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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Press Conference Expected on Keystone Pipeline Rejection; BBC Reporting Bomb Smuggled on MetroJet at Sharm el Sheikh Airport; Carson Blasts Media for "Smear Campaign"; More Details on Gliniewicz Staged Suicide. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 6, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm John Berman.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.
We are following breaking news AT THIS HOUR. Word from the White House that the president is meeting as we speak with the Secretary of State John Kerry. He will be making a statement later this hour.
And for much more, let's get over to the White House where our Michelle Kosinski is live AT THIS HOUR.
What are we learning, what are we going to hear from the president?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House isn't saying what it was about. This is a sudden announcement we'll hear from the president today. Earlier on, we thought we might hear something from him, maybe he'd make an appearance in the briefing room on the jobs numbers that were positive that just came out. But this is clearly something bigger. He's having the meeting with Secretary of State Kerry. The vice president now we know will also attend this appearance in the Roosevelt Room. It's going to be covered by pool, so it's not going to be the entire press corps, just a small number. But this is clearly a big announcement.
What could it be? Well, there's been speculation about a number of different things. The Keystone Pipeline decision is something that we've been expecting for several weeks now. The White House hasn't given a lot of guidance about when that would happen. Remember, just about a week ago in Canada there were press reports that that decision was imminent. That didn't happen.
BERMAN: Michelle, Michelle --
KOSINSKI: It's possible that could happen today.
BERMAN: In fact, we are getting word that is exactly what will be announced at the White House at 11:45 today.
KOSINSKI: Got it. BERMAN: Secretary of State John Kerry at the White House right now.
Elise Labott, our State Department reporter, has the information on what is coming, a rejection apparently of the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline.
Elise, what do you know?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, an expected rejection. John, Secretary of State John Kerry officials tell me has, in fact, sent his recommendation to the president that he has determined that the Keystone Pipeline is not in the U.S. national interests and that the U.S. should not go ahead with this very controversial project.
You know, this has been going for seven years. President Obama was long expected to reject this pipeline because of the long-standing commitment that both he and Secretary Kerry have to the climate change issue, environmentalists have said that this pipeline which will come from Canada -- run from Canada's oil sands through about six states to the gulf coast was very dangerous for the environment. Republicans and oil companies have said it would create a lot of jobs. But Secretary Kerry has decided that that economic benefit would not outweigh the environmental costs, so right now we understand he is meeting with secretary -- with President Obama to discuss that decision. President Obama is expected to come out and discuss that. We'll have to see what the president has to say about that.
What happens now is that this triggers a 48-hour process by which about eight relevant U.S. Agencies would have a chance to either concur with secretary's decision or weigh in, at which case then the president would make his final determination. But we can pretty much expect that Secretary Kerry's decision all but spells death, for right now, for this project.
BOLDUAN: Right. Elise, though, why? Talk to me about -- talk to us about the timing. As you said, this has been going on for seven years. When I was covering Capitol Hill, this had -- when this really became a political football for the left, for the right, this was a huge, huge political football and has been for years. Why now? A lot of folks suspected this was going to happen after this decision was just going to wait out this administration.
LABOTT: That's right. Well, a couple things going on. There have been a lot of studies, a lot of determinations. The states have weighed in. Nebraska weighed in. The Canadians have been lobbying. So, Secretary Kerry was waiting for a lot of determinations and studies to make that final decision, that final recommendation.
Why now? We've been hearing that the secretary's pretty much made his decision for a few months. But you know you have this very big U.N. summit on climate change coming up in December. The president is hoping to broker a very landmark agreement with nations about curbing carbon emissions. I think this is a bold statement before the summit that the U.S. has to really lead on this issue and bring everybody together. You've heard Secretary Kerry go out and speak in recent weeks about this important summit and the issue of climate change. He's going to make a next -- another speech next week.
This week, Trans-Canada, the company that has proposed this project and has spent a lot of money, requested that the State Department delay this decision while other studies come out. That would have delayed it past President Obama's term --
BERMAN: Well --
LABOTT: -- and the suspicion was that they were betting that a Republican president -- all of the candidates have come out in favor of it -- would pretty much sign it right away, which could still happen. But right now, I think it's a pretty safe bet that this project is certainly not going to be approved under President Obama's term.
BERMAN: What this does is shows us perhaps what the company Trans- Canada was doing.
LABOTT: Playing politics.
[11:05:11] BERMAN: It was earlier this week they asked for a delay. It may be they knew that this decision was coming, a rejection of the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline. This is something the left, liberals, the Democrat party --
BOLDUAN: Will cheer.
BERMAN: -- will cheer for be sure. And you bet Republicans will take it up again.
Michelle Kosinski, Elise Labott, we're expecting to hear from the president about 11:45 eastern to make this announcement officially, so stay tuned for that.
Thank you both.
BOLDUAN: We'll definitely be hearing from the campaign trail on that. We know Hillary Clinton has come out against it in recent weeks.
Another big story we're following this hour, fast-moving developments this morning in the investigation into what brought down a Russian passenger plane over Egypt. Russian president Vladimir Putin he has just announced that he's suspending all Russian flights into Egypt until the cause of that crash is determined. And a new report out saying that a bomb may have been planted in the cargo hold right before takeoff.
BERMAN: The BBC now reporting that British intelligence suggests than explosive device could have been smuggled on board by workers at the Sharm el Sheikh airport.
Let's get straight to our senior international correspondent, Nima Elbagir, there at the airport, at Sharm el Sheikh.
Nima, what are you learning?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, President Putin's statements won't be quieting any of those concerns about what exactly happened to that plane before it took to the air. The BBC is reporting from British investigators that there was a fundamental security lapse that allowed a bomb to be put in the hold. And what's giving credence to that broader theory is that for those who are traveling back to the U.K., those very lucky few who are being told that they will be sent back to the U.K., they're not being allowed to take on any hold luggage. It is purely carry-on. So, whatever security concerns there are about that chain in which the luggage is brought onto the plane, clearly they haven't yet been assuaged, John.
And the broader issue here is what does that mean for those thousands who are stranded? Now it isn't just the -- it isn't just the Danes, the Brits and the Belgians, now you have the Russians. President Putin said that they should be given any help they can. So, the expectation is that Russian planes will be on their way to extract a lot of confusion, a lot of misinformation, a little earlier we had British tourists who had been brought from their hotels only to be told -- only to be told to go back again. And those we're speaking to is saying it isn't just about the discomfort and not knowing, but it is this growing fear. Because how it happened, why it happened, how it happened, none of it is clear yet, but a lot of them are worried that they are a target. Thousands of them stranded in a situation that is not yet secured -- John?
BERMAN: What you have is confusion on top of concern, concern it might have happened, whether it was a bomb that took down the plane.
Nima Elbagir, thanks so much.
BOLDUAN: Will terrify all the folks in Sharm el Sheikh must be feeling right now.
BERMAN: No doubt.
Want to bring in our analysts right now. Joining me, CNN terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank; and David Soucie, former FAA accident inspector.
David, I want to start with you.
The news that we're getting from British intelligence, the idea that some kind of explosive was smuggled into the cargo hold on the plane, perhaps by a worker at the airport. Explain to me, what layers of security exist or should exist at an airport like Sharm el Sheikh, how something like this might happen?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, there's a safety area, a sanitary area, in which nothing in there should be done without security having looked at everything that goes in and every person that goes in. The other levels that are what kind of person is there, do they have background checks, anybody in that area has to have a background check. Secondly, anything that goes in that area has to be reviewed and looked at. There are some vulnerabilities in this system, worldwide really. This is probably one of the most concerning areas of security, so the fact that they're going to this first doesn't surprise me at all. This is something that when you mitigate, you are trying to increase, no one knows what's happened yet. There's no hard evidence that says it is or isn't a bomb, that it happened this way or that. But the intelligence is reviewing what could have happened, and that's what the reaction is here, and I strongly support what they are doing. Until we have an answer you have to pretty much increase the level of security on everything you do.
BOLDUAN: And, Paul, I mean, one thing additional that the BBC is reporting that where they kind of reached this conclusion, the intelligence breakthrough came from intercepted communications between militants in the Sinai Peninsula. What does that mean? This is the chatter that we hear you talk about quite often. But explain that, these intercepted communications.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, just first to point out that CNN broke this story early on Wednesday, Barbara Starr, that it was likely an insider at the airport that managed to get a device onto a plane, that it was probably conventional explosives, not designed to be airport security, therefore, pointing to an insider getting onto the plane. But, clearly, a lot of concern that this group is in Sinai is responsible because the intercepted chatter relates to them.
The idea here is that they will be bragging about pulling off the biggest, most significant terrorist attack since 9/11, and they picked that up in the hours after British and American intelligence, the NSA perhaps and also GCHQ in the U.K. worked very, very closely together on this. So, that's pointing towards the idea that this may have been an attack by the ISIS affiliate in Sinai. This is a group that has recruited insiders inside the Egyptian military and police, there was an attack in Cairo in January, 2014, where a police colonel gave them key insider information to help them pull off that attack. So I think quite credible at this point that this group is in Sinai could have pulled this off.
[11:10:55] BERMAN: David, we're hearing the TSA is looking at instigating new measures at the airports, and possibly cooperating foreign airports as well. What do you think the measures would entail?
SOUCIE: Well, one of the things they'll be doing is looking at each individual piece. What I hope they're doing -- and we've discussed this within the security communities lately -- aviation security is -- there are what we call approved shippers right now. They are able to put things onto airplanes without undergoing any security or screening of those packages. That is an extremely vulnerable area. That's what they're going to be stepping up. And, again, it's fantastic. It's the fact they need to do it. They've been needing to do it. This will give them the reason to do it.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. David Soucie, Paul Cruickshank, great to see you guys as always.
Coming up for us, striking back. Ben Carson calls questions about his past a bunch of lies, a distraction and pathetic. But Donald Trump sure doesn't seem to think so. The interview and the fallout ahead.
BERMAN: Plus, a hit man, a motorcycle gang, cocaine, stunning new details about a story that was already so strange to begin with. The officer accused of staging his own suicide to make it look like murder.
Plus, just huge news for the economy. A blockbuster month for jobs. So what does this mean for your paycheck not to mention interest rates? All kinds of things.
Stay with us.
[11:16:27] BOLDUAN: We are waiting, we are standing by for a statement from President Obama, he'll be making a statement at the White House at 11:45, in just about 30 minutes from now. He's going to be speaking. The administration we learned this morning will be rejecting -- is rejecting tax the Keystone Pipeline proposal. This is an issue that has been hugely politically charged. Has been a political fight for years, and he will have Secretary of State John Kerry at his side. That announcement coming at 11:45 this morning. We'll bring that to you live.
BERMAN: All right. New this morning, Ben Carson doesn't like the questions, and that, to say, is a huge understatement. He is blasting CNN for looking into claims that he has made repeatedly about his past and episodes of violence. The Republican candidate is accusing the media now of conducting a smear campaign, but at the same time he won't provide any information to corroborate key stories in his autobiography.
BOLDUAN: A CNN team went to Carson's hometown of Detroit to try to find the key players that he talked about so often about in his book about the past and they didn't turn up and Carson said he changed their names. That's not the half of it.
Listen hear to how he reacted to CNN's reporting this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BEN CARSON, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & RETIRED NEUROSURGEON (voice-over): This is a bunch of lies. This is what it is. It's a bunch of lies, attempting, you know, to say that I'm lying about my history. I think it's pathetic. And basically --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well --
CARSON: -- what the media does is they try to get you distracted with all of this stuff. So that you don't talk about the things that are important, because we have so many important things. And, you know, I'm not proud of the fact that I had these rage episodes, but I am proud of the fact that I was able to get over them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Now, Carson and his campaign, they haven't made available anyone to corroborate his stories or give more detail into it. Listen here to more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON (voice-over): I really don't want to expose him further. You know, I talked to him, you know, he would prefer to stay out of the media. And I think -- I want to respect that. What I really want to do is help people, American people, although they seem to understand it a lot already, that one of the tactics that is used by you guys in the media, particularly when someone is doing very well, is let's find a way to get them distracted and get all the people distracted so that we can get away from the real issues. And I'm simply not going to allow that to occur.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Let's bring in our colleague, Maeve Reston, who went to -- who did this reporting, who went to Detroit with one of our colleagues to look in to this narrative that Ben Carson has talked about so often about.
Maeve, I think it's important that -- we stated it already, but we just state it again. You didn't go to Detroit to disprove anything. You were just doing a regular course of reporting to find some of these people that Ben Carson has talked so much about. But he doesn't seem comfortable with these questions.
[11:19:23] MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: My colleague, Scott Glover, went to Detroit. But I want to take a couple of steps back here and talk a little bit about why we thought this story was interesting. Dr. Carson on the campaign trail has told a very powerful story about these violent incidents from, you know, 50 years ago when he was a teenager, how he overcame them with the help of god and through prayer. And he said that after this alleged attempted stabbing incident when he was 14 that god helped him, and he's never had another violent outburst since. We set out as we would with any other presidential candidate and have done many times to explore this chapter of his life in Detroit, what he was like, what those formative years were like. We're talking about the same time as the Detroit riots, the civil rights movement, a time when he was in Ratzi (ph). We set out to talk to classmates about what he was like and shaped him as a person today to help voters who this person is who surged to the top of the polls and who very well may be our next president.
I'm confused by the interview this morning with Dr. Carson where he's talking about the story being a pack of lies. Because if you actually read our story at CNN.com that we talked to many people but ten of them on the record who could not recall the violent incidents with the exception of one who said he may have heard a vague rumor about it at the time but could provide no further evidence about it. All of the people we've talked to, as we noted in the story, said that they had no reason not to believe that these incidents happened, but they were skeptical because these incidents did not square with the young man that they grew up with, who was cool, calm, collected, followed his mother's rules, stayed on the side of the street when she had a rule for him not to cross.
And one other thing I just want to point out is he has said that we did not talk to people who knew him during the time when these violent episodes occurred. I just want to make it clear to our viewers that we talked to people that he knew in elementary school, in junior high school, in high school as well as neighbors. We are continuing to call people in Detroit who knew him. We have asked everyone that we have talked to refer us to other friends of Dr. Carson's, and as you pointed out at the beginning, we went to the campaign and said could you please help us, could you connect us with these people. We'd like to talk to them about these incidents.
Once we had our finding that, you know, no one could corroborate these -- these incidents, we went back to the campaign and said, we still can't find these people. Can you help us? And they have refused to cooperate so far.
BERMAN: Interesting also some of the details of the story have changed. When he first wrote about one of the incidents in 1990 he was saying he tried to stab a friend and a few years later called it a classmate and now he says it's a close family member that he tried to stab. And that's the first time we've heard that.
Maeve Reston, thank you very much for your work and thank you for being with us.
RESTON: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, we're going to show you a live look right now inside the White House. President Obama is set to speak very soon. Those live remarks about the administration rejecting the controversial Keystone Pipeline request. Those will be coming up.
BERMAN: And next, just the stunning story out of Illinois. The police officer, who staged his own suicide, accused of doing so to make it look like a murder. Now there are even new allegations, one, that he hired a hit man to kill a town administrator. We'll speak to someone on the ground there involved in the investigation.
[11:27:17] BERMAN: As if accusations of a staged suicide not bizarre enough, now biker gangs, cocaine, embezzlement and hit men. The allegations behind the death of a small town police officer there getting stranger and stranger by the day. Lieutenant Joe Gliniewicz was found dead in December launching a huge manhunt.
BOLDUAN: But investigators say not only did he stage his own suicide but he tried to put out a hit on a city official. CNN's Rosa Flores is live in Fox Lake with much more on this.
Rosa, what's the very latest here?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, sources confirming to CNN that Lieutenant Gliniewicz widow and his son are being investigated for the possible involvement in the embezzlement of thousands of dollars. But like you mention, probably the most shocking information is the lead the investigators were following involving a possible hit on the village administrator.
Now, investigators shared with us the text message that triggered them to look in to this. Let me share it with you, I'll read it to you, quote, "Close to entertaining a meeting with a mutual acquaintance of ours with the word 'white' in their nickname." Authorities telling us the word "white" is the clue for a high-ranking gang member.
Now through some police work, there's a lot of police work involved here, they actually found the gang member, and authorities say that he denied everything. But imagine being that village administrator who learns that there was a possible hit, that someone was thinking about killing her because of all of this that we've been talking about. She put her worries into her own words. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA MARTIN, FOX LAKE VILLAGE ADMINISTRATOR: It's very unsettling. Again, you know, my concern is my family. It's quite unbelievable and almost surreal, I would say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: Now, investigators also say that they found cocaine inside Lieutenant Gliniewicz desk. Now it was an unmarked evidence bag. And they looked in to other possible cases that he could have been working involving cocaine, but so far they found no leads, no theories to follow as to where or what this cocaine was going to be used for -- John, Kate?
BOLDUAN: Rosa Flores, thank you so much.
So, this bombshell, it played out live on TV, live on this show. You'll remember that the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force commander, he broke the news in talking about this kind of sordid tale. He called Gliniewicz's actions a betrayal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:29:54] GEORGE FILENKO, COMMANDER, LAKE COUNTY MAJOR CRIMES TASK FORCE: Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community. The facts of his actions prove he behaved for years in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed.