tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 5, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
good evening. we begin the hour with new aftershocks from a phone call that on the face of it would seem pretty routine. a foreign leader calls the president-elect to offer congratulations. no big deal, right? unless it's the leader of taiwan, in which case it's something that hasn't happened for nearly four decades. you could say it's recognizing the long-standing reality or it's a destabilizing move. but there's no disputing what donald trump did was unprecedented. and now "the washington post" is reporting that it was also very deliberate, as his reaction from the chinese government, which got that much sharper today. more now from our jim sciutto. >> reporter: today, beijing issuing a blistering response to donald trump's increasingly anti-china rhetoric. an editorial in china's state-run's "people daily" said, quote, trump and his transition
team should realize that making the trouble for china/u.s. ties is making the trouble for themselves. adding with a poke at the president's make america great again slogan, quote, creating troubles for china won't make the u.s. great. >> good afternoon, everybody. >> reporter: the white house added its own criticism. >> it's unclear exactly what the strategic effort is, what the aim of the strategic effort is. and it's unclear, exactly, what potential benefit could be experienced by the united states. >> reporter: trump doubled and tripled down on his tougher stance over the weekend, tweeting, did china ask us if it was okay to devalue their currency, making it hard for our companies to compete, heavily tax our products going into their country? the u.s. doesn't tax them. or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the south china sea? i don't think so, exclamation point. >> they take our money, they take our jobs. >> reporter: trump had targeted china throughout his campaign. >> china respects strength.
and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect. >> reporter: but now it is increasingly clear that this more confrontational stance towards a nuclear-armed china that is america's second largest trading partner will continue in a trump presidency. >> i think you're going to see in a president donald trump, a willingness to engage the world, but engage the world on america's terms. >> and jim sciutto joins us. "the washington post" is reporting the president-elect's call with the president of taiwan was, quote, an intentionally provocative move according to the sources. "the post" says were involved with planning the call. what's interesting, donald trump himself on friday tweeted that it was just a congratulatory call that the president had called him. what's the latest you're hearing? >> this is the thing. it's difficult here to distinguish between spontaneous commentary from donald trump and genuine policy making, because as you said, on friday, the word from trump and his team was this was just a congratulatory call.
but since then, there has been, whether it's retroactive or intentional justification of this affected change in u.s. policy towards taiwan, not just from trump, with those tweets, but from his team members, saying that this is something that is right. we're close with taiwan. we should be able to speak to them. by the way, look at all of this other bad stuff that china is doing. so it would seem from the public comments, whether intentional or not, that donald trump is making the case here for a more contentious relationship with china. >> is it clear, jim, how china may react down the road to a more confrontational u.s. president? >> this is the thing. you see some hints in their public comments, from the foreign ministry, you have these very diplomatic statements, but then in the communist daily, which is another way that china -- call that china's twitter right here. it's another way they communicate their reactions,
much more forward-leaning. the message essentially being, okay, you think you can punish us, well, we got a lot of skin in this game, too. a lot of arrows in our quiver. we have ways we can push back, even making fun to have donald's "make america great again." and that is true. on all of these issues, on the south china sea, on trade, for instance, on the debt that china owns of the u.s., china has ways to make america hurt as well. >> >> jim, stick around. i want to bring you in with the panel, they join us now. monica, what do you think of this article that this call was a intentionally provocative move? >> i don't have reporting on that myself, but i can tell you it would not surprise me at all. this is totally the person that he is. consistent with how he is. >> yet not consistent with the tweet he had sent out friday, saying this is just a congratulatory call. >> i'm not an expert on foreign
policy, i'm an expert on donald trump. this is totally like him and this gives me an inkling as to why he has still not settled on a secretary of state. he does not want anyone who will freelance and overshadow him. he is going to be in charge of our dealings with foreign countries. he wants can to do it. and in china, they're trying to read the tea leaves about who is donald trump really going to be. i've gotten some e-mails from china. they are circulating a video, i don't know if you've seen it, but there's a video of arabella kushner, ivanka's daughter, singing a chinese nursery rhyme, and they're all marveling, it's in perfect mandarin. so they're saying maybe donald trump is not that bad, look at his granddaughter. >> a lot of schools in new york city are teaching mandarin. >> they're clinging to anything. >> donald trump is the ultimately disrupter. we've seen it in our politics. he absolutely wants to bring that into his foreign policy.
he may not have a developed view of the world or even how he wants the united states to project its power and influence, but he understands business. and he understands the opening gambit of negotiation. i think he's looking for leverage. he's also being advised by more hard-line conservatives to deliberately shake up the relationship with china, by using taiwan as leverage. and look, trump has said that he admired richard nixon's madman theory of diplomacy. may want to use it here. >> and so much the way he views things, diplomacy is transactional, is a deal, and for this, for all we know, is an opening salvo. >> pushing him to the limits and try to bring it back to the deal making. this is why the point you're making about "the washington post" reporting and what they're saying is intentional provocation versus just a courtesy call, which mike pence was even repeating yesterday. i actually think that's part of the whole structure here. if it wasn't part of the strategy, donald trump may come
out and actually say in his own words that, here's my intentional -- he likes the mystery that it's created. reporting out there versus having, it's just a courtesy call. >> i just want to play something that stephen moore, an economic adviser to the president-elect, said about trump's call with the president of taiwan, basically offending him, saying he didn't care if it upset china. listen to this. >> taiwan is our ally, john. that is a country that we have backed, because they believe in freedom. and we ought to back our ally. and if china doesn't like it, screw 'em! >> he also went on to say, i want to get his words correctly, there are too many, i want to get his words correctly, mamby pamby people in the foreign policy shop who are too afraid to insult china. >> one of the things they suspect the president-elect knew is that there's precedent for this. president clinton, there was an earlier president of taiwan who was a cornell graduate and
wanted to come back to go to a reunion or whatever at cornell and president clinton let him do it and he was here for three days. and president bush also got into the -- president bush 43 also got into the business of what they call transit stops. when the president of taiwan would be going to a south american country to visit, he was allowed successfully to go to hawaii, alaska, new york, et cetera. >> i'm ashamed you have not mentioned ronald reagan, allowing the taiwanese to go to the inauguration. you of all people, i thought, would bring that up the first. >> but, in other words, there is precedent for this. and i might add, the chinese were upset with all of those things, too. and expressed their displeasure. >> and yet, if memory serves me, reagan on his second term, had very good relations with china. they had started out kind of rocky, largely in part because of the taiwan -- >> exactly. i remember at one point, as being a part of the white house staff, being invited to go to taiwan and i couldn't go. >> but a lot of this is probably subtly responding to a criticism that donald trump has had of barack obama over the last eight years. there's this argument in foreign policy that obama really has left a vacuum in foreign policy.
and the chinese have become more belligerent in the south china sea. they have really flexed their muscles in is a way that the united states have not responded to. and we have in law mandated armed sales to taiwan which we have really slacked off on in the last eight years and we have mandated trade with taiwan that we have done less of in the last eight years. remember the cold war? there was a real argument that the chinese people because of their tradition and who they were just weren't synonymous with democracy. and taiwan is democratic china. we have a responsibility to defend our democratic allies and to support our democratic allies, which i think we haven't done as much in the last eight years. so i used to live in taiwan and i lived in china. i was quite glad to see this, whether it was a misstep or not, this sort of expression of support for a democratic china. >> i hate to be rude. >> but? >> i know you. >> we have one president at a time in our country. if you want to change the policy, you're more than welcome to do so when you're the president of the united states.
this is radically disruptive. also, the idea of a trade war with china might sound great to people in manhattan and people in the think tanks -- hold on a second. this is a dangerous game we're beginning to play. and you are talking about now a radical realignment. now russia is our friend, though they have been disrupting us politically with all their cyberattacks, and china is going to be our opponent, though they have been an economic partner. i just want to point out that we may be sitting here a year from now, when our economy is being buffeted by the repercussions of this sort of stuff and thinking very different about tonight. >> anderson? >> go ahead. >> let me thank van jones there. because, listen, those moves, first of all, the u.s. has had a long-term relationship with taiwan, it sells f-16s, you know, intended to stop a chinese invasion of the island. this relationship has been there
for a long time. the taiwanese have been invited here, et cetera. but in the span of 48 hours, donald trump threw the gauntlet down on three issues that divide the u.s. and china, one certainly on taiwan, one over the south china sea, one over trade. all very dangerous tense issues, without any articulation of exactly what the change is, other than we're going to be tougher here. and the thing is that each of these has a potential for an escalating conflict. the south china sea, you have u.s. war planes flying over those islands. i was on one of them last year, coming in very close proximity to chinese war planes. you have u.s. war ships sailing by those islands coming very close, as well. as you raise that tension, those conflict points, one of those, whether it's in the military sense or as van says, in a trade sense, has the potential to blow up, to some degree, and when
that happens, it's not just the chinese that pay, right? it's americans who potentially pay as well. >> we're going to have more on this conversation. we're going to focus on a completely fake news story. a member of the trump transition team, and the man who opened fire at a washington pizzeria. later, protesters trying to stop an oil pipeline score what looks like a big victory. the question now, is it really a victory and is the standoff really over? i noticed it as soon as we moved into the new house. ♪ a lot of people have vertical blinds. well, if a lot of people jumped off a bridge, would you? you hungry? i'm okay right -- i'm... i'm becoming my, uh, mother. it's been hard, but some of the stuff he says is actually pretty helpful. pumpkin, bundling our home and auto insurance is a good deal! like buying in bulk! that's fun, right? progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto.
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welcome back. new evidence tonight that not only can a lie span the globe before the truth catches up, it can be amplified to the point where someone believing it can do something stupid or potentially deadly. that alone is not news. what is news is when the lie and others like it is spread by a person just a few steps removed from the man about to become president of the united states. that news, a story that could have been even worse, came together yesterday, continues to echo tonight. more now from our senior media correspondent, brian stelter. >> reporter: fake news, real gunfire. a north carolina man arrested in a d.c. pizza shop after brandishing a gun, telling police he was there to investigate a conspiracy theory
called pizzagate. >> one of the hosts runs up and is like, did you see that guy? you know, he had a big gun. >> we actually thought, initially, that he was a staff member, because he was walking straight for that back room. >> staff member, you know, kind of looked at me and indicated that this was a gunman. >> reporter: edgar welch appeared in court this afternoon. according to police, edgar said he had read online that the restaurant was harboring child sex slaves and he wanted to see for himself if they were there. the suspect said he was armed to help rescue them. the accusation came from this unhinged story that originated online days before the election, saying that hillary clinton and her campaign chairman, john podesta, were operating a child sex ring. the lie took root in the digital swamps of twitter and far right-wing websites. >> we're not covering pizzagate enough, even though we covered it every day. to expose the satanism and the occult and code words for pedophilia. >> reporter: october 30th, a clinton-hating, trump-loving
twitterer said that a trump -- police source said that clinton was at the center of a pedophilia ring, others latched on to this, hoping it was true, scouring dark corners of the web for are clues. this is how conspiracy theories are threaded together, lie by lie. eventually a name stuck, pizzagate, and the owner started to be harassed. >> we received many, many calls, but they're from around the world, so we didn't expect anyone to come. >> reporter: on sunday, the suspect fired his weapon, but no one was hurt. with detectives still on the scene in d.c., pizzagate believers were already claiming that this real development was just part of a cover-up. >> the media is claiming this is because of pizzagate. this is very dangerous fake news. >> anybody claiming that the gunman today had anything to do
with pizzagate is lying. >> brian joins us now. i mean, you can look at this and say this is another example that we're in this post-truth world that so many people talked about during the campaign. >> indeed. and i don't think all of us are in that world, anderson, but many of us. it's hard to have precise data about this. you know, millions of people saw this pizzagate conspiracy theory idea online. most people dismissed it, but some clearly believed it. at least one man enough to drive from north carolina to washington, d.c. to this restaurant. conspiracy theories themselves are nothing new, but the internet makes them more powerful, makes them more pernicious. the world's greatest invention for truth ever, access to every fact ever, also allows people to wall themselves off into these digital echo chambers and we're seeing that very vividly on days like today. >> brian, stay with us. i want to bring in the panel. david chalian, it's not just that we're seeing these more and more, it's that people in positions of power now are actually tweeting or retweeting and giving sort of credence to them. and you have the son of the future national security
adviser, who has a role in the trump transition, and was chief of staff to his father, talking about pizzagate. >> that's not very far removed. and what that does, it takes a fringe story and brings it to the mainstream. because once somebody that close to the president-elect is tweeting about it, it enters the conversation in a way that it doesn't when it just lives on the right. so there's some responsibility for those in positions of power to choke it off and really push it back to the fringe, to say that this -- there's no truth to this, because there's danger, potentially, involved here. so i think that's what happens when mike flynn's son does that, that all of a sudden, i'm not saying the trump campaign is responsible for this in any way. i'm saying, now that mike flynn's son does that, somebody needs to say, this is totally false. >> does someone from the trump need to say so? >> i think so. i think without a doubt. this is the incoming national security adviser, general michael flynn, who has experience in the world of gathering intelligence. you had ali suppan on this
program earlier on. he personally interrogated people who felt that the zionists and the jews were responsible for 9/11 and not osama bin laden. people died because of this crap that's out there all over the world and they can hurt americans. americans can die. people have a responsibility, including the incoming president of the united states to say, there's the truth-based world and other parts of the world. we better get right here if we want our democracy to keep moving forward. >> matt, is it a concern? >> absolutely. the spider-man line, with great power comes great responsibility. >> was it spider-man who said that? >> maybe it was in the bible. a wise man once said. so i think people in positions of authority, it's incumbent upon them to shoot straight. and realize that a lot of, you know, allison camarata the other
day on "new day" did this sort of focus group where she interviewed somebody who clearly thought that it was, that there was a story about 3 million illegal voters was true. and the truth is, i know a lot of sort of regular americans in places like pennsylvania, you know, where my mom lives in maryland, western maryland where i'm from, and west virginia where i went to college. they don't have time to sit around and sort of discern all day long, this is credible, this isn't credible. they're reading websites, they're listening to talk radio, they're looking at twitter. and if somebody who is in a position of authority gives it impra matter, it takes off. >> i believe it was thor who said, odin! >> but sometimes this stuff just falls on vulnerable ears. you can't police every conspiracy theory -- >> some psycho who's out there, someone who has a mental health issue -- >> you're not going to spend your time debunking every conspiracy theory on this program every night. the truth is, there are vulnerable people who are going to hear these things and they're going to act this way. this is part of our society, unfortunately. >> i googled it and matt's right about spider-man. i wanted to check that one.
to get serious, people in power benefit from confusion. we've seen it all around the world in authoritarian regimes. i think we have to wonder if when donald trump on the campaign trail would bring up conspiracy theories, if he, in power as president, will benefit from this kind of fake news confusion. and then you have to wonder, what can social media firms do? what can newsrooms do? and most importantly, what can individual users do to refuse to be confused? >> but, you know, monica, do we know if, does michael flynn's son going to continue to have a position in the white house of donald trump? >> i don't know that. i think that this raises a serious question, as to whether he should be. i mean, he is on the transition team. and didn't he say something about this, until it's proven -- i mean, i've never heard of such a twist about how things should be -- what did he exactly say? >> i'm looking for the quote. it was like -- until pizzagate is proven false, it will continue to be a story. what does that -- >> part of the problem is -- >> that's exactly the opposite
of the way we regard stories. and what we've been trained to do, what i've been trained to do for 30 years at "the wall street journal". >> and you would expect people who are in positions of power not to be trafficking something they don't know for a fact is true. >> in other words, it's true unless we come out and show that comet ping-pong -- which, by the way, has some of the best people in washington, d.c., it's very popular -- and a lot of the democrats do go there, so i see why they put in podesta and all that. >> it's also the nature of the allegation, right? and this is a bipartisan problem in my opinion. but on the right, i started noticing five, six, seven years ago, this hashtag war. and the idea was that politics is basically now war. and war, you engage in disinformation and all bets are off, all rules are off. but look, if you're saying, well, he voted to raise taxes.
well, that's not a life-or-death situation, but if you're alleging that someone is abusing children -- >> and that's happening right now -- >> that would summon a patriot to -- >> and it's true unless someone proves it false. how are you going to prove they've not been abusing children? >> but the flirtation of this -- >> we as americans and our forces fighting in other parts of the world have been battling this now for decades, about a vision of truth, a version of truth that is not truth at all, about what america does in the rest of the world. >> that's why warfare's the key word. this is a form of information warfare. and i'm actually kind of glad that we're grappling with it post-election. i thought what happened yesterday was horrible, but the conversation nationally about fake news is one we really do need to have. >> i want to thank everybody on the panel. a quick google search shows that the great power quote has been attributed to the french revolution and spider-man and possibly the bible as well. other news ahead. a few weeks ago, a white
supremacist leader spoke at group in washington and tomorrow he's scheduled for another speech at the university of texas. gary tuchman is there where he spoke to the person who set up that speech. that's next. >> a ban on immigration, if not a strict curb on immigration, i don't think that you can bring somalians into america and expect them to assimilate. it's a completely different culture. it doesn't happen. >> but some somalians can, right? >> i would be very selective on that. >> but that's what prejudice is, though. you're saying they should all not come. >> well, you know -- >> there are bad people that should absolutely not be in this country from all nationalities, all creeds, all religions. but by saying that all somalis shouldn't come here, isn't that being a bigot? recommend synthetc over cedar? "super food"? is that a real thing? it's a great school, but is it the right the one for her? is this really any better than the one you got last year? if we consolidate suppliers what's the savings there? so should we go with the 467 horsepower? or is a 423 enough?
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well, the calendar is filling up for the head of the white supremacist group to celebrate a donald trump victory by quoting nazi propaganda at a gathering a few blocks from the white house. tomorrow he's speaking at texas a&m university. gary tuchman tonight reports. >> reporter: this is the man who invited white nationalist
richard spencer to speak at texas a&m university. preston wickerman knows it will be controversial and knows most people don't want this event to take place. what do you think of richard spencer? >> i think he has a valid point. >> hail trump! hail our people! hail victory! >> reporter: the nazi era wording, the nazi era imagery at this gathering in washington, d.c., upsetting to so many. wickington, a political activist who lives in texas, says he doesn't agree with all of spencer's views, but he certainly does some of them. >> do you think this is a white nation? >> i think it was at one time and i think the reaction of trump being elected and the reaction of the alt-right being popular is a reaction to it declining in being a white nation. >> reporter: wickington says he doesn't like to label himself, but says he is sympathetic to the point of view of the so-called alt-right, a relatively new term for what in the past have simply been called white supremacists. >> why would i want to see america become less white. why would it want to be displaced and marginalized. only people with a mental illness want to be displaced and marginalized.
>> but here is the think -- you and people like you have a hangup about the difference of people's skin. what difference is the color of people skin are? what matters is the people they are. what does it matter the pigment of their skin? >> it's not just pigment. it's people's behavior and people's iq. people evolve. >> there are lots of white people with low iqs. lots of black people with high iqs. there are lots of red people with low iqs and high iqs. you're stereotyping. >> better the devil i know than the devil i don't. >> reporter: texas a&m does not want this event to happen and has officially rejected richard spencer's views, but says it cannot ban the event because this is a public university. a number of students who oppose spencer's visit have organized what is expected to be a large demonstration. they pledge to keep it peaceful. >> we have a responsibility to take measured action to counter white nationalism and white supremacist.
>> i think there's going to be outside agitators, by all means. >> reporter: wickington, who is a former a&m student, is mentioned on the website of the southern poverty law center, who says he has declared he wants to prevent the populations of white nations from becoming a homo genous muddle of sludge. he says he was misquoted. but doesn't deny the point of the quote. and said there is a way to make america more white. >> a ban on immigration, if not a strict curb on immigration. i don't think you can bring somalians into america and expect them to assimilate. it's a completely different culture. doesn't happen. >> but some somalians can, right? >> i would be very selective on that. i think we freely let anybody into america. >> that's what prejudice is, though. if you're saying they should all not come. there are bad people who should absolutely not be in this country from all nationalities, all creeds, all religions. but by saying that all somalis shouldn't come here, isn't that being a bigot? >> um, sometimes maybe being a bigot is wise.
>> gary joins me now. this guy, the organizer you talked to, how well does he actually know richard spencer? >> reporter: well, anderson, wiggington says he's worked hard to make this event happen, but he's never met spencer in person. that is, until tonight, about one hour ago, when spencer arrived here in college, texas. both men are acquaintances and talked to each other on the internet over a period of years, but tonight is the first time they've met in person. >> gary tuchman, thanks very much. coming up, the death toll has risen to 36 in the oakland warehouse fire. it's no secret the building was a fire trap, a disaster waiting to happen. the latest on the investigation and we'll talk to the parents of one of the women who lost their life. oh, life-sized dragon hand back scratcher. if only it came in a luffa. it does! oh, a raisin re-hydrator. it turns them back into grapes. wow, what an exhausting journey. that's a good wedding present. good call. thank you... and thank you, lady blue. with the blue cash everyday card from american express, you get cash back on purchases with no annual fee. oh, look at this.
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i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. in oakland, california, the death toll in a fire that swept through a converted warehouse during a dance party has climbed to 36. dozens of people are still missing, though. the cause of the fire is unknown right now, as the search for other possible victims continues, a criminal investigation has been launched. in the wake of the tragedies, it's becoming clear that the building was wildly considered a hazard. dan simon tonight reports. >> they're my children.
they're my friends. they're my family. they're my loves. they're my future. what else do i have to say? >> cofounder of the ghost ship artist collection helped transform the two-story warehouse into a amam a maze of furniture and art. >> what about the people that said that the place was a death trap? >> now as body as a recovered from the artist enclave nicknamed the ghost ship, residents and friends are speaking out. >> you lived there. did you think it was safe? >> no. no, i -- we need help. >> why did you stay, then? >> because this is my community. >> reporter: swann vega had live in the converted warehouse from the very beginning, even though she had reservations about its safety, she's defending its purpose and the celebration that turned tragic on friday night. >> it was not a nightclub. it was not for profit. it was just our community house. >> reporter: the burned out structure still holds an unknown number of victims, as officials vowed to determine a cause.
>> you will get that the families will get, that this city will get the answers to every question about this incident. >> reporter: partygoers came to what had been advertised as a dance party with live music. dozens have already been confirmed dead, including at least three foreign nationals. >> i expected it to be shut down a long time ago. i called the police three times myself. >> reporter: former residents and friends are saying it was only a matter of time before disaster. >> there were fires that were started from electrical cords and transformers. there was intermittent heat and electricity. >> reporter: now investigators are looking closely at previous code violations and complaints, ranging from illegal occupancy to trash and debris. authorities have set up a tipline for help to determine what happened. >> it's too early to speculate on anything. the range of charges could be murder, all the way to involuntary manslaughter. and until we know what the evidence shows us, there may be other charges, if the evidence presents that.
>> what do you want to say to those who are mourning, who lost friends and loved ones? >> there's nothing i can say. there's nothing anyone can say. there's nothing. it's just tragedy. horror and tragedy. it's not a time to fight each other. there's just -- can we please embrace each other? it's just beyond. >> dan simon joins us now. what was it that drew some people in the community to live in the warehouse together? >> well, the woman i spoke to, anderson, said she wanted to be part of what she described as a 24/7 creative hub. so they started this community and the money that they raised from events like they had on friday night would help keep the community going.
obviously, the fact that you had people living in that warehouse and acknowledged by some to be unsafe is obviously going to be a big part of the investigation. but anderson, i want to show you what things look like a block away. you can see this beautiful growing makeshift memorial. so many people have come by to pay their respects to those who died. and anderson, as for a cause, firefighters say they still don't know what caused this fire to start, but they have pinpointed, they think, where it all began. so hopefully, that will yield some clues. anderson? >> so unbelievable. dan, thanks so much. 33 of the 36 people recovered from the scene of the fire have been identified. most were young. as you might expect from a crowd at an electronic dance party on friday night. students, artists, musicians. donna kellogg was 32 years old. she worked at a coffee shop in berkeley and was studying nutrition. earlier i spoke to her parents, keith and susan slocum. >> susan and keith, i'm so sorry for your loss. what do you want people to know about donna?
what was she like? >> she was a very unique young woman. she was, in my opinion, beautiful, smart, independent, strong, courageous, and she was very artistic. she was a musician. and unfortunately, she was -- she died doing something she enjoyed doing. she was -- we understand -- we think she was on the second floor and they were dancing and that was the group, the first group of nine that were found. and she was within that group. >> we suspect, yeah. >> we don't know for sure, but we think so. >> she was with her friends, also? >> yes. and they were -- they're very artistic, musical young people. the group of young people that died were most of them, 20s,
30s, some 17-year-olds, we understand. but they were a very eclectic, artistic -- our daughter, we call her kind of the bohemian. she was a little redhead with a lot of fire and energy. but she was a very loving young woman, too. and she loved her music. she was a drummer in a band. >> in a lot of the pictures that we're showing, she has long hair. i understand she recently got her hair cut short and she said she sort of looked like tinker belle. >> that's what she told me. i didn't get to see her, but she had strawberry blond red hair and it really fit her personality, because she was kind of fiery and entertaining and just sometimes would just be like tinkerbell, with a little bit of spunkiness, too. and she was very loving and caring to her friends.
and i feel like they went up together as a group and this was just an amazing little creative millennial group of kids and i feel so sorry for all the parents that felt like they were raising their kids to be wonderful, creative, independent children, young adults, and that they just made the wrong choice of being in a warehouse that was not safe. but there's a lot of them around here, and this is just a venue that the kids like to go to. >> we got a statement from donna's sister, ginger, and she said -- i just want to read it to our viewers. she said, donna shined bright and wasn't worried what others thought. she was going to be who she was. she had amazing parents to let her be herself and grow into the beautiful, caring soul that she was. and i know ginger went ahead and read you the statement.
how -- how are you holding up? i mean, i think a lot of people that are seeing this are going to be amazed at your strength in the midst of your grief? >> well, should i tell 'em? we lost her brother, my son, when he was 18, so we've been down this road before. and that was seven years ago in 2009, it's -- you find the strength that you never knew you had and it's trying to be there for our daughter now, in whatever capacity we can be, and giving a message of what a beautiful little soul she was. >> yeah. >> and how much she will be missed. we've heard that message from so many people and there's a lot of loving friends and family we have here. and i think this is one of the first times i've talked more than you have, honey. >> you're just fine.
>> but, you know, as a parent, you can feel like you can never do enough for your child. we decided to do the interview because we knew what happened with our son that we needed to come out and tell our part of the story. and that's why we're here. >> susan and keith, i appreciate that in this time, which is the most terrible time of your life, both of you, that you share a little bit of donna with us. and a lot more people know her tonight. and we think about you and pray for you and thank you so much for talking with us. >> thank you, anderson. >> incredible, what they're going through. nothing has stopped local native americans and their allies from protesting the dakota access pipeline. not blizzards, not months of defeat. yesterday, a celebration, but the story may only just be beginning. we'll get an update from the scene, next.
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word came down of success. now colder realities have moved in. sara sidner reports. >> reporter: there are upwards of 10,000 people braving these frigid and difficult conditions to stand with the standing rock sioux who are fighting against the dakota access pipeline. they thought had he had won a major battle, but then disappointment. [ drum beats ] >> drum beats tears and cheers. the soup of victory for is tanneding rock sioux and thousands of others gathered to stop the dakota access pipeline. this mass of humanity living off the grid, joined by thousands of military veterans, helped exert so much political and legal pressure, effectively forcing the pipeline to be rerouted. >> either we make it or break it, and i guess we made it. >> reporter: the pipeline was almost to the river when it was halted by the army corps of
engineers so it could take another look at the path. sunday officials decided it was a no go. for months, the sioux nation demanded the project be scrapped. they were convinced the pipeline carrying crude oil underneath the missouri river would one day leak, poisoning the drinking water of millions down river. >> this is too much of a risk, to the drinking water of the people of the sioux standing rock nation. and too much of a risk for us as a planet. >> the planned route did not go through indian reservation land. but the tribe argue ed the water is part of treaty land and, therefore, it too must agree to its path. >> you were offered $5 million and some land by both the land owners and the dakota access pipeline? >> yes. >> and your response was? >> we don't want the land, we don't want the money. >> reporter: instead they wanted to protect the water.
minnesota's governor says the pipeline was 95% complete. the company was waiting on that final permit. it's not getting it. it seemed to be a blessing to the standing rock sioux. >> what we've seen has never been seen before in the written history of our people. we have never known a time when nonnative american allies from around the country around the world have come here in the dead of winter to stand with us to stand together, to call for a new day. but then energy partners responded saying this is simply a political move by the obama administration, that won't stop the pipeline from going under the river. they contend the latest decision changes nothing. they have every legal right to continue. and with that, the celebrations could be short lived. >> if president-elect trump could override what just happened today on january 20th and grant that easement, we're in for a world of hurt, nothing has changed for us. >> reporter: just on the other
side of these hills, there's another side of this story, the folks that work for the dakota access pipeline. the pipeline bringing very well paying jobs, much needed for this particular area. the folks here say, this is far more important than jobs. it involves the resources of this land and they want to protect them. >> sara sidner, thank you very much. a judge in charleston, south carolina has declared a mistrial after a jury could not reach a verdict in the trial of a former police officer. he killed walter scott who was unarmed after a traffic stop. a bystander took this cell phone video that showed him shooting him in the back multiple times as he ran away. prosecutors say slager will be tried again. we'll continue to follow it. ♪ jingle bells now when you're ready, you can sell your old car and find your new one all on cars.com you know us for shopping,
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that does it for us tonight. thanks for watching. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts right now. a day of surprises from donald trump's transition team. this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. former faux, dr. ben carson tapped to head the department of housing and urban development. there's word that the search for the secretary of state is widening. with john huntsman, president barack obama's first ambassador to china, now under consideration. here's somebody you probably never expected to see at trump tower. >> i found it an extremely interesting conversation and to be continued. i'm just going to leave it at that. >> yep, that's bill clinton's vice president al gore talking climate change with the president-elect.