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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Gingrich: Trump Getting Rid Of "Drain The Swamp" Phrase; 24- Year-Old Tunisian Anis Amri Named As Berlin Suspect; Woman Punched; Kremlin Says Dialogue With U.S. Is "Frozen"
Aired December 21, 2016 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:30:02] JEFFREY LORD FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: ... Dr. Franklin and he replied a republic, ma'am, if you can keep it. This is a constitutional republic. It is not a direct democracy. The reason we have the United States Senate is top represent states. Frankly, I think we have to go back to letting the legislators pick ...
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: I will say along those lines, the Electoral College, the electors themselves, as Alexander Hamilton helped to create them, they were, you know, intended to be a buffer between the people, you know, and ultimately the government. So they could in the original constructer's eyes, you know, vote their conscience which is something that is different than happens now. The whole thing, you know, it's a long, long time ago. But I do understand your point on that.
Let me ask you about something. Another supporter of Donald Trump has said. Newt Gingrich. He was speaking and he apparently says that Donald Trump no longer wants to use some of the phrases that he used during the campaign. Specifically, "Drain the swamp". This is what the former speaker said. He said, "I'm told he now just disclaims that he now says it was cute but he doesn't want to use it anymore". Angela, no more draining the swamp. Good riddance you say?
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's hard to drain the swamp when you are putting -- putting more swamp infested people into said swamp. I think the reality of it is, is Donald Trump never intended to fulfill this promise. There are so many others he didn't intend to fulfill. He talked about not locking her up after all. He's talked about, you know, of course I put rich people in my cabinet. They're going to fight for you, because they know how to get rich.
What? I mean, there are all of these things that he's continuing to promulgate and say that I think is the problem. Donald Trump is someone who will use something because it was hot. What he said about draining the swamp. He's also indicating he's not afraid to drop it, like it's hot.
VUASE: On the subject of the swamp, Jeffrey Lord, you know, there are these stories over the last 24 hours and one last week about Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's children being connected possibly, allegedly to some of these charities trying to raise money by granting access to them around the inauguration. Isn't that part of this swamp? That at least Donald Trump formally wanted drained?
LORD: Oh, I think this is fairly typical for all presidential inaugurations that I've been involved with.
VAUSE: Swamp (ph) inaugurations
RYE: A typical.
LORD: I went to my first one when I was in high school for Richard Nixon in 1969. And they had all sorts of parties for major donors and that sort of thing. I think that's fairly typical.
RYE: You just compare your guy to Richard Nixon? That's not good for him.
LORD: Well I mean they did this for LBK and JFK and on and on and on. And Bill Clinton and let us not forget, that long after the inaugural was over for Bill Clinton he was selling access to the Lincoln bedroom.
VAUSE: But Jeffrey, but talking about, you are talking -- don't forget again ...
RYE: You're supposed to be somebody different, Jeffrey.
VAUSE: Again in this type of access for a donation of a $0.5 million which is what this story alleged, you got a problem.
LORD: I think we have to get beyond the inaugural and see how this works. I have every belief that he's going to "Drain the swamp". He's got lobbying legislation and I'm sure he's going to pursue on this with varying bans on people and accepting foreign money, working in government and then going out through the revolving door and becoming a lobbyist, et cetera. I have every belief that he's going to attend to that.
VAUSE: All right again, he still hasn't told us how he will separate his business practices. He canceled that news conference. So I will go on your faith Jeffrey that we will hear before January 28 no if he will do that.
RYE: Don't do that John.
VAUSE: Jeffrey lord, Angela Rye, Thanks so much I appreciate it.
RYE: Thank you.
LORD: Thanks, John. Thanks, Angela.
VAUSE: All right, we have new video surfacing of a football player punching a woman in the face. Hear what he told police about why he did it.
[12:33:52] Plus, more on our breaking news. Germany just released a picture of the Berlin terror suspect. New details about his past and a 100,000 Euro reward for any information leading to his capture. We have new information on this urgent manhunt. That's coming up.
VAUSE: All right, our breaking news. The German federal prosecutor's office just released a wanted notice for this man. 24-year-old Anis Amri, wanted in connection with the attack on the Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people. They say he is violent, they say he is armed and dangerous and are offering a huge reward for any information leading to his arrest. Let's go straight to Berlin and bring in CNN's Hala Gorani right now for information on this development. Hala.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Some very significant information coming out from the prosecutor's office also, we are seeing a warrant, a be on the lookout alert, if you will, from French authorities circulated to all European police stations, including authorities here in Germany. Here as you've mentioned they are saying the man, the suspect's is Anis Amri, a Tunisian national born in 1992.
He was in fact stopped in August of this year with a fake I.D. trying to make his way to Italy. He applied for asylum, but that application was denied in June of this year. According to the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia where essentially we believe this man resided for several months after he entered Germany in July of 2015. This was a highly mobile individual who was known to security service here, and he was considered a risk.
Just to set the scene for you, though. You may be wondering what's going on behind me. And this is now a couple days after the horrific attack on Monday, and we're seeing demonstrations from very far right- leaning groups. A party named the NDP, and anti-immigration party has come out here to protest against Angela Merkel, the chancellor's policy to allowing refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East namely Syria and Iraq, but interestingly we're many, many more people here in a counter demonstration trying to drown out those voices holding up pieces of paper with red hearts, playing their own music. Ordinary citizens and anti-fascist, that's what they call themselves, party. So we're seeing a country here on edge because they're still on the lookout and searches for a man who was considered armed and dangerous. But also once again a national conversation was selected on a much smaller scale here behind me of exactly what they need to do going forward to keep themselves safe, but to also remain in a free and open society. John.
VAUSE: Now, an important political discussion right now in the middle of a manhunt, a manhunt for 24-year-old man that we now have a picture of, asking the public for help in finding him. Hala Gorani, thanks so much.
[12:40:04] All right. And a new interrogation video just attained by CNN. A University of Oklahoma football player explains to police why he punch add woman at a restaurant in 2014. Just a warning, what you're about to see is pretty jarring. Amelia Molitor walked into a restaurant. You can see it right there. Moments later Joe Mixon enters then later she pushes him. Slaps him across the face and Mixon punches her so hard she falls to the ground. Ed Lavandera joins me now from Dallas. Ed, what did Mixon tell police? ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is the new video that is emerging not only with this surveillance video from the restaurant. This incident happened back in 2014. But it is just now coming to light. So -- Molitor, the woman in that video suffered multiple broken bones in her face. She has filed a civil lawsuit against Mixon. Mixon says it all started, he felt being disrespected when Ms. Molitor blew cigarette smoke in this face. The argument entered the restaurant there and that's where Molitor told police that one of her friends used a racial slur against him, and that is when she pushed him and he leveled the brutal blow on her that ended up breaking several bones in her face. You can listen to a little of that interrogation video, which is just recently been released as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE MIXON, RUNNING BACK, OKLAHOMA SOONERS: And then she came in my face. I put my head down. She swung on me. Then after that I was so shocked because she hit me so hard. It felt like a dude hit me. And like after that, my face, it's like, boom. My reaction was right there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: Now, John, this happened back in 2014. Mixon did not serve any Jailtime. He was charged with a misdemeanor and put on a year's worth of probation. The University of Oklahoma says that it was made aware of the content of the video back then, and that that's why he was suspended for the 2014 football season. But Mixon has played the last two seasons and is already now preparing to play in the sugar bowl on January 2nd with the University of Oklahoma. John.
VAUSE: All right. Ed Lavandera, thanks so much.
All right, right now, lawmakers in North Carolina that supposed to start voting on whether to repeal the controversial "Bathroom law" there. But we're just getting word there is a hang up. We'll take you there.
Plus, new today, Israel's ambassador to the United States agrees with Donald Trump about moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Details on that just ahead.
VAUSE: Lawmakers in North Carolina they are poised to vote on whether to repeal the states so called the "Bathroom law" one of the biggest points of contention here in House bill 2. Requires transgender people to use the restroom corresponding to their birth certificate. The state to the financial hit after a HB2 was passed. Companies including Paypal and Deutsche bank said it would cancel plans to expand in the state, musicians canceled concerts, the NBA moved next years all star game out of Charlotte and the NCAA moved tournaments games from the state. Let's bring in CNN's Nick Valencia who is in North Carolina right now for the latest on the vote, also joining us, CNN Political Commentator, senior writer for "The Federalest" Mary Katharine Ham. Nick, first to you what's going on there? NICK VALENCIA, CN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. This morning started with some fireworks here on the Senate floor or house representative's floor I should say with one of the representatives Jeff Collins standing up in protest to the special session saying there is no extraordinary reason why law makers should be here at this session. So anything that happens should be null and void, He says he will be voting no on the repeal of HB2, directly after recess I caught up with him and asked why he stood up to protest?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: I wanted to see what the reasoning was behind your protest?
JEFF COLLINS, (R) NORTH CAROLINA STATE HOUSE: I gave my reason. I've said exactly what I meant.
VALECNIA: And it's just a protest you don't think this is constitutional?
COLLINS: Absolutely, it is not. There's been no extraordinary occurrence.
VALENCIA: And the response by Paul Stam who, you know, a figurehead here, did that change your mind at all?
COLLINS: No, he just said he thought the rules were fine, which I agree. The rules are fine, but we're here on constitutional.
VALENCIA: Are you planning on voting no then against the repeal?
COLLINS: I'm planning on voting no on anything that's done here because it's all on constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: The hang up is apparently representatives like Jeff Collins. There are 10 core members on the Republican Party on the house chambers side that are unwilling to caucus with the rest of their party. That appears to be the hang up Republicans refusing to go to vote on either floor until they have a majority. It was reported this that week there was a deal worked out between two parties. The Democrats, rescinding their ordinance in Charlotte in order to make way for the state-run Republican legislature to repeal House bill 2. We anticipated a vote by mid-day. We're still waiting. John.?
VAUSE: All right. Nick, stand by. Mary Katharine Ham, if this repeal is passed. And I suppose we don't know that it will be for sure, but it would be the end of an incredibly tumultuous chapter in North Carolina of politically, really, topsy-turvy that might have as well cost the Republican governor his job there?
MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, I'm not sure it will be the end of it. Partly, yes, the governor loss, but the super majorities are Republican in both houses in North Carolina. They remain, many, supported HB2 and feel like they're not comfortable saying to constituents I'm going to reverse on that. They thought they had this deal. It remains to be seen if they do. And the thing is perhaps, everyone would accept a truce so that we cold stop talking about North Carolina bathrooms as if they were the biggest problem in the world.
They were not a problem before Charlotte passed it's ordinance which then the North Carolina legislature said hey, we're not sure you have the authority to do that and some of our constituents are not totally comfortable withdrawing out the whole idea of gender and how we do bathrooms in the state. So let's rethink this and go about it then there's a giant fight, then there's an economic boycott orchestrated by many on the left and many in North Carolina were like, hey, I'm not actually cool with the grenade lobbing in the culture war. And can we quit with the bathroom stuff? And that's why Donald Trump partly won North Carolina. The governor was the one who paid the price for HB2, but not that many people actually paid the price , because many in North Carolina are like, why are we talking about this and why is it so urgent?
VAUSE: Well, there's mixed signals though, right, because it probably did cost the governor his job or at least the way it was handled over a period of time increased his unpopularity badge (ph), you said Donald Trump certainly won in the superiorities in the legislature there.
VAUSE: From where you sit in the aisle, conservative righter Mary Katharine Ham, is this a fight or was this a fight worth having?
HAM: I think probably it did not do the state a ton of good. I also think that it doesn't do sort of civility that much good when the charlotte -- this was an aggression by the Charlotte ordinance right? That was how this started.
[12:50:03] And they didn't have the authority to do it and many in the state were like, hey, I have some questions about that and here is where you run into the problem that I think many folks voted Trump because of, it is this message from the cultural left that says if you have any questions about this sort of radical change in the way we're doing things in our society, then you're a hater, you're the haterous (ph) hater that ever hated and you will shut up now. And that kind of cultural bullying led people to look to frankly another cultural bully and Donald Trump who was willing to stand up against it, and I don't think it's particularly great for society if we keep having battles in this way. But it is not just the right who has answers for that. It is the left as well.
VAUSE: You know, battles state, we do or I do think there would be some people on the left, Mary Katherine say a discussion about the rights of a minority or transgender rights is a discussion worth having.
HAM: I am perfectly willing to have a discussion I think that often we are not actually doing that at all.
VAUSE: We're not discussing an awful a lot in this country sometimes these days, Mary Katherine, but you are on this show. So thanks so much for being here I appreciate it. Nick Valencia, thank you to you as well.
All right, new today, Israel's ambassador to the United States endorsed one of Donald Trump's campaign promises, involving the status of the U.S. embassy in Israel. Specifically, whether the U.S. embassy should be moved to Jerusalem instead of Tel Aviv where it is right now.
The president-elect during the campaign, he did promise repeatedly to move the embassy to Jerusalem and his words fairly quickly. Now previous U.S. presidents who made similar promises during campaigns did not follow through once they reached the White House.
CNN Global Affairs Analyst Aaron David Miller joins me now from Washington. Aaron, you know very well this has been a political discussion for decades, specifically since 1995 when congress pass a bill to move the embassy to Jerusalem. President after president since that time, every six months, weighed this saying we're not going to do it right now. You say it's a bad idea, basically from a negotiating standpoint. Explain why.
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it's not just that, John. Having advised secretary of states, and presidents of both parties, when it came to moving the embassy, my advice always the same. An I was simply, don't. In large part, because both Republicans and Democrats could not divide a compelling American national interest that would somehow outweighs the down sides and the risks of doing so.
And I suspect that certainly my view today. There are negative consequences. Clearly, the peace process is comatose right now but I think moving the embassy to Jerusalem is going to remove any fiction, any illusion, any hope that in large measure it's still alive. The Arab states, particularly the Saudis, at the time when Israelis are moving closer to the Egyptians, to Jordanians, the Saudis, the Hammurabi's, it's going to injects the measure of tension. How bad the reaction would be? How dire the set of circumstances that would result unclear. The bottom line, though, John, is very clear. You have to identify -- for any change in policy, why it Benefit's the United States. And on this one, even though I understand the logic and rationale the emotional issue on the part of the Israelis and many American Jews and Christian evangelical, I don't think that symbolism outweighs the potential risks.
VAUSE: You say to those who say Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, that doesn't outweigh the politic issues, the losses you would endure from moving it to Jerusalem. Is that correct?
MILLER: Yeah I mean, look, let's be clear. The Israelis deserve a capital in West Jerusalem. The fact is, probably the only state in which we do not have an embassy in the preferred location of the host government. We maintain an embassy in the Hague, even though the capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, but in expanding municipal borders of the city, in annexing it, in imposing sovereignty over the entire city, the Israelis are basically claimed the city in its entirety and that I think is, is a position that is going to have severe repercussions, both with respect to Palestinians, maybe violence, and certainly in the Arab world. So again I don't want to create the notion that somehow this is going to cause a regional conflagration. The Middle East is melting down as it comes because of many other issues. You have to identify why? Where is the compelling national interest that would outweigh any conceivable risks and disadvantages and I think whether or not the Trump administration after January 20 comes to this realization, it's not clear. But they'll take a look and weigh the consequence as well.
[12:54:53] VAUSE: We about a minute left. Let me get your expertise. Let me take advantage of your international expertise here on the issue of Russia in the statement that we got from the Kremlin spokesperson and they're saying relations with the United States are essentially "Frozen". He said we don't talk nearly at all or barely and only when we need to. Essentially it may just be an admission of what the facts are right now which is the relationship is at a low point?
MILLER: It is indeed. And Mr. Putin projecting his power both in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria has clearly demonstrated that Russia will act, even over and above objections and a period of frosty, "Cold war relations, with the united states". But that notion of frozen context, that can't possibly endure. Certainly under the next administration, that wants to test the proposition that, in fact, you can engage profitably, and in a way that benefits American interests, Mr. Putin will have to see about that one, John.
VAUSE: Well, doesn't look like these frosty relations will endure at least not if you listen to what the president-elect says and Vladimir Putin says. They say they look forward to warm relations after January 20th. Aaron David Miller, always great to you have on. Thanks so much.
MILLER: Thank you, John.
VAUSE: An intense manhunt underway in Germany for the man responsible for the horrific attack there. New details emerging about the man who drove a truck into holiday shoppers who was already considered a threat by police. Authorities just releasing these images offering a very big reward for information leading to his arrest. We have new details, right after a quick break
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ACNHOR: Hi there. I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Wolf Blitzer. It is 1:00 p.m. here in Washinton, 7:00 p.m. in Berlin and 9:00 p.m. in Moscow and wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you so much for joining us. We're starting with new information on the man suspected of killing 12 people in a Berlin Christmas market attack.
[13:00:01] Police have named a 24-year-old Tunisian as the suspect, his name is Anis Amri. Investigators are offering a 6 figure reward for information leading to his capture. They're also though, warning the public that he is "Violent and armed" Government ...