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Seven Dead, Dozens Hurt in London Terror Attacks; International Fallout from Climate Deal Decision. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired June 4, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:03] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your Sunday morning and a sad Sunday it is.
Central London, a crime scene. The iconic London Bridge and a popular nearby market stained with blood after a horrific and deadly terror rampage.
Plus, a dramatic week ahead here in Washington. The former FBI Director James Comey testifies before Congress, facing questions about whether President Trump improperly tried to shut down or obstruct the Russia election meddling investigation.
And more global outrage at the president's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords.
But we begin in London, where a gorgeous Saturday evening was interrupted by shocking terror. A van speeding into pedestrians London Bridge. Its occupants then racing to a popular nearby market, jumping out to wage a random stabbing spree. Police say only eight minutes passed between the first emergency call and when officers shot and killed the three attackers.
But in the wake of those eight minutes, at least seven people are dead, dozens are wounded, some critically. The British are shaken and angry.
Prime Minister Theresa May just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremist that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism.
While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is, to be frank, far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So, we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Let's go straight live to London now. CNN correspondent Isa Soares, who is in the popular borough market where the stabbing rampage took place.
Isa, give us the latest.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. John, in the last 30 seconds or so, I just saw a private ambulance go past me. I'll move out of the way, so you can get a sense of what is happening, past all the media we have here, we've got armed police as you can see on your shot on the left of your screen but also we've seen groups of people staying in hotels, down this road. This is a main street here up borrow markets that leads to London Bridge.
Many people, of course, were taken out of their rooms late at night as this was all unfolding and now, slowly, they're being allowed back in but only small groups escorted by police. Of course, many people had no place to stay last night. Londoners have been opening their doors, letting people stay in their homes.
And like you said, John, this was a beautiful Saturday evening. It was interrupted by the most cowardly of acts, as we heard from Sadiq Khan. But today, the first Muslim mayor of London reassuring Londoners and indeed reassuring the world that London is still open. It's still one of the safest cities to visit.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR SADIQ KHAN, LONDON: Well, just to reassure your viewers, London is the safest global city in the world. The threat level hasn't changed as a result of last night. Properties have been raided this morning. We're not increasing the threat level any higher than it currently is.
To reassure Londoners and visitors and also to make sure we're safe, there will be increased police presence over the course of today and the next few days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And, John, we also heard from Prime Minister Theresa May, of course, an election here on Thursday, and she basically said that it's not up to her to raise the terror alert level. This is a matter for terrorism analysis center. But she did say it was already quite high and they were already at a terror alert was indeed likely, but people here in London clearly on edge after seeing three attacks in the past three months, John.
KING: Three attacks in the past three months.
Isa Soares for us on the scene, Isa, thanks so much. We'll check in these developments.
As Isa noted, British leaders have been in crisis talks since shortly after the attacks. There's a national election this week, campaigning suspended for today.
CNN's Clarissa Ward is outside 10 Downing Street, where, Clarissa, a short time ago, the prime minister delivered some remarks that had a much tougher tone than we have heard in the past.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. She wasn't mincing her words here. And in addition to those three attacks in the last three months, she said that actually, five significant terror plots have been disrupted by security services during that time. So, there is definitely a growing realization that this is a serious problem here in the United Kingdom.
Now, the prime minister went on to kind of elucidate several ways in which she would seek to try to deal with this problem. She spoke of the need to deal with social media and with the tech giants who run these various social media platforms because, of course, this is the number one way in which what she called this sort of evil Islamist extremist ideology is being proliferated.
[08:05:08] And it's also the number one way in which various individuals can find each other, come together, as we saw last night's attack, not a lone wolf, three attackers working together. Now, she also talked about the need for pluralistic British values to defeat Islamist extremism. Obviously, that's easier said than done.
But what she did say, John, which we haven't heard her say before, really, is that Britain has been too tolerant, in her words. She said there needs to be a kind of reform of counterterrorism, not clear exactly how those reforms would take place, and what new initiatives might be put in place, but certainly some tough talk from the prime minister -- John.
KING: Clarissa Ward for us outside 10 Downing -- Clarissa, thanks very much.
At the White House this morning, President Trump awake early and tweeting about the attack. The president saying this: We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don't get smart, it will only get worse.
That's one of the tweets from the president this morning.
Let's get insights of CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem and CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.
Paul, I want to start with you in London.
Based on what you've heard from the police and the British authorities about this attack, which obviously is the third attack in London and far too short of a span of time, what does it tell us about the terror threat at the moment and as we try to look around the corner?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It tells you that the terrorist threat from Islamist terrorism in the U.K. is as high as it has ever been in the history of this country. Officials have been telling me that over the past few months. They're very, very concerned now moving forward, watching around 3,000 individuals here in the U.K. who they believe could pose a threat. John, they're also residual 20,000 individuals who they looked up before who may pose a residual threat, according to British authorities.
Those are very large numbers indeed, very difficult to really track all of these people. They can only monitor a few of them, 24/7, round the clock.
So, we're in a period now where there's a real risk. We're going to see more of these attacks in the weeks ahead, especially because this is now the holy month of Ramadan and ISIS called for a surge of attacks, telling their followers around the world and in the U.K. that they'll be rewarded tenfold in paradise. They're really trying to get attacks through to encourage them to change the conversation away from the fact that they're losing so much ground in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and other places.
KING: It is urging the attacks during the holy month, a sickening perversion of the faith.
Juliette, you're in the business of advising policymakers. I want you to listen here to the British prime minister and then on the side of it, tell what is she trying to tell the British people about what comes next? Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: It is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values, but when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What does that mean? Does that mean as Paul noted, all these people who have perhaps gone to Syria and other place answer come back, tougher tracking of them, tougher surveillance of them? Does that mean tougher police tactics? What is she talking about?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: All of the above. Remember, Theresa May had been home secretary. This was her docket before she sort of surprisingly became prime minister.
I can imagine a couple of scenarios after or assuming that she might win the election. First is, of course, detention laws. That has been highly controversial in Britain. Haven't been able to get more aggressive detention laws passed. That would be the capacity to detain someone before an event took place, surveillance and surveillance laws. And then, of course, she went after social media entities.
As we all know, some of them have been quite aggressive in trying to bring down these ISIS platforms, Twitter in particular, very hard to do in a network environment.
I think a little bit of what she was saying was sort of promise that she was taking this seriously, considering that there's an election this week, because she obviously is facing, you know, three attacks basically during her short prime minister reign. And so, it was tough talk, though. It was new and I don't know what to anticipate.
I should let your viewers know, though -- I mean, look, if you look at the Manchester attack, the community actually was telling law enforcement, this guy is crazy. And so, some of this seems sort of unfair, this notion that everyone's too politically correct. You actually have a very, very aggressive Muslim community, aggressive in the sense that they want these bad elements out as well, and so you know, people should remember that. It is not the Muslim community that's hiding them. Often, they were coming forward.
KING: Paul, it's a fascinating question for the policymakers because if you look, and we can go through the history and it's a sad one and we'll put them up here.
[08:10:03] Manchester just a couple of weeks ago. Stockholm, London, Berlin, Niece, Normandy, Brussels, Paris. This goes back to 2015, and you see these are all terror attacks of different types, but all within Europe.
What is the lesson of this or has the lesson of this been ignored I guess from a police, policy, counterterrorism, surveillance perspective?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, it's clear there's an unprecedented threat and I think what policymakers all around the Western world need to do and need to do urgently is to empower the Muslim community, as Juliette was saying, empower the Muslim community to take on this radicalization.
They want to do it. The vast majority of them have absolutely no time for this. They're absolutely horrified. In the U.K., they're actually quite far advanced in terms of doing this, under the prevent strategy. There's a phrase: communities defeat terrorism. There's a lot of outreach in the Muslim community, the tips that come in that prevented terrorist attacks, just in the past few weeks here in London.
But more can be done even here in the U.K. to empower the Muslim community, to give them the tools, the resources, and the trust to defeat what really now is the scourge of our times, John.
KING: And, Juliette, in the language of counterterrorism planning, right of boom is what you do after the response. Boom and what you do -- left of boom is your preparations to try to prevent it. What have we learned in the hours since this attack, what do you is the lessons? Obviously, eight minutes from the first warning call to the three assailants being shot, that's pretty remarkable police work. That's one lesson.
KAYYEM: So, there's a couple and I'm so glad you mentioned this, because one way to measure our success as -- in fighting terrorism is our capacity to respond and to protect as many lives as possible. So, we call that right of boom planning.
So, a couple of things we know immediately. The first is obviously the communication to the public. The London police were remarkable in this regard, telling them where to go, focusing on family unification. That is the most important thing in a crisis like this and then, finally, sort of crowdsourcing the investigation because they are asking for videos, cameras, pictures that anyone may have.
You may think you don't have anything and then it's a piece of a puzzle to determine maybe there was others around, maybe we can find out more about at assailant. So, a lot to learn. We learn something after all of these attacks that helps the next city prepare for the sort of right of boom planning, which is just so key to give cities and urban areas a sense of resiliency because you're not going to stop all of these attacks unfortunately.
Look at this one. It was low organization, low sophistication, and we don't even know whether there was any sort of outside element at this stage beyond radicalization.
KING: Still waiting for more details on that.
Juliette and Paul, thanks so much for your insights.
We'll continue to track the London terror attacks throughout the hour.
And next, though, choosing in the president's words, Pittsburgh over Paris. An America first decision that leaves America isolated.
[08:17:14] KING: Welcome back.
In his tweets on terror this morning, it is big decision on climate change last week the president doing things his way. We don't know for sure, for example, whether President Trump believes climate change is real and caused at least in part by human activity or as he repeatedly suggested in the past, a giant hoax perhaps concocted by the Chinese. Climate policy is one of the world's most pressing issues.
So, asking if the president trusts science over conspiracy theories is more than a fair question.
His ambassador to the United Nations offered this answer to CNN's Jake Tapper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of that equation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: But a handful of other top administration officials this week could or would not answer that question for the president.
And in walking away from the Paris climate deal this past week, the president didn't really focus on global warming or the climate. For him, this was about his brand and this map that put Donald Trump in the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Paris agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country's expense. They don't put America first. I do. And I always will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: If you look at the polling, this is a risky choice for the president. But that's not how he processes this. Again, it's not about the climate for the president, it's about jobs here and here and out here in the Midwest, states that he turned from blue to red. The president is thinking about the domestic political map that he believes was the key to his getting elected.
The international fallout from this was immediate and overwhelming, from Beijing to Berlin, leaders labeled the decision reckless and irresponsible, said it was another sign the United States was abdicating its global leadership.
Listen here while traveling in Asia, the Defense Secretary James Mattis sounded almost apologetic.
(BEGIN VIDEO C LIP)
JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: To quote British observer of us from some years ago, bear with us. Once we've exhausted all possible alternatives, the Americans will do the right thing. So, we will still be there, and we will be there with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You listen to Secretary Mattis there, I'm not sure what the point he was trying to make.
But in this climate decision, and it is reinforced I think today by the president's response to the London terror attack in his tweets, this is in my view, please jump in if I'm wrong, the president going to back to basics. This is when pressed, he's going back to America first, I'm right, a lot of you are wrong and let's not be politically correct. I said I was going to pull out of Paris, I'm going to pull out of Paris. I said we have to talk in a college most elites do this, when you talk about terrorism. He's back to that.
JENNIFER JACOBS, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: And you're exactly right. When Mike Pence was in Iowa for a fund-raiser for U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, they were looking to see what the reaction was from that conservative audience. [08:20:03] And there was happy applause, enthusiastic applause when Mike Pence said we've withdrawn from the Paris deal. We are all about putting Des Moines first ahead of the people of Denmark and that got big applause. They were looking to that reaction but they do realize the business community, that there is a growing rift with the business community and they're aware of that and they want to work on repairing that.
KING: They're aware of that, yet this is a president who if he has to choose between what he views, even though he's a Manhattan guy, rich guy, lives in a penthouse, when he has to choose between Wall Street or corporate board rooms, or what he views as the little guy, that's his choice, right?
JONATHAN MARTIN, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, and this shows that he has no appetite to really broaden his base. Look, he's still in campaign mode. He thinks, look, for a year and a half, people told me this is not going to work, you can't win. Guess what? He won the primary and then he won the general election, despite all those skeptics.
And so, I think for people now who are second-guessing him, he's saying, it served me well during the campaign. Why wouldn't I keep doing it, and that is, John, as you put it going back to your base, reinforcing what they want to hear, it's in marked contrast to every president in recent American history that tries to broaden their base of support and be a president that represents the entire country instead of just their voters.
MJ LEE ,CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: I also think that, you know, as we think about why did he insist on doing this despite so much opposition, you know, it's important to keep in mind that the climate deal was actually an issue that he did care about, not the climate part but the deal part, right?
He ran as someone who for his entire life was a businessman and strongly believed this was his personal conviction that the U.S. had gotten itself into deals that were bad, and that he was the person who could fix that. So, he insisted on doing this and going through with this, even though we saw some of his, you know, closest advisers, including his daughters, saying we should not do this.
KING: And even though all the European leaders said this is not negotiable. We're not giving you a better deal.
MICHAEL SHEAR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, and that's about what we're just going to say. The irony here is that if, you know, if he thinks there's an opportunity to either do bilateral agreements or to somehow get the world into a, quote-unquote, "better deal" on climate, what you've seen the last couple of days there isn't really, that, you know, the world is kind of moving on. They're making deals with the Chinese. They're going to make -- they're going to do environmental -- make environmental progress but with other people, and the United States is going to be left behind.
KING: But as the world gasps, and I can put up the "Der Spiegel" cover in Germany here from Friday, "You're fired", it shows Trump using the world as a golf ball here. As the world gasps and says, essentially, you know, you're an outlier Mr. President, he is, I think -- you know, he is comfortable and that this is the brand to Jonathan's point. Nobody -- everyone keeps telling him he's wrong. And he says I'm sitting in the Oval Office.
And he's back to that in his reaction to the London terror attack last night. He started last night with a tweet: We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the travel ban as an extra level of safety.
Now, the Supreme Court is about to expedite its hearing of the travel ban. So, the president taking an attack in London and connecting it to his agenda here in the United States. And he is back at it again this morning, including a tweet that essentially, you know, challenges the mayor of London, the Muslim mayor of London.
The president tweeting this morning: At least seven dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of London says there is, quote, no reason to be alarmed.
The president in another tweet: we must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people.
He believes again, this is back to basics.
JACOBS: I was told that when he was told immediately after this happened, that they were very quick to let him know about it. And his first reaction was: let's protect America. He's concerned making sure this doesn't happen here and, you saw the message from the Department of Homeland Security saying, we're monitoring this. There is no serious or credible threat here in the United States and we're working together with our foreign counterparts to find out what happened.
And I was told this morning that that information sharing has resumed its normal courses. Remember, after the Manchester concert attack, how angry Theresa May was that some information had leaked about that particular attack and she had, you know, confronted Trump on the sidelines on his foreign trip to say, we were not happy with that. I'm told that that information sharing resumed. That's, of course, the U.S. side saying that. But that it's resumed its normal course.
And so, that's their main message, is that they want to make sure that Americans are reassured and Trump's first reaction was, keep U.S. safe.
KING: And I suspect --
MARTIN: But politically, though, he is endangering his own so-called ban first by calling it a ban and secondly, this was supposed to be a temporary, I think 90-day deal until you figure out if more permanent policy on these migrants. And now, he's basically casting it as an indefinite ban on people from all of these countries.
SHEAR: And, look, the legal jeopardy that that ban got in was because the courts took a look at his rhetoric, both the campaign rhetoric after he came into the White, and concluded it was anti-Muslim, right? And here you are he's tweeting again focused on let's not be politically correct, which the courts, to the extent that they're going to look at that, is just going to reinforce the notion.
[08:25:06] KING: It may undermine the legal argument. But if you're the president and you're watching the reaction in the last -- especially the British prime minister. Now, she's from a conservative party. But here language today, enough is enough. We have to do more.
MARTIN: Facing an election too by --
KING: Facing an election Thursday. But if you're President Trump watching the reaction, remember, during last year's campaign, when he talks about the travel ban, you know, people in the United States -- critics here and critics, oh, you can't use that language. You can't talk like that. I bet he's sitting there this morning saying: I told you so.
LEE: Right. And we've seen the president over and over again sort of lack this kind of impulse control. We have had a number of terror attacks across the world since the election and since the campaign, and there had been multiple instances where he just couldn't hold back but, you know, air personal grievance or, you know, go after and really tout his personal agenda at a time when it really doesn't seem like it would be appropriate to say that, rather than, you know, first offer condolences. You noticed yesterday the two tweets that came, the second one was on that offer of condolences to the people of the U.K.
MARTIN: And that's always the pattern, too, right? There's always a follow-up tweet. He tries to act more presidential. And Pence is trying to basically encourage that good behavior on his own Twitter feed. Whereas Trump this morning is back to being Trump.
KING: All right. Everybody, sit tight.
Next, back to London for the latest on the terror rampage, including the prime minister's tougher tone just days, of course, as we noted, before national elections.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Welcome back. It's a grim Sunday morning as Great Britain copes with its third terrorist attack of the spring. It happened in London, shortly after 11:00 last night here in the East Coast.
A speeding van mowed down pedestrians on the London Bridge. Its occupants raced to a nearby area -- bars and restaurants, stabbing people at random.
All three attackers were shot dead by police but not before they killed at least seven people. Dozens more likely in the upper 40s, we are told, wounded.
This morning, much tougher tone from British Prime Minister, Theresa May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: In terms of their planning and execution, the recent attacks are not connected. But we believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face as terrorism breeds terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: As we learn more about those killed than hurt, we know now at least four French citizens were hurt in the attack. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, says in the face of new tragedy, France is more than ever at Britain's side.
Shortly after the attack, President Trump tweeted about the need for his travel ban. Later, the White House issued a more measured statement, quote, "The president offered his condolences for the brutal terror attacks on June 3 in Central London.
He praised the heroic response of police and other first responders and offered the full support of the United States government in investigating and bringing in those responsible for these heinous acts to justice." Back to our "Inside Politics" panel in a moment but let's first bring in CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, Tom Fuentes and CNN National Security Analyst, Peter Bergen.
Peter, I want to begin with you because after these attacks, you hear from the political leadership, in this case, days away from a national election. I want you to listen to the tougher tone from the prime minister here and then try to help me understand exactly what she means.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is, to be frank, far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Is that a message to the Muslim community? Is that a message to her own counterterrorism people to do a better job?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Hi. I think, John, it's a political message. I mean, think back to the Spanish election of 2004 where there was a big terrorist attack in Madrid, which killed a hundred and 91 people three days before the election.
It resulted in the sitting prime minister being ejected and his opponent winning the election, despite the fact that the sitting Prime Minister, Jose Aznar, was leading in the polls. So you know, this late in the electoral cycle, when you have this kind of an event, and after all, Theresa May is a conservative party, that's supposed to be, quote, "stronger on terrorism," you've had three attacks in three months.
You know, the British public may be saying to themselves, well, you know, is this really the right leadership. I mean, as you know, she called the election. She was very much doing -- doing well in the polls but her lead has narrowed.
And these kinds of events are very -- very unpredictable. This is sort of a June surprise. And we'll see how this plays out.
But I -- clearly, she had to make a strong statement. And I take it as really a political statement, you know, to make sure that, you know, the -- the narrowing of the polls that we've seen in the last weeks in Britain doesn't lead to her defeat at the polls on Thursday.
KING: And -- and Tom, this comes out, I see (ph) a couple of weeks after the Manchester attack, which exposed because of leaks from U.S. law enforcement agencies, major rift (ph) between the United States and the U.K. over intelligence sharing. The prime minister and her team were furious that "The New York Times" and other organizations are seeing photo -- received photos of the crime scene, they said at the very sensitive point of the investigation.
Listen to the chief of the metropolitan police here who seems to be saying things are back to normal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRESSIDA DICK, COMMISSIONER, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: It is now being confirmed sadly that seven members of the public have died. In addition, as you know, we believe three suspects are dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: I'm sorry, that's a different sound than I expected kind of (ph). But she also said there, "We have a good working relationship with our American colleagues.
We normally share certain types of information with them. And we indeed depend on them to keep the country safe." From your information and your sources, is that relationship back at 100 percent full speed?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely, John. And I think that the -- the rift (ph) was probably greatly exaggerated. They were angry at the time.
But, you know, in the long run, that was never going to stand for very long. First of all, much of what the British need and rely on in terms of international assistance comes through the FBI, believe it or not.
My last five years in the bureau, I ran the FBI's international program with 80 offices outside the United States, and throughout areas like Africa, the Middle East, other continents around the world. The FBI's attache (ph) program is probably two or three times the size of all the other countries that we're close to, including the United Kingdom and Australia and many other countries.
So many of the leads that they need to be carried out internationally are actually done on their behalf by the FBI and by U.S. intelligence services. So this was -- so this rift (ph), if you will, was never going to last very long.
I'm sure it was just that day they were upset. They should have been upset because of the leaking going out.
But that was not going to stop the significant assistance being provided on a daily basis back and forth.
KING: I want you both to listen to this eyewitness here, Jack Applebee (ph). He's on the scene because we have a great counterterrorism expert in Peter, law enforcement expert in Tom.
I want you both to listen to this about the simplicity and the cruelty of this. And then how can you stop this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK APPLEBEE, RESTAURANT OWNER: I literally turned around and there were three -- three men standing there, one of which with a machete. And they had this sort of belt (ph) on.
We didn't really -- they just looked at us. And I just didn't really know what to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Peter, I'll start with you. If you're a counterterrorism planner and these are three guys in a van who jumped out with knives on a random spree, how do you stop it?
BERGEN: I think it's almost impossible. In -- in a free and open society, I mean, you can't turn every bridge and every place where the public gathers into kind of a fortified area that would prevent this thing.
Unfortunately, it's the cost of living in a free and open society. The way you can prevent it is with the best intelligence.
Where can that intelligence come from? Often from the Muslim community. You want to alienate them, enlist them.
No, you don't want to alienate them. You want to enlist them. After all, they may see signs of radicalization.
They (ph) -- they may see signs of plot -- plots happening. And at the end of the day, they may not see anything because obviously, these are kind of covert activities.
So unfortunately, these are not things that can be easily stopped. KING: And Tom, as you jump in and share your thoughts, what -- from
everything you've heard from the police and the authorities, what is your investigative sense right now about is it these three who were shot and killed or do they believe these three are part of something larger?
FUENTES: Well, it's a good question. I think, John, they need to look at, and they are looking at whether or not these three had other people give them any kind of an assistance.
But, you know, many of the plots that the United States has thwarted and the British in the past were involved in individual deciding he wanted to acquire firearms or he wanted to acquire an explosive. And when he reached out for help in the community on social media, then someone reported them to the authorities.
They were able to interrupt the plot. If you're going to use a vehicle like this, it's not nearly impossible. It is impossible.
And you know, we talk about that -- that, well, this is a free society. There have been these kind of attacks by terrorists in Tiananmen Square in Beijing and in Moscow.
And if those two police states almost can't prevent it, how do we expect it to be prevented entirely either in the U.S. or the U.K. or in Europe? It's just not possible to read people's minds, if they decide to get in a vehicle and run people over and then take commonly available weaponry like knives, even a machete and -- and attack people.
So in reality, it can't be stopped beforehand unless that person reaches out to enough other people who will report it to the authorities.
KING: Sober but important insights. Tom Fuentes, Peter Bergen, thank you so much. We're going to keep our eyes on developments in London throughout the hour and developments at the White House.
But next, we look ahead to what promises to be a tumultuous and dramatic week here in Washington, fired FBI Director, James Comey, about to testify in public.
KING: Welcome back. We turn now to new evidence of the expanding Russia election meddling investigation and the stakes of a big week ahead that includes public testimony from the fired FBI Director, James Comey. Washington is on edge waiting.
Comey associates say he took detailed notes after conversations in which, in Comey's view, the president asked for loyalty and then asked that he would shut down key aspects of the investigation. Now, a special council is in charge.
And the president's decision to fire Comey is a part of that expanding investigation, so is the conduct of the president's former national security adviser and the conduct of the president's son-in-law, perhaps, according to some reports, the conduct of the attorney general of the United States.
Again, Washington is on edge, but not the man alleged to have orchestrated the whole thing.
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VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA: Don't worry. Be happy.
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KING: Sorry. I think that's it (ph). It's just -- but -- but it was remarkable to see a relaxed Vladimir Putin this week saying, oh, go away. My government had nothing to do with this.
There may have some patriots he likened him to artists in Russia who decided to get involved in the election. But let's -- let's -- he seems very relaxed about it, Washington is not, in the sense that for a president who has this cloud over his White House, every day, the investigation seems to expand, not contract.
The stakes for the president to James Comey's public testimony are?
JENNIFER JACOBS, REPORTER, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: Very high. And I -- I think they're aware of that. I...
JACOBS: I don't know of any Trump advisers who are encouraging him to invoke executive privilege on this. I think, as you know, John, there were advisers who told him not to fire Comey and definitely regret at this point.
But they're -- they're saying, let's just get it over with, just have the guy testify. Yes, he could say some things that are -- are potentially damaging but just get it over with.
JONATHAN MARTIN, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Here is why I think the Comey testimony matters so much. Everything up until now has been reported.
Obviously, we're in the business. But I think for -- for Senate right voters or -- or leading Trump voters, the folks who might be persuadable, I think seeing Comey up there himself saying this is what happened...
KING: Not sources say. You can't say...
MARTIN: Exactly right. Right. It's -- it's up there. It's on T.V. tv. It's in front of theirown eyes. This is not some party (ph) -- it's not a media source they might be
skeptical of. It is this man saying it under oath. And I think that's why it's potentially damaging to Trump.
MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: And -- and, well, I was going to say, this is obviously going to be a sensational moment in what has already been a pretty sensational presidency. I do think we should keep in mind what the president himself has acknowledged about the reasons behind his firing Comey.
Keep in mind that a few days after this happened, even as his own spokespeople were saying, the Russian investigation had nothing to do with it, he himself admitted in an interview, yes, when I made the decision, the -- the Russia investigation was on my mind. So at that point, we already know directly from the president that this was a factor and a reason.
I think what Comey himself could put a finer print -- point on is whether or not the president urged him or crossed that line and sort of pressured him and tried to ask him beyond just saying, you know, this is my wish, but saying, I really want you to do this. I think that is what we are going to be paying close attention to.
MICHAEL SHEAR, WHITE CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Look, I -- I agree. I think, though, that the one way in which this could be a little anti-climactic is we know a lot of this.
We already sorted through the reporting that Jonathan mentioned. We've -- we've sort of heard a lot of it.
The real dramatic moment will be if we see the memos.
SHEAR: If he starts reading from these contemporaneous memos that he wrote to the file, essentially to himself, you know, it's sort of yet how much of that we'll get. If we get that...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SHEAR: ...that's really the dramatic...
MARTIN: And black and white, yes.
KING: And you -- you mentioned, this is, yes, the White House has condemned leaks. The White House has at times questioned Comey's credibility.
It would be a huge risk to invoke executive privilege, but out in the country and I mean, in the political environment, number one, how the voters react. But listen here, Darrell Issa used to head the oversight committee, comes from a reasonably competitive district in California.
So he knows Comey is coming. And he knows he's on the ballot next year.
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REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: I support the fact that -- that former Director Comey is coming before the select intelligence committee. Whatever direction that -- that Director Mueller goes, that we just respect the fact that he's a career professional trying to find it.
He may go toward Trump. He may go toward Flynn, I mean, not (ph) that we can predict he will.
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KING: That -- that is not a partisan Republican saying this is not a big deal. That is a Republican protecting himself in what could be a very big environment as we go through, you know, did the president actually ask for a loyalty pledge to Director Comey?
Did he then ask you to shut down the Flynn investigation? I think the key question is, my understanding of what Comey wants to say is he did those things.
And then the Republicans say why didn't you come to us, why didn't you come to us to say the president is trying to block the investigation, Comey is going to say, well, I just thought I could handle this. As long as he didn't pick up the phone and try to go around me, as long as he didn't have somebody else trying to interfere with the day-to- day work of my investigators, I thought I would take this buffer.
SHEAR: Right. I mean, that's right. And I think -- and the question will be can --can Comey provide some kind of context around that decision of his so that -- so that partisans on both sides can't shape that decision of his, you know, because there's actual facts.
KING: And what does the White House do if a guy with his training lays out memos, lays out, you know, his memos taken at the time says I brought in my two key deputies and briefed them on it so that they're -- the -- if the paper trail is meticulous, can the White House attack him?
JACOBS: Well, you already heard Kellyanne Conway publicly saying, you know -- you know, discrediting him like he was talking about. She was on ABC yesterday morning saying, oh, and it's (ph) the first time he testified or a few Wednesdays ago when he testified, he was erroneous.
And the FBI had to rush, had to scramble to correct the record. So they've already been undercutting him a little bit.
MARTIN: And you know what's going to happen, too, if -- if that does, in fact, happen, Jennifer, the question will be asked again, is the president taping visitors to the White House...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
MARTIN: ...because that's what he suggested a few weeks ago. The White House has still yet to answer that direct question.
And so if they do try to contradict Comey's memos and his own memory, his own notes, then we're all going to ask the same question. OK...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about (ph) the tape?
MARTIN: Well, do you have a tape?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is the proof?
KING: Right. And -- and remember, as Comey testifies, he's been given the OK by the special counsel. That's the more important investigation at the moment, the public testimony dramatic.
But what's happening with the investigation is absolutely critical. We'll go back to Great Britain in a moment for an update on the terror attacks.
And fresh concerns about a major pop concert scheduled in Manchester this evening.
KING: This hour's breaking news, investigators remain at the scene of last night's terror rampage in London. A van rammed pedestrians on the London Bridge.
Then its occupants rammed into a nearby market district, stabbing people at random. At least seven people were killed, dozens are wounded.
A dozen people have been arrested. Police also shot and killed the three terrorists. Now, attention switches to Manchester where pop stars from around the world are performing a benefit concert tonight.
CNN's Phil Black is on the scene there.
Phil, tensions must be a bit higher after what happened in London.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed, tensions higher, emotions a lot more raw, John. The organizers say this concert will regardless.
And it will continue with greater purpose as a result of the events in London last night. They talk about having a sense of responsibility to the people who were lost, injured and affected, not just in Manchester but now in London as well.
The stars that will appearing (ph), Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay. They are determined to go ahead, we are told.
And they will be sending a message -- one that says that fear and hate cannot win. It's going to be a huge security operation to keep the 15,000 strong audience safe on top of the big policing job that is already keeping the streets of Manchester safe.
And of course, it's going to be incredibly emotional. That was always going to be case now after the events in London.
Well, as I say, the emotions here are a lot more raw. They noted there are people in London who are feeling everything the people in Manchester have been feeling for the last two weeks.
The anger, the hurt -- it doesn't come as any sort of comfort. It's going to be a very emotional night, John.
KING: And Phil, tell us a bit this, just as we watch out behind you, we've watched this this memorial area for the past couple of weeks. What is it like today?
BLACK: Well, it is a sign of the emotion that -- that I've been talking about. For the last two weeks, we've been seeing huge crowds come here every day, every night, people who would line up sometimes for long periods of time just to have the opportunity to -- to stand here, to leave flowers and tributes and spend a few moments reflecting.
Whenever I come here, we see people standing here crying openly, crying for the 22 victims, including seven children, who were killed at that concert just two weeks ago. As I said, the crowd seems a bit bigger today, the emotions just a little bit more raw.
It's really quite a scene. And -- and the -- the tributes, the carpet of flowers behind us, well, it continues to grow. It doesn't really show any sign of going away.
This remains the focal point for the grief that is being felt here in Manchester still, John.
KING: Remarkable. Phil Black on the scene for us there in Manchester.
Our applause to the performers who will go forward despite what happened in London. And remarkable (ph) events, tonight we'll keep an eye. That's it for "Inside Politics."
Again, thanks for sharing your Sunday. We'll see you soon. Up next, more on this story and other big news, "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper.