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tv   Wolf  CNN  December 21, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PST

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blitzer. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you so much for joining us. starting with new information on the man suspected of killing 12 people in a berlin christmas market attack. police have named a 24-year-old tu tunisian as the suspect, his name, anis amri. a six-figure reward leading to his capture. he is reported dangerous and armed. he was already considered a threat. cnn terrorist expert in london with us, and our correspondent. what do we know about this suspect and the efforts by police to find him? >> anis amri entered germany about a year ago and applied for asylum. he's from tunisia. gone through the asylum process, was denied asylum, got a stay on
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his deport agency and also hati with the law. didn't show up for court. when they tried to deport him, the authorities had so many names and i.d.s on him, they couldn't get clear exactly under what name they would deport him. because of the rules, they couldn't let him go, send him back to tunisia. they had to let him go here, and that's where it stands now. a six-figure reward, as you say. up positive 100,000 euros, more than $100,000 to find him. he is believed to be armed and dangerous. if he is the one in the truck, he beat and shot to death the polish driver after he highjacked that truck and crashed it into the market that's just right near us. >> and, paul, i know you've learned the attacker was part of a network in germany. what can you tell us about that? >> a security official saying that the perpetrator, suspect the perpetrator, part of a isis
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recruitment network funneling wannabe jihadis from northern germany to syria and iraq. a recruitment network they partially dismantled just a few weeks ago in november, making five arrests including the leader of, a jihadi by the name of abu walla and the warriors, because he has these ties that network could help hide him or could help smuggle him out of the country. you'll recall on to the paris attacks, he ducked out, abubsalam was provided shelter until they got ahold of him. they could be hiding him somewhere in germany and that
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could really complicate the task of investigators here. this is a race against time, because the other possibility is that he feels cornered now that his picture is out there. that his name is out there, and he's got nowhere else to run and he may decide to skirla acceler other attempts he wants to launch and appears to be driven by extraordinarily ideological, someone who wants to launch a modern operation likely to go to paradise, in their view. >> chris, tell me about some of the political fallout that we're seeing? because obviously, there are ramifications for chancellor angela merkel, because of her being so open to refugees coming in to the country, and unfortunately, actually, i think i see chris touching his ear and doesn't hear me. paul, we'll try to re-establish that with chris, but i want to ask you about this. you're saying that -- he was part of a -- recruitment network that had been dismantled.
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what about isis proper? is there any evidence that the attack was directed or planned by them? >> not yet. but the fact he was part of this recruitment network, only partially dismantled. actually would have had ample opportunity to connect with isis operatives, perhaps through encrypted apps in syria and iraq. we don't know if he did that. but that the kind of people he was mixing with in germany had all sorts of contacts back to syria and iraq and the leader of this network was actually a 32-year-old iraqi himself, and so it may well be that isis had more than an inspirational role in this attack. they may have actually, there may have been actual been some communication, but we have no yeftd evidence of that yet and have to see if the perpetrator tries to
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get information back to isis. one of the possibilities, that he filmed this as doing it and is going to upload this footage back to isis hq in syria and iraq to put on the internet. >> paul, when we see some of the opportunities for officials to -- certainly have exposure to this individual, they were aware of him, thought he was a threat. you heard chris' report. he wasn't deported because of so many potential names they couldn't do it. it's stunning when you look at that. how is that being received and what's your read on that? that there were so many opportunities certainly for him to be on the radar or deported? >> it's hard to see this as anything other than a failure by the security services in germany, given that he was on their radar screen as a person who was considered dangerous, a risk. the fact they had him in custody
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just a few weeks ago during the summer, and were not able to then keep him in custody because they were not able to sort of complete these deportation plansics because they couldn't establish his identity, some of the blame appears to be, apportioned to the tunisians by the germans for not being cooperative enough in that process tonight. so there's a lot of blame being sort of shared around. that all being said, there are just huge challenges the germans and other european security services have given this is an unprecedented threat given the number of people that they're worried about across europe, and we're talking about tens of thousands of people who have sympathy with this isis or al qaeda ideology in europe, and if you dmcompare that to the unite states where the fbi identified about 1,000 people of concern in counterterrorism investigations, you've got a sense of the idea of the greater scale of the
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threat in europe, and also with those very large travel flows to syria and iraq. and back. it just costs millions and millions and millions of dollars to follow people 24/7 around the clock. you can't just put people in prison unless you can actually prove in a court that they've commit add crime. >> sure, and if you can figure exactly who they are. it seems to be in this case. thank you both. i want to talk more about this berlin attack and the suspect. here with me is peter vittig, german ambassador to the united states. ambassador, thank you very much for being with us and our sympathies are with your country at this time. how is your country healing as they move forward from this attack? >> brianna, let me first of all say how overwhelmed and moved we were to see such an outpour of solidarity and support by our american friends, by citizens, by officials.
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it was really heartwarming and it's good to have friends in difficult times. we were very grateful for that. now, this really, this attack, has touched, know, a very -- sensitive point. the christmas tradition in germany is a long-standing family tradition. you know, we all go out to the christmas markets and celebrate with our kids. the season. enjoy the food and the wine. so this that hit you know, a very vulnerable point, and it happened all in an iconic church in berlin. and i await with my family, go to this place often. it is really an attack on our traditions, and that's why not only because, you know, people died, and 49 injured still struggling with their lives, but it went at the heart of tradition there. >> you heard our terrorism analyst paul crcruickshank,
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described it as security failures. this idea that this individual was known to german authorities, that according to a german security official, he had been arrested in august. forged documents on his way to italy and was released by a judge. he had so many different names he was using it was hard to determine exactly you know, who he was, or it seems odd that then the answer was to release him. what do you make of what's being described by some as failures here? >> well, i would be hesitant to jump to conclusions. the situation is still developing. indeed, it's right, the search operation and there's a major search operation going on. it's focusing on this tunisian national who apparently had links to radical islamist groups. >> but you don't take issue with the facts that he had been arrested, that he had forged documents, that he was in the
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deportation process, but that he had been released by the courts? >> this is indeed what is being reported. i -- i can only say to deport, to repatriate people is not an easy operation and in this case apparently there was a roadblock on the way back to tunisia. and this is what we are foc focussifocu focussing on in the futcher to have a better reputation with the recipient countries. that's not an easy task. >> we see that there. germany has taken in so many refugees and immigrants. what are the challenges that you have, where you have so many people who you are deciding exactly, can they come in? do they need to go back to their home countries? where someone could be deemed a risk and refused asylum, and yet still be allowed to go about and not report to the court, as they are called to do so?
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talk about those issues. >> first of all, that's not confound refugees and terrorists. thets not compound them. most of the refugees that came, 99%, are peaceful and not troublemakers. and they ---isil and related groups, of course, want to drive a wedge between us, the population, and muslims, and this is their game, and we should not fall into that trap. most of the muslims in germany are very peaceful. by the way, i mean, i was impressed by the outpour of muslim germans that joined everybody in deploring this event. so we should not fall into trap and mixing two things. i'm not belittling, you know, the challenges that our security organizations have. by the way, it's very important that our two, the german and american security services,
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cooperate better. some of the attacks that were in the planning were foiled because of american help. we are very grateful nofor that support and we will increase our intelligence cooperation, and be vigilant for -- those cases. >> but the fear is very real, and we're even seeing the chancellor now in a way being a bit of an apologist for her approach in promising that it's not going to happen again. that there won't be this influx. and we hear you. we know that. we know that refugees come in, and by and large, they are peaceful, but many critics say, you open yourselves up to a risk. so how do you deal with that, when the fear is so real that even the chancellor herself, the architect of this move, has voiced concerns? >> well, the situation in 2015 was extraordinary. a lot of refugees came in. the sheer number and speed was
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overwhelming. now the numbers are down dramatically. the numbers are contained. we are in a more regular situation. we have vetted them. we have housed them. it's a much different situation. but the risk of isil-inspired attacks is real. all over europe. and we have now been hit by one. the first major attack of this scale. and we have just -- be very vigilant. step up our security services and step up the cooperation especially also with the americans. >> certainly we are not immune to those attacks either. thank you, german abd ambassador to the u.s. we appreciate you being here. coming up, president-elect donald trump is under heavy criticism for frequently skipping intelligence briefings. plus, the dialogue with
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russia is frozen. can the president-elect fix that?
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we're told president-elect trump has been briefed following the attacks in turkey and berlin. he received a daily brief and previously they wouldn't say whether he was taking briefs before the attacks. this as he meets for a pick for national security adviser, general flynn. flynn is scheduled to meet with president-elect trump today in florida where he is spending his holiday. that is have cnn's jeff szeleny is, outside of mar-a-lago. do we know anything about this,
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besides the fact it happened? >> reporter: we do not know the classified details of the intelligence briefing, but the fact it did happen is news. donald trump said he is not going to follow the lead of other president-elects, other presidents, and receive this presidential daily brief. the pdb, every day as it's called. he says his advisors will. this is is a different day. we are two days after that rampage on the christmas market in berlin and donald trump was facing questions earlier if he'd received that briefing. his transition officials went out of their way to say, yes, indeed, he got that briefing today and is meeting with general flynn today as well here at march lo-a-lagmar-a-lago, an priebus and others. he's wrapping up several meetings here at mar-a-lago trying to round out his picks for cabinet and other internal meetings. no announcements expected today
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but the focus on intelligence for at least the first part of the day. >> weird told he talks to general flynn and other members of his security team every day, but do we know why general flynn traveled to florida to see trump in person today? >> reporter: we are told because they are having internal meetings trying to round out the re69 of their white house staff and general flynn clearly is a key part of that. brianna, you have to wonder if it's also related to optics here. two days after the attacks in germany, and other attacks happening around the world here. and as donald trump was often a, you know, he often raised questions of president obama being on vacation and other things. you can tell we are here at marge larat -- mar-a-lago, a windy palm beach and they clearly want to say they're on top of this. a transition team this morning in a daily conference call with reporters says he is ready to be commander in chief. getting this information from
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his national security experts every day but they wanted to show us a picture of that today. >> certainly. jeff zeleny outside of mar-a-lago, thank you. for more, someone inside the ongoing transition process. congresswoman blackburn a member of the team. we appreciate you joining us. i want to talk to you about something that stood out to me, which is -- a number of tweets that donald trump sent out this morning, and that was because they really didn't have much to do with what we see as the really pressing issues right now. he said -- i would have done even better in the election if that is possible. if the winner was based on popular vote, but we campaigned differently. he also said, i have not heard any of the pundits or commentators discussing the fact i spent far less money on the win than hillary clinton on the loss. he won. why is he wasting time talking about this instead of these
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pressing issues of national security? >> i think mr. trump is doing what many of us do as we do a look-back after a race, and especially a competitive race, and you look at the press that has been the follow-on and everyone's assessment and analysis and then you weigh in on it. what many of us would privately do, mr. trump is continuing, as he has done so well, taking his thoughts and those ideas to the american people, and he utilizes twitter for that. >> it doesn't project necessarily security. the idea that he has released secure in his win and can just let this go. what message does that send to foreign countries, be that allies, be that foes, when leaders there are thinking about how they're going to be dealing with donald trump, how they might try to get under his skin?
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>> i think what it does show people is that he goes back and he analyzes what he has done. how could i have done it differently or better, or if the rules of the game were differently, what steps would i have made? i don't necessarily see that as a negative. i have to tell you, i think many people, not only americans, but those around the globe, are really intrigued with mr. trump and his approach to analysis, his approach to problem-solving, and probably are looking forward to their opportunity to engage with him in the united states once he takes the helm as president of the united states. >> you've won many an election. so maybe you can answer this question from that perspective. once you win, don't you say, i won. that's great. i'm meevi imoving on. what is my focus ahead? i can't imagine, congresswoman, you made excuses why you won
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when you've won an election? >> i wouldn't look at it like that. i think that someone like me who has run campaigns and been a campaign chair and a party chairman, things of that nature, you always take time to go back and you look at vote totals, and you see where you were strong. and you see where you were less strong. at the same time, what you're doing is putting your focus on your next steps. what you're going to accomplish, with the opportunity that you are, that you've given. you know, my team and i are already hard at work on the legislation that we're going to be filing on january 3rd. we're already hard at work looking at our committee work for next year. looking at what the house is going to do. as we move forward to repeal and put in place affordable patient-centered health care and message that to the american people, every single step of the way. so, yes. you conduct your analysis.
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you think out loud with people that are close to you, and then you also are planning those next steps, and i quite frankly think that is a very healthy and holistic way to approach it. >> we have been told today that donald trump received his presidential daily briefing. you know he's gotten a lot of guff for not getting that every day and for getting information through advisers. he's met in person with his national security adviser michael flynn. that's significant, because he went down to florida to do this. you look at those things and heard a criticism about his not getting enough briefings. what do you make of these developments today? >> i'm pleased to see the focus on our nation's security. the two tough issues in this election cycle were the nation's security and jobs and economic security, and brianna, one of the things that i'm hearing from women especially is their deep concern over public safety, and making certain that we are
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dealing with the terrorist cells that are now located in the united states. their concern about what is happening with refugees, and the realization by many people that our governors and our mayors do not know when refugee populations are coming into communities and also the awareness that indeed many of these individuals are not vetted, and you have heard from terrorist leaders as they planned to infiltrate. >> can i stop you on that really quick, congresswoman? >> sure. absolutely. >> you said many are not vetted. i know certainly there be concern, the vast majority of refugees are peaceful. there are many people who argue there are risks when you open yourself up to people coming in to the country. but you say they're not vetted, and yet i've gone up through the process, and it's pretty extensive. the vetting process, for how many different government
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agencies, the department of homeland security, and you're saying, is that being sidestepped? >> brianna, let me ask you a question. have you ever been inside one of the reception centers along our southern border? >> i have not. >> have you ever been -- okay. have you ever been to one of the office of refugees resettlement reception centers in housing areas? >> no, i have not, but i certainly have talked to -- >> okay. then -- >> talked to reporters. >> no, no, no, no, no. let me interject here. i think if you were to take the time to make those visits and talk to those caseworkers and see firsthand what you would learn is that the individuals that many times those that are entering into the country are released to, they don't know who they are. many times these individuals themselves are not in the country legally. and then there is no way to keep track of those that are coming in. now, when you have an area such
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as we have many of the areas in the middle east, where you do not have the appropriate government structure that can vouch for an individual to say that they are who they really are, or where they're from, or -- >> but there's actually -- but i do know this, because as a news organization we've looked into this process, and when there is someone and they don't know who they are, or where they're coming from, they don't let them in. there's a process to make sure. we've covered a number of -- >> not always. >> -- covered a number of immigrant stories. >> this is not certainty and spes f specificity. >> where are you seeing that? we haven't seen that. >> well, i would encourage you to visit, to go in and look at the office of refugee recessionment, to look at the lack of reporting that they have
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done back to congress on their agency. i would encourage you to go to one of the reception centers along the southern border. >> but they go through the fbi, through a number of these agencies. >> and they can only deal with what they are given with. they cannot tell thaw that individual is who they claim to be many times. and that is why until we have a little bit more specificity and some certainty in this process, this is why we're hearing from mayors and governors and it's a big issue and then you look at -- >> i want to understand because i think a lot of people are very fearful of this. >> yes, they are. >> do you know of specific instances where people are completely bypassing what is actually a quite labyrinthed process for getting into the country? >> i would encourage you to look -- >> well, look, i certainly will, but i'm asking -- >> yes and then i would encourage you, i would encourage
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you to go and look at some of the reception centers, and talk with some of the caseworkers, and i think that that would -- >> but that's not my question. that's not my question. >> broaden your -- >> my question is, are you aware of -- i mean i can go to these centers and look at this. are you aware of people coming to the u.s. even though they can't make it through what is quite a complicated -- there is a vetting system. there is is a strong vetting system and every time i've asked someone associated with, and because this is a real fear for so many americans. i've asked people -- >> sure, right. rightfully so. >> and i've asked, what's going to change? they don't describe any change from what we already have. they just make it sound like there isn't any sort of vetting process when there actually is. >> the things that need to change and what needs to be done, until there is a vetting process where you know the individuals are who they claim to be --
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>> but we have that. >> no, we don't. and you need to have the dhs secretary and the president be able to confirm to congress. you also need to be able -- >> you have syrian refugee whose have to jump through hoops for two years before they come into -- >> tell me what it's going to cost. and look at what the cost has been. look at what the cost will continue to be, confirm criminal actions or lack thereof and be able to put all of this on paper around specific individuals. are there those who are -- >> but we have that, congresswoman -- they have that. >> who deserve their -- >> there are some. they have that. >> brianna -- >> they know that. they go through the process of, of looking -- >> for many individuals, yes, you are correct. but there again, i would encourage you. look at what is happening on the southern border, and individuals that come there, and talk with
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those caseworkers and they will tell you many times -- >> but where are the people who are -- where are the people who are slipping through, that you are talking about? >> ask a dhs and ask the office of refugee resettlement how they follow these individuals once they are released in the country, and many times they will tell you, they do not know. and that would be their answer. they do not know where they are, and they do not know if the individuals they have been released to are individuals who are in the country legally themselves. >> all right. congresswoman marcia blackburn, thank you for being with us. appreciate it. >> good to be with you. thank you so much. coming up, a deadly explosion add a fireworks market in mexico. details ahead.
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the death toll from an explosion at a fireworks market in mexico has risen. 31 people are now confirmed dead. this was the scene yesterday. a series of blasts that sent huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. 70 people were injured and there are still many people missing. authorities are searching through the debris still looking for victims and cnn sara side sner in the town of tultepec, mexico, where the explosion took place. this isn't the first time this has happened.
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by wasn't more done to prevent it? >> reporter: in the 2005 an explosion here. no one died, but certainly a fire and so dangerous. authorities came in and said all stalls have to be moved murder apart to stop a chain reaction from happening, because this is a place that sells fireworks. that's what it's here for. it is what fuels the economy here. i'll give awe look at the scene now. obviously, those safety measures did not work this tile. it's been ten years or so since they have had a fire and explosion happen here, but this one, absolutely devastating. the number, just got a new number. the new official number of dead is at 32. stow has risen by one in just the past couple of hours. we can also tell you this. we have been watching as they have been bringing in cadaver dogs and bringing in forensics looking through, digging through the rubble that you see there. this used to be 300 of those concrete stalls that you're seeing the remnants of, all sort
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of lined up, spaced apart, filled with all sorts of fireworks. you know what? families were here. a huge number of families here. as tradition has it here in mexico, people like to come and buy their fireworks, mothers, fathers, brothers, uncles and aunts and blow them off for christmas as well as new year's's some of them won't make it to either of those days. brianna? >> so terrible. sara sidner thank you so much for that report. coming up, russia says the communication with the u.s. is "frozen." details, right after this. when a cold calls...
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don't rush to conclusions nap is coming from the kremlin's spokesman warning against speculation for the motive of
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russia's ambassador to turkey. the pictures you about to see are graphic. we warn you. the turkish ambassador shot and killed at an art exhibit. the entire incident caught on camera. turkish authorities detained 12 people for questions and the statement for owners of the art center of revealed the gunman was not screened before he entered the facility. just showed his badge and was let in. as the gunman fired he shouted, "do not forget aleppo. do not forget syria." this is an assassination that comes at a piv pivotal moment. these two countries supported opposite sides of theive issal war in syria. russia, instrumental in president bashar al assad bsh'sh to include syria and aleppo. just yesterday, talks held on syria and the united states left out of the conversation. a spokesman for the kremlin says that nearly all dialogue between russia and the u.s. has been
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"frozen." we do not talk to each other. let's talk about the u.s. and russia's tense relationship now with christopher hill, the former ambassador to iraq. he was also the assistant secretary of state for east asian and pacific affairs and now is the dean of the joseph korbel school, university of denver. thank you so much, ambassador, for being with us. we appreciate it. i want to get your read on something. let's talk about a statement, response, we got from the state department spokesman john kirby who says it's difficult to know exactly what is known about this comment of being "frozen." this continues across a white range of issues. significant differences with moscow on some issues well known but not a break in dialogue. we noted secretary kerry spoke with foreign minister lavrov just yesterday about the situation in syria. you, sir, have dealt with a lot of foreign diplomats over your career. when you hear a spokesman from the kremlin say that this
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dialogue is frozen, they don't communicate, yet we know it's the contrary does that concern you? >> yes. it concerns me a lot. in fact, this inability to kind of work with russia has been extremely problematic over the last few years. i hasten to add a lot of this blame can be laid at the doorstep of vladimir putin who seems unwilling to kind of meet anyone halfway. at the same time i would not say it's 100% at his doorstep. our problem in syria, take a position early on essentially untenable, unforcible, the notion bashar al assad must go, and then we'd begin to sort of talk about what lay in the future for syria. and clearly, that position has led us nowhere and, in fact, kind of led us to be in an isolated position, as we are now. >> what about these talks between russia, iran and turkey on syria?
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secretary kerry not invited. the united nations sending monitors to the area were not consulted. how would you handle this? stand by, ambassador. we are going to listen to donald trump live at mar-a-lago, the resort in florida. >> so i'm wondering how this might affect relations with moscow? >> it's an attack on humanity. what it is. it's an attack on humanity, and it's got to be stopped. thank you. thank you. >> all right. you see donald trump there. the president-elect, going inside of the doors there at mar-a-lago, flanked by reince priebus, incoming chief of staff. behind him you saw general michael flynn, who will be his national security adviser. and he said this is an attack on humanity. i didn't actually hear the question, ambassador. and we've seen a couple of things. i'm assuming he's talking about what we saw in germany, but we'll fun that around and get that to our viewers. back to the talks with the u.s.
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being left out. russia, iran, turkey, talking about syria. how should the state department handle this? >> we are being left out, but i think it's important to understand so is the u.n. so are all of the sunni arab states who have a big stake in the outcome in syria. so i wouldn't exactly bet the mortgage on any success in these moscow talks, but i think it is significant that russia is trying to look ahead. they're seeing aleppo as a sort of culminating point where they can now kind of look forward to what kind of system can be put in place. it's obviously very disappointing that all of that dialogue between russian foreign minister lavrov and u.s. secretary of state kerry appears to have led nowhere. again i think we have is a really difficult time dealing with countries that don't necessarily speak our language. we've seen in this, in the u.n. debate, where it has been a lot of naming and shaming, and i understand.
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i'm very frustrated myself, at the russians. but nooimt sure that's the way to move them or find common ground. as a country we need to do a lot better job putting together coalitions and not just issue blood-curdling statements about the other side. >> quickly, if you can what do you they president-elect trump needs to be cautious about when it comes to syria and dealing with russia as he heads into the white house next month? >> well, he sure has to be more cautious about russia than he appears to be. i mean, he needs to understand that they, their interests and their attitude does not align with ours. i think the first thing is, we need to have a kind of clear understanding from the russians where this could come out. if they think it's going to come out with business as usual, with bashar al assad at the head of a very narrowly defined, very
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undemocratic syrian government, i'm not sure that's an end game we can necessarily subscribe to. at the same time, though, we need to get real about some of this opposition. our whole policy, help the moderates, they will be able to deal with the led moderate, smu in assad goes away, the less moderates will say we'll leave the scene. i don't any it's that easy and we should not have put ourselves only talking with a narrow slice of the op saingsd not talking at all toy d the assad government. >> it is a very difficult situation there, as you outline. thank you very much. coming up, more staff announcements of imminent. details on that. plus, trump's state department pick under fire for reneging on a promise to congress. right after this.
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president-elect donald trump is close to making more staffing transition. a source says we can expect trump to announce his choice for press secretary as early as today and as far as cabinet level positions, trump has five of his posts to fill. but one of his picks is getting major pushback from democrats. let's talk more about that now with my panel. joining me is elise labott, cnn global affairs correspondent jackie kucinich, washington bureau chief daily beast and ed o'keefe, political reporter for the "washington post". "washing" rex tillerson, democrats are saying he has ties too close to russia. i've heard people who support him say he'll change allegiances, take off this hat and put on another one but that's not what democrats are saying. >> well, they're not saying that
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and they're saying these ties to russia will hamper him in his future job but i think you've heard really credible people like former secretary of state condoleezza rice, steve hadley, former deputy national security advisor, is bob gates, the former defense secretary, these are people that recommended him and they say, look, he knows, he has a vision of the world, oil politics is strategic and he'll be able to use these skills to apply them and he won't be working on behalf of a company anymore where he's looking to make profits. he'll be working on behalf of the american people and american interests. >> we've seen people move in between politics and certainly other -- you know, the private sector and politics and we see this all the time, jackie. but there's still concerns. >> absolutely. phil mudd made the point a couple days ago, a former intelligence official, that this is a strategic relationship, that tillerson could use, his relationship with russian and putin officials, could be used
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to help the united states. it could end up being an asset and the concern that democrats have is that there is a form that you fill out when you're nominated for a cabinet position. he wasn't explicit that he would give over his tax returns. >> just information about his tax returns. >> yes, exactly. now, there's no requirement that -- there's no rule he has to give them over and democrats really do, though, risk politicizing this to the point that they push republicans into tillerson's pocket that he wouldn't have normally had. >> because there are republicans who have concerns, ed, and it seems like what they want to extract from him during this confirmation process are assurances, right? >> and there's no democrat i've talked to who thinks that he would be defeated. but certainly nominee to nominee democrats hope to sort of wound them along the way, slow the process, make it so that they can't all get confirmed on inauguration day because there are legitimate questions about them. the fact that steve hadley,
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condi rice and bill gates, who were all consultants to exxon say he's smart and capable is one thing. when they're collecting a check from him, they can say that. democrats can go on and see that he know what is he's talking about in a confirmation hearing. that's why when it's a two-part thing on one day, that won't be sufficient to a lot of democrats on the committee and overall to the senate who will want to know more about him. they will say look, you have no diplomatic experience, no government experience and you'll be working for a president that has neither, either. we have legitimate concerns about this. and on taxes, expect to see democrats push to have every single committee require that every single cabinet nominee release their tax information -- republicans won't agree to it, but they'll try and that's another way they may try to stall this process out even as they likely head to confirmation. >> that's exactly what they're doing with tillerson, right? he said in his questionnaire that he provided by to congress that -- to the senate foreign relations committee that he would provide this tax
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information. the democrats are looking for the full tax return, yes, because of some of the concerns they say that this particular post in his relationships with russia deserve extra scrutiny but democrats are also admitting they're trying to use this to high delight fact that donald trump himself has not released his tax returns. in a sense they are politicizing this to an extent that doesn't help the process and he's going to provide a full financial disclosure so we'll see what happens. >> the israeli ambassador to the u.s. is speaking out about donald trump's campaign promise to move the u.s. embassy in israel from tel aviv to jerusalem, a very controversial move and he says "i agree with him. is this possible? >> it's certainly possible. you heard donald trump say that and now david friedman, he said "i'm looking forward to doing my
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job from the capital of israel, jerusalem." donald trump can do it. congress has been calling this for years but successive presidents have waived this because they feel that jerusalem is something to be negotiated between both parties. >> and particularly when you need countries in the muslim world to help in the fight against isis and this risks alienating them and causing more trouble. and that's not necessarily from a diplomatic standpoint what you want in this sort of -- >> can you give a final thought. c >> this could have ripple effects and it's within his rights to do so, if he wants to do so, let's see if he does it. >> ed, jackie, elise, thank you so much. that's it for me, i'll be back at 5:00 eastern. i'll see you on the situation room. "newsroom" starts right after this.
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as we begin the hour with what's been happening, the latest developments in berlin, i want to play sound for you that just happened. this is president-elect donald trump speaking out for the first time as he's been on holiday in palm beach at mar-a-lago specifically weighed in on these attacks overseas, including berlin. here's mr. trump. >> reporter: have you spoken to president obama since then. >> what's going on is terrible. i don't have the intelligence right now. what's going on is terrible. >> reporter: has it caused you to re-evaluate your plans to create a muslim registration or muslim immigration into the united states? >> you've known my plans. i've been