tv CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar CNN December 31, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PST
there shouldn't be attention there but putting a little attention there. >> buttigieg going after biden. we'll see where this goes. thank you for joining us on "inside politics." happy new year. brianna keilar starts right now. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. welcome to this holiday edition of "cnn right now." protesters attacked the embassy in baghdad, setting fires and responding to airstrikes. they vowed to protect and defend its people. disturbing new details about the man who stabbed five people at a hanukkah celebration. the fbi pointing to anti-semitic statements in his journal and his numerous internet searches for hitler. plus, three months after suffering a heart attack, bernie sanders provides a doctor's note saying he's in good health, breaking his promise to release a comprehensive health report by
the end of the year. and the countdown is on to 2020. more than a million people packed in time square to usher in the new year. we'll take you there live. we begin with breaking news. the u.s. is now sending additional forces to protect embassy personnel in baghdad. the embassy has been under siege as crowds of angry pro-iranian demonstrators tried to storm the compound, setting fires and smashing windows. the fierce backlash followed u.s. airstrikes against iranian-backed militia groups who had been attacking u.s. targets in iraq. president trump is accusing iran of organizing the protests and warning that it will be held fully responsible. the embassy right now is on lockdown. there are no plans to evacuate, however, and secretary of state mike pompeo called the iraqi prime minister, telling him the u.s. expects iraq to guarantee the safety of americans in the compound and made clear the u.s.
will protect and defend its people. senior international correspondent arwa damon and independent correspondent ryan browne are following all these developments. arwa, to you first. this u.s. compound is in the green zone. it's normally a pretty secure part of the city. how did this happen? >> reporter: well, it happened because you have to look at who are these protesters. they're not your ordinary protesters, brianna. they are mostly members of what is known as the pmf, the popular mobilization force. the pmf is this basic paramilitary unit that is made up of former members from a variety of different groups of mostly pro-iranian shia militias. the top commanders, three of the top commanders within the pmf were also down there when the protesters first managed to, quite simply it would seem, walk
through all of the checkpoints leading up to the u.s. embassy. some will tell you who is actually going to stop them given who they are. and among this paramilitary force is, of course, the kitaeb hezbollah. that is the militia that the u.s. launched the strikes against on sunday. they were demanding that america leave iraq. they were saying this protest is going to continue until the u.s. does. the embassy, as far as we're aware right now, still has some areas of it, just on the outside of it, that are on fire. there are a smaller number of protesters that are still out there but they're still there. some of them built on a camp a few hundred feet away. so it seems like this might be the beginning of something, because kiateb hezbollah did release a statement saying that this was to send a message to the americans, that they weren't basically, perhaps, as powerful
as they thought they were, and the message was quite clear that at the very least in iraq, this force can march right up to the gates of the united states. >> it's stunning. and, ryan, how is the u.s. dealing with this? how are they beefing up the military presence around the embassy? >> well, brianna, the u.s. is taking several steps. in fact, secretary of defense mark esper issued a statement saying that the u.s. was adding additional forces to help safeguard the embassy, and officials are telling us those additional forces will include a small contingent of marines, about a hundred or so, that will be deploying from elsewhere in kuwait, a response force that will join the embassy and some of the marines and contact personnel that are already there. we're also being told the u.s. military sent in two apache attack helicopters. in fact, the u.s. spokesman just moments ago posting video of those apaches, releasing flares.
these are defensive flares. they're not lethal. they're usually used to defend the helicopters from attack. but they can also be used as a warning signal, so clearly a show of force here by the u.s. military to underscore the fact that the u.s. will defend its personnel and its facilities there in the diplomatic post. again, the u.s. calling on iraq to do more to also help safeguard u.s. personnel and the facilities there. >> ryan, thank you so much. arwa damon, thank you for the report. i want to discuss this right now with bob baer. he's an operative that served in iraq. you can't help but see these images and think of the iran crisis. we're talking about different actors here, but it's protesters who are trying to take over the embassy here. they took over the embassy in tehran in 1979. do you worry this could escalate, or do you see something entirely different, despite these images? >> brianna, i'm very pessimistic. the iranians know that in iraq
they have us hostage. we have about 5,500 troops there. they are not enough to defend themselves against these shia militias which do answer to tehran. to me it's like the trump administration is sending a message, which is, we've got you guys. we're going to shell you if we want to. it's time to lift the sanctions. it's time to deal with us. right now we don't have enough troops there to defend our bases, and that's the facts. >> the president is accusing iran of sending these protests. what should the administration be doing? what can they do? >> they have to change their strategic policy in the area. you simply cannot put our troops and our diplomats in harm's way and hope for the best. this is what jimmy carter did in '79 when he took the shah out.
i don't know if trump understands this, but this is what he's facing. you can pull everybody out, give up iraq completely and syria as well, but you can't continue as you are. >> iran promised retaliation because of these strikes on this iran-backed militia. is this that retaliation, or are you expecting more? >> i think it's just the beginning. they'll continue to escalate. they've got the upper hand in iraq and again in syria and lebanon, and they're not going to let this go. by the way, this is great news for the iranians, this demonstration, because it takes off attention from all the protests against iran that can change the subject. so this is completely in line with their interests. >> and you heard what arwa reported. she said there is a camp that is setting up not far from the u.s. embassy. i think she said a few hundred meters. so that obviously tells you that
folks are going to be there for the long haul. what is this going to look like? >> brianna, let's go back. the government in iraq answers to tehran. the prime minister we now know from leaked intercepts is undertake ranunde under tehran's control, almost complete control. the only one who can defend our bases there is the iraqi government, but we cannot depend on its loyalties. this situation to me, and i always look at the worst possible scenario, is the logic of war here or the trump administration has to back down completely, which i don't see that happening, either. >> do you think the u.s. was ready for this? >> absolutely not. if we go to war, we're going to have to bring back the draft, we're going to have to send hundreds of thousands of troops to the area. bombing iran, bombing iraqi forces is not going to do it in a war. this is a worst-case scenario. and don't forget, it's probably
very likely the iranians were responsible for the attack on upkake with saudi arabia. >> bob baer, thank you very much. we really appreciate that reality check. ground searches for nazis with police, painting a disturbing picture of a man who allegedly attacked a hanukkah celebration in new york. plus joe biden says he's willing to pull out all the stops to win the election, including the possibility of choosing a republican running mate. out with the old, in with the new decade. the sights and sounds of the celebration around the globe ahead of the ball drop in times square. i think we're gonna swap over to "over seventy-five years of savings and service." what, we're just gonna swap over? yep. pump the breaks on this, swap it over to that.
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in new york a community is in mourning as we're now learning more about the man who allegedly stabbed five people attending a hanukkah celebration at a rabbi's house. according to the department of defense, the suspect served in the u.s. marine corps for a little over a month in 2002, and he's since been charged with federal hate crimes after investigators say they discovered a trail of online se searches and journal entries where the suspect searched and wrote about hitler, synagogues and the american jews. what else do we know about the suspect, and also his brief stt in history? >> reporter: there was a news conference and they really painted a picture of this man suffering a mental illness history. he's had hospitalizations over the past few years, he's on
medication. he did mention he served in the marines and there was someone of a similar name that served for a time in the marines, but they're saying that kind of paints a picture of possibly how this happened. because he has this history of mental illness. now, the evidence that you sort of laid out for your viewers in regards to social -- i'm sorry, online searches and sort of those writings that were found in his home, that's only part of a criminal complaint that was filed in relation to those five hate crime charges that we saw yesterday. and we're also learning now that the fbi has actually seized his mother's car as part of their evidence. this was a car that we're learning from an auto body shop owner that was brought into his shop, that was banged up by this suspect, thomas, and he took a rental car, which was the actual car he was arrest ed in in new york city. we're learning a lot about the
evidence the investigators say they have at this point against thomas. of course, there is probably more, but again, we have those handwritings that were found in a journal with sort of nazi sentiments, hitler sentiments, pictures of a swastika and the star of david and also the social media searches, one even done on the day that this attack happened, according to investigators. he searched the increased police presence at synagogues in new york city. so really painting two different pictures, the family and also what police are really saying might have fueled this horrific attack. now, from this community we have learned two of the victims of this attack are still in the hospital, one with a very serious head injury. as far as thomas, though, he's in federal custody right now, but he's going to be back in court this friday on those state attempted murder charges. brianna? >> thank you for this report. we know you'll continue to monitor the story as well as the
two folks still in the hospital. i'm going to texas now where a community is coming together following a church shooting where two people were killed. last night the congregation held a vigil at west freeway church of christ to pray for their fallen church members, 67-year-old richard white and 64-year-old anton wallace. this comes as we're learning details about the shooter, who police say could have killed more if it weren't for this man. in just six seconds, volunteer security guard jack wilson was able to save dozens of lives after he took out the gunman with a single shot. lucy is live in texas with more, and louucy, part of the reason was so adept at this was he's also a firearm instructor. >> reporter: that's right, he had spent time teaching many members of this congregation to learn how to shoot, how to
defend themselves should the worst happen. i don't think anyone thought that day would come, but remember, texas suffered a mass shooting at a church in 2017 in which 26 people lost their lives, so a lot of the houses of worship here had been preparing for the worst case scenario. now, jack wilson, this heroic man, has said his alarm bells inside his head went off as soon as a stranger walked into the church wearing a fake beard and a wig. when that gunman pulled out his weapon and opened fire, he reacted. take a listen. >> my training says that if i see a weapon, especially in that scenario, because that's my job. you train but you hope you never have to go to that extreme. if you do, your training will kick in, and that was it yesterday. >> reporter: brianna, we're also getting more details about the shooter, keith thomas kinnunen who was homeless.
his sister says he's been lifvig on the streets for years. he has a long list of convictions in texas, including a list of convictions, including theft. he's been welcome at the church, he's been fed at the church, so he's been to this location before the shooting took place. we don't know anything about the motive, but relatives say he had struggled with, quote, demons in the past. we know from his sister he was very close to their youngest sibling who took his life in 2015, and sunday at 1:00 was the anniversary of that deceased's birthday. maybe that had something to do with it, but we don't know. the congregation is focusing on moving forward, banding together. take a list ton the paen to thet
night. >> we're choosing to step over the path of death whether it's sinful, shameful. we will not be swayed by evil speech and we will stay strong amidst the adversity that came on us because we know that god is with us. >> reporter: a message of unity in the wake of tragedy. brianna? >> an important message. lucy, thank you so much for that report. as new year's is being celebrated around the world, thousands are already packing into times square to celebrate, and bernie sanders is out to prove that he is fit for presidency. g for info on options trading, and look, it feels like i'm just wasting time. wasted time is wasted opportunity. >>exactly. that's why td ameritrade designed a first-of-its-kind, personalized education center. see, you just >>oh, this is easy. yeah, and that's >>oh, just what i need. courses on options trading, webcasts, tutorials. yeah. their award-winning content
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(vo) you can choose the aspca to get two hundred and fifty dollars from subaru when you get a new subaru, like the all new outback. (vo 2) get 0.9% on a new outback during the subaru share the love event. for many on the other side of the globe, 2020 is already here. that's hong kong showing an enhanced version of the symphony of lights over victoria harbor. the city canceled its traditional firework display because of safety concerns. and then in singapore, 2020 came
in with siynchro nirsynchronize and sound. and in north korea, fireworks went off from hil sing square. and in sydney, australia, many called for the cancellation of fireworks because of the bush fire crisis. in new zealand, they laurcnched into a new decade. auckland is the first city in the new year to bring in the new decade. of course, one of the biggest parties will be in new york's times square. there are millions expected to fill the streets to watch that ball drop. security will be tight, so tight that new york city police say it will be the safest place on
earth tonight. let's bring in miguel marquez. he is there in times square. it's going to be the safest place in the world tonight? what kind of new security measures are they using? >> reporter: well, that is the promise, and they are massive security measures. people will be penned in where they have to stay for a lot of time. they expect as many as a million in these few blocks around times square, all for this area right here. that's where the ball will come down, where you can see that 2020 on top of the vw ad there. they have everything, from the land, from the sea, from the rivers around here and from the airment they' air. they'll have helicopters up as well as drones up, if the weather permits. they'll also have a team that's looking out for rogue drone. if someone is flying a drone and they're not supposed to, they'll have a way to mitigate that. we have people all over the place here. where you from? >> i'm from japan.
>> japan! yay! >> are you excited? >> i'm excited! >> puerto rico here? >> puerto rico. >> kansas was over here, the bronx. there was a woman we just met from the bronx. she's been here four times. i thought new yorkers weren't actually supposed to come to this event, it was all tourists, but there are new yorkers here as well. people in good spirits, police getting them in here. they keep moving down this way to crush more and more in. it will be a long night for these folks and they seem up for it. brianna? >> miguel, where do they use the bathroom? this is a pressing issue for them, i'm sure. >> reporter: it's a pressing issue for all of us. it's the biggest concern. i've spoken to people who are already wearing adult diapers, others have no plan whatsoever. others have various containers that will be put into use at certain points of the night. many people just don't eat, they don't drink for a day or so before this thing so they don't
have to go. i don't know how they do it, i don't know why they do it, and i will be happy at home by the time it's all happening. >> you satisfied my curiosity there. that is the dark underbelly of going to times square for new year's. miguel marquez, thank you. >> literally. >> totally. so what can revelers expect as they're waiting outdoors there? let's check in with cnn meteorologist jennifer gray. she has a look at the weather in new york city. last year, jennifer, it was wet and cold, so hopefully tonight is a little better. >> it's going to be so much better this year. i'm glad you asked that question because that's a question everyone is dying to know and no one asked yet about the bathroom. we are going to have so much better weather this year. 41 degrees right now in new york city. with everyone packed so tight, it's going to feel much warmer than that, i'm sure. 43 in boston, 53 in d.c., 47 in cincinnati. we do have snow making its way
to the east, so places like detroit seeing snow. it doesn't even make it to new york city, so the big cities in the east will stay very dry. skies should slowly start to clear as we go through the evening. 8:00 it will feel like 39, feel like 41 at 10:00. it will feel like 34 but the skies will be clearing. so partly cloudy and definitely dry conditions, which is good news if you're standing out there all day. here's the new year's eve forecast across the country. stroke of midnight, 27 degrees in chicago, 30 kansas city, dallas 42, new orleans 43, so a nice, nice new year's eve across the country. pretty mild in much of the country. 55 degrees in memphis, 57 in atlanta, 41 in new york,
brianna. >> thank you so much, and be sure to tune in tonight and ring in the new year with the best show in town with anderson cooper and andy cohen. "new year's eve" begins at 8:00 p.m. and there is nothing like it, i can tell you that. joe biden says he's open to picking a republican running mate, and pete buttigieg tells about the tension he plans to leave behind. what's for dinner?
the countdown has officially started and we are now less than 12 hours away from a new year and a new fundraising deadline for 2020 democrats. right now candidates have until midnight to meet the dnc donor requirement in order to qualify for the next and final debate before the iowa caucuses in february. so let's talk about all of this with amy stoddard, associate editor and columnist with "ab politics." they're eyeing this. there are some who have already qualified and some just hoping that they can. if they don't, is that it? are they done? >> i think in a normal year, you definitely need to make that last debate, no question. there is something about this
race that is very unsettled, i think. i don't see a lot of coalescing going on. maybe it was fluid back then, too, in different cycles, but i wouldn't be surprised if you have someone that has a passionate following like cory booker and they don't make the debate stage and they're caucus says, are you kidding me? i'm going to redouble my efforts and run around like crazy. in iowa people were saying it's got three places. now people are saying maybe it has four. i don't think we know yet what iowa, how it's going to matter, if we're going to split victories across iowa, nevada, south carolina, new hampshire. people are talking about a brokered convention. i don't know yet that we're going to determine a momentum in the days following that january deba debate. i still think it's very open. >> when do we not talk about the potential of a brokered convention. it is always a possibility, right? >> i think as long as bernie sanders is in the race with a
durable coalition support and a concentration of funds and no interest in backing down but being a movement leader, i think there is a very good chance he marches to a convention. >> he may have learned something from last time, so we'll see. joe biden was asked by a voter if he would pick a republican as a possible running mate, and this is what he said. >> i wonder if joe biden would consider choosing a republican as a running mate. >> the answer is i would, but i can't think of one now. no, no, no, no, no, no, no. no, i'm serious. here's what i mean. let me explain that. there is some really decent republicans that are out there, still. but here's the problem right now of the well-known ones. they've got to step up. >> the other thing biden said was if former president obama wanted it, he would appoint him to the supreme court.
what do you think he's doing with this? >> well, i think on obama, he wants to keep the flame alive, and he has endeared himself to voters not only because of his decades of service apart from being president obama's two-term president, but obama is still one of the most unifying figures in the party and he wants to be associated with him, so saying something like we could have him back in a key leadership position, being a supreme court justice. i think it warms the heart of democratic primary voters. but i think in the case of a republican nominee as vp, it's genuine to joe biden. i heard doug on your air earlier today saying he would work with jesse holmes at the start of his career and eric kanter at the end of his career and they worked with joe biden on tricky policies. joe biden meant it when he said he would consider doing that. it would have to be a strange world we would be in heading
into the nominating process in spring or summer. maybe president trump is in more trouble. there's more division in the republican party and he sees it as a unifying moment, he has to pick someone and say, it's time to come together and put your partisanship behind you. he can't pick one and say now before the primary votes start, i will do this, but it's genuine with him. >> can we talk about bernie sanders' health note, like his doctor's note. he promised a comprehensive health report by the end of the year. he recently had a heart attack. he's back campaigning. but not what he promised, this comprehensive health report? >> i think he sees it as a potential liability for him, a serious question about his fitness for office, and i think that he's doing so well, he has no small ego and wants to keep going and wants to put this issue aware, and if there's something that could scare people in a more comprehensive reporting of this, there's no
question he's trying to hide it. and, you know, the president is very secretive -- the president of the united states is very secretive about his health, and i think that this is not really surprising. i don't know that voters or even his rivals will even push for full transparency on this issue. they would if we get into a bernie sanders moment this spring or summer. >> well, it was dropped on december 30th, right, this information, so that's very interesting. a.b., thank you and happy new year to you. >> happy new year, brianna. this is the last day of the decade. it's also 2020 campaign pete buttigieg's last day as mayor of south bend, indiana. we take a look at how his record there could affect his white house bid in the new year. >> what are we doing to promote business? i always like to think of trains as being commerce, right? that's the sound of commerce. >> reporter: pete buttigieg's city, south bend, indiana, is vibrant again. >> for many folks that's the
sign of the beginning of a comeback of south bend. >> the studebaker plan that was once the heart of this industrial midwestern town now the sircenter of his comeback story. during his eight years as mayor, he not only led what he called a turnaround city, but was deployed to afghanistan, announced he's gay and now set his sights on the white house. >> small town on back. >> reporter: his accomplishments, 3% unemployment, new investments downtown, a new stadium is part of his campaign. >> the washington experience is not the only experience that matters. >> then there's what's happening outside of downtown south bend. >> i mean, they don't, 100% don't care about the community. they care about what's going on downtown. >> reporter: tyree bonds lost his brother eric logan killed by
police this summer and sparking racial tensions across but buttigieg's area. now it follows him in the campaign. but black people feel their voices are being drowned out, literally. this meeting ended in chaos with sharon mcbride, who supports buttigieg, interrupted by protesters. >> i was born and raised in the hood, i love my city. >> reporter: this is personal for you. >> it's personal. it was very hurtful, but i love what i do. >> reporter: bonds was there, too. >> hope put them in a place to say they are with our black leaders. they were not our black leaders. >> reporter: those close to him say this summer's protests changed buttigieg. >> i think that was absolutely a learning experience for pete.
i think he welcomed, and maybe needed, if he's going to be the president of the united states. >> reporter: and mcbride feels some of the criticism unwarranted, as this problem goes far beyond south bend. >> i don't think anybody can solve the problem with race, you know, overnight. in time you can make steps, and i think in south bend we have done so. >> reporter: abby phillip, cnn, south bend, indiana. >> 20 years ago today, vladimir putin took over as acting president of russia. we have a look back at his two-decade tenure marked by early missteps and confrontation with the west. hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!
vladimir putin has held onto power in russia through three u.s. presidencies so far and is accused of helping put president trump in the white house. putin marks two decades in power today, and as cnn senior correspondent fred pleitgen explains, the small man politics that helped putin's popularity in the beginning may be hurting him now. >> reporter: after 20 years in power, vladimir putin continues to polarize, praising russia's advances and hypersonic missile technology which moscow just announced it has deployed for the first time, and standing by president trump as america's leader faces impeachment.
putin's reign began as the predecessor boris yeltsin announced his resignation in 1989. vladimir putin immediately laid out his ambitious plans. >> translator: i've always said and will continue to say that the russian must be strong. >> reporter: and the sinking of the couraged nuclear submarine shortly after taking office, the disaster killing all sailors onboard. faced with public anger, putin didn't return to handle the crisis and escalated a brutal war in chechnya and made clear he would be tough on terrorism. >> translator: we're whack them. >> reporter: russian special
forces raiding amoscow theater taken over by chechen rebels in 2002 leading to deaths of 130 hostages while more than 330 hostages were killed from special forces raid add school taken hostage in southern russia in 2004. meanwhile, russia's economy and overall stability started improving thanks in part to high international oil crisis, boosting the president's popularity. after finishing two terns, putin reached the limit under russia's constitution and his solution, swapped jobs with the prime minister medvedev for four years, med deserve irv changed the constitution extending terms from four to six returns before putin's return as president. even while prime minister it was always clear putin was the man in charge. the west put on notice. russia was returning as a force in international politics. in 2008, the russian military
invaded georgia, occupied south if fazetia. re-elected in 2012 but not all russians were happy. massive protests engulfed the streets of moscow and russian authorities crushing the opposition movement despite international condemnation. vladimir putin's second stint at president has been defined by confrontation with the west. in 2014 after an uprising unseated a pro russian leader of ukraine they invaded an annexed crimea. and an uprising in eastern ukraine which led to thousands of deaths and the downing of an airliner. blaming a missile fired from russian military equipment for the tragedy. the kremlin remained defiant. >> we think there is no proof. everything presented shows we have our own version but
unfortunately nobody wants top listen to it. >> reporter: russian forces are supporting syrian president bashar al assad against a rebellion in the middle eastern nation. western countries saying russia's heavy bombardment and frequent targeting of civilian areas amount to war crimes. and putin's russia is accused of directly meddling in western nations affairs including a broad effort aimed at swaying the u.s. presidential election in 2016 in favor of now president donald trump. putin denying he meddled but acknowledging he wanted donald trump to win. >> translator: because he was talking about normalizing u.s./russia relations. >> reporter: but normalizing relations seems out of the question after britain accused russia of using chemical weapons to poison a double agent and his daughter in salisbury in 2018. russia once again dismissing the evidence. 20 years after taking power vladimir putin maintain as strong grip on the presidency,
having largely marginalized russia's op zings, but international sanctions and isolation along with a weak economy sent his population into a nosedive as some russians have grown wary of their long-standing leader. fred pleitgen, cnn, moscow. breaking breaking news. the trump administration sending in marines. 's going on? it's the 3pm slump. should have had a p3. oh yeah. should have had a p3. need energy? get p3. with a mix of meat, cheese and nuts.
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ten broins, 11 platinum albums and first to top the pop, r&b and country charts, a legend in her own time. telling the inside story of her meteoric ride to fame. ♪ >> linda knew a good song and she knew why it was good and better than that knew how to sing it better than you could sing it. >> when you become that sharp of a song stylist, you get authorship in a certain way. >> i considered her a real -- she didn't write songs but she made songs happen the way she wanted to hear them. ♪ i can't help it if i'm still in love with you ♪ >> i can't help it if i'm still
in love with you, a hit on the country charts. you're no good a hit on r&b and pop chart. i became the first artist to have a hit on all three charts at the same time. [ applause ] >> linda ronstadt "the sound of my voice" premieres new year's day 9:00 p.m. only on cnn. and happy new year. we continue coverage right now. hello, everyone. i'm in for brooke baldwin. a special edition. "newsroom." breaking news out of iraq. the trump administration sending additional forces to baghdad and protesters storm the embassy. firing tear gas, the mob angry over recent u.s. air strikes continue to set m