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Opioid Problems; Repealing Obamacare; Confirmations on Trump's Intel Briefing; Probe into Handling of Clinton E-mail Investigation; Trump's Against the Media. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 12, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back. CNN is live tonight at the George Washington University with one week until the inauguration of Donald Trump.
House Speaker is our guest. I see you have your Parker's pen on.
PAUL RYAN, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You bet I do. I brought from the last segment.
TAPPER: But I do want to turn to one serious question. Obviously, the nation is in the throes of an opioid epidemic. I want to introduce you to Kraig Moss, he came from upstate New York to join us tonight. He said he's attended more than 40 Trump rallies during the campaign. Craig.
KRAIG MOSS, SON DIED FROM HEROIN USE: Hello, I lost my son, Rob Moss three years ago to a heroin overdose. And it's a heroin comes into the towns and just ruins the communities and families. And my question to you, sir, is do you and the members of Congress intend to support Donald Trump's stance of protecting our borders by supporting his recommendations so he can slow down the heroin that's coming into this country.
And, secondly, are there any laws currently being put together that would provide and mandate and I stress mandate, step down procedures for folks that are being prescribed OxyContin and that drug.
TAPPER: Yes. But step down, just you mean helping when people who are on opioids to win them off?
MOSS: Exactly. Yes, that's exactly. Yes, sir.
RYAN: Well, you know, unfortunately, I have heard too many stories like yours just in the last couple of years. And I'm really sorry about the loss of your son. I'm thinking of two buddies of mine in Genesee, Wisconsin who lost their sons just like you did.
This affects everybody and it is an epidemic raging through our country. So, yes, on your border question it's what we were talking about before, it's one of the reasons why I said why are we building the border and the fence?
This is one of the reasons, because we are getting so many drugs coming in from the southern border, in particular, which is making it so much more a high end supply and low in price. So that is one of the big reasons why we need to secure our borders.
So, yes, we do support our president-elect in doing that. And that's something we are working on right now. We just passed legislation last month on opioid reform on a whole host of issues. We just, I mean, literally, it get into law about a month ago. And it isn't it doesn't mandate step down but it pushes a lot of reforms like you just said, which is fixing the way prescriptions are written in America.
Digitizing these, so that you can make sure that a person can't go shopping around for prescriptions. And making sure that physicians who prescribe these know what they're prescribing and to guard against the kinds of problems.
Because typically what happens is you get hurt. You know, you get into a car accident. You get a painkiller. And then that progressively takes you further down the road, to where you are addicted to opioids. And then comes heroin.
That is the classic progression that we've seen. And that is what our landmark legislation. And one of the things I'm most proud of this last year, republicans and democrats came together seeing that this was a raging epidemic to pass the most sweeping legislation in this area we've ever passed.
And we put -- then a few weeks ago, at the end, before Christmas, I passed legislation funding it, putting a lot of money out to the states to fund this new policy. So much so that our governor in Wisconsin, Scott Walker, is just now convening a special session of our state legislature to deal with all the new federal funds coming into the state to fight opioid abuse and to fight its law enforcement, its medical professionals, and its counseling and its prevention.
So, we have to have a full front war against this opioid epidemic. And that is exactly what we passed and funded just a couple weeks ago. So, this is happening everywhere in this country. And thank you for going around and talking about it. We need to have -- thank you for making people aware. We really are sorry.
TAPPER: All right. A lot of -- a lot of people on your shoes. I mean, we're really - we're really sorry. A lot emotional questions. A lot of -- a lot of tough stories this year...
RYAN: It's a tough time in the country.
TAPPER: And it's a tough time in the country. On a slightly lighter note, I want to bring in Christine Ford, she's a grad student in the school of public health here at T.W.
CHRISTINE FORD, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY GRADUATE STUDENT: So, I'm 23, so as a millennial.
RYAN: And where are you from?
FORD: I'm from Frederick, Maryland.
FORD: It was like 45 minutes away. So, as a millennial, many people in my generation have Twitter, or at least follow social media. Donald Trump has made a habit of calling out those who disagree with him even you.
RYAN: I know, he did it to me all the time from the campaign.
FORD: Even you, Mr. Speaker. Exactly on his own Twitter account. So, I wanted to know how you feel his tweeting habits will affects both foreign and domestic policy in the United States.
RYAN: Let -- I'm going to go out on a limb here and I'm going to say this is going to be a very unconventional president.
[22:05:00] FORD: Do you think?
RYAN: All right. So...
TAPPER: What do you mean by that?
RYAN: So, he is going -- I think he's going to keep doing this. And I think he is going to be probably a little more restrained in his tweets, probably. But it's all relative.
RYAN: You are giving me this look. But I do believe it's been extremely effective for getting elected president. I got to tell you. I mean, he was able to touch and tap into people's heart and minds unlike -- look, I ran for vice president in 2012. I was a part of a national campaign and I am just a marvel and amazed at how well he connected with so many people. And I think he did that because of this.
And so, I think he believes -- and no, I don't think he believes, I think he has a very special personal relationship with individuals. So, he connects directly with them in this country. And that's what I think is very interesting in this age we are in, where you don't as a public official have to go through the media to communicate people, he can just do it directly. And he has mastered that.
I mean, so much so that he is about to be sworn in as president of the United States. So, I don't think he is going to stop doing that. I think he is going to continue to work on mastering that. How it affects our domestic policy and foreign policy? I don't know. We're going to find out. Because we're on unchartered territory. But he has mastered not just public opinion but communicating directly
with people on getting around the fillers. And that is something that I think he feels very strongly about the fact that he's given voice to a lot of people who felt they've not been that have been voiceless.
TAPPER: Let me ask you a question about social media, which is your tenure as Speaker of the House has been in this age of wild social media, what's written about you on social media has been the most amusing to you and what has been the most irksome?
RYAN: I don't really pay attention to it. I don't -- you get really thick skin doing this kind of a job so things don't really bother me too much. Because if it irks to me, you just kind of laugh it off.
You know, I actually do know what a dab is, OK? Just for the record. It's this, you know, I do.
So, the most amusing thing was a week ago, where we swore people in, this congressman's son, we're doing the post. He was doing -- he wasn't doing a dab, by the way. Look he was sneezing, he was going like this, he was holding a bible and going like this. So, that's not dabing in my opinion. The Cam Newton dabs.
TAPPER: You took issue with his technique.
RYAN: His technique and I thought he was sneezing because it looked like he was sneezing. So, you know, it looked a little strange to me at the time. So, I think that kind of went viral, and I got made fun of for that.
TAPPER: But you loved it.
RYAN: But I thought it was funny. Yes.
TAPPER: He's been a great sport. Let's give a big hand to Speaker Ryan.
RYAN: Thank you.
TAPPER: And everyone else that made this town hall possible, thank you so much. A special thanks no our partners at George Washington University and our audience who was asking the questions and hearing the stories. And also of course, those watching around the world. Don't forget, CNN will provide extensive live coverage of the historic inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump one week from tomorrow.
RYAN: Thank you.
TAPPER: Don Lemon picks up now. Good luck to your packers.
RYAN: Go packers! Thank you. DON LEMON, CNN HOST: All right. Everyone, thank you very much. You
saw our CNN town hall with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Can he unify his party with just eight days to go until Donald Trump takes the oath of office as he leaves the state there in Washington.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us.
Of course, we have breaking news for you, multiple U.S. officials telling CNN, FBI Director James Comey and President-elect Donald Trump had a one-on-one conversation at last weeks' briefing. During that conversation, Comey personally briefed Trump on the two-page synopsis of unsubstantiated claims that Russia may have compromising information on him.
Meanwhile, Vice President Biden confirmed that he and President Obama were briefed last week on the Russian claims. And in the midst of the tumultuous transition, a review announced today of the handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.
Plus, Congress taking the first steps to repeal Obamacare. The Senate voted today, the House is expected to vote tomorrow.
There is a whole lot to get to in the next couple of hours, so I want to go right to CNN's Mark Preston and David Chalian, also with me a former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, and senior political analyst, David Gergen. CNN's Jim Scuitto is with us as well, and political commentator Carl Bernstein.
As you can see we have a very full house or at least a very full screen for our audience at home. Thank you, gentleman. I appreciate it.
Mark, I'm going to start with you, Mark Preston, that is, first, your thoughts of Paul Ryan town hall, what was your biggest take away of what the 101 days will bring?
Well, three quick things, Don. I think that were extremely important. One, the speaker of the house said that he plans to have a repeal and repays -- replace bill for Obamacare done within the first 100 days.
[22:10:06] Now, that is a very ambitious effort on his part. But it's something that Donald Trump, the President-elect has said that he has wanted. He also has talked about Russia and he was specifically very hard on Vladimir Putin. He described Russia as a menace, but not only a menace, a global menace that does not share our interests, our interests being the United States' interests at this time.
Don, he also talks about how Russia violates our neighbors. Of course, this flies in the face of what we've seen the president-elect have to say about Russia. And at the very end, he talked about social media and how Donald Trump has been able to really harness it for public opinion. He says that in some ways he has mastered it.
But Don, when asked how he thought this would affect domestic policy and getting things done, Paul Ryan said we'll just have to wait and see. LEMON: Ari Fleischer, I want to go with you, because that first --
the first question he got was about Obamacare. And a man who said I want to thank the president. You know, I was saved by President Obama, I'm alive today.
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Right.
LEMON: He is having to reassure GOP lawmakers who are nervous about repealing too quickly when there is little consensus on a replacement.
FLEISCHER: Well, frankly, I think all this is going to pass, Don. And it's been a good debate to have. Because republicans will make a terrible mistake if they repealed Obamacare and they didn't have something quick to fix it.
You can't do that to people. At least people who have been dependent on it and even those few for whom it has worked. It does mean the world to them. And you can't hang something from underneath somebody like that.
But what you have to do and Paul Ryan was very articulate about this, is make it work. Because for the rest of American people whose premiums are skyrocketing and deductibles are so high, it is falling apart on its own.
And you also can't have a period of uncertainty where hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies who we all as individuals rely on to pay for our health care, have no clue what's coming. So, it's the wise thing to do. But warning to republicans they must repeal it. If they don't, they are going to pay a massive price. And they need to move quickly to be good government types and fix it and replace it.
LEMON: The Senate, of course, taking the first step. The president- elect twitted about that today to repeal Obamacare. And now it is onto the House. Of course, he, as usual, he tweeted about it. David Chalian, what other news did Speaker Ryan make tonight?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, certainly, I agree with Mark Preston saying the talk on Russia just doesn't sound at all like what we hear from Donald Trump talking about Russia and Putin.
But the other thing, Don, that I thought was so interesting was the talk on immigration and specifically the dreamers, Dhaka, that executive action taking all the way back in June of 2012 that Barack Obama took to allow some of the dreamers to stay here.
One dreamer was talking to Paul Ryan. You saw that moment and he said, we -- it is not a priority to get those folks out of the country. It's a priority to get violent criminals out of the country. And he said that the president-elect has made that clear to Congress. That is very interesting.
Because he suggested there is going to be legislation to come to deal with the dreamers in what he called a humane fashion. That is a far difference from the quote, unquote, "deportation force" we heard about during the campaign from Donald Trump. LEMON: Jim, I want to turn to your reporting now. Sources are now
telling CNN that FBI Director James Comey did brief Donald Trump on the two-page synopsis on the unsubstantiated claims that Russia may have compromising information on him.
And this comes as Vice President Biden confirmed he and President Obama were also briefed, confirming the story that you, Evan Perez, Carl Bernstein, Jake Tapper, that you broke earlier this week, explain what we know tonight.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN'S CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Listen, it's clear it happened, right? I mean, we were confident about our reporting. We spoke to more than a dozen high ranking officials before you now have people coming out on the record. People who are in the room, right.
It's record on national television that James Clapper in his statement last night, and the Vice President Biden, he was obviously in the room when President Obama was briefed on this, we know it happened.
We know that this two-page synopsis of these unsubstantiated allegations that Russia has compromising personal and financial information on Donald Trump. We know that was briefed to the president and the president-elect.
And also today, 100 senators they got a closed session briefing on Russian hacking of the election, which also included this.
So, it happened. The facts are there. You know, why is that important? One, it's clear that Donald Trump and his team is misleading when it says it didn't happen. And of course, that matters, because you know you want your public officials to be speaking truthfully about events that matter. Two, is the question, we really don't know the answer to this. How important is this information?
The director of national intelligence last night says that they have not made a judgment on the validity of these allegations. They may find them to be completely untrue. But they felt it was important enough to brief the president-elect that they are out there.
[22:15:06] And not just in case they might be true at some point. But that it fits into this larger picture of the dangers of what Russia can do in terms of interfering from the outside in American political processes.
And that's going to be the key question going forward. How much more do they find as they continue to investigate these allegations and other Russian interference. And then, what does the country do and what does the president-elect, in particular do since he has been speaking you know, consistently about a friendlier relationship with Russia, despite the fact that you have all this evidence of nefarious activity by Russia here in the U.S.
LEMON: And Carl Bernstein, you are part of this reporting. Donald Trump has been calling this fake news today. And here's what he tweeted. He said, "James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce a false and fictitious report that illegally circulated. Made up phony facts, too bad."
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's a very selective reading of what Clapper wrote and what the facts are.
LEMON: That's not exactly what happened.
BERNSTEIN: Look, it's very clear what's happened here, what Donald Trump an Kellyanne Conway have been saying is simply not truthful about the reporting of this event and what occurred in their briefings, in the president-elect's briefings.
But there is a larger question that underlies this. This information has been considered seriously enough by the FBI, by the intelligence community that they believe it needs to be run down and that's what we're going to see.
It's raw intelligence files of a sort. It could be rumor. It could be factual in some points. It could be, right, wrong. But it needs to be run down. But there is another component to this.
Ad that is Donald Trump's lack of transparency and conflicts of interest, particularly about his dealings in the part of the world where Russia is through that part of the world, not necessarily all in Moscow. But through eastern Europe and Russia.
We had a big show yesterday of all these envelopes and all this very -- I have no idea. But it is extraordinary to have a president of the United States coming in to office without us having an understanding of what his basic holdings are around the world.
He needs to divest himself. It's the only proper thing to do. Look, he wants to be president of the United States. Be president of the United States and let go of your business.
BERNSTEIN: Cash out.
BERNSTEIN: Because, otherwise, we are in for a terrible ride for the whole country.
BERNSTEIN: This is -- this is an awful thing.
LEMON: The presidency is not your side job. It's not a side job.
BERNSTEIN: Well, but also there is no way to separate this through his family in a clean way.
LEMON: David Gergen, a senator Dick Durbin says that this warrants an investigation by a select committee in Congress. Where do you see this going from here? DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I do believe it deserves
a select committee to look into the hacking and probably into these additional issues that have arisen in this briefing as Carl was talking about. There is a lot of resistance to that, obviously by Senator McConnell. He holds the upper hand. Until he agrees, it's not going to happen.
But there will be ongoing investigations, and I think rather than a honeymoon period, Donald Trump is going to be to have a very stormy beginning to his presidency. What has struck me more than anything else, I must tell you, Don, is on eight days ago until the inauguration, this administration, he's had a lot to do. He's been working very vigorously. But things aren't gelling yet.
You don't have a sense that before these -- before these congressional hearings start, that people sit down together and talk through what the positions of Tillerson and others are going to be. But I was even more surprised when Tillerson...
LEMON: Well, Tillerson said he didn't even talk about Russia, right?
GERGEN: Yes. They've never talked about Russia.
GERGEN: How can it be that an incoming secretary of state hasn't been afforded the opportunity to sit down with the president and the emerging national security team and talk these things through? They got a lot of work to do. We don't have a subcabinet here in place.
We are going to have some cabinet officers, but there is not going to be much of a government in place eight days from now. And it's going to be unclear what their policies are unless they, you know, they can let this thing now focus in and figure out what you're actually going to do day-to-day, and stop the tweeting and get on with business.
BERNSTEIN: David, can I interject something here? And that is that we have Donald Trump continuing as if we were still in the campaign to demonize, instead of trying to get common cause...
BERNSTEIN: ... with the political system in Washington, with the press. He is going on to demonize in even stronger terms than he did in the campaign. Those who oppose him and would like to make some kind of common national cause with him. It's extraordinary. I don't understand it.
[22:20:07] LEMON: David, quickly because I want Ari to respond to this as well. Did you want to respond to what Carl said?
GERGEN: Well, I think Ari would agree with this, too. It's one thing to attack the press during the campaign standard fare. But once you get to be president, then you really ought to make peace with the press as professionals. Ronald Reagan showed that.
And you know, he could have come amidst enormous controversies. He made peace quickly with the press. He respected them. He respected what their business was. And they, in turn, respected him.
FLEISCHER: It's about the democrats, too. It's about Hillary. It's the opposition it is demonizing. It hasn't stopped.
LEMON: That's my question, Ari, could we end up seeing a showdown, Ari, between Capitol Hill republicans and Trump over this. They want to support the president. But many of them are deeply concerned about Russia and the president-elect's affinity seemingly for Vladimir Putin.
FLEISCHER: I think in the age of Donald Trump you are going to see a showdown everywhere. I mean, he was elected to change Washington. He was not elected to make peace with Washington. And he's got a lot of the public on his side because that's what drives him.
And a lot of the public, frankly 75 percent think the nation is on the wrong track. They want to move in a different direction.
But let me go back to something else that was touch on the substance as terribly important, and that was the briefing that the president have from Director Comey and others. And I was a press secretary under receiving end of a lot of intelligence briefings.
I questioned the judgment of the intelligence community in this instance, why on earth do they think it rose to the level of a presidential briefing and a presidential-elect briefing to put information paid for by political opponents of Donald Trump into an intelligence briefing when they already knew that Michael Cohan was not the same Michael Cohan because the FBI knows he can leave the country.
And then all the rest was unsubstantiated? I don't understand why that rises to the highest level of a briefing in the first place.
FLEISCHER: In the second place, the real damage done here, Don, hold on, the real damage done here is if the president gets a briefing from the intelligence community and he reads about it in the newspapers the next day or three days later, it is going to undermine the credibility of people who brief him, if he thinks they're leaking.
FLEISCHER: And if wasn't the intelligence community who did the leaking, wasn't it the Obama White House who leaked the fact that they received this information and Donald Trump, too.
LEMON: I think to your...
FLEISCHER: No intelligence to the president should ever be leaked.
LEMON: I have to get to a break and you guys will come back. But I think the first part was answered earlier by Leon Panetta when he spoke with Erin Burnett earlier. He said that he believed that the information was important enough and that it was out there, that the president must have been briefed on.
And I don't know if they think that some of it is true, but that the information was important to know...
FLEISCHER: And I question his judgment.
LEMON: ... that it should be in the briefing. That's what he said. So, I think he answered the first part of it. The second part is a very good question. But stick around, everyone.
When we come right back, an investigation announced today into the FBI's October surprise on Hillary Clinton's e-mail. The Clinton camp says it cost them the election. Will we finally get answers?
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Word tonight that the Justice Department is launching a review into the handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private e- mail server. We're going to discuss that.
But back with me now, Mark Preston, David Chalian, Ari Fleischer, David Gergen, Jim Scuitto, and Carl Bernstein.
But I want to continue on what we were talking about before and then we'll get to the e-mail thing. Jim Sciutto, you wanted to weigh on what Ari Fleischer was saying, talking about why that information was in there, and whether it was a leak and where that leak came from?
SCIUTTO: Let's talk about why it's in there. I mean, the truth is we don't know exactly. Right. I mean, the intelligence agencies it's the largest intelligence apparatus in the world. It has access to a lot of information that we don't have access to. That's one thing.
We know that the Director of National Intelligence Clapper in a statement last night says that they have not substantiated but they also haven't dismissed the content of the allegations in that dossier. And we know from our own reporting, that the former MI-6 operative who prepared it is a source that U.S. intelligence agencies have used before. They found his information and his sources credible.
Again, there is conflicting information in there. We looked at it. Some things they just don't stand up to the test. But we also know that Mike Morrell, the former acting Director of the CIA, he told my colleague Christiane Amanpour of CNN, he has seen the document and that he have said that some of the things in the document are true. So, it's clearly a judgment... (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: But Jim, stay right there and I'll let you...
SCIUTTO: It's clearly a judgment -- if I can just finish.
LEMON: No, no, you're finish. I want -- I want...
SCIUTTO: In his final conclusion has not been made.
LEMON: I want to play this because it goes to what you are saying. And I will let you respond on the other side. This is Leon Panetta.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I think the problem is that the intelligence agencies would have felt that they would be at fault if they didn't bring that to the attention of the principles and this is what happens in intelligence briefings.
If we have information that is unsubstantiated but very sensitive, it's important to bring it to the attention of the key people so that they know that this information is out there even though you make very clear it is unsubstantiated and corroborated. It's still important information for them to have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Yes. So, Jim, I didn't -- I didn't mean to cut you off. I just thought it sort of backs up what you are saying. Go on.
SCIUTTO: No, no. I appreciate that. I'm glad you play that. Don. I mean, one, they haven't made a final conclusion. They may very well determined, it's all B.S., right. Excuse the expression. But the point that former Director Panetta makes is that and this is what I've been guided by various senior intelligence officials, is that at a minimum have to let the president-elect know that this is out there.
This is kind of thing that's out there just for awareness. And I think the way that it was done, our reporting, it was not before intelligence chiefs sort of like a panel shouting at the president- elect. It was a private conversation, one on one between the FBI director and Donald Trump kind of a pull aside right at the end of that meeting, which they felt, they seem to have decide was the most respectful way to deliver this information very quickly, just so the president-elect was aware.
LEMON: Yes. And before I move to the next subject. Because I want to talk about the e-mails. But Carl, you wanted to make something very clear when you're talking about this.
BERNSTEIN: I just want to get to the point that we've seen so much of, you know, that people ask about what we're seeing like Watergate or such things. No, this is nothing like Watergate in terms of this is not criminal activity of the sitting president of the United States. What we are seeing, though, is a president-elect trying to make the
conduct of the press the issue as Nixon did in Watergate, rather than his own conduct as a way of deflecting from what, and it applies not just to the subject but almost everything.
[22:30:10] He keeps trying to make the press issue.
BERNSTEIN: And that is a very dangerous road to go on.
LEMON: David Chalian, other big news that we want to talk about that came out today. Tell us about the Justice Department's announcement that they'll have an investigation into the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton's e-mail? What do we know?
CHALIAN: It's just amazing that this issue continues to linger now. And we know that an inspector general at DOJ, at the Department of Justice, is now going to look into and explore what the FBI did relate to the investigation. Jim Comey's actions.
And you saw FBI Director Comey put out a statement sort of welcoming this development and say, he hopes that the conclusions could be made public. And we've actually seen some bipartisan support for it as well.
I don't -- I don't know that if you worked on the Clinton campaign that you think the timing is all that great for this. But nonetheless, this is sort of a parting departure shot, if you will, from the Obama Justice Department. Remember, the OIG is going to take a look at exactly how Comey behaved and what he did during that Clinton e-mail investigation.
LEMON: And so, Robby Mook, Clinton's former campaign manager spoke with Wolf Blitzer about all of this. He welcomes the inspector general's probe. Here's -- he is also asking this.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
ROBBY MOOK, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: What is not yet settled is what happens, what did the Russians do? Were there connections between the Russians and the Trump campaign or with Mr. Trump, himself? Does Mr. Trump have financial entanglements with the Russians, and then what was going on at the FBI? Why were there these leaks coming out constantly about Secretary Clinton?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: David Gergen, are we going to get any of those answers?
GERGEN: I think we may get answers to the last piece of it. But I didn't understand that the Comey investigation was going to be into the Russian hacking or that sort of thing. I thought it was more limited to the Clinton e-mails.
And I would think that the Clinton campaign would be would welcome that. Because you know, their whole argument has been that the Comey interventions cost them the election along with the hackings. I just want to make one other point, Don, briefly. And that is to respond to something that Ari said, that my dear friend, Ari said here a bit ago.
And that is that the public really supports Donald Trump during what he's doing here in this transition. I don't think that's the case. We have one major national poll out this week Quinnipiac that said only 37 percent approve of Donald Trump in this and at the moment in this transition.
Most presidents enter the White House at about 60 percent approval of what they have been doing during tear transitions. Thirty seven percent is a very low number. 1234r.
LEMON: Ari, you want to respond?
FLEISCHER: But that's not what I -- yes, that's not what I said. You just roll the tape. What I said was Donald Trump wasn't elected to make peace with Washington; he was elected to change Washington. And 75 percent of the country at the time of the election thought United States was on the wrong track and that's why he's going in to make change.
Now he's very controversial, his favorable rating is lowest than anybody who's gone into office in the last several decades, so he's got a lot of work to do. But that's what I said.
But Don, let me make one other point about the OIG report of the FBI because nobody has reported this or you haven't said on this panel. They're also looking at the role of the top aide for Comey who ran for state office in Virginia and received contributions from Terry McCullough. And that person was somebody who had oversight over this investigation.
And so they're also looking at Hillary supporter, as far as this investigation goes, too. And I think that's important to point out.
And on the previous conversation, I should add, people who I know and respect very much, Leon Panetta, Mike Morrell. I work with Mike Morell when Mike was at the CIA and I was at the White House. You have to also add, they supported this in being included.
But they are also both Hillary endorsers, they both vehemently oppose Donald Trump, so I don't think they mind at all if there is a little stink bomb left behind as Donald Trump comes into office and Barack Obama leaves.
LEMON: Mark Preston, I have to ask you. Many people are asking. What is -- what's behind all of this, how is Donald Trump going to react because he lashes out at every time something happens that his views are being questioned. And he wonders that this is questioning the legitimacy of his win. That's really what's at the base here?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Don, this is one of the biggest concerns that actually I have about Donald Trump taking office now in eight days from today. And that is the thin-skinned nature that he seems to have on just about every issue.
And if it's brought into question that perhaps he had won because of some interference by the Russians. And by no means do we know if that is true at this point that in fact, that's why he won.
[22:34:56] But if he does, go into his first 100 days, his first 200 days of the presidency, continuing to talk about this. Instead of trying to work on trying to get Obamacare repealed and replace within 100 days, while he's trying to continue to improve upon the economy, while he's trying to deal with these major threats overseas from Syria and Iran and Iraq to North Korea.
I think that is terribly problematic. And something that Carl has said which I do think is chilling. We always talk about how he has been critical of the media. And he attacks us. Well, let us take the media out of the equation. Because let's face it, us in the media are not necessarily below. We have a low approval rating amongst people. But the question is, if he's willing to do it to us, will he do it to others, and I think that is a big concern.
SCIUTTO: Don, just a final point if can you.
LEMON: It's got - it's got to be the last word, but quick, if you can do it in 10 seconds I'll let you do it.
SCIUTTO: Just to respond to Ari's point. If it becomes an issue where intelligence is always accused of being politicized because that information is not welcome, that's a real problem for the intelligence community. A lot of these folks in these senior positions...
FLEISCHER: It's not welcome. It's questionable actually.
SCIUTTO: ... who serve the multiple administrations of both parties. So if you accuse them of partisanship, you begin to call into question the very process of intelligence.
LEMON: All right. We will have more time. But you can blame the speaker and Jake for that. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. They cut into our time. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
Just ahead, Donald Trump takes the oath of office next week, becoming president of a deeply divided America. Is there any hope we can close the gap?
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Our breaking news tonight, Vice President Joe Biden confirming that he and President Barack Obama were briefed last week by intelligence officials on unsubstantiated claims that Russia may have compromising information on President-elect Donald Trump.
I want to bring in CNN political contributor, Hilary Rosen, and contributor Salena Zito, a columnist for the New York Post. Hello, thank you both for joining us. Hilary. SALENA ZITO, WASHINGTON EXAMINER STAFF: Hey.
LEMON: We have been hearing Trump and his campaign continue to misrepresent the facts, complaining our reporting with others, what others have done contradicting what the Director of national Intelligence James Clappers said, and Vice President Joe Biden have both said, so what do you make of this?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I guess I make that Donald Trump really doesn't want the American people to focus on this anymore and he thinks that by denying it and distracting it, it will make it go away.
I think the problem is, is that people in the media and, obviously, others are just -- are dying for Donald Trump to tell the truth on this. And he's just not going to I think in many respects, people are going to have to figure out how to move on.
Because this guy is not going to give a satisfactory answer. He will not hold Putin accountable. He will not show public faith in the intelligence agencies. Perhaps once he's president and has more ongoing experience with him, he will. But I think at this stage, he's digging in. And whether or not the American people care is a big question. I think his approval ratings are showing that maybe they care a little more than he thinks they do.
LEMON: Yes. And you know, Salena, you are the literally versus seriously lady, you sort of coined that, you invented it. You built that. What the incoming president-elect, though, Salena, president- elect and his spokespeople say about the intelligence community and the connections to Russia seem to me like an area where we should take their words both literally and seriously. Do you agree. And give me your thoughts on how they are handling this.
ZITO: Well, yes, I mean, I definitely agree. I think the Russian issue is a problem. You know, they are -- they serious -- they have nefarious intent. In all aspects of their interaction right now with the United States.
I think that, I think that the president should be more reflective. The president-elect should be more reflective and more forthright with sort of what is going on and be less combative with the intelligence community.
I think what he is thinking and I think that what his team is thinking is that they're -- that they feel assaulted from all ends. So they're just shoving back and pushing back, and I do believe that they think that that's what their voters want.
ZITO: That they -- that they just want him to push back. It's unknown right now if it is an effective move or not. I think we need more time and space to understand if this is a smart move on his part.
LEMON: So that's what his voters want but about the majority of Americans the rest of Americans, what about what do they want?
ZITO: I mean, I think, you know, what all Americans want should be important. And I think that he should -- I think he needs to address in a succinct and blunt way and move on. A part of what is keeping this sort of dragging out is this -- is this non-direct answer about the Russian hacking.
LEMON: Hilary, do you think it would be different if his own CIA director, a CIA director or his own, you know, intelligence people that he brought in, if they brought him the same information, would he then say, yes, or would he just not even admit that it's there.
ROSEN: Well, we really don't though what his advisers are actually saying. We just know what he's saying. And they have been, I would say kind of uniquely quiet here. So perhaps they have seen the intelligence reports and agree them. But don't want to, you know, counteract what he's saying, or perhaps they are just, they do agree with him.
But I think, you know, for us to continue to sort of bat at this is going, is frustrating Americans. And I think you have a day when the Congress is repealing Obamacare in the Senate without a, you know, helping potentially 130 million Americans that are living with pre- existing conditions. You have still the threat of immigration reform over -- hanging of people's heads.
[22:44:58] I mean, there are some serious issues that Americans are fearful about, are wondering about. And yet you have a president-elect who is just of kind digging his heels into something that's just factually not true and attacking everybody who suggests it.
I think it's time for him to move on and try and heal this country a little bit. We saw Barack Obama who people now say is a divisive president. When Barack Obama was inaugurated his approval ratings were close to 60 percent of the country. People want to support their president. I actually think people would want to support Donald Trump as president. But his behavior is pushing people away.
LEMON: Yes, thank you very much. I appreciate both of you. When we come right back, the man who predicted Donald Trump's win. But he wasn't exactly happy about it. I think he predicted it on this show. Michael Moore on the bomb shell report on Trump and Russia and the Trump team charges of fake news. Michael Moore, live, next.
LEMON: Well, there's a lot of news to talk about. The investigation announced today in the FBI's October surprise of Hillary Clinton's e- mails, the moment the Clinton camp says may have cost her the White House.
[22:49:59] Let's discuss now, academy award winning director, Mr. Michael Moore is here. Thank you so much for joining us. Don't get anywhere near me because you know.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I've watched in the last three nights and I actually started feeling sick just watching you on TV.
LEMON: It's important, these are crazy times, I have to be here. I'm like the...
MOORE: You are just going to show up and infect the rest of CNN.
LEMON: No, no, no, I don't get, but I'm like the mailman.
LEMON: I didn't sleep.
MOORE: Seriously, it's commendable. And by the way, my agent actually promised me tonight, he negotiated with Jeff Zucker, where is it, right over there, right down here.
LEMON: We got a lot to talk about.
MOORE: There is going to be a clock that says two hours and 22 minutes until interview with Michael Moore.
LEMON: OK. We did that. And you are on now.
MOORE: Come on, that's why that clock is on.
LEMON: So now we first lady on.
MOORE: All right.
LEMON: So, let's talk about this. Because we touched a little bit of this before the election, you predicted, I think it was on the show that he was going to win and you told me why. And then this whole fake news thing, right, which you are on social media and you see that. Did you see the press conference yesterday?
MOORE: I did.
LEMON: Let's play a moment and then we'll talk about it.
MOORE: And that's the (Inaudible).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Since you are attacking our news organization.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, not you, not you.
ACOSTA: Can you give us a chance?
TRUMP: Your organization is terrible. ACOSTA: You are attacking our news organization. Can you give us a
chance to ask a question, sir?
TRUMP: Go ahead.
ACOSTA: Can you state...
ACOSTA: Mr. President-elect, can you state categorically -- Mr. President-elect, can you give us a question for attacking us?
TRUMP: Don't be rude.
ACOSTA: Can you give us a question?
TRUMP: Don't be rude. I'm not going to give you a -- I'm not going to give you a question.
ACOSTA: Can give us a question?
TRUMP: I am not giving you a question, you are fake news. Go ahead.
ACOSTA: Sir, can you state categorically -- sir, can you state categorically that nobody...
TRUMP: Go ahead.
ACOSTA: No, Mr. President-elect, that's not appropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What did you think?
MOORE: Now that's the third time I've seen it. It is amazing that they sort of the inventor of this decades main fake news story that our president was not born in the United States. It could be pointing at a CNN reporter accusing of him of fake news. I mean, really he talks like a 12-year-old. I guess if Jim Acosta was also a 12-year-old he could have said back it takes one to no one.
LEMON: Well, I said, what if he said...
MOORE: I know...
LEMON: Yes. What if he says, you know, which is his big concern about his -- the legitimacy of this president. If Jim had said, well, people say you are a fake president. That would have -- you know, because once you start name calling, then all bets are off. I'm glad Jim took the high road but he could have easily said something like that.
MOORE: And even the high roads would have been for the next reporter.
LEMON: That's what I said.
MOORE: Did you?
LEMON: I said that last night.
LEMON: The next reporter should have said, I yield my time to...
LEMON: ... Jim Acosta or just restate Jim Acosta's questions.
MOORE: All journalists at this point must realize they are all in the same boat. And that this is the president that's going to attack the truth tellers. And so -- and so, everyone has to have everyone's back. And I was just noticing on MSNBC, you know, coming to the defense of CNN, and it was a nice to see that this is not a competitive thing at this point.
LEMON: Fox as well.
MOORE: After Fox, I'm sure they have. Yes.
LEMON: Yes. And the Wall Street Journal and -- right.
MOORE: That's the way it should be. Because the only way we're going to deal with a president, who, what's the PolitiFact number, 84 percent of his statements are either half true or not true at all. I mean, it's just an outrageous number.
MOORE: That's why we need you. That's why you have to do your job. And the average person watching this at home right now don't have obviously the means, I mean, if social media, which is great. But if journalists don't do their jobs, then this is what we are going to be stuck with.
Ann that press conference was so out there, the whole -- the whole of it, not just the part about CNN but just saying off the cup -- yes, I was offered $2 billion this week.
LEMON: Two billions deal in Dubai or whatever there was.
MOORE: Yes. Yes. I mean, it would be -- it would be if you said that, if you would began the show tonight, by the way way, folks... (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: I got a big offer from...
MOORE: I've got a big offer of $2 million.
LEMON: ... Fox News but I didn't take it because I love CNN.
MOORE: And he goes, you know, I can do -- I can do the presidency and the Trump's organization. There's nothing illegal about it. I can do both, you know, but I'm just going to do the presidency, and then he goes, Trump organization by the way, a great organization.
MOORE: It's like, you know, what is -- it's the weirdest combination of a narcissistic five-year-old, which is kind of redundant because most five year olds are all about themselves.
MOORE: And but he hacked it.
LEMON: But what's interesting I think is that he says most people don't care about his tax returns, most people don't care about his business complex, but the actual polls do show that people do care. If you look at voters, registered voters I think it's upwards of 70 some percent care about tax returns. They care about conflicts of interest.
It's just sort of this zealots that are really far. And I don't even want to say they are right because it's not necessarily left versus right when it comes to Donald Trump.
LEMON: It's just sort of Trump's zealots.
MOORE: Correct. Even Richard Nixon famously said the American people have the right to know if their president is a crook. And I am not a crook.
[22:54:59] People do care about these things. It's the more he says they don't the more he believes what he's saying the more he's setting himself up. How long is this presidency going to last. Because as they started running align on this before his either retirement or resignation or impeachment, I mean, really how much longer can he go on.
LEMON: I don't know. I don't know. I think that he can probably last as long as he wants to last if he does a good job. I think the American people will be on his side.
MOORE: Well, if they say something good about the republicans then they won't allow that. If he takes -- if he cross, there's going to be a line. You know, you have -- you have a malignant narcissist in public office and not just him. We've seen them, we've seen around the country. Whenever you have a narcissist that got power they break the law.
MOORE: And he will break the law and he will break it more than once. And at some point the republicans in Congress will say, I get it.
LEMON: Carl Bernstein compared not the necessarily breaking of the law because there is no breaking of the laws now, there is just this question about possibility of conflicts of interest and so on, and his treatment of the media. He said it's very similar to way Nixon treated the media.
He made it about the media rather than his own conduct. But there's one thing. I got to take a break.
LEMON: I want to talk to you about Hillary Clinton. Now, there is going to be an investigation into Comey's handling of that, the FBI's handling of Hillary Clinton's e-mails before the election. I'll talk to you about that on the other side of this break. We'll be right back.
MOORE: OK, great.