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Trump to Receive Briefing from Intelligence Community on Link Between Russia and Leaked DNC Emails; Congressional Republicans Debate Health Care Reform; Interview with Congressman Darrell Issa. Aired 8- 8:30a ET
Aired January 5, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] DIMITRI ROBERTS, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF SEVENSTAR CONSULTING: -- the southwest side of Chicago. This is not a reflection of what good African-Americans, young African-Americans are doing on the south and west side and what folks like Black Lives Matter or blue lives matter are doing to bring peace. So let's talk in peaceful terms and let's resolve this in a way that we can really make not just the city of Chicago stronger, but the country stronger?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Dimitri, Harry, one thing is for sure. When bad things happen, people use them to politicize and advance agendas. But I'll tell you, a great step of progress is the way you two gentlemen discussed it right here on NEW DAY. Thank you for your ideas and the way you discussed it.
ROBERTS: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: Appreciate it.
There is a lot of news for you this morning. Let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER, WIKILEAKS: Our source is not the Russian government.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: Don't listen to him. Listen to the American intelligence community.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president-elect has expressed his skepticism about intelligence conclusions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody needs to march into his office and explain who Julian Assange is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American people voted to repeal and replace Obamacare.
CUOMO: President Obama urging Democrats not to help Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They will have shown us by the repeal that they're uninterested in our input.
CHARLES SCHUMER, (D-NY) SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The Republican plan to cut health care would make America sick again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand that health care is crucial to every American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Up first, president- elect Trump has a new enemy, the U.S. intelligence community. Trump continues to publicly antagonize the intel community despite the conclusion of 17 agencies that Russia was behind the hacking during the U.S. election. Trump instead siding with known malefactor Julian Assange, a man he once said should be put to death for what he does.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: One hour from now, top intelligence chiefs will head to Capitol Hill to testify about the alleged Russian hacking. All this as we learn the president-elect wants to overhaul the nation's top spy agency. We are 15 days away from inauguration day, so let's begin coverage with CNN's Jason Carroll. He is live outside of Trump Tower in New York. What have your learned, Jason?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Alisyn. What's so troubling to so many in the intelligence community is the feeling that what the president-elect is doing is that he's drawing a conclusion about the evidence before he's actually been presented with the evidence. All this as Trump plans to restructure one of the country's top intelligence agencies.
CARROLL: 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. The source claiming Trump's team believes the director gets in the way of the 16 intelligence agencies it represents, including the CIA. Trump also wants to expand the CIA's human spying capabilities by getting more people out of headquarters and into the field.
The source citing criticism that the spy agency has been too reliant on electronic spying and the NSA signals intelligence under President Obama. All this coming hours after Trump publicly sided with WikiLeaks founders Julian Assange. The president-elect tweeting "Assange said a 14-years-old could have hacked Podesta. Why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info."
JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: Our source is not the Russian government.
CARROLL: But 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the electronic cyber-attacks. Trump's tweet about Assange creating upheaval in Trump's own party.
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I think the guy is a sycophant for Russia. He leaks. He steals data and compromises national security.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: For heaven's sakes, don't listen to him. Listen to the American intelligence community who are patriots.
REP. SEAN DUFFY, (R) VICE CHAIR, TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM: Assange is not a good guy. He's not an ally and a friend to the United States of America.
CARROLL: But Trump did not feel the same way about Assange back in 2010 when his website released millions of classified military and diplomatic documents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: WikiLeaks, you had nothing to do with it. You think it's disgraceful?
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT-ELECT: There should be a death penalty or something.
CARROLL: The president-elect's twitter criticism has many on edge, one official saying "We're heading into this different era where it's hostile." But Trump's team defended his continued conspiratorial tone.
GOV. MIKE PENCE, (R) VICE PRESIDENT ELECT: I think given some of the intelligence failures of recent years, the president-elect has made it clear to the American people that he's skeptical about conclusions.
CARROLL: And Chris, the focus now, the findings on those cyber- attacks. President Obama expected to receive his briefing today. Trump will get his briefing shortly after that. That's expected to be on Friday. Chris?
[08:05:00] CUOMO: Jason, thanks a lot.
Another big battle that's going on right now is over the future of the ACA, also known as Obamacare. Republicans ready to repeal the president's health care law even though they don't have a plan to replace it. CNN's Phil Mattingly live on Capitol Hill with more. Donald Trump tweeting a lot about that this morning, calling Chuck Schumer, the lead Democrat, a clown.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it appears Democrats were largely focused on messaging yesterday, apparently got the message to the president-elect. And that's an interesting component of all this, Chris. When we saw two big leaders coming to Capitol Hill yesterday the issue wasn't policy. It was all about PR.
MIKE PENCE, (R) VICE PRESIDENT ELECT: The American people voted for in November.
MATTINGLY: Just two days into the new Congress, the battle lines are drawn.
PENCE: The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare.
MATTINGLY: Vice president elect Mike Pence rallying emboldened Republicans to repeal the affordable care act, all as President Obama huddles with Democrats looking to save his signature domestic achievement. His advice to those lawmakers --
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look out for the American people.
MATTINGLY: Sources say they're encouraging them not to rescue Republicans, calling on his party to deploy Tea Party like tactics to obstruct their effort. The president labeling the GOP's half-baked plan "Trumpcare." While Republicans aren't united on how to replace Obamacare, Pence and president-elect Donald Trump want to make sure the GOP are united on messaging. Trump tweeting the Dems owned the failed Obamacare disaster.
PENCE: All the promises of Obamacare have been shown to be false and broken promises.
MATTINGLY: And Senate Republicans already scoring a procedural win in the fight, clearing 51 votes in favor of a budget resolution that would clear the way towards repealing large swaths of the law.
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We want to make sure that as we give relief to people in Obamacare, we do it in a transition that doesn't pull the rug out from anybody. We have a plan to replace it.
MATTINGLY: Democrats are digging in.
NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: The Republicans say repeal and replace. The only thing that has going for it is alliteration. They have no replacement plan. So to repeal and then delay is an act of cowardice.
MATTINGLY: Unveiling a new slogan at the core of their defense.
CHARLES SCHUMER, (D-NY) SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The Republican plan to cut health care wouldn't make America great again. It would make America sick again and lead to chaos instead of affordable care.
MATTINGLY: And Alisyn, as Chris mentioned, it appears the new Democratic tag line has caught the attention of the president-elect, tweeting a couple of things this morning, one attacking Schumer, but also saying while the Affordable Care Act is a disaster, as he's called it repeatedly, Democrats and Republicans should work together on fixing it or on a replacement. What we've seen over the first two full days of congress, that's not going to happen any time soon.
CAMEROTA: OK, Phil, thank you very much for all the reporting. Let's discuss it now. We want to bring in California Republican
Congressman Darrell Issa. He is a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees. Good morning, congressman.
REP. DARRELL ISSA, (R) CALIFORNIA: Good morning, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Let's start by talking about what's going on with the intelligence community. The Trump transition team has told CNN that Mr. Trump is looking to limit the power of the director of national intelligence. That of course is the agency that was created after 9/11 to help streamline the intelligence that used to be siloed. Mr. Trump apparently feels the DNI is an impediment to intelligence gathering. Do you agree with that?
ISSA: I do, and I do for a reason that I think is the pure bureaucracy of the DNI. I was on the select intelligence committee when we made those decisions, when we formed it, and when we limited its power congressionally. Former congressman Pete Hoekstra was the chairman. And it was very clear at the time of the enactment that it was supposed to be a limited coordination body. It was never intended to have more than a couple of hundred total employees. And it was all about the siloing. In other words, they were going to look at 16 agencies and see if there were things being missed, falling between the cracks. Instead within a matter of years -- actually months, they started trying to usurp the CIA station chiefs around the world. And it's been a fight ever since.
CAMEROTA: What do you think about the intelligence agencies? Do you doubt their findings about Russian hacking?
ISSA: Well, I haven't been read in by each of those agencies, so I want to be caveat with that. But what I do think is important is that you need to hear from the CIA with their conclusion, and if they have more than one opinion, you need to hear the factors for and against.
CAMEROTA: So you don't think you've heard enough? Sorry to interrupt, but you don't think in terms of the two reports that they put out where they say they found digital fingerprints that point to Russia, that's not been enough for you yet?
[08:10:00] ISSA: Well, you haven't been read into this either. So I think the important thing is that I believe that the patriots that work for our intelligence organizations including the NSA -- remember, the CIA generally is not the one that would look at those footprints. It would be the NSA. When they reach a conclusion and they read people into how they reached the conclusion, how they discovered if it was, for example, a military installation or a government installation in a foreign country is important. The president needs to have that briefing with the details.
But I think back to your first question, those 16 agencies need to be able to agree to disagree. Stove-piping is one thing, but disagreement is exactly what you want to have if you're going to make a major decision on the conclusion that right now with the DNI is often what we call group think. So the need for this his is bipartisan. You talk to the committee members in the house and Senate, and you'll find they have problems with the DNI and would like to see some reform.
CAMEROTA: Understood, but it doesn't sound in terms of the Russian hacking as though those 16 agencies are disagreeing. Let me read for you what Mr. Trump has tweeted in connection with this. He said first, "The intelligence briefing," he put in quotation marks, "on so- called "Russian hacking," he put that in quotation marks as well, "was delayed until Friday," meaning tomorrow, "Perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange." He then tweeted about Julian Assange. He said "a 14-year-old could have hacked Podesta. Why was the DNC so careless?" Also said Russians did not give him the info. Do you think Julian Assange has as much credibility as our intelligence agencies?
ISSA: I think the 14-year-old could have hacked, when you look at the particulars of how it happened. In other words, Podesta received an e-mail which was called a phishing e-mail. He asked if it was legitimate before responding. He was told by an I.T. person it was when, in fact, it simply caused him to give away his password.
CAMEROTA: Sure, but my question is do you put as much stock in what Julian Assange is saying as our intelligence agencies?
ISSA: Alisyn, it's important to understand, that type of so-called hacking doesn't take a sophisticated country. It happens every day. You probably have received an e-mail that, if you responded, you could be compromising your own email account.
CAMEROTA: Sure. But I don't know that all of them have Cyrillic keyboards that they lead back to which has been released by the intel agencies as one of the clues.
ISSA: I'm not questioning the clues. But let's remember, it's all about the specifics of who was it, who coordinated it. And I certainly think that you want to build the case that it was high levels of Russian government that made this decision and for what purpose if that's the case.
And I think we have a policy which is one president at a time. I think Donald Trump's skepticism will appropriately come to a conclusion, one way or the other, after he's the president of the United States. And I think that's appropriate.
CAMEROTA: I'm looking for your opinion. Do you put as much stock in Julian Assange as you do our intel agencies?
ISSA: You know, he's a terrible, terrible human being, but usually what happens is you ask why would he lie in that process? And that's important to consider. But one other thing about those 16 or 17, if you prefer, agencies, some of them have no opinion about Russian hacking. Some of them don't deal in that sort of information. So when people say 17 all agree, 17 don't really have a seat at the table in some cases. And that's important to understand. It's actually a few individuals who are looking at specific information.
And I will tell you from what I've heard and seen, it does seem to point back to Russia. But I think we all want to make sure we find out where it points and to whom, not just to what country. CAMEROTA: OK, so very quickly, tomorrow when Mr. Trump meets with the
heads of the intel agencies and they lay out their case, then what? What's going to happen if they make a compelling case that it was Russia?
ISSA: I've met with the president-elect more than a couple of times, and what I find is he asks great questions and he demands answers. So if they have the answers to his questions tomorrow, I suspect the president-elect will come out with a view that is consistent with what -- how those questions are answered. And that might very well change a portion or all of what he's been saying.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Darrell Issa, thank you very much. Great to get to talk to you this morning.
We have a quick programming note. House Speaker Paul Ryan will take part in a CNN town hall hosted by Jake Tapper next Thursday, January 12th, 9:00 p.m. eastern only on CNN.
CUOMO: Another dramatic day in court for convicted Charleston murder Dylann Roof. Roof telling a jury considering a death penalty that he is not mentally ill. Prosecutors pinning their case on roof's jailhouse journal where he writes, "I'm not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed."
[08:15:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jail house journal where he writes, I'm not sorry, I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed. Roof was convicted of killing nine people inside a South Carolina church. The jury is deciding whether or not to kill him for that.
ALYSIN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So here is an important story for parents that may contradict everything you've heard before, new guidelines just released by the NIH may help prevent life-threatening peanut allergies in future generations. The new guidelines say parents should introduce peanuts into an infant's diet early on rather than later as we have been told in order to reduce the risk of developing an allergy. That is a breakthrough. Because you were not -- I remember the (inaudible) that you weren't must give your give kids any nut products for the first year maybe within a longer, in case they were allergic. So this is completely contradictory to that.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But that's new thinking. Do you remember when we were growing up? I don't remember any nut allergies in school. I mean we used to bring everything nice.
CAMEROTA: Me too. I know that.
CUOMO: Back in the old days, we didn't have any of these allergies. You got sick, you died and you liked it.
CAMEROTA: Right. So maybe exposure, I mean it sounds like what they're saying is that exposure might actually be a prophylactic.
CUOMO: There. And that goes back to wives tale times of what women should be eating when they're pregnant, because you introduce that food and who knows whether it's true or not but I will tell you something. Parents are going to be very on edge about this, because you're taught to just be so afraid of what happens if your kid has an anaphylactic reaction, you know.
CUOMO: So, anyway, what do you think? Tweet Alisyn?
President-elect Donald Trump taking on the U.S. intelligence community even siding with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Russia. Remember, Trump once acknowledged that Assange should get the death penalty for what he does. We'll going to talk to a Democratic congressman who sits on the intel committee, next. What does he know?
CUOMO: Intel community keeps giving us sources saying that they're on edge because President-elect Donald Trump is continuing to antagonize them in public and its apparent alignment with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Russian intel is troubling to say the least.
[08:20:04] Trump tweeted this, "Julian Assange said a 14-year-old could've hacked Podesta. Why was DNC so careless?" Fair enough. "Also said, Russians did not give him the info". Joining us now Democratic Congressman, Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. There's a lot of dancing on this issue especially on the GOP side because those folks are put in a tough position of maybe voicing an opinion that goes against the President-elect's predilections in this situation.
You are on the intel committee. How shocked would you be if today, at the McCain hearing or tomorrow when they meet with the President, intel officials told anyone that we're not sure that Russia is one of the motivators of these hacks?
ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: That's never going to happen because the intelligence community has a level of certainty about this that you rarely see them on such significant conclusions. And look, you know, you hear former colleagues like mine, the Vice President-elect Mike Pence tie themselves in knots so of my colleague Darrell Issa just now trying to avoid saying they put more faith in Julian Assange, an accused sex offender than they do with their own intelligence agencies. And it's embarrassing, to be honest with you. Because this is not healthy skepticism as they would like to portray it. This is very unhealthy, essentially avoidance of the facts because they don't seem to personally--
CUOMO: Well, let's talk about that for a second. Because I just want to be very clear about this. Are your sure that when the officials go to the committee hearing today or when they talk to the President- elect tomorrow, that they will say with confidence that they can prove that Russia was motivating these hacks?
SCHIFF: Absolutely. You know, and that is the other thing which I think people need to understand. This is not a situation where the President-elect hasn't been briefed on this. It's not as if he's going to get some new revelation when they sit down and they give a more comprehensive briefing later this week.
He has been briefed. He knows better. But it's simply at odds with his own preferred version of the events and he will not accept it. So I would be astonished, also, if we have a very different Donald Trump after Friday. He has put so much stock in this antagonism to the conclusion that Russia was behind this, and I think it goes back to a very simple thing. And it's not unrelated to Juliian Assange. And that is during the campaign, Wikileaks was helpful to him, Assange was helpful to him. During the campaign the Russian hacks were helpful to him, and Donald Trump does not bite the hand that feeds him. You're with him or against him. But if you're with him, it doesn't matter whether you're accused sex offender holding up in the embassy in Ecuador. He is going to be with you.
SCHIFF: And that's a dangerous quality in a commander-in-chief.
CUOMO: Granting that Donald Trump may have a problem surrendering the me to the we when it comes to, you know, taking on his role as the leader of all of us in earnest, how much of this goes back to the politicizing of this by the administration?
They knew this information about Russia early on. They're blaming us in the media for not paying attention to what happened with Clapper in early October. That's not really fair. They could have been singing, you know, at the top of their lungs about this and they didn't. The White House made calculations to leave it alone and there's lots of spin game going on there why they did it. You've been critical of that move. Why?
SCHIFF: Because I do think the administration should've come out earlier and much more forcefully about this. This was a four-nation meddling in our political affairs. And I understand their reluctance they didn't want to be seen as intervening on Secretary Clinton's behalf. But nonetheless, I felt there was an obligation to level with the American people in as thorough way as you can about a foreign country trying to interfere in our affairs and take the heat that goes with it. And that's why Senator Feinstein and I took the extraordinary step before the intelligence committee, before the community of going public with the Russian interference in our affairs.
So I think that was a mistake, but nonetheless, that doesn't led Russia off the hook. It doesn't let Republicans off the hook. All Americans ought to be concerned about this meddling and whether the reaction was too early or too late, we still need to do more about this, and I think it'll be bipartisan support for a strong sanctions package against Russia.
CUOMO: Speaking of bipartisan support, do you agree with the President of the United States that you Democrats should not be anxious to help Republicans change the ACA?
SCHIFF: I do agree with him because I think the ACA has meant millions and millions of people in America have gotten healthcare that wouldn't have it otherwise. And we should not be a party to basically throwing people off their health insurance. This is a matter of life and death for many Americans. And so absolutely, and, you know, what I find fascinating is here during the campaign, Donald Trump said that he had a plan to replace Obamacare and that it was going to be great and it was going to be better healthcare at lower prices. And he gave us all the details in two words. He said "Believe me." And now all of a sudden he wants Democrats and Republicans to come up with a plan revealing that they'd never had a plan--
[08:25:12] CUOMO: No, but that was both ways, right? Politicians abuse the truth sometimes. The promise during the salesmanship of the ACA was you get to keep your doctor. That rates were going to go down for everybody, healthcare would become cheaper and for at least 1.7 million people in this country, it's not true.
Now I know the extent of the rate rises has been exaggerated, but it's still real on a level. And people need things to be fixed within the ACA and many of you Democrats acknowledge that as well. So are you going too far by not working with the GOP because you know the law needs to be fixed and you're probably going to be able to keep much of what you like?
SCHIFF: Chris, you're absolutely right. There are problems in the ACA. And for years many of us there within the Democratic Party have been advocating making changes to address exactly the things that you're mentioning. But we found no interest among the GOP because they didn't want to improve it, they didn't want to repair it.
CUOMO: But you got interest now, because, as you said, they don't have a plan. They want to keep that you have, you know, the main features of it, that people like, whether it's letting your kids stay in or lifetime caps, you know, or no preconditions. Those were your main things, you know, and then it just comes down to the mandate and how you pay for a lot of these things. Why not be involved in that process and try to keep ownership of the signature treatment of Obama rather than just making sure you're divorced from it?
SCHIFF: We know we will be involved. And, you know, as the President said, we should extend our hand if the Republicans and the President- elect want to work with us, absolutely. But here is where the rubber hits the road, Chris. It's very simple. And that is the President- elect says that he wants to make sure people with pre-existing conditions can still get healthcare.
Well, that runs into all of the other Republican priorities which means Republicans can't eliminate the mandate because otherwise you just buy a policy when you get sick and not before, and that doesn't work. It means that you can't eliminate, also, all of the subsidies or you'll going to throw millions of people off their health insurance. So what the Republicans say they want is mutually incompatible and they will not be able to overcome that very basic conflict with, if they're going to cover people with pre-existing conditions, there's going to have to be a broad mandate.
So, you know, I don't see that as something that can be the subject of some kind of compromise without lots of people losing their health insurance. But if they want to work on improving this, I'm all for it. And we will work with them. If they want to work on throwing it all out and say come bail us out, come rescue us from ourselves, we're not interested in that.
CUOMO: All right. Adam Schiff, thank you very much. We'll be staying on this topic. Appreciate you being on "New Day" as always.
SHIFF: Thank you, Chris.
CUOMO: On a quick programming note. Next Monday night, we're going to have a special prime time town hall with former Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He has taken on a leadership position within the Democratic Party. He's going to speak to people like you about what the Democrats are going to do, how obstinate will they be when it comes to Obamacare. What did they want to fight for or you? What are they about? Join us next Monday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Alisyn?
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. Former Democratic V.P. nominee Tim Kaine calling out the President-elect right here on "New Day" for doubting U.S. intelligence and putting more stock in Julian Assange. So we've got the bottom line on that and more next.