Return to Transcripts main page
ISIS Claims Responsibility for London Attack; Trump Criticizes London Mayor After Terror Attack; Interview with Governor Jay Inslee of Washington. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired June 4, 2017 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being with us.
We're staying on top of the latest developments in London, a city vastly different than it was just last night when a pleasant evening was shattered by a deadly terror attack.
And breaking news, this just into CNN, ISIS is now claiming responsibility for that attack and the deaths of seven people. More on that claim of responsibility when I go live to London in just a moment.
[18:00:04] This is also some new information I want to share with you. Most of the 11 people arrested so far in this terror investigation are women. London police say they have been raiding apartments in the Barking section of the city, looking for people who know the attackers and who may have helped them in their deadly rampage that ended, again, with seven innocent people killed last night.
Witnesses say three men drove this van across busy London Bridge, plowing into people, aiming for them, trying to kill them. After crashing the van, the men then set out on foot with knife, stabbing and slashing more people before London police shot all three of them dead. The entire horrible incident lasted just 15 minutes.
CNN crews and correspondents are all over the city and our law enforcement and terrorism analysts are watching events in London very closely.
Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in London. Correspondent Alex Marquardt is also there.
And we just learned that Metropolitan Police released one of those that they arrested initially without any charges. Also interesting is the genders of those arrested. We are being told seven of the 12 people initially rounded up were women.
Alex, what can else can you tell us about the investigation?
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. Police tonight are saying they are making significant progress in terms of identifying these three attackers. They have not yet named them or really given any details about them. In fact, just a short time ago, they called on the media not to speculate as to the identity of these attackers. They say that they will release the names as soon as it's operationally possible.
Now, there are more details about the raids and arrests that are taking place all in the eastern part of London known as Barking. Twelve people arrested, one of whom has been released without charge. Seven of those people, as you mentioned, were women. Four properties were also searched.
And earlier today, the assistant commissioner for the police, Mark Rowley, spoke about how this attack unfolded. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER MARK ROWLEY, METROPOLITAN POLICE: We have established that the van used during the attack was a white rental van that was recently hired by one of the attackers. As our understanding grows, we now understand that the van at London Bridge started the attack at 2158 hours yesterday, as it went from north to south on the river. (INAUDIBLE) the calling place a few minutes later.
The van mounted the pavement and collided with pedestrians before being abandoned where attackers, who were armed with knives, moved into the Borough Market area, stabbing numerous people.
The attackers were then confronted by the firearms officers and I can confirm that eight police firearms officers discharged their weapons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Eight officers discharging their weapons as you heard there. They responded within just ten minutes of this attack starting. They fired some 50 rounds at those attackers which police call unprecedented. Why did they fire so many rounds? Because the attackers appeared to be wearing suicide vests which then turned out to be fake -- Ana.
CABRERA: Amazing new details, reporting. Thank you very much, Alex Marquardt.
Nic, this just into CNN. ISIS claiming responsibility now. How exactly are they doing that? Do they say these attackers are soldiers of ISIS?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: That's what they are claiming. They were doing this in the name of ISIS. This was released through a media website forum that ISIS used in the past.
So, this is a channel they used to claim attacks, but it doesn't mean that this is necessarily true. They have offered no proof to back this up. We saw this in another attack in London just several months ago, on the Westminster Bridge, an attack of similar nature and style. That time they claim that attack as well and then offered nothing that was provable by way of backup.
So, while these claims are being made, it's typical of ISIS to do it. But in this case, there's nothing to suggest that there's any proof to this. Of course, the sort of proof that may come further down the line would be that the police could find some connection, Internet connection, conversations that they have had with ISIS or we may learn further details about these men's backgrounds that may show an even deeper connection. But at the moment, there's nothing to substantiate this claim by ISIS that these men were acting in their name on their behalf.
CABRERA: Nic, let me ask you more about the British government's response here. Three attacks in the U.K. in just a number of weeks.
Prime Minister Theresa May saying she's going to clamp down now. What that might look like?
ROBERTSON: Well, she wants to crack down on the way that the Internet is used. This is something she wants to sort of get international support for. We saw that at the G7, but she has support here not just from international leaders there. She has support here from Muslim community leaders, from sort of former counterterrorism officials here who say that this is part of the space now, that part of the space where these young men and women in some cases get radicalized.
[18:05:09] It's not on the mosques. It's on the Internet where they conceived radical ISIS propaganda, that this -- their access to that needs to be shut down. Needs to be shut down by working with Internet service providers, the social media platforms, that sort of thing.
She is also talking about re-examining the type of legislation that exists right now for to allow the police, to allow a kind of terrorism authorities to do more to combat this sort of threat. She says this is a new type of terrorism. So, those are two areas. But she says she also wants to change the dialogue. She says we may need to have all difficult conversations here, that there's too much tolerance in some communities of terrorism, of extremism.
So, part of her message here is: we need to change the way that we talk about this more as a society. So, these are -- these are the ways that she wants to tackle it as well she said as, of course, taking the fight to ISIS in Iraq and Syria and places like that and denying them the territory there as well.
CABRERA: Of course, it's a little more than 24 hours since those attacks. You're standing there in Central London. What's it like there right now? Are there few people on the streets and what are people saying to you?
ROBERTSON: You know, people have been coming here to pay their respects, to see what's going on. You know, people are shocked. Tomorrow morning in a few hours time, people will be going back to work. Some of them who would travel through here won't be able to do that. It will be changing their lives a little bit, their day to day lives.
But for the most part, people have been coming down here really to show their support, show their sympathy. Just over here, there's a small cluster of flowers. People are laying floral tributes here. That's something that comes to sort of to see and know and understand. But, you know, for people I think they are listening to their leaders
here and their leaders, Theresa May, the Mayor Sadiq Khan here, have been very clear that this will not change their lives, change who we are, divide us as a society, that we should continue our lives. We should be aware and report to the police anything we see that is suspicious. But we should not allow it to change our lives.
We should be able to go out and sit in cafes and -- cafes and parks in the city and enjoy ourselves and late into the night. That's the message. And I think that's something that resonates. But I have to say driving through the city today, there were fewer people on such a sunny Sunday here in London than you would have normally seen, far fewer people out today.
CABRERA: There's an impact, no doubt.
Nic Robertson, thank you.
Now, the attack in London sent the city and that country into chaos. Here's a look at how it unfolded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ROBERTS, EYEWITNESS: I was on London Bridge. What I saw was a van coming across London Bridge, high speed, swerving on and off the pavement. It knocked over several people, came within about 20 yards of where I was. It knocked somebody nearly 20 feet in the air.
We saw a car. We a few bodies literally being flipped into the air. In my line of sight, there were five or six bodies that I could see on the ground of people who were not moving. About five, ten minutes, I heard quite a lot of gun fire, that sounded like gunfire
JACK APPLEBEE, EYEWITNESS, LOCAL RESTAURANT OWNER: I'd say about six or seven times, we heard gun shots going off down the street. Each time there were three or four maybe more gunshots at time. The first one, we probably heard about 10, 15 gunshots. I literally around and there were three men standing there, one of which with machete, and just girl saying they are stabbing everyone, they're stabbing people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of panic.
LUKA MILACIC, WITNESS, CANADIAN VISITOR: A lot of commotion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, a lot. Just a lot of people actually, they were taken -- they came out from their homes and some of them were barefoot.
NEIL PATE, WITNESS: Suddenly, I heard kind of police shouting. So, I keep my head down and then I turned around and there's a heavy police presence pushing two, maybe three guys up against the wall.
MILACIC: People are just literally running away as fast as they could and taking direction from police to the best of their abilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Now, less than 24 hours after all that chaos, the terror attack in London, the sound of musical harmony rose from the stadium in another British city.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
CABRERA: Pop star Ariana Grande closing out her benefit concert in Manchester performing the pop classic, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." This concert raised funds for the victims of the May 22nd attack, the last time she performed. That's when a suicide bomber took the lives of 22 people and wounded dozens of others.
[18:10:02] CNN international correspondent Phil Black is joining us from that venue in Manchester.
Phil, Ariana Grande was so determined to have this show despite the recent terror attacks and the one even less than 24 hours prior. I understand she shared a rather touching moment that she had had with the mother of one of the Manchester victims. Tell us about that.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana. On the whole, it was truly an extraordinary night, a huge crowd, 51,000 people. It was just really incredible to see and witness how this crowd responded to her. Through the night, she spoke to the crowd and told them she loved them, told them she spoke about how -- told them how she felt about them coming together in this way so soon after the violence that has traumatized the city.
But she also paid tribute to one of the victims of the bombing two weeks ago. That was to 15-year-old Olivia Campbell who was killed and she talked about an encounter she had with Olivia's mom. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIANA GRANDE, POP SINGER: I had the pleasure of meeting Olivia's mommy a few days ago. As soon as I met her, I started crying and gave her a big hug. And she said that I should stop crying because Olivia wouldn't have wanted me to cry. And then she told me that Olivia would have wanted to hear the hits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: So, at times there was great sorrow, but also so much joy. These two competing emotions through the night. But there's no doubt that crowd was just supremely grateful that Ariana Grande had gone to that effort and come back to the city and brought so many international pop superstars along with her.
CABRERA: A beautiful voice, beautiful event it appears. Any word on how much money was raised for those victims and families of the Manchester suicide bombing?
BLACK: Not a specific figure yet, but what we're told is to expect that figure to be in the millions. We just don't know how many millions. There's no doubt that money will be supremely useful to the people who have been affected by this. But, of course, there is the greater value that's come to the entire community through this event, bringing so many people together in such a joyous way so soon after the attack itself.
The value of that in some ways probably can't be easily estimated at this point, but I think it's one of the truly extraordinary things about this event tonight. Not just that it happened, not just that Ariana Grande returned, but so many people returned and gathered together in one place like this and showed so much unity. It really was a powerful response to the violence this community has suffered.
CABRERA: So much bravery and resilience shown there.
Quickly, I want to ask about the security, because obviously people were on edge and thank goodness nothing horrible happened. What was the security like?
BLACK: It was tight, obviously. It had to be. It was the big priority here for police and for the venue itself.
Through the day, most of the crowd were lining up, gathering outside the venue and we've seen police officers pretty much everywhere getting into the venue, everyone had had to be searched, one at a time. All bags were examined. It was a very slow, difficult process.
But everyone was really good natured about it. Everyone really good humored. They understood it had to be that way. And their willingness to endure that was another sign of the determination, they felt, that this should all go ahead -- Ana.
CABRERA: I'm curious about exiting because, obviously, that's the time when the last attack happened is when people were leaving. Were there any changes or adjustments made in that arena?
BLACK: No, everyone got out pretty quickly. But again, there was just a huge police presence outside. The police have been out here all day, keeping on eye on everything, making sure that everything was OK, safe and acceptable. So that when the gates did fly open at the end, everyone was able to exit pretty smoothly really.
But we have seen a lot of heavily armed officers who were here just in case. The police were ready just in case the worst-case scenario were to have happened.
CABRERA: All right. Phil Black, thank you so much for that report.
Up next, he was one of Trump's harshest critics when it came to the president's travel pan. How does Washington's governor feel about President Trump exploiting the tragedy to push for his ban? Governor Jay Inslee is reacting to the president, next.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:18:37] CABRERA: President Trump is criticizing the mayor of London in the wake of last night's terror attack. The president tweeting this: at least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of London says there is no reason to be alarmed.
Now, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, did say people shouldn't be alarmed, but not in the context President Trump suggests. Here's the mayor in his own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR SADIQ KHAN, LONDON: Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police and all of us need to do is make sure we're as safe as you possibly can be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: In another controversial tweet, President Trump appears to use the terror act to push his political agenda, writing, quote: We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the travel ban as an extra level of safety.
I want to talk more about the president's reaction and what steps the government can take to prevent other attacks. Joining us, Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
Governor, thanks for spending time with us.
President Trump --
GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: Yes.
CABRERA: -- was elected in part because he's not P.C., not politically correct, because he tells it like it is. Is that what he's doing through these tweets, telling the truth no matter how hard it is to hear?
INSLEE: No, the truth is, is the people of London deserve from our American leadership courage and a commitment to a grand alliance. And what they have been given is just petty politics and insults.
[18:20:05] This is not what we need to help London with now.
The people of London will be uncowed by this cowardly act. They will be undiminished in their commitment to democracy, and we are confident that they are going to succeed just as they did during the blitz when they lost 40,000 people but were uncowed and refused to give up their democratic traditions, and, in fact, were inspired to become more resilient.
And we are convinced that's what the people of London and England and ultimately America will do, but it is not helpful to have a president who can pack more pettiness and willful ignorance into 140 characters than anyone in human history. We really need to stand together against this threat. Unfortunately, that didn't happen today. CABRERA: Now, Republican Senator Susan Collins was asked about the
president's response. Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: The president's reaction to this horrible attack was that he said the travel ban that he's pushed for needs to be enacted now. Do you agree with that?
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I don't. I think that the travel ban is too broad and that's why it's been rejected by the courts. The president is right, however, that we need to do a better job of vetting individuals who are coming from war-torn countries into our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: She doesn't agree with the president's response, but on the issue of vetting, she does think there needs to be something stronger. Is there room for common ground here, Governor?
INSLEE: We should always look for ways to improve our system. But fundamentally, that's not what this is about. This is about a president who said, I am going to ban Muslims from the entry to America. And the fact of the matter is, our vetting system has been quite effective.
Since the original terror attack against America, not one single, not one single person, refugee from these countries, that are subject to this ban has been involved in a terrorist attack. That by and large is because of the effectiveness of our vetting system.
So, we under -- we need to understand why the courts have recognized this for what it is. They will not shield themselves to the truth. The president's own lips incriminating himself like it has so many times.
You know, if you want to look for evidence of the president's failure to respond to the law, you've got to look at what he said. He said he wanted to ban Muslims. He said he wanted to, you know, essentially slow down the investigation to Russia. He's said climate change is a hoax.
CABRERA: I get where you stand on the president here.
INSLEE: I'm sorry?
CABRERA: I get what -- I get where you're going with this. But I want to have a constructive conversation about what can be done. Is there more to protect the people of America that can be done at the state level to try to prevent terror attacks?
INSLEE: Yes, we are in constant coordination with federal authorities. We have a very vigorous effort. Washington state, we're proud of our cyber security efforts. Our Washington National Guard is actually the template for a nationwide effort to protect us from cyber security and threats.
We understand how dangerous these cyber security threats are for any source, including ISIS terrorists and the like. So, yes, we remain very committed to that.
But there's even a deeper and more fundamental weapon we need to use and that's the weapon of being allied across the world in the democracies.
We need to be allied with England. We need to be committed to an open democracy, a sense of a constitutional principles, and that is ultimately our biggest strength against this terrorism, because their weapon is to try to convince people that America stands against any religion. And that is false. And frankly the kind of things that the president has said repeatedly plays into their matrix, plays into their message.
The strongest message we have is, we're going to remain open and respect all faiths, and the true character of our country is was displayed in the two heroes in Portland last week who attempted to save a person who may have been Muslim and was stabbed by, you know, purportedly this anti-Muslim terrorist himself. That's the true character of America. It would be helpful if our president would be in alliance with that true character of who we are as a people.
CABRERA: Governor Jay Inslee, thank you for joining us.
INSLEE: Thank you.
CABRERA: Now, as police comb London in the early hours of their investigation, families peered out their windows, watching the police and praying their families were safe. Up next, we'll speak with a mother who took this video and was evacuated tr her home with her 2- year-old son. That's next here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:29:11] CABRERA: Welcome back.
We're continuing to follow breaking news out of London when seven people were killed in a terror attack. There was chaos and confusion on London Bridge when an attacker began ramming into people with his van. One woman describes this horrible moment when she made eye contact with the driver and what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLLY JONES, EYEWITNESS: At this point, this is when I saw the driver of the vehicle and definitely intentional. You know, he didn't look scared. He just looked focused and I'd almost have to say the word demented. That's what he looked like.
And at this point, that was when he was heading straight towards me. And there was a couple behind me as well. I was aware of this couple because -- and I had passed them earlier on the bridge because they were walking quite slowly and I was late. Another French couple, I noticed them speaking French and I knew they were right behind me.
And I don't know how I did it, or what I did, but I got out of the way. I don't know if I jumped or if I ran. I remember moving and watching the van drive into the couple that were right behind me. And I don't know how I did it or what I did, but I got out of the way. I don't know if I jumped or if I ran. I remember moving and watching the van drive into the couple that were behind me and obviously hit them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It's not clear if that couple survived. Forty-eight people were wounded in the attacks. Thirty-six of them at last check were still in the hospital and 21 of them in critical condition.
Our Saima Mohsin is outside King's College Hospital where many were taken. Saima, what's the latest where you are?
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, there's still a police presence here tonight at King's College Hospital. Earlier in the morning, there were five police vans guarding the entrance here to Accidents and Emergency where those people were brought last night. Police are still patrolling the area. Now, throughout the day, the victims' families have been to visit them. Some of them were there by their bedside overnight as well.
Of course, a lot of hospital staff simply came in because they knew a major incident and a crisis was unfolding throughout London's hospitals across the city. In fact, those 48 people that you mentioned, all seriously or critically injured, were taken to five different hospitals, 14 of them here. One has been discharged.
I'm afraid I don't have much information about the ages of those people involved. Are they adults? Are they children? Or the identities because of patient confidentiality. The hospitals aren't willing to disclose that with.
But I can tell you that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, visited this hospital earlier in the day. We, in fact, saw a flurry of police activity and wondered what was going on. Afterwards, there was a statement released to say that she'd had a private visit with the victims.
She announced there would be a minute of silence on Tuesday and flags will be flying at half mass. In fact, they're at half stop here at one of the buildings across the road from the hospital here already today, marking that sign of respect for the victims.
Now, there are also stories coming to us from those victims who are able to speak and recount what happened, one of them a British transport police officer who tried to tackle one of the attackers just with a baton. He had nothing else to take him on but he did his best. His colleagues describe the extraordinary courage he showed. And then there's a young man, Daniel O'Neill. His mother came out and
spoke to me this afternoon, and this is what she said unfolded where Daniel was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELISABETH O'NEILL, MOTHER OF VICTIM: He only stepped outside the pub for a second, and a man run up to him and said this is for my family, for Islam, looked him straight in the face, and stabbed him. Daniel pulled back, then he went into the pub. He wasn't really aware he'd been stabbed.
Then there were shouts for everybody to get down on the floor. And then he had to go downstairs into the pub and his friends had the tourniquet on him, and they were holding pressure, dragged him downstairs. Parts of it he doesn't remember.
When the police came, two police officers had him in the back of the car. If it wasn't for his friends' quick acting and for the police who've been absolutely fantastic and if they didn't guard him all night, I don't think Daniel would be here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHSIN: Elisabeth O'Neill showing remarkable dignity and composure when she spoke to us earlier today. She also said that she doesn't blame religion. "Thou shalt not kill," she said was the first commandment and it's a rule in many religions.
And she said that these terrorists will use anything as an excuse. It might be religion today and something else tomorrow if they want the to kill. And in a moment where her voice really broke up and really moved me, she said that her son, Daniel, feels guilty that he was one of the survivors. Ana.
CABRERA: Incredible story, the bravery. Saima Mohsin, thank you. The stories coming out of London really are chilling. When people, including the terrorist, fled the scene of the attack, they ran right down Katie Martin's street. She lives just behind Borough Market.
Last night, when all of this unfolded, she was in her modern home with her two-year-old son asleep. She looked outside, she saw armed police on the street below yelling for people to run to safety from that market, and here's what's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold! Hold!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My God!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come out, please! Come out! As quick as you can!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold! Get down!
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Now, things grew increasingly tense as police using laser- sited rifles searched for those attackers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold right there!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold right there!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold! Hold! Hold!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[18:35:13] CABRERA: Scary moments there. Katie Martin is joining us by phone.
Katie, thanks for spending time with us. You know, watching your video --
KATIE MARTIN, EYEWITNESS (via phone): Hello.
CABRERA: -- hearing the bangs on the door. Last night, we were hearing reporting, hearing those bangs, people wondered what that sound was. What was making that sound? What was going through your mind last night?
MARTIN (via phone): I know. At first we thought it was just a fire outside my flat, so we went outside to have a look. And armed police were evacuating the restaurant underneath me. They were yelling, "Get out, get out," and telling me and my mum to go back into my flat and to stay indoors.
We were really confused. We really think there might have been a bomb in the restaurant or something. At this point, we didn't know anything about no attacks or anything, and so we were really confused.
So I just went straight to my bedroom window and just started filming and just listen out and just seeing a sea of people just running towards me, towards my flat by the market. Just falling over, just kind of seeing some people that are quite old are being carried. I think they must've fainted.
I've seen someone carried one guy's body. I don't know if he was just badly injured or if he was dead, I really don't know but they carried him. Six police officers carried him past my bedroom window.
MARTIN (via phone): Yes. It was terrifying. CABRERA: I can only imagine. I know your son, you said, was asleep
at the time, but I understand he woke up because of the commotion. How did he react?
MARTIN (via phone): He did. He was very upset. I had to take him from his bedroom into my living room to get away from as far away from the noise as possible. And then it was just continuous gunshots we heard, eventually controlled explosions as well after about an hour. And then, yes, then started to batter into these warehouse offices as well. And it was just all so loud and it seemed to go on for ages. It was the not knowing that was frightening.
MARTIN (via phone): It's really scary.
CABRERA: Katie Martin, thank you so much for spending time with us, for sharing your story and for sharing your video to help us understand what those moments were like. We appreciate it. Glad to know you and your family are safe.
MARTIN (via phone): That's OK.
CABRERA: Breaking news right now here in the states, security tight in downtown Portland. You're looking at images from Portland, Oregon right now where anti-Trump groups are out in force to protest a so- called Trump Free Speech Rally.
So these opposing rallies happening. Tensions very high right now, even though today's event was permitted in advance and is taking place on federally owned property. It takes place a little more than a week after two men were stabbed to death as they tried to defend women on a train, one of them believed to be Muslim and some anti-Muslim rhetoric coming from that attacker.
CNN's Paul Vercammen is joining us now from Portland. Paul, a lot of residents have said they plan to stay far away because they fear clashes between these opposing sides. How tight is security? What can you tell us about what's happening?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just in the last few minutes, Ana, the intensity has ramped up tremendously. I'm going to step out of frame here and let you look over there.
We heard an announcement come out and it said that there was criminal activity in this park. This is where the protesters on the left side, some of them Antifa or anti-fascists, were shouting at the protesters in the area where we are, the demonstrators who, again, were having a pro-Trump rally.
Police have just moved in and moved these sides even further apart. They did have them separated by this city street, Madison, but now they have walled them off over here. And as you can see from all the helmets and uniforms, these are federal officers, city of Portland officers, Multnomah County officers, and state officers, hundreds of officers who are now sealing off the demonstrators from each other. So far, according to Portland police, we have seen about four or five
arrests. There also has been a number of weapons seized. The Portland police, they had time to plan for this. They said, well in advance, that anything that could be used as a weapon, from a stick to a flashlight, would be confiscated, so they've been very aggressive about grabbing hold of anything that they perceive would be dangerous.
[18:40:06] Let me give you a sense for the other rally here. This was the pro-Trump rally. They were speaking here in this square. This is federal property.
Among other things, Joey Gibson was the organizer of this. He said he wanted everybody to love each other. He said it's OK to be Christian in America. He said he wanted the far right to denounce anybody who is racist, and he wanted the far left to say if someone is being violent or ultra-communist or whatever, they should denounce them. In a way, he was calling for peace on both sides.
So as you look off from the distance, behind me, as I said, they have walled off all of those demonstrators and kept both of these sides far apart. Yes, there's been emotional shouting. Yes, there have been expletives and small objects hurled across, but we have not seen any all-out fighting on the streets of Portland. Back to you now, Ana.
CABRERA: I'm looking at the Portland police Twitter page. Paul, stay with me. They are saying bricks, motors, and other projectiles are continuing to be thrown at officers in Chapman Square. "Chapman Square closed to all," they write.
This is in the last five minutes that these things are happening, taking place. Do you have any sense, Paul, of which side seems to be aggressive? Are the sides fighting each other, or is it a group that is now going up against police? Any idea of who is doing what?
VERCAMMEN: Yes, it would seem to be that these are the protesters in Chapman Square. And as I said to you, among that group of protesters are the left group called "Antifa." And not all Antifa are violent, but the problem that they've had right now is with that cluster of protesters.
So we have not seen any violence among the pro-Trump demonstrators thus far. The action and the activity is focused on the other side of the park. They evenly divided the groups, as I said, by Madison Street here. If you look down the street, as I said, the left protesters were over in Chapman Park, and protesters on the right were in this square that's federal property.
CABRERA: And the police are also --
VERCAMMEN: So that's what's going on right now.
CABRERA: Police also are saying criminal conduct in Chapman Square led to the police action, and they say the crowds at Terry Schrunk Plaza and City Hall are not involved in that police confrontation.
And I understand you talked about, some of your conversation there, with that Trump Free Speech organizer, the pro-Trump side of that rally. And he actually told you he had a problem with the White supremacist who is accused of murder in that train attack just over a week ago.
VERCAMMEN: He did. And we're still seeing projectiles, some being thrown. And what he had said was, look, we don't condone any form of racism. When Christian began to hurl some racist insults at a rally back in April and flashed a Nazi salute, we kicked him out of our rally.
But as you pointed out, Ana, the tension is in the park. There are some projectiles being thrown, and that's the criminal activity Portland police are alluding to.
CABRERA: All right. Paul Vercammen, thanks for being our eyes and ears there on the ground. Keep us posted as that situation, again, is an ongoing incident right now in Portland at a couple of rallies.
And one of those rallies now getting to a heightened level of intensity right now. Police say that some of the folk there are throwing projectiles at them. They have made some arrests. We're going to continue to watch these live pictures. They've also confiscated weapons, according to Paul Vercammen. We'll take a quick break and be back in a moment.
[18:48:07] CABRERA: Breaking news. I want to take you back to Portland, Oregon right now. You see a large police presence out in force at this protest that's so-called "Trump Free Speech Rally." Tensions are running high there in Portland, Oregon, as both pro-Trump and anti-Trump groups appear to be clashing.
CNN's Paul Vercammen is joining us now from Portland. Obviously, Paul, police have now closed Chapman Square due to what they're calling criminal activity. They are saying they will arrest any people who remain in that park. What more are you learning about what's unfolding?
VERCAMMEN: OK. So let's go ahead and look there at the square. What police had told us before going into this rally is that they would use tear gas canisters, which you can hear the loud bang, to try to disperse the crowd. And they have. There's also been reports that there's this brick bathrooms in the square and that some of the demonstrators were seen peeling the bricks off.
I'll give you a crowd estimate if I can. I'd say there was about 1,200, we'll call them, to the left or anti this demonstration in the square that was pro-Trump. And then there was about 500 arch or ultraconservatives in the square, and they're over here in this direction to my left. And their rally has been winding down. They've had some speakers.
We don't want to characterize all of these as being a serious confrontation. There's been a lot of peaceful protests as well. If you look over here across the street, also shouting at the pro-Trump demonstrators, you see Portland Labor Against Fascists and Defensive Immigrants and a lot of other people who have peacefully demonstrated all day long.
And, of course, the Portland police and federal authorities doing everything they can to keep these groups apart, including, right in front of us, three times, some police tape that was just undone. The activity right now --
CABRERA: So there's --
[18:50:04] VERCAMMEN: -- where there's been tension -- I'm sorry, Ana. Again, we'll just show you Chapman Square. So not everybody is out of there yet, but they certainly have made that move to clear the park.
CABRERA: So, Paul, when you're talking about 1,200 or so protesters who are there, again, because there are these two opposing protests -- I mean, I just want to be very clear with who's doing what.
You said that, from what you're understanding is, the people who were there supporting President Trump, calling their rally the Trump Free Speech Rally, they're in an area and that police have not had any problems, as far as you know, with that group. It's another group of people who are right now causing the trouble?
VERCAMMEN: We could probably write a 200-page dissertation on Portland and all of its strata of various protest groups. I'll just try to do this with show and tell.
There were about 500 people over here who are part of the pro-Trump free speech demonstration. What's extremely important to the people of Patriot Prayer when you talk to them is they say that even though you may disagree with their conservative point of view, that they have a right to protest, and they've done so here in Portland deliberately knowing it's a liberal bastion.
Over here, we had many counter demonstrators. And I also showed you these counter demonstrators to my right. I estimate that there's about 1,200 of them. You cannot say that all of the counter demonstrators have been rowdy because they certainly have not been to any degree. Most of them have protested peacefully.
But as you will see in Portland, it's a city with extreme right and extreme left groups. It is often those two ends of the spectrum that butt heads with each other. Something that you may not even understand is Portland, at one point, had a problem with Nazi skinheads. It then had a counter movement of anti-fascist skinheads. We saw their flag here.
So as I said, Ana, it's very difficult to sort everybody out at times here in the city.
VERCAMMEN: It's a city that prides itself, by the way, in allowing free speech. The police saying that they will defend anyone's right to say what they want. Portland wears that proudly, and they've gone out of their way to allow this to continue this week.
And when I ask then organizers Joey Gibson, I said, is it not somewhat dangerous in light of the stabbings on that train and that murder and the vile hate that was espoused by Jeremy Christian, even in court when he said, "Free speech or die Portland"?
He said, look, everything I say is considered dangerous. And what was really interesting is when Gibson began speaking today, he began, as I said, speaking about love. He began saying that conservatives need to dismiss or oust from their group anybody who's not colorblind. And he called on the other side to do the same side, Ana.
CABRERA: OK. Interesting. Thank you for explaining that us to, Paul. Stand by and, of course, keep us posted as that rally continues. Right now, a lot of people still there. Paul describing it as a crowd of 1,200 or so.
I do want to just pass along some information we are getting from Portland police, saying they have now closed Chapman Square because of criminal activity and are planning to arrest anybody who remains in that park.
They say, glass bottles, bricks, mortars and other projectiles have been thrown at officers and that police have used impact weapons -- that's how they described them -- and chemical munitions on protesters who were throwing projectiles at officers. And they also say that people were throwing balloons that had some kind of foul smelling liquid in those balloons.
So there's a developing situation right now in Portland, Oregon. Hopefully, things are now taking a turn for the better. Our Paul Vercammen will stay on top of it for us, and we'll take you back there as we see necessary. Much more on our breaking news right after this.
[18:54:10] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Despite the blow back after President Trump's decision to bail on the Paris climate agreement, Wall Street remains unfazed. This week, the markets even hit record highs.
Here's CNN's Cristina Alesci with tonight's "Before the Bell." Hey, Cristina.
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNNMONEY TELEVISION AND DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. The testimony of former FBI Director James Comey will rivet Washington this week, but it's unlikely to move the market.
Investors have pretty much ignored the drama involving the Russia investigation. In fact, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P all hit new highs last week. That came despite the President's decision to bail on the Paris climate agreement and the subsequent backlash from corporate America as well as a mixed jobs report.
Now, what will investors be watching? First off, the U.K. election results on Thursday. Wall Street is anticipating a victory for Prime Minister Theresa May, but an upset for her or her party could cause a pretty severe market reaction.
One other thing to keep an eye on, Apple. The best Dow performer of the year is hosting a big event. It holds its Worldwide Developer Conference tomorrow. Tim Cook could make an announcement, a competitor to the Amazon Echo, and investors will be watching shares of both tech giants. Ana.
CABRERA: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
We have breaking news right off the top. An increasingly tense scene in Portland, Oregon right now where dueling protests are getting heated. This is some video from just a short time ago. Police say everything from glass bottles to bricks to balloons filled with a foul smelling liquid are being thrown at officers.
[19:00:09] This event began as a Trump Free Speech Rally, then other groups showed up to hold a counter rally.