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Chicago Hate Crime Investigation; Intelligence Chiefs Point to Russian Hacking. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired January 5, 2017 - 15:00   ET




ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm going to try to this out, Brooke. Check it out.

BALDWIN: Oh, and down he goes.


SCHOLES: It took me a minute or two to get the hang of it. It was not easy. It felt like you were kind of on a snowboard or maybe surfing when you were on it. It goes up to 12 miles per hour. I did not get that fast.


BALDWIN: Can you bring one home for me, please? It will help my surf game.

SCHOLES: I will see if I can fit a couple in my suitcase.

BALDWIN: OK, cool.

SCHOLES: The first one would definitely go to my house.

BALDWIN: Andy, thank you, Andy at CES. Andy Scholes, thanks.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BALDWIN: All right, continuing on along here. You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin

We are at the top of the hour here where we're waiting, by the way, any minute now, this live pictures from Chicago, this police news conference set to happen, big news there, as these four young people, two women, who men who live-streamed this atrocious live attack here on a special needs young man, we now know they will be charged, all four of them, with hate crimes, that just happening in the last little bit here.

We will take that news conference live.

But let's begin this hour with this just remarkable day on Capitol Hill. You had the heads -- here they were -- the chiefs of top intelligence agencies in this country going up against their future leader. They insist Russia was behind the hacking of the 2016 presidential election, an act president-elect Donald Trump is not convinced is truth.

Hours ago, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, the NSA chief and the director of national intelligence all sat there and testified before that Senate panel doubling down on a report from October which indicated the Russians at the highest levels of government, including the president, Vladimir Putin, green-lit the infiltration of Democratic Party servers.

In fact, the intelligence leaders are now more confident than ever.


JAMES CLAPPER, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement that we made on the 7th of October.


BALDWIN: What's more here, the spy agency chiefs expressed concern over Trump's reaction so far to their work and its impact on their workers who dedicate themselves to protecting us and our country.


MIKE ROGERS, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY DIRECTOR: I don't want to lose good, motivated people who want to help serve this nation because they feel like they're not generating value to help that nation. And I'm the first to acknowledge there's room for a wide range of opinions of the results we generate. We don't question that for one minute.


BALDWIN: With now, CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown.

We know Clapper indicated a declassified report would be available to the public as early as next week. Might it include motivation?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's what he said today. James Clapper, the chief spy, said the report would not only lay out what Russia did, Brooke, but also why Russia did it, in the view of U.S. intelligence.

And James Clapper said there's more than one motivations, that there's a mix of motivations that will be laid out in this report. He didn't specify what those motivations are, but we've told by intelligence officials it includes a desire to sow distrust and doubt in the election process and also a belief in the intelligence community that Russia was trying to tilt the election in favor of Donald Trump.

And James Clapper said today that Russia used a number of tactics to reach its goal. Here's what he said.


CLAPPER: And so all of these other modes whether, it was R.T., use of social media, fake news, they exercised all of those capabilities, in addition to the hacking. Just the totality of that effort, not only as DNI, but as a citizen, I think is of grave concern.


BROWN: And he says this effort by Russia to push out fake news propaganda continues to this day, Brooke.

And he also sent a strong message in the wake of president-elect Trump's doubts about the intelligence community's assessment. Clapper said today there's a difference between healthy skepticism and disparagement. He says it's cause for concern.

We know that he will come face to face with Donald Trump, along with other intelligence leaders tomorrow, for that much-anticipated, high- profile briefing about this comprehensive report that President Obama right now as we speak, Brooke, is being briefed on.

BALDWIN: That's right. Pamela, thank you.

Another piece of this here, Another piece from the intel briefing taking an even more interesting spin with news that president-elect Donald Trump is looking at possible ways to limit the power of the director of national intelligence.

Sources close to the transition team tell CNN the thinking within Trump is essentially that the DNI often gets in the way of the 16 intelligence agencies it represents. And just a short time ago, the outgoing director of national intelligence weighed in on whether his department indeed needs an overhaul.



CLAPPER: There's always room for improvement. I would never say that this is the ultimate.

I do think it would be useful, though, if we are going to reform or change the DNI or change CIA, that some attention be given to, in our case, the legislative underpinnings that established the DNI in the first place, and then have added additional functions and responsibilities over the years that the Congress has added to our kit bag of duties.

So -- but to say that you know we can't, there's not room for improvement, I would never suggest that.


BALDWIN: Let's go to justice correspondent Evan Perez.

Evan, define overhaul. EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, one of the

things that happen when you have changes of administrations is you take a look at these agencies.

And you can look at the case of the director of national intelligence. It employs about 1,800, so that is not a big agency by U.S. government standards. There is some belief, though, among some people in the Trump transition world that perhaps the agency needs to be reined in a little bit, to not get in the way of some of the other intelligence agencies.

Certainly, we're told that is one of the views of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who is the incoming national security adviser to the president-elect Trump. And we know he clashed a lot with the DNI and with James Clapper himself.

So perhaps some that is what's feeding some of that. We suspect that once they get in there and their team gets into place, they will take a look at all this and they will then make a decision as to whether or not there needs to be an overhaul.

As far as the CIA is concerned, there's also some thought whether or not the CIA needs to get back to building more human intelligence capabilities that perhaps during the Obama administration -- at least this is the criticism of some conservatives -- that the agency became a little too reliant on electronic surveillance and electronic spying and not so much on the human intelligence work that it needs to do.

So, again, these are things that the Trump team will assess once they get in there. I think right now these are ideas that they're looking at and we expect this is the kind of thing that happens at every transition, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Agent I talked to, former agent I talked to last hour says that's a good thing. Evan Perez, thank you.

Let's have a bigger conversation. Let me bring in John Rizzo. Used to served as general counsel for the CIA. He's also author of "Company Man: 30 Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA."

John Rizzo, nice to have you on.


BALDWIN: When we were listening to this hearing today and you have James Clapper essentially saying, yes, there is a difference between having a healthy skepticism, right, sort of borrowing vice president- elect Pence's phrase, and disparagement.

You have your ear to the ground in the intel community. What do you make of that response?

RIZZO: Well, I think James Clapper is in the delicate, difficult position in these final days of his tenure.

What I'm hearing, Brooke, is -- first of all, I was in CIA myself for a very long time. People have to understand it is a very resilient organization. I myself served under seven presidents. These are career people. These are not political appointees in the work force.

So they will deal with any president who is elected in the Oval Office and be loyal to them. However, these people obviously, they're not in it to make a lot of money or a lot of fame, but the coin of the realm there is to have their analysis valued by the president, who is ultimately their number one consumer.

So these sort of gratuitous sort of off-the-cuff, I want call them sort of snide remarks, I don't know what the purpose is. And it tends to be debilitating and corrosive. So I'm concerned about that.

BALDWIN: How is that supposed to work when these, to use your word, corrosive comments come from a man who will be leading them in 15 days?

RIZZO: As I say, the agency work force is -- believe me, I can personally attest -- is not -- is used criticism and controversy. So, it's not going to go into a snit or a stonewall or anything like that.


BALDWIN: Sure. They're professionals.

RIZZO: Yes, and they will serve the president in the manner he wants it to be served.

I honestly think that -- maybe this is overly optimistic -- that once Mr. Trump is in the Oval Office, it becomes his CIA and his CIA director, and his attitude hopefully will change.


BALDWIN: One question that Senator McCain asked the panel today is whether or not this hack and interfering on the election is seen as an attack on this country. How do you see it?

RIZZO: Well, it's certainly a hostile action against this country.

BALDWIN: Constituting an act of war or is that taking it a step too far?

RIZZO: Well, I'm a lawyer, so I may not go quite that far.

BALDWIN: That's why I'm asking you.


RIZZO: It is an act of serious provocation.

Certainly -- I was in the CIA for 34 years. I never saw anything like this, even during the Cold War.


RIZZO: This is a new and different kind of attack, warfare.


We do have actually -- we're just getting some news, John. I'm so glad I'm talking to you right now, because we have this transition of power alert.

We're learning that Trump has selected retired Indiana Senator Dan Coats, Dan Coats to be director of national intelligence. He has served on Intelligence Committees during his term.

John, do you know Dan Coats? Your response to that selection?

RIZZO: Yes, I have great respect for Senator Coats. He served a good while on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

He's a seasoned politician. And my experience, Brooke, over the years, that seasoned politicians often are the optimum kinds of people to lead intelligence organizations. I'll hark back to Leon Panetta in the Obama administration. So I think this is a heartening pick.

BALDWIN: A good thing.


BALDWIN: Good, good, good.

With regard to the hearing, we kept hearing from some of these intel chiefs with regard to cyber-security there's room for improvement. Do you at all, John, think there's a detriment to U.S. cyber-security or just the global perception of the U.S. for the top spy agency chiefs to publicly say that?

RIZZO: No. No.

Look, the spy chiefs, the spy agencies serve the American people. To the extent they can be as candid and as blunt as possible in public without exposing sources and methods, I think that's a healthy thing to, whenever possible, demystify the whole spy lure.

BALDWIN: We know the president is getting briefed now. We know president-elect Trump getting the briefing tomorrow. And apparently we will be seeing the declassified report, including, according to General Clapper, some of the motivations of the interfering from Putin.

So maybe, John Rizzo, we will have a date on TV next week, if you will have me back.

I appreciate you, John. Thank you very much, 34 years in the CIA. Not nothing.

Coming up next here, breaking news in the case of four people seen on video torturing this young man with special needs, shouting "F. Trump." Hate crime charges have just been filed. Police are speaking live in a matter of moments. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BALDWIN: Hate crimes, kidnapping, battery with a deadly weapon, just some of the charges that have been now been filed against these four young people over a torture video that police call sickening.

And just to add a layer to it, was live-streamed on Facebook as it was happening. Chicago police are getting to hold a news conference any minute. We're keeping an eye on it. And as soon as they start speaking, I promise we will bring it to you, but first context, the video.

We are just playing a clip, but just to warn you, it is very, very difficult to watch. What you will see here is this 18-year-old man, special needs. He is in this corner of this room, bound, mouth taped shut.

You hear the cries. He is cowering as his attackers, two men and two women, laugh and shout profanities about white people, about Donald Trump, while kicking and punching this victim for 30 minutes.

And at one point, you actually see one of his attackers take this blade and scalp him.

Ryan Young is on this for us from Chicago today. Joey Jackson is with me, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney.

Let me all just say for all of this, this is heinous and atrocious, and I have run out of a adjectives. They are now facing these charges. Walk us through the charges, Ryan.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is quite terrifying.

And for most of the day, we were wondering whether or not these hate charges would come down, hate crime charges would come down against these four. That has happened. The mug shots have been released.

We are hoping to hear more details from police about how these events actually all came together, because obviously this young man has been missing since about Friday. And then when his parents reported him that he was guy, there's a 48-hour gap that we still haven't had filled in just yet.

But what we do know is two alert police officers in Chicago saw this young man walking on the sidewalk, decided to render him aid. They took him to the hospital because he seemed like he was in distress. Then it took several hours for them to sort of figure out exactly what happened to him.

And when you watch the video and when see those images and you hear those screams, you can obviously tell what he went through during that time on Facebook Live, no matter, it was terrifying. And then from there, the detectives started to build their case. And obviously they were able to arrest four people. Those hate crimes are coming now, but obviously people have been reacting to this throughout the city just angry about exactly what happened. We do know the police department is going to give us some more details about this. It seems like two of the people are actually related.

One of the men in this case apparently may have been a high school friend or went to school with the victim. So we're not sure how all of them got together, but, at the end of the day, when you watch the video and see the chain of events, it's beyond disturbing.

BALDWIN: Three 18-year-olds and a 24-year-old. You're right to point out two of the -- both of young women had the last name.


Joey, the question is why and how, which we won't have answers to for a while, but the hate crime charge.


BALDWIN: How do you arrive at that?

JACKSON: What happens, Brooke, what investigators and of course what we see before our own eyes, what they have to piece it together is what motivated it.

What precipitated an action like this and for them to, of course, broadcast it so that everyone can see? Was it motivated -- according to the hate crime statute, it could be motivated by race. That applies. In addition to any mental or physical disability or impairment.

So whether they did this because of race or whether they did this because of the special needs of this particular individual, the fact is, is, it rises to the level of a hate crime.

And make no mistake about the significance or seriousness of these charges. When you look at the charges, all of them that the police have filed, or the prosecutor, rather, you are looking at also an aggravating kidnapping charge, which essentially means that you abducted and restrained someone against their will.

That's punishable by up to 30 years in jail. And so in addition to that, with the aggravating kidnapping, they're charging unlawfully detaining this person, the charge with the hate crime component, the charge of aggravated assault, which is predicated upon causing harm to him, you see the knife being used for the whole scalping.

So, it's deplorable. And, as you said, we I think all have run out of adjectives. But the charges are stiff and the motivation, at least according to what we've seen -- and everyone can draw their own conclusions -- seems to be predicated upon something which is of a hateful variety.

BALDWIN: Yes. Yes. And we could know in matter of minutes from police whether or not it was motivated by race or because this young man was disabled.

Let me take a quick break. All my guests, stand by.

We are going to take you back to Chicago, as we're waiting for police to speak live on this Facebook Live torture case next.



BALDWIN: Breaking news here out of Chicago as we are waiting to hear from Chicago police specifically on what they have dubbed this Facebook Live torture case, because these four young people -- I'm talking three 18-year-olds and a 24-year-old -- now facing hate crimes charges, among kidnapping, assault with the deadly weapon here.

It's just been piling on after they have taken this video and put it out for the world to see of them essentially abusing and scalping this young man with special needs.

As we wait to hear from police, let me bring in two more voices who know Chicago quite well, Shari Runner, president of the Chicago Urban League, and Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, a criminal justice professor who wrote a book on Chicago's court system called "Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America's Largest Criminal Court."

Shari, to you first just in Chicago. I'm sure you like the rest of us in seeing the video had just a visceral reaction. How could these young people do such a thing?

SHARI RUNNER, PRESIDENT, CHICAGO URBAN LEAGUE: Well, I think that's the question that we're going to have to find out as we listen to the Chicago police report.

But it is a horrific crime. Any time someone would torture or target someone with special needs or disabilities and try and put it on Facebook and think that it was amusing or that there was no consequence to it, it speaks to really some kind of real mental illness, I would imagine.

BALDWIN: Nicole, you have heard the charges, aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restrain, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Yours response to all of those?

NICOLE GONZALEZ VAN CLEVE, AUTHOR, "CROOK COUNTY: RACISM AND INJUSTICE IN AMERICA'S LARGEST CRIMINAL COURT": When I saw this, you definitely know that this potentially was going to be charged as a hate crime, you hear the racial slurs, I think one thing that is interesting and worth talking about is that they're not only saying white. They're also saying Trump.

And in the climate that we have today, in the political climate that came out of the election, the word Trump became synonymous with hate and bigotry. And what you saw is, two weeks after the election, there was 700 cases reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center of hate crimes, but most of them being people of color.

So this is really one really tragic case where we are seeing a very vulnerable victim. And the concern is that we are seeing hate crimes in this post-election climate.

BALDWIN: I think of the Chicago communities. Shari, you know these communities. How could they better handle how these young people are feeling in this climate?

RUNNER: Well, I think it's an interesting thing.

This is a crime that occurred in Chicago. It's obviously a hate- related crime. And I think that we have to really start to do some work not just in Chicago, but nationally, to talk about what all of this bigotry and racism portends and what it makes people do and feel that they are allowed to do under the current climate.

BALDWIN: Shari Runner, Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, thank you so much.

Again, we're watching and waiting to hear from Chicago police. As soon as they take to that podium, obviously, we will take it live.

Coming up next, president-elect Donald Trump calls out yet another automaker on Twitter today. We will talk about his apparent beef with Toyota and the Democratic senator, the new Senate minority leader, mind you, who he has now called a clown now twice.