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Obama Vows Retaliation For Russian Hacking; Aleppo Evacuation Suspended; Shooter Convicted In Charleston Church Massacre; Dolly Parton Takes Center Stage. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 16, 2016 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: -- that President Obama is vowing to take action in response to Russian hacking of the U.S. election. In an interview with NPR, the president said he has directly confronted Vladimir Putin, warning the Russian president of a potential U.S. response.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think there is no doubt that 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.


ROMANS: Now, the president was not specific about the form of U.S. response -- what that form might be -- but he said some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be. This, as a U.S. official confirms to CNN U.S. intelligence agencies believe Putin ordered the cyberattacks. So, with the latest on all of this let's get to chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It's been the belief that the U.S. intelligence community, since they called Russia out for this a month before the election, that this hacking operation would've required the senior-most Russian official's approval and the way Russia works, it's a top-heavy system. That means Vladimir Putin.

Though since then their confidence has increased and we've been learning today why that is the case. And that's because of the sophisticated hacking tools -- cyber weapons, really, that were used in this attack. Really, the most sophisticated which would require Vladimir Putin to OK the use of those tools. That, in addition to other intelligence, including human sources, leading to that conclusion today that Vladimir Putin ordered this attack on the U.S. democratic system.

And the word they're using is that it's continued unabated since the election on party institutions -- party organizations including but not limited to the Democrats. We understand that there was another attempted phishing attack, as it's known. This is basically where you click on a link and it takes -- it allows malware to get into your computer, which was the origin of the hack on the DNC more than a year ago -- a failed attack on the Clinton campaign since then.

This has been expected in the U.S. intelligence community, part of the reason being it worked, right? They interrupted -- they interfered with the U.S. election system. Whether or not they wanted Donald Trump to win it's been successful for them here. Western democracies in Europe -- Eastern Europe -- and frankly, they expect it to continue.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN HOST: All right, Jim Scuitto, thank you. The White House is taking a more aggressive stance toward Donald Trump, alarmed by the president-elect's dismissal of U.S. intelligence on Russian election meddling. This week, Trump called CIA warnings ridiculous and he hasn't eased up since. On Thursday, he tweeted this. "If Russia or some other entity was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"

But that claim is false. The administration first publicly accused Russia of hacking back in early October, a month before the election and privately, Obama met with Putin in September. "The New York Times" is reporting that the president warned Putin to stop the hacking or face the consequences.

ROMANS: The issue now increasing friction between the Obama administration and the incoming Trump team. On Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest insisted it was obvious that Trump knew Russia was interfering in the election. Last night, Trump lashed back at the White House spokesman during his "thank you" rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty was there. She's got that part of the story.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Alison. A transition official tells CNN that Donald Trump is concerned about the intelligence community's findings that Russia engaged in hacking during the election, but he made absolutely no mention of this issue here at his rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

He did seem to, however, wade a bit into this personal rift that's growing between the incoming administration of his and the White House right now. Hours after White House press secretary Josh Earnest, from the White House podium, told reporters that Donald Trump had to have known about the Russian hacks. Well, Donald Trump attacked Josh Earnest by name here. Here's what he had to say.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Well, this foolish guy, Josh Earnest, I don't know if he's talking to President Obama. You know, having the right press secretary is so important because he is so bad, the way he delivers a message. He can deliver a positive message and it sounds bad. He could say ladies and gentlemen, today we have totally defeated ISIS and it wouldn't sound good, OK? All right? I have a feeling they won't be saying it, but I know we will be saying it. SERFATY: And the president-elect will be back on the road today. He will be heading to Orlando, Florida for the next stop of his "thank you" tour -- Christine and Alison.

KOSIK: OK, Sunlen Serfaty, thanks for that. And President-elect Trump has picked a campaign adviser aligned with Israel's far-right as his ambassador to that country. In a statement announcing the nomination of David Friedman, the Trump transition makes reference to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Such a move would break with decades of U.S. policy based on the fact that Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their capital.

[05:35:10] Friedman has said in the past he does not believe Israeli settlements activity is illegal, a stance that also runs counter to longstanding U.S. policy.

ROMANS: Russian election hacking, of course, dominating talk about the Trump transition. Let's sort it all about. We're bringing back our friend, our colleague, CNN POLITICS reporter Eugene Scott.

KOSIK: Good morning.

ROMANS: He's in Washington for us.


ROMANS: Let's start here on, I guess, what has a real transition, if you will, in the relationship between President Obama and Donald Trump here. At the very beginning it looked as though the White House was working with the president-elect and now something has changed and that is the influence of Russian intelligence on this election.

The president's going to speak at 2:15 this afternoon. You're going to hear from Donald Trump in Orlando later today. Push it forward for me. Do you think that we're going to hear more about two very different worldviews about Vladimir Putin in these events later today?

SCOTT: I think we certainly will and I think one of the reasons is a lot of focus has been on whether or not Russia was involved in hacking the 2016 election. But, as we previously reported, we have information that says Russia continues to be involved in hacking here in the United States and so, there's some concern that this will not stop unless some stronger action is being taken.

Whether or not that action will be taken when Trump heads to the White House is not clear, but I think President Obama wants to make it known to the American people that this is something that deserves our attention.

KOSIK: So the question is, obviously, the FBI -- or the CIA coming out and saying there is evidence. We know that Russia was involved in the hacking of the U.S. election. Meantime, you've got a spokesman from the Kremlin last week saying prove it. Tell us -- you know, tell us the evidence as to what you've got or stop talking about it.

Meantime, you've got Vladimir Putin with Shinzo Abe, Japan's leader, out and about today. We're not hearing about this from Putin either but the spokesman last week for the Kremlin saying put up or shut up.

SCOTT: Well, whether or not that will be made public they want it to be is highly unlikely. I think what we have to realize is that investigations are still going and the president -- current president -- wants to see even more investigations happening. We do have reporting that says, privately, Donald Trump is concerned. Whether or not he will speak to those concerns very publicly is still unclear, in part because I think he really believes that the concern -- this conversation, at least, is about undermining his election, but the truth is it's way bigger than that.

ROMANS: It is bigger than that and it's, you know -- I mean, fascinating, the idea that this was brought up back in October. A lot of discussion at the White House according to Gloria Borger and some of our reporters at the time about not wanting to appear as though they were helping Hillary Clinton, who they expected would win the election, right --

SCOTT: Right.

ROMANS: -- by saying that Putin was in there or the Russians were in there. Here's my question. What can the president -- President Obama -- do? He gave on NPR that interview, this warning saying either explicitly and outright or maybe behind the scenes, we are going to retaliate. What can -- what can they do in the next 35 days?

SCOTT: I'm thinking what they will try to do is increase the confidence in this intelligence from people on both sides so that they understand how serious this is and, more importantly, how this harms Americans. This isn't really about the election, this is about another government going into private information, having access to data that we don't want this country to have about us. This is not a Democratic issue which is why we see Republicans expressing concern, as well. And letting hopefully know -- the transition team knows that if something isn't done this can only get worse.

KOSIK: Interesting. Hillary Clinton was at a donor event last night --


KOSIK: -- in New York and talked about the Russian hacking. She gave us a little bit of insight, at least her opinion, as to why Vladimir Putin may have taken the side of Donald Trump, saying that this stems from comments that she made back in 2011 during some Parliamentary elections in Russia. Saying that she had concerns about irregularities about the election in Russia and Vladimir Putin had said -- this is, of course, when Clinton was Secretary of State -- saying that Clinton basically incited sort of that sentiment that he didn't want in his country after an election.

SCOTT: Well, I imagine that that definitely did not win a lot of support for Putin from some of his own residents. But we have seen this isn't the first time that the Russian government has been accused of hacking into elections so it wasn't a far-fetched idea at all. Whether or not this will stop remains to be seen. And I think what we did see or at least what Clinton tried to argue is that Putin knew that Clinton would be harsher on her regarding this issue than Donald Trump will be. Someone who has said very favorable things about the Russian leader.

[05:40:02] ROMANS: All right. You know, Eugene Scott, thank you for getting up so early in the morning.

SCOTT: Thanks for having me.

KOSIK: Good to see you.

ROMANS: The early bird gets the worm, my friend.


ROMANS: It's those productive people who are up right now.


ROMANS: They're going to bed --

KOSIK: Is that what we are?

ROMANS: There's some up on the West Coast and is probably not that productive. All right, thank you so much. Nice to see you, Eugene.

SCOTT: See you.

ROMANS: It's time for an early start on your money this Friday morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, will it make another push to 20,000 today -- Dow 20,000? Since the election the Dow is up 1,500 points or 8.2 percent. If that holds true today it would make it the biggest post-election rally of all time. That's right, the Trump rally the biggest in history. The closest was Bill Clinton's election victory in '96. In the five weeks following the Clinton election the Dow jumped 5.2 percent. In his first year in office the Dow soared 22 percent.

An interesting development in another market could keep the Dow under pressure though. The U.S. dollar at a 14-year high. Since the election the dollar has soared 10 percent against global currencies. A big part of that coming this week as the Fed raised interest rates. Good news for travelers, bad news for business as it makes U.S. goods more expensive overseas.

As for global stock markets, the Dow is up just slightly -- Dow futures, rather, up slightly right now. Stock markets in Europe, they've been open a couple of hours. They're down a bit. Shares in Asia finishing the week mostly higher. Oil is holding steady around $51 a barrel.

So raising the key interest rate this week really helped drive the dollar up because when the interest rates start to rise and people all over the world, they buy dollars to park those dollars in debt securities that they can buy that they're going to get a better return on. It can take a little bit of the shine off the dollar but still, we have a lot of forecast for the Trump rally to continue into 2017.

KOSIK: OK. Switching gears now, happening now, Syrian state T.V. reporting evacuations have been halted in Aleppo. The tentative truce failing with thousands of people still trapped inside the city. We're going to tell you the latest, next.


[05:45:33] KOSIK: All right. We have breaking news this morning on a situation that is changing by the minute. The evacuation of civilians out of Aleppo has stopped. Syrian state television saying that evacuations were halted because rebels breached a ceasefire agreement with the Syrian regime. But Syrian activists are blaming the suspension on Shiites who live in Aleppo. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is monitoring this situation. She's joining us live now to help explain this very complex conflict -- Jomana.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a very complex situation and that was one of the main concerns when it came to the implementation of this deal, Alison. You're looking at so many different groups that are fighting on the ground. When you look on the Assad regime side you've got different militias. You've got Iranian military fighting on their side. They've also got Iranian militias, Iranian-backed Lebanese, and Iranian militias, so a very complex situation. On the rebel side you've also got multiple groups fighting under that umbrella of the opposition rebel fighting groups.

So what we do know at this point is that this operation and evacuation have been suspended. We have heard that from multiple sources at this point. A short time ago the regional director of the international committee of the Red Cross tweeted out saying, "Regretfully, the operation was put on hold. We urge the parties to ensure it can be relaunched and proceed in the right condition."

Now, we have heard this news come to us first from the regime's state- run television and they said -- they accused here the rebels, who they describe as the terrorists of attacking the crossing point between these besieged neighborhoods and western Aleppo that's under regime control. They say they opened fire and there was also shelling. They also accuse the rebels of violating this agreement by trying to smuggle out captives they were holding in the east, as well as heavy weapons that is not part of the deal.

From the other side we're hearing from activists in eastern Aleppo who are saying that it was the Iranian militias on the side of the regime who led to the breakdown of this agreement. They accuse them of shutting down that crossing and opening fire. So many different narratives that we're getting from the ground. A very complex situation to try and ascertain what is actually going on the ground. But I can tell you that there was a lot of concern that we could see a scenario like this just because of the complexity of the situation on the ground with so many groups and this fragile agreement.

KOSIK: Jomana, before I let you go I want to know about the people who did get out, the refugees who did manage to escape. Where are they right now? KARADSHEH: We are getting different figures. It's anywhere between 6,000 to 9,000. This is a combination of civilians, wounded, and also rebel fighters who have been taken out so far. The estimates of how many are left, it's really up in the air. The estimates from the United Nations a few days ago was that there were about 50,000 people, so if you take out the 8,000 that have already been evacuated that means we're looking at thousands who may still be trapped in eastern Aleppo.

KOSIK: Such a delicate and desperate situation. Hopefully, those evacuations will resume. Jomana Karadsheh, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right, let's look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Chris Cuomo joins us now and I'm sure he's talking Aleppo. I'm sure you're also talking about the intelligence reports on Russia.

KOSIK: Good morning.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Yes, absolutely, ladies. A good weekend to you both. We've been on Aleppo. You've been doing it very well this morning. The consistency is what counts. This is one of those situations that you have to monitor. Historically, you're dealing with one of the biggest losses of life in recent conflicts. You have hundreds of thousands of innocents have died. What's the future like? These people who are trapped there, you know. These are big, big humanitarian and strategic issues for national security. We will go back into them, as Christine said.

We're also going into these intelligence reports, again, as Christine said. This conclusion that Russia was definitely behind what was done during the election with the hacks and that it went all the way up to the Kremlin and Putin. How do they know? Intelligence reports are easy to push back on because the sourcing and the methods are often confidential for obvious reasons.

President-elect Trump, we're told, has concerns about the issue but, again, is not acknowledging the intelligence findings that everybody else is. So, the White House is speaking up now. The president is promising action against Russia. His press secretary going right after the president-elect. The rift between the current and incoming administrations now growing. This is politics getting in the way of something that is an existential threat to our national cybersecurity. We'll get into it.

[05:50:21] KOSIK: So much going on.

ROMANS: A lot, and we'll hear from the president today and Donald Trump when he gets to Orlando for part of his "thank you" tour, so a lot to chew over, I'm sure, heading into the weekend. Chris Cuomo, talk to you in a minute. Thank you.

KOSIK: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. If you haven't noticed this year, Dolly Parton is everywhere -- everywhere.

KOSIK: I've noticed.

ROMANS: Fifty years in the business. Oh, she's as current today as she's ever been. She is a verified business mogul. Stand by for some MBA-style advice from this tiny titan.


[05:54:22] KOSIK: A South Carolina jury has convicted Dylann Roof on all charges in the shooting death of nine people inside Emanuel AME Church. CNN's Nick Valencia has more from Charleston.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison and Christine, it came as no surprise to those in the courtroom. Dylann Roof found guilty on all charges in the murder of nine people in June of 2015 at the historically black Emanuel AME Church. As the verdict was read out loud Roof stood silently, his right hand noticeably fidgeting, his ears turning red as the guilty verdicts were read one count after the other. The jurors unanimously deciding that Dylann Roof was guilty in the murders of those nine people.

[05:55:02] There was little emotion shown by the defendant. The most emotion came from the family members of the victims, some bowing their heads seemingly in prayer, others wiping their brow, and others wiping the tears from their eyes.

Thursday was quite emotional, the emotion punctuated by an image of the bloody bodies of those worshippers lying down on the floor of that bible study. Dylann Roof accused of shooting those victims 77 times in all. The prosecution, in their closing arguments, saying that Dylann Roof should be held accountable for every single one of those shots. For the defense's part, they said they hoped the jurors took into consideration that their client might be delusional and that there was something skewed about his perception and reality.

The next part of this sentence -- of this trial, I should say, is the penalty phase. That's expected to pick up on January 3rd -- Alison, Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Nick Valencia, thanks for that, Nick. All right. Dolly Parton is everywhere this year. She was just on "THE VOICE". Her telethon brought in $9 million for wildfire victims in Tennessee, fires that came dangerously close to the theme park she owns. She dropped a new album called "Pure & Simple". She's wrapping up her biggest solo tour in decades. I spent time with her on that tour exclusively where she doled out some of the best business advice ever.


ROMANS: When you were starting did you think look, if I'm going to last, if I'm going to endure, and if I'm going to make sure the music business doesn't take advantage of me, I have to be in control of my image, my sound, my business -- every angle of it? DOLLY PARTON, SINGER AND MUSIC MOGUL: Well, you said it when you said the business. It is called the music business. My dad told me that when I left home. He said don't you let people steal your money.


PARTON: You pay attention, you know, to your own things. So as soon as I could I started my own publishing company --

ROMANS: Right.

PARTON: -- got my own record label now. And so I just try -- I think it's important if you can, as soon as you can, to keep all of your goods, you know, close to home where you can control it and know what's happening with it. My dad had 12 children and he just managed everything. In fact, that's where I like to think I get my business sense. He was a great barter, he was a great horse trader, as they say.


PARTON: Street smarts, horse smart.

ROMANS: I bet along the way people said no to you. I bet you've heard -- you've been sitting across the table from some, you know, fat cat executive who said no, we're not going to do it that and you've had to -- you've had to really hold your ground.

PARTON: Oh, yes, and I can do that. Like I've always said, I'm easygoing. People say, you know, do you ever lose your temper and I say well, I don't lose it but I use it sometimes.


ROMANS: I feel like I have a Dolly Parton MBA. I mean, it's worth it. Her best business advice, don't think you know everything. Find people you trust who know more than you and give them room to succeed, right? It sounds like good business advice.

KOSIK: It does.

ROMANS: Use your temper, don't lose your temper, and be true your brand. I'll tell you, she leaves behind her in her wake little rhinestones and sequins and the crew called them Dolly droppings.

KOSIK: I love her passion.

ROMANS: I know.

KOSIK: She's very passionate and she has made a lot of money on that passion. All right, you can see more of this on where I have a whole 10 things you need to know about Dolly and a lot more business advice from her, really good for anybody in business in the real world. I'm Christine Romans.

KOSIK: And I'm Alison Kosik. President Obama warning Vladimir Putin, vowing retaliation for Russia's intrusion into the U.S. election. "NEW DAY" begins right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's only one decision-maker and that is Putin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hacking tools could only point to the highest levels of government.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The Republican nominee, himself, calling on Russia to hack his opponent.

TRUMP: This foolish guy, Josh Earnest. Having the right press secretary is so important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to hit you and hit your hard. Sanctions is not something that the administration's going to lead with.

OBAMA: When any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections we need to take action, and we will.

ROMANS: The evacuations are suspended in Aleppo.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have witnessed indiscriminate slaughter, not accidents of war.

KARADSHEH: No one really knows how many people are left in these besieged neighborhoods.


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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: It is going to be a busy Friday. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your new day. It is December 16th, 6:00 in the East. We begin with the damning intelligence that strongly suggests Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in hacking the U.S. presidential election and that the hacks are still ongoing. President Obama vows to retaliate.

CUOMO: Well, one thing's for sure, the news of the intel is raising tensions between the U.S. and Russia and raising tensions between the White House and President-elect Trump's transition team, which continues to publicly deny the hacking. We have every angle covered for you. Let's start with CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez. You're here with us. You've been ahead on this story.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Chris. Russian spy agencies deployed sophisticated hacking tools, the kind that were used by the NSA to break into U.S. political organizations in the past year. Now, U.S. officials tell CNN that this is part of the reason why intelligence officials are believed persistently that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered that this information campaign that targeted mostly Democratic Party groups and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

Now, investigators haven't found evidence directly linking back to Putin, but officials --