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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  December 20, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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in boston was a great example of that. >> i am into that. it's a very intense, very powerful film. peter and mark, thanks so much for being here. "patriot's day" opens in select cities tomorrow and nationwide on december 13th. turning you over to brianna keilar who is in for wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. terror man hunt. isis says it is behind the deadly attack on a christmas market in berlin saying it inspired the assailant who drove a heavy truck through a crowd with shoppers. holiday security. new york city is stepping up security at holiday markets and as washington prepares for huge crowds at the inauguration, could the u.s. be next? wider plot? after the murder of russia's ambassador in turkey, vladimir putin vowing now to step up what he calls the fight against terror. but as turkey detains a number of people for questioning, did the gunman act alone?
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at which titwit-fit. president-elect donald trump and bill clinton in a war of words over the recent election and its result. will donald trump keep tweeting once he is in the white house? wolf blitzer is off. i am brianna keilar. and you are in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news. isis claims it inspired the deadly christmas market attack in berlin, calling the assailant a soldier of the islamic state who answered its appeal for attacks on countries opposing the terror group. an urgent man hunt is being stepped up for the suspect who steered a heavy truck through an open-air market, killing 12 people. authorities in berlin have released a man detained after the attack. and there is now growing concern that the attacker is on the loose and very dangerous. a day after its ambassador to turkey was assassinated on camera, russia says it's
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determined to fight terrorism and will make no concessions, as the body of the slain diplomat was returned home, moscow sent a large team of investigators to turkey where relatives of the shooter are among those being detained. as donald trump fires off statements blaming the latest violence on islamic terrorism, it's not clear to what extent he is being briefed by u.s. intelligence agencies. this as the president-elect engages in a twitter war are former president bill clinton over the election results. i'll speak with republican congressman adam kinzinger. first to the christmas market attack in berlin, which isis now says it inspired. there is an urgent hunt for the attacker who is believed to be on the loose. cnn's frederik pleitgen is standing by in berlin, but we begin with the investigation and our brian todd. brian, tell us about what you are learning. >> reporter: brianna, we just
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got word of the claim from isis, the terror group jumping all over this tonight, claiming it inspired the attack in berlin saying the person who carried it out was, quote, a soldier of the islamic state. this comes as german authorities are scrambling to find this attacker and possibly others involved. in berlin, it now appears mass confusion at this chaotic scene may have given whoever was behind the wheel of this tractor-trailer truck when it killed a dozen people a head-start in getting away. tonight a man hunt across europe for at least one terrorist and an urgent call by police for witnesses to come forward. >> translator: we do not know for certain if there was one perpetrator or several perpetrators. >> reporter: sources believe the truck may have been hi jacked. the polish man who normally drove the truck was shot dead at close range in the passenger seat. his body was found but the murder weapon was not recovered. in a huge set-back to their
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investigation, german police now say their only suspect, a refugee they detained overnight, is likely not the person who, with this heavy truck, killed a dozen people at on outdoor christmas market. a german security official telling cnn police did not find his dna inside the cabin of the truck and have now released him. police now believe whoever carried out this attack is at large, armed and dangerous. >> it makes you wonder how much time have they lost because they had this person in custody so quickly. did they take their eye off of other possible subjects? did they slow the surge of additional resources in that might be capturing video from the street? >> reporter: tonight, isis is claiming it inspired the berlin attacker. investigators have not uncovered any definitive links to the terror group. for months the group has called on people to use trucks as weapons and it's trying to recruit followers in europe. >> the head of the domestic intelligence service in germany
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is convinced to i.s. is targeting refugees. it wants refugees to carry out attacks here because it is conscious of the fact that this is a particularly politically explosive issue in germany. >> reporter: law enforcement veterans who have taken part in man-hunts tell us german authorities are now going to be heavily reliant on surveillance video, not only video of the marketplace but also video of the truck's previous movements, tracing those back as far as they can. german authorities are now also asking for the public's help, asking anyone with cellphone video related to this attack to turn that in. brianna. >> brian, what concerns is this attack raising here in the u.s. tonight? >> reporter: lots of concerns that this could happen here in the u.s., brianna. law enforcement professionals we are speaking with saying it puts more pressure on u.s. counter terror and law enforcement to coordinate intelligence with allies in europe and elsewhere and to target potential soft targets here. public gatherings places, malls,
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places like that, of course, especially now during holidays. >> brian todd, thank you so much. let's go live to berlin. cnn's senior international correspondent, frederik pleitgen, is at theci scene of e deadly truck attack. tell us what you're learning there. >> reporter: the german authorities at this point in time say they're very concerned about the fact that they don't have anyone in custody. and they really don't seem to have any new leads as to where they should be looking. one of the things that really concerns people here, not just the authorities, is the fact that they believe that whomever is still out there may potentially and most probably is potentially still armed. because we have to keep in mind that the polish person who was found on the passenger side of that truck had gunshot wounds. however, there was no gun retrieved here on the site. i can tell you from being out here over the past 24 hours that the germans have a lot of forensic units out here searching through ever single inch of this area.
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if there had been a wellen hidden somewhere here, they probably would have found it. they obviously believe that whomever is still out there is most probably still armed and certainly very dangerous, just judging by the carnage left behind when the truck plowed through the christmas market. at the same time, of course, the people that we are speaking to, brianna, are also very concerned as well. many feel quite vulnerable. i was speaking to some before. and they said, normally you'd have a christmas market like this one every day of the week in berlin. the places would be full. now most of the ones in the city have been called off completely because of security concerns because people feel so vulnerable being in these places, feeling as though they are soft targets. >> you can completely understand that. frederik pleitgen in berlin. thank you. joining me now to talk more about this is republican congressman adam kinzinger of illinois. thank you, sir, so much for taking the time to be with us. you can't help but look at that scene there in berlin, i think, in any city, and think this
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could happen here. so in the u.s., what are the concerns, and are we seeing stepped-up security as we are in the holidays? >> yeah. of course, you're going to see stepped up security. i think, you know, it's tragic. yes, that can happen here. i think the key in all of this is too understand that, when it comes to a terrorist attack like this, driving a truck -- we're not talking about necessarily a ton of bombs or a ton of c-4 or anything like that. driving a truck. it's really hard to screen against that. ultimately you have to screen somebody's heart and intentions, and you don't know when somebody is willing to do a terrorist attack until they take that first step. the key on this is this. understand it's like this is a moment in western civilization or in civilization in general where we need a churchill moment. we're walking along the streets and basically saying we will prevail instead of cowering. we have to understand that these attacks are meant to put fear in the hearts of people, to get them to stay in for christmas
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and the holidays and to get them to be afraid of isis. we need to fight back hard but not be scared of these cowards. >> we saw at ohio state similar tactics, certainly not a deadly attack, where there was certainly a radical islamic inspired driver, attacker, who drove his car into people, many students, and there were injuries. i mean -- i know -- i hear you saying you shouldn't stay home, but this is something that obviously has and could continue to happen here in the u.s. are you just saying people need to go about their normal day and just consider that this likely won't happen to them? >> i think, go about your day, love your family, enjoy your life, but be vigilant. look around for signs that may kind of trip you a little bit and may make you question what's going on. we've all had those moments where we kind of see something and it's like, it doesn't feel right. don't be afraid to talk to law
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enforcement about it. many times people are afraid to go to law enforcement and it's usually -- in fact, in almost every terrorist attack we've ever seen, especially in our country, there have always been some signs and in many cases people too afraid to talk. be vigilant but don't let the fear of the cowards affect our way of life. >> you know part of this has to do with the reach of the internet. you have isis. you have al qaeda. terrorists who are saying to people who may be inspired by what they believe, do whatever you can. a car, a knife, take people out. so, is there something -- is there more that needs to be done to stem that reach of the internet when it comes to isis and other groups? >> yeah. it's going to be hard to stem of the reach of the internet because we all believe in the free flow of information. what we have to do, though, you have some folks who are recruited into isis because they
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truly believe the prophecy of baghdadi that this is the new caliphate, that's this is what's going to happen. when we defeat them and push them out of raqqa and iraq, the people who believe this is the new caliphate will think twice because the caliphate is not supposed to be defeated and deprived of territory. some people will be suicidal and believe enough to be willing to give their life for it. but a lot of folks who fight for isis and do the attacks believe they're fighting for something that was prophesied. when they show otherwise you'll reduce the number recruited. but unfortunately this may be the new reality for some time. >> how do we make sense of that when, even as you've seen isis' territory diminish, you've seen attacks on soft targets. i'm thinking of not necessarily a semi-soft target, the turkish airport. you have seen these attacks
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happen even as territory is shrinking and people not being dissuaded from carrying out these attacks. >> i don't think shrinking the territory, even fully defeating the so-called caliphate will stop this altogether. but we have seen a reduction in the amount of people being recruited to isis because, frankly, not everybody is suicidal. they don't want to be guaranteed to die for a cause. the other thing is, right now without isis being totally defeated, there is still going to be an argument in that circle that, in fact, hey, we can have difficulties, we can lose some territory but we're still going to ultimately prevail. a new caliphate doesn't guarantee that you'll have no losses. i think defeating them in total, which could take some time, is what's necessary to deprive that recruiting ground. again, the idea that you defeat isis, you still could have isis too someday, al qaeda three. i wish i had better news. i believe this is the new reality. we can prevail. we should prevail. we will prevail.
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but we need the churchill moment in the streets. >> stick around with us. congressman adam kinzinger. much more to talk about after the break. the russian ambassador to turkey killed, shot on camera. an update on that live from ankara next. olidays at verizon, and the best deals are on the best network. with no surprise 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 for only $10 per month. no trade-in required. hurry, these offers end soon. get the best deals and the best network, only on verizon.
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we're talking with congressman adam kinzinger. more breaking news first. a day after its ambassador was assassinated in the turkish capital russia is warning it will not make concessions to terrorists. it has sent a large investigative team to turkey. and cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson is following all this in ankara. what are authorities there learning about the assassin? >> reporter: they're saying it's a 22-year-old policeman. he was training with the riot police over the past couple of years. they have arrested or detained several of his family members. mother, father, sister, other close relatives and a former roommate. this is not unusual in turkey. it doesn't mean that they're actually guilty but this is typical of how the government will handle situations like this. quickly arrest family members. the russian investigators went into the building behind me here a few hours ago along with their
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turkish counterparts to investigate the crime scene itself. they didn't seem to spend too much time there. investigation done according to government news agencies. they have been to his old high school, talked to his old high school friends, talked to his college friends, investigated the background of his family. the headline that's emerging, this came from the turkish foreign minister talking to secretary of state john kerry. he said the turkish foreign minister said this policeman was from the gulenist movement, the movement the government blames for the coup attempt last summer. since then the government removed tens of thousands of soldiers, airmen, policemen, schoolteachers, government officials from positions and locked some of them up, claiming that they are members of this gulenist movement. what this does at this particular time is if you will drive a greater wedge in the relationship between the united states and turkey because turkey has been telling the united
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states to extradite fethullah gulen. and at the same time draws turkey closer to russia at a time when it's building closer ties there. what's happening with this, the government has not presented the hard evidence that this gunman was from the gulenist movement, but it does seem to be something here that can potentially drive a gap between the united states and the turkish government. >> what's the latest from the russian government on this, nic? >> reporter: putin has been very clear. president putin has been absolutely clear, saying that they need to fight terrorism, that -- he says -- he has been saying this for a long time, that all countries have this common problem, terrorism. russia is only one that's really fighting it. russia is fighting if in syria and now everyone needs to join with russia's plan to fight terrorism. russia using this to its advantage. we have heard from the kremlin as well, saying, look, this diplomat, this ambassador, was
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an turkish soil. therefore, turkish responsibility to protect him. they want more guarantees going forward russian diplomats here will be enough. the narrative that emerges. russia is strong on terrorism. this is about terrorism. president putin saying we should get on russia's plan to fight terrorism. >> nike robertson in ankara. thank you. back with adam kinzinger of illinois. you are hearing publicly the stance from turkey and russia is that this is not going to harm our relationship, but we know that, from reporters in the region, from twitter, there is a lot of anger about this attack. how concerned are you that the rising tensions between the two countries could have an adverse effect in the region and specifically against the fight on isis? >> i think it's possible. i think, probably more than likely, though, this actually drives them a little closer together. because if turkey is blaming
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this on the gulenists and, which, by the way, very well may be in the end. who knows. but this is kind of their tendency is to automatically blame gulenists when anything like this happens. we haven't had proof of who was actually behind the coup yet. the russians are saying this is terror. i say to the russians. if you think this is radical islamic jihadists doing this, maybe join us in the fight against terrorism instead of bombing innocent civilians in aleppo and bombing hospitals with precision-guided munitions. let's fight isis. because a small fraction of their attacks have actually gone against terrorists in syria. if there is a turning point for russia, great. we'd love to see them put bombs on targets against actual terrorists. at the same time, our hearts go out to the ambassador's family. we taking in away from this. this is an opportunity for russia to join us in the fight. >> i want to talk about
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president-elect trump. because yesterday we saw a statement that he put out that called the attacker in turkey a radical islamic terrorist before we had any real details about the attacker and his motivations. what is your reaction to the timing of that? is that appropriate? >> well, he very well may be right. i don't think it's appropriate to put out that, especially -- it's one thing if you do it from a campaign. from a president-elect. but definitely when he is sworn in, before you know all the answers to it. the twitter, i think, will be a tool that donald trump uses. he can use it effectively but jumping to conclusions, one of these days it may back-fire. i think he has a really powerful tool to use, but i think he has to control the initial reactions on that. because people are watching. when you are president-elect, it has way more impact than when you are a candidate for president. when you're definitely president, has a severe impact that, if it back fires it could hurt relations with other countries in a big way. >> do you think he can control
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that? because we haven't seen any desire to do so up until now. >> you know, look, i think it's gotten more managed than in the campaign. i think it's a little better. but i don't know the answer to that until he is sworn in. i hope -- i think he has the potential of being a very good president, but i think, when it comes to things like this, you know, understanding that your words and tweets, everything, has a massive impact beyond just a campaign. it goes to actual relationships that our country has with other countries, i think he can use it effectively. i think we'll see after he is sworn in. >> congressman adam kinzinger, thank you for joining us as always. isis claims that it inspired the deadly christmas market attack in germany as the hunt is stepped up for the attacker. you are in "the situation room." oh, that's lovely... so graceful. the corkscrew spin, flawless...
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breaking news. isis is now claiming it inpired the christmas market attack and an urgent man hunt is on for the assailant. bringing in cnn national security analyst peter bergen. cnn senior international correspondent clarissa ward and
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phil mud, a former cia official. to you first, phil. german authorities now say that the attacker is at large. what are they doing right now to try to find him and also, did they lose a lot of time here that really could have been helpful? >> the time is critical here. this is a nervous part of an investigation because this individual has already gone over the edge. you have to wonder when he's going to crop up like a jack-in-the-box. hijacking other trucks, starting to shoot people. time is of the essence. they're obviously looking for dna and fingerprints in the vehicle, talking to people to get a description. asking for cellphone footage. you can look at security cameras in the perimeter. i would want to know where the truck came from and what the likely route was to determine whether there are cameras, for example, if they went to a gas station. eventually you'll open a tip line. somebody knows their family member is gone. the guy in the apartment next-door is gone. until you have a face or a name,
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this is sitting on a time bomb because he's going to come out and make a statement at some point. i think he is already over the edge. >> clarissa, it's surprising to a lot of people that he could have been in such a busy place and been able to sneak away. is that something that strikes you, or do you think everyone was hiding and there just wasn't a chance? >> no. i think it's really striking. it's borderline bizarre, i would say, brianna. because, of course, it was packed with people. fine, in the chaos of the moment, people are panicked and running away, but you would still think that there were some people there who would have witnessed something. not only that, you would imagine that there were some police there guarding or protecting the fair in some way. beyond that, we live in a world now where there are cameras absolutely everywhere. so it is strange to me the idea that we still don't seem to have any kind of real picture, or at
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least one that's been made public, of who the attacker is. in the example of "charlie hebdo" in paris, we saw within the day french authorities releasing information about who the attackers were, the direction they were believed to have gone in. as phil mudd just mentioned, there was surveillance video from gas stations coming out. a lot more information that, first of all, was helpful in terms of the public being able to avoid certain areas and protect themselves but also helpful in terms of getting investigators closer to a situation where they could potentially arrest or stop, at the very least, this attacker. so it does seem, more than 24 hours later, to have so many question marks and so many unknowns, it does seem disconcerting, brianna. >> very scary! we knew from the jump, peter, this this was a certain m.o. you could see what the potential motive was here. but now you have isis saying that it inspired the attack. it's calling the attacker a soldier of the islamic state. how do we read that?
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>> they've said this multiple times before for people that they really have no formal connection with. for instance. omar mateen, who killed 49 people at the orlando nightclub, he was deemed to be a soldier of the islamic state by isis. of course, omar mateen had no connection to isis at all other than being inspired by them. so they're already claiming this, but we don't even know yet who this person is, so it's hard to determine if that -- even that claim is itself, you know, really kosher. we have seen other attacks. clarissa mentioned "charlie hebdo." that turned out to be more associated with al qaeda than with isis. so this is still a very open question. >> would it be unusual for isis to say this and for it to turn out to not be someone inspired by isis? >> well, they're taking a risk. >> they could look silly. >> they've got nothing really to lose. it probably is somebody inspired by isis. that's usually the pattern. in the ohio state case where we
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had a similar kind of attack where 11 people were injured three weeks ago with a vehicle, he was mostly inspired by anwar al awlaki, a cleric, an american citizen. >> how are people feeling in the region? are they on high alert? are they very concerned? how are people in cities feeling there? >> i think there is a very real fear when it comes to security officials about their ability or lack thereof, realistically, to prevent every single one of these attacks from happening. for every five they thwart, how many, you know -- i don't know the exact numbers, but my point being, for every one that they thwart there may be others that they are not able to thwart. the problem that you have in europe, which perhaps our viewers in the u.s. don't understand so well, is that, because you have this sort of sanguine agreement that allows
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the free flow of movement of people from different countries without border patrols. it's the way the paris attackers were able to go back and forth from belgium to france, it does raise the possibility that this attacker could get in a car and drive out of germany. europe is always on high alerts, specifically in the past year as we've seen an uptick in the number of attacks. you can't isolate it to just one country. the these men can move quickly. a lot of them have criminal and underground contacts to call on. safe houses they can go to. all of that making it much more complicated for authorities across europe to do their job, brianna. >> what can be done in the u.s. to try to prevent something like this? >> i could tell you a story, brianna, but i don't think the story is very compelling. for example, if you look at a parade route, you can say we're going to push out the perimeter and ensure that only pedestrians get within let's say a four-block area of a route.
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you can say we're going to license everybody within half a mile. they have to show a permit. you can put sand or concrete barriers in. i don't think preventing this stuff is possible, if you look at recent terrorism, you'll more likely see backpack bombs or suicide belts. you can't stop 500,000 people from carrying backpacks to an event. secondly, we're talking about parades. how about tail-gating at universities or nfl games over time. are you going to tell somebody you can't bring a vehicle into a tailgate event? we look at these in isolation as if to believe we can stop this kind of stuff in a free society and the answer is you can't. >> i thought that might be your answer. phil mudd, clarissa ward. peter bergen. thank you to all of you. we appreciate it. coming up, donald trump reacting to the christmas market attack in berlin. is he getting daily classified intelligence briefings while he vacations in florida? there is no typical day.
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breaking news. we are getting some dramatic video that's just in. this is an explosion at a fireworks market north of mexico
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city. dozens of people injured by this explosion. emergency responders are currently on the scene. we're going to continue to monitor this. as you can see, just the explosions emanating from this market. so at this point you can even see some people, as the camera pans to the right side of the screen, and you can hear, obviously, the explosion of the firework market. we're still getting details, of course. we know many people injured, but of course, this is a rapidly shifting situation as first responders are there on the scene. we are going to continue to monitor this, and we will let you know the latest as we get it. we're also following other breaking news stories. isis is now claiming that is inspired the deadly christmas market truck attack in berlin that killed 12 people and injured dozens more. and president-elect donald trump was quick to react, even before all of the facts were in. cnn's senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is in palm beach, florida, where donald trump is spending the
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holiday. jeff, this wasn't unusual. donald trump taking to twitter. >> reporter: he did indeed, brianna. he condemned that terror attack in germany and then he went back to a topic closer to home. politics. he was tweeting directly at bill clinton. as brazen attacks unfold across the globe, the president-elect started off his day showing that he has no plans to move beyond his combative campaign mode. vacationing in florida, trump fired off back-to-back tweets aimed at bill clinton. bill clinton stated that i called him after the election. wrong. he called me. with a very nice congratulations. he doesn't know much. especially how to get people, even with an unlimited budget, out to vote in vital swing states. and more. they focused on the wrong states. the soon to be 45th president was reacting to what the 42nd president recently told a weekly newspaper in new york. clinton saying trump doesn't know much. the extraordinary back and forth
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continued as clinton replied today with a tweet of his own. here is one thing donald trump and i can agree on. i called him after the election. responding to the attacks in germany, trump went further than any u.s. or european official saying in a statement islamic terrorists continually slaughter christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. at his mar-a-lago resort in palm beach, trump receiving briefings. unclear whether it was through transition officials or government officials. >> he's in regular contact with his national security team with regard to the developing situation in europe and turkey. >> reporter: sean spicer vowing a quick response during a trump presidency. >> it will be swift and fierce. we have to be able to call it what it is and root it out by the bottom. we cannot be -- being politically correct. >> reporter: all this as trump is holding court in a series of
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private meetings at his resort, including a dinner with mexican billionaire carlos slim. the same carlos slim that trump evisc rated on the trail for his financing of the "new york times." >> the largest shareholder in the "times" is carlos slim. he comes from mexico. we'll let foreign corporations and their ceos decide the outcomes -- we can't do this. we can't let this happen. >> reporter: now, all of that is ancient history. carlos slim came here to mar-a-lago. had dinner saturday night with donald trump. donald trump calling carlos slim a great guy. he is trying to build a bridge to some mexican business people, including this billionaire businessman. another note on the classified briefing. we checked with transition officials throughout the day to see if donald trump did in fact receive the presidential daily brief today directly in the wake of the attacks in germany.
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his advisers have not answered those questions saying he received a briefing from transition officials. so that would have been second-hand information. mike pence, the vice president-elect was briefed in washington. >> jeff zeleny there for us near mau mar-a-lago. let's bring in the experts. phil, that's importance. mike pence, we know, has gotten firsthand the presidential daily brief and, yet, donald trump, it appears, may have not? or his team is not saying that? what do you think about that? >> this word is misleading, brianna. this word briefing. it's not a briefing. it's a conversation. you have a binder of information that talks about global events, for example, the event we had in the south china sea where the chinese took an american underwater drone. you would have have an update in what's happening in europe over the past day or so in turkey and germany. what follows afterward is the opportunity for the expert in the room, the briefer, who has
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spent years and answering questions from the president and his advisers. the idea that you simply present facts via an intermediary is half the story. you engage with a small room full of people to say, hey, briefer, what else do we need to know? i have some follow-up questions. and then for the advisers to talk about how to act afterwards. it's really a conversation, not just a brief. >> you are someone who knows that as one who was on the team that put together the briefing. jackie. we know donald trump is being briefed by his own national security team on the attacks. what does that tell us about the role his team will be playing in the white house? >> right now it tells us very little because the trump campaign won't tell us who it is. we assume it's general michael flynn who has said some very controversial things, particularly about muslims.
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if that's the person who is in his ear, we're going to see a very aggressive tone in the white house. and he really is insulating himself with his people. if he is not taking briefings or having conversations with folks outside of his immediate circle, with some of these career intelligence people who know the entire story line, not just, you know, whatever happened that day. >> and peter, michael flynn has said things -- we know this publicly -- that are just not true. do you worry that, if he is briefing donald trump, he is misrepresenting some information? >> you have to be concerned. the first thing is that bill clinton was right. donald trump doesn't know much. he may be the most ignorant man to enter, in terms of policy, to enter the white house in our lifetime. he didn't know what brexit was. he didn't know what the nuclear triad, who the leaders of isis,
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hezbollah are. he needs people to tut ooor himd he needs to make sure he is not in a bubble. he needs competing views. in the leadup to 9/11, it was important that the intelligence agencies were trying to get information to the president about the danger of an al qaeda attack at a time when bush's top advisers were more focused on iraq. if you don't have that avenue at all to pierce that bubble, especially with someone who is very ignorant like trump, it's dangerous. >> peter, you wrote about the different responses that we saw from president obama and donald trump when it came to the attacks in ankara and berlin. it's donald trump really leaned into the idea before any information was out there that this was radical islamic terrorism. what did you think of him doing that, of jumping the gun? >> well, it's not only that he jumped the gun. first of all, he probably should have waited until we knew for sure. but the tone of his statement
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was markedly different than the tone of the obama administration's statement because it depicted it almost exclusively as a religious war. the trump statement never talked about an attack on germans. it framed it as an attack on christians. this, it seems to me, it straight out of general flynn, right, what called muslislam a cancer, in a very dangerous way of framing these fights when we need muslim allies. it plays right into isis' hands. it's exactly the clash of civilizations that isis wants. >> should his team exercise more caution, jackie? >> certainly. but they don't seem to be willing to. i agree with everything peter just said. the stakes are higher when you are president. even when you're president-elect, the stakes are higher than when you are a candidate. we haven't seen the shift yet from them. because this is an administration that will lead from the top. we have seen that time and again. if donald trump isn't changing his tone, you can't imagine his
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team is going to either. >> jackie, peter and phil, thank you for your insight. we have much more ahead. we're covering multiple breaking stories from berlin to ankara and we'll have much more when we come back. take one.
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former president bill clinton is among the latest targets on twitter. i wonder what you think, peter. donald trump goes after bill clinton on twitter. he said he doesn't know much. i know you just agreed with bill clinton on that front. but taken that he is now president-elect, he is insulting bill clinton, what are your expectations for how he relates to world leaders moving forward once he is in the white house? >> i think that bill clinton shouldn't have said it. it is better for former presidents to reserve their remarks for when there's something really brave the and important if they're going to criticize at all. we know in terms of donald trump's response. he does not have self-control and he doesn't have people
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around him who are strong enough to impose that control. that was true during campaign and it is true now. and it is frightening. because among many other things, you know, when the president tweets something, that is essentially an order for lots of people in the government to start acting. to tart doing things. all kinds of things. flow from a statement of the president of the united states. we're now in a position where we have to rely on the chinese to not take donald trump's tweets too seriously. to laugh them off. in nationalist china, they may not do that. it makes the possibilities more dangerous. >> you see bill clinton stirring the pot and you see michelle obama saying she's been supportive of the trump transition. >> the words that we say moving forward, all of us, it matters. which is one of the reasons why
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we are so supportive of the transition. because no matter how we felt going into it, it is important for the health of the nation that we support the commander-in-chief. wasn't done when my husband took office but we're going high and this is what's best for the country. so we are going to be there for the next president and do whatever we have to do to make sure that he is successful. because if he succeeds, we all succeed. >> so she's saying there, phil, we're going high. we didn't see that happen when obama came in. but then you have bill clinton certainly who could argue as peter has, that he was not going high here, dealing with donald trump. how important is it to have this support and the party allegiance to be pushed aside? >> i think it is critically important but there is a different way to look at it. george bush was my president.
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barack obama is my president and donald trump will be my president. let's look at this differently. we've been talking about whether the president-elect will transition as he takes the responsibility of office. within the past few weeks after what we saw in the campaign trail, he said no. we won't lock her up. >> i think we're having a little technical difficulty there. all right. i do want to talk about something. donald trump having a meeting. having dinner with mexican billionaire carlos slim. this is someone that he slammed before. so what do you think? >> this isn't the first time donald trump has done this sort of thing and serving about a deal. and if donald trump thinks he can make a deal with carlos slim to #make america great again, he will do it. he is a good guy when he was not before. barack obama was a bad guy and now he is okay.
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he is very malleable. >> maybe dpits he is not holding a grudge. we'll say that. thank you. coming up we have breaking news. isis says it inspired the deadly attack on a christmas market in berlin. now an urgent hunt for the assailant who drove a heavy truck through a crowd of shoppers. who says i shouldn't have a soda every day?
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breaking news. terrorists at large. authorities say they have new leads tonight after letting their initial suspect go free. heightened alert. new york and other major industries ramping up security, fearing that holiday events may be vulnerable to terrorists. we're getting new information. russian round-up. after the assassination of moscow's ambassador to turkey, vladimir putin is putting terrorists on notice. the gunman's relatives have been detained. and under the wire. president obama is racing to advance his agenda before his time in office runs out. kit stop donald trump from undoing his legacy or at least slow him down? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off. i'm brianna keeler and yore


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