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Report: Officials Have FBI Suspects Phone But Can't Access It; Carter Page Floated Idea Of Trump Trip To Russia; Will Atlanta Elect First White Mayor In Over 40 Years. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 7, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED FBI AGENT: I don't know how long it's going to be to be honest with you. It could be a week. It could be months. We just don't know yet.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Just last month, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein criticized technology companies over encryption software. He said, to quote him they enable criminals and terrorists. So, I have with me now Michael Balboni he served as a homeland security director for the state of New York.

And Lance Ulanoff the chief correspondent and editor at large of "Mashable", so general and thank you so much for being with me. Lance let me turn to you first on the technology piece. How incredibly frustrating for investigators and families that they can't access this guy's phone. Can you explain why?

LANCE ULANOFF, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT AND EDITOR AT LARGE, "MASHABLE": Well, basically we have what's called end to end encryption and means the data you have on the phone that's sent back and forth when it's in the phone it's all encrypted. When it goes to the other party it's all encrypted.

And only way to unlock is to have a passcode, touch ID, face ID, some sort of code to get it. Even if you don't, even if you were able to break into the phone it would be garbage for you and mixed up. This is about privacy.

It's the reason people have this is they want privacy. And I thought it was interesting I don't want to tell people which phone to buy might trip up law enforcement. Fact of the matter is that most people already own this phone. Whatever it is, there are many phones out there, iPhones in particular, we've been through this before.

BALDWIN: We have been through this before with the situation in San Bernardino with the mass murder there, the terror attack and terrorists, FBI, in fact I was reading the James Comey quote about how, I think roughly the FBI had to pay something close to a million dollars to a company to hack into that phone to get information.

ULANOFF: Right. So, iPhone 5 C and basically worked and worked and got a hack which means they found some vulnerability to encryption to get in. But you have to know by now is not like the FBI can use that software again, because Apple probably close the vulnerability, and so it is all moved on. Now they have a new problem. And also, that phone right now from the Texas shooting suspect, law enforcement has to be super careful because if they try too many times day can apparently be locked out and make it impossible to get in.

So, I'm sure they are being very ginger with the phone and careful how they treat it. But they are going to I'm sure at some point turn to a company like Apple like Samsung like Google and say hey can you help us.

BALDWIN: We need your help. So, there is the phone piece of this. Then Michael Balboni we have the breaking details on this man, in addition to assault of his wife and cracking stepson's skull was also in a mental health facility, threatened his superiors, apparently tried to take guns onto some Air Force base. I mean, how was this not flagged?

MICHAEL BALBONI, FORMER NEW YORK STATE HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: This is supposed to have been a part of the information that was put into the system to deny this individual the ability to purchase a gun legally. Part of the challenge of course is that just like you have with the iPhone, in terms of protecting people's privacy, you have a lot of HIPA protections what their mental health issues are.

So, you don't have a way to communicate issues surrounding somebody's mental health. What we have here of course is we are trying to find motivation for this attack. And we are trying to prevent it in the future. What we find is our current laws are inadequate to able to address this issue of mental health and violence. It's not something new.

We've dealt with this issue for a very long time in this country. Second amendment right to bear arms. And the right of privacy for mental health information. The two we have not found the right interface to truly prevent somebody from getting weapons that happened apparently in this situation.

BALDWIN: Two senators now, Republican and Democrat trying to get a law on the books that requires the military to add this kind of information to this sort of database, so this can't happen. But let me ask you about this reporting from our correspondent Brian Todd from the sheriff today in the community. So, the sheriff told him that the pastor says he knew the gunman and knew him well. He had attended several church activities and pastor wanted to run this guy out of the church because he wasn't a good guy. Michael, as a former homeland security official, in the whole would have, could have, should have, what could the Pastor have done?

BALBONI: So actually, in my other life as former state legislator in New York, I worked with laws or bills to try to provide for preventive detention and whether or not if you see someone as a risk, whether or not there was something you could do, absent a conviction to perhaps detain someone while they got treatment, and it just did not fly. And this is part of the challenge here. In our current jurisprudence we don't have the ability to say to somebody we believe you are a threat before you do something, that is illegal, do something a violent act. [15:35:00] We don't have the ability except on mental health laws in

many states we can actually put you under observation, and if you are a threat to yourself or to others you can confine somebody. Only from mental health perspective though. And so, we really have not been able to work on this. Because in this case it would have prevented this violence if we could intercede. But in so many cases people acting oddly and perhaps you have some other motivation of the person that is reporting, that's what you have to prevent against. And, again, it's so hard to predict violence in any setting.

BALDWIN: They are working towards everybody in the community asking the why, the motivation, working on it, and they have to get in the cell phone. Michael, thank you so much. And Lance, good to see you again. Thank you very much.

Coming up next, new revelations, new admissions from president Trump's campaign adviser, here is what Carter Page just revealed that is raising even more eyebrows now.


[15:40:00] BALDWIN: We now know that at least two advisers proposed the idea that then candidate Donald Trump visit Russia during the campaign. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee former adviser Carter Page said he was invited to give a speech in Moscow. But lawmakers wanted to learn more about this email that he sent two other advisors about Trump. Quote, if he'd like to take my place on a trip to Russia and raise the temperature, of course, I'd be happy to yield the honor to him.

Page also revealed that he asked the campaign for permission to go on the trip and offered up a read out of any insights sites gained while abroad. So, let's start there. I have with me CNN legal analyst Michael Zelden he is a former federal prosecutor who worked under special counsel Robert Mueller at the Justice Department.

So, Michael Zelden always a pleasure. Let's dive in. We know George Papadopoulos pitched the idea in a meeting. Now we have Carter Page pitch in an email. What does that mean to you?

MICHAEL ZELDEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Just another example of an individual associated with the campaign whether they are technical surrogate or not, we'll see. But they go to the campaign independent of the campaign perhaps, meet with high ranking Russian officials and report back their findings to the campaign.

What the campaign did with that information is unknown to us. But we know enough from the Carter Page visit that the FBI was so concerned that it got an FISA warrant for him because they thought he was acting as a Russian agent. So, it's not so easy to poo-poo his association with the campaign and his trips to Russia.

So, the other interesting thing about that, Brooke, in his meeting in July 2016 in Russia, he does meet with the executives from Rosneft, they got the name wrong in the dossier, but Steele in the Steele dossier said Carter met with that company in fact she did meet with that company. So further confirmation perhaps of the legitimacy of the Steele dossier.

BALDWIN: Let me draw your attention now, Michael, to this frankly bizarre exchange from the testimony. Where Congressman Gowdy asked him to clarify whether he had spoken to Donald Trump. And again, this is the transcript. This is audio made public. So, bear with me. So, Carter Page said this, quote, the only thing I have shared ideas with, never, only thing that could, you know, if someone is really being nitpicker on the legal front is the indirect, you might say people who talked with him, people members of our growing committee, we started off as a very large, you know, small group during the primaries, kept growing over time, some of those people I spoke to may have spoken to him.

Now, my English teacher would have taken issue with that statement, that sentence. You have deposed people before. You have listened to testimony before. When you hear someone respond to yes-or-no question like that, how do you interpret that?

ZELDEN: Well, the first thing I interpret is this is a man who needs a lawyer. He's been representing himself. And, you know, the adage about a person representing themselves has a fool for a client. I think that is what he has here.

That answer was so convoluted it is hard to decipher. But does seem to say, yes, the communications between him went to Trump maybe through a roundabout way, but, yes, the information was flowing back up the chain to Trump. That's how I read the answer as tortured as his English is.

BALDWIN: OK. That's your interpretation. Michael, thank you very much. I thought it was important to read every single word of it.

Coming up next millions of people are at the polls to vote in local races including the incredibly crowded race for Atlanta's mayor. The city could elect the first mayor who is not African-American in more than 40 years. Is race really driving the voters in Atlanta today? Let's talk about that. Coming up next.


BALDWIN: It is election day for millions of you across the country. According to a new CNN poll turns out voters aren't happy with either party.

Favorability for the Democratic party is at its lowest in more than 25 years, only 37 percent of the country actually like the Democratic party. But the Republican party is actually worse off with just 30 percent of the Americans holding a favorable view.

We are of course watching how that translates in the polls today. Results could signal how the all-important 2018 midterm elections will play out. Two key gubernatorial races being watched carefully, first, New Jersey a Republican Kim Guadagno is facing off against Democrat Phil Murphy.

And in Virginia President Trump is tweeting his support for the Republican there Ed Gillespie while former President Barack Obama has campaigned for Democrat Ralph Northam. Meanwhile, history could be made in one of the most contested may or races in the country, Atlanta. Right now, a tight race between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.

[15:50:00] In a crowded field you see here there are nearly a dozen people running for mayor, could be the first time in more than 40 years Atlanta elects a white mayor.

So, with me now Greg Bluestein political reporter for my hometown paper, "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution."

So, Greg, a lot of people refer to Atlanta as a black mecca. It's a city full of affluent black Americans. But how important is it, this issue of race in this mayoral election? How important is it that the next mayor of Atlanta be black?

GREG BLUESTEIN, POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE ATLANTA JOURNAL- CONSTITUTION": It is the cradle of the civil rights movement and there hasn't been a white mayor of Atlanta since 1973. So, there is an undeniable subtext of this race.

When you go out and talk to voters they rarely say having a white or black mayor is important to them, but they say what is important is having somebody that understands their neighborhood, their needs. So everywhere you go, I went to three or four precincts just coming here and were signs out in front of several of them saying vote the black slate, for African-American candidates.

BALDWIN: We have a photo of that. I saw you tweeting about that. Tell me about the black slate.

BLUESTEIN: The black slate, at least according to this canvasser was former state senator Vincent Ford who is one of the five leadings African-American candidates. Really as I said there are five black candidates and they are all

competing for the same portion of the black electorate for the most part. And there are three leading white candidates were all competing for the same portion of the white electorate.

There is certainly some crossover, but you can see in many ways there are two distinct campaigns going on in the north side of the city and the south side of the city.

BALDWIN: There is also a bit of a controversy over this robo call telling people in the predominately white part of town called buck head to, quote, keep the city black and claims it is on behalf of the candidate key Keisha Lance bottoms. Here is the call.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keep Atlanta black. Vote Keisha Lance Bottoms. On November 7th, vote Keisha Lance bottoms to keep Atlanta black.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: That's the call. Let's be clear that Lance Bottoms released a statement calling that call disgusting, offensive, says, you know, nothing to do with them. What's the word on that call? Here is the full screen. And what do you expect the impact to be?

BLUESTEIN: Well, she is the front-runner at this point. She's even ahead of Mary Norwood who has led the poll throughout the entire year from the WSTB poll here in Atlanta. She's disavowed that. Said she has nothing to do with it and called to a state investigation of that. You can see a lot of dirty tricks and a lot of behind the scenes murky tricks going on in the last days of the race. That's certainly one of them.

BALDWIN: Meantime, the white candidate for mayor, you mentioned Ms. Norwood, she nearly won in 2009. There was a run-off with the current mayor, she lost by a couple hundred votes. What is her appeal to Atlantans?

BLUESTEIN: She came within 700 votes of winning this race in 2009. Pretty much since then she's devoted all of her time and energy to getting this day, so she can run again. She has cross racial appeal. Poll after poll shows her one or two or three among African-American voters. She has spent a significant amount of time in all parts of the city, but Democrats have really started attacking her early, saying she was a closet Republican, which could be a bad word in the city of Atlanta, a deep blue stronghold. She says she's an independent. Democrats say she would be their first non-Democrat mayor of Atlanta since 1881.

BALDWIN: You've got a big night ahead of you cover this race and others. Thanks so much.

BLUESTEIN: Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: Just in, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie not going out quietly. Spending the last election of his term arguing with a voter on camera. We've got it for you in a moment.


BALDWIN: Oh, Governor Chris Christie, record low, and I mean record low approval ratings. He is not going quietly into the night as voters are right now deciding who will succeed him. A woman confronted him after voting. He was literally wearing the sticker. They got into it. When the woman asked when he didn't merge a township and a borough during his time in office. Sure enough, as most Christie confrontations are, it was caught on camera.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why didn't you merge the borough and the township?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE, NEW JERSEY (R): Because as governor I can't. I don't have the authority to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Republicans didn't do anything either. I'm an independent.

CHRISTIE: Listen, go in and vote for whoever you want. I never said I was going to merge the two towns. I understand. You're so frustrated. You know what, the easiest thing in the world is to stand where you stand, on the sidelines and critique -- well, you're not. But you're the one here doing the critiquing, so, you know what, you want to merge -- you live in the township, you want to merge them, run for the township committee -- run for the township committee in Mendon township and be the voice to do it. No, I know because that's too hard. It's easier to sit here --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not hard. Nobody cares --

CHRISTIE: It's easier to sit here and complain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have the money like you do.

CHRISTIE: Oh, really? I'm sure. Easier to sit here and complain. But, you know what, that's the joy of public service. It's serving folks -- it's serving folks -- Yes, it's serving -- it's serving folks like you that is really such a unique joy. It really is. You're fabulous.


BALDWIN: Christie told reporters he voted for Republican lieutenant governor over Democrat Phil Murphy. But she has distanced herself from governor Christie. Of course, CNN will be following the key races around the country.

Tune into our election coverage it starts at 7:00 eastern tonight. I'm Brooke Baldwin here in New York. We'll go to Washington now. "The Lead" with Jake Tapper.