tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN December 21, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PST
or interviewers pressed sufficiently hard enough or not, and now that seemed to be one of the reasons why he rose, and now he is abandoning it. s.e. and heidi, thank you so much. appreciate it. that is it for "the lead." you can follow me @"the lead." i turn it over to brianna keilar. she is in "the situation room." isis suspect on the run. a reward for the man suspected in the berlin christmas market attack. he is linked to a pro-isis network. can an urgent man hunt prevent another slaughter. moscow tests an apparent satellite weapon and may have deployed satellites. that comes as the kremlin says the u.s.-russian dialogue is frozen. pro and conflict. donald trump's sons are removed as directors of a non-profit
after a report linking them to a plan to auction off access to the president-elect. is trump himself now focused on global crisis or, as his tweets suggested, is he still obsessed with the election results. activity at a chemical weapons plant as kim jong un overseas a night drill by fighter jet pilots. wolf blitzer is off and i'm brianna keilar. you are in "the situation room." breaking news. germany puts out a warrant and a cash bounty for a 24-year-old tunisian who prosecutors say is under suspicion in the attack. he's been linked to a pro isis network operating in germany. he had been refused asylum, was arrested and released last
august. raids are being carried out amid an urgent man hunt. president-elect donald trump calls the berlin rampage an attack on humanity. asked by a reporter if this week's incidents caused him to rethink plans to create a muslim registry or ban muslim immigration, trump responded, quote, you have known my plans all along. i have been proven to be right 100% correct. what's happening is disgraceful. and sources say rausussia has tested what's believed to be an anti-satellite weapon and may have an arsenal of killer satellites which could carry out attacks in space. this is a big concern for the u.s. this comes as a kremlin official says dialogue between russia and the u.s. is now frozen. i'll speak with republican congressman will herd of the homeland security com. fir committee. a suspect has now been identified. he is the target of a huge man
hunt. cnn's erin mclaughlin is standing by in berlin. we begin with brian todd on the investigation. brian, tell us what you are learning. >> we have been speaking with german officials in berlin and here in washington. we have learned the fbi has been in contact with the germans in this investigation. we have gotten crucial information on the suspect as well. tonight, german security forces are scrambling to find him. he is a young tunisian man with connections to isis. he is very dangerous. and he had a head-start in eluding capture. tonight, a frantic man hunt and an urgent message across europe warning people to stay away from this man and to help find him. german police say 24-year-old an anis amri is under suspicion. police say his identification was found inside the truck along with the truck's original driver who had been shot at close
range. as the search for the alleged terrorist expands, including raids by police in northern germany where he lived, there is growing concern about his links to isis. >> translator: he had contact with radical islamist organizations. various security services assessed him as a person who poses a risk. >> reporter: isis has claimed responsibility for inspiring the attack and cnn has learned amri has connections to an isis recruiting operation funneling would-be terrorists to strongholds in syria and iraq. german officials once had him in custody. officials saying he previously faced an assault charge and did not show up in court. he was arrested this past august with forged documents according to a german security official. when they tried to deport him they couldn't. police say, he had so many fake names and papers that under german law they couldn't send him back to tunisia. officials sell cnn he could be using one of those aliases and may have the help of a support
network. >> the concern is, because of his connections to this isis recruitment network he has contacts, resources, infrastructure, to either help him hide or to help him leave the country. >> reporter: the possibility of accomplices presents another challenge for police, according to a former u.s. marshal who has worked with the germans to track fugitives. >> you have to be mindful that the suspect himself or his associates in his organization could be watching the broadcasts as well. law enforcement is going to be careful and sensitive as to what they're disclosing. >> reporter: tonight, german authorities are not saying much, only that amri is 5'10", 165 found and violent and armed. now that his name and face are plastered over tv screens in europe, he and whoever he might be working with could accelerate any plans they have for a future attack. they're very much on edge in
germany tonight. >> obviously law enforcement is hoping for some sort of break at this point with him on the loose. >> that's right. we're told by former u.s. marshals german police will be looking for any slipup by the perfec suspect. he could break into an establishment, steal a vehicle. that's what the police will be watching for and asking the public to watch out for. >> let's go live to berlin where cnn's erin mclaughlin is, at the scene of this deadly attack. erin, it really sounds like this man was well known to authorities. we have heard experts say that there were failures here, that he slipped through the cracks so many times. >> reporter: that's right, brianna. there are some serious questions as to how that happened, especially when you consider that the main suspect was actually in police custody back in august for forging fake documents, trying to travel illegally to italy. but at the time, a judge took the decision to release him. the question is, why.
especially when you consider the timing of that arrest. germany had just sustained two terrorist attacks, albeit on a small scale, and officials were on lookout, on the alert, for potentially more. also, when you consider that in june a german officials tried and failed to deport him, according to german media reports, the problem with that is that he, at the time, had multiple identification documents and authorities simply didn't know which country to deport him back to. so that being said, german authorities have so far this year foiled multiple potential terrorist attacks. so what this story in some ways illustrates is the sheer scale of the problem, the number of potentially radicalized individuals out there who could pose a danger to the public and the difficulties of tracking them. brianna. >> it is a huge problem as you point out. erin mclaughlin, thank you.
joining me now to talk more is republican congressman will herd of texas, a former cia officer and serves on the homeland security committee. congressman, thank you for making the time for us. you hear erin's report that there are so many potential terrorists that could be tracked. but we now know that the attacker was known to german authorities. so to you, that he slipped through the cracks so many times, is this a failure on the part of german authorities or are they drinking out of a fire hose when it comes to potential threats? >> i think they'll have to analyze this. earlier this year i participated in a task force in congress looking at terrorist travel from europe and other places to the united states. one of the things that we found was that folks in europe were not checking the travel documents, every single travel documents of folks. they weren't checking the names of travelers against known watch lists.
and this was a recommeproblem t saw in places like france earlier in the year. and i think we're going to see this here in germany. one of the things that we learned here in the united states since 9/11 is that, when you get good information sharing between local, state and federal intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies, is the best way to protect the homeland. >> that you're more likely to catch someone there. i wonder, as a cia officer for many years, can you take us behind the scenes a little bit. just how difficult it is to track and to keep an eye on potential attackers. >> the volume of information that our intelligence services have to manage is vast. and we have -- if people knew the size of our actual intelligence agencies, they would be pretty shocked at how small it is and how they really do punch above their weight. then, when you deal with a permissive environment like europe where it's easy to move
back and force across international boundaries, that further complicates the effort. what's going on right now is that our intelligence agencies are working as closely as we can with the germans on providing any information that we may know. but also learning and understanding what new pieces of information they have to see if we have information about similar attacks on -- in our homeland or against our resources across the country -- across the world. >> are you pretty comfortable -- i mean, are you pretty confident that germany is going to find this suspect? >> i think so. when you have all of these countries marshall their resources to find someone, the fact that they know that many different passports that he travelled in before, the fact that they're putting his face up everywhere, i think you're going to ultimately lead to this. when the germans are -- the germans are a very good service. and they're going to put all their resources to find this
person and this killer and bring him to justice. >> this is a guy who came to germany in 2015. what we're seeing is this back lash now against the chancellor there and this policy of opening the door to refugees. now, we're still waiting to find out exact details about this man, who is a tunisian national. as you know, president-elect donald trump has been extremely against taking in refugees. in light of this and certainly the concerns that this may create, what do you think about that position of his? >> well, we have to remember, this is a symptom of a larger problem. if we would have engaged effectively in syria and other parts of the middle east sooner you would not have had an extensive refugee problem on our hands. you wouldn't have 4 million syrians displaced. you wouldn't have seen a spillover in other countries in north africa. so we have to remember and take away the lessons from this. and that means we've got to take
the fight to the doorstep of the people that are targeting us. and that means isis and iraq and syria, that means keeping al qaeda on the run in places like yemen. and we have to have aggressive policies against them. kinetic action against them. but it also means we have to improve the kind of intelligence that is coming out of these organizations. we have got to better understand the plans and intentions of these terrorist organizations, and that means increasing the amount of human intelligence in many of these hot spots. >> and also countering recruitment. that's been one of the big issues too. so i wonder if, as you see this heightened anti-refugee rhetoric, do you worry that that actually helps with recruitment. for instance, we know that this suspect in germany was in touch with a recruitment network. >> one of the things that makes isis so deadly is their ability to inspire people even if they're 6,000 miles away. and so we have to address and
attack their resources in order to get that message out. but we also have to be out there countering that message as well. and i don't think we've done a good enough job on that from a u.s. side. but also from an international community perspective either. when i was chasing al qaeda in the cia, they would do night letters. put letters on a doorstep at night. they're using social media and impacting tens if thought hundreds of thousands of people a day. that is a tool they're using to inspire these attacks all over the world. >> with the suspect on the loose in germany, how concerned are you that we could be seeing another strike or another strike that could also be facilitated by others? >> i think everybody in europe is going to be on high alert. you are seeing how some of these
pedestrian malls and activities that are going on in other parts of germany, they're putting up additional barriers to prevent vehicular traffic. i think security forces throughout that part of europe needs to be thinking about this time and where people are going and what additional protections they can take and how can they stay alert. again, one of the important pieces here is, if you get the right information to the right people at the right time, you keep terrorists on the run. this is something that we always have to strive for. here in the united states since 9/11, what i call horizontal sharing, sharing information across the federal government, has improved. but we even have a ways to go when it comes to sharing with state and local law enforcement. and so this is something that every -- every country has to be focused on. and if we improve information sharing networks in our own countries and figure out how to tag this together, we can make sure to have a global dragnet to
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saying that dialogue with the u.s. has been frozen at nearly all levels and that if the u.s. and russia are talking at all, it's at a, quote, minimum. the pentagon, and the state department, both say that contacts are continuing. back now with republican congressman will hurd of texas. he is a former cia undercover officer and serves an the homeland security committee. what do you think about that? a spokesman from the kremlin saying almost all levels of dialogue are frozen and the two countries don't talk to each other and the state department is saying there is engagement. secretary kerry just spoke with the foreign minister of russia yesterday. why is russia doing this? >> russia is very good at information operations. and that's using many of their official spokespeople to put information out that's not completely accurate. so, you know, i would -- i would trust more what our folks in the state department and the military are saying.
this is -- the russians have shown, in eastern europe, in germany, here in the united states, that they try to sow misinformation. and what their objective in saying that is, i don't know. but that's something that hopefully our intelligence agencies are looking to understand. >> could they be trying to make things look bad under the obama administration in an effort to curry favor with an incoming administration? is that possible? >> anything is possible when it comes to the russians. the one thing that i do know is that they are our adversary. if they were interested in cooperating, they would have cooperated a lot more when it comes to syria and the fight against isis. if they were interested in cooperating, they would not have invaded ukraine. so i think it's disingenuous to think that the russians feel like they're an aggrieved party in any form or fashion. one of the things i learned when
i was in the cia is, be tough with tough guys and nice with nice guys. and i think having a tough approach when it comes to russia is a way forward. >> don't be nice with tough guys. i assume that's also part of it, right? >> exactly. >> the cia, the fbi, the dni, they've all said they are on the same page when it comes to russia hacking various political organizations during the election. but president-elect trump continues to say he doesn't know who did it. and you are in a uniquely placed position as a republican lawmaker and also a former member of the intelligence committee. what do you make of this? what's your reaction to this? >> i think, over the last couple of weeks, a lot of different pieces of information has been conflated. i think president-elect trump has made it clear that he does believe a further investigation by the intelligence services is a valid pursuit. and that the russians did not
impact the outcome of the election. they did not manipulate the 1s or 0s when it comes to the voting boxes in the voting machines. my committee held a hearing on this topic, and we can be assured of the integrity of the election. but it's very clear, and the intelligence community has said this, that it was russian groups connected to russian intelligence that was involved in the hacking of the dccc and the dnc. and i will say this. the dccc spent $6 million trying to unseat me here in texas, but an attack on them is an attack on all of us. and there has to be a response to this type of behavior. >> but you say donald trump has said further investigation is valid. i mean, the message that seems to really be coming through from him is that he is casting doubt. i mean, do you agree with him that there is doubt about who did it? do you agree with him that,
until there is more investigation, you're not signing on to the agreement of who did this? >> i think the hacking of the dccc and the dnc is very clear, that it was two groups connected to russian intelligence. i think that is a very clear idea. now, what is a little bit more ambiguous is who within russian intelligence okayed this activity, how much did vladimir putin actually know. there is all this reports about a cia report -- >> but didn't you see an intel community report that is saying this went up to very high levels? >> what we saw was two unnamed officials in the national intelligence apparatus saying there was a cia report. we do not know what kind of report that was. was that a piece of f.i., foreign intelligence, from a single source? was this a directive of an intelligence product with all sorts of analysis.
was this a product of an alternative analysis? none of us know what that was nor should we because it's a classified piece of information. if we really want to understand the plans and intentions of the russian government, we have to have well placed human sources to do that. and to have those well-placed sources, that means someone is putting themselves in harm's way. and by having folks within the intelligence community leak this kind of information, that puts those people in danger. and so i do believe the national intelligence apparatus needs to have an honest self-assessment about what are our capabilities to determine what happened in cases like this. >> how do we do that if you are saying we shouldn't know this information and, yet, also casting doubt on the fact that it's two unnamed intelligence officials. which of course it is, right, because this is sensitive stuff. you are a former undercover cia operative. >> absolutely. that's why you have intelligence oversight committees to do that. you have members who have been
on these committees for a long time who understand the nature of working on intelligence. and so there are some things that we can have an open dialogue on. you know, what is an appropriate response to a hostile government that tries to influence information concerning our election or who hacks information of a -- an american company or entity? what is an appropriate response there. those are some of the conversations we should be having out in the open and can have out in the open, because determining what our response is going to be is also a form of deterrence. this is where a lot of the conversation should go. but what an individual source may or may not know, that's something that should be handled within the infrastructure of the intelligence community but they're best able to handle it. ask the tough questions of the intelligence community but ensure that we are protecting sources and methods so that we don't put someone's life in
harm's way who is trying to help us better understand this crazy world we live in. >> congressman will hurd of texas, we do appreciate it. thank you for being with us today. >> thank you. coming up, u.s. sources say russia has tested an apparent anti-satellite weapon. is it preparing for a war in space? you are in the situation room.
germany has issued a wanted notice and reward for a 24-year-old tunisian national under urgent suspicion in the croix christmas market attack. i want to bring in peter bergen to talk about this and phil mudd, a former cia official and cnn military analyst, retired general mark hurtling. the fact that he has ties to a network in germany has raised concerns that he could seek refuge with other people, right? >> yeah. in the network of isis sympathizers in germany is relatively large. they've said 800 germans have gone to syria. add to that the thousands of
fellow travelers and sort of supporters who are part of that. it would be, you know -- i think you have to presume that there is a network he can disappear into. we saw that with the paris attacks, the brussels attacks. the paris attackers disappeared for months into a supporter network. >> how do officials there counter that? >> we're talking about the opportunity he has to flee. there is also an opportunity for a security service. he has two avenues. we have released photographs of him now. if he goes into the general public someone eventually will recognize him. if the avenue we're talking about, if he starts to touch a network affiliated with isis presumably the germans and other europeans are aware of these individuals. as soon as one of them talks, e-mails or texts, when he goes back into their network, if he is absorbed and they conduct those communications, that's an opportunity. either way he goes over the course of let's say 48 to
72 hours his opportunities to stay dark will be limited, i think. >> what's come to light in the last 24 hours is german authorities were familiar with this man. not just one contact or two contacts, but he had been facing deportation, he had gone to court. they saw that he had too many aliases to be certain about where he was, and he was then released back into society, even though at one point he had been denied asylum. do you consider -- i want you all to weigh in on this. do you consider this major failures on the part of the germans, or is this a matter of drinking out of a fire hose when you are talking about potential threats? >> that's the second time you've said that in the show, brianna. i'll confirm what you just said. first of all, start off this way. my experience with the german intelligence and security forces is they are very good at the federal and state level. but they've had close to a million refugees come into their country this year alone in a country of 70 million population.
they've had problems with transliteratoration of names. the name mohammed can be spelled six different ways when you're talking about file checks. i don't want to say it's a failure, but they have been drinking from the fire hose and they've been attempting to treat these people, as they've spread the refugees out over various states within germany, with dignity, respect and incorporate them into the population, but it's tough. sometimes, as phil will probably tell you, people get past the authorities. and i think this is probably a situation where that happened, even though he had been arrested and potentially on the way to deportation. >> the misspelling of names, peter. i mean, that in itself -- and the fact that he seemed to have so many monikers. there were opportunities to be in contact, certainly, or to have some surveillance over this person. but perhaps he wasn't deemed dangerous enough. >> i mean, this happens repeatedly in the united states. we have a very efficient police structure. we saw that in orlando.
om omar mateen was interviewed twice by the fbi before carrying out the attack at the orlando nightclub. we saw that with major faddel hussein who killed the people. the people who come out of the blue are the exceptions. we saw that in san bernardino with the couple who killed 14 people. they were not known. that's very unusual. >> that's an interesting point. phil, we know that is he tunisian. but we don't necessarily know -- you know, it's raising concerns about refugees and some of the risks that could be posed, obviously most of them come ino countries and are not a risk at all. but this is, of course, creating fears. what can we extrapolate from his coming from tunisia, if anything? >> not much. let's be clear about a couple of issues here. we are talking about refugee flows. this is different than a refugee
flow from iraq and syria. if you look at the cases of instability in north africa. those individuals often come across boats into italy. tunisia has also been a tremendous pipeline into iraq and syria for isis. but in that case you're not talking about millions of people, you're talking about hundreds and thousands. let's separate out what's coming up from north africa into europe and from isis into syria. if you think that we can look at that wave of people and somehow determine among refugees who is thinking, a year or two down the road, that they might join isis, that is not a workable proposition. i see the debates on screening refugees in the united states, and i think they're nuts. the question is not who comes into the country. the question is can you look at people once they come in and determine whether a refugee is going south or not. i think that's what we ought to focus on. >> nuts. which i know is a technical term. >> yes. >> gentlemen. thank you. i appreciate your insight.
coming up, u.s. sources say russia may have deployed killer satellites and they've just tested what they believe is an anti-satellite weapon. is moscow getting ready for a war in space? rkable holiday par. just serve classy snacks and be a gracious host, no matter who shows up. do you like nuts? thope to see you again soon.. whoa, whoa, i got this.
and reward for a tunisian man suspected in the deadly christmas market attack. authorities have linked him to a pro isis network. cnn's senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is in palm beach, florida, where president-elect donald trump is spending the holidays. what is trump and transition officials, what are they saying about the attack, jeff? >> reporter: brianna, donald trump is offering his first reaction to that attack, calling it an attack on humanity. he also summoned a group of generals here to mar-a-lago as a picture of strength. as he is now just 30 days away from taking office. in florida today, donald trump receiving his first intelligence briefing of the week. two days after a christmas market rampage in germany raised new fears of terrorism around the world. >> it's an attack on humanity is what it is. it's an attack on humanity. and it's got to be stopped. >> reporter: at his mar-a-lago retreat, trump meeting with his incoming national security chief michael flynn and other generals
while making his first comments on the berlin attack that killed 12 and injured dozens. >> it's terrible. >> reporter: trump's aides were sending the signal that the president-elect is keeping apprised of the heightened holiday alert. he drew fire from the intelligence community earlier this month for saying he sees no value in receiving the presidential daily brief or pdb, every day. >> i don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years, could be eight years, but eight years. i don't need that. >> reporter: set to take office in just 30 days trump's advisers are mindful of the optics surrounding his security briefings. trump, who proposed a muslim ban one year ago before softening his position later, was asked about it again today. >> you know my plans all along. i've been proven to be right, 100% correct, what's happening is disgraceful.
>> reporter: yet, in the face of rising challenges with global terror threats, trump started his day once again still defensively tweeting about his victory in the electoral college. i would have done even better in the election if that is possible, if the winner was based on popular vote. but would campaign differently. he went on to boast that he spent far less money on his win than hillary clinton did on her loss. his tweets often may be designed to change the subject. and one subject the transition is eager to change, concerns about conflicts of interest. the latest example, two of trump's sons signing on with an inauguration event promising access to the president-elect for a million dollar donation. transition officials said today that eric and don jr. would not participate. but it raised questions about pay for play, which trump often railed against on the campaign trail. >> drain the swamp. we're going to drain the swamp of washington. we're going to have fun doing it. >> reporter: drain the swamp may
no longer be a trump signature line. at least that's what former house speaker newt gingrich told npr. >> i am told he now disclaims that. he says it was cute but he doesn't want to use it anymore. >> reporter: that so-called swamp my not be draining. corey lewandowski announcing today he was setting up a consulting shop a block from the white house, inside the same building that houses the trump transition office. a parade of washington came here to a very windy mar-a-lago. and the ceos of boeing and lockheed martin were among them. today the boeing ceo came for a meeting and came to the cameras as well saying he's going to lower the cost. trump hailed that as a victory. trump advisers say this is the kind of show you're going to see once he takes office, whether here in florida or in the white house, bringing corporate ceos
in one by one. >> is it real or rhetoric. we'll find out. jeff zeleny, thank you so much in palm beach. i want to bring in our experts and talk about some final numbers we just got in. the final, official, national popular vote totals for the election. new york state actually just had some revised, certified results. we can now see that hillary clinton beat donald trump by almost 3 million votes in the popular vote. she got 48.2% to 46.1%. which leads me to what donald trump was tweeting about today. twice he talked about this. fixating, it seems, on the past and the fact that he didn't win the popular vote. i would have done even better in the election, if that is possible, if the winner was based on the popular vote but would campaign differently. rebecca, what do you make of him tweeting about this? isn't it -- he won. why not move on? >> he did win. i'm sure many of his advisers and allies wish he would move on because he is going to be the
president, and it's a little bit unseemly, unflattering, for the president-elect to be fixated on these election results still. but we know donald trump, and if we know anything about him, it's that he is competitive, he cares about optics, he cares about what people think of him and whether they think he is truly a success. and clearly he worries that this could possibly dent his momentum going into the white house and also dent his reputation as a winner and raise some doubts among some of -- some even of his supporters about his victory. and so he wants to go into the white house with the wind at his back, saying that he has a mandate, that he won in a landslide while clearly that just wasn't the case. >> this is going to hang over donald trump's presidency because democrats are going to seize on this for the next four years, that he did not win the popular vote. so if he can make the case that, look, this would have been a different election if i had run based on popular vote, not
campaigning in the states with electoral votes, then i would have won. clearly the fact that he is not the winner of the popular vote is something that his critics will use against him for the next four years. >> to jeff zeleny's point, i think what's more likely to hang over his presidency is he has all these conflicts of interest that he is not taking care of right now. he was supposed to have a press conference this month. it didn't happen. >> whether he will it happen? >> we don't know. they won't say. until they get that in check, that's going to continue being a problem. be it him, be it his children and his businesses. a half-blind trust or whatever they're talking about now, isn't going to cut it. >> he is sending out these tweets. some people are looking at this saying, he kind of looks insecure. why is he doing this. yet there is this big story. you mentioned conflict of interest. we're seeing that now his sons, who were going to be a part of this charity that seemed to be raising money based on access to
the president, not the president-elect, because it was to happen after the inauguration. are now distancing themselves from that. what are the chances that, even something like this, stirring up this old story, is a distraction? >> it could be a distraction. i think both are right. he is thin-skinned and worried about his reputation, i think. but also, i mean, maybe he is trying to distract from it. good luck. it's a big blinking red flag. >> it is a red flag because don jr. and eric have played adviso advisory roles for the president going forward. even though they may not take a formal role in the administration, don jr. himself was helping with the selection of cabinet nominees. the interior secretary, ryan zenke would probably not be the nominee were it not for him. that raises a concern. >> bring in. donate half a million dollars and you'll get this access. phil, i want to talk to you about the president-elect's day to day.
he was flanked by a number of military officials, and he met in person with his national security adviser, michael flynn, who we know has been briefing him. why is it important, though, for donald trump -- and you tell us this as someone who put together these briefings. why is it important that he gets a briefing, not just from one of his advisers? >> it's not important. it's critical. there is a religion of intelligence and there is a commandment that we are talking about. and that is you separate out the information from the decision. let me explain why, brianna. let's talk about a highly contentious issue, that is whether we should have signed a deal with iran on their nuclear program and whether iran is complying with the deal. if you are in a policy position like the national security adviser, and you oppose that deal, you'll look and say i want to potentially find intelligence that shows i am right that shows iran isn't complying with the
deal. you have to separate out that policy conversation with the intelligence. does it say they're complying or not? what are the facts on the ground. and then pass it along to the advisers to the president for them to decide what to do. intel is one thing. policy is another. there is a bright line between them. >> very good point. phil mudd. jackie kucinich, manu raju and r rebecca berg, thank you all. is russia getting ready for a space war? what is north korea getting ready for? the u.s. spots new activity at a chemical weapons plant as kim jong un oversees a drill by fighter ploilts. ploilts. pilots. ly $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.
sources say russia has recently tested what is believed to be an anti-satellite weapon. that is a growing concern for the u.s. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr has been looking into this. tell us, barbara, what you've been learning. >> reporter: why is this so significant? because satellites rub everything from your laptop computer to the military's ability to drop precision bombs.
so if those satellites are taken out of commission, that can bring things to a halt. and russia is one of the countries out there that is testing weapons that can bring down, can destroy both commercial and military satellites that the u.s. runs. so the big concern about this latest test is, is russia really making progress in being able to do this? one frightening scenario, it is believed that russia has kamikaze satellites essentially, the term used inside the u.s. military. basically russian satellites that functions as weapons themselves. they saddle up to satellites out in space and blow up. glowing concern that this could pose some serious threats. >> and on another topic, tell us about north korea and the concerns about north korea tonight. >> reporter: always a concern about provocations there, but a new concern.
u.s. intelligence satellites in the last few days have noticed activity at a north korean chemical weapons plant, resumed activity. what they don't know is what's going on inside. they are not at the point that they can say the north kroreans are producing chemical weapons, but they do believe some activity at the site. so to determine what north korea may be up to here, now a top priority, u.s. satellites will keep watch on this facility, and there is concern as the united states goes into a new presidential administration, there could be moments of vulnerability in the minds of the north korean regime. they could take advantage, conduct another nuclear test. so a lot of eyes peeled on that regime, as always. >> barbara starr, thank you so much. coming up, a man wanted -- or a wanted notice and a reward for a tunisian man suspected in
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news. a manhunt is under way as investigators identify a suspect in the christmas market truck attack. a tunisian asylum seeker believed to have ties to a pro-isis network in germany. he was arrested as recently as august. why did a german judge release him? attack on humanity. president elect donald trump makes his first public comment on the berlin attack, backing away from the description as an attack on christians. he tells reporters "you know my plans." frozen relations. a kremlin spokesman payments a grim picture of u.s./russia ties. donald trump says he wants closer ties with russia in his upcoming administration. are the frozen relations about to thaw? and royal pains. britain's queen business let postpones her holiday trip to her country estate.