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Trump Doubles Down on Travel Ban In Tweetstorm; PM May: Police Know Identities of Attackers; Learning More about London's Victims; Interview with Liam Conwell, Trapped in Restaurant During Attack. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired June 5, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: He then said, "The Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered-down, politically correct version they submitted to the Supreme Court." Your thoughts?
LISA MONACO, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Alisyn, I joined a group of bipartisan national security officials to criticize this ban, both its predecessor and the current one, because I don't think from a national security and counterterrorism perspective it gets at the problem and, indeed, it could make it worse. We don't know the identity of these attackers yet. The British officials, I think, know their identities. They've not released that information yet so we'll have more to analyze about that.
But what we do know is the last two attacks before this one in Britain were conducted by British citizens. We also know that there has never been an attack in the United States since 9/11 by anybody from the countries that were listed in this ban. So the bottom line is it doesn't get at the problem that we're confronting here which is, in many respects, inspired violence or homegrown violence --
CAMEROTA: Yes, and we just --
MONACO: -- and homegrown extremism.
CAMEROTA: We just don't know. That's the answer.
CAMEROTA: We just don't know because the Brits do know. They say the identity of these attackers from Saturday night but they're not releasing them to the public. But if, let's say -- play this out for me, Lisa. Let's say they come from Syria. Why not ban, temporarily, people from Syria, as the president wants?
MONACO: Well, there's a few things, Alisyn. First, let me say we should always constantly be evaluating and looking for ways to increase the rigor of our vetting procedures. It's something we've done over the last several years, constantly adding new measures. Measures that are driven by what the intelligence tells us where the gaps are and then very -- in a very targeted way attaching new procedures to those gaps. This does not do that. It's a blanket ban and the problem with that is we need to work with our Arab allies, our Muslim allies, our Gulf partners, and doing so it makes it a lot harder to do so when you attach a very blanket ban to individuals from all -- from a whole set of countries that are Muslim-majority.
The other issue here is we need to work with communities and by attaching a ban to a whole faith, in essence, it is going to make it a lot harder to have trusted relationships with those communities and ultimately establish the relationships that we need to get at the problem of homegrown violent extremism.
CAMEROTA: OK, now on to the nuts and bolts of your counterterrorism experience. How do you stop a terrorist from taking his car and mowing down a group of people?
MONACO: Well, Alisyn, you've hit upon what is a really incredible challenge for our law enforcement counterterrorism and intelligence officials in what we're seeing as this new trend of low-tech terror. We have seen now a number a number of these vehicular terrorism and terrorist attacks using everyday items -- household items. It is a response, quite frankly, to a call by ISIS over the last couple of years for individuals to attack wherever they area. And it poses a real challenge to law enforcement because you need to figure out how to get into between, in a very rapid way, when something goes wrong in somebody's mind and they move to radicalization to violence, and that's extremely hard.
The things that we can do and that we are doing certainly in this country, I would say are three things. One, working with communities. It is only in communities that you're going to be able to identify individuals who are becoming radicalized to violence, so we need those trusted relationships with influential leaders, whether it's coaches or teachers or --
MONACO: The whole set of community leaders. We also need to focus on increasing our presence and that's something you see. You see it in New York, you see it in Washington, D.C. A much more visible presence of law enforcement out on the streets, particularly at big gatherings, particularly around soft targets to potentially deter individuals who may be plotting or casing that particular location. And then, we have also employed kind of extending perimeters out at those locations. At the end of the day, though, as you see, terrorists will react to that as we saw in Brussels.
MONACO: You make it hard to get on a plane and they'll attack the exterior of the airport.
CAMEROTA: So when Prime Minister Theresa May says that the internet has become a safe haven for terrorists and that enough is enough and we need to crack down on that, is it possible to shut down their communications on the internet better than we have been?
[07:35:03] MONACO: Well, we can do more and the internet service providers and the platform companies can do more and we've been working over -- the United States government has certainly been working with companies to do better in this area. But at the end of the day, this is a very difficult problem. It's a bit of a whack-a- mole situation in terms of trying to get at communications on the internet. There's no way you're going to suppress that and it poses very real questions of free speech and issues of freedom of expression.
Now, Prime Minister May, who was Home Secretary for a number of years before she became prime minister -- and that's the position in the British government that is akin to the Homeland Security secretary and the attorney general all rolled into one -- she has been focusing on this issue many times. And I met with her many times in my former job. She's been very focused on this question of online radicalization.
At the end of the day, this is going to have to be a partnership between governments, both here and in Europe, working with the companies that operate these platforms and know them best. And who, at the end of the day, are also patriots who don't want to see their platforms abused.
CAMEROTA: That is what she is calling for.
Lisa Monaco, thank you for all of your expertise. Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, some really big developments this morning. We are told that British authorities know who did these attacks in London. But they're not releasing the name. Why?
And then, of course, Donald Trump seeing London as an opportunity to target Muslims with his travel ban. Is that the right move? Christiane Amanpour next.
[07:40:25] CUOMO: British Prime Minister Theresa May says police know the identities of the terrorists who carried out the deadly London terror attack that took seven lives and injured dozens, many of whom are still in critical condition and fighting for their lives.
So why not release those identities? Joining us now is CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour. Let's discuss that and then of course the major development back here in the U.S. with Donald Trump making clear exactly what opposing counsel wanted to hear -- his executive order on travel is a ban.
But let's start with Theresa May and not releasing the names. Why?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's standard operating procedure here. They just don't do it until they feel that they have got all the surrounding bits of the puzzle together, or until they feel they are safe to release the names so that other people don't flee or do that kind of stuff. We had the same in Manchester. If you remember, there was a great deal of consternation when the name and other issues were released by the press. To be frank, the press has some of these names; they're just not
releasing them, and that is because of the order that's under way. They have already 11 people in custody, raids have been continuing even earlier this morning, and women are in custody as well. So obviously they're trying to figure out whether this is more of a conspiracy, a neighborhood plot, a plot between friends, associates, whatever, so they can say, as I say, tie up all the loose ends before they start putting stuff into the public.
CAMEROTA: Let's talk about how they are going to conduct that investigation. Because Prime Minister Theresa May just had a statement, she just gave a statement on camera at 10 Downing Street, and she was asked by a reporter there. There are something like 20,000 fewer police officers --
AMANPOUR: That's true.
CAMEROTA: -- on the street. And the implication was maybe there aren't enough detectives or there aren't enough police officers that this situation now that they're living in warrants. What's the situation -- what's the status of that?
AMANPOUR: Well, here's the thing. Here's the thing. The prime minister has been in office for a year. Before that, she was six years as Home Secretary. That is the department that deals with police and terrorism and counterterrorism and immigration, all of those kinds of things. So she's facing a huge amount of heat. And for many years, including yesterday, including after the Manchester attacks, we heard and I've been speaking to law enforcement, former Met police officials, who've always said that, you know what, we've had 20,000 police cut from the beat.
Now, this is not counterterrorism. Whenever you put this proposal to the authorities, they say hang on a second. We haven't -- because of austerity or any such thing -- cut into the counterterrorism budget. But they have cut into the police on the street. And as you know, one of the things that acts as deterrent, as eyes and ears on the street, you know, as lookout, as early warning systems, is the patrolling of ordinary police on the street. It has ever been thus here in England.
And so I've been, you know, told by many chiefs and deputy chiefs that they want to talk about resources again. In fact, Cressida Dick yesterday, in her first statement, said this is going to cause us to talk about resources, because these things are hard to predict and even harder to prevent.
CUOMO: So President Trump has his moment on Twitter where he first decides to go after the mayor of London and has a sensitivity misplay. But now comes back to U.S. policy and says, despite all the spin from the White House and claims of fake media for calling the executive order on travel a ban -- he says it is a ban and he wants the original one, Christiane. We remember that one -- the one with a carve-out for Christians and the stronger language that seemed to clearly target Muslim- majority populations. What do you think the impact is?
AMANPOUR: Well, I think the impact is going to be yet more, you know, legalese in the United States and probably more protests and more conversations the likes of which we're having. Yes, that language is actually really important. And we were all saying Muslim ban before. And we were told no, it is not a Muslim ban; it's this and that.
But this has a huge impact in how police and others are trying to -- and authorities are trying to, certainly overseas anyway, are trying to figure out how best to deal with these issues. And the one thing we hear all the time is that, A, the threat that we have faced here in Europe and also in the United States is not from people coming from outside. Not since 9/11 has there been a major attack from people coming in from outside. That piece of the puzzle has sort of been taken care of.
And as you know, the amount of vetting into the United States by any people from Syria or Iraq, any of the refugees, any of those who may be coming in, is humongous.
[07:45:07] It takes up to two years of multiple vetting by all the relevant U.S. and U.N. and other agencies, including agencies on the ground in places like Jordan and all the rest of it, to vet people who just want to come in for asylum reasons. And that is something that the U.S. does incredibly well and incredibly exhaustively.
So people in law enforcement are concerned that these kinds of ideas muddy the waters when you're actually trying to get to the heart of the matter, and trying to figure out how to stop this homegrown stuff. That is the crisis that we're facing right now, this morphing level of homegrown -- first it was lone wolves, and now it's back to low-tech potentially conspiracies
CAMEROTA: All right, Christiane Amanpour, thank you very much for bringing us up to speed on everything that's happening in London.
CUOMO: All right, so we're going back and forth between these two emerging stories here -- what happened in London, and we'll have an eyewitness to the terror attack there. He live-tweeted his experience, went above and beyond to help one of the victims. That story of resilience and what President Trump just did in calling his travel ban a ban and wanting the original. What could that mean to the Supreme Court and to the policy? Ahead.
CAMEROTA: At least 36 people are being treated in London hospitals, 21 of them still in critical condition after this weekend's deadly terror attack.
[07:50:06] CNN's Erin McLaughlin is live at King's College Hospital in London with more on the victims. What have you learned, Erin?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alisyn. Well, we are beginning to learn more about the victims who died in this horrific attack. Chrissy Archibald is the first victim to be named by her family. She made it her life's work to help the homeless. She had moved to Europe from Canada to be with her fiance. She was with her fiance on the London Bridge that tragic night and was struck by the terrorist van and killed, despite the efforts of the medical services, who worked furiously to save her life. Her family releasing a statement saying that she was beautiful and loving and would never have understood the kind of callous cruelty that claimed her life.
But for all of the darkness that was there that night, we're also hearing of incredible acts of heroism. There's the journalist Geoff Ho. He was at a restaurant enjoying drinks when the assailants arrived. He intervened to help a bouncer, was stabbed in his neck, and walked away, ended up surviving, being treated by medical services. We understand from his paper that he is going to be OK.
CUOMO: All right, Erin, thank you so much. There are a lot of hard stories going on in that hospital. Stay on it. Come back to us when you have any developments.
So witnesses are describing the moments of sheer terror in London on Saturday night. Many were trapped inside bars and restaurants as police were hunting terrorists. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are (INAUDIBLE) to remain calm, remain seated, OK? If armed officers come through, I need you to get down on the floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: That video was shot by Liam Connell, and he joins us now. Thank God you are safe. It's good to have you with us. How are you feeling today?
LIAM CONNELL, HELPED VICTIM OF TERROR ATTACK: I'm good. I'm good. It's been a mad few days but, yes, no, I'm doing all right.
CUOMO: Well, I'm sure it's going to come at you in waves, what you made it through with your friends and others in this situation.
What were you thinking when you started to record and what you were hearing and what you thought was going on? Tell us.
CONNELL: I mean, when it first started, we were just being evacuated by staff. There was no police at the time. We were then told it was safer to stay inside. We were actually in a basement level rather than on the ground, so we didn't hear any sort of -- anything from outside.
As it progressed, I started to see a few policemen. Sorry. And then it wasn't until armed police came and we had to drop to the ground that we kind of started to realize this was a big thing. At first, I myself didn't actually think it was a terrorism attack. I was saying to my friends, oh, it's probably just a solo incident. But it became clear very quickly that it was.
CUOMO: What did you think was happening? And when you learned about what it actually was, what did that mean to you, when you were out there?
CONNELL: I mean, I just started filming and I think that was very much a welcome distraction. But armed police (INAUDIBLE) if there was any armed police, we had to drop to the ground. And it was very scary in terms of having to text family and friends and telling them that we're OK and sort of sending out that (INAUDIBLE). But the police were always there. They very much made us feel safe.
I think it started to really sink in when we saw someone who had been attacked.
CUOMO: What did you see and how did you help that person?
CONNELL: So one of my friends turned around to me and said that they thought that someone behind me had been involved, who must have been outside. So I went over to him with my phone in my hand, but then as soon as we saw that he had been injured, I sort of just put the phone down. My friend sat him down and started to calm him down as I held like a bandage to his neck. And he was just telling us he'd been stabbed. He was very much in shock. But we just kind of wanted to make sure that he was OK and I was just holding this bandage to his neck. He clearly had been stabbed -- he had like some sort of wound, I didn't see the wound. It wasn't like he was gushing blood, but he had been stabbed and he was in a bad way.
CUOMO: Well, you did the right thing in that moment, helping him out. Have you learned how he is now? Did he wind up going to hospital or is he OK?
CONNELL: So at the time, I said to the police officer there, you need to get this guy an ambulance, but he was saying that the roads were closed.
[07:55:02] And within a minute, I think, he was taken away with paramedics. I mean, I've kept a lookout but I haven't seen too much. So hopefully he is OK. I know obviously a lot of people weren't lucky enough and have unfortunately died, but me and my friends are just really, really hoping that he is OK.
CUOMO: So you've had a spate of attacks now, two, three in recent months. What does it mean to you guys there about why this is happening and what it means about the safety of daily life?
CONNELL: I mean, daily life will just go on. Everyone's been so lovely and so supportive. I've had loads of messages myself. I've spoke to other people who've been affected and we all -- the people I've spoken to all feel the same way. You get on with it. There's signs all around London offering support. There are people laying flowers. Obviously we've got the vigil tonight. So, yes, I think we'll just carry on, carry on like normal as London does.
CUOMO: And what do you think these attacks are meaning for that social fabric that connects all the different people? We're hearing that victims came from a lot of different countries. But the idea of extreme Islamism, and the impact of Muslim-based terror in society -- as you well know, the U.S. is wrestling with this about what to do about that, and the relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims.
What does it mean there, where you are, as far as you know?
CONNELL: I mean, a lot of the people who helped out, a lot of the people who intervened, were from all different backgrounds. Even myself, when I was texting friends, I had Muslim friends texting me to make sure I was OK and still offering support. So I mean, I hope it doesn't really change anything. And I think it wouldn't. Everyone is offering support. You've got loads of different religious groups coming around offering tea, coffee, water, anything to people that can help.
CUOMO: What do you think the right reaction is in a situation like this?
CONNELL: I think the right reaction is just to talk about it, to share your experience and show that, yes, this happened but we are getting on with it. It's worth it to carry on, to come back to London. Like, obviously it happened Saturday night. I came back to the area yesterday; I'm back today. Me and my friends are going to go to the vigil tonight just to sort of show some solidarity and just be London.
CUOMO: Just be London. We saw that play out in true beauty with that Manchester concert. How important was it for Ariana Grande and all those other stars to come back and have tens of thousands there singing and showing that life goes on?
CONNELL: It's the main thing. I mean, after things like this, you can't just sort of let it ruin everything. You know, you need that sort of solidarity. You need that support that everyone has provided, both in person, in the city, online, just everything. Things like this are important.
I mean, where I am now there's flowers everywhere. There's people being lovely. And there's so much support as well for the police because the police were incredible, they were absolutely incredible the other night. A lot of us have the police to thank for our lives -- and not even just for our lives but making us feel safe. Like, when we were in the basement, we were told you guys are all safe and everyone started cheering and I just think that's incredible.
CUOMO: It really is. The idea that authorities, from the time they heard about this first incident of a vehicle striking people, to when they took down the attackers, just eight minutes.
Well, Liam, I'm sure they were the longest eight minutes of your life, but thank you for doing the right thing when you saw someone was injured. And good luck to you going forward. Appreciate you telling us your story.
CONNELL: No worries. Not at all. Thank you.
CUOMO: No worries at all. Liam, be well.
All right, we're following a lot of news. There's investigative details coming out of London. President Trump just changed the game in the analysis of his own executive order on travel. Let's get after it.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY and we begin with President Trump clarifying the intent of his blocked travel ban. In several statements this morning, President Trump is contradicting his own cabinet members and press people by saying his executive order on immigration is in fact a travel ban. He also says his Justice Department should not have watered down the original version that prioritized the Christians.
[08:00:00] CUOMO: Gave a carve-out to minority religions, and that was seen as a major indication of the true desire of the ban, which was to target Muslims.