tv State of the Union With Jake Tapper CNN November 15, 2015 9:00am-9:31am PST
republique. extensive coverage throughout the afternoon here on cnn. "state of the union" with jake tapper starts now. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello i'm jake tapper in washington, d.c. where the state of our union is on edge. the breaking news this hour. a french counter terrorism source telling cnn that terrorists who were directly involved in the paris terrorist attack may still be on the loose. 129 people were killed and 352 were injured in friday's coordinated attacks. rapidly unfolding developments as police all over the world are hunting any polices who may still be at large. seven people have been arrested in belgium in a raid, although none have been charged. several ak-47 rifles were found
in this abandoned car many a paris subpush. the first suicide bomber to blow himself up was smuggled -- smuggled himself in rather embedded with syrian refugees. we're live in paris. christiane you spoke this story this morning. what more do we know about how this terrorist snuck into the country? >> well, it is very clear from french authorities and i've seen diagrams and itineraries, that the person who blew himself up at the stade de france did have a syrian passport. that's what he showed when he came to greece. in greece, he was given additional documents that legalized his status as a refugee because he claimed to be a refugee. so he was given those documents. then his itinerary shows that he
went to macedonia, serbia, croatia and then to italy and then somehow came here. there's been a lot of talk about the whole belgian connection. that's op the border. maybe he came in from belgium. again, to reiterate, the cadaver that was cleared up after blowing himself up, the finger of that cadaver matched the paperwork that the french say is attributed to him. that's how they know this was this person. they strongly believe, they say there's no doubt he was part of an organized ring of infill traitors into the refugee people coming over to greece by boat. and because his fingerprints were not in any known french data base. so he was somebody new to the french authorities. totally different to the french
national who was one of the killers at the bataclan. this other person was not own. the other two suicide bombers at the stade de france stadium were apparently carrying false turkish passports. long planned, sophisticated infiltration. they said we will sind our fighters to your cities with these masses who are fleeing syria. >> isis warned they would attempt such a thing. the pope who has called for europe to take in all of these hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees also warned that there might be infiltration. in just minutes, the church bells will ring at notre dame cathedral. this will really be the first
major public gathering we've seen. what's the mood among the people of paris? what are you picking up? >> i mean, there's sadness, there's defiancdefiance, anger, resolve. there's different moods depending on who you talk to. what's extraordinary is the desire for people to come out. there are cafes open under guard, i saw earlier today. one man i was talking to said, look, we have to do this, we want to be sitting outside on the street. this is a way of fighting back. the people who are here, at the place de la republique, they have been coming here all day long. there have been thousands of people here filtering through throughout the day hugging strangers, complete strangers hugging each other on the street. there's a real sense of defie
yans and unionty as well. >> the people told us they were going stir crazy sitting at home, getting more frightened staying at home, and wanted to express themselves with other people around. >> there may very well be somebody else, at the very at least one, maybe more, who were involved in the attacks on friday night who are still on the loose. not just others who maybe helped plan, but somebody who actually drove that vehicle that is believed to be the vehicle used in a number of attacks on restaurants. so all these people are gathering even though they know somebody involved directly in the attacks may be out there on the loose. >> in paris, thank you so much. we have breaking news this morning. as you heard from christiane amanpour, at least one of the
terrorists smuggled into france from syria. clearly this is a heart breaking humanitarian imperative at stake. >> i think we need to lead as it relates to taking action in syria and iraq to eradicate isis from the face of the earth. that should be our first and foremost responsibility. as it relates to the reef gees, i think we need to do thorough screening and take a limited number. but ultimately the best way to deal with the refugee crisis is to create safe zones inside of syria so that people don't risk their lives and you don't have what will be a national security challenge of screening. in addition, i'd say there are a lot of christians in syria that have no place now. they'll be either executed or imprisoned either by assad or by isis. i think we should have -- we should focus our efforts for the christians being slaughtered.
>> how does the united states, how do screeners tell which refugees are christian and which ones are not? >> well, we do that all the time. it takes almost a year for a refugee to be processed into the united states. i think we need to be obviously very, very cautious. this also calls to mind the need to make sure we protect our borders, our southern border particularly. we need to focus on count counterterrorism capabilities. this is a threat against western civilization. and we need to lead. the united states has pulled back. when we pull back, voids are filled. they're filled now by islamic terrorism that threatens our country. >> what would you be doing differently that president obama is not? there are obviously bombing campaigns going on in syria. they killed jihadi john just a few days ago.
what would president bush be doing? >> i would first have a strategy. the president has admitted he does not have a strategy as it relates to isis. hillary clinton said last night it's not our fight. it is our fight. without a leadership building a coalition, it won't happen. creating a strategy means that we create a no-fly zone, create safe havens for the remnants of the syrian free army to be built up. we lead by getting our arab allies and friends to be able to support one fighting force. both of -- both isis and assad need to be taken out which means that we need a concerted effort by europe, the united states and the arab world to create an alternative to the brutality exists so that there can be hillary clinton. >> the democratic candidates gathered last night in iowa for their second debate. >> we have to look at isis as
the leading threat of an international terror network. it cannot be contained. it must be defeated. >> how would your approach to isis differ from hillary clinton's? >> well, she says that, but then she says -- later in the debate she said it wasn't our fight. the difference would be, as i spoke to months ago, we need a strategy. and american leadership is desperately needed there. we need a no-fly zone, we need to create safe havens. provide direct support for the kurdish forces. a strategy requires listening to the commanders not tieing their hands behind their backs. not having lawyers on top of every sorty that goes out. this is a war and we should act accordingly. >> does that mean you think we should send more troops into syria, more troops into iraq? >> i would listen to the military commanders and give them the mission which is how do
we destroy isis. it is islamic terrorism. it's not a law enforcement engagement. listen to them and then develop a clear strategy. i can't tell you the force levels required to do this. i do know it has to be done in unison with our allies. >> the pope called the paris massacre warld of world war iii. francois hollande called it an act of war. should nato up joke article five, an attack on one is an attack on all, and declare war on isis. >> i think the president should convene the north american council to discuss that. i do think that it's worthy of consideration for sure. our longest and strongest and most loyal ally over our entire history, we should certainly consider it. our hearts go out to the people of paris and frants. this is the second time they've had an atrocious act of terror
in their country. >> you on twitter last night tweet hillary clinton and the other democratic candidates for being unwilling to use the phrase radical islamic terrorism. hillary clinton says she's following the example of george w. bush after 9/11. >> the face of terror is not the true faith of islam. that's not what islam is all about. islam is peace. these terrorists don't represent peace. they represent evil and war. >> is islam peace governor? >> you know what, i know what -- i know what islamic terrorism is and that's what we are fighting with isis, al qaeda a owl f the other groups. this is not a question of religion. this is a political ideology that has co-opted a religion.
it's more than acceptable to call it what it is. >> the question is, though, hillary clinton said she doesn't want to label it as islamic terrorism. that seemed to be on the first few yoers of the war on terror, president bush, he said islam is peace. it's hard to imagine hillary clinton saying islam is peace and not being attacked by republicans. >> i don't -- all i know is that she does not believe this is our fight. this is a fight for western civilization. we need to be all in on it. these are islamic terrorists that have co-opted a faith that is peaceful. never theless, this is something we need to fight. i don't think anybody would question that my brother was in that fight, that he viewed it as a national security fight and he led. that's what we need to do again. >> the pentagon said it disabled nearly three-quarters of the isis oil infrastructure
prompting, donald trump to tweet the following, they laughed at me now they are not laughing and doing what i said. do you give donald trump credit for this one? >> i -- i don't give donald trump credit. he's been all over the map when it relates to this. have the russians do the work, whether assad needs to be kept in. all of this is quite confusing because he's bouncing around as it relates to a policy. what we need is a strategy to take out isis and deal with assad at the same time. take out their resources, the ability to hold people hostage for kidnapping for ransom and to garner revenue from oil. i'd love to see the president describe what the strategy is and garner the support in the world to be able to execute on
it. >> thank you so much for joining us today. >> thank you, jake. we have more breaking news in the paris terrorist investigation. belgian authorities now issuing an arrest warrant for a terrorist suspect. that story is coming up right after this quick break. you stay up. you listen. you laugh. you worry. you do whatever it takes to take care of your family. and when it's time to plan for your family's future, we're here for you.
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welcome back to "state of the union." we have breaking news coming in on the paris terror investigation. belgium now issued an international arrest warrant for a man suspected of being involved in the paris terrorist attacks. what are you hearing? >> hi, jake. well, we are in molenbeek which is where this man is believed to have been resident. he and his two other brothers was involved in this attack. the second has already been arrested by belgian police. this is a man who is now at the center of this international man hunt. over the weekend, we've seen repeated police operations in the molenbeek area and been repeatedly told that this investigation continues not just
limited to the issues of this international arrest warrant, but beyond this, because they belief the network extends much further. >> president obama huddled this morning with russian president vladimir putin at the g-20 summit in turkey. just hours before the attack, president obama said this abc news when asked if isis was gaining strength. >> from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. they have not gained ground in iraq. in syria, they'll come in, they'll leave. >> with the president in turkey is deputy national security advisor ben rhodes. i want to get to that remark from the president in a moment. i know you said there is no specific credible threat to the u.s. homeland.
they are telling cnn that they don't know if the attack is over. does the united states believe all the attackers have been apprehended? is there reason to believe there may still be poliaccomplices on run? >> reporter: we agree, in all likelihood, this bears the hallmark of isil. in terms of the ongoing investigation, i will let the french speak to that. after incidents like this, it's very important to pull every thread you have to make sure there are not accomplices who are still on the loose. they can help you understand better what happened. right now, i'm sure there's a very vigorous effort to try to identify anybody equity cconnec this attackers. >> i know the president was specifically talking about the
iraq/syria battle field. but he made the comment after the terrorist attack against the russian airliner, after the suicide bombings in beirut. if this is what isis looked like contained, i shudder to think what isis looks like uncontained. >> reporter: again, jake, as you noted, it's a very specific point the president was making, that we had seen over a year ago isil on the march both in iraq and syria. what we've been able to do is stop that advance and reclaim territory. going on the offense with our partners on the ground most recently, cutting off the supply line between raqqah and syria and mosul and iraq. that shrinks the space where isil can operate. we see this as a group with global ambitions. we have to be one step ahead of isil every time we can. that's why we took a strike at
isil's leader in libya. >> one step ahead. we don't seem to be one step ahead of any terrorist group these days. david axelrod saying on cnn last night, obviously the emergence of isis was not what was anticipated and it is going to be an issue in this election. i think people are concerned that not only has the president underestimated isis in the past calling them a jv team, but that he may continue to underestimate them. this is the worst atrocity in france since hitler. >> reporter: jake, there is no question that this is a very significant threat that is going to pose a long-term challenge. the president has always been very clear. this is a long-term campaign. there are going to be setbacks, including tragic setbacks like what we saw in paris.
it was an outrageous attack as the president said against all of humanity. we have to degrade this threat. we built an intelligence apparatus to collect intelligence against isil. we targeted jihadi john in syria. what we're doing here in turkey is talking to many of our other coalition partners about what we can do together to continue to apply pressure on isil even as we build on the work done in vienna. >> i think there's a question about how good this intelligence apparatus is. christiane amanpour reporting this morning that at least one of the terrorists according to french authorities seems to have smuggled himself into europe by embedding with refugees. are you confident enough in our vetting process as the united states brings syrian refugees
into our country to pledge that this will never happen here? >> reporter: well, first of all, jake, the threat of foreign fighters has been front and center from the very beginning of this counter isil campaign. we're working with countries to share information. and we're going to continue to do that. that will be a focus of discussion here in turkey. with respect to refugees, we have the most extensive security vetting that we've ever had that involves not just the department of homeland security and the state department, but also our intelligence community so that anybody that comes to the united states, we are carefully vetting against all of our information. some of these people are people that suffered the horrors of war, they're children who suffered at the hands of isil. we cannot close our door to these people.
>> french president hollande described this attack as an act of war. if france goes to nay to and tries to invoke article v of the treaty, will the united states support france? >> well, jake, absolutely that's a french decision. so the frempnch will make the decision about whether to invoke article v. we standby ready to do whatever is necessary to do. we're prepared to ramp that up. france has a two-star general to facilitate that coordination. we'll be looking at how can we take efforts with france in the days ahead to ensure that there's justice for this attack. >> why are you ready to ramp it up now? why haven't you already ramped it up? >> well, we have, jake. we've been conducting thousands of air strikes over the course of the last year. what we're talking about is
getting additional support from allies and partners who can do more with us in providing support to opposition on the ground and providing the types of air strikes that can take out isil leaders and deny them the critical infrastructure they depend on. when they're properly resourced, they work in rolling back isil. as we've seen in these leadership targets. we have to do more of that. and we're going to be able to do that friendships with the special operations contingent that will be going to syria to help facilitate those operations. even as we have to constantly evaluate how the threat is changing and what more needs to be done to deal with the threat. >> thanks so much. stay with us. we're going to go back to paris after the break and take you inside notre dame where a medical y'all service for the
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