tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 27, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
good evening, everyone. jim sciutto in for anderson cooper. the talent and intellect that could outshine and cut a light saber. remembering carrie fisher. a pair of leading republican senators lindsey graham and john mccain bumping heads over trump and his infatuation with vladimir putin. they met today in pearl harbor.
they reaffirmed a key policy, the pacific partnership. another is containing russia. that's what senators graham and mccain seem concerned the president-elect could be jeopardizing, namely resistance to a rival power that the intelligence community believes committed an act of cyber war against this country. they're traveling in europe right now and spoke with me from tollen, estonia earlier today. >> there is no doubt in my mind that russia hacked into our political systems, this it was russian brutes that hacked into my campaign account. the president-elect would accept the results if all the intelligence communities were on the same sheet of music. now the fbi, the cia and the director of national intelligence, all are saying the same thing, that the russians tried to influence our elections. >> do you have any explanation for why the president-elect
still refuses to then accept that assessment, particularly now that he's being briefed, presumably, on the classified intelligence that led to that assessment? >> well, jim, i think he will be presented with the overwhelming evidence change his view, and he has said some things that he wants to spend more money on defense. he has said some favorable things about nato. but on the issue of the russians, i mean, there is no doubt about it and we have to act and we have to have a policy which this administration does not have, and address this threat to our national security. if they're able to undermine an election, they're able to undermine democracy. >> let me ask you this, because the president-elect has had multiple opportunities, and i do want you to answer, senator graham, to both before and after the election to accept that assessment and yet he's doubled and tripled down on talking
about a koezicozier relationshih putin, denying their assessment. what are you going to do if he doesn't change his tune, in effect, on russia? >> there are thousands of russians. amy is a democrat from minnesota on this trip with us. i believe 99% of us believe the russians did this and we're going to do something about this. after the trip, we're going to have hearings and put sanctions together that hit putin as an individual and his inner circle for interfering in our election. and they're doing it all over the world. >> senator graham, on the issue of nukes, you during the campaign had been critical of many of donald trump's positions and the way he's expressed those positions on key national issues. do you believe that trump's style using twitter could lead to misunderstanding, potentially escalate conflicts over what are arguably the most sensitive issues involving nuclear
weapons, whether it's north korea or pakistan or russia. how concerned are you about that being a platform for stating potential changes in u.s. security policy? >> when it comes to the nuclear issue, president-elect trump said we need to modernize our nuclear force, and we do as some of it has fallen into a state of disrepair. but i'll be honest with you, i'm not sure this is the best way to communicate. he beat me. he's president of the united states. all i can say is that one thing putin has done, he's brought democrats and republicans together to go after him. i think most of us, democrats skpr republicans, really believe russia is up to no good around the world, they're trying to back up dmok raeemocraciedemocr don't back up china, tomorrow it could be republicans with the iranians and chinese.
trump says he's going to be rough with china, he needs to be. we need to show any nation what happens to them if they try to interfere in our democratic process. so my republican colleagues, it's the democrats today, it could be us tomorrow. >> as you would expect, plenty to talk about out of those interviews here. dale gergen, also bernstein. carl, if i could start with you, you heard senator mccain and senator graham say they're holding out hope without being presented with further, i would imagine, overwhelming evidence, because he's got to have seen this intelligence already, that donald trump will accept russia's involvement in the dnc hacking. is that hope plausible in light of the many opportunities he's had? >> i hope so, but we all need to see this evidence. before we have a full-scale cold war again, it's important that we know what happened, and if this happened, then there is appropriate action that ought to be taken. but there are two components to this that are starting to come
together. the other is donald trump's history in russia. we need a select committee of the senate, as we had in watergate, to look into the campaign activity not just of the russians but the concomitant story that's coming together, perhaps, has to do with donald trump's holdings, his businesses, his trips to russia, those of his son's. whether the russians tried to play donald trump, they're not two separate stories. i would hope senator graham and senator mccain would call for a select committee and do both strands of this investigation. >> david gergen, is that something you find to be expected with a republican-led congress, that there would be an investigation on donald trump's ties to russia beyond russian hacking of the u.s. election? >> based on everything we know right now, i would say the answer is no. i do believe that senator mccain and lindsey graham have issued the first direct challenge to
donald trump over the future conduct of his presidency and his policies starting with putin. they are threatening to sanction putin at the same time trump becomes high in demand, including secretaries of state, who are considering lifting sanctions against russia. so we have a direct conflict shaping up, and if that leads somewhere, if there are more threats, that carl is suggest g suggesting, down the road you might see that, but i think it's way too premature to say they will open war on the united states. i think that's not in the cards. we do have conflicts shaping up, and i don't think this will be the first. there will be another one over china if donald trump tries to get rid of the one china policy. i think he'll face a challenge. there even could be threats over israel. we'll have to see how that plays out. but i think right now the major story tonight is you've got two leading voices from congress,
you know, which is a co-equal branch of government, we should never forget that, directly challenging the new president-elect from their own party. >> kelly mcinerney, help me understand. i asked this of senator mccain, i asked it of senator graham, i asked this of trump supporters recently. why is donald trump fighting back so much against the judgment of the u.s. intelligence agencies and as senators graham and mccain, republican senators, said many members of the senate, most of whom have been briefed for intelligence. why is he behind seeing if russia is behind the hacking? >> there were some unusual happenings in the intelligence committee, mainly the fact that you had certain members of the intelligence committee covertly leaking parts of this investigation to the "new york times," leaking the motive of what russia was after, saying
russia was after electing donald trump. it ended up being that that was the conclusion of the entirety of the intelligence community. on december 16, the fbi came out and said, we agree. now there is complete coalesce k coalescence of the intelligence committee. and now they asked for a briefing of the intelligence community. it was canceled. >> i've done a lot of reporting on that issue, and everyone with security clearance in congress, democrat and republican, have gotten intelligence briefings. the legislative agency are not hiding this intelligence from the legislative branch. i just wonder, what is the reason to dismiss that assessment? is donald trump, in effect, saying that the entire u.s. intelligence community is sh shilling for the democrats? >> i don't think he's saying that, but there were a few days
where there were some unusual happenings in the intelligence community where the briefing was canceled. there was that briefing, as you remember, on capitol hill where there was a division between the fbi and the cia. the cia was willing to say this was a moeftive of russia, where the fbi was unwilling to make that assessment. >> that's changed. >> it has changed, but also what's changed is as of december 16, donald trump has not made public statements about this. on the first few days of donald trump's presidency, secretary sean spicer will be asked about this, and i think it's important, if not pivotal, that the new administration says, look, an attack on the dnc is an attack on everyone under one flag. i think it's important for the administration to acknowledge that, but i don't blame them for taking this time to let everything quiet down. >> matt lewis, what's your view on this? do you agree that you need that kind of unifying statement from the incoming president? >> no. everybody knows this is russia, and i think what caylee was just
talking about, i think, was recent events where it did appear that democrats were trying to maybe delegitimize the election by blaming hillary clinton's loss on russia's involvement. but that's a totally different issue from the fact that we've known for six months, at least, that russians were involved here and were hacking. and donald trump -- maybe the only thing he's been consistent of, there might be a couple, but i would say maybe the only thing he's been consistent about this entire election is the fact that he refuses to say anything bad about vladimir putin or russia. and i'm really curious as to why. he's good when it comes to dealing with china and standing up to them. we saw that right after he was elected. he's good when it comes to standing up to iran. why not russia? i just don't know. >> carl, your thoughts. >> there is one other consistency here with trump, and that is his disdain for fact and
his contempt for fact and not listening to fact or being open to fact. now, maybe he finally will be when shown this evidence. but we all need to see the evidence. but what we have seen consistently in the tweets, in the campaign, in the transition is a fact-free universe in which donald trump floats with weightlessness. and what we need now is to know the facts, but i keep coming back to this. it is impossible to look at this without looking at donald trump in russia. however we bring that strand into it, it's part of the story. and we need to do it. the press needs to do it as well. >> but carl, the fbi was looking at donald trump's connections with russia. we do know that. and we know there were no developments in that investigation. it happened at the urging of the democrats, actually, is why that investigation was opened, but the fbi didn't find any legitimacy. >> i'm not talking about a criminal act. i'm talking about we need to
know about his trips to russia, what business he has in russia, we need his tax returns as to how they might reflect on what he does in russia. we've heard donald trump jr. talk about what a huge percentage of the trump's assets are in russia. we need to look at this and how it might factor into this. >> david, i'll give you one more thought because you will have another opportunity, but before we go to break, david, what do you want to add in? >> with all due respect for my friend carl bernstein, i think this investigation of russia under money, our democracy can be conducted separately and independently from getting donald trump's tax returns and the like. i do think we need to see the tax returns, but i think in terms of putting sanctions on the russians for just trying to undermine our democracy, that is a question that the senate, the house and the white house ought to resolve together and get moving on it, because it's important. >> i'll buy that part, absolutely. >> when action turns to donald trump's cabinet appointments released their tax returns today. but there is more to discuss
today and the notion that he's building a team of rivals in the trump administration. is that really it, or is it more like a basket of ir reckoncila e reconcilabl reconcilables? >> we'll tell you about a brawl that is turning a trip to the mall into a dangerous encounter. i really did save hundreds on my car insurance with geico. i should take a closer look at geico... geico has a long history of great savings and great service. over seventy-five years. wait. seventy-five years? that is great. speaking of great, check out these hot riffs. you like smash mouth? uh, yeah i have an early day tomorrow so... wait. almost there. goodnight, bruce. gotta tune the "a." (humming) take a closer look at geico.
>> reporter: thomas bossert, a new name alded to the trump white house staff today, one with a crucial portfolio. >> there is no one out there who can't be penetrated. if there is, i would like to speak to him. >> talking about cyber terrorism was a deputy security adviser under george w. bush and is well regarded under republicans in washington, even among those vehemently opposed to trump for president. >> he is a man who knows these issues about as intimately as anyone i can think of, and for those folks hesitant or negative on donald trump, these are the kind of hires that trump makes that are very reassuring. >> reporter: especially since, according to the transition, bossert's position will be elevated in the white house along with michael flynn, with bossert in charge of extra security and a special focus on cyber terrorism. >> the government at a federal level needs to do something to
address the threat. >> reporter: and flynn on international issues. >> we must regain our ability to truly crush our enemies! >> reporter: because all of those security issues intersect so orften, they say it could led to turf battles. but declaring that bossert will be on equal footing to flynn is also intended to be reassuring, even to many republicans who see the retired general as an unpredictable and controversial figure, thanks to statements like this. >> islam is a political idealogy. it is a political idealogy. it definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion. >> reporter: what won't change from the obama white house is people in both positions will have direct access to the president and seats at the principal's table at the president's national security meetings. here's how the current homeland security and counterterrorism
adviser lisa monaco described the job this month. >> when i go upstairs about 50 paces from my cave office in the west wing to the oval office, the president knows it's because something bad has happened, quite frankly, domestically, usually, or to u.s. persons abroad. that is my focus. and he knows it. >> it's got to be one of the highest pressure jobs in washington. dana bash joins us now. dana, what are the transition team telling you about turf battles inside the administration once trump takes over the presidency? >> well, you know, some of the people in the current administration, the obama administration, says that part of the reason why they combined these two roles is because not just a sort of personnel turf, but also more importantly, and you know this very well, jim, in the beat that you cover national security, it's very hard to separate cyber security from homeland security from
international security, many, many times depending on the issue. the concern is that's what they could run into. however, i am told that that has been discussed, that there was a lot of kind of debate about whether to elevate this post, and the decision was done so in large part because cyber threats, cyber security need to be addressed in a more robust way from within the white house, but also because of a political reality that i addressed a little bit in the piece there, which is that the man who was the national security adviser, michael flynn and others who are working for him, don't have probably the most diplomatic way to say it, the most confidence. people in washington and around the country, frankly, don't have a whole lot of confidence in them, in their experience and some cases temperament.
having somebody like bossert in there with experience and with, you know, sort of credentials and maybe even the temperament and the understanding of how washington works from the white house to capitol hill is something that is making people breathe a little bit of a sigh of relief. >> no question, dana bash. thanks. back now with the panel and joining the conversation as well, cnn columnist. what do you make of this because you have establishment figures like a bossert and then you have flynn that makes a lot of people, shall we say, uncomfortable. what do you make of this competition, in effect, in this administration? >> well, we know that several members of the administration oppose each other on issues such as trade, for example, is a big issue. but i do think what's shaping up, jim, in this particular case, and bringing bossert in is not only someone from the, quote, establishment, and yes, i
do think that's an offset to flynn, but i don't think that's why they separated them out, i think it's a big portfolio. but i think the cabinet is going to have a larger voice than what you've seen in the obama administration, even the george w. bush administration, in the making of policy. the homeland security is going to be very rapidly enhanced of the cabinet officer, general kelly. he's outstanding, everybody has a great deal of respect for him in washington. he is a heavyweight, and i think his very presence is going to emerge as a critical player in making and shaping homeland security. just like tillerson at state is going to be -- he's sort of a four-star sitting there with flynn as a one-star in the white house. tillerson will have a big voice. >> jackie, what do you make of the fact that tillerson is elevated to be equal to flynn. do you see that as a way to subtly or not so subtly temper flynn's influence?
>> it definitely could be, but we've seen this in other parts of the trump administration. we've seen that with steve bannon and reince priebus. we've seen that in other places where you see -- but this is either going to go two ways. this is either going to go elegant kind of debates, both presenting their case to the president, or it's going to be like street fighter. so we'll just have to see whether they're going to be able to work it out. but you're absolutely right, particularly on the issue of cyber security. we're going to have to see where trump ends up landing, because we do have an incoming president who doesn't really have a foundation, didn't come into this with a foundation on a lot of these different issues. so it would be up to these advisers to make their case and make some pretty big policy decisions in the process. >> carl, it seems like the team of rivals is almost a cliche of presidential administrations now. everyone wants a team of rivals as they came in. there was talk of obama, but
over time, the center of power shrank to a very small group around the president. do you see evidence that this will be a true team of rivals in the way that it operates? >> i think we've got all kinds of people in this cabinet. some of them about to fall off the idealogical ledge and others more mainstream. but the other thing in this particular appointment is we have a terrible cyber problem, as our earlier segment just indicated. not just at our electoral process. free elections in the united states according to our intelligence community have been undermined by the russians. not only that, private cyber security in this country is a disaster. it is known by everybody in washington in important positions that we are woefully behind. the white house has been hacked. the state department has been hacked. and this is going to be an area where we have got to play catch-up, so this is enormously important. and then there is, look, general
flynn has turned out to shake a lot of people around trump. they think he's a flake. and this is a problem, and he's being downgraded here at least for some to see, and he's going to have to agree to let this guy come along and have some equal status in their deliberations. remember, hillary clinton and the national security advisers to president obama did not get along very well. >> a lot of those cabinet positions, they were kind of exiled. >> but healthy debate is a good thing. it's not necessarily about rivalry. healthy debate on issues and assessments is a good thing. >> david gergen and matthew tibas summed this up. you have general mattis who more in line, and you have david freeman who wants to give it up.
you have a cyber guy now in this new position, bossert for homeland security, but you have a president who is denying, in effect, a massive cyber attack on the u.s. election system. these are not minor differences in points of view we're talking about here. >> right, and i think jackie is right. it will either work or fail miserably. any time you assemble a team, think about sports. you could go out there and get an all-star team and sometimes the chemistry doesn't mesh and then sometimes magic happens. obviously the stakes are a lot higher here. but again, it's not unusual for people to have differences of opinion. say, like, george herbert walker bush became pro-life. as reagan's running made he called it voodoo economics and became a sidewinder. so things can change. they go in, argue their case behind closed doors.
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fish fisher. "star wars" princess leia died today after suffering a heart attack on a flight home from london. a child of hollywood royalty who then became royalty in a galaxy far, far away. she was both iconoclast an icon. tributes are pouring in from those who simply loved her work. paul cannon joins us live again from hollywood. paul, we can see the energy around you. i imagine you're hearing some pretty powerful things there. >> extremely powerful. you're talking about people who loved her work. those are the people who are here, they all loved her in film. yes, she's princess leia, but she's so much more am hollywood. she's the writer in "postcards
from the edge." they perk up and smile when they think about what carrie fisher meant to all of them, jim. >> and celebrities who knew her are certainly weighing in with condolences as well, among them harrison ford. what are they saying? >> her "star wars" family just deeply saddened. in a way, think of it this way. they all grew up together. let's start by reading from harrison ford's statement. he absolutely a dord carrie fisher, and he said carrie was one of a kind, funny, and emotionally fearless. she lived her life braively. he's alluding to the fact she was so open about various issues, including addiction. george lucas also issued a statement. carrie and i have been friends most of our lives. she was an extremely smart and talented actress, rirt and comedian with a very colorful personality that everyone loved.
and then "no words, #devastated from mark hamill. and in a handwritten post, you didn't need to meet carrie fisher to understand her power. and by that he was alluding to just how immensely talented she was, jim, just as we said, both on and off the screen. >> no question. thanks very much. carrie fisher was only 60 years old when she died, but she lived those years at times, no question, to the utmost. stephanie elam has a look back. >> i could expect to find you holding the leash. >> carrie fisher won hearts of generations as princess leia in the most well-known rofilm ever "star wars." she had a sharp wit and a
sharper pen. fisher was born in beverly hills. mother, actress debbie reynolds. father, actor eddie fisher. fisher definitely wove her experiences as a showbiz kid who fought addiction in "postcards from the edge." >> i was writing about different takes on obsession. i thought about it driving from palm springs with the music up loud. >> she starred with meryl streep in a somewhat funny mother-daughter drama. >> remember my 17th birthday party when you lifted up your skirt in front of all my friends. >> i didn't lift my skirt, it poured up! >> she went through addiction, including taking pills to control her emotions. >> you feel better, but then
you're fat, so what you gain is a loss. it's not a good situation. >> reporter: fisher spoke about being bipolar and often turned pain into humor, also writing "wishful drinking" and "shockaholic." there seemed to be no lack of material. fisher was briefly married to singer paul simon in the 1980s. years later she gave birth to a daughter, billie katherine, from her relationship with brian lord. she debuted in the play "hairspray." "under the rainbow," "hollywood vice squad," received praise for "soap dish" and played meg ryan's wise-cracking friend in "when harry met sally." but nothing could, would or perhaps should loom larger on
screen than fisher in "star wars." >> transported you. it was extraordinary entertainment film making. >> do you like the princess? >> i have her over sometimes. she's a little bitchy, you know. >> reporter: nearly 40 years after making "star wars," she wrote a book based on her diaries and for the first time revealed an intense affair with the real han solo, harrison ford. it was han and leia during the week and carrie and harrison on the weekend. she spent time trying to separate fisher from the person one crack at a time. >> i was bigger than life and twice as unpleasant. >> and it is carrie fisher's spirit that is already being missed. to help us remember that spirit tonight, matthew bellamy, executive reporter, joins us now. we recognize carrie fisher as
princess leia over the years, but she was much more than that role, a gift ed actress and extraordinary writer as well. >> of course most people know her as princess leia, but she had a very successful career as an actress in other movies, including "is when harry met sally" and "the blues brothers." she wrote a one-woman show about drinking based on a memoir. she had adapted "postcards from the edge" for the film version, and she was a very well noted hollywood script doctor. she would work behind the scenes on movies like "wedding singer" and "sister act" to punch them up before they started filming. she was very well known and well paid for that. >> offscreen, her candor was also certainly something she was known for, brutal honesty. she talked about her personal life, her personal struggles with addiction. a difficult thing to do. >> yeah. i mean, she was talking about
her struggles at a time in the '80s and '90s when not a lot of people went public with their personal demons like alcoholism and drug issues. she was bipolar and had issues with depression. these were all things she not only talked about freely but incorporated them in her art. she performed stand-up with them, she performed a one-woman show about it. this is at a time when not a lot of people were being so open about these things. >> no, no question. i just to want quote something from her book "wishful drinking." 43 years ago, george lucas ruined my life, and i mean that in the nicest possible way. she did not like the exposure from that film, but she did acknowledge that it gave her tremendous success careerwise. >> absolutely. she had a very love-hate relationship with fame, and it was something she was primed to accept because she grew up in a showbiz family with her mother being an actress and her father
being a singer. so she knew what she was getting into, but she achieved fame well beyond both of them. she is an international star via the "star wars" franchise, perhaps one of the most beloved film franchises in history, so i think the notoriety she got was acknowledged by her, but she also noted the downside and all the problems that came from it, especially because she became famous at such a young age. >> no question. also an author and she had a book out just recently. and one of the big revelations from that book was that 40 years ago during filming of the first "star wars" movie, she had a an affair with her co-star harrison ford. can you talk about her decision to go public with that so many years later, just this year? >> this is her most recent memoir which is based on the diaries she kept when she was shooting "star wars" and after that. these are things she kept personal for many, many years. ultimately decided in the new
book to go public with them. i don't know why she decided now was the time, but it was personally in character with her because she had lived her life and she had a public persona based on candor and her willingness to say anything and really speak her mind, and she decided it was time to reveal that. >> candor and honesty. matthew bellamy, thanks very much. >> thank you. coming up, an in-depth look at a michigan middle school incident that went viral the . y the day after donald trump is elected, seventh graders chant "build a wall" at latino students. we'll talk to the students who were targeted, right after this. go, go!
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tonight we have an in-depth look at one michigan community still grappling with a heart-breaking post election incident that was seen around the world. you might have seen the video, middle school students shouting "build the wall" at latino students the very day after donald trump won. for the first time, the targets of that cruelty are speaking out. kelly wallace reports. >> reporter: in a winter wonderland of holiday lights and music, royal oak, michigan just outside detroit is a community trying to heal itself. this video of seventh graders chanting "build a wall"
catapulted royal oaks middle school into the national spotlight the day after donald trump won the election. best friends isabel costilla and josie malone were in the lunch room that day along with a few other hispanic students. this is the first time the girls have told their story publicly. >> all of a sudden you hear some kids chanting something, and it gets louder and then you hear what they're saying, and then they're banging their hands against the tables. >> reporter: isabel fled to the bathroom in tears, leaving a frightened josie behind. >> it was so hard. because these are my friends, and i see them just saying these awful things, and it was so hard to look and just watch and not be able to do anything, because i was afraid. >> reporter: the girls say this is not the first time they have witnessed racism at the predominantly white middle school. so josie took out her phone and
recorded what she saw, texting the video to her mom. >> nobody had really listened to me, and i needed evidence so i could show my mom and my dad so it wouldn't be my word against theirs. >> reporter: that's a lot of voices. >> it wasn't just a couple of kids. >> reporter: shocked and concerned, alicia ramon sent the video privately to a few middle school parents. it was one of those parents, not alicia, who shared it on facebook. within hours the video went viral, generating millions of views and a backlash of anger toward the school. >> the attention that prompts us to grow and to improve is welcome attention. condemnations of the entire school and community, threats against the school and community, brought an unwelcome level of attention that was very disrupti disruptive. >> royal oaks superintendent
shawn laken said police were brought in to alleviate parents' concerns, but some want more. >> they said they should have been suspended or even expelled. >> they said it was josie's fault for taking the video. this never would have happened if she didn't take it. >> just a week after the video went viral, royal oaks school was rocked again, this time when a news strip was found in the boys' bathroom. your reaction to that. >> profoundly troubling. immediately went to the middle school to make sure action was taken. an incident of this kind goes beyond acceptance. >> the student was arrested. >> i was terrified. i was so scared.
i was afraid they were going to hurt me or isabel. >> reporter: the back-to-back incidents have sparked action among mothers in this community who, along with alicia ramon, want the pain to bring positive change. >> it's important that we make it very clear that this isn't who role oak is, that we're better than this. >> reporter: they're working closely with the superintendent, advocating for more diversity training for teach skpeers and students and a review of the curriculum. that is welcome news for the school's future, but unfortunately, josie felt so os tra sized at royal oak that she has withdrawn and is now attending a private school. >> i was tired of how they were treating me. i couldn't take it any longer. they would glare at me. people would see me in the hallways and turn around and walk the other no, i feel like an animal. >> just one week after starting the new school, josie's family
already sees a difference. >> she was joking, she was funny she was back to her usual self. a kid i hadn't seen since this happened. it was like seeing a weight that was lifted off of her shoulders. >> and while josie feels badly leaving her best friend behind at royal oak middle, she is looking forward to the future and has no regrets. >> i think if i had to go through this again, to help everybody else who's mexican american, i would do it a thousand, million, bajillon more times. >> kelly wallace, cnn, royal oak, michigan. >> powerful story. coming up, going to a mall on the day after christmas can be stressful enough. then this happens. and as you'll see, it was far from the only such incident. that's right after this. [vo] quickbooks introduces rodney. he has a new business teaching lessons. rodney wanted to know how his business was doing... ...so he got quickbooks.
>> reporter: mayhem in more than a dozen shopping malls across the u.s., from colorado to new york, teenage brawls broke out in malls packed with families, including garden city, new york, where terrified shoppers is were caught up in a stampede, kicked off by false reports of a shooting there. at least one person left on a stretcher. >> i was with my son and my wife and i fell down and was almost ran over. it was pretty intense. >> reporter: many manchester, connecticut, a brawl broke out inside the shops at buckland hills. and in aurora, illinois, several fights there led to several arrests, including a 14-year-old. the mall shut down for the rest of the day. >> everyone pulling out their phones. i see the police, i see kids hitting each other. trampling each other, it was just madness. >> reporter: in ft. worth, texas, a mall was put on lockdown. police say more than a hundred middle and high school students were caught up in a fight.
and in ohio, another mall, another fight in the food court. in colorado, police believe the fight at the aurora town mall was actually planned. >> there was something that was going around on social media about a fight that was going to take place here at the town center of aurora, which is what drew all of these people who were up to no good to our mall. >> reporter: despite the similarities in all the incidents, law enforcement isn't clear on whether they were coordinated in any way. >> sarah, so are law enforcement officials worried about more of these kinds of incidents happening, going forward? >> they certainly are. they hope that this is not a trend that is being started. but they still can't pinpoint whether or not there was one specific incident that created all of the rest. in other words, is there something in social media that they can find that they are certainly scouring through it. we should mention this last bit here. you know, with all the things happening with soft targets, terrorism or mass shootings, really, people are reacting in a
very big way to some of those things. they see people running and screaming, they automatically think it has something to do with either terrorism or there's a shooter. and that's what caused some people to end up the getting hurt in a stampede. >> no question. i can see how that could scare them. sara sidner, thank you very much. and we'll be right back. we live in a pick and choose world.
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