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Senators Call For Probe Of Russian Meddling; FBI & CIA Differ On Russian Motives; Trump To Announce Secretary Of State Soon; Syrian Forces Tighten Grip On Aleppo. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 12, 2016 - 05:30   ET


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: If something should change from this point, immediately call me.

[05:30:03] I'm available on one minutes' notice. 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.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Mr. Trump has only taken briefings sporadically as president-elect which could cause a rift between Trump and intelligence agencies and already is putting him at odds with senior lawmakers. A bipartisan group of senators are demanding an investigation into the Kremlin's activities. For the latest let's bring in CNN's Ryan Nobles at Trump Tower.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Alison, this has the potential to be a major showdown in the early days of the Trump administration. A bipartisan group of senators calling for a full investigation into Russia's role in interfering with the United States election. Among them, powerful senators like Republican John McCain and Democrat Chuck Schumer.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: They did hack into this campaign. Were they hacking Republicans the same way -- the Republican National Committee -- and, if so, why didn't they -- you know, there's a whole lot of issues out there. It requires investigation.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: The fact that the CIA and FBI disagree shows the need for a bipartisan investigation that gets to the bottom of this. The investigation should be tough, strong, and bipartisan and should have access to all materials, classified and not.

NOBLES: Both Schumer and McCain making the argument that this shouldn't be a partisan issue. McCain, in fact, saying that even though it was Democrats this time around, it could easily be Republicans that are the victim of the hack the next time around.

One person who doesn't think that this is something that should be investigated that thoroughly, the current president-elect Donald Trump, who said outright that he doesn't believe the assessment that the Russians are behind the hack and he strongly believes that it had nothing to do with the outcome of the election -- John and Alison.


KOSIK: All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you. And the calls for an investigation of possible Russian interference in the election, they rest partly on a disagreement between the CIA and the FBI. The CIA's conclusion that Russian meddling was intended to help Donald Trump win is reportedly based in part on the agency's belief the Russians hacked both Democratic and Republican groups but only leaked documents from Democrats.

The FBI, on the other hand, concluded the Republican National Committee, itself, was not hacked, only third parties, conservative groups, and pundits. And a law enforcement source tells CNN the FBI did not find clear evidence that hacking was done to help Trump, but there is disagreement about Russia's motives. All the intelligence agencies are on the same page on that point that Russia was trying to undermine the election.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's talk about this more. Joining us, political analyst and best-selling author Ellis Henican. Ellis, great to have you here with us.

KOSIK: Good morning.


BERMAN: Well, so there's this --

HENICAN: Theydefinitely hacked.

BERMAN: There's a bipartisan group of senators that officially agrees with you and says we want to investigate here. They include Chuck Schumer, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Jack Reed. They say, "Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American. Congress' national security committees have worked diligently to address the complex challenge of cybersecurity but recent events show that more must be done." I'm not sure I understand the politics of not agreeing with the idea of investigating, Ellis.

HENICAN: You know, it's strange and it's -- I think it's honestly not necessarily an analytical reaction, it's an emotional response. It's I won, I won. Quit picking on me, I won. Do you think it's deeper than that?

BERMAN: I don't know. You know, I mean -- but the thing is, is that no one's saying at this point you didn't win. No one's --


(CROSSTALK) HENICAN: And frankly, Alison, there's no dispute that a lot of this happened, right? I mean, at the margins there's some little disagreements about maybe it was people connected to the Republican Party and not the party organization itself, or the motives are always in question. I mean, my God, they must be hugely complex motives here. But the basic facts at this point don't even seem to be in much dispute.You know what? Maybe if you attended some more -- some more intelligence briefings --

KOSIK: Intelligence briefings, yes.

HENICAN: -- Mr. President-elect, maybe you'd know a little more about this.

KOSIK: All right. Let's switch to the hunt for secretary of state. It goes on --

HENICAN: It's all intertwined, though.

KOSIK: This week -- this week's person du jour is Rex Tillerson. He's been in the running and now looks like he could be the guy. He certainly is getting a push from Donald Trump. Here's what he said over the weekend.


TRUMP: He's much more than a business executive. I mean, he's a world-class player. He's in charge of, I guess, the largest company in the world. And, to me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players and he knows them well. He does massive deals in Russia. He does massive deals for the company, not for himself, for the company.


KOSIK: OK, so he said it right there, he knows people well. We're talking about Vladimir Putin. His ties to Russia are causing major consternation among many on Capitol Hill, many Republicans as well. Three key Republicans are expressing concern. One, Marco Rubio, tweeting about it over the weekend as well. Him saying that "Being a 'friend of Vladimir' is not an attribute I am hoping for from a Secretary of State."

[05:35:17] This could be Trump's real first fight for confirmation for one of his top cabinet picks.

HENICAN: You're right, it certainly may be. You know, having relationships, in itself, is not a bad thing. I mean, we want people at that level who do have genuine relationships with important people around the world. It really, to me, is more a matter of sympathies, you know. How do you feel about these people? What kind of relationship with it and where are these policies heading? That's the -- that's really the key part in the end.

BERMAN: And to have this be now a Monday where part of the big story is did the Russians hack into the U.S. election and try to hand it to Donald Trump, to be looking at a guy who has a close relationship with Vladimir Putin, the optics of this are challenging this morning.

HENICAN: No, it's not the good day to have him as the BFF to your new secretary of state, is it? You know what? I mean, honestly, 36 hours ago I would have told you this thing is sailing through. Now, I'm not so sure.

BERMAN: Well, because let me tell you, John McCain -- John McCain, a Republican whom we all know.


BERMAN: Chair of the Armed Services Committee says he's got, you know -- he wants to hear more, at a minimum, from Rex Tillerson. Let's listen to this.


MCCAIN: It's a matter of concern to me that he has such a close personal relationship with Vladimir Putin and, obviously, they've done enormous deals together, that that would color his approach to Vladimir Putin and the Russian threat. But that is a matter of concern. We will give him his chance.


BERMAN: It's a matter of concern.

HENICAN: A matter of -- we'll give him his chance. A lot of meaning in those few words, aren't there?

KOSIK: OK. So the other part of this interview that Donald Trump did with "FOX NEWS", he talked about the One-China policy. So we know that he and the president of Taiwan had talked. That concerned China but this part of the interview certainly took it one step further. Listen to this.


TRUMP: I fully understand the One-China policy but I don't know why we have to be bound by the One-China policy unless we make a deal with China having to with other things, including trade.


KOSIK: This could be a hint of a change in policy, that this may not just be a phone call. In fact, those in Taiwan are expressing hope, while those in China are extremely concerned.

HENICAN: Right, and the Chinese officials are already putting out some signals that are saying listen, this is serious. We take this very serious. And you know what? There is some stuff we can do to you guys if you want to push this.

BERMAN: Well, China is saying the One-China policy -- which says that, by the way, Taiwan is not a different country -- they say it's not negotiable, right? For Donald Trump, everything is negotiable and this is a significant policy shift here. I -- you know, I don't think that it's fair to say it's loose talk anymore when he accepted the call from the leader of Taiwan. He thinks that they should reassess -- the United States -- we should reassess our relationship with China.

HENICAN: But when you have -- when you have an ongoing understanding with people and then you step forward and say you know what, that thing we've all agreed to all this time -- unless you give me something --

KOSIK: Well, he --

HENICAN: That starts to feel like extortion on the other side.

KOSIK: He's a -- he's a -- he's a disruptor, so if he's looking to say listen, why should we adhere to this policy? Why should China be calling the shots?

HENICAN: No one could accuse Donald Trump of inadequate disruption at this point. I think we're pretty safe on that one.

BERMAN: All right. Ellis Henican, great to have you here with us this morning.

HENICAN: Good to see you guys, as always.

KOSIK: Thanks, Ellis. All right. Top executives from Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are scheduled to meet with Donald Trump on Wednesday in New York City. It's a notable meeting because many leaders in Silicon Valley spoke out against Trump during the campaign and the two sides could clash over important issues like net neutrality and immigration.

Sources with knowledge of the meeting say these high-powered execs are expected to attend. These are some of them. Apple CEO Tim Cook; Larry Page, the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet; Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg; and, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. They're going to be joined by the heads of Intel, of Sysco Systems, Oracle, and IBM. Noticeably absent, though, from the list, Amazon CEO and "Washington Post" owner Jeff Bezos, who Trump targeted after the newspaper's coverage of his campaign.

BERMAN: Most of them are going. I mean, even if the president-elect invites you, largely, you go.


BERMAN: All right. Sunday Night Football -- two heavyweights colliding. The New York Giants trying to snap the 11-game winning streak of the Dallas Cowboys. Hines Ward has the highlights in this morning's Bleacher Report -- that's next.


[05:43:50] BERMAN: All right. The New York Giants stepping it up on Monday night. No, wasn't last night Sunday night? Sunday night -- snapping the Cowboys 11-game streak. I know what day it is.

KOSIK: Do you? Hines Ward has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Good morning.

HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, guys. Yes, what a game last night. The Cowboys don't lose often but when they do it's to the New York Giants. Now, Dallas hadn't lost a game since the season opener which was against New York. The weather was brutal. Both teams had a tough time scoring in New York City.

But in the third, Eli Manning finds Odell Beckham, Jr. over the middle. He puts it into another gear and outruns everyone to the end zone and he does his Michael Jackson moonwalking dance. Pretty cool there. Last chance for the Cowboys. Dak Prescott finds Dez Bryant, who fumbles the ball which ends the comeback. The Cowboys had three turnovers in this one. The Giants win 10-7.

And check out the Bills-Steelers game in Buffalo where it was snowing like crazy. The start of the second half was delayed after the grounds crew tried to remove the snow, but the tractor brushes caused rubber pellets to build up on the artificial turf -- on the -- on the turf. There, they had to use shovels, snow shovels, leaf blowers to try to help clear the field.

[05:45:03] But Le'Veon Bell didn't seem to mind the snow. He ran all over the place. The Bills had no answer for Bell, who set a Steelers' single-game record over -- with 236 rushing yards. My Steelers had a big road win 27-20 in Buffalo.

And congrats to Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson. He became the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy in only 19 years. He's only the fourth sophomore to win it and he's the first player from Louisville to do it, as well. Now, Jackson pretty much came out of nowhere to win the Heisman. He was a 50-1 longshot before the season started, guys. What an amazing -- I loved his blazer, though. He was rocking the red and black blazer. He looked very sharp.

BERMAN: He was a sharp dressed man. All right, Hines Ward, thanks so much.

KOSIK: Thanks very much. All right, let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Chris Cuomo joining us now. Good morning, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Good morning. It was good to see you both last night, J.B. and Alison, and good to see you this morning.

All right, so we've had a weekend of a lot of events, a lot of hot talk. So, on "NEW DAY" today we're going to settle it all down and get the record straight. President-elect Donald Trump is questioning the intelligence that says that Russia was behind the hacking that was happening all during the election. So, how do we know? We're going to put it out there. And then there's the motive for why Russia would have been involved in this. The president-elect questions that as well, even more aggressively than he does the underlying premise. We'll get into that.

Now, what is it that is galvanizing lawmakers in the House and the Senate on both sides of the aisle in opposition to the president-elect on this issue? We're going to take you through that and the latest on the transition team, what still needs to be filled in. So we have a lot to do this morning but we're going to get to the bottom of it on "NEW DAY".

KOSIK: And we will be watching, Chris. Thanks so much. Stock markets on fire. All three major averages sitting at record highs this morning but moves in other markets -- those moves may be making some things you buy more expensive. I'll explain next.


[05:51:18] BERMAN: Syrian government forces are waging battles on two fronts this morning. They're up against ISIS fighters in clashes in the ancient city of Palmyra where the militant group blew up temples and monuments over the last year. This, as the regime reclaimed another neighborhood in Aleppo today, forcing thousands of civilians trapped in the middle of the country's five-year-old civil war to flee -- to run for their lives. CNN senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen has the very latest.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: John and Alison, the battle for Aleppo continues to be fierce and it continues to be brutal. The latest information that we've gotten, literally just a couple of hours ago, is that the Syrian Army has taken another key district in Aleppo and now controls about 90 percent of Syrian's second city. Now, this is a district in the southern part of Aleppo and I was actually on the front line there just on Saturday and we could see literally tens of thousands of people trying to flee that area.

All this was happening while fierce fighting was going on. There were children who were too weak to even walk. There were some that were almost falling asleep while they were walking because they were so tired. There were people that we saw who were malnourished. There were others who we saw who were walking while they were wounded, all of them trying to just escape that fighting that was going on.

The Syrian military now says that it controls 90 percent of Aleppo city, pushing the rebels further back. But the Syrian Army's losing on other fronts here in Syria and ISIS is back on the scene. ISIS militants, over the weekend, managing to take back the ancient city of Palmyra with those ancient Roman ruins. That, of course, is a grave concern because, of course, ISIS is known to destroy archeological sites.

They attacked while there was cloud and fog cover with a huge surprise offensive. The Syrian military was pushed back. Now the Syrian government says that it's trying to muster a force to launch a counter attack -- John and Alison.


KOSIK: All right, Frederik Pleitgen, thank you. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he's excited about the prospect of working with Donald Trump. Netanyahu tells "60 Minutes" he plans to meet with the president-elect soon, specifically to discuss other options to the nuclear deal with Iran. Trump is vowing to tear up the pact which Netanyahu calls a threat to Israel's existence.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people, and about Jewish people. There's no question about that. I had differences of opinion with President Obama and most well-known, of course, is Iran.


KOSIK: And the prime minister says despite those differences, his feelings toward President Obama were never personal.

BERMAN: Boeing has reached an agreement on a $16.6 billion deal to sell 80 airplanes to Iran. Iran will receive fifty 737's and thirty 777's. Many U.S. lawmakers opposed the sale and President-elect Trump -- he, of course, opposed the nuclear deal that allowed it to happen. That deal lifted many economic sanctions against Iran in September. Boeing needed special approval to ensure Iran does not use the planes for military purposes.

KOSIK: A winter storm creating a huge headache today for more than 40 million people. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us with the latest. Good morning.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John and Alison, a winter weather advisory is in place for about 40 million people across the Northeast and this is the area where we think some of the heaviest snowfall left in the forecast, at least for the immediate future here for the next several hours. We'll see some snow showers come down and you see that up to a foot has already come down in parts of some of those favorable areas around the Great Lakes.

Much of the lake-effect snow now begins to shut down and we'll see some snow showers scattered about portions of interior New England. At lunchtime, we'll see that being to taper off. The temperatures warm up nicely into the upper 40's around New York City. Lower 60's in Atlanta. Temperatures in New Orleans a comfortable 77 degrees.

[05:55:14] But look what's happening across parts of the upper Midwest and the Plains. The arctic door wide open over the next 24 or so hours and then by the middle, towards that latter portion of the week, much of the northern tier of the country will see some of the coldest temperatures we've seen, really, in about two years' time.

We see places like Chicago bottom out and we really see a high temperature only around five, in Minneapolis only around four. The mid-20's around portions of New England and on into the Northeast as well. And in Chicago, those overnight low temperatures very dangerous when you're talking about three below or so by Wednesday and Thursday morning -- guys.


KOSIK: All right, Pedram Javaheri, thank you very much. Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream. Will Santa Claus rally -- a Santa Claus rally come early for the stock market or is Donald Trump already stealing St. Nick's thunder? Hmm. The Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 500, they're all sitting at fresh record highs this morning.

Check out the gains for the year. With 14 trading days left, the Dow now up more than 13 percent. Those double digits weren't expected this year. The Nasdaq is almost nine percent higher. The S&P 500 gaining 10.5 percent on the year, about one-third of these gains coming in just this past month as investors give Donald Trump's economic plans a big-time endorsement. As for today, we are seeing futures down slightly. Stock markets in Europe are edging lower as well. Shares in Asia closing with losses overnight.

The cautious tone we are seeing this morning comes as investors wait on the Federal Reserve. Janet Yellen and company, they are beginning a two-day policy meeting tomorrow. At this meeting last year the Fed hiked interest rates for the first time in almost a decade so investors, they're expecting a repeat performance.

There is now a 95 percent chance the Fed will raise rates when the meeting wraps up on Wednesday. So what that's going to do is make things like mortgages, credit cards, and car loans more expensive. But Wall Street's going to be reading the Fed's statement very, very carefully to see what clues it may give to when the next interest rate hike is coming.

Also getting more expensive this holiday season, gas prices. That's because of this, a huge run-up in crude oil prices which are topping $54 a barrel for the first time in a year and one-half. That's thanks to a five percent jump just this morning and that's coming after Russia and several other big oil producers agreed to cut production. OPEC's member nations vowed to do the same last week.

All right, so what does this mean for you if you drive? It means higher gas prices, of course. The national average is sitting at $2.21 a gallon this morning. It's up only four cents over the past month but what usually happens is gas prices trail crude by about two weeks or so, so you're likely to feel it at the pump in the new year. So, yes, I mean, I filled up over the weekend. I don't notice a change but I can bet its coming.

BERMAN: Yes, $54 a barrel is in that range where all of sudden a lot of these oil companies feel like they can exist again --

KOSIK: Right.

BERMAN: -- and there will be exploration. It's not down where it was. It will be interesting to see how long that lasts.

KOSIK: Definitely.

BERMAN: Donald Trump, he dismisses this CIA assessment that Russia was trying to interfere in the election to help him. "NEW DAY" begins right now.


TRUMP: I think it's ridiculous. I think it's just another excuse. I don't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we do know is that Russia hacked us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not seen a single thing.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I'm going after Russia every way you can go after Russia.

KOSIK: This agreement between the CIA and the FBI. Take a look.

TRUMP: They're not sure. They're fighting among themselves.

MCCAIN: You can't make this issue partisan, it's too important.

TRUMP: I fully understand the One-China policy but I don't want China dictating to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get ready for, potentially, a very disruptive year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to make sure that the secretary of state will represent U.S. interests.

TRUMP: Well, Bob Corker and Mitt Romney, these are all very different types of people but when you ask me about Rex, I mean, he's a world- class player.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, December 12th, 6:00 in the East. Up first, President-elect Donald Trump rejecting the CIA's claims that Russia influenced the U.S. election in his favor. Mr. Trump calls that assessment "ridiculous". A group of key lawmakers now planning a bipartisan investigation.

CUOMO: Also, there's a big editorial in a Chinese mouthpiece media outlet saying that Donald Trump operates with the ignorance of a child when talking about foreign policy. No matter, the president-elect says he will question whether or not the U.S. has to stick to the One- China policy that has officials invasing (ph) outrage. Their official word is that they're seriously concerned. Thirty-nine days to go before Donald Trump is inaugurated but he is already very much in the mix. CNN has every angle covered starting with Jason Carroll live from the White House annex, Trump Tower in Manhattan -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Chris. You know, the Chinese government has made it very clear that China-One is what they call the bedrock of U.S.-Chinese relations.