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Trump Lashes Out as Spy Chiefs Testify on Hill on WikiLeaks, Russian Hacking; Schumer: GOP Doesn't Know Where to Start on Obamacare; Black College Band Says Yes to Trump Inauguration. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired January 5, 2017 - 14:30   ET



[14:33:24] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Back to our breaking news. Our nation's top spy chiefs testifying today before a Senate panel about Russia interfering in the election. WikiLeaks leader, Julian Assange, was mentioned multiple times. While Russia infiltrated the Democratic server, it was WikiLeaks who released the information. And Assange said his source was not Russia, a revelation Donald Trump reiterated to stress his doubts that Russia was, in fact, behind any of the election meddling.

Here's more from today's hearing on the Hill.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), ARIZONA: I just have to mention the name Mr. Assange's name has popped up. I believe he's the one who is responsible for publishing names of individuals that work for us that put their lives in direct danger. Is that correct?


MCCAIN: And do you think that there's any credibility we should attach to this individual given his record of --

CLAPPER: Not in my view.

Not in your view?

MCCAIN: Admiral Rogers?



BALDWIN: So before the hearing today, Trump took to Twitter and tweeted, "The dishonest media likes saying that I am in agreement with Julian Assange. Wrong! I simply state what he states. It is for the people to make up their own minds as to the truth. The media lies to make it look like I am against, 'intelligence' when, in fact, I am a big fan." Joining me now, Danielle Pletka, senior vice president of Foreign and

Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

Danielle, nice to have you on.


BALDWIN: Out of the gate, how do you see it regarding Trump and Assange?

[14:35:10] PLETKA: You know, I think the president-elect has perhaps stepped a little bit over the line on his statements about Assange, but I also think that we just need to get used to this. You know, what Donald Trump says on Twitter is what Donald Trump is thinking at that moment, and that doesn't make it law or policy, it makes it what he's thinking at the moment. I think --


BALDWIN: Do you feel like you have a good sense of what he's thinking regarding Assange?

PLETKA: You know, again, I think he probably appreciates a great deal the effects that Assange and WikiLeaks had on the election, the mood and the effects on Hillary Clinton. If I were Donald Trump, I'd love it, too. But there is a bigger role to play here and that is to recognize what Assange is.

BALDWIN: How do you see Assange? The intel says he has zero credibility.

PLETKA: Right. He's an alleged rapist, he's hold up in an embassy hiding away. He's an agent of influence for -- if not a direct agent of Russia, he's a man who has endangered American interests and American officials. He's a bad, bad guy.

BALDWIN: President Obama is getting this briefing today. Mr. Trump is scheduled to receive it tomorrow. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we know there have been a relationship between these two and phone calls made. Do you think the president should reach out and talk to Trump before this briefing tomorrow?

PLETKA: I try and make it a habit not to give advice to President Obama --


BALDWIN: No one's giving advice but what do you think would be beneficial for Trump?

PLETKA: What I think would be beneficial is to understand the nature of intelligence. They are never going to tell you he did it, this is who ordered it because that's not what happens. I had a security clearance for ten years. Nobody ever told me this is the way it is. Even when they had a photograph. The problem with intelligence is it's as good as it is. It's not -- it's not being there and seeing it at the time. And so, you can interpret it the way you want. This cuts every which way. Donald Trump needs to listen and try to understand in context.

BALDWIN: Danielle, let me play a piece from this hearing today beginning with a question from Senator Claire McCaskill and then you'll hear James Clapper's response.


REP. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D), MISSOURI: who actually is benefactor of someone who is about to become commander-in-chief trashing the intelligence community?

CLAPPER: I think there is an important distinction here between healthy skepticism, which policy makers, to include policy maker number one, should always have for intelligence, but I think there's a difference between skepticism and disparagement.

I've received many expressions of concern from foreign counterparts about, you know, the disparagement of the U.S. intelligence community or I should say what has been interpreted as disparagement of the intelligence community.


BALDWIN: Danielle, which do you perceive it as, healthy skepticism or flat-out disparagement?

PLETKA: Hard to answer. I think there has been -- I think there has been disparagement. I think it's completely unnecessary. Healthy skepticism is exactly the right attitude. The I.C. has been politicized over the last decade, and it's a huge problem. That doesn't mean we should say bad things about people fundamentally serving their country just as much as the military, just as much as the diplomatic service. We should be very careful, the president- elect should be very careful and I hope he will be.

BALDWIN: Again, President Obama receiving the briefing now and President-elect Trump receiving it tomorrow.

Danielle Pletka, thank you so much.

PLETKA: Thank you.

[14:39:21] BALDWIN: Coming up next, Republicans -- you know this -- they want to repeal and replace Obamacare, but do they have a plan, as in a unified plan? We're now hearing a timetable as to when they will devise one.

Also, ahead, a historically black college band deciding whether to perform at Trump's inauguration after severe backlash on campus. We'll talk live with the women who organized the petition not to go.




BALDWIN: In this week's "Staying Well," taking yoga to new heights.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to roll down onto your back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aerial yoga is using the hammock for support in aerial postures. When you're in the air and you're weightless, you can work muscles without that compression on the joints. When you're in the fabric, you feel free. You can go upside down, float and swing and have a great time.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then on the mat, we are grounded through our feet, hands. It strikes a great balance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take your feet into the hammock.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the main thing the hammock does is it supports you in inversions, which a lot of people can't get into in yoga. Can go upside down in the silk. It supports you. Doesn't matter your shape, size, skill levels. The hammocks are rated to handle over a thousand pounds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Straighten out your weight in front of you, shifting your weight forward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you have low back pain, a lot of times that's caused from a weak core. And it can be the back that's weak or the abdominal muscles that are weak. So, in the hammock, you're engaging those muscles all the time, so you're building that core strength and upper body strength just by hanging on.

[14:44:08] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like I got a really good workout.



BALDWIN: To the fight now to repeal and replace Obamacare. President-elect Trump is slamming Democrats' efforts to save the health care plan, but also telling both parties they have to work together, tweeting, in part, "The Democrats led by head clown, Chuck Schumer, know how bad Obamacare is and what a mess they are in." Then he writes, "It is time for Republicans and Democrats to get together and come up with a health care plan that really works, much less expensive, and far better."

But this morning, Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, hit back, saying Republicans, including Trump, have no idea where to start.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: I say to the president-elect that this is serious, serious stuff. People's health is at stake and people's lives are at stake.

Now, we understand that President-elect Trump is in a difficult spot, that Republicans are in a difficult spot. They want to repeal ACA and have no idea how to replace it. But instead of calling names, president-elect should roll up his sleeves and show us a replacement plan.


BALDWIN: Let's talk about this with our CNN senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny; and CNN political commentator, Mary Katharine Hamm.

I guess out with Crooked Hillary and in with Clown Schumer. That's a whole other conversation.

Jeff Zeleny, let me begin with you with the tick-tock, the timeline. We've heard from Republicans, so many of them, they all say they have plans but it's not a unified plan. So, what's the timetable on achieving that?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, that's a great question. There's been no specific time plan. The Republicans are hesitant, in fact, unwilling to pick a target date because they know this will be difficult, as Senator Schumer was saying.

But Speaker Paul Ryan, this morning, offered a target goal was legislating, he said, which will be this year. Let's listen.


REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think the scare tactics started with the Democrats yesterday. I think they're trying to make Americans think someday this February or March, you're going to wake up and you won't have a health insurance plan. That ain't happening. That's not true.

What date all of this gets phased in on is something we do not now know because we're waiting for the Trump administration to be stood up, we're waiting for Tom Price to be confirmed and become the secretary of Health and Human Services.

The question there is, how long will it take for the marketplace to adjust. That question we don't have an answer but the legislating on Obamacare will happen this year.


ZELENY: We all know how long and difficult it was to pass this law in 2010. It could take just as long and be just as difficult to unravel it. But House members up here on Capitol Hill say they are keenly aware of not wanting to take things away from people they like, like preexisting conditions or having kids up to 26 or so stay on their plan. They're going to try to find things they like in the plan and get rid of things they don't. But that is much harder said than done -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Mary Katharine, you know these Republicans that have to deal with this. To Jeff's point, if it took as long to unravel, will there even be a President Trump? I'm being totally serious.

MARY KATHARINE HAMM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, that is the question. Look, they have a couple of options. They could go the route of the current president and say, if you like your plan, you can keep it and then do whatever they want, and it turns out that's not the case. That's not a responsible thing to do, and I hope they don't.

So, their other option is to work really hard at trying to figure out how you keep some of these things, how you make the deadlines work so that people don't get stuck with something they were depending on. I think that's something they're working on.

You're right, Brooke, to say there is not a unified plan. Some people get too cute by half, as Nicholas Krzysztof did today in "The New York Times," saying there is not plan. When, in fact, "The New York Times," if I may, for second - "The New York Times" reporting on Price being named as a possible HHS secretary --

BALDWIN: He has a plan.

HAMM: He's had plans since 2012, detailed plans, that he's introduced in the Congress. And those are unified with Paul Ryan's "Better Way" agenda. So, he has at least two plans. So, let's not let that get us off track.

[14:50:53] BALDWIN: You're right. It's a Democratic talking point. You're right to call it out. There are plans. Just need one plan.

I wish we had more time. So many people are concerned with what's happening here.

Katharine and Jeff, we'll revisit this many, many times, I can assure you.

We have to move on, because, despite growing backlash and dueling petitions online, the president of this historically black college in Alabama has decided its marching band will perform at Donald Trump's inauguration. I'm talking about Talladega College, founded by slaves some 149 years ago, is now among 40 organizations to say yes to take part in the inaugural parade following the January 20th swearing in. Talladega president just release this statement, if I may read, "We respect and appreciate how our students and alumni feel about our participation of the parade. We feel the inauguration of a new president is not a political event, but a civil ceremony celebrating the transfer of power."

Shirley Ferrill, a 1974 graduate of Talladega College, author of a petition that urged the band not to perform, is back with me today.

Shirley, this is not what you were hoping for. Can you see any good to come from this?

SHIRLEY FERRILL, TALLADEGA COLLEGE GRAD & PETITION WRITER: Well, of course, the good is that the excellent musicians at Talladega's marching band will have exposure. They'll be able to apply their skills and talents. They'll do a great job and represent the school well.

BALDWIN: We know last night there was a meeting with the trustees and the president and in part which delayed his decision until this afternoon you know some of these individuals. What were some of the conversations do you think convinced him behind closed doors?

FERRILL: I cannot guess. I honestly have no idea and there are lots of alumni and supporters of the school, like myself, who are very mystified at what led to this decision.


BALDWIN: Why are you mystified?

FERRILL. Because we don't know. We have no idea. We have no words from the president or the board -- well, to really explain what led to this. I know what was stated in several news stories about it being a great opportunity and all this, but what really, really happened? I don't know.

BALDWIN: Listen, we have talked about the lack of diversity in the Trump cabinet. We have talked about when he was Candidate Trump not reaching out to enough black communities. And here the Trump team is reaching out to perform in the inaugural parade. Can you give him any credit for that?

FERRILL: I don't know that they reached out. There are several stories about how Talladega's band got involved. So, whether the school sent a request, whether the inaugural committee asked specifically for them, I don't know. That hasn't been very transparent as far as information coming from the school or the band or the committee either.


BALDWIN: Would you go to the inauguration, Shirley?

Would you go watch them perform?




FERRILL: No, because I don't support Donald Trump as president and as previously stated reasons, the comments and behavior he has exhibited toward African-Americans throughout his candidacy, even before that in his business dealings, and I do not want the band to --

BALDWIN: I understand. The good news is --

FERRILL: -- participate in the inauguration.

BALDWIN: -- you have a right not to be there.

FERRILL: And the inauguration is not over.

BALDWIN: Yes, yes, ma'am.

FERRILL: And the inauguration is not here yet, so maybe there still can be some impact by concerned alumni and students.

BALDWIN: We'll see.

Shirley, appreciate you very much.

FERRILL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Love to hear your perspective.

FERRILL: Thank you so much for the opportunity

BALDWIN: I hear you. Thank you.

FERRILL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, more on our breaking news. We can tell you that four young adults are being charged with these hate crimes now over this atrocious attack streamed live on Facebook. We will hear from Chicago police any moment now. We'll take it live.


[14:58:24] BALDWIN: More than 150,000 people are expected in Vegas over the next couple of days for the Consumer Electronics Show.

Andy Scholes drew the short straw, we sent him to Vegas, and he caught up with someone special.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I tell you what, Brooke, there's tons of people checking out all the new tech gear. And we caught up with the biggest name.

This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford. Go further.

Yesterday, we got to walk around with none other than Shaquille O'Neal.


SCHOLES: He's a huge tech fan. He was getting the low down on all kinds of products. He used a refrigerator with a touch-screen computer to Google himself, which was a funny moment. And we visited a booth with gadgets you put on your wrist to work on your free-throw form. We all know the problem Shaq had shooting free throws in his playing days but he was knocking them down left and right here at CES.

I did sit down with Shaq and asked him why he loves this show so much.


SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, FORMER NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER: I'm big on wearable. I'm big on headphones. I'm big on speakers. I'm big on technology. I like to consider myself a geek. And I love meeting these people, meeting inspirational people, and trying to help people get their projects off the ground.


SCHOLES: Brooke, Shaq is not only having fun out here. He's doing some work from the NBA station. You can check that out on our sister station, TNT.

I'll tell you what, I was reporting earlier today, these guys whipped by me on this gadget. I saw like, man, what is that. It turns out he was on this new device called the Jyro Roll. I have a hover board at home so --

BALDWIN: Oh, look at you.

SCHOLES: -- I had to try this out, Brooke.

Check it out, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Oh! Down he goes.


SCHOLES: -- to get the hang of it. It was not easy. It felt like you were on a snow board or maybe surfing when --