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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Colorado Shooting Leaves Three Dead; Demonstrations in Chicago; Gunman Held Police Off for Nearly Six Hours; Carson Meets with Syrian Refugees in Jordan; Belgium Charges Sixth Person in Attacks; Dangerous Weather Conditions. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired November 28, 2015 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: From the scene of yesterday's mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. Of course, investigators want to know why, they're searching for the motive here.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Also, we're learning more about the officer who was killed this hour.
Also in a trip, covered in secrecy this morning. Presidential candidate Ben Carson surprised an awful lot of people. He's visiting a refugee camp in Amman, Jordan.
BLACKWELL: And the protests continue to Chicago. More planned for today. Some arrests overnight. Angry now over the shooting death of a teenager. They stopped holiday shopping. They're calling for the oust of several city officials. You are in the "CNN Newsroom."
PAUL: We want to wish you good morning to you. Always grateful for your company. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you. 9:00 here on the East Coast.
This morning, we're starting with a picture. A picture of the suspected gunman in the attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs. Police released this mug shot of Robert Lewis Dear just minutes ago.
PAUL: Dear is in jail this morning, after he allegedly shot and killed three people. Again, this is our first look at him. One of those people who died was an officer. Wounded nine others. This was a six- hour - nearly six-hour standoff.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we know this morning, the police in Colorado they are are - they're mourning their fallen colleague. Officer Garrett Swasey, you see him here on the screen, killed after he responded to the scene from his post at the University of Colorado. That school's football team will honor him today with a moment of silence during the game.
Let's bring in now Eric Singer, he's a reporter and news anchor for the "Colorado Springs Gazette." First, I want you to just tell us what you know about this officer who is being remembered fondly this morning. ERIC SINGER, "COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE": Well, Victor, he is Officer
Garrett Swasey. He's a six-year veteran of the school's police force at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. He is a sworn peace officer, much like someone is in Atlanta would be or the Colorado Springs Police Department.
What we learned about him he leaves a family, his wife, Rachel, a young son, Elijah and a daughter, Faith. Garrett was an elder in Hope Chapel which is a northeast Colorado Springs church. He was overseeing care groups and he participates in its teaching team and plays guitar as part of his worship team.
You know, Officer Swasey grew up in Massachusetts. He competed with his partner Rachel Mayer, with the skating club of Boston in the eastern sectional championships. And according to the Gazette reporter, Wayne Highland (ph) as he learned as well, he and Fowler (ph), a Baltimore native, living in Colorado Springs in the early 90s, won the junior dance competition by winning both the original and free dance programs. He and Hillary Tompkins finished 13th in the 1995 U.S. figure skating championships and later performed in ice shows in northern Maine. He was an interesting man. He was a man of faith, Victor.
PAUL: And I know you mentioned he was a family man. His daughter was 6, his son is 10. And his wife, Rachel, wondering what kind of support are they getting today? What kind of outreach for that family?
SINGER: Well, Christi, they're get evening enormous amounts of support. Two vigils are being planned for today, one will be at the All Souls Universalist Church in Colorado Springs. And the other, of course, at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. They're planning a vigil this evening.
One thing that really touched me is one of the pictures that we showed on the Gazette, which was a sign taped to the door of the Public Safety Office at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where, of course, he worked. And it says, "Thank you, UCCS Police, rest in peace, Officer Swasey, we love you."
PAUL: All right. Eric Singer, thank you so much. We appreciate you bringing all the latest to us there.
SINGER: Thank you, Christi. Thank you, Victor.
PAUL: Of course, and we're certainly thinking about that family.
PAUL: Investigators though are moving forward this morning, as Victor said earlier, they're trying to decipher what the motive was behind the standoff yesterday at the Planned Parenthood clinic. So far there has not been a link found between this man, the accused shooter, Robert Lewis Dear and that facility.
Stephanie Elam is live in Colorado Springs for us. What are you learning about the investigation specifically this morning, Stephanie? STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're still learning about
Robert Dear, he's 57 years old. We don't know why he did it as you were just saying. But if you take a look behind me, that building in the distance there that is Planned Parenthood. And that is where all the terror happened yesterday where people were fleeing from the area and running across these streets to get away from the drama. If you take a listen to how everything ended, you can hear how the police are saying it was really heroic efforts by some of the officers there to intervene and to get Dear to surrender.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. CATHERINE BUCKLEY, COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE: We did get officers inside of the building at the Planned Parenthood. And the officers were able to shout to the suspect and make communication with him. And at that time, they were able to get him to surrender. And he was taken into custody. There were 11 people that were transported to local hospitals. Of those 11 people, five of them were police officers from various agencies that have responded to date.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: And what's worth noting here, too, those five officers that were injured, we understand that according to police reports, that this individual is allegedly shooting through walls and that is how he hit so many people.
We do know that the nine people who lived, they're said to be in good condition and they are expected to live. Three people losing their lives, two civilians along with Officer Swasey, losing their life. But obviously, the officers intervening, watching that closely on television, the cameras inside the building, they were able to see where Dear was and then able to go in and negotiate and then bring this situation to a resolution.
PAUL: Stephanie, do you know, are you getting any gauge of when we'll learn about the other two people who were killed, and about those other five officers who were shot?
ELAM: We still don't know much about the other people who have been injured. But we do know there are some people talking about their experiences and the terrifying face-to-face encounter. That one individual had, just listening to it. Take a listen to it yourself. Just imagine this scary moment if you had to encounter that on that Friday afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw officers fly into the parking lot with their lights on and everything. Then we saw them pass our shop and go behind (INAUDIBLE) which is next door. There were officers everywhere on the whole perimeter. Then we saw one of the officers that was behind the Chase Bank. We heard several gunshots and then we saw one of the officers go down behind his car. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: But when you listen to that knowing that the officer is getting hit and people are watching this, obviously very scary here. But a lot of people here in the community are thankful for the police officers' intervention, because it was not worse than it may have been, had they not been able to figure out a way into the building and to stop Dear from more tragic events.
PAUL: Yes, good point. Stephanie Elam, we appreciate all the work this morning. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. A warning now, don't play with fire. The Turkish president sends that message to Russia, as Moscow makes another series of moves to ratchet up tensions between the two countries.
PAUL: Also, take a look at the thousands of protesters in Chicago. Just some of them here. They're angry over the killing of a black teen. They were able to shut down Black Friday shopping.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: And sit down on the street and block the street on Michigan Avenue with civil disobedience peacefully. And say, you know what? Business as usual can go on while our children are dying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Eleven minutes past the hour right now.
Russia wants economic revenge, so to speak, on Turkey for downing their fighter jet. And we're about to find out exactly what it is that (INAUDIBLE) today, Moscow is expected to release a list of possible economic sanctions that they'd like to take. A move that could drive the two nations into a trade war.
It appears as though the Turks want to calm the situation. The president is asking for a meeting with Vladimir Putin but he's also warning him not to, quote, "play with fire."
CNN's Ian Lee live for us in Istanbul with the very latest. Ian, help us understand here. I've heard that Turkish officials are reportedly suggesting their citizens postpone any trips to Russia, is that right?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi, this is all part of the tit for tat that we're seeing here. Russia cancelling the visa free movement between the two countries which will hurt the Turkish economy as roughly four million tourists come here every year but it will also hurt the Turks.
The Turkish government, telling their citizens not to go to Russia unless it's absolutely urgent. There's a lot of Turkish businessmen that go to Russia. They have construction jobs there, a lot of - these two economies are really intertwined. Turkey is - well, the second largest trading partner for Turkey is Russia. They get about 60 percent of their gas from Russia.
Russia is going to build a multimillion-dollar nuclear power plant. Turkish produce goes to Russia. They have a lot to lose in this economic war, if that's ultimately what is declared. But we are hearing from President Erdogan here in Turkey, that he does not want to see this happen. It will not just hurt the Turkish economy, but it will also hurt the Russian economy although it doesn't look like Putin is going to back down anytime soon.
PAUL: And as we understand it, all of this talk about economic sanctions just comes down to the demand for an apology?
LEE: That's what it appears to be. Putin says that he wants an apology from Erdogan, but as we've heard over and over again, Erdogan says they were just defending their national sovereignty. They say that the Russians are the ones that should be apologizing to them. Neither president looks like they're going to back down anytime soon, which could draw this out. And really cost millions, if not billions of dollars, in damages for both economies.
PAUL: Yes, we'll see how it plays out. Ian Lee, appreciate it this morning, thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right, we're joined now by terrorism expert (INAUDIBLE), and CNN military analyst Ret. Col. Cedric Leighton. And I want to start with you, Col. Layton. Let's begin with the response from the Kremlin, that they will not respond militarily here. We're see some of the economic decisions, but what do you glean from the introduction of this anti-aircraft missile system, the S-400 that's being introduced into Syria? Does it bring to you some level of concern?
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Absolutely, Victor what it does, basically is put the Turks on notice that the next time there is any attempt to shoot down a Russian aircraft, they're going to shoot at the Turkish aircraft. That's really what we're dealing with here the ratcheting up of military presence in Syria.
And with that being the case, we're going to find that they're going to do a lot more, I think, of those close to the border flights and we may even see more cross border incidents. In essence, the Russians are going to dare the Turks to fire at them again.
BLACKWELL: Sajjan, there's this meeting in Paris in which both presidents, both President Putin and Mr. Erdogan will be there, President Erdogan will be in Paris for this climate change meeting. The Turks have asked for a meeting with Mr. Putin. Russia says at this point, there's no progress there.
Do you expect they will? And what likely can they solve? Will that be beneficial?
SAJJAN GOHEL, ASIA PACIFIC FOUNDATION: Well, you raised some important points, Victor. This is the last Especially in light of what happened with the atrocities in Paris. It's very important that there could have been a coalition moving forward against ISIS, working together despite differences over the Assad regime. There is a belief that French President Francois Hollande is going to try and work behind the front doors to try and get both Russia and Turkey talking again to try and alleviate any further problems. Because what happened just recently with the downing of the Russian jet, potentially, it's not a one-up. You can see some incidents like that repeating itself.
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about this as we discuss the coalition, the French foreign minister made some news on Friday saying that the coalition that needs to take the fight out to ISIS is not one of the west. On the ground, it has to be some moderate Sunni forces, the free Syrian army and quite possibly, the Syrian regime forces. And then some clarity later, saying after transition to a new political future for Syria. But is that realistic, even considering that there might be some transition of Assad out of the power that these now enemies can fight alongside one another to take out ISIS? Back to you, Colonel Leighton.
LEIGHTON: OK. Not a problem. I think that could very much be the case. Because in situations in the past, you've seen forces that have been opposed to one minute one minute, joining forces the next. Now, it's going to take some doing to get there. But that is going to be a situation, I think that will require a lot of diplomacy. I think it's exactly right to say that the French are heavily involved in this. They're going to be the key mediators. But they're going to try to create that kind of an environment where the erstwhile opposed forces are going to join up together. We can possibly see that maybe within, even as close to a year or so.
BLACKWELL: All right. Sajjan Gohel, Col. Leighton, thank you both. We'll, of course, continue this conversation throughout the morning.
Still to come now, we're going to take you to Chicago. Protesters there not backing down from their call for justive, over the shooting of a teenager, (INAUDIBLE) Mcdonald. We're going back live to Chicago as protesters say "this is not over." There will be at least another day of demonstrations.
PAUL: And GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson visited a refugee camp in Jordan a few hours ago. Details on why this trip could be such a strategic campaign move. And why the secrecy around it?
PAUL: They were peaceful and they were powerful protests in Chicago paralyzing Black Friday shopping.
Demonstrators packed the streets yesterday to demand resignations of several top city officials. After it took about 400 days to release graphic dash cam footage showing an officer fatally shooting 17-year- old Laquan McDonald, 16 shots in 15 seconds.
PAUL: CNN's Ryan Young is live in Chicago. Ryan, I'm wondering if those protests are something we're going to see more of today?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, we've talking to several groups, there are no large protests planned for the day. But we are seeing this happen several time where a sporadic protests will break out. Look, a lot of people feel like yesterday was such a success.
Last week, they were worried that the protests would be violent. It didn't happen. They only had four arrests. And in fact, the communication between protesters and police officers, for the most part, has been very controlled. In fact, from both sides, police officers standing and watching. Protesters walking down the street even when protesters locked their arms and bar people from coming into stores, police officers handled it very well.
In fact, they pretty much let the protesters do what they wanted to do in terms of standing in front of the store. Now, if someone wanted to get out of the store, we saw several times where police officers will sometimes surround the people and try to let the people and they will go on about their business. So for the most part, this has been seen as a success for the people who were involved in the protest.
Each time, they would walk down, they would stop at an interception and say "16 shots, 16 shots." So that was part of what they did throughout the several hours that we're here watching protesters as their march up and down Michigan Avenue, effectively shutting it down.
BLACKWELL: So, Ryan, I saw the pictures all over social media of several people kind of locking arms in front of the Apple store and other stores that most people would recognize. You say they were peaceful and we understand there are some reports of arrests. Can you tell us more of those?
YOUNG: Well, we heard of four arrests. We saw the first arrest take place just at the beginning of the protest. One young man decided he wasn't going to get out of the street. There was a confrontation between an officer and that young man. And then something happened and he was arrested.
But after that, we didn't see any arrests for quite some time. So when the other three arrests happened, what those charges will be we're not sure. Did we see any damage to property? We didn't see any damage. Did we see one scuffle between somebody in terms of the fact that someone might tried to get into the store and push their way through, yes, there was pushing and shoving. I can tell you even the protesters that we talked to thought this was a peaceful way to handle it. Listen to this one.
BRADY CHABREZ, CHICAGO PROTESTER: They thought we would respond by burning it down. The precious Magnificent Mile would be up in flames. But look at the city, we're out here peacefully. We want peace, we want justice. We want opportunity.
YOUNG: To see people locking their arms together, a lot of these folks don't know each other and making sure they stop, how does that make you feel?
CHABREZ: It's beautiful. I mean, it makes my eyes well up with joy. Look at the diversity - old, young, rich, poor, white, black. We're all out here fighting for the same thing. We love this city.
YOUNG: When people talk about the diversity, of course, we saw a lot of that here. The Magnificent Mile, a lot of people pointing out - look, this is the rich side of Chicago, and they felt the other side of the town was being ignored. They wanted to bring the pain down this direction by affecting commerce.
One of the things I will tell you, Victor and Christi, look, we've been all across this country, covering protests this year, honestly, we'll tell you the tenor of the one that was out here was very peaceful. In fact, we didn't see that confrontation that so many people were worried about. It just didn't happen in the streets of Chicago.
PAUL: All right. Ryan Young, thank you so much for really giving us a good sense and understanding of what's happening there. We appreciate it.
Also, we have some new audio from police as they arrived on the scene of that mass shooting at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado yesterday. We're going to play some of that for you there.
BLACKWELL: Plus we're learning more about the police officer killed in that attack.
BLACKWELL: All right, new this hour - President Obama is speaking now about the deadly shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. Here's part of the statement released by the White House this hour. Mr. Obama says this, "if we truly care about this, if we're going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Enough is enough."
Three people were killed yesterday when a gunman fired on a clinic in Colorado Springs, went inside and continued shooting. Nine others were injured.
PAUL: The suspected gunman has been identified by police now as 57- year-old Robert Dear. The standoff, as we said, lasted for hours and police radios really have captured the scene.
[09:30:00] It was a chaotic. It was urgent, and it was inside this whole operation as police try to control that gunman. Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are three people riding in the bathroom at Planned Parenthood where they seem to be hearing the suspects. They say somebody's knocking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anybody in the safe room?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are in contact with three parties. One is hiding in the back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going to hide in the back closet and this is over.
We probably have people hunkered down in the northwest corner of the building. Can we confirm we have people still inside Planned Parenthood?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to find a victim in the back. We're kind of exposed. We're seeing how many doors there are, we've got a check here. We haven't found him yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. There's at least one, maybe two, one was shot twice in the chest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need the bear over here on the street ASAP.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're making our way over there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that safe to do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We will send (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you need to drive that thing through any other doors, that's fine, too, just to get us in.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right. Police say that that gunman exchanged gunfire with officers there for nearly six hours. And then he surrendered.
Tom Foreman is going to give us a look at the Colorado Springs area, a lay of the land, so we can kind of get some clarity in all of the chaos that happened yesterday.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the big questions about all of is this how did this situation here in the middle of Colorado -- how did this go on for so long? Why was it so difficult for police to pin it down?
Part of the problem was potential threat to so many people around. In the beginning, police closed down this road, because it was not clear exactly where the shooting was coming from, or where it was aimed. And if you add up all of the houses out of this main grid here of roads closed around it, you're getting 750, 800 different homes. You have a lot of businesses up in here, you have businesses down in here, an awful lot of people in the area that's potentially affected.
When there was this confusion, it was partially spurred by the fact that it appears that the shooter, or suspected shooter in all of this, was over in this area, authorities, say, but his shots were reaching out into other areas, so much so there were people inside the shopping center down here who were told they could not come outside. They had to stay inside and locked the doors. This is the bank down in this area, more businesses over here.
All of that had to be protected by police until they figure out exactly what was happening. And then even when they narrowed it down to saying it really was about the Planned Parenthood building right over here, they still had a large building next to it that had had medical offices in it. They also have this building here which takes care of senior citizens. So, there's dozens and dozens of people that have to be protected. Not merely from this long gun, this rifle that the suspects has or police say he had, but also these devices that they're talking about, possible propane tanks. Obviously, they're talking about the idea they might have exploded at some point.
All of that is what made this go on and on and on. Yes, it looked like one incident in one building when you get to the end of that time. But before then, an awful lot of people potentially affected.
BLACKWELL: All right. We have on the phone with us now, CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Gilliam.
And, Jonathan, you were part of this story when it was unpacked and was breaking on air. I'm wonder when you watch this end, and this man walked out in handcuffs, were you surprised by that?
JONATHAN GILLIAM, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): Well, I have to say yes and no, the nature of the facility at which he was at, my first thought was when it started coming out that he was in planned parenthood, I just assumed that this is somebody with an ideological -- may be wrong. May just be a mad man. We may find out eventually.
But because it was so specifically targeted, my thought process was that he's somebody with an agenda with an ideology that he wants to be made known. After he produces his certain amount of fear, he's going to want to have his day and his opportunity to talk. And that's where I had a feeling it may end that way, and it turns out that it did.
BLACKWELL: Expound for us, you said because of where this happened, you expected that this is ideologically driven. Are there any other indicators that show this is politically driven, ideologically driven, and not just the man who went on a shooting rampage that happened to be in a Planned Parenthood building?
GILLIAM: Well, I mean, first off, you know he specifically was starting this area because security that has cameras, that they were following him, they were following with the cameras before he came in. That kind of alerted people a little bit. The fact that he was specifically walking around this building, he
went into this building, I don't think, from what I saw yesterday, as this was unfolding, that he was attacking something else and maneuvered into that Planned Parenthood.
[09:35:11] So, I think we have one or two outcomes as far as the motivation. Either he's very angry at somebody inside there, which we've had hospitals targeted because -- places of work where people are targeted because they're angry, or he has the vendetta and an ideology that goes against Planned Parenthood.
So, I think we can look at it in that way. And people have to remember, granted, we don't know this, the mental capacity of this person, like anybody else, when we have a lone individual -- and we're assuming that it's a lone individual, and not a larger group -- but terrorism is a tactic. It's not a group.
We put the word terrorism with people of the fundamental or what we call radical Islamic movement. But the reality is, terrorism is a tactic in which you use fear to change the political ideology of the community, or a group of people. And if his motivation is to do that, going in there and being very specific, we can call that terrorism.
BLACKWELL: All right. Jonathan Gilliam, CNN law enforcement analyst, thank you so much.
GILLIAM: You got it.
BLACKWELL: Next hour, we're going to take a look at the victims of this tragedy.
PAUL: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
And still to come: shrouded in secrecy. CNN is there as GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson visits with refugees in Jordan. Also, could this fit be a game changer for Carson's negative foreign policy numbers. We have details on how the candidates we're trying to shape their image when it comes to the international stage.
[09:40:20] PAUL: Forty minutes past the hour.
And Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is in Jordan this morning where he's visited a Syrian refugee camp. Now, that camp is in Azraq, located in northern Jordan. The goal of this visited reportedly to better understand the refugee crisis stemming from Syria's civil war. This also comes, of course, as the race for the White House turns toward a renewed focus on foreign policy.
CNN's Oren Liebermann has more for us from Jordan.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this has been a very secretive trip tour from Dr. Ben Carson as he came to the Azraq refugee camp here behind me. It seems to have come together very quickly and was not open to the media. In fact, we not allowed inside while Carson was inside for three hours. So, we know very little of what he did, who we met, the conversations he had, what he said to the Syrian refugees and perhaps more importantly, what they said back to him.
We know according to "The New York Times" that he came to learn about the refugee crisis, to see the facilities here, to see the hospital, the women's clinic and meet some of the children here. We know he brought soccer balls to play with some of the kids, but we don't know about what those conversations were like.
Of course, we don't know what Carson actually learned. What he saw here. That's very important because Carson, like many other presidential candidates, has said he would not allow Syrian refugees in the U.S. he went as far as to compare Syrian refugees as rabid dogs, and in a foreign policy flop said China is in Syria.
So, this could be an attempt by Carson to try to shore himself up on areas where he seems weak, as foreign policy and national security. This was again a very quick trip. He's just in Jordan for just two nights, this is his main day with a visit and reportedly to the Zaatari refugee camp, the other refugee camp.
But the message from here has been very, very controlled. We were not allowed in when he was here. We'll see what his camp puts out, and what, if any, policies will change from this visit here.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, Azraq refugee camp.
BLACKWELL: Oren, thank you so much. Let's talk now with former United Nations and State Department official David Tafuri, also a former Obama campaign foreign policy adviser.
David, good to have you back.
I want to take you back to 2007, 2008, when then-Senator Obama was standing on the debate stage with former Secretary Bill Richardson, and Senator Joe Biden, and had to convince the electorate that he was prepared to take on foreign policy issues. He was at that time, yes, a senator. We know that Hillary Clinton crystallized the questions in that 3:00 a.m. ad.
If you were advising Ben Carson's campaign, take the party out of it, what would be the perspective on the trip and what does he need to do?
DAVID TAFURI, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: Well, I think it's good that he took this trip, particularly to visit with Syrian refugees. He made insensitive comments last week, compared refugees to rabid dogs. I know he tried to explain that. But I think it showed a misunderstanding of what's happening with refugees and their predicament that they face as they leave Syria.
And so, hopefully, what he'll get from the trip is he'll learn about the refugee situation and about the situation in Syria. The comparison to President Obama is very interesting because President Obama visited Jordan and Iraq back in 2008. A little later in his first campaign for president, that was in July 2008, but he did that to try and show his credentials in foreign policy, but also to learn more about the situation there. He needed to be prepared for the general election. He was going up against Senator McCain who was very knowledgeable about those issues.
So, I think hopefully, what he'll get off most is he'll learn more about the situation so he can appear in form and perhaps have some policy. He's very light on policies, with respect to foreign policy. So, I think it's a good idea. I would have advised him to do it and hopefully, he'll take that out of it.
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you this, we've heard from the front-runner, Donald Trump, saying, you know, he gets his military advice, from the shows, talking about political shows on division. He's had a few flubs himself.
Why does Donald Trump get a pass here, and not even a pass, stronger support, when Ben Carson has seen this double-digit tanking after concerns about his foreign policy chops?
TAFURI: You know, it's confusing. I'm not sure what the answer is to that. I mean, Donald Trump seemed to get a pass on lots of different things. I think people's expectations for him are pretty low with respect to substance. They learned to expect sound bites out of him, not polices or policy prescriptions. I think that's part of why he gets a pass.
But I can't imagine that's going to last throughout the whole campaign. He is going to be tested on foreign policy issues. He's particularly weak on foreign policy.
[09:45:01] He would do himself a favor to take a similar trip to Ben Carson, and not just go to Jordan. But if he can, to visit to Iraq, to visit Afghanistan, to visit Turkey. These are places that are going to continued to be in the news where developments are happening.
And he needs to have a much stronger, more detailed plan on how to fight ISIS. Just saying we're going to bomb the hell out of them is not enough, that's a sound bite. Not a plan.
BLACKWELL: And, we know that, of course, after the attacks in Paris and the investigation going on globally, that foreign policy and those matters are of the utmost importance to voters. Why aren't we seeing that reflected in the polls in growing support for, say, Senator Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul. Rand Paul is on the formations committee in the Senate.
Why aren't we seeing their numbers grow as well?
TAFURI: Also, very tough questions to answer. You're right, polls show that foreign policy, and terrorism and security of America are pretty much the most important issues to voters right now. So, why aren't they gravitating to the candidates that you mentioned that have a lot more foreign policy experience. It's a little confusing.
I would also mention, by the way, Senator Rubio as being a person whose experienced in foreign policy. He's on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He focuses on foreign policy. His discussions about foreign policy are a little more involved, a little more detailed. So, maybe that's why he's seeing a little bit of a surge.
But again, a lot of voters have not yet moved over to Rubio from the candidates who are perceived to be weak on foreign policy, like Trump and Carson.
BLACKWELL: Well, of course, we know as much as the GOP electorate cares about foreign policy. They appear to care as much about an outsider, someone who is not involved in government presently. The polls show that, and anecdotally, we have some evidence of that.
David Tafuri, thanks so much.
TAFURI: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: We've got information on these new security measures in France that are shaping up this morning.
PAUL: Yes, details on why officials have denied, we've learned, about 1,000 people, entry into that country.
[09:50:45] PAUL: New for you this morning. France says it stopped nearly 1,000 people from entering the country since the Paris terror attacks. And today, the French interior minister says the people who were turned away were deemed, quote, "security risks to a public order." He also said there are 15,000 officers currently stationed along France's borders.
CNN's Martin Savidge joining us live from Paris with the latest.
And after learning about these new arrests, I should say we are also learning about a new arrest today in connection with those same attacks. What are you hearing there?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christie. First of all, France instituted a number of emergency powers in the immediate aftermath of that attack. So, that's part of the reason they have been screening people and preventing them from coming in.
As to the arrests, there had been six that have been in Belgium, all of those seem to be people who are somehow connected to Salah Abdeslam, at least half of those arrests are. Salah Abdeslam is the most wanted man in Europe and believed to be the sole survivor of the ISIS terror cell that have carried out the attacks here in Paris.
They know that he survived, and I'm saying French authorities know he survived because they actually detained him for a short while in the aftermath of those attacks. But they didn't know who he was or his relationships to the attacks at that time. He wasn't a wanted man. So, they let him go.
He was headed in Belgium and then apparently seen in Brussels several hours later, the Saturday after and then he has disappeared. No one has seen him since. It is believed that the only way he could remain on the run because of this huge dragnet is that he must be getting support. Now, whether that's from friends or whether it's from associates, that's what authorities here are deeply trying to figure out, Christie.
PAUL: All right. Martin Savidge, we appreciate the update -- thank you so much.
And still to come, some pretty extreme weather across parts of the country today. We are talking about deadly flooding, icy roads, making for dangerous conditions as well.
And coming up at the top of the hour, we have new audio from police as they arrived on the scene of that mass shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado yesterday. We are going to play that audio for you. Stay close.
[09:56:48] BLACKWELL: Protests and anger in the streets of Chicago. Watch.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
PAUL: Police have arrested four people have demonstrations yesterday. The protesters alleged there was a year-long cover-up of a police dashcam video that shows an officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. This was back in October of 2014. Now, that video was only released this week.
The protesters are demanding the resignation of the city's top officials. They want a federal investigation into the Chicago police department as well.
And policy say an alleged gang member lured 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee into an alley and killed him as a retaliation against the boy's father. Corey Morgan has been charged with first-degree murder. Investigators say he did not alone, though.
BLACKWELL: Yes. They have another man in custody. Now, police are looking for this man, Kevin Edwards, who is still out there somewhere.
PAUL: And the New York Police Department is investigating a possible laser incident reported by a Virgin America pilot Friday night. Our affiliate WABC reported the laser illuminated the Airbus when it was just four miles from JFK Airport. They believe it didn't impact the aircraft. All crew and passengers on board Flight 24 did land safely at JFK fortunately.
What a mess. Look at the rain and what it is doing to north Texas. At least three people have died. Another person is presumed dead due to widespread flooding in the past couple of days. From Texas to Missouri, 11 million people are under flash flood warnings right now. Another 4 million have put on a winter weather advisory for freezing rain. It is expected to stretch from Amarillo to Oklahoma City, Wichita and near Kansas City.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And, of course, all of that mess, the rain, the snow, ice, comes during one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Just a big headache here.
A CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, is tracking everything for us.
I guess we're looking to Texas. What's going on there?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we are looking at Texas, because this is where all of the systems started. It inundated them with a bunch of rain.
In fact, take a look at this map. We show Oklahoma and Texas. No list of bull's eyes around Dallas where they have picked up about 7 inches of rain in the last few days, especially some higher amounts even in some of the northern suburbs of Dallas.
Now, you take a look at where they stand for the year. We have talked about Texas going from drought to flooding, to drought to flooding, back and forth. Well, this is definitely a flooding year. Normally, they'd be about 33 inches for the year to date for the average.
Right now, they are at 57 inches. And again, the year is not yet done. So, very impressive amounts. But we're also keeping an eye on what the weather is doing right now. You can see, still, very heavy rain stretching from Dallas really all the way up towards Maine, we've got very heavy rain in parts of Memphis, Nashville, Little Rock.
But behind the system, this is where the really big concern is, because we have areas that have picked up half an inch of ice. That is impossible to travel on whether it's by car or by plane. Still, more ice starting to fall in Oklahoma City. Some of it beginning to transition in Tulsa, Wichita and Kansas City.
And again, we still have a lot of these watches and warnings out for many of these areas. Guys, if you have some flight plans in any of these cities, you may want to check with your carriers for some possible delays or even some cancellation.