Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
U.S. Official: DNC Hacking Tools Point to Russia; Langley: Trump Sons Will Stop Going to Meetings When He Takes Office; Obama to NPR: "We Need to Take Action" Against Russia; West Virginia County Bet Heavily On Trump; Trump vs. Vanity Fair's Editor. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 15, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
Tonight, signs that the White House is running out of patience with President-elect Trump, repeatedly casting doubt on whether Russia used cyber warfare to influence the election.
[20:00:06] There's also breaking news. U.S. officials telling CNN that the hacking tools used do point to Russia which may explain some of what Press Secretary Josh Earnest said this afternoon, especially his tone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It might be time to not attack the intelligence community. But actually be supportive, of a thorough, transparent, rigorous, non-political investigation into what exactly happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, that came after President-elect Trump tweeted this, quote, "If Russia or some other entity was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why only campaign until after Hillary lost?"
Mr. Trump has made that last claim about the timing several times and as we reported, it is factually untrue. As to the general thrust of it that this has more to do with political sour grapes and a potential act of war by foreign adversary, that notion is not going down well with the intelligence community. Some of whom put their lives on the line to keep a president or president-elect informed.
CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto tonight has new reporting on that. He joins us now.
So, there is a better picture now of why the White House came out with such force earlier today. Explain.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question. Well, the intelligence community has believed for some time that hacking of this scale and with the target being the presidential election of the United States of America, that it would require approval at the senior most levels of the Russian government. The way the country is built, it's top heavy. That would mean Vladimir Putin.
Now, they have more evidence to back up that analysis. One being the sophistication of the cyber weapons used in this attack, so sophisticated that to use those weapons it would almost certainly require the approval, the order in effect of President Vladimir Putin. In addition to other intelligence backing that up, including human sources.
So, they've had this belief for some time and now, Anderson, the more they dig, they have more evidence and intelligence to back up that belief.
COOPER: And is it -- is it a universal held belief in the intelligence community? Because earlier, we heard about differences between the CIA and FBI.
SCIUTTO: Well, remember the differences were on motive. There's long been a belief in the intelligence agencies and the FBI that Russia was behind the attacks. The question, the disagreement, why? Was it just to disrupt the process or did they have an intent to helping one candidate, namely Donald Trump?
I've talked to a number of intelligence officials who have had growing confidence in that direction. My understanding, colleagues' understanding from speaking with people in law enforcement is not that they dismiss that assessment, but that they are less confident on others. And this happens a lot when you're analyzing intelligence.
But to be clear, there is no agreement on Russia been the perpetrator of these attacks.
COOPER: And is it clear whether the hacking activity is continuing or attempting to continue?
SCIUTTO: New reporting tonight in intelligence officials, law enforcement officials telling us at CNN and my colleagues that it is continued. It's continued in fact unabated since the election, targeting U.S. political institutions, political parties. That includes the Democratic Party. There was apparently an unsuccessful phishing attack, as it's called. It's a way to click on something to allow access to your system.
So, Anderson, you have all of this evidence here, growing confidence in fact. A president elect who has now seen the evidence because it is our reporting this intelligence has been shown to him in his classified intelligence briefings and yet, you have the president- elect continuing to say in his public comments he doesn't believe Russia is behind the attacks. And I've got to tell you, that's got to be the driving force in part of what we heard from Josh Earnest today. And you wouldn't have heard that from Josh Earnest unless the president gave him the OK to do that.
COOPER: So, it's interesting. Two points just to emphasize, one, you know, Donald Trump is saying what he's already said, which he doesn't seem to be believe Russia is behind it. He thinks it could be, he said China, it could be anybody, somebody in their basement. And the other point you made I think is an important one, that this is
still continuing. That efforts to hack are still going on.
SCIUTTO: That's right. And really -- I don't want to say it is not surprising, because it -- everything about this story has been intensely surprising, including the boldness of the attacks. But when you look at it, Russia had success here. Whether or not they wanted Trump to win, they certainly caused ripples here in the American election process. And they have had success in other country, in Western Europe, in Eastern Europe.
So, it's a view of U.S. intelligence officials that this is going to continue. Almost with the sense of why wouldn't it? Because from their perspective, from Russia's perspective, it works.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto, Jim, thanks very much.
Let's bring in the panel here. Former Obama White House adviser Van Jones, "Wall Street Journal" senior special writer and CNN political analyst, Monica Langley, Trump supporters Kayleigh McEnany and Alice Stewart, and Democratic strategist Paul Begala.
I want to start with Monica Langley who has new reporting on Donald Trump's view of the hacking story.
[20:05:00] I understand you were at Trump Tower today. What are you hearing about -- how Donald Trump views this whole hacking idea?
MONICA LANGLEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, my understanding is that some within the transition team and advising him believe he is concerned about it. Late today, I spoke with someone else he said he's spending zero time worried about the Russian hacking and that he's spending all of his time on choosing the best cabinet possible and bringing back good paying American jobs.
So, they are saying, look, whatever will happen with the Russian hacking is -- has happened. And that he's not focused on that. What he's focused on is getting the cabinet and getting jobs.
And what he's ticked off about, according to that high-level source I spoke with in Trump Tower, is that the Democrats and White House are trying to delegitimize his election.
COOPER: In his view, that's what they're saying?
LANGLEY: That's his view.
COOPER: Van, is that what you think the Democrats are trying to do?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's hard to know. I think there is legitimate concern here.
But I think if you look at what's beginning to happen, you're seeing an unraveling that's very dangerous for the country. You go from trying to delegitimate opponents, to now delegitimating institutions. And you see both sides with some peril here. Well, first of all, by the way, Donald Trump trying to delegitimate Obama the whole time. So, it's kind of hard to hear it from him. Let's take that off.
So, if you delegitimate the election, that's going to make a lot of Americans wonder why am I paying taxes? What's going on here? But then, if you turn around and defend yourself and delegitimate our intelligence agencies, you are knocking down another institution.
So you could be in a roller derby here between now and the inauguration where all American institution start to be eroded.
I think if you are the president-elect, if you want to stop this process, you want to be able to govern well, you should get out in front of this and own it and say that I'm very concerned about this. I'm going to appoint and take it off the table, as something that you might be complicit in. The danger is by him being so defensive, it looks like me might be complicit, that actually helps to erode faith in him, the election and our intelligence agency.
COOPER: Kayleigh, as a Trump supporter, do you think Donald Trump should embrace the idea of a commission, of a bipartisan commission? Because what the transition team has said, Kellyanne Conway has said, you know, he's not going stand in its way. If that's what they want to do, you know, they can go ahead and do that.
But it doesn't sound -- he's not embracing the idea.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he should embrace the idea of a bipartisan commission, congressional investigation, Republican congressmen certainly seem to be on board with that idea.
That being said I understand his frustration. You can only imagine, you've just won in a huge victory and you have anonymous individuals within these intelligence agencies leaking information to "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" saying that the motive of the Russian hackers was to elect Donald Trump when meanwhile you have the FBI saying, oh, we're not entirely sure that was the motive. And then you have John Podesta sending out a letter saying the elector should be brief before they go to vote on December 19th.
This has been politicized by the Democrats and I understand the frustration of Donald Trump. I think he should embrace the bipartisan commission. But I understand his frustration.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto is with us.
Hey, Jim, in terms of that whole notion of the intelligence community being politicized, that's something certainly the CIA, and other organizations, they get their back up against the wall when they hear that.
SCIUTTO: No question. And listen, it's not just politicized. I mean, keep in mind, you have had the intelligence committee attacked and dismissed in effect, right, by their future commander in chief. This is a very serious analysis that took months and really more than a year for the intelligence community to reach this conclusion.
And I would just dispute one thing that Kayleigh said there. It is not anonymous sources that are telling us -- my colleagues and me at CNN this. This was -- the DHS, the director of national intelligence who put out the statement a month before the election that Russia was behind the hack. You have the White House -- you have the president talking about it on Russia being behind it.
I do agree with you, and this is based in part on the fact that this is classified information. It is unnamed officials and sources who are talking about the different assessments of what the motive is. And establishing motive is hard for any investigation. Did they just want to disrupt the election, did they want to help Donald Trump? There is disagreement there.
But to be fair, Kayleigh, there is very public accounting and no disagreement from our sources within the intelligence community about who was behind this attack and that is the thing that Donald Trump is questioning.
MCENANY: You are absolutely right about that and that is why I said the anonymous sources were leaking the motive.
You know, my frustration and I think Congress's frustration really is on the 17th, there was a report put out. You had James Clapper before congressional committee saying we cannot clearly identify the hacks which, of course, were done by Russia. There is no disputing that.
That transition getting into the hands of WikiLeaks, we don't have information about that. He said that on the 17th. And all of a sudden, today, Congress was supposed to be brief, that's what new information came about and the briefing was canceled.
[20:10:04] COOPER: Alice, I mean, there is a line Donald Trump could walk, which is I don't agree that Russia was, you know, impacting the election trying to get Hillary Clinton to lose and siding with me. But I am concerned about Russia's hacking of the systems and there should be an investigation.
ALICE STEWART, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Clearly, I think the question is, what was her motive? Was it to undermine confidence in the election process? Was it to undermine confidence in America's security? Was it to influence the election one way or the other? That is the questions that I think we can all agree on needs to be answered.
STEWART: But the real question also, to Jim's point, yes this information was known and pointed out by the administration. Today, Josh Earnest said in the press briefing, on October 7th, the White House was informed through their intelligence briefings that the Russian government did authorize this hacking.
So, they knew back on October 7th. Where are the red flags then? Why they didn't they point this out at that point when they knew that the Russian government approved this? PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They did. The Department of
the Homeland Security, Office of the Director of National Intelligence said and I quote, "This was intended to interfere with the U.S. election process." Now, they did not say whether to favor one or the other.
But, first who cares? Who cares?
COOPER: My question, does motive really matter? Is it more the fact that they were successful that they were able to do this? And how do we stop it from going forward?
BEGALA: Clearly, in our election process. They weren't playing Tetris. They were trying to do something to monkey around with the elections.
And it is obvious the effect was. Cui bono? In law school, they teach us that, right? Who benefits?
Gee, I don't know. There is some reporting they hacked the Republicans as well and yet they did not leak any of that. Lindsey Graham, Republican senator, ran against Donald Trump, said he was hacked. None of it was leaked.
STEWART: His was on D.C. leaks or D.C. whispers.
BEGALA: OK. I stand corrected.
But the intent here was clearly to interfere with our elections. Whether this fine distinction between whether for Hillary, to monkey around the elections, I think is a distinction without a difference. Trump, Kayleigh is right, has to get in front of this.
This will dog him or doom him in his presidency. And we can do not afford a crippled presidency.
COOPER: I mean, from a national security standpoint, Van, if there are vulnerabilities, this can be done again and is still being attempted as Jim was reporting.
JONES: I really appreciate Paul's point. In some ways, you have a distinction without a difference. We have two big rivals. You have China that is hacking us to hurt our economy. And then you have Russia hacking us to hurt our democracy and to undermine our confidence in American institution.
This should bring Americans together. We should say, hold on a second. You know, we created the Internet and now it is being used against us both economically and politically.
And it's actually having the intended effect because rather than us sitting here together and saying, listen, we're not going to have this. We're trying -- oh, well, maybe it was this. It was that. I think somebody in the Kremlin is laughing.
COOPER: Monica, you also have reporting today about the role Donald Trump's children are going to have. Adult kids are going to have.
LANGLEY: Right. Well, the two sons are going to take over Trump Organization, the real estate empire. The controversy has been we see them influencing the picks of the cabinet, sitting in on the tech meetings.
So, I asked about that. And from the day he becomes president, the two boys will no longer sit in on any meetings or be involved. They are going to abide by a bright line. That's what they're saying.
JONES: Why will they wait?
LANGLEY: Well, because this is the transition and he's not running the government. OK? That is what I'm told. OK? I'm telling you what I'm told.
And that is what they plan to do.
Now, on the real estate, on whether it is going to be disposed of and sold, a lot of people are calling for the whole properties to be disposed of. So, they are not going to do that. They are going to hold on to all the real estate, all the property, the Trump properties that have his name everywhere around the globe.
COOPER: So, Donald Trump will not divest from that?
LANGLEY: He's going to divest them. He's going lay out how he will not be involved at all. But the sons who are running --
COOPER: But he will still own it.
LANGLEY: He's going to still plan to own it. The reason they are not going sell is because so many people say, why don't you just liquidate? Well, it's not like a stock, these iconic real estate properties. The first he can't now is, at first, everybody though, if you sold it, it would be a fire sale, how can you put all of these properties on the market all at once.
Now, though, what they are finding is so many people may want to buy a Trump property, especially in foreign countries. There could be foreign entity, a foreign person, a sovereign wealth fund, they could go for really high prices. Right now, it is a no-win situation. If we sold these properties for really high prices, people would say oh we're taking advantage of our property.
COOPER: You also have new reporting on Ivanka Trump and her role.
LANGLEY: Right, there was some discussion yesterday that Ivanka could take over the first lady's office in the East Wing.
[20:15:00] And she wasn't happy about that. And that she -- she believes that she had -- would have a more substantive role. So I understand that she would want to be in the West Wing and she and Jared are looking for -- to full and complete separation from both of their businesses.
And they both have substantive businesses. He has a big real estate empire. And she has not only part of the Trump organization but her own fashion business.
So, they are trying to separate everything by the first of the year because they want to come to Washington to help Donald Trump.
COOPER: So, somebody else -- I don't know if we know the details. Somebody else would run Ivanka Trump's branded businesses or the businesses would cease to be functioning.
LANGLEY: I think she's still determining, but she's making it clear she realizes, unlike her father who says, simply, I don't have a conflict because I'm president and there is no law against my running my business or running the country. And she understands there are all kind of laws that would apply to Jared and to Ivanka, and they said, we've got to completely separate. We're going to make this crystal clear and they don't want to be attacked that way.
But I know Ivanka wants to be in the West Wing and not the East Wing. She and Melania have talked about their roles. Melania plans to be at any state dinner to be the first lady. Not Ivanka.
So, I think there was a lot of talk well since Ivanka is going to be there before Melania, she could assume that role. And I know she doesn't like that. She said, would they say this about a boy? You know, she was saying to people. And she thinks, what is this? Like twenty years ago.
So, she wants to be very substantive and present in the West Wing.
COOPER: And so, if she's in the West Wing, she would actually have a formal policy role?
LANGLEY: No, she wouldn't have a formal role. She wants to be there informally as first daughter and advocate. And so, she wants to do the paid family leave. She wants to also advise her dad on that and other issues.
So, she wants to be in the West Wing but not as a paid person and be informal. But she does want an office in the West Wing.
COOPER: OK. More to talk about next. President Obama will talk about that reporting. But also, President Obama weighing in on the hacking story and possibility of retaliating against Russia. Also possibility that in spite of hacking allegations, Donald Trump could end up lifting sanctions against Russia.
And later, Donald Trump's rage tweet this morning at this magazine editor over a review of a Trump grill, a long-running feud they've got over the size of -- oh, here we go again, Donald Trump's hands.
COOPER: As Monica Langley reported before the break, Donald Trump is not exactly all worked up over the Russia hacking story. However, there's new reporting on just how upset President Obama is. Mr. Obama telling NPR, quote, "We need to take action and we will." Unclear so far what precisely that would entail.
Some Republican lawmakers are also ready to take action. South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is breathing fire. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We're going to hit you and hit you hard. I'm going to introduce sanctions that will be bipartisan, that names Putin as an individual, his inner circle, for not only hacking into our political systems, but trying to destabilize democracy throughout the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Our next guest sat down this week with American business people in Moscow. Former Trump surrogate Jack Kingston joins us now.
Congressman Kingston, good to have you on the program.
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER TRUMP SURROGATE: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: You met with American business leaders in Moscow, was that on behalf of the incoming Trump administration?
KINGSTON: It was not. I belong to an international law firm and we've been in Moscow for twenty years.
[20:20:03] And what we've been doing in the wake of the election and some before the election is we've had a election summaries in Brussels and London and Australia and this one happened to be in Moscow. And we work typically with our client base, but also with American Chambers of Commerce over there, and we just give them a report from the fox hole of America.
COOPER: Did those business leaders see you as an envoy for the president-elect? I mean, you have been on national television many times as the Donald Trump surrogate?
KINGSTON: Well, I think that people may see me as somebody who knew and followed the election. You know I have the honor of also working with John Boehner, Trent Lott, John Braugh (ph), Rodney Slater (ph), who Paul served with, you know, a lot of really good people on both sides of the aisle.
And so, when say see us, they often see us identified with a particular candidate and as you know I had the honor of following the campaign on a volunteer basis every single day and was -- tried to keep up to speed on all of the issues, as well as I could.
COOPER: So, in your conversations with Russia, I mean, did you talk the possibility of Trump lifting sanctions against Russia? Sanctions related to Russian aggression in Ukraine? KINGSTON: You know, I think the big overarching theme was that for
American businesses in Russia, they do about $50 billion worth of business a year. These are companies that are Fortune 500 companies that have been there 20 to 30 years and they have weathered a lot of political stormed and high tension national security, international security type issues, and they want to have a good working relationship.
President Obama actually established, a presidential commission that was a U.S.-Russia, sort of a communications conduit and worked with American businesses to do it. But that was disbanded when Russia evaded the Ukraine, the Crimea situation and so forth.
But I think the opportunity for a new administration to look at all these issues with fresh eyes is always a good thing.
COOPER: Do you think sanctions should be lifted?
KINGSTON: I don't think they should be lifted based on information I have. But I think for the new administration to go in there and take a look and say, did we get the results that we were looking for? And I think most people would say, the results were spotty at best. You know, Lindsey Graham talking about maybe we should increase sanctions. I think again, the new administration should go in whatever directions that it wants, but I don't think you can say the sanctions have achieved the results that people thought they would or they hoped they would. But --
COOPER: They have hurt the Russian economy, significantly.
KINGSTON: And sometimes, you know, we have to remember that when you do that, you are laying off Russians. You are laying off Americans as well. Maybe to some people, that is in the best interest.
But, you know, in the spirit of cooperation and communication, looking at these things, keeping a good relationship with one of the largest economies and largest nations in the word, it is also a good thing.
You know, we overlook a lot of things that China does. And a lot of things that other trading partners do. And I'm not advocating for this at all. I'm just saying in a frank conversation, when you have Americans doing $50 billion of business on the ground in Russia, we should keep good communications with that.
KINGSTON: And some of the rhetoric coming out of Washington might not be as productive as people think it is. We've got to address Syria together. We've got to address the Ukraine. These are all very, very important issues but you can still have an ongoing business relationship while these military-type issues are being resolved.
COOPER: OK. Congressman, thank you. Appreciate your time.
KINGSTON: Thank you.
COOPER: Congressman Jack Kingston.
Back now with the panel. Also, Jim Sciutto.
I want to start with what -- we just reported that President Obama told NPR that, quote, "We need to take action and we will", unquote, in response to the hacking.
Jim, your reaction to that? What would be the actions for retaliation? I mean, obviously, the U.S. has cyber warfare capabilities, has acted against states in the past.
SCIUTTO: It has. I mean, you basically have an escalating menu of options. It starts with naming and shaming. In private, first, which we know the president did first with Vladimir Putin, this in China this past summer. And then going out in public saying we know what you did. And they did that in October, a month before the election.
And then you get to further steps, one you discuss there with Jack Kingston, economic sanctions. That was the administration's response to Russian military action in Ukraine. And Mr. Kingston is right, it's imposed economic cost in Russia but it has not changed the behavior on the ground. The question is, whether that's effective in a cyber atmosphere.
Then you have the next step, which is to retaliate in cyberspace. And what we know is the U.S. has tremendous capabilities, arguably the best capabilities in the world and that ranges from exposing embarrassing information about Vladimir Putin, right? You could expose information about his finances, et cetera. But it also goes to the degree of something like turning the lights off in Moscow, right?
Just as a -- I don't know that they could do that. But they could certainly attack critical infrastructure systems in Russia. The trouble with that and this is something the Obama administration has expressed publicly is that we assume our adversaries have similar capabilities. So, if you do that, then are you in a cycle of escalations. Those are the risks.
So, you have that whole range. They have already taken a couple of steps in that range. What's their next step up the ladder and that's what the president has to decide?
COOPER: Van, there are certainly some who believe President Obama certainly should have had a more vigorous response earlier. I mean, Alice raised the point and Donald Trump has raised the point, why wasn't more made of this early on?
JONES: Sure. I mean, you just heard, there is a ladder that you climb. I think part of what I just find just bizarre right now is that you are talking about Russia, who as best I can tell is an enemy, an adversary of the United States government who as best I can tell is doing as much as it can to disrupt us inside the homeland, and yet, Republican leader after Republican leader continues to come out with these kid glove comments about, well, maybe we shouldn't be hurting our economy too much and we got business. Listen, I can certainly have that conversation. But it strikes me as bizarre. I can't imagine if President Obama running for office, it turned out that the Nigerians or the Chinese have been hacking and I causing all chaos, that afterwards we should be turning around and talking about having better economic ties with the Nigerians. It doesn't make sense to me. I'm just confused by it.
Maybe some Trump people can explain --
COOPER: I mean, it is interesting, the kind of the reversal here, because I can remember growing up in the 1980s and the '70s when it was Republicans saying, let's be tough on the Soviet Union. I mean, they are -- you know, they are the evil in the world.
STEWART: Right. I think clearly Russia is an opposition of strength right now. Putin is strong because Obama has been weak for the last eight years. And I think as Jim as indicated, we need to step things up, we need to go from shaming to sanctions, to potentially going into the next step which would be certainly more strong.
But what we have been doing up to this point is clearly not working. So, we absolutely have to step it up.
MCENANY: Trump was excoriated throughout this campaign for suggesting we should try to have some sort of friendly relationship with Russia and it is quite ionic, because we have to remember back to both Bush, who called Russia a strategic partner and we know Russia invaded Georgia.
But with that precedent, Obama came without the Russian reset button. He negotiated a Start Treaty. He was in the ear of Medvedev, you know, I'll have more flexibility after the election. And then what did Russia do? Invade Crimea.
So, President-elect Trump has to think through this. Think through the actions Russia has taken, after being extended a friendly overture by presidents and maybe President-elect Trump is the one who can make them a strategic partner. Certainly that would be great. We could avoid some of the atrocities we've seen this Aleppo perhaps.
But he has to do with an eye to history and some of the precedent that we see there.
BEGALA: Putin's a tough and he only understands strength. The Russians did go along with President Obama on really tough sanctions against the Iranians, sanctions that worked. And that was a terrific accomplishment. By the way, Hillary Clinton helped negotiate that.
The reset fundamentally though was a failure I think. And I think most fair-minded people would say. And I say that as a big Obama supporter. And I think Alice makes a good point.
The United States should have retaliated sooner. We should have done this six months ago. I do not -- I believe President Reagan, which is peace through strength. This guy has scene a chance to move and he has moved.
And it's very telling what Donald Trump is saying. He doesn't just want good relations. This is a man who attacked a Gold Star family. He attacked POWs. He attacked a man with a disability. He attacked the pope -- and has never uttered a word of criticism of Vladimir Putin who is a thug and a dictator.
And that's pretty striking. Why is that? Who knows? I know what his son said in 2008. Donald Jr., very high up in the Trump Organization, very successful businessman in that Trump family. And he said this, quote, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
That was eight years. Maybe it's changed but we don't know Trump won't release his tax returns. But there is some reason that we don't know why the only person or entity this man will not stand up to or attack is Vladimir Putin in Russia.
COOPER: Well, it is -- and one of the things Donald Trump has repeatedly said is that Vladimir Putin had said something nice about him. I mean, he said this repeatedly. There's -- you know, I guess the translation was wrong of what Vladimir Putin actually said. He said Donald Trump is bright. Not meaning bright intelligent but like a sparkly shiny bright. And so, there's some question about what Vladimir Putin actually meant.
But that does seem, Donald Trump -- if people are nice to Donald Trump, he's generally nice to them until they are not nice and then he tries to counter-punch. I mean, I do think there is an element.
LANGLEY: You know, Donald Trump's whole campaign was by counter punch. So he does play along with you until -- remember he used liked Ted Cruz. And then he came at ambitious look.
LANGLEY: So, they used to play footsie together a lot on -- on this debate state, until they were at it and then he went at Ted Cruz with everything he had is what and went after his wife, you know, his father et cetera.
JONES: It's the good thing would be if this is just some sort of bizarre psychological problem that he sort of like nice until he's not. But we don't know if it's more than that. If that's all it is then that's weird, but if there's more going on, if there financial -- if you could connect all this dots by saying, I won't release my taxes because I have a financial conflict of interest. I won't attack these guys, because and they won't help me get elected. You start running into a big crisis of legitimacy in your own country. And that's the danger we're looking down the barrel (ph) of already and we have inaugurated the guy.
STEWART: I think it is a big mistake though to assume that just because Donald Trump is friendly or speaks friendly of Putin at this point that they are friends and he will continue to friendly. When he ... COOPER: Well, we know they're not friends because Donald Trump had said that they were -- they had a relationship a long time but then finally admitted they never actually met. Never actually talked.
STEWART: Right. But certainly as he gets closer to inauguration, as he assumes the mantle of the presidency and he is in the position to take force if needed, he's certainly going to be much stronger than we've seen to this point, because ...
BEGALA: But why?
STEWART: But if Putin strikes against America and he's the president of the United States, of course, he's going to ...
JONES: He just struck against America and that's the whole point. What we're talking about the fact -- listen, cyber war is real war in the 21st century. When a country strikes at you and cyber war that's the real deal and that has happened and he's not responded and he won't even believe our own spies.
COOPER: I think the question -- the question that he has is whether or not it was to influence the exact election or whether was to influence for him. Or whether it was the undermine the American process.
COOPER: It wasn't it attack, wasn't it? I mean it was stealing ...
STEWART: And he's not saying we shouldn't investigate that. He's saying we certainly should investigate that. His question ...
COOPER: Well actually no, he's saying he's fine if somebody else wants to investigate it, but he's not calling for an investigation.
STEWART: He said he is perfectly fine with an investigation to determine what they did.
JONES: If ISIS did this he would be calling for everything possible to respond. Russia is doing exactly the same thing. And it's like well geez, if you want to look into it. There's something weird here and I think it undermines confidence of the American people who are paying attention earlier. And I think it is totally unnecessary. It would be costless to him to say, I am not going to tolerate this to the president of United States, I want something done about now and it won't do it.
COOPER: We got to take a break. Just ahead more on this breaking news, President Obama telling NPR that we need to take action against Russia and we will. I talked about with former CIA Director James Woolsey.
[20:36:15] COOPER: More on breaking news tonight. President Obama has told NPR that, "We need to take action and we will", in response to Russia's hacking. Joining me is former CIA Director James Woolsey and CNN military analyst Retired Army General Mark Hertling.
Director Woolsey, what do you make of President Obama's comments? What options does the United States have in a situation like this?
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well President Obama is kind of the master of the empty threat. It was four years ago that he threatened Syria with severe consequences if they crossed the red line and used chemical weapons against their own people. They did exactly that and he shrugged and handed the problem over to Russia.
So one wants to take some of his threats with a bit of a grain of salt. The other problem is that we have not hardened our electric grit the way the Russians have theirs and others countries have theirs. And it is could be quite vulnerable to hacking, especially against this -- the control systems, which run over the internet. And the internet is very welcoming to outsiders. It was designed, so everybody could share, share, share.
And so getting into it and hacking in it and causing trouble in it, it's not as hard as we wish it was. We have a very good system out of the fort at NSA and very able people and very able American hackers. But you can't harden the electric grid overnight. And it takes some work and some commitment. And we've seen none of that from the Obama administration.
COOPER: I want to talk more about this, we have some audio of President Obama and what he said. So let's just play that and then we'll continue the discussion.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I think there is no doubt when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections, that we need to take action. And we will at a time and place of our own choosing.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: So Director Woolsey, when you were saying that Russia has hardened their electric, our is not something you can do overnight. Is the implication that if we were to retaliate -- the United States was to retaliate and through cyber means against Russia that then it could be this tit for tat back and forth can we're perhaps more vulnerable than they are?
WOOLSEY: It to -- we could have some serious problems. Look at what Russians were doing in Estonia, look what they did to Crimea. In Crimea look what they did to Ukraine going against their electric Grid. And there's another dimension of this that the Russians have been trying to undermine western democracy's including ours for at least 80 years, since the 19 -- late 1940s. They instituted a system, called "Eta Informatsiya", this information. Otherwise known as lying.
And it -- they have used it, they have hundreds of thousands of people committed to working on it, according to Ion Mihai Pacepathe, the head of Romanian Intelligence who defected back in '79 to us. Higher (ph) see you defector we ever got. And Pacepathe says in his books and otherwise that Russia is all the time trying to undermine western democracies. They focused on Europe more until relatively recently, going after some of the weaker political parties in Europe and so forth. But they've now expanded to here. But it's not new. It's not Russia, even when they smile they have still maintain the disinformation program. And they're right now probably finding some way to try to get into the system. It was not hacking up until relatively recently.
[20:40:00] Now it is hacking, but they have used different technologies over the years and over the decades.
WOOLSEY: This is not new that they're trying to damage western democracy.
COOPER: General Hertling what do you make of the possibilities for the U.S. to retaliate?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: There is no possibility Anderson. We are in a midst of a cyber campaign right now. It's not all out cyber warfare. When I was commander in Europe a few years ago it was an element of our defense of Europe. We watch Estonia as the Director said, what happened there a few years ago. In Georgia, in Ukraine, and many other places.
Now, when your talking about what's going on now, we're in the early stages of this, the spy ware has been in place. We've seen many examples of it, Mr. Podesta and Sen. Graham, several others have -- had said that they have spyware in place in their systems. It has effected the trust that's usually face too of the campaign, of a cyber campaign affecting the trust of government information.
The next thing is how do you affect infrastructure? What do you attack and how do you attack it and you have to be very quiet and nuanced about it to make sure the attacker is not known specifically. We've seen that in this entire campaign that Russia has initiated several years ago. And it has peaked in the last several months. And then finally there's -- if you get to the full extent of a campaign your talking about some type of shut down, whether a financial apparatus, a electrical power grid or a government.
So all of this things are element, we got to be very careful about it, and the cries to have people investigating it is critically important right now. Now for the president, in his statement tonight have suggested that there are counters to this. One of the main elements of the cyber warfare is you never allow people to know exactly what you're doing and it has to be done in a very nuanced approach and I think that is what the president is saying, is hey, we've got capabilities too. Be careful what you are doing Russia because it could come back to haunt you in a variety of ways and I think that's the threat that the president was making in a very nuanced way tonight. COOPER: Right, and you pointed out in a time and place of our choosing. Director Woolsey, just in terms of an investigation, is that something you support? I mean you have right now Republicans and Democrats calling for a full investigation of exactly what happened, how it happened, is that something you would support?
WOOLSEY: Sure. I think we need to know what took place in a congressional investigation or national commission would be one way to do it. But, you know, one thing we have to keep in mind here and the General referred to it in a way, is, noise doesn't help a lot. Talking about that we are shaming you doesn't help a lot. Teddy Roosevelt said, speak softly and carry a big stick. And with the case of to dealing was the cyber issue, sometimes it's better to say nothing and carry a big stick. Or increase the size of your stick as you can. So you can use it effectively. But let them wonder where things are coming from. Don't always get out there and start trumpeting about what you are doing.
HERTLING: And that is exactly what Russia has been doing. They have allowed us to wonder where it's coming from and unfortunately some of our politicians have fallen right into the laps of that and saying gee, I wonder if it's Russia. I wonder if it's a fat guy sitting on a bed or academy or any of those other things. So I think we better be very careful because there is 21st century asymmetric warfare and it is very effective.
WOOLSEY: But Russians call it contact-free war. And by that they mean it's not contact-free between bullets and human beings but it is conflict between different electronic systems and the rest. And it's contact free perhaps, but it certainly not conflict for him (ph).
COOPER: Or impact for me (ph) unfortunately.
HERTLING: And it falls -- and it also falls into their normal doctrine. You mentioned a couple of words earlier Director and I'll give you one more the a maskirovka.
WOOLSEY: Yes, right.
HERTLING: Let people believe that it's coming from another direction that is not us. And they're very successful at doing that.
COOPER: It's fascinating to hear about, James Woolsey, thank you, let's get have -- General Hertling, as well.
Just ahead, Martin Savidge goes deep into coal country talks to West Virginia voters. Many of them life-long Democrats who are betting heavily on Donald Trump.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:47:29] COOPER: But since the election we've been going across the country listening to voters to get their take on their pledges Donald Trump made on the campaign trail. Tonight we take you to a pocket of West Virginia that by owns every measure has nowhere to look but up. Voters many of them lifelong Democrats who backed Donald Trump. Martin Savidge tonight, reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In McDowell County things are so bad the sheriff has to plead with commissioners to not layoff half his deputies.
MARTIN WEST, MCDOWELL COUNTY SHERIFF: Not only are the layoffs going to hurt? The sheriff's department cut us in half, but they're going to hurt the whole county.
SAVIDGE: Things are so bad 32-year-old Adam Roark a husband and father has been laid off four times in one year.
ADAM ROARK, COAL MINER: It's hard, I don't know where (ph).
SAVIDGE: Things are so bad the local Walmart closed. It was the local food banks biggest supply. Once home to million dollar coal field, today McDowell County ranks last for almost everything in West Virginia with one exception. In deaths due to, overdoses of precipitation opioids, it ranks number two. And people here blame the collapsing coal industry for all of it. So when one candidate says.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.
SAVIDGE: And the other said.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF UNITED STATES: We're going put the miner back to work, we're going to put the miners back to work.
SAVIIDGE: Is it any wonder why 75 percent of the McDowell county vote forward Donald Trump. There something else you need to know, this is no Republican stronghold. Every elected official here is a Democrat, including the sheriff.
WEST: Been elected nine times as a Democrat.
SAVIDGE: And when you voted for president this time?
WEST: I vote forward Donald Trump.
SAVIDGE: And county commissioner.
CECIL PATTERSON, COUNTY COMMISSIONER: I voted for Donald Trump.
SAVIDGE: Like his father and grandfather Adam Roark is also a Democrat and a coal miner. He was thrilled election night.
ROARK: Face what was going on, from his like ding ding ding ding. I mean he was all excited, and most of like 96 percent of us was coal miners.
SAVIDGE: In a state whose residents like to point out most jobs here are linked to coal mining, folks already feel a difference. They especially like Trump's pro-fossil fuel choice to head the EPA.
PATTERSON: Since the election, the coal industry seems to have changed a little bit. maybe they had to.
SAVIDGE: Roark's been called back to work at the Seneca Mine and he is hearing about other operations opening back up.
SAVIDGE: Do you believe it's going to come back a way it used to be?
[20:50:01] ROARK: At the moment, not 100 percent the way it used to be, but I'm thinking is going to get back close to it.
PATTERSON: We're hoping that President-elect Trump, when he's elected, where he probably can't do everything. You know what, he can't. But if he'll do half. Try, just try to help us, it's more than we've had in eight years.
SAVIDGE: No one I spoke with is expecting a return to the days of king coal, but in McDowell County, things are so bad, they'll settle for just about everything.
This was not based on hurting, this was based on ...
PATTERSON: Livelihood. Hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Martin, what can you tell us about reports of new activity for coal production President-elect Trump possibly being involved?
SAVIDGE: Yeah, there's a lot of excitement down here about that and there are already some mines that are at least looking like they're preparing to reopen. It seems to be that's based on speculation. Donald Trump, a businessman is expected to be good for business. He's also talked a lot about improving the American infrastructure again. That's building bridges and that's building highways. All of which takes steel. And you see the coal that comes out of this southwestern part of West Virginia? They don't use it to generate electricity. It's too good for that. This is the highest grade coal in all of the world. It's used for primarily one thing, making steel.
They hope they'll be busy. Anderson?
COOPER: All right, Martin Savidge. Martin, thanks very much.
Up next, Donald Trump versus Graydon Carter, the editor of "Vanity Fair." Their feud started decades ago when Carter working different magazine, branded Trump a short-fingered vulgarian, that was his term. Now Trump is taking aim at Graydon Carter for a totally different reason.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: President-elect Trump has re-ignited a feud with an old enemy. All it took was one tweet he posted this morning, "Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of "Vanity Fair" magazine? Way down, big trouble, dead. Graydon Carter no talent will be out.'
Carter is the long serving, respected editor of the magazine, his also a long time enemy of Mr. Trump. Trump's vendetta goes back apparently nearly 30 years. And this times it looks like a scathing headline in "Vanity Fair" set him off. Randi Kaye tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The headline was probably enough to get under Donald Trump's skin. Trump grill could be the worst restaurant in America, referring to the steak restaurant in the lobby of Trump Tower. The review was published late Wednesday in "Vanity Fair."
[20:55:04] "On the filet mignon", it reads, "The steak slumped to the side over the potatoes like a dead body inside a t-boned minivan." And in describing the short rib burger, the reviewer wrote, "It was molded into a sad little meat thing sitting in the center of a massive rapidly staling brioche bun, hiding its shame under a slice of melted orange cheese, along with it, woody batons called fries."
Seemingly in response, Trump turned to his keyboard hurling insults via Twitter at "Vanity Fair's" editor Graydon Carter. The two men have done this dance for decades. Carter has covered Trump for more than 40 years. Dating back to when he was the editor of the satirical magazine, "Spy," which often mocked Trump. It was 1988 when Carter first described Trump as a short-fingered vulgarian on the pages of "Spy" magazine.
TRUMP: Look at those hands. Are they small hands?
KAYE: Listen to what Trump told the "Washington Post" following that debate where Marco Rubio mocked Trump's hands.
TRUMP: Nobody other than, you know, Graydon Carter, years ago, used that as a, you know. But my hands are normal hands.
KAYE: Remember, Graydon Carter first mentioned Trump's hands 28 years ago. So the insult isn't something the president-elect has forgiven or forgotten.
In fact, in November, 2015, Carter shared in "Vanity Fair" that occasionally Trump sends him an envelope containing a photo of Trump's hand circled with a gold Sharpie pen along with a note that reads, "See, not so short", referring to his fingers.
After Carter wrote about that, Trump tweeted. "I have watched sloppy Graydon Carter fail and close "Spy" magazine and now am watching him fail at "Vanity Fair" magazine. He is a total loser." Trump called carter a loser back in 2012, too. "Dummy Graydon Carter doesn't like me too much. Great news. He is a real loser. @vanityfair." Trump once even slammed Carter's New York City restaurant in a tweet. "Don't be Graydon Carter who is presiding over dying "Vanity Fair" magazine is also presiding over dying Waverly Inn, worst food in city.
And now on "Vanity Fair's" website, a brand-new banner that reads, "The magazine Trump doesn't want you to read. The saga continues."
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. In the next hour of "360," more on President Obama's tough talk aimed at Russia for the election hacking and what to make of it. Stay with us.