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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Chicago Police Officer Charged for Murder Over Shooting Death of Black Teen; Terror Alert Level in Belgium Lowered to Level Three; Keeping Americans Safe During the Holidays; NYT Calls for Trump to Apologize. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 26, 2015 - 11:30   ET

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


[11:30:00] ANITA ALVAREZ, COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY: These puffs of smoke were later identified as cloud of debris caused by the fired bullets.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The 16 shot is fired at 9:57:51 according to court document. Only 21 seconds after Van Dyke arrived on scene and 15 seconds after the first shot was fired.

ALVAREZ: Van Dyke's partner reported that there was a brief pause in the shots when he looked at Van Dyke and saw that he was preparing to reload his weapon.

HARLOW: The officer's attorney says he was acting in self-defense.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: President Obama says he is, "Deeply disturbed" by that video. He posted on his Facebook page today that he is asking everybody to keep those who suffer tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor. He goes on to say that he is personally grateful to the people of his hometown of Chicago for keeping those protests peaceful.

Let's go to straight to CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney Joey Jackson, Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, former Police Officer, Jonathan Gilliam. Thank you both for being here.

Jonathan, you said on CNN yesterday that you I believed that the officer was justified in taking these shots and killing this person. You took a lot of heat for that on social media. Can you walk us through why you think it's justified?

JONATHAN GILLIAM CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, especially now that we've seen this other video where from Officer Van Dyke's vehicle, we now know that he was involved in actual pursuit of this individual for at least 30 seconds prior to getting out of the car.

So now we have, and then we see in this video where he's chasing him. He's running through a Burger King lot with a knife. After having a 911 call that an individual was slashing tires, breaking into cars and threatening people with a knife. So now when you look at the totality of the circumstances, as they arrive and get out, it's not like Officer Van Dyke just arrived and got out for six seconds, and decide to shoot. He's been chasing this individual with a knife.

HARLOW: For 30 seconds.

GILLIAM: With a knife, after the 911.

So let me explain why I think that it justified. I'm not saying that the amount of shots after he was down are justified, but the initial shot when he rolled up and got out, and this individual was still moving, went from a jog to a walk and provocatively moved the knife out, what you're seeing video.

What you're seeing there is an escalation of the situation by the individual. So when the officer got out and I'm sure -- unfortunately for some strange reason we have no sound in any of these videos.

HARLOW: Yeah.

GILLIAM: That would tell a huge part of this, if they're giving commands to drop the knife.

HARLOW: But its one thing to shoot in the leg and take someone down, it's another thing to shoot 16 times in 15 seconds.

GILLIAM: We can't do that.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We let me address that. To be fair (ph) police don't shoot for the leg. They shoot center mass. And they do that for number of reasons. One, you're taught to terminate the threat. The second thing is that of course if you shoot you hit somebody else, your fearful of ricochet. But that another issued.

Let's talk about what Jonathan just said. There is no way from a reasonable evaluation of that video that any shot was appropriate, necessary or justified in any stretch of the imagination. We can't...

HARLOW: Because he wasn't coming at the officer?

JACKSON: ... he's not lunging at the officer. He's not approaching the officer. We have to deal with this in terms of what the law says. The law is very clear Poppy and the law says, if you are in immediate fear for your life or the lives of brother sister officers or the public, you may shoot. We can't talk about this in terms of what he would have done or could have done or should have done or should have done as far as McDonald with the knife. We have to look at it in terms of what he did do. What he did do was walk away from the officer. So under what circumstances would that be justifiable? Furthermore, he's on the floor and you're shooting again and again and again.

HARLOW: So now he's charged with first-degree murder. Jonathan, what do you say to Joey saying, look, he wasn't coming at the officer?

GILLIAM: Sure.

HARLOW: And no other officer on scene fired once. GILLIAM: Right. There's only one other officer out of his car at that point and that's the officer behind him. So what we have to look at in the way the law stipulates is if there's imminent danger of the threat of loss of life or serious bodily injury, and as this individual approached, he was not like walking away. He slowed his gait down, which if you back up the video, you'll see that. He slows his gait down. He pulls a knife -- the knife like this starts waiving...

HARLOW: Yeah.

GILLIAM: Hold on, hold on, let me finish this.

HARLOW: Would you have fired?

GILLIAM: Would I have fired the initial shot? Probably so.

HARLOW: Joey.

JACKSON: May I ask the question -- if the officer is in such fear for his life, to such immediacy of the threat, why does the video show the officer, a, get out of his job?

GILLIAM: That's his job.

JACKSON: He's chasing and casing after him. But also, there's cover, right? If you're in such fear, you get out of your car and approach the individual that you're fearful of and you're going to take more steps toward them, and more steps and then fire your weapon?

GILLIAM: When you go into court Joey, you don't go in the court and get below the desk and then litigate. You stand up and face the judges and you face courts room.

JACKSON: This is not a courtroom where you can actually address things with courtroom (ph).

GILLIAM: You're exactly, right.

JACKSON: Where you put addressing.

GILLIAM: What this is, is there's a threat immediately in front of this individual. The officer stepped out and confronted this guy.

HARLOW: I got to wrap it up. He's got a first degree murder charge. Do you think he should? Because you're saying the shot after are not justified. Should this officer have -- it is justified of a first- degree murder charge?

GILLIAM: I don't think it will stick.

HARLWO: You don't?

GILLIAM: I don't.

[11:30:07] JACKSON: It will stick without question. What is first- degree murder? The intentional killing without justification. I don't see under any circumstance where this was justified. And I think as wonderful of an officer as you were, I think that you're on island alone.

GILLIAM: I am alone but tactically.

HARLOW: Joey Jackson, thank you very much.

JACKSON: Yeah.

GILLIAM: You got it.

HARLWO: Important discussion to keep having. I appreciate it very much.

Also want to let you all know that at any moment Vladimir Putin is expected to respond live, to speak live, about that critical meeting he just had with Francois Hollande, the French President. Also to Turkey saying, we're not going to apologize. What will Russia's leaders say? Stay with us for that.

Also, they were on the stage when the Paris ambush began. For the very first time, members of the band Eagles of Death describing the horror at the Bataclan theatre there, emotional interview ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:40:23] HARLOW: All right, breaking news into us here at CNN. I can tell you that the terrorist threat level in Belgium has been lowered to a level three. That's significant because for the past five days it has been at a level four following the attacks in Paris that were partly coordinated in Brussels, Belgium. Again, Belgium having a meeting of the OCAM which is a group set up to assess terror threats. An intelligence says they have lowered the security threat. Still high, at level three not level four.

Meantime in the United States, President Obama's message for Americans this Thanksgiving is that the government is taking every possible step to keep Americans safe. But with ISIS claiming responsibility for six attacks now around the world from Paris, to Lebanon, to Egypt, and Tunisia in less than a month, Americans, needless to say, on edge. The President says his team has found no credible threats against American this holiday.

Let's go to straight to David Tafuri a former Obama Campaign Foreign policy adviser, worked in the state department extensive knowledge of the region and the threat. When you listen to the tone and the rhetoric of what the President says from a week ago in Turkey at the G20, to Malaysia, to what he said after he met with Hollande, it has changed significantly, David.

DAVID TAFURI, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: Yes. His become much emphatic and direct about the fact that we need to fight ISIS. And he's become more emotional about it as well especially in his appearance with the French President were strong comments about what we need to do. You know, it's interesting. The U.S. and France don't often agree often on foreign affairs issues but here they're in full agreement.

HARLOW: Right.

TAFURI: And when the U.S. and France agree, they can accomplish a lot.

HARLOW: But David, you know the President. I mean, you've advised him on foreign policy. After so much death and destruction from ISIS, why were his comments, arguably you said it yourself, weak in Turkey?

TAFURI: Well, I think it caught the President a little bit by surprise. Although I'm not sure why because, you know, we all know ISIS has for a very long time expected and intended to attack the west outside of Syria and Iraq and so he has accomplish that.

I think the President is, you know, trying to strike the right tone between calming people, making sure people aren't too excited and upset about the issue, but also giving some confidence that he's going to do something. So his comments are much stronger. But still the question is, what is the plan? We don't have details on that. Certainly, we're going to get more air strikes, that's obvious but there needs to be more air strike than more than just air strikes to make process against ISIS.

HARLOW: Well.

TAFURI: You really have to arm and support the forces on the ground and we have to have a legitimate group that Sunni, Arabs and Iraq and Syria can turn to you instead of ISIS. How are we going to support that? Hopefully with the stronger comments by President Obama behind the scenes there's a renewed effort to come up with a much stronger plan and that he's working that plan through the process so he can implement it in Iraq and Syria.

HARLOW: So why don't you take a look at this. I found this really fascinating. This is a depiction of sort of who is doing what in terms of air strikes in Syria. The United States, look at all the planes and that graphic taking the lead, 150 plus air strikes in Syria. You've got France, Russia, Australia, Canada. Who you don't see on that list who standout is United Kingdom. David Cameron wants to change that. In parliament today, making a plea, a call saying we need to do more. His words here we cannot let the United Kingdom subcontract its security to other countries. Should the U.K. get involved? Will they?

TAFURI: Absolutely they should get involved. And the U.S. really needs them to be involved. I mean, the U.K. is our strongest partner. They've been with us in every war just about since World War I. And when the U.S. and U.K. work together, they can accomplish a lot. The two military work together more than any other countries probably in the world.

We need the U.K. in this. The U.K. obviously a bit war-weary. They haven't been attacked like France.

HARLOW: Right. TAFURI: So perhaps they feel like they don't, you know, the imperative among the people is not as strong, but there certainly a target. We need them there. Their military is very capable and we also get a lot of more sort of moral support from around the world when the U.S. and U.K. are together and of course France as well.

HARLOW: It looks an interesting point.

David, thank you very much. Appreciate you being with me this Thanksgiving.

TAFURI: Thank you.

HARLOW: In the aftermath of those horrific attacks in Paris, an outpouring of support has been seen across the globe. If you want to help, just go to cnn.com/impact. Many, many ways you can help the victims right there.

[11:44:49] "The New York Times" demanding Donald Trump apologizes after he mocked one of their reporters who has a disability. You see him doing it there. We will tell you how the Republican front-runner has responded. Stay with me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

"The New York Times" is calling for an apology today from Donald Trump. He was on the campaign trail Tuesday in South Carolina and defending his claim that he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering on 9/11.

Listen to the way he describes that "New York Times" reporter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:50:04] DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right after a couple of good paragraphs and talking about Northern New Jersey draws the prober's eye. Written by a nice reporter. And now the poor guy, you've got to see this guy -- Oh, I don't know what I said, I don't remember. He's going to -- I don't remember. Maybe that's what I said. This is 14 years ago, he still -- they didn't do a retraction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: That reporter Serge Kovaleski has a rare condition it limits the movement of his arms. "The Times" calls Trump's behavior outrageous.

Let's talk more about this with Scottie Hughes, she's the new director at the Tea Party News Network, she's also Trump support. Also with us, CNN Politics Reporter M.J. Lee.

Guys take a look at what Trump tweeted last nigh, alright. He tweeted the failing "New York Times" should be focused on good reporting and the papers financial survivor and not with constant hits on Donald Trump. Scottie, do you -- should he and will he apologize. Is this presidential behavior? SCOTTIE HUGHES, NEWS DIRECTOR, TEA PARTY NEWS NETWORK: Well, first of

all, it's all about perception. I think that's something that Mr. Trump can say or not say. And I think all of us can agree that he's not necessarily running for the congeniality prize of the 2016 campaigns. But I think what this is a distraction with the New York Times is trying to distract them the fact they have a written who back in 2011 or 2008 when the (inaudible) had just follow in 2001.

HARLOW: How was -- wait Scottie, how is it a distraction when a presidential front-runner is mocking someone who has a disability?

HUGHES: But that's a perception. He didn't come out and said that he was mocking him. He was just sitting there -- honestly, prior to...

HARLOW: How did you see it?

HUGHES: ... well, when I saw it, I just thought he was doing a normal Donald Trumpism. It wasn't until I found out that the writer did have this disability though and OK, I can see the link, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's it is. But the truth is back in 2001, while there was still smoke coming from the buildings, this writer wrote the words in "The Washington Post."

There was never a retraction for it. And you want to talk about the same people that are saying that Mr. Trump's Islam phobia? If these are all lies, "The Washington Post" was doing nothing but encouraging Islam phobia in the wake of the disaster of 2011 or 2001 and the terror attacks.

HARLOW: So "The Washington Post" says come out along with the number of publications this week in the wake of those comments and debunked them and said that it is not the case. There was no reporting on that. M.J. Lee to want you -- I want you to take a listen to what presidential or candidate or John Kasich said in this new ad that has just come out targeting Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COL. TOM MOE, U.S. AIR FORCE VIETNAM POW: I would like anyone who is listening to consider some thoughts that I paraphrased from the words of german pastor Martin Niemoller. You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with the government because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says he's going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants because you're not one. You might not care if Donald Trump says it's OK to rough up black protesters because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists because you're not one.

Well, think about this, if he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you and you better hope that there's someone left to help you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: All right, now, to be fair here that comes, as you know, ladies from one of his competitors, John Kasich. And I want you to look at the polling M.J., we've got this poll Quinnipiac poll, we've got New Hampshire poll. The polling does not reflect any of that concern.

M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I think the important thing to point out too here, we're talking about Trump's behavior and the way he spoke about a reporter. It seemed clear to me he was, in fact, mocking his physical condition. This is a pattern of behavior that has been established with Trump so far.

This has not been the first time he's gone after an individual for physical characteristics. I was at a Trump rally a couple a days ago. And when a protester was being escorted out, he said to his crowd, oh, look, this person is overweight. We know that he has mocked Carly Fiorina and her physical appearance as well. So this is a pattern of behavior that has been established. I think that Trump himself and his supporters can make excuses or can try to push back and say that wasn't his intention but I think we do have to look at his past behavior.

His Republican competitors, his rivals are clearly starting to come out more strongly and saying, look, his behavior and rhetoric is increasingly unacceptable.

HARLOW: Hey, you know, Scottie before I let you go, we've seen Senator Ted Cruz, now the closest competitor to Donald Trump and the critical early voting state of Iowa. I know you're supporter of Trump. But what do you make of Ted Cruz your supporter there too?

HUGHES: Well, I'm also a supporter or Ted Cruz as well as Mike Huckabee and any of the candidates out there they're supporting the conservative principles. I think this speaks volumes of what is going on, what we're seeing in Iowa. But at the same time, I don't like basing this entire campaign on Iowa.

[11:55:07] You think that John Kasich about to spend $2.5 million trashing Trump rather than sitting there and telling the people why they need to vote for him.

HARLWO: Scottie, what happens when we see Cruz, if we see Cruz go after Trump? Because we haven't seen that yet.

HUGHES: I don't think you're going to see Cruz go after Trump because it's the same base that you're dealing with. But I think what you're going to see are these establishment people. They're getting more and more desperate. Hence why Kasich's acting the way he is. Hence why you're seeing the attack on "The New York Times" falsely on Trump rather than going after "The Washington Post" who they should be more accurately going after.

And I think that's what you're going to see. I don't think Ted Cruz is going to go after Trump on this issue. Why are we sitting here having to go after each other? Why don't we actually let the American people decide after the policies out there, hence while Donald Trump is so popular?

HARLOW: Right. HUGHES: It's not necessary like I said about...

HARLOW: I've got to leave it there, ladies.

HUGHES: ... but winning policy.

HARLOW: Have to leave it there. Happy Thanksgiving to you both, thank you for the discussion. We'll have much more of them. Scottie, M.J., appreciate it. At any moment, Vladimir Putin takes the microphone.

The critical question, will Russia join the coalition against ISIS? My colleague Ashleigh Banfield has that for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)