Return to Transcripts main page


Police Arrest Four People Linked to Gruesome Attack; Trump Siding with Assange; China to Trump: Stay Off Twitter; Charleston Murderer to Jury; "I Am Not Mentally I'll"; Layoff Looming; Trump Escalates Battle With Intelligence Community. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 5, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:30:06] RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- Four people now in custody. All African-Americans, two males and two females. Police say the victim was targeted because he has a mental health challenge. But they are investigating whether the attack was racially motivated.

KEVIN DUFFIN, COMMANDER, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: They're young adults and they make stupid decisions. That certainly will be part of whether or not a hate a crime -- if we seeks a hate a crime to determine whether or not this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He represents Trump.

YOUNG: At this point the superintendent is rejecting any connection to President-elect Donald Trump but the investigation is ongoing.

EDDIE JOHNSON, SUPERINTENDENT, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Some other is just stupidity. You know, people just ranting about something that they think might make a headline. I know that he has mentioned Chicago but I can't connect that with what these punks did.

YOUNG: Police say the victim was taken from the suburbs and could have been missing from anywhere between 24 and 48 hours. Officers found the victim wandering the streets in crisis Tuesday afternoon and brought him to a hospital.

DUFFIN: He's traumatized by the incident. He took most of the night for him to calm down enough to be and talk to us.


YOUNG: You could actually see them forcing his head into a toilet to drink some of that water that's in there. Truly disgusting video. Right now, no charge is yet. But police are looking into all of this and including kidnapping charges. Trying to figure out how the teen got there but Chris and Alisyn obviously something that will have a lot of people shaking their heads trying to figure out exactly how we got here. ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Ryan, thank you. I mean, look, not only is this hideous, it's being also now somehow parlayed into a political statement. There are some right-wing websites they believe this is political. So, we're going to have a debate about what is behind this coming up.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: At the end of the day, there's no cause, you know, no cure for stupid. I just wish there was a way to get at the problem without showing the video because in a way you're giving these jerks what they wanted in the first place which is the attention. But, I don't know how you ignore it because it's so wrong what they did to that kid.

Well, President-elect Donald Trump finding an unusual ally to cast doubts that Russia was behind election cyber attacks. Why would he side with Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder? Remember, Donald Trump said that Assange should be put to death just a few years ago.


[06:35:37] CUOMO: Julian Assange tuned up trouble in the United States once again. The WikiLeaks founder saying Russia was not the source of hacked DNC e-mails.

Now, we're going to talk about how rare it is for something like that to come out of Julian Assange. President-elect Trump is tweeting support for Assange appearing to side with him over U.S. Intelligence agencies.

So, why is Trump siding with Assange? We're going to discuss with CNN Contributor Michael Weiss, co-author of "ISIS, Inside the Army of Terror." He's also senior editor at the Daily Beast.

Now, before we get into the discussion, let's clarify some facts. There's lot of criticism of Julian Assange. There is a criminal proceeding against him in Sweden. But, on our show yesterday, one of our analysts asserted that Assange was a pedophile. He regrets saying it and CNN has no evidence to support that assertion Assange.

He is currently wanted for extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations there. But, there's no suggestion at this time that the women involved were minors. So, there is no reason for us to be putting out there. We regret that it was put out there at all. So, let's have the discussion now but we don't know.

Michael, when it comes to Assange and what you're hearing from everybody on the GOP side about why they don't think he deserves any credit. Remind people of what he has done with respect to U.S. interest in the past to in gender this animosity.

MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right. Well you -- let's rewind the tape to about 2010 even a little bit later than that. He is seen as this hero at particularly in London.

I was living in London from 2010. And this to be was the cause celebre of liberal left median specially the regarding with which he collaborated. The idea was total transparency, exposing American hypocrisy and lies and trying to do this in the service of human rights and progressivism.

But then, his media collaborators particularly those at the Guardian who had propped him up discover that Julie Assange is a megalomaniac and liar and somebody who does not care about innocent lives.

CUOMO: Evidence of what, please.

WEISS: He -- in a lot of the information that he was disclosing. He refused to redact the names of government informants in Afghanistan. These are people who either moles within the Taliban or people -- innocent Afghans who are informing the U.S. government the Pentagon about what the Taliban and Al Qaeda were doing, putting their lives on the line by the way to do so.

He is quoted in the Guardian as saying by his former colleague who overheard him. I don't care about them. They're informants F them, OK?

So, this was the start of Julian Assange's fall from grace even in the eyes of those who as they say had kind of propped him up. Another example, he had hired or WikiLeak's Moscow representative is a man called Israel Shamir. That's a fake name.

He's really a Jewish guy but like some weird Jewish guys on internet these days is an anti-Semite. Israel Shamir thinks that the protocol of the Elders of Zion was a prescient document. He struck all kinds of anti-Semantic conspiracy theories.

He went to Belarus convince and handed state department cables pertaining to that country Belarus is known as Europe last dictatorship, right? It still has a secret service known as the KGB. Gave the names of dissonance in Belarus to Alexander Lukashenko, OK?

And you know, what can happen in an authoritarian regime like that if you're saying opposition figures. Julian Assange has denied this guy ever worked for WikiLeaks but other member of the organization have subsequently left such James Ball who's writer for Guardian and BuzzFeed. Say it's absolutely the case that Israel Shamir was working cheat by jaw (ph) with WikiLeaks and was indeed that representative in Russia. This is a deeply sinister individual, okay.

And, you know, what I find very fascinating Chris and this is just something in Zike (ph) test at the moment. You know, he starts off on the anarchy left. Now, the way he tweets, the way he talks, the kind of constituency to which he is catering, it's the oath right.

You know, he's got after me personally. He tweets from his WikiLeaks account, we know that. And I notice that people who retweet him most azygously are Neo Natzi, anti-Semite Trump vote. It's a kind of people who put Jewish names in the triple parentheses.

This is a bizarre state of affairs. You have people like Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, you know, apologizing to Julian Assange and saying you are a hero. You've done a great service for United States because you helped get Donald Trump elected.

CUOMO: Now, something more concrete that we're dealing with here, outside of what his done in the past. This is a man who is always said we shadow our sourcing. We do all we can to not even know where they come from.

WEISS: Exactly.

CUOMO: We would never discuss our out sourcing. And now he's doing exactly that. And he did it in a clever way. You know, I went back to that transcript.

[06:40:06] Phil Moder (ph) is right to hammer Hannity for not asking him, did Russia had any involvement with how you got it? He never asked him that and Assange never said that Russia had nothing to do with it.

WEISS: Right.

CUOMO: He's saying he didn't get the e-mails from Russia.

WEISS: Right.

CUOMO: Those are very different propositions.

WEISS: They are and how would he know? Remember as you say he sort of has this mechanism in place where by he is protecting the sources who leak to him by not knowing who they are. What the providence of this material is. And yet he says we can rule out that this was a state actor.

I mean look, does he think is he such a bait (ph) in the wood that if the GRU or FSB Russia's military and domestic security services wanted to use a cut out to feed information to WikiLeaks that they couldn't do that? Would Julian Assange necessarily be aware of that fact? There are other sorts of sticking points to this. Listen to what he says about Russia and WikiLeaks is refusal to do anything to really scandalize the Russian government.

Now it's true, U.S. State Department chattels contain things like a Spanish counter terrorism magistrate saying Russia is a virtual Mafia state, you know, that became a sort of the effort (ph) that used about Putin's regime. But he said I don't want to go after Russia because they still have an independent and skeptical press as compared to say the United States.

CUOMO: Yeah.

WEISS: Right, Novaya Gazeta is one of their last remaining independent newspapers in Russia. That's one newspaper that lost countless journalists who have been assassinated, threatened with murder by government officials. Anna Politkovskaya was brutally gunned down in her apartment building. Show me the comparable example here between say like with the New York Times or Russian impose.

CUOMO: And is the guy who is carrying water for the Russian federation.

WEISS: And hopefully for the Kremlin, the question is what?

CUOMO: And will close with the clarifying thought. This is not about whether not the DNC e-mails were authentic. In the main that's been the case.

WEISS: Sure.

CUOMO: Where they got them from. Michael Weiss, thank you very much for clarifying the situation.

WEISS: Sure.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right, it looks like the holidays were not merry enough for Macy's leading the retail giant to take drastic steps. We'll give you the details, next.


[06:45:42] CAMEROTA: China's official news agencies slamming President-elect Trump over his Twitter habit. The editorial saying "It is commonly accepted that diplomacy is not a child's game, and even less is it business dealing. The obsession with twitter diplomacy is undesirable." The editorial comes after this tweet by Mr. Trump's suggesting China is not doing enough to reign in North Korea.

CUOMO: Another dramatic day in court for convicted Charleston murderer, Dylan Roof. Roof telling a jury considering the death penalty that he is not mentally ill. Prosecutors pinning their case on Roof jail house journal where he writes "I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed." Roof was convicted for killing nine people inside a South Carolina Church. The jury is now deciding whether he should pay for that with his life.

CAMEROTA: New trouble for Macy's this morning the department stores chain struggling during the holiday shopping season. And now it is making deep cuts to try to turn things around.

Chief Business correspondent host of Early Start, Christine Romans is here with the latest. What are they doing?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CXORRESPONDENT: Hi there. Well, there's a big sale at Macy's today. The sales is its stock a 9 percent discounts on its shares in pre market trading.

Macy's had a tough years struggling against scanner and that's Fashion competitors like H&M and then Macy's holidays' sales for a week. So Macy's will layoff 10,000 employees and close 68 stores this year down the 660 location in the U.S.

Now retail experts you guy say it may have to cut even deeper for a serious turn around. Fellow department stores chain Kohl's also posted weak results that stock is taking pre market as well. You know it was a good holiday shopping season overall. Just not for department stores in clothing retailers, toys, video games, TV, those were the big sellers this holiday shopping season. And online sales especially on mobile devices are also working against the big brick and mortar stores like Macy's, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right Christine, thank you very much --

ROMANS: You're welcome.

CAMEROTA: -- for all of that. So we showed you this sickening video that has gone viral. There is this mentally disabled white teenager. He was tied up and tortured by other black teenagers. This assault was streamed live on Facebook and now there is political fall out about it. We'll tell you next.



[06:51:14] JOHNSON: This is sickening. It's sickening. You know, it makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. And also I've been a cop for 28 years and I have seen things that you shouldn't see in a lifetime but its still amazes me. You s still see things that you just shouldn't.


CAMEROTA: Well, that was the Chicago Police Chief reacting to a video on Facebook showing four black teenagers brutally attacking a white teenager with special needs. During the attack they yelled expletives about President-elect Trump.

So let's discuss with KABC Talk Radio Host and Political Columnist for the Orange County Register John Phillips, and CNN Political Commentator and former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Angela Rye. Great to have both of you here and talk about this disgusting and sickening story.

So, Angela, these four black teenagers thought -- they bound and gagged this white teenager. Who has special needs, they kicked him, they caught him. During the course of that, they yelled, "F Donald Trump, F white people". How is that a political persecution story? Or how do you see this?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's disheartening. I just -- I have been in a loss of words since I saw the video, since I have read that part. I can't even watch the entire video. But I don't understand the political connection is -- but for the fact they are yelling this. The only connection I can make is because he's a white person?

They are upset with all white people because of Donald Trump. While I understand the frustrations with the election of this man, I expressed my frustration where through out the duration of this election. I don't understand how you would abuse any human being, particularly someone with special needs.

CAMEROTA: Of course.

RYE: It is absolutely disgusting.

CAMEROTA: But John, somehow right-wing websites are making a connection here where it's hard to see where one exists but maybe you have some insight into this. Let me read you some headlines. The Blaze says, "Chicago foursome in custody after streaming, kidnapping, and torturing Trump supporter", not sure we know how the disabled teenager is a Trump supporter.

Townhall says, "For people in custody after live streaming the torture of a purported Trump supporter. Breitbart says, "Chicago PD won't confirm if purported anti-white torture incident is hate crime" and the article goes on to say, "police officials were hesitant to call the incident an active hate against the man because he was white, has special needs, and potentially a Trump supporter."

So what is this conversation about, John?

JOHN PHILLIPS, TALK RADIO HOST, KABC: Well, I don't know if I rely on Glenn Beck to put things in perspective. But this is the most horrifying thing that I've seen in a long time. I have to take this out because I'm getting a lot of feedback.

But the -- I have a nephew who has special needs. He is in his 20s. He has the mentality of a 4-year-old and you rely on people, and you rely on compassionately, you rely on people to understand that there are differences and to treat them well. But it doesn't always happen. They have to deal with bullying they have to deal with things that are unfortunate. But what you saw here was beyond that.

What you saw here was the kidnapping and torture of someone over24 to 48 hours. When the cops finally found him, he was practically catatonic and couldn't speak. This is beyond any normal political discourse.

This is beyond, you know, us going on television and disagreeing with one another and sometimes things getting spicy, and sometimes things get salty. That happens.

Angela is a wonderful, descent person who is horrified by this. The same way I am. And what you saw happened play out on this tape is something that is beyond civil discourse. I can't explain what it was. But it's just -- it's something that shocks all of our consciousness.

[06:55:06] CAMEROTA: Absolutely. We all agree there. It is repulsive. It is hideous. The part that is confusing again is what people are doing with this video. So let me just read to you what Glenn Beck tweeted in response to somebody. Last night, he said "You are right. Stand up with me and demand justice in Chicago for the beating of a disabled Trump supporter by Black Lives Matter?"

RYE: Horrible. CAMEROTA: What?

RYE: So, and I think this is the issue that I take with this. I agree with everything that John just said.

CAMEROTA: Of course.

RYE: Why would you then use this as an opportunity to start targeting Black Lives Matter? They have tarnished the name of this movement from the outset and I'm not -- and I'm saying they, and I shouldn't generalize either. When I'm talking about them, I am talking about outright, I'm talking about extreme right-wing publications and they were Trump supporters who did this.

You cannot blame police killings on Black Lives Matter. This is an incident that was verdict. In organization, a decentralized movement that was started because of the death of Trayvon Martin, these folks are not trying to kill people. They are trying to protect black lives. It's horrible to put that at the feet of Black Lives Matter.

CAMEROTA: I mean, John, maybe the facts will lead us to a place where we find out that there was some political argument between this people, it's hard to imagine they are all teenagers. Two of them -- the disabled white teen and one of the black teenagers go. I think the high school together. Maybe that's where the facts will lead, but according to the police who spoke about this. Last night, there's the superintendent, there is no evidence of that. Listen to them.


JOHNSON: But I think some of it is just stupidity. You know people just ranting about something that they think might make a headline. I don't think that -- at this point we don't have anything concrete to really point us in that direction but we'll keep investigating and we'll let the facts guide us on how this concludes.


CAMEROTA: Right, so there you go John, I mean obviously cool has prevailed until we know something different. So what are we to make of the political discourse around us?

PHILLIPS: Well, just for the record, Glenn Beck is not a Donald Trump supporter. He was one of the fear (ph) critics on the right throughout the entire campaign. What we do know is that the police do believe that he was targeted at least for his disability.


PHILLIPS: And base on the law, that's in Chicago, that in and of itself is a hate crime. So, when you add the racial components and you can look at the transcripts, and there were certainly a variety of racial components that were part of this. You can eventually add that on the list.

But these people had no control of themselves. I bet you, when you look deeper into this, you'll find out that there was probably some gang component to it. The word gang popped up in the transcript on the video tape. So, there's a lot of disfunction at play, and by the way, also in the circle where they posted this on Facebook. They posted this so their friends and family could see. I thought that was also something that was just beyond the pale.

RYE: Yeah.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. John, Angela, thank you very much. We appreciate you --

RYE: Yeah.

CAMEROTA: -- trying to talk with us through all of this. Thank you. We'll speak again.

Meanwhile, we want to thank our international viewers for watching us. CNN Newsroom begins for you in just moments.

And for our viewers in the U.S., New Day continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was done by the Russians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our source is not a state party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every American should be worried about this.

GOV. MIKE PENCE, (R) INDIANA: The president-elect expressed his healthy. American skepticism about intelligence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Assange is not a good guy. He is not an ally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare has failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to repeal it and then try to hang it on us. Not going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a plan to replace it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president saying Democrats ought to start calling it Trump care.

PENCE: We're going to be in the promise keeping business.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn't politics, this is a real life --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to warn you that this video is very disturbing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A sickening attack on a disabled man streamed on Facebook live.

(END VIDEO-CLIP) CAMEROTA: Good morning everyone. Welcome to your New Day. Up first, President-elect Donald Trump escalating his battle with the U.S. Intelligence Community, Mr. Trump's public criticism dividing even his own party.

CUOMO: In just hours, it will finally happen. Our president-elect will meet with the nation's top intelligence chiefs. This is much later in the process than we're used to seeing with the president- elect. But the subject will be who was behind the election hacking. All this as we're learning that the president-elect is looking to overhaul top spy agency. We're just 15 days away from Inauguration Day.

Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Jason Carroll live outside of Trump Tower in New York. Yes, the White House Annex.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Chris. Here is what is so troubling to so many within the intelligence community and so many within the GOP. What they are finding is, they are finding that what Trump has done is they feel so he has made up his mind about the intelligence findings before he has actually heard what the findings are.

[07:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President-elect Donald Trump is looking to make major changes to the U.S. Intelligence Community. Sources close to the transition say, Trump is working on a plan to limit the power of the director of National Intelligence --