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Obama to Address Nation, CNN Coverage 7PM ET; FBI Raids Home of Man Linked to Killers' Guns. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired December 6, 2015 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It is fascinating.


PAUL: Thank you for starting your morning with us. We always appreciate you.

BLACKWELL: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


BLACKWELL: All right. Eight o'clock here in the East. I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

PAUL: I'm Christi Paul. Thank you. Good to be here with you.

BLACKWELL: Well, tonight a rare event in the Obama presidency, an address to the nation from the Oval Office. Take a live look at the White House.

At 8:00 p.m. Eastern, the president will speak about the deadly terror attack in California, and what the nation is doing to protect Americans. In a statement here, the White House said the president will reiterate his firm conviction that ISIL will be destroyed and that the United States must draw upon our values, our unwavering commitment to justice, equality, and freedom to prevail over terrorist groups that use violence to advance a destructive ideology.

Tonight's address will only be the third time that the president has spoken to the U.S. from the Oval Office. The prior times both in 2010 and talked about the end of combat operations in Iraq and the Gulf oil spill.

"STATE OF THE UNION" host Jake Tapper, of course, is following this from Washington. Jake is with us now.

The significance of an Oval Office address versus one from the East Room -- detail that for us, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Well, it's a totally different dynamic to be speaking from the Oval Office as opposed to in the East Room where the president told the nation that bin Laden was dead or from the James Brady briefing room where he can interact more with reporters. It's a slightly more intimate setting.

The Oval Office setting is much more formal. It's a little bit more stiff. It's a place where in the past, the presidents' advisors have not thought he particularly thrived, but it is something that conveys the utmost seriousness. And so, when he delivers his address this evening, speaking about ISIS, speaking about the horrific terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, this past week, I'm assuming that the White House is hoping that the gravity of the office, the physical office will help convey the seriousness of the president's words.

BLACKWELL: So, what is the expectation? Does he have to offer more than maybe even a stronger message of reassurance? Does he offer some action items?

TAPPER: Well, the White House is saying that there will be no new policy outlined. That doesn't mean that the president won't be talking about other policy. We've seen the president in recent days talk about the need for more restrictions on gun ownership, on the idea that as the Senate Democrats pushed for, that there be -- if you're on the terrorist watch list or any of the watch lists that don't allow you to fly in an airplane, you're not able to buy firearms or explosives. That was voted down in the Senate. He might talk about that.

I suspect, though, that the goal is more to offer reassurance to the American people. There has been some criticism that the president's words and actions in the past few weeks, starting with the downing of the Russian airliner, but then also after the terrorist attacks in France that killed 130 people, and then after the attacks in San Bernardino, that perhaps he wasn't conveying to the American people the seriousness that they regard these terrorist attacks as holding. And if you look at the president's approval numbers when it comes to his handling of terrorism, this is certainly an area where he could have more public confidence in his handling of it. He's not rating too well on that.

I suspect that will be the general goal to convey reassurance that the government is doing everything it can to stop the threat.

BLACKWELL: All right. That's about 12 hours away, 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Jake Tapper, thank you so much. We know you have Donald Trump on at the top of the hour. We're looking forward to that.

The program, "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER", starts at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Now, for more analysis of the president's address tonight, let's bring in now, Douglas Brinkley, CNN presidential historian and a professor of history at Rice University.

And, Douglas, thanks for staying with us, because I want to hone in on the last question for Jake and get it from your perspective. Does the president have to do more than offer stronger message of reassurance now in just a different setting now from the Oval Office? Does he have to say we're doing X, Y, Z that is not the same X, Y, Z he said before? Does it have to be something new?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I don't think it has to be something new, but I think he has to articulate his policy. How are we going to defeat ISIS. What is the administration doing?

There was a lot of confusion. Just a week ago, it was announced there are going to be special ops troops going in Syria. What does that mean? What is going on with the air strikes in Syria? And how do we deal with the idea of radicalization of Americans?

[08:05:02] How's -- you know, it's being crowd sourced now by ISIS terrorism. And how is the U.S. government prepared to confront the challenge, the challenge of San Bernardino?

But I think it has to be a vigorous President Obama and a sense of reassuring and also showing the resilience that the United States and the allies have in fighting and defeating is.

BLACKWELL: We know in the president's discussion of gun control specifically he has many times gone partisan. Do we expect that in the setting, again, the Oval Office that the president will introduce a partisan argument tonight to the American people?

BRINKLEY: For sure, he's going to talk about the need to start making gun registration tougher. He's that great example that Jake was just talking about that it eats away at the president that the people seen as terrorists aren't really able to fly freely yet can walk into a gun show and buy a bunch of ammo and guns. I think he wants to connect the gun abuse issue, if you like, in the United States to this new wave of fighting terrorism we have to confront.

BLACKWELL: We know that presidents throughout history, and you're our historian, have used this moment in the Oval Office specifically and not the East Room, not other parts of the White House, not taken the message on the road to center the American people, especially at times of conflict.

BRINKLEY: Well, there's no question about it, and that's why this is an important speech tonight. The president doesn't do this very often, partly because it's not his best form. He seems a little bit frozen. You can't have the deer in the headlight phenomena of staring at the camera and talking in a serious tone.

But he wants to drive home the point that this is his priority the defeating of ISIS. Many people have taken things he said about climate change, for example, as being the great threat to the planet. The president tonight is not giving a climate change speech. He's going to be talking directly about the war on terror and how we can, you know, defeat the enemy ISIS.

BLACKWELL: All right. Douglas Brinkley, thank you so much.

BRINKLEY: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And our special coverage of the president's address begins at 7:00 p.m. Eastern with Wolf Blitzer. The president speaks at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. And at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, all-star tribute celebration of CNN Heroes right here on CNN.

Ahead, we're going to show you more of the terrifying moments. In is in a London subway stop. A man wielding a knife goes on the attack. We'll show you how this ended.

Also, the FBI raids another house searching for a motive in the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. We'll get you a live report, next.


[08:11:37] BLACKWELL: This morning new information about the California terror attack. The FBI raided this house. Investigators say a man who bought two rifles used by the California shooters lives there. The FBI is searching through phone records, travel, and computer records to find out why Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people, injured 21 others.

And this is happening, as we know, President Obama is getting ready to address the nation at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. He'll talk about the San Bernardino attacks, of course, and how the government plans to keep America safe. Special coverage starts at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Let's get more on the FBI raid in California. We've got CNN's Polo Sandoval for us in San Bernardino. Tell us what we know about, first, the man who lives in this home and the raid.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So at this point, Victor, we know the search for answers for investigators lead them to this home late Friday into Saturday. We're told by officials that home belongs to a man who is an acquaintance of Syed Farook. A man who reportedly purchase It's important to remember that this individual is not considered a suspect. Not necessarily a person of interest, and hasn't even been arrested.

We're not necessarily identifying this individual publicly. But it's important that investigators try to hone in and try to track down some answers on how exactly those weapons or at least two of the weapons went from the unnamed individual to the married couple that carried out such a horrible attack here on Wednesday. As that continues, we hear more from the community. It was an impressive scene on Friday and Saturday as tactical teams moved in.


FREDDY ESCAMILLA, WITNESSED HOUSE RAID: Like, 3:00 in the morning, you know?

[07:15:01] Like, I got woken up -- a sound I heard was a loud speaker. It sounded like a voice coming from a loud speaker and that's when I saw this big unmarked SUV and that's where the sirens were coming from. I mean, the lights. And it was one single voice, you know, over a loud speaker.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANDOVAL: Back out live this is a live picture of the parking lot. These vehicles you're looking at haven't been moved the last four days. We can only assume that some of the vehicles possibly even belong to some of the 14 victims. It does go to show even though it's been really awhile now since the shooting took place and the shots rang out, the yellow tape and vehicles, it's a reminder for the people here in San Bernardino of the tragic shooting that happened here just on Wednesday.

BLACKWELL: Certainly and some folks there, of course, still on edge. Polo Sandoval for us in San Bernardino -- thank you very much.

Now, the U.K. is facing their own terror threat. Watch.


BLACKWELL: British police are calling a stabbing attack on the London subway there yesterday a terrorist incident. A man with a knife slashed several people. In just the last minutes, the authorities there reduced the number of victim from three initially now to two. They say that man was yelling "This is for Syria."

The man was taken into custody and subdued by a stun gun. British officials are warning the public to stay alert and vigilant.

[08:15:03] Let's bring in David Tafuri now, former Obama campaign, foreign policy advisor, former U.N. State Department official as well.

I want to start with you, David, first, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: Because you have this familiarity with the president. Talk about this address tonight from the Oval Office. What do you have to -- what do you expect he'll say? We've heard from people who know the president and the administration well that this is not his favorite forum because he doesn't do well there in the Oval Office. Why is he choosing this forum?

TAFURI: So, he needs to address a couple of things in this speech. First of all, he needs to talk about what is the plan to defeat ISIS. His discussion needs to go beyond just talking about air strikes. Everyone knows we're doing air strikes and they're having an impact. How are we going to defeat ISIS on the ground in Syria and Iraq? That means explaining what is the role of the Special Forces advisors that he sent into Iraq and now Syria. What are they doing to defeat ISIS?

And if we're not going to put a substantial amount of U.S. troops on the ground, it's clear so far that his plant is not to do that, how are we going to build the capacity of the forces on the ground that are currently fighting ISIS like the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, like the Iraqi security forces so they can defeat ISIS? That means not only building their capacity through training and providing them with weapons, but also building a legitimate alternative among Sunnis to ISIS so that the Sunni population has someone else to look to, to protect them and to protect the areas once they are cleared of ISIS. That is probably the toughest part of that strategy. So he needs to explain that.

He also has to explain how is he going to be continued to protect the United States? He's done a pretty good job so far. But the attack in California is concerning. So, he needs to reassure Americans that we're doing everything we can to protect against similar attacks in the future in this country.

BLACKWELL: So, you've identified the foreign challenge of taking territory back from ISIS and holding it. But let's talk domestically now with the homegrown terrorists and the self-radicalization which is difficult to detect if there is none of the traditional chatter between those who are possibly going to carry out the attacks and those ordering them. We heard this this weekend from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. He said this.

Terror networks had in effect outsourced attempts to attack our homeland. This requires a whole new approach, in my view.

How close is the intelligence community to crafting whatever that approach ISIS?

TAFURI: Well, I think what the secretary is talking about there is that we need to review our visa process and how we let visitors come to the United States. I think that is warranted under this situation.


BLACKWELL: But what about the people who are here who are not coming from outside the country? They are American born who are then self- radicalized. What's that approach? How do you get to them?

TAFURI: Well, that's even more difficult. You know, obviously, people who are here who have a right to be here and especially U.S. citizens who are here have certain rights. And so, we need to -- it's a difficult situation.

We need to continue to, you know, pick up any information we can through all of the intelligence services, especially, you know, falls a lot on the FBI to, you know, monitor any activity that indicates someone is becoming radicalized and follow those people to the extent possible under the law to, you know, protect the country against people who are radicalized within this country.

You know, there's also a war of ideology. We need to win that war of ideology within our own country, with our own citizens. Those are some of the things. And then also, looking at visa of programs.

BLACKWELL: All right. David Tafuri, always good to have you.

TAFURI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

In the wake of the recent shooting massacre in Paris, big concert was being held tonight with U2 in defiance of terrorism.


BONO, U2: Defiant joy, we think, is the mark of our band and rock and roll. They're a death cult. We're a life cult, life force.


BLACKWELL: CNN's Fareed Zakaria sits down with Bono and the Edge for an exclusive interview.



ANNOUNCER: Our heroes don't fly, they soar.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't see barriers. I see solutions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Connecting with the communities along the way helped reestablish your faith in humanity.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't give up on yourself because you still worry.

ANNOUNCER: See the stars come out to celebrate the change makers.

KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIENNE & CNN HEROES ALL-STAR TRIBUTE HOST: We all love to pay tribute and this is a way we can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People living the work they are doing every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really, really, really, really inspiring.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please join me in honoring "CNN Hero" --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no time to waste.

ANNOUNCER: The top-10 "CNN Heroes" of 2015.

[08:20:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an honor to be recognized. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an amazing honor.



ANNOUNCER: Join Anderson Cooper for "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," tonight at 9:00.



BLACKWELL: The city of Paris still on edge after the terror attacks that killed 130 people. One of the planners Salah Abdeslam still on the run more than three weeks later now. And released this week pictures of two new suspects, the men who may have helped wire money to the attackers and their families.

The city is slowly getting back on its feet. One of the cafes bombed is open again and one of the bands forced to cancel a show after the attack, we're talking about U2, set to perform again and are taking the stage tonight in Paris.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria talked to U2 star's Bono and the Edge in an exclusive interview. Here's part of it.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: What was it like to be in Paris when the attacks took place?

BONO, LEAD SINGER, U2: It was, obviously, awful and chaotic and it makes you think of who you know, your crew, who is out in the city, that kind of mentality.

[08:25:07] Of course, we thought about our fellow troubadours, the Eagles of Death Metal, just what was happening there, because they were still locked in at time.

ZAKARIA: This was the band playing at the Bataclan where the largest number of people died.

BONO: We tried to help them in the next day with various things, tried to find a plane for them to get out and things like that. It turns out the best way we could help them was finding them phones, because their phones was left in the venue and the venue sealed, also. They were in the police station and back into the hotel rooms without communications. So, it turns out that was the most useful thing we did is find them some phones.

BLACKWELL: You'll hear much more from the band. The entire interview coming up at 10:00 Eastern this morning on "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS".

And, of course, tonight, that rare Oval Office address by President Obama over terrorism. Can he reassure Americans that the country is safe?


BLACKWELL: Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, President Obama talks about terror threats in a rare primetime address from the Oval Office. CNN'S special coverage begins at 7:00. And then at 9:00, an all-star tribute celebration of CNN Heroes.

Thanks for watching this morning.