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Report: Police Say Man Yells Anti-Muslim Slurs, Kills Good Samaritans; Merkel Says Europe Can No Longer Rely On The U.S.; Trump Lays Wreath At Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired May 29, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: This is the man accused of the attack, apparently, he had a history of white supremacy activities in Portland.

Critics slam President Trump for not condemning the attacks. Today he tweeted "the violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are with them."

With me now, the mayor of Portland, Oregon. He joins me by phone. Thank you for coming on. My condolences to your city and these families. You have talked to some of these family members. Can you tell me what you have learned about these heroes who stepped in to help total strangers?

TED WHEELER, MAYOR OF PORTLAND, OREGON: The main thing I would want people across the country to know is that there are people like this in Portland, Oregon. They were attacked because they did the right thing. It's very obvious that their actions were brave and selfless and should serve as an example and inspiration to all of us. There's no question in my mind that these men were heroes.

BALDWIN: How are their families doing?

WHEELER: They are not doing well. As you can imagine, this is a very traumatic time for them. There's no limits to the amount of grief they are feeling and the community is feeling that grief right alongside them. And if there's any consolation for them, it's this. They stood up for the right thing. They stood up against hatred, against bigotry, two of them paid with their lives. And one, as you just stated, is still in the hospital and is expected to survive. And I just can't tell you that there are no limits to the grief and the anger that this community is feeling right now.

BALDWIN: What about this suspect? We have been trying to understand. I guess he has a history of white supremacy before this train attack. There's cell phone video, appears to be him. We have a piece of it.

WHEELER: There's very little to understand here. The bottom line is this. The man was filled with hatred. And we have got to change the political dynamic in this country. People that don't want to get involved, this is the time we have to get involved. We have to stand alongside the memories of Rick and with Micah, we have to stand with them and say the political dynamic in this country needs to change. We can't continue to accept hatred and bigotry and it's time for ordinary people to stand up and say, listen, we want this country to be what it's supposed to be. Which is a country of people who work together, who get along together, who strive together and love each other. And I am so inspired by the actions of these men. They laid it all on the line. And they paid the ultimate price for standing up to those values, which are bedrock to this country. All of us should be inspired now to stand up and be accounted for and demand change in this country.

BALDWIN: It speaks volumes of your city there in the pacific northwest. Mayor, so sorry and we wish Mr. Fletcher in the hospital a recovery. Thank you so much.

[15:35:00] WHEELER: Thank you and please know this. Our community has rallied around this and appreciate the support. The outpouring of support we have gotten from around the nation and around the world for these three men.

BALDWIN: Good, as it should be. Thank you.

Coming up next, a rather stunning remark by one of America's closest allies. The German chancellor says Europe can no longer rely on the U.S. hear what happened on the trip that sparked that.

Plus, new pictures of the Manchester concert bomber. Why authorities are asking for the public's help.


BALDWIN: Fresh off his first overseas trip, President Trump not getting a vote of confidence from one of America's closest allies. Angela Merkel says European nation its must take their own fate into their own hands. Adding that they I can no longer completely rely on the United States. So, with that one sentence, let's have a conversation. Michael Weiss is with me, CNN investigative reporter for international affairs. And also with us CNN military analyst and retired general Mike Hurtling. Thank you so much for your service to this country. But let me begin, general, with this one line coming out of Chancellor Merkel at a beer hall. She's not the kind of woman that just speaks off the cuff. Her words take significance. Why would she say this? What's she getting at?

MIKE HURTLING, RETIRED GENERAL, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: First of all, thank you for your comments. Secondly, I would say having spent 12 years of my career in Germany, when I first heard this, it just shocked me. But as I look more into it and folks I know in Germany, it was an offhand comment at a beer hall. It wasn't a major policy speech. But having said that, it is still very disturbing. She has her own internal politics to be concerned about. They have an election in September. So, she's actually countering some of the rhetoric of her main competitor, who has been asking her to step up against Trump. So, I think this was a valid opportunity, but it's certainly indicates what kind of affairs took place at the G-7 summit and NATO conference, which we all saw play out. They are not happy with the Trump administration in Europe. BALDWIN: That awkward moment where President Trump is calling out

NATO allies for not paying their fair share and that awkward glance on all these leaders' faces. Michael, David Frum tweeted this. "Since 1945, the supreme goal in Europe of the USSR was the severing of the U.S.-German alliance. Trump delivered. We were wondering watching the NATO coverage last week if somewhere in a darkroom Vladimir Putin is just loving it and cackling." What do you make of those words?

MICHAEL WEISS, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Sort of the unofficial slogan of NATO since its inception of keep America in, Russians out. Now it's keep Germany in, Russia out and America out to lunch. Under this presidency, American leadership is suffering. That's the messaging that Germans, French, even the British are getting. I'm less inclined to down play offhand remarks. I do think this represents a sea change. Not just in Germany, but also in France. Look at what Macron also said.

BALDWIN: That was intentional.

WEISS: The white knuckled handshake. Comparing Donald Trump to two world leaders. Two authoritarian and increasingly dangerous world leader leaders. This is a signal from a continent to America. We love you, we hope someday you will come to your senses and come back, but for now, we cannot afford in our security and perhaps even in the geostrategic chess game that is world politics, we cannot afford to rely on you because you're too reckless.

HURTLING: I got to say we aren't that too far apart on this. It wasn't a policy speech, but it's still damning. I agree with him completely on this. Again, things are not going well in Europe right now. They are seeing us as they don't know what to do with the United States in terms of relationship. There was a lot bigger fish to fry other than the 2 percent GDP payment that Trump emphasized, which frankly he doesn't understand and the European countries that are part of NATO do understand what that 2 percent means. And there were a whole lot of other things to discuss. The strategy for Afghanistan, the strategy of terror, Russian expansionism, what to do Ukraine, forces on the continent, all those things were much more important to talk about in a very changing world, and Trump tended to insult the allies during several conferences.

[15:45:00] BALDWIN: You can see it on their faces. Let me ask you, Michael. Moving away from that and on to the Manchester bomber. We now in addition to getting this photo of him and this big blue suitcase in the days before the attack and police are putting it out for public's help. Paul Cruickshank said that British officials are telling him they are less sure that the bomber actually received training in Syria. That was the initial reporting. Not only had he been in Libya, but in Syria receiving training for months.

WIESS: I think that's probably right. The Turkish policy is they ban you from the country. It's too dangerous. It's too fraught with complications given international security concerns at the moment. More likely he would have gone to Libya. He has his father, his brother, Libya is even more of a failed state than Syria. At least in terms of the attention that's being paid to it. It just doesn't pass the smell test.

BALDWIN: Also, the reporting from the airport folks in Istanbul that you cannot connect and fly into Syria. He didn't go into Turkey, but connected on a flight. We wait to see reporting on that. General, before I let you go, North Korea has tested yet another ballistic missile. This was what Secretary Mattis said about this additional provocative action.


JAMES MATTIS, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Kim Jong Un would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people's lifetimes.


HURTLING: Why do I say this? The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery canons and rocket launchers in range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth. We are working with the international community to deal with this issue, this regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea and in the event of war, they would bring danger to china and to Russia as well. But the bottom line is it would be catastrophic war if this turns into combat. If we're not able to resolve the situation through diplomatic means.

BALDWIN: What do you think that means? What's the appropriate response from the U.S.?

HURTLING: Secretary Mattis is just pointing out the obvious. It's a blinding flash. We have known this for a while. What we have seen is there's been an emphasis on diplomatic action. So far under the Trump administration there's been an emphasis on military action. Those are two of the four elements of national power that have to be brought to bear in a coalition against them. It hasn't been done. This was a subject that was another one at the g7 conference saying what are e we going to do next about this and the same day that the conference broke up, North Korea again fired missiles. So, we're talking about the requirement to get multiple nations, Japan, South Korea, China, Russia and others involved in instances of pushing back on North Korea. That hasn't happened in the Trump administration's approach to transactional relationship. We probably need to take a full-throated power approach to North Korea that hasn't been done yet.

BALDWIN: Thank you both so much.

Just in, new details on Ivanka Trump's mindset as questions swirl around her husband's contacts with Russia. That's ahead.


BALDWIN: Pictures here from Arlington National Cemetery. This is the President's first Memorial Day as commander in chief, participating in the long-standing tradition of laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. The President paid his respect at Arlington National Cemetery where he talked about the sacrifices of those who died while serving this nation.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: To every gold star family who honors us with your presence, you lost sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. They each had their own names, their own stories, their own beautiful dreams, but they were all angels sent to us by god, and they all share one title in common, and that is the title of hero.


BALDWIN: With me now Alison Jaslow, the director of IAVA, and also laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns on behalf of the organization. We love IAVA here at CNN so thanks so much for being with me. I want to talk about the Go Silent campaign today. IAVA really wanting Americans to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. Tell me about that.

ALISON JASLOW, DIRECTOR OF IAVA: Well, we launched our Go Silent campaign a little over probably about two weeks ago, and largely wanted to not only make sure that people saved one minute to remember the true meaning of the day but raise awareness of it. Unfortunately, as the wars have drawn down recently the day and the sacrifice of the fallen has gone into the backs of people's minds, but the reality is that many service members have given the ultimate sacrifice recently. Their families share that sacrifice and we still have troops in harm's way that we need to keep in mind. We lost a soldier I believe just two days ago as well overseas so we want to make sure that people remember it. Our Go Silent campaign achieved that and what is a very divisive country and no matter what political affiliation you have and what opinions you can stop that day for that one minute and remember those who gave all.

BALDWIN: And talking about our nation's heroes, what about women. You and I talking about, she who borne the battle, really focusing in on women who have sacrificed.

[15:55:00] JASLOW: So IAVA's top priority this year is to raise awareness and recognition, increased recognition, for women veterans. Unfortunately, when people think of veterans they don't think of a woman who looks like me, and that extends to the fallen as well, so I've spend as much time as I've been able to on my own to raise awareness for the nearly 200 women killed in Iraq and offing, but I can't thank you enough, Brooke, for giving me an opportunity to share that with your viewers today.

BALDWIN: IAVA, thank you so much for all that you are doing there for your veterans across this great nation. Appreciate your time today. Thank you.

JASLOW: Brooke, thank you for having us.

BALDWIN: You got it t.

Now to a tragedy in the middle of fleet week. A Navy S.E.A.L. with the elite sky diving unit has lost his life during a team jump. We're told his device malfunctioned. This is in fact the video showing a piece of his parachute falling between the buildings. The navy S.E.A.L. fell into the water near the park where the skydivers were. He has not been identified but our thoughts are with his family, especially on this Memorial Day.

People flying in and out of the U.S. may eventually have to leave laptops at home or be prepared to check them. The Homeland Security chief says he might dramatically expand an international ban on laptops and e-readers in airplane cabins. His decision comes amid escalating concerns about a terrorist attack.



JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: There's a real threat. There's numerous threats against aviation. That's really the -- the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists. The idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a U.S. carrier, particularly if it's full of mostly U.S. folks, people. It's real.


BALDWIN: Right now, large devices are banned on some U.S.-bound flights from ten airports across eight nations in the Middle East and in Africa.

And today marks what would have been President John F. Kennedy's 100th birthday. Jake Tapper talked exclusively to Caroline Kennedy about what she thinks her father would make of the country now.


CAROLINE KENNEDY, DAUGHTER OF PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY: I went back actually and I was looking at a speech that he gave right before he became President, and he says history will judge us by four qualities, courage, integrity, dedication and judgment, so I think that that's how he would judge politics today.


BALDWIN: Tune in at any time at 7:00 here on CNN for a special JFK night. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me. "The Lead" starts right now.