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Woman Hits Multiple Pedestrians with Car in Las Vegas; Democratic Presidential Candidates Hold Debate; Miss Universe Host Steve Harvey Crowns Wrong Contestant; Trump Demands Apology From Clinton. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired December 21, 2015 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This was a woman with a toddler in her car repeatedly just mowing into the crowd as others tried to stop her.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So that driver is now in police custody. Authorities quick to rule out terrorism but they do say this was intentionally. CNN's Stephanie Elam is in Las Vegas this morning. Stephanie, why do they think it was intentional?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the question that we would like to have answered at this point, Alisyn. It's something we still do not know. We know one person is dead. We know 37 other people have been injured. Some of them are in critical condition. But that one question, why did this happen in the first place, still unknown.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a huge tragedy that's occurred on our strip.

ELAM: Breaking overnight, a massive and deadly hit and run on the famous Las Vegas strip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have determined that this is an intentional act.

ELAM: Police say a female driver in her 20s ran her vehicle up on to the sidewalk, bustling with tourists, twice, possibly three times, plowing into nearly 40 people between Planet Hollywood and Paris resort and casino. The fatal incident unfolded while the Miss Universe pageant was underway inside planet Hollywood.

LT. DAN MCGRATH, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: She's in the detention center now. She's speaking to detectives.

ELAM: The suspect speeding off with a three-year-old toddler inside was quickly apprehended by police less than a mile away. Investigators believe she's not a Las Vegas native but say this is not an act of terrorism.

MCGRATH: The information I got is she may have been here for a short period of time, but she's not from here. She's a recent move here.

ELAM: Shocked witnesses say pedestrians scrambled to stop the woman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The car rolled in front of me. By the time I looked over to the right, all you could see was her driving away and people bouncing off the front the car. You could hear people were punching the window, trying to get the child out of the backseat. She accelerated again and just kept mowing everyone down.

ELAM: Investigators turning their attention to the vast amount of surveillance cameras outside the casinos.

CHIEF BRETT ZIMMERMAN, LAS VEGAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: We will comb through the footage to get a detailed idea of what occurred.

ELAM: This as witnesses describe a horrific scene.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like she wasn't trying to stop the car. She had both hands on the wheel and was looking straight forward. And there were men running after her trying to stop the vehicle, and they couldn't get to her. They were yelling "Stop! Stop!" And she just wasn't trying.


ELAM: And at this point, we understand that the woman is being tested for alcohol and controlled substances. At this point, if you take a look behind me at the Las Vegas strip, you can see here Las Vegas Boulevard still closed off. But we know police officers are working to open it very shortly here.

CAMEROTA: Stephanie, thank you.

CUOMO: All right, now, in our last hour we spoke to Justin Cochrane. It was actually a witness to the disaster in Vegas. He was sitting there with his family having dinner, and literally the car came within feet of him. He says obviously it's something he'll never forget. Here's a look.


JUSTIN COCHRANE, WITNESS TO VEGAS CRASH: We were having a dinner, my mother and stepfather. And it's a restaurant on the boulevard where you sit actually on the street. It's basically across from Bellagio. And we had a seat that was right on the boardwalk, basically. We heard a commotion on my left. I turned, stand up to see what's going on. I thought it might be a show. And a Buick, Oldsmobile type car, tan maybe, silver, starts just mowing through people. And people are flying and yelling at it. The windows crashed out on the front of the car, mainly, just mowing through.

What I saw was, like, children, because the kids weren't moving. You know, they didn't get out of the way. And then the car proceeded to go past us, right in front of us, through the people, and then off to the right. I look and it's going toward like a truck or something that's pulling out of -- right in front of Paris. The car proceeded to slow down, veer around it, and then accelerate again into the people on the sidewalk.

CUOMO: So there is absolutely no question in your mind that the woman driving that car was trying to hit people and knew damn well what she was doing?

COCHRANE: Yes, it was mayhem, and it was very intentional.

CUOMO: When she was driving down, how fast was she going?

COCHRANE: That's a little difficult for me to say. It happened pretty quickly. I mean, there was no way I could stop this car or any way to stop it because the boulevard is basically barely moving. And this person, which I didn't know if it was a male or female because the windows, again, you could barely see through it. The fact she was even able to slow down for this car was amazing because it was like you couldn't see through the crashed windows. It was busting through people. It was just thudding. The sound was -- so I would say 30, maybe.

[08:05:02] CUOMO: Wow.

COCHRANE: Maybe a little faster. It seemed like it was going pretty fast. People were flying. Like this child I saw literally hit, and the sound I'll never forget. It was horrible. And it just never stopped. The people, it wasn't hitting cars, it was hitting people.

CUOMO: Were you able to see how it eventually ended, what stopped the car?

COCHRANE: I mean, people were chasing after the car right behind it. And then as I said, it slowed down to go around a truck or something that was pulling out, and then went back to the boulevard, and accelerated around that into more of the sidewalk. And I think it ended around there, but I don't -- you know, I didn't see any police at the time. I didn't see any -- it was like 6:40 p.m. when it happened. We just sat down and maybe around 7:05 p.m., it seemed like 20 minutes went by. And we were just in chaos and there wasn't even really police. We didn't feel there was any -- we were all sitting there, you know, waiting for food going, this is crazy. Where is the ambulance? Where are the people to help? It was horrible.

CUOMO: Were there people who were hit close enough to you for you to see if they were OK and how people were getting help, if there weren't police there?

COCHRANE: Yes. There was a child right below me that was hit, and his mother was with him. There was another young, seemed like a 10-year-old Asian that was down pretty bad, flat. And there was people surrounding him. And it was right in front of me.


CAMEROTA: We do have more breaking news to report to you right now because more than a dozen public schools and two private schools closed in Nashua, New Hampshire, this morning after an e-mail threatened the safety of students and staff. CNN's Sara Ganim is live in Nashua with the very latest. We have you learned, Sara?

SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. You know, normally around this time there would be students arriving at this school in Nashua, New Hampshire, but today is not a normal school day for students here after someone e-mailed a violent threat to an administrator at one of the high schools.

Police and the superintendent of schools here in Nashua, New Hampshire, decided they're taking it seriously. They are shutting down all 17 public schools, plus two additional private schools today as they investigate, as they work with the FBI to determine if this is a credible threat and where it came from.

This has become part of a frightening trend over the last week or so. Schools in California, Texas, Florida, New York, all receiving similar threats, some handling it by shutting down schools, as they are here, others dismissing them as a hoax or non-credible.

But as you know, Nashua is a high-profile place. It's a place where a lot of presidential candidates are coming through, a lot of people gathering to listen to speeches, a lot of eyes on Nashua as we approach the new year and the beginning of primary season. And so officials here taking no chances, although as they work the investigation, the superintendent saying they do expect schools to reopen tomorrow. Chris?

CUOMO: Sara, thank you very much.

A lot of political intrigue going on. Donald Trump demanding an apology after Hillary Clinton claimed during the Democratic debate that Trump is, quote, "becoming ISIS' best recruiter." Let's bring in CNN's Athena Jones live in Washington with more. My guess, you don't have news of an apology, so what do you have?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. Hi, Chris. I don't have news from the Clinton campaign that she's planning to apologize. I highly doubt that's going to happen. But this came up because Donald Trump's name is constantly coming up in practically any conversation anybody has these days about presidential politics. That's exactly what happened at Saturday night's debate in Manchester. Let's go ahead and play what the Democratic candidates had to say about him.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I worry greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans, particularly Donald Trump.

MARTIN O'MALLEY, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths.

BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Somebody like a Trump comes along and says I know the answers. The answer is that all of the Mexicans. They're criminals and rapists.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is becoming is' best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump, insulting Islam.



JONES: So it's a good line from Hillary Clinton. The problem is that video does not exist. There's no evidence that that video exists. And so Donald Trump, of course, is responding in an interview yesterday, also on Twitter, calling Hillary Clinton a liar, and this morning demanding an apology. We can put that on the screen.

[08:10:00] He says "I demand an apology from Hillary Clinton for the disgusting story she made up about me for the purposes of the debate. There never was a video."

So it's an interesting position for Clinton to be in where Donald Trump is the fact checker. Also, this is the third non- existent video that has come into the conversation. There was the Planned Parenthood abortion video that Carly Fiorina got in trouble citing because that didn't exist. There is of course the video that Donald Trump says exists of the thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on 9/11. That doesn't exist. And now we have this third instance. So interesting to see how that will play out.

But of course, Hillary Clinton is not the only one going after Trump. Jeb Bush also had some things to say about him over the weekend. Take a listen to what Bush had to say and how Trump responded.


JEB BUSH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just one other thing. I have to get this off my chest. Donald Trump is a jerk.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Jeb is an embarrassment to himself and his family.


JONES: So that feud not ending, of course. Trump labeled Bush low energy long ago. Bush has been trying to fight back against that. He clearly seems to want to hit Trump more publicly and more often. We'll have to see if that helps boost his poll numbers. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: OK, Athena, we have a lot to talk about in our political panels coming up. Thank you for that.

President Obama also taking swipes at Donald Trump, saying the Republican frontrunner is exploiting the fears of Americans and his rhetoric putting people in danger. CNN's White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski is live in Hawaii with the best assignment of the day. Michelle, tell us what the president is saying. MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I guess. Too

bad you can't see this view behind me at night. We've heard the White House press secretary absolutely verbally skewer Donald Trump over the last couple weeks. But the president is more subtle. He'll make these comments. You know they're directed at Trump and he doesn't mention him by name. Now, though, he has. In this interview he did with National Public Radio before leaving for vacation, he talked about people still struggling in this economy, that, yes, there is going to be anger, frustration, and fear, but he said Donald Trump is exploiting that. When asked, well, Mr. President, what about all the anger out there directed at you personally? He said, absolutely, there's going to be some special circumstances surrounding being the first African-American president and having his background. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Somebody questioning whether I was born in the United States or not, how do I think about that? I would say that that's something that is actively promoted and may gain traction because of my unique demographic. I don't think that that's a big stretch.


KOSINSKI: The president also extensively defended the strategy against ISIS but said the administration could do a better job at telling the public what has been done to counter that threat. Back to you guys.

CUOMO: All right,, Michelle, thank you very much. Try not to take it too hard down there.

There is an emerging situation right now to tell you about in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Hundreds of emergency workers furiously digging through rubble of a massive landslide. That's what you're looking at right now, video of the actual event, 33 buildings affected Sunday. At least 91 feared missing at this hour. Investigators say a large pile of dirt appears to have caused the landslide.

CAMEROTA: Now to this developing story. French border police have taken a returning Air France passenger into custody at Charles De Gaulle Airport following a bomb scare. There was this cardboard box that looked like a bomb found inside an Air France laboratory on a flight to Paris, and it forced an emergency landing in Kenya. After the all clear passengers were then put on a flight to Paris. Four people are now being questioned.

CUOMO: A stunning moment on live television. Miss Universe, the moment we're all waiting for. Who is it? Who is it? The wrong person was named by Miss Universe host Steve Harvey. He offered a mea culpa for the ages when he announced that he announced the wrong winner. CNN's Boris Sanchez is here live with the latest. Better him than you.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. My heart sinks a little bit every time I watch this video. Miss Colombia's face looking at him, she's pretty upset. The video gaining a lot of reactions online. Some people think it's hilarious. My Colombian friends are angry. Chris thinks the whole thing was staged. Either way, this event is gaining some viewers online.




SANCHEZ (voice-over): For a brief moment Sunday night, Miss Colombia celebrated being Miss Universe. But her reign lasted only a few minutes.

HARVEY: I have to apologize. The first runner up is Colombia. Miss Universe 2015 is Philippines.


SANCHEZ: Miss Universe 2015 host Steve Harvey misreading his cards and naming the wrong contestant as the winner.

[08:15:03] The two women awkwardly standing on the stage, paralyzed by the snafu.

HARVEY: This is exactly what's on the card. I will take responsibility for this. It was my mistake. It was on the card.

SANCHEZ: Miss Colombia stripped of her crown. Stunned viewers watching as Miss Universe 2014 placed it on the head of winner, Miss Philippines. The show abruptly cut into credits. Some of the other judges taking to social media. Judge Niecy Nash tweeting this video.

NIECY NASH, JUDGE: Oh, my God, this is crazy right now. It's pandemonium in here.

SANCHEZ: Harvey himself tweeting after the show. Saying, quote, "I'd like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible."

Even posting a picture with Miss Philippines backstage saying he was able to apologize to her and Miss Colombia personally, who tearfully also spoke out after the show.

ARIADNA GUTIERREZ, MISS UNIVERSE FIRST RUNNER UP: Everything happens for a reason, so I'm happy.

SANCHEZ: But the newly crowned Miss Universe perfectly summing up a shocking turn of events.

PIA WURTZBACH, MISS UNIVERSE 2015: It's a very non-traditional crowning.


WURTZBACH: Yes. It's very, very 2015. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You still see the shock on her face.

This morning, Donald Trump, the former owner of the pageant, weighing in on the controversy. His two sense, quote, "Very sad what happened last night at the Miss Universe pageant. I sold it six months ago for a record price. This would have never happened."

Pageant organizers also issued a statement in which they apologized to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines, as well as their fans. Here's what they had to say, quote, "Unfortunately, a live telecast means that human error could come into play. We witnessed that tonight when the wrong winner was initially announced."

They're just chalking it up to it being live T.V. Hey, it happens. I think we're all winners. I've seen some memes online that are funnier than even watching that video. So I think we all win.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I think they should have just given it to Miss Colombia and never mentioned that there was a mistake. That's how I see it.


CUOMO: Just leave it under the rug. Just never happened.

CAMEROTA: Exactly.

CUOMO: What about Miss Philippines and her family?

CAMEROTA: You know, Donald Trump, I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, suggested make them co-winners. But that was one of his suggestions online. Let them be co-winners. That seems brilliant.

CUOMO: He does bring people together. That's one thing Donald Trump does, right?


CUOMO: #Irony. Go ahead.

CAMEROTA: OK. The back and forth ramping up between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Trump wants an apology for a statement that Clinton made at Saturday's debate, but her team says she is right about that statement.

We'll break it all down -- next.


[08:20:47] CAMEROTA: All right, the presidential candidates ramping up their attacks on Donald Trump. It's not just his Republican rivals, the Democrats are also getting in on it.

So let's bring in our CNN political commentator and Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker," Ryan Lizza and senior contributor for "The Daily Caller," a conservative commentator Matt Lewis. He's the author of the new book, "Too Dumb to Fail: How the G.O.P. Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections."

Gentleman, thanks so much for being here.



CAMEROTA: OK, let's start by playing what -- how Jeb Bush and Donald Trump have continued their back and forth ever since the debate.

Listen to this.


FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH, (R-FL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just one other thing I got to get this off my chest, Donald Trump is a jerk.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's going to be off the stage soon. He's an embarrassment to the Bush family, and in fact, he doesn't even want to use the Bush name, which is interesting.


CAMEROTA: OK, Matt, I want to start with you because you made a claim at 6:00 a.m. that was so outlandish, I want you to expand on it.

And that is you think that even though Jeb Bush is now going after Donald Trump and calling him out and calling him names, that it's too late. But, I mean, how can it be too late for him to have found his voice? We're still weeks away from Iowa.

LEWIS: Well, look, my theory here is that Jeb Bush was rusty. He hasn't been on the ballot for a dozen years. The world has changed. Politics has gotten nastier. And Donald Trump effectively defined Jeb Bush.

I think he emasculated Jeb Bush, actually. And it took Jeb months to figure out how to fight back.

This last debate, Jeb Bush finally found some parody. I think it was kind of a draw, actually. I don't think Jeb dominated, but he did counter punch. But I just think it's too late. I think that once you were defined in politics, it is very, very hard to make a first impression the second time around.

CUOMO: But low energy, I feel like I call myself that all the time. I don't see it as such a damming indictment of a candidate.

Ryan, what am I missing about being called low energy?

LIZZA: You know, I agree with you. I never understood why that was so wicked. I think I disagree with Matt, though, on, is it too late for Jeb Bush? I really think the race is shaping up into a sort of populist, more conservative Iowa winner, and someone who is from a different lane in the republican electorate coming out of New Hampshire. And it looks like a Cruz-Trump battle in Iowa. And I think the battle in New Hampshire is very undefined yet.

I think Jeb has at least a shot there. He's not actually as far down in the polls in New Hampshire. And, I think, you know, Christie, Jeb, Rubio, even Kasich, are all in the hunt in New Hampshire.

And, sometimes, New Hampshire voters look at the results in Iowa and say, wait a second, we don't want Donald Trump, we don't want Ted Cruz, and they react to that.

So the whole race is going to be changed once we have the Iowa vote. So don't assume that the polls today are going to tell you what's going to happen in February.

CAMEROTA: OK, let's move on to this now battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton made a claim during Saturday's debate, in which she said that ISIS was using Donald Trump as a recruiting video.

Let me play for you what she said Saturday night, and then what his response this morning is to her.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is becoming ISIS' best recruiter. They are going to people, showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical Jihadists.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will demand an apology from Hillary, OK? You can be the messenger. I will demand an apology from Hillary. She should apologize. She lies about e-mails. She lies about White Water. She lies about everything. She will be a disaster as president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will deliver --


CAMEROTA: OK, So, Matt, let's dive into this, because it's a little complicated. Fact checkers have said that she was wrong. There is no video that ISIS is using as a recruitment tool.

However, we had David Brock on last hour, who is the head of a Super PAC for Hillary Clinton, who says there actually are clips of Donald Trump on social media from ISIS supporters.

Video, no video, what does it matter? They're using his words.

LEWIS: Well, look, I think this was a mistake by Hillary Clinton. It seems like she just reinforces the notion about her that you can't trust her. That she would lie when the truth would suffice. [08:25:09] And so, look, I think she could have easily said, Donald Trump's rhetoric is counterproductive. It could certainly cause us problem. We need Muslim allies, for example, the Kurds. And this is -- you know, what Donald Trump is saying is going to push them away from us. But when she claims that there's a video, it seems like there's pattern now of her claiming that videos exist that do not exist that will cause, you know, terrorism, this just reinforces -- I don't think it's a game changer for her, but again, it just reinforces the notion that you can't trust her. She's -- you know, it was a bridge too far.

CUOMO: Ryan, I've had two different sources on the Intel side that say that we go slow. I can't tell you that there's any video. I wouldn't be shocked, though, because there's so much media that they send out and they use the American political process all the time. But putting that to the side, I think that we're parsing this too closely.

For Donald Trump to say, I demand an apology, do you think that he has enough credibility with the public when it comes to veracity for him to ask for an apology for something like this?

LIZZA: Well, I was going to say, look, you know, this is the fifth presidential campaign I've covered and there's never been a presidential candidate who has said more things that have proved to be false than Donald Trump. So here is a little bit of irony in Trump going after Hillary Clinton, attacking her on this.

That said, Clinton, in the debate when she said that, if she -- she should have had a specific example in mind when she was talking about that.


LIZZA: Will there be videos that ISIS will use of Donald Trump? I mean, I don't think any of us doubt, but that's a real possibility.


CUOMO: But "will be" is different than "is." "Will be" is different that "is." And I am surprised that we haven't been in the inbox with a video saying, here it is. Here it is right here.


LIZZA: There's no doubt there will be. But she should have -- if she said that she should have been thinking of something specific or she had information of something specific.

The other point is I haven't anyone talk about this. You know, I think the merits of the case against Trump's talk about Islam is pretty good on its own without having to argue, oh, you know, this will upset ISIS or ISIS will do this with this policy. There's a lot of talk out there about what ISIS thinks and how ISIS will react to various American policies. When the merits of Trump's anti-Muslim -- or, excuse me, Muslim ban are -- can be discredited on their own without reference to what ISIS will do with it.

CAMEROTA: Right. I mean, exactly what Matt said that she didn't need hyperbole. She didn't need to go that bridge too far.

CUOMO: Well, and also she provided an opportunity for the other side to ignore the strength of that case. You know, you've given them an out. They don't have to deal with the merits now because they can just keep talking about this potential video.

CAMEROTA: Matt, Ryan, thank you.

RIZZA: Thank you.

LEWISH: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: Should we do some late night laughs?

CUOMO: Always.

CAMEROTA: Let's do it.

Present day Hillary Clinton gets a visit from her 2008 self. And Sarah Palin in this weekend's "Saturday Night Live," hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler dusting off their own impressions to hilarious effect. Let's watch.


TINA FEY, IMPERSONATOR: Now, hold on, Hillary, even if you beat Bernie, aren't you worried about the Republicans? Who is their front runner?

AMY POEHLER, IMPERSONATOR: I will tell you, but only if you grab on to something to brace yourself because you are going to hit the F- ing floor.

FEY: I will be fine. Just tell me.

POEHLER: No, you need to hold on to something.

FEY: Hillary, just tell me.

POEHLER: I am warning you.

FEY: Just tell me.

POEHLER: Donald Trump.

FEY: I told you.

POEHLER: Oh, my god, we're going to be president!

FEY: I know! SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: Here's my advice, you've

got to do what you believe in your spirit, but also, America, but not teachers and their fat liberal books, but also, and even why worry about fast food wages with their status quo?

POEHLER: I need to get back to 2008 and send a bunch of e-mails.

FEY: No!


CAMEROTA: That's great. Ghosts of Hillary past this Christmas season. So great.

CUOMO: I thought that was Palin for a quick second. Is she on it, or is it Tina Fey's impression. I mean, that's pretty spot on.

CAMEROTA: No. I mean, when it originally happened, some of this people would use the wrong pictures, even in like newscasts, because they thought the likeness was so similar.

CUOMO: That is one of the things I fear. It's not being parodied because it happens enough, but if someone nails me that much.

CAMEROTA: Being parodied so well.

CUOMO: You find yourself laughing in a mocking way at yourself, that hurts.

CAMEROTA: I look forward to seeing if that can ever happen.

CUOMO: All right, so a sin in Sin City. The U.S. -- Miss Universe pageant, rather, it's, you know. There's Steve Harvey doing what he's supposed to do, announcing the winner. You know why Miss Philippines looked shocked? Because she thought she was the first runner up, but she ain't.

We'll take you through it when we come back.