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U.K. Voters Head to the Polls; Video of Attack on Kosher Market; Flyover of Volcano in New Zealand; Polls on 2020 Race; Update on Patriots Investigation; McCabe Responds to IG Criticism. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired December 12, 2019 - 06:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:32:29]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A huge day in the United Kingdom. The breaking news, the polls are open in this high stakes general election there.

CNN's Max Foster live in London with the latest.

What is day, Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely.

The third election in five years but normally there's only one in that period, the first December election in nearly a hundred years and 650 constituencies now up and rolling now. All those polls are open in those constituencies. But because of that, unfortunately, John, I can't tell you very much because there are very tight restrictions on broadcasters on a polling day. We can't talk about campaign issues. We can't talk about the polls. We can't even talk about the candidates and their political statements. Anything that we say that may be construed as affecting the vote could result in me ending up in jail. So we are sticking to the rules.

The irony though is that the newspapers don't have the same rules. So I've got two in front of me, both endorsing one side or the other. I can't show you the front, though, even though these newspapers are available across the United Kingdom. And they're also tweeting those articles because the rules don't apply to social media either. But we're broadcasters and we're sticking to U.K. law.

John.

BERMAN: I want to keep you out of jail, Max, but -- but, again, I'm not going to claim that I understand what goes on in the United Kingdom.

FOSTER: It is rather battling.

BERMAN: Yes. Well, don't say that, because I don't want you to go to jail. I think probably you just put yourself in major danger by saying it's baffling.

Max Foster, thank you very much.

There's an election today, that much we can tell you, and it's important.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And we did get to see the back of the newspapers there.

BERMAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So, that was helpful.

All right, meanwhile, we have to show you this. It's very shocking. This is the new surveillance video that police have released. It captures the moment that two shooters targeted a kosher market in Jersey City, New Jersey, killing four people. "The New York Times" reports that investigators are now looking into anti-Semitic posts by one of the killers and a link between one of the gunmen and the fringe Black Hebrew Israelites Movement.

CNN's Alexandra Field has been following this for us. She is live in Jersey City with more.

Seeing that moment of them walking in with the guns is just so shocking, Alexandra.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Completely chilling, Alisyn, and it gives us a better idea of how exactly this attack unfolds. You see the van pulling out. You see the two suspects getting out, armed with a long rifle, and then opening fire inside the kosher market just behind me.

We are now hearing from investigators that inside that van they discovered a pipe bomb. Also a law enforcement source telling CNN they found writings that included anti-Semitic and anti-police sentiments.

[06:35:07]

We know they're also looking at similar digital evidence at this time.

The shooters have been identified by law enforcement as Francine Graham and David Andersen. Andersen, according to "The New York Times," had ties to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. This movement is not categorized as a hate group, but the Southern Poverty Law Center says there are sub-groups of the movement that have expressed anti-sentiment leanings.

The Jersey City mayor says it is very clear to him that what happened here was indeed a hate crime, but investigators say they are still trying to determine why exactly this market was targeted by those shooters.

Three people were killed inside. A moving scene playing out on the streets of Jersey City last night as the wife of the store owner, Mindel Ferencz, was laid to rest, mourned by hundreds of people. A similar scene unfolding in Brooklyn where mourners grieved the loss of Moshe Deutsch, just 24 years old. Another civilian was also inside that store. And, of course, John, we know that a police officer was shot and killed just about a mile away from here.

BERMAN: All right, Alexandra Field, thank you very much.

This morning, CNN's first up close view of the volcano that caused so much damage in an interview with a pilot who risked his life to rescue victims. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:40:24]

BERMAN: Breaking news.

Officials in New Zealand say they will begin searching for the bodies of those killed in the volcanic blast there despite the risk of another eruption. The challenge of even getting to the island by air is overwhelming.

But CNN's Will Ripley managed to take a flight over the terrain. This is what he saw.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're about to get our first up close look at White Island, the active volcano that erupted on Monday killing a number of people. Many of them are still missing on the island right now.

And this helicopter is flown by pilots who actually went to the island after the eruption. It was called the rogue rescue. They didn't have permission. They didn't have authorization. But they went to the island anyway, risking their lives in dangerous conditions. And they saved lives that day.

If you guys hadn't gone out there, what do you think would have happened?

MARK LAW, HELICOPTER PILOT: Well, no one would have lived.

RIPLEY: They all would have died in.

LAW: Yes. Yes, I'm confident about that.

RIPLEY (voice over): Mark Law was the lead pilot on that dangerous rescue mission to White Island just moments after Monday's eruption, flying over the volcanic crater, ash still billowing. He saw people desperately in need of help.

LAW: The people who were horrendously burned, their face was all covered in dust and their mouths were just full of dirt. You could just tell they were in incredible pain.

RIPLEY (on camera): This is going to be a really powerful moment for us because it's the first time we actually see White Island up close since this horrific tragedy. And to know that there are still people who are there and the conditions are too dangerous to go and retrieve their bodies. Don't really know what to expect.

RIPLEY (voice over): My first thought as we approach White Island, how striking. How beautiful. Soon, I remember all the people lying there somewhere beneath that pillowing plume of white smoke. Rescuers still unable to reach their bodies. It's heartbreaking.

LAW: It's gutting. We were going back to get the folks that had passed and -- and we could have done it. We wouldn't have to, you know, wait and worry and wonder. Yes, i's gutting.

RIPLEY (on camera): It's got to be frustrating.

LAW: That's really frustrating.

RIPLEY: You want to get back out there.

LAW: Yes. Yes, we do.

RIPLEY (voice over): But will they ever be able to go back? Should they go back? This area's livelihood depends on White Island tourism. Thousands visit each year around a century without a single death. That doesn't change what happened. Doesn't change the fact that so many people will never go home.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: In the coming hours, we have learned that the New Zealand Naval Defense Force, which has a frigate just off the shore here, will make an attempt to recover those bodies that are on White Island right now. They believe there are at least eight bodies. They only know the location of six.

And this isn't a sure thing. It's not guaranteed this is going to happen. It depends on the weather conditions. It depends on the geothermal activity on the volcano itself. I can tell you, not only from the air, but even from here on the ground, we saw a huge smoke plume. At times it resembled the eruption on Monday, even though, as far as we know, there has not been a second eruption, even though the risk level continues to be relatively high.

And so these people, who are going to be going on the island, whether they go by boat, whether they try to land a helicopter, they are putting themselves in danger. But there are families here who are demanding closure, who are begging for closure. It's been so many days, they worry about their loved ones just sitting there. They wonder what is happening to their remains. And so the New Zealand government, working with police and scientists, will be here on the mainland. They're going to try -- they're going to try to recover the bodies, but we just don't know. It's going to be a dangerous, delicate operation. And we'll just have to watch and monitor in the coming hours.

Alisyn. CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, what a tragic situation. And, Will, we're so thankful for your reporting. We wouldn't have had those images without you taking that flight. Thank you very much.

OK, now to politics. We have new CNN polls in two of the largest Super Tuesday states, California and Texas. The delegate rich contests could be crucial to clinching the Democratic nomination.

Here to break down the numbers is CNN politics senior writer and analyst Harry Enten.

Hi, Harry.

So tell us what you're looking at today.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: Shalom. OK, you said it, California, Texas, so what do we see? We see a top tier in California. Biden at 21 percent. Sanders at 20 percent. Warren at 17 percent.

Texas, a completely different situation. What do we see here? We see Biden well out ahead, 35 percent. Sanders, 15 percent. Warren, 13 percent. Again, Buttigieg way back at 9 percent.

BERMAN: And the initial question is, well, Harry, why do we care about California and Texas?

[06:45:01]

It's not Iowa. It's not New Hampshire. Well, because the contest is about delegates.

ENTEN: It -- correct. Once you go beyond those early contests, it's all about delegates. It's all about math, my favorite subject in the world.

And what do we see here? So this is Harry's rough delegate map if the statewide results matched our polls exactly right. Obviously these are rough estimates.

And what do we see in California? We see a fairly close matchup, right? Biden getting 150 delegates. Sanders getting 140. Warren getting 120.

Texas is something else entirely, where Biden leads the pack with 150 to Sanders' 50, Warren, 20. Buttigieg only gets five. Remember, you got that 15 percent threshold. And I think this is so key right here at the bottom. Biden would earn 315 percent of the 1,990 total delegates needed for a convention majority. So these two states combined, with Biden doing as well as he's doing, especially in Texas, will go a long, long way to getting that convention majority if our polls matched the results exactly.

CAMEROTA: I mean, just quickly, this is an aside, but, again, it has been pointed out that we talk a lot about Pete Buttigieg and not as much about Sanders. And look at the difference in the numbers. ENTEN: That's exactly right. Outside of Iowa and New Hampshire,

Sanders is really doing much better than Buttigieg and he's picking up a lot more delegates, at least at this point if the polls hold.

BERMAN: Texas and California, very diverse.

ENTEN: Very diverse and very large Hispanic populations. So in California, I think this is interesting. If you look at the Hispanic vote, Biden and Sanders very close to one another, 27 percent, Sanders, 25 percent, Warren all the way down at 10 percent. Buttigieg is not even in the top five. Look at non-Hispanic voters, 19 percent, 19 percent, 19 percent, Warren, Biden and Sanders. Very, very close. Buttigieg up to 12 with non-Hispanic voters. So what you see is Hispanics, both Biden and Sanders doing better. Warren and Buttigieg doing worse.

BERMAN: For Bernie Sanders, Hispanic voters have been a strength, something of a strength. And you have an interesting suggestion of one of the reasons that might be.

ENTEN: So essentially, because we have small sample sizes, I went into my computer, I did some statistical modeling and --

CAMEROTA: He's acting out for us.

ENTEN: That's exactly right. Typing on the screen. And basically I said, OK, let's break it down by age. Look at Hispanics by age and non-Hispanics by age. And what we see is, regardless of age, Biden does better among Hispanics in blue here than non-Hispanics. So at age 80, for example, Biden gets more than 50 percent with Hispanics, but with non-Hispanics he's only getting around say a little bit north of 30. But here with Sanders, what do we see, we see that regardless of age, Sanders does the same with Hispanics as non-Hispanics, which is interesting, right, because you look back at that last line and you say, how is it that Sanders is doing better with Hispanics than non- Hispanics. It's because there are more younger Hispanics. And so the fact is they make up a larger share, younger folks do. And so he is doing better with Hispanics than he is overall.

BERMAN: Might have more to do with the age of the voter than ethnicity.

ENTEN: That's correct. It's all about age with him. More young Hispanics means he's doing better with Hispanics than non-Hispanics.

CAMEROTA: OK, so what happens when we get to the general election?

ENTEN: Just want to point this out. In Texas, very important state. What do we see here? Democrats versus Trump. Just a one-point margin between Biden and Trump. The rest of the Democrats are all trailing by seven points. This is a major electability argument for Biden because if you win Texas, and this poll suggests he very might could, given the other polling the same thing, if Texas turns blue, look at this. If you look at the 2016 election but Texas goes Democrat, Democrats win the Electoral College, 270 to 268.

BERMAN: The Buffalo Bills could be the AFC champs.

ENTEN: They could be. Just going to say. Chance to clinch a playoff berth this weekend, folks. Let's go. Win this weekend.

CAMEROTA: There's a lot of clinching happening.

BERMAN: Yes. Yes, there is. We'll get to that in a second.

Harry, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

BERMAN: So the inspector general of the Justice Department says that the FBI was justified in launching the investigation into the Trump campaign. But he said his report does not vindicate the bureau's leadership, including former Deputy Director Andy McCabe, who joins us next to respond.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:52:23]

CAMEROTA: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighing in on the latest Patriots filming controversy. Earmuffs, John.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

What's this about, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, guys.

Yes, Commissioner Goodell, he was speaking at the latest NFL owners meetings in Texas yesterday and he was asked if spygate would factor into the current investigation into the Patriots improperly filming during a game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: Of course that's a -- that's a factor. But I think the key things are the new information that we have. That information we obviously already had. But I think the issue is what information do we have from this incident? We're going to be thorough and we're going to -- we're going to get all the facts and we'll go from there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: The Patriots acknowledge that they had an independent film crew credentialed at the Browns-Bangles game to film one of their scouts for a webs series. Now, Bill Belichick insisting again yesterday that he and no one in the Patriots football operations had anything to do with that film crew.

Goodell also chiming in on the Colin Kaepernick workout yesterday, saying that the NFL created a great opportunity for Kaepernick and he chose not to take it. Goodell adding, quote, we've moved on here. Al right, another day, another huge deal in baseball. Anthony Rendon now off this market as he signs a massive seven year $245 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. The all-star third baseman was instrumental in helping the Nationals win their first ever World Series title this past season.

And, John, I'll tell you what, big week for Agent Scott Boras between Rendon, Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole, Boras signed his clients to $814 million worth of deals.

BERMAN: He's paying next time we go out for coffee.

Andy Scholes, thank you very much.

So the Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, standing by his report on the origins of the FBI's Russia investigation, saying that while he found no evidence of bias, he says no one at the FBI should feel vindicated.

Joining us now is CNN contributor Andrew McCabe. He's the FBI's former deputy director, whose name and work was part of the discussion yesterday.

Andy, thanks so much for being here.

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Sure.

BERMAN: Look, Andy Horowitz found -- Michael Horowitz found no bias in how the investigation was launched, period.

MCCABE: Full stop.

BERMAN: OK. However, the FISA application process he said was a mess. And he said that everyone, all the way up to the senior leadership, which includes you, is responsible.

So let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Does your report vindicate Mr. Comey?

MICHAEL HOROWITZ, INSPECTOR GENERAL: It doesn't vindicate anyone at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership.

KENNEDY: Does it vindicate Mr. McCabe?

HOROWITZ: Same answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[06:55:00]

BERMAN: Your response?

MCCABE: Well, certainly people in charge of organizations are ultimately responsible for the things those organizations do. That would include Director Comey and I in -- in this issue as well.

However, I think it's really important for your -- for you viewers to understand how this works in the FBI. Essentially, each case is run by a case agent. And the responsibility for the development of the investigation and the -- and in this -- and particularly important here, the verification of facts that go into a FISA package, that happens at the case agent level between he and his first level supervisor. So once that certification is made by the case agent, that the facts have been verified, it is almost impossible and, you know, highly unlikely, for anyone many, many layers above that case agent in the chain of command, to go back and essentially re-litigate those facts. It's just not something you do.

CAMEROTA: Do you have to sign off on it?

MCCABE: What the director signs off on is an -- is an affirmation that the FISA is for an appropriate or authorized purpose. The director doesn't -- isn't attesting to the accuracy of the facts. That's what the case agent does. He attests to the agent's -- accuracy of the facts.

BERMAN: On the specifics, though, for instance --

MCCABE: Yes.

BERMAN: The idea that the FBI interviewed one of Christopher Steele's sources. That source contradicted Steele, but that wasn't put in an application. You agree that was a mistake.

MCCABE: Absolutely. Absolutely. The mistakes outlined by the IG in the development of those facts, what was shared with the court and what was not shared with the court, are absolutely serious errors that should not have occurred.

CAMEROTA: How about the stuff about Carter Page? That's gotten a lot of attention. It turns out -- I mean it was revealed that Carter Page had worked as an operational contact.

MCCABE: That's right.

CAMEROTA: I guess that's an informant?

MCCABE: Not exactly.

CAMEROTA: Well, hold on one second.

MCCABE: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Before we get -- before we parse that, for the CIA, for many years. I mean I'll just read this portion of the inspector general's report. Omitted information the FBI had obtained from another U.S. government agency, meaning the CIA, detailed its prior relationship with Page, including the fact that he had been approved as an operational contact for the other agency from 2008 to 2013 and that Page had provided information to the other agency, the CIA, concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of whom -- one of which overlapped with the facts asserted in the FISA application.

Wouldn't that have been a really relevant thing to know, that the CIA had trusted Carter Page and that that he had helped the U.S. government?

MCCABE: It's a very relevant fact and it is one that absolutely should have been brought to the court's attention.

So, in a FISA package, the FBI is obligated to provide all the information we have to the court that's relevant. Both information that's derogatory or makes the proposed target look like he might be an agent of a foreign power and information that's mitigating. That would have been a mitigating fact and it should have been provided to the court. No question.

CAMEROTA: Why wasn't it?

MCCABE: That's the question that Michael Horowitz was unable to answer as well.

BERMAN: And he said -- and he said he was unsatisfied -- unsatisfied with what he heard from the testimony of everyone involved here that, oh, it was we were overloaded with work. He said he couldn't figure out -- there was no satisfactory explanation for why there were so many errors here.

MCCABE: Yes.

BERMAN: Which, you heard others, and you've heard William Barr, infer -- he's -- he infers, maybe it was political.

MCCABE: That's a really big leap, I think, for Horowitz or Barr or any of the Republican senators to make yesterday. And here's why. You have to look at the scope of Horowitz review. A million documents. 170 interviews, the personal text messages, e-mails, communications of all the people involved. If you conduct a review that broad and you find absolutely no evidence of bias in -- for instance this case in the decisions or the actions of the case agent, that, to me is pretty solid grounds to say, we don't know why this happened, but we can pretty confidently say bias was not involved.

CAMEROTA: And so today you don't know --

BERMAN: He didn't -- he didn't say that -- say that -- hang on, Andy, he didn't say that, though, when it -- in terms of the --

MCCABE: He did not- - he did not say that.

BERMAN: In terms of the FISA application, he did not say that he's convinced or fairly convinced that bias wasn't involved.

CAMEROTA: He couldn't find evidence of it.

BERMAN: He explicitly said -- he -- in the FISA application, he specifically said it's hard for me to suggest that bias wasn't involved. MCCABE: He says it's hard to suggest bias was involved because he has absolutely no evidence that bias was involved.

BERMAN: Well, no, sorry, no bias in launching the overall investigation.

MCCABE: Correct.

BERMAN: He said it's a harder case to make in terms of the FISA applications. He said he would not say that explicitly in terms of FISA. He says he just didn't know in the -- and explanations he was given were unsatisfactory.

MCCABE: And here's my point, John. At the -- at the end of the day he's -- he's in the same situation with respect to that determination as he was with the opening of the case. He has no evidence upon which to base the conclusion that bias was involved. It is just as possible, maybe more likely, that it was incompetence or carelessness or inconsequential mistake.

[07:00:02]

He does conclude that there is no evidence that those omissions were intentional. And I think that's an important point.

END