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Trump Will Announce Secretary of State Pick Tuesday Morning; Trump Delays "Major News Conference" on Business Empire; Trump Suggests Russia Hacking a "Conspiracy Theory"; Trump: I Don't Need Daily Intel Briefings; Bipartisan Group Calls for Probe of Russian Role in Election. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 12, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

We begin tonight with two pieces of breaking news from the Trump transition. Just moments ago, the president-elect tweeting he'll be making his long awaited secretary of state announcement tomorrow. That and he wants more time before telling the country how he's going to disentangle himself from his business empire.

For weeks now, he's been promising a major announcement on the 15th which is Thursday. Late today, we learned it is being pushed back.

Phil Mattingly tonight joins us from Trump Tower with the latest.

So, first of all, secretary of state announcement tomorrow. We've heard the name, Rex Tillerson over the past few days. Is that still the thinking?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, according to advisers, he's leaning strongly and likely to choose Rex Tillerson, again, the Exxon CEO.

Anderson, the big question now becomes the backlash from Capitol Hill which has come on so strong because of Rex Tillerson's ties to Russia, on the corporate side of things, his friendship, or at least business relationship with Vladimir Putin. That has raised major concerns from some very prominent Republican senators, even raising questions as to whether or not he would be confirmed at all.

But as of now, Trump advisers saying the president-elect has not backed off the fielding that that is the direction he wants to go. But as everybody always cautions, he's the one who will make that final decision and that final decision will be announced tomorrow morning.

The bigger question right now, I think, is what won't be announced this week. As you note, it was how the president-elect was going to handle those conflicts of interest, clear conflicts of interest that arise because of his very real and very large business empire. He was the one, the president-elect, that touted this news conference, this decision-making, this legal structure to separate himself from his business.

Now, there have been a lot of questions, not just externally but also internally, how the president-elect actually planned on doing this. The reality is this, transition officials say the president-elect has been focused primarily on personnel, on cabinet picks and certainly the stream of people inside and out, Anderson, of the building behind me makes that true.

But, also, the reality is they are not there yet. This is a very complicated process, one lawyers have been trying to work through the legal thicket of over the last couple of weeks and they are not to a conclusive place yet. There are people inside the Trump operation that are wary of how little the Trump operation, or the president- elect wants to separate himself from that business. So, there are questions still and until those questions are answered, we will not find out how he plans on separating himself from the business.

Right now, Anderson, the president-elect saying he's going to wait until January to make that announcement. What that actual date will be, still unclear.

COOPER: And we don't really know, I mean, there's -- that's the bottom line, we don't really know exactly what he means. He talked about removing himself from operational control but not ownership of the businesses, themselves.

MATTINGLY: Yes, that's exactly right. Trump officials that I've spoken to have said that he wants to leave the operational stake but maintain an ownership stake and obviously still wants to still have his children heavily involved in running the business. That just presents inherent conflicts of interest. No matter how far he steps away from the daily operations of the business, so long as he holds the stake in the business and has family members still operating that business, ethics lawyer on both sides of the aisle made clear conflicts will continue to present themselves.

That's what's drawn some concern, Anderson, inside the Trump operation. Do they need to move further away from things so this isn't an issue that will hound them repeatedly over the course of the first year of his presidency? As of now, they don't have a final answer to that.

COOPER: All right. Phil Mattingly, appreciate it.

Now, the election, whether a foreign power tried to influence it. President-elect Trump says he doesn't believe that Russian computer hackers tried to sway the outcome on orders from the Kremlin in his favor. Tonight, though, leading Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have joined the bipartisan call to look into the CIA's assessment.

We should point out that the FBI doesn't at this point share the CIA's view on the question of intent, whether the hackers were trying to tip the election for Donald Trump in part because their job is proving cases in court beyond a reasonable doubt. Now all that said, the president-elect simply trashed the findings and to some by extension the intelligence community that reached them and keeping them honest, whatever you think of the findings, his rebuttal includes a number of claims that are not factually true.

Today, he tweeted, "Unless you catch hackers in the act, it's hard to determine who did the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before the election?"

Each claim on who and when is factual dubious. Keeping them honest, the penetration of Democratic National Committee's computer network was first reported on June 14th during the election. The private computer security firm, CrowdStrike, identified a pair of hacking groups Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear with alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

In addition, on October 7th, the director of national intelligence released the following statement, reads in part, "The U.S. intelligence community is confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromise of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions including from U.S. political organizations."

So, keeping them honest, it certainly was discussed before the election. In a moment, what senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway has to say about it. She joins me.

But, first, our Evan Perez on the investigation that could be getting under way very soon.

What are your sources telling you, Evan?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the president- elect may not be buying it just yet but there's wide agreement in the U.S. intelligence community and law enforcement that the Russian intelligence was behind the hacks and the release of these e-mails that were damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Where there's still a little bit of difference as you mentioned is exactly what was the motivation of Vladimir Putin to order this disinformation operation?

[20:05:08] The CIA in recent weeks shifted its assessment and now believes that there's enough evidence to say that the Russians were trying to get Trump elected. Part of the reason for that is that the hackers also got into some Republican organizations, but we haven't seen much yet released about Republicans. The FBI isn't quite ready to go there just yet. They believe that there's a mix of motivations including that just simply undermining the U.S. democratic systems.

Now, this is the kind of thing that the Russians have been doing in other countries. Right now in Germany, for instance, which has an election coming up, Anderson.

COOPER: And the CIA's allegedly developed new information in recent weeks. Do we know what that was?

PEREZ: We don't know exactly what it was, but we know that even before the election, the CIA was ready to make this assessment that Russia was trying to help Trump. We're told they gained some new information from some of their sources and there's evidence that investigators have found, Anderson, that an army of fake social media accounts that posted negative stories about Hillary Clinton also had ties to Russia.

Now, there's still a lot of investigative work to do, a lot of this is circumstantial evidence. We expect that Congress will do some of these investigations as well. But Democrats want a special committee like the ones that Republicans used to investigate Benghazi. We're not sure that that's exactly where they're going to go right now.

COOPER: All right. Evan Perez -- Evan, thanks very much.

Right now, as we mentioned reaction from a top adviser to the president-elect. I spoke to Kellyanne Conway just before airtime.


COOPER: Kellyanne, CNN is now reporting Donald Trump is delaying his Thursday news conference on the future of the Trump Organization, going to make the announcement in January according to two transition forces. I'm wondering A, can you confirm that? What happen if it's true, because the president-elect made a big deal in scheduling this announcement?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: Anderson, it is true. The press announcement has been delayed until January. As the Trump Organization experts and other counsel are trying to decide which is the best organizing structure for the Trump Organization going forward.

As we know, it's a very unconventional situation. Normally, we have politicians moving from political job to political job. In this case, we have a very successful businessman who's brilliant and a billionaire who has assets and holdings all over the globe and that needs to have a transfer of power through the proper channels to his adult children, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric. Tiffany is involved in law school.

And there's no reason to rush that if the procedures are not ready. So, we expect a very minor delay owing to the fact there are holidays in between now and the end of the year as well. Sensitive to that. But the same questions that will be asked and the same answers that will be provided will just be delayed a few weeks.

COOPER: Does this in any way change his stated decision to step away from operational control or the operational running of his company but retain ownership which is obviously a sticking point to a lot of his critics?

CONWAY: At the moment, it does not. What it does is make more clear how convoluted and complex many of these business holdings are. Meaning, he's just a man who's been incredibly successful and has holdings all across the globe. So, it's -- everybody wants to make sure they get it right, and to get it right, you have to get proper legal counsel, accountants, lawyers, obviously other corporate officers involved.

And his expectation remains that he will cede operational control of the Trump Organization to his adult children and other corporate officers whom he trusts and have worked for him for many years so that he can focus 100 percent of his time and attention being president of the United States.

COOPER: All right. Let's move on. Donald Trump yesterday, he called the CIA's report of Russian hacking to benefit him in the election, or reports about that, ridiculous and said, quote, "It was just another excuse." He also said he doesn't believe it. Is the president-elect unequivocally saying that Russia had absolutely nothing to do with this election, nothing to do with attempting to or hacking into -- to try to influence this election?

CONWAY: What the president-elect is saying, Anderson, is there are many people out there who still, 35 days later, are trying to deny the election results and they were out in full force this weekend trying to conflate and draw a nexus between unsubstantiated reports, un- sourced, unnamed, quotes in newspapers, and certainly what's been a rift between FBI and CIA officials about the conclusions of this report. They're trying to get people to think that Russia intentionally interfered with the election and this is why Hillary Clinton lost the election.

First, it was Jim Comey's fault, then we're going to have recount in three states which ended up in an embarrassing mess. Millions of dollars spent and all we did was gain more votes for Donald Trump then it was Russian interference, then, of course, we give a plat tomorrow form to people we've never met who we denounced. It's everybody's fault except Hillary Clinton's, she was a terrible candidate.

[20:10:03] COOPER: Does the president-elect believe there was Russian-backed hacking?

CONWAY: Look, what he was asked yesterday that led to his words was, do you believe they are -- that they somehow upset the election result? And that's what they did. And he said, no, he thinks it's ridiculous. It's an attempt to undermine what was a 306 electoral vote rout of "a woman who should have never lost", quote/unquote.


COOPER: So, is the president going to support a bipartisan attempt to investigate, exactly what Russia's role if any was?

CONWAY: He won't interfere with that. He won't interfere with an investigation. He's the president of the United States. The legislature can do what it wants.

But let's make very clear that the CIA in this case put out a press release, there is no report for you and me to read. There are leaks, very unfortunate leaks, that's what should concern all of us as Americans. There are leaks there a confidential closed door house intelligence committee meeting where people are leaking, and then, from -- CIA is leaking, somebody in the House is leaking and the FBI is coming back and saying there's not a consensus view, it's, quote, "fuzzy and ambiguous," it's not at all clear.

And yet people are supposed to be led to believe that somehow this caused the election result. We know what caused the election result. We know why she lost.

COOPER: The president-elect tweeted this morning, he said, "Unless you catch hackers in the act, it's very hard to determine who's doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before the election?"

The fact of the matter was this was brought up before the election. It's not like he's coming out of nowhere. I mean, we did stories about it. The DHS and director of national intelligence had a press release on October 7th about election security. They said the U.S. intelligence community is confident the Russian government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from the U.S. and they went on.

They didn't say that it was an attempt to support Donald Trump. But they did say the Russian government, they believe, is behind it. So, it was discussed.

CONWAY: Well, the reason they didn't o support Donald Trump is because there's no evidence there was, "A", and "B," the partisans on the other side never expected that he would win. And so, they didn't even care. It's like anything else just arrogantly dismissing -- a bunch of wrist flickers arrogantly dismissing anything that they could have used to say, wait a second, I need to raise the alarm bells.

President Obama was on the stump many days for Hillary Clinton. He chose what to talk about --


COOPER: But I guess I don't understand why as president-elect, wouldn't he, as president, why is he so convinced that Russia had nothing to do with it? Again, I'm not saying about whether or not Russia wanted him elected or whether it had any impact on the actual election. The election's done, you know, and Donald Trump's going to be the president. But doesn't Donald Trump want to get to the bottom of cyber security in the United States? And whether or not Russia was --

CONWAY: Absolutely, yes, he does and he wants to get to the bottom of all cyber security, not just that that seems to be overly politicized at this moment.

Anderson, this smells like politics plain and simple. We in the Trump presidency do not want foreign governments interfering in our elections. That's very clear. We also don't want intelligence interfering in our politics, but we certainly don't want what we have now which is politics interfering in our intelligence.

COOPER: It does sound like what you're saying, though, is that the -- plenty of people on the Trump transition team and also the president- elect believes that politics is behind this. Do you believe, then, that the CIA essentially is in some way opposed to Donald Trump as president or trying to in some way influence things now? I mean, it sounds like you're saying they're politicizing intelligence

or at least by leaking or whoever it is, putting out leaks.

CONWAY: I would never paint with such a broad brush to implicate the CIA. We have faith in the intelligence community. Donald Trump was asked that question squarely this weekend, do you have faith in the intelligence community? Turned around and said, I do. And he does. We all do.

So, we're not talking about the CIA here. We're talking about a few people, apparently, who are leaking information to journalists, maybe to curry favor. Maybe they feel like they are affecting the election after the outcome, which of course we know they can't do. And, you know, there's always going to be somebody in there that doesn't support.

But I would commend to your viewers to that was posted last night. "Newsweek" is no friend of Donald Trump, the president-elect's. And even they are showing, not too fast rushing to judgment here, this needs to be done competently and cohesively, that all of these facts have not been knitted together yet sufficiently that would bring us to the conclusion that many are making and many want your viewers to assume here, which is that it was Russia, maybe Jim Comey, sprinkle in a little Bernie Sanders, how dare he run, 22 states won, and 30 million voters, Russian interference, the alt-right. It's everybody's fault but Hillary Clinton.

I'm just not going to allow them to confuse this.

COOPER: Right.

CONWAY: You know what, you want to attack me, you want to attack the president-elect, folks, go. But guess what? Not going to allow you to undercut 62 million-plus voters who went to the polls because they believed in Donald Trump.

COOPER: I mean, I hear your argument that this is yet another in a long litany of things that Democrats have come up as --


CONWAY: Get over it already, guys.

[20:15:00] COOPER: But, you know, you do have significant Republicans, major Republicans, calling for an investigation and, obviously, you're saying that's something the president will not stand in the way of.


COOPER: I do want to ask you about President-elect Trump's intelligence briefings. We talked about this briefly in the past. My understanding, the reporting out there is that he's getting them once a week, not a daily briefing. I think the vice president-elect may be getting daily briefings. He said he's, quote, "a smart person and doesn't need to be called the same thing every day." Congressman Adam Schiff, who is of course a Democratic member of the

House Intelligence Committee, tweeted today saying, "If Trump was as smart as he claims to be, he'd understand how little he knows and how much he'll come to defend on the intel community."

Why doesn't he want --


COOPER: -- daily briefings? Again, that's from a Democrat.

CONWAY: People are really bold on twitter. We have a Democratic congressman who represents 600,000 and some people referring to the next president of the United States as not that smart? I think that's unfortunate. But -- and he should rethink that.

At the same time, the president-elect has access to all types of information and avails himself of that, including the intelligence briefings. I don't have a top-secret clearance. Neither does Adam Schiff, certainly. Neither do people watching right now. They don't know exactly what he's receiving. Anybody who says otherwise, again, Anderson, is leaking information.

COOPER: Can you say whether or not he's receiving daily intelligence briefings from the intelligence community?

CONWAY: I won't comment on that. I will tell you that they're available to him and he receives information regularly. We should be concerned about House Intelligence Committee leaks. We should be concerned about the CIA and the FBI arguing about what is and is not true, or is and is not proven through the press.

I know people want to know and we're going to be, and are, a very transparent transition and presidency, but at the same time, these are intelligence briefings. This is meant to protect us all. So I'm just very careful before I say too much about that.

COOPER: Kellyanne Conway, good to talk to you as always. Thanks, Kellyanne.

CONWAY: Thank you, Anderson.


COOPER: Our conversation covered a lot more ground. You can see the entire interview at

Just ahead, reaction from panel and breaking news about the president- elect delaying his business announcement, and Donald Trump's claim he does not need to get the kind of daily intelligence briefings that other presidents and president-elects have gotten for decades.

More ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:20:42] BURNETT: The breaking news, President-elect Trump's announcement on conflicts of interest with his business empire delayed to next month. It was supposed to be later this week. One of his top advisers just moments ago explaining why.


COOPER: Does this in any way change his stated decision to step away from operational control or the operational running of his company but retain ownership which is obviously a sticking point to a lot of his critics?

CONWAY: At the moment, it does not. What it does is make more clear how convoluted and complex, you know, many of these business holdings are, meaning he's a man who's been incredibly successful and has holdings all across the globe. So, it's -- everybody wants to make sure they get it right and to get it right, you have to get proper legal counsel, accountants, lawyers, obviously, other corporate officers involved.

And his expectation remains that he will cede operational control of the Trump organization to his adult children and other corporate officers whom he trusts and have worked for him for many years, so that he can focus 100 percent of his time and attention on being president of the United States.


COOPER: So there's that. We've also just learned President-elect Trump will announce or says he's going to announce his secretary of state tomorrow morning.

I want to bring back our political panel, CNN political analyst, David Gregory, author of "How's Your Faith: An Unlikely Spiritual Journey." Also, a guy's written a little bit about just a few things, recently had very sharp words about what he calls the president-elect's disdain for the truth. CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein joins us.

Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany is here. So is Democratic strategist Jonathan Tasini, along with his famous notebook. Trump supporter Alice Stewart joins us as well, along with radio host and Democrat, Bill Press.

David Gregory, first of all, this announcement, Donald Trump tweeting out he's going to announce secretary of state tomorrow. I mean, we've seen such a cavalcade of potential nominees. It does seem like the ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is the leading candidate at this point, also raises the questions about what was that stuff about Mitt Romney, that was for real, was that something else?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I suspect that was for real. There may have been some aspect of it to extract a certain amount of graveling from Romney. But I think he was going about this in a pretty rigorous way thinking about how he wanted to be represented around the word, who he wanted around him.

Rex Tillerson is a very unconventional, but interesting choice. An excellent businessman, somebody with a lot of experience and --

COOPER: Global experience.

GREGORY: Global experience with a lot of foreign leaders who's traveling the world, who knows Vladimir Putin well. And in fact, that good relationship, that close relationship, which is not to suggest that somehow he's chummy with Putin. But I think he understands the power dynamic with Putin and has been critical of the Obama administration, that's going to be a real lightning rod among Republicans and Democrats, going to be a unifying area of criticism for Tillerson, not to mention the fact that Democrats are thinking about, OK, where are you going to oppose some of his nominees? And on Tillerson, it's not just Russia, it's also climate change. Although he's been a little more evolved on climate change than other energy CEOs.

So, there's going to with a lot of flak. And I think the only aspect of watching Trump on this, is he perhaps watching to see what the reaction's been the past few days and what it could be on the Hill and maybe he makes a last-minute other choice? Doesn't appear to be that way, but he put it out there and he's waiting a few days before --

COOPER: Yes, Carl, you already have some Republicans who raised concerns about Tillerson, about, you know, potential relationship with Vladimir Putin, whether he'd stand up to Putin if necessary.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think this is going to be looked at in the context of all the national security appointees together and if somehow Tillerson can project that he is going to ride herd on some of the more, quote, "radical decisions" that the president-elect had made about who he wants as his national security team, especially Mike Flynn who is uniquely unqualified for the job and most people on the Hill, I think, at this point, believe that, that maybe Tillerson can be convincing that he can bring some order and some substantial knowledge to this process that right now is looking very shaky.

I would think as David says, there's going to be some real opposition because, look, look at what we just have heard about the Russians and what they have been doing in our elections.

[20:25:01] And we'll talk more about that --


COOPER: And denial by the Trump campaign of not even wanting to know what happened. And I think the attitude that we see by the appointment, by the appointee is going to have a lot to do with how he does.

GREGORY: Tillerson has told people, Anderson, he thinks the key to dealing with Putin is toughness. So I don't think the signal is chumminess. I think it's toughness which he thought was lacking in the Obama team.

COOPER: It's also interesting because, you know, for Donald Trump I think a lot of his views on the world are transactional. It's, you know, looking at trade deals, it's rethinking NATO relationships, it's rethinking deals, you could argue Tillerson is an interesting choice because he does come from a business background and, again, many of those relationships are transactional.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There's no doubt about it. The one issue that needs to be resolved, if Donald Trump wants do be re-elected, is trade. This is the reason Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania broke for Republican and they haven't broken that way since the 1980s. It's because people are so badly hurting in this area.

If you want someone who can navigate a relationship with China, a thicket with Russia, can kind of hammer out new trade deals like NAFTA, renegotiating NAFTA, not engaging in TPP, Rex Tillerson is the guy. He knows trade. He knows economics.

And to David's point, I think David is absolutely right on the Russia issue, he's going to be tough with Russia. He understands the dynamic there. I don't think people need to be worried on that front. He was recommended by Condoleezza Rice and Bob Gates, hardly pro-Russian figures.

JONATHAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I just want to pick up on the point that David made around climate change which is something we sort of avoid often when we talk about secretary of state. Remember that John Kerry played a very big role in negotiating the climate change -- global climate change agreements.

It is troubling to me that first of all you have a president-elect, Donald Trump, who I consider to be a deranged individual who is a climate skeptic, not skeptic. He's a denier. He does not believe that climate change is a result of human activity.

So, you've got him appointing the head of the third largest oil and gas company in the world. You match that with the guy who he's going to appoint to be the head of the EPA, who's hostile to the actual mission of the EPA, and all then you come to a conclusion is that our planet is in great danger if you connect those three people. Trump who doesn't believe in climate change, Tillerson who runs the third largest energy company and Pruitt.

COOPER: Alice, let me ask you about Donald Trump not receiving intelligence briefings or not receiving them daily as past president- elects. Does that concern you at all? Does it surprise you?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think right now clearly his focus is on building his cabinet and building the administration with the best and top qualified people. But I think that's important.

COOPER: But he hasn't given any indication that's going to change as president. He said, look, I'm a smart guy, they can call me if something changes, they can have a direct line to me but I don't need this stuff every day.

STEWART: Clearly, he's going to have his top people in those daily briefings and alert him if the situation arises. And he said, as he indicated yesterday, he's one minute away if they need to phone him for information or to advise him on something. He will be --

COOPER: Kayleigh, is that good enough?


STEWART: One thing about, to David's point on trying to be chummy with Russia, look, we learned that was a mistake when Hillary Clinton tried to hit the reset button, when Barack Obama shunned Mitt Romney with his concerns with Russia. We know with Tillerson, he has a great relationship with Putin but that is as a CEO, selling goods and services.

He's going to wear a different hat in this role. He will be America's diplomat. And he understands the complete difference in the two.

COOPER: Fair enough.


BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'll pick up on a -- Trump about Tillerson, I think he's a good man in the wrong job. Look, we've learned that businessmen -- the idea you take a guy who's successful to business and put him in a public service position, government position, it doesn't always work. Remember Robert McNamara and others, what -- and making business deals is not the same as making --


COOPER: Yet the American people seem to disagree with you because they elected Donald Trump.


PRESS: Anderson, the American people disagree with me --


COOPER: I knew you were going to say that.

PRESS: On the briefings, look, there's no more important job than the president than to keep us safe. That's his number one job. He finds out about the threats all over the world in those daily briefings. What concerns me, I think should concern all of us, that there's so much that we don't know about threats all over the world. He hasn't even taken the time yet to get up to speed on what those threats are and now, he's not going to go to the daily --

COOPER: We'll talk to our panel more about that, and also including President-elect Trump's break with decades of tradition about these presidential daily briefings.

We'll be right back.


[20:32:34] COOPER: On top of the breaking news on the Secretary of State pick and the delayed announcement of what becomes of the Trump business empire, we're talking tonight about computer hacking. Alleged Russian involvement, alleged attempts to sway the election. Later we'll look at the growing tension with China. It adds up to a potentially dangerous world, certainly a fast-moving, fast-changing world.

And with all that as Bill Press mentioned before the break, Donald Trump said he doesn't need to do what every president and president- elect has done for decades, namely get a daily intelligence briefing. Back now with the panel.

Carl, how big a deal do you think this is? Because Trump supporters will say, look, different people consume information in different ways. Kellyanne Conway says he has it available to him if he wants it, and he gets information from a lot of different areas.

BERNSTEIN: This whole attitude is a huge deal because the president of the United States demonstrably is not interested in the truth. I just watched Kellyanne. I was on a program with her, the two of us the other night, and she steam rolls as a propagandist and without going to the question of truth. We need to know what happened. We need a president of the United States who wants it know what happened with the Russians. He is shown no demonstrable interest in a truthful, contextual picture of almost anything that he has pronounced himself on since the election.

COOPER: Well they're certainly ...

BERNSTEIN: And -- but, no, let's really look at what this is factually. This is a filibuster. This is saying, no, while Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Republicans, Democrats, say we need to find out, why doesn't the president-elect of the United States want to know? This is not about making excuses for Hillary Clinton and why she lost. She lost. They won. Why can't these people, Kellyanne particularly, be magnanimous -- magnanimous in victory?

STEWART: Anderson?

COOPER: Alice?

BERNSTEIN: And this is part of the equation.

STEWART: One of the things with all due respect, he never said he didn't want the investigation with regard to hacking. He never said that.

BERNSTEIN: He pushed back.

STEWART: But the point is, I think it's very important we're all cautious not to reach a conclusion before we have the investigation. And a couple points to make ...

COOPER: But she said they won't -- he won't stand in the way ... STEWART: Right.

COOPER: ... he's not saying he embraces it, will wants to work with is.

STEWART: But it's also important, you know, the FBI has said there's not a universal view about the links between the Russian government ...

COOPER: Well actually, no, what the FBI said, it's a question of motive, whether they we trying to influence the election for Donald Trump but they do seem -- there does seem to be agreement, again, a lot of this comes from leaks, that Russia was involved.

TASINI: I think you asked about the presidential briefings.

COOPER: We're talking ant the hacking.

TASINI: Yeah, but in general, he seems to not be interested as Carl pointed out in actually understanding the facts of the world and you go back to, it was now a week or two ago when he made the call to Taiwan.

[20:35:05] All of those kinds of things you would understand in presidential briefings and intelligence briefings, especially, remember, he has had ...

GREGORY: He knew what he was doing that ...

BERNSTEIN: That was premeditated.

TASINI: He's had no experience in this. We've had these -- we're probably going back to Ronald Reagan, the -- you had a governor, Clinton, who had no experience who consumed those kinds of intelligence briefings. When they came in. and in order to understand what was happening in the world.

GREGORY: Let me -- I just want to say what I think is important here, several things can be true at the same time. This kind of investigation can so easily become politicized and I think you're exactly right, Alice, you cannot draw conclusions. But when Kellyanne Conway tells you this smells like politics, know, in fact, it smells like an attack on the country.

BERNSTEIN: That's right.

GREGORY: This was an act of war. Senator McCain says that. No, no, but that's an objective truth.


GREGORY: This is a foreign government interfering. We don't know to what end.

MCENANY: Sure, and she ... GREGORY: We just know that there was interference. It should be investigated. It sounds like Trump's on board with that. But this should not be drawn out to get into a political fight about, oh therefore, he wanted him to become president. You can look circumstantially and see that Vladimir Putin probably prefers to have Donald Trump for a host of reasons. That's a separate issue. Any president has to respect the institution to know that this kind of intrusion is something that could very much come to hurt the United States.

COOPER: Well Kayleigh, what about that? Because Donald Trump says, look, you know, they respect the CIA and the intelligence community and yet at the same time he's not getting these briefings and they put out a statement, the transition team, saying well remember WMD, the intelligence community, CIA said there were WMD in Iraq.

MCENANY: Because we have seen a historic level of politicized arms of government that are not supposed to be politicized under this president starting with the IRS bullying Tea Party groups, going all the way. We just found out a congressional task force, this is fact, put out two months ago a report showing that CENTCOM actually falsified intelligence reports to try to placate the president and make it seem that there was a rosy picture of ISIS. There have been some real troubling questions that we seen go on under the Obama administration. And this has become politicized. Not because of Donald Trump but because of the Democrats. You have John Podesta sending out a letter saying electors deserve to be briefed on this, Russia did not meddle in machines. Russia did not change votes on the Election Day. The American people had their say and they chose Donald Trump ...


GREGORY: So right and you have the editorial page of the "Wall Street Journal" ...

COOPER: Right.

GREGORY: ... and the Democrats saying why not just -- why not make public what their findings are? I agree with you, but can quickly become politicized. What I'm saying is as a president-elect you got to go bigger here because anyone will rule the day if they think this is just a political argument and ignores the interference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's what concerns me and I think should concern all Americans. Let's focus on what we've got here. It is war. It is cyber warfare. That's what this is happening here. We know the Russians were hacking into the Democratic system and into some Republican sources as well. We know that.

The Obama administration knew it in the summer and did nothing. Congress knew it in the summer and did nothing. And now Donald Trump is putting out all this baloney saying Democrats are releasing this. It didn't come from the Democratic Party. It came from our intelligence agencies.

COOPER: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 17 of them agree that Russia was doing this hacking. To blame among the Democrats and say it's all political is just ...

BERNSTEIN: And Mitch McConnell wants this. He's hardly a great friend ...

COOPER: We're going to have much more ahead on this subject.

Also we're going to dig deeper on just what kind of information is in a presidential daily brief? I'll talk to two former intelligence officers, ahead.


[20:41:11] COOPER: As we were talking about, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling for an investigation into Russia's role in the U.S. presidential election. A move sparked by the CIA's conclusion that Russian hackers intervened explicitly to help Donald Trump win. President-elect Trump has dismissed the CIA assessment calling it ridiculous. In an interview on Fox News Sunday, he also said he doesn't need daily presidential intelligence briefings.


TRUMP: I don't have to be told, you know, I'm like a smart person, I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. Could be eight years, but eight years. I don't need that. But I do say if something should change, let us know.

Now in the meantime, my generals are great, are being briefed and Mike Pence is being briefed who is, by the way, one of my very good decisions. He's terrific. And they're being briefed and I'm being briefed also.


COOPER: According to a U.S. official, Mr. Trump has been getting the president's daily brief as it's called only once a week on average. It's one of the number of departures from protocol he's made. Joining me, CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto. So what is the latest on this?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENTS: Well Anderson, not to use the word unprecedented, but the presidential daily brief, the PDB, has been a product that the intelligence community produces for the president expressly and every president since JFK has been taking advantage of this every day. And we did a special on this last year, you have 16 U.S. intelligence agencies that gather all the latest information about all the threats facing the U.S., from terrorism to war, to cyber hacking, you name it, and their intention every day is to bring new information every day.

And keep in mind, you have the country at war in two places, Afghanistan and Iraq, you have cyber attacks, you have the terror threat. And their intention in this product is to be updating the president every day, not repeating old information.

So past presidents-elect have taken advantage of it much more. To be fair, the Trump transition team has said as they get closer to inauguration day, he will take advantage of this more often, but to this point, it's unprecedented how seldom he takes advantage of the PDB.

COOPER: You've also got new information about the intelligence community is growing competence that the Russian hacking was meant to steal the election to Donald Trump?

SCUITTO: That's right. To be clear, listening to the panel earlier, there's no dispute in the intelligence community, the FBI, Democrats or Republicans, that it was Russia that did the election-relating hacking. The only question is what was the intention of this? Was it just to disrupt the process or was it to give an advantage to either candidate? There's not conclusive evidence but what I'm told is there's growing confidence inside the IC, the intelligence community, that this was intended to help Donald Trump in part because of this new information we have.

That in addition to hacking the DNC and Democratic Party officials, that Russian hackers also hacked GOP House members, GOP party organizations, GOP thought leaders, but they didn't release that information or at least not most of it and because they did release on almost a daily basis information targeting the Democratic Party, but not information they gleaned targeting the Republican Party, that's adding to the intelligence community's confidence that the intention was to help Trump and weaken Hillary Clinton.

COOPER: All right. Jim, I appreciate the details. A lot to discuss. Joining us, our CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA FBI official Phil Mudd. Also CNN intelligence and security analyst, former CIA officer Bob Baer. Phil, I mean how big a deal do you think it is that the president-elect is not getting his daily presidential briefings?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I don't think it's a huge deal. I think that's the wrong question. There's a variety of avenues a president can get information, written product, briefing product as the president-elect, himself, said, his vice president is getting this information every day. Let's hope there are filters passing information into him in critical issues like, what's happening in Aleppo today, there attacks in the Middle East over the weekend, there's a political crisis in South Korea right across the border from North Korea.

[20:45:05] I think the question is about trust. Going forward when you're looking at things like Russian involvement in Ukraine, Russian involvement in Syria, what's happening with the Iran nuclear deal that the president opposes? Does the president trust what he's getting or is he going to step back and say my advisers will give me what to think, I don't want to hear from the CIA.

COOPER: Is it a danger if he doesn't trust what he's getting?

MUDD: I think it's absolutely a danger. He's already said I'm going to filter information through people I advise. Those are political advisers. Your sensors, your antenna are going to go up at the CIA because there's one message they will hear in Langley, Virginia, as soon as we get a filter going to the Oval Office, that filter is going to have a political interest. For example a political interest in oppositions the Iran nuclear deal. If we say that deal is going OK, that filter is going to weed out what we say and color the intelligence. That's a problem.

COOPER: Bob, in your opinion, I mean the daily intelligence briefing, how important is it?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, for this president, absolutely crucial, Anderson. He doesn't understand foreign policy, he doesn't understand the nuances, he doesn't understand the players and he doesn't understand how important the PDB is and he needs to catch up and he's not right now.

Let me give you an example, when I was in the field once, there was a threat, they were digging revetments for missiles, surface-to-surface to hit American ships. I sent that report in, it was an eminent tact on an American ship that went in the PDB. The president, himself, decided to pull a ship off the shore because he didn't want to go to war, he didn't want to test this. And that's the kind of detail he would be getting in the PDB which he's doesn't seem interested in now and I think this is going to lead to a serious, serious crisis that he's not free prepared for.

COOPER: You know, Phil, earlier when i talked to Kellyanne Conway, she, you know, of sort of intimated that this is being politicized, the whole notion of the Russian hacking and whether it was an attempt to support Donald Trump in the election. That the leaking of it, their politics is behind it, she smells politics in this. Is that a possibility that the CIA is responding to political pressure or has some political ideas of their own?

MUDD: Boy, let me figure this out, Anderson. We went through eight years of President Bush. Last I checked, a card-carrying Republican candidate who supported the CIA time and time again and whose father was once a CIA director.

COOPER: Right.

MUDD: When he came into office, his father said one thing you got to do, you got to listen to the CIA daily brief. I don't understand how you can look at a CIA that said we will help a Republican president save America from another catastrophic attack and then years later say, well, the CIA is anti-Republican, they're out to get us. I don't get how you can make that leap. They're there to connect the dots on facts, not to support a political party.

COOPER: Bob as far as whether there were Russian hacks connected to the elections, I mean I guess the two distinct questions are, you know, what happened, how did it happen, also what was the motive? Was it -- and that's -- it seems to be what the difference is between right now the FBI, according to public reporting, and CIA about what the motive was. Was it to help Donald Trump or not? Is that the way you see it?

BAER: I think the motivation was and Russians tell me this, and I do believe the Russians did hack Hillary's e-mails and Podesta's and that was to simply weaken her and they never considered that Trump would be elected and ultimately they were going to use more e-mails and they do have more against Hillary when she became president maybe for a special prosecutor, bring up some financial stuff. I think the Russians were as surprised as everybody else he was elected president, but there's no doubt the person they wanted to go after was Hillary Clinton because of the Ukraine, because of Georgia and on and on and on because they considered her the enemy of Russia.

And the question is, we just have to get this stuff out. We need to see the forensics on this in what the Russian's plans were and unless we do, it's going to hang over our heads.


BAER: Trump presidency is legitimate.

COOPER: Right. Yeah, I mean Phil, whatever the motivation, clearly just moving forward, one wants to know the details on this so it doesn't happen again.

MUDD: That's correct, but this is an area where I would support president-elect Trump and be sideways with the CIA. Let's be clear about the difference between what happened and why. My experience in the intelligence business is you can say the Russians were behind it. As soon as you transition to say I know what's going on in the heads of the people in the Kremlin, I'm as skeptical as the president of the United States, or the upcoming president. I think he's right to say, maybe the Russians had motivations we don't understand.

On the other hand, wrong to say that we don't know what happened. We do. The Russians were at it.

COOPER: Phil Mudd, Bob Baer. Guys, thanks very much.

Just ahead, I'll talk to former world chess champion and writer, pro- democracy activist Garry Kasparov. Who wrote in his book "Winter is Coming" about the threat Vladimir Putin poses. He's not all surprise about the CIA's allegation that Russia was attempted sway the U.S. election, we'll have more ahead.


[20:53:01] COOPER: As we've said, president-elect Trump says he does not believe the Russian computer hackers tried to sway the U.S. presidential election in his favor. And orders from Kremlin, he's called the idea ridiculous to former world chess champion and a Russian pro-democracy activist Garry Kasparov not only makes total sense it is to be expected, in his book, "Winter is Coming," why Vladimir Putin and the enemies of a free world must be stop. He warned against the dangers of appeasing Putin. And Garry joins us now.

Thanks so much for being with us.


COOPER: You have no doubt Russia is behind this. And do you believe -- you have no doubt about what their motive was?

KASPAROV: No, that's -- let's stick with the facts. Vladimir Putin, global propaganda machine, help Trump to be elected. You look at social media, the factors of trolls, they've been actively promoting Trump and trying to undermine Hillary Clinton, both in English and in Russian. Probably in other languages, but I don't read them.

Now, we can also see the pattern. In many European companies, we have warnings from intelligence communities, like in Germany, latest in Sweden, and in many other places, about Russians trying to undermine the Democratic properties and to steal secret documents from their respective governments. So there's a path here.

COOPER: It hasn't just been targeting the United States?

KASPAROV: No, no, no, it's across Europe, and that's why, you know, just if you undermine, you know, a CIA and FBI, you should also, you know, undermine reports from intelligence communities across Europe. But we're going to motives is more complicated, so obviously, Putin wanted Trump to be elected, and you could -- see in Russia, because Russian domestic propaganda has been presenting Trump as someone who would change dramatically the relations, bashing Obama for centuries and expecting Trump to leave sanctions and to build personal relations with Putin.

I think Putin could also sense that Trump potentially would be a kind of agent who cares, someone who could make a deal, you know, who would undermine NATO and other, you know, international institutions. In favor of, you know, meeting directly with Vladimir Putin. So that was clear their motive. Whether Putin had something tangible with Trump, you know, we don't know.

[20:55:02] But probably, today, we should ask for more than ever for Trump tax return to see whether there was a consume amount of Russian money let say if were bankruptcy 2008, 2009.

COOPER: When you read that "Winter is Coming," obviously, you know, I'm a game of thrones watcher, I know what the white walkers are coming in "Game of Thrones." What does that mean in geopolitics today?

KASPAROV: Now, first of all we know, the history goes, it suddenly now it build in cycles. And also it's not, you know, it's not just a climate change, if you believe in climate change. It's something that's happening because we were complacent. And I, you know, I have to put all the blame on the Obama administration being soft on Putin and trying to appease Putin, which didn't work, as it didn't work before and he's going to work and ...

COOPER: You think Putin senses weakness?

KASPAROV: Absolutely, he sense weakness. And, you know, Obama, I believe, had responsibilities to actually prevent this from happening. And unfortunately, you know, while even collecting this data, he was too soft. And too indecisive. And that's, you know, convinced Putin that he could do whatever. And now, you know, we're all expecting, you know, Rex Tillerson to be announced as the Secretary of State. And, you know, that will be Putin's number one pick.

COOPER: Because of their prior relationship?

KASPAROV: Well, absolutely. you know, this is the man who has close ties directly with Vladimir Putin and Putin's right-hand man Igor Sechin who is head of Rosneft. So put Tillerson as the American top global diplomat, I means that, you know, Trump will probably walk away from the traditional alliances and will relations as Putin in head of relations with all countries that have been working with American for decades.

COOPER: Do you think Donald Trump, I mean in his public statements about Russia, do you think he's been sending encouraging signs to the last time (ph).

KASPAROV: You know, he kept rejecting, you know, any fact of Russian interference throughout the elections. He had many opportunities, during the debates, or his interviews, to denounce Vladimir Putin and to reject all accusations of Putin helping him. You know, he, which was quite unusual for Trump, who flip-flopped on many issues, except one. It was very consistent throughout the whole campaign, and, you know, as a president-elect, for if not praising Putin, but definitely defending Putin's record, and being denying any involvement of, you know, KGB in the process.

There of course we'll saw that WikiLeaks, that served as a KGB branch, had been dumping all this data on Hillary, on DNC, while I believed collecting data confirmed by CIA and now on Trump and Republicans. And as I predicted 6 months ago, they would collect this data to sort of have something on the in case if Trump won.

COOPER: The book is "Winter is Coming." Garry Kasparov, thank you so much. Appreciate being with us.

In the next hour of "360," more on the breaking news on the delayed announcement about Trump's business empire that was supposed to take place this week, now not going to have now they say until next month. As well as the upcoming Secretary of State announcement and the man believed to be the front-runner, we're just talking about it, the Texas oil man who was worked for Exxon for 40 years. More details ahead