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Trump on NYC Attack, U.S. Is "Too Politically Correct"; New Details on Manafort, Gates Indictments; New Details in George Papadopoulos' Role with Trump Campaign; FBI Swarms NYC Terrorist Home as Neighbors Talk about Suspect. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired November 1, 2017 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] DAVID GREGORY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Any president is going to have low tolerance for risk. He's expressing the fear and anger of the American people. The fear and anger that Americans have looking at what's happened in Europe with regard to an evolving terror threat. You see a fear-based response. We saw a lot of that after 9/11.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: A lot of what the president said will resonate, especially with his base, Gloria, when he says the Democrats don't want to do what's right for our country. He said, "We have to get much tougher. We have to get much smarter and less politically correct." He kept calling the suspect "an animal. "We need quick justice. We need strong justice," the president said. What we have now, the justice system, he's saying, is a joke, a laughing stock. Then he said he's open to sending this guy to Gitmo and let the West deal with him as an enemy combatant.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, there's a whole lot he piled in there. First of all, he called his justice system a joke. I wonder how his attorney general feels about that. And, yes, you're playing to the base when you say this is a matter of political correctness. This isn't a matter of political correctness. This is matter of being smart. You talk -- supporters talk about the travel ban and people oppose the travel ban as a manner of political correctness. That's not the case. It's complicated to figure out how to do this on our turf. And how to have people in certain communities help us. And what's the point of alienating them, which is what, in fact, the president may be doing. I think this is not a partisan issue. This is a bipartisan issue to try to figure out how to make us safe. I would hope the president is not saying that Democrats don't want to keep the country safe. Of course, they do.
BLITZER: He says they don't want to
GREGORY: -- do what's right for the country.
BLITZER: Normally, after a terror attack like this, horrible tragedy like this, the president of the United States would call the mayor of New York City and call the governor of New York State and express deep condolences and say whatever you need, the federal government is there with you, we'll work with you. As far as we know, up until this minute, President Trump has not called either the mayor or the governor.
GREGORY: That harkens back to a different age in our politics and civic culture. The Trump age is different. We talk about it nearly every day. There's a crassness to him in how he governs the country and leads on the world stage. That's a decision he made. Politics and support or lack of support will play out as it plays out.
What's important here when we hear the president talk, we have experience now since 9/11. We have to be informed by what we've learned through history. Just as President Bush was regretful calling for Osama bin Laden, dead or alive, talking like a cowboy. His own secretary of defense, President Trump's says I don't want to waterboard. Give me a pack of cigarettes and a few hours to interrogate. Let's focus on what works. If this suspect can be an enemy combatant, if working outside of existing interrogation techniques that are afforded to law enforcement, even by according him his constitutional rights as a legal resident, then we can have that debate. We should have that debate.
There are lots of people, including on CNN's air who have the experience, who have been in this terror war for a long time who could focus on what actually works and what doesn't work. Talking about being less politically correct and all that, that's not helpful. That's not leading. That's not getting to solve the problem.
BLITZER: I get back, Gloria, to what the president of the United States said that if he's tried here in the United States, this suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, 29 years old, it could take a long, long time to go through the U.S. justice system.
GREGORY: He could go to Gitmo and sit there forever.
BLITZER: He says, "We need quick justice, we need strong justice.
BLITZER: Then he said -- let me get back to the point. He said the U.S. justice system is a joke, a laughing stock. He said the same thing is going on in Europe.
BORGER: You know, are you asking me to explain that? I can't. I just can't explain what he's saying. What this president does in his tweets and today, is he rushes to judgment. The justice system does not rush. The justice system, yes, you can complain that the wheels grind exceedingly slow. You can say that. But this is a system that doesn't move quickly for a reason. And the president tweets and the president comes out, and says, you know, the system is a joke. We have to send him to Gitmo. We have to do this and that. These issues are complicated. That's what you do in a campaign. You come out. You have something that occurs. And candidates often rush to say, this is how I would have solved the problem. This is what should be done.
BORGER: He's not running a campaign anymore.
[13:35:00] GREGORY: He's not. Look, to a certain extent unfortunately, we shouldn't be paying attention to all of these things. Of course, our justice system is not a joke. There could be information gleaned from a trial if he ultimately goes to a trial. The key thing is how do you find out what the suspect knows about other plots, about how he operated, about how ISIS operates. That's what you want to find out. FBI agents interviewing him are gleaning that information and I would wager that's going to come into the public domain. If you want to put him in Guantanamo like KSM who orchestrated 9/11 attacks, it's because you want to take him off the battlefield. We've been at that game since 2001. It's not working. It's a place to warehouse them. And it's not consistent with our freedoms as a country. That's the key question. How do we learn about what he did and what others might do in the future?
BLITZER: What the president said, and this is amazing, he said, "What we have now is a joke, a laughing stock."
He's talking about the U.S. justice system --
BLITZER: -- because it takes a long time, presumably, to prosecute.
GREGORY: What he's not doing to your point -- look, the president is not going big. When you have an attack like this, what America needs to do is get united. Think constructively. We have to have leaders who pull us together. We have seen that in our recent past. We're not seeing it now. That's unfortunate.
BORGER: Why wouldn't he say we have a justice system. We have the best law enforcement in the world. We have someone now who is alive who can help us figure out exactly how to proceed. We're all praying for people to recover. Instead he goes on the attack because he doesn't want to be blamed for what occurred.
BLITZER: He says Democrats don't want to do what's right for our country.
There's more breaking news. We're getting new information on the investigation into the New York City terror attack, including President Trump saying the suspect brought 23 other people with him into the United States. And new CNN reporting on the Russia investigation, and the campaign
adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts. We're now hearing how the president responded when the idea of his meeting with Russian President Putin was raised.
[13:41:30] BLITZER: Good news from London. Police there say that a cab mounting the pavement in the Covent Garden area was an accident and not, repeat, not terror related. A car accident in London not terror related, but it does underscore how jittery everybody is with vehicles.
Other news we're following, we're learning new details about Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, one of the first people indicted in the federal investigation into possible collusion between the campaign and Russia. Those details, like his possession of three different passports, U.S. passports, may explain why Manafort is under house arrest with bond set at $10 million.
Our justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, joins us with more.
Jessica, what other details are emerging with those passports, and also an issue with a phone?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Prosecutors argued that Paul Manafort was a flight risk. Now we find out why. Not only did he have three different U.S. passports all with different numbers. But he submitted 10 passport applications over the past 10 or so years. Court documents say he traveled all over the globe in the past year. But it was this right here, using a fake name in phone and e- mail when he traveled to Mexico, China and Ecuador over the last year, that is really raising some questions. Prosecutors say they are concerned about that.
Also, in addition, details are coming out about the other campaign aide charged, Rick Gates. Prosecutors say he had 55 bank accounts at 13 financial institutions. Some of those accounts were in Cypress where Gates and Manafort traveled frequently. Both traveling around the world in the past year.
More details just like this, Wolf, could come out tomorrow when both men appear in court.
BLITZER: Is there anything anew on the money? The indictments mentioned $75 million that were allegedly laundered in various ways.
SCHNEIDER: The indictment actually put it this way. It said Manafort, quote, "used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States." But new court filings show that Manafort's net worth is proving tough to pin down. He allegedly put widely varying amounts in different financial documents. For example, last November, he listed his assets totally $25 million, but just a few months earlier, he listed value of assets at $136 million.
Rick Gates, similar story. His personal finances and holdings are also significant, although, they vary. Prosecutors say he listed his net worth as $30 million at a filing in February 2016, different than other times he reported.
Wolf, the vast reported wealth of both of these men did lead to that decision to place them under house arrest. There was concern from the government that they might flee the country if these restrictions weren't put in place.
BLITZER: Manafort with $10 million bail. Gates with $5 million bail.
Jessica Schneider, thanks very much.
We also have brand new details emerging about former Foreign Policy Adviser George Papadopoulos' role with the campaign. The White House tried to downplay his role. The White House press secretary referred to him as a volunteer and claimed he only attended one meeting. But CNN learned that is not the case.
Let's go straight to our senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, on Capitol Hill.
Manu, tell us what else you've been able to find out.
[13:45:11] MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yes, that's not the case. More than one meeting that George Papadopoulos did attend, and that group, that national security group met roughly five or six times, Wolf. And George Papadopoulos came to two meetings, we're told, by a source at the meeting. And at the meeting -- at least two of those meetings were Jeff Sessions. In one key exchange that occurred in a March 2016 meeting when then-Candidate Trump appeared alongside his national security team, George Papadopoulos, Mr. Papadopoulos proposed a meeting between then-Candidate Trump and Vladimir Putin. We have not known how Trump responded to that proposal. We learned from a source in the room the president was open to the idea. He did not rule it out or dismiss it out of hand, even seeming to suggest that it is something he could possibly do. But as the conversation continued in the room, we're told that Sessions rejected that idea and said they should not move forward.
This is raising a host of new questions on Capitol Hill after Sessions, you recall, Wolf, when he testified before multiple congressional committees, saying he did not recall key conversations with Russians. And some Senate Democrats also raising questions about that as well, including Richard Blumenthal and Ron Wyden, saying this earlier today.
BLITZER: Manu Raju, with the very latest from Capitol Hill. Manu, thanks very much. I know you're working your sources.
We'll have much more coming up on breaking news involving the New York City terror attack. FBI agents swarming the home of the suspect. We're now hearing from his former neighbors about what they saw, what they heard. We're getting new information. Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [13:51:22] BLITZER: Breaking news on the investigation into New York deadliest terror attack since 9/11. Police arrested a 29-year-old Uzbek national. The man was shot and wounded by police after barreling down a bike path in a rented truck killing eight people, injuring 11 others, many of them seriously hurt. Investigators have scoured the home in Paterson, New Jersey.
Let's go to our national correspondent, Athena Jones, on the scene.
Athena, what are you learning?
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. We have been here for several hours. When we arrived, the street was blocked off along with a nearby street. We spoke to folks who work in this neighborhood who said authorities became blocking off the street last night.
This is where the attention was focused. A dozen FBI and other law enforcement officials we saw earlier today going in and out of that red-brick building where Sayfullo Saipov lived with his wife and three children. We saw them carrying out various items. At one time, brought out a large rectangular item. And later on, an agent came out with what appeared to be documents. We also saw a couple of FBI agents coming out with a big black garbage bag. They were wearing the blue booties to protect their feet from contaminating the scene, an indication they were searching inside the residents.
The streets have now been opened for a few hours and there is still a police presence. We have been talking to neighbors in this vicinity, several who say they knew of him but didn't know him well. None of them said anything remarkable about him. One man said he was pleasant. A woman who lives two doors down says that she believes she's been seeing him for a year, a little over a year. She believes she saw him taking his children to school on Monday. Didn't see him on tuesday.
This is also interesting, Wolf, we spoke with another neighbor two doors down by the name of Carlos Patesda (ph). He said about six months ago he was riding a loud motor bike, or a dirt bike, loud one, late at night. A couple of Saipov's friends approached him and said it's too loud, be quiet. When things got testy between the neighbor and Saipov's friends, Saipov stepped in to calm things down. This neighbor called him the peacemaker in this incident.
One more thing we learned from Carlos is he always observed Sayfullo Saipov's wife with her head covered and said any women we saw coming in or out of that home were mostly covered, which could be an indication of how much of a practicing Muslim that they were.
BLITZER: I understand, is his wife still there in that neighborhood as we speak? What, there were three kids also?
JONES: Well, it's unclear exactly where his wife is. I can tell you we and several other reporters have gone up to the door of their apartment and haven't got an answer. We also haven't seen anyone coming or going from that apartment for the last several hours now. We do know that law enforcement has been talking with Mr. Sayfullo Saipov wife and she has been providing information. We don't know the full extent of that information or where those interviews have been taking place -- Wolf?
[13:54:43] BLITZER: Lots we still don't know, but we'll be learning a lot more over the coming hours.
Athena, thank you very much. Athena Jones, in Paterson, New Jersey. That's not far from New York City.
Just moments from now, the White House will be holding its daily press briefing. Looking at live pictures coming in from the West Wing of the White House. As President Trump calls the U.S. Justice system a joke, a laughing stock, following the attack in New York City. He's also vowing to eliminate the diversity visa program. There's new information coming in. Stand by. We'll be right back.
[13:59:47] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me here.
This is CNN special coverage of the deadliest attack in New York City since 9/11. Now we had the suspect accused of carrying out the attack had apparently been planning to kill for a number of weeks. New York police say he rented a truck and ran people over using a bike path along houston Street, doing it in the shadow of the World Trade Center's Freedom Tower. Eight innocent people --