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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Hollande, Putin Meeting Now on Efforts Against ISIS; Tensions High Between Turkey and Russia; Cameron Pushes UK Parliament for Airstirkes; Tensions High Around Security on Thanksgiving Day; Chicago Protests Over Black Teen's Shooting Death. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 26, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:03] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
We begin this hour with breaking news. Moments from now we may learn if Russia will join coalition forces in the war against ISIS.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande meeting right now, they're about to hold a joint news conference. Hollande pushing Putin to focus his attacks on ISIS in Syria and also to compromise in a politic solution, frankly, to the Syrian crisis that's been raging for years now.
But Turkey's midair attack that left a Russian pilot dead, certainly complicates those efforts. The rescued co-pilot says there were "No warnings" before his plane was shot down, killing his co-pilot.
Turkey insists the pilot ignored ten warnings. And now Turkey's president tell CNN his country will not apologize.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): Well, I think if there's a party that needs to apologize, it's not us. Those who violated our air space are the ones who need to apologize.
Our pilots and our armed forces they simply fulfill their duties which consisted of responding to a violation of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence.
HARLOW: Let's go straight to CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance live for us today in Moscow.
This is a critical meeting. It is sort of wrapping up this world when the two are meeting with leaders that Hollande has had from Cameron to Merkel, Obama, now Putin. What do you expect to come from the meeting?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, I think that's a really good point. And it was preplanned this meeting, planned in the aftermath of the Paris attacks and it came of course before the shoot down of that Russian warplane by Turkish F-16s on the Turkish-Syrian border.
And so it's all part of Francois Hollande's grand diplomatic, you know, initiative to try and bring together a coalition to combat ISIS, the group, of course, the responsible for the attacks in Paris, to bring Russia onside with the coalition, the western coalition, effectively, that is also carrying air strikes inside Syria as well, to try to forge some kind of agreement, has to -- how to proceed for the future of Syria.
As you mentioned, it's been made significantly more complicated by the fact a Russian plane has been blown out of the sky by one of those coalition countries, by Turkey.
And the Russians have already said this was a preplanned attack. They've accused essentially the United States of being involved to a certain extent, saying that the U.S. must have known or could have known that this attack was going to take place, this shoot down was going to take place.
And so, there was already no love lost between Russia and the west, of course, over various instances and events that have taken place over the past couple of years. But this has made the situation a whole lot worse.
And Russia is currently engaged in a very vitriolic war of words with Turkey at the moment. And it doesn't look good for a grand coalition to resolve the conflict in Syria.
HARLOW: You know, you've also got missiles moving now to the border. You've got all of these economic sort of weapons, if you will, being deployed whether it's, you know, Russia limiting agriculture imports from Turkey, whether they're going to limit this gas pipeline that is so critical.
I mean, what's the end game with all of that?
CHANCE: I'm not sure. I'm not sure that the end game has really been thought out at that point. So I mean certainly there's been a lot of calls over the past 48 hours for that to be restraint on both sides. But that doesn't appear to be happening in the sense that there is this, you know, quite bitter war of words between the presidents of Russia and Turkey but also the economic measures that are being formulated, the sanctions that are being formulated.
The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have said that -- has called on always government ministers to put together a list of potential areas where economic sanctions can be implemented.
They're talking about the gas industry. Turkey imports 57 percent of its natural gas from Russia, 3.2 million Russian tourists went to Turkey last year.
And so there are certain, you know, very important areas of economic relationship that are going to be hit it seems by this crisis.
HARLOW: Absolutely. Matthew Chance thanks for reporting live in Moscow for us this evening. Thank you.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, putting the United Kingdom on notice this morning making a strong push, a renewed push, yet again for military action, British military action against ISIS in Syria.
This time inside the heartland, focusing obviously on Raqqa, they're the de facto capital.
Speaking in the parliament today, Mr. Cameron said the United Kingdom simply cannot sit on the sidelines any longer.
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We shouldn't be content with outsourcing our security to our allies.
[11:05:01] If we believe that action can protect us, then with our allies we should be part of that action, not standing aside from it.
And from this moral point comes a fundamental question, if we won't act now, when our friend and ally France has been struck in this way, then our allies in the world can be forgiven for asking, if not now, when?
HARLOW: CNN's Phil Black, live with me now from London. Obviously, everyone there has been paying close attention to what Cameron said today in parliament.
You know, you still thought have a British public I think like the American public that is in large part exhausted from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What's the public reaction to this plea, really, from Cameron?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's absolutely true, Poppy.
David Cameron technically doesn't need the approval of parliament to do this but it's a convention that's existed here, this practice of going to parliament, going back to the Iraq war.
And of course the other legacy of the Iraq war is a deep, fundamental distress of politicians saying, Britain needs to go to war. And so that's why David Cameron has to fight to make this happen, to win the support.
There is enormous skepticism about doing this and about the possible consequences of doing this as well. Although I think the prime minister does sense a change in the air. He's been wanting to do this for some time. But hasn't been able to do it because he knew he simply didn't have the support in parliament that's been changing following Iraq, following the downing of that Russian airliner over the Sinai in Egypt as well. These sorts of things all prove I think what the British Public do deeply understand. And that he is -- that ISIS poses a threat here in the U.K., to their allies, to westerners around the world and so forth.
And so in that sense, the argument isn't too difficult to make that ISIS deserves to be struck but what's the bigger plan? Because in many sense that's the criticism of the Iraq war, not just that they took part in the conflict but it wasn't thought out, particularly, the aftermath.
So what David Cameron tried to do today is explain to the politicians, to the British public, what he sees as the wider strategy in dealing not just with ISIS but Syria as well, Poppy.
HARLOW: Absolutely, and he has said the United Kingdom cannot, "Subcontract its security to other countries."
Thank you very much. Phil Black live for us in London.
Let's speak now with Paris based journalist Stefan de Vries who's been with us throughout our coverage in the wake of this horrific Paris terror attack.
When you also look Stefan at what Cameron said, he said he will not call a parliamentary vote on this, unless he assure he will have a clear majority in favor of these strikes against ISIS in Syria because he says we will not hand a publicity coup a P.R. coup to ISIS.
Does that argument have merit, do you think?
STEFAN DE VRIES, JOURNALIST: Yeah, I think he has a point. Of course the M.P. safety of his vote against the proposition of David Cameron, then ISIS could use this by saying, look, even the English M.P.'s don't want to destroy us.
And so, I think he has a point. He already tried it of course two years ago. Then the parliament, the M.P.'s voted against strikes on Syria.
So he wants to be absolutely sure that he has the support of parties in England. And France, on the other hand, the president doesn't need technical the approval of the parliament, but nevertheless last night the French parliament voted in favor to continue the air strikes in Syria with the overwhelming majority, just a handful of M.P.'s voted against.
And I think David Cameron wants to be sure that he can get the same support if he goes to war in Syria.
HARLOW: I think it's interesting as we heard Matthew Chance to talk about and Phil Black in London just, you know, that there is sort of an exhaustion among the British public to war following Iraq and the United States in large parts. But it's very different isn't it in France right now following the attacks. DE VRIES: Yes, absolutely. France of course did not participate in the Iraq war in 2003. It was however the first ally of the United States to participate in the mission in Afghanistan in 19 -- sorry, in 2000 following the 9/11.
It's also very active in Mali and other parts of Africa. But these however are very discreet operations. These are not enormous, they're not anymore enormous amounts of soldiers in the ground.
So the french are, well less reluctant maybe than their British neighbors to participate in a new war.
There's also, of course, the feeling that France has been hit in its heart. The French basically want to end ISIS and then all means are justified. So for the moment, Francois Hollande is having a huge support of the French population.
It has to be seen if this support will last but for the moment he can do -- he can go on with air strikes in Syria.
HARLOW: He has this huge support a critical time ahead of those elections in December, where we've seen Marine Le Pen far right.
[11:10:05] Conservative really gaining momentum also in the wake of the terror attacks. Which way is the public leaning right now in terms of do they want to anymore conservative leader especially on the terror front?
DE VRIES: Well the French they like a powerful leader. And so authoritarian country, so if the president in charge, this basically, well at first, the French will like that, especially in an emergency situation like we're living right now.
And there are regional elections in ten days from now. And the big winner will be Marine Le Pen she is the leader of the right wing for national. She was doing very well in the polls before the attacks and now the last days she just keeps on winning, winning more votes.
So she will be probably be the largest party. It's a very authoritarian party that says, "We will have to close the borders, we'll have to get rid of immigrants." And so we're seeing that the attacks on Friday the 13th of November, is doing well -- it's basically it sounds cynical, but it's good news for right wing parties and this shows the French really want a different approach than Francois Hollande has been doing the last four years of his mandate.
HARLOW: Stefan de Vries live for us in Paris, thank you very much for that I appreciate it.
Coming up next, we have breaking news for you from Belgium.
A major mosque, the oldest mosque in Brussels evacuated after a suspicious powder was found in envelopes, a white powder, what was it? We just got the results of the tests, we will take you their live.
Also, airports on alert right now around the globe, it make concerns that extremist may have infiltrated the employee ranks specifically in Paris from the airports, to malls, how the United States is now protecting itself this holiday.
A new protests erupting in Chicago over night over the police shooting of an African-American teenager, including look at this, face-to-face confrontation between a 16-year-old and an officer, a city on edge, ahead.
[11:16:06] HARLOW: There's more anxiety in the streets of Brussels today as the city enters another day on its highest terror alert level.
There's heavy police presence. Earlier today the grand mosque there, the oldest mosque and the largest in Brussels, was evacuated after several envelopes containing white powder were found inside.
Let's go straight to our Alexandra Field who's outside the mosque in Brussels. Do we know yet what was inside of them?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Poppy, we do. They feared it was anthrax but they later found out it was just powder after testing, which followed a robust response to the grand mosque here in Brussels which this year a number of government buildings.
We saw fire officials and police and another law enforcement unit which deals with potentially toxic or explosive materials. Also the thronging this mosque after reports came in that this powder had been found up to 17 people were told have been exposed to this white powdery substance.
They were all immediately removed from the mosque and they were given medical treatment. They were decontaminated while we waited for test results to come in. We are of course now being told that there was never a natural threat to the mosque that it was in fact flour. It was found after it turned up here in a package that appeared to be suspicious to whoever found it, they opened it up and that's when they found ten envelopes inside with that white powdery substance, of course this large pretty serious concerns.
Emergency officials very relieved to say of course that this was not a threatening material.
HARLOW: Absolutely. Especially given the highest terror alert possible still going on in Brussels.
Alexandra Field, thank you so much for that live for us this evening there from Brussels.
Right now, about 3 million people enjoying the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. It's right outside our building here. And it's very busy holiday comes during a worldwide travel alert with Europe on edge. And with ISIS releasing a new video taunting the west, threatening the west, President Obama reassuring Americans though that there are no credible threats he says against, the United States at this moment and that law enforcement is ready and waiting for anything.
Let's talk more with CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem and CNN Aviation Correspondent Rene Marsh.
Rene, when you look at this, Paris right now investigating airport workers, transit workers for any potential ties to terrorism and then get this a source telling CNN today that more than 100 public transit workers in Paris have left for Syria since 2012. That is stunning.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It is. And right here in the United States, Poppy, there is this concern about that so-called trusted population. We're talking about individuals who have unfettered access to secure parts of the airport, even the aircraft.
Now TSA, have said at themselves that their greatest concern is that insider threat. And as it stands right now, all airport workers do not get screened when they show up every day for work. That's an obvious loophole that bad actors could get through.
Now, Secretary Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called for more random testing of these workers in April. That came after an airline worker was running a gun-smuggling operation, transferring hundreds of guns on commercial planes.
But as, you know, Poppy the terrorists only have to get it right once. So even with these random checks, the fear is that an insider threat could go undetected.
HARLOW: Juliette, when you look at the Department of Homeland Security report from June, it's really concerning about airports here in the United States because they found that 73 airport workers, airline workers in the United States, you know, at the time they checked, had ties, you know, terrorist ties.
So when you talk about travelers, I'm flying later today so many of us, what would you say to them?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I'm -- 73 seems like a big number. There were hundreds of thousands of airport employees. And we don't know the extent to which they were on a terror list, like a no-fly list, which presumably they weren't or they were -- they had been on a bad website.
[11:20:04] Regardless, it is a bad number. And that is why you're going to see the Department of Homeland and Security to focus on this, the trusted pool of people who have access to the airplanes and they're not just employees of the airports.
I mean there is hundreds of contracting companies that are supporting airline and airport maintenance, food, luggage all o fm those things that go in to it.
So you're going to see a push and then just picking up on Rene's point about foreign airports, I think what you're going to see in the next couple weeks is in this discussion about the visa waiver program, about travelers who are able to come here with this special visa from over 30 countries.
You're going to see the United States begin to put carrots and sticks on that visa waiver program, I believe. And say, "Listen, you have got to get your airports secure. You have to do this random screening of trusted employees."
And use programs that are cooperative as a way to get other countries to get very serious about airline travel.
HARLOW: But Rene, has anything fundamentally changed in the way that our security is run in the last year or so since this report came out and how TSA is running checked and resourced?
MARSH: Well, I do want to say that the head of TSA later on testified on the hill that essentially that I.G. report that you're referencing, after they dug deeper, they found there were -- these were not terrorists that made it onto the rolls.
But what has changed is, I think the understanding has come out that TSA needs to have more access to all of these watch lists that has -- that is something that's come out of this.
The random checks, that's relatively new because we were talking about a population that essentially they were coming and going and had not been checked on a daily basis. It's not happening for everyone. But now there's this unpredictability and it could happen.
There's also a lot of questioning about the vetting process of these individuals, you know, if they do a background check once they're hired, what happens five years down the line?
People want to see a more recurring background checks to make sure that someone hasn't become radicalized during their time their at the airport.
We're seeing subtle changes. But, you know, I've been talking to a lot of people on Capitol Hill who say they're just not at ease. They still feel that there is still several loopholes as it relates to this trusted population, Poppy.
HARLOW: All right, Rene Marsh thank you for the reporting. Juliette Kayyem for the analysis, as always, appreciate it to you both.
Coming up next, protesters tearing down a Christmas tree coming face- to-face in confrontations with police over night over that shooting of an African-American teenager in Chicago, now new videos surfaces of what happened.
Also Donald Trump, mocking a reporter with a disability. Now one of his rivals warned America is doomed for John Kasich if he becomes president. That's next.
[11:27:18] HARLOW: This Thanksgiving Day, tensions at a boiling point in Chicago. Protesters have taken into the streets for two nights now following the release of this video showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black 17-year-old.
And more protests are planned. This is video showing quite a confrontation between a 16-year-old protester and an officer last night in Chicago.
And the fatal shooting that sparked all of this happened last October as the 17-year-old walked down the middle of a Chicago street with a knife.
Many people ask the question, why authorities took so long to release the video and to finally charge the officer which just came this week, charged with first-degree murder.
HARLOW: The final moments of a Chicago teen's life, down to 16 shots, fired by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
Sixteen shots in 15 seconds according to court records, it all unfolds on the night of October 20th of last year. It was all caught on the dash cam video released by Chicago police.
At 9:57:25, Laquan McDonald is walking in the middle of the street after allegedly slashing the tire of a car. He has holding a knife in his right hand.
Soon, eight police officers roll on scene.
ANITA ALVAREZ, COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY: Five seconds later, Officer Van Dyke and his partner parked their vehicle and immediately draw their weapons.
HARLOW: As we pause the video, you can clearly see the two officers on the left side of the screen with guns drawn.
According to the police union spokesperson at the time of the shooting, McDonald lunged at the officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going at one of the officers, at that point the officer defends himself.
HARLOW: But the Cook County state's attorney says the video captures quite the opposite.
ALVAREZ: This officer went overboard, you know, and he abused his authority and I don't believe the force was necessary.
HARLOW: At 9:57:33, McDonald is seen moving slightly away from the officers. But three seconds later.
ALVAREZ: And Officer Van Dyke has taken at least one step toward McDonald with his weapon drawn. HARLOW: As we pause again, you can see McDonald is about 10 feet from the officers, still walking away when Van Dyke starts unloading his 9 millimeter pistol.
McDonald's arm jerks, his body spins and then falls to the ground, the camera angle changes, taking the police officer out of frame.
Two seconds after the first shot, at 9:57:38, two puffs of smoke around McDonald's body.
[11:30:00] ALVAREZ: These puffs of smoke were later identified as cloud of debris caused by the fired bullets.