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Kaine on Trump's Russia Response; Battle over Obamacare Heats Up; Trump's Twitter Presidency. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 5, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:32:27] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Former Democratic VP nominee and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine ripping into President-elect Donald Trump over his response to the alleged Russian hacking.


SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: There is something very unusual, indeed even sort of suspicious, about the degree to which he casually kicks aside the intelligence community when he won't even go to the briefings and again and again takes the Assange-Vladimir Putin line on this important question.


CAMEROTA: All right, let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN political director David Chalian.

So, David, I mean you hear Democrats starting to say there's something suspicious. We've heard that a couple of times ono the show this morning as though Mr. Trump really knows what's behind it but isn't talking about it. So what happens today when the intel chiefs go to Congress and testify and then there really is some meat on the bones?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, right. The thing here you have to remember is that Tim Kaine has some allies across the aisle on this, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who help sort of bolster his case in questioning why Donald Trump is not - or has not yet accepted in full the notion that Russia was involved with the hack. So bringing it into question doesn't seem to just be a partisan attack gives Tim Kaine some cover here. But, clearly, Tim Kaine is trying to make some political hay here with it.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so let's talk about something that seems less opaque. And let's be honest, this isn't about people not knowing what the intel community thinks. Many people have been briefed. They've heard what the intel community has and they are convinced by it. And, in fact, they often note, on both sides of the aisle, that this is an unusual level of consensus, but we'll see what happens today.

Trump just tweeted.


CUOMO: "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." And I guess he's going to go on to say "to decide."

Is this as transparent as it is to me? Does he really think that you put out a tweet saying what Julian Assange says, and you put out a tweet putting intelligence in quotes and that maybe they need more time in the intel community, does he really think anybody's going to believe he's just being a fair broker of information?

CHALIAN: No. And, in fact, let's just, Chris, break down what he actually did here, and let's not get into whether or not he's agreeing with Assange. What he did, the fact of the matter, is that he used Julian Assange's words to bolster his case for calling into question what these 17 intelligence agencies have already concluded, that Russia was the actor here. So whether or not he agrees with it, he can play semantics and word games with that and blame the media and distract. The fact of the matter is, he's using Assange, who has put national security at risk, and is using him as a validator. That in and of itself should be a question for the president-elect.

[08:35:17] CAMEROTA: OK, so maybe that will come up tomorrow when he finally meets with the intel chiefs in the long-awaited briefing and meeting. So what is going to happen, David, after this? I mean you know, as well as we do, that Mr. Trump is often colored and impressed by people that he meets with, and they often are colored and impressed after meeting with him. So what's it going to sound like after this rift has been so public?

CHALIAN: To try and guess how Donald Trump is going to play this is a fool's (INAUDIBLE). But I - but here's what I - just reading the tea leaves, what I think Trump is setting up here. What we've seen overall throughout this whole thing, Alisyn and Chris, is that he has refused to decouple the notion that the hack may have called into his victory, his election victory, as illegitimate. He can't decouple that from the fact that the hack happened from a foreign actor. I have a feeling that maybe he will begin to decouple that.

He - there's a path here, if you listen, he has stopped with, like, well, it could have been a 400-pound guy in a bed. So I think he has gotten away from ruling out entirely that Russia may have been involved. He could come out and say that he certainly believes that that is the conclusion of the intelligence community. Remember, the one thing we know about Donald Trump is, he's not going to admit, hey, guys, I got it completely wrong and reverse. That's not going to happen. And we know from him that he wants to move on from this issue. So I think the win for Trump tomorrow is to emerge, coming out with some acknowledgment, but holding the line that it's still the right thing to do to sort of poke and prod and question intelligence.

CUOMO: You know, some people say they wish that he didn't tweet so much. I'm happy he tweets because it lets you know what's going on inside our leader's head. And this is what's going on inside of his head. There's no question he's got a problem surrendering the "me" to the "we." And that's not just about him. We're seeing that on the Democrat's side, too. I know the lefties are going to get angry at me by suggesting that, but President Obama going to his people and saying, don't work with them, let them do it, don't help them out of their own problem, where's progress going to come from?

CHALIAN: This is a place where now Donald Trump, again, back to the tweets that you're saying, Chris, this morning is trying to get that upper hand, right, calling for bipartisan work here that Democrats and Republicans should come together and - and sort of -

CUOMO: Well, he called Schumer a clown. That's not exactly asking for bipartisan support.

CHALIAN: That is true. But he did go on to say that Democrats and Republicans should work together on the fix here. He's trying to get some buy-in that everybody needs to work on the fix here in an attempt, I think, also to paint Schumer and what he said and President Obama, as you're saying, as just purely partisan obstructionists here.

But, listen, the replace factor here is that this is going to be a long road. You guys know this. Nothing is going to really change in '17 or '18. They're going to take all year, or at least half this year, to hammer out an actual proposal for what will replace Obamacare in the years to come. What I think Donald Trump is most concerned about is that the rug is not pulled out from underneath, that people already have it. He's concerned about a backlash from his own voters who benefit from Obamacare.


CHALIAN: I think that's the thing he wants to make sure does not happen.

CAMEROTA: And just one point of clarification. I mean we heard Senator Tim Kaine, when he was on our program just a few minutes ago, he said that we are mischaracterizing what the president said. He didn't say don't help them fix it. He said, if they repeal it, then you don't help them. Right now, be all - be as helpful as you can. If everybody wants to fix it and come together in bipartisan Kumbaya, do it. But if they repeal it, then all bets are off.

CUOMO: Repeal could be just a word. You know, it's about what parts they defund and how it goes.

CAMEROTA: Exactly. Right. That's a good point.

CHALIAN: But repeal is what they promised.

CAMEROTA: That's right. So, but, anyway, there's a little bit more nuance they are claiming.

Anyway, thanks, David.

CHALIAN: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: Imagine charging your cell phone, going from zero to 100 percent in just five minutes. This is just one of the gadgets lighting up the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. We will take you there live, next.


[08:43:07] CUOMO: People have been known to see mirages in the desert, but in Las Vegas right now, they are seeing glimpse of the future, robots, drones, self-driving cars. They are all the buzz at the CES, the Consumer Electronics Show. CNN's Samuel Burke live in Las Vegas with more.



CAMEROTA: There's a special delivery.

CUOMO: I didn't know. Congratulations.

CAMEROTA: Congratulations.

CUOMO: Named Chris, I hope.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris and Alisyn, before you send me your congratulations, my fathering skills consist of using this smart crib -

CUOMO: Oh, not by the neck.

BURKE: Which has microphones all around it to monitor the baby. I'll come back to that in just one second while the crib does it thing.

But you were talking about smart charging before we went to the break. And, actually, there's an Israeli company here, a small country but has such a big representation at this tech show, that will charge your phone from zero to 100 percent in just five minutes. I turned off the screen here, but we're going to let it charge. Right there, it's at 9 percent. So this technology could be in phones by the end of the year.

But I've got to talk to you guys about the Trump tech phenomenon that I'm seeing here at the Consumer Electronics Show. You guys were just talking about the tweets that he sent out about Assange. Remember, we are three hours behind you guys close to the West Coast here and a lot of these companies come from California. They tell us that they're excited about the prospect of Donald Trump rolling back regulations on their company, but they're waking up at 3:00 a.m., some of these tech companies, just in case Trump is tweeting about one of their companies and the stock plunges. So we have people who have set up Twitter for the first time are using it to get those alerts. The Trump phenomenon, they see both sides of the coin.

So here we have this crib. Like I said, it has microphones all around it. And when it hears the baby is crying, although I kept the baby pretty calm, it starts to rock the baby. You see it going left and right, imitating the feeling, the sensations that it had in the womb. It will set you back about $1,000 for this smart sleeper. But, hey, it's a bit cheaper than a nanny, right?

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, I love it, outsourcing baby rocking.

[08:45:01] CUOMO: What do they call it? The neglect-o-matic, because you don't have to take care of your own kid.

BURKE: There you go.

CAMEROTA: Never have to go into that room again. That is fantastic, Samuel.

CUOMO: I want one of those for me. Thanks, Sam.

CAMEROTA: Good point.

Is Donald Trump destined to be the tweeter-in-chief? We break down the effect of the president-elect's communication style next.

CUOMO: But first, what should you be eating immediately after a good workout?

CAMEROTA: Bacon cheeseburger.

CUOMO: Absolutely. We have some healthy tips in this edition of "Food as Fuel."


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH WRITER: Your first post workout meal should be packed with protein. Nutritionists like milk. But other high-quality sources include cheese, almonds, eggs or poultry. Consuming some carbohydrates can also help replenish the energy you burned off. You can add whole wheat toast to your choice of protein, or go for a fruit smoothie or a cup of yogurt. And if you're worried about muscle soreness, try sprinkling some ginger powder or cinnamon on your food or drinking fresh watermelon or tart cherry juice. Some studies suggest that they can help reduce pain and inflammation after exercise.



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: Making America great again requires more than 140 characters per issue. With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency.


[08:50:12] CUOMO: That is the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, who President-elect Trump just called a clown in a tweet on the dangers of a Twitter presidency under Donald Trump. From all indications, Trump's communication style is going to continue in the Oval Office. I will submit that that's a good thing.

Let's talk about it with CNN senior reporter for media and politics, Dylan Byers, and CNN media analyst and author for "The War for Late Night," Bill Carter. Why do I say that because let's look at some of his most recent tweets right now, Bill.

CAMEROTA: Hot off the presses.


CUOMO: "The dishonest media likes saying that I'm in agreement with Julian Assange. Wrong. I simply state what he states. It's 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."

Why I like this is because you are getting to see what the president- elect is thinking in real time -


CUOMO: And the trouble he is making for himself because this is ridiculous what he's saying.

CARTER: Well, it's in direct contradiction really of what he just said, too. I mean this is pretty much a pattern, too. You see him say something one day and then he gets sort of called on it and he says, I didn't say that. The media says I said that. And there's evidence that he did say it. It is - you can't really say the media made up his tweets. He did actually do this himself.

CAMEROTA: Right. And, Dylan, therein lies the problem. It is up to us to try to divine what he means from his tweets, to read the tweet leaves as I've been saying. And it's very difficult because they are contradictory. This is why a press conference or a sit-down interview would help because then we would really know how he feels. But in the meantime, we try to figure out from 140 characters what he means and it is a real bind, frankly, for journalists.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Oh, it's an immense bind. And we finally will get that long-awaited press conference on January 11th. But, no, every time he sends out a tweet, it sends pretty much the entire media chasing after what he might mean, trying to glean some indication of some sort of policy proposal that may exist once he enters the White House, some sort of strategic effort.

We might be thinking about it the wrong way. And, in fact, David Brooks of "The New York Times" wrote a very interesting column just a few days ago called "The SnapChat Presidency," and it's effectively the same idea as the Twitter presidency. But what he points out is that usually presidents, you know, they gather their advisers, they come up with policy ideas and then they try strategically to implement those ideas over time. We think Trump's doing that with his tweets. That's not what's happening. The tweet itself is the act. The posture is the product, as David Brooks wrote.

CUOMO: Right. BYERS: That - all he's doing there, he's bashing his enemies, he's defending his brand, but that is the whole act. And like SnapChat, it disappears after 24 hours.

CUOMO: But, look, Bill -


CUOMO: The media often ignores things about itself it should criticize and criticizes things it should ignore. Why would you put it on us about whether or not you want to take a look at what the president- elect -

CARTER: Right.

CUOMO: And soon to be president is actually saying about things that matter?

CAMEROTA: Because it changes.

CUOMO: Why would I ignore it?

CAMEROTA: Because it changes.

CUOMO: That's on him. That's not on me.


CUOMO: That's on him.

CARTER: I think there is too much bashing of the president, chasing his tweets. We have to react to his tweets. He - this is what he thinks at this moment in time. You have to, also, I think, give context though, because this is a guy who's a showman and a lot of this is just him doing his show. And he likes to have - he's very skillful at this. He gets attention this way. He drives ratings this way. He's aware of that. And the next day he (INAUDIBLE) something else.

CAMEROTA: Right. So if we invest hours - this is that - that - therein lies the problem.


CAMEROTA: If we invest hours of our morning program into divining what this is, then tomorrow it changes, then shame on us.

CARTER: Well, why - you have - you don't have to divine it. I think you just have to say -


CARTER: No, we have to say, here's what he said today, but it's in contradiction to what he said yesterday.

BYERS: Well, but - CARTER: It doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to change policy, because I don't think it is.

BYERS: But -

CARTER: I think it's of the moment. I think Dylan's entirely right -

CAMEROTA: Go ahead.

CARTER: It is very much of the moment.

CAMEROTA: Go ahead, Dylan.

BYERS: I would - I would just say to Alisyn's point, I mean, look, whether we're trying to divine what he's saying in his tweets, whether we're just talking about that fact that he tweets, at the end of the day, there is a certain amount of real estate in the news media space and a great deal of it is being devoted to Donald Trump and his tweets. And the question is, is it a distraction? How much of what Donald Trump does is effectively trying to manipulate the media. And I don't necessarily mean that in a negative way, just in a strategic way, trying to manipulate the media so that he can sort of take up a great deal of the oxygen with certain issues, distracting from other issues that he might not want the media to focus on.

CUOMO: But when he does that, you can call him out on it, Dylan. I'm using this example, not just because it's recent, but because it's relevant. He put Julian Assange up as a counterbalance to U.S. intelligence. I don't care what he says in his tweets. They speak for themselves. It's not subjective. That's objective. So you have -

CAMEROTA: But now he's now saying - but - but why do you think I agree with Julian Assange?

BYERS: Right, but that -

CUOMO: And that's fine.

BYERS: But now we -

CUOMO: Let's him say it because he is the one who's going to be judged for that, not us for covering it.

BYERS: And it would be - it would be more heartening if at a certain point some of his supporters might look at the contradictory nature of those tweets and maybe think that they got sold a false bill of goods. But until -

[08:55:30] CUOMO: And that will keep him from tweeting, by the way. If you catch him doing ridiculous things like this on a regular basis, he'll say, this isn't worth it for me.


CUOMO: You know, this isn't worth it. I'm not getting the bang out of the buck. People don't hate the media enough to counterbalance, my mistakes.

CAMEROTA: I didn't hear that.

CARTER: It's still early in this and the media is still trying to figure it out. We'll see how it continues when he's president.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for helping us try to figuring it out. Bill and Dylan, great to talk to you.

What's your take on this? You can tweet both of us @newday or you can post your comments on You can also find us @chriscuomo on Twitter.

CUOMO: How about some "Good Stuff?"

CAMEROTA: Let's do it.

CUOMO: Next.


CUOMO: Amen to "The Good Stuff." A Massachusetts woman is not letting her disability hold her back. Meet Collette. She had a hard time finding a job because she has Down's syndrome.


COLLETTE DIVITTO, STARTED COOKIE BUSINESS: It's hard to find a paying jo job with people like me.


CUOMO: You know what she said? Fine, don't hire me. I'm going to start my own business. She turned her passion for baking into a cookie business. Chocolate chip cookies dipped in cinnamon -

CAMEROTA: Wait a minute, what?

CUOMO: Yes. Now sold in a local shop.

CAMEROTA: Now you have my attention.


STEPHEN DEANGELIS, OWNER, GOLDEN GOOSE MARKET: Oh, we get (INAUDIBLE). We had - first of all, we have to chase the employees away because they want to eat them.


CUOMO: That's what I'm talking about.

CAMEROTA: He's excited about it.

CUOMO: Now, listen to this. This is my favorite part. She wants her business to go global, not for the cash. When's the last time you heard a businessman say that? She wants it so that she can hire more people just like her.

[09:00:02] CAMEROTA: I cannot weigh in on this story until I taste the goods. That is what a good reporter would say. So, please, send us some cookies.

Thank you for that.

Time for "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello.

CUOMO: A big fan of cinnamon, Carol Costello.

CAMEROTA: Hey, Carol.