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Congressman John Lewis States Donald Trump's Presidency is Not Legitimate; Donald Trump's Criticism of Some Media Outlets as Fake News Examined; Calls for Reform of Chicago Police Department Examined; West Point Introduces Training in Cyber Warfare; Congress to Consider Bill Easing Regulations on Gun Suppressors; Michelle Obama's Appearance on Talk Shows Reviewed. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 14, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:25] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. It's 10:00 on a Saturday morning. And we're so grateful for your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. CNN Newsroom begins right now.
And thousands of immigration activists are getting ready to rally in Washington. They have one message for president-elect Donald Trump, do not deport the Dreamers.
PAUL: In less than a week now before Donald Trump takes office, a war of words this morning between the president-elect and congressman John Lewis. Donald Trump firing back at the civil rights icon after the lawmaker questions the legitimacy of Trump's election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN LEWIS, (D) GEORGIA: I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do not consider him a legitimate president. Why is that?
LEWIS: I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: CNN's Jessica Schneider is live in front of Trump Tower. Jessica, Trump hitting back on Twitter this morning.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Victor. After Congressman John Lewis made those remarks saying that he doesn't view Donald Trump as a legitimate president, the president-elect did in fact fire back, as he often does, on Twitter, taking to Twitter just before 8:00 in morning in a series of two tweets saying this, saying "Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime infested, rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk, no action or results. Sad."
But of course Congressman John Lewis would hardly be described as no action and all talk. The congressman has been serving his district in Georgia that encompasses Atlanta since 1986, and of course Congressman John Lewis before he took office, was a revered civil rights leader. He marched next to Martin Luther King, Jr., the man that we will honor as a nation on Monday. John Lewis also was one of the youngest speakers, 23-year-old, at that march on Washington in 1963. And then of course notably in 1965 he led those Selma to Montgomery where they had those clashes with the Alabama state troopers. In fact John Lewis at the time, he suffered a fractured skull with his run-ins with the state troopers.
So John Lewis hardly a man of all talk and no action. But Donald Trump, as he often does, any of his critics, he does not hesitate to take to Twitter and call them out. John Lewis saying in that interview he would not attend the inauguration, his first time in his nearly three decades as a Congressman not going to an inauguration, and speaking out quite forcefully against Donald Trump, and this morning Donald Trump firing back. Christi and Victor?
BLACKWELL: Firing back on Twitter, and people are now going to Twitter and posting that phrase "All talk, talk, talk, no action" with picture of Congressman Lewis from the days when he crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, was marching with Dr. King and his work during the civil rights movement. Jessica Schneider outside the Trump Tower, thank you so much.
PAUL: Our panel has been watching this unfold this morning as well. So let's talk to CNN political commentator Errol Louis along with CNN political analyst Rebecca Berg. Good to see both of you. Errol, your response?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's fascinating because Trump and John Lewis are actually around the same age. I think their ages are about five or six years apart. And you can look at what they've accomplished in their lives. They're both men of great accomplishment. I think John Lewis doesn't need a lot of defenders but I would certainly add my voice to those who do defend them as somebody who has made immeasurable contributions to this country.
I think the reality is, Christi, Donald Trump did not win the popular vote. I understand why he might have tender feelings about that, but if he's ever going to start to bring the country together, which hopefully will begin with his inauguration speech if not sooner next week, he's going to have to let some of these things go. One man, one respected man happens to have concluded from the evidence that we know there's a problem with his election. Well, you're going to have to live with that. There's 300 plus million people in this country that are not all going to stand up and cheer for Donald Trump necessarily.
PAUL: Rebecca, John Lewis said Trump's presidency was not legitimate we heard there. We know that's a hot button for Trump. Your reaction?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We do know that. It's a little unfortunate really on both sides of the issue, Trump's reaction. But also Congressman Lewis' words in the first place, because we know that the country is at a point where it's very divided. He is not only a leader among Democrats but also really an icon for his role in the civil rights movement.
[10:05:04] And for him to go on television out in public and say that Trump is not legitimate just a few days before the inauguration, it doesn't really help to heal the divisions in the country right now. And President Obama has urged Americans to accept Donald Trump as president, to try to foment the peaceful transfer of power. But John Lewis is dong sort of takes away from there. And so there's going to be a lot of pressure now on other Democrats to make a decision, do they boycott the inauguration. Do they go and support the president- elect. It's not necessarily a helpful comment to make at a time when the country is already so divided and there are already so many doubts among Democrats about president-elect Trump.
PAUL: There are doubts, as well, Errol, I want to point out, about the fate of James Comey, the FBI. He was blasted after this closed- door meeting yesterday with Democrats. He reportedly wouldn't answer any questions regarding an investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. I want to listen here to some of the people who were in the meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's classified and we can't tell you anything. All I can tell you is the FBI director has no credibility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jim Comey is an honorable person who I think made a bad decision.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the director of the FBI can't answer those questions, it does shake our confidence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: The "Wall Street Journal" this morning also calling for James Comey to resign. Do you think, Errol, that he can survive this?
LOUIS: Oh, it's an interesting question, Christi. What I see here is the crisis of institutions that's been rolling through the country, the electoral systems, the Congress, the media, even the courts. It's now reached the intelligence community and it's reached the FBI. Director Comey I think has only himself to blame. He has sort of tried to sort of played both sides of the line and kind of crossed over and jumped out in public and disclosed all kinds of things, and then when questioned about it, he sort of retreats and says, well, I can't confirm or deny, I've got to be prudent about it now.
So I think he is now sowing what he has reaped. I think if he does decide to leave, he will not have ended this problem. We've got a crisis I think that we did discover in the fall part of the election that FBI director who serves a 10-year term, who is insulated from many political pressure, can in fact get involved in the political process if he or she chooses to do so, and now we've got a problem with trying to figure out what we do about that.
PAUL: What we do about that, what we do about Russia in general. That brings me, Rebecca, to this. Donald Trump told the "Wall Street Journal" he's open to meeting with Vladimir Putin. If that meeting goes forward, what needs to happen?
BERG: Well, that's a great question. Certainly he wouldn't be the first president in recent memory to try to improve relations with Russia. President Obama did it. Of course we remember Hillary Clinton going over there Russia with her reset button. And George W. Bush did it before that.
But I think what Republicans and Democrats alike would urge Donald Trump in that setting is to be really clear eyed about what Vladimir Putin wants, what his goals are. And actually his pick for secretary of state Rex Tillerson stressed that in his confirmation hearing this week, that he, if we were given that role, if he wins confirmation, would be clear eyed and understand what Russia wants.
And really that's disorder in the west, that's chaos here in America with our political system, and certainly Russia wants to really change the world order to a place where they are one of the great powers again. And so I think everyone is going to be hoping in terms of lawmakers that Donald Trump goes into those talks with some clear eyed sense of what Vladimir Putin wants out of this and also a clear sense of what he would be willing to give up, because certainly Russia is not going to renew relations with the United States unless we're giving them something. An so I think Donald Trump is really going to think about -- needs to think about what would he be comfortable giving Russia?
PAUL: Errol, you get the last word here.
LOUIS: The problem here of course is we don't know what Donald Trump wants because we don't know what kind of personal financial obligations or opportunities he's also sort of pursuing as he goes and presumably tries to do the country's business. So that's where those tax returns come in handy. That's where full disclosure would come in handy. That's where actually divesting himself of his company's interest would come in handy. That's were a lot more transparency would really sort of help everybody understand what's at stake and who is chasing after what objectives. But Donald Trump has denied us that information, and so the mistrust and the suspicion will remain.
PAUL: Errol Louis, Rebecca Berg, we appreciate your thoughts as always. Thank you.
BERG: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: A snowy and enthusiastic welcome in Poland today for nearly 4,000 American troops. It's part of the largest military reinforcement in Europe in decades. Earlier this morning the official welcome ceremony began there. You see it here. And a U.S. general says it's a sign of the country's concrete commitment to NATO. Another 4,000 troops arriving in Germany as well. The Kremlin, though, calls these deployments a threat to Russia's interests and security.
[10:10:10] PAUL: A scathing report on excessive police force In Chicago. The steps the city is taking to restore confidence in its officers.
BLACKWELL: Plus, as Donald Trump prepares to enter the White House, he's going on the attack against reporters who question his plans. How the president-elect is using the term "fake news" to his advantage.
PAUL: And parts of the Midwest, oh my goodness, that ice could cripple again, also the snow. Millions of you are in its path. What's being done to keep you safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our preparation for this storm is strong, but it is important to remember that this is not the end. As we've said from the very beginning, this is a multi-day event and we are not yet in the clear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: The two officers I should say involved in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old black boy in Cleveland are facing new disciplinary charges now. The city safety director said yesterday he will not specify what action will be taken against officer involved in that 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice. Remember it caused a national outcry there. The officers shot Rice as he was playing with a pellet gun. Now, in 2015 prosecutors said they wouldn't be indicted after telling a grand jury there wasn't enough evidence to support criminal charges. "The Cleveland Plain Dealer" is reporting the internal discipline is due to one officer allegedly lying on his police application and the other for driving that police car, you see it here, too closely to Rice when they approached.
Tamir Rice's mother told our affiliate WOIO, quote, "These charges are disappointing, insufficient, and regrettably the family also little confidence that the administration will properly pursue these charges and that the charges will stick," unquote.
BLACKWELL: Moving no Chicago now, there's a new report from the Department of Justice that finds that the Chicago police have engaged in, quote, "a pattern of excessive force." This comes after a 13-month investigation sparked by the shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Investigators found officers shot at suspects in vehicles that posed no threat, used force, even Tasers to punish and retaliate against people. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago is working on a plan for reform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:15:01] MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL, (D) CHICAGO: I want to be clear. The Chicago Police Department, the city of Chicago is already on the road to reform and there are no U-turns on that road. We've already improved and expanded de-escalation training and we're upgrading our use of force policies. We're providing every officer with body cameras and Tasers. We have expanded recruitment efforts to ensure the department draws on all the communities that make up this great city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about this with Michael Moore. He's a former U.S. attorney for Georgia. Good to have you back.
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Thanks.
BLACKWELL: So if this is executed, this consent decree between DOJ and the city of Chicago, what does this look like on the ground in the department?
MOORE: Well, I think you realize now they have an agreement in principle to pursue a consent decree, which would be enforced that will require that they move forward with some mandated changed. So you may see things like requirements that the officers receive additional training. We heard the mayor talk about de-escalation training. That's to teach officers how to take a crisis situation and tone it back so that maybe we don't get in a situation where they have a shooting. You may have them filling out reports about contacts so that they don't make indiscriminate contacts on the street without noting this is why I contacted this person. This is why I asked for information. This is the reason or the suspicion I have as I did my contact.
So there will be some recordkeeping things you'll see. You'll see things like additional training that will be mandated. Probably one of the most important things out of the consent decree that comes typically is requirement for funding so that the police departments have the money to implement the training.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about because we are a step shy of the consent decree. This is an agreement in principle to reach that executable consent decree. But I read a piece in "The Chicago Sun Times" that questions if this will be executed because it's so expensive to pay the monitors and the lawyers and the consultants to get this done.
MOORE: Right. The department, and I don't speak for the department anymore, but they've had enormous success in moving forward with the cops program, community oriented policing program, and the idea is these consent decrees are an effective tool as we help train departments and give them the resources they need.
I think in Baltimore we saw the cost per year to monitor the program was about $1.4 million. Sounds like a lot of money, but not necessarily when you think about the cost of security and other things that we pay in other parts of the government.
But I really think when you weigh it out, the benefit to the community, the idea that these decrees help put trust back between officers and the community they serve, it also helps protect the officers because it does hopefully give them the training to withdraw from a situation that might become critical or fatal. It also then hopefully develops relationships between the community where they're patrolling and the officer so that there's increased trust there and less chance for problem.
BLACKWELL: So money well spent in that perspective. I want to read for you something that the president of the local Fraternal Order of Police there in Chicago, Don Angelo, said, and let's put it up on the screen. "It's an anti-police platform that politicians have been carrying for far too long. This has got to stop." Your response?
MOORE: I think the first thing I would say is we count on these men and women who wear a badge to protect us every day. We send them into harm's way. We ask them to do things that everyday folks would not want to do. And the definition of their job, they're out on the line for us.
I want to make sure people know that the fact that there's a consent decree or these programs, that doesn't mean every person in the department is bad. By and large in fact these are great folks who serve and protect. That's what they want to do and that's what they believe in.
But there are situations, and we've seen it recently in some of the departments like Baltimore and Chicago, where you need folks to come in and have a program and have a way to monitor moving forward. And I will say this, and I'll put a plug in. Baltimore, Rod Rosenstein, we hear maybe the next deputy attorney general, he's a colleague of mine, former colleague, U.S. attorney there, there maybe have been other questions about nominees and things like that with this administration. You don't have that with Rod. He's a solid guy. He understands the department. He understands what it's like on the street. He understands the value of working with the police departments.
I think when you have people like that leading the department, officers can feel good that the department of justice will have their back, and at the same time they're going to be interested in building trust out amongst the community.
BLACKWELL: That may reassure some of the reformers who want to see some changes in the police department who are not reassured by Jeff Sessions, possibly the next attorney general. To what degree are these agreements, these decrees depended upon who is at the top, the priorities of the A.G.? Because we know in Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh wanted to execute the intent decree there before Trump is inaugurated.
MOORE: That's right. That's the beauty these orders is they become a court order so that they're mandated outside of the administration and outside of politics.
[10:20:00] I think Senator Sessions, he understands, too, that the most important function of the Justice Department is to protect civil rights and to guarantee constitutional protections for everybody. I think that's the very glorified history and truth about the function of the department. I think with that background and with good people like Rod Rosenstein working with him, I hope people will have some confidence moving forward that the benefit and what we've seen in the past of how these decrees and how these orders and programs have worked will give some confidence moving forward.
BLACKWELL: Michael Moore, thanks so much.
MOORE: Glad to be with you.
PAUL: With the term "fake news" becoming part of the verbiage and growing in influence, Donald Trump is using it against many of his critics, it could be dangerous to First Amendment rights some say. We'll talk about that.
Also millions of people, millions of you, yes, looking outside seeing this, the ice, the snow, and there are warnings across parts of the Midwest. Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras is looking out for you. Hi, Jacqui.
JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Christi. We are tracking about 1,600 miles of intermittent freezing rain from Texas all the way into Pennsylvania. We're going to fine tune our forecast and hone in who's going to get of the most ice. And what is going to do, it could be power, none of it for days to come. That forecast is coming up after the break.
BLACKWELL: Nearly 40 million people, 40 million, waking up to this threat of severe winter weather. Right now there's this deadly ice storm sweeping across the heartland.
PAUL: We've got warnings. We've got advisories from Texas to Maryland and Missouri. The NFL already delayed tomorrow's playoff game because of what they're specking. Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras is live for us in the severe weather center. So how bad is it going to get and how long is it going to last?
JERAS: This is a long duration event. And that's part of the problem. A lot of the freezing rain and sleet that we've been seeing has added up to somewhere between about a tenth of an inch to a third of an inch. That doesn't sound like very much, does it? But we could double those numbers which means the power outages and the travel problems that we're seeing now are just going to be exasperated. In fact there's the potential that this ice storm could cripple some cities. We're particularly looking at parts of Kansas for that threat. So you can how widespread the advisories and warnings that are in place right now. And we're starting to watch this area precipitation really begin to grow. And it's kind of coming in two pieces.
[10:00:05] So one of the big points I want to make, places like Kansas City and St. Louis, you're in a little bit of a lull right now, but don't be caught off guard because we think later on tonight we're going to get another round of some of that heavy freezing rain. So most of the issues as of this morning have been in southern parts of Missouri across central Illinois. Things are picking up now in places like Indianapolis and Cincinnati. And then on the leading edge of all this we're been seeing a wintry mix in Baltimore and snow in Philadelphia, and that's going to be more of a travel problem than anything else.
But we're very concerned about damage and power outages in western parts of Kansas because of the accumulating ice that's going to be coming in overnight tonight and early tomorrow. The one good note out of all this, guys, is that temperatures should be warming up slowly but surely through the day tomorrow, and we think you're going to be above the freezing mark here in Kansas City for the big playoff game. We're going to have to watch because just a couple of degrees is going to make all the difference in the world. But hopefully this will allow fans to be able to get to that game and have a winning team. Who you guys picking?
PAUL: A winning team and probably a little bit of alcohol to warm themselves up. Never fails.
BLACKWELL: I'm going to go with the Texans because that's who Andy Scholes is going with. I feel like he needs a little support.
PAUL: That's nice of you. Jacqui, it's good to see you again.
JERAS: Thank you. Great to see you as well.
PAUL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: So you've heard the term. You've seen it on Twitter, "Fake news." What is, what is not fake news, important question.
PAUL: And how the president-elect defines it as well.
BLACKWELL: Plus a new gun battle brewing on Capitol Hill after new legislation now introduced to make it easier to buy a gun silencer. We'll talk about that.
PAUL: Also the U.S. army preparing for a new kind of battle. How soldiers are training for cyber warfare.
PAUL: I hope the coffee is going down well on this Saturday morning. It's 10:30 right now. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. Happening right now, we've got live pictures out of Washington. Take a look. Less than a week before president-elect Trump take the oath of office, thousands of immigration activists are there rallying in Washington. They've got a message for Mr. Trump, don't deport the dreamers.
[10:30:05] Plus there's this rhetorical war now between the president- elect and Congressman John Lewis. Donald Trump fired back this morning at the civil rights icon after the lawmaker questioned the legitimacy of Trump's election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEWIS: I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do not consider him a legitimate president. Why is that?
LEWIS: I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Now, to that, Donald Trump tweeted this morning, quote, "Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime infested, rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk, no action or results. Sad."
BLACKWELL: This week president-elect Donald Trump took aim at the media again. There are these questions swirling around "Buzzfeed's" decision to publish the unverified Trump-Russia dossier with those salacious claims. The move put Trump on the attack. It urged the public not to believe what he calls the, quote, "dishonest media."
Meanwhile on Twitter this morning, president-elect Trump cited one American news network saying "Intelligence insiders now claim that Trump dossier is a complete fraud." Let's talk about this. CNN's Brian Stelter with us now, senior media correspondent, host of "Reliable Sources," and Jeff Ballou, the president of the national press club. Good morning to both of you.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
JEFF BALLOU, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: I want to get back to this tweet in a moment and what Trump is saying. But I want to start with the decision to publish this dossier. And to you, Brian, I think "fake news" his become such a buzz phrase, people throw it everywhere, even in stories they don't agree with. What's your line with the perspective of fake news and just bad reporting?
STELTER: There was a concerted effort by Trump aides and by Trump himself this week to call anything they didn't like fake news. I was over in London on a panel about this. They have the exact same issue in Europe, these actually fake news websites that publish totally made up stories just designed to trick people and make money.
But that's not what "Buzzfeed" did this week. What "Buzzfeed" did is very controversial, by just dumping this on to the Internet, letting people decide for themselves if it was true or not. That is a highly controversial move, but it's not fake news in the way that that term has been defined in recent months. But as you know, that term has now been exploited. It's probably time to stop calling anything fake news and get back to the specific definitions of the terms.
BLACKWELL: Jeff, there was some pretty strong pushback after "Buzzfeed" decided to publish the dossier, that coming from the rest of the industry. Ben Smith deciding and tweeting out a statement saying that he's on the side of disclosure and showing the reader everything. But agencies, news outlets have had this information. They were trying to search for the truth. But "Buzzfeed" went with it.
BALLOU: That was, you know, the responsibility is high for organizations to make sure that they vet what they have before taking it to the readers, to the listeners, to the consumers. It's not -- it's not for any one news organization to just sort of throw things out there and hope to God that everybody, you know, that the readers can just figure it out. As journalists, we have a unique responsibility to put things in context and to take things that are vetted and verified before going and saying this particular document or this particular story is true, because if we go into a mode where we're taking items, and each news organization has the right to their own editorial processes, let's be clear about that.
But what's critical here, especially in an era where we have the whole quote/unquote "fake news," and I hate the term, too, like Brian does. It's either news or it's not. News implies facts. So what's important to do in this particular atmosphere, I mean, the whole idea of false information going to the public, you know, was criticized going back to Thomas Jefferson. But in this era, we have to be very careful because we have an incoming administration that's calling anything it doesn't like --
BLACKWELL: Fake news.
BALLOU: -- fake. And that's dangerous.
BLACKWELL: From Donald Trump I went back and counted, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday of this week using the hash-tag "fake news."
Brian, to you, this tweet this morning from Donald Trump, let's put it up. Intelligence insiders now claim the Trump dossier is a complete fraud. He cites the One America News Network. Again, this is the president-elect of the United States. What do we know about OANN?
[10:35:10] STELTER: One America News Network is a very small rival to FOX News. It's a wannabe FOX News, a conservative news channel. Most people in the U.S. don't even have it on their cable system. Some people do. You might have seen it when you're clicking by CNN or FOX News.
Weirdly, though, I cannot find OANN actually saying what Trump says the network said. I went looking for it this morning, Victor. I couldn't find it. I did find a story on "The Daily Caller" website with that same quote, referring to the idea of a complete fraud. "The Daily Caller," that's not fake news but it's a hyper partisan website for the right wing. It's really for right wing readers. So maybe Trump saw it there from "The Daily Caller," maybe then tagged One America News in order to tell people about it. It's all sort of confusing. But Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski joined One
America News earlier this week. So you sort of see this parallel universe of information out there. Not all of it is wrong on these hyper partisan sites or channels, but it can be confusing, and I think that's why the other point is so important here, that our job is to actually verify information are really crucial.
BLACKWELL: Jeff, I want you to watch this exchange between the president-elect and Jim Acosta at his news conference this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Since you're attacking us, can you give us a question? Mr. President-elect, Mr. President-elect, since you are attack our news organization --
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT-ELECT: No, not you. Not you. Your organization is terrible.
ACOSTA: Can you give us a chance? You are attacking our -- can you give us a chance to ask a question? Sir? Sir? Mr. President-elect --
TRUMP: Go ahead.
ACOSTA: Mr. President-elect, can you give us a question?
TRUMP: Don't be rude.
ACOSTA: You're attacking us. Can you give us a question?
TRUMP: Don't be rude. I'm not going to give you a question. You are fake news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: There's that phrase again, "fake news." Jeff, to you, I want you to look at this tweet from Jim Acosta in which he has this exchange with Sean Spicer, the incoming press secretary. He says, "Sean, you know that you threatened to throw me out of that news conference if I asked another question." First, I don't know, who would physically throw him out? Because that's not the job of the Secret Service. But your take on this exchange between the president- elect and this alleged threat of throwing Jim Acosta out?
BALLOU: In a word, sad. The president, when you are either in the seat as president of the United States or about to become the president of the United States as Mr. Trump is going to be in a week, less than a week's time, it's high time he recognizes he's no longer in campaign mode. You're the leader of the free world. You're one of the conservators of the constitution. And in that vein, you have a responsibility to recognize the role of a free press in a democratic society.
And to call a legitimate news organization fake is frankly irresponsible. And I hope, and I'm appealing to the higher instincts of Mr. Trump when I'm sure they exist, that say, hey, you know, there's give and take. That's the nature of the fourth estate and government. But there's a difference between give and take and then taking a stance to not call on legitimate reporters, not -- and to try to freeze them out, try to kick them out, as much as what they had physically in the campaign. We saw what happened during the campaign and when that actually did happen with Mr. Trump, and that's something that must not happen. That can't stand. And I hope colleagues begin to recognize that when one of their own is not being called on that they need to unify.
BLACKWELL: We did see some support from other journalists online.
BALLOU: But it was delayed, frankly.
BLACKWELL: For Jim Acosta.
We've got to wrap it there. I'm getting a wrap from my producer. Jeff Ballou, president of the National Press Club, and our own Brian Stelter, thank you both.
STELTER: Thank you very much.
PAUL: With the allegations of Russian hacking of the DNC, the concept of cyber warfare some would say has never been more relevant or possibly more feared. It's not just the intelligence community fighting that battle, though. It's the U.S. army. Here's Clare Sebastian.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJOR NATALIE VANATTA, DEPUTY CHIEF OF RESEARCH U.S. ARMY CYBER INSTITUTE: If we talk about photography, it's been around about 4,000 years.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not even 9:00 a.m. and these cadets are already being drilled in applied algebra with cryptology, the study of codes. It's just one of the disciplines in the West Point's military academy's cyber curriculum.
VANATTA: That's what we call brute force attack when we look at doing crypt-analysis on ciphers is we just try every possible key in the key space.
SEBASTIAN: Some of these young men and women will join the army's less than three-year-old cyber branch when they graduate. Major Natalie Vanatta is a cyber-officer herself currently on teaching assignment.
VANATTA: If we explore the mathematical ideas and foundations that make encryption systems work today.
[10:40:04] If I use a bunch of them and interweave them.
It's really important because it really helps these cadets develop their critical and creative thinking skills when it comes to what do we do next? SEBASTIAN: Steeped in tradition dating back centuries, West Point is
now at the forefront of developing the army's newest and most technologically advanced career field, combatting the grown threat in cyberspace.
COL. ANDREW HALL, DIRECTOR, U.S. ARMY CYBER INSTITUTE: We need to have soldiers that are able to incorporate the fighting in the domain of cyber into everything that we do in the army. It's well beyond just setting up the networks or the intelligence is being collected over networks, to actually learn how to maneuver in cyberspace and to be a war fighting element.
SEBASTIAN: Colonel Andrew Hall leads the army cyber institute at West Point which not only runs the education program here, but also operating as an army think tank on cyber warfare issues.
That's where the danger is, that you are teaching something that may be evolving faster than you can teach it.
HALL: And we're trying to teach them and educate them so they can solve problems we're not sure yet what they're going to have to solve.
SEBASTIAN: For cadets like 22-year-old Diana Contreras, one of 15 cyber officers to be commissioned at West Point this year, it's a big responsibility.
DIANA CONTRERAS, CYBER CADET: It's something that is so vital for our country as a whole. We can't function, we can't really survive as a nation without having backup cyber support often as a defense.
SEBASTIAN: What does it mean, the insignia?
CONTRERAS: The two lightning bolts represent the lightning gods who ascend communications from above and the sword represents readiness in combat, so communications and readiness in combat.
SEBASTIAN: Also principles for a new and unpredictable kind of warfare.
Clare Sebastian, CNN, West Point, New York.
BLACKWELL: Still to come, this new gun battle that's brewing on Capitol Hill after Republicans introduced new legislation to make it easier to buy a gun silencer.
BLACKWELL: This week two Republican congressman introduced legislation under the Hearing Protection Act to make gun silencers easier to buy. Some people refer to a silencer as a suppressor. Right now there is a tax, a lengthy background to purchase one. The American Suppressor Association has worked for years to remove those requirements. I met with the president of the group who thinks that the bill will become law soon in the Trump presidency and partly due to a key endorsement.
BLACKWELL: Daniel Craig used one in "Casino Royale." Javier Bardem used one in "No Country for Old Men." A gun silencer, shooting enthusiasts call it a suppressor. It's an assassins must have in movies.
KNOX WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN SUPPRESSOR ASSOCIATION: For most people, even gun owners in this country, the only time that they have actually seen is in film, through Hollywood.
BLACKWELL: In real life it's a heavily gun related accessory that Knox Williams says makes shooting safer.
WILLIAMS: These things reduce the noise of gunshot. They bring the noise down to safer levels from a hearing conservation project.
BLACKWELL: Williams is president and CEO of the American Suppressor Association, an advocacy group working to make suppressors easier to buy.
WILLIAMS: We've got a campaign called no state left behind. We're going through and trying to legalize it so suppressors can be legal for ownership and for hunting and all 50 states.
BLACKWELL: Now his fight has reached Congress. Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and John Carter of Texas have introduced what they call the Hearing Protection Act. The goal is to lift the provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934 placed on the suppressor, a $200 tax and a background check that gun shop owners say could last a year. Gun control advocates say the bill is about militarizing weapons, not about hearing.
WILLIAMS: It's a complete misunderstanding of the noise levels that unsuppressed firearms have, the risk that both recreational shoots and hunters have to things like ringing in the ears and hearing loss as a result of exposure to loud noises.
BLACKWELL: Opponents say suppressors will allow mass shooters to kill stealthily.
To demonstrate the noise reduction, Williams fired rounds from several guns with and without a suppressor. First up, a nine millimeter without the suppressor, and now with it. The AR 15 without the suppressor, and now with it. A noticeable difference, but nothing as dramatic as Leonardo DiCaprio muted rounds in "Inception." A 2015 bill failed to change suppressor laws, but Williams and gun rights advocates are optimistic this session. Why?
TRUMP: Second amendment, 100 percent.
BLACKWELL: Donald Trump won the presidency. WILLIAMS: If we can get the Hearing Protection Act to his desk, we
believe that he will sign it. That wasn't the case under the Obama administration.
BLACKWELL: Donald Trump, Jr., told the suppressor manufacturer as much during the campaign.
DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: We want to go through Congress. We want to do it the right way. If you lineup those votes, he's obviously going to be for it. It wouldn't make sense otherwise. It's about safety. It's about hearing protection. It's a health issue, frankly, for me. Getting little kids into the game, it's greatly reduces recoil. It's just a great instrument. There's nothing bad about it at all.
BLACKWELL: The bill is just days old and members of Congress are now taking sides, gearing up for what could be the next big gun battle on Capitol Hill.
BLACKWELL: So those were two of the proponents of this law. Earlier I spoke with a member of the opposition, and he thinks the gun suppressor law sent about hearing. He also thinks it's dangerous.
BLACKWELL: We heard from the president of the American Suppressor Association there that this is about public health. You say that's bunk. From your perspective, what is this about?
LADD EVERITT, DIRECTOR OF ONE PULSE FOR AMERICA: Well, this is about expanding profits for the gun industry. The gun industry for quite some time has been dealing with a saturated market of customers. Gun ownership has been steadily declining in this country for decades. And the challenge for the gun industry is to figure out what products they can sell someone who already owns five, six, seven guns. One way to do that is by selling them accessories.
As you pointed out in your segment earlier, silencers have been extremely well regulated since the 1930s. That law has worked beautifully. These silencers are rarely if ever used in crime.
[10:50:00] And the weakening of regulations here I fear could be very dangerous both in mass shooting situations but also in recreational shooting situations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So that was Ladd Everitt with One Pulse for America. Christi?
PAUL: We want to show you how Michelle Obama said goodbye to late night viewers. This is a cute thank you note.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: I know air travel can be stressful. CNN Money correspondent Vanessa Yurkevich found gadgets that makes our airborne experience a little bit more pleasant. Here's today's Wonder Musts.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Jet lag, your phone dying when you travel, those are the less glamorous sides of travel. So we found some eye wear and a smart suitcase that will help you arrive refreshed and ready to go.
This Blue Spark carryon suitcase, and this suitcase is super smart. Let me tell you about the cool features. You can charge any of your devices up to six times on this suitcase. And you can lock it and track it right from your phone.
So I hate turbulence not only because it's terrifying, but also because my drink spills all over me. The Air Hook may keep you a little bit dryer. You simply unlock your tray table, hook this on, and lock it back up into the vertical position. It holds everything from your drink to your tablet to your headphones.
For that oh so dread full jet lag, Luminate promises to get you over it quicker. They're eyeglasses have three different intensities of blue and white light. You can wear it with contacts or eyeglasses, and you can wear it just about everywhere, on an airplane, while you're reading, or wherever you feel comfortable.
BLACKWELL: All right, the first lady of late night, maybe Michelle Obama? She made her final talk show appearance just days before the end of her husband's term.
[10:55:12] PAUL: A lot of people hoping it's obviously not the last time that we see her as a guest. Here's Jeanne Moos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michelle Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michelle Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michelle Obama.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Her days of dancing across our screens are numbered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How cool is the first lady?
MOOS: Cool enough to run a potato sack race in the White House with Jimmy Fallon. And now she's reached the finish line as the first lady of late night.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: It is nuts. I feel like crying right now and I didn't think -- MOOS: Her last talk show appearance featured her surprising people as
they delivered farewell messages.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To continue to go high even in the challenges of life make us feel low. Thank you so much.
MOOS: She was even serenaded by Stevie Wonder who adjusted his lyrics. It won't be easy to fall in her dance steps. Without further ado, we present the greatest hits of the comedy stylings of Michelle Obama.
Of course there was the evolution of mom dancing alongside Jimmy Fallon in drag, followed by the evolution of mom dancing two, with classics like getting a bag from your collection of plastic bags under the sink. She did car pool karaoke, went shopping at CVS with Ellen.
MICHELLE OBAMA: We need help on aisle two.
MOOS: She was always promoting. Her "Let's Move" campaign, she even beat Ellen, who gave up after 20 push-ups. No wonder Stevie is singing in tribute.
MOOS: He's the first lady's favorite singer, but not for much longer is she ours.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
PAUL: Oh, my gosh. She's profound. She's funny. She can dance.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Yes. She can dance. She's got good taste in singers too. Stevie Wonder.
PAUL: Amen to that.
Thank you so much for sharing your morning with us.
BLACKWELL: There's a lot more ahead in the next hour of CNN Newsroom. It's going to start after a quick break. Thanks for being with us this morning.
PAUL: Make some good memories.