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Trump Launches First Attacks Against Ted Cruz; Climate Change Deal Near at World Summit; Obama May Bypass Congress on Background Checks. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired December 12, 2015 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:01] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: They've agreed on what the French foreign minister called an ambitious agreement on climate change.

CNN's Jim Bittermann there in Paris following this breaking developments. He's going to have a live report for us in just a couple of minutes.

I do want to wish a good morning on a Saturday, though. I'm so grateful for your company, as always. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

In this hour, the race for 2016. Donald Trump campaigning in South Carolina today, and this comes after a stop in Iowa where a new poll shows him, at least one poll here, falling behind Ted Cruz in that key primary state, first caucus. As Cruz surges, Trump is launching his first attacks against the senator. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, I think we're going to do. You know, we're doing really well with the evangelicals.

And, by the way, and again, I do like Ted Cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba in all fairness. It's true. Not a lot come out. But I like him nevertheless.


BLACKWELL: Trump not only making jabs about religion but also questioning Cruz's ties to big oil.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Iowa, has the latest for us this morning.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump came to Iowa as the leader of the Republican pack and he had plenty of bravado. He said, if we win Iowa, we will win the rest of the contest. Now, of course, he is leading in every national poll, and most state polls.

But with 50 days remaining before the Iowa caucuses, some candidates are coming on stronger than others. And Ted Cruz is one of those. He's in Donald Trump's crosshairs. It was clear that was on Donald Trump's mind.

In the opening minutes of his event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday night, Donald Trump mentioned Ted Cruz and the fact that he's opposed to ethanol subsidies, a key political situation in Iowa. Let's take a listen.

TRUMP: But with the ethanol, really, it's -- he's got to come a long way because he's right now for the oil. But I understand that oil pays him a lot of money, he's got to be for oil, right? The oil companies give him a lot of money, so -- but I'm with you. I'm with everybody.

ZELENY: With Trump saying that Senator Cruz is beholden to oil money, it's clear that this Republican race is entering a new phase.

Now, as Republican candidates gather in Las Vegas next week for the final debate of the year, of course, Donald Trump will be front and center, Ted Cruz as well. It's the final opportunity for the many of these candidates to have an impression with voters.

But there are so many of those voters who are still undecided. We talked to those here tonight. So, Donald Trump certainly has a lot of support, as does Ted Cruz, but voters often change their mind in these final two months. That's why this campaigning and the debate next week is critical.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Des Moines, Iowa.


PAUL: Jeff, thank you.

I want to talk more with CNN politics executive editor Mark Preston.

Mark, we see where Trump is falling behind Cruz and then you've got this "New York Times" and CBS poll showing Trump and away leading nationally 35 percent to second in line Ted Cruz there, just 16 percent. What is the gap do you think, the reason for that gap between these numbers?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right, Christi, and a good question and a confusing question in many ways. The reason being is when you look at the national polls, Donald Trump's message right now is resonating across the country to enough people nationally that he is able to have this lead that is by and far bigger than just about anyone else in the race at this point.

When you look at Iowa, though, though voters tend to be a little bit more tuned into the race, they tend to be more focused on to the race and that's when you see the likes of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, all of these other candidates are spending more time there. You're talking about folks who are very likely to go the polls or to go to the caucuses, on every first. So, when you're looking at the polling in Iowa, sometimes it tends to be a little more precise about the support for the candidate at that time in that state.

PAUL: You've got 14 Republicans duking it out in the Iowa caucuses, what do you make of the disarray that we seem to be seeing in the Republican Party?

PRESTON: Well, I think you're still seeing incredible brunt of anger directed at Washington, D.C. This is something we've seen certainly all through the Obama administration, from Republicans. But when you look at the field so big, Donald Trump is leading anywhere sometimes 25 percent, he's at 25 percent, the nearest person could be 20 percent. Back and forth it goes.

What you're seeing is the fact that the disarray is based upon the number of candidates right now who are seeking the nomination. You have social conservatives, you have fiscal conservatives, you have foreign policy hawks who are vying for that vote. However, Donald Trump's message right now, the anger message, the hatred towards Washington is the one that's winning out.

PAUL: All right. Well, GOP leaders we know are starting to have this conversation about the prospects that none of their potential presidential candidates could win a majority of delegates in these upcoming primaries and caucuses, which would create, of course, a brokered party convention next summer.

[07:05:05] Jake Tapper sat down and he talked to Trump about that. Let's listen.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, STATE OF THE UNION: What do you think about the idea of the brokered convention? When Dr. Ben Carson heard about it, he got very upset. He said it sounded like people were trying -- people in power in the Republican establishment were trying to subvert the will of the voters.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, I watched what Ben said, I agreed with him 100 percent. I even wrote him a little note. I thought it was excellent, and frankly, he may be right. I haven't seen it yet. I've been hearing about it. I've been hearing about this closed door meetings, and I don't like that, that wasn't the deal I made.

I signed a pledge but the pledge was a double deal. They were supposed to be honorable. We're going to find out. If it's that way, they're going to have problems, but I hope it's not going to be that way. I hope it's not going to be that way.


PAUL: You can see more of that interview, by the way, tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., right here on CNN. But, Mark, you know, Trump says they may have problems if there's a brokered convention. I mean, obviously, because we have a brokered convention, you've got people negotiating for delegates.

PRESTON: Yes, negotiating for delegates, and in Donald Trump's case, he is threat would actually precede a brokered convention because as he says, he's very frustrated or upset by these so-called meetings that are starting to take place to deal with a brokered convention.

You could see Donald Trump leave the Republican Party some way through this nominating process, which in that case he would run as an independent and that's when the Republican Party is in some ways concerned, Christi, because they're afraid that he would siphon off votes in the general election. By the time you get to a brokered convention, that's when the horse trading begins and that's when delegates who are bound toward the candidates, who need to support candidates on the first ballot of that convention, by the second ballot, they're free to go.

That's what Trump is talking about -- will the establishment try to get behind the candidate and try to knock him out? And that's why he's, you know, offering that not-so-subtle threat to leave the Republican Party.

PAUL: All righty. Mark Preston, we appreciate the break down. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk now with Seth Weathers. He's a Trump supporter and former Georgia state director for Trump's presidential run.

Take us inside. We're going to pick up where Christi and Mark left off. How serious were these conversations about this third-party run potentially?

SETH WEATHERS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I mean, I don't -- I think Trump has been very public and open with everything that's been discussed with that, and Trump has no desire to do that. He's been publicly telling people that.

So I don't think that's anything that's going to happen because I think, A, he's going to win the primaries and that's not going to be necessary.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk about the first state. Iowa up first, taking these first shots at Ted Cruz. We heard from Ted Cruz this week saying that he expects gravity to bring Trump and Carson down.

His strategy -- to love on Trump, to love on Carson, big bear hugs and just wait for them to fall. Is he playing your candidate?

WEATHERS: I think if he thinks he is, he's making a mistake. I think -- I don't see -- Trump's not going to fall. He's taken off. You see here in Georgia, a poll came out, a landmark poll yesterday, he has 43 percent of the vote. That is unheard of with the amount of candidates in this race.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and Cruz still in the teens in Georgia.


BLACKWELL: But focusing on Iowa, is he playing your candidate? The Monmouth Poll has Cruz up five points.

WEATHERS: The Monmouth poll does, but there's also other polls that been out just recently as you know, that show Trump up by several points. So, think you have to combine those polls to conclude where national results are.

BLACKWELL: OK. What do you expect that we'll hear from Donald Trump on Tuesday? Because there are I think more than we've heard in the past. These new criticisms, new narratives from his opponents as it relates specifically to this proposed temporary ban on Muslims coming into the country? How does that defend that? Because we've seen a very different Trump on stage in a debate versus Trump at a rally.

WEATHERS: He's a little more energetic at a rally. I mean, it's his event, his show, he can do what he wants. I think that any Republican candidate that attacks him related to the Muslim comment is making a disastrous mistake at the debate.


WEATHERS: Well, if you look at the latest poll numbers of Republican primary voters and this is typical with Republican primary voters, agree with Trump's statement on it by 65 percent. That's an incredible number in something like this.

Instead of come out against that, and attack him on stage for that, they're going to be attacking 65 percent of the Republican primary voters? It's not going to be a wise move.

BLACKWELL: OK. All right. That's what we have from both the CBS and NBC, put it somewhere between --

WEATHERS: I'm going with the Bloomberg poll.

BLACKWELL: OK, I got you on Bloomberg. You make a good point, whether it's 54 percent who agree in the CBS poll, or if it's in the 60s for Bloomberg.

WEATHERS: Well, 20 percent of Democrats actually are in favor of it.

BLACKWELL: And we're going have that conversation, the difficulty that Hillary Clinton has in responding to this statement. She thought it would be easy. It turns out it won't be.

Seth Weathers, thanks for taking us inside the campaign.

WEATHERS: Good to be here.

BLACKWELL: All right. Christi? PAUL: All righty. Thanks, guys.

Listen, there's breaking news --

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: Breaking news out of Paris right now affecting climate change.

[07:10:02] A conversation a lot of people are having. Negotiators from 150 countries close to a final agreement on climate change that will have far reaching consequences for generations to come.

We have some live pictures here, I believe. You can hear the applause, 20 years of hard work to get to this point a lot of people will say.

U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, warned, quote, "We must protect the planet that sustains us. For that, we need all hands on deck," unquote.

I want to go right to CNN senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann, who is there in Paris.

Jim, what do we know about the details of this deal?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the proposed agreement is not yet out. The delegates themselves have not gotten a copy of it. They should probably within the next 15 minutes or so. They're broken for lunch right now, and when they get a copy, they'll be able to go over it, but they're supposed to come back here in about two and a half hours and then begin the voting process. We'll see how that goes.

But in any case, there are some details outlined by Laurent Fabius, the former French foreign minister, he made a speech about it a little earlier. Basically, he said this is a just agreement, it has differentiation. This is a code word for money going between the developed countries to the lesser countries.

It's something they wanted. It's going to be legally binding, that could be controversial in the United States, but President Obama said it's going to be legally binding. There's going to be a review process every five years to see if countries are living up to their targets, to their emission controlled targets, most -- the most applause for the foreign minister speech came when he said that the target would be 2 degrees of global warming but also an objective of 1.5 degrees Celsius. That's something the low-lying countries, the island nation for example are very much in favor of because they stand to disappear if global warming keeps on the way it has been -- Christi.

PAUL: So, Jim, when he talked it being legally binding, that's problematic for the U.S. because we would assume that Congress would have to have a say in this?

BITTERMANN: Well, yes, and also that there could be a change in the presidency coming up. There is going to be an election.

And so, President Obama doesn't have any sort of guarantee that he can really give people. But while he was here, he said it was going to be legally binding. This was kind of a contradiction for the White House, because earlier, the White House has said it wasn't going to be legally binding. But all the rest of the delegations here are saying it's going to be legally binding.

So, we'll see what happens as far as the U.S. is concerned. But for the moment, and it looks like what President Obama is gambling on, is that once the U.S. commits to something like this, once any country and 125 countries here are going to vote in an hour and a half, once anybody commits to this then, there's the question of naming and shaming. If someone doesn't live up to the agreements, you know, you're saying, look, you're -- all the rest of us are on the board for climate change controls, and you're not. You're violating the terms of the agreement.

So it would be tough for even a Republican president perhaps down the line to take a look at this and say, wait a second, the United States is not part of this, when the rest of the world is -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Jim Bittermann, Jim, thank you so much for breaking it down for us. Again, we'll keep you apprised of what's happening all morning as Jim said, in about two and a half hours, these 125 countries expected to formally make that vote.

BLACKWELL: Investigators are searching for answers about a mosque fire in California. Why one congressman is calling for this to be investigated as a hate crime. We'll take you there.

Also, what steps the White House is taking to expand gun background checks without congressional approval.


[07:16:59] PAUL: Sixteen minutes past the hour right now.

And the death toll at a hospital in Afghanistan hit by a U.S. bombing strike has now reached 42. This is according to Doctors Without Borders. This latest death from someone who was inside that hospital when it was bombed two months ago has sustained some injuries, has now succumbed to those injuries.

Last month, the United States said military members accidentally targeted the hospital because they thought Taliban fighters were shooting at them from inside. The Taliban was actually, it turns out, firing from another site nearby.

BLACKWELL: We're following a developing story, this one out of California. Sheriff's deputies, along with the FBI, are now investigating a mosque fire near Palm Springs. They believe it was an intentional act. The deputies are questioning someone but the person is at this time not being considered a suspect.

And this apparently follows arson, this arson, rather, follows another attack at the same mosque a year ago.


BLACKWELL (voice-over): The security guard for the mosque said he saw the file from miles away.

RAY BREWSTER, MOSQUE SECURITY GUARD: I pull up to the interception, I turned left, and there's a huge plume of smoke, mushroom cloud.

BLACKWELL: Witnesses and police said someone threw some incendiary device at the mosque around noon Friday. The fire burned the front doors and spread to the lobby before fire fighters put it out. Everyone got out safely and mosque members were force to pray on the streets, outside.

ABDULLA SALAAM, MEMBER, ISLAMIC CENTER OF THE COACHELLA VALLEY: You see my brothers over there had praying on the outside. That's one of the obligations that we do. We pray. We do have prayers. Do it over here on the dirt, that's what we do. We do pray, give a little message, and we go back to work.

BLACKWELL: This attack comes a year after someone fired several shots into the same mosques, that shooter was never caught.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you weren't a mosque, I sure you can imagine, but any church really, it in the back of your mind.

BLACKWELL: The Riverside County supervisor compared the firebombing to what happened at San Bernardino last week, an hour west of the mosque.

JOHN BENOIT, RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERVISOR: If in fact, as it appears, a potential act against this church, for reasons or because of the religion, I would think that is terrorism. And terrorism is terrorism, no matter whether it's, like we saw in San Bernardino, or someone who reacts, they're both terrorists.

BLACKWELL: California Congressman Paul Ruiz called for the fire bombing to be investigated as a hate crime.


BLACKWELL: And according to a report from CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, this has been a record year for anti- Muslim act, with more than 60 cases of either harassment or vandalism reported.

PAUL: We have new developments to tell you about regarding the San Bernardino terror attack, more than a week after 14 people were massacred at the hands of Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook. Investigators have learned one of their neighbors allegedly built pipe bombs with those killers. But Enrique Marquez who did buy rifles used in the massacre claims he had nothing to do with devices built for the couple's deadly rampage.

[07:20:00] This, of course, comes as dive teams are still today searching for evidence in a lake that the couple reportedly visited just prior to that attack. Officials say they're hunting for a computer hard drive that may have been removed from the home in an attempt to hide their tracks. We get more on this story at the bottom of the hour here.

BLACKWELL: Also, still ahead on the eve of the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook mass shooting, President Obama is preparing to move forward on gun background checks without congressional approval.

Also, Ted Cruz, is he becoming the biggest threat to Donald Trump's lead in the GOP race? Three days now until the next debate right here on CNN, and Trump is on the offensive.


PAUL: We know Monday marked the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And tired of waiting for Congress, the White House is formulating a plan now to expand gun buying background checks without the need for congressional approval.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These are essentially the recommendations that the president has asked for from his staff based on their review of available executive authority. And so I think the working assumption of this ongoing review is that Congress hasn't acted. And they haven't acted. And that's been the source of immense frustration on the part of the president and a lot of people in the executive branch and, frankly, a lot of people all across the country.


PAUL: CNN's Chris Frates is joining us now from Washington.

So, Chris, it would have to take an executive order to make this happen, yes?

CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right, Christi, and President Obama has asked to put together a plan to prevent gun deaths that will include expanded background checks.

[07:25:04] Valerie Jarrett, a top Obama aide, said repeatedly this week that the president has asked for the plan in short order but she wouldn't provide more specifics on timing than that.

Now, remember, Obama is facing a Republican controlled Congress and that's very unlikely to pass tougher gun restrictions. Congress rejected a White House-backed bill to expand background checks after the Newtown shootings in 2012. And now, after these San Bernardino attacks, the president's considering executive action.

And, you know, the ideas being considered for executive action are expanding background checks on gun sales, closing the so-called gun show loophole, Christi, and that loophole allows some sales made at gun shows to skip background checks. But the plan to take unilateral action has both legal and administrative snags, and with no clear path forward, it could still be months before any new measures are announced.

Now, I talked to the National Rifle Association and their spokeswoman, Jennifer Baker, said, "Obama's gun control agenda was rejected by Congress. Now, he's doing what he always does when he doesn't get his way, defying the will of the people and using executive action. In California, President Obama had his wish list of gun control, including universal background checks, the strictest gun control in the country and it didn't prevent the San Bernardino attacks. The fact is, the president's gun control agenda will only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to self-defense."

And, Christi, White House officials have also said that they're working with state and local authorities on how best to prevent gun violence. But the White House is arguing that a patch work of both state and local laws aren't nearly as effective as the federal legislation.

PAUL: I'm sure there are a lot of other people wondering how far the president can go without that congressional approval. I mean, what specifically do we know would change that's not already being done?

FRATES: And we don't have any specifics yet, Christi. I mean, the idea here on the gun show loophole is there are a number of who can sell guns at a gun show for instance, who aren't licensed dealers. These are, you know, private sellers, collectors sometimes, and the idea is covering more of those people so that almost everyone who sold a gun at a gun show would have to make sure those buyers get a background check.

But the specifics on how to do that, is it legal? Do they have the legal authority to do it? Do they have the administrative act to do that? That's what's under review right now. And that's what the administration and their lawyers are working through.

PAUL: All righty. Chris Frates, thank you so much for the breakdown. We appreciate it.

FRATES: All right. Thank you.

PAUL: Sure.


BLACKWELL: A friend and neighbor of the San Bernardino terrorists is reportedly admitting to building bombs with the killers before that massacre.

Also, with three days to go until CNN's Republican debate, how aggressively will GOP leaders go after Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from coming into the U.S.?


PAUL: We're getting new details about Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook, the terrorists of course who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino. BLACKWELL: According to sources, a friend and neighbor now admits to

have built bombs, the pipe bombs with the killers. But he claims none of those bombs was used in that deadly rampage. CNN's Kyung Lah has the latest reports.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi, one of the men being questioned by authorities made a stunning announcement, Enrique Marquez and associate of Syed Rizwan Farook says that he and Farook built pipe bombs in the past but this was their hobby. He did tell authorities that these were not bombs that were used in this investigation as part of this investigation that authorities have discovered. He said that they were just something that he and his friend did.

But authorities are certainly very interested in this because in the search of the Farook home, they found 19 pipes. Pipes, the FBI says, that could have every easily been converted into bombs with any of the bomb-making materials that they also seized from the Farook home.

Also, the lake, this is where we have seen two FBI divers slowly combing the bottom of this lake for a second day. The divers going back and forth, painstakingly looking for something.

There was a report that the two killers were seen here at this park. So the FBI says they are searching this lake for evidence. What they are looking for are missing items from the Farook home, items like a hard drive that is missing from the computer. They want to try to a build a case an electronic footprint of what these killers were doing. The FBI has said that they are going to be at this lake for days. Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Three days now until CNN's big Republican debate and 51 days until the nation's first vote, the caucuses rather, in Iowa. And we've got this poll out of Iowa.

Monmouth University showing frontrunner Donald Trump behind Ted Cruz there, 5 points behind although there are many polls show that Trump is still ahead. But we'll talk about this.

Joining me, CNN political commentator, Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona, Ben Ferguson, host of the "Ben Ferguson Show". Good to have both of you back and together.



BLACKWELL: So let's first start with this Monmouth poll to which Donald Trump responded last night of this rally, listen.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, we're leading in most to the poll. We're leading at every poll. Except Iowa, there was one poll, Monmouth, I never even heard Monmouth, what the hell is Monmouth? What is Monmouth? Explain it. I don't like Monmouth. You know, why I don't like it, because they always treat me badly also.


BLACKWELL: Yeah. But loved Monmouth back in April when he tweeted, "Wow, the prestigious Monmouth poll has me in first." But we understand how that goes.

[7:35:00] I better start with you, this poll showing that Ted Cruz is ahead. I mean, what a loss in Iowa really be that big of a blow to Trump considering then you go into South Carolina and New Hampshire and you'd sweep in the South in the beginning of March, Tuesday.

FERGUSON: Well, if he can do that, if he could sweep afterwards and I would say no, but momentum is everything. And people love voting for someone that's winning. And I think the way that Donald Trump and his campaign have set him up, they set him up if he doesn't come in and win every single state early on or every single caucus early on, by big margins that the only first they can blame for the expectation against themselves. They've put themselves in situation where they must win these because he wins everything. He's ahead of every poll except for the stupid polls, that show he's not winning, that used to be prestigious.

So, you know, momentum is everything in this game here. If he goes in there and lays an egg on this first one after he talks about all of these, I'm winning this and I'm winning this and I'm winning this, they're trying to beat me down and you don't win one, do you rip on the people of the state and say they're stupid and then move on to the next one?

This could be a big deal for Trump supporters if they don't see, you know, the winning strategy continue from the very beginning.

BLACKWELL: Maria, let's go to this debate that's coming up in three days here on CNN, focused on national security. Of course the topic of discussion in some part will be Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country.


BLACKWELL: Now, there was report from Maggie Haberman this weekend at Times that shows that the Clinton campaign is struggling to get footing on how to properly respond to this. What should their response be? What are you seeing there?

CARDONA: I think the way that she responded this week was exactly the way she needs to respond, which was essentially saying that Trump's comments were un-American, unconstitutional, probably illegal and does not reflect the values that we represent as a country.

And by the way, she wasn't alone in those comments, many in the GOP and the conservative movement actually came out and agreed with her and said that what Trump was saying does not represent their party.

Speaker Paul Ryan came out. I mean, that is how I think atrocious these comments were too many even within the GOP. And clearly, it demonstrates how concerned the party is with these kinds of comments, which their frontrunner is making that will continue to paint the GOP as a country, as a party that is out of touch with majorities of Americans who don't like this proposal, but that's the problem with the GOP.

Because the problem, they're going to focus on or they're going to confront in the debate is that while majorities of Americans don't agree with that proposal, Victor, majorities of the GOP do. So how are they going to walk that tight rope?

BLACWELL: Let me come back to that but let's start with Ben on the GOP. 54 percent...


BLACKWELL: ... according to this latest poll from CBS News polls. At 54 percent of Republicans polled support this temporary ban. For these opponents who are going to debate on Tuesday, do they criticize Donald Trump to their own (inaudible)?

FERGUSON: Of course, they criticize him with clarification in the same way that many of them said early on. They said, "Look, if you want to have a moratorium on visas coming in, for example, the visa that was used, a fiancee visa". It was used in the San Bernardino attack for a certain amount of time until we figure out exactly what our loopholes are that terrorists are able to use to their advantage.

That is something that people are OK with and in favor of. The number one issue American voters say now, they're concerned within this country is terrorism. And that's the reason why Donald Trump is stealing that void. At least, you may not like how he says or what he says, and the devils in the details obviously with him attacking every religions, sort of attacking terrorism or terrorists.

But the fact is, people do not feel safe and they want someone to take charge on this. So if Republicans on stage do what they did when they condemn these remarks and said, "Look, we're OK. We're saying there might be issues that we should look at and let's have a moratorium on visas, and people come in this country from areas of the world where there is terrorism hot bed".

That is something that it's easy to defend. That's also the reason why no one in the GOP side defended Donald Trump's comments because they believed he went after the religion and not after terrorism. There's a big difference there.

BLACKWELL: All right. I want to listen to what Hillary Clinton said this week, Late Night with Seth Meyers. And we'll talk, Maria.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to say, Seth, I no longer think he's funny.

SETH MEYERS, "LATE NIGHT" HOST: Yes. I will say, I started to going that way. CLINTON: You know, I think for weeks, you know, you and everybody else were just bringing folks to hysterical laughter and all of that, but now he has gone way over the line. And what he's saying now is not only shameful and wrong.

[7:40:00] It's dangerous.


BLACKWELL: She says "shameful and wrong, it's dangerous". You mentioned that 58 percent in this latest CBS News poll, opposed the proposed of temporary ban. That's a majority, but it's a slight majority, Maria. I mean there are some Democrats who support this ban. How does she reject and condemn the statement but still, I guess, show that she understands this palpable fear?

CARDONA: Well, I think for her it certainly is will be a challenge but I think, she more than any other candidate on either side will be able to meet that challenge successfully.

Already, Americans believe that she is the strongest candidate on either side of the issue of national security. And we've seen that in many polls. And I think what she is doing is what a leader should do, which is to appeal to the better angels of our nature and challenges to be the best of ourselves as opposed to appealing to our fear and goading us to be the worst of ourselves.

What she was talking about in terms of Donald Trump's comments being dangerous, I don't think she was referring just to what she was talking about in terms of banning Muslims which is dangerous and of itself.

But for example, when Donald Trump came out and started bashing Latino immigrants and Mexican immigrants as being rapists and criminals, you had two of his supporters up in Boston beat up an immigrant who was actually here legally because of what Trump said. And you saw recently in one of his rallies that he was goading his supporters to beat up African-Americans activist who was talking about Black Lives Matter. So, yes, it is dangerous. And I think she's absolutely right about that.

BLACKWELL: All right. Maria Cardona, Ben Ferguson, of course, the conversation will continue. The debate is coming up, just a few days from now. Three days. Thank you, guys.

FERGUSON: Thanks, everyone.

BLACKWELL: It will be a good one indeed. Last debate of 2015 right here on CNN, Wolf Blitzer moderate the debate, Tuesday night at 6:000 and 8:30 P.M. Eastern.

PAUL: Well, this morning, securities tight in Geneva as authorities get intel that ISIS maybe planning an attack. And that has heavily armed guards watching over the United Nations. We have a live report for you. Also, in Albuquerque, police release video of the shooting death of a teen, a lot of people wondering if it's that going to help or is it going to hurt the case?



PAUL: 45 minutes pass the hour and the Swiss City of Geneva is on high alert right now after a tip off from U.S. intelligence that terrorists were discussing plans to attack that city.

Now, authorities say there may be an ISIS terrorist cell in Geneva.

CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson is there. Nic, wondering, what specifically triggered the alert, first of all?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Sure. There are three things. One is U.S. intelligence through sort of eaves dropping on communications between four member of ISIS in Syria, picked up that they were chatting about possibly attacking here in Geneva, also a possibly attacking Chicago as well.

Now, in that information was given to the Swiss. They added it in to the fact that a car from Belgium driven into Switzerland there, across the border, here from France just in the last few days. When they checked out the registration on that vehicle, they realized it belonged to one of the associates of the Paris attacker. So that raised that concern.

They found the vehicle, but they haven't found the man who was on this, the associate of the Paris attackers. So that's the concern.

Also, we know more details about the backgrounds of some of the Paris attackers. One of them was recruited to ISIS by a Swiss man from this region. He now is in custody of the French authorities. However, another of his associates, again, a Swiss man from this region, went to Syria, joined ISIS. And the problem with him right now is his whereabouts are unknown.

So you have these three problems, you have the whereabouts of the recruiter's associate from this area unknown, the whereabouts of the man, the associate of the Belgian attackers were apparently driven here a few days ago, whereabouts unknown.

And then those four members of ISIS talking about attacking Geneva, well it's believed that that they're not in Syria now, their whereabouts are unknown, so that adds up to increased concern and then raising the threat level here.

PAUL: All right, Nic Robertson, so we appreciate the update. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: In Albuquerque, the police released video of the shooting death of a teenager. His mother says, the public needs to see this, they need to go what really happened here but could this hurt their case, their fight for justice?




PAUL: Edging towards the 8:00, this Saturday morning, new from Albuquerque give the police have released cell phone video of a shooting earlier this year. 17 year old Jaquise Lewis was killed during the incident. Chris Mckee from our affiliate News 13 has more.


CHRIS MCKEE, NEWS 13 REPORTER: It started with a fight, and ended in gunfire.

This is the witness cell phone video that a judge forced the Albuquerque police to release, showing Jaquise Lewis wearing a yellow shirt in the moments leading up to his death in Los Altos skate park in March.

The mass shooting left six people wounded and Lewis dead at the scene. News 13 has chosen to isolate Lewis in the video as APD has not charged anyone in the case.

Video shows the fight starting between two people with Lewis not fighting, but close by. About 20 seconds later, Lewis and another man can be seen trading punches as the fight moves into the parking lot of the skate park. Zooming in, Louis can be seen in the far back.

About one minute into the fight, someone fires four warning shots. Zooming in, the muzzle flashes can be seen shooting into the air. Moments later, Jaquise Lewis can be seen running back towards a group, then walking forward with what appears to be his hands pointed out. APD believes Lewis had a gun, but no gun has ever been recovered.

Seconds later Lewis is seen walking towards the camera and pointing his hands. As he turns his back, a man opens fire. He fires at least eight shots, killing Lewis. This is what APD said in May after showing still images of that witness video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we've all come to a conclusion at this point, Jaquise Lewis was shot in self-defense.


MCKEE: Their minds haven't been changed yet. Speaking on the video's release, Albuquerque the city attorney Jessica Hernandez says the city has nothing to hide but is now concerned that the video could hurt the investigation.

JESSICAN HERNANDEZ, ALBUQUERQUE CITY ATTORNEY: Investigators shouldn't have to wonder, is this witness telling me what they actually remembered or if this witness telling me what they watched on the news last night.

MCKEE: Chris McKee, KRQE News 13.


PAUL: And Legal Analyst Joey Jackson with us here. So Joey, what do you think? Does this taint, releasing that taint the witnesses?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning, Christi. I always think that the release is a very good thing, and here's why. The first thing is, transparency is always important, because the public has a right to know. The second thing is, when you release something it's subject to public scrutiny and you evaluate it, and that's always a good thing to shine light on darkness.

And then finally, Christi, you have the reaction part of it, and if that reaction is public outrage, then it leads police to do, you know, a thorough, complete investigation to get to the bottom of what happened.

[7:55:00] I've watched the videotape several times. I don't see a muzzle pointing from the person with the yellow shirt, Jaquise Lewis, you know, muzzle flash which would be indicative of a gun. The police are indicating it's in self-defense and all the mother wants is justice.

If it's self-defense, so be it. But if it's not, he was killed by being shot in the back, then certainly the police have an obligation, a duty, and a responsibility to find the person who killed him responsible.

PAUL: All right, so real quickly, the police haven't charged the man who shot him, but does the mom have consequences, is there any repercussions here?

JACKSON: You know, it's not too late, yes, because it's not too late and the police certainly in light of this video may very well charge. I mean he's running away, gets shot in the back. There's been no gun recovered. It doesn't appears though he shot a gun at all, her first recourse was to get it released which was a major victory.

Now, it's open to the public. And I think the public pressure will certainly force the police to continue to investigate, to continue to see who was there, and to continue to find out what happened, and if what happened again is criminal, then someone certainly needs to pay the price for this 17-year-old's death.

PAUL: All right, Joey Jackson, always appreciate your insights. Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi. Have a great day.

PAUL: You, too.

BLACKWELL: Donald Trump campaigning in South Carolina today, and GOP frontrunner taking its first shots at rival Senator Ted Cruz. Not only questioning his appeal to evangelical voters, but his ties to big oil.

Also, next hour, a border controversy brewing in Northern Texas, the Federal government moved in 500 undocumented teenagers, 200 adults from Central America. Why local leaders say, They didn't get enough of a heads-up?"