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Intel Chiefs Take Their Case Against Russia to Trump. Aired 6- 6:30a ET
Aired January 6, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I don't think that we've ever encountered a more direct campaign to interfere with our election process.
[05:58:42] REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There are attempts to try and delegitimize this election.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Grow up, Donald. Grow up.
SEAN SPICER, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY (via phone): There is no proof to the idea of restructuring the intelligence community.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will build the wall. Mexico is going to pay for the wall.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump's team now wants Congress to fund the border wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What they're trying to do will drive up the rate of unintended pregnancy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This video is very disturbing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at him. Tied up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We sought hate crime charges.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we've seen is surfacing. The problems that have been there a long time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ask for continued prayers.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, January 6, 6 a.m. here in New York. Up first, this morning, U.S. intelligence chiefs take their case
against Russia directly to President-elect Donald Trump. The face-to- face meeting comes after the top spies told Congress that Russia's intervention went well beyond hacked e-mails and so-called fake news.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It was a big day. GOP lawmakers, some of whom were very skeptical, sat in attention. No one pushed back on the intel chiefs in any real way. There are more details coming out about what is in the classified report being presented to Trump today that they have even more details.
The question is, will the president-elect now tell us what other knowledge he has about the hacks? Or will he accept the reality and think we're just two weeks away from inauguration day. The administration hasn't even started yet.
We've got it all covered for you. Let's begin with CNN's Jason Carroll, live from Trump Tower, New York -- Jason.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Chris.
Today is finally the day that the president-elect will get his chance to hear whatever evidence intelligence officials have, showing that Russia was behind the cyberattacks. The question is, Chris, will it be enough to convince him?
CARROLL (voice-over): The heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and the director of national intelligence will meet face to face with President-elect Donald Trump today to brief him on their findings about Russian cyberattacks.
CLAPPER: I don't think that we've ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election process.
CARROLL: DNI head James Clapper making it crystal clear at a congressional hearing yesterday that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies believed Russia meddled with the U.S. election.
CLAPPER: I do that public trust and confidence in the intelligence community is crucial.
CARROLL: And indirectly calling out Trump for his repeated attempts to undermine their conclusion.
CLAPPER: I think there's a difference between skepticism and disparagement.
CARROLL: But Trump continues to strike a conspiratorial tone, tweeting, "The DNC 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?"
Former chairman of the joint chiefs, retired General Martin Dempsey breaking his strident rule not to comment on politics, tweeting, "Intelligence is hard, thankless work. Fortunately, we have dedicated, patriotic and courageous men and women on the job. Thanks."
BIDEN: Grow up Donald. Grow up.
CARROLL: Vice President Joe Biden calling Trump's comments dangerous.
BIDEN: For a president not to have confidence in, not to be prepared to listen to the intelligence agencies is absolutely mindless.
CARROLL: But to the surprise of Trump critics, the president-elect has tapped former senator Dan Coates, a hawk on Russia, to replace Clapper. Trump's transition team insisting that he supports the intelligence community, pushing back on reports that the president- elect wants to revamp the DNI.
SPICER: There is no truth to this idea of restructuring the intelligence community infrastructure.
CARROLL: Trump's team did, however, signal an about-face on one of his biggest campaign promises.
TRUMP: Who is going to pay for the wall?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico!
CARROLL: House Republican officials say Trump is looking to ask U.S. taxpayers, not Mexico, to pay for his proposed border wall. Republicans may try to add billions of dollars to a massive spending bill if Mexico refuses to pay for it.
CARROLL: And if Republicans do go that route, it could end up leading to a major showdown with Senate Democrats, who could end up forcing a government shutdown.
Trump, for his part, Alisyn, in addition to receiving that security briefing today on Russian cyberattacks, he's also going to be meeting with magazine editors from Conde Nast, including "Vogue's" editor, Anna Wintour -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK. Another interesting day ahead. Jason, thank you very much. So the intel chiefs did not share specific evidence at Thursday's Senate hearing, because it is still classified. But we are learning some details about what they will tell President-elect Trump today, including that they have identified the people who acted as go- betweens for the Russians and WikiLeaks.
CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez is live in Washington with more. What have you learned, Evan? EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, the U.S. officials tell CNN that the U.S. has identified intermediaries who, they believe, provided the WikiLeaks website with the Democratic Party e-mails stolen by hackers working for Russian intelligence.
Now, this is among the pieces of information that the top intelligence officials are expected to provide to President-elect Donald Trump at a meeting in New York in the next few hours.
Today's the first time Trump will see an extensive intelligence report that looks at not only the Russian hacks and the Democratic Party groups in the past election year, but also cyber hacks going back to the 2008 election year. We're told that officials -- that intelligence agencies have also collected intercepts of Russian officials expressing happiness at Donald Trump's victory on November 8.
Officials say the intercepts aren't considered smoking-gun evidence against the Russians but rather, it's part of broader evidence that they've put together.
Now, the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, told senators at a hearing in Washington yesterday that the intelligence agencies believe the evidence points at Russia more resolutely than they did in October when they first made that charge.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has told FOX News this week that the Russian government wasn't his source, but he's also claimed that WikiLeaks never notes it's sources. At this point the plan is for the public to see the classified version of the intelligence report next Monday.
CAMEROTA: Thanks so much for that, Evan.
CUOMO: All right. Let's get after it. Let's bring in our panel, CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogan; CNN political analyst and author of "How's Your Faith?" David Gregory; and CNN political analyst and "USA Today" columnist Kristen Powers.
CUOMO: Kirsten, sorry.
It said Kristen. Always say what's there in the prompter, right?
CAMEROTA: You read whatever is in the prompter. I know that.
CUOMO: You're exactly right.
CAMEROTA: Thirteen years.
CUOMO: Let's start with you. Seeing how faith is low at this desk today, David Gregory, as you're hearing right now. So Clapper came out. The chiefs came out yesterday and said what they
have been saying all along. GOP lawmakers who said they were skeptical sat there, said nothing of substance in return, and when they explained why they don't give their sources and methods, nobody said anything back. They all nodded in understanding. Where does that leave us?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it leaves us now with a kind of showdown between the president-elect and the intelligence community. He's now going to get a full range of information. He's going to get what the public sees, but he's going to get more than that. He's going to get what Congress will get next week, as well.
And what was clear from that testimony is that they're not holding back. They have evidence, they believe, that shows that Putin himself understood what was going on and that this was a full frontal attack on our election system, trying to tilt the results toward Donald Trump; trying to erode trust in public -- in institutions, trying to spread classic propaganda. All of that trying to meddle in our affairs.
My question for President-elect Trump is you're now president. You won. Why not show the confidence in yourself and your victory and say to Russia, you know what? This happened. It didn't sway the election, but you tried to meddle. And I'm confident enough to say you're never going to do this again.
And we're going to crack down. That will be an interesting question as to whether that comes about. Because he's facing, I think, a very different view in Congress. And they want to go after Russia hard, even as President-elect Trump and people around him have questioned the intelligence.
CAMEROTA: They didn't really talk, Kirsten, about President-elect Trump, but James Clapper made a reference to the way that he's been speaking of the intelligence community. So listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLAPPER: I'd say there is an important distinction here between healthy skepticism, which policy makers do include policy maker No. 1 should always have for intelligence, but I think there is a difference between skepticism and disparagement.
I've received many expressions of concern from foreign counterparts about, you know, the disparagement of the U.S. intelligence community or what has been interpreted as disparagement of the U.S. intelligence community or, I should say, what has been interpreted as disparagement of the intelligence community.
CAMEROTA: Jim Clapper is about as low key as you could ever get, but he was sending, obviously, a loud message there.
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: So I think it's fair if Donald Trump wants to say that he has a concern that perhaps there's too much politicization, that -- of the intelligence, and that he has concerns about how our intelligence is gathered. But usually, you would do that behind the scenes. Usually, you would -- you would have some sort of, you know -- you would look at what's going on once you come into the White House and have, you know, some sort of overhaul and how the intelligence is gathered and analyzed.
Instead, he's going out, and he's essentially humiliating the people who gather the intelligence. And I think that that's probably where you would draw the line normally and not do that.
The other problem is we don't really know, beyond the fact that he doesn't like the fact that they're saying that perhaps this could have -- let's set aside whether it swayed the election, but they actually were trying to sway the election. The fact that he doesn't like that seems to be his only source of information. He doesn't have any other source where -- that can really explain why he believes that the CIA is not giving proper information.
CUOMO: Other than Assange. Right? Which seems to be, more and more, like the only thing he is alluding to.
I mean, that -- look, the political question here now is how does Trump escape this situation without looking as badly as he looks right now? You question things that you could have had the answers to all along, right, since he's been president-elect. They haven't been hiding this information. Clapper put it out before the election was even older. So you could have known but either ignored or didn't take the steps to know.
He has suggested he knows other things that have never come out, and now it's staring him in the face; and he's going to have to say something, I think.
[06:10:12] JOSH ROGAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. You're getting to the core of the issue, which is that Trump is increasingly isolated on this issue. OK? Republicans are abandoning him. Paul Ryan said yesterday that Russia clearly meddles. OK?
It's very hard for anyone who works in government who cares about U.S. national security and cares about the intelligence community to side with him. So it's not clear that he wants to get out of it. OK?
He's making his stand here. For some unknown, unclear reason, he won't budge. And the only way that he really gets out of it is he becomes president. He replaces what he thinks are the politicized leadership of the intelligence community that's serving Obama and not him. And then, when he gets his own people in, if they give him the same information, then he can turn around and say, "OK, now I believe it, because these are the people that I trust."
GREGORY: But also to that point, if he is afraid of this information, creating doubt about his legitimacy as president, I really question those around him. Do they think, by taking this stance, that he doesn't look illegitimate. I mean, it only leads to questions here and around the world. Why doesn't he believe his intelligence communities? Skepticism is fine. Why doesn't he believe it? Does he have ties to Russia that we don't know about as he compromises somebody?
Why would you want to allow those questions to fester and to have no good basis other than his refusal to accept some of this information.
ROGAN: And what David is getting into here is the open big question. Which is, is there something that the Russians have on Donald Trump? And a lot of reporters, a lot of lawmakers are still looking into this. We never figured out what exactly the connections are. There might be another reason that he doesn't want to reveal the fact that Russia meddled in this election. We just don't know.
CAMEROTA: Well, Vice President Joe Biden's theory is that it's immaturity. So listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Grow up Donald. Grow up. Time to be an adult. You're president. You've got to do something. Show us what you have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Could be that simple. Well, I think wasn't he referring also to the fact that he had tweeted about Chuck Schumer being the chief clown and -- which is obviously extremely immature. This is not new information.
POWERS: Unfortunately, I think the chances of Donald Trump growing up and the sense of him stopping sending out these tweets is very, very low. You know, everybody -- I think now the next pivot that's supposed to happen is when he becomes president and somehow he's going to change into a different person. But I don't think it's going to happen. This is how he likes to communicate with people. It's unpresidential, in my opinion, but it seems to be the way he likes to do things.
ROGAN: I like the tweets. I think...
CUOMO: Me too.
ROGAN: You know exactly what he's thinking.
CUOMO: That's right. I love this guy.
ROGAN: Sometimes it's crazy...
CAMEROTA: Sometimes it changes every hour.
ROGAN: What he's tweeting at that moment is what he believes about these things. Yes, and it's often wrong and sometimes insulting. Sometimes immature and sometimes crazy. But at least we know what he's thinking.
CAMEROTA: I hear you, but then what happens when it changes the next hour? Which one -- which one was it?
GREGORY: But I don't think, Alisyn, I don't think the public is as concerned about that. I mean, the reality is that this is a kind of unfiltered presidency, like it or not, and the thing that I think is the duty for all of us in the media is to understand that his expertise is at grabbing headlines. And that's what he -- he understands the media culture better than anybody, about how to play in that.
And your point is, OK, well, what's the real substance? I mean, if he has different views, I mean, look at this intelligence issue. He said all of these things about the intelligence agencies, and then he put Dan -- he puts Dan Coates in, who's a total hardliner on Russia as a way to kind of assuage. So we don't know exactly.
CAMEROTA: Right. So shouldn't we look at the actions, I guess, is my point? The actions might speak louder than the tweets.
CUOMO: You have to look at it all.
GREGORY: No question. Right, I think you have to look at it all.
ROGAN: They're all good data points.
CAMEROTA: OK. Panel, stick around, hold that thought.
CUOMO: We're like Donald Trump, increasingly isolated in this.
CAMEROTA: I think I had one person agree with me yesterday. We're going to get him back.
CUOMO: It was me, I think.
CAMEROTA: Dylan Byers. We're going to get him back today.
CUOMO: But I was cowed.
CAMEROTA: On the campaign trail President-elect Trump promised to protect women and make Mexico pay for the border wall, but both of those promises may soon be broken. SO How will his transition team explain what the new plan is? We'll tell you. Our panel discusses that, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[06:18:10] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Speaker Ryan, can you tell me how and when you're going to pass legislation to defund Planned Parenthood?
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, Planned Parenthood legislation would be on our reconciliation bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK, there you go. Speaker Paul Ryan announcing measures to tie the defunding of Planned Parenthood to the bill repealing Obamacare. Could that jeopardize the effort?
Let's bring back our panel. We have Josh Rogan, Kirsten Powers and David Gregory.
Kirsten, it sounds as if they fold this in to the effort to repeal Obamacare, and then some senators, such as Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, might not vote for it. So then what?
POWERS: I think probably in the end, it would end up not being in the bill. I mean, if it looks like they're not going to be able to get support for it. But this is something that, I think, Paul Ryan has to at least start out doing, because it's something that people in his conference really want. This is very important to the conservative base.
CAMEROTA: This is a negotiating tactic. Bringing up Planned Parenthood, but it may not end up.
POWERS: Yes. It's just -- it's just one of these things that really, really matters to the conservative base. And they've passed a similar bill before, and I think it's going to be essentially the same thing as what they're going to come up with, which is try to take the funding that would go to Planned Parenthood and instead put it to community health centers that don't provide abortions.
CUOMO: Although in a way it's kind of, metaphorically, the same thing they're doing with the repeal and replace.
You know, it's really important to the base, so they're going to do it, even though they don't have a plan. And if they repeal it, this is the same kind of thing. You don't really know what you're going to do with Planned Parenthood, because it's so important. And they say only three percent of their funding goes toward the reproductive practices of abortion.
CUOMO: But metaphorically, it means so much to the base.
ROGAN: I mean, their argument is that the water is fungible. If you give them money as much as possible, if you give it to them, they're going to spend it on whatever they want. But it hasn't been proven.
You're getting -- you're getting to the bigger point, which is that they don't have a plan, and you have Senator John Cornyn, who's in the Republican leadership, saying we're not going to do a comprehensive bill.
Then you have House leaders who are saying we are going to do a comprehensive bill. So they're totally contradicting themselves. And then we're hearing that it won't come out until June or July, which is a long time from now. And then this Planned Parenthood thing comes up, which is usually divisive, OK? Planned Parenthood is popular. Even Donald Trump acknowledged that during that campaign. So they're picking a fight on the worst issue first, which seems like a terrible political strategy.
So it just shows that, overall...
[06:20:30] CUOMO: Almost half of those people who voted for Trump also support Planned Parenthood. It's also an even split.
CAMEROTA: Go ahead, David.
GREGORY: It's also like Social Security. Bernie Sanders, who's going to be sitting down with Chris for the town hall on Monday, is talking about holding the president-elect to his word on preserving Social Security. And it speaks to something that's very interesting. That Donald Trump wins support among a lot of working-class voters, many of whom will support a lot of these programs.
At the same time he has created all of this space for the conservative movement -- movement to flourish. A lot of these conservatives may not like Donald Trump, but all of a sudden, they've got all the power. And he is giving them more or less of a free hand for now.
We don't know what he's going to tweet today or tomorrow about Planned Parenthood or where he'll ultimately come down or where his White House will come down.
So that's what's so interesting to Kirsten and Josh's point about how this all settles in and whether the White House weighs in on health care, for example, and says, well, sure, a revamp is fine, but we've got to protect this aspect or that aspect, based on Trump talking to President Obama.
We just don't know.
CAMEROTA: Let's talk about the border wall that was a promise of the -- obviously, one of the lead promises of Mr. Trump's campaign. He always said Mexico is going to pay for it. It sounds as though, now, according to Trump transition officials that have shared the thinking, that what Mr. Trump is asking for is for Congress to include this in one of its budget proposals so the U.S. would pay for it but then be reimbursed somehow by Mexico.
POWERS: That's going to happen.
CUOMO: Wait, but hold on a second. That's giving him too much credit. He said during the campaign, they're going to pay for it. Everybody cheered, "Yay!" Now they're saying we're going to pay for it, and the people around him, and legislators who supported him are saying, "Well, obviously, they'll pay us back through" and then fill in the blank. But that was never part of the explicit promise. It was never "We're going to front the money, we'll find a way to make it back."
The president-elect is tweeting right now -- again, if you're watching the show, you're always welcome.
CAMEROTA: Eight o'clock (ph).
CUOMO: Here -- "The delusional" -- you know, "No, the dishonest" -- both words -- "media that does not report that the money spent on building the wall the Great Wall for sake of speed will be paid back by Mexico later." If you saw how small -- that's impressive. And also, I feel different about getting Kirsten's name wrong. If I could read that well.
He's putting it on us. Good strategy.
David, it's worked for him up to this point, but do you remember him ever saying, "Will front the money, and then I'll get it back from Mexico"?
GREGORY: No, I mean, look, this was a bold promise. And I suppose those around Trump and his supporters would argue, "Yes, but you're taking him so literally. It was a symbolic gesture to say that we're going to toughen border security." You can see him making that claim and maybe eluding a lot of the accountability as a result.
GREGORY: But let's also remember in context that there are incoming politicians who make big promises when they become president about things they're going to do, and it doesn't necessarily come to pass. I do want to remind people that President-elect Obama and President Obama said we're shutting down Guantanamo Bay. And it's still open.
CUOMO: Signed it his first day.
CAMEROTA: But hold on a second. Hold on a second. I want to take the Trump side. What does it matter? If you're reimbursed for it, it doesn't hurt...
POWERS: He's not going to be reimbursed. How are you going to make Mexico reimburse you?
CAMEROTA: Through tariffs. Through...
POWERS: But that's not reimbursement. That's like, if you're going to start a trade war, that's a different situation. But for him to say -- this is one of the things he said during the campaign if people asked him how. And it was like, "Oh, don't worry about it. I have the details."
And now he's changing the story, we think. We don't even know what the story is. He said that we're being reimbursed. We don't even know that. So I don't understand, how does that happen?
ROGAN: Well, it's part and parcel of Trump's entire approach to foreign policy and wants to dig deep on lots of other countries. What they're going to do, that's not how foreign policy works. You have to negotiate and have diplomacy and engage.
CAMEROTA: He always said this will be a negotiation. He will hold out a carrot or stick and make Mexico pitch in so it doesn't increase our deficit.
ROGAN: Well, all we know is that the Mexican government made it clear that the terms are unacceptable and they're not going to do it so unless there's some big change. Some big new initiative or some drive that we're just not aware of. It's not going to work the way he says it is. GREGORY: We have to create space, everybody, for what the Trump
effect, which is the unpredictable and -- and the unexpected. We don't know -- I mean, I agree with Josh in terms of the norms of foreign policy, but we also don't know whether some of his pronouncements creates room for negotiation that just might work. We just don't know. I mean, it can be so different that it creates different results than we've seen.
[06:25:18] ROGAN: Unpredictability is good for adversaries. It's really bad for allies, OK? And it's not a way to start relations.
CUOMO: Right. But, look, politicians make promises they don't deliver. That's not new. It's just that Trump was supposed to be different.
CAMEROTA: All right. Thank you very much. Great to talk to you.
CUOMO: A quick programming note. As David Gregory mentioned, next Monday night, we're going to have a special primetime town hall with former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
As you may know, the Vermont senator has been dubbed the message man for the Democratic Party. He's going to go on a tour all over the country right around inauguration day making the case.
So next Monday night at 9 Eastern, he will take your questions right here on CNN. Who are the Democrats? What are they fighting for? And how are they going to deal with our new president?
CAMEROTA: OK. We also have an update for you on the story that we covered so much yesterday. These four suspects heading to court in Chicago today. They're charged with that horrifying hate crime that's getting a lot of attention. Even that of President Obama. So we have a live report with all the developments for you.
CUOMO: Four suspects have been charged with hate crimes in that horrible torture attack on a mentally disabled teen. They're going to be in court today. CNN's Ryan Young live in Chicago with more. Ryan, it still remains the case that the best thing they did was the worst thing they did: putting it out there on video for the police to track.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And everyone has been talking about this, especially in the community of Chicago; has been talking about the idea that they can't believe it was streamed live on Facebook.