Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Rips "All Talk," "No Action," Civil Rights Icon Lewis; Top Clinton Aide: Trump "Trying To Cling" To His Legitimacy; GOP Introduces New Silence Law; Baby Abducted From Hospital 18 Years Ago Found Alive; Fox News Settled Harassment Claims Against O'Reilly. Aired 11a-Noon ET
Aired January 14, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:40] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredericka Whitfield.
All right. President-elect Donald Trump has long said that he wants to improve the U.S. relationship with Russia. Well now just six days before being sworn in, reported steps Trump may take soon after he takes office. Trump tells the "Wall Street Journal" that he would be open to lifting U.S. sanctions against Russia saying, quote, "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us why would anybody have sanctions if somebody is doing some really great things?" We'll go live to Moscow.
Meanwhile playing defense the president-elect is lashing out at civil rights icon John Lewis after the Georgia congressman said he would not attend Trump's inauguration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: I don't see the president-elect as a legitimate president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Meanwhile as Trump's inauguration committee is making preparations, protests and marches have already begun. This hour we'll be following a civil rights march from the Washington Monument to the Martin Luther King Memorial there in Washington, D.C. as well as a rally for fair immigration reform also taking place in D.C.
All right, but first let's discuss this feud with Congressman John Lewis. CNN's Jessica Schneider is live outside Trump Tower.
So, Jessica, what is the president-elect saying and why?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, it was just before 8:00 this morning that the president-elect took to Twitter as he often does firing back at those comments by Congressman John Lewis that happened yesterday -- that came out yesterday saying that Congressman Lewis does not view Donald Trump's presidency as legitimate. In part, because of those Russian hacks during the election season. Now Donald Trump did fire back this morning in two different tweets.
I'll read them for you. Donald Trump 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."
Of course, many would argue with that depiction of Congressman John Lewis, a renowned and respected civil rights leader who marched alongside Martin Luther King. Of course we'll celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. this coming Monday, the entire nation will. John Lewis was at 23 years old, the youngest speaker at the march on Washington in 1963 and then of course he organized those Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. Known one of them as Bloody Sunday when Alabama state troopers confronted those marchers, sprang them with teargas and also battering John Lewis, who suffered a fractured skull.
So John Lewis, a revered activity, even Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, taking to Twitter this morning, saying, Fredricka, "Many people have tried to silence John Lewis but all have failed."
WHITFIELD: And the litany of his accomplishment dating back to all of those things that you just mentions, Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act and even present day. We'll get to that lengthy list of his most current accomplishments later on.
So in the meantime let's also now turn to the interview in the "Wall Street Journal" as it pertains to Donald Trump, saying that there are -- saying that the sanctions, many of the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration just might be reversed or lifted. What more about that?
SCHNEIDER: Well, Donald Trump had that hour-long interview with the "Wall Street Journal" and in it he said that he would keep the sanctions intact for a little bit of time but then indicated he would be open to rolling them back. Of course these are the sanctions implemented by President Obama in late December. He expelled 35 Russian diplomats.
Donald Trump also in that interview saying that he would be open -- he would be open to engaging with the Russians. He said that repeatedly talking about the fact that he would be willing to meet with President Putin after Donald Trump is sworn in -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Jessica Schneider, thank you so much. Appreciate that.
We're also learning today the scope of the Senate investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election continues to grow. The Intelligence Committee is promising to look into Russian cyber activity and any possible links with individuals associated with U.S. political campaigns.
CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is in Moscow for us. [11:05:01] So, Matthew, we've already had a report from the
Intelligence Community on Russia hacking. What more do we expect from this investigation?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a couple of investigations out there. I mean, there's the investigation you just referred that the Senate is launching into which as I understand is just going to be exploring the links between the various political campaigns in the run-up to the presidential election with anyone in Russia. And I think that specifically is going to focus on the allegations that have been circling around the Republican campaign and specifically the Donald Trump campaign. And the allegations have been floated for several month now about surrogates of the Trump campaign being in contact with Russian officials in the lead up to that presidential election.
There's also been this latest tweet as well come from Donald Trump talking about the dossier that was dumped on the Internet by Buzzfeed criticizing that. And also committing to what appears to be a separate investigation. Donald Trump saying at the end of that couple of tweets, "My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days." And so the president-elect is saying within the next three months, he's going to be launching his own and concluding his own report on hacking as well.
So it's going to be interesting to see what that turns up because remember it was only a couple of days ago that Donald Trump first acknowledged or admitted that what the U.S. intelligence officials have been saying for quite a while which is that Russia may have been behind the hacking.
WHITFIELD: And then, Matthew, quickly, how is it resonating there that this investigate also would try to reveal what kind of direct contact there may be with those in Russia and those involved in the U.S. political campaigns?
CHANCE: Well, I think it's been like most things, you know, when it comes to these allegations against Russia. It's being dismissed out of hand by the Kremlin. And in fact when we last spoke to the Kremlin about these allegations, they simply said look, we're done talking about this anymore. And that's a quote. He said we're done talking about it. Dmitry Peskov is the spokesperson of Vladimir Putin saying there's clearly an emotional storm engulfing the United States at the moment and the Russians have said we're not going to take any further part in contributing to that.
WHITFIELD: Matthew Chance, in Moscow, thanks so much.
Also creating even more questions around Trump's relationship with Russia, the president-elect's controversial choice for National Security adviser, Michael Flynn, contacting the Russian ambassador to the United States several times the day before President Obama announced those sanctions against Russia.
Let's talk more about this with CNN contributor Michael Weiss. He is also a senior editor at the "Daily Beast." So, Michael, in addition to that report we also understand reportedly
that the Russian ambassador will be in attendance at the inauguration. How do you assess all of these moving parts as it pertains to also the choice of Michael Flynn and what contact he's had with the Russian ambassador and potentially others?
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's very disturbing that a guy who not only is a National Security adviser to the president-elect but formerly head of the Defense Intelligence Agency speaking five times with the Russian ambassador to the United States on the day that the president was taking a kind of retaliatory measures against Russia's interference in the democratic U.S. election.
Michael Flynn, you remember, went to Moscow about a year and a half to go to attend RT, that's Russia Today, the English language propaganda that is sponsored by the Kremlin, to attend their ten-year anniversary gala. He was I believe right next to Vladimir Putin. This caused a lot of heart palpitations in the Intelligence Community.
Look, Donald Trump to this very day has not taken a position that runs counter to President Putin's interest personally. He said in his press conference, you know, if Putin likes me, that's an asset, it's not a liability. He has now said again that he would consider -- he's flirting with the idea of uplifting sanctions on Russia. This comes after Russia has now been found guilty by 17 different intelligence agencies in high confidence which is unprecedented really for that kind of consensus that Russia did indeed hack the Democratic National Committee e-mails and John Podesta's e-mail with the intent of swaying the U.S. election.
So why is the president-elect carrying water for a hostile foreign government, for a foreign government that still considers the United States to be as they used to call it in the Cold War, it's quote --
WHITFIELD: So then, Michael, what's wrong with Donald Trump's argument that he wants to leverage what would potentially be a good relationship between he and Putin, the U.S. and Russia, in other matters, Syria might be one of those matters and beyond?.
[11:10:01] WEISS: First of all, I think it's, A, historical. Every president who come -- that has come to power since Putin has been president of Russia, George H.W. Bush -- Barack Obama have all tried to leverage either personal relationship with Putin or just to kind of pragmatic sensibility about how they want to govern to reset or restore bilateral relationship. That has failed. It has failed because it is not in Putin's interest. It is not in his disposition to try and do things that will benefit neutrally the United States and Russia. It is in his disposition to do things that will undermine American interest, undermine American democracy to the benefit of Russia.
And you need not look at selection. Look at how he is sponsoring far left military movement across Europe with an explicit goal to end the Transatlantic between the United States and its European allies that has existed since World War II to try and vitiate NATO, to try and foment these EU exit movements such as Brexit. He's essentially trying to dismantle the post-war, post-World War II security order, and that is so that Russia can do as it likes and its (INAUDIBLE) abroad. We've seen it in Ukraine. We're now seeing a resurgent Russia in the Middle East, one that is strategically aligned with Iran which continues to be (INAUDIBLE) State Department, the world's leading state sponsor.
WEISS: Again, Donald Trump --
WHITFIELD: Michael, we're going to leave it right there. Thank you so much. Salient points, but we apologize. The signal is not a strong signal so it's not your television set at home. It was difficult to hear all of what Michael Weiss but appreciate it, Michael. We'll do it again. Thank you so much.
All right. Still ahead, tension growing over FBI director James Comey's handling of his agency's investigating into Russian hacking. Democrats leaving a closed-door meeting heated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: It's classified. And we can't tell you anything. All I can tell you is the FBI director has no credibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And later immigration activists flooding the nation's capitol this morning. CNN's Athena Jones is there.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. That's right. This rally here getting under way. Organizers expect more than 2,000 immigrants' rights activists coming out for of what they call a day of unity and resistance. More when we come back.
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Live pictures we have of two major events happening right now in the nation's capitol.
[11:15:03] About 17 civil rights groups from the NAACP to the National Action Network marching from the Washington Monument to a park near the MLK Memorial there in the nation's capital for that rally next hour and now we're taking you inside where several major immigration rights groups are holding a rally at the historic Metropolitan AME Church.
Speakers for that rally including Senator Chris Van Holland, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, and the CEO of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards. We're monitoring all of the remarks and all of those events today.
CNN's Athena Jones is joining us live now from inside the AME church there in the nation's capital -- Athena. JONES: Hi, Fred. This rally is just getting under way. Forgive me
it's a bit loud in here but I can tell you I've talked with several people, part of the organization that brought these people together. They're expecting more than 2,000 people to turn up not just from right here in the nation's capital. There were people bused in from as far as away from New York and North Carolina.
They're calling this a day of unity, love, resistance, defense and sanctuary. Their message is that they will resist any of the policies that have been proposed by the incoming president which, as you know, a hard-lined stance on immigration while running for the White House.
And so I've talked to people here who said they want to make sure that they deliver the message to the president-elect and to Congress that they are here to stay. They are going to resist any efforts to deport millions of law-abiding immigrants. They're also concerned about what can happen to the more than three quarters of millions of young people, the Dreamers, that were brought to the U.S. by their parents as children.
They're concerned about what will happen to them but their message right now today is they're going to pushback. They're going to resist and they're going to do all they can to make sure they protect their own rights, immigrants rights -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Athena Jones, thank you so much. We'll check back with you. Appreciate it.
Meantime, a showdown erupting between House Democrats and FBI director James Comey. The contentious back and forth taking place during a confidential briefing about Russia's interference with the election.
CNN also learning things got rather heated between Comey and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She confronted the FBI director about hacking that ultimately forced her to resign as DNC chairman and a lawmaker in the meeting described the moment as confrontational.
CNN's Pamela Brown has been following the battle and has more details now.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): FBI Director James Comey is facing renewed scrutiny on both sides of the aisle. House Democrats left a confidential briefing with Comey on Russia hacking fuming.
WATERS: It's classified and we can't tell you anything. All I can tell you is the FBI director has no credibility.
BROWN: The Republican-leaning "Wall Street Journal" editorial board says, quote, "The best service Mr. Comey could render his country now is to resign," calling him too political for a position that's supposed to be apolitical. This while the Department of Justice Inspector General investigates Comey's actions before the election. His decision to hold an unprecedented press conference last July closing the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails and then breaking with DOJ policy by sending a letter just before the election alerting Congress he was renewing a probe into her private server.
Democrats mad about his decision not to sign onto an October letter from the Intelligence Community saying Russia was behind the election hacks and refusal to speak publicly about ongoing investigations and to people formerly connected to the Trump campaign and Russia.
SEN. ANGUS KING (D), MAINE: You didn't say one way or another whether even there's an investigation underway.
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Correct. I don't -- especially in a public forum, we never confirm or deny a pending investigation. I'm not saying --
KING: The irony of your making statement here I cannot avoid but I'll move on.
BROWN: Other Democrats who recently had a briefing with Comey, a registered Republican appointed by President Obama, are coming to his defense.
SEN. TOM CARPER (D), DELAWARE: Jim Comey is an honorable person who I think made a bad decision.
BROWN: Comey is at the center of another political firestorm for briefing the president-elect on unsubstantiated allegations against him last week. CNN has learned Comey had a one-on-one conversation with Trump after the intel meeting to brief him on the allegations. In a November interview with "60 Minutes," Trump left Comey's future hanging in the balance.
LESLEY STAHL, CBS' "60 MINUTES": FBI Director James Comey, are you going to ask for his resignation?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: I think that I would rather not comment on that yet. I don't -- I haven't made up my mind.
BROWN (on camera): Well, as of now, Director Comey is only three and a half years into the 10-year FBI director tenure. And people familiar with the matter say he has no regrets about the decisions he has made surrounding the recent investigations and has no plans to step down.
[11:20:01] He also released a statement saying he's grateful for the inspector general investigation and hopes the results will be shared with the public.
Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still to come just days before Donald Trump's inauguration thousands of U.S. troops arriving in Poland. How this deployment could impact U.S.-Russia relations.
WHITFIELD: All right. Russia calling it a threat to its security and interest. Some 4,000 U.S. troops arriving in Poland as part of a NATO buildup in the region. The deployment coming as President-elect Donald Trump says he is hoping to improve U.S.-Russian relations and happening just days before he's sworn in.
CNN's Atika Shubert has more now from Poland.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the official opening ceremony for those U.S. troops. Poland's prime minister Beata Szydlo is here and she made a point in her speech to say that this is an integral part of Poland's national security. That every Polish citizen has a right to feel safe and secure and that is exactly the role of these troops arriving here.
Now what we're talking about is an impressive roll out. About four battalions of about 1,000 soldiers each. We're also talking about a lot of military hardware, 2,000 pieces of military hardware were brought in from Germany over the last few days. Tanks, armored vehicles. All of this coming from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, part of the 4th Infantry Division normally based out of Fort Carson, Colorado.
Now they will be here on a nine-month rotation. It's not just in Zagan, be in various places around Poland, but also in other eastern European countries, all the NATO allies, and this is exactly what it's about. It's about bolstering the collective defense of this region against Russian aggression. This is exactly what Poland, what Estonia, what so many countries have been asking for especially after seeing Russia's aggression in Ukraine. The annexation of Crimea.
So what's interesting here as well is the timing of this, of course. That this is happening at the tail end of the Obama administration just before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. As we know, the president-elect has said he wants to improve relations with Russia so it's not clear what direction he will take with NATO once he is sworn into office.
[11:25:03] What we do know is what Russia thinks about this. They've already said they consider this military buildup a threat close to their borders. It will be interesting to see how Donald -- President- elect Donald Trump feels with this next.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Zagan, Poland.
WHITFIELD: All right, Atika. Thank you so much.
All right. Still ahead, Donald Trump calling civil rights icon John Lewis all talk? This after the congressman said Trump is not a legitimate president in his view.
WHITFIELD: All right, hello again. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredericka Whitfield.
All right. Two major events happening right now in Washington, D.C. Several immigration rights groups holding a rally at the historic Metropolitan AME Church. They are trying to garner support to stop mass deportations. And about 17 civil rights groups from the NAACP to the National Action Network marching from the Washington Monument to a park near the MLK Memorial for a rally there next hour.
All right. This morning Donald Trump is ridiculing a civil rights icon. He says Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape, according to Donald Trump, 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.
That from Donald Trump. This comes after Congressman John Lewis questioned the legitimacy of the president-elect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president.
CHURCH TODD, MSNBC ANCHOR: You do not consider him a legitimate president. Why is that?
LEWIS: I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected and they have destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk more now with our panel. Jason Johnson is the politics editor for TheRoot.com and Lynn Sweet is the Washington bureau chief for the "Chicago Sun-Times" in D.C.
Good to see both of you. All right, so, Lynn, you first, Congressman John Lewis putting his life on the line for civil rights. I mean, the list is long, his accomplishments over the years and even up until recently.
How has the president-elect put himself in a position that may be very difficult to sustain his argument of all talk, talk, talk, no action?
LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "CHICAGO SUN TIMES": John Lewis has a storied civil rights record that precedes him coming into the United States Congress. It's a record of accomplishment that both Democrats and Republicans understand and respect. Many members of Congress each year go back to Selma with Congressman Lewis to go across that bridge. So when you accuse of all people Congressman Lewis of not accomplishing anything, you picked the wrong man. WHITFIELD: And Selma, that representing an apex, but there are several apexes for John Lewis and his accomplishments, and Jason, for human rights, civil rights, for people in his district. So how has this put Donald Trump in a very public and unsavory battle just days before being sworn in?
John Lewis saying he's not going to be in attendance, but we're also learning most recently, reportedly that the Russian ambassador then met with Michael Flynn will be in attendance to this inauguration. So talk to me about your observations about this landscape now with this recent argument.
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THEROOT.COM: Well, Fredricka, there's a couple things. One, Trump is lying. So let's be clear. The president is lying. John Lewis district is one of the most --
WHITFIELD: The president-elect?
JOHNSON: Yes. John Lewis a district, 88 percent of the people in that district have high school diplomas, 41 percent of the people in that district have college degrees. It is not crime ridden so we have to be very clear that President-elect Trump is literally lying about a district in the United States of America.
Beyond that, it's insulting. I've heard from Adrian White (ph), who is the head of the -- vice president of the Human and Civil Rights Museum right across from CNN in Atlanta. She says this is disgraceful.
I've spoken to the chairman of the Democratic Party in John Lewis's district. He says it's an embarrassment given his history. So what it demonstrates to me is one, that Donald Trump, President-elect Trump not only has a problem with the truth, but he clearly has no concerns.
I don't care how many times he meets with Steve Harvey about maintaining a relationship and showing respect for people who have historically fought for the African-American community.
WHITFIELD: Yes. We are digging up those stats to present in terms of those stats to either help substantiate, but largely to also counter Donald Trump saying, you know, how disastrous and how crime ridden that district is that Congressman Lewis serves.
So Lynn, Congressman Lewis, not only the -- not the only Democrat who was questioning Trump's legitimacy. Hillary Clinton's former press secretary, Brian Fallon, saying, Donald Trump is trying to cling to whatever legitimacy he still has.
But are you seeing that this issue of legitimacy is one that will continue to cloud his presidency even if he says let's move on? It's going to be very difficult for a Trump White House to move on especially as Donald Trump continues to question the legitimacy of intel?
SWEET: Well, at the core of this is the few is now on his foot. This is coming from the man who fostered the birther movement and encouraged it throughout the years of President Barack Obama.
So whereas everyone knows Trump was a leader of the movement questioning the legitimacy of President Obama's eligibility to be president, raising questions falsely that he was not born, raising questions about whether or not he was born in the United States, which he was conclusively.
It was not -- it was not the kind of fact based questioning that is going on now because there are some -- we do have reports from the intel community of the United States that there was intervention in the election.
So if john Lewis wants to say it's not a legitimate election, he is expressing his opinion. Now, the good thing about this country is that when Donald Trump falsely accused President Barack Obama of not necessarily being a legitimate president, that's what this country is about.
So to go after John Lewis in a Twitter tirade, I don't see how it's as productive for Trump as he might want as he starts in just a few days his presidency wanting to get things through Congress, because this issue will not unite Republicans behind him.
[11:35:11]WHITFIELD: Yes. It's very interesting that you kind of made that segue way. We only have about 30 seconds, Jason, for you to respond to this. It is an interesting juxtaposition that the person who helped lead an effort to delegitimize a sitting president is now talking about an effort in his view, you know, being fueled by fake information, information that he doesn't believe is credible by the intelligence community about delegitimizing his tenure even before he's actually sworn in. So it's just a fascinating juxtaposition, isn't it?
JOHNSON: Yes. And it's a disappointing one. Let's be clear, Mitt Romney, all sorts of people don't show up to inaugurations. The fact that he's this angry about John Lewis, he could set up a meeting with him rather than complaining about it on Twitter at 7:50 in the morning.
But I think the larger issue is this. This entire administration is under review. Basically there are legitimate questions about the national security behavior and what they engaged in during the campaign.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jason Johnson, thank you so much. Lynn Sweet, appreciate it.
Coming up, a big gun battle potentially brewing on Capitol Hill. New legislation being introduced to make it easier to buy a silencer. Supporters say this isn't about the second amendment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about safety. It's about hearing protection. It's a health issue frankly for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. This week three Republican lawmakers introduced legislation under the Hearing Protection Act to make gun silencers easier to buy. Currently, there's a $200,000 tax and a lengthy background check to purchase one.
The American Suppressors Association has worked for years to remove those requirements. CNN's Victor Blackwell is joining us with more on this -- Victor.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now the supporters of this bill say that the table is set in Washington to get this passed.
[11:40:05]They say all the people in the right place. They have some high profile, well-connected supporters here. This is about health. The opponents say that's a facade.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Daniel Craig used one in "Casino Royal." Javier (inaudible) used one in "No Country For Old Men." A gun silencer, shooting enthusiasts call it a suppressor. It's an assassin's must have in movies.
KNOX WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN SUPPRESSORS ASSOCIATION: For most people even gun owners in this country, the only time that they've actually seen a suppressor is in film through Hollywood.
BLACKWELL: In real life, it's a heavily regulated gun accessory that Knox Williams say make shooting safer.
WILLIAMS: These things reduce the noise of a gunshot. They bring the noise down to safer levels from a hearing conservation perspective.
BLACKWELL: Williams is president and CEO of the American Suppressors Association, an advocacy group working to make suppressors easier to buy.
WILLIAMS: We've got a campaign called no state left behind where we're going through and trying to legalize it so the suppressors can be legal for ownership and for hunting in all 50 states.
BLACKWELL: Now his fight has reached Congress. Representatives 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 shooters and hunters have to things like tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears and noise and hearing loss as a result of exposure to loud noises. BLACKWELL: Opponents say suppressors will allow mass shooters to kill stealthily. Williams fired rounds from several guns with and without a suppressor. First up a 9-millimeter without the suppressor. Now with the suppressor. The AR-15 without the suppressor and now with it.
A noticeable difference but nothing as dramatic as Leonardo Decarpio muted rounds in "Inception." The 2015 bill failed to change suppressor laws, but Williams and gun rights advocates are optimistic this session. Why?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: 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 the Congress and we want to do it the right way. If you lineup those votes, he'll obviously have it before him. It wouldn't make sense. It's about safety. It's a health issue frankly for me. Getting little kids into the game, it's a great -- 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 you heard there from the proponents of this bill. I spoke earlier with an opponent, the opposition, Ladd Everitt, who is the director of One Pulse for America. He says this is not about health. It's about money.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LADD EVERITT, DIRECTOR, ONE PULSE FOR AMERICA: I have yet to see any actual evidence of a public health problem. Any actual research into hearing problems with gun owners. But last I checked, you know, earplugs are still readily available. Ear muffs are still readily available at shooting ranges.
There are a whole range of products to help with noise suppression for shooters. The problem with silencers, particularly in a recreational shooting situation like let's say hunting is you want people in the vicinity of gunfire to be able to hear the report of a firearm.
That in itself is a key safety element because if there are people around you when you're hunting, let's say, you might not be aware of their presence. The report of gunfire allows them either to identify themselves to you or to move safely out of that area if necessary.
That's just common sense and this stands to be dangerous particularly for people in those types of recreational shooting situations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: In relation to the health claim, supporters of the bill point to this from a 2011 CDC report that says the only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students or instructors noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barely.
[11:45:05]Now again, this bill is just a few days old. But there are more than 60 co-sponsors, one of them a Democrat so that means in Washington this is now bipartisan.
WHITFIELD: Wow. All right, thank you so much, Victor. Appreciate it. All right, "NEW DAY" weekend airing Sunday morning at 6:00 Eastern right here on CNN. You can see Victor and Christi all morning long.
Coming up, she was stolen at birth from her mother's hospital room and now 18 years later her life is turning upside down. How investigators cracked this cold case next.
WHITFIELD: All right, a cold case finally cracked. A baby stolen from a Florida hospital 18 years ago has been found alive after living what she thought was a normal live. Kamiyah Mobley was a newborn when a woman dressed as a nurse went into the mother's hospital room and took the baby.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Department says this woman is responsible, 51- year-old Gloria Williams is accused of taking the baby to South Carolina, changing the child's name and pretending to be the mother all of this time. Law enforcement has not released the name that she has been living under for the past 18 years.
CNN's Polo Sandoval now joining us with more on this. What an extraordinary story.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is unbelievable, Fred. I just spoke to officials in the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. They say they cannot elaborate the specifics on the tip that led investigators from Florida to Walterboro, South Carolina just recently. What we do know is a visit that changed the life of a young woman who was living there.
VELMA AIKEN, GRANDMOTHER: I just always thought that it would happen one day, but I didn't have no idea it was going to be this day.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Velma Aiken's prayers were finally answered. The disappearance of her granddaughter, Kamiyah Mobley, captured the attention of the country December of 1998. She was just a few hours old when a woman dressed as a nurse walked out of a Florida hospital with her leaving behind no trace and a heart broken young mother.
[11:50:03]UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would be the happiest woman in the world right now to hold my baby --
SANDOVAL: The exhaustive search turned up some clues but no baby Kamiyah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all have a good day, thank you.
SANDOVAL: Eighteen years and nearly 2,500 tips later, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office received the tips they needed. Investigators were led to the tiny town of Walterboro, South Carolina.
SHERIFF MIKE WILLIAMS, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: We found an 18-year-old young woman with the same date of birth but a different name. So further investigation revealed that fraudulent documents have been used to establish that young woman's identity.
SANDOVAL: Sheriff Mike Williams says DNA analysis confirms that the 18-year-old woman in Walterboro is Baby Kamiyah.
WILLIAMS: In the interest of reducing any further trauma to this young woman, I am not revealing her name, the name that she's live under for all these years.
SANDOVAL: Gloria Williams the woman believed to have raised Baby Kamiyah was arrested Friday and charged with kidnapping. A neighbor of the 51-year-old woman tells CNN Williams and the girl she raised seem to have a normal mother/daughter relationship. Today, the young woman faces a new reality, being away from the only mother she ever knew.
SANDOVAL: Both Kamiyah and Williams remain in South Carolina. We do understand that Williams would like to be extradited to Florida to face some of these kidnapping charges, Fred, but for 18 years, law enforcement with a few tips, only had what is more of a sketch. We just showed you a few minutes ago and a hope they would finally be able to close the case.
Now, the question, how will prosecutors go about this case? You have a woman that by all accounts was a good mother, however, allegedly walked into that hospital dressed as a nurse and walked out with a baby that was not hers, according to authorities.
WHITFIELD: That image just again to reemphasize the photograph that we saw, which we thought was many people were looking at and thinking a photograph, it is a rendering --
SANDOVAL: This is a sketch that was put together by investigators since the baby was so young, only about six hours old when kidnapped.
WHITFIELD: Right. And then there is video that shows this young lady, who's essentially, waving to the woman that she thought was her mother and actually, saying I love you. So, this poor child is really now tormented for a number of reasons because as you said, it appears as though she was raised in loving environment with this woman, but then to find out this is not the mom.
SANDOVAL: She's 18 years old. May still consider her a child. She's an adult. She's free to live with who she wants to so the question is, when she reunites with her biological family, will she choose to stay with them or go back to the life that she already had in South Carolina.
WHITFIELD: But to learn of the circumstances in which she ended up in that household. That's the part that's got to be tormenting. All right, thank you so much, Polo. Appreciate it.
All right, still ahead, another sexual harassment case involving Fox News, but this time, Bill O'Reilly is at the center of the controversy.
WHITFIELD: All right, just weeks after a sexual harassment scandal forced Roger Ailes to resign as chairman of Fox News last summer, the network quietly settled another sexual harassment claim, this one, against its biggest star, Bill O'Reilly.
A newly surfaced letter obtained by "The New York Times" reveals disturbing allegations against Reilley levelled by former Fox anchor, Juliet Huddy. Huddy accused O'Reilly of unwanted sexual advances and attempting to derail her career when she rebuffed him.
Joining me now is host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter. So Brian, what more are you learning about this letter?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This did not get very much attention this week, but it's noteworthy, this news broke on a site called (inaudible) earlier in the week, then "The New York Times" obtained this letter from Huddy's lawyers.
This was a letter that was sent in late in the summer threatening or saying there was an intent to sue over these alleged incidents. Now, O'Reilly and an executive of Fox News both named in this letter, both denied this.
According to our own colleague, Dylan Byers reporting, the company says there was substantial falsehoods in this letter. We can show that on screen, the statement from Fox News saying, "The letter that was sent contains substantial falsehoods which both men have vehemently denied."
Furthermore, O'Reilly's own lawyer said there was no basis for any claim of sexual harassment. What's noteworthy here, though, I think, Fred, this woman, Juliet Huddy, worked at Fox for many years and had been on one of the stations as well. She had known O'Reilly and Jack (inaudible), who had been a long time Fox executive. She charges that O'Reilly repeatedly sexually harassed her, these are all details in the letter. But as a result of the settlement, which reportedly a six-figure settlement, she's not commenting on it, not able to talk about what may or may not have happened.
WHITFIELD: And so, what potentially is next now that this is public? I realize there hasn't been any comment coming from O'Reilly or the network extensively. But will they be compelled to explain or say something?
STELTER: I think the reason why this stands out to a lot of people is that O'Reilly had previously been accused of sexual harassment by a former producer on his program, "The O'Reilly Factor." This is back in 2004. This was a tabloid story, got a lot of attention at the time.
Various charges against O'Reilly and there was a settlement then as well, so you flash forward 13 years and Roger Ailes, the allegations against him led to his removal from the head of Fox News last summer and now, there's new management in place.
But it would seem behind the scenes, this is still a challenge for Fox. This allegation, this letter that was sent that we only learned about this week and I would point out another element of this.
Gretchen Carlson, the fired Fox News anchor, who then sued Ailes for harassment, now very much in public speaking about this broader problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. Not talking about O'Reilly, or Ailes or anybody else specifically, but saying this is an issue in many workplaces that has to be confronted.
So, a former Fox News anchor now a leader on this. Meanwhile, Juliet Huddy, the woman who alleged harassment by O'Reilly, she's not commenting.
WHITFIELD: And as you said, Carlson, still not talking specifically. I'm sure that's part of the settlement agreement not being able to talk specifically about her encounters or experiences or allegations.
All right, thank you so much, Brian Stelter. Appreciate it. Of course, you can catch Brian tomorrow on his show, "RELIABLE SOURCES," which airs at 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN. All right, the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
Hello again. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks so much for being with me. All right, in less than one week, Donald Trump will take the oath of office, but he is already hinting at how he will change one of the world's most complex relationships.
Trump tells "The Wall Street Journal" that he would be open to lifting U.S. sanctions against Russia saying, quote, "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody's doing some really great things," end quote.
This as the Senate Intelligence Committee will review those alleged links between Russia and the U.S. --