a commemoration for a number of memorials including a 9/11 memorial that will actually include a part of the World Trade Center.

What it does is also mark the one and only time that NATO, as an alliance, has invoked its collective defense principle. That was following the 9/11 attacks. And then of course over dinner they will have those substantive conversations about just what the alliance can do in order to step in line with Mr. Trump's concerns.

If that satisfies the American president, then all will go well. It depends upon to what degree Mr. Trump is willing to continue to push those concerns, perhaps even harangue the other member states. If he is satisfied and walks away, then it will be seen to be a success. The idea today is for this to be a demonstration of solidarity and unity because NATO believes that's ultimately where its strength comes from.

CHURCH: All right. And I know you, Phil Black, you'll be watching very closely to see the outcome there. Joining us with a live report from Brussels, where it is 9.45 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, there has been intense scrutiny of Donald Trump on his first foreign trip as U.S. President, but his normally publicity-shy wife is also getting a lot of attention, and Melania Trump seems to be holding her own.


CNN's Kate Bennett has the latest.

KATE BENNETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Without actually saying anything publicly, the first lady has been a hit with international audiences, even joking with the pope, who earlier today during a visit to the Vatican teased Melania about feeding her husband too many Slovenian sweets.

POPE FRANCIS: What do you give him to eat?


BENNETT: She also ventured solo in Rome to a children's hospital where she made a friendly greeting to the children in Italian. Hugging the kids, making drawings, even posing for a few selfies, the first lady connected with one young boy, whom she learned hours later was notified that doctors had located a donor for the heart transplant he needs.

Melania tweeting the news. The trip has been the most the world has seen of the first lady in consecutive days since her husband took office, and Melania has made sure she's looking her best.

The White House telling CNN her strategy was to pack a separate bag for each stop on the trip, taking every event on this five-city, nine- day journey as a separate focus.

Every outfit from the demure black jumpsuit she arrived wearing in Saudi Arabia to her white ensembles in Israel, where white is considered by some to be a holy color, a symbol of peace and purity, to the black lace dress by Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana that she wore to greet the pope.

Everything was planned down to her Manolo Blahnik high heels. She and Ivanka Trump wearing the required black formal wear long sleeves and head veil for their audience with the pontiff. Part of the protocol she likely studied when she met with State Department officials in preparation for this trip.

But it hasn't all been perfect. There was that hand swat her round the world, the moment on the tarmac in Tel Aviv, when the president crowding her out on the red carpet, reached back for Melania's hand and she didn't take it.

That clip going viral, even noticed by President Obama's former White House photographer, Pete Souza, who was quick to troll the moment, posting his own image of Barack and Michelle on his Instagram page clearly holding hands.


CHURCH: CNN White House reporter Kate Bennett with that report.

Next on CNN NEWSROOM, black arm bands and a moment of silence. Then this happened. How Manchester United is helping fans heal their wounded city.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trophy tonight. It feels great.

The emotion, you can feel it all around. It was -- it was amazing.


GORANI: Well, it was an emotional night as Manchester United gave their fans something finally to smile about. The legendary football club has won its first ever Europa League title. They tweeted this picture dedicating their win to the victims of the Manchester bombing.

Wednesday night's match in Stockholm began with a moment of silence and the players wore black arm bands as well to honor the victims.

CNN's Alex Thomas was at that match. He talked to some Manchester United players who think the victory could just help their city recover.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Pete Sharman, congratulations. Your team won. Pete, it's been a while since you saw Manchester United win their first European trophy. Tell us about that.

PETE SHARMAN, MANCHESTER UNITED FAN: That was in 1968 at Wembley against Benfica.

THOMAS: The first thing this club to be European club champions, how did this compare?

SHARMAN: Not as attractive.

THOMAS: But you won at the end of the day.

SHARMAN: Well, that's the main thing. Winning the trophy is, in the end, it measures club success.

THOMAS: And your club is used to it more than most. Rachel, what do you think it will mean to the City of Manchester? I know you don't live there. You're in Sheffield. But after the events of this week, all the players saying this was for Manchester.

RACHEL DAVISON, MANCHESTER UNITED FAN: Yes, I think it helps. It starts to rebuild and say it's a plaster to start moving on from the -- the city can feel proud.

[03:55:01] And actually Manchester City put a poignant sweet out straight after the game. City united. And I think that's really, it just brings everybody together really, so it's great.

THOMAS: Yes, two football clubs huge rivals. You think the atmosphere was affected by the events of this week?

DAVISON: Possibly.

THOMAs: You don't seem pretty loud in there.

DAVISON: Yes. We were too are Ajax fans with their drums were very loud. But it was a great atmosphere. It was great being there and watching United win. What could have been better really?

THOMAS: Time for life to get back to normal and football can help with that.

SHARMAN: In the city, yes, in Manchester, yes.

THOMAS: And will it put a few smiles back on people's faces to see the trophy being brought back.

SHARMAN: Exactly that, yes.

DAVISON: Yes, it will. It will.

THOMAS: You've enjoyed your time in Stockholm?

DAVISON: It's been great, and we've got tomorrow as well, full around. So it's good.

SHARMAN: See the sights.

THOMAS: Enjoy your trip back. Thank you for speaking with us.

DAVISON: Thank you.

SHARMAN: Thank you.


GORANI: Well, it might have been just the release and the good news this city needed as it continues to mourn its dead from Monday's attack.

Thanks, everyone, for watching. I'm Hala Gorani live in Manchester. Early Start is next for our viewers in the United States. For everyone else, Rosemary Church returns with more news, and Hannah Vaughan Jones will have the latest from here in Manchester.

You're watching CNN.