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Trump: Reports Of Russian Interference Are "Ridiculous"; Interview with Rep. Jim Himes; Washington Post: Secret CIA Assessment Says Russia Tried To Help Trump; Sources: ExxonMobil CEO Top Candidate For Secretary Of State. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired December 12, 2016 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[06:30:04] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Last night, very late actually, the jury also found 29-year-old Cardale (ph) Hayes guilty of attempted manslaughter for wounding Smith's wife, Raquel.

Hayes was facing more charges of second degree murder and attempted second degree murder, but the jury convicted him on the lesser count. The sentencing is in February. Hayes could be looking at 40 years.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Two Georgia police officers raced to the hospital this morning after being shot. Authorities say the shooting started when the officers entered a home in Byron about 90 miles south of Atlanta. The officers were serving a warrant in a drug investigation. Police say the officers returned fire, but it is not clear if they injured the suspect. There is no word on the officer's condition at this hour.

CUOMO: So, the first big winter blast keeps pushing east. Snow getting dumped across the great lakes and the northeast. Some spots expected to end up with 18 inches of snow once this storm moves all the way through. Already today you have about 350 flights canceled or delayed. Icy conditions making this Delta plane skid off the runway after it landed in Detroit. The good news, no one hurt.

CAMEROTA: Well, President-elect Trump taking on the CIA, so, why one lawmaker is calling Mr. Trump unhinged. That lawmaker joins us next on NEW DAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:35:21]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country and, frankly, I think they're putting it out and it's ridiculous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Just to be very clear, you have the president-elect there talking about the election. He lost the popular vote. The electoral margin, one of the lowest we've seen except for George W. Bush in the modern era. And yet he does question the intelligence about Russia's involvement in hacking during the election.

One congressman is now calling out Mr. Trump for his criticism of the intelligence, even calling him unhinged, a new buzz word in politics. Joining us now is that Democratic congressman, Jim Himes. He is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, thank you for being with us.

REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: Good morning, Chris.

CUOMO: The idea that Russia was involved in the hacking during the election. How sure are you of that intelligence?

HIMES: Sure enough, Chris, to tell you that it's not an idea, it is fact and this is not a fact that is in dispute by any of our 17 intelligence agencies. I've been in the room, as have my colleagues. There is one person who believes that this is still in dispute and this is some bizarre Democratic plot and that's of course, President- elect Donald Trump.

But there is I think no uncertainty on the part of the intelligence community, but that Russia was hacking this election. The question of course is why and who ordered it and all this we may never know the answers to. But the idea that Russia hacked our election is not open to debate anymore.

CUOMO: So the motive is still unclear that's the disconnect between the CIA and the FBI. There is points for speculation there, but not about whether or not Russia was involved at all?

HIMES: That's exactly right. Look, this is intelligence, right? This is not law enforcement where they go into your house and get your phone records. This is intelligence where things are always a little uncertain.

However that Russia hacked this election is not uncertain and this takes us back to President-elect Donald Trump who is, again, the one person out there who thinks there is -- well, actually soon actually, I shouldn't say that, right?

And this is one of the sad things about watching the Congress right now, Speaker Ryan, Mitch McConnell and others are standing around Donald Trump who is not only disagreeing with the CIA, but actually criticizing the CIA.

And, sadly, Speaker Ryan and Mitch McConnell and others are not standing up and saying the president cannot in the face of adversaries criticize the United States intelligence community.

CUOMO: Well, under the category of politics, sometimes taking things a little too far. Your tweet said, "We're five weeks from the inauguration and the president-elect is completely unhinged. The Electoral College must do what it was designed for." What does that mean, Congressman?

HIMES: Well, I'll stand by my characterization of the president- elect. Again, what finally pushed me over the edge is that when the president-elect of the United States criticized the CIA and the intelligence community.

Can you imagine what the leaders in Beijing, Moscow and Tehran are thinking as they watch the next president of the United States delegitimize and criticize his own intelligence community and stand up for the defense of Russia, one of our prime adversaries. It's just --

CUOMO: Are you suggesting that the Electoral College should take away the results of the election?

HIMES: The Electoral College, if you read "The Federalist" papers and understand why it is there, it is a group of people. It is not an algorithm. It is not a set of balance. It is a group of people that our founding fathers, you know, to whom supposedly we all sort of defer to pledge the idea that if somebody gets elected who has manifestly ill equipped to be president.

And there's all sorts of phrases about the majority acting in a way that perhaps the electorates don't agree with that the Electoral College can step in. By the way, you as a lawyer will know, that will cause a lot of litigation.

But Donald Trump since his election has done not one thing, whether it was criticizing the CIA or reversing decade's worth of policy with China, whether it was appointing people like Steve Bannon has not done one thing that would suggest that he is qualified to be mayor of a small town in Connecticut, much less president of the United States.

CUOMO: By your definition as a Democrat, but the election, if nothing else, was almost a pure referendum on change. Somebody coming in from the outside and shaking everything up. People could easily suggest that's what he's doing.

I get why you could criticize him. A lot of this will go on for the next four years at a minimum, but to suggest that the Electoral College should go the other way, and I suppose reward Hillary Clinton. Not only is that highly, highly unlikely and maybe illegal, but why would you even propose it as a solution?

HIMES: Well, I grant you that it's unlikely, but it's interesting that word you use referendum. If it was a referendum on anything --

CUOMO: I know she won the popular vote --

HIMES: Three million votes.

CUOMO: But you had a lot of people come out and vote for Donald Trump and they did it with a motivation that caught you guys by surprise.

HIMES: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Those are people who want a voice. They're not deplorable, they are desperate --

HIMES: Absolutely.

[06:40:05]CUOMO: -- because they feel the system is against them and the realities are against them and (inaudible) to that and they matter, too.

HIMES: Absolutely. We've sat in these seats before and we talked about the election and the campaign and, boy, were the Democrats wrong. Boy, did the Democrats run a lousy presidential campaign and I was part of it and was I wrong and was everybody wrong. No question about that.

But now we're past that and you're right. Under the rules President- elect Donald Trump won this thing fair and square. Right? We don't, apparently, as many Americans are learning have a one-person, one-vote system in this country.

Despite a 3 million vote differenced Hillary Clinton will not be president and Donald Trump will. But we do have this thing called the Electoral College, which is a group of people. A group of people who come together to deliberate.

If that thing exists and by the way, I'm of the opinion that it should not exist. The idea that a majority of Americans would vote for somebody who then doesn't become president is a profoundly problematic thing.

But if it exists, why would it exist but for any other purpose than what it could do in one week, which is to say and something that I think the majority of Americans I think probably believe today which is that we're about to make a president who is dangerous.

He is standing up for Russia. Criticizing the CIA. The Chinese flew a nuclear equipped bomber over the South China Sea because of a phone call that the president-elect made. This stuff --

CUOMO: We don't know why.

HIMES: You're right. We don't know exactly why the Chinese did that, but coincidence that one day after President-elect Trump says we're going to review the one China policy, all of a sudden we have a nuclear bomber flying over the South China Sea.

CUOMO: And also people on their own should do research, every state controls what their electors do. So you'd have a lot of legal hurdles. That's probably not a practicality. But let's talk about something that is.

You have a bill that you want to put up to have Congress reclaim, is the word, its ability to declare war and conduct war ad resolve with the executive its role.

Now this is part of a big dispute where Congress has been giving the presidents over time more and more power. I would call it, many critics would call it a real mistake.

That Congress is abdicated out of almost coward us of giving the executive -- you want to take it back. Are you getting support, bipartisan support to take back congressional power over what the United States does militarily abroad? HIMES: Yes, I think I will. I drop this bill on the last day of the Congress. I didn't have an opportunity to go out there and shop it amongst my colleagues, but you're exactly right. This will be portrayed as an anti-Trump thing and to some extent it is.

Personally, I know that Donald Trump can't do a lot of what he talks about doing, building a well, setting up a list of Muslims without congressional approval. However, for all the reasons you point out, he could effectively get us into a war and that really worries me.

And this bill is designed to not just address that, it's designed to address a problem of 50 or 60 years making which is since World War II, we haven't declared war. By the way, the presidents have taken that power because Congress has been cowardly about exercising the responsibility that is given to it in Article One of the constitution.

Too many Congress just say that's a scary prospect war. I don't want to take responsibility for it. But, look, there is a reason why the framers did that. We need to deliberate decisions that serious.

CUOMO: As you get more into it, we'll cover this. It's very important. Congressman, thank you very much. Appreciate it -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right, Chris, U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia meddled in the presidential election, so, if Mr. Trump picks Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, what does that mean for relations with Putin and Russia? All of that is next on NEW DAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:47:00]

CAMEROTA: The New York Giants stepping up Sunday night snapping the Dallas Cowboys winning streak. Hines Ward has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning, Hines.

HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. 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 the Giants. Now the weather was brutal in New York. Both teams had a tough time scoring.

But in the third, Eli Manning finds Odel Beckham Jr. over the middle and outruns everybody and does his Michael Jackson moonwalk dance there. Last chance for the Cowboys, though. Prescott finds Dez Bryant who fumbles the ball which ends the comeback. The Cowboy had three turnovers in this one. The Giants win, 10-7.

And a big congrats to Louisville sophomore quarterback, Lemar Jackson. He became the youngest player ever to win the Heisman Trophy at only 19 years old. Now, he's the fourth sophomore to win it and he is 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 long shot before the season started. So, congrats to him. I love the blazer and he gave a nice shout out to his mom, brought tears to his eyes -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: That's sweet. All right, Hines, thanks very much.

The Kremlin just released a statement about President-elect Trump's reported frontrunner for secretary of state. Will it affect how Donald Trump will approach the relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin? We'll discuss all of that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:52:31]

CAMEROTA: The CIA says Russia meddled in the U.S. election. Meanwhile, President-elect Trump is considering Rex Tillerson, an oil CEO with ties to Russia for his secretary of state picks.

Joining us now to discuss what all of this means is Jill Dougherty, a global fellow from Woodrow Wilson Center and a Russia expert, and CNN international correspondent, Clarissa Ward. Ladies, great to have you here.

Clarissa, it is hard to exaggerate this finding. The CIA believes that Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential race and affected the outcome. What does this mean?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, I think it's not just the fact that Russia intervened or interfered. People have been talking about that for quite some time. But what the CIA is claiming goes one step further even which is to say that Russia interfered with the explicit desire to affect this election to swing the vote in Donald Trump's favor.

I think up until now most people have been simply considering the fact that possibly Russia was trying to undermine the democratic process, to make America look bad, to cast the U.S. as a dangerous and divisive country.

But with this idea that they would actually actively be trying to swing the vote, that really takes us into unchartered territory. In either case, to be honest, Alisyn, it's really just as serious and it creates a huge problem for the U.S. in terms of how does one respond to this?

It is not a simple case where you can respond in a tit for tat manner. At the same time, it's not something you can just leave without responding to. We've heard allegations that Russia's been doing the same thing in Europe, funding populous right parties.

There are, of course, concerns about what happens next year when you have France going to the voting booth and also Germany having an election. So, this is a problem that is only going to grow exponentially if it's not dealt with.

But it's not a simple one to deal with. Primarily because, frankly speaking, intelligence agencies say that Russia is a peer to the U.S. when it comes to the area of cyber-warfare. That means that Russia's capacities are as significant as the U.S.'s and it risks escalating this into a full-blown cyber-war -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Jill, you're a former Moscow bureau chief for CNN, what is the answer to how the U.S. can respond to this?

JILL DOUGHERTY, FORMER CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: I think this is a very serious thing. I totally agree. And the problem is right now there are no rules of the road. I mean, different people, different countries, NATO is right now looking at what kind of rules could you have?

[06:55:06]Because, for example, if right now it is proven that they interfered in the election for a specific purpose or for person that means that the U.S. has a right to retaliate. But according to international law, how the United States could retaliate could go anywhere from outing the people who are responsible for this to maybe hacking into their systems and destroying them to maybe interfering with banking in Russia to maybe interfering, let's say, in the electrical grid of Russia.

These are some of the options and it escalates as you go up. The danger to all of this is if you start one thing, as we just heard, the Russians can retaliate and very quickly it can escalate into a cyber- war and that is not anything that the United States wants to be involved in.

CAMEROTA: So against that backdrop, President-elect Donald Trump is considering Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon to become his secretary of state. Tillerson has a long relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. In fact, he was ordered -- he was given the Order of Friendship from Vladimir Putin, which is as award as you could find. What does this mean, Clarissa, if he becomes secretary of state?

WARD: Well, first of all, I would say I think it means we've seen the kremlin come out today and try to dial back a little bit of the perceived enthusiasm that the kremlin would have for Tillerson as secretary of state.

They say, quote, "There is a huge difference between being secretary of state and being CEO of a big corporation. So all sympathies must take a back seat."

But make no mistake, Alisyn, the Russians are very enthusiastic about Tillerson as a potential secretary of state because the main thing they would like to see is U.S. sanctions repealed. U.S. sanctions hurting Russia a lot over the past years, not as much as European sanctions.

But given that those European sanctions because Europe is a much bigger trading partner for the Russians where in part levied at the behest of the Obama administration. I think there's a real hope that perhaps under Tillerson we could see those U.S. sanctions repealed and then we could see U.S. pressure on Europe to also repeal their sanctions.

That would have a massive effect on the Russian economy. Just in the last two weeks we're seeing some economic developments that do give signs that perhaps the international markets are thinking there may be better times ahead for Russia economically -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: So Jill, we do know that Tillerson is not a fan of those U.S. sanctions on Russia. So can we logically conclude that if he is secretary of state, all of that changes?

DOUGHERTY: No, we cannot because undoing those sanctions would be big. It would be huge. Those sanctions are not just economic. They were designed because of Russia's actions in annexing Crimea and incursions, military incursions into Ukraine to change Russia's behavior which went way beyond economics.

They're the only tool, really, that the United States and the Europeans at this point felt that they could use. But, you know, I think this whole debate is a theme that we have to watch very carefully because all the relationship with Russia is not just a big deal in economic deal.

It goes a lot further. It goes into let's say values and geopolitical relations and these are all very important. So, you can't just go in there and try to do like a rug deal at a market.

CAMEROTA: Jill Dougherty, Clarissa Ward, thank you very much. Nice to talk to you both on NEW DAY. What's your take? You can tweet us @newday or post your comment on facebook.com/newday.

We're following a lot of news this morning. So let's get right to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're president of the United States, you better be in touch on a daily basis with your intelligence briefers.

TRUMP: I don't know why we have to be bound by a one China policy. We're being hurt very badly by China.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Want to make sure that the secretary of state is a person who represents America.

TRUMP: He knows many of the players and he knows them well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a matter of concern to me that he has such a close, personal relationship with Vladimir Putin.

CUOMO: The FBI and CIA at odds over why Russia influenced the election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The facts don't add up.

TRUMP: They have no idea if it's Russia. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they did interfere with our elections and I want Putin personally to pay a price.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. We begin with Donald Trump tangling with China and his own intelligence agencies. The president-elect insisting Democrats are behind the CIA's claim that Russia tried to influence the U.S. election in his favor. He calls the finding ridiculous, even though lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for a bipartisan investigation.