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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 30, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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>> nick tullier is literally learning to write his name again but for his family and friends, these are the initials of a superhero. >> rocklavandera, cnn, dallas. >> see you again tomorrow beginning 11:00 a.m. eastern time. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks, fredricka. vladimir putin says new year means a new start with a new president. "the lead" starts right now. after president obama kicks out dozens of russian operatives, vladimir putin says the americans are can stay in moscow and bring the kids. what's behind his move? i'll ask a former cia director. a tennis court, a wine cellar, a fur vault? all a front for stealing america's secrets? the mansions the u.s. just closed down and a look at the spy game that's been going on for decades. plus, after a bitter election and allegations of a power grab and incoming democratic governor sues his own legislature just to
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have the same authority the last guy did. how the judge ruled. welcome to "the lead." i'm jim acosta in for jake tapper today. bewe begin with the world lead, the u.s. senate taking action against russia for election year hacking. the chairman of the senate armed services committee, john mccain, will hold a hearing on cyber threats thursday and russian hacking is likely to dominate. the news comes as the clock ticks for russian diplomats, suspected spies and their families to get out of the u.s. today russian president vladimir putin announced his response to u.s. sanctions and it was less tough guy where he is allege bear and more jolly old st. vlad. putin announcing he's taking the highroad for now and will not expel american diplomats in response to u.s. sanctions against russia for hacks targeting the dnc during the 2016 race. he also invited diplomats and their children in russia to christmas and new year's shows in the kremlin. president-elect trump a short time ago, you've probably seen this, reacted with this tweet -- great move on delay by v. putin.
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i always knew he was very smart. jim sciutto joins us now. that tweet aside, russia vowed to answer any hostile steps from the u.s. but it hasn't been very hostile so far, right? >> no, it hasn't. let obesity honest with you, he'll get a much friendlier u.s. administration in three weeks' time. he knows that and with that tweet donald trump has been telegraphing that broadly and widely. perhaps a smart strategic move the wait. vladimir putin has always been very conscious of political theater and with these moves inviting american children to a new year's celebration, holding off for now, very conscious of that theater as well. >> reporter: tonight russians vacating compounds shut down by the u.s. russian president vladimir putin, however, dismissing washington's payback. instead wishing president obama and his family a happy new year saying in a statement, "we will not stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy. it is a pity that the president
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obama administration finishes its work this way but, nevertheless, i congratulate him and his family a happy new year." russian foreign minister sergey lavrov recommended putin expel 35 american diplomats from russia after the u.s. ordered 35 alleged russian spies to leave the u.s. by this weekend. >> translator: we cannot let such escapades happen without a response. the russian foreign ministry, together with our colleagues from other departments, have made a proposal to declare 31 staff from the embassy of moscow and four diplomats from the general consulate of st. petersburg as persona non grata. >> reporter: president putin likely waiting for a far friendlier administration under donald trump, did not take that advice, saying in his statement we will not create problems for american diplomats. we will not send anyone away. with a stroke of drama, putin even issued this invitation to american children in response to the new u.s. sanctions i invite all children of the u.s.
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diplomats to the new year and christmas children's show at the kremlin, signed yours sincerely, vladimir putin. the u.s. shut down two russian government-owned come pounds, one in new york where law enforcement was seen outside, and another in maryland, a 45-acre property purchase bd i the soviet government in 1972. today vehicles were seen leaving the maryland estate and returning to the russian embassy in washington. the white house says the russians working at the compounds were spying on the u.s. russia, however, refutes that the estates were being used for espionage. >> i think it's quite scandalous that they chose to go after our kids, you know? they know full well those two facility which is they mentioned in their notes, they are vacation facilities for our kids, and this is christmastime. >> four of the russians sanctioned by the u.s. are part of the russian military intelligence unit known as the gru. one is the usg. >> it's assigning blame to russia's military and intelligence service, but the
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actual perpetrators of the hacks are contractors, if you like, people who have been found by the russian government to do their dirty work for them. >> to be clear, hacking the election is not the only disagreement that the u.s. has with russia. the invasion of ukraine, the annexation of crimea, bombing of civilians in syria -- there's a whole host of things, jim. you and i report about it all the time. buzzing u.s. aircraft in ships, putting nuclear-capable submarines off the coast of the u.s. you speak to folks in the defense and intelligence space, they call russia a threat. >> donald trump doesn't see vladimir putin as a threat. at least he's not saying as much at this point. jim sciutto, thank you very much. for 24 hours after president obama's announcement on russia, president-elect trump's twitter account was silent but he just weighed in, complimenting vladimir putin for his response. sunlen serfaty is in palm beach, florida. perhaps the most surprising thing about trump's reaction is it didn't happen any sooner but
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it was very much in the same theme that he is praising vladimir putin in all of this. >> reporter: that's absolutely right, jim. the tone here shouldn't be a surprise if you look at what donald trump himself and members of his transition team have done in recent days. but it is certainly notable that the president-elect is not only saying let's basically move on from all of this but is now openly praising the russian president only 24 hours after president obama slapped those sanctions on russia. tonight president-elect donald trump is out with new praise for vladimir putin, applauding the russian president for withholding retaliatory sapgss on the u.s. trump tweeting, "great move on delay by v. putin. i always knew he was very smart." but as the president-elect determines his next move responding further to russia and the new u.s. sanctions, his advisers are calling out the obama administration for what they see as politics at play.
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>> we've been talking about this for a while. i think that, you know, all we heard all through the election was russia, russia, russia. whenever it came to anything donald trump said or did, it seemed. and now, you know, since the election it's this fever pitch of accusations and insinuations. >> reporter: trump transition officials are speculating the administration sanctions against russia are a distraction to undermine his win and tie his hands on russia before he becomes president. >>ly te li will tell you even t sympathetic to president obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to, quote, box in president-elect trump. that would be very unfortunate if that were the -- if politics were the motivating factor here. >> reporter: since the sanctions were announced, trump himself as only issued a blunt two-line statement thursday night saying in part, "it's time for our country to move on to bigger and better thingsthings, at a postus taken publicly in recent days. >> i think we ought to get on
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with our lives. i think the computers have complicated lives very greatly. you know, the whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. >> reporter: but the president-elect hatz now agreed to sit down with the intelligence community. >> we just need to get to a point ourselves where we can talk to all of these intelligence agencies and find out once and for all what evidence is there, how bad is it. >> reporter: that closed-door meeting likely to take place in new york next week where trump will be presented with the evidence the intel community says points a finger at russia for the hacks. >> maybe at that time or maybe later he'll have a response, but right now we're just not in a position to sit here and respond to all of these details before we have a full blown intelligence report on this particular matter. >> reporter: in the past, trump and his aides have publicly been skeptical of the intelligence community's conclusions. >> i don't think anybody knows it was russia that broke into
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the dnc. could also be lots of other people. it also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. okay? >> reporter: and have attempted to deflect blame away from the russians, vowing during the campaign to improve the relationship with russia. >> wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along with russia and these other countries? wouldn't that be a positive thing? >> reporter: once sworn into office in january, trump has the power to reverse the sanctions or keep them in place. that decision hanging in the balance tonight. and it was only a matter of minutes after donald trump posted that tweet this afternoon with that praise of vladimir putin that the official twitter account of the russian embassy they retweeted that tweet. >> interesting times indeed. sunlen serfaty, thank you. joining me for reaction, senator amy klobucar, democrat from minnesota, in xwrooukraine righ
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touring russian border states with john mccapable and lindsey graham. thanks for joining us. let me get to this donald trump tweet that we've seen in the last hour or so. we says great move on delay by vladimir putin. i always knew he was very smart. we just noted a few moments ago that the russian embassy in the u.s. retweeted that tweet. what is your reaction to that? >> well, jim, i'm in ukraine where we've just met with the president. 10,000 people have died here since russia illegally an nexed crimea. they are defending their country. they are true patriots. so it is hard for me to think about even praising vladimir putin. at the same time, i'm glad that the president-elect is going to be meeting with our intelligence agencies when the fbi and the cia, when 17 american intelligence agencies join together and emphatically say that russia attempted to influence our election, that is a major problem.
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and when you near the baltic countries and you hear that they've been doing this for decades in places like estonia and lithuania, they have seen this movie before, hacking, shutting down internet access, this is a method and a technique and our country does have to stand up to it. and if we don't stand up to it, it's going to keep happening in other democracies across the world. >> senator, donald trump and his team seem to be very cool to the intelligence community's assessment, actually their conclusion, we should call it, that the russians were intervening in the last election. what do you make of that? do you think they're just not dealing with reality? >> well, homeland security and fbi jointly released a 13-page report and senator mccain has announced you have the former republican candidate for president that will thoroughly believes that this has happened and is announcing hearings that
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-- so that our other colleagues can learn the details and the more we can declassify and get out there publicly, i think it's important not only for our own democracy, because we have to remember this isn't about one political candidate or one party. it's not even about one election or one country. they have done this in other elections, and i think getting the information out there for the world is going to be very important. >> and, senator, the incoming president's counselor, kellyanne conway, said that she believes that the obama administration's actions against russia in response to the hacking is really an attempt to box in the incoming administration. what do you think about that, what's your response to that? do you feel that that is true? >> you know, jim, i don't see it that way at all. in fact, what president obama did was amend his original order from back in 2015 that was actually done in response to hacking sony. he amended it to make clear that if any foreign entity comes in and tries to influence an
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american election, it wouldn't even have to be russia, the president has a right to respond. so i think any president would welcome that tool in their toolbox. in addition to that, we put these sanctions in place, and if we just rolled over and did nothing when our own intelligence agencies have concluded decisively that this was going on, we are just welcoming more of this and empowering other regimes including russia to do more. >> senator amy klobucar traveling in ukraine, probably getting some very interesting perspectives over there. thank you, senator. sol what is putin's end game and is trump being played by the kremlin? we asked the former head of the cia who is advising the president-elect next. in footba this is the goal post. the end zone. the goal of every team. we know you have goals. like getting exposure for your idea or business. with godaddy website builder, you can easily create an awesome mobile-friendly,
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afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road.
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healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me. back with more of our top story. wanted cybercriminals for hack attacks on the dnc.
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joining me is former cia director and current national security adviser to the president-elect. he is an adviser with the lower case a not the national security adviser, ambassador james wools woolsey. thanks for joining us. we appreciate it. i guess first of all, what is your take on what the obama administration did? you have republicans and democrats saying that this was long overdue. president obama has sort of been the -- playing the role of investigator, prosecutor, judge, and jury in this. and i think it's one reason why there is some skepticism that the russians were doing as much as some say. it's clear they were doing some important attacks on our system. but what was it? what occurred? president obama says it did not interfere with voting as far as counting dead people that's
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happened from time to time. >> election numbers weren't changed from -- >> as far as what he has said and i've heard from other places that did not occur. they may have tried and failed. but there's -- i think a situation developing in which putin has played his cards very shrewdly. he is now in the position of inviting american children to parties, new year's parties at the kremlin -- >> instead of expelling diplomats and their families he's inviting them over to a party. >> right. and i think -- >> you think this is a chess move by putin. >> yes, and the key is we don't want to be playing checkers while they're playing chess. >> does the president-elect understand that? my question is, you know, when you saw that tweet earlier on this amp from donald trump saying very smart move from vladimir putin by holding off, great move on delay, it seems to me that vladimir putin made this
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conscious decision not to retaliate butz come january 20th it will be a whole lot easier for donald trump to reverse these actions by the obama administration. how much of that is true do you think? >> i think that's right on. i think there's a real problem in president obama. he's the actor here. president-elect trump is watching and commenting from the sidelines for another three weeks. oefb realizes he'll be president and a very important figure, but decisions that have been made by president obama haven't been very shrewd. these sanctions, for example, are not particularly strong. they could have been if someone was willing to go as far as not let the russians use dollars in international exchanges but nobody's taken a step like that. so you ended up closing a couple of summer houses, having three
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dozen kgb and gru officers under official cover so they're declared persona non grata, they can't be arrested or anything, they get shipped out to moscow and another 35 afive are moscow to take their places. >> what about this tweet from the president-elect earlier this afternoon? there are a lot of americans scratching their heads and looking at this praise that donald trump continues to offer the russian president even though he has been meddling in our election, and i direct this question not to you personally but i think in general people are asking the question, what in the hell happened to america first? >> right. >> why is donald trump effusive with praise for vladimir putin, swhob who'sed a vied him -- what's going on? >> i wouldn't call it effusive pip think it's been positive, but i think it's well within teddy roosevelt's dictum of speak softly and carry a big
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stick. he's been speaking softly. but that's part of diplomacy. >> does he come to this with a skeptical eye, do you think, more than what we're seeing in these tweets when it comes to vladimir putin? does he just so want to repair this relationship with the russians that he's willing to overlook, intervening in our democratic process? >> well, the degree to which they intervened in the process is something that we really need to get a handle on, but at this point it doesn't look as if they were interfering with the voting. and insofar as that's the case, it's a very different thing than if they were hacking into the voting machines, and by the way -- >> they shouldn't be involved, period. >> of course, but we have to make sure that two years and four years from now we are protecting our vote mag sheens and a lot of people in counties and so forth have added essentially touch screens and you can't check up on hacking
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with that. you've got to have some kind of a paper trail. there's also i think a situation that will has pushed us into -- president obama into a situation where he's just not credible. more and more people looking that the. >> let me ask you about this, because some people were asking about the credibility of this statement. let's listen to what kellyanne conway had to say about these sanctions last night. >> some of them seem largely symbolic. the gru doesn't really travel here, doesn't keep its assets here. >> is that correct? the gru from my understanding does have assets here. they're covert. >> they probably have -- certainly i don't know how many, but they probably have a few official cover people in their washington embassy and as far as nonofficial cover, not, which more and more intelligence services around the world are moving to in spite of the danger of having someone who's not
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covered by a diplomatic immunity. those are growing for many countries, and russia has always use ld a fair number of knocks because when they first came into existence back in 1917 they weren't recognized by anybody so they couldn't have any official cover so they started out, and as a result a lot of the very effective russian spies have been nonofficial cover people. >> well, ambassador woolsey, we appreciate your time. we know you'll continue to advice the president-elect and soon to be president and you'll keep talking to us as well. thank you very much, sir. we appreciate it. russian operatives being kicked out of america is nothing new. remember anna chapman busted after having coffee with an fbi agent? how this cold war spy game has always been stranger than fiction. then a democratic governor elect about to be sworn into office taking his own legislature into court trying to strip lawmakers of power. that's actually happening.
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bark with "the lead." i'm joined by my political panel, susan milligan, jackie kucinich and michael warren. susan, president-elect trump issued a tweet earlier this afternoon praising vladimir putin, describing his nonresponse to the sanctions as very smart. what do we make of all this? >> well, it was smart in a way. i mean, he's sending a message to the obama administration. i don't really care what you think anymore, we have a new president coming in. i'm not sure that the president-elect quite understands the little dance that's going on here and that
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when he comes into power, putin seems to know flattery goes a long way with trump and trump seems to think it goes a little way with putin but i'm not sure it occurs to him he's being played on this. >> michael, doesn't take a lot of translation for the russian president to understand that donald trump enjoys being praised, but, you know, the question i guess of the hour and of this afternoon, is donald trump being played by vladimir putin, i guess we've asked this question before. what do you make of that question when you hear it? is it overblown? are we hyperventilating? what do you think? >> i think that's possibly what's happening here. as well president obama going out of the white house here is in many ways play into putin's hands and exactly what vladimir putin wants to do with all of the hacking of the dnc and other political organizations, which is to sow discontent among americans. in a way to sort of say this is vladimir putin is getting the presidential candidate to win, the donald trump that he wanted
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i think is oversimplifying it. what vladimir putin wants to see here is exactly what's happening right now, which is all of this discontent, all of this confusion and everybody on both sides of the political aisle of the united states upset with political leaders on the other side. >> and discrediting the whole electoral process. >> jackie, should we take a step back? as susan pointed out, it was a pretty smart move by vladimir putin to not respond. it makes it a lot easier for donald trump to reverse these obama administration actions. had vladimir putin retaliated it might have made it more complicated for the new president to do that. >> i don't know. i think this still is going to be very hard for him to take back those sanctions. because everybody knows what vladimir putin's doing. he's not all of a sudden putin claus inviting all the kids over for christmas. that's not a thing. it's not real. the long-held thought that vladimir putin is out for russia and for expanding russian influence at the cost of the united states, that is still very much a reality and i think that takes hold with people like
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lindsey graham, with john mccain, and many other members of the senate, both democrats and republicans. he's going to face a lot of political backlash if he does that. >> and susan, we were just on the phone with amy klobucar earlier who was traveling in ukraine with lindsey graham and john mccain and john mccain is going to hold hearings on this starting next week. you know, this is along with lindsey graham, these are two senators who have tangled with donald trump before. there's no love lost for them. if they decide to dive into this, you know, big time come next week. >> yeah. i think this is actually going to be a problem for the president-elect. i mean, look, on the hill the sense that i get up there is that they don't see trump as the leader of the party or even their leader. they see him as a person who's going to rubber stamp something they have been trying for eight years to get done. that's mostly domestic policy. when it comes to matters like russia, and what's happening in eastern europe, i lived there in the late '90s and reported from there, and it's pretty
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disstressing to see this region of the world which was blossoming with democracy and openness reverting. russia is a big part of that. mccain and graham won't sit around and watch that happen. >> we learned today that president obama will be going up to the hill to meet with congressional democrats to work on strategy for beating back these efforts to repeal obamacare. i mean, talk about another unprecedented extraordinary thing to ham during a presidential transition where the sitting president goes up to capitol hill to try to prevent his signature legislative achievement by being repealed by hi successor. >> kind of strange. >> it would be a big headline if there wasn't all this russian news, i would think. >> absolutely. you have to wonder if the democrats left on the hill are going to be crumpling up their notes and throwing them in the garbage can, because if they continue to know the political path that president obama did, he passed obamacare, got it implemented. look what it's in its wake.
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2010, 2014, democrats lose the house then the senate. the party is in tatters. there are red state democrats up for re-election in 2018 trying to figure this out. what do we do on health care policy in general? saving the parts of obamacare that are popular and could put us back in control of the senate in 2018 and maybe the house. i think those red state democrats are sort of incorporating the lessons from the 2016 presidential election are going to be a lot more, you know, listenable than president obama, who's just, you know, basically seen his legacy thrown away. >> jackie, is it a good idea for the president to go to the hill? he will have just come back from hawaii, has a couple weeks in office. he's gotten so involved in the issue of israel and the settlements and now this very bold move on russia and he's going to go up next week and kick um a dust storm over obamacare. does he need to chill a little bit? >> i wonder what kind of reception he'll get because he
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was never someone who really fostered a lot of good will with democrats other than the fact he was the president and he is a democrat. there's not a lot of love there for him right now. he's never been able to transfer his popularity and his coalition to anyone else but himself. so i wonder how many democrats are going to be like, oh, hey, welco welcome, and really not be too thrilled with -- >> now what? >> please tell us what to do, you know? >> right. strategy on getting obamacare patsdsed didn't pan out that well for congressional democrats so, you know, repealing it, he might not be the best source to go to for that kind of advice. jiangie, susan, michael, thank you very much. we appreciate it. more on our world lead now. it's a waterfront mansion sitting on 45 ache res outfitted with a pool and tennis courts, a longtime retreat for russian diplomats and their families. now the obama administration says this maryland baesmside compound, there it is right there, very nice, a luxury estate in new york as well, they're both spy nests according to the u.s. government. both compound were shuttered
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this afternoon as part of the u.s. sanctions against russia. cnn's barbara starr is at the pentagon. in 1992 the associated press ran a story about this retreat in maryland in which one of the neighbors remarked that the russians there made their steamed crabs differently than the locals. i hope they were using old bay. but otherwise seemed fairly normal. i guess that's the point, right? >> reporter: well, you know, the best spy nest maybe looks perfectly normal from the outside. this cat-and-mouse game between moscow and washington of course has been going on for decades. it's been immort litzed in temperatures and movies. what we know is the reality can be vicious and violent. fbi cameras captured anna chapman and a federal undercover agent meeting in a new york coffee shop in june 2010. 17 days later chapman and nine other russian sleeper agents were arrested in new york, new jersey, and virginia, charged
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with conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of russia, spies who had burrowed deep into american society for years, tried to steal secrets and recruit agents. the fbi had watched chapman and the others for months, recording drop-offs of packages, meetings on staircases, even one meeting just yards from cnn's offices in new york. the u.s. believes the group never got its hands on classified information, but the information infiltration into the u.s. a classic moscow move. >> what they doo is more than just collect. they try to influence events to the benefit of russia al over the world. and this is something that they have done for decades. >> reporter: within days at the airport in vienna an elaborately choreographed transfer. the ten russians traded back for four other russians charged with
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being in touch with western intelligence services. now the state department is expelling 35 russian officials it says violated their diplomatic status, this after the u.s. claim of interference in the presidential election and harassment of u.s. diplomats overseas. vladimir putin of course a former russian intelligence officer, well aquainted with the so-called illegals program, putting agents into u.s. society. >> the fact they would continue to do that to establish these american, you know, legends and covers for these people trying to pose as americans in the united states shows how serious they are. >> reporter: but the u.s. has also been caught in the act. in 2013 ryan fogle, a political secretary of the u.s. embassy in moscow, was arrested. the russians claim they caught him with wigs, dark glasses and cash trying to recruit a russian agent. fogel was expelled.
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it was never clear if he was set up by the russians. earlier this year, a u.s. diplomat was tackled and beaten by a uniformed russian police officer as he tried to enter the american embassy in moscow. >> the action was unprovoked and it endangered the safety of our employee. >> reporter: in that latest incident, the u.s. wound up expelling two russian diplomats. jim? >> thank you. a governor takes his own legislature to court to get some power back. the judge's ruling is next. an. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™.
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a move to limit powers of his successor, a move he's trying to get overturned before
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he takes office saturday. polo sandoval has more on the story. ta court weighs in. what did it decide? >> cooper took his fight to court to get full power when he's sworn into office. as part of the lawsuit, he requested a restraining order asking a set of republican-backed laws be blocked from taking effe they s they were passed by lawmakers and signed by the outgoing governor two weeks ago. the laws also happen to limit the powers of soon-to-be goc nor cooper. today a north carolina superior judge granted the request and set the matter for a hearing next week. we understand that at least one of those two controversial laws now on hold. here's a breakdown. the first one, senate bill 4. that would essentially end complete control by the governor over state and county election boards, something that was controversial during its introduction and passage and signage. the second, house bill 17, that one significantly curved the governor's appointment powers. we're speaking to several legal
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experts to try to see how this new temporary restraining order would potentially affect that one, the hb 17, but we do know is governor elect roy cooper is still expected to take the oath of office at 12:01, just one minute into the new year. >> polo, i understand cooper is also cleaning house a bit with his new staff. tell us about that. >> absolutely. a source within his administration told me they have begun sending out dismissal letters to a few of the political appointees under the outgoing administration. of course we've seen before, this is typically standard procedure when we have a changing of guard. however, given the significance of what's played out in raleigh, this could be bruising for the outgoing governor. >> it's certainly putting roy cooper on the map. polo sandoval, thank you. the whole world will be watching so what is being done to keep times square and other places across the country safe for new year's eve? that is next.
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back with our national lead. the countdown to the dount. new york city the epicenter for new year's eve in the u.s. on high alert in the wake of terror attacks across the globe. nearly 2 million people are expected in times square and authorities are preparing unprecedented security measures.
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brinn, what is the nypd doing to prepare for the big night? always preparing for this night. >> reporter: that's right. they start preparing for this night a year ago once that ball drops. it's a security plan that is many layers and it's constantly evolving as more terror threats sort of pop up around the world. in particular for this year, something new we learned from the nypd is they're going to station 65 sand trucks and 100 what they call barrier trucks which are basically department vehicles, they'll be placed all around the perimeter of times square. that's very new for this particular year because timally we see a few of those trucks spotted around but not building somewhat of a fence around this area to secure all those people who will be in here celebrating the new year. another thing that we're hearing from authorities is that nypd detectives have been visiting truck rental centers, actually going to hotels and talking to managers and owners, also securing down manhole coverings and parking garages in this
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area, all taking these measures sort of keeping their eyes and ears open for anything suspicious. but it is important to note at this point, jim, there has been no credible threat tied to the actual ball drop event but certainly the nypd says no complacency. everybody will be on their toes ready to react to anything that should happen. >> all those measures you mentioned, i suppose many of them could be tied to concerns about a repeat of what we saw in berlin. how is the nypd preparing for all sorts of threats? i suppose the berlin threat is obviously top of mind right now. >> reporter: yeah. exactly right. that's why it's such an evolving plan with multilayers because once that did happen in berlin, the sort of truck attack, the same attack that they saw in nice, that's why they decided to build sort of again this fence with all these vehicles around the perimeter of times square. so it's a plan that anytime new threats come up it evolves.
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we've sort of seen the same security happening across the country. we saw more security in berlin at the christmas fairs and we also saw the same thing, more soldiers along with police added to the streets of paris and in the whole country of france, also the changing of the guards in the uk in london. security was boosted there as well. so everyone sort of reacting. but of course it will eyes had been on times square. such a huge event, and nypd is ready. >> we hope everybody has a happy and safe new year. brinn gingras in times square, thank you very much. watch the celebrations here on cnn. nooech coverage with anderson cooper and kathy griffin begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern on saturday. to our world lead now. almost 24 hours since a nationwide cease-fire in syria went into effect. it appears to be holding. less than two hours after the cease-fire kicked in, there were reports of regime forces and rebel fighters crashing in
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northern aleppo. an activist said more than 20 air strikes occurred near damascus. since then, most areas generally remain quiet. both russian and syrian regime officials have yet to report any cease-fire violations. meanwhile, a syrian media activist group posted this video of people taking to the streets in damascus provinces calling for syrian president bashir al asad to step down. together longer than any other american rock band. a look at the remarkable history of chicago. your insurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company.
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our pop culture lead. they died just a day apart, now debbie reynolds and carrie fisher will likely have a joint funeral according to relatives. they had a strained relationship
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at times but ultimately became very close as adults emotionally and geographically, even sharing a common driveway for a time. no word yet where or when the services will be. ♪ after all that we've been through i will make it up to you ♪ >> that's "hard to say i'm sorry" by chicago. pretty sure i had that on a mix tape at one time. i'm brave enough to hit that. hit hit the top of the charts in 1982. it started as a six-person rock band in 1967. since then, the band has grown into a nine-member group selling more than 100 million records with five consecutive number-one albums and countless awards. cnn looks at the band's 50-year history in the new film "now more than ever: the history of chicago." here's a clip when they talked about working with janis joplin.
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>> she had this big entourage and she dropped her brush at my feet and went, hey, mfer, pick up the ef'ing brush. i says pick um your own brush. when you get done with that, after you've picked it up, apologize to me that you talked to me that way. she picked up the brush and she said, i'm sorry. ♪ a little piece of my heart now baby ♪ >> i want to bring in the band's newest member, chicago's keyboardist and vocalist, lou, thanks for joining me. you had a long celebrated career before joining chicago, working with musicians like stevie wonder, elton john and more. what was it like to get that call from the band chicago in 2009 inviting you to join when bill champlin died? that must have been quite a call. >> well, it was -- it was a great experience for me. leigh called me in 2009 and asked me if i wanted to be in
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the band permanently. i had subbed with the band a few times in the past and we were already friends. i said let me think about it and i said yes i'd love to do it and it's been a great ekts peexperi ever since. >> so many hits, the music is so memorable. i remember it from my childhood. but from the moment the band got together, chicago's music has been about musical diversity. here's a clip from the cnn film. let's take a listen. >> it was a four-sided album, almost an hour and a half of new music that we performed very well and with enthusiasm and with a lot of joy. >> and the material that they themselves created and wrote, they did it with their material, they did it combining jazz, pop, and rock and clearly until a very special way. >> do you think that collaborative style that chicago is known for, is that why they've been so successful over
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the years? what's the secret sauce, do you think? >> i really do. i think this is a unique situation. the band for all these years has always been a collaborative effort. everybody gets a say. everybody gets an opinion. and you have eight or nine guys that are all on the same, you know, plane as far as, you know, just how they want to do things, and everybody, you know, has disagreements but we all work it out in the end. >> and what do you think is a secret to the band's longevity, still touring and performing for decades now snl one of our staff members i should point out who's in her 20s says she's a fan. why does this music resonate across generations do you think? >> you know, it's really no secret. it's the music and the songs and songs that are really part of people's lives and people got married to them, people, you
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know, had relationships and -- >> remind you of a breakup that you might have had or, you know, your first love. >> exactly. >> that sort of thing. >> exactly. >> and this has been a tough year for music fans. george michael passed away, david bowie, prince. what do you think about when you look back on all these legendary artists who were lost this past year? >> yeah. well, you know, they're all getting to that time where, you know, something could happen and unfortunately a lot of these artists have passed ai weiwei too young. and this has been a very, very tough year. and i've worked with a lot of great musicians over the years but fortunately most of them are still around and doing well. >> and the band is still on tour. what's it like being out there still banging out these hits?
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what are the crowds like? we talked about this earlier, the different generations who are responding to your music. what's that been like? >> well, it's been just awesome. we did a summer tour with earth, wind, and fire, and we played madison square garden. we played all over the country and just had amazing crowds. and we had people of all ages that just love all the music that we play. we're surprised we get a lot of young people because their parents listen to the music and now they're discovering it. so it's ban great year. >> all right. now i know what to put in the cd, the ipod on the way home. lou par din pardini, thank you much. airs 8:00 p.m. eastern on cnn on sunday. follow me on twitter @acosta or tweet the show at the leadcnn
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and tune in for a special edition of "state of the union" this sunday at 9:00 a.m. eastern. that's it for "the lead." i'm jim acosta in for jake tapper. i now turn you over to jim sciutto in for wolf blitzer in the "the situation room." happy new year. happening now, breaking news. great move. donald trump praises vladimir putin for putting off any payback for newly imposed u.s. sanction, punishing russia for meddling in the presidential election. putin says his response will depend on what happens after trump is sworn in. spy games. the expulsion of russian spies ratchets up tensions between moscow and washington as russian intelligence operatives pack up to lead the u.s. are more spies hiding here in plain sight? on alert. cities around the world beefing up security ahead of new year's eve. in new york, officials say the security operations around times square will be the


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