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tv   CNN Special Report  CNN  December 19, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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truck, who's still in poland, had said that the driver at some point, he lost contact with him. and that was something that was a great cause for concern. and we have now found out that the person who was found on the passenger seat of the truck, a dead person found there, was a polish citizen. so it's unclear whether or not that was a truck driver, whether the truck may have been hijacked along the way. we do know that berlin police has one man in custody. they're not coming out yet and saying what nationality that person is or whether they're 100% sure that that person was, indeed, the man who was sitting at the wheel when all of this happened. so at this point, unclear whether all of this is terror-related, and whether the man in custody is actually the person that plowed this truck into that very crowded christmas market. of course, as you can imagine, still people here shocked, even so many hours after this happened. of course, this really in many ways a unique and one of the worst terror incidents in recent
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times here in german, john. >> indeed. we still need to learn much more about the man in custody, but we do know at this point, this was a polish vehicle that had made its way to berlin. and there's a dead polish citizen inside that vehicle right now. we just heard from journalist who spoke with the trucking company owner, who noted that it was carrying steel cargo. very heavy cargo to berlin, which no doubt, fred, only made it deadlier as it plowed through that market. >> yeah, absolutely. and that's something that we're also hearing from the eyewitnesss that we've been speaking to on the ground here as well. is that the truck plowed into this christmas market, doing about 40 miles an hour. so it was very fast, obviously, there was no one hitting the brakes in that truck. it just kept on going. and you know, this christmas market, it has a lot of stalls here that are made of really very light wood. so the truck just absolutely applaud through all of those. took out a couple of these decorated christmas trees, and of course, hit many people along the way. and some of the folks that we've
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been speaking to say that there are folks trapped underneath a truck, as it kept moving forward. obviously, also, john, nowhere for these people to escape to, because the pathways in between these stalls, very, very narrow. so you can't make it to either side. when that truck was coming through, and on top of this, of course, it all happened very, very fast. that's one of the reasons, also, why the carnage has been so bad from this incident with now 12 people confirmed dead, and at least 48 people still being treated for various injuries, john. >> at least 12 dead at this point, with so many injured, there are fears that that number could rise. frederick pleitgen in berlin, thanks so much. now to someone who all saw this happen right before his eyes, his trained eyes, we might add, although no amount of training ever prepares anyone for this. january hollitzer is with us. i understand you were on your way home from work and passing
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the christmas market. walk me through what happened next. >> yeah, i heard some noise from the market and when i looked over, i saw some christmas lights, the christmas booths were shaking and people screaming and later on, the truck came out of the market on the street again and, yeah. immediately you have the pictures from nice this year in your mind. that was the situation right there. >> is that what you thought of immediately? you believed this from the beginning not to be an accident? >> no, no, not, but you know the pictures from nice and there was a crowd of people and there were trucks and it was the same situation, like this.
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and, yeah, so you think about it. but it was not exactly in the first moment that i thought about it, that it was an attack or an accident, you know? >> did the truck slow down at all? did it drive the entire way through the market? how far away did the truck finally stop? >> 50 to 60 meters. >> and what was the scene like right after the truck drove through? those images, what you saw must have been horrifying. >> yeah, it was very horrifying. and i don't want to go in detail what i see, the people i saw on the ground and other people who take care of the injured people. and it was really unimaginable. yeah. >> how long was it before emergency personnel got to the scene? they came very fast.
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so, also, the policemen, first aid also on every christmas market. and there are also some policemen who protect. and the rescue team sends police came very fast after this. yeah. >> there were reports that there were two people inside the truck. the driver along with somebody else. were you able to see inside the truck at all? >> yeah. at first the truck on the christmas market, i moved through this booth and all the people were in line there and then i got on the backs of the truck and i went another way, outside, go on the streets, to
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come on the street and see the front of the truck and destroyed glass and destroyed front. and the door from the driver, the driver side door was open. and yeah, i only saw that one person was lying there. inside the truck. i don't know the other person escaped. >> and jan, we understand that these christmas markets are a big part of the holiday season in berlin, in german. what are your thoughts tonight as this place that's supposed to be a place of joy seems to have been the target of an attack. >> yeah, there were no warnings before the christmas market started in german, warnings that maybe an attack could take place on a christmas market in germany
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so now it happens and it's terrifying. it happened like this. it's always incredible how people could do this. >> jan hollitzer, we are glad that you are okay. so sorry you had to be in the middle of this all. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> sadly, this is hardly the first time a vehicle has been used as a weapon. far from it. tom foreman has that. 86 people dead, more than 400 injured. the attack in nice, france, five months ago proved how deadly a big vehicle can be. in that case, it was a huge rented truck, traveling close to 60 miles an hour, plowing through holiday revelers. >> i had a choice to either jump to my right or jump to my left, because the truck was swerving, so i had to make a decision which way to jump.
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i decided to jump to my left and thank god i did, because if i didn't, i would have been dead. >> reporter: purposeful attacks using vehicles have happened plenty in recent yeerars. at the university of north carolina in 2006, a man rams his suv into a crowd. luckily, no one dies. but in the netherlands in 2009, a car slams into a parade and eight people are left dead. in canada, in 2014, a pair of soldiers are run down in a parking lot and one dice. that same year, in israel, a driver veers off the road and steps on the gas to hit people waiting for a train. two were killed. and in france, a pair of incidents, one right after the other, leaves 20 people injured and one dead. in each case, questions of terrorism were raised and the prevalence of such attacks prompted homeland security to issue this warning during the holiday season, a half dozen
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years ago. vehicle ramming offers terrorists with limited access to explosives or weapons an opportunity to conduct an attack with minimal prior training. among the warnings signs, vehicles reinforced with homemade metal plates on the front and large trucks in heavily-trafficked pedestrian areas at unusual times, especially if they're driving erratically. still, just last month, it happened again. at ohio state, a young man ran into a crowd with his car before he was shot by a police officer and became the only fatality that day. >> there is plenty of available evidence to indicate that this individual may have been motivated by extremism and may have been motivated by a desire to carry out an act of terrorism. >> reporter: the simplicity and effectiveness of this attack are clearly why terrorist groups keep pushing them on the internet, knowing all it takes is one radical to get one started, and yet it requires a whole lot more resources to
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detect such a plan or stop it. john? >> all right, tom foreman, thanks so much. more perspective now. paul cruickshank back for the hour. and we are joined as well by former senior cia and fbi counterterrorism official, phil mudd, as well as retired army lieutenant general, mark hertling. paul, i should say, we have a number of developments just in the last few minutes. we learned that this truck originated in poland. that it had gone as far as berlin to deliver whatever cargo it had, although it did not deliver that cargo. and we also know that there's a dead polish citizen found inside the cab of this truck. what else are you learning from your sources tonight? >> well, that this is being investigated as an act of terrorism, though they haven't confirmed that's the case yet, i expect we may have a the determination by tomorrow. they're trying to put all the pieces together here, looking into whether this is a potential hijacking situation in which perhaps is a, polish truck
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driver had his truck hijacked by some kind of terrorist actor who then managed to get the truck to berlin and then drive it into a crowd. but they're trying to put all of those pieces together tonight. they're working furiously, as well, to try to understand if this threat is over or if there is still some threat. they're always worried about follow-on attacks, copy on attacks. isis really have called for these kind of attacks over the last few months, especially after the nice attack, where we saw 86 people being killed. so many similarities between this attack and the nice attack, though in the nice attack, that truck was able to travel a much larger distance. so you saw a much greater fatality rate. in this case, 30 or 40 meters, and a terrible loss of life, but not quite, we understand, on the scale of what we saw play out in nice. >> no, still horribly deadly, though. phil mudd, take us inside the german intelligence operation
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right now. what is the very first thing they are trying to determine? what are they doing or trying to draw right now from this suspect or this man that they have in custody? >> many of these cases, obviously, you have a suicide bomber, so you don't have someone to question. in this case, you have an individual, hopefully he's talking. you're going to ask him two questions. is there another plot out there and are there other plotters out there? meanwhile, if you have his identifying, you're going to acquire data like his phone data, e-mail data, to see whether or not he's talking, whether that data can give you a picture of his inner circle. then, shortly after, in the coming days, you start to ask broader questions. did anybody provide him money? was he radicalized someone? but the first question isn't what happened. i wouldn't ask him anything about what happened in that square. my first question would be, did anybody tell you to do this? and is anybody out there tonight planning to do something that you're aware of? imminent threats are questions, john. >> keeping the next thing from happening first and foremost. darryl hertling, we should mention, you were stationed in germany for a number of years.
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so i'm sure this attack is close to your heart. we should also note that there has been a state department warning over the last several weeks to americans traveling europe to exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets, citing credible information indicating a possible attack. i mean, in many ways, this kind of christmas market is exactly what they were talking about, exactly the kind of soft target that is so vulnerable. >> it's exactly what generated the warning. and as you talk about christmas markets, christian market places during the holidays, it is a social gathering. this is a traumatic event. and every large city down to every small burgh has one of these things. they're normally centered around the church. so when you talk about a traveler alert from the state department saying be careful of these things, you can't go anywhere in europe, not just german, but france as well, where they're not having a christmas market. it is a population draw. it is where the locals go to
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socialize and buy a few presents. it happens every single night the 20 days before christmas. so this is the place to be. usually they're very safe. it's a societal thing. so this truck incident will be a traumatic event, not only in germany, but in the rest of europe where these things take place. >> paul, the general was saying you can't go to a country without a christmas mart. and it's hard to find at this point a nation in europe that hasn't been the target of a terrorist attack just in the last year. city after city now being targeted. >> that's right. and this is the new normal of more than a hundred people being killed in terrorist attacks in europe every year. how sustainable is that going to be in terms of breakdown in social cohesion in europe, real fears about that. but as far as germany was concerned, the system really was blinking red. german officials were speaking of an unprecedented terrorist threat against their country.
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the intelligence pointing towards isis ramping up their terrorist attack planning against germany, directing operatives who they trained and sending them back to germany. but also trying to instigate attacks over social media, over encrypted communication apps, where they essentially walk these people every step of the way, in terms of launching backs in germany. in the last several months, we've had five terrorist plots and attacks connected to isis or where people were in communication with isis. every month, there seems to be a new plot. so this was in the way, inevitable. >> phil, i asked you to take me inside german intelligence a little while ago. now take me inside u.s. intelligence. because i have to believe that our security forces and intelligence services are watching this very closely. what's the u.s. interest? >> a couple things. first, you have to look at proving a negative, which is difficult. in this case, if someone hijacked a truck for this kind
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of operation, my knee-jerk reaction is, this is pretty primitive. the likelihood there's a circle around him is small. you cannot assume that in u.s. intelligence services. so in information sharing means that u.s. and other authorities are asking germans for information about the individual who was driving to say, what's his name, what's his e-mail address, et cetera. to try to prove the negative. that is, that he never had contact with anybody in the united states. and then there's the broader question. did we learn anything about tactics? these kind of tactics that are transmitted through isis and al qaeda publications that will help us secure things in america. it's very difficult to secure something if the target is a broad public place. >> gentleman, thanks so much pip really appreciate it. and i'm sorry it had to be under these circumstances. next, the political repercussions including donald trump's reaction to the attacks in berlin and elsewhere, including the capital of turkey, where russia's ambassador was
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president-elect donald trump weighed in this evening on the awful events today, all of them. today, there were terror attacks in turkey, switzerland, and germ germany, he tweeted, and it's only getting worse. the civilized world must change thinking. he's referring to zurich and switzerland and the shootings at a local mosque there. this is, you might recall, far from the only time he has used twitter to react to events like these. after the orlando nightclub shooting, he tweeted, "appreciate the congrats for being right on radical islamic terrorism. i don't want congrats, i want toughness and vigilance. we must be smart."
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and for the massacre, he said, "they laughed at me when i said to bomb the isis controlled oil fields. now they're not laughing and doing what i said." after san bernardino, "i beat hillary in the new fox news poll head to head. she has no strength or stamna, both of which are needed to make america great again." and after brussels, "my heart and prayers go out to all of the victims of the terrible brussels tragedy. this madness must be stopped and i will stop it." here to explore that aspect of this latest apparent act of terror, trump supporter, jeffrey lord, maria cardona, patrick healey, and "the daily caller's" matt lewis. jeffrey lord, thank you for being with us, all of you, thank you for being with us. the question is, what will be different under a trump administration? these attacks we saw today, both in berlin and ankara, the murder, the assassination of the russian ambassador, they weren't attacks directly on the united states, so how do you seechangi?
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>> well, i think he's going to be very tough. and one of the things i think it's important to bear in mind, a seemingly unrelated event in his efforts to end the cold war. the air traffic controllers, and what was so unusual about this was that the soviet union, which we didn't realize at the time, sat up and took notice. he said,ly fire you if you do this. they struck. he fired them. and he thought, we're dealing with somebody who means what he says. i think donald trump will have opportunities to react and do things and send the message that don't fool around here. we're, you know, peace through strength and by god, i mean it here. >> any president, it seems, in these times will have ample opportunity to react to terror attacks that happen all around the world. >> you're right. >> matt lewis, it strikes me that russia was the target of an attack today. the russian ambassador was kill there had. obviously, donald trump wants to reach out to russia.
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russian is seen, vladimir putin, no shrinking violet, a strong man. but russia is still the target of a terror attack, so obviously being strong isn't the only way to prevent terror. >> you're right. and you could argue in this case, it's a backlash against russia's involvement. but having -- so i think the point is well taken that you can never stamp out all terrorism. and that in some cases, strength actually will create some problems. overall, though, i actually think jeffrey is exactly right. and i think that we have a problem right now, which is the opposite of ronald reagan firing the air traffic controllers. and that's barack obama drawing a red line, and then seeing that red line trampled. and i think it sent a message to vladimir putin, as well as to radical islamists, who in some cases are on other sides of a battle. but they're both adversaries of ours. it sent a message to them that america could be pushed around. and i think with donald trump, that might change. >> just to be clear, and i won't argue u.s. policy in syria, which is certainly open to a
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whole lot of criticism, including the red line there. but this attack, the one in ankara, was the assassination of the russian ambassador to turkey. i don't think it had to do with the red line that obama, you know, the blurry red line, and also i don't think the attack on germany, necessarily -- and again, we don't know who carried this out -- it doesn't look like it had anything to do with that specifically. patrick healey, you know, it is striking, president-elect trump, and today he is the president-elect, today the tone of his statements differ. there's no campaign issue here, so there's no bragging, there's no way to make a political point here. all he essentially tried to say is we need to think differently about terror going forward. >> and we've seen him use twitter in different ways. sometimes he's created distractions from the issues he doesn't want to talk about by going hard at something on twitter. then, also, he uses social media sometimes to draw sort of contrast to president obama to the current administration's policy. i think what he's trying to do is to focus, look like a commander in chief.
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we haven't seen very much of that yet. he's still president-elect. but also, sort of identify that these are global hot spots that have become battlegrounds because of either u.s. policy in syrian, russian policy in syria, turkey has become a place that has become less stable. assist major issue for all of europe. it's such a gateway into europe. and i think what he's trying to do is look for moments where he comes across certainly as in control of someone who could be commander in chief on a world stage, but also be identifying the places in the world where he wants to bring policy change. >> maria cardona, again, the statements he issued on these attacks, they were not about him. and that's a difference. >> it is. >> from the campaign. but there are already liberal critics to his statements today who note, well, he immediately said, these were acts of islamic terror. he immediately said, these were carried out, in the issue of berlin, attacks on christians there. and there are people who say,
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well, we don't know all the facts and he's getting out in front of the facts. on the other hand, based on the patterns we've seen before, you know, his statements would fall into the fact pattern that we've seen in past incidents like this and people could applaud him for his frankness here. >> and it may very well end up being what he said. but the problem is, all of those other tweets and statements where he sort of jumped the gun, he was in a campaign. a campaign is very different than actually governing as the commander in chief and leader of the free world. and this is a difference, i think, that donald trump doesn't quite understand yet, but maybe is transitioning into understanding that. to your point, i did notice the big change in his tweets. they were not all about him. they were about these terror acts and the fact that the civilized world does have to change. i don't think anybody can disagree with that. but i think where we are still looking to see the big question mark, is, he talked so tough during the campaign, you know, saying, i'm going to do this and
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do that and bomb isis and talked about the oil fields, and brought up that tweet, but that wasn't reality. he wasn't governing then. january 20th, he's going to wake up in the white house and he is going to have to govern. what is he going to do differently than what president barack obama has done? >> we'll see in just a matter of weeks. and obviously, these are very complicated issues. >> and i hope he's taking his briefings now, because we clearly see things changing on a minute-by-minute week. >> three a week, the latest we got on that. really appreciate it, guys. up next, the latest on today's other attack. you heard us talking about it. the assassination that took place with a camera rolling. it is now really reverberating across the global stage. there is no typical day.
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all right. we just received late word from ankara in turkey. turkish police arrested a man who fired into the air with a shotgun outside the u.s. embassy there. that is according to turkey's state news agency. the man pulled the weapon from his jacket and fired into the air eight or nine times. video fed by turkish video news agency iha showed a handcuffed man being led by security officers into an unmarked police car while he shouted, i swear to god, don't play with us. shouted that this turkish. the u.s. embassy is in the same neighborhood as the russian embassy and the art guilallery where the russian ambassador was assassinated on monday. he was shot and killed while speaking at an art gallery there. the gunman shotted, god is greatest and don't forget aleppo. it was all caught on camera and the video is, frankly, very difficult to watch. so turn away now if you need to. this is the moment when the gunman opened fire.
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[ gunfire ] [ shouting ] >> reporter: all right, joining us now from ankara, cnn correspondent, mohammad lee, first of all, it's been a very long day from you. you began the day on the turkish/syria border and then rushed to ankara, the site of this attack. what are what are you learning? >> john, first of all, it's interesting you mentioned those locations, because it seems now that this is all connected, and that chilling, chilling video and the braver of ty of the photographers who shot that footage, risking that are lives to do. it's simply incredible. this is a 22-year-old turkish national. he was born and raised on the coastal areas of turkey. he was a police officer, specifically assigned to the riot squad.
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and john, when you watch that footage, that chilling footage, you can see this gunman clearly knows how to use a firearm. that first shot he takes hits the ambassador in the back, a direct hit and the ambassador crumples to the ground. and we know why he knew how to use a firearm, because of that police training. late in the evening, we got word that russia plans to send its own investigators here to turkey, not to conduct their own investigation, but they say to conduct a joint investigation with turkish investigators. and that's important to say, there was some talk earlier about how this attack might drive a wedge between turkey and russia, but it seels as though that is not the case. the messaging coming out of both moscow and ankara today is that they are now on the same side, fighting the same terrorists, because both have been affected by this terrorist attack, very significantly. >> all right, mohammad lila, i think you were still on the syria/turkish border. nevertheless, it's been a very terrifying day for you as events take place in that country.
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joining me now, cnn contributor, michael weiss, a senior editor for "the daily beast" and co-author of "isis: inside the army of terror." let me start with the news we led with this segment, the idea that there was someone arrested outside the u.s. embassy firing shots into the air. we don't have any real information beyond this, other than that the man was shouting and shooting. is it the type of thing where officials are on higher alert, when we see copy cat cases, when he we see follow-up attempts at terror, typically, like this? >> yeah, and also, the fall of aleppo, remember, this is something the cia and the joint chiefs have said, is not just a humanitarian catastrophe for the syrian people, but also a veer krou counterterrorism threat to the united states. why? if you look at what's taking place in aleppo, this is not the assad regime that sacked the city. this is iranian-built militias backed by russian air power and russian special forces on the ground. this is going to be a rallying cry for sunni jihad for generations to come, this
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battle. i've covered the syrian conflict for five years, right? the stuff i'm seeing on social media from people who i consider to be friends, in some cases, cheering the assassination of the russian ambassador, because they see him as a war criminal, as his own form of state terrorist. this is harrowing stuff. we are headed into one of the most perilous sectarian meltdowns that this region has ever seen. and i think that the united states, frankly, has played this very poorly in not anticipating events like this. now, the gunman outside the u.s. embassy shouting "don't mess with us." the assassin of the russian ambassador saying, remember aleppo, remember aleppo. as long as you do this to us, we're going to deliver to unto you. this is only the beginning, john. we are going to see attacks like this all throughout the world. i, frankly, you know, i've said before that with the rise of isis and a catastrophe in syria, a catastrophe that is not containable, that has spread into the european content,
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spread into north america and the united states, affected democratic electorates in choosing politicians, who are going to lead their country, this is a more dangerous time than we saw immediately before, immediately after 9/11. >> how does that jive with what you will occasionally hear from u.s. officials that the territory that isis controls is shrinking. >> it is. >> in jeopardy in raqqah. mosul could be on the brink of falling right now. the caliphate, as it were, is shrinking in size. >> i wouldn't say it's on the brink of falling, the operation to liberate mosul has ground to a halt. nevertheless, they will lose in mosul eventually, but there's some very ominous statistics coming out of iraq. the vanguard fighting force that's trying to retake mosul from isis is known as the golden division. this is iraq's most elite counterterrorism strike force. they've suffered 50% casualties in the three months since this operation has been underway. if this rate continues, they will be combat ineffective within a month. raqqah is nowhere near being
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retaken. as long as isis controls these two population centers, they have a lot of territory. but even beyond all of that, what i'm seeing now, the transformation of this organization from a sunni arab. led jihadist insurgency, it's turning into a european jihad. the guys who lead isis' foreign operations, the head of essentially their cia, an suleman al fransy, he comes from france. he was raised in a town in france. he served in the french foreign legion and fought in afghanistan with distinction. was recipient of a nato medal. his deputy comes from belgium, was imprisoned in iraq for almost ten years, got out of iraq, went back to belgium, spent a couple months and headed straight to syria. this is a frenchman and belgian leading isis' operations. the caliphate is leaning on them. >> we should note we do not have
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any claim of responsibility for isis for the attack in turkey. we don't know if isis is wbehin it. and there's no shortage of people who may have a motivation to carry it out. michael weiss, thank you very much. coming up from us, a welcome retreat into politics. how often can you say that? the electoral college officially chooses donald trump to be president. i'm going to speak to an elector from michigan. that's next. thousand times a da, sending oxygen to my muscles. again! so i can lift even the most demanding weight. take care of all your most important parts with centrum. now verified non gmo and gluten free.
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another step closer to the white house today for donald trump, after the electoral college selecting him as the winner of the presidential election. it was texas that put him over the magic number of 270. now, there had been this long-shot push by trump critics to get electors to go rogue. that really didn't materialize in any significant way. joining me now is an elector from the state of michigan. jim rhodes. thanks so much for being with us. you said you received thousands of e-mails and probably hundreds of phone calls. >> i received probably over 90,000 e-mails. it kind of disrupted my business. you know, i'm a small business owner and you know, no threats, just rude people saying that, you know, trump is not experienced and doesn't know what he's doing, is not a politician. well, you know, what did barack obama do before he got elected? you know, at least you got a guy who is creating jobs and giving people work and who understands
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the economics of this country and the world. >> so, jim, i don't know if you've ever, an elector before, but did you anticipate this kind of reaction when you signed up to run? >> no. there hasn't been a republican elector since reagan in michigan. so this was a first. but with all these people, you know, they had people protesting and they really don't understand the system. in michigan, number one, i'm obligated to vote for the person that wins the vote, the popular vote in michigan. and that was donald j. trump and mike pence. so i, by law, have to vote that way. now, i supported trump, i originally was with carson, and when carson bowed out, i was with trump. i've been with him 100% all the way. i like what he has to say, i like what he's doing. so i was convinced, but technically, i have to still vote for him because he was the winner in our state. and these people that were protesting outside the capital
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have no comprehension. >> some 28 states have those laws against so-called faithless electors. you said you received 90,000 e-mails. that's even more than we get here at cnn. what do they say? what does the average e-mail say? >> basically, they say that i should be looking to not vote for trump because of russian intervention and, you know, facebook postings and, hey, the problem with hillary clinton is she had no message. and she has very bad character. and i mean, from my perspective, i go back to the late '60s, early '70s when he was affiliated with the communist who wrote the book, "rules for radicals." >> let me ask you this. i don't think there's any question that over the last 200 years, that electors don't go faithless by and large. but i'm curious, as an elector yourself right now, what's your reading of the constitution and the 12th amendment, where it's
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written how the electoral college works. because as written, and if you read what alexander hamilton wrote at the same time, it does seem that he intended the electoral college, the people who are members of it, to vote how they wanted. >> well, it was meant to have a little more flexibility, but through the years, it's been clarified. i think that i just read the several books on this stuff and i think that those -- the founding fathers were geniuses and most people can't comprehend how much, how much it took to make sure that small states and large states had the same say in the election. i mean, you know, these people who are out there and the people that are writing to me and e-mailing me and calling me on my phone, yi don't know how the get my phone number, but they're saying that she, hillary clinton, won the popular vote and the way i look at it is, in
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a democracy, you got 100,000 wolves and 999,999 sheep determining who's going to be lunch. you know who that is. so one more than half should not rule and it's not intended in the constitutionally limited republic. >> jim rhodes, thank you for being with us. on behalf of your e-mail box, glad you'll have some peace and quiet in the coming weeks. coming up -- >> well, i got home from the thing here tonight and i had a whole thing full of letters, too. >> that's what delete, delete, delete is all for. coming up for us, first lady michelle obama reflects on her past eight years in the white house and whether she would ever consider running for office. her answer to oprah winfrey, that's next. on sketchbook,e and i'm going to draw mustaches on you all. using the pen instead of fingers, it just feels more comfortable for me. be like, boop! it's gone.
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first lady michelle obama says the presidential election was challenging for her to watch and painful as a citizen for her. she sat down for an interview with oprah win friday. she reflected on the past eight years and what's to come next. >> what do you think your greatest impact as first lady has been? >> that's hard to say. that's one of those, i'm really good, and let me tell you how. >> you know, i -- probably the greatest is just one of the greatest things when i see young women, particularly african-american women but young women generally seeing somebody educated, strong, outspoken, just seeing that on a regular basis. >> that's exactly what i said on the way here in the car.
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>> what did you say? >> i said, your just being here, being who you are, being yourself, and allowing the rest of us to see that made us feel that whatever it is you were, we couldn't be that, we couldn't be in the white house, wen watted a little bit of that for ourselves. >> the people seriously think that you are going to run for office. >> i don't think people take it serious seriously. hope is good. just that reaction -- >> would you run for office? i have to ask you. >> no. >> no kind of office. >> that's one thing i don't do. i don't make stuff up, i'm not coy. i haven't proven that, i'm pretty direct. if i were interested in it, i don't say it, i don't believe in playing games. it's not something i would do. it speaks to the fact that people don't understand how hard
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this is. it's not something that you cavalierly sort of ask a family to do again. >> back again now with maria cardona. we just heard that sound for the first time, i have to say, that was sherman-esque, if you're going to say you're not going to run for office, that is how you do it. not this i have no intention of it, no plans to run for office. no, no, i'm not going to do it. >> she means it. it would be the end of her carefully constructed and winning image, and this new territory that she's carving out for herself as a moral voice. a nonpartisan moral voice for the country. >> let's talk about new territory. you get the sense that her life starting january 20th at 12:01 is going to be a lot different than she may have been planning for. >> it's a different world. she i think was planning on a
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genuinely private and quiet retirement. and the last six months have changed her trajectory and our nation's. i think now she cannot retreat, she's found our voice. she sees what a necessary voice it is that people are looking for hope. she provides that, she's a role model. she's not only to african-american women, but first of all them. i think now to all women, even my son now considers her a great role model for parenting, for marriage. there hasn't been a hint of a rumor of scandal or corruption. any of that. eight years of good behavior in the white house. by the way, since i write about white house history, is nearly unprecedented. >> what do you think she's going to do? >> that is the question we're all waiting to hear. i have to assume, and i sense that whatever she does it's
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going to continue her legacy in strengthening and empowering women and girls. she started the office of women and girls in the white house. everything we've talked about is really toward being the role model for young women these days. she just mentioned it in the clip that you ran. sure, for african-americans, for all women of color, but for girls in this country who always go through such a difficult time, no matter what their background is, especially in the age of social media, right? women and girls go through such difficult times when they are trying to find their voice. here is somebody who found her voice, and perhaps the most difficult forum that there is, and she lived it authentically. >> i think we have time for when the first lady was talking about raising her daughters inside the white house. let's listen. >> now, the teenaged years, this is the time when kids start to bristle against all kinds of authority. >> push back. >> imagine being 18, 17, 16, 15,
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and you've got at least eight men with guns driving you around. walking into your parties, not letting you ride in your friends cars. i mean, there were those tensions for sure, we had to work through. but as i reminded my girls, these aren't problems, okay? >> or at least they're some very high class problems. >> they're high class problems. >> i have too much security. >> because of where we come from, we couldn't sympathize with their -- it's like, girl, you live in the white house. >> i was disappointed when the daughters didn't show up to their final turkey pardoning this year. but at the same time, you know, these are young women. at a certain point -- >> and by the way, the white house is not a good place to raise kids and the obamas, i have to say this, they have done an extraordinary job of protecting and nurturing and
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enabling these magnificent young women to become who they are. normally, presidential couplesnd to be entirely focused on the presidency, and they make poor parents historically. again, in the -- we were talking about michelle, the role model, i mean, this is -- she has shown us not only what a modern marriage looks like, because she and her husband clearly have an extremely close -- and i would say even romantic relationship. but modern parenting. >> let's hope that going-forward, presidential parents are accorded the space they need to raise their children. >> thanks so much for being with us. it's been fun. we'll be right back.
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that does it for us. cnn tonight with don lemon starts now. a possible terror attack kills at least 12 people in berlin. and russia's ambassador to turkey assassinated. this is cnn tonight, i'm don lemon. a tractor-trailer plowing into a crowded christmas market. sending shoppers for their lives. at least 48 people injured. the suspected driver is in custody. german officials

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