because it has two rechargeable batteries. that means you can always be charging, even while you're cleaning. welcome to hassle-free runtime with shark. i'm wolf blitzer and it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. from wherever you are watching from around the world, terror near times square. a man detonating a bomb strapped to his body. new information about the suspect and why he attacked. plus election eve in one of the most controversial senate races in america. former president obama telling voters in alabama to reject roy moore. and several of president trump's accusers speak out again. high profile member raking from the white house line about their credibility. lots going on and let's begin with the breaking news. the explosion near times square
in new york city and as for a motive the source said recent israeli actions in gaza are the reason he carried out this morning's attack. the mayor was blunt in calling it terrorism. >> this was an attempted terrorist attack. thank god the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals. thank god our first responders were there so quickly to make sure people were safe. >> the explosion happened in the morning rush hour at one of the busiest transit hubs in new york. the port authority bus terminal. the explosion was caught on tape. commuters are seen walking through a hall way when a burst of smoke erupts. a man detonated a homemade device strapped to his body. the suspect was in police custody. three other people suffered minor injuries.
on the scene in new york, what have we learned about the attacker and the possible motive? >> here's the headline. the attacker identified as 27-year-old ula from brooklyn, new york. he is talking to investigators and so far yielded some information. he was very upset about the israeli attacks going on in gaza. that of course to the president recognizing israel as the capital and the unrest there. the suspect is very upset about that and came down to port authority with that low tech device. that's how it was described. the low tech device attached to himself and detonated below. 27-year-old suspect from brooklyn as best we can in 2015 he had a license to drive a car
here in the city. he also said he made this device at work. that's what he said. the suspect was in serious condition and the headline is speaking to investigators and yielding at least so far with some information about his motive. >> they said it was low tech. what more do we know about it some. >> that's the way investigators are describing it. low tech. it was a pipe bomb that was strapped to his body and he used velcro and zip ties to detonate the device. it detonated below from 42nd and eighth. in a walkway between where i am standing and a walkway that leads to times square. one mta worker was in the booth when it happened. she basically said she heard a loud noise and started running
and left everything behind to get away. you can imagine with thousands upon thousands of people who take and use the subway system every day, what it was like under that brief moment of panic as people heard the explosion and tried to get out of harm's way. investigators are saying this was something that would have been worse. you heard them describe it as an attempted terrorist attack and the reason for that is because according to investigators, the device prematurely exploded or partially detonated. perhaps that's why they call it an attempted terrorist attack. >> jason carroll, thank you very much. the new york governor said new yorkers will move forward together, but the city's mains a target for terrorists. thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> let's talk about the
investigation. i know you are well briefed. what more can you tell us about the suspect and his background and any ties to terror groups and information along those lines? >> it's premature. the investigation is ongoing. it was a person who was living in new york for several years and driving a car and serviced a cab. apparently went to the internet and downloaded information as to how to make a homemade bomb. detonated it in an area that could have done extensive damage. the port authority is there and it's 42nd street and a main passage between seventh and 8th avenue. fortunately for us the bomb partially detonated. it was not a sophisticated
device. it was a homemade device. he did detonate it, but it did not fally have the effect that he was hoping for. the explosive chemical did ignite. it was in a pipe, but the pipe itself did not explode. he wound up hurting himself. several others in the vicinity not serious. more from the noise and the concussion of the explosion. there was no structural damage within the tunnel itself and the mta personnel and the port authority police were right there. they were on site. this is from my point of view this is one of my worst nightmares. it is a terrorist attack in a subway system, a place of high density by a person who is not really part of a sophisticated
network. these lone wolfs that we are seeing more and more of. we saw it a couple of months ago in october on the west side of manhattan where a person drove a truck on the west side and ran over people. it's basically the same mo. they are not people who come from overseas. they live here and they are disgruntle and they go to the internet and find out how to download a device that can hurt and maim and they implement it themselves on a low tech basis. but it's troubling, wolf. if these were more sophisticated devices it could have been much more damaging. new york is a target. new york is a place of high density. it is one of the ongoing challenges we face. >> do you know if he had direct links to terror groups whether isis or any other terror groups
or was just inspired by the terror groups? >> the investigation is ongoing, but i would use your word which is inspired. i don't like the connotation of the word inspired, but influenced. angry for whatever reason. the international situation whatever it is. and it's just all too easy now to go to the internet and download a quick tutorial on how to help people. the internet companies are going to have to deal with a sensitive question that i would pose to them. the internet service provider companies. they have what they call machine learning tools. when you are on the web, they know where you are going. they target the advertising to you and your tastes.
what do they do when they know a person is going to a website that says this is how you make a bomb? this is how you hurt people in a terrorist attack. i don't know that we actually are. it's a question we will have to deal with. the last two instances from new york, both of them went on the web and downloaded information. they must have been looking at a number of these types of websites and that's where it's spreading from. i will tell you quickly. i met shimon perez who met one of the great human beings on the planet. i met him in my 20 when we were in israel and he said israel has the frequency of terrorist attacks because of our
proximity. one day the terrorists will figure out how to cross the ocean and america will have the same attacks because the enemy is democracy. the internet is the bridge across the ocean. i think that's what we are seeing more and more. >> very quickly, we have been reporting that he may have been angered by israel's attacks against the palestinian targets in gaza. there were earlier reports that he was saying something as the incident was going down involving support for isis. what if anything can you share with our viewers on that? >> there have been a number of reports on why he was angry. i don't put a lot of stock in any of them yet. i don't think it matters. he was angry. he was angry because of the economy and because of his job and our political positions.
you are going to have angry people in new york. you have to look at the stees this kind of information that takes a cabdriver who is angry and allows them to download a tutorial on how to build a bomb. god for bit it was more so fi sophisticated. without anyone coming into this country, that's going to be the ongoing challenge for new york and for cities and states all across the country. >> you are absolutely right. lots of websites and they used to have an article on how to build a in the kitchen of your mom. that was well-known. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf.
>> let's get more perspective from analyst phil mud who is with us here in the studio. what are the main things they are looking for? >> you can't in the hours after the event assume he acted alone. the first reaction from the outside given the lack of sophistication is he probably did, but probably is not good enough. you are going to talk to him and look at interviews with friends and tamly and people who might have lived in the same building and look at social media access and it will take a while to figure out if he actioned alone and if there was something to learn. if they have online activity and is there something to learn about how he was radicalized online and whether he can prevent that kind of stuff. >> does it look not sophisticated. does it lock like he deliberately pulled the trigger or it could have been a lot worse? >> it could have been. it looks like he tried to detonate a device.
the initial comments we heard as you were talking about suggest he might have talked to investigators and said one of the triggers was president trump's announcement on moving the embassy to jerusalem. they might have a clue about why it was so unsophisticated. did he decide he was angry and wanted to act. a really unsophisticated device and go into the bus station. that's what we saw today. >> he's alive. he will be questioned i assume at great length. >> he will be. you hear a lot of comments about investigators saying this is what the individual said. i was inspired by isis or al qaeda. what's the emotional state of the person when they are going in and number two, what's the backdrop around that statement? do we see an indication of that? do we see an indication online? there will be comments about what he said.
hold on and let's see the whole picture? the 27-year-old bangladeshi decent living in brooklyn. they are doing something else and built this very unsophisticated bomb where he works. they are going to learn over the next 24 to 48 hours a lot more. >> they already have. >> think about the things you can pick up. they worked for a taxi company. those are interviews going on now. you ought to have an address and interviews at his apartment going on now. you know who his family is. you might have an indication of what his cell phone and e-mail addresses are. the data explosion after you get the identification of the suspect is not happening today or tomorrow, but in the moment. >> when he came to united states and what his status is. they will be learning a lot more
over the next hours. thanks very, very much. another major story we are following here today, alabama's very high stakes senate election. they are pulling out all the stops with major political support. former president obama adding his voice to boost democrat doug jones, recording a robo call urging voters to reject republican roy moore who is facing multiple accusations from women who said he sexually assaulted or pursued relationship from him when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. moore denied the allegations and has the full support from president trump who claimed progress will be stopped cold if people vote for jones. the president's former chief strategist steve bannon will be campaigning later this evening in alabama with moore. kaitlyn collins is here and what
more can you tell us about former president obama now directly getting involved in supporting doug jones? >> we have seen the effort on behalf of democrats to counter the endorsement of roy moore in the race. not don't did they travel to campaign on behalf of the opponent and doug jones in the race, but we received an e-mail from former vice president joe biden touting doug jones's leadership abilities and we know that two democratic officials told my colleague that former president barack obama recorded a robo call on doug jones's behalf. this comes at a time when president trump recorded a robo call on roy moore's behalf. 24 hours before voters go to the polls tomorrow and in his call we are told that president obama says what a fighter doug jones is and he's a fighter for
progress and equality and he will be there for voters saying this is too serious of an election for them to stay at home and not vote. we are also told that the targeted audience for this call is going to be african-american voters. because if doug jones wants to stand a chance in the election, that's a demographic where he needs to secure their support. it's quite unusual that a democrat is a reasonable possibility that he could win this election in a deeply conservative state like alabama that has not sent a democrat to the senate in almost 20 years. this is an unusual election. on the other side we have republican senator richard shelby from the state of alabama telling jake tapper that he could not vote for his party's nominee in this race.
>> i'd rather see a republican win, but i hope it would be a write in. i couldn't vote for roy moore. i didn't vote for roy moore. >> now then the jones campaign seized on the comments and sending them out to voter in a digital ad. this comes as roy moore has been highlighted that he has not gone public events since last tuesday which is unusual in a high stakes election and a close election like this one. we will see him at a rally with chief strategist steve bannon. wolf? >> kaitlyn collins on the scene in alabama for us. three of the president's accusers unite and call for an investigation. a growing list going further calling on the president to resign. plus, the u.s. ambassador breaking on the accusations against president trump. you are going to hear what nikki
they are calling for congressional investigation. listen who to what they had to say. >> approximate are some areas of our society, people are being held accountable for unwanted behavior. but we are not holding our president accountable for what he is and who he is. i would like to see this moment. >> i want to believe as americans we can put aside our political inclinations and admit that some things tran cent politi politics. we will hold mr. trump to the same account as harvey weinstein and other men for their reprehensible behavior. i am asking them to investigate mr. trump's history of misconduct. >> jeff, how it the white house responding? >> so far the white house is not responding to the record of these united allegations here. these are not new accusations, but they are united.
the first time we have seen them demand congressional action. the white house has not commented on the recordaality a at all. the press secretary sarah sanders said these questions are asked and answered. the american voters elected this president and they have denied all the allegations. you will recall the president himself during the campaign a year ago said these are not accurate and it didn't happen. before the election, we will recall he went and threatened to sue these accusers and that never happened as well. we will get fresh reaction this afternoon at the white house briefing. for the president's part, we have not seen him publicly yet this afternoon. he will have a chance to comment on this and this is coming to a head because of the alabama senate race. >> three senators are calling for the president to resign.
tell us about that. >> simply because of the conversation and the national reckoning that really is embroiling the world of politics and the media. senator jeff americaly of oregon and cory booker did as well and senator bernie sanders, the vermont candidate who was running for president. he perhaps is the most prominent of the three and had this to say about the president's behavior and what he should do. let's watch. >> al franken felt it proper for him to resign. here you have a president who has been accused by many women of assault who says on a tape he assaulted women. he might want to think about doing the same. >> i think any chance or any discussion of the president resigning is not likely to happen, but what the democrats are trying to do is take the high ground likely to prepare if roy moore is elected from alabama to continue this conversation once he comes to washington.
>> good point. bernie sanders is independence from maine, but he caucuses with the democrats. for all practical purposes he's a democrat. ran for president as a democrat. the white house briefing as jeff pointed out scheduled to begin a little while from now. sarah sanders will have to answer lots of questions including about nikki haley, the u.s. ambassador breaking with the white house line about the accuse accusers. more on the breaking news in the terror attack in new york city. more on the suspect who detonated a bomb in new york's port authority bus station. stand by. ♪ what i want, you've got, ♪ but it might be hard to handle ♪ ♪ like the flame that burns the candle ♪ ♪ the candle feeds the flame ♪ topped steak & twisted potatoes at applebee's. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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the u.s. ambassador of the united nations, nikki haley weighing in breaking from the white house when asked about president trump's accusers. listen to this. >> women who accuse anyone should be heard and dealt with. we heard from them prior to the election and i think any woman who felt violated or mistreated in any way have every right to speak up. >> joining us now to discuss that and more. amber philipps is our senior analyst and dana bash is our chief correspondent. what's your reaction to nikki haley from what we heard from white house officials?
>> i don't think as a female, never mind a female politician and someone who clearly has a form of ambition following her stint at the un. i believe the the president that they are all lying. this is not feasible for her to say that. having said that, he doesn't say i believe the women. she tried very hard and thi think@walking that line regardless you are right. and the press secretary coming up. she was asked about it the other day. he said he was going to sue them and it's now more than that. >> no indication that he
actually will move forward with it. what's interesting that she is very young, but she has a steel spine. she had indian heritage and won the governorship in a network of old boys. she broke down the network and accused of infidelity. very public and nasty fight. she stood up to that and won. the confederate flag which is a symbol in the south for many people. they stick strong by. she came out against it. i'm not so surprised that she kaiment out and did it, but she walked a fine line. >> how do you see it? >> this might have been a politically advantageous thing for haley to do. she framed on neon lights. you can't seize the moral high
ground on the conversation unless you address the president's accusers. this could be a tough situation for senate republicans to even back away from roy moore now that ambassador haley has said this. the argument for why this is, he got elected when voters knew about the allegations. in 24 hours, we could see the same thing and senate republicans are wanting to launch an ethics investigation into roy moore. i think this creates a line in the republican party. they are going have to choose. >> let's talk about the contest and the polls. the election is tomorrow. robocalls from president trump in support of roy moore. robocalls from former president obama in support of the democrat, doug jones. >> look, everybody is pulling out the stops with regard to president obama and in particular it's really interesting because she the latest and the most prominent
african-american leader to really try hard to get the vote out for the democrat, doug jones. in 2012, it was about the african-american vote that was 23% of the electorate in a big election year. this is not only not an election year, but the pool of voters is likely going to be much smaller that makes the notion of getting the african-american vote out in a bigger way for doug jones and more important. that's why you saw that and on the republican side, there hasn't been any question about president trump's going all in since late last week. this is the latest that he may not be actually campaigning for him, but he is campaigning for him by doing this. >> roy moore is laying low and sort of invisible, but he will have a big campaign rally with steve bannon, the former chief strategist.
>> this is the last push to get the voter who is he thinks will come out and vote absolutely to come out and vote. very smart of him politically for him to stay low. it's not as if he goes out campaigning he is going to be able to convince newer voters to support him. it's more of keeping that core social conservative christian voter in his corner. tonight we will see steve bannon rally to get the people out early tomorrow morning to the polls. >> the assumption is that president trump is getting involved. he didn't visit the state, but he did the pensacola rally and did the robocalls and he fully supports roy moore. with that base that will win the state. he didn't leave himself a lot of deniability. he made that very clear. when you look at president obama and democrats going campaigning
for doug jones, they are doing exactly what dana said and trying to get african-american voters out. that plus disaffected republicans may be staying at home and that narrow path to how a democrat wins a narrow race. >> he has been tweeting a lot as well. he is all in at this point. thanks very much. more on the breaking news. a terror attack at times square in new york city. we are now learning that they are telling investigators why he is coming outside the port authority. abruptly resigning and blasting the president and on the way out, her fiery words and a lot more when we come back.
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the lawyer for donald trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort believes robert muell mueller's case won't stand. he gave a hint at a defense strategy. when you lock at this case, we look at it as a failure to file some forms. the comments were made in court and manafort was back before a federal judge along with his deputy rick gates after mueller accused manafort of violating the terms of his bail by contributing to an oped article. they meat no decisions, but warned manafort about communicating in ways that could affect the out come of his case. the cnn legal analyst and you see a signal emerging. it was just a clerical error.
>> they hoped not to have this play out and what you are seeing with the op et and the ghost writer, he was the attorney trying to say let me plant seeds. we are talking about a national forms and most of the claims against manafort and gates are about financial matters and not to sneeze at. he was trying to be more dismissive or lay the ground work. >> another legal case i want to go through with you. it's newsy today. a federal judge declined the request to put on hold on allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military. last july he said after consultation with new generals please be advised that the government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the u.s. military. but since then that hasn't happened. the cowers said transgender individuals can be allowed to serve.
>> the premises of an injunction is to preserve the status quo so they can show if they will be harmed f. i allow this to go forward, me how you would never be able to recovery in any way. if you allow transgender military persons to be recruited as of january 1, they will be harmed. the court is saying there is no proof of that and you have transgenders in the military right now and you had over a year to get it right. this emergency motion to try to get this injunction was filed six weeks after the first one. they want to go to july or august when the president had his official memo, but go back in time under the obama administration when they were report and they said you have a year to figure it out and they haven't done it. >> having carefully considered all the evidence, the court has
not said they will be injured by allowing transgender individuals into the military on january 1, 2018. the trump justice department is appealing that decision right now. thanks for that. a diplomat resigning issuing a scathing resignation against the trump administration. you will hear what she is accusing rex tillerson of doing. in a rare move, the united nations official who is an american goes to north korea size tensions escalate. you will hear what happened. stay with us. for the holidays than ever before. and the united states postal service delivers more of those purchases to homes than anyone else in the country. because we know, even the smallest things are sometimes the biggest.
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resigned her post and sent a scathing resignation letter deeply critical of the trump administration and rex tillerson. the department's position within the inner agency has also diminished as we have ceded to the pentagon our authority to drive u.s. foreign policy at the behest of the white house and to our detriment to the nation. the trend in this direction will accelerate further with the budget and staffing cuts. you are championing top career leadership in the department gutted leaving it hard to make foreign policy decisions. former state department spokesman during the obama administration. pretty harsh rebuke and she by no means is isolated. >> she's speaking for many foreign service officers.
>> these are career dip tlomats. >> she's speaking by the way the state department is being led and managed and the chaotic nature with way the foreign policy is being implemented. that said, these are all individual decisions and i've spoken to many of my former colleagues at the state department, professional diplomats who are going to stick it out. they believe they can still do some good and it's important for them even if they don't agree with all of the policies to continue to be out there and to implement and execute as best they can. so many of them are deciding that they'll get this out and stay with the hopes of trying to make a difference. >> a bunch have already left. >> obviously. she cites the decimation at the senior levels and there is real concern there for sure, but it's a mixed bag. many of them, they take an oath. like the military they believe they serve no matter who is in the white house and many are deciding to keep doing just that. >> let's talk about a retired u.s. diplomat, a tomorrower u.s. diplomat ambassador jeffrey feltman. he served in the state department and was a career
diplomat and i knew him when he was the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and he left and became one of the top diplomats at the united nations and we are learning he's just returned from a very rare visit to pyongyang, north korea. he was invited by the north koreans and it comes at a critical moment given the program that the north koreans have. >> that's right, wolf. he talked about a sense of urgency. on one hand, it's encouraging that he got invited to go. you can quibble about the timing. he was invited after their most recent icbm test so that could convey a sense of center owe the north's part that they got some sort of advantage, but i think it's encouraging that he went and they met with him and talked with him and that's a good thing and you have a ministerial meeting and secretary tillerson will give a speech tomorrow about north coria, so all of this, we're driving here, i think, to some outcomes, i hope, but clearly, yes, the sense of urgency is there because the north has advanced the programs to the degree that they have.
>> ambassador feltman said there is a real sense of urgency to get things resolved diplomatically, because if they don't resolve it diplomatically, you know what that means. >> exactly. that's again, why it's encouraging and we don't know exactly what was discussed. we can't read too much into it and encouraging that he had this meeting and a diplomatic path forward is being pursued even by the administration. >> would he be considered as a diplomatic back channel even though he's a top u.n. diplomat, a diplomat being back chan total north koreans? >> i don't know. he works for the u.n. and not the u.s. he was not representing u.s. interests there clearly. u.s. interests will be want to know what he learned and he got invited by pyongyang to represent the u.n., but we have to hope that secretary tillerson are exploring non-governmental avenues to have conversations with pyongyang. >> because it's one thing when
the north koreans invite the nba legend dennis rodman to go over there. that's one thing, but when they invite ambassador jeffrey feltman to come over and have serious talks with high-level north korean officials that is very different. >> it is very different. it could connote that they are ready to begin some sort of discussion about direct bilateral talks. i don't think they're ready for that right now, and also i don't think this administration is ready for that right now, but it is encouraging that this invitation was proffered and that he went and had these discussions. i assume he would brief u.s. officials on what happened there. >> i assume, he will, too. he'll probably brief not just u.s., but other security council on what he learned and what he heard and there is an administerial meeting on friday and his input into that meeting will be very important. >> let's hope he can achieve something diplomatically because that will be better than another option. thanks so much. more on the breaking news coming up. a terror attack near times
square in new york city and witnesses are coming forward about seeing a man detonating a bomb inside the port authority, the bus station there. you will hear the very latest and the white house briefing, by the way, moments away as calls grow for some democrats to resign over sexual assault allegations and we'll hear how sarah sanders responds.
this is cnn breaking news. hi there. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn, thanks for being with me. we are waiting for the white house briefing to get rolling. we are getting new details on the breaking story today. this attempted terror attack this morning in the heart of new york city. this man wearing a homemade pipe bomb detonated his explosive in a walkway at the