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New Developments on San Bernardino Shooting; Trump Defends Stance to Ban All Muslims; How Trump's Muslim Comments Resonate in Polls; Trump's Proposal to Ban Muslims Ignites Fury. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired December 08, 2015 - 13:30   ET



[13:34:12] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New developments in the San Bernardino shooting. U.S. officials say terrorists, Syed Rezwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, had been radicalized for quite some time before. They were on the way even before ISIS proclaimed itself to be a caliphate, officials say. Top FBI officials say the couple frequented local gun ranges, and practicing at last once within days of the massacre.

Dan Simon is there in San Bernardino for us.

Dan, what is the FBI saying about this new time line?

DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, John. It is not clear that a firm time line has been established, but what the FBI is saying is that in fact, both the husband and the wife had been radicalized, and we also know that they did go to a shooting range within days of the shooting. CNN confirmed with the owner of a range in Riverside, California, that the husband, Syed Farook, had been there and that they had turned over surveillance logs to the authorities. This is an extensive investigation, and 320 pieces of evidence recover and 400 interviews.

We have heard at various times from the family, and the attorney for the family is speaking out, once again, reiterating that the family knew nothing about the plot. Take a look.


[13:35:29] DAVID CHESLEY, FAROOK FAMILY ATTORNEY: Syed and Tashfeen were very isolated and, honestly, the family was completely surprised and devastated and have been crying for the past, you know, since Wednesday, the time of the incident, and praying about the event, but, no one had any knowledge. And if anybody would have, they would have definitely done something to stop it.


SIMON: Well, the FBI says that it is working with foreign counterpart s to build out extensive profiles, and one key question remains is whether or not Farook and his wife received any financial assistance or received any funding either from the United States or people in the United States or overseas. Those questions are apparently still remaining -- John?

BERMAN: Dan Simon, in San Bernardino for us. Thank you, Dan.

And still ahead, a Christian leader and the son of a convicted terrorist weigh in over this new controversy over Donald Trump.


[13:40:47] BERMAN: Despite being criticized, condemned and chastised for calling for the removal of Muslims from coming into the United States, Republican president candidate, Donald Trump, sees nothing wrong with his plan. In fact, he adamantly defended his stance today when he talked to CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day."


DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION (voice-over): Listen, we had the World Trade Center number 1, we had World Trade Center number 2 and many other things happening, and then the other day, the California attack where these two animals, and they are total animals that became radicalized, and they wanted to do far more damage than that. What is even more disturbing if you are in terms of looking into the future is that other people knew what they were doing. There were pipe bombs laying all over the floor, and they had other people that knew what was going on, Chris, and nobody reported it. They used the excuse that they didn't want to be racial profilers, but they wanted to be politically correct. By the way, the people that said that, in their own way, they are guilty. But the mother knew, the parents knew, everybody knew, and now even his father is under watch we just found out.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CO ANCHOR, NEW DAY: You used political correct --


TRUMP: Chris, we can be politically correct but we have a problem in this country --


CUOMO: And this is not about being politically correct --

TRUMP: -- and we need to solve it. You are going to have many, many more World Trade Centers if you don't solve it, many, many more, and probably beyond the World Trade Center.

CUOMO: I don't -- I don't --


BERMAN: We are joined by Zak Ebrahim, the author of "The Terrorist Son, A Story of Choice"; and Russell D. Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Liberty Commission. Zak, I want to start with you first, because your father was behind

helping to plot the 1003 World Trade Center bombing, and he was later convicted as being one of the conspirators. Do you believe Donald Trump is right, that there are going to be more attacks on U.S. soil if the United States does not take dramatic action?

ZAK EBRAHIM, SON OF TERRORIST & AUTHOR: Well, in any free society, there are going to be acts of terrorism, and that is the price we pay for having a free society. But I would say that certainly not following the instructions of men like Donald Trump would make our country any safer. Unfortunately, he is doing precisely what the groups like is want which is to create fear and hatred and judging people based on where they are born or the ethnicity.

BERMAN: And, Russell, you are an evangelical, and you disagree with a lot of the tenets of Islam, to say the least, yet, you say that evangelicals must support religious freedom for the Muslims and denounce Donald Trump. Explain.

RUSSELL D. MOORE, PRESIDENT, SOUTHERN BAPTIST ETHICS & LIBERTY COMMISSION: Yes. Religious freedom is not just for us, but everyone. If you had told me that we were talking about banning people from the United States because of the religious faith, and un-violent, law abiding people, and I would have thought that it was a science fiction movie released for Christmas time. I would not assume we were talking about the presidential race for the office held by the leaders such as Washington and Lincoln. And it is disturbing. What is important to recognize that the freedom of religious is not a government grant. Donald Trump did not give it to us, and he can't take it away. God gave us freedom of religion and conscious. Sometimes Donald Trump may get them confused, but we never should. He is exploiting a horrific time of war to bring up things that are not only at odds with the constitutional freedoms, but also with the God-given rights.

BERMAN: And we had a guest on before that said that Donald Trump was in cahoots with ISIS, and that is unfair, but you alluded to something before. You said that the comments help ISIS. Explain.

EBRAHIM: Absolutely. I don't believe they are working together, but the implications of the beliefs of men like Donald Trump -- and we heard the clip of him talking about, if we don't take the steps that he recommends that it will lead to the attacks greater than September 11th. It is that fear. We create a community, and create an environment that is hostile to people based on things like race, religion, those are antithetical the beliefs that I understand being born and raised in the United States. Unfortunately, ISIS did not attack cities like Paris because they want to take over France. They are doing it to instill fear and hatred in communities. And we don't need more hatred. It is precisely this kind of the conversation between Russell and I and people who may not necessarily believe in the same things but are willing to come together to promote a universal rights.

[13:45:33] BERMAN: And, Russell, I want to ask you, given what you are saying and what Zak says, how do you explain then Trump's appeal in states like Iowa with a large evangelical voting base, and he is not leading among the evangelicals there, but he is doing very, very well.

MOORE: Well, some people who are claiming to be evangelical and they have not been to a church foyer since they were in Vacation Bible School, and I don't put a lot of stock in that identification. But I do think --


BERMAN: What about the idea there are in the country, whether affiliation or not religiously, who do support what Donald Trump is saying?

MOORE: Well, certainly, certainly. I think they do, because he is giving an appearance of strength and toughness over a president who seems not the know what to do. We have a crisis in the Middle East, a refugee system of people who are filing out of the Middle East under the most repressive terror ever imaginable, and ancient minority communities, including Christians and Yazidis and others, at the point of extinction, and the threat of terror over the homeland, and there is a weak response from the U.S. Donald Trump gives the illusion of winning. And I will fix it all, and you just need to listen to me, then I'll fix it to for you, just hand over your freedoms. That is a bad bargain. What we need is to have somebody deal with the repressive regimes and structures in the Middle East, and protect the homeland from terror, and do it within the framework of the U.S. Constitution.

BERMAN: Zak Ebrahim, Russell D. Moore, thank you, both.

MOORE: Thank you for having us.

EBRAHIM: Thank you.

BERMAN: So how are Donald Trump's latest comments resonating among the voters? Some answers you might not like. We have some new data overnight, and we will dig into it next.


[13:51:42] BERMAN: The big news today, Republican front runner, Donald Trump, proposing a ban on Muslims coming to the United States. So how will this latest controversy affect his standing in the polls?

Joining me now is a man with the answers from Washington, CNN political director, David Chalian.

David, you have some data indicating what this travel ban, this Muslim ban, is doing to Donald Trump.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That's right, John. So put aside political analysis. What we think might happen, put aside what the current polling shows of this moment in time in the race. Just take a look at what we have here which is a political prediction market. This is in cooperation with our friends at Pivot. This is like the stock market. It looks at sort of real-time analysis and look at what happened in the past 24 hours inside this prediction market. Donald Trump took a nose dive of 11 points from where he was yesterday in odds to win the Republican nomination to where he is now, 22 percent. He went from 33 percent to win the nomination to 22 percent chance of winning the nomination inside this political prediction market. And you can see here that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio went up as a benefit of that in this last hour.

Again, this is now who would you vote for. This is who is going to win the nomination consideration where the polls are, what the news is, what social media is saying. All of that goes into the pot and people bet on who they think will win the race.

BERMAN: It's like the real stock market. On Wall Street, they hate uncertainty. In this political prediction markets, it seems they don't like controversy because, frankly, the polls say something very different including the latest CNN national poll, which has Donald Trump ahead of 20 points. A mammoth lead. And we have a new Iowa poll that shows him up 12 in Iowa. Why are those numbers so different? And do you expect the pivot numbers to drift back towards the polls if this controversy starts to fade over the next few days?

CHALIAN: They could for a couple reasons. People look at his stock going down, if you will, and say you should go in and buy Trump. But I also think the state of the race is quite clear. The snapshot is Donald Trump is dominant nationally in that key kickoff state in Iowa. We'll see some new New Hampshire polls later today. And we'll see if we see the same thing there. But, John, Donald Trump is dominating across the board. And even in the prediction market, if you look at the early states in the political prediction market, he's dominating there, too. People think he's the winner in those early states. I think what may be happening here is people are looking ahead thinking at one point he may get out of this thing and they are predicting other people will win the nomination.

BERMAN: Not any time soon. Certainly, not before next Tuesday, the big CNN debate. That looks so interesting right now, especially with this new controversy going on. What will the other candidates say to him on that stage?

David Chalian, thank you so much.

CHALIAN: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Head over to to make your own predictions. You could win a chance for you and a guest to join CNN at the debate, March 10th, in Florida. A long way do go before then. That's on

That's going to be it for me. I'm going to be back at 8:00 eastern on "A.C. 360."

The news continues right after this quick break.


[11:58:16] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. I'm Poppy Harlow, in for Brooke Baldwin. We begin with words that are moving like wild fire, not around just

this country, but around the world, igniting fury from London to Egypt, quote, "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Those words from a statement Donald Trump put out last night. The leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president calling in to CNN today and doubling down on his proposal.

Again, it is a total ban on Muslims entering the country. At least, he says, "Until representatives can figure out what is going on." That is his quote. It may well be his most shocking declaration of the campaign to date.

But the candidate claims that he is not -- that not heeding this call will have deadly consequences. Here he is in his words.