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THE SITUATION ROOM
Philadelphia Police Shot by White Robed Gunman; Two Refugees from the Middle East Arrested in Texas; El Chapo Recaptured; Trump Wants to Get Rid of Gun-Free Zones; Private Bill Clinton Conversation Released; Interview with Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; U.S. Hellfire Missile Ends Up in Cuba. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired January 8, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:06] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Chilling terror attack. A white robed gunman fires 13 bullets at a police officer but is wounded and captured. Police say he's confessed to acting in the name of ISIS. But was he acting on his own?
U.S. terror arrests. Two Middle East refugees living in Texas and California, face charges related to terrorism. Officials say they communicated about going to fight in Syria. How many others are out there?
El Chapo captured. The world's most dangerous drug lord finally tracked down and apprehended in a bloody raid half a year after tunneling out of a Mexican prison. Will he now be extradited to the United States?
And Bill and Tony. Transcripts are released of private conversations between Bill Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair in which the two world leaders spoke bluntly about George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin and Princess Diana.
I'm Wolf Blitzer, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
BLITZER: Breaking news, a white robed gunman who officials now say confessed to acting out of loyalty to the Islamic State fires 13 shots at a Philadelphia police officer sitting a patrol car. The wounded officer bleeding heavily fires back hitting the suspect. Officials say the ambush was an attempted assassination and their weapon was a stolen police firearm.
Now New York City is warning its officers to be vigilant. Two Middle Eastern men meanwhile who came to the United States as refugees arrested on terror charges. A source say the two suspects -- one from Texas, one from California -- communicated with each other about going to fight in Syria. Both are now accused of lying about alleged ties to terror groups and one is accused of trying to support ISIS.
And a collective sigh of relief in Mexico. As the notorious drug lord known as El Chapo is recaptured in a bloody raid. He escaped from a maximum security prison in July through a mile long tunnel. According to a recent court order Mexico has committed to expediting him to the United States.
I'll speak with Congressman Tulsi Gabbard of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. And our correspondents, analysts and guests, they'll have full coverage of all the day's top stories.
Let's begin with the ambush shooting of a police officer in Philadelphia by a gunman who officials say claims allegiance to ISIS. Let's go straight to CNN's Miguel Marquez in Philadelphia.
Miguel, what are you learning tonight about this brazen attack?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That it is incredible that this officer actually survived it. This is a 33-year-old officer, a five-year veteran of the Philadelphia police force, Jesse Hartnett, who is on a routine patrol in West Philadelphia. He pulled up because someone was trying to flag him down. When he did, police say that 30- year-old Edward Archer opened fire with 9 millimeter semiautomatic handgun walking moving very quickly toward the car.
At one point, his head all the way in the window of the squad car pulling that trigger hitting that officer three times in the arm, amazingly enough. Even more amazing the officer was able to get out of that car chased the suspect out to the street, shot him in the butt, literally stopping him so that other officers could pick him up later.
The police commissioner here holding a press conference earlier. The police here saying that they believe that this may have been ISIS related.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN JAMES CLARK, PHILADELPHIA POLICE: He stated that he pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, he follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Now this is what police and authorities at the federal level as well are digging into. Trying to figure out if there's any substance to that claim that 30-year-old Edward Archer has made. This story, though, is just incredible. A friendly -- a police officer, friend of Officer Harnett was in that area last night. He snapped a photo of the car and give a very moving account on his Facebook or what appears to be that from another officer.
On that you can see the blood of Officer Harnett and just how much he bled. I asked the police commissioner about what his condition was like when they found him. He said he had bled a lot but this is a tough officer. His actions nothing short of heroic -- Wolf.
BLITZER: He will need multiple surgeries, we're told, as well. And what is also especially alarming is how the shooter got this weapon. Tell our viewers what the police said.
MARQUEZ: This is something that the police commissioner here was almost embarrassed to admit but said you're probably going to find out anyway that that was a gun that had been stolen in 2013 from the house of another Philadelphia police officer. He says that it was reported stolen at the time. They have been trying to track it, says that it happened from time to time but very, very frustrated that this act was done with a stolen handgun.
[17:05:03] It is not clear that Mr. Archer is the person who stole the gun or it if just ended up in his possession. They are trying to track it down to figure out who stole it, whose hands it passed through, and how in the truly did this Edward Archer get it in his hands -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Well, fortunately the 33-year-old police officer Jesse Harnett is going to survive. He's going to need some surgeries but he's going to be OK. There's a picture of him as well.
Two refugees, meanwhile from the Middle East, one living in Texas, the other living in California are now facing terror related charges. Both are accused of lying about alleged ties to terrorists and one allegedly tried to help ISIS.
Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown is digging into all of this. What are you hearing, Pamela?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've learned, Wolf, that both of these men are from Iraq. They were arrested on terrorism charges but one of them emigrated from Syria. He apparently, according to the FBI, went back over to Syria to fight with terrorists and then return to the U.S.
These arrests are sparking more debate among officials and politicians about whether the U.S. should clamp down on letting Syrian refugees into the U.S.
BROWN (voice-over): The FBI says this man seen walking into federal court this afternoon is Omar al-Hardan, an Iraqi refugee living in Texas, who conspired to fight with terrorists in Syria along with another man in California.
The 24-year-old al-Hardan, a permanent U.S. resident from Houston, allegedly attempted to provide material support to ISIS. His alleged associate, 23-year-old Aws Mohammed Al-Jayab, came to the U.S. from a Syrian refugee camp in 2012. In 2013, he returned to Syria to fight. He was allowed back into the United States again in 2014, according to court documents.
The arrest further fueling debate about whether the refugee screening process is rigorous enough as the U.S. considers allowing in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next years.
REP. MIKE MCCAUL (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: I think it's time to tell the American people the real story about the refugee program and what a threat and how dangerous it can be to the safety of American lives.
BROWN: The criminal complaint says the two men communicated with each other online in 2013 about traveling to Syria. In one exchange on April 9th, 2013, al-Hardan asked, quote, "What kind of job will they assign me to?" Al-Jayab responded, "When you arrived in Syria, you will be trained." Seven days later, Al-Jayab allegedly communicated with someone in Syria saying, "I am eager to see blood."
The FBI says both men later lied to federal immigration officials, denying any ties to terrorism.
MCCAUL: It demonstrates the point that the vetting process needs to be enhanced before we start bringing in more of these refugees. If these two guys got through the cracks, how many more are out there.
BROWN: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledges there is always some risks involving refugees, but says the screening process has improved.
JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We do have to be concerned about the possibility that a terrorist organization may seek to exploit our refugee resettlement process. That's true of this country. That's true of every other country that accepts refugees. That is why we have in place a very thorough, multilayered process for evaluation of refugees.
BROWN: And this isn't the first time refugees have been arrested in the U.S. Five years ago two other Iraqi refugees turned out to be al Qaeda-linked terrorists. They were arrested after their fingerprints were found on bombs used against U.S. soldiers.
But, Wolf, to put it in perspective, hundreds of thousands of refugees have been admitted to the U.S. since 2001. So obviously most have not committed since being here.
BLITZER: Yes. All right. Good point. Thanks very much, Pamela, for that.
Also breaking news tonight out of Mexico where the notorious drug lord known El Chapo has been recaptured half a year after breaking out of a maximum security prison in Mexico through a mile-long tunnel. The final showdown was a bloody one.
Brian Todd is here. He's got details. What's the latest, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, tonight, a Mexican -- excuse me, a U.S. law enforcement official tells us that authorities -- Mexican authorities have been closing in on El Chapo since at least yesterday. This official says there were skepticism that he would ever be captured alive again given his level of protection but tonight we've got new details on a dramatic pre-dawn raid where five of El Chapo's people were killed.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TODD (voice-over): A dramatic capture, the world's most wanted, most dangerous drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, back in Mexican custody tonight. Mexico's president announcing mission accomplished after a nearly six-month manhunt for the Sinaloa Cartel chief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is absolutely massive. It's of enormous importance for the Mexican government, in particular for the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think when most Americans think of organized crime, they naturally think of guys like John Gotti, Al Capone. They pale in comparison to Chapo Guzman.
TODD: A Mexican official tells CNN at 4:30 this morning, Mexican special forces closed in on one of El Chapo's houses in the city of Los Mochis, in his home state of Sinaloa.
[17:10:05] There was a shootout. Five people were killed, all on El Chapo's side. Six were arrested. A Mexican Marine was wounded. The official says El Chapo was actually captured at a nearby motel, at least one analyst surprised he was taken alive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: El Chapo is a man who knows what the consequences of this are. He knows that there's a very high likelihood that he's going to be sent to the United States to go to jail there. He knows that there is probably no real way out after this. So there's a very real risk that he wouldn't even accept being captured alive.
TODD: Mexican officials say the drug lord had a lot of firepower near him. Captured in the raid, a rocket launcher, eight rifles, two armored vehicles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's known have traveled throughout Sinaloa, oftentimes with a security force of as many as 150.
TODD: El Chapo's escapes from Mexican prisons are legendary. He broke out of a high-security prison in July through this elaborate tunnel. Prison officials were fired, dozens of people were charged over that. Previously El Chapo eluded police through a trapdoor hidden under his bathtub.
This six-month search for him, a Mexican official tells us, extended into the United States. It involved tracking the movements of El Chapo's beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel, believed to be seen in these photos posted online. Now the Mexican government will be under enormous pressure to extradite the kingpin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only way that the government of Mexico is going to ensure absolutely that they don't go through another embarrassing situation, another embarrassing escape, is to extradite him to the United States.
TODD: And if that happens, El Chapo could be a valuable source for law enforcement. Former DEA operations chief Michael Braun tells us when El Chapo was captured in Mexico in the early 2000s, he sang like a canary, giving up a lot of information about rival cartels -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brian, what are you hearing from the Mexican side? Will they in fact extradite him?
TODD: Well, a Mexican official tells tonight they just don't know yet. The official says it's premature at this point to comment on that but we do know U.S. officials tonight are working up a formal extradition request. There is going to be a lot of leaning on the Mexican government, Wolf, as we speak to get him out of there into the United States.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, thank you.
Joining us now Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. She serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. She's also an Iraq war veteran.
Congresswoman, thanks very much for coming in.
REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII: Thank you.
BLITZER: We'll talk about El Chapo in a little while. Let's talk about Philadelphia right now. This guy, this 30-year-old suspect, Edward Archer, goes up, we see him there allegedly points his gun right inside the vehicle, shoots about 13 times, fortunately the police officer, Jesse Hartnett, 33 years old, is OK. He's going to need multiple surgeries but he's going to survive.
He says he did this in the name of -- because of his allegiance to what he called the Islamic State or ISIS. This is a worrisome development given what's happened in California a few weeks ago. Given what's happened in Paris. It seems to be happening more robustly, shall we say?
GABBARD: It is. First I just want to send my prayers out to this police officer and his family. What he did is tremendous in staving off this point black attack. But I think you're right. When you look at what this guy did in Philadelphia, when you look at the San Bernardino attacks, I think a lot of these can be attributed to the necessity really to recognize the ideology that's being used by groups like ISIS to recruit and to get people to conduct these attacks here at home.
The biggest problem is, the United States hasn't done anything about the recruiting tactics that ISIS is using. They've done nothing to shut down the social media accounts, the Web sites, the ways that ISIS is really reaching out to hundreds of thousands if not millions of people through these accounts. It's just like allowing ISIS to roam freely, walk through our neighborhoods, walk through our, you know, communities, our shopping centers, and to try to recruit people. And I think that if this had been done a couple of years ago, we would know for sure that ISIS would not have the reach that they have today in trying to recruit people.
BLITZER: This suspect, this 30-year-old suspect, Edward Archer, reportedly told police, "I follow Allah, I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic State, and that's why I did what I did."
Now you've been critical of the Obama administration for refusing to term some of these -- some of these actions radical jihad or radical Islamic terrorism. They're still calling it a new program. They just released today countering violent extremism. That still frustrates you that the Obama administration is not calling it Islamic radical extremism.
GABBARD: Wolf, this isn't -- for me it's not about what frustrates me. It's about for us as a country taking action to identify who our enemy is and the ideology that's driving them. Unless we do that ,we will not be able to defeat them. We will not come up with effective strategies to defeat them, whether it's recognizing how they are influencing and recruiting people here on American soil, or how we can defeat them overseas in places like Syria and Iraq and Libya and all these other places that ISIS and al Qaeda and al-Nusra and these other Islamic extremist groups have built a stronghold for themselves.
BLITZER: But would the language, the rhetoric, the description, would it really make a difference practically?
GABBARD: It would absolutely make a practical difference and we just heard in November of last year, for example. I know you mentioned earlier talking about screening of refugees and immigrants and other coming through this country. We heard reports of how DHS and other law enforcement officials. We're told they were not allowed refugees coming in about their religious affiliation which meant they couldn't ask a question like, have you ever been involved with or associated with a group like the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamic extremist organization so if you can't identify these affiliations and these ideologies that people are attached to and are abiding by, then how can you stop them from coming to our country and how can you identify them in order to defeat them?
BLITZER: I want you to stand by, Congresswoman. We have more to discuss including a very alarming report that a U.S. hellfire missile. A U.S. hellfire missile has wound up in Havana, Cuba.
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: Our breaking news, officials now say the gunman who ambushed a Philadelphia police officer confessed he acted out of loyalty to ISIS. And two Middle East refugees to the United States now facing federal terrorism charges.
We're talking to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard about all of this and a lot more.
But, first, a U.S. missile often used to target terrorists abroad has now wound up in a very, very wrong place.
Our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott is joining.
Elise, this is very alarming. Tell us what happened. ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It is, Wolf. The
missile was sent to Europe for training. And on its way back to the U.S. was inadvertently got misrouted to Havana, Cuba.
And despite the historic warming relations between the U.S. and Cuba over the last year, sensitive American weapons technology is still in the hands of this once sworn enemy.
[17:20:00] LABOTT (voice-over): An inactive hellfire missile sent last year to Europe for training mistakenly shipped to of all places, Cuba. The missile called a Hellfire Captive Air Training Missile was not operational and it wasn't fitted with a warhead.
The live version is generally shot from helicopters to targets on the ground in combat and most recently from predator drones in counterterrorism operations in places like Yemen.
The dummy version that made its way to Cuba still contains sensitive technology such as sensor and targeting information the U.S. does not want falling into the wrong hands. The manufacturer of the missile sent it from Orlando, Florida, to Spain for a NATO training exercise. Instead of making its scheduled return from Madrid to Germany and then back to Orlando, the missile was wrongly put on a flight from Madrid to Paris and onto Havana.
Sources familiar with the matter say the company realized the mistake and immediately notified the U.S. government. U.S. officials have been trying to get the missile back for more than a year -- amid a historic thaw with Cuba in which the U.S. restored ties and reopened its embassy in Havana. But despite the better relations, the U.S. missile and its high-tech secrets are still in Cuban hands.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, listen, I think you can tell based on what I have read that this is an issue that the administration takes very, very seriously. I think for quite obvious reasons.
LABOTT: And as the State Department tries to get the missile returned to the U.S., the Justice Department is leading an investigation into what happened along with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure the missile was not stolen as part of a crime or espionage. Sources say the manufacturer of the missile did this by the book, got the appropriate licenses and is cooperating with U.S. authorities.
Wolf, tonight Cuban officials are not commenting.
BLITZER: They're not commenting, but for a year now, the U.S. has been improving dramatically historically the relationship with Cuba, went ahead and re-established full diplomatic relations, opened a U.S. embassy in Havana, and the Cubans still have refused to return that missile to the United States, and the administration went ahead with all of this despite that? LABOTT: Well, Wolf, I think that part of the reason is, you know,
there's been this kind of flurry of diplomatic activity. They've been negotiating these warming of ties and a lot of other things you saw. There was an aviation agreement negotiated recently.
And I think, you know, some people that are familiar with the matter say they're not sure if it's that the Cubans don't want to give it back or that the U.S. diplomats that have been focusing on this warming of ties didn't want to rock the boat and haven't been focusing on this. But they're optimistic that they will get that missile back, Wolf.
BLITZER: Elise, thanks very much.
We're back with Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. She's a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committee and an Iraq war veteran.
Are you OK with the U.S. improving relations with Cuba for the past year and not getting this -- at least getting this missile back from Cuba?
GABBARD: There's so much about this story and this reality that concerns me. First of all, the fact that they've been trying to get -- this happened a year ago. This is the first time really we're hearing about we have one of our missiles mistakenly sent to Cuba.
The thing that is bottom line is lack of accountability. I think this is part of a bigger problem that we have in our government, this culture of a lack of accountability where people can, you know, waste trillions of taxpayer dollars, we can start wars, we can lose weapons. No one is held accountable at the end of the day.
So, the fact that it happened over a year ago, no one knows yet who is responsible, how it happened, and that we haven't gotten it back yet. It's crazy.
BLITZER: Because the criticism of the administration is sort of like criticism of the administration on the Iran nuclear deal. There are four or five Americans still being held captive in Iran right now. The U.S. couldn't even get them returned in exchange for the nuclear deal with Iran. The U.S. in exchange for full diplomatic relations with Cuba couldn't even get this missile back.
People will say, where's the negotiating skill?
GABBARD: Yes, well, I would question so many things that happened in this whole track just in the articles that I've read, seeing it's taken so long even to figure out what happened because diplomatic communication sometimes take years.
That's completely unacceptable. This is a key piece of weaponry that the United States uses frequently against our enemies and to have this misrouted and not returned directly back to our soil after it was used for training is completely unacceptable. And those responsible should be found and should be held accountable. BLITZER: It's pretty outrageous when you think a hellfire missile
which the U.S. uses very often to target terrorists whether in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq or any place else all of a sudden winds up in Cuba. Who knows what the Cubans have done with it.
Let's talk more about what happened in Philadelphia today, the arrest of this individual who claims he was working for the Islamic State.
Mike McCaul, a man you know, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, he says flatly, and I'm quoting him now in effect, "In my judgment this individual was carrying out orders coming from Raqqa, Syria, from ISIS."
[17:25:12] Raqqa, the capital of the so-called Islamic State caliphate. This is a man who's obviously well briefed.
Do you have any information to back that up?
GABBARD: I haven't heard that information directly firsthand. It wouldn't surprise me though if that were true. And again, I think you've got to look at this unconventional enemy that we're facing.
You know, this is about how ISIS, al Qaeda, these other groups operating the other side of the planet have an incredible reach here directly on our soil, directly through the Internet, through social media and are not only recruiting but are instigating these types of attacks, creating this very direct threat to the American people on our soil, which is why I've been saying over and over again it's so critical for us to shut down those open channels on social media where they're able to have access to, you know, the average Joe walking down the street here in the United States.
BLITZER: You served in Iraq. You spent some considerable time there. Now you see the whole region basically on fire getting worse by the day. Saudi Arabia and Iran escalating tensions, the Saudi embassy in Tehran ransacked, Iranians accuse Saudis of attacking the Iranian embassy in Yemen right now. It's an awful situation.
Here's the question. It appears to me the Saudis have lost a lot of confidence in the U.S. right now. Have you heard that?
GABBARD: I've read reports of that and different analysis of it. But I think we should ask the reverse question, is -- what is the United States doing to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for being the number one promoter of radical Islamic extremism not only in their own country but around the world, spending hundreds of billions of dollars in funding in madrassas and schools, books, media outreach to try to influence people towards this ideology that's fueling ISIS, fueling al Qaeda, what to speak of the direct and indirect support that Saudi Arabia and some of these other gulf countries gives directly to the enemy that we're supposed to be fighting and defeating.
So, I think it's an important time and question for us in the United States to ask, is Saudi Arabia willing to be our ally? And if they are, then they need to stop this funding, stop this support of Islamic extremist, stop promoting that ideology and stand with us and focus on defeating our enemy, ISIS.
BLITZER: Hundreds of billions of dollars?
GABBARD: Hundreds of billions of dollars funding schools, building schools, paying extremists, imams to teach this radical Islamic ideology, paying for media outreach, printing of books and textbooks all around the world.
BLITZER: Tulsi Gabbard, thanks very much for coming in.
GABBARD: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Coming up, a white robed gunman ambushes a Philadelphia police officer but is wounded and captured. Police say he has confessed to acting in the name of ISIS. Was he acting alone?
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
[17:31:25] BLITZER: Our breaking news, a gunman who officials say confessed to acting out of loyalty to ISIS fires 13 shots at a Philadelphia police officer sitting in a patrol car. The wounded officer manages to fire back hitting the suspect.
Let's bring in our law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes, he's a former FBI assistant director, our counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd, he's a former CIA official, and our CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer, he's a former CIA operative.
Phil, let's take a look at the surveillance video from Philadelphia. We'll show it to our viewers once again. It's very dramatic. You see that individual, white robed, goes basically into the window of that car, fires 13 times. The police officer is shot three times, manages to get out, fires a shot. The suspect is detained.
What's your take on what happened here?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: My take is that we're rushing to judgment here, Wolf. We have enough of a baseline in the United States of ISIS inspired counterterrorism attacks to make some quick judgments.
If you look at Paris and San Bernardino, you have rational people cold-blooded who thought for years about how to commit an act of violence. We're seeing an increasing number of cases including a case in New York about a month ago where people who are mentally imbalanced use ISIS as justification. I've seen people already in the hours after this attack characterize it as an attack by a terrorist committing a political attack.
We don't know that yet. We know -- that he committed an act of violence. We don't know why. And before we rush to judgment I want to answer one question that we answer every day in murder cases, was he mentally capable of committing an act of terrorism?
I don't know that yet, Wolf.
BLITZER: It's a fair question. Bob Baer, he was wearing a white robe as you saw in those pictures, traditional Arab garb if you will. He did tell police he was pledging his allegiance to ISIS. He was doing this on behalf of Allah.
How will investigators actually figure out what his connections to ISIS were, whether in fact he was acting alone?
ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, there are a couple things. I agree with Phil 100 percent. This guy may be mentally ill. There's some anectodal information that he was. But the point is that he attached himself to this cause, to the Islamic State and carried out this attack in the name of the Islamic State. And at the end of the day it equals the same thing whether he was directed from Raqqa or not and whether he was mentally stable.
If you get enough of these people committing violence against policemen or people in uniform or anyone it's going to wreak havoc in this country and that's the end of the story.
BLITZER: The gun used in this particular case, Tom Fuentes, the police say was a stolen police firearm. Obviously stolen back in 2013. They're going to try to figure out how it wound up in his hands. I assume they can try to question him on that, but if he doesn't talk, how do they figure that out?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: They probably won't figure it out, Wolf. If that gun was taken from there and went into the black market, those people aren't going to keep records and exchange serial numbers. There's not going to be an electronic trail to trace. So they'll need him to say where he got it and that still may not close all of the exchanges that may have happened with that weapon.
BLITZER: In Philadelphia, Phil, the police commissioner says they're not going to release more of the images, more of the video of what happened because the commissioner is concerned that others might see it, copycat or whatever.
Is that a legitimate concern why they're not releasing the actual video as opposed to some of these still pictures?
MUDD: Absolutely. I'd do the same thing. I would not release the video, for one interesting reason, Wolf. And that is what is the target.
[17:35:02] From ISIS' perspective, if you go after a military or a police target, you're going after a security representative of the enemy state. You're not going after an innocent civilian. So as soon as they release that video, ISIS is going to take it, put it on the Web to all its followers in Europe, the United States and say, see this, this guy did what you need to do. He didn't attack in a sense as was done in San Bernardino. He attacked a representative of the state. Go out and do the same thing just as he did.
BLITZER: You know, Bob Baer, it's very intriguing that following what happened in Paris yesterday, an individual supposedly in the name of ISIS goes to a police station with a knife. He is eventually shot but declaring his support for ISIS now has happened in Philadelphia.
The New York city Police Department, the NYPD, issues a lengthy memorandum to all police in New York City among other things saying members of the police should be reminded that ISIL has called for its supporters and sympathizers in the United States to carry out attacks.
Is that just released out of an abundance of caution, or would they issue a warning like this because they have more hard evidence that ISIS sympathizers may be targeting police officers?
BAER: I've talked to law enforcement and they're worried about people that adhere to the Islamic State. They're in the hundreds that are capable of violence. A lot of them haven't committed any act at all, but they're being watched. Some of them they don't even know who they are. And, yes, New York is absolutely right.
And let's don't forget, if they had used a semiautomatic rifle in Philadelphia, this policeman would be dead now or even a Glock 40. He's very lucky and very heroic, but I do worry these cops are vulnerable.
BLITZER: Four-year veteran of the police department in Philadelphia, 33-year-old Jesse Hartnett is going to be OK but he will be needing several surgeries.
Thanks, guys, very much.
Meanwhile, there's a lot happening in the presidential race today. Coming up, Donald Trump's latest promise about what he'd do about guns on his very first day as president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools. At -- you have to. And on military bases my first day it gets signed, OK. My first day. There's no more gun-free zones.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:40:23] BLITZER: In political news today Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says if he's elected he'd get rid of gun free zones on his very first day in office. Donald Trump's promise came at the same time President Obama was attending a CNN town hall on "Guns in America" pushing a very different set of priorities.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is with us here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Sunlen, tell us more about Donald Trump's promise.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the Trump campaign has declined repeatedly to elaborate what specifically he's really proposing with this pledge but it really did set up quite the contrast. As the president defended his executive actions for gun control, Trump was arguing that more people need to be carrying guns to protect themselves. Here's what Trump told the crowd in Burlington, Vermont.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That's bait. That's like gun-free zones. And then they walk in with whatever the hell they're carrying. And these five great soldiers -- and I'm telling you, one of them was one of the most highly awarded -- he was super shot. He's not allowed to have a gun. All five are killed instantaneously. And you have other cases.
I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools. At -- you have to. And on military bases my first day it gets signed, OK? My first day. There's no more gun-free zones.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And despite attempts by the Trump campaign to only let in supporters, Trump was interrupted about a dozen times by protesters who seem to relish the moment telling security to confiscate the protesters' coats as they were escorted out into the cold, Wolf.
BLITZER: Also there's an escalating fight between Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Chris Christie. What's that all about?
SERFATY: Well, at the heart of it is really all about New Hampshire and both of them trying to gain the advantage there. Both are now really trying to take digs at each other whenever they can. Christie most recently has been saying that if Rubio is up against Hillary Clinton in a general election she would pat him on the head and cut his heart out. Now Rubio wasting no time responding. Here's what he had to say in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Chris has a very liberal record for a Republican. I mean, he supported Common Core, he ran for office as a supporter of gun control. He personally gave a contribution to Planned Parenthood. So I'm sure he doesn't really want to have a conversation about the issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And this is a key part of Rubio's strategy to go after Christie's record and paint him in his words as a wishy-washy conservative -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Sunlen, thanks very much.
Joining us now in THE SITUATION ROOM, our CNN political commentator Ryan Lizza, the "New Yorker" magazine's Washington correspondent. Our CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp, she's a member of the National Rifle Association, she's also appeared in an NRA magazine ad, spoken at NRA events but not paid by the NRA. Also joining us our CNN political commentator Dan Pfeiffer. He's a former senior adviser to President Obama.
Ryan, first of all, your take on Donald Trump's comments. How would you expect he and these other Republican candidates to react to the shooting of this police officer by an individual who claims loyalty to ISIS last night?
RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: Well, this is an issue ever since Paris and San Bernardino that Trump believes works to his benefit. Frankly his poll numbers, his national poll numbers have gone up since terrorism has become a more important issue in the campaign. And I think he'll seize it. I think he'll talk about it. Intersects with his talk about immigration. And intersects with his talk about the Second Amendment and how he at least thinks that Americans can defend themselves.
BLITZER: With the arrest of these two Middle East refugees that just happened over the past 24 hours, Senator Cruz, he's calling for what he calls retroactive vetting.
BLITZER: Of refugees already settled here in the United States.
BLITZER: You spent some time with him.
LIZZA: Yes, I was actually last night with the Cruz campaign in Iowa, small town in Iowa, town of 600 people and had 200 people at this event. It was pretty impressive. And afterwards he made a comment about the arrests in California and Houston of these Iraqi refugees. And I asked him, I said, well, these refugees were already in the country, would you now go back and vet all of the refugees from countries that have a significant al Qaeda or ISIS presence, and he said yes. He was very short on details but he said he wants to go back and retroactively now vet refugees from these countries. That obviously might raise some serious civil liberties issues if he's serious about it.
BLITZER: And presumably if he doesn't like something that they see, kick them out?
LIZZA: I don't know. He -- there was a follow-up question about what specifically he meant, he didn't really say. But, you know, it's another step he wants to take to look at refugees already here. Not the ones that are coming that Obama has proposed but ones that are already here. Significant.
[17:45:03] BLITZER: S.E., what's your take on this escalating battle that's underway now between Chris Christie and Marco Rubio?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well, as Sunlen rightly pointed out, they're fighting for one very particular territory. They've decided that New Hampshire is where they are going to make their mark. They're sort of looking past Iowa assuming that Ted Cruz or Donald Trump maybe wins there. And they're fighting for New Hampshire. And they both are doing very well in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire voters are where Marco Rubio and Chris Christie can really get their first -- you know, their first win. And so the predictable fight is happening. Marco Rubio is looking at Chris Christie and sort of talking about his, quote-unquote, liberal record, and Chris Christie is looking at Marco Rubio and picking on his lack of experience. You could kind of script these attacks before they really even got here and predict that this is where both of them would go.
BLITZER: Who's going to come out on top on this little fight?
CUPP: You know, it's too soon to tell obviously, but Chris Christie does really well in New Hampshire. He got that union leader endorsement. That's crucial. He's made significant gains in New Hampshire in a very short period of time. But Marco Rubio I think has broader appeal. And demographically, generationally, politically, I think he's the better counter and contrast to Hillary Clinton. And I think that's going to be important to New Hampshire voters, too.
BLITZER: Dan, let's talk a little about the Democratic side. I want to play some sound for you. This just came in from Senator Bernie Sanders at a town hall event in Toledo, Iowa. Sanders was asked by a man in the audience if Hillary Clinton lacked moral authority to be president based on former president Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. I want you to listen to Senator Sanders' response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hear what you're saying. Look, Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton. What Bill Clinton did I think we can all acknowledge was totally, totally, totally, totally disgraceful and unacceptable. But I am running against Hillary Clinton, I'm not running against Bill Clinton. I gather he's been in Iowa recently. But I'm running against Hillary Clinton.
And I believe, and I got to say this and I thank you for your question, in this sense, I think what we need to do as a nation certainly something that the Republicans are not doing is focus on the bloody issues facing this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Your reaction to that, Dan.
DAN PFEIFFER, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I think Senator Sanders is exactly right. He's running against Hillary Clinton, not Bill Clinton. And it's certainly strategically smart for Bernie Sanders to take that position. It's the right thing to do. Hillary Clinton is certainly not culpable for Bill Clinton's behavior from decades ago. And I think the best campaign for the Democratic Party is one focused on the issues and it's good that Senator Sanders is trying to take it there.
BLITZER: S.E., your reaction.
CUPP: Well, look, no one expects a Democratic candidate to go after Bill Clinton's affair and Hillary Clinton's relation to that moment. I think it is fair game to question Hillary's role as a feminist and that uneasy sort of position that she's in given his past. But I would expect Republicans to take that on and not Bernie Sanders or other Democrats.
BLITZER: I suspect that that issue is not going to go away --
BLITZER: -- any time soon especially from the Republican side. Donald Trump is doing videos on it right now.
All right, guys, thanks very much.
Coming up, we have details coming in out the breaking news we've been following. Police now say the man who shot a Philadelphia police officer has confessed. He says he acted in the name of ISIS.
Plus, newly revealed conversations between then-president Bill Clinton and the then-British prime minister Tony Blair. Stand by for details of their secret discussions about everyone from Princess Diana to Saddam Hussein to George W. Bush.
[17:52:14] BLITZER: Tonight we're getting a fascinating glimpse into the relationship between two of the most influential world leaders of 1990s. President Bill Clinton and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Tom Foreman has been looking over some newly released transcripts of their private phone calls.
What are you finding out, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Wolf, sometimes we get a glimpse into these behind-the-scenes conversations. This is a really long detailed look.
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Good morning.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Please be seated.
FOREMAN (voice-over): The two world leaders were always polished and cordial in front of the cameras but the calls reveal a much closer relationship behind the scenes, obvious when Princess Diana died.
BLAIR: They liked her, they loved her.
FOREMAN: While Tony Blair was publicly brave, privately he tells Bill Clinton, "I will personally miss her. It's like a star falling."
"It's awful, it's really awful," Clinton responds. Blair says, "We saw her again just weeks ago, when we hosted her for lunch with Prince William. He's a great kid."
Clinton, "I worry a lot about those kids now."
Their conversations often revolved around world events. President Clinton fretting after sending an unnamed messenger to Saddam Hussein.
"I told him to go to Saddam, call him and tell him that I have no interest in killing him or hunting him down. I just don't want his chemical and biological program going forward. If I weren't constrained by the press, I would pick up the phone and call the son of a bitch."
Clinton talks about Russian president Boris Yeltsin.
"He served roast pig and told me real men hack off the ears and eat them." And his successor, Vladimir Putin. "Putin has enormous potential," Clinton told Blair. "I think he is very smart and thoughtful. I think we can do a lot of good with him."
CLINTON: I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate.
FOREMAN: Still there were limits. Just days after the president admitted a sexual affair with a White House intern, he speaks to Blair in a guarded manner.
"I went into Massachusetts and did an event. It was great. I got to work a line --
FOREMAN: Conversation that goes on and on in many different ways or many parts. It's well worth reading all the transcripts, Wolf, because you hear more and more about what they think about. How Bill Clinton supports Hillary Clinton back then, how he continues to support her now. And even some very intimate moments when Tony Blair's family is expecting a child and Bill Clinton is about to leave the Oval Office. And he says, you know, I'll be available for babysitting duties soon. And Tony Blair says, good, we'll put you on the list and give you a call.
Really, really an interesting read, these conversations. And, Wolf, there were fair portions that were redacted. With all that we heard in this, makes you wonder, what are we not hearing?
BLITZER: Just walk us through how we got access to these transcripts.
FOREMAN: These were released after a period of time. There's a combination of things. The BBC was trying to get them released, and of course they're released through the Clinton Library. These are public records that get released at a time and it's ultimately how these came out -- Wolf. [17:55:11] BLITZER: It's a fascinating bit of history and a lot of it
I was the White House correspondent for CNN during that time. I remember when Tony Blair used to come to the White House, they'd have joint news conferences and there were some awkward joint news conferences, especially during that entire Monica Lewinsky affair issue. We'd have to stand up and ask questions about some of those embarrassments with Tony Blair standing right next to the president of the United States. I remember those moments very dramatically, as if they were yesterday.
All right. Tom Foreman, thanks very, very much.
Coming up, a gunman wearing a long white robe fires 13 shots at a Philadelphia police officer, but is wounded and captured. Police now saying he's confessed to acting for ISIS. Who else is out there?
BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news, terror ambush. A man who says he pledged allegiance to ISIS tries to slaughter a Philadelphia police officer. Chilling images emerging of the bloody scene. Police calling it an attempted assassination. Was it the work of a lone terrorist or were others involved?
ISIS arrest. Iraqi refugees living in California and Texas now facing terror related charges as calls grow louder in Congress to put more limits on who the United States takes in. The suspects allegedly talking online about weapons and training in Syria. Were they plotting an attack right here inside the United States?
Kingpin capture. One of the world's most dangerous drug lords seized by authorities in a dramatic raid after six months on the run following an unbelievable prison escape. How did Mexican law enforcement finally catch up with the man called "El Chapo"?
Unscientific. The regime of North Korea's Kim Jong-Un gives CNN an exclusive tour of the country's new science and technology center but there are no scientists there. And now South Korea is resuming propaganda broadcast, blasted into North Korea by loud speakers. Will tension along the world's most heavily armed border --