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Major Hacking Revelation; Who Pays for the Wall?; Dueling Priorities for GOP. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired January 6, 2017 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:32] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The key link in the election hacking scheme revealed. A U.S. intelligence report identifies people provided hacked Democratic e-mails from WikiLeaks from the Russian government. All this ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's sit down with intelligence. Complete coverage ahead.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Who is going to pay for the wall?




TRUMP: By the way, 100 percent.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Or maybe not. In an effort to speed up construction, Trump's team now says that he wants Congress to fund the border wall. Details on the major flip just ahead.

ROMANS: And the Republicans now look to target Planned Parenthood while they dismantle Obamacare. But could doing both at once end up hurting their cause?

A lot to get to this morning. Welcome back, everybody, to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUEZ: And I'm Miguel Marquez. It is 31 minutes past the hour.

Big developments overnight. New intelligence reports given to President Obama names the go-between who officials now believe Russia used to ferry hacked e-mails to WikiLeaks before the election. This as U.S. officials tell that CNN intelligence agencies got new information after the election that has increased confidence it was Russia that carried out the hack and did it in part because Moscow wanted to help Donald Trump win. All this ahead of the president-elect's top level intelligence

briefing on the hack expected sometime today. What is Mr. Trump saying about this? We'll get more on that in a moment.

We start with justice correspondent Pamela Brown and the latest on the new intelligence.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Miguel and Christine. We are learning more about what is in that comprehensive review that was presented to President Obama and will be presented to President-elect Trump. We've learned that it contains the identities of the go-between people that the Russia used to hand over those stolen documents to WikiLeaks.

You'll recall this week that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said that the Russians did not hand over those documents. But we've learned from our sources that the Russian government used a third party. And apparently, the identities of those people are now in that report.

Also, we've learned about these intercepted communications after the election of Russian government officials celebrating and congratulating each other on Donald Trump's win. We're told there is no smoking gun in intercepted communication, but this is just one piece of the puzzle of many pieces, we're told, that that has built the picture of Russia behind the hack and the why, the motivations, also included in this report.

We know the leader of the DNI will be leading this briefing with Donald Trump in New York and Trump Tower, along with other leaders of the intelligence community. Of course, this will be watched very closely.

Back to you -- Christine and Miguel.


ROMANS: Pamela, thank you for that.

So, who are those go-betweens that the intelligence agencies say carried the stolen emails from Russian hackers to WikiLeaks? Well, that's classified. But Vice President Biden says that official will be shortly released an unclassified version of intelligence report he received.

What will that show? Here is what Biden told PBS.


JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it will be probably confirm what a lot of the American people think. The idea that the Russians were not involved in an effort to engage in our electoral process is simply not able to be sustained. They were.


MARQUEZ: Earlier, lawmakers and intelligence officials weighed in on the Russian hack at the Senate hearing where they mostly criticized the president-elect. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told senators the agencies are more sure than ever that the Russians were behind the leaked e-mails.

Both Clapper and Senator Lindsey Graham underline the difference between what they called healthy skepticism and intelligence, and undermining the people who actually produce it.


JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I don't think that we've ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election process than we've seen in this case.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Ladies and gentlemen, it is time now not to throw pebbles, but throw rocks. I wish we were not here. If it were up to me, we all live in peace, but Putin is up to no good and he'd better be stopped.


[04:35:05] ROMANS: James Clapper, the national intelligence chief, also told senators that his foreign counterparts are worried that the president-elect is disparaging the U.S. intelligence community could damage public confidence in spy agencies.

As we mentioned today, Clapper and other intelligence agency heads are set to brief Donald Trump on the hack in person.

CNN's Jim Acosta has a quick preview.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Later today, Trump will be meeting with top intelligence community officials to go over their findings that Russia was hacking into the November election. Expected at this meeting will be the outgoing director of national intelligence, James Clapper, as well as Michael Flynn, the incoming national security adviser for the president-elect.

Yesterday, up on Capitol Hill, those intelligence community leaders were reiterating their findings that Russia was involved in hacking into the election. But Trump, in a series of tweets last night continued to raise doubts about that assessment.

Meanwhile, he has named retiring Indiana Senator Dan Coats as his new director of national intelligence. But I'm told by a transition official that Coats will not be at that meeting later on today.


ACOSTA: Thanks to Jim Acosta. And those Trump tweets that Jim mentioned came shortly after CNN

reported the Democratic National Committee rebuffed an FBI request to examine its computer servers after the initial hack. It's according to a senior law enforcement official who says it forced the bureau to rely on a third party for data and delaying the investigation. This despite the DNC telling BuzzFeed News the FBI never asked to access their servers.

Donald Trump latching on to that report to sow doubt about intelligence in Russia he disagrees with. He writes, "The Democratic National Committee would not allow the FBI to study or see its computer info after it was supposedly hacked by Russia. So, how and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?"

ROMANS: All right. As Pamela Brown noted in our lead story, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denies that it was Russia that provided the stolen e-mails. But knowing what we know about that new intelligence report, that there was a go-between, I want you to listen carefully to Assange speaking earlier this week to FOX News.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Can you tell the American people 1,000 percent, you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?

JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER, WIKILEAKS: We can say and we have said repeatedly over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not state party.


ROMANS: Notice when Assange is asked if he got the leaked e-mails from Russia or anyone associated with Russia, he doesn't directly answer the question. He says it wasn't the Russian government or a state party. He never says it was not a third party go-between.

You know, I would really encourage our viewers to go to and read this really great analysis of who is Julian Assange, to remind you, to get you up to speed of the very complicated and contradictory history of this central figure.

MARQUEZ: Very long history.

ROMANS: Absolutely.

MARQUEZ: Now, as for senior members of the Russian government apparently celebrating Donald Trump's victory. How are those officials reacting to all these new revelations?

CNN senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen is live for us from Moscow.

I take it they were watching closely. FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They were

watching very, very closely, Miguel. Good morning. And they were pretty angry and frustrated, at least judging by the reactions we're getting both on Russian state news agencies and from Russian officials that we're talking to ourselves.

The Sputnik News Agency, which is one of those state-run news agencies latching on to that tweet from Donald Trump where he questions why the FBI did not directly look at those DNC servers, claiming that the FBI usually outsources something to a company that they claim is against Russia.

Now, one of the other things that we did last night as the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings were going on, we actually got a message from the spokesperson for Vladimir Putin. His name is Dmitry Peskov. And he texted me the following -- he said, "We have suggested cooperation on combating cyber threats numerous times. It was rejected. And we are sick and tired of those irresponsibly blaming everything on our country. If there is a need for an enemy, why not try someone else."

You can see the frustration. The Russians continuing to say it wasn't them. A

And one of the other things that really seem to anger them a lot was that one claim that the DNI made, saying that Russia was also spreading fake news to influence public opinion in America. A senior Russian lawmaker coming out with a tweet earlier, saying that it was America spreading fake news, and that he claims that the intelligence that's now provided now is also one large fake -- Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Fred, if the goal for Donald Trump was to improve relations with the U.S. and Russia, it seems because of everything that has happened and his stance in protecting them, it's reverse.

[04:40:03] What are you hearing from ordinary Russians on all this? Are we any closer to better relations?

PLEITGEN: I think that the Russians believe that we are on the cusp of better relations between the U.S. and Russia and it all hinges on the Trump administration. It seems as though many here believe that Trump and Vladimir Putin are two men who can get together well and work together very well.

One of the things that we are hearing from the Putin administration, though, is that right now, they are sort of in a wait and see mode where they say they are hearing the things they want to hear from Trump, but they're not sure that it translates into policies in the future. But, certainly, one of the things that we do hear again and again is that, obviously, the relations between the U.S. and Russia hitting one low point after the next in the final days of the Obama administration -- Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Fred Pleitgen in Moscow for us -- thank you very much.

ROMANS: All right. Important milestone today, the final, the very last jobs report of President Obama's tenure is due later this morning. Economists forecast 172,000 new jobs added in December. The jobless rate is expected to rise to relatively low 4.7 percent. That's likely because of strong jobs market to have people look for work again.

Wages likely rebounded 2.8 percent after ticking down a little bit in November. Now, since President Obama took office, 11 million net new jobs have been created. Look at the beginning -- do you remember when he took office? We were losing 700,000 jobs a month. And then, things started to turn around. In December, we're likely mark the 75th consecutive month of job creation.

Now, presidents get too much credit, in my view, and too much blame for the economy in their tenure. But job growth is a solid part of President Obama's legacy. There are some negatives here, though. Wage growth still below -- well below the Federal Reserve's annual target, plus, the number of manufacturing jobs still below the levels we saw before the recession and way fewer than the 17 million jobs back in 2000.

Think of that -- 17 million manufacturing jobs back in 2000. Now, just over 12 million. Those are the jobs that Donald Trump promised to bring back. The problem is going to be the skills gap. Companies want workers with high tech training or specific vocational training. Many of the jobs that have disappeared were low skill positions.

So, there is a technology and skills component here, too, as well as an outsourcing component. So far, Donald Trump has really kind of attacked the outsourcing part of --

MARQUEZ: And I assume even if high -- high end manufacturing jobs came back, they would be done by robots, rather than people.

ROMANS: Or they're using fewer people and technology and robots to do that, right.

MARQUEZ: All right. Donald Trump's biggest campaign pledge. No sure thing this morning. New reporting on who Trump wants to pay for that border wall.



[06:46:24] TRUMP: We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration. We're going stop drugs from coming in.

Who is going to pay for the wall?




TRUMP: By the way, 100 percent. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: Remember that? Well, that was one of the central themes of the Trump campaign. A promise to get Mexico to pay for a wall along the border with the U.S.

It turns out it won't be Mexico footing the bill after all. It will be -- drum roll -- you, the American taxpayer at least at first. House Republicans tell CNN Trump's team informs them the president- elect now prefers to fund the wall through the appropriations process and he wants to do it by April.

In other words, he plans to use federal tax money. Some top Republicans are refusing to commit to that plan and there is already talk among Democrats about shutting down the government over the issue in October. Trump did suggest Mexico could reimburse the U.S. for the cost of the wall, but it's unclear how that is accomplished if the U.S. pays up front.

ROMANS: That's quite a reversal. That will be interesting to watch.

MARQUEZ: It's hard to believe.

ROMANS: All right. Republicans are launching a new push to defund Planned Parenthood, but they're doing it in conjunction with repealing Obamacare. And that could slow both those efforts. House Speaker Paul Ryan says Republicans will try to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood as part of the process they are using to dismantle Obamacare, essentially linking those two, Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.

That decision could slow the efforts to dismantle Obamacare because Senate Republicans have only two votes to spare. At least two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are pro-choice. They won't commit to an Obamacare repeal that includes a Planned Parenthood language.

MARQUEZ: Meantime, the broader efforts to undo the president's signature health law are getting really messy. Senate majority whip, John Cornyn, of Texas now says Republicans won't offer a comprehensive bill to replace Obamacare, instead opting for multiple individual measures.

Concerned one large bill could be hard to push, Cornyn tells CNN, quote, "We're not going to do a comprehensive bill. We're going to do it in a step by step basis." Cornyn adds, "If I learned anything since being here in the Senate, big comprehensive bills are not the way to go."

But that doesn't square with what Congressman Chris Collins, who is the liaison to Congress for the Trump's transition said yesterday.


REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: We will repeal it quickly. The replacement is something you will see some time in the June or July time frame. On the replacement plan, you know, you've seen five or six different versions of replacement plans on the Republican side. You know, we're going to have to bring those all together to have one final product.


ROMANS: As with Democrats, Vice President Biden weighing in, chastising the GOP for not having really ideas for replacement.


BIDEN: Democrats should say let's look at what you have right now and let's see if we can fix it. Talk to us. Tell us your ideas are. Mr. Trump's a good man, but he doesn't know much about the health care system.

JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: But they are very serious about undoing it.

BIDEN: Oh, lhey are serious about undoing it. So, like I said, lots of luck in your senior year. Undo it. See what happens.


MARQUEZ: President-elect Donald Trump once again breaking with tradition. "The New York Times" reporting his transition team demanding politically appointed ambassadors leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day. In the past, administrations have granted grace periods on a case by case basis.

[04:50:01] Many ambassadors now considering appealing the decision to Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.

ROMANS: Meantime, Vice President Joe Biden has a clear message for Donald Trump.


BIDEN: Grow up, Donald. Grow up. Time to be an adult. You're president. You got to do something. Show us what you have.


ROMANS: PBS asking Biden about Mr. Trump's tweets, especially one where he called Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, quote, "the head clown." Mr. Biden also said it's dangerous for the president- elect to be skeptical of U.S. intelligence agencies.

All right. The best job in America.

MARQUEZ: Is it mine? Yours?

ROMANS: Is it yours? Is it mine? Is it Dean's?

We're going to show you the top five best jobs in America and tell you where your job might rank when we get a check on CNN Money Stream, next.

MARQUEZ: I don't like the sound of this.

ROMANS: You don't --


MARQUEZ: Four suspects will appear in a Chicago courtroom today, charged with a hate crime following that gruesome beating of a special needs teenager. This as new details surfacing this morning about the disturbing assault broadcast in real time on Facebook live.

Police say this wasn't a premeditated attack, but a culmination of a weekend hang-out gone terribly wrong. They say one of the suspects, Jordan Hill, was friends with the victim. He drove the victim to Chicago in a stolen van where they met up with other suspects. That's when that day of rough housing turned into abuse.

The victim's family is just stunned.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're overwhelmed and surprised. We're happy that everyone is concerned. And, yes, this should never have happened.


MARQUEZ: President Obama now weighing in following the hate crime charges, saying race relations in general haven't gotten worse.

[04:55:03] They're just getting more attention now, thanks to social media.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We see visuals of racial tensions, violence and so forth because of smartphones and Internet and media. What we have seen is surfacing, I think, a lot of the problems have been there a long time, whether it's tension between police and communities, whether it's hate crimes or the despicable sort that has just now recently surfaced on Facebook.


MARQUEZ: Now, the half hour video, you can hear the suspects yelling anti-white and anti-Trump comments. Police say the suspects have not shown any signs of remorse. As for the victim, he is back home with his family this morning. They say he is doing as well as can be expected.

ROMANS: The whole story is --

MARQUEZ: Horrendous.

ROMANS: Horrible.

All right. Fifty-five minutes past the hour.

Millions of Americans up and down the Eastern Seaboard bracing for a battle with snow. Some got a sneak attack with some two feet of lake- effect snow falling Thursday. It limited visibility and brought roads to a standstill.

Look at this -- students and teachers at one elementary school, this is in Buffalo, they hunkered down well into last night until it was safe to drive home. Some of these kids didn't get to leave school until 10:30 last night. And now, Mother Nature is taking aim at the Southeast.

Let's get more from meteorologist Derek Van Dam -- Derek.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Christine and Miguel. We are tracking a disruptive snowstorm that will impact travel conditions by air or by roadway across the Southeast today and into Saturday.

Take a look at the set up for the system. Gulf low developing and this particular path allows for a rain/snow mix across Alabama and central Georgia and into Carolinas.

But on the cold side, it transitions to snowfall. That's why we have winter storm warnings and watches in effect from Raleigh, right through Metro Atlanta. So, how much snow can we anticipate? Two to four inches in Atlanta with the potential for higher elevation snowfall, especially as we head towards the southern Appalachian.

Look at North Carolina, we have maybe an eight to 10 inches scenario below a foot of snow anticipated for, again, some of those higher elevation locations. Bringing some much-needed rainfall to California here, but is it too much? Only time will tell. The potential of flooding exists for that area.

Take a look at temperatures cooling off for the eastern half of the U.S.

Back to you.


ROMANS: All right. Snow and ski. Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream.

A look at stocks around the world, on pins and needles this morning.


ROMANS: Ahead of the final jobs report of the Obama presidency. That jobs report comes 8:30 a.m., expected to be strong. Eleven million jobs created net during the Obama administration.

All right. New this morning, gutting key parts of Obamacare could cost millions of jobs. That's according to the Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University. Researchers there assume Congress will kill two key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. First, those subsidies that help low and middle income people pay for their health coverage and second, the Medicaid expansion which covers the poor.

The federal government funds those key programs. So, if they disappear and Congress doesn't put in replacement, this research says 2.6 million jobs could be wiped out in 2019. Those losses will climb to 3 million jobs by 2021.

Now, Republicans are split on how to move forward, but a repeal vote could be stalled until replacement is put in place. That could avoid the job cuts and prevent enrollees from losing coverage.

All right. The best job in America for 2017. Mobile app developer. That's according to a new list compiled by CNN Money and our friends at Payscale.

All right. Risk management director comes in at number two. This is someone who prepares a company from all kinds of risks from natural disasters to cyber attacks.

Landman is number three. It's basically a liaison between energy companies, private property owners and federal government.

Number four is product analyst. It's somebody who uses data and research to improve online customer experiences.

Number five, information assurance analyst. They run security programs to protect software and hardware systems.

You can check out the top 100 list at CNN Money. Those are the first jobs, but how about the first jobs?

CNN Money asked some big names how they got started, their very first job, including Dolly Parton, Sean Coombs, Dan Rather and more. We've got that at

Your first job? Quick.

MARQUEZ: It was painting trash cans at the Mexico state fair. I'll tell you the back story.

ROMANS: Was that part of the work release program?

MARQUEZ: It basically was.

ROMANS: I worked at a pizza place. I love pizza.

MARQUEZ: I also worked at my dad's store for a while.

ROMANS: Work release.

MARQUEZ: Oh, dear.

EARLY START continues now. (MUSIC)

ROMANS: A big revelation into the election hacking.