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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
CIA Director: Attack Bears "All The Hallmarks" Of ISIS; Rubio: I'm Not Surprised By Attack In Istanbul; Funding To Fight Zika Virus Stalls In Senate; U.S. Airport Security Heightened After Istanbul Attack. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired June 29, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, I would just advise everybody to be careful about suddenly attributing to whoever pops up at a time of economic anxiety the label that they're a populist.
Where have they been? Have they been on the front lines working on that for working people? How they been carrying the laboring oar? They have opened up opportunities for more people?
No, there are people like Bernie Sanders who I think genuinely deserve the title, because he has been in the vineyards fighting on behalf of these issues. And, there, the question's just going to be, all right, we share values, we share goals. How do we achieve them?
And I do think Enrique's broader point is right, which is, you know, sometimes, there are simple solutions out there. But now that I have been president for seven-and-a-half years, it turns out that's pretty rare.
OBAMA: And the global economy's one of those areas where there aren't a lot of simple solutions.
And there aren't a lot of shortcuts to making sure that more people have opportunity in our countries. We are going to have to educate our kids better. And that takes time. We have got to make sure our manufacturing sector is more dynamic and competitive. And that takes time.
We have got to restructure our tax codes to incentivize the right things and make sure workers are getting higher pay. That takes time. We have got to raise minimum wages. We have got to make sure that college is affordable. We have to restructure and reform our financial sectors, so they're not reckless, but we got to do so in ways that don't destroy the entire system and throw millions of people suddenly out of work.
And when we bailed out the auto industry, that wasn't popular, so maybe I wasn't populist, but I will tell you what. All those automakers, all those UAW members, both here in the United States and in Canada, are pretty happy I did, even though it was -- had about 10 percent popularity at the time, even in states like Michigan.
So, I don't know. Maybe that was an elitist move on my part because it didn't poll well. Last time I visited an auto plant, though, they were pretty happy.
So, let's just be clear that somebody who labels us vs. them or engages in rhetoric about how we're going to look after ourselves and take it to the other guy, that's not the definition of populism. Sorry.
This is one of the prerogatives of when you're at the end of your term. You just kind of -- you go on these occasional rants.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): And with this, we conclude our press conference.
Thank you very much.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama just wrapping a news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the North American Leaders Summit in Ottawa, Canada.
Let's talk about this, the president speaking quite a bit about trade, quite a bit about accomplishments he wants to achieve with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts, and quite a bit about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Joining me to talk about this all, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny, and joining us from New York, CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger.
Gloria, let me start with you.
It is one of the grandest ironies of this political year is that a giant real estate developer in New York is currently living rent-free in President Obama's head.
TAPPER: Whatever the topic is, President Obama is eager go after the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, whether the topic is ISIS after the Orlando shootings, or the topic is trade, or, in this case, the question was about clean energy, and he -- President Obama wanted to give a lesson as to what populism truly is.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, and he ended up referring to Donald Trump not by name, of course, talking about nativism, xenophobia and cynicism.
Look, the elephant in the room in this entire press conference with three North American leaders was Donald Trump on every issue, including trade, of course, in which they all made the case for strengthening the TPP and for strengthening NAFTA, which Donald Trump wants to get out of.
I should also say that Hillary Clinton is now not a fan of either of those. But, particularly, Jake, on immigration, these were leaders who referred more than once to demagogues. The president did it. And the president of Mexico did it, talking about demagogues who believe in simple solutions, saying the world is not as simplistic as that, not believing in isolationism.
The president of Mexico given an opportunity to take back his words comparing Donald Trump to Hitler or Mussolini, and, honestly, Jake, did not do that.
TAPPER: Did not take those words back, indeed.
BORGER: He did not.
TAPPER: Let's play a little bit of that sound you just referred to. Here is President Obama referring to Donald Trump, talking about the issue of immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We have had times throughout our history where anti- immigration sentiment is exploited by demagogues. It was directed at the Irish. It was directed at Poles and Italians.
And you can go back and read what was said about those groups. And it's identical to what they're now saying about Mexicans or...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Nia-Malika, President Obama, once again, he really wants to defeat Donald Trump.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He really does.
At some point in his comments here, he said we should take the rhetoric seriously and answer it boldly and clearly, talking about the rhetoric from Donald Trump and some of the -- sort of the anti- immigrant rhetoric there.
And he seems to want to do it at every single time he is at the microphone, to answer this rhetoric and to give a very different picture of America. He talked about America being a nation of immigrants. He has always talked about America as an imperfect country, always in the process of perfecting itself.
And that is something that resonates with a lot of people, but, yes, he wants this fight. They believe it is sort of an existential threat to the idea of America.
TAPPER: And, Jeff, we were talking about trade before the three amigos, as they're called, came out.
President Obama really pushing back on the idea of this nostalgia, that we can return, the United States can return to this era of high school graduates getting prosperous middle-class manufacturing jobs, saying that the integration of the national economy into the global, that is here, he said. That's done.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Without question.
And I think we have heard the president say this before, but we're going to hear him say it a lot more. What I took away from that is, that is his outline for his campaign, his campaigning for the next fortunately months or so. He starts that next week.
But he talked about sort of a fact-check of Donald Trump, a very academic fact-check, saying automation is what actually has changed a lot of these jobs and the steelworkers. He said it's wrong medicine, all these things.
But the problem here is -- or the challenge is, only if you love Barack Obama are you going to sit through and to listen all of that. He is not going to be leading a persuasion campaign in the next few months here or so. It is just an academic exercise in terms of how he breaks down the argument.
Donald Trump appeals to a visceral feeling. And I'm not sure that he taps into that quite as much. But it is personal for him.
ZELENY: Because Donald Trump is the man who questioned Obama's citizenship. That's why.
TAPPER: And, Dana, very quickly, if you could, President Obama also very strongly making the case that the trade policies that Donald Trump is prescribing are the wrong ones.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely.
And, as you said, he said, that's here, that's done, and talking about the fact that we're here. We're in a global environment. And if you try to make America effectively protectionist and he actually used the word nativist and xenophobic society, then it's not going to work.
But I just want to quickly add, I'm old enough to remember when presidents didn't, never mind talk about politics, but criticize people when they are abroad. And the fact that he's standing on the world stage talking about U.S. politics so starkly -- and he's not alone -- other people have done it on both sides of the aisles -- kind of shows you where we are in politics.
TAPPER: Very fascinating, the last question -- again, the last question was about clean energy. President Obama took the opportunity to go on what he, himself, called a rant.
(CROSSTALK) TAPPER: He used the term rant and talk about how...
BASH: He is self-aware.
TAPPER: ... what Donald Trump is offering is not populism. What he has been fighting for, including the auto bailout, is populism.
We have a lot more to talk about.
Dana Bash, Jeff Zeleny, Nia-Malika Henderson, Gloria Borger, thanks so much.
Coming up, we're learning more about the methodical, coordinated terrorist assault on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. Early evidence indicates these were not just average suicide bombers. And now we're getting our first glimpse at one of the terrorists -- that video and my interview with Senator Marco Rubio right after this.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
Our other big breaking story today, the signs keep mounting that ISIS is behind the horrific coordinated terrorist attack on Istanbul's international airport yesterday.
We just got some new video taken from surveillance cameras inside the airport there showing one of these terrorists jogging through Ataturk Airport, his AK-47 raised and ready. It's unclear if authorities have identified this particular terrorist. But the Turkish interior minister now says all the information and evidence on hand points to ISIS, that the fanatical terrorist group is behind yesterday's carnage, that it's -- Islamic terrorists carried out three separate suicide bombings that killed at least 41 people and wounded more than 200 innocents.
CIA Director John Brennan today said that the attack -- quote -- "bears all the hallmarks of an ISIS operation" and warned that similar attacks could happen here at home in the U.S.
Let's start everything off with CNN senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward.
Clarissa, if ISIS was in fact behind this attack, why not claim responsibility to galvanize supporters?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's a funny one.
Traditionally, though, ISIS does not claim responsibility for attacks in Turkey. And that may be because they thrive on the instability and uncertainty that that creates. But one thing we do know, ISIS has repeatedly in its propaganda singled out Turkey as a major target. And CNN is hearing from Turkish officials that they do believe the attackers were foreigners once again pointing the finger at ISIS.
WARD (voice-over): These chilling images show the final moments before deadly explosions rocked Turkey's Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Chaos erupted immediately following the blast as passengers frantically tried to find cover, some sheltered in place.
This video shows one of the attackers running through the airport before apparently being shot by police. He falls to the ground, dropping his weapon, seconds later he detonates his suicide vest.
Dozens have been killed and hundreds more have been injured by the blast. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but intelligence officials agree it has all the hallmarks of being directed or inspired by ISIS.
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: There is no credible claim of responsibility at this point. But that's not very surprising because in most instances if not all, ISIS has not claimed responsibility for attacks inside of Turkey.
WARD: Tuesday night, three men arrived at one of the busiest airports in the world by taxi. The attackers wore explosive vests and carried AK-47s fitting the profile of ISIS' suicide warriors or (inaudible), who'll try to kill as many people as possible before blowing themselves up.
We now have more details of how the attack went down. One attacker targets a departure gate before being shot by police and detonating his vest. Another targets the arrival hall spraying a crowd with bullets and then blowing himself up.
The third detonates his vest outside an entrance to the arrival hall. And today ISIS affiliated mouthpiece (inaudible) sending out a message to celebrate the two-yard anniversary of the caliphate listing Turkey as a country where the group has covert units.
WARD: ISIS has taken a lot of hits this year losing precious oil revenue and territory. This has hurt their credibility and don't forget their actual motto is (inaudible) meaning remaining and expanding. So if they are shrinking, Jake, that is hurting them and that may well be the reason the we are seeing a lot of these spectacular horrific attacks on soft targets.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Because they expand in the world where they losing ground at home in their so-called caliphate. Clarissa Ward, thanks so much.
Joining me now is Republican senator and former presidential candidate, Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
So just a few days ago, you told a reporter, quote, "One of our NATO allies right now that faces the greatest threat of ISIS is Turkey. I would not be surprised over the next few weeks to see major ISIS operations within Turkey itself," unquote.
You're on the Senate Intelligence Community, did you know of a specific threat and is there hard evidence yet that this was in fact ISIS?
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), MEMBER, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Well, I've been actually in Turkey about six weeks ago and from that visit, it was apparent to me that ISIS is now increasingly engaged in an effort to target Turkey for two reasons.
One, they ultimately want them to be a part of the caliphate in the long term. In the short term, they're looking to punish Turkey for allowing U.S. air strikes to be conducted from an airbase within Turkey.
So they've made that abundantly clear. And of course, there is a lot of refugees and a lot of transit across the border happening as well. So that is an easy opportunity to embed people within those communities to conduct these sorts of attacks.
So Turkey has been a prime target for them and what they've sought to do and seek to do in ISIS is to target areas that hurt the Turkish tourism industry, which has already been hurt badly.
And so an attack on an airport is right along the lines of what you would see from ISIS, this has the markings of an ISIS attack. Three gunmen with explosives targeting an airport.
The Turks believed it was ISIS. I think you saw from the president's comments today that he basically believes it is ISIS. I'm not pointing to any intelligence to say that I'm telling you that I believe it's ISIS as well, ISIS directed not just inspired but directed.
TAPPER: ISIS directed, interesting, but you didn't know of any specific intelligence about this incident?
RUBIO: Well, I think it is generally known, right? And including in my visit there in Turkey a few weeks ago and ISIS has made it abundantly clear over a long period of time that they intend to strike within Turkey and have been looking to do so for quite a while.
Obviously, if anybody had known about a specific attack or any sort, you would have hoped that actions would have been taken to prevent it. I do think there is a broader issue that I hope will be examined and that is the ability and the willingness of the Turks, our NATO allies, to work even closer with us and with other members of NATO to share intelligence and to cooperate more fully on security operations.
I think to some extent, there has been some resistance on the part of the Turkish government to acknowledge they have an ISIS problem. They didn't want to further hurt the tourism industry. After yesterday, I'm not sure that can be denied by anyone. TAPPER: Is that the only thing holding the Turks back from acknowledging the problem, the desire to not hurt their tourism industry, which of course they depend upon for economic survival?
[16:50:09]Is it also possible that the Turkish leaders played a game of footsy with extremists and that is also one of the reasons that they don't want to acknowledge this problem? For instance, they have porous these borders that a lot of officials including yourself I think have complained the Turks don't do enough about?
RUBIO: Yes, that was true about a year and a half ago. Over the last six to eight months, the Turks have improved border security to the point where we're now having trouble getting humanitarian assistance into Syria because of it.
But whatever the motivations may be, I think it is important not just do acknowledge that this issue exists, but to work more closely I hope with the United States in the sharing of intelligence information and in combining on our strategy on how to address it.
This will not be the last attempt on behalf of Daesh or the Islamic State to try to launch further attacks to debilitate Turkey and it is an easier target for them and more permissive environment.
So sadly I'm not surprised about what happened yesterday and I anticipate you could see more efforts to do the same in the months to come.
TAPPER: Let's talk about another crisis in the homeland, the spread of Zika. It's an issue that you've been very outspoken about. Just in the last few hours, Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would have provided $1.1 billion in Zika funding.
One of the reasons Democrats say they did it is because House Republicans including in the bill are a bunch of extraneous provisions, including one that allows the display of confederate flags. What is the solution to this problem here?
RUBIO: Well, there is a couple of provisions they object to. One is the opportunity for private organizations on Confederate Veterans Day to fly a flag on a confederate gravestone. It's not my issue. I don't think that along no matter how you may feel about it is enough to stand in the way of critical funding for a virus of this magnitude like the Zika threatens to become.
The other issue is one they've basically made up and that is that somehow this bill takes money away from Planned Parenthood in Puerto Rico. It's false. It does dedicate grant funds particularly to community health centers. You have to qualify.
And the community health centers and the hospital-based system that would receive the bulk of this funding. And the reason for it is you want to concentrate those funds in the places that are most widespread throughout the island.
You don't want that funding to become diluted and that's the rational, but the word Planned Parenthood doesn't appear anywhere on this. And aside from all of that, none of that -- you know, even if it were true, you know, fighting to provide additional funds to Planned Parenthood in Puerto Rico is not reason enough in my opinion to stand in the way of $1.1 billion to aid Zika virus that threatens not just Puerto Rico but the mainland of the United States in very serious ways.
In Florida just yesterday it was announced the first baby with microcephaly was born in our state. We are going to see more of that in the months to come. We need to get this money moving now and I think the objections the Democrats have raised are enough or not sufficient to stand in the way of something we should have done a very long time ago.
TAPPER: All right, Senator Marco Rubio, thank you so much.
RUBIO: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: After suicide bombers sent shrapnel scattering in Istanbul's airport, the United States is currently re-examining security at airports here at home in the U.S. But can officials really secure every terminal, every baggage claim, and every parking lot? That story is next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. The terrorists who killed 41 innocent people in Istanbul chose one of the largest and busiest airports in the world as their target. Once again, that fuels fears for the 8 million people who fly globally on a daily basis whether their airport could be next.
Let's bring in CNN aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh. Rene, what are airports here in the U.S. doing to make sure that they are not next?
RENE MARSH, CNN GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, I mean, this is the scene. First, it is Brussels. Now it is Istanbul, and CNN has learned that security officials here in the United States has been discussing for quite some time the idea of extending the security perimeter at airports beyond the TSA checkpoint.
And they've been discussing it months before this second major airport bombing, but doing such a change at airport security would not be an easy task.
MARSH (voice-over): It is the second time in three months terrorists have struck the so-called soft target area of an airport, the space before the security checkpoint that's filled with passengers, but not nearly as secure.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST/AUTHOR, "SECURITY MOM": What has been shown in Brussels is that even if you fortify a soft target, there will always be another soft target or soft area. That is essentially what the terrorists are doing. They see a security apparatus built, and they just back off ten feet and deploy in those areas that are more comfortable.
MARSH: The threat to airport soft areas makes the long wait times seen across the country not only an inconvenience, but a security concern. Following the Istanbul attacks, some U.S. airports have ramped up security at their perimeters.
In New York and New Jersey, officers are equipped with tactical weapons. In Miami in Atlanta, there is an increased police presence.
In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for airport checkpoints. CNN has learned the agency has discussed options to extend its security reach.
The idea is widening the security presence perhaps to the entrance or possibly the parking lot. But former DHS official, Juliette Kayyem, says that would not be effective.
KAYYEM: Certainly you could extend the security ten miles away from the airport and guess what, the vulnerability will be at mile 10.1. And so you know, at some stage, we just have to accept a level of vulnerability given the threat that we have today.
MARSH: Because Istanbul's airport has several direct flights to and from the United States, DHS requires strict screening procedures comparable to U.S. standards. The head of the TSA told CNN in May if those rules are not followed flights could be prohibited.
(on camera): How often do you go over to check up on these airports?
PETER NEFFENGER, TSA ADMINISTRATOR: If we have a reason of concern, it can be as frequently as every week and then if you got a reason that you trust, it can be less frequent than that.
MARSH: But regardless of the standard and police presence, it is impossible to eliminate all airport vulnerabilities.
MARSH: Well, currently airport perimeter security is the responsibility of the airports, local and sometimes state law enforcement. Now although DHS have been discussing ways to extend the security line at U.S. airports, Jake, the agency has not figured out an effective way to do that.
TAPPER: All right, Rene Marsh, thank you so much. Appreciate it. That is it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. You can follow me on Twitter @jaketapper. I now turn you over to Brianna Keilar. She is in for Wolf Blitzer right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM."