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Futures Mostly Flat Ahead of Open; New Arrests As Manhunt Intensifies; Trump Announces Press Conference; Four Children Killed by Pesticide Exposure; Netanyahu Grilled on Corruption Allegations; Online Uproar over Mariah's Meltdown. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired January 3, 2017 - 09:30   ET




ALESCI: You're killing me.

Well, yes, investors see a lot of optimism in this market and there are several reasons for that. First off, they're optimistic about company earnings. They're also optimistic that Trump could pull off some of his pro-growth policies that we've been hearing about. And you see that in the estimates for 2017. Most of the major banks are predicting a rise in the stock market of anywhere between 12 percent and about 3 percent, which is pretty good, Carol. But any hiccup could be an excuse for investors to sell. Anything they don't like on the economic front in terms of economic data, if Trump isn't able to pull off his policies as quickly as they thought, that could be a good excuse for selling.

One stock that's taking a beating this morning, Carol, GM. That's because Trump tweeted out attacking the company for manufacturing some of its smaller cars in Mexico, threatening them with tariffs. The market did not like that. The company is responding in a very carefully worded statement. Basically clarifying that it still makes some of these smaller vehicles in the U.S. It still makes a majority of the ones that they sell in the U.S. in the U.S. in Ohio, but that it builds the hatchback version, there you have the statement, "GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S."

So, Carol, another example of, you know, a company trying to walk this line between clarifying the record, making sure the facts are out there, and not really getting on the bad side of the president. But this is part of a much larger debate around where our goods should be manufactured because at the end of the day consumers benefit by the cheaper cost of goods.

COSTELLO: All right, Cristina Alesci, many thanks. And sorry I forgot about you. I'll be right back.


[09:35:34] COSTELLO: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.

This just in to us at CNN. Two new arrests, this time at Istanbul's airport, as the manhunt intensifies for the Turkey attacker. Here you can see two men being detained. Turkish media reporting they are two foreign nationals who are being held in connection with that terror attack. The arrest comes as police reveal the face of the man they say opened fire inside of a packed nightclub on New Year's Eve. His name is still unknown, but police say they do have fingerprints. Armed guards now blocking the club's entrance where 39 people were killed.

CNN's Ian Lee live in Istanbul with more.

Hi, Ian.


And that selfie video that the police revealed is quite chilling, especially when it took place just about 30, 40 yards from where we're standing right now. It was in a market that was selling used books and also antiques. Someplace that I've gone quite a few times to look around. He was looking -- he was scouting out the area, it appears like, with the way that this video was shot.

Also we're hearing right now about those two people detained. Two foreign nationals. We've seen the video of it. That increases the number of people who have been detained to 16. They are being interrogated to find out if they have any sort of connection to this. But police have told us that the fingerprints, along with a picture of the suspect, is giving them clues on who he is, but also who -- if he had any support, anyone helping him carry out these attacks. Now, security experts believe someone could have most likely helped him because he was able to get away so quickly.

Now, with ISIS claiming responsibility for this, if he is, in fact, an ISIS operative, there is a chance that he might try to slip back into Syria. So, for investigators, the hundreds of security forces, members of the security forces who are looking for him right now, there is a bit of a ticking clock to try to get him before he slips away.

COSTELLO: All right, Ian Lee reporting live for us from Istanbul, thank you.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, Trump hasn't held a press conference in months. Instead, he's been taking to Twitter. But in a few short weeks, that could change when he says he will finally face the press.


[09:41:10] COSTELLO: President-elect Trump is about to break his 160- day streak of no press conferences. At least we think so. The supposed date is January 11th. That's one day after President Obama's farewell address. Now, remember, during the presidential campaign, Trump chided Hillary Clinton for not facing the press.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: So it's been 235 days since crooked Hillary Clinton has had a press conference. So just ask yourself why she doesn't have news conferences. And, honestly, the reason is because there's no way she can answer questions because the job she has done is so bad.


COSTELLO: OK. So ask yourself that question. Back in December, Mr. Trump announced that he'd hold a presser in the, quote, "near future" after cabinet picks, but he did not.

CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter joins us now. He's also host of "Reliable Sources."

And, of course, Trump was supposed to hold a news conference on December 15th to outline how he was going to separate his business interest from being president of the United States, and he didn't.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right. He promised a major news conference that day, then postponed it. And let's be honest, Carol, Trump is a master at these sorts of events, these sorts of press conference formats where he's taking questions from reporters, the tougher the better, and yet he's chosen not to do it. Ever since July, that sound bite we just heard where he's criticizing Clinton, is actually the last time he had a full-blown press conference. So he was doing it when it was convenient for him in the primaries. He chose not to hold these events during the general election or after he was elected in November. Now, Kellyanne Conway is saying January 11th is the day, but there's a caveat. Watch what she said last night.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP ADVISER: I believe it was rescheduled for January 11th originally. And if the lawyers and the compliance officers feel like we're ready, then we'll stick to that date. It's really up to them. But I know that -- I talked to the president-elect today about a press conference and I know that's the current plan.


STELTER: So that's the plan right now, January 11th. But she added that caveat there, if the lawyers are OK with it, Kellyanne Conway saying this is all about whether Trump's plans for his business empire are actually in place. What he's going to do with those businesses when he's president.

Bottom line, Carol, why does this matter? Well, I would ask the viewers at home, what questions do they have for President-elect Trump? I have a lot of questions. You have a lot of questions. The voters who support him do. The voters who didn't support him do. There's a lot of questions for this president-elect.

COSTELLO: But Donald Trump feels he's talking directly to his supporters via Twitter, right, or these rallies that he's held, right? Why would he hold a press conference? Why does he care?

STELTER: I don't think any voter, whether you supported Trump, Clinton, Stein, Johnson, or the man on the moon, thinks it's OK to just tweet and not actually answer questions from reporters. Those reporters are there to represent them.

COSTELLO: Even those people who don't trust the media?

STELTER: Even those people that don't trust the media because if they don't trust the CNNs or the ABCs and NBCs, they do trust the Foxs and Breitbarts and the Foxs and Breitbarts are right in the room for the press conference also.

COSTELLO: OK. We'll see what happens on January 11th.

STELTER: Indeed.

COSTELLO: Brian Stelter, thanks so much.

STELTER: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Checking some top stories for you at 44 minutes past.

Deadly storm striking Alabama overnight. A tornado killing four people in Houston County when a tree crashes into their home. This morning, widespread damage across much of the state. The storm's also killed a man in Florida who drowned inside his car.

A South Carolina judge says Dylann Roof is competent and can represent himself. The sentencing phase for the convicted church shooter starts tomorrow. Roof will not be allowed to approach the jury or any witnesses during the proceeding and, of course, he's facing the death penalty. Roof was convicted last month of killing nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

A surprising find inside the cargo hold of a United Airlines plane. A baggage handler popping out as employees opened the plane in Washington, D.C. It turned out the baggage handler was trapped before the plane left Charlotte, North Carolina. Air traffic control scrambling to I.D. him.

[09:45:10] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a security incident. Until we can, I guess, get some confirmation that he is who he is, even though he's in trade dress for a ramper in Charlotte, the flight crew doesn't remember seeing him or anything like that.


COSTELLO: The flight reached an altitude of 27,000 feet. United is looking into what went wrong.

Check out this pint size super hero after a chest of draws falls, trapping his twin brother under -- whoa. The video, well, you can see it's hard to watch, but, trust me, that little boy's OK. After the fall, the quick thinking twin spring into action and he tried to push the dresser off his brother with all of his -- there he goes. He eventually moves it far enough for the little guy's little brother to escape.


KAYLI SHOFF, MOTHER: I usually hear everything. We didn't hear a cry. We didn't hear a big thud. So we just -- we woke up, looked at the camera. We're like, what's going on? Are they still sleeping? And we saw that it was all the way down and they were just still playing.


COSTELLO: Those are some tough little boys. The boys' mom says she decided to release the video as a reminder to all parents to bolt the furniture to the wall.

Four children are dead after they were exposed to a poisonous cloud of pesticide in their Texas home. The Amarillo Fire department says someone tried to wash away the chemical with water, causing a reaction that unleashed the toxic gas.


CAPT. LARRY DAVIS, AMARILLO FIRE DEPARTMENT: There was a fumigant that they were using to get rid of pests here. This fumigant contained a chemical called aluminum phosphide. And when mixed with water, it creates a gas called phosphine gas, which is highly poisonous.


COSTELLO: CNN's Boris Sanchez has more for you.

Good morning.


Yes, important to point out, this is being investigated as an accident. We just heard from the Amarillo Fire Department and they say that apparently the father of the Balderez (ph) family, a family of ten, got his hands on some aluminum phosphide, a very strong pesticide, from a friend. And he apparently had applied it to the bottom of the home. We're not sure why, but at one point he decided to wash it off, and that what -- that's what ultimately triggered a chemical reaction that forced paramedics to his home at about 5:00 a.m. yesterday. When they got there, one of his eight children was unresponsive. The paramedics tried to administer CPR, but the child was dead at the scene. Nine people had to be rushed to the hospital. Four of the children ultimately passed away. Five people are now being treated for exposure to this hazardous chemical that as it turns out is not meant for residential use at all. It's actually meant to be used on wider areas. Here's one expert on pesticides discussing it.


BRUCE BUMIE, OWNER OF "BUGS" BUMEY (ph) PEST CONTROL: When we use it, we can't use it within 100 foot of a structure. We have to notify all the neighboring people where we're using it. And so we don't really use the product in a residential setting. We use it maybe out in the country where -- where you're acres and acres away from everybody.


SANCHEZ: And so clearly a tragic mistake there. As I mentioned before, five people are recovering, including the children's mom, which we understand is now in critical but stable condition.

One last thing, Carol, a family friend of the Balderez's started a GoFundMe page. They've raised about $17,000 right now.

COSTELLO: Boris Sanchez, thanks.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, grilled for three hours by investigators. What he's accused of and why he says the accusations are, quote, "nothing."


[09:52:01] COSTELLO: The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, says corruption allegations against him are, quote, "nothing." He was questioned last night for three hours. Netanyahu and his family are accused of taking gifts and favors from wealthy businessmen. He says the whole investigation is politically motivated.

CNN correspondent Oren Liebermann live in Jerusalem with more.

Good morning, Oren.


The latest on this investigation is that it's now officially a criminal investigation. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a criminal suspected, suspected, according to the attorney general, of violations of moral integrity. Meaning, as you mentioned, that re received gifts from businessmen. The attorney general and police won't say too much more than that, fearing it will bias the investigation in one way for another.

This has been an ongoing story. This started six months ago as simply an examination and hadn't yet reached the level of criminal. But the attorney general says it was about one month ago that they got evidence into their investigation that led them to believe that this had risen to the level of a crime and that is when this started. Police arriving at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence here in Jerusalem at about 6:30 last night. They stayed for three hours. They questioned him under caution. And what under caution means in Israeli law is that Netanyahu is officially a criminal suspect and what he says in that interrogation can be used against him.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denounced the investigation, calling it, as you say, "nothing." Here's what he posted on FaceBook a little earlier today. He said, "accusation of forbidden election financing -- nothing. Accusation of fixing the primary results -- nothing. Accusation of receiving benefits abroad and funding flights -- nothing. I repeat and say there will not be anything because there is nothing."

Carol, it's important to remember, this isn't the first time Netanyahu has been the subject of a criminal investigation. Back during his first term in the late '90s, he was investigated again on suspicions of corruption. Those didn't lead to an indictment. They didn't lead to charges. Netanyahu predicting, once again, that's what will happen now.

COSTELLO: Oren Liebermann reporting live for us this morning. Thank you.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, YouTube yelling and Twitter takedowns. The online uproar over Mariah Carey's mess of a New Year's Eve performance.


[09:57:18] COSTELLO: The final minutes of 2016 gave us the first major viral story of 2017. Mariah Carey's New Year's Eve meltdown. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): My, oh, Mariah. They won't be forgetting this New Year's Eve performance any time soon.

MARIAH CAREY, MUSICIAN: Just walk me down.

MOOS: Instead of singing to her 1991 hit "Emotions," Mariah Carey's vocals went missing.

CAREY: We're missing some of this vocal, but it is what it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're missing the vocals.

MOOS: Viewers got very vocal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is going on? Is this how 2017 is going to treat us?

MOOS: Mariah vamped around the stage --

CAREY: We didn't have a sound check, but it's New Year's, baby.

MOOS: Awkwardly killing air time, as she called for technical assistance.

CAREY: Get these monitors on, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But a train wreck happened. But as the train wreck was happening, a plane crashed into it.

MOOS: And the tweets flew, "breaking: Mariah Carey has blamed Russian hacking for her performance."

"The last thing 2016 killed was what's left of Mariah Carey's career."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who did Mariah Carey kiss at midnight? Her career good-bye. ISIS has claimed responsibility for Mariah Carey's New Year's Eve performance.

MOOS: And how did Mariah describe it?

CAREY: That was -- amazing.

MOOS: So amazing she later tweeted "(EXPLETIVE DELETED) happens." At least LaTonka the puppet was sympathetic.

LATONKA, A PUPPET: Poor Mariah, too (ph) bad.

MOOS (on camera): Mariah's people say the singer was given a malfunctioning ear piece and that they complained about it before the performance.

MOOS (voice-over): The producers of New Year's Rockin' Eve, dick Clark Productions, said they had no involvement in the challenges associated with Mariah's performance. At one point, you could see a dancer struggling with an audio pack and Mariah repeatedly feeling around for her ear piece. An ear piece that had some piecing together evidence frame by frame. "Your face when you realize you're the first meme of 2017." At one point Mariah just let the mike drop, as her prerecorded voice continued on. No wonder this guy thinks he lip-syncs to Mariah better than Mariah herself.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


COSTELLO: The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

[10:00:01] And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thanks so much for joining me.

House Republicans challenge their own party leaders, taking action that some say undermines Donald Trump's pledge to drain the swamp. GOP lawmakers meeting behind closed doors.