confirmation hearing. >> good morning. welcome to "new day." donald trump facing a major test. the president elect is going to hold a press conference and hasn't had one in six months. how will he respond to the report that russia could have compromising information. >> he will also have to have all of his answers. he is expected to be grilled about his ties to vladimir putin. let's begin our coverage with cnn justice correspondent evan perez. >> classified documents presented last week to president obama and president elect donald trump include allegations that russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about mr. trump. the allegations were part of a two page summary based on memos compiled by a former british intelligence operative that u.s.
intelligence officials consider credible. the fbi is still investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations based primarily on information from russian sources but the bureau has not confirmed many essential details about mr. trump. officials tell us that the two page summary also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government. these senior intelligence officials included the summary in part to make the president elect aware that such allegations involving him were certainly among intelligence agencies and other government officials in washington. it was also included in part to demonstrate that russia had compiled information. potentially harmful for both political parties but only were these information damaging to hillary clinton and the democrats. a spokesman says this is all fake news. he says the kremlin does not
have compromising information on trump and he called it an obvious attempt to harm bilateral relations. >> thank you very much. to be clear it's not fake news because these documents are real and included. >> president elect donald trump's transition team has not responded to reporting. we'll see what happens in this press conference today. to be clear mr. trump is dismissing it at least on twitter. and one of his top advisors was asked about it in a late night tv appearance. all this as we await the president elect's first press conference today. sarah murray is live in trump tower in new york. it's been a long time and there's a lot on the table. >> that's right. there is going to be a lot on the table today. of course top of our mind is russia. the transition team has not responded although donald trump
is airing his grievances about our story on twitter. calling it fake news. a total political witch hunt. kellyanne conway was also asked about this on late night television last night and she seemed to indicate that her boss was unaware of the claim that russia had compromising information on him. take a listen at what he said. >> nobody has sourced it. they're all unnamed, unspoken sources in the story and it says it was based on a russian investigator to begin with. >> it was based on an mi-6 british investigator. >> right well one of those and also may have originated with russian investigator. it also says that hillary clinton and groups that wanted hillary clinton to win may have been behind the investigations themselves and most importantly it says that the fbi is trying to confirm it so nothing has been confirmed and they never briefed him on it and they have pended two pages to the bottom. >> i believe it says he did
briefed him on it. >> he has said he is not aware of that. >> my colleagues said this information was presented to donald trump in his intelligence briefing last week however it was unclear if the information was discussed. you can bet it is going to be discussed in his press conference today as well as a number of other issue. >> thank you. there's a lot to discuss. it's great to have all of you here to we can go directly to the source. this is highly explosive stuff. what do we know for sure? >> let me start by saying in response to something kellyanne
said there. this is real use. when kellyanne leaks information to us, she thinks it is real news. this is not leaks. this is about getting information that says the top intelligence officials of the united states convened this underlying information allegations about unproven donald trump and his business ties in russia and, in fact, he might be compromised, we don't know that he has been. it's a investigation with the highest intelligence of the fbi in the united states and the president elect and president of the united states and said this must be investigated as well as to the top members of congress and supervisors and overseeing
intelligence. >> big news is something that isn't used to propel an agenda. so let's put that to the side. >> correct me if i'm wrong, whether or not officials discussed with the president elect the substance of these allegations but including in this apendix. there's plenty to talk about with you as well. >> i think the back story is that after being critical of the intelligence community it's telling the incoming president that we've got this information. you have seen this information and we haven't verified it but it is something that we're getting into and it's also important to remember that just a few weeks ago donald trump did an interview in which he said that the director of the fbi is
essentially going to have to sing for his supper. going to have to audition to keep his job the fbi director is supposed to stay on past administrations beyond the administration he is serving right now. you can only fire him for cause and what's happening right now is for donald trump to get rid of this fbi director that he has been very critical of because now he is overseeing an investigation that touches on donald trump and his campaign and people around him so it is one of those things that i think makes things a little bit more complicated for the incoming president and this is not going to go away obviously. >> you are in moscow and the kremlin and vladimir putin denied they have any compromising information.
>> they have. they denied everything about this report and using the same language that we have heard since hacking allegations emerged back in october. we heard from the spokesman on the subject of the report. he called it a clear attempt to harm our bilateral relationship. the fabrication of such lies in terms of the previous open part of the report and this one which is a comparable lie is called pulp fiction in english. he went on then to address the allegations that there's a russian tactic used for decades by the kgb. it involves collecting compromising information on people which can then be used for blackmail purposes. the information does not respond to reality and a very similar
thing he said with hillary clinton. the kremlin does not collect kompromat. they tried to build relationships with partners and the world in the interests of stability and security. it's the same story they have been sticking to now for several mont months. >> it's not specific to these allegations but this is what russia does. >> the notion that they don't try to spring traps on visitors and photograph them doing things and set them up, that's ridiculous, of course. but let's be fair to donald trump here. these are unproven allegations. but at the same time trump had problems with all the conflicts
and interests involving these businesses we know nothing about and who they're secured by and that's one of the things that the congress of the united states now appears, both republicans and democrats determine to get to in these coming investigations that we're going to see both on capitol hill and this information and those by the intelligence agencies. it's very significant how this information came about. it was developed by a british intelligence agent who was hired by donald trump both republican and democrat during the primaries and during presidential campaign to cause a political opposition firm in washington to come up with some information about these business relationships. they wanted to know more. mi-6 guy went to his sources in russia who the fbi considers
credible from past reports. he consider him very capable and he came up with this information and that is now the basis of what is going to be investigated. >> thank you very much. we will obviously have much more on this throughout the program. >> all right. which should have been the headline before this reporting last night because this emotionally charged speech by president obama. he bid fairwell to all of you from chicago. one message he made clear to americans, fight any challenges to our democracy. michelle is live with more. >> there was a lot of americans. this was a challenge, there was a cautionary tale. there was optimism and engagement as part of the theme here but it's not much like the president wanting to sit america down and have a talk with it. flat out warning the country about a list of things that he
carefully laid out that he sees as threats. not just to unity but serious threats to democracy itself right now. >> president obama took the stage to say fair well. the applause so deafening it was hard to begin. he soon tore into the forces within america and he says threaten the very democracy too that many take for granted. >> only if all of us regardless of party affiliation or particular interests help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now. >> he called out economic inequality and discrimination and stressed that everyone needs to show empathy. >> for blacks and other minority groups that means tying our own very real struggles for justice
to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face. not only the immigrant or the transgender american but also the middle aged white guy who from the outside may seem like he's got advantages but has seen his world up ended by economic and cultural and technological change. >> increasingly we become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information that fits our opinions instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there. >> the president thanking those around him. most emotionally his family. >> michelle robinson, girl of the south side for the past 25
years you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. >> thanking americans that work hard for change, asking them for one more thing, to believe in the power within themselves. >> yes we can. yes we did. >> the speech caused social media to light up with come mepts like why didn't president obama speak as bluntly about some of these things during the campaign and to answer that trending twitter #where is sasha as is where was sasha obama, she wasn't there with her family, the white house says she has a big exam at school this morning she had to study for. >> that is dedication to school work right there.
>> priorities. >> thank you very much. more on president obama's fairwell. he issued some warnings. a former advisor joins us next. the fiery tissue left her nose sore and red. so dad slayed the problem with puffs plus lotion, instead. puffs have pillowy softness for dakota's tender nose. with lotion to comfort and soothe when she blows. don't get burned by ordinary tissues. a nose in need deserves puffs, indeed. now get puffs plus lotion in the squeezable softpack.
>> president obama bidding fairwell to the fashion in an emotional speech from chicago. the city that launched his political career. obama addressing a cornerstone of our democracy. take a listen. >> the peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected president to the next. i committed to president elect trump my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition just as president bush did for me. >> joining us now, cnn political commentator, you see very moved by what you heard last night. you said it reminded you of the promise and the man that brought you into this all of those years ago when he wasn't even a senator yet.
2004 at his convention speech. how so. >> well, look, this is an incredibly emotional experience for so many of us. ten years ago this week i walked into the obama campaign office to work for him and what was so moving to me in this was the direct connective tissue between what he said in the heavy days of the '08 campaign and then here in the last days. it's the same man still filled with hope, optimism and a belief that ordinary people can change their country if they just work at it. >> what does it mean to you that as he is giving his fairwell address, this reporting comes out about these documents that the intel community that they may have information about donald trump. >> how do you see that contact. >> well, look, this is deeply
concerning. it should not be deeply concerning to democrats and republicans but the entire country. we need to get to the bottom of this. what is very harmful and worrisome is this must be the honeymoon period. we're supposed to build your administration and have good will from all over the country and and this could be very humbling and what is important is for everyone to have confidence in the president elect in our democracy we have to get to the bottom of what happened here and what it all means. >> you know how the white house works and you know the control that the white house has over all of the agencies and even the intel agencies to a certain degree. these are allegations. >> documents are real. the allegations unsubstantiated.
what is your confidence in the ability of the administration to have this fully investigated. the administration cannot investigate itself. it should be up to congress to do it. they have shown very little willingness to play a traditional oversight role and given some of the people that trump has put in power there's a lot of worry that the normal, that they will squash the set within the government. their career employees are in the intelligence agencies and will they have the ability to raise their concerns. trump seems not at all concerned about the idea of russian meddling. he seems to dismiss it even
though it should be incredibly concerning that a foreign power tried to intervene in our election for whatever reason they tried to do it and i hope that changes as he loses power. going out of the way and now there's another layer of politics to it which is why now. why did these intel guys put in there now are they leaving this out there so that it must be dealt with. >> i don't believe so. i don't know how these documents came out. you have some of the best reporters here on cnn and found a way to get these out. it wasn't like they were handed out to everyone in town and it's
the product of tremendous reporting and digging and i'm guessing here but there's a lot of concern not in the obama white house but within the intelligence community about what all of this means and want to put some pressure and get to the bottom and deal with the overall problem of russian intervention in our election and what somebody is saying is priced in and the vote for trump originally which is what is in his taxes. what does it show or prove is not true about a connection to russia. thank you for your perspective on the news of the day and obama's fair well address. >> secretary of state nominee will be up first. how will the former oil exec address his topic to vladimir
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>> he spent more than ten years as the ceo of exxon mobil and once awarded one of the most coveted prizes. >> he was the man of the hour in moscow. exxon mobil ceo rex tillerson shaking hands with then russian prime minister vladimir putin on multibillion dollar oil deal in 2012. now with russia and the u.s. locked in a growing new cold water tillerson is donald trump's choice for america's top diplomat. the close relationship with a growing u.s. adversary blamed for the cyberattack on the 2016 election is causing alarm in both parties. >> our company invested a lot of money in russia. >> tillerson spent some four
decades in exxon rising through the ranks from engineer to ceo in part by steering the company's russia account to hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. >> rex took exxon mobil to russia and they struck a deal that was good for both sides. i think he's a tough negotiator. >> by 2013 vladimir putin rewarded him russia's order of friendship. one of the highest awards for a foreigner. >> my relationship with vladimir putin dates back almost 15 years now. i have a very close relationship with him. i don't agree with everything he is doing. but he understands that i am a business man. >> russia specialists say his relationship with putin is virtually unmatched among western business leaders. >> there's no question in my mind that he has been the single most effective american in the private sector to work with and develop a true operating
relationship with the president of russia. >> his nomination comes as the president elect repeatedly praised the russian leader. >> wouldn't it be nice if we actually did get along with russia. >> and repeatedly dismissed the u.s. intelligence community assessment that russia hacked the presidential election. >> they cannot be sure of the situation. >> tillerson met with lawmakers on capitol hill last week ahead of what is expected to be a contentious hearing dominated by questions about tillerson's views on russia. >> he was able to get things down there. >> congress is now considering new tougher sanctions on russia for the election hacks. when he was ceo of exxon mobil he opposed the sanctions in place for russia's invasion of ukraine. in exact, exxon had a direct financial interest. u.s. and european sanctions forced the oil giant out of the
estimated $1 billion arctic drilling. if he lifts those sanctions or decides against new ones exxon could gain financially. >> what i tell him is, you know, we're not going anywhere. we have been around 130 years. when the sanctions are over we'll all sit down and get back to work and until then we just have to comply with the law. >> russia is not the only country in which they opposed policy. in iraq he negotiated an oil deal with the curdish government in northern iraq. >> i'm not here to defend it or criticize it. >> still it's his relationship with russia that is raising the most scrutiny though it may also bring potential advantages. >> obama's russia policy has fa failed there's no question trump will be able to develop a better relationship with russia if he wants to and tiller is on could
facilitate that. that's not a horrible outcome frankly but in the context of a president trump who apparently is not interested in understanding how and why the russians hacked the u.s. election. >> cnn washington. >> let's discuss. great to see you this morning. governor, let me start with you and let's start with rex tillerson. if you were on that committee this morning, what question would you know. >> the russia question are you able to set your economic interests with ceo of exxon. commercial agreement with russia, an oil agreement is not the same. >> has he given up his role as the head of exxon mobil. >> there's this view that because he knows so well and they like each other then he can
be a good secretary of state. i think that remains to be seen. the issue is going to be is he going to press syria. we both have 7,000 nuclear weapons. are we going to find a way with russia to work on -- when i was energy secretary we had a agreement with russia that russia cancelled recently. what are we going to do about the intelligence hacking? and really get to the bottom and tell them to stop the stuff because what he has done is unacceptable. the commercial agreement and oil agreement you negotiated is very different. >> what's your world view in other words. >> what question would you have for rex tillerson. >> allison, we have to remember that the election occurred in november and the vision that prevailed was that of donald trumps and donald trump as
president elect now has the prerogative to accept his nominee. the senate will go about confirming that nomination and i think any question is appropriate for sure but let's remember rex tillerson is now working for donald trump and has been really covered over the last several months is that donald trump wants to see whether there will be a better relationship with russia in order to tackle the serious issues that the government just mentioned and i think he certainly has a record. he was in business. he was ceo of one of the largest cooperatio cooperations. >> but it sounds like you're comfortable. are you hearing me say you're
comfortable with russia and what donald trump's relationship is. >> what i'm saying is we have to take his role in context. at the time its other than being a business man. a ceo of a corporation and he will be in a different context now he will bring his relationships and experience and judgment that was gained throughout his experience. >> it wasn't just russia. i want to read you something else because there's other questio questions. >> exxon mobil did business with iran through a european joint venture when u.s. companies were barred from doing business with iran and three state sponsors of terrorism iran and syria how
concerning is that to you? >> i'm no fan of irans and while serving in congress was against anything that the largest state sponsor of terror in teheran was going to do and felt that sanctions were the least that we should be doing. now i am not familiar with that report. i don't know what is subsequent to the statement that you just read to say whether exxon was in compliance with the law. you heard mr. tillerson in the report just prior. he was interested in making sure that a company that he was in compliance with the law. >> i have a little bit more information for you governor. the oil giants said the transactions were legal because they were managed by a european company co-owned with shell. are you concerned about some of these alliances? >> well, i'm concerned. obviously there isn't u.s. sanctions. maybe there's a grey area but
yeah it concerns me that anyone has business with sudan. this is state sponsored terrorism with iran at the same time but i have real concerns and here we have one of america's biggest companies. >> any chance that his nominations will be tripped up by any of this? >> secretary of state and a good part of it because he's a senator but i will say something about tillerson that is positive
we may need more because of election hacking and donald trump really had a relationship with russia that is on america's national interest. not just because we're buddies. >> all of this is sure to come up today. we'll be watching when it begins. thank you very much. >> we had an interview. he is on the short list for secretary of state. he opens up about trump, russia and putin. we're joined next. (vo) maybe it was here, when you hit 300,000 miles. or here, when you walked away without a scratch.
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chief international correspondent sat down with him to talk about mr. trump, about russia and about vladimir putin. >> are you troubled by this really tense situation between the incoming administration, russia and putin and the criticism that donald trump is favoring vladimir putin and julian assange over the united states own intelligence agencies. >> when the intelligence community comes together as it has. the cia record and the nsa and say that they have high
confidence in assessments, they have cleared a very high bar and this is a very significant one so we obviously, not that we needed reminding but if we did, this is a very stark reminder that vladimir putin is not a friend. he does not have our best interest at heart. >> great to see you. very interesting to hear from general petraeus as the rex tillerson confirmation hearings begin hours from now. >> that's right. i asked him about rex tillerson and because of all of the reports we have done and we know of his history as chairman of exxon. i said well what do you think he will be like? he has already come out and said russia needs to be confronted for what it is but petraeus said he had to fight for his stockholders who at that time were exxon stockholders and his business interests.
now he has a whole other set of stockholders those are the words of david petraeus, the american people. so he will have to work in the best interest of the american people but this interview was conducted just before all the revelations that cnn has been reporting and it goes far toward answering a question concerning the western allies and people overseas. warming up and favoring of the russians over his own intelligence teams on this regard. >> there's also confusion today about the so-called enhanceder the interrogation techniques. he said it will be illegal. did you ask -- you did. i have a sound bite about when you asked him about that. >> do you think donald trump has
given up the notion. >> it's enhance interrogation techniques or whatever you want to call this. it certainly doesn't work specifically just to justify it as a result. >> interesting. >> he was unequivocal. he has given up that notion and you're right. we'll wait to see what happens under the trump administration but the nominee for defense secretary that's close to david petraeus as well because of their time in the field together but also told donald trump it's not torture it's beer and cigarettes that will get you the most information at most times and mattis is against the use of
torture. for moral reasons and americans in the field in the future. >> what did he tell you about his meetings with donald trump when he is considered secretary of state. >> it's interesting. i ask him that first and he said i would have served had i been asked but i went in and we both had our lists as he would be referring to himself and donald trump we both had our list and he is very interesting and he came down very important ways about how to deal with vladimir putin's russia. and important ways about torture as you have heard and about isis
as well. they both have a real lay of the land about each other. >> thank you for that. >> the unknown with this situation with russia, these allegations is about the unknown, his business conflicts are about the unknown at this press conference today. will the president elect take any steps to remove these doubts by revealing financial information? tax information that he has to this point refused a closer look, next. see me. see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know that psoriasis is just something that i have.
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times" reporter rachel abrams and executive editor of bloomberg view and author of "trump nation, the art of being the donald" timothy mcdonald. it's good to have you both this morning. these questions about russia and what they may have over trump are only as true as his existing business relationships. the problem is the unknown which is why we keep turning to you two about what we can piece together. his own defense in tweets this morning, one, he's -- like he used assange, he's using russia as a source for why we should believe what's true about him which is odd and political. we'll put that to the side. i have nothing to do with russia, no deals, no loans, no nothing. what do we know, tim? >> he had a beauty pageant there, tried to pursue a bunch of building projects there. they never saw the light of day. he put himself in a corner because he bragged and lied over the years that he had a relationship with putin that he
never really had. having said that, the problem with trump is he's painted himself into a corner with putin politically because he's made himself appear to be a puppet or a pawn of the kremlin whether or not, in fact, he is or isn't. >> rachel, you've been saying from the beginning, at least in our dialogue the reason to put out his portfolio of business interests and loans and taxes is to remove this type of speculation. is it even more important to do so now? >> i would say so. basically trump has not only a conflict of interest problem, but an optics problem. because we have no idea what his actual assets are, what his lblts are, who he owes money to, it will at the least undermine any policy decisions he ends up making. >> he can call this fake news, but the documents either exist or they don't. they're real enough to be included in an appendix by the intel officials. whether or not they discussed them specifically with trump we
don't know. it's not fake. it's about the substance of the allegations. in one way he's his own obstacle to the truth here, isn't he? >> he is. what we can't verify on russia, we can verify in the u.s. we know he has over a billion dollars in debt from blackrock and jpmorgan and deutsche bank down the line. these are entities he's going to regulate from the white house. that's just a pure conflict. there's no way that any policy he tries to make, for example, on financial services deregulation isn't going to be questionable given all the debt his business owes to the banks. >> one item of pushback from trump people, we'll never make you guys satisfied, there's nothing we can give you to make that end. do you believe that? >> i don't think that's a reasonable pushback. i think the president and his after fill at are under opinion gags to be as transparent as
possible, to give the public, i think it will be a big issue if we have any reason not to trust his policy decisions and regulations, especially, as tim mentioned, when i comes to the financial industry. >> it's not playing out in speculation. it's happening in realtime. put your trump whisperer hat on for a second. these are unsubstantiated allegations, but important enough to be included in this appendix in the presidential briefing from the intel community. why would donald trump shelter russia from responsibility from that hacks in the united states when it was so clear to the intel community? people can't make sense of that. >> because he clearly admires putin. trump admires strong men, strong figures. he likes bravado. he likes the way putin rolls. that comes from a completely unsophisticated place. donald trump is wildly ig norpt about foreign policy and national security issues. he's now playing with fire because he's about to take ownership of the most powerful
office in the land. >> he's got real politicians around him, whether it's priebus or spicer oraclely ann conway, who are coming out. we don't know if it's russia, they can't be 100%, in denial to what's been clear to the intel community. then the allegations come he could be compromise $and he ends up fueling his own fire again. >> as he does all the time. he would have been much better off to leave triter until he got inaugurated. he can't help himself. he lacks, as we've discovered, some adult restraints. >> he's going to be asked about the conflicts because now they're intertwined with questions about these allegations of these documents about russia and compromad, a word introduced into the american lexicon. do you think it's a wait-and-see again? >> we already know ivanka, his daughter and her husband jared
kushner have taken steps to remove themselves from conflict of interest issues. we know we'they've recused themf from respective roles. hopefully we'll hear more details about how trump plans to address his own conflicts, how he plans to divest. it's hard to say given we don't have much guidance until now. >> you have your intentions and who you're working for, yourself, the american people, a combination, it's a problem. that's why rachel you've been reporting the heck out of it. we're following a lot of news. this is a huge day in the transfer of power. let's get to it. classified documents include allegations that russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about mr. trump. >> we're talking about fake news. it isn't a document that came from our intelligence community. >> i am ready for this job.
>> this is one of the more consequential appointments. >> rex tiller son facing a tough confirmation hearing over his close ties with russia. >> i have a very close relationship with him. >> i leave the stage tonight even more optimistic about this country than when we started. yes, we can. yes, we did. yes, we can. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> we want to welcome our viewers from the united states and around the world, it's wednesday, january 11, 2017. in three hours the president-elect will hold his first press conference since the election, in fact, in six months. how will he respond to cnn's reporting that he and president obama were given a report with claims of russian efforts to compromise mr. trump. >> we already have some clues from a series of tweets that the
president-elect is posting this morning. all this as rex tiller son, trump's pick for secretary of state, prepares for a confirmation hearing. senators are expected to grill him about his ties to vladimir putin. now those questions are even deeper, and we're still nine days away from inauguration day. let's begin our kof with cnn justice correspondent evan perez live in washington. >> classified documents on russian interference in the 2016 u.s. election presented last week to president obama and prelkt trump included allegations that russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about mr. trump. these allegations were part of a two-page synopsis based on memos by a former british operative whose work u.s. intelligence officials considerable credible. the fbi is investigating the allegations based primarily on allegations from russian sources. the bureau has not confirmed many details in a memobo