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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  December 21, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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indication hoff significant the move could be and could adversely effect the move between the u.s. and the palestinians and the u.s. and the arab states. >> thank you. i'm brianna keilar. and i thank you very much for watching tonight. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, breaking news an international man hunt under way. a 24-year-old tunisian mandate is key suspect. and the deadly fireworks explosion that killed more than 40 peel. what went so horriblily wrong? let's go "outfront." >> i'm poppy harley.
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a -- german officials identifying this man a tunisian migrate the focus of their identification. amari's identification papers found inside the truck. this has president elect donald trump makes his first public comments today on the attack. listen. >> it is an attack an humanity, that is what it it is. it is an attackon humanity. and it's got to be stopped. >> what more do where he know about this man? who is the key suspect. they know don't if he's the only one. but this is who they are hunting for. >> reporter: and we're learning more about his past as well as potential security failures. here in germany he had at least
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two runne-ins with the law. . we also know that in june authorities tried to deport him but were unable to do so because they weren't able to establish his identity. now he's on the run, potentially armed and dangerous. the man hunt is on for 24-year-old tunisian amres amiri, his identification papers found in the truck that plowed into the market. germany offering a reward of just over $100,000 for information leading to his capture. warning the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. >> the person we are talking about seems to have entered germany in july 2015. he was mainly in berlin since
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february. >> reporter: german authorities had been aware of him for some time. deemed a security risk earlier this year, his request for asylum in germany was denied. and he was facing deportation for months. amari has been linked to islamic extremistist network known as a bu viola. he and four others were arrested last month. at one point a german security official said he was looking for a gun. monday's attack, one of the deadliest in germany in decades now fuelling a backlash against chancellor angela merkel. >> translator: it would be wrong if you made our german chancellor responsible for this horrendous act.
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>> reporter: now facing fierce opposition from her opponents. merkel joined mourners in a church next to the scene of the attack. there's already been political fall out from this attack. legislatures pushing new laws that would increase government powers to electrically surveil german citizens as well as increase the number of security cameras located in public places, measures that have been previously unpopular, poppy. >> as you know, 900,000 plus immigrants coming into german this year. some backlash on both sides. a man claiming to be the father of the suspect they are hunting right now is speaking to us. i'm interested. what is the father saying?
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also has he been in touch recently with his son? >> well he's been given an interview with a tunisian radio station, which he said his son left tunisia about seven years ago to go to italy as an illegally immigrant. and was convicted and served four years in jail for an arson attack on a school and a robbery attempt. and then traveling to germany. where as we've been hearing he came onto the radar of german counterterrorism services. he's saying he's not been much in touch with his son but some of the siblings have been more occasionally in touch with him. a picture being painted of somebody who was violent even before they were radical. and of course the question is when did this individual become radicalized? was it perhaps during this jail sentence? we've seen this with so many
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that it's in prison they get radicalized. >> and a lot more we need to know. but some light shed on all of it from his father. thank you very much paul. also "outfront" to discuss phil mud. address roderick. and chris sweck. let's talk about where he could be. because the issue is, you know, the porous borders. the schengen agreement. the ability to drive in and out of germany to surrounding countries with little to no check points. and also the fact they didn't know his identity t for a while. they didn't know who they were looking for. so could he have gotten on a plain? >> i doubt he got on a plane. but let's think about the other things you mentioned. is he in the surrounding area? or as we talked in the past might he have made it to syria? the world in syria is changed substantially. it is a place where isis is on
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the run. it is not as welcoming an environment for foreigner as it would have been even a year or two ago. so i think the likelihood is he would find it difficult getting there. the second oppositition is does find the network of radicalizers in germany? there is one problem there. that is not only a problem for him. that is a problem for security services who have looked at -- you belie >> you believe authorities at this hour could be playing somewhat of a mind game with him at this point, to lead them to this network. >> well that is what i would do, if i had any inkling of this where this person was. subject of course to making sure he doesn't commit anymore violent acts. in germany about three weeks ago, they hit about 200 locations, the counterterrorism officials did. and out of those type of
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operations you get a lot of intelligence. and that is about the same time they arrested alleged associates of this attacker. so i think they knee lot more than they are putting out and that is a good thing. hold things closes to the vest and play it cool right now. >> the concern obviously for the public is this man is armed and dangerous. and if they have him cornered, a major concern is potential for dpl -- follow-up attacks. especially if he feels his opportunities are limited and he wants to kill more. should they be concerned that something could be eminent? >> absolutely. and i agree with chris too, that i'm sure that the german law enforcement are holding information back. he's going to be like a cornered animal when they actually get to
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him. i'm sure over the past 48 hours that a lot of information that's been put out or lack of information actually that kept reminding me of the days i worked with german law enforcement. they held things very close to the vest. would not let out information. would try to run the leads down themselves before they went to the public. knowing full well when they wept to the public with good information that it could expose the information to the fugitive them. and when you boil this down, you use is t same fublgtive techniques you would looking for an individual wanted for a terrorism crime or an individual that you are looking for a standard criminal-type crime. so it is the same methods in both types of cases. but obviously this individual is armed and dangerous. he's called person already. and he's not going to have any hesitation to shoot at law enforcement or take innocent lives again. >> taken 12 lives and injured 48
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more. here is what we do know. he was known to german security services as someone in contact with radical islamist groups. he did pose a risk. he was arrested in august. they released him. he was looking at one point for a one. you said wait though. don't be so quick to call this an intelligence failure. why? >> you used a word that has a lot of meaning in my world. and that is "in contact." what does that mean? does thpeople use the phrases i the radar. there are direct connectivity. that is communication with an isis recruiter. someone seen by an informant talking to an isis recruiter or someone who follows an isis person on twitter and maybe says he's interested in isis and posts a flag on facebook. all of those are contact. before i see this as a failure,
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poppy, i got to see more about that what that word means. >> we know in the interview that the man believed to be his father said so tunisia radio that it's been seven years since they had spoken since he left to try to go to italy. that he had been in touch with his siblings. if you are on the authorities on the case right now you are obviously reaching out to the siblings. people he may have been reaching out to for help and direction in a time when he's running as fast as he can. >> absolutely. that would be the start operating procedure. first place you want to go is family, friends and associates and find out if this individual's been in touch with them. what are the communications going back and forth and knowing how german law enforcement works. and the bka i'm sure they have done that already. i think've seen report where is the tunisian police have gone out and interviewed the family members and come back with some information, obviously not all of it is going to be shared with
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the public. but i think they are pretty much probably closing in on this individual and not sharing a lot of information with us. so not to tip this individual. because wherever he is sitting he is also gathering intelligence from these news reports that we're doing here, you know, on every channel. >> thank you all very much. "outfront" next, donald trump meeting with his national security team about the berlin attack today. so why is he now tweeting about an election that he's already won? tweeting a lot about it? also a million dollars for an audience with a president elect. half million to go hunting with his sons. now the family says they knew nothing about the charity auction. we're going to dig into that ahead. and the death toll is rising in mexico from this horrific fireworks explosion. next we're live on the scene
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tonight donald trump meeting with his presidential briefing team. and today trump saying he's up to speed. jeff zeleny is "outfront" tonight in palm beach where the president elect is spending the week. >> in florida today donald trump
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receivering his first intelligence briefing of the week. t >> attack on humanity, it is what it is. it is an attack on humanity and it's got to be stopped. >> reporter: at his mar-a-lago retreat trump meeting with the michael flynn and other generals while making his first comments on the berlin attack that willed 30 and injured dozens. trump drew fire earlier this month from saying he receives no value from receiving the presidential daily brief everyday. >>off to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. i don't need that. >> trump's advisors are mindful
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of the optics surrounding his skurtd briefings. trump who proposed a muslim ban one year ago, before softening his position later, was then asked about it again today? >> you known my plans all along and i've been proven to be 100% correct. what's happening is disgraceful. >> reporter: yet in the face of rising challenges with global terror threats trump started his day once again still defensively tweeting about his victory in the electoral college "i would have done even better if that is possible if the winner is based on popular vote, but would have campaigned differently." he went on the boast how he spent far less money in his win than clinton this her loss. and after questioning the cost of air force one, he sent shock waves into the boardrooms.
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today boeing brought something of a victory. >> we're going to get it done for less than that and we're committed to working together to make sure that happens. >> reporter: this is how donald trump plans to do business in the white house by bringing some business leaders to him. of course it is one part public relation, one part public negotiation but something donald trump's advisors say he plans to do once he gets to washington. i guess we can call it art of the deal, white house edition. poppy. >> thank you very much. also "outfront" tonight david gergen. served as advisor to four presidents. allen stewart. and basil smikle is here as well. the president elect today called the attack in germany an attack on humanity. let's run through what he said throughout the week. earlier he tweeted that the attack were all terror attacks. now police in switzerland say
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the gunman had no links to terror groups. not that they know of yet. also trump called the man who shot the russian ambassador to turkey -- he jumped the gun. do we still have david? david's gone. all right. to the panel. he jumped the gun on some things before it was known if they were terror attacks or not. he won. but aren't the stakes higher now? when it comes to the public trusting him and leaders trusting him, he may be right but until you know why say? >> i think he's correct more than he's incorrect -- >> chaert. >>[chatter]. >> -- to turkey and switzerland. >> -- repeatedly refused to call out islamic terrorism. president elect trump is not afraid to call it what it is. >> why jump the gun and do it when you don't know?
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>> he was right when it came to berlin -- here's the point -- >> i'm asking you about switzerland where they say no known ties to terrors. and the russian ambassador to turkey which they don't know the motive yet. >> they don't know the motives of those two yet. but when it comes to berlin which is critical let's get to the bottom of this, he was correct on that. and what we're seeing is a president elect who's not afraid cute radical islamic terrorism when we've had instances of that. >> it wasn't exactly that. what he did was he went ahead of his own security. his own security detail. when i say that i mean his -- the people who inform him on security issues. he went ahead of folks in the international community who are trying to make some of the same determinations so it is problematic that donald trump is -- doesn't seem to sort of
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have the ability to control his need to get out in front of everyone else even if the information is wrong. >> it is something that did not hurt him when it came to winning the election. david gergen, someone who served as advisor to four previous presidents. when it comes to being president elect and soon president, when it comes to having the american public trust you and world leaders trust you, does he have to be careful about jumping the gun and saying this is radical islamic terrorism? when in the case of switzerland or the ambassador in turkey no one knows yet. >> poppy, i think they are in the campaign. he got ahead of his skis a lot on his twitter account and didn't seem to hurt him and i think people sort of wrote that off. but absolutely true as you approach the presidency right now in particular it is very smart more donald trump to take
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these on a daily basis. not on a week basis. when your terrorists and the assassins roaming through europe. the russians and iranians are the dictating the future of syria. yes the president elect needs to be informed in advance because things can happen so quickly. and it is really important if he's going to continue tweeting. and we all say it would be a blessing if it just went away because i think he'd be a lot better president. >> it is not going away david gergen. >> he has to get it right. >> all right -- >> -- because people do hack on every word. like the federal reserve chairman. words matter. >> he's tweeted not about these terror attacks. he's tweeted a lot these three different tweets about the election, campaigning to win the electoral college is much more difficult and sophisticated than the popular vote. hillary focussed on the wrong
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states. i won't through go through all of them. they were in jeff's piece. but alice. he's got general flynn down there which the optics are very good for him to have them down there. he's tweeting when he won. i don't understand the rationale. >> he's briefed every day by his national security advisor general flynn and you saw him behind him down there in florida. and he gets briefed one or two times a day based on what the information is. he is getting briefed. he is going to avail himself of the briefings more on average and -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> clearly he feels as though the narrative surrounding the election has not been told the way -- >> >>[chatter]. >> we all know hillary won by
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almost 2.8 in the popular vote. but that is irrelevant when we're looking at the fact this is determined by the electoral college. this is a state by state presidential race -- >>[chatter]. >> -- but that is exactly the point. there is nothing to prove. he won. he won with the electoral college popular vote. we understand that. he won with the electoral college. there is nothing more to say. he needs to stop tweeting in the way that he is because not only -- >> why are we the ones -- >> why are you the ones president obama said the --. this worked with his ways. and middle america. and a lot of people on the coast. who's to tell him to change? >> there is truth in that. it makes him seem accessible to people. and i get that. but on the other hand there is an erratic nature to it. which i think will undo him at
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some point in time. because as david said every word matters. and you have earlier saying this is an attack against christianity and he didn't even know about that. and wound up saying something completely different. and every word does matter. and when you are tweeting it the question is really undermining -- >> -- as we know and it the american public has to get used to it? >> i don't think it is going to be the new normal? i doubt the -- >> but for this president? >> if he wants to tweet. that is fine. i don't have a problem. i i don't think it is becoming for a president. i think he ought to be above that. if he's going to tweet. but he needs to get it right. people do. the trust comes from knowing not only that someone is telling you the truth. but that you know what you are talking about. that you really have a grasp of the situation. and the president's office is a most powerful office on earth
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and we need a person in there who speaks with authority and with respect for facts. and it is not out in front of the story. but he is -- when he gets the intelligence in then he can tell us what's going on. >> it's been 147 days since he held a press conference. this is his way of communicating not through us the media. this is his way of communicating with the american people. david gergen. su sthou much you came back to us by satellite. "outfront," donald trump's children accuse offend trying to cash in on their father's election. how the campaign is responding tonight. and senator sessions, trump's choice for attorney general, coming up a special report on a case in his past which could affect his confirmation. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine.
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all seems beautiful to me.
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tonight the trump team firing back against accusations that the trump sons were selling access for money, or even the perception of that. eric and don j.r.'s name appearing on a invitation to a postevent promising an audience. today saying the sons will not
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participate. tom foreman is "outfront." >> the offer looked like a peddler's dream. where for a million dollars a donor could meet the new president and then enjoy a hunting trip with first family sons donald jr. and eric, all the money going to contribution charities. now the team is moving away from the whole idea fast. amid accusations it looks an awful lot like pay for play. >> access to the people close to the president is a very valuable commodity and people are willing to pay for it. >> reporter: earlier on the campaign trail the president elect attacked hillary clinton over and over again with the same allegations. >> hillary is the one who engaged if a corrupt pay for play scheme at the state
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department and now there are five fbi probes into the clinton foundation and they are pay for play activities. >> reporter: there's never been proof. but the optics clearly hurt. especially since during the bill clinton's presidency similar accusations were raised about big democratic donors staying in the white house. and now pushing back hard against critics of this latest event. documents filed with the state of texas the two trump sons were listed as initial directors of the charity involved. their names have now been removed. and in a conference call we reporters. >> there is no involvement with don jr. or eric. nor do they plan on it.
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>> reporter: and a new version of the flyer promoting the event no longer mentioning the president or any of his family members. >> reporter: indeed the original flyer says the trump team was just a draft and never a plan or an idea and certainly something they never wanted out to the general public. "outfront" tonight. ben ferguson, and keith boykin, nice to have you both. and ben, as tom just showed this is a stumbling block for the trumps. a coffee date with ivanka. a hunting fishing now with his sons. yes it's now removed off the table. why even open yourself up to this? >> because i think first of they weren't personally benefitting from this. you look at the $70,000 coffee for example that was going to help children for cancer at st.
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jude's children's research hospital. this is something that people should have supported. because you have children that are there getting life-saving treatment. in my hometown of memphis. and i makes he angry because people think somehow this money is going into their pocket and going to personally benefit them. having coffee at children's research hospital should be sold as some terrible moment here. >> i wish we could replay all of what the conservatives said about the clinton foundation because of -- >>[chatter]. -- it was pay for play. this is exactly the same thing. >> the clinton foundation -- >> -- worst. >> the clinton foundation pays salaries to their family. allows them to fly in private jets. allows them to live a private
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lyles -- >> -- $10,000. >> the $70,000 for coffee was going to fight cancer with children. -- >>[chatter]. >> -- you have to stop defending the corruption of this incoming administration. we have here is worst type of hypocrisy. >> let's get one at a time guys. >> thank you poppy, since ben has spoken for a while. >> keith finish your thought. >> ben, there is whether a bad perception because this guy has not set up his tax returns. >> has nothing to do with charities. >> a postoffice contract for the trump hotel in d.c. -- >> we're -- >> we're getting a little off topic here -- we're getting a little off top -- >> >>[chatter]. this is not new in politics. you worked in the clinton white house, right? i mean, they were accused of
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selling the lincoln bedroom to raise money. they raised a lot of money. a lot of people. a lot of big donors spent a lot of nights in the white house. how are these fundraisers any different? >> i i think that question is for me ben. hold on. i think that is an excellent question and it shows you the hypocrisy of donald trump's claim that he was going to drain the swamp. you can't campaign about all of these activities and then come in and engage in the exact same behavior and say it is okay when i do it. that is what's happening here and what the american people will wake up and see whauz -- >> let me jump in here. it is sad and perverted and sick that you are equating that bill clinton was selling out the lincoln bedroom like a hotel room that helped him personally with a -- >> the you -- >> -- let me finish. it did. it helped him get reelected --
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>> -- and ivanka trump getting -- >> >>[chatter]. >> $70,000 was going to st. jude children's research hospital to help fight cancer for children who are dying of -- >> i understand that and -- i got to jump in here and get to some other news developing tonight. let's talk about an appointment just made tonight because trump is now tapped tonight. billionaire investor carl ike -- icahn to be his investor on business reform. tonight the dnc is putting out a stadium. they call this a quid pro quo,
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25 years in the making. in the early nineties icahn couple to trump's rescue. the corrupt nature of this arrangement cannot be understated. voters who wanted trump to drain the swamp just got another face full of mode. ben i assume you disagree. why? >> first this is not a paid position. it is an adviser wroel role. and if you look at how much we've been celebrating wall street going up and people making money and retirement accounts going up this is an individual who understands how overregulation truly affects wall street and affects feel and their retirement and their mutual funds and hire 401(k)s. >> keith. >> of course he doesn't have a problem because this is the inconsistency. all the things trump said about getting rid of the wall street elites and he brings in more wall street elites. not only the inconsistency of
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the conflict of interest but having carl icahn in a role where he can select the new sec chair, which will influence the regulation of his own companies. that is a blatant type conflict of interest. >> thank you very much. feel free to debate in the commercial. "outfront" next, jeff sessions, trump's pick for attorney general. could a 20-year-old court case cause him a big headache at his confirmation hearings. and a massive explosion at the fireworks market in mexico. and this is not the first time it's happened here. how could it happen again? technology is the only thing that really entertains us. i'm gonna use this picture on sketchbook, and i'm going to draw mustaches on you all. using the pen instead of fingers, it just feels more comfortable for me.
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tonight president elect trump getting closer to announcing a key new face, his press secretary. a key source saying today news will come in the next 48 hours. also in twenty days confirmation hearings begin for trump's pick for attorney general. senator jeff sessions. tonight a case from his past that could play a role in the case in a big way. grew griffin is "outfront." >> make america great again. >> he's donald trump's pick for
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u.s. attorney general. alabama senator jeff sessions. a popular senator, yes, for nearly 20 years. a lawyer, yes, since 1973, a federal prosecutor for more than a decade. but it is what happened when sessions was attorney general of alabama, 1995-1997 that might raise questions during his confirmation hearings. in court a judge accused sessions attorney general's office of prosecutorial misconduct. it was 1996. decision' office indicts an alabama supply company. at the time attorney general sessions called the case a significant investigation. but in a scathing opinion, circuit judge james garrett threw the entire case out and ripped apart the attorney general's office in the process. the judge finding that even having been given every benefit of any doubt the misconduct of the attorney general in this case far surpasses in both
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extensiveness and measure the totality of any prosecutorial misconduct ever presented to or witnessed by this court. the case was a case of theft. a company accuse odd falsely billing a client. but in a bizarre arrangement the attorney general's investigation was fueled by money and information from that same client, who was getting ready to sue teico itself. the judge found a flagrant disregard of the intereconstitu rights of those accused. what he called completely incredible testimony of witnesses. and intentional and deliberate misconduct or so reckless and improper as to constitute
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conscience disregard for the lawful duties of the attorney general. at the time sessions said allegation in the order are unfounded and without merit. sessions was already a u.s. senator by the time the judge threw out his significant case against teico and the new attorney general dropped the case. the commission tells cnn the claims were tossed out due to insufficient facts to hold that the honorable jeff sessions violated the law. it was a major embarrass for sessions which is why he may have left it out of his congressional questionnaire just submitted, which includes his most significant litigated matters. while the case was in fact lost by the alabama attorney general and the ruling describing serious and wholesale prosecutorial misconduct stands
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law in alabama, he went on to say a separate civil lawsuit discredited the judge's opinions on some of the prosecutorial misconduct. senator jeff sessions himself did not respond to cnn. >> drew griffin joins me live. and it is strong language that a candidate of is that stature is accused by a judge. how much is this likely to weigh on him? >> poppy, essentially supporters are no doubt going to point to the fact this is an old case, but no doubt there is a poorly handled case when jeff session was in charge. will it come come up? senators are going to have to find the case on their own. and even if it does. he's a republican senator. going before a republican-controlled panel in
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the senate. it is doubtful. but it will be interesting to see if they brick up this case of prosecutorial misconduct by the person that trump wants as his attorney general. >> likely will come up given your reporting. "outfront" next the deadly fireworks in that blast in mexico city. more than thirty now dead. the search continues tonight. what caused the massive blasts? we're live on the scene with my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind.
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some air lifted to the united states. what are we learning tonight more about what caused the explosion? >> reporter: that remains unknown. when i have asked government officials they say it is too soon to speculate. they don't even have a preliminary cause, which explains why still at this hour there are forensic teams here, dogs. certainly quite a bit of an effort to search through that debris. and then outside of the fence where we are right now there is certainly a building anxiety, building desperation. as i walked around i saw a sign that said -- [speaking foreign language] -- and that means "disappeared." and a family looking for a woman. and then another poster looking
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for a mother and a brother. and you really didn't need to understand spanish to understand that this is now day two of unanswered questions for not only the investigation but for families. and still no sign of loved ones. so as you mentioned with we kno people have died. about 59 injured according to government officials. but still a lot of questions as to those who we main unidentified which we understand are at least a dozen. and this is a community known for the fireworks. this market here is said to be about ten football fields large, filled with 300 vendors. all of which i'm told had permits that night, poppy. >> layla santiago live in tultepec, mexico. "outfront" now ray lopez. this is incredibly disturbing.
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given the fact you have 32 dead. children dead. this is the place where there was another explosion in this market in 2005. the next year in 2006 there was a fire. officials have touted security there. they had called it days ago the safest fireworks stand in america. how could this happen? >> sadly, heart goes out to all the victims. but the problem with pyrotechnician. they are very unstable by their very nature. all the chemicals. and the problem is over time. and in mexico we don't know the condition of the storage and condition of the manufacturing. so have the chemicals leeched out? that i have been controlled as far as the temperature or the
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atmosphere or where they are kept? and sadly given the devastation i don't know if they will find the point of origin. but it may be a long time until we know. >> and one point is given how volatile the substance is and temperature differential just between night and day even just moving them could cause this. >> in the united states the department of justice through alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives maintains a system where they regulate the manufacturing, the control, the transportation and storage of pyro technics in this country. and even with all those control, and the quality is excellent, you still have accidents. these are very susceptible to the atmosphere and human condition. things like heat, shock or friction can get these things to go. the problem with pyre technics
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is especially in mexico, one spark sets one explosion. and then triggers another and another another. the picture is telling. it was a chain reaction and it just goes. almost there. i can't reach it. if you have alligator arms, you avoid picking up the check. what? it's what you do. i got this. thanks, dennis! if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. growwwlph. it's what you do. oh that is good crispy duck. does your child need help with digestive balance? try align junior probiotic. so she can have a fraction dominating... status updating...
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thanks for joining us. ac 360 starts now. good evening. john burman in for anderson tonight. police have a name and a face to go with the christmas market truck stak in berlin. their suspect is at large. authorities say he could be armed. he could be violent and here is what's worse. he was already on their radar before monday's horror unfolded and a dozen people lost their lives. now not only was he knownality at one point he was in custody. tonight he's a fugitive. live from berlin with the latest, what are we learning about the suspect? >> reporter: well we know that he had at least two run-ins with german authorities in a


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