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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  December 22, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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unpress debted moves by president-elect impacting the diplomacy and arms race. good evening. i'm don lemon and this is "cnn tonight." two aerospace giants are fighting each other after one claims that one fighter jet costs too much, challenging its competitor to do better and trump putting pressure on the white house on an impending u.n. council resolution. the israeli government asking him to weigh in. we get to trump's involvement in a moment but i want to begin with the latest on the search for the suspect in the berlin
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market attack. evan perez is joining us. evan, there's new video of the truck attack and we're learning that amri was well-known to german intelligence. what else can you tell us about amri and the massive fight to find him? >> that's right. several months ago they provided information on the suspect to the united states and the united states added him to the no-fly list. we're told that german authorities have identified him as part of a group of jihadist supporters operating in central europe. this is a network helping to recruit fighters to join isis in syria and the intelligence agencies in europe and here in the united states have found that some of them were communicating with suspected isis members back in syria. the fbi and a u.s. intelligence agencies are working to see what information they have to help with this manhunt. we saw in the attacks in belgian and france in the past year that the nsa and fbi were able to provide key assistance to help find some of these suspects. working with the nsa is often
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controversial in germany but with this attack and the manhunt still ongoing, that view may change. the fact is, the intelligence agencies both here and in europe are concerned that isis still has some capabilities, some command and control capabilities, that they are still able to communicate and direct attacks in europe. here in the united states, the fbi is also looking closely at isis supporters who are already on their radar to see if what happened in germany is inspiring anyone to do the same thing here. don? >> they knew enough about him to alert the u.s. why did they let amri out of their sight? >> this is a problem we've seen repeatedly in belgian and france with the legal system, in germany it appears the same way. it appears that every time he got arrested for something, the judges would let him go. he did serve three years in germany -- i'm sorry. in italy for destroying property during the time that he was detained there. but that clearly did not stop the germans from allowing him to
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stay there. they did have some trouble apparently trying to return him to tunisia. there's a lot of apparently a lot of cracks that he fell through in this case, don. >> interesting. so in the wake of this attack, evan, is there any increased risk to the u.s. over the holidays? >> look, one of the things i heard from talking to people today, everything is lit up. all the chatter that they typically look for. look, it happens every time around this time every year because of the approaching new year's celebrations, christmas celebrations that we have and, of course, don, you know that the inauguration is less than a month away. so they were expecting this. the u.s. intelligence and u.s. law enforcement was expecting to start seeing some of this and it's happened. we don't know whether or not any of these plots will turn out to be anything, whether any of this chatter will turn out to be anything. right now they say they have no known credible threats here in the united states. >> thank you, evan perez. i appreciate that. i want to bring in co-author of
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"isis inside the army of terror" and a former director of fbi and also commander of fbi operations in iraq in 2003. michael, today we learned that the german intelligence and informant and others in the network talked about driving a truck filled with gasoline and a bomb into a crowd. why didn't they just roll him up when they discovered those five key members in november? >> that's the question of the hour. the network that was being run was by abu wala. he had two subordinates who ran a kind of ad hoc islamic center out of his apartment. his girlfriend was a german national who disappeared for several weeks and all of a sudden she was wearing a veil and the apartment had become this recruitment for jihadism. we don't know how many people attended these conferences or these sort of serm man events at
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this apartment. we do know, though, that bogeness and abu wala, they were recruiting people to either go off to iraq and syria and fight on the middle eastern battlefield or -- and this is with particular relevance to amri, they gave him a choice, you can either immigrate to the middle east and fight with isis there or conduct a terrorist operation on german soil. abu wala personally signed off on that choice for amri. so this was a guy who was on the radar. abu wala had been under surville lens for something like three years. he had a facebook page, and it was still active as of 24 hours ago. 25,000 videos. all of his youtubes, sermons. he never showed his face. he was wearing a black cloak and hood. he was on social media for all of this time and germans knew that this guy was bad. one of the persons he sent to syria, the reason that they first realized that he was a
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security threat, a guy defected from isis, came back from syria and fingered abu wala as the number one isis recruiter in all of germany. >> if all of this is out there and he's on facebook, why wasn't anything done about either of these people? >> yeah, it's -- i mean, it's a puzzle. apparently in germany and other places in europe, you almost have to be on the press miss of an attack before you can get yourself detained. we talked about whether this was an intelligence failure and i think all of the facts support that. not just all of the things that mike was talking about, he was traveling with forged documents, he was -- he had a pretty extensive criminal record, a reasonably serious criminal record. there were plenty of reasons to detain him until they figured out what was going on. his own home country or supposedly his home country
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claimed they didn't know him, that he wasn't a tunisian citizen. so instead of just detaining him and trying to figure it out with proper grounds to detain him, they just let him go. >> chris, i have to ask you, because you've been involved in many manhunts, the informant told german intelligence the terror network promised to hide amri after the attack. is it likely he's still in the area or would he likely try to get as far away as possible? >> i think he would try to get out of germany as quickly as possible if he is in fact being supported by a network which i think time is starting to lead to that conclusion, the amount of time that he's been on the run. you know, look at the paris attacks. they got out of town pretty quickly. a lot of enforcement operations took place after that. they were shaking the tree, law enforcement and counterterrorism officials shaking the tree all over europe and i think what that did was became sort of a catalyst to more action on the part of the terrorists.
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so what i'm afraid of, we're going to see the same thing. they are kicking the ant hill all over the place. these guys are going to accelerate any plans they have and we may be in for a very rough christmas season here. >> michael, from a recruitment standpoint, does amri fit the profile and what is that profile? >> yeah, the petty crime, destruction of property. actually, he was on german intelligence's radar because they thought that he was trying to conduct an armed robbery for the purposes of making money to conduct a terrorist attack in future or to stockpile arms or something. it always starts this way, right. the analog to abu wala, his nickname was father christmas. he lived in mole len beck, brussels, and he was the main recruiter and the kind of fusion model between gangsterism or
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mafia-style and it seems the network being run in germany is a very similar phenomenon. >> i hear chris saying uh-huh. what's going on? >> it seems like when isis is out there recruiting or sort of casting around looking for susceptible individuals out there, it seems to fall on those that have petty backgrounds, career criminals, we saw that in the united states, the tsarnaev brothers had brushes with the law, the same thing with the chattanooga shooter. pretty extensive records. so it seems like that's the model recruit for them. >> mike, i want to ask you, the tourists in germany in a different planned attack on a mall, are authorities --
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>> sure they are. countries such as tunisia where amri comes from originally, europe has graduated more jihadis, foreign fighters than anywhere else in the world. france is the number one feeder. germany issing? like 890 of which a third have returned and another third have been killed. it depends on who you ask. european security services, in my estimation, tend to downplay or under estimate the true number of sleepers or operatives running around the continent. isis defectors, including those who still have context informants working within isis' foreign operations, who i'm in touch with all the time, say the numbers are closer to the hundreds. there are people running around all countries, france, belgium, germany, spain, italy looking to wage these attacks and the difference between a year ago and now is they are held in a higher -- to a higher standard.
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there's more of a premium on these operatives who have been trained up in syria and iraq because it's impossible now to get across that border. so if you've been dispatched back into europe, you don't want to conduct an operation that's not going to be successful. so they are lying in wait, waiting for that opportune moment when they can do something of significant impact. now, in this case, it doesn't seem like amri made it over to the middle east but he was given that choice, make immigration or stay here and conduct an attack in germany. >> thank you, gentlemen. appreciate it. up next, president-elect trump sidestepping the white house and weighing in on behalf israel concerning israel's settlement activity. the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine.
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all seems beautiful to me.
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the israeli government calling on donald trump to intervene ahead of a resolution vote. i'm joined by elise labott. elise, good evening. thank you for coming on tonight. it's been an extraordinary day settling around a u.n. vote in israel. tell us about what happened. >> basically, don, the u.s. has been planning to vote on this u.n. resolution, the u.n. security council resolution condemning the settlement activity illegal. usually the u.s. for years has kind of protected israel at the u.n. security council but we understand that president obama was prepared to let that resolution pass, either by abstaining or by voting in favor of it. the israelis have been watching what has been happening for weeks and they have been warning the obama administration not to do that, imploring them really. and said, listen, if you don't stop this resolution, if you plan on letting it go ahead, we're going to have no choice but to reach out to president-elect trump and an
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israeli official told me that's just what the israeli government did. they reached out to the president-elect, asked him to intervene. you saw today president-elect trump issuing a statement, calling on the u.s. to veto this resolution, saying it was not helpful to israel and we do understand that there was a call between president-elect trump and egyptian president fattah el sisi and the egyptians ended up pulling the resolution off the table. we don't know the fate of the resolution and we know there are discussions going on and the u.s. could still be expecting a vote. but the intervention from donald trump seems to succeed. >> how is all of this playing in the white house, elise? >> well, they are being very careful about what they say. i mean, clearly president-elect trump has been speaking out about foreign policy issues. there are some officials that say, look, it's unusual but everything in this campaign has
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been unusual. others are a little more upset but from the israeli point of view, you know, some people are saying, oh, yes, this is unprecedented for president-elect to weigh in. from the israeli's point of view, they think that by allowing this resolution to pass, the obama administration was actually tieing president-elect trump's hands for when he comes in to the white house. he has said that he does want to negotiate what he called the ultimate deal between israelis and palestinians and a u.n. resolution basically declaring a settlement is illegal and putting the thumb on the most sensitive issues about peace negotiations could have affected donald trump's leverage with the israelis or palestinians so they were really grateful for his t interference. >> will there be a vote on the resolution and how will the u.s. cast its vote? >> well, we don't know if there's going to be a vote.
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the arab league, all of the arab states met today. the suspicion is that they could introduce a tax that is less strong or it could fall apart altogether. i suspect that's probably what will happen. president el sisi will introduce that resolution if he doesn't give that his full backing, i don't know how it could go ahead but the u.s. is looking to put its finger on the scale before it walks on the peace process. secretary of state kerry was expected to lay out his vision for a peace deal. you remember he had those failed peace talks. this administration wanted to say its peace, if you will, some of it was a parting shot to netanyahu who obama didn't have a good relationship and part of it was because this relationship was vehemently opposed to settlement. so i don't necessarily know if they are going to have that opportunity because, clearly, the israelis are looking forward
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to the next administration where they feel donald trump will be much more receptive to their concerns. >> elise labott, thank you. appreciate it. merry christmas to you. i want to bring in defense attorney alan derschowitz. i'm looking forward to this conversation. thank you for coming on this evening. aaron, were used to hearing that we have one president at a time. were you surprised that the president-elect intervened. >> i think it's fair to say that we're not in kansas anymore. i've been through four transitions. republicans to republicans, republicans to democrats, democrats to democrats and democrats to republicans. and in the last 25 years, i've never experienced anything quite like this. you have a president-elect not yet inaugurated intervening in
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realtime, not just with public declarations about an ongoing u.n. security council resolution but also responding and enlisting the support of foreign leaders. so i think, yeah, in terms of process and structure, this represents an unprecedented change. i think the real question -- and we're going to find out four weeks from tomorrow and in the days ahead of that, is whether or not to what degree this represents a fundamental change in the substance of american policy towards the middle east. >> alan, why do you say the president-elect had to weigh in on this vote before he took office? >> well, because you have a lame duck president who is trying to tie the hands of his successor. i wrote an article before we knew who was going to be president saying don't allow the president to tie your hands. remember, u.n. resolutions can't be changed. once the united states does not veto or votes for it, it's there forever and it makes it much, much harder to have a peace
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process when the palestinians believe falsely that they can get a state through the united nations rather than through direct negotiations. donald trump did exactly the right thing. he stood up for himself and he said, don't tie my hands. i want to make these. the president of the united states is acting very undemocratically in his last days in office. 88 senators told him not to do it. the vast majority of the house of representatives don't want him to do it. the american public is not in favor of it. he wouldn't have had the guts to do this when he was still running for office but as a lame duck president, he now feels he can tie the hands, he can get even with netanyahu and he can create his own private personal legacy but in the end, the legacy will be that he will have made it much more difficult to have a two-state solution and a peaceful negotiation. >> aaron, the same question for you. do you think the president-elect had to weigh in on this? >> i think alan has some good points but i don't see it
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playing out quite that well, don. had this resolution been introduced, and i suspect it still might but the odds are against that because president el sisi having being caught in the middle is going to wash his hands of this. i think it would have played out in a different way. it would not have tied the next administration's hands. the president of the united states would have voted for it and within minutes or hours of that vote, the president-elect would have disowned it and disavowed it and when he became president, he would have tried to send an unmistakable message that, in effect, the terms of that resolution did not reflect his policy. and once again -- and this is why i think it was a fraud enterprise. we would have sent mixed signals to our allies and adversaries on what exactly american policy represents. i think it was very hard at the 11th hour and i think alan is right about this, to try to institute, no matter how frustrated the current president
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is, to try to institute a a -- or implement a significant change in policy. >> but let's not be fooled by thinking this was done by egypt. the united states is behind this resolution. they are the ones who are pushing it. the obama administration is pushing it. the arab countries are reluctant to do this. this is coming from the united states. this is coming directly from the oval office and from secretary kerry. so let's not think that this was something that the israelis persuaded the egyptians -- the egyptians couldn't care less. palestinians on the streets don't even care much about this. one of the reasons it's a bad resolution at the u.n., it encourages sanctions against products produced in the west bank and states that the boundaries would be 67 boundaries which resolution 242 of the security council gave much more flexibility. this is a very bad resolution but badly motivated --
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>> for those not opposed to the resolution and concerned about the precedent that this sets because of one president at a time, donald trump is not the president of the united states yet. >> that's true, but the current president should not be tieing the hands of the future president in this way. >> that's true. >> where i disagree is that u.n. resolutions aren't undoable. it would become the security council resolution. and no future president can undo that. that's why it would be wrong for this president to try to impose this on future presidents. >> wrong or not, is it his prerogative, aaron, for him to do this, even if you think it's a bad move? >> the administration -- the current administration? >> yes, sir. >> yeah, i think pressure has been building, momentum has been building in an effort to have some sort of resolution, some sort of speech by the current administration, to put his fingerprints on eight years of failures, frankly, to address the israeli and palestinian
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issue. >> let him make a speech. >> yes, i think it was the president's right to do this. i argued earlier that i think an 11th hour move on settlements, particularly the language in the first paragraph, not accepting the legality which raises thorny issue which the last three administrations have sought to dodge, yeah, i think in the end it probably wouldn't have succeeded even the resolution had passed. i also, given the u.n.'s credibility here -- >> i've got to run. >> -- i'm not sure it would have had much of an impact on the new administration going forward. >> merry christmas, happy hanukkah. up next, donald trump goes nuclear talking about expanding america's nuclear capability. that really entertains us. chg i'm gonna use this picture on sketchbook, and i'm going to draw mustaches on you all. using the pen instead of fingers, it just feels more comfortable for me. be like, boop! it's gone. i like that only i can get into it
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and that it recognizes my fingerprint. our old tablet couldn't do that. it kind of makes you feel like you're your own person, which is a rare opportunity in my family. (laughter)
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president-elect tweeting today that he wants to strengthen and expand america's nuclear capability hours after russian president vladimir putin wants to do the same with his nuclear program. i want to bring in ambassador and chairman for defense of democracies and former director of central intelligence, also advised the trump administration and bob baer, a former cia agent. good evening, gentlemen. thank you so much. bob, to you first, today a defense ministry meeting putin made an alarming comment about nuclear weapons. let's listen. >> translator: we need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile forces that can reliably penetrate prospective missile defense systems. >> so bob, putin has been trying
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to restore russia's place in the global hierarchy. how do you interpret this new statement? >> he's on the move. this man is going to be testing us the next four years. you look at the agreements in the middle east and the one yesterday made between iran and iraq and syria and turkey. it's amazing. he is on the move after taking aleppo, eastern europe, the fighting has picked up there and he's going to challenge, you know, our nuclear treaties with the united states. >> ambassador, do you agree with that? >> yes. i think putin -- abraham lincoln grew up on a farm next to an old farmer who used to say, i don't need much land, just what adjoins mine. that's putin and that's historically been russia for much of its history. and i agree with bob, he's on the move.
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he's a problem. we are certainly not going to help deal with that by getting weaker. we have gotten quite weak over the course of the last eight years. >> let's talk about the president-elect because a short time after putin's remark, ambassador, donald trump tweeted this. "the united states must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." how do you read this? >> i think they might have used a different -- might have used a different verb than expand which suggests a numerical increase and that may not be the main thing we need but we've gone eight years here with a very minor attention to modernizing our nuclear forces and taking good care of them and taking new steps to improve their survi surviveability. >> so you take issue with the
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expand part? >> i imagine what we'll find out, he's not really talking about numbers. he was talking about capability. and that's fine. i think we do need to modernize the forces and we need to get some people back that have gotten out of the armed forces and are needed to be trainers and instructors to others. we have let a lot of things slide. >> i have a follow-up question but bob, i heard you reacting to the tweet. what did you think? >> i think he's responding to the russians. so much for this supposed honeymoon between putin and trump. it's just not happening. and, you know, it sort of makes me reassess the hacking, the russian hacking, wasn't so much to support trump as it was to mess with the american elections. >> yeah. they put out this clarification and i want to read it here. very tiny print. president-elect trump was referring to the threat of nuclear proliferation and the critical need to prevent it
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particularly to and among terrorist organizations and unstable and rogue regimes. he has also emphasized it's a vital way to pursue peace through strength." is that what you were saying? do you think this is more of a contradiction rather than a clarification? >> i don't think it's a contradiction. our nuclear deterrent underlies our appliances and countries that like japan have in us and south korea to protect them with our deterrent. otherwise, if we don't do this, we're going to find the world is moving even more rapidly toward proliferation. >> not to cut you off. >> go ahead. >> pardon me. if you look at it on its face and look at the original language of this, it would appear that it's a nuclear arms
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race. both are saying that we need to expand. putin is saying that. donald trump is initially saying that. is this -- >> well, race suggests that it's just compare and similar institutions and similar modernization steps. i don't look at it that way. i do think it ought to be something where we're moving quickly and decisively in order to improper survivability and we have to deter the russians from using the mainline force and certainly nuclear force. >> bob, if you have a quick answer to that question about the arms race because i want to ask you something else. do you see it as such? >> it's an arms race. i think it's going to turn into that. i think trump intends to turn foreign policy on its head. everything he's said about the middle east is unprecedented. i've never seen anything like it
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in the 30 plus years i've been doing this. it's amazing. >> that's frightening, you know, given the assessment that you just said. but i have to ask you this, i think it's important to ask you about edward snowden today. snowden has been in touch with russian intelligence. what do you make of that? does that slam the door to any type of repatriation or pardon for edward snowden? >> you can't pardon him. the moment he set foot on an airplane, he was under control of kgb. you don't do anything in that contract, especially an american contractor, they met him as soon as he got off the airplane and started a debriefing. he is under their control. he is not going to leave russia without their permission. russia, it remains a police state and that's the end of the story. he's not coming back. he is not going to be forgiven for this. i just do not believe that. >> thank you, bob. thank you, ambassador. appreciate it. more of our coverage of
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israel asking donald trump to weigh in on a controversial u.s. resolution. ♪ lend him a helping hand. ♪ put a little love in your heart. ♪ ♪ take a good look around... ♪ ...and if you're lookin' down, ♪ ♪ put a little love in your heart. ♪ ♪put a little love in your heart.♪ ♪ in your heart. (avo) the subaru share the love event is happening now and will have given ninety million dollars to help real people like these. when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of patients had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. in fact, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin.
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an unorthodox move asking president-elect trump to weigh in on a controversial u.n. security council resolution that condemns settlement activity. i want to bring in alice stewart, a republican strategist, bakari sellers,
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celina zito and political contributor hilary rosen. i like the sweater there, bakari. >> a little holiday shopping. >> you belong in a j. crew catalog. first of all, let's talk about this -- i'll talk about that next because i want to talk about the nuclear arms race. elise reported that the israeli government reached out ahead of the u.n. security council vote. one president at a time was tested today, wasn't it, hilary? >> well, it was. on a substantive matter, i actually agree with president-elect trump. i know alice is fainting now. >> she's smiling. >> the only way we're going to have peace in the middle east is direct negotiations between israel and its neighbors. i do think the u.n. security
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council is trying to box out israel and i think the obama administration was trying to get in their last stand on this. so substantively, i agree with mr. trump. on the other hand, i do think that israel is jumping the gun a little bit here and that the obama administration has to act until january 20th. so i think that the real problem for me is that a new president who isn't allowed to create new foreign policy but i don't think you ought to be doing it by tweeting. you ought to do it by discussing it with experts and by communicating in realtime and in real conversations with our allies. tweeting just feels a little reckless to me. >> yeah. alice, you want to respond to that? >> don -- >> i want alice to respond because she --
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>> sure, i'll respond to that with regard to donald trump's position on this. to be honest, for the last eight years, this administration has not been friendly to israel. they are our greatest ally and president obama has not been a friend to israel. i don't blame israel for trying to circumvent the current administration and going to president-elect and that was wise on their part. they felt as though they were under the gun and reached out to donald trump. what he does from here moving forward, whether he expands it more in more of a policy initiative remains to be seen. >> and the tweeting part, alice? >> that's how he communicates. he's done that throughout the entire campaign and it's been effective for him and i think it's a quick, instant way for him to get his message out and make people aware of where he is on a certain issue and in this case it was effective. >> bakari, you wanted to respond. go ahead. >> yeah. i think alice is just flat out wrong with regard to president obama and his relationship with israel. i had an opportunity to speak to
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ambassador dermer and shapiro and everyone is standing arm in arm and saying that although there may be personal differences between netanyahu and barack obama, no one can discount that the iron dome is because of the president of the united states, the country or state nation of israel now has a missile defense system which protects them against hamas rockets and hezbollah rockets daily. that's all because of barack obama. i think it's disrespectful to say that the relationship is flawed. there's a great deal of uncertainty over there. traveling to the north in the golden heights and borders of syria with former generals of the idf, people don't understand what the foreign policy of donald trump is and it's breeding great uncertainty. when you can ask the president of the united states to tweet something to dictate what the u.n. does, imagine how the world looks at us with that --
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>> selena, i want to ask you, because donald trump's foreign policy via twitter continued. and he tweeted this, "the united states must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." and jason muller said that he was referring to the critical need to prevent it particularly to and among rogue regimes. he has also emphasized the need to modernize or capability of as a vital way to pursue peace through strength. what's your reaction to that? >> the problem with the tweet is, you get 140 words and that's it. >> characters. >> or characters. and he didn't expand on it. and so i think this is probably something we're going to see a lot of, right? he's going to say something on twitter and you're going to have
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someone from either sean spicer or jason expand on it and give more of an explanation because there's not enough dimension for -- people can read all kinds of things into 140 characters and, you know, this is the new world that we have. >> that is -- >> it's just disrespectful. >> why? >> it really is. it's disrespectful to the american people who are looking for leadership and particularly if you're going to make significant changes, we have a start treaty with russia on nuclear disarmament. we have modernized our nuclear capability under president obama significantly. so to say that it's been language wishing is simply not true. and our start treaty -- >> let me get this question is because his supporters may read it differently. they may like the bold moves but vladimir putin may not read the same thing into the supporters in those 140 characters what the
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supporters are reading into it and could lead to issues with foreign policy. >> exactly the point. >> go on. >> that's my fear, don. you know, we think now maybe putin wants to renegotiate that treaty. maybe he sees a different kind of a deal in donald trump, somebody who wants to increase our nuclear capability, giving putin an excuse to increase his. so there is so much involved here and there have been years and years going back to ronald reagan's worth of negotiations over the trading of nuclear capabilities with russia and other countries around the world. so i just think it's disrespectful to the process, to the american people and, frankly, when it comes to nuclear weapons, dangerous to try and communicate foreign policy by tweeting. >> security analyst bob baer told me moments ago, he said this was a nuclear arms race. we'll discuss that, coming up. freshness, you've got a few more tricks up your cozy sleeve.
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i'm back now with my panel. al alice stewart, to you, first. bob baer believes it was a nuclear armed race. what's your opinion?
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>> we talked about putin needing to strengthen nuclear weapons, followed by donald trump saying we are looking to enhance our nuclear weapons, maybe pas a deterrent. putin said they need to strengthen their nuclear arms potential, and trump said we need to do it as a deterrent. the only way you can stand up to putin is to show strength. i don't think this is the beginning of an arms race, but i think this is donald trump, in a way, showing that he's not going to let putin walk away and step on us with regard to nuclear weapons. >> it looks like you're not buying it, are you, vicar? >> no, i'm not buying it. a gas station with nuclear weapons. that's what the country is right now. we had sanctions on russia, we have sanctions on russia which have crippled its economy. russia has a crippled economy.
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if john mccain and lindsey graham and john flake and many others come together in a bipartisan bill and put more sanctions on russia, economic sanctions on russia, they will continue to be crippled. the question is will donald trump sign that? the tweet today, and even jason miller's explanation of it, i don't know if he wants to get more nuclear weapons, which i believe is absurd. i don't know if he wants to strengthen the nuclear triad. nobody really knows what he's talking about. >> he says emphasize the need to modernize our nuclear abilities. he says modernize, but exactly what aspect -- >> what does that mean? my only point is we're losing focus of the greatest nuclear threat we have on the world today, which is iran. and we have to make sure we strengthen the iran deal, we strengt strengthen countries around it and we have to make sure iran is 10 years away from this deal.
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>> i think iran is an important point, but it almost makes it seem like donald trump doesn't know that we actually are modernizing our nuclear weapons capabilities to the tune of many billions of dollars, and he might have been able to be more effective in pushing back on putin by actually talking about what we do have. and it makes me wonder whether he even knows what we do have, whether they're even there. so when you hear the president of russia say something, the first thing you might want to do is actually step back and think about what we have in the u.s. and how you can leverage it in the most effective way. >> let's move on to domestic issues for as much as we can get in here. selena, the u.s. has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000. donald trump is assembling his american desk and he's asked peter navarro to be a special adviser on american reform. is the formation of an american desk why trump's base voted for him? >> yeah, absolutely.
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throughout the campaign, he talked about trade, he talked about the impact that it's had on manufacturing. although he didn't talk enough, i think, about the impact the technology has also had on those jobs. but, you know, this is -- these are the types of people that his supporters want, people that are outside of washington who are known for being, you know, strong about regulations, about lifting regulations, and about china's currency and how they manipulated and it hurts american manufacturing, so i think his voters, his supporters and some of the people that are unsure about him are seeing that he's playing out what he talked about, and they're going to be happy with these choices, at least from the start. >> let's talk about it in regard to trade, alice. president-elect donald trump is
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also working on his first promise. they're discussing a proposal to raise tariffs at least 10% on imports. this is at odds with the republican congress. they said spurring manufacturing could be accomplished through, quote, comprehensive tax reform. how will the establishment and the trump administration find common ground on trade? >> that's what they're working through right now is trying to find common ground on this. it's not a secret. trump made it quite clear throughout his campaign that he did want to renegotiate some of these trade deals. nafta, he doesn't think that is beneficial to america. he wants to make sure there is these bilateral agreements are beneficial to america and american workers, and that's not a surprise. as far as that 10% tariff, look, this is something that's a proposal, it's being discussed. he said he could do it through an executive action or a broader tax plan through congress, and i think that's what they're going
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to work on through finding common ground. at the same time, if he wants to do it alone through an executive action, he can do that. the key, this is all part of the package to make america better for american workers, and in terms of buy american and hire americans, and that's the goal. that's the focus of his economic package. i think with icon and navarro, they're on a good first step. >> vicar, i know you're not buying it but i'm simply out of time. >> me, neither. chalk me up as to not buying it, either. straight ahead in the next hour, donald trump sidestepping the white house and weighing in about israel, condemning israel's sentiment activity. when you have type 2 diabetes, there's a moment of truth. and now with victoza®
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you've got to ensure that you do things right, environment included. learn how you can save at together, we're building a better california. an unprecedented move by the president-elect. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. donald trump sidestepping the white house and going public with his disapproval of an impending vote on a council resoluti resolution. i want to begin on the latest in the search for the suspect on the berlin market attack since erin mclaughlin is in berlin's capital tonight. erin? >> reporter: we're learning more abou t


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