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Trump to Hold First News Conference Since July; Some GOP Lawmakers Offering Assurances That Trump Will Not Be Overly Friendly To Russia; Trump Ending 60-Year-Old Inaugural Parade Tradition; Golden Globe Winners; Israeli Government Considering Extreme Tactics. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired January 9, 2017 - 04:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A huge week for the country in transition. For the first time since July, president-elect Donald Trump will hold a news conference, at least he promises to. Some of the cabinet nominees face confirmation hearings in the senate and then the wake of the intelligence report that said Vladimir Putin of Russia tried to hack into the American election season.

A record setting night at the Golden Globes, but -- but the big headline, not about the statues, not about the shows, but about what one winner had to say about the president-elect.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman. It is Monday, January 9th. It is 4 a.m. in the East. Christine Romans is sick this morning. Please tweet her some get well messages.

This morning, the chances of Meryl Streep performing at the inauguration appear to be dwindling. And what has that to do with the dress shops in Washington? We will get to the overnight face-off between Hollywood royalty and the president-elect of the United States in a bit.

But first, something we have not seen in six months. For the first time since July, Trump has promised to hold an actual news conference that will happen this week he says. He had one scheduled for December to discuss how we would disentangle his businesses from the presidency. But that one was canceled. We will see if we get an explanation on those matters on Wednesday. We also have hearings for the president-elect's cabinet nominees. Those begin this week. And we have new questions about what a president Trump would do or not do about the intelligence report linking Russia to election year hacking. He got the briefing. He acknowledges there was hacking by Russia, but not just Russia and seems to blame the Democrats for being hacked.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: If you read his entire statement and follow the briefing on Friday, he makes very clear that Russia, China and others have attempted to attack different government institutions and businesses and individuals and organizations over a series of time. He specifically mentioned the Democratic National Committee. If you read the full report, he made very clear, Mr. Clapper and his testimony made very clear on Thursday under oath that any attempt, any aspiration to influence our elections failed. They were not successful in doing that.


BERMAN: Let's get the latest on the transition from CNN's Ryan Nobles.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This will be a week filled with important people related to the Donald Trump transition answering some tough questions, including the president-elect himself. Donald Trump will hold his first official press conference since winning the election on Wednesday. He is expected to outline how he will remove himself from his global business empire and any potential related conflicts of interest. Also facing the heat, Trump's cabinet nominees. Starting Tuesday, a group of his most prominent picks will appear before senate committees for public hearings. But some of them have not filed the necessary paper work with the independent office of government ethics. That has Democrats concerned, but Republicans like Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell argue that it is all just part of the process.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: All of these little procedural complaints are related to their frustrations, having not only lost the White House, but having lost the senate. I understand that. But we need to sort of grow up here and get past that. We need the national security team in place on day one and papers are still coming in. And so, I'm optimistic that we will be able to get up to seven nominees on day one, just like we did eight years ago.

NOBLES: The first two hearings will take place on Tuesday. Trump's pick for attorney general Jeff Sessions and his pick on the department of homeland security General John Kelly. Trump's big press conference takes place on Wednesday in New York City.

BERMAN: All right. Lots of hearings this week for cabinet nominees. Jeff Sessions and John Kelly on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, Elaine Chao for transportation secretary, Mike Pompeo CIA director, and Becky DeVos education secretary. Then on Thursday, General James Mattis up for secretary of defense. As for those paper work questions, the head of the government office on ethics has written Senator Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer warning that his staff is under pressure to rush through nominees' vetting. The Trump team has pushed back in a statement saying this transition is running smoothly and lamenting that quote some had chosen to politicize the process.

Some Republican lawmakers are offering assurances that Donald Trump will not be overly friendly to Russia. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told CBS the proof of that is in Trump's slate of national security nominees and also recent history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCCONNELL: I don't think it is all that unusual for the new president to want to get along with the Russians. I remember George W. Bush having the same hope. My suspicion is these hopes will be dashed pretty quickly.


[04:04:58] BERMAN: Russian lawmakers and commentators greeted the intelligence reports on election hacking with open scorn. There are tweets that focused mainly on the fact that the unclassified version of the report offered assurances and confidence, but no hard evidence.

Let's get the latest on this. I want to bring in Jill Dougherty, global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and CNN's former Moscow bureau chief. Jill, I don't think we expected the Kremlin to stand up and say, you know what, yeah, we did it. We hacked the U.S. election, but the response here notable.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FORMER MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Yeah. I mean, John, that's pretty obvious, isn't it? I think if you were to boil it down, basically, the reaction has been a big yawn, saying what's new? Where is the evidence? And then, the other thing is a big laugh. On social media, Russian social media, et cetera, there is really mocking this report. And if you look at the response from RT, Russian Television, which we have been watching this morning, they are having story after story about how the information contained in the report about RT was out of date. And in fact, they are correct that much of the information was from 2012. So they are saying nothing new and then basically mocking it.

I will point out one tweet by a member of parliament, who tweets a lot. And he said the democratic process in the U.S. was undermined not by Russia, but by the Obama administration, and the media who supported Clinton against Trump. The threat to democracy is inside the U.S. So this is kind of more of the hard edge of this. But I don't think, John, that it is really in the interest to get too much response from the government here because, after all, they want to forget about Obama, ignore him and concentrate on the new president about to come in.

BERMAN: And of course, president-elect Trump issued a series of very kind tweets about Russia over the weekend after this report. So that feeling I think is mutual. Jill Dougherty, thank you so much, Jill.

The incoming Trump administration is refusing to commit to a timeline for replacing Obamacare. The president-elect made an issue, sent his team o this campaign. This is Kellyanne Conway with our Jake Tapper.


CONWAY: He is committed to replacing Obamacare with something that actually is affordable and accessible and allows you to buy health insurance over state lines.




CONWAY: It really depends what -- what the piece of legislation is, what does it look like.


BERMAN: Kentucky senator Rand Paul claims that he and the president- elect see eye to eye on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Paul then tweeted I just spoke with Donald Trump and he fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare, the same day we repeal it. The time to act is now.

A CNN investigation has found strong evidence a top Trump employee plagiarized large sections of her book in 2012. Syndicated radio host and columnist Monica Crowley is the president-elect's head of communications at the National Security Council, a KFile review Crowley's book, What The Bleep Just Happened, finds more than 50 examples of copying from news articles, other columnists, and think tanks, even Wikipedia. She has not returned our request for a comment. But a spokesperson for Harper Collins offered no comment. The publisher is looking into the matter.

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner reported assured acquaintances that the president-elect did not really believe some of his own more outrageous claims. For example, a birther conspiracy that became sort of central to Trump's entire political -- this, as new concerns are being raised about Kushner's not-yet revealed role in the White House. The New York Times reporting that Kushner had a meeting with a prominent Chinese businessman after the election to close an important investment in Kushner's real estate company. Kushner's lawyers say that like his father-in-law, he, too, will begin to divest from his business interests.

President-elect Trump is abruptly ending his 60-year tradition at the inaugural parade that will happen in just a couple weeks. He is removing long time announcer Charles Brotman.


CHARLES BROTMAN, ANNOUNCER: President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.


BERMAN: The 89-year-old Brotman has been the voice of the inaugural parade for 11 presidents dating back to Dwight Eisenhower. He says he was heartbroken and destroyed when he got word that he was being replaced. But he says he is taking the high road.


BROTMAN: I want him to do good, as opposed to I hope he fouls up. We want Charlie back. No. I don't want that at all. I'm thinking, you know what Charlie Brotman? You are one lucky son of a gun. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: A spokesperson for the Trump transition said Brotman will be honored at this year's inaugural parade as Announcer Chairman Emeritus.

President Obama will say goodbye to the nation tomorrow night in his farewell address. He is expected to make a final pitch to save the Affordable Care Act and also make the case that his administration put the economy on track after the 2008 financial crisis. We were also told that the outgoing president intends to offer a series of admonishments, sort of warnings that will be obviously but indirectly aimed at president-elect Donald Trump.

One political programming note, tonight, a CNN town hall event. Vermont Center former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes questions from a live studio audience about the incoming administration and also the future of the Democratic Party. Chris Cuomo will be the moderator from George Washington University. It is at 9 o'clock Eastern only on CNN.

So the Golden Globes were handed out overnight. But it is not the winners getting all the buzz this morning. Instead, the spotlight is on the speech from Meryl Streep as she accepted the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award, with a direct aim at the president-elect even though she didn't exactly mention his name.


[04:11:01] MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good, it was -- there's nothing good about it. It was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he out ranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It -- it kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can't get it out of my head. Because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate when it's modeled by someone in the public platform, someone powerful, it filters down into everybody's life. Because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their positions to bully others, we all lose.


BERMAN: Now, Meryl Streep was talking about Trump. Some people called this mocking of the New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski, which happened last year. Donald Trump did an interview with the New York Times overnight where he denied that he was mocking the New York Times reporter. Something he had denied repeatedly over time. Of course, you should watch the video and judge for yourself. Donald Trump also did note that Meryl Streep was a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, actually spoke on her behalf at the Democratic National Convention. So this is a feud I think that will be much discussed over the course of the day. As for the actual statues that were warded, the big winner last night

La La Land, the musical that won a record of seven Golden Globes including Best Comedy or Musical Film. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling won for best actress and actor. Other winners include Moonlight that was the best dramatic film. Casey Affleck won best actor for the sunny drama, Manchester by the Sea. Isabel Huppert won best dramatic actress for the French film Elle. And as for television, The People Versus OJ Simpson crafted by our very own Jeffrey Toobin was a big winner. Also, The Crown won two Golden Globes. Jimmy Fallon found out what it is like to live without a teleprompter. He went out apparently during his monologue. Somehow he still managed to make some jokes about Donald Trump. He opened with this line. This is the Golden Globes. One of the few places left where America honors the popular vote, the vote of 90 foreign writers.

The moment a man opens fires inside a crowded airport captured on video. The harrowing moments as people ran for their lives. That's next.


[04:17:03] BERMAN: The gunman who opened fire in the Fort Lauderdale airport killing five people, wounding six others makes his first court appearance today. New surveillance video released by TMZ shows the terrifying moments in the baggage claim. It happened on Friday. You see the gunman in blue walking on left. That's horrible. You can see him pull out the pistol and begin shooting. The alleged killer told investigators he loaded the gun in the bathroom stall and shot the first people he saw aiming at their heads. One mother who survived the attack recounted the ordeal.


ANNIKA DEAN, SURVIVED ATTACK: I looked for a place to hide. Unfortunately, there really wasn't a place. I saw a SmartCart and I went on the other side of that and I just laid down. A man basically climbed on top of me and told me I will protect you and it just brought me comfort during you know the most terrifying experience of my life. I wasn't sure if I was going to live or die.


BERMAN: We have information about the shooter. The 26-year-old was a security guard in Alaska. He served nine years in the National Guard including one tour in Iraq. His aunt told CNN he returned from Iraq a changed man. In November, he told FBI officials his mind was being controlled by the CIA. Authorities did take away his gun, ordered a mental health evaluation. But a month later, he got the gun back and used that same gun to carry out the shooting. The shooter confessed that planning the attack, he is not sure why he targeted the Fort Lauderdale airport. He faces three charges carrying the possibility of the death penalty.

Fiat Chrysler is making a big investment in two U.S. factories, amid pressure on the auto industry from president-elect Donald Trump. Fiat Chrysler will pour $1 billion in two plants, one in Michigan and one in Ohio that will create 2,000 jobs by 2020. That's what the company said. The factories will produce SUVs and pickup trucks. The president-elect has not exactly targeted Fiat Chrysler in the crusade against automakers. So this announcement could be a proactive move to show the company's commitment to U.S. workers. General Motors has the most employees in Mexico of the big three. U.S. auto workers 15,000, Chrysler has nearly 13,000 workers, Ford 8,800. All of those significantly fewer than the number of workers that they have employed here in the United States.

Wild card weekend in the NFL. Four games, not even close. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers crushed the New York Giants. The Packers now is to play against the Cowboys in the division around this weekend. There's a Hail Mary. Oh, oh, he had a Hail Mary at the end of the first half. We just robbed you of that replay. The other game, Sunday, was a blowout. And the Steelers crushed the Dolphins, 30-12. Pittsburgh plays Kansas City next week. The Seahawks play the Falcons. Texans will play the Raiders, Houston will play the New England Patriots, next Saturday night.

A terror attack against the members of the Israeli defense forces. Now, officials are considering new tactics for dealing with suspected terrorists. We are live in Jerusalem next.


BERMAN: All right. This morning, the Israeli government is considering new more extreme tactics to fight terrorism. This one day after a man with a truck plowed into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem killing 4 and wounding at least 10 others. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters the attacker he believes may have been an ISIS sympathizer.

Live from Jerusalem, we bring in Oren Liebermann. Good morning, Oren. What are you hearing there?

Oren Liebermann, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. It will be a day of sadness, a day of mourning across Israel as these four were killed in this horrific attack, all in their young 20s, three women and one man killed here. They will be laid to rest throughout the day today. Meanwhile, the investigation continues as police look into the background of the attacker here. A 28-year-old from East Jerusalem, in fact, the neighborhood -- a Palestinian neighborhood, a short distance away from where this attack took place. Police have arrested nine other suspects, five of whom are family members of the attacker, as if they were trying to figure out was this a lone-wolf attack or was there a bigger web here at play. Did others know of this attack, was it planned in advance or was it a spur of the moment? That is the focus of the investigation at this point.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting the scene of the attack just a few hours after it happened. He said we hope they understand, they have information that the attacker is an ISIS supporter or ISIS sympathizer. Now, he didn't offer any information there, but other Israeli officials have said there has been a growing phenomenon in the last year or so, Palestinians supporting ISIS. To combat them, Israelis have done a few things. The first, which has been done for a few months, has been cracking down on the propagation of incitement, of inspiration to attacks on social media. Israelis are focused both on Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media there, as well.

And then, just yesterday, Israeli officials announcing that they will consider administrative detention against ISIS supporters or ISIS sympathizers, that's for those who support ISIS are held without charged or trial for six months, that in an attempt to stop the spread of ISIS. It is not a big phenomenon here. Israeli police have said that there are no known ISIS cells, but this will be an effort to try to stop the spread of it. It is not just in Israel interest, it is the Palestinian one as well, to make sure there is no foothold for ISIS here. That is the growing effort of the security forces here, moving forward after this horrific attack. John.

[04:25:45] BERMAN: Loss of four soldiers in broad daylight. Oren Liebermann for us. Thank you so much, Oren.

Mexican authorities have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting of the U.S. consulate official. Officials say the suspect is an American. The injured U.S. diplomat is in stable condition. Investigators say a motive for the shooting is still unknown. Government officials expect the suspect to be extradited to the United States.

Iran is mourning its former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The state media reports he died Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He was 82. Rafsanjani served two terms as Iran's president from 1989 to 1997. He remained one of the more influential political figures in Iran -- Islamic revolution. He was expected to play a key role in selecting the next supreme leader.

Queen Elizabeth out in public for the first time in a long time since she fell ill a month ago. She was spotted attending church with her grandchildren. The queen had not been seen in public since December 9th. She was reportedly suffering a cold to cause her to miss her annual Christmas Day and New Year's Day church services.

Donald Trump is a scorn this week. He is facing the wrath of Hollywood. He was the prime target at the Golden Globes including one standout speech. The face-off that everyone is talking about this morning. That is next.