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Report: Trump's Tweets Undermine Own Defense on Travel Ban; Trump Attacks London Mayor, Justice Department in Rants; Police Identify Two Terrorists in London Bridge Attack. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired June 5, 2017 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Two of the attackers in London are identified. We have video of one of those terrorists from a documentary.
Plus, the British Prime Minister toughening up her rhetoric saying enough is enough. What does that mean exactly and how can you stop these terror attacks? We'll discuss.
[15:05:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Some of the President's recent tweets may undermine his own agenda on the travel ban. He said this in reaction to the terror attack that 7 dead and scores more injured. People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I'm l calling it what we need and what it is. A travel ban. The justice department should have stayed with the original ban. Not the watered down politically correct version they submitted to the supreme court. Now those comments could weaken the arguments that his executive order does not target Muslims. Let me turn to Fareed Zakaria. What do you make of all these tweets? What's the President thinking?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: I think there are two possible interpretations. The first is that the President has sort of in a moment where he was not able to control himself, let his emotions get the better of him just vented and that's possible. We have seen that in the past. There's also a possibility that the President is actually playing a pretty smart political strategy. He doesn't really care about the travel ban. He doesn't really care about the issue, the substantive issues involved. This is a very powerful way of emotionally signaling to his voters, to his base, I have always been the guy who wants to be really tough on terrorism, really tough on Islam.
There are the weaklings in the media, look at the mayor of London. It's not an accident the mayor of London happens to be Muslim. It's a way of signaling I'm still standing with you. I still want to protect you. And look, the travel ban in case is in trouble, he can always say you never tried my ideas. So, the next time there is unfortunately and there will be a terror attack in the United States, President Trump will tweet. If only people listened to me. I think it's quite possible that this is a way of reaching out to his base, sending all these signals, Trump seems to have decided there's no need to pivot to the center. Perhaps because of all this investigation, he wants to keep his base strong. He wants to keep his base strong because that will keep house Republicans with him.
CABRERA: Is that because it's a popularity contest so he wants to feel good by keeping the base strong. Or you think politically that's the way to win?
ZAKARIA: Again, there are two possibilities. One is he clearly there's a streak that Trump has and wants to feel that that supportive of his core base. There's also a political reality if there's swirling allegations, what he needs to shut it down is house Republicans. If the house Republicans stay with him, he's fine. What is important for house Republicans, primary challenges from the base. So, it all points in that direction. As I say, it's impossible to tell. It could be that it's just uncontrolled impulse, but there may be political strategy here.
CABRERA: Could there also have an impact worldwide with these tweets. Even if he's looking at internal politics here in the U.S., going after the mayor of London, we have seen this backlash from world leaders, but also leaders within Britain, our closest ally saying the President has it all wrong. Are you surprised they are not afraid to stand up to the American President?
ZAKARIA: What I'm hearing from people around the world is we don't know what's going on in your country and what to rely on. So that the members of NATO were told that the President was going to affirm Article 5, the idea that if you're attacked, we consider it an attack on the United States. Which has been at the heart of NATO ever since its founding. They were told he will say that. He stands up at the podium. The speech he had been given drafted by his national security adviser had that line in there. At the last minute, he takes it out.
So, all these allies expecting that affirmation are let down at the last minute. So, there's a lot of that happening and these tweets play into exactly that idea. This is somebody who whether for reasons of emotion reasons or there's a political strategy is going to say wild, unpredictable offensive things. You have to get used to it. What that means is they look at the United States as less rational, less predictable, less dependable as an ally, which is tough. For them the United States has been the leader of the free world.
CABRERA: Thank you for your take.
Up next, Britain's prime minister says enough is enough. After the latest terror attack in the UK, what does that mean practically? A former CIA operative joins us live on what more can be done to stop these attacks.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: In the hours after the London terror attack, Theresa May said the incidents were bound by the single evil ideology of Islamism extremism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining us to discuss, Mike Baker, this is a dramatic change in tone for the prime minister. Enough is enough. What do you think she means by that?
MIKE BAKER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: It will be interesting to see. She's voicing the frustration that the general population there is feeling after essentially three horrific attacks in three months. Starting with the Westminster Bridge attack.
CABRERA: That apparently aren't connected. These are different cells.
[15:45:00] BAKER: They are connected in a sense of it's all the same 30,000-foot jihadism. Whether it's directly associated or controlled by ISIS, or al Qaeda, whomever, from the jihadist point of view, Isis doesn't care whether the perpetrators on the London bridge were true believes or just latched on to this ideology at the last moment. As long as they carry out the attack. I think what's happened is Theresa May is sensing what is a growing frustration in the general public and also, I can say this much.
I have worked with MI5, MI6, with the Met in the past on counterterrorism operations. I know they are feeling the same level of frustration. The question is just like with hash tag campaigns and shrines and all those things that happen, after an event like this, just saying we need to stop being politically correct or enough is
enough, that makes us feel tough and we're doing something, but the real question is that requires a sea change in the laws or at least revising some of the laws. If they intend to get more aggressive whether it's surveillance monitoring or working on the internet or how they can maintain an investigation, you have to adjust those laws so that law enforcement intel have a wider playing field.
CABRERA: Which goes back to the argument of how far is too far in our democracy and privacy and these other freedoms that we enjoy in a democracy. To your point, though, there were red flags about one of these individuals. One of these individuals is in a documentary. We have some video of this person. It's a 2016 documentary that shows one showing an ISIS flag. There you see the flag coming out. This is in a London park in broad daylight. He was apparently known to authorities. What are the challenges of stopping somebody like this before he acts. Because when he hasn't acted, they may have signs that he's radicalized, but yet what can you do?
BAKER: They look at that and would say, according to the laws that we have, the ability that we have to do anything, whether it's going surveillance of that individual, it's not like the movies. The public gets very frustrated because they hear these things. He was on the radar. You interviewed him once. He was part of an investigation. How could this have happened. The way it happens is that they have to act within what they can do. If they don't have sufficient evidence to say they can maintain the investigation, then they have to shut it down. They can't -- it's not like the movie where is they say he's of interest or displayed the ISIS flag.
CABRERA: There's so many people that we know so in terms of that resource portion and surveillance, we can discuss more and more. We are short on time. But at the press conference, 300 people are currently being monitored by U.S. officials.
BAKER: The resources are stretched thin whether we're talking about here or over there.
CABRERA: Thank you. We'll continue the conversation another day. For weeks, the rumors around Washington were that Trump adviser Steve Bannon and his views were on the way out. But a flurry of new Trump tweets may indicate otherwise. One of them saying the justice department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down politically correct version that went into the supreme court. I want to bring in senior reporter Steven Collins. What do you think? Does this tweet sound like the hard line is back in favor with the President?
STEVEN COLLINS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: It sounds like it is. Clearly, Steve Bannon remains a strong force in the rhetorical and philosophical direction of this white house. Just go back a month or so and there was a lot of talk around Washington he might be on his way out and could be looking for a job outside the administration or even might go back to Breitbart. If you look at the events of the last few weeks, the NATO speech by the President, in which he berated western leaders for not spending enough money on defense, the pullout from the Paris climate accord last week, and the way the President has reacted to the terror attack in London by bringing up the issue of his travel ban, it certainly seems like the populous wing of his administration is in the ascendance here again. How much of that is Steve Bannon putting these ideas in the President's head and pushing for them within the administration or how much of it is actually the real Donald Trump showing through? He's in a bit of political trouble. He needs to consolidate the base. These issues during the campaign and they are clearly issues which will help him shore up the support right now.
[15:50:00] CABRERA: I wonder if the fact that Jared Kushner is in a scrutiny surrounding him in the meetings with the Russian ambassador, if that is giving Bannon a bigger opening of influence he might not have had right now?
COLLINS: There's been talk of this competition since the start of the administration between Jared Kushner who are is clearly very close to Donald Trump for family as well as political reasons, and Steve Bannon as the kind of sort of philosophical guru of Trumpism. Throughout the first four months of the administration, you have seen both factions rise and fall. So the fact that Jared Kushner in has had some bad publicity over the last few week as he has been brought into the Russian issue and drama has found its way into the inner circle of Donald Trump's family, that's one reason why people on the other faction might the last few week as he has been brought into the Russian issue and drama has found its way into the inner circle of Donald Trump's family, that's one reason why people on the other faction might we also have to remember for Donald Trump, for him family is everything. He sees his family as his most loyal supporters, and it's I think far too early to say that this struggle has been decided.
CABRERA: All right. Steven Collinson, thank you.
Up next, will Bill Cosby, what's going to happen with Bill Cosby who is now arriving for opening statements in his trial with his former tv daughter by his side. We're inside the courtroom. We'll take you there next. But, first a quick look at a cool experience to check out if you're traveling near Atlanta.
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[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Bill Cosby on trial. He's accused of indecent assault. Here he is arriving this morning at the courthouse, and who is that next to him? Well, that's former Cosby show co-star Keisha Knight Pulliam who played Rudy Huxtable, a show of support for Cosby. Even tweeted out a picture of them posing inside the courthouse. Here's the case on time. Cosby accused of drugging and molesting a former Temple University employee back in 2004. She's one of dozens of women who have accused Cosby of sexual indecencies, but she's the only one whose case has come to a criminal trial. Cosby has said he will not take the stand. CNN's Jean Casarez tells us who else was in the courtroom.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are also three accusers here today as well as Gloria Allred and an absolutely packed courtroom. The commonwealth, the prosecution began their opening statements by continuing to recite a certain phrase. There was trust here. There was betrayal here, and there was an inability to consent by the alleged victim Andrea Constand. The commonwealth went not fact that Andrea Constand was an employee at Temple University. She met Bill Cosby. She trusted Bill Cosby. He became her mentor, and she knew Bill Cosby was a star, and she knew that he was a trustee of Temple University. She didn't know what to do. She didn't tell anybody. She didn't go to police because she worked at Temple, and he was a star, and he was very, very important to the university.
It was obvious in these opening statements they are going to focus in on Bill Cosby's statement to the police, Bill Cosby's deposition, his own words, because as they said he admits many, many things. Then it was time for the defense, and the defense made absolutely everything they could with the fact that Andrea Constand's initial statements were to Canadian police, and she said that she had been to dinner that night with Bill Cosby at a restaurant and many other people. They went back to his home. She was sexually assaulted, and she never saw him again. The defense will take that statement, and as they did in their opening statement show how that statement continued to change, continued to evolve.
They bring Bill Cosby in to talk to him, and Bill Cosby says we saw each other many times before. She came to my home. We can cognac. It was before a fire. We talked about her career, yes. I was attracted to her from the minute I saw her. It was all very consensual, and the night in question she wasn't incapacitated. She wasn't able to say no. She fully could consent and she did consent. The defense also said in regard to the other accuser that will testify before the jury that there are many holes in her story, that an initial date that she said turned out to not be the date at all, and you can tell as the defense said in their opening statements to the jury this man's liberty is at stake, and you are the ones that will decide his liberty. It is in your hands.
CABRERA: All right. Jean Casarez reporting. Our thanks to you. "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts now.