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tv   New Day  CNN  December 21, 2016 5:00am-6:01am PST

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that a tunisian national born in 1992, 24, 25 years old, is sought in connection with the troshl atrocity that happened in that market square behind me. a truck plowing into the christmas market killing 12 people including on individual in the cab of the truck. authorities believe he is linked to an isis network operating inside this country, the leader arrested and charged with terrorism offenses already. so it is a race against the clock to try to find this man. an urgent manhunt under way across germany. authorities telling cnn they are now looking for a tunisian national born in 1992. officials believe he may be connected to monday's deadly attack after finding his identity papers inside the truck. the desperate search intensifying after german
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authorities acknowledged tuesday that they initially detained the wrong man. releasing the man who they pick up after forensic evidence failed to connect him to the scene. this as isis claims they inspired the attack calling the driver their soldier. although investigators have yet to uncover any specific links to the terrorist group. >> we don't have enough information right now to back up the claims by isis that they inspired or directed or were in any way involved in this. we think it's prudent for the germans to treat this as a plausible terrorist take. >> reporter: the day of the attack the polish driver of the black semi truck was on a planned run from italy to germany delivering steel before losing contact with his employer. authorities believe that the truck was hijacked about four hours before plowing in to the christmas market. the driver's body shot at close range found in the passenger seat. >> people go here to have a good evening.
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to have -- they drink wine and eat something and stay here, and with friends or family. and then they are dead. >> reporter: thousands of mourners including german chancellor angela merkel filing into the famous kaiser wilhelm memorial church tuesday to pay respect to the victims. merkel's re-election bid complicated by the assault as she faces growing concerns over her government's generous acceptance of nearly 900,000 asylum seekers over the past year. despite the fact that initial reports about the driver being a refugee were wrong, far right leaders in europe are already casting blame on the german chancellor for the attack. and, chris and alisyn, we're waiting to hear from the interior ministry and hoping for a police news conference today for more details on this man that they're looking for. and whether or not they believe any more individuals are connected to the attack. back to you. >> hala, thank you very much.
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>> all right let's get the latest on the investigation. welcome back cnn terrorism analyst and co-author of "agent storm," my life inside al qaeda, and cia paul cruickshank and cnn counterterrorism analyst and former cia counterterrorism official phil mudd. paul we hear you have just learned new details. what are they? >> -- from german security officials that the tunisian perpetrator of this attack, there's a manhunt going on right now, were connected to a isis recruitment network in germany whose key leaders were arrested in november, so just a few weeks ago, including a charismatic individual who said himself that he's part of isis. this was a network that was trying to smuggle people from germany to syria and iraq to join the terrorist network, isis. also hearing that the tunisian suspect was actually arrested,
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trying to get over to italy with a forged document in the southern german town in august but a judge let him go. that's another key detail hearing from a german security official. i'm also hearing that there are new ongoing raids in north ryne westphalia. that's where this radical recruitment network for isis were trying to proselytize where they were selecting people to travel to join isis in syria and iraq. so there are a lot of strands now coming together to suggest that this may well have been an act of islamist terrorism, and isis, of course, have claimed that they inspired this attack, and now we are seeing some concrete ties between this perpetrator, allegedly, and the network in terms of this recruitment organization based in germany. we'll have to see, though, of
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course, whether we get -- whether there is really the right guy this time after what happened yesterday with that pakistani. one more piece of information, the suspect is not yet in custody i'm told by german security officials. that means it's a very dangerous situation ongoing. >> okay, so paul, just a couple more questions before we get it over to phil for analysis. it suggests that they know the identity, they found the i.d. papers in the truck, we're told, of the suspect, are they going to put out a photo. to the public. and do they believe he's still in that north rhine-westphalia area? >> well based on the fact that there are ongoing raids in north rhine-westphalia, they clearly either believe he's there, or that they can -- there's a residence there or something there that may help them to locate him somewhere in germany, wherever he is. so, this is a large manhunt going on right now in germany.
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i would be surprised if a photo is not soon circulated unless they really do feel thooer right at the point where they're about 0 capture him. if it goes cold i think they will likely put a photo out there like with the boston attack to sort of crowd source the investigation. >> right. >> phil, paul and i spent a lot of time tracking one of the assailants from the bataclan off into belgium and brussels, and the notion was that isis was trying to put higher ups in charge of operations, getting them to do things. does this smack of that at all? the use of the aliases. the ability to get away where they need such a broad perimeter so quickly? >> not to me yet. you have to think about this as two types of operations. the first is essentially controlled operations like 9/11. we saw some flavor of that in the operations in belgium and france, where a central, what we
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call external operations in isis is not only inspiring but bringing people into places like syria to train them. i think there's a middle ground between that and a true home grown terrorist. that is a cell in germany that had inspiration, maybe some kind of activity with isis. but that plots on its own. this plot was relatively basic. the outlines of this appear to me to suggest that somebody just hijacked a truck and drove it into an open space. not a lot of preparation. not a lot of training. just one more comment, chris. remember in contrast to where we were even a year ago, isis' capability in syria where they're under so much pressure to bring in a foreigner for a formal training operation and then put them back out into a place like germany is much diminished. they're not where they were a year ago. >> paul when you say that there's this pro-isis network operating in the northwest of germany do you have any sense of how many people we're talking about? >> this was a significant network, and a real breakthrough
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when the germans announced these arrests in november. that they took five people in custody, including the ringleader allegedly of this network, an iraqi national who is 32 years old. known more popularly as abu walah. this was a very significant network working at the transnational level to get recruits from germany, into syria and iraq to join isis. and the fact that they now believe that he was part of this network, linked to this network, suggests that he may have had at least an opportunity to develop contacts which may have given him the opportunity to even communicate with isis back in syria and iraq in some kind of way. we just don't know that yet. we don't know whether there was actual communication going back and forth or whether this is somebody who was just inspired, just linked to these guys who were arrested and perhaps after they were taken into custody, and a sort of dragnet coming
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down on this network, somebody who felt that they needed to act before perhaps they themselves would be taken into custody. from what we're hearing from german security officials, this guy had a narrow escape, really, in august when he was taken into custody because of false document identity papers on his way, the germans believe, to italy, where he was wanting to go next. but obviously southward is a route towards the middle east. and so, all of this sort of coming together, there may have been some sort of failed opportunities from what we're hearing from the first blush of information to sort of link him to this network to charge him with some offenses, but clearly they -- they did not have enough evidence at that point when he was arrested on forged document charges, and then let go by a judge. >> phil, any reverberation from
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what's going on in germany back here at home? does this inform our own security situation at all? >> oh, absolutely. there's a couple of things you're thinking. one is tactical. one is strategic. the first is pretty basic. as soon as you get that kind of information, the name of this individual, any other technical information, like phone information, you want to ask two questions. did he ever come here? and did he ever talk to anybody? it is not good enough to say the likelihood of that is 1%. i want zero percent. the second thing i'm asking is, if he's part of a broader network, that includes recruitment, into a place like syria, can we outline that network to determine whether there's anybody from north america using it? and can we take it back into syria to determine who's the central cell, and so we can put a drone on some of these foreheads. this is not just about what's happening in germany it's about whether we have any links direct to the united states, and whether we can identify a foreign operations cell in syria that we can then eliminate. >> phil, paul, thank you very much. paul, come back when you've had any more developing reporting.
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thank you for all of that. meanwhile, mr. trump's transition team says the president-elect is monitoring the terror attacks in berlin and turkey. this as his children deny any involvement in a fund-raiser reportedly advertising access to the president-elect for a million dollars. cnn's jessica schneider is live with more. >> the transition team is pushing back as details emerge about this fund-raising event. it was build to give access to the president the day after the inauguration and participate in a hunting and fishing trip with his sons for upwards of $1 million. now this statement saying the opening day details are merely initial concepts that have not been approved or pursued by the trump family. donald trump jr. and eric trump are avid outdoors men and supporters of conservation efforts which align with the goals of this event, however you they are not involved in any capacity. now the brothers do say that they will not attend this event,
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despite legal documents showing that both eric and donald jr. served on the board of directors for the newly formed charity. all of this while it remains unclear whether the president-elect received official intelligence briefings in the wake of the attacks in europe and turkey. the transition has not answered repeated inquiries from cnn about whether trump was briefed only saying that he's closely monitoring the situation and getting daily briefings from his national security adviser, michael flynn. cnn has learned that trump has been averaging one presidential daily briefing per week with some weeks as many as three and the president-elect does have someone available directly to him 24/7 to inform him on the latest intelligence. >> jessica, thank you very much. we have breaking news. the death toll has gone up to at least 29 following this series of just spectacular explosions at a fireworks market north of mexico city. more than 70 others were injured. we've got cnn's ed lavandera. he has the very latest.
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you say fireworks, ed, and it makes it seem less urgent. and yet these are heavy duty explosives. they burn really hot. and you're seeing the impact all around you there in mexico city. >> this open air market where this happened, this isn't the kind of fireworks stand that you might see on the side of the road here in the united states. these are serious fireworks. very elaborate fireworks sold in this open air market and the scene that unfolded there is simply devastating. mexican authorities are still searching for what exactly set off this massive fireworks explosion that left dozens dead and even more injured. a horrifying sight in the town of tultepec. shooting flares ripping through the stadium size marketplace about 25 miles north of mexico city. this towering gray cloud could be seen for miles.
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image from above capture the chaos showing emergency vehicles arriving on the scene. people running for their lives, many of the injured escaping with severe burns including three minors. >> translator: to tell the truth die not know how i ran out of here. everything was shore bill. >> reporter: after battling the blaze for hours firefighters on the ground confirm the fires are now contained. but the devastation left behind is staggering. the marketplace was bustling with holiday shoppers now reduced to rubble and ash. and this isn't the first time this market known for its pyrotechnics has been rocked by such tragedy. this latest catastrophe marks the third time fires ravaged this location in the last decade. this small town where this happened is basically known as the fireworks capital of mexico. every year in march, tens of thousands of people gather there for the massive national pyrotechnic show. this is what this community is
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known for there in mexico. >> so tragic. ed, thank you very much for all of that reporting. well, four more people charged in connection with the toxic water crisis in flint michigan. two of them were emergency managers who reported directly to governor rick snyder. the two others were water plant officials. all of them acushioned of misleading the state treasury into giving them millions in bonds, then misusing the money, and forcing the city's drinking water switch over to the flint river. total of 13 people now face charges. '80s icon richard marx comes to the rescue when a passenger starts attacking flight attendants and people on board a plane. four hour ordeal took place on a korean air flight from hanoi to seoul. his wife daisy fuentes snapped these photos. marx helped subdue the unruly man, tying him to his seat. the man was arrested and the plane landed. no one was hurt. >> shouldn't we hear some richard marx songs so that we
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know exactly who we're talking about? could you sing -- hum a few bars? >> i would never do that. we want to give him respect right now for what he just did to help the passengers. the last thing we should do is insult him by me mimicking him. >> i also appreciate you thinking of the viewers here. >> always. daisy fuentes is another big name. >> i know daisy fuentes. i just wanted to hear richard marx songs. >> i guaranteed that camerota in acid washed jeans once shimmied to richard marx. >> all right. meanwhile there are bipartisan calls for a special committee to investigate russian hacking during the u.s. election. so why is the senate majority leader refusing to consider it? we will talk to senator jack reed one of the key senators pushing for that select committee. that's next. >> key question. ♪
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four high profile senators making a bipartisan call for a select committee to investigate russian hacking into the u.s. election. but republican senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is rejecting that idea. >> it's a serious issue but it doesn't require a select committee. we have senate intelligence committee and a house intelligence committee run by knowledgeable, responsible people. there's no question the russians were messing around our election. it's a matter of genuine concern. and it needs to be investigated. >> okay. let's bring in democratic senator jack reed of rhode
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island one of the four senators calling for that select committee. he is also the ranking member on the armed services committy. good morning, senator. >> good morning, alisyn. >> you heard the majority leader there. a select committee is not necessary for this, he says. >> the russian intrusion into our election is unprecedented. foreign governments, through their security services, intervening deliberately and frankly from intelligence reports at the very highest levels to affect our election is not something that can be treated as business as usual. what the majority leader is suggesting is this is just business as usual. i think we have to have a joint committee. senator mccain, senator graham, senator schumer and i believe on a bipartisan basis we do to answer these questions to let the american people know what happened. and i think also, the trump administration should be interested in that. >> yeah. >> because their foreign policy, particularly with respect to the russians, will always be questioned unless there's definitive answers. >> well, the -- >> i just think --
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>> the majority leader is not saying that this is -- this is business as usual. he said that it's a matter of genuine concern. but he's saying that it can be handled by the senate intelligence committee. >> well, i think what he is not either realizing or saying is that this is an issue that cuts across so many jurisdictional lines. senator mccain and i are proposing to have deliberations in the armed services committee, which will consider the military aspect of the national security administration, overseas activities. but this is not just the intelligence committee. it's the homeland security committee. they have responsibility in the united states for the protection of cyber information. we've got the justice department. their activities. the fbi, their involved in this investigation, notification, whatever. all of that is beyond the role of the intelligence committee. so essentially what we've done, i think very appropriately, on a bipartisan basis, is have a
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joint committee that all these voices are represented but not only that, that we're going to lead to legislation. we're going to actually do something. not simply kick the can down the road. legislation that's going to make us better prepared because these incidents are not going to go away. >> are you saying the senate intelligence committee cannot do anything on its own? >> i think what they can do, and what they will do, and what they have to do is behind closed doors look very carefully at the intelligence, make an evaluation of the intelligence but in terms of public disclosure, in terms of being able to pull together elements from the judiciary committee, elements from foreign residences committee that is something that is not likely to happen. what you'll have is a fragmentation of efforts. you'll have committees pursuing different small aspects of the overall problem and you won't be able to effectively and rapidly put together comprehensive legislation -- >> okay. >> -- cyber is one of those
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issues that cuts through anything. >> so then why is senate majority leader mcconnell not agreeing to it? >> well, i just think he's -- has either failed to recognize the import, or he simply doesn't want to have these answers presented to the american public of what precisely went on. i think, again, not only will we benefit from it but also i think the administration, the trump administration, as it enters into their -- >> yeah? >> operations will want to have these answers before the american public. >> do you think he's protecting the trump administration? >> well, i don't think he's going out of his way to answer these questions. and i think curiously enough, as i sugd, he might be doing them in a way a disservice since their activities against the russians will always be now subject to some suspicion about whether or not there was some activity, collusion, even inadvertent discussions that went on between the campaign.
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so this has to be pursued. >> i want to ask you about something else that needs to be pursued and that is of course the turkish gunman who on monday killed the russian ambassador to turkey. somehow, as a result, of that attack, it seems as though there's been an alliance formed between turkey and russia. the opposite of what you would think would happen. but now an alliance formed with them whereby they're almost cutting -- they are cutting the u.s. out of any sort of syrian plan. what do you think of what happened this week? >> i think what's happened this week was preceded by very much serious concern in turkey after the attempted coup. and also the concern about kurds within turkey and also kurds operating with us in syria and as a result they seem to have changed their position versus assad's regime in syria. and they're now willing to talk
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to the russians, and talk to the iranians, they're, as you point out, excluded the united states. i don't think those talks will be entirely successful because you need all parties around the table for a solution. but it indicates to me, not so much the assassination unfortunate assassination of the russian ambassador, but more or less the uncertainty in turkey after the coup and also their concern about the kurds. >> but how troubled are you that the u.s. has been excluded? >> well, i don't think it's a good sign. because i don't think that it contributes to overall stability within -- within syria, and in addition it seems to give assad a longer sort of tenure. and our policy has been and should be to get him out of there as quickly as possible. but it's not encouraging. the only good thing might come about is the level of violence as they talk, that would be a relief to the syrian people.
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but i think long-term to get a stable, durable solution, you're going to have to have the involvement not only of turkey, russia, but the united states and the united nations and the international community. >> senator jack reed. thanks so much for being on "new day." >> thank you very much, alisyn. >> let's get to chris. >> all right. president-elect donald trump is tweeting and deleting, and then tweeting again. not about the terrorist attacks around the world. but once again a topic he can't let go of. next, in the bottom line.
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all right. president-elect donald trump is tweeting this morning. not about the ongoing terrorist situations around the world. but about november's election. why isn't he looking forward inauguration day instead of looking back? joining us now with the bottom line, senior congressional correspondent for the washington examiner and host of the examining politics podcast, david drucker. let's put up the tweets. one he wrote. then he deleted. he seems to be watching whatever is going on this morning about the electoral college, and how it's so much more difficult to
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win the electoral college than just the popular vote, and that he would have campaigned differently if he wanted to win the popular vote. and that he spent so much less money than hillary clinton. did when she lost the popular vote -- when she lost the election. the only thing he hasn't mentioned is, which could be true, is that she had more faithless electors than he ultimately did in the electoral college. but why can't he let this go? these ideas of the legitimacy of his win? >> i'm not sure. chris. and i think i've come to this conclusion about donald trump and his tweeting. that whatever he's tweeting about on any given day, the story is somewhere else. so while it all makes sense in terms of the president-elect's focus on his legitimacy, and the prowess of his campaign skills over the course of these last two years that we followed him, since he won the election november 8th, and i sort of watched the tweeting continue, most of the time i think that whatever he's tweeting about, and of course as journalists
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we're trained to tweet everything as the president says and does important. look, a lot of times it is. but i've kind of come to the conclusion if he's saying this the story is somewhere else over here. >> ah-ha. so if that's the model, if this is the shiny bauble that we're supposed to chase this way, what is it that we're being distracted from today? >> well, it could be a lot. i mean number one we're keeling with some of the activity surrounding his inauguration. some of the ways in which people around him are trying to raise money. by the way, this would be nothing new. you need to raise money to keep a political organization up and running. if you're not raising money, somebody else is. we pay a lot of attention to it because trump said he would do things differently. he's not necessarily going to be that kind of politician. but i almost think it's better if he does things normally, because if he wants to be successful, if he wants his party to be successful they're going to have to raise money. and you're going to have to deal with a lot of people in washington, many voters might
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think are unsavory but they're the smartest people in town when it comes to running the government. the other issue is just simply, you know, how his administration, as it is forming -- >> yeah. >> is going to deal with a lot of the issues that the are happening. >> right. >> yeah. >> i think his primary distraction. >> yeah. >> is that he got crushed in the popular vote. and he doesn't like that -- >> and we shouldn't -- >> keeps getting bigger and bigger -- >> close to 3 million. >> and that bothers him. but it is what it is. and the election is over. i also think that this other distraction is something that we've been picking up on this morning. which is the reporting that is real. about them getting caught trying to make money off selling access to the president. those are real documents that were formed down there in texas. i've never heard of a draft invitation that's out a donation schedule before. and what newt gingrich is saying, what sound can we play -- >> i'll just read it. newt gingrich just gave an interview to npr in which he says that the president-elect no
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longer likes the phrase drain the swamp. i'm told he just disclaims that. he now says it was cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore. david. >> and, and, newt said that the president has the power to pardon his kids in advance in effect saying they can do no wrong no matter what happens. newt gingrich suggesting something like that. >> yeah, well, i think -- look, newt is an interesting character and obviously he has a lot of experience in using his, you know, position as a former speaker of the house, and the reputation he built up as a historian from his time in the limelight for you know furthering his you know post-office political endeavors so he's very familiar with this. look, here's how this stuff works. donald trump is in a sense, although he acts unconventionally is really functioning like every other politician. there's some things here that are different. and one of them is that he has such extensive business holdings, including a big, brand-new shiepny hotel here in
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washington, that even if he does nothing, even if he never encourages people to stay there, they're going to do it anyway so that they can drop in meeting with either administration officials, republican congress, that i'm at the trump hotel, it's so great. everybody's looking for an advantage. ultimately, how votes are going to judge the president, the new president is whether their lives are better. and if their lives are better honestly they're not going to care if he's robbing them blind out of their own piggy bank. if their lives aren't better they're going to look at every flaw that has nothing to do with whether it's his fault or not. >> yeah. >> and they're going to decide he's falling down on the job. that's just how it works. >> i get it. why would he move away from draining the swamp. his supporters -- >> because he can't govern that way. it's a cute phrase. you heard this from president obama just not with that phrasing. when he ran for office we've heard this from a lot of politicians of both parties drain the swamp, lobbyists are bad, money is bad, then they get here and realize number one lobbyists used to work in government, they are the smartest people in town. if you want to run an effective
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government, if you want to pass you ainfrastructure bill, if you want to do tax reform you're going to need the help of the dreaded lobbyists. if you want to win re-election, protect your party in the midterm election to further your agenda that people voted for you for, you're going to need to raise money, because that's how politics works. it costs money. and so they get here and they either realize it or they knew it all along the truth is a lot of voters realize or have decided for better or worse that washington isn't the most, you know, pristine place to do business. they'll look past it. >> all right so you have political reality. that's fine. and there's salesmanship in politics, we get that. but, what newt gingrich just said about the president having the ability to pardon his kids in advance. to say anything that comes out of a conflict of interest, anything that's wrong, anything that's arguably even illegal, they should be forgiven and held harmless in advance. could you imagine the hypocrisy that should fall on newt gingrich's shoulders after
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everything he said about his hillary clinton and about you know the integrity of government? >> i think that, if the exact sort of thing that newt gingrich would say, i don't think it's anything that this administration would do. and if his kids, who are going to be his closest advisers and are going to be de facto members of the administration within the white house, whether they're given some sort of formal title and they get around nepotism laws or not, if they do anything seriously wrong, it will cause the president-elect a problem. and -- and especially as you head into the next election if people are not quite satisfied with how things are going. and i think one of the reasons we saw a pullback and we hear this faux story about oh, it's just a draft is because they recognized that it was bad publicity. newt gingrich says this sort of stuff all the time. i take it with a grain of salt just because, you know, one minute he'll say this, and then the next minute he'll say something else. and it's just the way newt gingrich looks at government, and it's you know i think one of the reasons why possibly he
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didn't end up in the administration is i don't think that trump needs a free agent like newt out there. >> but it's just so telling. he got these, you know, chattering class people on tv especially in the morning going after what bill clinton said, and what the president-elect said. but they don't talk about this. with newt gingrich. it just lets you know what the pundits care about. they care about this inside minutia b.s. but this kind of thing that would be an assault on the constitutional power they ignore. >> and they shouldn't. they should not. >> all right. well, we're talking about it. chris revealed what he cares about. let us know what -- david. thank you very much. let us know what you care about, do you like the idea of draining the swam? you can tweet us. meanwhile one of the world's top tennis players is lucky to be alive after coming under attack in her own home. do police think she was targeted? and what will take to get her back out on tour? >> kvitova. ♪ (woman) one year ago today mom started searching for her words.
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time now for five things to know for your new day. german police are looking for a tunisian man in his late 20s, linked to a pro-isis group in connection with monday's terror attack in berlin. officials say his identification papers were found in that truck used in the attack. donald trump's transition team says the president-elect is closely monitoring the terror attacks in berlin and turkey. this as his children deny involvement with a january fund-raiser reportedly advertising access to the president-elect to big donors.
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the death toll rising to 29 in the spectacular explosion of that fireworks market north of mexico city. 70 other people were injured. the cause of the blast under investigation. lawmakers in north carolina are convening in a special session to consider repealing the state's controversial bathroom bill. it follows a heated gubernatorial election won by democrat ray cooper. he made overturning the law a focal point of his campaign. today is the shortest day of the year. it is the arrival of winter, often known as the winter solstice here in the northern hemisphere. we will experience the fewest minutes of sunlight for the entire year. the good news is, it gets longer by a minute every day. >> the shortest day and the longest night. do you know the difference between the solstice and the equinox? >> more on that later. for more on the five things to know go to new da the latest. the attack on a tennis player in her home evoking memories of past attacks on
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women athletes. is this anything like that? was this her being targeted? was it a crime? how bad are the injuries? >> first a new hampshire teenager with a rare genetic disorder is not letting his small stature block his shot. tristan is dribbling right past his hardship. dr. sanjay gupta has his story in turning points >> at 3'5", 15-year-old tristan is not your typical basketball player. >> on the first day of tryouts when i saw tristan come in i thought he was somebody's little brother. >> reporter: tristan is now playing in his high school basketball team for a second year. >> making a basket was my goal in each game. >> reporter: tristan has an extremely rare chromosomal disorder. it's a form of dwarfism that impedes growth and also affects the muscles, liver, brain and eyes. it can lead to premature death
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in patients who experience severe complications such as a heart infection. >> they knew he was small. they found it by accident. >> reporter: by that point tristan was in a fight for his life. his mom had prepared him for the worst. >> they had sat me down and said i needed to look at quality of life versus quantity. >> reporter: but then he turned a corner. after what should have been the last trip of his life. >> they really i don't think gave him more than a few months so we did the make a wish trip to florida and he really hasn't been sick since. >> reporter: now ten years later, tristan credits his grit for helping him soar. >> i wouldn't give up. millions of you are online right now, searching one topic. that will generate over 600 million results. and if you've been diagnosed with cancer, searching for answers like where to treat,
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petra kvitova, a two-time wimbledon winner and the 11th ranked women's tennis player in the world, will be sidelined following an attack in her own home. she needed surgery for wounds on her hands. she suffered fighting off a -- an armed robber with a knife.
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joining us now is christine brennan, cnn sports analyst and "usa today" sports columnist. great to see you. so do we think that this attack was really just a random armed robbery? or was she targeted somehow? >> alisyn, so far all the reporting is that this was random. that this man said that he was wanted to check one of the utilities in her apartment, and she let him in and pretty soon he got her at knifepoint, a knife to her neck, and he realized according to the authorities that it was petra kvitova, a superstar in the czech republic, obviously one of the great tennis players in the world, at that point. so it's different from monica seles or nancy kerrigan story in that sense. but at that point, then, she's six feet tall. she is a strong athlete. one of the great athletes in the world. so she was able to fight him off. which is to her great credit. and she said on twitter how fortunate she feels to have done that. but in so doing her left hand was gashed, and stabbed, and cut
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by the knife that this man had. and she is left handed. a power player. wonderful prospect, i was there in 2011 when she won her first wimbledon. kind of out of nowhere. so that's the problem moving forward now is how she will recover over the next few months after surgery yesterday. >> then she won a second one in 2014. she still got a lot left in her. the surgery supposedly repaired tendons, and other tissue in all five fingers on the left hand. they're saying three months. what are going to be the variables going forward? >> chris, as you know, anything could happen from this point on. i think she's optimistic, which is great. she's young, 26. as i said, that's a positive. but there has to be concern. eleventh great tennis player in the world. won the bronze medal in rio at the olympics. really in her prime. will she be able to not only get all the feeling back with the tendons and the nerves, but also
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that touch. she's known as a power player. you can see that in the clip she's incredibly strong, talented, tennis player and athlete. but would she have a touch around the neck? would she be able to do all the things that obviously one of the great elite athletes have to do? those are the questions. i will say this, when she comes back, whether it's the french open, wimbledon, wherever it might be, it will be one of the best covered events of the year in tennis. because i think now the entire world will be rooting for her, as the world was rooting for monica seles back in '93, '94, '95 as she started to come back. >> as chris just reminded me in that situation with monica seles it's not just physical wounds, it's the psychological wounds afterwards. you know, this, this doesn't just mess up your hand, in the case of petra, it messes up your head for a long time. >> that's right. and monica seles, as great a tennis player as she was, and then she did come back and win one more grand slam event after she was attacked in april of
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'93. but she was never quite the same. and she even said that that it just was so difficult. keep in mind with monica seles she was stabbed in the back during a changeover during a tennis tournament in germany. incredibly different story line. but the same result in the sense of being injured. she was gone for more than two years. she had won eight grand slam events, seles had, before she turned 20. she'd done that all within a three-year time span. number one in the world at the top of her game. so, then she never, as i said, quite recovered in that way. so the mental anguish, the mental stress, we saw a glimpse with kvitova in her twitter feed where she was very optimistic and grounded great about it. and that's a good sign moving forward. >> yeah, christine, thank you. great to talk to you. >> always my pleasure. >> all right how about some good stuff for you? next.
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as a supervisor at pg&e, it's my job to protect public safety, keeping the power lines clear, while also protecting the environment. the natural world is a beautiful thing, the work that we do helps us protect it. public education is definitely a big part of our job, to teach our customers about the best type of trees to plant around the power lines. we want to keep the power on for our customers. we want to keep our community safe. this is our community, this is where we live. we need to make sure that we have a beautiful place for our children to live. together, we're building a better california. this holiday, the real gift isn't what's inside the box...
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it's what's inside the person who opens it. give your loved ones ancestrydna, the simple dna test that can tell them where they came from -by revealing their ethnic mix. it's a gift as original as they are. order now at triple shot at the good stuff for you. first police in casper, wyoming are helping to spread some holiday cheer. officer henry walked into a department store surprising shoppers by commanding them to stop paying. the police department received ten grand from a secret santa -- >> noway! >> so they decided to divide it up and gave it to unexpected parents shopping for their children.
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>> okay that's a dream come true. >> mm-hmm. >> we have more good stuff for you this morning. our "new day" staff has grown. first our senior producer megan welcomed this adorable baby boy yesterday morning. owen eric was born weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces. mom, dad, and baby, as you can see in this next picture, are doing beautifully. megan, eric, if you're watching congratulations. and if you're not watching, why aren't you watching? >> not name chris. controversial. >> strangely. weird. and then are you going -- >> we. one of our great camera operators, dean baxter welcomed granddaughter haley grace yesterday, as well. it's a good italian name. she was born weighing 7 pounds 13 pounces. 19 inches long. and strong. congratulations to parents brienne and evan scala and older sister hope dean two-time grandpa.
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>> that is fantastic. congratulations, dean. i see future intern already. >> yes. >> yeah. >> they look like they have what it takes. all right that's your show for us for today. time now for "newsroom" with carol costello. good morning, carol. le. >> future intern? >> first they'll be paid interns. >> yes. >> actually. >> sure. >> they're paid for fair day's work. >> exactly. you guys have a great day. "newsroom" starts now. and good morning, i'm carol costello, thank you so much for joining me. the manhunt is on. german police searching for a tunisian national in connection with a berlin christmas target attack that left 12 people dead and 48 wounded. cnn has learned that police believe the suspect has ties to a pro-isis network within germany. hala gorani in berlin with more. hi, hala. >> well, fast moving developments and a country on edge. authorities


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