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AT THIS HOUR
Arrest in NYC Terror Attack; Trump Accusers Speak Out, Demand Action; Key Members of Trump Campaign Back in Court. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired December 11, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:31:32] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: New details on the breaking news today, an attempted terror attack in New York City. Two law enforcement sources telling CNN the suspect, a 27-year-old man, was living in Brooklyn and is of Bangladeshi descent. It happened today during the morning commute and all went down below the port authority. The attacker is alive in the hospital and told police that he made the crude device at his work place. We're getting new video showing the moment of the explosion.
And CNN's Brynn Gingras is here and working all of her sources on all of this getting this very important reporting.
This video clearly, Brynn, one of the many keys to the investigation. Walk us through what you're hearing and what it shows.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's one video, Kate. And there's going to be a lot of video and not only just in the port authority, but also from people there around the time and in the aftermath and so on.
What your viewers are seeing, I want to paint you a picture, when you talk about the port authority, this tunnel sort of connects the port authority which is an avenue over from Times Square to Times Square. A narrow passageway. Where this bomb was detonated was a narrow area where people are flying back and forth between each other trying to connect to trains and busses.
So I am also hearing from sources that had this bomb gone off as planned, it could have done a lot more damage and, of course, not only because of how narrow that passageway is, the time of day, how many people are trying to get to and from where they need to head. That video is telling of a lot, but police are still learning a lot more, including talking to the suspect injured from the blast -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: That is the most important thing to be happening right now.
Brynn, thank you so much. Much more to come clearly as new details are coming out.
While we wait, Paul Cruickshank, joins me now, CNN terrorism analyst and editor-in-chief, of the "CTC Sentinel."
Great to see you, Paul. Unfortunately, it is always under these circumstances.
What we are learning from sources, Paul, is this is a man, 27 years old, living in Brooklyn, but from Bangladesh. What is the terror landscape in Bangladesh? Does that strike you?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It is a striking detail. Bangladesh has emerged as a fertile recruiting ground for ISIS for al Qaeda. There's been a lot of jihadi militants in the last few years, attacks on secular bloggers. There was that ISIS-sponsored attack on a bakery, a cafe in Dakar, the capital of Bangladesh in 2016. ISIS are making inroads there. Lot of jihadi propaganda in Bengali. What's not clear is the trajectory of this individual, whether they came from Bangladesh, immigrated from Bangladesh, and when they had done so or born inside the United States. There's a lot of jihadi propaganda in the Bengali language.
BOLDUAN: The unknowns are important in this conversation when we talk about this person's connections at all with any jihadi networks? Is there any chatter about this today?
CRUICKSHANK: Not yet. No official claim of responsibility. But it has to be noted that this comes just a few days after al Qaeda and other jihadi groups called for attacks on U.S. interests after the declaration about Jerusalem from the president of the United States. That is the background music here. Not clear whether this was any sort of inspiration at all. We're going to hear more from the NYPD later. Apparently, a number of statements that this attacker made after the attack after he was injured in the attack. We'll have to wait and see whether it was a connection back to ISIS. There have been several ISIS-inspired attacks in the United States. One just a few weeks ago in New York City on the West Side Highway. That one was -- we believe just ISIS-inspired. No actual organized link back to the group.
[11:35:35] BOLDUAN: That also gets to what is, again, unique here. This is the second terror attack or attempt in New York City where the attacker was taken alive. This is not what you have definitely taught me over the years, not what terror leaders want. That is not the goal. What does that mean?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, it means that they got to be able to interrogate him, get information to find whether he had any sort of connections overseas, whether he had connections in the United States. From the point of view of an attacker, this is really the last thing they want. All they want is to die. They want to go to paradise in these kinds of jihadi attacks and all the signs point to this being a jihadi attack at the moment.
BOLDUAN: What extent and connections all to be known.
Great to see you, Paul. Thank you so much.
Coming up next for us, is the U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley breaking with the White House over a very sensitive issue, the women who have accused President Trump of sexual harassment. Well the White House says they are liars. Nikki Haley said the women should be heard and dealt with. What's going on here?
BOLDUAN: Three women who accused Donald Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior are speaking out again. Among more than a dozen who accused the president of misconduct over the years. All that became an explosive part of the 2016 election. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:39:49] RACHEL CROOKS, ACCUSES TRUMP OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: In an objective setting without question a person with this record with would have entered the graveyard of political aspirations never to return. Yet here we are with that man as president. I want to believe that as Americans, we can put aside our political inclinations and admit that some things, in fact, do transcend politics, that we will hold Mr. Trump to the same standard as Harvey Weinstein, and the other men who were held accountable for their behavior. I ask that Congress put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr. Trump's history of sexual misconduct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: So there's that.
Over to the White House now, CNN's Joe Johns is there.
Joe, as you heard, they're calling for an investigation by Congress. Is the White House reacting?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the White House stands by its denials the event never happened. This morning we haven't been able to get a timely attributable on-the-record denial on the recent developments, but we've been referred to the president's own words. For example, when he was candidate Trump back in October of last year, Donald Trump said in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, "The events never happened, never, all of these liars will be sued after the election is over."
Of course, to our knowledge, the president hasn't sued anyone over claims like this.
But one of the most interesting things, of course, is that the message that is coming out of the White House is not exactly lock step. The president's handpicked representative to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, over on CBS over the weekend, suggested that as a matter of course, allegations like this ought to be heard. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Women who accuse anyone should be heard. They should be heard, and they should be dealt with. We heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So the president's position is, obviously, that nothing ever happened. Nikki Haley says, these things ought to be heard.
Interesting also to point out, as we talk about Roy Moore so much over the next 24 hours or so, one of the president's statements from early on in the Roy Moore controversy really tell you about his feelings, the allegations against him and Roy Moore. He said like most Americans, the president believes the statements that we cannot allow a mere allegation in this case from many years ago to destroy a person's life.
So I'm sure there will be more questions for the White House on this today.
Kate, back to you.
BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Joe. Thank you so much.
Many questions for the White House, I would assume.
Joining me to discuss, Ed Martin, CNN political commentator, author of "The Conservative Case for Trump," and he's also supporting Roy Moore in the special election. Angela Rye, political commentator and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus. Caitlin Huey- Burns, a reporter for "Real Clear Politics."
Great to see all of you. Thanks for being here.
Caitlan, three of the president's accusers as shown right there, speaking out today, asking for Congress to investigate the president on these past allegations, is there any possibility that that actually happens?
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, REPORTER, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: It's really hard to see right now. Every time a lawmaker is asked about this they say look we're trying to cheap House and handle this in Congress right now. Not going to comment on the president --
HUEY-BURNS: We're only dealing with the legislative branch. Which brings up an interesting point which is Congress as it pertains to lawmakers they are trying to address this issue. You can argue they have been lagging behind other institutions, they haven't been doing it as effectively. Some members of Congress still with outstanding allegations made against them remaining in Congress. It does set up a very important contrast here and Nikki Haley is someone who presumably wants a future in politics behind this White House and presidency. The politics have shifted over the past two months, let alone the past year since the election. I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it.
BOLDUAN: I find what Nikki Haley said fascinating, Ed. Ambassador Haley's comments on the president's accusers, she didn't say they should be believed, but she did say they should be heard. And also said that they -- that they should be dealt with or would be dealt with, as if to say that it wasn't over. Which seems in contrast pretty starkly to what the White House says about this. What do you make of what she said?
ED MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think -- I thought Nikki Haley part was echoing what Senator Collins said, which is as much as you like to go back to the past and redo the election, many of these allegations were heard. If there's new ones, there is such a thing as free speech and such a thing as media coverage I think is OK, and probably -- probably will happen and should. But here's the thing, when people call on Congress to investigate, there's a $17 million slush fund Congress paid out to people they haven't even confessed and put that out. Like the idea that Congress is going clean up --
BOLDUAN: Work on that.
BOLDUAN: That's one of the bills being -- one of the bills that's been proposed.
[11:44:08] MARTIN: CNN did a great job covering that. That's important. But we have judicial members, judges who have been accused of things. Look, we have elections when it comes to the presidency about this disqualifying. If they have a complaint otherwise, then come forward. But again, a lot of this is politics and the American people are not -- my old boss, Kate, once said, we don't elect a pastor, we elect a president. A lot of people are looking up saying OK, you know, lots of things going on with every president, and like the book on Obama, the biography about his life I don't think we should go back and litigate that. We should go forward.
BOLDUAN: When it comes to the sexual harassment conversation that is going on around the country, I think just saying that there's so many of -- and I don't know if that's your implication, so many of them how do they have time to investigate, I don't think that's a good enough excuse.
BOLDUAN: If there's a lot of them, there's a reason they should be investigated.
Angela, let me bring you in on this.
When it comes to Ambassador Haley, what does that say about her position within the White House or with the president? I mean do you think anyone else could say this and survive?
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well I'm expecting a tweet from Donald Trump responding to Nikki Haley. In T-minus two minutes, he will be tweeting about Nikki Haley. One thing I want to go back to the resident protector of all things
Barack Obama's legacy. He has never been accused of sexual assault. I just named myself that, Kate.
And it's important we make a big distinction here. If we can lay all partisan discussions aside, if there was any member of Congress, state Senator or legislator, whatsoever, a mayor, city commissioner, who said on tape the things that Donald Trump has said, he did on tape. And then there were stories that came out not from one, not from two, not from five, not from 10, but from 16 women, that had paralleled experiences with an elected official, he would be under the jail, definitely impeached and not sitting in office. We have to be honest about the fact for whatever he has been Teflon Don from the moment he came down the escalator.
You can groan, but it's true.
I might not be electing a pastor, but I definitely want to ensure that someone who sits in a place as commander-in-chief can set an example for my five godsons, one god daughter and for the baby that Kate is carrying right now.
BOLDUAN: I'm going to say it, don't bring my baby into this.
RYE: That's in a good way. A good way. Set a good example.
RYE: That's a good example, Kate.
MARTIN: Look, I don't know what the standard is here. Al franken confessed, pictures of his conduct, people and the president's denied these things and again, I mean if we're going to go through, line up all the Senators and have hearings. I've called for al franken to chair hearings where every allegation in the last 40 years against every sitting Senator has been --
BOLDUAN: He's resigning.
BOLDUAN: This is -- what is I feel like you're trying to have it both ways let people be heard and what comes out of your mouth next is diminishing what people -- the words people are saying and what's coming out of people's mouths.
MARTIN: No. They get to say what they want. The question is whether they're believable. If the president says he didn't do what they accused him of, the voters voted. At what point do we keep going back and rehash this.
BOLDUAN: I know you're raising the question and what the women who spoke out this morning said is they think that this is a different moment in this country and they would like it to be looked at. You feel differently.
Caitlin, three Democrats have come out and called on the president to resign based on -- I'm just going to call it the al franken model, happened before he was a Senator, came out since. Is there anything serious about them coming out to say this?
HUEY-BURNS: These are all Democrats, but it does speak to the underlying kind of or the hope that this would be an implication of Democrats with Franken, with Conyers, with others, saying that, look, we've taken care of this on our side, putting the spotlight back on to Republicans and Trump, especially ahead of this Alabama Senate race, which will be very interesting. This is why the Trump endorsement kind of matters beyond the Senate race. The Trump endorsement of Moore seems to overlook --
BOLDUAN: I want to bring this up quickly, because we've talked about this a lot and David brought something up earlier I want to get your take on.
BOLDUAN: All the allegations of molestation and inappropriate behavior aside this is a man who had a long history, and why Republicans had departed from him, before the allegations had come out, that homosexual conduct should be illegal, the only thing that Islam has given us is 9/11, and that he just said last year, he said he still didn't think that President Obama was born in the United States. That's just three examples. How is that not a problem for Republicans should he be in Congress?
[11:50:13] MARTIN: Look, I answered this question a lot in the last day or so. To me, it's the end of the campaign. And people are taking the most extreme things he said, a lot of which I don't know when or how he said it, and they are making it sound like it's the end of the case.
BOLDUAN: No, no, no. This is like the third time just to me that you haven't heard the context and you don't know when it was said. If you had the time to look at it, I can go through them right now.
MARTIN: If you have time for me to answer each of them, I can. The Alabama voters who know the guy for decades. If you want to answer each of them, I can.
(CROSSTALK) RYE: I want you to answer this one. Tell me why when he was asked when America was at its greatest, he said during slavery.
MARTIN: That's not what he said.
RYE: He said families loved each other then. Tell me what was great. Tell me about that one.
MARTIN: No, that's not --
BOLDUAN: I want to know how this is not -- no matter if it's extreme or said other things, he said these are other things. How are these not a problem if he makes it to Congress?
MARTIN: He's getting elected to the Senate. When he gets to the Senate, he will have to vote on things. And slavery is not going to be voted on and neither is homosexuality.
RYE: You serious?
MARTIN: It's such a slur against him. He said families still love each other when they existed. People in bondage when the Jews were in bondage for years, they still loved each other.
RYE: You kidding me?
MARTIN: No, I'm not kidding you.
RYE: You are going to hedge on slavery. Can you just acknowledge on this problem --
MARTIN: I'm condemning slavery and so does Roy Moore.
RYE: No, he doesn't.
RYE: He said America was at its greatest during slavery when families loved each other.
BOLDUAN: The last time that America was great, and he said, "I think it was great at a time when families were united even though we had slavery that cared for one another."
MARTIN: People -
BOLDUAN: You want to endorse that, Ed?
MARTIN: No. He didn't say that's what we need to go back to for greatness. He said when there was slavery, it's a terrible thing. I denounce it, but there were families.
RYE: You're adding stuff. You're adding stuff.
RYE: That's not what he said.
MARTIN: Here's what I'm going to tell you.
BOLDUAN: Ed, I'm going to stop this and believe me, you are going to be mad at me, too. But, Ed, on the face of it, it's not acceptable to say just because I don't think he is not going to have to vote on something this statement doesn't matter.
MARTIN: But the statement is not the support --
BOLDUAN: I'm not saying what we are discussing, but statements that are said in public, these were not in private. These were not anonymous. Statements said in public are statements that traditionally that's what politicians should and are held accountable for.
BOLDUAN: If you can't be accountable for what you are saying in public, what can we vote on.
MARTIN: Kate, he didn't say he was for slavery. He did not say slavery was a good idea and we should bring it back.
BOLDUAN: -- example, homosexual conduct should be illegal. How about that?
MARTIN: Don't you agree that people think homosexuality is wrong. It doesn't mean we want legislation like that. I don't support that.
(CROSSTALK) RYE: But your president tried to ban transgender people from the military. Of course, they are voting on this. Of course, they are up for debate.
MARTIN: I support.
MARTIN: -- transgenders in the military. Nothing to do with it.
RYE: I support you all not be able to get Viagra in the military.
MARTIN: You all?
RYE: Men. Men, men.
RYE: I'm talking about all the men who are talking about sexual misconduct.
RYE: Men folk.
MARTIN: I'm not in the military.
BOLDUAN: I'm stopping all of you.
BOLDUAN: I'm not a man. At least for today.
BOLDUAN: Ed, Angela and Caitlin, thank you.
MARTIN: Thanks, Kate.
[11:54:20] BOLDUAN: Coming up, two key members -- you don't think the election matters, look at this conversation. Two key members of the Trump campaign back in court over the Russia probe. What the judge decided about bail conditions and house arrest status. Plus, the judge's warning to one of them, Paul Manafort. That's coming up.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BOLDUAN: They fought, they pleaded but, in the end, two key members of the Trump cap pain will remain under house arrest. Moments ago, former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his deputy, Rick Gates, left court.
CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, was outside with what happened inside.
Jessica, what are you learning?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, both Manafort and Gates will be spending the holidays under house arrest, something their lawyers fought vigorously against. The judge once again saying she just needs more information from Paul Manafort when it comes to the value of his properties, and he offered to put up as collateral for bail. She said, when it comes to Rick Gates, he will have to ask on a case by case basis whether or not he can leave his home, something the judge granted permission for in the past.
Paul Manafort's attorney talking about trial strategies. He believes it will amount to Paul Manafort failing to file a few forms and saying, Kate, he doesn't believe the other changes, including money laundering, will stand up.
Both will be back in court on January 16th. For now, under house arrest for the holidays -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Much more to come.
Great to see you, Jessica. Thank you.
Still ahead, more on the breaking news this morning, an attempted terror attack near one of the New York City's transit hubs.
"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.