Return to Transcripts main page
President Trump Warning Iran the World is Watching; Times Square Filled with Police with Bomb Sniffing Dogs; Apple is Apologizing to Customers; Fight to Survive Continues in Puerto Rico. Aired 4:00-5:00p ET
Aired December 30, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Today, the revelation in "the New York Times" naming the person who allegedly caught the FBI's eye prompting the special counsel investigation which began as an FBI investigation.
Now George Papadopoulos, the "New York Times" reports is the man, he was an ace London bar, drinking with an Australian diplomat back in May of 2016 when he suddenly revealed that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Now according to the "New York Times" this all came just after weeks before that bar conversation in London. Papadopoulos had been told that Russia had embarrassing emails on Clinton. Now Papadopoulos wound up pleading guilty on charges he lied to the FBI. He is now cooperating with the special counsel's investigation.
Two months after that bar conversation when the DNC emails were leaked, Australian officials then told U.S. officials about that conversation with Papadopoulos. So this news indicate that additional intelligence separate from that dossier that was involve by a British spy on the Trump Russia ties, that this new information may have previously raised concerns for the FBI.
I want to bring in White House correspondent Sara Murray in West Palm Beach where the President is on holiday.
Sara, how is the Trump White House now responding to this bombshell report?
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, we have seen how the Trump White House has dealt with George Papadopoulos in the past which is they have sort of dismissed him as a low-level volunteer. They say he played no significant role in the campaign. They appeared to be approaching this story a little bit more cautiously.
Ty Cobb who is the president's council in the White House said this. Out of respect for the special counsel and his process, we are not commenting on matters such as this. We are continuing to fully cooperate with the special counsel in order to help complete their in query expeditiously.
And it is worth noting that of course we seen this White House time and time again, denied that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. And in fact, President Trump, in an interview with the "New York Times' this week, went out of his way to say 16 times there is no collusion.
But if you look at this "New York Times" story, it does present problems potentially for the White House. Because attached George Papadopoulos in a more nuance role than just a low level volunteer staffer. It puts him helping to edit some of the president than the candidate for foreign policy speeches, but also says just two months before the election that this person, George Papadopoulos, helps facilitate a meeting between Trump and the Egyptian President met, certainly something like that would be outside of the scope of the low level volunteer staff or a coffee boy as some of the President's adviser would dismiss him. So this is problematic for the President going forward -- Ana.
CABRERA: Sara Murray, in West Palm Beach, thank you.
Last hour, I had a chance to speak with one of the "New York Times" reporters who broke the story. Here is part of our conversation. This is Mark Mazetti.
MARK MAZZETTI, WASHINGTON INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: This sort of helps fit a big piece of the puzzle, the narrative of 2016, why did the FBI gets so concerned about Trump and potential Russian contacts that cause them to launch this investigation. This was a key piece.
CABRERA: So do we know why Australians waited two whole months to tell their American counter partner about this conversation?
MAZZETTI: We don't. And that's one question that we will continue to report out.
It is possible that the Australian, whose name is Alexander Downer who is the top diplomat in the U.K. heard the information. It was not considered urgent until two months later when we saw emails spilling out publicly that were damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign specifically of the DNC emails. And after that, it became clear that it was what Papadopoulos was talking about and they put two and two together and urgently went to the United States. That's some speculations but it is possible.
CABRERA: So what did the FBI do then after they got the information from Australian?
MAZZETTI: So what has been publicly reported and spoken of by senior officials is that in late July of 2016, the FBI open the counter intelligence investigation which are basically looking at what is behind this intelligence about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians. Where do they make of it?
They started the investigation but it did not really go full tilt for some time. It wasn't really until the fall that they started really looking at these issues particularly seriously. Now at the same time, this is a month before the election and there was concern of the FBI about a full-blown investigation coloring the political sort of climate at the time a month before the election. I recall it was a time when there was concern that Trump by, you know, lose and not accept the result of the election. So there was a real debate inside the FBI.
CABRERA: So did you get a sense then that they did not really know how to best approach their investigation that they resort of wondering how aggressive to go in following up on these tips?
[16:05:00] MAZZETTI: Yes. I think there was such a debate. Now again, what has been reported before is that the Christopher Sealed (ph), the former British spy who puts the dossier together have gone through the contact of his who worked with the FBI in Rome. This was earlier in the summer. But it does not appear that the FBI really took that information that still provided particularly seriously until later in the summer, early fall.
As reported in our story today, it was until October when FBI agents went over to Europe to interview steel. So there was a real lag time. And there did seem to be some period when the FBI was not, you know, was doing an open investigation but they were not, you know, doing everything they could do to sort chase a lead.
CABRERA: So because the timing really is crucial, Mark. I just want to make sure we understand the order of all of this. Did the FBI start their investigation before they knew about the steel dossier or do you know?
MAZZETTI: We do not believe that as the reporting was not at all the predicate to the investigation. We do think that at least one FBI agent knew about information that steel had provided. We believe he provided that in early July to the agent in Rome. But we had multiple sources who have confirmed that it was the Papadopoulos email -- Papadopoulos information together with the hacked email together with possibly other sources that launched the FBI investigation. It was not the steel information.
CABRERA: Did they tell you that point-blank that the dossier had nothing to do with them opening the investigation?
MAZZETTI: Yes, they did.
CABRERA: Again, that was Mark Mazzetti, the report, one of them who broke the story on the "New York Times."
I want to get some perspective now in all of this from our panel joining us, former prosecutor Paul Callan, retired FBI and supervisory special agent James Gagliano and White House correspondent for the "Washington Examiner" Sarah Westwood.
So Paul, I will start with you. The question in everybody's mind is this going to collusion? PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well - and that is the question. But
when we talk about collusion, collusion is not a crime in the criminal statute. It has got to be a conspiracy among two or more people to violate U.S. laws.
So clearly, Mueller is establishing a lot of evidence to indicate that there were meetings about the Russians, about getting dirt from the Russians on Hillary Clinton. But that was not criminal unless part of the meeting involved illegality in getting that information, helping them hack into American computer networks who are distribute stolen property, known to be stolen. And that's the missing elements so far.
I think there is a lot of evidence indicating contact between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
CABRERA: But just knowing that they had these emails, if they were aware of these email, the Russians had, would that --.
CALLAN: That is not collusion. That would be sort of the first step in a collusions/conspiracy case. The second step is to show that you use those meetings to violate U.S. laws. Now you have a criminal case that would implicate people and send them to jail. I don't see it on the basis of what we know so far though.
CABRERA: OK, Sarah, obviously, there has been a lot of messaging recently, especially Republicans trying to tarnish the credibility of the special counsel's team. Did this new reporting just make it harder for the White House and Republicans in Congress? Some of them at least to argue this investigation if they witch hunt and that it all started because of a dossier.
SARAH WESTWOOD, CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Absolutely. I think that was one of the number one arguments that GOP lawmakers had was that potentially this investigation had started as the result of a dossier that was funded by the Clinton campaign and the DNC that used other Russians to sort a lot of these allegations. And now we are learning that it was someone bragging about dirt from Russians within the Trump campaign that may have tipped the FBI off to potential collusion on the Trump campaign. So I think this takes a lot of the wind out of the sail of GOP investigators.
This is obviously a separate conversation between whether Mueller has made pure decisions regarding the staffing of his team and the political leanings of some of his investigators. That's a separate conversation but certainly, talking about the genesis of the investigation, I think this report definitely does under mind the credibility of that argument from Republicans.
CABRERA: James, being former FBI, why did you think agents waited until January of this, 2017, to actually interview Papadopoulos if they had this information their Australian counterparts in this early as last July of 2016. And then they, of course, did not actually release this latest information in the plea deal until very recently. What took so long?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Ana, to your point, the way that investigation works, the last thing that you want to do in that investigation after you gather everything else is actually interview either target or an accomplice or accessory to the crime. You want to leave that to the last piece. So that makes sense as far as the time line goes.
I got to give it to the "New York Times." The reporting in here is incredible. And what it does is, it does bolsters those folks that were upset about the fact that the dossier is basically been discredited. Parts of there are untrue. And that (INAUDIBLE) everything else in the dossier s how could you use that to go up and get fizzy warrant.
So if there were other pieces to that fize (ph) application, which apparently there were. And this was one of them, it does make more sense into my colleague Paul Callan's point here, as we move along this process.
My only issue is, you know, thus far, we have to please to mind which are ancillary process crimes. Normally you would have somebody plead out to an underlying scheme. Because once they plea to perjury, once they plea to lying to the FBI, it is not difficult, not impossible but difficult to use them as a good character witness, a witness that could go up there now and speaking to the scheme because they have already pled to lying.
So I don't know if there is anything else that Papadopoulos pled guilty to that or that Michael Flynn could bring to this because it is the biggest thing they pled to. Might be the biggest crime that they were involved in.
[16:11:18] CABRERA: Paul, the fact that now we know investigators have this information as far back as July 2016, and they still 18 months later or so have not concluded that there was cooperation in a criminal way between the Trump campaign and Russia, this that good news for the White House?
CALLAN: I think it is good news for the White House because you would expect when you look at what Mueller has done so far. He has really got all his ducks in a row. I mean, he has gone after Flynn. He has gone after Manafort. He has got Papadopoulos to a rumor that Papadopoulos was wired. He has questioned people close to the President.
He has really done I think a thorough work up. So you would think that he would have be close to making his case if there is a case to be made. But all I am seeing is, yes, they had contacts with the Russians and maybe it is an embarrassing thing that they did. Maybe politically, look horrible for the White House, but I am not saying that criminal connection except for what James was just talking about which is lying to the FBI. That's always a crime.
And you know, in these types of investigations and a lot of the past which you go down for eventually telling a lie to the investigators, obstruction of justice and not the underline crime which, you remember, they are investigating an attempted tamper with the American election in a criminal way. And they have not made the link to that yet.
CABRERA: Sara, let's rewind for just a minute and listen to what the White House said back in October when that Papadopoulos' indictment was unsealed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sara, can you explain George Papadopoulos' role with the (INAUDIBLE).
SANDERS: It was extremely limited. It was a volunteer position. And again, no activities was ever done in official capacity on behalf of the campaign in that regard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now, this report claims that Papadopoulos actually set up a meeting between Trump and the President of Egypt just before - just or so two months before the election. Does that sound like a volunteer or a coffee boy as another adviser called it?
WESTWOOD: Well, you know, I have spoken to members of this foreign advisory panel that was set up on the campaign. And that it turns out some of them or if not all of them were not paid for their work. I think there was a lot of regret surrounding the creation of that advisory panel for the campaign because remember that capacity of which Carter Page also serves on the campaign. Someone who has reported to have been under government surveillance for his own contacts with Russia.
He invited a lot of scrutiny of the campaign contact with Russia as well. There is a regret of forming the panel in the first place. Most people had not heard of George Papadopoulos as name until summer and fall for a reason because he was not a major part of the campaign. Certainly, he played a larger role as we are learning than a coffee boy. But he wasn't one of President Trump's go to top advisors and therefore I don't think that his plea deal has reflected as poorly on the White House because he was never someone who was that important within Trump's orbit.
CABRERA: Although we are also hearing from this report that he apparently edited the President's foreign policy speech, his first major foreign policy speech as a candidate back in April of 2017 as well. That's one more peg in terms of involvement with the campaign.
James, I am curious to get your take on this little details that Papadopoulos' revelation that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton came during a night of heavy drinking. Does (INAUDIBLE) to the influence impacts his credibility?
GAGLIANO: No, I don't think at all - I don't think that impacts the credibility. Again, these are all pieces, I mean, as Paul mentions earlier, these are all pieces lead investigators to come to their conclusion. And I think the process and chronology of this is working the way that it should work. I think it is important to know and I think in the Times article that basically said there haven't yet been any email discovered that showed that Papadopoulos actually made (INAUDIBLE) or an outreach to the campaign that said, hey, I got access to these emails and I can give them to you.
And to make this a crime, that would have to happen and then there would have to be some direction from the campaign to OK, go ahead and get those emails publish those emails or leak those emails. That's what would it take it into the criminal room. Again, we are still talking about a counter intelligence investigation, Ana. And that's very distinctly different from a criminal investigation.
[16:15:31] CABRERA: Well, thank you all for being with us.
Sarah Westwood, Paul Callan, James Gagliano. We appreciate it.
Coming up, breaking news out of Iran. Reports that shot fire now during anti-government protest. President Trump warning Iran today the world is watching.
Stay right there.
[16:18:52] CABRERA: Breaking news out of Iran. Reports of shot fired during anti-government protest and CNN is working to confirm that these protests have turned deadly.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CABRERA: So far the official death count is zero. But reports from the ground trickling out on social media paint a very different story. Across the country, people are finding safety in numbers. More and more cities joining this movement, demonstrations are shouting death to Rouhani and death to Khamenei, the country's top two leaders. We have videos showing hundreds or if not thousands are cheering as the picture of Iran's leader is torn.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CABRERA: Back here in the U.S., President Trump is weighing in, warning Iran the world is watching.
CNN's Nic Robertson has more -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: One of the things that makes these protests different from what we saw in Iran in 2009. That was the last time there were big protests there. These protests, some of them are targeted and bringing down supreme leader in Iran.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, we have seen pictures of his ripped from the billboard of the side of - sides of streets with the protesters calling for his overthrow. This is something different. This is something that the regime is going to take very seriously.
We have also seen social media videos emerging that appears to show injured people being carried away from protests. Another one that appears to show a young man on a hospital (INAUDIBLE) and makeshift clinic shot right through his abdomen. These videos are yet to be confirmed and verified. But if we think back of that big protests in 2009, many of the indicators of how big and damaging over those protests where it how heavy handed. The government track down those (ph) came from social media posting.
We have heard from government officials, a deputy minister of Tehran saying that people are going out protesting, not realizing there is as hidden hand behind the protests with a push back against President Trump's tweets saying that the world is watching. That the people of Iran should be allowed to express their democratic will freely. They should be able to do that.
We have also heard from the vice President of Iran, the first vice President, perhaps you know, referencing how these protesters which will began that they began with an economic trust complaints about rising inflation, rising unemployment. He is saying that the government must do more to tackle these economic issues. But at the same time, he says that anyone that is trying to damage the government through these protest must be identified immediately. There is no doubt that the government is taking these protest in a very, very concern way.
Nic Robertson. London.
[16:21:46] CABRERA: Nic Robertson, thanks.
Coming up, Times Square filled with police with bomb sniffing dogs. A look at security measures in place before the city's big New Year's Eve bash next.
[16:25:52] CABRERA: Cities across the U.S. are ramping up security measures for this New Year's Eve. Las Vegas, we know has that a police sniffers to roof tops. They are bringing in the national guards to help protect crowds after a mass shooting at a country music festival in October.
And in New York, police are setting barricades. They patrolling tourist attractions and hotels, even filling a parking garages before that iconic ball dropped in Times Square.
Joining us now Michael Balboni. He is the former New York state homeland security director and senior fellow at the homeland security policy institute.
Thank you, Michael, for joining us. So we had two attacks in New York in just the last two months, a bomb that made in the city's subway system. We have the ISIS-inspired attacker killing eight people when he plot or track down bike path (ph). How will these events impact the security at Times Square compared to the year's past? MICHAEL BALBONI, FORMER NEW YORK STATE HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: So
what it does is it reconfirms the unfortunate truth that New York City continues to be a target of the radical attacks from ISIS and Al-Qaeda inspired entities. And don't forget also there was a bombing in Chelsea the year prior. So this has been a scene where - site where you have this types of attacks.
But you know, this event in itself, the New Year's Eve, the New York City police department and all the associate agencies, the FBI and New York state troopers, MCA police, these are individuals and units and agencies that are very, very experienced in this type of event.
And in some way, Ana, it is actually kind of an easier event because you know it is going to happen. And the way to handle these types of big security events is to preparations, resource applications, controlling the areas and illuminating the surprises. So they have written the book literally on how to security New York City.
CABRERA: Now in the Vegas attack, of course, we had a shooter from above, how can the city be prepared for something like that?
BALBONI: So a lot of times what we have done is we have studied what the secret service does when they go in for executive protection obviously for the President. And what they try to do is they take what they call sideline where they take a look of what the high vantage point could be and hotels. And they have counter sniper positions which basically take a look at all the surrounding areas and have the ability to inradict very rapidly should something like that happened. In addition to what it is done beforehand, you know, whether it is intelligence, whether it is talking to people who run the hotels to say quickly as you lead up to an event of this magnitude, you know, see something, say something is obviously the phrase people use. But it is also years of relationships with people who ran that different hotels who been involved in New Year celebrations beforehand. And there is this conversation that happens with people who are playing close as well as people who are in uniform and the heavy weapons teams.
CABRERA: Now, the officials had said and estimated two million people are expected for that New Year's Eve ball dropping at Times Square this year. And it is coming at a time when because the historically cold temperature. What obstacles could the weather create?
BALBONI: Well, obviously, in terms of the crowd size, you would anticipate it being less of a crowd. But you know, when people are pretty hardy. And they showed up year after year no matter what the temperatures are in Times Square. And what it does also is it presents a bit of a challenge in terms of the bulky clothing that people wear. And so, the ability to conceal things.
But if you ever been in the city when this happens, you see that all the regulars are in kind of, for a lack of a better phrase, pins. And they are all kind of together and they are match for another and there is a lot of checking that goes up before they get in there.
In addition to which, the person you are sitting next to having a great time might just be a police officer in under cover. And they also to have rapid response capabilities. But they also take away some of the unknown elements. So what they will do is they will close down typical subway sites and so are subway entrances and exits so that you don't have somebody from the last minute coming up from an area that where that individual might have been able to bring up weapon or other types of explosives.
But it is also - again, it is about training, tremendous communication, and remember, New York City with a lot of cities these days has a tremendous network of surveillance cameras. And that is tied into again, this rapid response capabilities.
[16:30:08] CABRERA: Michael Balboni, thank you so much. And happy New Year in advance.
BALBONI: Happy New Year to you, Ana.
Quick programming note - thank you. You can ring in the New Year with CNN. Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen they will be breaking the cold. The host of the live event beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night right here.
It is not your imagination, some of those older model of Apple iPhones from about two years ago did get slower. And now Apple is not only apologizing their customers for a software update that can slow down older items. They are facing a class action lawsuit because of it.
CNN's Samuel Burke has more.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: Apple is calling this a misunderstanding. That's the word they are using. And even though they are not admitting any wrong doing, they are issuing a rare apology for how they communicated about this whole debacle.
Now, they are trying to correct the real issue of the heart of all this. The battery, they are slashing the price of a replacement battery from $79 to $29. So if you have an iPhone 6, 6s, SE or the iPhone 7, even if it is out of warranty, you have a cheaper option to avoid a slowdown phone.
But Apple says that an upcoming IOS update will come at the new tool so you can see how your battery is performing. Think of it like a heart monitor but for the battery. Many people are still upset though that even for the senator Marco Rubio tweeting, the problem is not just the phone, it is the arrogance of Apple remotely controlling how phones work and admitting it only after getting caught.
So having a U.S. senator tweeting about this shows just how much it got under people's skin and why Apple realized they had to correct their misjudgment.
CABRERA: Samuel Burke, thanks.
Coming up. President's tweet from Balmy Florida that the bitter cold in the east could use a bit of that good old global warning. What does he mean by that? Our panel weighs in next.
[16:35:36] CABRERA: The fight to survive continues in Puerto Rico. It has been more than three months since hurricane Maria reached to the island knocking out power to just about everyone. Now months later, thousands are still in the dark no power and no hot water and no refrigeration.
CNN's Leyla Santiago brings us an update.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is more than just flip of a switch. Finally, a heat of what life is light before hurricane Maria.
After a more than three months without power, (INAUDIBLE) is one of the lucky few who just got power.
Hot water. She's able to take a hot shower. That's what she is excited about, a hot shower.
In south eastern Puerto Rico now has massive generator to power a substation. It is enough to power part of the town, not a permanent solution. Not enough to turn lights back on for all 38,000 people.
It is been known for its agriculture. Now, deserve (ph) with that area where hurricane Maria came in with 155 miles per hour winds knocking out electricity immediately. The mayor says he doesn't know when power will be restored. So he believes they were the first to deal with Maria and they could be the last.
MAYOR RAFAEL SUMILO, YABUCCOA, PUERTO RICO: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: Mayor Rafael Sumilo was born and raised in these mountains near the coast. He calls Maria a monster that destroyed them.
SUMILO: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: He is saying the urban area could get power very soon. But this area, the mountains area, he says it could be summer before they see it which take note, summer is when the hurricane season begins.
Miles away from town, high up in the mountains where the power lines are harder to fix, Cheryl de Jesus have little hope her home will be back soon. Maria rushed through the windows and doors and it ruined more than furniture, it ruined her life. For now, new paint is all she can afford to fix and move it.
CHERYL DE JESUS, RESIDENT: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: She has no idea when she will get power back.
DE JESUS: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: Without power, Cheryl and her children lost more than the lights.
DE JESUS: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: Without power, they don't have water.
The mayor said the problem constant bureaucratic delays.
For a month, they have workers here but not enough materials to actually carry out the work. Mayor Sumilo calls this a start. He says they need more generators, power tools, cables. The U.S. army core of engineer admits shortages of supply stemming from natural disasters is part of the reason it took so long to get power back to people like Ida.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: She doesn't have to (INAUDIBLE).
Back in town, Ida will spent tonight in a home over joyed. Power is the best Christmas gift they could ask for. But for families up in the mountains, the sun set on another night and they wait for their gift to arrive.
Leyla Santiago, CNN, Yabuccoa Puerto Rico.
CABRERA: Out thanks to Leyla. And what an amazing story for those people we saw resilient, so inspiring.
We will be right back.
[16:43:08] CABRERA: Welcome back.
If the White House is hoping for a quiet new year, breaking news from the "New York Times' story may have just thrown their plans total loop. The Times reporting that a tip from Australian intelligence official about George Papadopoulos may have pushed officials to open their counter investigation probe into the Trump campaign.
Joining us now, Democratic strategist Jonathan Tasini and CNN political commentator and former special assistant to President George W. Bush Scott Jennings.
So Scott, I will start with you. This "New York Times" report says that Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat as far back as May of 2016 that Russians had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. Do you believe he would tell a foreign diplomat but not his own campaign?
SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I believe a lot of things about George Papadopoulos because everything we learned about him shows just as how stupid this guy really was. He should never been working on this campaign. He clearly lied to the FBI which when he has been convicted of and he had really no place in a professionalized operation.
What we have learned here is that the Trump campaign in the early part of 2016 did not have the kind of structure and place to weed out the George Papadopoulos in the Carter Pages of the world. I do think it is important to remember though that in the "New York Times" reporting, it says direct quote "he was not central to the day-to-day running of the campaign.' Our own legal analyst, Paul Callan says the case have not been made that the conspiracy exists to break federal laws here. And there is nothing that connects Papadopoulos to Donald Trump right now.
But that's no excuse. They failed a basic tenor (ph) to presidential campaign staffing. Tried to Google the people who showed up at your front door claiming to be something they are not.
CABRERA: Jonathan, what are your thoughts on that?
JONATAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, let me start by, first of all, on wishing you a happy new year. And to see in that to say I agree with Scott on a couple of things. First of all, the Trump campaign shows that it was in disarray certainly when it comes to staffing people. I think that's extend themselves into the administration where incompetent people are being appoint to these judges, people who don't know how to actually run the agencies or what agencies are supposed to be doing so. So I think that was something that was part of the, if you will, character of the campaign back in 2016.
But I will say this, Austria and I think people know this has a very close relationship to the United States intelligence. There are national security agency listening posted pine gaps. So there is a very close relationships between the intelligence communities of both countries.
And so I take -- there is a lot of credibility in what the "New York Time" story reporting about the emails and about Papadopoulos' role. I will say though and, you know, I have said this for many months and this is something I do agree with Scott about, the connection between Papadopoulos who I think of probably was looking out for his own interests and Donald Trump and in some way the whole story is yet to be made. But yet this "New York Times" story I think is important.
[16:046:08] CABRERA: All right. I want to pivot to other political news.
Let's talk about the President's tweet this past week about the arctic chill in the east coast. We are all feeling it. I heard -- I saw your tweet, Scott, earlier about how cold it was there in Kentucky. Now in the east he writes, it could be the coldest New Year's Eve on
record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old global warming that our country, but not other country. We are going to pay trillions of dollars to protect against. Bundle up.
So obviously, he is complaining whether it was climate change there, Scott. But some Republicans pollsters have said that his attitude towards climate change is helping to drive younger voters away from the Republican Party.
JENNINGS: Yes. That's an interesting point. I am not sure it is a voting issue of that magnitude for (INAUDIBLE). But it is something to pay attention to. I do think that here in Kentucky, we know something about when it is cold, what heats our homes and that is good old Kentucky coal. I think 90 percent of the electricity in Kentucky is generated by coal. And I think what the president is doing in his tweet is poking a little fun in some of the liberal Democrats who tried read our country of coal and other possible fuels.
And so I think the President is just trying to get a ride out of the left wing. This was a big issue in the campaign. And frankly, I think it hurt. If you go back to the Democratic primary for president, it really hurt Hillary Clinton and coal country where Bernie Sanders did quite well here and another Appalachian state, so.
CABRERA: But I got a push back and he was trying to get a ride because -- I don't mean to interrupt you. I'm sorry to stepping on you. But when you say he was just trying to get a ride, to me, this is a President who called climate change a hoax that was prepared by the Chinese previously. This seems to be repetitive, I guess, way that he goes before he was President and had continued since he has been President, plus some of the policies that have implemented by the EPA. His administrator there have only re-enforced that this really is his position.
TASINI: And not only that. I would, Ana, if I can jump in. This shows how much of an ignoramus this man is that he knows nothing about policy, nothing about the real world, nothing that does not affect him directly in terms of his bank account and his own ego. And I think with all due respect to Scott, you are whistling past the graveyard and think this is not an important issue especially as Ana correctly pointed out to young voters, it is absurd.
And I will say though, we are in some way blaming Donald Trump too much in the following way. This is the position of the Republican Party as a whole. They are as a whole climate change deniers and it is one reason that millennials and young people are in drones leaving the Republican Party, not just because of Donald Trump because millennials and younger people, they believe in science and they understand climate change is real.
CABRERA: Scott, I will give you a chance to respond.
JENNINGS: Let me jump in on that, Ana. I want to say something that to his comment, look. You don't have to have an all or nothing position here. You can believe that climate change is a real issue. And you can also believe that we don't have to go so far over board with government regulations that it destroys the economy. And I think that's what a lot of people in coal country were talking about in the last election.
The Democratic Party's position was let's get rid of all coal, all possible fuels when that was going to wreck the economy. That was a real voting issue for people. Why cannot we strike a balance between climb a change and having reasonable regulations?
TASINI: Well, I will just say this. It is not true that over regulation on climate change would hurt. In fact, most studies that are about --
JENNINGS: It destroys Kentucky coal. It destroyed West Virginia and called the Obama coal regulations -
TASINI: Scott, that's not true. Coal actually is declined from all sorts of market forces that had nothing to do with regulations. Coal is declining because of market forces and that are about competition from gas and other forms of energy.
But let me finish the point that I want to say. Actually, if we went into a climate change. And the Chinese are doing this all around the world. If we move aggressively to adjust climate change, it would actually help the economy in terms of the jobs that were created in solar that the Chinese are beating the crap out of us all across the board especially in Africa.
[16:50:17] CABRERA: Gentleman, got to leave it there.
Jonathan Tasini and Scott Jennings, thank you both. And an early happy new year.
JENNINGS: You, too.
TASINI: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, the many faces - thank you.
The many faces of the Me Too movement. And my next guest is six-three with tattoos. But he says even with the unlikeliest person could have a story to share. Hear his, next.
[16:54:18] CABRERA: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Welcome back. B
As we talk about another #metoo story that is one you probably haven't heard. It involve the 6-foot-three person who is (INAUDIBLE) enforcements from SWAT, FBI. I am talking about James Gagliano. You see him here on our news before. And he has a story of his own.
I want to bring him in.
James, thank you for the courage to come forward. Tell us what happened to you.
GAGLIANO: Well, Ana, first of all, thanks for having me. This is normally not what you and I are discussing. But the story is important not because it involved me necessarily. Because I have kind of been (INAUDIBLE) over the years to ever mentioned this.
And from the perspective of I just thought -- I was not a victim because I had parents that were a support system for me. And I had a lot of people, including the school system and it worked for me. And unfortunately, far too many cases it does not work for people. And people are disbelieved or people are heckled or people are mocked or people who are marginalized.
In my situation, everything worked correctly. And I was 12 or 13 years old. It was in the late 1970s. And I guess the most important story was just to highlight how endemic this problem is in our country and really in the world. I mean, the proliferation of these instances and incidents that happen and people just kind of either move past them or were they suppress them or keeping them repressed or you just don't think this occurred everybody. And as you pointed out, I am a West Point grad. And I was an army ranger and a SWAT team leader and the FBI. And I look very much like an unlikely person to be in this situation.
CABRERA: You were just 12 or 13 though, when - was it a teacher who sort of proposition you?
GAGLIANO: It was the teacher. And how it happened. And I tried to be careful. Like you said it was late 1970s. The way that it was. I grew up in the Deep South. The way it was eighth to twelve grade was high school in the area that I live in. So as 12 or 13 year old, you would it be in a high school with students who are 18, 19 years old. And it was a teacher and it was somebody that I had placed a lot of trust and confidence in and somebody who broke that kind of sacred bond between scholar and student and it taking me under his wing and you know, made me filled my head with these ideas of how wonderful I was. And then started sharing some things with me that were inappropriate which led to an invitation of come back to his place which never happened because again, I was lucky enough to share it with my sister who said I needed to discuss this with my parents. I went through my parents. My parents then went to through the channels of the school system. The principal and the superintendent and that led to the hearing that I eventually wrote about in my peace.
[16:57:08] CABRERA: Right. You do describe the details of some of your conversations. And the fact is, you took this all the way to police in the work - ended up in the court system which is not where a lot of these do end up.
I'm curious for you give your take in terms of how difficult it was to share your story Your story at that time. And then now I imagine as equally is
difficult to also bring his all up. But the fact of the matter, you say you actually felt kind of guilty for coming forward at the time.
GAGLIANO: Again, Ana, I want to make sure that, you know, the system worked for mer. So I'm not in the same kind of position as people that have been, you know, subjected to, you know, physical abuse or subjected to continual harassment. And my situation isn't like that. But I was a young impressionable child at the time.
And again, luckily that I was blessed to have two great parents who insisted that we pursued this. And they monitored me. And lesson things stood me was if you don't do this, as uncomfortable as it is going to be, as much ridiculous you may take, because you know fellow students are at that age when you are in high school, if you don't do this, somebody else, younger and somebody else more vulnerable and weaker who may not have the support system could be impacted. And that resonated with me.
And I don't know if that's the only thing that led me to, you know, to wanting to join law enforcement and make that a profession. But it was the thought process to me that there are people that are vulnerable out there that could be taken advantage of. And my parents insisted that we pursue it. The school system set up a deposition with a county attorney. I had to write a statement and then I have to be grilled by not just by the county attorney but by the accused attorney as well at this deposition with him sitting directly across the table from me.
CABRERA: How do you create a workplace? What would be your advice for people who, you know, have their own operations, I mean it really does not matter where it is, in terms of these leaders in organizations or elsewhere, how do they get people feeling comfortable coming forward? Because right now we see so many stories in which people are coming forward but it is several years or even decades later.
GAGLIANO: Ana, it goes to the same thing you and I was talk about as far as making sure that on the counter terrorism front, making sure that you see something, you say something. And I think in this realm, it is the same thing, you know.
In the past, I mean, I come from very macho professions, you know, whether it was law enforcement or the army. And you know, places where you hear something, you kind of sneak about it, but maybe say, you know what? Stepping up and making sure that folks that are in male dominated industries understand that it is absolutely unacceptable whether it is Hollywood, whether it is a business, wherever it is, we need to make sure that people stand up for each other and make sure this is not tolerated.
[17:00:07] CABRERA: James Gagliano, again, thank you so much for sharing your story.
You can read his entire op-ed on CNN.com.
Thank you, sir.
GAGLIANO: Ana, thanks for having me.