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Shooting at Kosher Market in New Jersey; Harrowing Stories of Volcano Eruption Survival; Democrats and White House Move to Advance USMCA. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired December 11, 2019 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, the mayor of Jersey City say invest -- says investigators believe that a kosher market was targeted by two gunmen who engaged in an hours' long shootout with police. Three civilians and a veteran police officer were killed, along with the two suspects.
CNN's Alexandra Field joins us live in Jersey City with the latest.
The market was targeted, we're now hearing, Alexandra.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is what we're hearing from the mayor of Jersey City. Police have not said it publicly, but they are out here, on the scene this morning, and they say they're looking at, at least three different crime scenes, including an area near a cemetery where a police officer, who spent his career trying to get guns off the street, was shot to death. They're also looking at a U- Haul that's being investigated by the bomb squad. And, of course, they're still out here at this kosher market where the gunfire rang out for hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a war zone. Pow, pow, pow, pow. Pow, pow, pow, pow.
FIELD (voice over): Six people are dead, including a police officer, after violent shootouts in Jersey City. It all begun around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon when officers received calls of gunfire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Units responding and were immediately engaged by high powered rifle fire. At that time, we were learning, at the same time, that we had another officer down in another part of the city. That officer since has been listed as deceased. That is Joseph Seals (ph), detective with our cease-fire unit.
FIELD: A second officer was shot in the shoulder. Another was also injured. Both have since been released from the hospital.
Witnesses say the ordeal unfolded so quickly, they could hardly believe what they were seeing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I went to the Salvation Army, I was shopping for a few moments and all I heard was pow, pow, pow. So I thought it was the guys maybe down the corner, you know, someone playing with fireworks. And then, all of a sudden, the noises start going pow, pow, pow, pow. I see all these unmarked cars, unmarked guys jumping out of their cars taking stands and start shooting.
FIELD: Police swarming the JC Kosher Supermarket after the shooters holed up inside. The chief says the gunman fired on the officers for hours. Once they finally got inside the store, police say they found five people deceased.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe two of them are bad guys. We believe three of them are not, and may be civilians that were inside the store.
FIELD: Well, Jersey City's mayor says he believes that the location of the attack was targeted. New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio takes it a step farther, calling this an attack on the Jewish community. He says police in New York City will be stepping up their presence at key locations for the Jewish community, despite a lack of any credible threats.
Neither mayor has said why they believe the location in this attack was targeted. Again, that's not being publicly confirmed by police at this point. They also have yet to publicly release the identity of the three civilians killed in the crossfire.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We hope that police get to the bottom of all of that soon.
Alexandra, thank you very much.
Something big is happening this morning. We hear, for the first time, from the Justice Department's inspector general himself, who just put out that long awaited report about the origins of the Russia investigation. What does he think about the president and Attorney General Barr getting the findings so wrong? That's next.
CAMEROTA: In a matter of hours, the Justice Department's inspector general will testify before Congress about his report into the FBI's Russia investigation. That report debunks a number of conspiracy theories that President Trump and his allies have been pushing for years. And now Attorney General Barr is attacking his own inspector general about the report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: They not only didn't tell the court that what they had been relying on was -- was completely, you know, rubbish, they actually started putting in things to bolster the Steele report.
These irregularities, these misstatements, these omissions were not satisfactorily explained. And I think that leaves open the possibility to infer bad faith.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Joining us now, we have CNN legal and national security analyst Asha Rangappa. She is a former FBI special agent. And CNN correspondent Josh Campbell. He is also a former FBI special agent and the author of the new book about the FBI's investigation, "Crossfire Hurricane: Inside Donald Trump's War on the FBI."
Well, we couldn't have picked two better guests to have on this morning. And this morning is going to be so fascinating. We are hearing how the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, threads this needle between Bill Barr's impressions, or at least what he claims his impressions are, and Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, because they are completely at odds.
I want to show a moment here. Bill Barr continues to use the term "spying" for what I believe in the FBI is referred to as investigating. So here he is talking about he's sticking to his belief that there was spying despite what the inspector general says and then Christopher Wray has to refute it.
So watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Oh, it was clearly spied upon. I mean that's what electronic surveillance is. I think wiring people up to go and talk to people and make recordings of their conversations is spying.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: The inspector general found that the FBI did not use any human sources or undercover employees to go inside the campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Josh, the attorney general's idea of what law enforcement's mission is and the tools it should use seems to be completely at odds with the director of the FBI.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are on two separate sides of this issue. And if you think about it, we now have these two firmly ensconced camps. On one side, the inspector general, this independent, non-partisan person, and the FBI director. On the other side, President Trump and his attorney general, who has
that relationship, you know, this relationship between the attorney general and the president is not a normal relationship. Usually have distance and independence. But Bill Barr continues to push himself further in that corner and he does so, I think by using the same type of loaded terminology, spying, which, you know, Asha knows, you know, inside the halls of the FBI and the Justice Department, any time you use the word "spying," you're usually talking about what foreign adversaries are doing to the United States, not what FBI agents are doing as part of their lawfully predicated investigations.
And I have to tell you as well that this is really irking people inside the FBI to have their boss, the U.S. attorney general, the nation's top cop so to speak, using this type of language to talk about activity that they do every single day.
BERMAN: I actually think he's doing more than playing word games. He's clearly playing word games, but he's also just intentionally misleading --
ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes.
BERMAN: About what the inspector general found because one of the things -- and, again, the inspector general found a lot of things in a lot of different ways, but he found there was no -- no evidence of political bias at the launch of the investigation.
Just -- just listen to how Barr, the attorney general, frames it compared it what Christopher Wray, who clearly read the IG report, says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: He is not definitively ruling that there was no bias.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: The inspector general did not find that political bias or improper motivations impacted the decision to open the Russia interference investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RANGAPPA: The inspector general states several times, with regard to different parts of the report that he oversaw, even the FISA process, which had the most problems of anything he looked at, that there was no political bias or improper motivations.
And when he's using the word "spying," he is misleading the public because the inspector general found no evidence that these informants were going in to collect information on the campaign. They were there to find out if Russia was making any kind of outreach or trying, you know, to coordinate with specific members in the campaign upon whom the FBI had opened predicated investigations based on their contacts or past, you know, experience with Russia. So I think that's misleading as well that, I mean, it's not like they
were trying to find out Trump's tax plan and release it or something like that, you know?
CAMPBELL: And what's so fascinating is, regardless of, you know, the facts that we can read for ourselves from this inspector general, that there was no political bias, we continue to hear the president and his allies using that -- you know, those phrases. Just last night in his rally, obviously talked about himself being spied upon.
One thing that he said that he really keyed in on, which I thought was interesting and I can only imagine what's going on with the discussions inside the FBI today, he called it Obama's FBI. Obama's FBI spied upon me. And I can tell you that, you know, often times Justice Departments are referred to by the president, you know, the Bush Justice Department and the like. It is never referred to in the FBI as belonging to any president.
RANGAPPA: That's right.
CAMPBELL: Because of that, you know, culture of independence. But, again, this is going to be another, I think, item that's going to irk a lot of FBI people, calling this, you know, belonging to any president.
CAMEROTA: Of course, because agents are there throughout administrations. They don't leave with each administrations. Some are there -- they're career agents sometimes and they stay throughout.
OK, thank you. Thank you both very much for all of your personal expertise on this.
BERMAN: All right, coming up, we have a new interview with a man who was on the island with the volcano in New Zealand when it erupted. His harrowing story of survival, next.
BERMAN: All right, breaking overnight, emergency officials say eight people are still missing after this volcanic eruption in New Zealand that killed at least six others. Authorities say it's still too dangerous to return to the island to try to recover the bodies. And new aerial video shows huge plumes of smoke still rising from the volcano.
Now, CNN's Will Ripley has a remarkable story. He spoken with a man who had just take an boat tour of the island with his daughter.
Will joins us now live from New Zealand with their story.
Will, what'd they have to say?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was chilling to sit there and listen, John, as he talked about this wonderful day that he and his daughter had on this island. And leaving the island about ten minutes before the eruption happened. Their boat was literally pulling away when they didn't even hear any noise, they all of a sudden saw the huge smoke plume. Their boat turned around and then what began after that was a frantic attempt to rescue as many people as they could.
RIPLEY (voice over): Monday was a picture perfect day to visit White Island, crystal blue skies, sunlight bouncing off the lunar-like landscape. Raw, rugged natural beauty lures thousands to this New Zealand treasure each year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful yellows and whites and crystals. But knowing the -- you know, just below the surface is so violent, so hot, so explosive.
RIPLEY: The trip was Jeff Hopkins' 50th birthday gift from his daughter, Lalani (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We weren't in any hurry getting off the island. I'm thinking where I'm going to sit on the boat so we can get some awesome shots of the island as we leave.
This is --
RIPLEY: He took this photo at 2:07 p.m.
RIPLEY (on camera): Those dots are people who were in the crater?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. The people on -- on the crater lake, on the edge of the crater lake. And then four minutes later --
RIPLEY (voice over): At 2:11, blue skies turned dark.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a split second it was a gasp of awe. One or two seconds later is that -- is that menacing ash cloud started to roll over the cliff and engulf the island.
Wow. This is serious. This is bad. And, you know, and at that stage, then you -- you think, there were people still on the island.
RIPLEY: Their tour boat turned around. Everything on the island covered in ash.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that smashed helicopter just completely gray. And we can see there's people in the water. There's people swimming off the island.
RIPLEY: They pulled 23 survivors onto the boat. It was hard to tell the students from the senior citizens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody was -- was horrific burns. Skin falling off. Lots of screaming. You know, panic screaming. Get me out of here. I'm burning. I'm burning.
RIPLEY: Hopkins is a trained first responder. He spent much of the 90 minute trip back to shore caring for a young couple from Virginia, Lauren and Matthew Yuri (ph), on what was supposed to be their dream honeymoon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember I asked her, her name, and she struggled to say it, but he it for -- you know he said, she's my wife. And -- and she would ask, how's my husband? And he would ask, how's my wife?
RIPLEY: He fought to keep them awake, fought to keep them alive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said, this is the worst day of my life. And I -- I had to say, yes, it is, but you've got so much more in your life to live. When she says, I don't think I'm going to make it, you -- you rebuke that. You are going to make it. You are going to make it. You're strong. You're a fighter. You're going to get through this. You've got a future.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nine (ph) minutes could have been life or death for them.
RIPLEY: I spoke with Matt Yuri's mom, Janet. She was about to board her flight for the 29-hour journey from Pennsylvania to New Zealand.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's absolutely soul crushing. It's my worst nightmare. But on the other hand, I'm trying to focus on the positive. They were lucky enough, they had already come down the volcano. So they were very close to the water.
RIPLEY: The couple managed to seek shelter behind a rock. They still suffered severe burns over much of their bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm still coming to terms with it.
RIPLEY: Hopkins tries not to think about what could have happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we hadn't have got off the island, there would have been double the victims and nobody to help. It's a day I'll never forget. Never forget.
RIPLEY: He'll also never forget the people who died and the ones still fighting to stay alive.
RIPLEY: And we have learned that an American family is missing here. The Hollander (ph) family. The mom and two teenage sons are from Chicago. The dad is from Australia. They are living in Sydney, going to school in Sydney, but they are now confirmed to be among those believed to be sitting right there on the island with all the others. Deathly silent. And they can't go to retrieve the bodies because the conditions are still too dangerous, John.
BERMAN: I mean that's the part that's also heart breaking, but the fact they can't get there, Will, they can't get on the island to recover the bodies or even see what the situation is. That's got to be so frustrating.
RIPLEY: It really is. It's -- it is infuriating for people that we've been talking to on the ground here. I actually took a helicopter ride a short time ago, and we'll share that video with you later, but it was with a helicopter pilot who defied emergency orders not to go to the island. He went there and ended up rescuing, with his colleagues, a dozen people who would have died had they not gone. And he said he wants to go back to recover the bodies but authorities are saying that anybody who does that could be -- could be punished. They say they don't want to see any more casualties, especially given the fact that there is that new warning out, and we saw the smoke plumes ourselves from the air today, possibility of more eruptions.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.
Will, what a -- what a harrowing story that you captured so well in all of those -- if all of your reporting in those interviews.
Thank you very much.
BERMAN: So, in the middle of all the historic and dramatic impeachment moments, there's a remarkable legislative moment. A bipartisan deal has been reached in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We're declaring victory for the American worker in what is in this agreement.
ROBERT LIGHTHIZER, U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE: The result, I think, is the best trade agreement in history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: House Democrats and the White House have agreed to advance the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada. This is the new NAFTA, the USMCA.
Here to discuss, CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans and CNN senior political analyst John Avlon.
And there are really two aspects to this. Number one, what is this deal?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
BERMAN: And, number two, what does it mean that within an hour they announced they were impeaching a president and then struck a bipartisan deal? What's --
CAMEROTA: I guess that's what it takes.
BERMAN: I guess.
What is the new NAFTA?
ROMANS: Yes, that and a whole year of negotiating. Democrats, for a year, were negotiating with the White House on this.
Look, it is the new NAFTA. It's basically NAFTA rebranded and taken from 1993 to 2019. 1993, 1994, there was no digital content that had to be -- you know, that had to be looked after. It is here now.
They're trying to nudge up Mexico's wages. That would be good for all of the workers in North America. They're trying to have more content in cars, for example, made in North America, and more content in a car must be made at $16 an hour labor. The idea is that you can't just ship your jobs to Mexico, where they -- where they make a lot less than that, keep them in the U.S. That could mean higher car prices for consumers. It also could mean that maybe less profitable smaller cars, maybe those get moved, shipment there to Asia or production there to Asia. But the idea here is to kind of make more content of American cars, North American cars made in North America under higher wages.
CAMEROTA: On the political side, John, lots of -- some Democrats think that Nancy Pelosi shouldn't have handed President Trump this major, legislative win on the day of -- that impeachment articles are announced.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think what Nancy Pelosi would say is, she was able to get -- show that Washington can still work, even in the height of impeachment. And the impeachment obviously overshadows this substantive deal.
But the Democrats did work with the White House. They got this better. It shows that Washington can work, even in a time of constitutional crisis. It can compartmentalize. And this is really an improvement. After 25 years, deals should be updated. And this addresses a lot of concern for core Democratic constituencies like labor unions and addresses a lot of the things that haven't worked out so well from NAFTA, even though net/net it's been positive for economic growth. Let's not forget that.
BERMAN: It's interesting because Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, one of the things they're claiming, and maybe is spin, is that they ate the president's lunch in negotiations.
BERMAN: That they got more in the negotiations for this deal than the president and the Republicans wanted them to.
What are they talking about?
ROMANS: They're talking about enforcement provisions. They're talking about some protections for drug manufacturers on patents and the like. The Democrats were able to get their wish list on a couple of those things.
The president was able to get a big win on U.S. dairy, opening the Canadian market for some U.S. farmers. That's something the president had really, really wanted.
But what also Nancy Pelosi gets, she gets for freshman Democrats in Trump districts, she -- they can go home and say, look, we're not just trying to shut down this president. Look, we're helping -- we're helping get stuff done, including a better NAFTA.
AVLON: That's so crucial, because heading into re-election, a lot -- part of Donald Trump's argument is, the do nothing Democrats aren't helping you, even when there's a deal that would benefit a lot of workers in these upper Midwestern swing states. The Democrats can say, we worked with the administration on that and we delivered it.
BERMAN: I will say, "Politico" was reporting this morning that it's not divorced at all from impeachment. That at this point what Nancy Pelosi is trying to do is have the full House vote on impeachment on Tuesday or Wednesday and then do the trade deal, USMCA, after so that the last thing these members have when they go home --
AVLON: Is something positive.
BERMAN: Is something like that.
ROMANS: There are two interesting reads I was hearing from some people yesterday that Nancy Pelosi handed Donald Trump a legislative victory. Why would she hand him that victory? And there are others saying, no, this was a masterful stroke by the House speaker to be able to show that she can impeach -- try to impeach a president and she can also work on big, bipartisan legislation.
AVLON: And we should say also, this is a win for the Trump administration. This was a priority for the president. He said he would deliver it.
AVLON: He railed against NAFTA. Even if this is just an updating and rebranding of NAFTA, it's something he can point to as an accomplishment. We shouldn't take that --
ROMANS: Now he needs to do the China deal. We're still waiting on that China deal. And that is still really hanging out there.
AVLON: In the larger field are these increasing sort of trade issues --
AVLON: With the WTO today being effectively crippled by the administration's actions. Going to hear a lot more about that in the coming days.
ROMANS: That's a big story.
BERMAN: Could give him leverage in the China negotiations. We'll have to see on that.
CAMEROTA: Christine, John, thank you both very much for all of the information.
So, lawmakers will begin debating the charges that President Trump will face.
NEW DAY continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The House Judiciary Committee will begin formal discussions on impeachment tonight.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The House committee is introducing two articles of impeachment charging Donald J. Trump with committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to confront the reality that we have a president who abused his power, betrayed his oath of office, and tried to corrupt American elections.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the lightest impeachment in the history of our country by far.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This president, in real time, is jeopardizing our national security. He has categorically refused to cooperate at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They lie and continue to lie just because they dislike this president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.
The final throes of impeachment. And that's a momentous place to be, to say the least. The House Judiciary Committee begins to debate the two articles of impeachment against the president of the United States, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress today. Democrats accuse President Trump of pressuring a foreign government to help his 2020 re-election and ordering his administration to block an investigation into the scheme.
How is the president reacting to this likelihood that he's about to become the third U.S. president ever to be impeached?
Well, among other things, he's lying.
CAMEROTA: The president and the attorney general are distorting the findings of