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Trump Gives First Press Conference Since Election; Obama Gives Farewell Speech at Dark Time for Chicago; President Obama Bids Farewell. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired January 13, 2017 - 14:00:00   ET


[14:01:23] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, the U.S. president- elect hits back as allegations Russia has compromising material refused to die. He does accept, though, that Russia was behind the election hacking

although he lashes out at CNN and the CIA. How will the intelligence services react? We get expert analysis from former CIA acting Director

Mike Morell.

Also ahead, in the week that President Obama delivered his farewell address in Chicago, we speak to someone who knows him well, a white pastor,

ministering to African-American victims of the city's soaring gun violence.


MICHAEL PFLEGER, PRIEST: When I ask a sixth grade girl, what do you want to be when you grow up, and her answer is "alive," we have a serious

problem here.


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the special weekend edition of our program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.

It has been a presidential transition like no other. With inauguration one week away, Donald Trump faces tough new allegations. CNN broke the story

this week that classified documents have been presented to him and to president Obama, including claims that Russian operatives have compromising

financial and personal information about Trump and allegations of contact between Russia and the Trump campaign.

At his first press conference since the election, he hit back with furious denials. But on that other issue, he did finally admit for the first time

that Russia was behind hacking into the U.S. election.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what folks, that's called an asset, not a liability.

I have no deals in Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia because we've stayed away and I have no loans with Russia.


AMANPOUR: And Trump hit out at CNN refusing to allow our Jim Acosta a question, accusing us of fake news.



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. Quite. Quite.

ACOSTA: Mr. President-elect, can you say categorically --


TRUMP: He is asking a question, don't be rude.


ACOSTA: 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. We're not going to give you a question. I'm not going to give you a question.


ACOSTA: Can you state categorically --


TRUMP: You are fake news. Go ahead.

ACOSTA: Sir, can you state categorically that nobody -- no, Mr. President- elect, that's not appropriate.

TRUMP: Go ahead.


AMANPOUR: CNN sticks by its reporting and the FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, but has not confirmed any of

the explosive content of the intelligence dossier.

Trump also castigated U.S. intelligence services again, and who better to comment on all of this than Mike Morell, the former acting CIA director.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: So what did you make of how he behave in that press conference and particularly how he has been dissing the intelligence community again.

MORELL: I actually wrote an op-ed over the weekend in which I laid out my concerns about his disparagement of the intelligence community,

particularly the CIA and what that could mean for the capabilities of the intelligence community long-term.

[14:05:05] On Friday after he was briefed by Jim Clapper, James Comey and Jim Brennan, I thought he stepped back from that disparagement. He put out

some, some, some comments that he accepted the conclusions and that the men and women in the community were, were very important patriots.

Today, he's now stepped back over that precipice, right, and the pressure is back on the community again.

AMANPOUR: Let me put -- let me play what he said particularly he is furious about the intelligence, he says, involvement in this material that

they -- has been alleged compromises him.


TRUMP: I think it was disgraceful -- disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake

out. I think it's a disgrace and I say that and I say that, and that's something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do.


AMANPOUR: First of all, do you think it's the intelligence community that leaks itself. I mean, how did it get out and is he right that it's a


MORELL: Christiane, we're talking about two different documents.

AMANPOUR: All right.

MORELL: One document are a series of 18 memos written by former British intelligence officer who claims to have talked to a number of Russian

sources that lay out these pretty explosive allegations about the President-elect.

The other document is a two-page summary, synopsis of the 35 pages, at least that's what it sounds like. We haven't seen it. And that's what was

presented to the President and the President-elect.

He seems to be complaining about that synopsis, right? The intelligence community had nothing to do with the 35-pages.

AMANPOUR: So, everybody also wants to know given that the President-elect has denied this so categorically and Russia came out immediately as it has

been doing recently deny, deny, deny. What bar exists for the intelligence community to present something to not only the President-elect less than a

week before he is inaugurated, but also to the sitting president Barack Obama?

This stuff was presented by the heads of America's intelligence communities.

MORELL: So I was a bit surprised that our intelligence community would take a private document and summarize it for the President and President-

elect if they didn't know anything about the credibility of the information in it. That would be quite frankly unprecedented to take a private

document, right? You'd be doing that every day if that's the way you are operating.

If there was some reason why they thought some part of it or certain aspects of it were credible, that they had actually done some work, then it

might make sense to bring it to his attention and say you need to know this. We're working on this. We have some reason to believe that certain

aspects of this are credible. We just don't know which one it is right now.

AMANPOUR: So that could be absolutely true and explosive or it could be absolutely false and should never be put in the public domain.

MORELL: Or certain parts of it might be true and certain parts of it might be false.

AMANPOUR: What do you think given your vast experience? Is this going to stand up?

MORELL: So interestingly I, I -- last night read the entire 18 memos, the 35 pages and I felt myself transformed back into being intelligence analyst

at CIA.

And I felt like I was reading raw intelligence reports from sources. And what I -- what I was looking at were things that I knew, some small bits of

information that I knew were true, that Sergei Ivanov was the head of presidential administration in Moscow in the summer and he got fired. I

saw stuff that was absolutely not true. Small bits.

I saw a bunch of stuff that I had no idea. I saw stuff that was contradictory. This is what you see when you look at raw intelligence.

And very important to remember that sources, even the best CIA sources get things wrong all the time. They lie to enhance their, their credibility,

right, to try to get more money.

So when you are looking at raw information, when you are looking at raw intelligence, it's very hard to make anything of it until you start

investigating, until you start putting pieces together and trying to corroborate.

So my bottom line, Christiane, after reading all of the 18 memos, all of the 35 pages was I can't tell what's true here and what's not. This needs

a lot more work. And I don't know to what extent the U.S. intelligence community and the FBI are working on that and how long they have been

working on it and what they might have found. That we don't know.

AMANPOUR: The FBI says that they are investigating this matter, at least some or all of it. That's what we know at the moment.

But what is the impact on the security of the United States going forward of a president, president-elect basically denigrating the intelligence

services and actually siding with the president of a hostile power.

[14:10:05] MORELL: So there are some very significant implications that together undermine the capability of one of the most important institutions

in our country, the intelligence community.

And the first is the impact on the morale of those officers. It will undermine their morale. You know, they go through a lot, right? They take

polygraphs. They open up their life to background investigations. They open up their finances to investigations in order to work there. They work

long hours. They put their life at risk in order to do their job. They only put up with all of that because of the impact of their work.

And when, when there is no impact of the work because the president is not listening, people are going to start asking how long do I really want to

work here and start polishing their resumes. That's already happening. So that's one --


AMANPOUR: People are already working?

MORELL: Yes, already polishing resumes, already thinking about leaving, right?

AMANPOUR: That's dramatic.

MORELL: So that's one impact, right? The other impact is when we recruit spies, when we asked somebody to spy for the United States, we tell them

that their information is going to make the world a better place and their information is going to make its way to the highest levels of the U.S.

government where it is going to impact policy. They put their life at risk, right? They do it for money and they do it for the reason I just

said, because they believe it's going to make their country better, U.S. policy better, right?

If they see that the president is not listening, if they see the president is disparaging, then the chances of them working for the United States for

a green to spy for the United States go way down?

AMANPOUR: The President Obama slap some sanctions and other punitive measures on Russia because of the hacking into the election. You know,

obviously, Russia hopes that with what they hope would be a friendly President Trump first and foremost said get the existing sanctions any

further ones removed. And, obviously, that's why a lot of folks is being on Rex Tillerson, because of his connections with Russia.

This is what he said on Capitol Hill today at his confirmation hearing about sanctions.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think now is the right time to lift sanctions against Russia?

REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE: I think it's important that we keep the status quo until we are able to develop what our approach

is going to be.


AMANPOUR: So he is kind of giving comfort to those who believe the sanctions should remain at least for now.

Do you think the sanctions against this hacking have gone far enough and are deterrence?

MORELL: No. I think the policy objective involved in hitting back at Russia for what they did in the election has to be deterrence, right? And

I don't see anything in what President Obama did, that will actually deter Vladimir Putin from ever doing this again -- number one.

And we also have to remember, Christiane, that the rest of the world watching. So China is watching, North Korea is washing, Iran is watching

to see to what extent we're going to push back and fight back. And if we don't push hard enough, they will think about doing something like this.

AMANPOUR: Mike Morell, thank you so much for your insight.


AMANPOUR: When we come back, President Obama says farewell and we speak to one of his oldest community allies, the white preacher fighting the gun

violence that's decimating Chicago's black neighborhoods. That's next.


[14:15:02] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program from New York.

Hope, diversity and bridging the social divide was some of the main themes of president Obama's farewell speech in Chicago this week. But he also

warned of existential threats to the country's democracy and he called Americans to action.

His adopted home faces a crisis like no other. The murder rate there in Chicago is soaring, even as it plummets in most major American cities and

even his supporters are angry and disillusioned as one of them told our Rosa Flores.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's neglected to talk about the star of our communities. He's neglected to talk about the violence. I guess he's

coming back to say thank you for us helping put him in. We're not going to be saying thank you for the eight years of work that he didn't do in the

black communities.


AMANPOUR: One of the most important figures in Chicago's perennial fight against gun violence is, in fact, a white Catholic priest, Father Michael

Pfleger has known the president since his days as a community organizer and he joined me to discuss all of this from Chicago.


AMANPOUR: Father Pfleger, welcome to the program.

PFLEGER: Thank you, Christiane, nice to be on.

AMANPOUR: President Obama, who is in Chicago today, to give his farewell address. What would you say he's achieved or not in the areas that you are

most closely associated with ministry?

PFLEGER: I think he did great with looking at the criminal justice system and how we need to reform it. He did great with having our attorney

generals. We had Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch looking at police departments in Chicago and around this country that need help. But,

obviously, his home city, Chicago, has a very serious crime problem, we're out of control. And I wish more federal resources and perhaps some federal

direction needed to be taken there.

AMANPOUR: Well, to that point, you know, you speak right into what Donald Trump has been saying. As we know, the statistics, often, and I'll read

them to you, particularly in a Trump tweet, "Chicago murder rate is record- setting. 4,331 shooting victims, 762 murders in 2016. And if the mayor can't do it, he must ask for federal help," which is kind of what you have

just said.

What has gone wrong in Chicago, and there are, you know, gun control laws.

PFLEGER: Well, let me say two things. First of all, it worries me when Donald Trump speaks like that, because all he spoke during the campaign was

"Stop and Frisk" and "Law and Order."

We do not need stop and frisk. We don't need federal troops or National Guard. What we need is good schools, deal with unemployment, deal with

businesses and make communities that look like third world countries into an equal playing field.

I think what has gone wrong -- we talk about the strong gun laws in Chicago or even some good ones in Illinois. Right next door to Illinois, where

many of our illegal guns come from is Indiana. Indiana has some of the loosest gun laws in the country, and that's where the now vice president

was, in fact, a governor of, which worries me tremendously moving into his role as vice president and, of course, President-elect Trump, who was

supported by the NRA.

So my fear is that gun laws in these neighboring states that are so loose will not only continue, but perhaps expand. But I think we lack the

federal resources we need.

When there is a hurricane, a tornado, a fire in this country, we call for federal state of emergency. And resources come in to help that community

build. Well, we've got to come into our communities where crime and violence are the most growing in the 15 neighborhoods in Chicago and bring

in jobs.

We say 4.6 unemployment in America. Well, it's 25 to 32 percent where I live.

AMANPOUR: Well, to that end, then, can I play yet another sound bite from Donald Trump?


TRUMP: There is no education, there are no jobs, and there is no safety. Nearly 3,500 people have been shot in the City of Chicago since the

beginning of the year. Can you believe that? So to the African-American community, and to the Hispanic community and voters, I say, what do you

have to lose? Vote for Donald Trump. I will fix it. I will fix it.


AMANPOUR: What do you make of that exhortation and that pledge by Donald Trump? Will he be the one to be able to fix the kinds of things that you

have identified as problems?

PFLEGER: Well, to listen to the rest of his speeches, I do not think so. When has he been at the south side or the west side of Chicago to talk to

anybody or listen to anybody?

So I have a problem when somebody says I'm going to fix it, but you've never asked what is the problem, never sat down and talked with people and

never invited people into your company to discuss it.

[14:20:00] AMANPOUR: The mother of one of the young boys who was killed over the summer had a very sort of heart-rendering plea to the public.

Basically, you know, her child was about two days from his 17th birthday. He was shot, Monday night, standing just on a street corner and he was

taken to a hospital and pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

This is what she said.


SHARITA GALLOWAY, MOTHER OF CHICAGO SHOOTING VICTIM: So please, if you have seen something, please say something. Nobody has to even know that

you told. It's confidential. But please, I don't want anyone else to get hurt. No mother should ever feel the way that I feel. If you want to help

me, say something. I want them to go to jail. And I want them to think about it every day what they did to my son.


AMANPOUR: I mean, it's so tragic, pastor. You see her there, surrounded by Jesse Jackson and other politicians and activists. But what will people

do for that community? I mean, right now, we -- we read incredulously about safe zones and safe passages for people to try to walk their kids to

school. I mean, really, we don't think that we're talking about an American City. It sounds like something in the worst, worst part of the


PFLEGER: Well, I think -- first of all, that mother, I've heard and listened to mothers and fathers like that far too often. It's a reality,

that we don't live in Chicago in a post traumatic stress. We live in a present traumatic stress.

When I asked a sixth grade girl what do you want to be when you grow up and her answer is "alive," we have a serious problem here. And I think that we

have the answers, but I don't think we have the will, and we're not willing to commit the resources and have the courage to admit that there is many

American problems we've got to deal with, and we really want to stop this violence.

AMANPOUR: You are white, as I said. I've left this question to the last, because it begs the question.


AMANPOUR: You talk about a very divided country. And we have seen it in this election. How did you manage to become the lead pastor of the

blackest of blackest neighborhoods? 98 percent African-American is the neighborhood that you minister to.

PFLEGER: Well, I think a couple of things, Christiane. I think number one is that people always say, what's it like being white in a black community,

when the reality is, the real question is, what's it like being black in a white community.

Black community has always had white firemen, white policemen, white store owners. I think what people want is a commitment of being genuine and

authentic, roll up your sleeves and did this and walk this with us.

AMANPOUR: On that very important note of reflection, Father Michael Pfleger, thank you very much for joining us from Chicago.

PFLEGER: Thank you. Appreciate it.


AMANPOUR: Also tonight, we reflect on one of the cornerstones of President Obama's foreign policy. Working to forge peace between Israel and

Palestine. Delegates from 72 countries will meet in Paris this weekend to renew their commitment to a two-state solution for peace.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations. It is my hope that you continue to battle for peace.



AMANPOUR: Support for such an accord has been mounting in many corners, including from a group called Women Wage Peace through music and marching,

these Israeli and Palestinian women are hoping to build bridges and sow the seeds of peace for the future.

President Obama called for a new commitment to hope and peace in his farewell address this week, which we'll take a look at after this break.


[14:25:30] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world saying good-bye to President Obama. A man who first stormed the stage with the audacity of

his rhetoric back in the Democratic convention in 2004.

He spoke his way into the hearts of the world and into office here as America's first black president during that unprecedented campaign of 2008.

And now he bids farewell after eight years with one last soaring call to democracy, civil duty, political compromise and basic human compassion.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you.

I won't stop. In fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days. But for now, whether you are young or whether

you're young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President -- the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago. I'm

asking you to believe not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.

I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit

sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to

the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes, we can.


Yes, we did. Yes, we can.


Thank you. God bless you. May God continue to bless the United States of America. Thank you.



AMANPOUR: And who could fail to miss the fact that President Obama's hair has gone almost white in office, a real visible sign of the steep learning

curve for any president and the challenges they face around the world.

That's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, watch us online at and follow me on Facebook and

Twitter. Thanks for watching and good-bye from New York.