Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Report: Homeland Security Unveils New Airline Safety Rules; Trump Meets Families of Victims of Undocumented Immigrants Ahead of House Vote; Undercover Video from ISIS Held Raqqa. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired June 28, 2017 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00] SEN. RICHARD BURR, (R) NORTH CAROLINA: No overwhelming evidence to suggest that there was collusion. But we have to chase down every potential -- every potential path that we see. When we conclude all those, we'll make a final report.

MANU RAJU, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Do you still feel like there's no overwhelming evidence of collusion at this point?

BURR: Well, it's not for me to judge before we end. I can only address it as milestones of what we know as up to date.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Senator Burr, the chairman of that Senate committee, meantime, the chairman also told CNN that he spoke to Special Counsel Robert Mueller over the phone today, but of course wouldn't discuss any details of that call or its purpose.

We are expecting Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to detail new guidelines that will affect the way you fly. We'll bring it to you as soon as it happens here on CNN.

[16:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: We're going to take you now to a news conference that just began. It's Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. We're waiting to hear some new aviation security measures. Let's dip in.

JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: The topic I just want to make a few comments on has to do with aviation security. I don't have to tell really anyone in the world that was alive then that since 9/11, the United States has seen a series of attempts on commercial aviation, shoe bomber, liquid explosives, and underwear bomber, a plot to detonate explosive cargo, most of these were disrupted just in time and didn't result in the tragedy that the terrorists were looking for.

But in 2015, is claimed responsibility for the bombing of Metro Jet flight 9268 which killed all 224 people on board and became the deadliest air disaster in Russian history. Terrorists want to bring down aircraft to instill fear, disrupt economies and undermine our way of life, and it works, which is why they still see aviation as the crown jewel target in their world. The threat is not diminished. In fact, I am concerned that we are seeing renewed interest on the part of terrorist groups to go after the aviation sector. From bombing aircrafts to attacking airports on the ground as we saw in Brussels and Istanbul.

However, we're not standing on the sidelines. The U.S. government is focused on deterring, detecting and disrupting these threats. That is why in March I made the decision to ban electronic devices larger than a cell phone from the passenger cabins of U.S.-bound commercial flights from the ten airports in the Middle East and North Africa. I made this call based on evaluated intelligence and real concerns that I had about terrorist plotting. Make no mistake, our enemies are constantly working to find new methods for disguising explosives, recruiting insiders, and hijacking aircraft. I've made a point to talk with everyone I can about securing aviation. I've met with our international partners, I've met with our industry leaders, I've met with our private sector stakeholders. My conclusion is this. It is time that we raise the global baseline of aviation security.

We cannot play international whack a mole with each new threat. Instead, we must put in place new measures across the board to keep the traveling public safe and make it harder for terrorists to succeed. Today, I am announcing a first step toward this goal by requiring new security measures to be applied to all commercial flights coming into the United States from abroad. These measures will be both seen and unseen, and they will be phased in over time. They will include enhanced screening of electronic devices, more thorough passenger vetting, and new measures designed to mitigate the potential threat of insider attacks. We will also lay out a clear path to encourage airlines and airports to adapt or, correction, to adopt more sophisticated screening approaches, including better use of explosive detecting canines and advance checkpoint screening technology.

Additionally, we will encourage more airports to become pre-clearance locations. This not only enhances security, it also increases convenience by allowing international travelers to go through customs and border security screening before boarding the flights to the United States. With this announcement, we send a clear message that inaction is not an option. Those who choose not to cooperate or are slow to adapt -- adopt these measures could be subject to other restrictions, including a ban on electronic devices on aircraft or even a suspension of their flights into the United States.

However, in all the indications are that all airlines will work with us to keep their aircraft, their crew, and their passengers safe. I have spent months engaging with our closest allies and foreign partners on this issue, and many of them have expressed strong support for this effort. While these actions we are announcing today will improve the security of U.S.-bound flights, I am hopeful other nations will follow suit. Unless we all raise our security standards, terrorists who seek commercial aviation as the greatest take-down will find and attack the weakest link.

Together, we have the opportunity to raise the baseline on aviation security globally, and we can do it in a manner that will not unduly inconvenience the flying public. Let me be clear security is my number one concern. Our enemies are adaptive and we have to be adaptive as well. [15:40:00] A number of the measures we plan to put in place can be

dialed up or down in a risk-based intelligence-driven manner and over the next several weeks and months, we'll work with our partners to ensure these measures are fully implemented. Again, today is just a starting point. We are taking prudent steps to make aircraft more secure, to reduce insider threats and to identify suspicious passengers. In the meantime, we will launch a concerted effort with our foreign partners to put in place wider counterterrorism improvements. This will include better information sharing, expanded exchanges of terrorist watch lists, and more advanced security checks of travelers around the world.

Finally, let me commend all the outstanding men and women throughout the department who make aviation security their daily mission. Whether they are working on the front lines at the TSA checkpoint, developing better screening technology in the lab, or preparing the intelligence that helps us make tough decisions, every passenger owes them a debt of gratitude.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Top objective but there are other objectives as well and each measure has some cost inconvenience and other things like that. How do you think through this balance between --

BALDWIN: OK. So, just listening to Secretary Kelly there laying out enhanced screening, passenger vetting for any flight coming from anywhere from overseas into the United States. I was really listening for, you can't bring laptops in if you're coming from, you know, whether it's Abu Dhabi or Paris or Tokyo. I didn't hear any of that, Rene.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Right. And that's the key here. You know, everyone was expecting, you know, weeks ago, maybe even the month ago, that perhaps we'd see this laptop ban expanded, but what they are laying out here, Brooke, is a way to avoid a laptop ban. And what the thinking is at the Department of Homeland Security is if carriers and airports overseas do this, this is the only way that they can avoid that laptop ban. They believe all these measures, he laid out some of them, not all of them, they won't lay out of all of them for security measures but they believe that's if all the new measures that DHS is directing these carriers coming from overseas, if they follow them, they believe they will not have to do, at least at this point, a laptop ban. Now will depend on the airlines to actually implement all of this.

BALDWIN: So, what does this mean? I'm just thinking, it's summertime, people who are fortunate enough to be able to go to, say, London for a vacation this summer and you're flying back home to Atlanta, you know, will you -- will there be a noticeable change in airports? Will you need to allot for even more time? What's the sense you got, Rene?

MARSH: Yes, what you will notice is if you're coming from overseas directly to the United States is that your screening process will take a lot longer. It may be a lot more rigorous than before, but actually, as far as things looking a lot different than the way they look today, you may not notice all that much. Perhaps you'll see more canines. Perhaps you'll see a little bit more attention devoted to carryon luggage. Perhaps. But for the most part, things will remain the same. However, you heard him there say it. These measures are seen and unseen, so for the most part, people should allot or allow for a lot more time for that screening process if you are on a direct flight from overseas.

BALDWIN: And then just lastly, what about U.S. airlines or European airlines? How are they reacting to what was just laid out by the Homeland Security Secretary?

MARSH: Well, I can tell you that that -- that we just carried there, people are really getting a lot of the details now in real time so we're going to have to wait and get some of that reaction. Of course, the question is, will every global airport around the world that has direct flights to the United States be able to implement or even afford to implement every single item that's on their directive? We don't know. I should point out that this would be something for the airlines to implement, they'll have to work with the airports in those various countries. But will everyone be able to do it and will they be able to afford to do it. That remains to be seen but we're still waiting on reaction. I think the aviation industry --

BALDWIN: Rene, forgive me. We're going to go to the President now. Thank you, Rene, so much. Here's the President meeting with immigration crime victims. He's urging the passage of this house legislation, he says, to save American lives. Let's listen.

[15:45:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much for being here to discuss two crucial votes taking place in Congress tomorrow on vital safety and national security legislation. We're joined by the chairman of the house judiciary, a friend of mine for a long time. Bob is one of the most skilled legislators in Congress and you didn't even tell me to say that, bob, right? And he's worked with law enforcement to write a series of critical immigration bills that will close the dangerous loopholes exploited by criminals, gang members, drug dealers, killers, terrorists, MS-13 is a prime target. Bad people. And we've gotten many of them out already. You know, we're pretty much at the 50 percent mark. We're getting them out as fast as we can get them out and we're freeing up towns.

Actually, liberating towns if you can believe that we have to do that in the United States of America. But we're doing it and we're doing it fast. Also with us today are Congressman Peter King, another friend, Lou, where's Lou? Another friend. So, you're running for governor, Lou? Look behind you, Lou. You can make an announcement. Lou, an early supporter. Thank you, Lou. And David Young. Tomorrow, the house will vote on the No Sanctuary for Criminals act. It's been in the works for a long time. People have wanted it, Bob, for a long time. But we were able to get this process going. And I hope you're going to be successful. You'll be successful tomorrow with the vote?

REP. PETER KING, (R) NEW YORK: We will.

TRUMP: Good. Which will cut federal grant money to cities that shield dangerous criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement. The house will also vote on Kate's law, named for Kate Steinle, who was killed by an illegal immigrant and who's been deported five times. This law will enhance criminal penalties for those who repeatedly reenter the country illegally. Countless innocent Americans, including the loved ones of many families in the room and many of these families are friends of mine, friends of mine, that I got to know over the campaign trail because they fought so hard for this. And they are with us. They've had members of their family killed by illegal immigrants and really people with multiple, in some cases, multiple deportations. I'm especially honored to be here with so many courageous families whom I did get to know so well over the past period of time.

And here's one right over here. Jamil, great, great man. With a great son. Great son. Great family. He lost the people that you loved because our government refused to enforce our nation's immigration laws, and that's even the existing immigration laws, without new laws. That's existing immigration laws. For years, the pundits, journalists, politicians and Washington refused to hear your voices. But on election day, 2016, your voices were heard all across the entire world. Right? You better believe it. Nobody died in vain, I can tell you.

The chairman has produced a package of truly key immigration enforcement bills. We've been waiting for these for a long time. And I want to thank you, chairman, for doing that. Great job. And it's just perfect. This package includes the Davis Oliver act, whose passage I called for nearly a year ago at my inauguration speech and immigration speech, both. The immigration speech taking place in Phoenix, Arizona. The Davis Oliver act was named for detective Michael Davis and deputy sheriff Danny Oliver who were gunned down in the line of duty by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations, and everybody knew this person was big, big trouble, and they begged law enforcement to get him out. And they weren't able to do that. They're incredibly brave works were honored and we're honoring them today. And it's honored -- where are you, please? The widow. Where is -- here some place, the back of the room. Thank you. Thank you.

BALDWIN: All right, so we just wanted to dip in and hear the President there. He's talking about two votes in Congress tomorrow. We'll get some context to that and a lot of talk about, of course, sanctuary cities and can the local government entities, local cities what to do.

[15:50:00] We've got the legal and the politics covered for you. Tal is a CNN politics reporter and Danny Cevallos is here, a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. We know he had those families around the table, victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, just for context, of who was in that white house cabinet room. Tell me about these two votes, especially the one on sanctuary cities.

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That's right. So, there are two bills that the house is going to be voting on tomorrow. The first, Kate's law, which is named after Kate Steinle, the anniversary of her murder is coming up on Saturday. That bill would increase maximum penalties that can be doled out for people who have been deported and illegal reentered the country multiple times, especially if they have criminal convictions. It will be ten years in prison, up to 25 years in prison under this bill. The second bill that focuses on sanctuary cities would allow the federal government to do more to sort, I don't want to use the word coerce because that carries legal connotations but encourage cities to comply with federal immigration enforcement, specifically this issue of detainers, it is a little bit in the weeks but it is important, Basically, ICE, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has sometimes requested that local law enforcement keep people in detention 48 hours beyond what is required by criminal law, and a lot of local jurisdictions don't comply with that, either because the courts have ruled that unconstitutional or they feel it jeopardizes local activity. This would allow them to penalize the ones who don't comply with that.

BALDWIN: on that note, Danny, this is where you come in what she just outlined including the world she said encourage, right, the federal government encourage these local cities. Can the federal government say, you must do this?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, it can't. You might think at first blush that, look, immigration is purely the province of the federal government, therefore, it can tell anyone what to do about anything that has to do with immigration, but that's not the case.

BALDWIN: It can't.

CEVALLOS: Constitutionally. Under the 10th amendment, the federal government can't force cities to carry out federal policy. Then you run into another problem. Once a person has finished serving their state time, they cannot -- the state cannot continue to hold that person with probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. So, you run afoul of another constitutional provision. So, all the federal government can do is say, hey, pretty please, can you hold onto this person? Frankly, no matter what side you come down on immigration, if I was cities, I wouldn't want to hold these people because you require liability for any time they're injured in your possession, and the federal government will not reimburse you for that. You acquire all these problems that your city may be cash strapped and not able to handle to begin with, and you're being asked to carry a federal policy, which is the federal government's business. It is not really a political issue, it is a constitutional issue.

BALDWIN: Danny, thank you. Tal, thank you. Back in just a moment.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: We've got definitely some newsworthy comments coming in from the National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster ahead of the South Korean President coming into Washington tomorrow. This is all in the wake of these threats and posturing from North Korea. This is what he told a group of defense stakeholders, that South Koreans, quote, were being held hostage by the North Korean regime and that military action was an option being considered by the Trump administration to prevent nuclear ambitions. The threat as much more immediate. We can't repeat the same failed approach of the past. Goes on and says, preparing a range of options, including a military option which he says nobody wants to take.

Human rights officials, after U.N. report that the Syrian campaign against ISIS has killed 2,000 civilians in Raqqa and there is deep concern for those who remain. CNN's international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh exposes what life is like in the heart of Raqqa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is what a reign of terror looks like when it is in collapse. The traffic is normal, so is the market, but you can tell ISIS are losing here on the streets of Raqqa, the capital of their fast-shrinking caliphate for one thing. It's actually pretty easy to film them in secret. Using a hidden body camera could be a death sentence for this activist, but in these besieged streets lined with sandbags, encircled by American-backed Syrian fighters, they just don't fear ISIS anymore. So, even this foreign fighter from Belgium is a target as he makes a front-line fashion choice. And elsewhere, two Russian-speaking fighters appear to discuss airstrikes.

Here, the Egyptian looks for his military police man. They don't find him. The streets are covered with canopies meant to shelter ISIS fighters from prying coalition drones above. But despite the war, the market is brimming, even the wounded the hobbling around. Under siege. Why is there so much food? It's shipped in from nearby regime-held areas, we're told commerce is alive and well in the caliphate. This shop even seems to offer to change dollars. Sandbags give shelter from airstrikes but also defensive positions when street- to-street fighting reaches here. But some locals have already made this hostile terrain.

One activist from the group telling us how he pinned night letters, death threats, to the doors of ISIS informants. We could only get to them, he says, by leaving messages on their door like, we know who you are. This soon stopped them. And some of our friends started writing the word "free" on walls of ISIS buildings. Then locals started children on chalkboards making ISIS wonder, who are these people? It's getting ugly for ISIS here. They've moved their prisoners out. Top commanders have fled. Their lieutenants only drive around in low- profile normal cars. Their enemy is literally at the gates. Is' world vanishing fast. This may be among the last times we glimpse into their warped way of life. Nick Payton Walsh, CNN.

BALDWIN: Nick, thank you.

I'm Brooke Baldwin, thank you.

THE LEAD starts now.