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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
No Infrastructure Plan in First 100 Days; Attackers Beat White Man, Curse Trump; Trump Deposed In Lawsuit Against Celebrity Chef; Trump In Dispute With Two Celebrity Chefs; NIH: Expose Babies To Peanuts Early To Avoid Allergies; Sears and Kmart Closing 150 Stores; Sears Sells Craftsman. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired January 5, 2017 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: You just described that very sensitive nerve for Donald Trump, the idea we don't know. It could have affected the election, which the sense is that he reads that as a -- an insult to his victory.
[16:30:01] KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSEN, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Yes, and I think that's why today it was so important to have it come out. Look, we don't have evidence that voting machines were hacked, but that was a part of this equation because too often when you hear the story talked about, it's the election hack.
SCIUTTO: Which can sound to people at home like the votes were somehow --
SOLTIS ANDERSEN: And I have no doubt that is what is touching that nerve for Donald Trump.
So, to the extent when this briefing occurs, folks are saying, look, we're not saying your win was illegitimate. We're just saying there is an outside entity trying to do bad things in the U.S. and we need to stop t. I think that's the angle that would be most successful of getting Donald Trump to find this information credible and (INAUDIBLE).
SCIUTTO: Right. If I can move to another topic in domestic issues, you remember during the campaign, Donald Trump said for a long time, one of the first things he's going to do during the first 100 days is infrastructure bill. But we learn yesterday, kind of quietly in the midst of all the news, actually, it's been pushed off.
I wonder, David, does that cause disappointment among his supporters? This was a promise.
DAVID CATANESE, SR. POLITICS WRITER, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: I don't know if it's going to cause so much disappointment if he acts on other things, like immigration and trade which I think were bigger priorities to his base.
Look, the problem he's going to have is how much time does he want to expend on all these different things going around? He's got a bunch of cabinet confirmation hearings that are going to take up January, a Supreme Court pick that's going to come in. Obamacare I think is going to take months. He's only got so much time. So, he's got to prioritize.
I think the other problem is ideological, that the Republican Party does not want to do a stimulus. They don't want to spend more money Rand Paul was on television all week talking about the debt and the deficit and that's the biggest problem that Republican Party should be talking about. That would be a problem with his own base if he went for it.
SCIUTTO: There is always a period right after the election, Heidi, where you say here are the issues where Democrats and Republicans can work together. And it was, people always list -- I ask people at this very desk many times, infrastructure, we can work together on that. But if that's not on the table, what are they going to work together? What is the grand bipartisan hope for this administration?
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER, USA TODAY: As much as Donald Trump was a different kind of Republican -- very different kind of Republican, he's now meeting the realities of working with the Congress and the Congress is run by traditional establishment Republicans. You're seeing that point for point. Some of these issues like infrastructure, like entitlements Donald Trump said protect Social Security and Medicare.
Well, now, some of the first priorities of this Republican Congress are very different from the things that Donald Trump talked about on the Hill. And he's also meeting the reality of the fiscal constraints of this country in terms of Republicans are not going to go for anything that is like a stimulus or even their version of it, like tax credits if it's going to further explode the deficit.
SCIUTTO: These are House members. They're going to have to run in less than two years' time. I wonder, what about this coming clash on potentially sanctions against Russia? Because you have -- not virtually everyone, but you have many Republicans saying they don't just want sanctions, they want tougher sanctions and you have a president, or at least not yet, who accepted the premise. How is that rectified, I wonder?
SOLTIS ANDERSEN: Well, I wonder if it separates Trump voters from Republicans from conservatives. These are three distinct groups. So, for instance, Pew Research Center had a poll showing Donald Trump is only viewed as conservative in most issues by 12 percent of Republicans, you know, a distinction there.
At the same time, since Donald Trump has become the president-elect, a growing number of Republicans have started to express in polls more favorable views to Vladimir Putin, expressing maybe they don't want to -- maybe that they'd like to see these sanctions repealed once Donald Trump becomes --
SCIUTTO: More favorable than Barack Obama.
SOLTIS ANDERSEN: Certainly scrambling things a little bit.
To this question of Congress, a lot of them were elected as conservatives. Donald Trump not being elected as a conservative, I think that's the interesting clash to come from the heart and soul of the Republican Party.
SCIUTTO: All right. We're going to have to leave it there. Kristen, Heidi, David, thanks very much.
And be sure to tune in to CNN Monday for a special town hall with Vermont senator and former presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. Our own Chris Cuomo and members of a live audience are going to ask the senator questions. And then, on Thursday night, Jake Tapper, he'll host a town hall with House Speaker Paul Ryan. All this only on CNN, starting at 9:00 Eastern Time.
I want to warn you about a video you're about to see that has extremely graphic violence, and it may be hard to watch. Moments ago, police announcing charges against four people accused of tying up a special needs teenager and torturing him, all, why, if you can believe it, broadcasting it live on Facebook. We're going to have the details of this case right after this.
[16:38:38] SCIUTTO: Welcome back.
There are now developments in our national lead and it really is just a stunning shocking story. Chicago police now saying the four people are being charged with hate crimes over a vicious attack that was, if you can believe it, live streamed on Facebook. Their mug shots just released.
The suspects cursing Donald Trump and white people during this attack. I want to warn you once again, the video extremely disturbing to watch.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
SCIUTTO: That poor victim is an 18-year-old white man who has special needs and is a crime that Chicago police have called sickening.
CNN's Ryan Young is live for us in Chicago.
So, Ryan, police making it clear this is going to be investigated as a hate crime.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are. And to make this matter -- to make matters worse, they actually believe that one of the teens in this video may be friends with that 18-year-old victim and they were riding around together in a stolen van. Not sure the victim knew the van was stolen, but at some point, he was brought to an apartment and for the next six hours, he faced some terror.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
Damn, you cutting (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cut a whole patch of that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) boy.
[16:40:00] YOUNG (voice-over): Bound and beaten.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at him, tied up.
YOUNG: Police say this 18-year-old white man with special needs was tortured live on Facebook for a full 30 minutes. Police tell CNN they are aware of more videos allegedly showing the man forced to drink from a toilet.
SUPT. EDDIE JOHNSON, CHICAGO POLICE DEPT.: Let me be very clear. The actions in that video are reprehensible. That, along with racism, have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago or anywhere else for that matter.
YOUNG: The four African Americans all young adults seen in this disturbing clip were taken into custody after police discovered it online. Hate crime and felony criminal charges have been filed, including aggravated kidnapping and battery with a deadly weapon.
COMMANDER KEVIN DUFFIN, CHICAGO POLICE DEPT. The racial slurs and, you know, the deference to his mental capacity starts coming out. That's primarily one of the reasons that they were charged with the hate crime.
YOUNG: They taunted the team repeatedly invoking Donald Trump and race.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) white people, boy. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) white people, boy.
YOUNG: However, police don't believe the victim was racially or politically targeted by his tormenters.
DUFFIN: He is able to escape when a downstairs neighbor calls the police complaining that -- of all the noise upstairs.
YOUNG: Outrage over the incident has erupted online fueled further by racially charged claim.
The editor-at-large for the conservative conspiratorial website Infowas.com tweeted, "BLM kidnapping is the hashtag to get this story trending," laying blame on the Black Lives Matter movement which police say has no connection to this horrific act.
The four that have been charged are due to appear in court tomorrow.
YOUNG: Police giving a time line saying this all happened on January 3rd, the man was terrorized for some five or six hours maybe after being driven around in a stolen vehicle and taken to this apartment and having all these acts done to him. We now know all four aspects will have their first court date tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. SCIUTTO: Sickening to watch there. Ryan Young, thanks very much.
Joining me now is Chicago community activist Andrew Holmes.
Andrew, thank you for coming on. I know you personally experienced violence in Chicago in your life. Let me start by asking, what's your reaction to this horrible crime?
ANDREW HOLMES, CHICAGO COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: Well, you know, it's so disrespectful and I do think the charges fit the crime and, you know, we let the chips fall where they lay.
SCIUTTO: Do you believe hate crime charges are the obvious step for this kind of crime?
HOLMES: Yes, I believe the charges are appropriate. I mean, the actions that they did, they made on their own with that decision, racial slurs and torturing him at the same time. I mean, that's no place for hatred, not only in Chicago, but across the United States.
SCIUTTO: You saw that in social media in particular, there was this rush to somehow blame Black Lives Matter, which have no tie to this. Have you seen this -- why so quick to blame that movement?
HOLMES: Well, you can't not necessarily blame Black Lives Matter because these individuals took it upon themselves and this is a choice they made, not an organization called Black Lives Matter, even though I support all lives matter, black lives matter and white American lives matter because we all are human. But to say this was Black Lives Matter, I don't agree with that.
SCIUTTO: There was also, you heard there thee certainly anti-white comments, F white people but also F Donald Trump. Have you seen that kind of anger bubbling up elsewhere?
HOLMES: During the course of November 9th or 10th, working alongside with Michael Earhart (ph), we watched a video of a subject that had a car accident, and the other one was African-American, the older guy was a white American, Hispanic American, they got out, they exchanged words. Once they started beating him, they started taunting, he's a Trump supporter, he's a Trump supporter.
Well, President-elect Trump does not have anything to do with the choices that a person makes when he wants to beat or brutalize someone.
SCIUTTO: Well, listen, it was a brutal crime no question.
Andrew Holmes, we want to thank you for joining us today.
HOLMES: Thank you, Jim.
SCIUTTO: He is just 15 days from being sworn into the Oval Office, but Donald Trump spent his morning being deposed in a lawsuit related to his D.C. hotel. And this to be clear is not the only legal trouble that could follow him. Then, everything you knew about kids and peanut allergies is now
changing. The new guidelines that every parent needs to know.
[16:45:00] JIM SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: We're back with more in politics now. And today, Donald Trump found himself answering questions in a legal deposition instead of spending time preparing for his presidency. He's locked in a lawsuit with Celebrity Chef Jose Andres. Early this morning, the chef repeated his offer to Trump to avoid a potentially ugly and time consuming court battle, tweeting, quote, "Again, Mr. President-elect Trump, if you are awake, let's resolve this in a friendly way. We donate money to a charity, is a great deal!" But to be clear, this case is just one of several legal proceedings that Trump is now facing. CNN's Jessica Schneider joins me live at Trump Tower, New York. Jessica, what do we know about today's deposition?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, we know it was swift. The deposition itself lasting just more than an hour with still no sign of any potential settlement. And Donald Trump's lawyer is remaining steadfast that the President-elect should not drop this lawsuit. In fact, releasing this statement saying, "In short, the parties entered into a valid and enforceable lease, which the tenant clearly breached by walking out and failing to perform its obligations." This lawsuit, just one of the many looming -- 15 days before the inauguration.
[16:49:56] SCHNEIDER: They're the two food stars who dared to take on the future president. Chef Jose Andres and Geoffrey Zakarian, both backing out of plans to open eateries inside the new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
JOSE ANDRES, SPANISH-AMERICAN CHEF: We are not supposed to mention him until he doesn't apologize to every Latino, to every Mexican, to every woman, to every veteran, and to any person that he has insulted.
SCHNEIDER: The Spanish-born chef campaigned for Hillary Clinton after he scrapped his flagship restaurant inside the hotel.
ANDRES: Today, I could be in a certain hotel in Washington, D.C.
SCHNEIDER: Following suit, Food Network fixture Zakarian. Both pulled the plug after Trump's comments about Mexicans.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.
SCHNEIDER: Geoffrey Zakarian, telling the village boys, in an article published the day before the election, "I'm going to D.C. to look at two spaces, because my buddy Donald, he f'd up. He opened his f-ing mouth." Trump sued the men for $10 million each. They served up counter suits, and now the President-elect and his legal team are dealing with depositions. In the days leading up to the inauguration, lawyers in both cases saying right now there's no chance of a settlement and then the Zakarian suit, a pre-trial conference is set for May 17th, just beyond Trump's first 100 days.
NORMAN EISEN, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE CZECH REPUBLIC: The litigants, his opponents in those cases, and others, will try to use those cases, not only to attack on the merits, but as a political tool, particularly here where Donald Trump has refused to provide his taxes, refused to provide a lot of information the American people are used to having.
SCHNEIDER: Ambassador Norm Eisen served as the chief ethics lawyer in the Obama White House. He and his counterpart, Richard Painter, from the George W. Bush administration, agree that these lawsuits aren't only unprecedented, but a dangerous distraction.
RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: The president needs to focus on protecting the security of the United States, on reviving our economy, and do a good job as president. He should not be distracted by litigation.
SCHNEIDER: The commander in chief can be sued for actions predating the presidency as the Supreme Court ruled in the wake of a 1997 civil suit by Paula Jones against Bill Clinton for sexual harassment. Among the many other cases, Trump still faces a suit from a republican consultant, who says Trump's tweets calling her a "real dummy", ruined her reputation.
Five protesters alleged Trump security team, roughed them up in 2015, and Melania Trump is suing the Daily Mail for reporting she was an escort in the 1990s, a claim she denies. As for Jose Andres, he's taking to Twitter, repeatedly, imploring Trump to drop their suits in favor of philanthropy. Again, Mr. President-elect of the United States, @RealDonaldTrump, "If you are awake, let's resolve this in a friendly way. We donate money to a charity -- is a great deal." A deal Trump could favor, since he's voiced his opposition to settling.
TRUMP: When you start settling cases, you know what happens? Everybody sues you.
SCHNEIDER: But Donald Trump has settled most recently in a series of cases tied to Trump University, where Donald Trump has agreed to shell out $25 million. But notably, these cases involving chefs Andres and Zakarian, Donald Trump is the one who initiated those. And Jim, so far, shows no sign of backing down.
SCIUTTO: Jessica Schneider in New York, thanks very much.
It's one of the most common and most dangerous allergies for kids. But now, doctors actually want parents to expose their children to peanuts from a very young age. The new guidelines, right after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:55:00] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. And we're back now with our "HEALTH LEAD". Fighting fire with fire, and preventing peanut allergies with peanuts. The National Institutes of Health has issued new guidelines on peanut allergies and its director calls them a "game changer". Experts now saying that parents should actually start feeding their babies foods containing peanuts, before their first birthday, to reduce the risk of potentially deadly allergies later in their lives. Just how early, depends on your child. If your infant has severe asthma, egg allergies or severe eczema, you can feed your baby peanut-based foods as early as four to six months, but be sure to talk to your doctor first. If your baby has mild to moderate eczema and already has started solid foods, he or she can start eating peanut-based foods around six months of age. For children with no eczema and no egg allergy, or no family history of such, they can be fed peanut-based foods at an appropriate age. Interesting stuff.
In our "MONEY LEAD", the end of an era for Sears. Following disappointing holiday results, the already struggling retailer announced that it is shutting down more than 150 stores nationwide. The latest decision will affect 109 Kmart stores, which the Sears parent company owns, and 41 of its name-sake outlets. Once an iconic American retailer, Sears is also trying to stem its bleeding by selling the popular Craftsman brand to tool maker Stanley Black & Decker in a $900 million deal. As a result of this deal, Stanley Black and Decker will expand its manufacturing presence here in the U.S. to make more Craftsman products. Sears announcement come just a day after Macy's announced that it is closing more stores, and sadly, laying off more workers.
Be sure to tune into CNN, Monday, for a special town hall with Vermont Senator and former Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders. New Day's Chris Cuomo and members of a live audience will ask the senator questions. Then, on Thursday night, Jake Tapper hosts a town hall with House Speaker Paul Ryan. All this, only on CNN, starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. That is it for THE LEAD today. I'm Jim Sciutto, in all week for Jake Tapper. And I turn you over now to Wolf Blitzer. Where he is as, as always, in "THE SITUATION ROOM".
WOLF BLITZER, CNN THE SITUATION ROOM HOST: Happening now, breaking news. No doubt, intelligence chief's testify that the cyber-attack on the U.S. election was ordered at a highest -