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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Tennessee Wildfires; Global Voting Trends; Standing Rock Protest; Official: North Korea May Be Planning Missile Test, Digging Up Nuke Sites; Report: North Korea Expanding Nazi-Style Prison Camps. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired November 30, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
Turning to our world lead. Donald Trump's top political adviser, Steve Bannon, has described the rise of Trump as being part of a global phenomenon of nationalism, a wave of economic populism, an anti-immigration sentiment, some of it marred by bigotry, sweeping across the United States and parts of Europe.
Voters in Italy and Austria will head to the polls Sunday, where these frustrations could bring similar electoral change.
Let's bring in CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson.
Now, Nic, this trend really started with the British exit from the E.U. in June, the so-called Brexit.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Jake, you're absolutely right.
The Brexit vote shocked the political establishment in Britain and it really energized all those people who were angry with the system, angry with the politicians. It appears to sort of have spread a message among populations in Europe, looking at Austria, looking at Italy, looking at France, potentially Germany, that their anger and frustration can actually translate into change.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): First Farage, then Trump did the unexpected, rode a tide of populism to electoral triumph.
So, how did it happen, and what could come next? Anger at the establishment over immigration and the economy bottled up since the financial crash of 2008. The feeling for many Europe is flooded with migrants from Syria and other wars. Jobs tough to find. Wages slow to rise. Politicians tone-deaf to it all.
Trump used Farage's Brexit success to help oxygenate his own presidential campaign. Combined, they could spark a chain reaction and blow the lid off Europe's increasingly fragile 28-member union. In the next 12 months, 75 percent of the euro area voters will go to
the polls. Populism will be tested. Austria's Norbert Hofer, the anti-E.U. ultranationalist, took 35 percent of the nation's first- round presidential vote. Since then, U.K.-U.S. results have buoyed his second-round chances.
Italian P.M. Matteo Renzi called a referendum on political reforms, has seen his party's popularity plunge to anti-E.U. leftists. The pro-E.U. says he will quit if he loses.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity is riding the storm. Her open-door migrant policy and economic bailouts for some E.U. members have deepened European divisions. For now, she has 50 percent, declaring she will run for leadership in 2017.
And in France, Front National leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen claims Trump's victory is energizing her own populist message. Le Pen's popularity is on an upswing, now expected to win the first- round presidential vote next year. If she wins the 2017 elections, she will take France out of the E.U., Frexit likely collapsing the 23- year-old institution.
So, where to from here? In a Europe awash with uncertainty, one certainty has risen to the top. Farage and Trump have shaken up the establishment. No telling yet if it will all boil over.
ROBERTSON: Perhaps it's the Marine Le Pen vote in France that could be the most significant. Italy too could have a very similar impact. If one of those countries pulls out of the European Union, you effectively collapse the European Union. That could very well happen.
That would change the political map in Europe. Brexit, the vote of president-elect Donald Trump, these are signals to the European electorate that they can make things different, change the systems up -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Nic Robertson, thanks so much.
Vowing to stay put. Not even Mother Nature could deter the North Dakota pipeline protesters. Now the governor, however, is weighing in once again.
Sara Sidner is live in North Dakota -- Sara.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, we're going to explain to you why people are staying here in these frigid, difficult temperatures and also why the governor says that this appears to be a stalemate.
We will have that coming up.
TAPPER: We're back with some tragically breaking news in the national lead.
Authorities just confirmed that the death toll is rising in Tennessee. Seven people have now been officially designated to have been killed in the wildfires that are scorching parts of the Great Smoky Mountains. The remains of three more people were found just today where the fires are burning. All we know about the victims right now is that three of them were adults.
Search crews are going through charred structures as I speak trying to account for as many missing people as possible.
CNN's Jennifer Gray joins me now live in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where the fires are burning.
Jennifer, sadly, overnight rain wasn't enough to stop the fires from destroying even more homes.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It wasn't.
And it's shocking that the fires are still burning, considering the amount of rain that we have gotten over the last 24 to 36 hours. We got a lot of rain last night. We got significant rainfall today. But we are still having a problem with those fires.
Along with the rain, you have to remember, comes very strong wind, as well as the cloud-to-ground lightning. It almost counteracts each other sometimes when you have the strong winds ahead of the rain. It will help spread the fires.
One other thing to mention, too, is that, because of all the rain, we have had a couple mudslides and small rockslides. So, that's also making it unsafe for people to return to their homes. We also heard of a crew that went up to the mountains and were walking through areas that the fires were no longer there, but they could feel the heat underneath their feet.
And so just because on the surface the fires are no longer burning, it's still smoldering underneath the ground, and so that's why it is so unsafe for people to return back to their homes. But I can tell you, Jake, it has been a painstaking process for these people here at these evacuation centers who have been here for 48 hours, do not know when they will be able to return home and don't even know if they have a home when they return -- Jake.
TAPPER: Jennifer, explain to our viewers why it's so challenging for crews to even come up with an estimate as to how many people are missing.
GRAY: Well, because the fires are still burning, they're still not able to get to some of those areas. And so, without being able to get to those areas, they're not even able to get a full count of how many people possibly are missing. And so it's just a waiting game for a lot of people here. So we have
to wait until all those fires are put out before they are able to get back there. We did have one note of excellent news, though. Today, they actually rescued three people that were trapped because of the fire, and they were treated and released and safe and sound -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Jennifer Gray, thank you so much. Stay safe.
In North Dakota, despite heavy snow and gripping wind, protesters continue to hold their ground and fight construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Hundreds, if not thousands are camped out in cars and tents, defying Mother Nature and the governor's evacuation orders to vacate the site just south of Bismarck, North Dakota.
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are leading the protest, saying that the pipeline threatens their sacred land and their water supply.
CNN's Sara Sidner is live at the protest site, which is near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
And, Sara, the sheriff's office says they're going to start issuing fines to trespassers on the land? Have you seen that happen yet?
SIDNER: We have not seen that happen.
And we have also heard from the sheriff's department yesterday that they were going to start and stop people from coming and going from the camp and also stop supplies, but then they changed their mind, saying, wait a minute, this was a misunderstanding.
And now we are hearing from the governor about that very issue.
[16:45:00] I want to let you listen to what the Standing Rocks Sioux have said about this idea and this threat that they're going to try to cut off supplies to literally thousands of people, including the animals that live here as well. And here is the response to that from one of the tribal members.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The governor issued his with threats of cutting off our food supplies. We responded by saying that is an act of war, that is genocide, and our lawyers have been on them. So, the lawyers said they're backing off.
SIDNER: Apparently, the lawyers have been battling this out and the governor has come out and said, actually, we are not going to be stopping supplies. He said that the evacuation order was a safety concern, as if there was going to be, for example, great flooding. That's the same thing he would do in a major disaster, trying to warn people that this is a dangerous place. But the army corps of engineers has also said that they want people out of here by December 5th. But then they added, "We will not forcibly remove people." Are people going to leave because they have asked or because they have made this evacuation order? I can answer that for you. And the people that we've talked to, the answer is absolutely not. The only thing that is going to make them leave, make them take their horses and their teepees and their lives and go back to where they were, is if the pipeline is stopped, full stop. Jake?
TAPPER: And Sara, the camp site, we're told that it might be getting even more people in the coming days. We're told of some veterans, military veterans, who are planning to join the protest?
SIDNER: That's right. There's word that there are some 2500 or so military veterans who are planning to come into this camp. There are already some folks here, some of the Native Americans are military veterans, who are already here, but there is an expectation of a bunch more veterans coming here. And their plan is to kind of be a buffer between the army corps of engineers and law enforcement and the tribes and those supporting them as they try to fight this pipeline, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Sara Sidner, thank you and stay warm.
New satellite images from North Korea. Will another nuclear test greet President-elect Trump? That's next.
[16:50:00] TAPPER: We're back with more in our "WORLD LEAD" today. The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new tougher sanctions against North Korea for continuing its nuclear weapons development. President-elect Trump has heard from both of his immediate predecessors, Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, that the nuclear threat from North Korea should be one of his top priorities. South Korean media is reporting today that Kim Jong-un is playing war games, reportedly using limited resources to hold a large scale top gun style military drill to gear up for any real-life war time scenario.
Let's bring in CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto. Jim, all this is going on and we're told North Korea is also preparing for another missile launch?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: There is evidence that there are many U.S. surveillance satellites are trained in on North Korea 24 hours a day looking for just this kind of activity. And new satellite photos are showing activity at what is a known North Korean nuclear test site. Activity that could be preparations for another nuclear test, this would be North Korea's sixth, to welcome the incoming U.S. President.
SCIUTTO: Tonight the U.S. military finding new evidence North Korea could be preparing for another nuclear test. U.S. surveillance satellites capturing digging at a tunnel that is part of Pyongyang's underground nuclear test site, a potential signal the North Koreans may use the site again, a U.S. defense official tells CNN. The renewed activity comes as the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to tighten economic sanctions against North Korea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This resolution will slash by at least $800 million per year, the hard currency that the DPRK has to fund its prohibited weapons programs. SCIUTTO: The measures imposed five months after the regime carried
out its fifth nuclear test. This is despite already crippling sanctions. North Korea experts are skeptical the new measures will have a significant effect.
VICTOR CHA, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: It will make it harder for them to develop their programs, but a little less cash in their pocket is not going to fundamentally change their objective, which is to be a nuclear weapons state.
SCIUTTO: President Obama has now advised President-elect Trump on the grave threat to U.S. national security presented by a nuclear North Korea. Mr. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, issued a similar warning yesterday.
GOERGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea represents a grave security threat. It shows how the proliferation of a deadly technology can allow small leaders, failed, cruel and criminal leaders, to threaten and disrupt the world on a grand scale.
SCIUTTO: And now, new evidence of a growing crisis inside North Korea. A human rights advocacy group released these satellite photos, highlighting North Korea's growing prison camp system, which is thought to confine up to 120,000 men, women and children. This image detailing one of the camp's perimeters, and numerous guard shacks.
BUSH: North Korea also presents the greatest sustained humanitarian challenge of our time. The whole country is a prison run by a sadistic warden.
SCIUTTO: A nuclear North Korea has been a nightmare scenario for multiple administrations and both parties now, sadly, it is a reality. What Mr. Trump has not laid out, are his plans for how to deal with it differently if it all from President Obama. Of course, a key with North Korea always is China. China has the most influence on it, economically, politically, militarily, et cetera, getting North Korea to move if anyone can, will involve China. Of course, another question is what is Mr. Trump's relationship going to be with China. He said some very angry things about China during the campaign.
TAPPER: Indeed. Jim Sciuto, thanks so much.
New information about a plane crash that nearly wiped out an entire Brazilian soccer team. Did the plane go down because it was out of fuel? Stay with us.
[16:55:00] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Sticking with our "WORLD LEAD", cockpit audio may explain how that charter plane crashed in Colombia on Monday, killing members of a Brazilian soccer team. Two sources who have listened to the recordings tells CNN that the pilot repeatedly told air traffic control that the aircraft had experienced a total electrical failure and had run out of fuel. A person familiar with the investigation says a lack of apparent fire damage among the wreckage could point to fuel being cut from the plane's engines. 71 of the 77 people on board were killed. The victims of the crash will be honored this evening at the soccer stadium, where they were supposed to play tonight. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter @JAKETAPPER or you can tweet the show @THELEADCNN.
That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to my friend Wolf Blitzer who is in "THE SITUATION ROOM".