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Obama Set to Meet Today with Hollande; Authorities Search for Eighth Terror Suspect; France Begins Air Strikes on ISIS; Bill Maher Argues Muslim Values Inconsistent with Western Values; Trump Leads Polls Despite Controversy; Med Student Shot After Attempting to Help Woman. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired November 23, 2015 - 23:00 ET
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DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: 11:00 p.m. in Washington, 5:00 a.m. in Paris. President Barack Obama is set to meet today with French President Hollande after the Paris attacks, as the U.S. learns more about the attackers and their plans.
This is CNN TONIGHT, I'm Don Lemon. Here's what we know right now, bombs rained down on the ISIS capital Raqqa, as France launches air strikes. Meanwhile in Paris, a new clue to the whereabouts of fugitive Salah Abdeslam, his cellphone tracked to the suburb where what appears to be suicide vest is found. And in Brussels, the city under the highest alert amid fears of another terror team waiting to strike.
A lot to get though this hour but I want to get straight to CNN's Martin Savage, he's in Paris, and also Nima Elbagir is in Brussels for us this morning.
So, Martin, new information to this morning from our Evan Perez that the attackers scouted their locations as well as the important discovery today of a suicide belt in the trash outside of Paris, what are police saying about these new developments?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, two things, you know, first of all, the scouting and what appeared to be some very careful planning and orchestration on the part of these ISIS attackers, did clearly impressive, not surprised, French authorities here. And also authorities around the world especially in the western world because they did not think up to this point that there was this kind of sophistication nor coordination. So that is in cycle if obviously in a horrific way.
And then the other thing is the vest that's been found. This vest of course was found 10, 11 days after the attacks themselves. And it does come, as you pointed out, in the area in which a cell phone that was belonging to this one terrorist that is still at large was last heard from or seen in the area of the Paris attacks on the 13th. So, very suspicious that the phone was found in that area and then days later this vest is found in the area. This vest reportedly did not have a detonator attached to it, but it was still the same explosives as those that were used on Friday the 13th. Is it from this missing fugitive? We don't know at this point, but the vest itself could tell so much for investigators, even if it doesn't give the whereabouts of the man right now, Salah Abdeslam.
LEMON: Nima, police are searching for alleged eight terrorist attacker in Belgium, Salah Abdeslam that Martin just referenced, is there any new information on the hunt for him?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we now have one man in custody that the police have linked, they say directly, to the Paris attacks. And also, to the broader network that was supporting the Paris attacks here in Belgium. So you have one more person who is currently being questioned, whose links and who's broader contact list is currently being combed to try and establish the footprint of this cell.
Many of the investigations so far point to the nexus of that cell being the suburb of Molenbeek here, where the two Abdesalam brothers who were involved in the attack, and the ringleader of the attack, Abdulhamid Abaaoud grew up together, spent many years together. So, we already know that the arrow was always going to be pointing towards Molenbeek. But now, it looks like they're pushing out beyond to other Brussels suburbs, and other towns and cities in Belgium. And that's really what this terror alert has been about, it is very much about a series and imminent threat, but it's also about having the opportunity to come through those neighborhoods and find out how really how deep did this plot go? How wide did this net in terms of the support network go out, Don.
LEMON: All right. So, this Brussels alert, still maximum terror threat there. What is life like for people who are under these lockdown, this lockdown conditions, Nima?
ELBAGIR: Well we have had people coming out today during the day. Saturday was, I think, the most difficult day because it was -- there was such a state of shock. We were actually in the central shopping district when some of the shops that had opened, in spite of the terror threat level were pretty unceremoniously asked to close down by police and you really have the sense of contained panic. And police very much trying to manage people's fears.
Today, they came out a little bit, but by evening most people told us they wanted to be in their homes. This is coming up to Christmas. Brussels is a tourist town, it's a conference town. It's really difficult time for people, but they're trying to make the best of it. Some amazing means on social media, cat dressed up as Paris, people trying to be supportive, coming up to Christmas.
[23:05:02] Brussels is a tourist town, it's a conference town. This is a really difficult time for people but they're trying to make the best of it.
Some amazing means on social media, cats dressed up as terrorist, people trying to be supportive of the broader security operation here by not giving any details away about what they're seeing on the streets and dressing it out by depicting cats being police officers and being searched and following the rules. So, trying to return to some semblance of normalcy but there is no doubt on it this is a difficult time.
LEMON: Same question to you Martin, how people are doing in Paris?
SAVIDGE: Doing better, although I have to say that the discovery of this belt is another setback here. I think what really had shaken the people of Paris, they've grown accustomed to the idea that of course the city is the target.
But this particular assault, aside from the sheer numbers of people that were killed or wounded, it was the neighborhoods that were struck, it was the fact that this time no one was spared. It wasn't a person was picked out because of their faith, it wasn't because a person was picked out because of their job such as Charlie Hebdo. This was just people, any kind of person, and that has really shaken the people of Paris. This time you could not explain it away as somebody else's threat, it was everyone here.
And that is something they're still adjusting to. Don.
LEMON: Martin, Nima, thank you very much, I appreciate that. Now to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh, he's in Syria with the latest on French Air Strikes on ISIS. Nick.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're down with the Charle de Gaulle Aircraft Carrier in East Mediterranean, the French have been out to up the tempo of the strikes saying today that they hit a group of ISIS fighters near Ramadi and an artillery position near Mosul, four of their fighters in the air for a while and that's part of the increase in intense bombardments of Syria, Iraq and also of Raqqa, the capital of ISIS' self declared caliphate.
Now we have a chance to get within 20 miles of outskirts of that, since when we saw the front line held by young often likely armed Kurdish fighters who have a lot of optimism about taking the ground fight to ISIS but lack really the capability at this stage.
After Paris, the Sinai, and the cross hairs is here, Raqqa, lost in the haze, yet they can hear it, loud thuds, heaviest of dusk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
WALSH: A few days ago says Bahos (ph), we saw 40 air strikes suddenly hit just nearby and then the French said they started bombing. We'll do our best to avenge Paris.
He like the other young Kurdish fighters here have lost friends but say fighting ISIS is a duty for humanity rather than vengeance as they man a series of trenches and outposts about 20 miles from the city.
We have just heard the distant thuds of what could have been two airstrikes, but from where we're standing, here is the Kurdish front line, a trench dug as far as we can see and then all in this direction, flat open land until you reach the outskirts of Raqqa, the capital of ISIS' self-declared caliphate.
Four Russian missiles hit Raqqa, this day activists said but otherwise it's the silence of stalemate in the desert. Weapons here are scanned. This man carries the AK-47 of his friend who died eight months ago. Out here, in the flat open ground with ISIS in the next village, they still scorn ISIS' leaders and welcome help.
If French, Russian or American fighters, this commander says, come here to fight, we'll cooperate with them as we're all fighting to clean the area of ISIS for humanity.
ISIS left their mark on nearby Ayn Al Isa as has the fight for it, even the mosque, littered with mines.
The silence here is breathtaking. This is directly the road down to Raqqa and you can just hear the complete absence of human life.
There is little in victory left to fight for. On the way out, we meet these guys that don't look much like white knights but that's what the Pentagon hopes they are, the Syrian Democratic Forces getting American aid who explain they've secured the major defection of Sunni tribes inside Raqqa to fight ISIS.
"We weren't expecting this large number to join but there are now 4000 tribesmen." he says. "But we want to move all of them already and we've already managed to sneak weapons to them. We're moving forwards."
Western leaders call this a global fight, but here alone do you feel the dust, death and determination.
WALSH: And Don, just in the area where we were, we were there on Friday, on the Monday, intense clashes broke out between ISIS and those Kurdish fighters. There were four coalition airstrikes that targeted ISIS positions around that town, Ayn Al Isa on that same day.
[23:10:05] It's still in flux without a doubt, they -- as they say have the desire to move against Raqqa but they don't it seems have numbers. They're all we think Americans potentially their advisors in that area. They seemed to mention that once talking amongst themselves. But they are assisted too, but that sheer amount of vast, open terrain between where ISIS are and where those trenches are to, that leaves ISIS so vulnerable to coalition airstrikes if they try to move towards the Kurds, but it also inputs to Kurds wide out in open if they try to move towards Raqqa.
A sense of stalemate, but no doubts in their minds how vital the talks is, about pressuring what ISIS considered their most symbolic city, Raqqa. Don?
LEMON: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much for that report. I want to bring in now Lieutenant Rick Francona and Lieutenant General
Mark Hertling. Good evening, gentlemen. Rick, you first, the French are launching airstrikes from their aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle in position down in the Eastern Mediterranean. What impact do you think that's going to have on the fight against ISIS?
LT.COL.RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think the fact that the French are willing to commit more aircraft to the fight does have an impact because the French are actually dropping their bombs on their targets. Their rules of engagement are much different than ours, much more liberal than ours. So when they approach Raqqa they're going to drop those weapons, when they approach Mosul they're going to drop those weapons.
They don't go through the cumbersome validation process that we're going through. So the French are having an effect with their aircraft in theater and that French aircraft carrier. They're bringing almost 50 aircraft to the fight. And if they're willing to use them on a daily basis, yes, they can have an effect.
LEMON: General Hertling, France, Russia and the U.S. coalition all bombing Syria and Iraq. Is there any indication that ISIS leadership structure is being degraded?
LT.GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it's a combination of a couple of things Don, it's not only the leadership that's being degraded but it's also the fighters. When you put your fighters under that much bombardment for this long of period of time, and it not only kills a lot of people but it also affects their will to fight. And it also affects the will of others to come join that fight, and I think we're beginning to see that based on some of the reports Nick Paton Walsh is giving and others.
But, it also causes them to shift their fight to other places and that's exactly what we're seeing in other parts of the world. So, as this is a multi-pronged approach, there are seven lines of operation in this strategy against ISIS. This is just one of them and we've got to up the ante in the other efforts, as well.
LEMON: The New York Times is reporting today that an internal Pentagon investigation of the U.S. Central Commander or CENTCOM claims that supervisors change military analysis of the fight against ISIS in Iraq to make it seem as though it was going better than it really was. Rick, your background as intelligence in general, as a commander intel is critical to what you do. So, what do you make of this first to you General?
HERTLING: Well, this is an interesting story, Don. I've watched this for a while. Don't know exactly what's happening inside CENTCOM, but truthfully you know Rick is a great guy to answer because he's been an intelligence analyst. But I've taken the intelligence product from my analyst and really measured not only what they say on paper, what they've done in terms of their written products but also combined that with some other products that come from the field. The signals intelligence, the human intelligence that comes in that sometimes don't get it into the report, and you also -- the analyst are separated from what's going on in the ground, which can only be provided by the people on the scene and the commanders.
So, I don't know what's going to happen on this report, and the DoD IG is going to investigate it. But it seems to me like there maybe some problems inside the central commands intelligence infrastructure. It may be a leadership issues, it may be just the way these things are processed, but the analysts sometimes get a little bit full of themselves and sometimes don't realize there are other things that contribute to painting the picture on the ground.
LEMON: Colonel, what's your assessment of this report by the New York Times?
FRANCONA: If what they're report is true, this is unconscionable. Intelligence analyst is charged to provide the most accurate assessment of the picture on the ground, in the air, as he can, as she can to the commander. And as the general says, the commander has to make decisions based on that information. If he doesn't have good information, he cannot possibly make good decisions.
And this is not just an academic exercise. This is an action that has consequence because the general will make a decision to move troops, to move resources and to put and to send young Americans into combat based on what you're telling him. So if you're going to skew the intelligence, you are putting young Americans at risk.
So, I hope they get to the bottom of this and find out what the problem is. And as the general said, there is a real issue with the CENTCOM intelligent structure. And, you know, I was a part of that year ago. Where you've got a larger capacity, a larger force in Tampa, Florida and you've got forward-based operations out in the theater.
[23:15:10] And -- so a lot of it is being done in Tampa and some of it is being done upfront. That creates a lot of problems where you don't have everybody there at the front with the commander.
LEMON: But isn't it a domino effect or a snowball effect because if the, you know, if his advisers, the president's advisers aren't getting the right information, that means the president is not getting the right information and it maybe a rosier picture even though he doesn't think so, then -- that he's getting than what's actually happening.
HERTLING: Yeah, but Don, what I got to tell you too is, CENTCOM report does not go directly to the president. A CENTCOM report is filtered through the Defense Intelligence Agency and that's combined with other reports from CIA, from operatives and from the commanders' input. So anyone that's saying that the president is being swayed by false reports from CENTCOM doesn't really understand how the process works.
And what I told you, just to add what Rick said earlier, I remember an occasion when I was in Iraq and I, you know, every commander, every senior commander gets something called the black book every day which list the things in either a secret or a top secret format. And I remember reading continuously reports that some of the intelligence analysts at CENTCOM, at multinational force, Iraq down in Baghdad were given me about my area in Northern Iraq.
And finally, I called my boss at the time, General Petraeus, and said, "Hey, how about sending a couple of those analysts up here and let them fly out to these areas with me in a helicopters so they can see on the ground really what's going on?" And they did. And they completely changed their opinion or at least it gave them a little bit more input of how to write their report. That really contributed to a better understanding of what they were putting that was going back to the DIA and the CIA that could have a better picture of what was going on in the ground.
So, all these things, it's a give-and-take and the leadership on the ground really has to really talk to one another, engage one another and share the intelligence picture as opposed to just saying whatever is on the piece of paper is gospel and we've got to abide by that. It's a continual process. And certainly if something was wrong, it is unconscionable as Rick said. But, I think there's more to it than this.
LEMON: Button (ph) it up for me briefly if you can, Rick.
FRANCONA: What the general said is true. When the information comes from CENTCOM it does go back to Washington, it goes to DIA, CIA, NSA and everybody. But I can tell you that there is a robust dialogue going on constantly between CENTCOM, DIA, CIA because everybody wants to get the best picture they can to the president. They want to make sure what he has is right. And there are disagreements and sometimes you have to say, "OK, this is what we're going with." But remember, the Defense Intelligence Agency is the senior so they will filter out everything they believe CENTCOM may have skewed.
LEMON: Colonel and General, thank you gentlemen. Appreciate it.
When we come back right back, Islam and American values, why Bill Maher says liberals are fooling themselves on Islam. Plus, a man who says what Donald Trump has to say about Muslims is bone chilling. He also says if Trump gets the nomination, the GOP will be in his words, the party of hate.
LEMON: So, Bill Maher is never going to hold back on his opinions especially when it concerns religion coming down hard on Islam, this time. I want to talk about this with Buck Sexton and Marc Lamont Hill, both gentlemen join me now. So, I'd like to show you something that Bill Maher said this weekend, it's actually Friday on his HBO show "Real Time". He was arguing that Muslim values are at odds with western values, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: If you are in this religion, you probably do have values that are at odds. This is what liberals don't want to recognize. You maybe from a country as there are many, many Muslim countries that either have Sharia Law or want Sharia Law. Those values are not our values. This idea that somehow we do share values that all religions are alike is (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Marc, do you agree with that?
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Bill Maher seems to get this Islam question wrong all the time. Islam is premised on some very basic fundamental values that are in line with what America articulates as its own values, what the west articulates as its own values, questions of justice, questions of morality, questions of ethics, even questions of monotheism. And I'm not -- that's to say everyone has to be a monotheist, but certainly Islam is in line with that as well.
Questions of democracy and fairness, these are all things that Islam does deal with. The question of Sharia Law is much more complicated than Bill Maher would like to acknowledge. Sharia Law is about a range of things, it is not applied in every country in every way. So to say that somehow because you have an investment in Sharia Law means that you somehow are radical or that you're necessarily anti-growth, anti-democracy, anti-modern, it's just not true.
LEMON: Buck Sexton?
BUCK SEXTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I want to say that I think it's even more accurate to point out that there are ideas within Islam that are very popular within Islam, but they don't necessarily have a large portion of all Islamic communities from countries around the world. But we are talking about in the tens of millions and in some cases in the hundreds of millions that aren't just at odds with American values, they're more specifically at odds with liberal values in this country, ideas about the Rights of women, the Rights of same- sex marriage.
These are places where you would think that liberals particularly would be up in arms and very critical of the prevalence of these ideas -- of these ideas that, under normal circumstances would be considered bigoted by American liberals. In the case of Islam, there's a lot of excuse making, there's a lot of apologies offered all the time and I think it's because they've sort of accepted Islam as part of the victimology class in this country that is therefore protected and is above and beyond criticism. There are ideas about apotheosis, there are ideas about the role of women, there are ideas -- as I said, about homosexuals, there are ideas about all kinds of things in Islam that millions and millions of people around the world believe that are very much at odds with modernity.
And if we don't address that and understand that, I don't see how this can ever actually get better. And I don't think sweeping it under the rug helps anybody particularly the moderates within Islamic State that were so concerned or at least we pretend to be in this country. So concerned with constantly trying to prop up and help.
LEMON: And Marc, he did reference this poll, the Public Religion Research Institute which says that a majority of Americans, I think it's 56 percent believe the values of Islam are at odds with American values. And, you know, this is before the Paris attacks. So, what then -- what do you think is driving these numbers, Marc?
HILL: Xenophobia, a lack of information, a media machine that is committed to misrepresenting the Islamic community.
[23:25:05] I mean if you were to look for example 10 years ago, prior to President Obama's presidency when they did polls on Mormonism, and whether they want a Mormon president. People said we'd rather have a black president than a Mormon president. People said the Mormon president was unimaginable because it wasn't mainline Christianity, because it was inline with western values. Then we get to meet Mitt Romney, then we got to meet John Hanson, we got to meet extraordinary people who represented their faiths in a very positive way, and we learned more about them and the polls change.
If you were to poll America about homosexuality 20 years ago they would have had a different vision. If you have to poll America about interracial marriage 70 years ago you'll have a different vision. So it -- I don't appeal to polls to make sense of what's true or not. And as far as saying, well, you know Muslims believe this about hypocrisy, Muslim believes this by homosexuality. To the homosexuality point again, you could poll conservative Christians in this country right now. You could go to a Ben Carson rally and find similar numbers.
It doesn't mean the faith itself is the problem, what we have is a political issue; we have as a cultural issue and an ideology issue that is being smoked into a conversation about Islam, and therefore being used to smear Islam rather that to recognize. Like all of the faiths has its problems, but at its core is not the problem.
LEMON: Buck can you say that pointing up the extreme is actually problematic. I think that's basically what you're saying, right?
With a little more nuance, but yes.
SEXTON: It's not just the Islamic state we're talking about here. When you look at polling in countries around the world, view polling of what the prescribed punishment is, for example, for adultery, for apostasy, these are not French beliefs when you're talking about many millions of people and in some cases majorities in very large countries, places like Pakistan, places like Afghanistan where apostasy they do believe is in fact punishable by death or at least something that would imprison you for a long period time.
Now look, Mark, I think its important you brought up other religious traditions because there is this sort of root fallacy within American liberalism and the American left that all religions more or less have some problems, that they're all more or less the same, and that's just frankly not true. I mean there aren't a lot of Unitarians or Quakers running around, lopping off heads in public squares, we know this. We can turn on the news we can see what's being written in newspapers around the world. There is also is only one faith tradition right now that absolutely refuses to allow criticism in the public square or anywhere for that matter of its basic tenants, and don't so with the threat of force. I mean very specifically says you will be killed if you criticize our faith and it's a threat that has to be taken seriously because they've done it. They've done it to bloggers in Bangladesh, they've done it to journalists all over the world, Theo van Gogh.
So, this is difference and I think that we need to recognize that and stop trying to play this very false moral equity (ph), it's dangerous. It undermines the moderates in the Muslin world. It pretends that these problems are not as broad as they are and they are very broad. There is a regressivism that is particular to the Islamic faith that is not particular to other faiths and we need to address this and empower the moderates.
LEMON: Last word, Marc.
HILL: Wow, that's a lot to respond to. But one, you take the most extremely liberal and you could argue not even religious tradition and you put a Unitarian Church and you compare it to the most extreme, the other end of Islamic tradition, I could point to the Hayek (ph), I could point to Sukki (ph), I could point to a range of Islamic traditions that have never had a record of terrorism or extremism. So let's not play with the extremes here.
Again, if you look also we look Pew Poll, which is perhaps the most flawed poll of Islamic radicalism ever committed in social sciences, now I tell you, you'd recognize that within these countries, it's a more nuanced conversation about what it means to have Sharia law, what it means to punish apostasy. Also if you say that Muslim countries are so silenced and so repressed that they don't have free thought, and then you appeal to a poll where they're asked to say what they think about the state religion you may come up with results that don't reflect what people on the ground really think and Muslim on the do.
There is a much wide range of Islamic identities and Islamic practices than what see. It's a very small slice of a community or a population that is being blamed for a -- or rather that is committing acts that is them being applied to the whole range...
SEXTON: I just want to say, having spent time Marc in Iraq, in Afghanistan and other places in the Middle East...
HILL: As have I.
SEXTON: I understand that, but then you and I both know that the complexities you're talking about with Sharia is often brutality. This isn't like the nuance of the founding fathers that in fact...
HILL: I disagree.
SEXTON: Well then we need to take a trip together to Saudi Arabia and see how they handle things.
LEMON: OK. guys. that's it... HILL: Right but then let's also take a trip to Turkey, let's take a
trip to Egypt and...
And when we do that we'll see that the Sharia Law is reimagined in a very particular way around crime, around marriage -- OK.
SEXTON: What about me?
LEMON: Whatever, not so much. Sorry.
HILL: I love you.
SEXTON: I love you. Good to see you Marc.
LEMON: Thank you guys.
When we come right back, new polls show Donald Trump solidly in the lead for the GOP race. Is he unstoppable or will his controversial remarks about American Muslims and Syrian refugees hurt his campaign?
LEMON: Good news in the polls for Donald Trump, as GOP Race moves closer to the Iowa caucuses. Joining me now the Daily Beast Dean Obeidallah, Katrina Pierson, national spokesperson for the Trump campaign, and Ryan Lizza, "The New Yorker's" Washington correspondent. Ryan, I haven't seen you in while, welcome back. Good to have all of you.
So, I'll give the first question to you, Ryan, the latest Washington Post ABC news poll shows this, Donald Trump comfortably on top of the Republic pack, 32 percent. So here's my question, there's a lot of things that potentially would have ended anyone else's campaign in any other year it seems to be, sort of Teflon, right? The most recent example of the comments about Muslims, so what do you think, 10 weeks away from Iowa? Do you think anything is going to derail him?
RYAN LIZZA, "NEW YORKER": I think what has to happen is that Republican voters need to be getting a consistent stream of information about the downside of electing Donald Trump from sources they trust, other Republican officials, the conservative media. I mean, in the history of campaigns is, if a candidate is riding high in the polls, the only thing that takes them down is new information. And, so far, Republican elites, the party infrastructure has not -- there's been no single organization that has launched a sustained ad campaign, information campaign pointing out things to Republican voters that they might not like about Donald Trump.
[23:35:11] I think until that happens, he'll stay pretty steady where he is.
LEMON: I can read your face Katrina.
KATRINA PIERSON, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Look Don, the reason Donald Trump is on top is because Republican voters don't like the GOP establishment.
So the GOP can throw whatever they want because that's what they've always done, even with the conservative candidates from last time. And, not to mention the negatives about Donald Trump are baked in and that's why he's been on top this whole time.
LEMON: Dean Obeidallah, you're out with a brand new pieces for the Daily News on Trump and you talked about he's comments over the weekend, you call them bone chilling. Here's what Donald Trump said
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESEDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just to set it clear. I want surveillance of these people. I want surveillance if we have to and I don't care. I want -- are you ready for this, folks? Are you ready? Oh, they're going to make it such a big deal. They're going to make it so big. He said something so politically incorrect, that's why we're going to hell because we're so politically incorrect. Such a big deal. Such a big deal.
I want surveillance of certain mosques, OK? If that's OK. I want surveillance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Dean you say you're frightened by his rhetoric, why?
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, "DAILY BEAST": I never honestly been concerned for my family or my friends before when an American politician said something. This is the first time. It has really changed, you know, his speech there saying, I want surveillance of these people and I am Muslim, we are now these people, we're not fellow Americans, we're not doctors, we're not your neighbor, we're not taxi drivers, we're not member of the Congress, we're these people, we are others. And he is dehumanizing the Muslim American community at a time when we have a spike in hate crimes after the horrific Paris attacks.
It's alarming to us and I think that it's painting a picture that somehow we're not trustworthy, that we're an enemy within this country and that's alarming to Muslims and people who are now standing with us, thankfully a rabbi wrote a great -- a beautiful letter I put it in my article people -- other people social media came out and said that is wrong and thankfully they're standing up.
LEMON: All right, let's talk about your article now, I want to read it here, because I don't want to misquote you, you wrote this in your piece and it says.
"If Trump is the republican presidential nominee in 2016, they, meaning the GOP, will have made it clear to America that the grand old party is no longer the party of Lincoln, but the party of hate."
OBEIDALLAH: Absolutely, and we've talked about this before and I wrote an article earlier about some of the hateful comments by other Republicans.
Right now, Donald Trump's ascendancy is because he demonized Latinos to start the campaign, demonized Muslims, he's racist, birther campaign against President Obama.
Now cheering or defending a...
LEMON: That's more damning I think to Donald Trump and that you're saying about the electorate.
BERMAN: If they choose a man who assented to power on this platform, because he has nothing about policy. His platform is personality, it's a personality that's intolerant, it's bigoted and it's hateful. If they choose that person, that's going to define their party, so I'm imploring the Republicans to support someone who actually values what our country is about, the forority of this nation.
LEMON: Let me come back.
There is more damning to say about the electorate than it is about Donald Trump than you're saying.
Go ahead Katrina. What do you want to say?
PIERSON: What I'd like to add to that it's very simple, but that's what we hear a lot on the Republican side or the conservative side, if anyone speaks the truth it's obviously feeling hate and that's exactly what Donald Trump speaking, the truth.
Let me just point Don for all of your viewers back in 2009, Anderson Cooper on CNN ran a special called "Uncovering America," which identified Muslims in America that were in fact radicalized and the good news is, the Clarion Project has released the map of where all the radical mosques are that's 80 out of 2,100, yes, we should absolutely be watching those mosques.
Why are we even having this discussion right now?
OBEIDALLAH: We have a thing called in the U.S. Constitution, that's how we are having the discussion.
PIERSON: And we have a warrant, we have a thing called warrants
OBEIDALLAH: I wish he would understand and value what this country has founded, the idea that for many become one that's what concerned to Donald Trump. His language there is inciting a crowd to cheer for his depriving Muslims.
PIERSON: It is bit true.
PIERSON: People came into this country on visas and brought down the world trade center that is a fact.
OBEIDALLAH: They were not Muslim Americans
PIERSON: No, they were here on visas. And the Boston bombers are refugees and you want to tell Americans that we shouldn't have anything to worry about?
OBEIDALLAH: I'm saying if there is someone specifically that has done something wrong, the police then will investigate that person
LEMON: Katrina, let him finish, let him finish and you respond.
OBEIDALLAH: The arguing that if a handful of people of any minority group does something wrong, the rest suffer, that's the same argument to support racial profile with African Americans and Latino Americans, it's unconstitutionally it's morally repugnant. It's wrong, if someone is doing something wrong, if there are people in the mosque doing something wrong, yes, so there are those people that's not a problem because I did, but Donald Trump's lying...
[23:40:05] OBEIDALLAH: It's much broader, the idea that thousands of Muslims rallied into Jerusalem and celebrated after 9/11, again, paints a picture why would you bring us a 14 years later in a campaign that should be like the economy and foreign policy it's demonizing Muslims...
PIERSON: Because carried with this attack is ISIS has targeted the United States, that's why it's being talked about now. Donald Trump is...
LIZZA: Ms. Katrina, Can I talk in here for a second, Katrina?
LEMON: Yes, go ahead, Ryan
LIZZA: Can I just jump in here. Just an interest, he talked about Donald Trump talking about the truth.
Could you clear up for us, yesterday most people that have looked into this say he tweeted something that was demonstrably false about race and crime statistics, I think you know what I'm talking about and that he said something that was demonstrably false about watching on T.V. on 9/11 thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering as the towers come down. Could you clear up for anyone right now?
PIERSON: Sure let me take the first one first. Absolutely, I'll take the first one first for the tweet.
PIERSON: Donald trump himself spoke tonight on Bill O'Reilly show.
LEMON: Katrina, here is the tweet, again, he said it was a re tweet that he re tweeted something else, and Bill O'Reilly took him to task saying you should not re tweet something if you did not know if it was true it makes you look bad.
Go ahead Katrina.
PIERSON: That's absolutely right, he addressed it himself personally because it came from somebody that he knew as a radio personality and it was a retweet. He didn't check he didn't put the numbers together and he apologized for that because...
LIZZA: That information is false Katrina.
PIERSON: So that's number one. Let me ask answer your second question.
LIZZA: But I just want to get a clear statement, is that information false that he retweeted?
PIERSON: I didn't check the information. All he said was he just retweeted.
LEMON: The information is false and he said that it's false.
PIERSON: And Bill O'Reilly addressed that with him.
LIZZA: But Katrina, as his spokesperson, why are you not willing to say that information is false?
PIERSON: Let me ask you -- let me answer the second part of your question.
LIZZA: Right but then I want you to come back to my question I want you to tell everyone out there...
LEMON: And she's going to answer, answer the second part of his question.
Katrina, go ahead
PIERSON: The second part of the question is, what did he say about seeing people in New Jersey cheering 9/11, right? That's what he said
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: Let her answer. Let her answer.
PIERSON: But you can actually go on to the Jewish standard Website on September 10th, 2014, there are 30,000 comments, and there are individuals from New Jersey recounting everything they saw that night, including Muslims cheering the World Trade Center going down.
LIZZA: Thousands of Muslims on T.V. on 9/11 watching the towers fall, Katrina.
PIERSON: And the Washington Post even walked back their article.
LEMON: There's a Washington Post report that says those people were allegedly...
LIZZA: That the Washington Post fact checked this and they declared it false.
LEMON: As soon as they were -- they allegedly saw people and they talked to people who were celebrating -- hang on Katrina let me finish. Who were celebrating as it turns out that information is not true.
There is no substantial evidence at all. There is no videotape no nothing to show that anyone in New Jersey by the thousands were celebrating during 9/11 the falling of the towers.
Stand by everyone. We'll continue this conversation right after this break.
LEMON: All right, back now, Dean Obeidallah, Katrina Pierson and Ryan Lizza, quite at interesting conversation. I just want to get something clear when you said that the Tsarnaev brothers were refugees. They were Chechnyan and their parents sought asylum from Chechnya. They did not come over and were vetted through the refugee process. So, Katrina, continuing our conversation, you were discussing with these gentlemen, go ahead.
PIERSON: Which part of it?
LEMON: You weren't finished. I had to cut you guys off.
PIERSON: No, we're talking about the is...
LEMON: That -- what should Ryan Lizza was trying to get to the bottom of is he said, if you can admit that retweet by Donald Trump, the information in that retweet, that that was false then why can't you admit that other things were false? Why can't you admit, as a spokesperson, that this information was wrong?
PIERSON: Oh, because it was a retweet. That's not something that Donald Trump put together. Had he put those numbers together and tweeted it absolutely...
LEMON: But as Bill O'Reilly said to him this evening on Fox News. He said, why do it if you're running as leader of the free world you're only giving people ammunition to say that you're racist. And these were Bill O'Reilly's words. And he agreed with that. So then why do it if you are Donald Trump and you're running for -- as leader of the free world?
PIERSON: Well chances are Don he's probably won't do that again, at least not without checking the numbers. Again, he already said, this came from somebody that he knew. It turns out it was a quote from somebody that he knew that was tagged on it. And it was Twitter. So, no, I'm not going to say that he did something wrong. He retweeted something he probably shouldn't have. But at the same time, had he put those numbers out himself...
LEMON: Let it go, go ahead Ryan.
RYAN LIZZA: Katrina, its racist propaganda that he retweeted. That's the problem here. He's retweeting lies about crime statistics that suggest that African-Americans are killing white people at incompletely insane and exaggerated numbers. Do you understand why people might be offended by that? And why people have a problem with...
PIERSON: And do you -- but do you understand that being offended...
LIZZA: Retweeting false, racist propaganda?
PIERSON: Do you understand that Donald Trump could tweet out a dozen white roses to his wife and he would still be called a racist? Do you understand that?
LIZZA: But Katrina, can say the pictures of roses, I think they're calling him a racist because he said yesterday that a black protester at his rally should be roughed up. He tweeted...
PIERSON: That's racist? That's racist?
LIZZA: And he is telling -- and he's telling lies about Muslims on 9/11.
LEMON: That's going to be the last one. I know you want to jump in here
Katrina, I know we've got to go, but listen, as was said on Fox News, why give people the ammunition? We'll continue the discussion, you guys are here all the time. Thank you very much...
PIERSON: What you said is correct, Don, yes.
[23:50:00] LEMON: Coming up, a young medical student shot point- blank, the whole thing caught on camera. The shocking story is next.
LEMON: You got to watch this next story. Medical student Peter Gold saw a man dragging a woman down the street 4:30 in the morning and try to save her.
CNN correspondent Alina Machado has the story of what happened next, and I have to warn you, some of what you are about to see is very disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The surveillance video released by police is chilling. Recorded early Friday morning it shows 25-year- old Tulane University medical student Peter Gold getting out of a car, cellphone in hand walking toward danger.
He's just seen a woman being dragged down the street and he's trying to help. Seconds later Gold appears with his hands up. The man in the hood and sweat shirt pointing a gun. You can't hear what Gold tells him but police say he's explaining he doesn't have any money. A witness who wants to remain anonymous describes to CNN affiliate WBUE what he saw happen next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw the guy with the gun shoot the guy in the stomach. I saw the guy fall and then I saw him stand over him and attempt to shoot him look like in the face a couple times.
MACHADO: But he doesn't. The gun appears to jam. Watch it again. Gold on the ground, helpless. The assailant leveling the gun then, nothing, nothing other than a look of shock across Gold's face. The suspect identified by police as Euric Cain takes off in an SUV, leaving Gold bleeding on the ground.
After a more than 72 hours citywide manhunt police arrested Cain. They say he had been hiding at his 17-year-old girlfriend's house.
MITCH LANDRIEU, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: Now, he will likely spend the rest of his life in jail as he should and what a waste it is.
MACHADO: The 21-year-old is facing a string of charges including attempted first degree murder for nearly killing the young doctor who risked his own life to save another. LANDRIEU: His courage is an admirable example of the fact that the citizens of New Orleans are not going to turn to blind eye to crime and that we are going to fight back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACHADO: Police say the woman seen in the beginning of the video is OK. She suffered only minor injuries. Gold, meanwhile, remains in the hospital his family says he continues to improve and is in guarded condition, Don.
LEMON: Thank you, Alina. What have we come to in this country, this happening? That's it for us tonight I'm so glad you watched. I'll see you right back here tomorrow night. Our live coverage continues in just a moment with Max Foster in Paris and Isha Sesay in Los Angeles.