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Convicted Killer Dylann Roof Speaks Out in Court; Trump Quotes Assange on Russian Hacking; Trump's Controversial Cabinet Pick Jay Clayton; Petition Asks Historically Black College Band Not to Play at Trump's Inauguration. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired January 4, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The 22 year old, now representing himself in the penalty phase of this trial, delivered a three-minute opening statement today, speaking to the men and women of the jury who will ultimately decide whether he should live or die. Nine innocent souls, including the reverend, were murdered during Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in June of 2015. The killer said he was trying to start a race war. And in his voice today, he told jurors, quote, "I am not going to lie to you through myself." He went on, "There's nothing wrong with me psychologically. And anything you heard from my lawyers in the last phase I ask you to forget it."
Martin Savidge is outside that federal courthouse in Charleston.
What a day. I just can't stop thinking of the family members in Charleston who have to sit through this and be ultimately be cross examined by him.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORERSPONDENT: Right. I have to tell you I was in the courtroom this morning, Brooke, when all this played out and it is the most powerful and suspenseful moments I have seen. And here you have a man who is a convicted, self-admitted racist mass murderer who is going to get up and defend himself and speak to this court in the death-penalty phase for the very first time, and he did.
The problem is nobody really knew who he was going to say and how he was going to act. The only person who knew was Dylann Roof himself. As he got up to speak and he went to the podium to address directly the jurors, there were a few shifts by the security team, but all this had been carefully worked out ahead of time.
The judge wanted to make sure Dylann Roof didn't look any different. He was wearing a gray sweater, black slacks, and no restraints whatsoever. But then he spoke in a very soft voice, didn't offer any defense, mitigating factors. And he said, hey, maybe you might have heard or thought through my attorneys that there was something wrong with me mentally. He said don't listen to any of that, there is nothing wrong with me. About 90 seconds, then he was done. There was no forgiveness requested and there was no sort of here is why I shouldn't die. None of that.
Then it was revealed he kept a jail-house journal. It was found six weeks after he had committed the crimes. And in it, he said, if you thought any remorse had set in while in prison, no. He said, I want to be crystal clear, I had to go forward and do what I did. Stunning. And you could hear family members sobbing at times. One person was buckled over in grief, had to be attended to. And three walked out when he began to speak. One saying this is just a load of crap. A densely emotional and painful morning in that courtroom.
BALDWIN: Stunning, stunning. Thinking of the community in Charleston. We'll talk more about this penalty phase, whether or not he lives or dies.
Martin Savidge, thank you very much. I appreciate you.
Coming up next, any minute, President Obama in Virginia at an armed forces farewell ceremony, a formal goodbye to their commander-in- chief. We'll take it live.
Plus, President-Elect Trump makes his pick known for top Wall Street cop, a former layer known for defending big banks during the housing crisis. We'll talk more about who this man is, coming up.
[14:38:13] BALDWIN: We talked, a couple moments ago, about President-Elect Trump siding with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange when it comes to the presidential interference election. Here is what Assange said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, WIKILEAKS: We can say and we have said repeatedly over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government. And it is not a state party.
Why such a dramatic response? Well, the reason is obvious. They're trying to de-legitimatize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Joining me know, Rod Beckstrom, the former CEO of ICANN, the global non-profit that oversees the Internet, and he once served as the director of the National Cyber Security Center.
Rob, great to see you.
I wanted your response. When you saw Trump's tweet, what did you think?
ROD BECKSTROM, FORMER CEO, ICANN & FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY CENTER: First, I don't think he's necessarily siding with Julian Assange. He's citing him, or he's referring to what Assange is saying --
BALDWIN: Is he not believing Assange over what the CIA report was, that, in fact, it was Russia that interfered to help him? BECKSTROM: Fair enough. He is referring to Assange's statements and
assertions, certainly putting a certain spotlight on Assange here and clearly creating doubt and questions about the source of the information that got to WikiLeaks.
Look, even if the information went to the Russians -- and I believe it probably did, because there's a preponderance of the evidence, not only from the private companies that did the investigations that that's where the Russians - that they Russians got their hand on the data, but that doesn't mean they're the ones that shared it with WikiLeaks. There are other parties that could have got the data themselves and it's possible the Russians moved it through intermediary third parties. So, there's a number of different scenarios possible while also holding that the intelligence community assessment is correct and Assange's statements are correct. So, we're --
[14:40:20] BALDWIN: To me, the sub headline, you have a man who will be commander-in-chief when he puts his hand on the Bible and puts "intelligence briefing" in quotes, and we have heard referring to disrespect. This is a man who will be leading the intel community in 16 days and that relationship, as you well know, is crucial.
BECKSTROM: Yes. Look, this is a power struggle like we've seen before between the incoming president and the intelligence community and there's always an adjustment period when a new president comes in. And there's three different relationship models. One is when the president himself comes out or the national security establishment, like George Bush Sr, he was going to shake the community, he didn't need any new briefings, he was an expert. The other is a Senator comes in and has some experience and a peer-to-peer relationship with the intelligence community. And the other one is if someone gets elected, and kind of green, and the I.C. may have the lead for a while and kind of getting them up to speed. And in this case, Trump is coming out from day one saying, I'm the leader, sit down and listen to me, and putting the I.C. in between a rock and a hard place.
BALDWIN: We talked to members of the Intelligence Committee who said if you are a green - to use your word -- you would be the one listening, not jabbing at the intelligence community. That said, do you think there's any sort of positives of Trump publicly challenging intelligence?
BECKSTROM: Clearly, he's challenging them, and that's his pattern. This is a tough guy, who takes on anyone who criticizes him or questions him, whether it's in business, now in politics, and agility around this issue, and how he's positioning on one statement at a time, starting with no computer is safe, which is absolutely correct, then making the statement that attribution is difficult. Absolutely correct. And then positioning and pivoting to, we're not sure where this came from and the world has changed, Brooke. If you look 10n years ago, most intelligence came from human intelligence, or from signals that the NSA does. But there's an explosion of open intelligence, on social media, out on the Internet everywhere. It's a trove of information where you can also drive your conclusions from. Clearly, Trump is moving in that direction.
But this is a power struggle. Very difficult for the intelligence community. I have a lot of sympathy for the great leaders we have in the community and the pressure they're under. With a current administration that may have one political take and an incoming administration that has another, a very, very difficult spot.
BALDWIN: Set to happen on Friday, that intelligence briefing, and then we will be hearing from Mr. Trump for a news conference.
Rod Beckstrom, thank you.
BECKSTROM: Thank you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Coming up, President-Elect Trump making a controversial pick for his cabinet. Why Democrats will not be happy with this choice.
And a historically black college band deciding today whether to perform at the inauguration after massive backlash on campus. We'll talk with the woman who organized the petition.
[14:48:39] BALDWIN: President-Elect Trump making more administration announcements, naming Jay Clayton as chairman of the SEC. He defended big banks in the financial crisis. In a statement from the president- elect, quote, "Jay Clayton a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law and he will ensure our financial institutions can thrive, and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time."
"CNN Money's" Cristina Alesci with me now, how has covered all these guys on Wall Street.
Cristina, tell me more. Who is he?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: It's really interesting to see Donald Trump blasting Wall Street throughout the campaign trail, saying the hedge-funders get away with murder, and now plucking these to fill his administration.
He's interesting because though he doesn't work for a bank, he works for the go to law firm of Wall Street and his boss is sort of like a legend in terms of the lawyers that Wall Street turns to.
Personally, Clayton has represented Goldman Sachs in a sum of issues. Another one was when Warren Buffet decided to invest in Goldman Sachs. He advised in that traction and also works for them. And we have Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, will an economic advisor, will be helping Trump run the government.
[14:50:15] BALDWIN: With Clayton, he says he will help create jobs. True?
ALESCI: It an interesting argument. It one for the banks to say we are more free to lend and then small businesses can thrive, but the left is not because it may mean more freedom for Wall Street to get in trouble for what they did during the financial crisis. So there needs to be a balance between the banks with enough leeway to make the loans but the last thing we need is another subprime crisis or another form of it.
BALDWIN: Cristina Alesci, thank you.
ALESCI: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Just ahead, police arresting a NAACP activists who were staging a sit-in against Trump's attorney general pick, Jeff Sessions, over his past.
Plus, Ivanka Trump and the Obama family are about to be neighbors in a neighborhood in Washington, D.C. We'll tell you about where they will be living and who else lives there, coming up.
[14:55:32] BALDWIN: OK, so if your New Year's resolution includes hitting the gym more, wearable technology might help your motivation.
Andy Scholes checks out the gadgets at the CES, Consumer Electronics Show, in Vegas.
Andy, you told me yesterday, if I'm a good gamer, I'll get a college scholarship. Hit me today.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORT CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, fitness technology always a big category at the CES. Chances are you know someone who is wearing an Apple watch like me to count their steps and track their exercises. We tried a product yesterday called G-verse. It takes wearable fit technology to the next level.
And this "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford. Go Further.
You wear this one around your waist and it gives you these real-time measurements. Like how high you're jumping, or how much stress you put on your body while jumping, running, working out. The Miami Heat, men's and women's volleyball, and collegiate teams around the country are using this technology and it's now going to be available for all of us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN MATAK, PRESDIENT & FOUNDER, VERT: We're going into a whole new world where intensity trackers and performance trademarks are what consumers want and when you can give them real measurements on what they're doing in their workouts gets consumers excited so if I ran and saw my stress level was only 10percent I knew it wasn't damaging to my body but if I ran and it was high, I knew something was wrong and I need to find out what's going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: You can take a picture while you're jumping and it gives you a measurement of how high your vertical jump was. Then you can post it on social media.
BALDWIN: Did you do it, Andy?
SCHOLES: I did. I'm not going to give my vertical score on air, because it's a little embarrassing. But, I found this to be cool. Well the G-vert module and app it helps you figure that out.
BALDWIN: I thought you were going to tell me I was going to lose weight by drinking wine and other stuff. Never mind.
Andy Scholes, you're great. Thank you so much as CES. I appreciate it.
SCHOLES: All right.
BALDWIN: This campus in Alabama, historically black college, this marching band accepted an invitation to take part in President-elect Trump's inauguration in two weeks. We're talking about Talladega College, historically black college founded by former slaves. It's among 40 organizations to take part in the parade following the swearing in of our next president. This decision is sparking dueling petitions online. And some time today, the college's president is to decide if the marching band will, indeed, perform for Trump.
Joining me by phone, Shirley Ferrill, a graduate of Talladega College. She is the one who started the petition urging the band not to perform.
Shirley, I know you have over 1,200 signatures. What are you hoping to accomplish?
SHIRLEY FERRILL, TALLADEGA COLLEGE GRAD (voice-over): Well, thank you, first of all, CNN, for allowing me to express my point of view. And I'm excited that we do have in excess of 1,200 supporters for the band not the take part in the inauguration hoping that that will help to shape the decision to be announced by the college president today. And hope that he will in fact say that the band will not go and take part.
BALDWIN: Now, Shirley, we heard from some current students would disagree. They want to be there. One student said, "We believe this parade is not about politics. It's about seeing firsthand the process of a transition." Another student is excited about the performance, felt that the performance would put the school on the map. Do they have valid points?
FERRILL: I don't think so. Talladega has been on the map. It is the oldest historic all black college in Alabama. And it has consistently and continuously operated since 1867, when it was built by former slaves. So, I think that place on the map is secure. I can certainly appreciate and understand the band's members wanting to go due to their talent. But I think the larger purpose and focus ought to be on the --