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tv   Wolf  CNN  December 22, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PST

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the recession or now with the 15 million new jobs created are actually in the workforce. so the president did a lot but he can't do it by himself. he's president, he's not the monarch. >> mr. mayor, brian stelter, thank you for being with us. thank you for joining me at these hours. brianna keilar starts right now. hi there, i'm brianna keilar in for wolf blitzer. it is 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 6:00 p.m. in london and 8:00 p.m. in jerusalem. and wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you for joining us. we're starting with the manhunt in germany for the man police believed slammed a truck into a crowded christmas market. this is the suspect. anis amri. and police are asking the public for help finding this 24-year-old tunisian. now there's a new video clip of amri. this was something posted on facebook but at this time it is unknown when or where it was shot. our erin mclaughlin is live for
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us in berlin where the christmas market has actually reopened. tell us about the manhunt and the police raids. jud are german police confident the suspect is still in the country? >> for the moment, they're not saying. what we do know is they're casting their net wide. police across europe are on the lookout. in fact, there was a raid at a port in denmark today. although that turned out to be a false lead. for the most part, though, authorities seem to be concentrating, the police raids here in germany, in berlin, as well as in the cologne area. according to the prosecutor, they received a tip-off to search a coach in the german city of hilden today, although that looking to be a false lead as well. meanwhile, here in berlin, life seems to be getting back to normal. a sign of resilience just behind
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me. the christmas market, the scene of the attack, had been reopened this morning. albeit to intense security presence. a lot of police officers here, they've also installed concrete barricades to prevent this kind of attack from happening again. they've also set up a makeshift memorial just outside there. you might be able to see the candles and flowers to remember the victims of this attack. the kiosks, though, are open. selling spiced wine as well as gifts. i spoke to one customer today and she told me she's here because she believes in hope, brianna. >> it is really something to see that market reopen. thank you so much for sharing that with us, erin mclaughlin. and we are learning some new information about the suspect. what officials knew that he was capable of. joining me from london is cnn terrorism analyst paul cruickshank. he's also editor in chief for "ctt sentinel."
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paul, what have you learned about plans for this attack? >> cnn has obtained a 345-page investigative file about this isis recruiting network that the suspected attacker was part of. i've been poring through it over the past few hours. some extraordinary revelations. that's that the german security services had an informant inside this network feeding them information in the months leading up to this berlin attack. one of the pieces of information is that anis amri discussed launching an attack inside germany on several occasions. they already knew that before this berlin attack. the fact they knew that many months ago, it would appear. and also this police informant was party to conversations when other members of this network discussed launching truck ramming attacks into crowds in germany and actually with the idea of loading these trucks up
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with gasoline and explosion ims to try to create an even more spectacular attack. they were also aware of him trying -- the suspect, amri, to get hold of a weapon. so they had a very clear image of this guy as being extremely dangerous, as being somebody who had aspirations to launch an attack inside germany, and they also knew that this was being sanctioned at the leadership level of this radical network, this isis recruiting network in germany. and that this -- these leaders were offering him sanctuary, places to hide, if he wanted to launch one of these plots. so one of the concerns is going to be this network is actually now hiding him right now. >> so paul, why not act on that intelligence that he had plans or talked about attacks multiple times? were german authorities
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hamstrung by something? >> well, they're going to have to answer for that. one can only think that they needed to prioritize to a certain degree. triage to a certain degree. given the scale of the threat they're facing, the number of people they're having to monitor, to follow. they did roll up the leadership of this organization, this network. in november, they arrested the five key figures. the five key pros tallizers, the people influencing others to join isis. what they didn't do in november is roll up all the foot soldiers. so the worry is there are other foot soldiers out there. youngsters radicalized by these prosta la tizers in and around dortmund in northern germany who will move forward now with attacks inspired by what they've seen their friend do. >> paul cruickshank, thank you. i want to talk more now about the security landscape in europe
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and also here in the united states. here with me now is william cohen, the former secretary of defense, and a leading international security expert. so you have german authorities at this point admitting they had this suspect in custody and then he is -- he is released. he sort of drops out of the picture a little bit. because they do release him. i mean, is that stunning to you? >> it's not stunning. you asked the question, were the german officials hamstrung. i would say yes. by history. they have had a history of the german intelligence services in east germany and along with the soviet union. so there's a strong sentiment on the part of the german people to put more emphasis on privacy rather than government surveillance. that's going to change obviously. they've got to be even more intrusive if they're going to prevent or at least reduce the likelihood of more of these taking place. this is a soft target. there are soft targets all over
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european, the united states, elsewhere. they're easy targets to hit, if, in fact, you can get through the perimeter of your security, which means your intelligence capability. >> so you find it hard to believe that something like this, the multiple contacts with authorities through deportation hearing and then a release and so on, there were others, you think it would be difficult for that to happen here in the u.s.? >> well, we've had examples of it happening here. what is the difference between thought, talk and action. can we, in fact, interrupt someone who is talking about it but not taking any action? we may get to the point in the future where we have something on the equivalent of the minority report where we have the kind of analytics that are predictive -- >> it's almost sort of un-american, isn't it? >> it's almost un-american, to say we're going to try to look at the information we have and predict whether or not this individual, based upon his or her conduct, religion, theology and sociology is likely to
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commit this act, having talked about it on the internet, having contact with radical groups. do we take them now or do we have to wait until they take and act? and that's something that every liberal democracy has got to contend with in the coming years. >> could you really -- do you really see that happening in the u.s., especially considering there are some of these lone wolf suspects that we've seen who certainly their lawyers are claiming entrapment, that they have been talking to who they think may be someone facilitating their extremist act but in the end it's law enforcement and they catch them right before they're going to do something. i mean, that poses some legal problems. >> we have dylann roof. a neo-nazi white supremist -- >> the church shooting in charleston. >> who killed nine people in charlest charleston. did we know he had these proclivities? did we follow him? should we have? should we follow all of the neo-nazi groups in the united states? or wait until some of them take action? this is a problem and all of us who live in a free society and not a dictatorship.
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>> secretary cohen, thank you. really appreciate it. a virginia man has now been charged with attempting to help isis. lionle nelson williams was arrested yesterday and prosecutor says he was trying to provide material support to isis. in this case, they believe he was collecting money to help the terror group buy weapons and ammunition and they also say that he's posted online support for isis, targeting police officers and the u.s. military. now, coming up, president obama is trying to end a program created after september 11th. his goal, to keep president obama trump from using it. and president george w. bush's chief of staff andy card is going to join us live to talk about that and also what it's like to be in the white house while the commander in chief is waging a war on terror. a high intensity tens device that uses technology once only in doctors' offices. for deep penetrating relief at the source. new aleve direct therapy.
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breaking news on what the u.s. intelligence community knew about the suspect in the berlin christmas market attack. cnn justice correspondent evan perez for this story. evan, tell us what you've learned here. >> u.s. authorities had put this suspect on a u.s. no fly list essentially after getting information indicating he was a member, he was associated with a group operating in central europe that was communicating with people in syria. isis members in syria. now, we don't know what the -- when exactly he was put on this no fly list but we do know this occurred before this attack. it appears while the germans had not -- did not feel they had enough information to arrest him before this attack happened in berlin, they did possession information which they shared with the u.s. intelligence that indicated that he was somebody
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who they needed to be aware of. that he could not get on a plane, for instance, and travel to the united states. it appears accord to information that we reported here on cnn, he used various identities. so it's not clear exactly which of these identities the u.s. was aware of. we now know from talking to officials that the u.s. community was aware of him, they put him on a no fly list before this attack occurred. >> all right, ev an perez, than you so much for that update. the obama administration said today it would end a program once used to track mostly arab and muslim men. it is a program that donald trump has suggested he is considering resurrecting. i want to discuss this now with andy card, he served as chief of staff to president george w. bush. andy, thanks so much for being with us today. you're someone who can speak about this in a very informed manner. this program, for national
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security re-entry program, it involves what's called special registrations both for foreign nationals and also for immigrants from muslim nations as they come and go from the u.s., mainly muslim nations i should say, and this was started under the bush administration in 2002. president obama is ending this now dormant program that registered a lot of muslim and arab men in the u.s. and this is something the president-elect wanted to institute. in your opinion, is this something that is necessary today? >> well, first of all, i want the president to be able to have all of the tool necessary to help protect america. this was a valuable tool. i can't imagine that it's lost its usefulness. i susz suspect it's a very valuable tool to have. i am disappointed they'll take that tool away from the next president. maybe he'd have to put it back in so he can use it. with a world as hypersensitive as it is today with the reality
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that terrorists want to attack soft targets, that they would be paying attention to every tool in the tool box. that was an important tool. i think it should be available for the president to use to help protect america. >> do you think it's different, though, in terms of looking at donald trump's rhetoric during the campaign, talking about really a muslim registration program and a muslim ban and there have been a lot more amped up rhetoric than there was around the time that this program was enstated, that that added to using someone like using this program, could be a recruitment tool essentially for isis or other groups? >> i suppose you could make that argument. don't thing it's quite the same as donald trump was talking about, registering all muslims and prohibiting muslims from coming into the country. i thought it was a very targeted program. one that was appropriate to better understand the nature of people applying to come to the united states. and i think it's a valuable
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responsibility for the united states government to have that. it's a privilege to come to the united states. it's not a right, it's a privilege. before we grant that privilege, we should be able to ask important questions and exercise some judgment as to whether or not a person is coming here for the purpose they claim they are or they're coming here for some other purpose where they're trying to hide an attack and get into the country and do something. so i think they should use all the tools that are available to protect the country. it's a tricky job to be president. but this is one of those areas where the paramount concern for the president should be to protect america. the ultimate oath he takes. >> you're someone who firsthand discuss ed wi discussed with and watched george w. bush make decision about how he was going to communicate things to the country. we watched donald trump this week saying this was radical
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islamic extremism we were seeing in this attack in germany, also in turkey. he got out ahead of those folks. i want you to listen to something that kellyanne conway, who we now know is going to be one of his top aides in the white house, how she explained some of those comments. >> donald trump is constantly criticized here and elsewhere as, oh, my god, look, he doesn't even have the evidence yet, and he's saying it's isis. he's been right every single time. he's not saying it to be right. he's saying it to remind us. >> he's not saying it to be right, he's saying it to remind us. what do you think about that coming from a president? >> you know, he's the president elect. he's not the president. but i don't have a problem with him offering opinions. he doesn't have to be as knowledgeable today as he will be the day he becomes president of the united states. so i don't have a problem with him conjecturing on something. yes, it's dangerous to do. i'd like him to taste his words
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before he spits them out and get some counsel from his advisers. but i don't think it was malicious. he's not the president yet. he is going to be the president. i hope he's doing everything to get ready. i know that president obama's team is working very hard to make sure that he will be ready, especially to understand the nature of the threats to america and the ones that are real and the ones that might be imagined. >> if he doesn't make a somewhat dramatic change in how he messages things, and i did say president, i misspoke, president-elect. if he doesn't make a dramatic change once he gets into the white house, what are the dangers of that, of saying something before it's confirmed by intelligence or foreign countries? >> i think the president-elect trump will learn when he becomes president that the words he uses really do make a difference. he'll be very careful with what he said. that doesn't mean he has to prevent himself from opining about what's happening in the world. but he has to be very careful
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because the words spoken in america are heard all around the world. and some people in other places around the world don't hear the way we hear in the united states. so i do think it's important for him to taste his words before he spits them out when he becomes president. i'd like to have seen him doing that as a candidate for president. he's putting good people around him. the white house staff is starting to get in place. i'm impressed with the people he's put around him. most of them have the current to speak truth to power and that's critically important. ryan priebus i know is doing a good job. so i'm confident he will have the right information around him. i hope that he exercises some discipline to keep a secret a secret. he doesn't have to talk about everything the moment it's brought up to him. but i would like to see him meet the responsibility protecting the united states without exacerbating the threat to the united states. and i think that's a fine line to walk. i witnessed george w. bush do an outstanding job understanding the nature of the threat to the
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country and working very hard to protect us. >> andy card, thank you so much. advice we can all follow, taste your words before you spit them out. we do appreciate you as always being with us. >> thank you very much. >> and cominge ing up, obamacar enrollment reaches a record high as the president-elect promised to repeal it next month. what does this mean for the plan and for millions who use it, next.
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president-elect donald trump promises to repeal obamacare when he takes office next month. some now wonder if he could face growing opposition. why? well, enrollment in the program
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hit a record high. nearly 6.4 million americans have already selected obamacare policies through the federal exchange through the new year. that is about 400,000 more people than last year. my panel of cnn political commentators. ryan lizza, washington correspondent for the new yorker. patty solis doyle, former campaign manager for hillary clinton. and doug hye, a former communications director for the rnc. you have these concerns over enrollment a few months ago. now we've seen that premiums were skyrocketing. although fair to say a lot of people weren't going to feel that. but now you have a lot of people saying, wow, donald trump might be leery, might need to be leery politically of getting rid of obamacare. >> well, i think he, during the campaign, didn't quite understand, at least publicly, he never articulated what he would replace obamacare with. when you get into the details,
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it's enormously complicated. that's why a lot of republicans on the hill now are a little worried about how to proceed. do they repeal and replace? do they repeal and then have a waiting period where they wait and try and get some democratic buy-in during that period. it's a big complicated thing to transition from one health care system to another. especially one that's been intact now for eight years. and i think the surge of enrollment you saw was obviously people who realized the results of the election meant that obamacare wasn't going to be there. there's a big push by the administration in the last enrollment period to get people to sign up. so this is going to be much more complicated i think then trump realized during the campaign. >> patty, what are democrats really worried about losing when it comes to obamacare or are they pretty confident that donald trump just won't have the political ability to do away with this? >> well, look, agree with ryan when he said that during the campaign, trump didn't realize
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how complicated it is. i find it ironic that it took his meeting with president obama to really sort of open his eyes and to how complicated it's going to be to repeal obamacare. without having anything to replace it with. that's the real problem here, how do you tell 20 million people that you're not going to have insurance anymore and give them no alternative. i think that's the political problem for donald trump and republicans on the hill. is they have nothing, there is no alternative for all of these people who will be without health care. >> donald trump has said, doug, there's not going to be a lapse even of days. he he said that in his "60 minutes" interview right after he was elected. but congressional republicans aren't so definitive about that. how can republicans really make any big changes to obamacare that would allow them to say, hey, we repealed it? >> i think the repeal vote will happen first, and then they'll be a long waiting period. >> before anything takes effect?
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>> the repeal vote will be politically first and foremost of importance to republicans to fulfill that promise they've made for six years. if they don't do it, they'll be politically a lot problems. republicans have talked about repealing obamacare for a long time without replacements in place. i spent two year, 2 1/2 years in congress -- >> i was going to say, you know -- >> working on different replacements be s and people l wine would call me and said, where's your replacement bill? this went on for a long time. this reinforces where republicans are on entitlements. these are tough complicated things. it took two years for obamacare to be enacted. when we enact big social program, it's difficult to repeal them, difficult to change them. once you create an entitlement, it's usually there to stay. >> one possibility is fix obamacare, call it trump care and call it a day. i don't think that will satisfy republicans. >> it's not going to. >> if he decides it's too much of a mess to go forward with the main conservative plans on the hill, he could do what he's done
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on social security and medicare, become defenders of those programs. he's not on board with a lot of republicans in terms of changing to those programs. that's one way out of this, call it trump care. >> is the irony is that's exactly what the hillary campaign campaigned on, not repeal it, fix it. >> i think trump supporters would listen to him before they would listen to republicans on the hill. >> i agree. the bill that goes through will emphasize the primacy of congress. >> congress care. >> gop care. >> mostly i don't think you want your name attached to the word "care." >> pretty much. >> does it give you some solace that donald trump is more of a pragmatist than he is a ideologue about some of these things? and you're even seeing daylight between congressional republicans and donald trump on what they want to do here? >> some, not a lot. i think i see this transition and many of its appointments or
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its nominees and i, you know, as someone who did not vote for him as a woman and as an immigrant and as an hispanic, i am still sort of very wary and very fearful of some of these appointments like jeff sessions, mnachuin, secretary, tillerman, after his ties to russia. after russia basically tried to, you know, negate our election. so yes, i'm a little fearful still. >> we will talk more about that. last question to you in this block, because we have more time with you guys, is to you, doug, in places like florida or in your north carolina, pennsylvania, despite there being a lot of support for donald trump, people, a lot of people there like their obamacare. i mean, how do you deal with that where you have to satisfy as a republican the base and yet
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part of your base is liking this product and they're going to be really mad if there's even a perceived repeal. >> well, i think for a lot of them, they're using the product. we don't know yet whether they like the product. it's certainly what they're depending on now. in north carolina, you have pockets of the state that are doing very well. charlotte, research triangle park for instance. you have a lot of pockets, former agricultural areas, that are still really hurting. those are the people who are really i think surging the enrollment numbers. >> doug, patti, ryan, stick around. up next, we're to talk about the trump transition team because they're floating the possibility of early executive action to impose tariffs on foreign imports. what are our trade partners saying about it, next.
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multiple sources tell cnn the trump transition team is floating an idea of early executive action that would pose tariff on imports. my panel of cnn political commentators back now. ryan lizza, patti solace doyle. the trump team saying it's too early to go into specifics for this. what would this mean, a 5% tariff on foreign imports? >> the people hit immediately would be consumers in places like walmart, target, and the big box retailers who rely on massive amounts of imports, cheap imparts, from places like china and elsewhere. >> cheap everyday items, clothes, socks. >> this was a bedrock view of conservative economists that you don't mess around with this, right, for years conservative economists have been defending
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the great prices that american consumers get because we have these low tariffs and multiple free trade agreements. trump is really challenging republican orthodoxy on this issue if he's going to go forward. >> some strange bedfellows on this between trump and leaders of industrial states like debby dingell in michigan. let's listen to her on "new day" this morning. >> the first thing i thought when i heard it is donald trump understands the working men and women of my state and he's delivering on what he talked about the entire election and why i was one of those democrats that said donald trump could win. for the working men and women of my state who are tired of seeing their jobs shipped overseas and don't feel like they're playing on a level playing field, he's just saying that, they're cheering, he's hearing us, our jobs, he understands, let's protect them. >> she supported hillary clinton but her concerns with what's going on with michigan was almost prophetic when hillary clinton was bested by bernie
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sanders in michigan and what we also saw, the final result of the general election. when you hear someone like debby dingell say that, what do you think? >> look, think donald trump by quote/unquote floating this idea is sending a strong political signal to his supports, absolutely. but as ryan said, when you dig deep into what this could mean, consumers pay a price. this could also lead into trade wars, you know, what's to stop china then from tariffing our goods, you know, taxing our goods that go there. you've had economists. you've had businesspeople sort of say this is the wrong thing to do. but politically, i mean, donald trump knows his politicals. this is good for people who voted for him. >> she echoed what speaker paul ryan, what kevin mccarthy have said, right? >> i would too. politically, i would say from donald trump this is the textbook definition of a warning shot. we know there's a lot of talk about a 35% tariff. when he's sending signals to china and other companies, you know, there's more to come if you don't play ball.
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but politically, debbie dingell's right this speaks to not just folks in michigan but people in ohio, where manufacturing jobs have been lost. and communities have been devastated. where the rubber meets the road is where do congressional republicans go along on this, or do they try and block it or can you get to it 18 votes, 218 votes on the hill with some group of rust belt democrats? >> they run the risk obviously, is there any way around it to please both sides? once people who are used to buying cheaper goods start seeing the receipt from their shopping trip and they go, oh, my goodness this is wow, i can't even get all the things i needed for my kid to start school or whatnot. i mean, that is -- that's splitting of the baby, right, the republicans are dealing with? >> yeah, welcome to washington. that's exactly. because donald trump is not a traditional conservative predictable on some economic policies that typically are bedrock republican issues. we don't really know where he's going to go.
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so where capitol hill and pennsylvania avenue are always at odds regardless of parties, the next three, six months are going to be very telling for what the next four years will be. >> we'll have to see more than just this one thing about a 5% tariff. eye deally, eye deally, he would have to have a larger plan, and his argument would be this will lead to some kind of renaissance in american manufacturing, american-made goods. that's his goal, to combine a tariff with other economic policies that, you know, add up to a made in america or america first economic policy that he's talked about. >> we'll have to see if it -- if that could transform soon enough. let's say a re-election campaign. all right, guys, thank you so much. ryan lizza, patti, i really appreciate it. russia tied to the hack on the democratic national committee, we'll have details next. when a cold calls...
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a cybersecurity firm has issued a report that says it found proof that a russian unit was behind this year's attack on the democratic national committee. cnn's barbara starr joins us. tell us what else this report found. >> this is a report by a company called crowd strike basically hired to look into the democratic hacks and found some details that maybe are just another marker on the road that all these hacks lead back to moscow. what the company found is a pattern of activity that they'd already seen the russians use at other times. it really squares with what we are hearing from the u.s. intelligence community. the bottom line growing is that all of this hacking appears to go back to moscow, to the highest levels of the russian government, you know, not something that would happen unless vladimir putin knew about it and wanted it to happen. on the technical side, these are
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cyber hacking tools that are used by the russian military intelligence agencies and are so sophisticated, as we've already reported, they're the equivalent of what the u.s. national security agency uses in its cyber activities. so another marker here that this was something that the u.s. increasingly believes tied right back to moscow, tied to vladimir putin, brianna. >> let's talk about another issue pertaining to russia. starting with a tweet that president-elect donald trump put out. he said the united states must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes. vladimir putin says that russia needs to strengthen its strategic nuclear forces. what do you make of this talk? and do you think that this was sort of a call and answer? >> that's what we don't know. did mr. putin speak first, trump, president-elect trump
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hear him and specifically answer mr. putin? is this moment the first nuclear standoff between the sitting russian leader and the incoming united states president? we honestly don't know the answer to that question. but this is something that is grabbing a lot of attention. putin talking about nuclear weapons. he's talking about having a capability to go against missile defenses in europe. those are missile defenses backed by the united states. russia sees that as a threat. the u.s. says it isn't. mr. trump had a briefing yesterday. not about necessarily increasing the size of the nuclear force but about improving and modernizing what is there. the nuclear force aging, the infrastructure, the basis, all of that. the pentagon has long wanted to spend a lot of money to bring all of that up to modern standards. we know that mr. trump has talked about that part of the nuclear force in the past. but the unanswered question is
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exactly what you said, brianna, are these two men talking at each other today across the ocean? are they talking about the possibility of both of them really increasing their nuclear arsenals? right now of course nuclear weapons heavily regulated, heavily limited by long-standing treaties that both countries have agreed to. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you so much. today was the funeral for russian ambassador andrey karlov who was gunned down during an art gallery opening in ankara, turkey, on monday. russian president vladimir putin was there. he made no comments at the funeral, but we do expect to hear a lot from him tomorrow during his annual news conference. and that's where he could talk further about wanting more nuclear missiles or the situation in syria. perhaps his expectations for dealing with the incoming trump administration. cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson has a little more on putin's history of diplomacy.
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>> reporter: when the soviet union collapsed, the world thought russia would be a different place. and for a decade under president yelts yeltsin, it was. >> they had free press, democracy and civil society. the problem is they didn't have any laws and they didn't have any rules. >> reporter: bill browder, an investment banker, was there in russia making millions amidst the chaos. then putin came to power. a few years later, he clashed have browder. >> i pointed out that putin and the people around him had stole and enormous amount of money from the russian people and have covered it up. >> reporter: his businesses were raided. one of his whistle blowing lawyers, sergei menitski was thrown in jail, brutalized and died there. putin rejects every accusation browder makes and has barred him from russia for the past decade. >> at this point, many people
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consider me to be putin's number one foreign enemy. and as such my life is at risk. >> reporter: he is right to be worried. putin's critics get silenced. >> well, he has a proven record of murder. either directly ordered or indirectly encouraged. >> reporter: sir andrew wood was britain's ambassador to russia at the same time browder was making his millions. he dismisses putin's denials of any influence in the deaths. >> when putin came to power, his main theme was russia should be a great power. he chose not economic reform and political progress but a lapse into what amounts to a form of narcissistic zenophobia. >> reporter: in foreign policy, that's intervention in ukraine and syria and annexing crimea, providing overnight popularity
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for putin at the price of ruinous long-term economic sanctions. pretty soon, all this will be on president-elect donald trump's plate. >> he wants to be seen as a great deal maker and as a winner. so putin has made his wish list very clear. he wants ukraine. he wants sanctions lifted. he wants to be left alone in syria. >> reporter: problem is, putin's idea of dealmaking not much of a deal. >> what he's offering i don't think is anything at all. some nice words perhaps. >> reporter: even his words, warns browder, aren't worth much. >> putin always betrayed deals. he takes what's offered and then tried to take some more in the future. and that's probably won't play that well with trump who will feel ripped off. >> reporter: what are his options going to be? >> to become probably much tougher than any other u.s. head of state before him towards
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russia. >> i think at least for a period, it will be in putin's interest to take things relatively calmly. >> reporter: the alternative could be deeply to take things relatively calmly. >> i can imagine we'll be in a position with where both guys will be thumping their chests and staring each other down. >> 25 years of post-cold war diplomacy could be about to face their biggest test yet. nic robertson, cnn, london. coming up, president-elect trump publicly teams up with israeli president netanyahu to denounce a u.n. vote that's been delayed. before the u.s. decided how it was going to vote. we'll talk more about that next.
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we have a transition of power alert. one of the final positions to be
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filled for donald trump in his white house. he's chosen his commune stations team heading forward and sean spicer is going to be press secretary as well as a special assistant to the president -- i should say assistant to the president, is the proper title. he had been a chief strategist at the rnc, spokesman throughout the campaign. you certainly recognize him. he has been a key spokesman since donald trump's election victory and then jason miller and hope hicks had been mentioned as possible press secretaries. miller is going to be the director of communications, hicks is going to be the director of strategic commune stations. we learned dan a vino is going to be the social media director. and a call for israel to stop building settlements on palestinian territory has been postponed after israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and president-elect donald trump is
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both came out and denounced it. trump put out a statement pu pushing if for a veto and said "as the united states has long maintained, peace between the israelis and palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties and not through the imposition of terms by the united nations. this puts israel in a very poor negotiating position and is unfair to all israelis." cnn global affairs correspondent elise labott is joining me now from the state department. elise, who was pushing for the vote and how did this fall apart? >> briane brianna, it's a high drama at the u.n. that doesn't usually happen. we understand the vote was supposed to take place this afternoon, it was calling israeli settlements illegal under international law and the u.s. was expected to let it pass. for the years the u.s. has had this veto protection but we understand president obama was prepared to abstain or vote yes, that was supposed to be followed by a speech by secretary of state john kerry kind of laying
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out his vision for middle east peace. you know he led that failed bid for a peace deal between israelis and palestinians. that was put on hold we understand because of pressure by israel on egyptian president sisi whose country was the one that put forward the resolution in the beginning. we don't really know who the involvement of the trump transition, we know in the dead of night there were a lot of treats going on. netanyahu was tweeting for a u.s. veto. president-elect trump followed suit then egyptians walked it back but the u.s. says they've been working on this, u.s. officials working on this for a long time well before what happened in the last few days with president-elect trump, brianna. >> with trump publicly backing netanyahu, is there a sense he's interfering with the current administration's options? >> well, i mean, look, you remember in 2008 when president
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obama was running for -- one election, he said there can only be one commander-in-chief at a time and he was very careful not to impede upon what president obama was doing at the time but there is a sense that president-elect trump has been weighing in on u.s. policy. that is the prerogative of any president-elect but certainly on something as controversial as this president-elect trump is trying to let the egyptians know that he feels very strongly about it. he's trying to set up a good relationship with president al sisi in egypt. he's letting israel know he backs israel and you've seen the controversial ambassador he appointed. you can see it will be a very different policy. >> certainly is. elise labott at the state department, thank you. in syria, the state-run news outlet is reporting the army has declared aleppo free of armed groups. cnn's muhammad lila is joining us from syria.
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muhammad, tell us who brought the last groups out? >> well, brianna, this is what could be a major turning point in this war, something people thought four years ago would not be possible, the announcement made a few moments ago on syrian state television. they're broadcasting images of people celebrate in the streets and firing into the air. what it means once it's confirmed by opposition groups is that the city of aleppo, which was the opposition base for so many years, will no longer be divided. the government of bashar al assad will control the entire city and this also means that bashar al assad will likely outlast -- imagine that -- president obama. something we thought wouldn't have been possible a few years ago but this has been possible because red cross teams on the ground have been supervising the last wave of these evacuations. most civilians were evacuated and all that left were fighters and their families on the ground. those evacuations taking place, the red cross gave us a statement where they described the process and they said during wednesday and thursday overnight
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in one of the last stages of evacuation, more than 4,000 fighters were evacuated from private cars, vans to eastern aleppo to western rural aleppo as per the agreement reached between the parties. normally brianna the red cross didn't involve itself with trvring fighters, that i focus on civilians but it seems they were there to guarantee those fighters would be a taken to safety because if you've been fighting the regime of bashar al assad for that long you need guarantees you can exit that place safely without suffering major retribution from the syrian army or one of the pro-iran proxy groups on the ground so that tipped the balance and that's what allowed the evacuations to take place was the fact that the red cross was on the ground monitoring this. >> it is very significant, as you point out, muhammad lila, thank you for that report. that's it for me. i'll see you back at 5:00 east american the situation room. news room starts right now.
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>> top of the hour, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. we begin with the hunt for a suspected terrorist as we get breaking news this hour that it wasn't just german authorities who new about amri anis, the u.s. did as well. authorities now dogged by questions over how he was able to arm himself with a truck and carry out one of germany's worst terror attacks while on the radar. his rap sheet is a laundry list of red flags, ties to a terror recruiting network, suspicion of plotting an attack, arson, assault, fraud. and according to investigate i have files obtained by cnn, german authorities not only knew he had contact with pro-isis operatives but that he had

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