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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  December 23, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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happening now, breaking news. u.s. terror bulletin. tonight, a new warning that isis may be plotting attacks on american soil with churches among the possible targets. we'll look at the potential danger in the days ahead. isis allegiance. the berlin market attacker vows his support for the terror group on a video after he was gunned down in italy. up in arms. donald trump talks even tougher about expanding america's nuclear might, telling a tv news anchor, let it be an arms race. is he threatening vladamir putin? and unsettled. the obama administration refuses to veto a controversial u.n. resolution defying pressure from israel and from president-elect trump. this hour, new details on the dramatic clash between global
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allies and between the current and future u.s. president. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and from around the world. wolf blitzer is off. i'm jim acosta. you are in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news tonight. a new warning of isis threats against churches and holiday events here in the united states. federal authorities issuing a new bulletin to law enforcement across the country about potential plots around the holidays. the warning comes as isis releases a video of the christmas market attacker, declaring his allegiance to the terrorist group. the video was posted shortly after he was killed in a shootout with police in italy. tonight, authorities are trying to figure out how amri traveled more than 600 miles and eluded authorities for days. also this hour, president-elect trump is fueling concerns about a nuclear arms race with russia. he and vladamir putin have been
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talking about strengthening their nuclear capabilities. now trump is going further, telling a cable news anchor "let it be an arms race." tonight, mr. trump is responding to a stunning move by the obama administration, its refusal to veto a u.n. resolution condemning settlements in israel. president-elect trump is promising things will be different on his watch. our correspondents and analysts are standing by as we bring you full coverage of the top stories. first to erin mclaughlin in berlin with more on the terror investigation. erin? >> reporter: jim, even though the main suspect is dead, authorities say this investigation is far from over. they're worried that he had accomplices, worried there could be more terrorists out there plotting future attacks. tonight, new video released by
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isis shows anis amri, the man who attacked the berlin market, pledging his allegiance to the group's leader, al baghdadi, and threatening the west. >> translator: by god's will, we will slaughter you pigs. i swear, we will slaughter you. >> reporter: it's unclear 2010 the tape was made or where it was recorded. the 4-year-old tunisian man was killed overnight in a shootout with police, outside of a small train station near milan. the italian government says it was not tracking amri, and didn't even know he was in the country. officers on patrol approached him around 3:00 in the morning because he was acting suspiciously. >> translator: the suspect immediately drew out a gun and shot at the police officers. who asked him to show identification documents. >> reporter: with amri dead, police are trying to find any accomplices who may have helped him.
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the fact that isis had the tape of the alleged terrorist ready to release combined with amri's train route from germany to trance, then to italy, suggests he may not have acted alone. >> the death of the attacker doesn't mean the end of the investigation or the end of the threat. he was unfortunately embedded in a much larger network. >> reporter: cnn has learned authorities were not just aware of amri, it appears they were concerned he might turn to terror. two german intelligence officials tell cnn this spring, amri was put on a list of what they called dangerous islamists, one of about 550 people considered to be on a "terror spectrum." sources tell cnn amri was on the list because of his connections to a known isis recruitment network in germany, raising fears his death could accelerate plans for other attacks by those with whom he was in contact. >> clearly whatever reticence the german authorities had to disrupting this network prior to now, that's gone.
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so these individuals know they're operating on a finite plot. >> reporter: tonight, cnn spoke to amri's brother in tunisia. he asked for the people of berlin's forgiveness, apologized for what happened. his family has been absolutely devastated. meanwhile, people here in germany continue to mourn the 12 lives lost, wary, jim, of what could happen next. >> absolutely. erin, thank you very much. now to the isis threats here in the united states. as americans celebrate the holidays. let's bring in evan perez. what are we learning about this holiday warning? it just came out this afternoon. >> reporter: that's right, jim. this was a bulletin that went out to law enforcement and private security countries around the country. it reads in part, "isis sympathizers continue calls for attacks on holiday gatherings, including targeting churches."
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they have published threats specifically calling for attacks on churches, publishing a list of thousands of churches in the united states. and the military in europe issuing a warning to troops and their families. they suggest that taking precautions, such as going to shopping malls in off-peak hours and avoiding less secure areas. >> the obvious question, is this linked to any credible threat at this point or are we just reacting to what happened in berlen? >> it's partly reacting to berlin. officials tell us that the bulletin was sent out in an abundance of caution. there's no specific threat here in the united states. officials tell me that in the last couple of days, following the attack on the christmas market in berlin, they've noticed an increase in intelligence. this is the time of year that they see that. it's not out of the ordinary.
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we've seen isis mostly call for attacks on law enforcement, the harder targets so to speak, churches and christmas gatherings are the ultimate in soft targets. >> evan, thank you very much. we appreciate it. in the last hour, i talked to a republican about the isis and terror threat. now we're joined by a democrat on the house armed services committee. congressman, the suspected attacker was killed in italy this morning. it's believed he traveled there from france. so he was able to not only elude german authorities for almost a week after carrying out this attack, he was able to travel across much of europe to italy. was this a failure of european intelligence? what do you make of this? >> i really don't know. i think we're all going to find out a lot of issues. you said earlier, everybody is scrambling to figure out what's going on. the really important thing here
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is that 500 person cell that they're concerned about in germany, that really needs to be shut down, turned off and put aside in whatever way the germans need to do that. that's where the next attack will come from. the boarders of europe have been open for decades now. there's clearly going to be tightening them up. they're going to be watching the trains much more closely. they have since the belgium circumstances. obviously more needs to be done. this guy may have just been one step ahead, and it's hard to say exactly when he did get to italy. he may have been there two or three days ago. >> and that is the difficult part of this. how do we stay one step ahead of them. one of the obvious questions is, do you think he could have done this alone? >> i don't know. but what we do know is that he was targeted by the german intelligence services as a part of a group, perhaps as many as 500 people that were under or being influenced by a recruiter.
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that is a very good target for the german intelligence to go after. that obviously must be broken up. and anyone that's in that group that is contemplating or could be involved in some sort of terror attack, they must be put aside in one way or another. either watched much more closely or if there's some cause of action for an arrest, that should be done also. and they ought to be alerting -- i wanted to say, they ought to alert the united states intelligence services so that we can watch closely for any of those names that might be part of that group that might try to come into the united states. >> and we've seen isis, congressman, they tend to carry out these attacks in the west when they're squeezed on the battlefield, in the middle east. they've been losing territory in iraq and syria. do you expect to see isis shift this model of attacks to these soft targets away from really
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focusing on establishing a caliphate, which has been their goal for the last several years? >> well, their caliphate is about to succumb. it is pretty much over. the attack -- the action in mosul is moving forward. difficult but none the less moving forward. that is the main city, that was their main economic foundation. they're clearly going to lose addition al territory in sere yachlt they have decided to reach out beyond that area of the world and to do attacks around the world. we're going to see this, it's going to be something that we will be with for some time to come until finally isis is put aside. but clearly isis is on the defensive, and will be eradicated from that part to have middle east. >> but they can still wreak havoc. the fbi and dhs issued a
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bulletin today to law enforcement agencies all over the country about an isis threat against churches and holiday targets. this obviously appears to be connected to what happened in berlin. and so if they are capable of pulling off these attacks on religious oriented targets like the christmas market in berlin, that obviously means that they are shifting targets and that u.s. authorities are going to have to be on guard. >> well, certainly we already are. you take a look at the number of police that are on the streets around the country, certainly in new york. they're going to be patrolling more carefully the soft targets, wherever those may be. but there's something else each of us can do. we've said it many, many times. that is if you see something, say something. most of these incidents just don't arise momentarily. there's some indication ahead of the incident that something is
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afoot. and so that's when we ought to be notifying the police to say hey, something's going on here. this is a suspicious situation and and that's our responsibility as citizens watching out for each other. unfortunately, it is the christmas and hanukkah holidays coming down, a time of presumed peace. but we're going to have to be alert. >> congressman, stand by. we're going to take a quick break. we want you to come back. we're going to talk about what the president-elect has been talking about and tweeting when it comes to nuclear weapons. we'll be right back. just gotta get the check. 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.
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congressman, stand by. we're getting new details about the back and forth between donald trump and vladamir putin over their nuclear intentions.
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the incoming u.s. president telling a tv news anchor "let it be an arms race." let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr who will put this into context for all of us. i'm sure there are people at the pentagon talking about this all day long today, barbara. >> reporter: call it an arms race, call it nuclear proliferation. the question for the u.s. military now, the new commander in chief, what are his plans for the u.s. nuclear arsenal. russian president vladamir putin vowing today to stay neck and neck with the u.s. if president-elect donald trump does seek to expand the u.s. nuclear arsenal after taking office. >> translator: if someone accelerates and speeds up the arms race, it will not be us. i would say that we will never, iffer in an arms race, we will never spend too much. >> reporter: but putin said he saw nothing new in trump's tweet, promising to strengthen and expand the u.s. nuclear
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arsenal. this morning, trump went a step further in comments to a morning tv anchor, an alarming statement delivered in a surreal festive setting. >> he told me on the phone, "let it be an arms race, because we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all." >> reporter: a trump spokesman later suggesting the president-elect wasn't necessarily talking about russia alone. >> there are countries around the globe right now that are talking about increasing their nuclear capacity. and the united states is not going to sit back and allow that to happen without acting in kind. >> reporter: concern now that a new global nuclear arms race could quickly emerge. >> if the u.s. and russia who each have about 5,000 weapons in their active stockpile say they need more weapons, how about china, who has about 200, 250, do they need more? what about india or pakistan? >> reporter: as a candidate, trump struggled to speak precisely about nuclear weapons.
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>> you say to japan and south korea, you get to nuclear weapons. >> it's going to happen any way. >> reporter: while trump has talked about the need to modernize the nuclear force, he has not offered specific plans. >> do you have a priority? i want to go to senator rubio. >> i think nuclear, the power and devastation is very important to me. >> reporter: what does vladamir putin now want from donald trump? most experts will tell you, he wants u.s. sanctions lifted. the russian economy is suffering. oil prices are down. if he has to be nice to donald trump to get those sanctions lifted, it's a price he might be willing to pay. >> let the negotiations begin. barbara starr, thank you very much. let's get back to congressman gerumendi. donald trump tweeted yesterday the u.s. needs to strengthen our nuclear capability. and he said "let it be an arms race." you're on the armed services committee. you saw in barbara starr's story
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there pictures of missiles being launched, and donald trump hasn't even been sworn into office. what is your reaction to that? >> deep, deep concern. deep concern here. we're talking about the most destructive things on earth, nuclear bombs. and we're talking about it in a way that's almost cavalier. you can't do that. this is extremely important aspect of the work of the president. he will, shortly after he takes office, have to issue the nuclear doctrine for his administration, which specifies what it is he wants to do. right now you can't just tweet about things that can destroy every life on earth. but he's doing that. so wait a minute, president-elect, step back, don't go down this road right now. let's understand very carefully what is at stake here. >> are you telling him not to tweet anymore about nuclear
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weapons? it sounds like you're issuing a plea to him to stop doing this. >> i am definitely issuing a plea. if you want to talk about nuclear weapons, do not do it with a 140 character tweet. this is a very complex situation. we have to a treaty many place, which the united states is obligated to reduce its nuclear weapons by 2018. in fact, we've already been doing that. all of this is going on in the context where russia and the united states and china are already engaged in a new nuclear arms race, not for more weapons, but for more stealthy, more complex, more accurate, more reliable weapons. it's a $1 trillion enterprise for the united states. we're well into the first quarter of that 25 to 30-year program that's laid out in all of the work that the pentagon is now doing. new intercontinental ballistic
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missiles in north dakota, new submarines out in the ocean, new stealth bombers and cruise missiles. billions of dollars. >> congressman, good talking to you, sir. more breaking news ahead. top israeli officials are seething at president obama after the u.s. abstains from a boat in the -- a vote in the security council. that's coming up. se overages, you can use your data worry free and even carry over the data you don't use. and right now get four lines and 20 gigs for only $40 per line. you'll even get the iphone 7, the samsung galaxy s7, the pixel phone by google, or the motoz droid absolutely free. hurry, these offers end soon. get the best deals and the best network, only on verizon.
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tonight, the obama administration is defending its controversial decision to abstain from a u.n. vote condemning israeli settlement m activity. elise, there's a lot of diplomatic and political intrigue surrounding all this. you're supposed to have one president at a time. it doesn't sound that way today. >> it was high drama tonight at the u.n., as a dispute over peace, politics, and a role over the u.s. presidency came to a head, sending shockwaves through israel, raising questions about a critical u.s. alliance. tonight, the obama administration poured salt in an already openly wounded relationship with israel, abstaining from a controversial vote at the united nations to
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condemn israeli settlements in disputed territories. >> it is because this resolution reflects the facts on the ground, and is consistent with u.s. policy across republican and democratic administrations throughout the history of the state of israel that the united states did not veto it. >> reporter: the administration's decision not to exercise its right to a veto, despite pleas from the israeli government, prominent democrats, and president-elect donald trump, allowed the resolution to pass. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. said the u.s. was not abandoning israel, even though the u.s. has traditionally wielded its veto to protect the jewish state. >> our vote today is fully in line with the bipartisan history of how american presidents have approached both the issue and the role of this body. >> reporter: president obama has long held the settlements were an obstacle to peace. with the vote today in the waning days of obama's
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presidency was seen by some as a parting shot against the israeli prime minister, who at times has clashed with mr. obama. after the resolution passed, president-elect donald trump tweeted "as to the u.n., things will be different after january 20th." israel's u.n. ambassador said in a statement he expected his country's "greatest ally to act in accordance with the values we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution." and he said he hopes the trump administration will be more sympathetic. the vote brought to head a standoff between the current and future presidents over middle east peace. it was initially played after a diplomatic scramble by netanyahu, who cnn has learned reached out to president-elect donald trump to intervene. when trump called for a u.s. veto, the egyptian president, whose country sponsored the resolution, took a call from trump and then put the vote on hold. today, other members reintroduced it.
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behind the scenes, officials complained trump's interference runs afoul of the long standing tradition that a president-elect does not interfere with an outgoing president's administration, especially in foreign policy. but publicly, the state department has appeared unfazed. >> nobody here felt boxed in by a tweet from the president-elect. he's entitled to express his views. >> reporter: this morning, trump's new spokesman made clear this president-elect won't be staying on the sidelines until he takes office. >> president obama and his team have been unbelievably gracious, but he's not going to be someone who sit back and wait. >> reporter: and the israeli prime minister is accusing president obama and his administration of colluding behind the scenes against israel. israel says it's looking forward to working with president trump's administration.
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>> elise, thank you very much. tonight, israel and president-elect trump are clearly on the same page against the obama administration. let's get reaction from the white house. we're joined by deputy national security adviser ben rhodes. thanks for being with us. i guess the question today, and i'll ask it to you here, is this president obama getting back at prime minister netanyahu? >> absolutely not, jim. the fact of the matter is, bipartisan policy of the u.s. government for decades has been to oppose settlements. the reason we took this step is for years we've seen an acceleration in the growth of these settlements. if these current trends continue, the two-state solution is going to be impossible and the peace that people say we want and we want for the people of israel, a secure israel living side by side with a palestinian state, that goal will become impossible. that's why the president took the decision that he did today.
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>> but the prime minister's office is deeply disappointed, expressing outrage over this. what do you say to the prime minister's office and various israeli officials who are now saying that president obama, this white house does not have their back? >> well, jim, it's just not backed up by the record. we just concluded a $38 billion for security assistance to israel. we've had unprecedented security cooperation with israel under this administration. but the fact of the matter is, for years we have expressed grave concern about continued israeli settlement construction. and the fact is, this settlement construction pushes far outside the security barrier that israelis built for themselves. it's deep into the west bank. and just the other day, recently prime minister netanyahu said this is the most pro settlement
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government in israeli history. we can't just stand on the sidelines as these trends take place that threaten the peace we want for the israeli people. >> so you felt like you had to send a message to the prime minister, is that what this is? >> no, to the world. this is an affirmation of existing u.s. policy. there's nothing in this resolution that hasn't been consistent u.s. policy under two different bipartisan administrations. the resolution also condemns incitement to violence. so we made clear the responsibility is on both sides. the palestinians to stop terrorism, to stop violence. and the israeli government to not continue with settlements that will make peace impossible. >> why not work behind the scenes to prevent this resolution from being considered in the first place, was that not a possibility? you could have worked with it, instead of allowing it to unfold in this very public, spectacle
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like way. >> contrary to what was said, we did not draft this resolution and put it forward. the fact of the matter is, there are resolutions pursued all the time in the security council. this was put forward by egypt yesterday and was take on the a vote, called to a vote by other members of the security council today. we didn't draft it or have a role in bringing it forward. but when we assessed the resolution, this is consistent with u.s. pollty. and we've had years and years where we tried the peace process, tried direct talks, proximity talks. we warned that the continued advance of these settlements was going to make a two-state solution potentially impossible. we cannot leave this office without affirming that what we're seeing on the ground, and i know there's a lot of coverage of the politics of this. president obama doesn't have to worry about politics, he's leaving. we're worried about the situation on the ground where we see settlement activity that is
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making a two-state solution impossible. >> the situation you're turning over to is soon-to-be president-elect donald trump. you seemed to be registering some displeasure with what donald trump has been up to the last couple of days, apparently talking with the israelis and talking with the egyptian president about all of this. should he have been staying out of this? after all, you're in the white house, he's not. >> well, look, after january 20th, he will be responsible for the conduct of american policy. until january 20th, president obama is. that's how it works. there's one president at a time. this, by the way, again, is not a new policy for the united states. there have been republican administrations, that have addressed these issues at the u.n. samantha power began her statement today quoting ronald
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reagan from 1982, expressing his opposition to settlements. we have business to do until january 20th, and we're going to do our job to the end and hand off it to the president-elect. >> there is one president at a time, but are you satisfied with the way president-elect trump handled this matter in the last 48 hours? >> well, look, it's unusual. there's been a lot of unusual during this transition. look, the way in which president obama handles his business is we control what we control. he's been very gracious and clear to us that we are to help execute the most successful transition that we can. so that will be our attitude going forward, jim. we'll do our part for the incoming team and to do our jobs here until january 20th. >> do you think this has damaged the relationship between president obama and president-elect donald trump? they seemed to be hitting it off in the beginning of the transition process and there seems to be turbulence here. >> they had a difference on this issue, they've taken different
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positions as it relates to a number of foreign policy issues. obviously the president-elect wasn't the preferred candidate for president obama. so we can do what we can do and control our own behavior. that is to govern as best we can, and to help the new team as they transition in. it's up to the president-elect and his team as to how they're going to conduct themselves. >> donald trump apparently said in an off-air conversation, "let it be an arms race when it comes to this back and forth with vladamir putin over nuclear weapons." is that appropriate to have that kind of language coming from a president-elect when as you said there's one president at a time? that they can't obviously make matters easier for you at the white house. >> well, it's an unusual comment, jim. i would just say every administration since the reagan administration and the end of
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the cold gwar has reduced our nuclear stockpiles. this averts a greater risk of nuclear war or nuclear proliferation. we think that's the right course of action. that's what we've done in office. we already have a very expensive nuclear modern day plan. so the cost and price tag of another arms race would be staggering. so that's a position we have taken. again, the president-elect will have every opportunity to take his own positions and govern from those positions after january 20th. >> we know it's been a busy day for you, ben. thanks for making time with us. >> thanks, jim. merry christmas. just ahead, more on the new warning about isis threats here in the u.s. is the terror group shifting to new targets? new twist in the unusual rape
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homeland security and isis threats against churches and holiday events here in the u.s. my panel joins me now. evan, you're hearing about new warnings from the fbi and dhs, separate from these state department warnings. what can you tell us? >> the warnings are in light of what happened in berlin, jim. and the fact that in the last few days, you've seen isis, pro isis websites encouraging supporters to attack these churches. look, out of an abundance of caution, there's no credible threat than they've seen so far. and there has been kind of a quiet threat scenario going into the holidays. after berlin, they noticed there was a lot more threat streams coming in. it's right on schedule. at the end of the year is where they see a lot of this stuff and they're seeing it, obviously we still have the inauguration
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coming up, which is going to generate its own level of address. >> graham, is this a shift in targets for isis? it sort of feels new to us that we're talking about religious targets, churches, holiday events, that sort of thing. obviously this is in response to what happened in berlin. are we going to be seeing more of this to come, do you think? >> isis for a long time has been attacking mostly muslims, but they've never played nice with christians and always said they viewed christians fighting against them as legitimate targets. but the thing about this new threat is that it's isis capitalizing on berlin, noticing that there is a particular type of fear in the air, and suggesting to its followers that hey, here's another type of threat that seems to get under the threat of our enemies.
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if we emphasize it, we get a lot of bang for our buck, just by saying attack churches, they can make sure a lot of people are uncomfortable at a time when they want to be celebrating the holidays. >> general, one of the things that is so frustrating is when you hear about this attacker traveling from berlin across western europe all the way down the milan, did german authorities, european authorities drop the ball here? you don't want to say that because obviously they're working around the clock just as u.s. authorities are. but did they drop the ball? >> i don't think so. they worked pretty quickly to get this guy. when you look at the attack scene in berlin, there was a train station about 200 yards away that an individual could have jumped on, got into the main berlin terminal and gone into any of the other 26 countries in europe.
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you can travel freely. no one asks for a passport on a train as you go from germany to trance to italy. or he could have driven that way, depending on what happened. but you're not having the passport controls at the border the way it used to be several decades ago. we have a lot of talk about we have the intelligence now. but as an operator, jim, you also have to take that intelligence and when you go after someone, you have to have something that is either good intelligence and something that will be able to hold them in jail for questioning, or they're about to do an attack and you have to weigh when you go after an individual based on the intelligence and what they're doing at the time and watching them at the right moment. >> apparently this attacker was affiliated with a known isis recruiting network. what do we know about this recruiting network?
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are authorities in europe paying close enough attention to it? i would have to think they're looking at this group very closely. >> yeah, i've been to some of the areas that they have been most active. if you go to a town called dinslachen, you find jihadist propaganda stickers on bus shelters that i was able to spot. it's not hard to find signs that there had been radicalization afoot. but german authorities are well aware of this. there has been a great effort to find out who has been inspired to travel, who has been left behind and who might want to attack now. it's not surprised at all that an attack in germany is associated with that kind of a cell. up next, the president-elect is fuming over something. that's coming up ahead.
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two deals sound better than one. that's a for-sure thing for me. during the red tag sales event, get two deals in one. find your tag for an average total value over ninety-six hundred dollars on chevy silverado all stars. find new roads at your local chevy dealer. this is my new alert system for whenever anything happens in the market. but thinkorswim already lets you create custom alerts for all the things that are important to you. i guess we don't need the kid anymore. custom alerts on thinkorswim. only at td ameritrade. hi, we(laughter)lford quads. we're in 8th grade. 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. be like, boop! it's gone. i like that only i can get into it and that it recognizes my fingerprint. our old tablet couldn't do that. it kind of makes you feel like you're your own person, which is a rare opportunity in my family. (laughter)
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tonight, president-elect touch seems nice letters. an arms race. it is hard to keep it straight. >> it is.
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and it is all very confusing and i think that is part of the point here. keep everybody guessing to keep the upper hand. how trump maintained leverage in business, the art of the deal. but when it us comes to nuclear weapons this is practically uncharted territory. a dear mr. trump letter from russia's vladimir putin. i hope that after you assume the position of the president of the united states of america we'll be able to by acting in a constructive and pragmatic matter to take real steps -- trump called it a a very nice letter. the date on putin's letter. december 15th. more than a week ago. releasing it now could be designed to lower the temperature after his own explosive comments hours earlier. threatening to engage in an
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nuclear arms race. and trump's incoming white house press secretary explains. >> threshold countries around the dwloeb right now talking about increasing their nuclear kmast. the president is going to put our nation and security first and is not going to worry about how -- he's going to do it. >> reporter: unorthodox approach should be a surprise to no one. it is what trump's campaign was all about. >> things have to change. and they have to change right now. >> reporter: that now that change threatens the roll back decades of energy arms control.
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trump sent lock helockheed -- h relentlessly attacked the clintons on allegations of the pay for play with their charitable foundation which does good works like global pellet initiatives. now his son eric said some stuff. and he loves these kids. has raised millions of dollars for them and now must stop. wrong answer. and then how trump spend his morning. on the links with tiger woods. envaluable for any golf enthusiast. >> we don't have time for this.
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>> to be fair since becoming a candidate trump has not cement much time playing golf especially considering his website list. 17 branded trump golf courses. he also said he loves golf. he thinks twoods is one of the greats. but he just doesn't have time to play with him. but now the weight of presidency or being president elect is on him and everybody, needs a bit of a mental break at times. >> i think that's right. let's bring our political analysts in. josh, what do you think of what happened at the u.n. earlier today and in threat on capitol hill about pulling funding from the u.s. to the united nations. something lindsay graham has tweeted about. talked about. what are you hearing? >> lindsay graham, said he got off the phone minutes before
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with prime minister netanyahu and said he plans to spear head an effort to defund the u.n. withdraw the united states contribution. senator graham said he has a group of senators already signed on. and said president netanyahu couldn't weight in specifically. but the quote he gave was it is time to take the gloves off and welcomed his strong stance. it it remains to be seen whether the trump administration is going to joining this. but you can imagine a scene. >> and i thought the gloves were already off. but seems like we're going gr wad to worse here. what do you make of this talk of pulling funding from the united nations. with republicans in the congress, republicans in the white house, anything is possible. >> let's start with the first step.
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it was quite a gauge or a yardstick of the degree of distrust and em anity between the obamacare administration and the other gays that we got here in the first place. and it was a reflection of their belief t administration belief that netanyahu is fundamentally not serious about a two state peace process anyway and the fact that crump has tweeted in opposition to this just underscores how different things are going to be under his presidency. there is going to be much more precedence to netanyahu's deechx of the middle east. and very different from obama. very different from bill clinton. netanyahu was aligned with the republican party much more than any foreign leader in his career. and on the other side normally you say the cooler heads prevail. and probably could predict that.
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but nothing seems entirely off the table anymore. >> and dana, you heard broeds calling this all unusual, sods broe the white house is not happy about this and making it very clear. >> absolutely. also ben rhodes also reminded you that samantha power, the obama ambassador to the u.n. talked about ronald reagan, suggesting this is a ronald reagan ideal to end settlements, which may be true but it doesn't change the fact that the u.n. has been kind of the ultimate -- i don't know oasis -- but the ultimate place for the u.s. and israel to bond and to never kind of stray from that and if on this particular issue and this
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particular time that happened. i think that ron is right. it is going to be a different ball game and so many ways and shapes and forums in the trump world. but you know from reporting and you covered the whole campaign. that on israel in particular he fundamentally believes that whether it is approach or neglect or what have you. that he thinks he can do better. and whether that is, you know, thumbing his nose at the u.n. our doing it another way. we'll see. >> does president obama deserve a break here? ben rhodes was saying as dana bash is pointing out, this is not terribly different from other administrations. is president obama being held to a different standard? >> there is a different standard but there is also a different history and context here. what previous administrations have done is they have build
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strong relationships with israel so then they have leverage and capital they can spend when they decide to do something tough. that is how reagan did it. and how clinton did it. what the trump administration is going to just get rid of the tough and just be as close to israel as lips and teeth. they are just going to buddy, buddy up with them. whether or not that produces better or worse result results -- >> in fairness there was also a very big and deep personality conflict between the two leaders. obama and netanyahu. which did allow for -- >> -- when prime minister netanyahu --. but getting to results, it is an unknown. you don't know what's going to happen in that part of the
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world. >> well look, joe lieberman, former democratic vice president became senator was on new day and said one thing the trump administration not going to do is pressure benjamin netanyahu to do anything he doesn't want to do. that is a very different posture. and if that is going to be your posture as the u.s. president it is very hard to play the honest broker role because the evidence is that netanyahu has a very narrow needle to tlaetd to see anything that would be in israel's interests with the negotiations with the palsz nls. you could end one more stalemate. >> we appreciate. ive. good discussion. just in, the cnn actress carrie fisher, who played princess leia in "star wars" has
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been hospitalized. her flight was approaching l.a. when she became ill. cnn will be following the story and as we get more information, will bring it to you. erin burnett "outfront" anchored by poppy harlow starts right now. "outfront" next the chief suspect in the berlin christmas market attack shot to death in italy. plus trump sparring over putin with nukes while talking about improving relss with russia, will russia be trump's friend or trump's foe. >> and we have the latest tonight in princess leah's condition. let's go out front. i'm poppy harlow.

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