tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 11, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
rex tillerson put exxon's interests before america's.. i'm not here to represent the us government's interest. instead, tillerson sided with putin. with billions in russian oil deals... he opposed us sanctions on russia... ...for war crimes forced to pay hundreds of millions for toxic pollution... ...putting profits ahead of our kid's health. tell your senators to reject rex tillerson. and protect american interests not corporate interests.
we begin this hour with breaking news, the director of national intelligence speaking tonight with president-elect donald trump. i want to turn to jim acosta, brian selter, and chief national security correspondent jim sciutto, a big development tonight. seems like every night, tonight the director of national intelligence issuing a statement concerning the report presented to the president-elect and confirms cnn's reporting. >> and confirms he spoke with the president-elect tonight. james clapper. i'll read it in full allowing viewers to make their own judgment and draw your attention to a few lines. this evening i had the
opportunity to speak with president-elect donald trump to discuss recent media reports about our briefing last friday. i expressed by profound sna at the leaks that have been appearing in the press. we also discussed the document circulated even before the ic became aware of it. emphasized this is not a u.s. intelligence community product and i don't believe the leaks came from within the ic. it has not made any judgment. information in the document is reliable and didn't rely on it under for conclusions however part of your obligation is to ensure that policy makers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security. president-elect trump again affirmed admiration for men and
women serving in the ic community and -- signed james clapper. draw attention to a couple of lines. first draw attention to this. director of national intelligence says he shares president-elect's dismay this information was leaked to the press. that makes sense. classified briefing. you understand why want to keep it private. draw your attention to this. this is a day the president-elect accused cnn of being a terrible fake news organization largely on the basis of this report. but immediately after referencing the document that cnn was the first to report it was included in the briefing. immediately after that he said the following -- part of our obligation is to ensure that
are -- affect national security. confirming this document was included in the briefing as cnn reported. >> seems a bit -- i don't know if unprecedented. how often jim sciutto, someone on the level of claerp issue a statement like this. >> public statements, dni gave hearings which were public and clapper has done interviews before. appeared on our broadcast. but unique to issue a statement following private phone call with the president-elect and essentially contradicting what the president-elect said in his press conference this afternoon this that is all fake. be precise. the director is not saying the allegations are true. in fact have not reached a judgment or conclusion on that. that's one thing. but president-elect didn't just
say the allegations were not true. he said the report, our exclusive report that those allegations were included as part of his briefing, said it was fake news. director of national intelligence here appears strongly to be contradicting that. >> jim acosta, what stands out to you. >> i think what jim sciutto just said, some confirmation from the director of national intelligence there was presentation made to the president-elect that included some of this additional unsubstantiated material. donald trump just tweeted a few moments ago and said a great news conference at trump tower, a couple of fake news organizations there in all caps. once again coming after the news media and us. i presume we're one of the fake news organizations he's referring to. but this is not fake news don, this is real news, sometimes the
powerful just can't handle it. >> hang on. play the sound bite and then discuss. >> it's all fake news, phony stuff. it didn't happen, and it was gotten by opponents of ours as you know because you reported it and so did many of the other people. it was a group of opponents that got together, sick people. and they put that crap together. should never have been released but i read what was released an think it's a disgrace, absolute disgrace. >> didn't address what was inaccurate in the reporting, saying disgrace because fake news. >> he's talking about the buzzfeed document, memo posted by buzzfeed, conflating them with cnn and look at tweet, president-elect is willfully misleading people at every turn on this topic and so are the aides, kellyanne conway on
anderson cooper's show this evening saying that cnn linked to the buzzfeed story. you can check, it's not true. both trt donald trump and his aides today misleading people i think trying to confuse the matter. doing this with the tweet. calling us fake news. >> misuse of the term. >> fake news is specific term. i acknowledge it's changed in recent months but used in academia and media to describe stories written on facebook to trick and hoax people. designed to deceive. specific definition. partisans on left and right have misused and exploited the term and as margaret sullivan wrote, it's time to retire that term. but donald trump knows it's not fake news. >> fake news is when you mislead someone on purpose and as you said they're willfully
misleading people. that would be actual fake news. sean spicer and kellyanne conway said the reporting on buzzfeed, report which cnn didn't put out there. here's her exchange with anderson coop. >> what cnn said was i quote, classified documents presented last week to president obama and president-elect trump included allegations that russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about mr. trump -- >> and it's not true. >> tell cnn. >> your sources are not correct. >> you're saying in that intelligence briefing there was no information in any of the documents of that two-page summary? >> two things on that. number one. we don't discuss classified information presented in the
intelligence briefings. >> you just said it wasn't true. >> excuse me. i know cnn is feeling the heat. >> i think you guys are feeling the heat. >> what heat do we feel? that you've got this raw information, this kmeet ridiculous fake news? >> now the story has been confirmed. so what is the strategy? >> the strategy, there are about 14 different strategies when you listen to that conversation between anderson and kellyanne conway there, one you have the conflation, conflitting buzzfeed's report and ours, that's one. but bigger one is more worrisome as journalist. that news that the trump campaign doesn't like they call fake. right? and let's be honest, it's not just news that gets targeting here, intelligence that trump
team doesn't like, haven't called it fake but called into question. president-elect repeatedly called into question until today -- first time i think russia was behind the hacks. it's been consensus of the intelligence community since october. so inconvenient facts and reports, uncomfortable ones, critical ones are things attacked by the president-elect and his team. and here you have, important thing -- forget about how we feel. we're doing your job and politicians have attacked the media for years, didn't start with trump's election. but what is different here is trying to undermine news as something that's credible. but also other things like intelligence. that has a decaying effect it seems on our national debate. >> in a strange way i think it
also emphasizes the importance of the fourth estate and putting the truth out there. forget how we feel. as american fourth estate is important because it speaks truth to power and checks and balances on politicians and people in power. speak of strategy here, our jim acosta after trump mischaracterized cnn's reporting tried a follow-up question. >> not you. your organization is terrible. >> you're attacking our organization, can you give us a chance to ask a question. >> quiet, quiet. she's asking a question. don't be rude. >> can you give us a question, you're attacking us. >> don't be rude. not going to give you a question you're fake news. >> can you state categorically that nobody -- mr. president-elect that's not appropriate. >> i have to go to you.
then you had another exchange with sean spicer who said would kick you out if you did that. >> came over in the middle. if you do that one more time you're out of here. covering campaigns long time. fourth one. asked president obama hard questions too they didn't like. go after both sides. that's what we do but never had a press secretary threaten to throw me out. heat of the moment, maybe he regrets it. if that's the case that's fine but we're not going anywhere. we're doing your jobs. what we're going to do. and story is not about us. people don't care about us but people care about the president of the united states. last time he had news conference was end of july. and at that conference he said russia if you're out there, if you find the hillary clinton e-mails, let us know about it. we tried to ask him throughout
the course of the campaign following that about business with russia and interests over there. refused the news conference. first is ten days before oath of office in washington? that's outrageous and not in keeping with tradition. presidents when elected hold news conferences, talk to us, answer questions about what is going on in the transfer of the power. makes american democracy special don. president leave and new one come in, that's important time and need the president-elect to talk to us. >> sean spicer said you were rude. i didn't think so. >> persistent. >> you're a journalist. he said you should apologize on twitter tonight. have you read that. >> i will not take him up on there. i don't think i owe anybody an apology, i was doing my job and we're going to do it again
tomorrow. i would like to have a good relationship with sean spicer. i think he's a good guy. dealt with him for years and like kellyanne conway and dealt with her for years. i'm not going to call them names. let's try to figure out a way to have a good working relationship when they move into the white house because listen when times are tough, terrorist attack, natural disaster, the white house is going to want to come to the news media and say we need time to talk to the nation. we've got to have a good working relationship in addition to having opportunity to ask tough questions. >> thank you all. up next, donald trump finally admits russia is behind the hacking of the election but still offering warm words about russian president vladimir putin. your insurance company
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welcome back. breaking news, director of national intelligence speaking tonight with president-elect donald trump. bring in former cia operative and independent presidential candidate. and international center for defense and security and associate director at school of journalism. jonathan start with you. talking about a statement confirming cnn's reporting. what do you make of it? sq >> i think the idea that mr. trump denied hearing things,
i think the intelligence agencies are getting frustrated. may be one of the reasons somebody put this into the public sphere, you know, what's behind it, i read all 35 pages today, jill and i could teach you two new russian words, one is articles for pay and other is masking things. and compromising material, that might be a third. there's compromising material made up and never know if it's true or fake. i think you did the right thing reporting there was discussion of this but not going into the grisly details, there's gross errors in the 35 pages an it's rumor and speculation. i'm sure there's rumor and speculation about me and jill. >> we did not report the
contents or link to them but it's important as director said, it's part of their obligation to provide the fullest probable information on anything that could affect national security. and incumbent on us to report on it. said efforts to compromise him. >> i do have to say, and i must say, i want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that. tremendous blot. because a thing like that should have never been written, never been had, certainly never been
released. >> first of all, do you agree with him and what precedent does this set for his relationship with the intelligence community? >> i would say it's unlikely that the leak came from the intelligence community given that the information was so widely dispersed in washington. lot of investigative reporters and intelligence people both from united states of america and from other countries not only here in washington but in europe. this information has been known for quite some time. to i don't think it's fair of donald trump to blame the intelligence community for the information coming out on cnn first that he was briefed on the information. i would also offer that it does say something that the intelligence community chose to brief this information to president obama and president-elect donald trump, having spent time in the agency myself, i can tell you most of the information that comes across the radar of the cia
is -- ends up on the cutting room floor. very small percentage of it ever gets to the president. so the fact they actually saw fit to brief this tells you that they knew it was relevant, and that they did some sort of -- made some judgment about its credibility because they hear things like this every day of the week, every month. they made some kind of judgment. >> jill do you agree? >> i've been concentrating on what the russians have been saying about all of this, and look at dmitri pes kof, he used english phrase, said it's pulp fiction and went on to say we don't collect compromising information on anyone. at that point you have to laugh. of course they have. one of the first stories i ever
covered as bureau chief is chief prosecutor who ended up having compromised material released in order to get him out of the way. this is commonly done. and i think right now it's more interesting to me, really important to concentrate on what donald trump and his secretary of state are talking about -- saying about russia and how they're going to deal with russia. will be a big part of the president's brief and right now a confusing picture. >> jonathan you gave a nod when evan said there's reason they put this information in that report because a lot of it ends up on the cutting room floor. >> yeah. compromising material and gathering information coming out of moscow, there's lots of this but rose to the level of answering two important questions, was it sex or girls?
or was it money that is motivating mr. trump to have a different attitude towards russia? i think having a different attitude and saying -- tillerson said today, do you want to see things get worse? that's a good and important question, but trump did himself no favors today by not seriously addressing what motivates his thinking about russia. he could have said this particular snerngts i saw sputnik, been interested, i think the political correctness of the country is wrong. but not skeersly explaining why i wants to think in a dariffere way about russia than other people, and you could see the cold war atmosphere in the tillerson hearings tarks he did himself and secretary of state nominee no favors.
i thought tillerson was good on russia. >> here's donald trump talking about vladimir putin at press conference. >> if putin likes donald trump that's called asset not liability. i don't know that i'm going to get along with vladimir putin, i hope i do. but there's a good chance i won't. >> jill, your reaction? >> it was interesting. there are incremental movements by the president-elect about russia, putin. he said for example, yes russia probably did do the hacking. but he doesn't blame putin. then a two-step, i might not get along with him but it's great that he likes me and that will be an asset. i think he's playing both sides against the middle. then bring in mr. tillerson who does say it is a fair assumption that vladimir putin was behind the hack. and then the most incredible
thing to me, mr. tillerson saying that he actually hadn't had any substantive conversation with donald trump about russia. that's disturbing. there's been plenty of time to talk about russia and figure out in general terms what your policy will be. right now you have his secretary of state nominee with a quite different approach to russia than the president himself. >> that's going to be the last word. sorry for the short time. thank you all. appreciate it. straight ahead, a key republican senator refusing to say if he'll support rex tillerson to be secretary of state.
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try to fill a significant portion of the cabinet. by the time sworn in, there's hope by republicans get six or seven cabinet nominees done and need cooperation from democrats to do that. and at this hour the united states senate is still voting on budget plan to set the stage to repeal significant part of obamacare in the next several weeks. two things moving quickly. and rex tillerson's secretary of state hearing contentious and jeff sessions, both nominations creating controversy on both sides of the aisle. >> you caught up with marco rubio after tillerson hearings.
what did he tell you? >> reporter: wasn't happy, came in as skeptic of tillerson because of his ties to russia, closeness with vladimir putin when he was head of exxon mobil, and tried to ask a number of questions about opinion on putin and whether he believed he was a war criminal and didn't think the answers were clear. >> i'm prepared to do what is right. not analyzing it from partisan standpoint. elected by people of florida, i swore an oath to protect, defend and uphold the constitution of this country. my view is president deserves wide latitude in nominations but more important the position is,
less latitude they have. it's a cone. it's wide and some positions as it gets higher, discretion becomes more limited and scrutiny should be hire. i consider this highest of them all. >> reporter: that's in response to question, are you prepared to be the one republican on the committee to vote against rex tillerson? and he said prepared to do whatever he feels is right. not ready to support him, potentially a decisive vote against him in committee. danger zone for a key nominee for donald trump's cabinet. >> if rubio votes no on tillerson, what happens manu? >> that's a great question. several possibilities. could be the end of the nomination because the committee is split, one republican has a majority, one seat majority. if the democrats vote no and
rubio votes no with them, could stall. but republican leadership can take extraordinary steps to bypass the committee moving it straight to the floor to try to confirm it. that's rarely done, provoke outcry and presumably anger other republicans like john mccain and lindsey graham who are also skeptical on tillerson. wouldn't necessarily avoid controversy or problems on the floor. one reason the committee vote is critical, how rubio comes down so critical to his fate. >> you also spoke to cory booker about unprecedented testimony against jeff sessions, the pick for attorney general. why was it significant that senator booker testified today. >> reporter: first time ever a
united states senator has testified against another senator for a cabinet post. i asked why, he said he felt the moment was calling for it, he had to do this. talked to him about that, as well as questions about whether or not doing for his own political ambitions, future presidential run. here's what he said. >> clearly told us if he's attorney general won't be executing key function of the office which is to protect the vulnerable, protect women, minorities, voting rights and the poor. so this is clearly something in good conscience i couldn't remain silent on. i believe it's more important for me to stand up for principles and ideals of my country than it is to stand up for senate norms. >> reporter: so i asked him about 2020 consideration, are you considering running in 2020,
and he would not answer the question. side stepped it. also asked about rex tillerson because cory booker also sits on the committee and not ruling out supporting rex tillerson. uncertain where he may come down on that. but clear he's adamantly opposed to jeff sessions and virtually every other trump nominee. >> thank you. coming back one congressman says opposition to the nomination of jeff sessions is akin to a war on whites. [john] what if instead of waiting weeks for your
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i keep my fee-fi-fo-fum i keep my heart undone the strong in me, i still smile. senator versus senator at confirmation hearings on capitol hill. joining me four commentators. -- andy dean. matt lewis senior contributor at daily caller and david swerlic of the "washington post." cory booker the first sitting
senator to testify against another sitting senator. >> senator sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requisite of the job, so aggressively pursue congressional mandate for civil rights and justice for all citizens. record indicates can't count on him to support state and national efforts towards bringing justice to the justice system. >> will booker have impact? >> in this way, democrats across the board are trying to figure out how vigorously to oppose donald trump's nominees and agenda, this is a signal that some democrats, booker, richmond and lewis in particular are taking a stand. whether or not people agree on the underlying premise that sessions not up to the
requisites of the job, he's called -- he's a bridge builder. idea he's opportunist here i think is short sided of people criticizing him. he clearly felt passionate about this to testify against a colleague who he probably likes personally but sees as someone who is not who his constituents who support him feel should be the attorney joenl. >> you called it a bust. why? >> first of all, i don't think he's up to the occasion. i think politically motivated opportunity for the senator. there is no democratic bench. this is the chance to vault to the top of what is an empty campaign for 2020. didn't perform well.
might have been passionate. not that effective but did further erode comity and cordialness, cordiality in the u.s. senate. this was unprecedented. whether it's harry reed destroying the filibuster or senator testifying against another senate esh, another step down the roads of polarization in the senate. >> comity with a t not a d. responded to criticism in a radio interview today. >> it's really about political power and racial division and what i refer to on occasion as war on whites. trying to motivate the african-american vote to vote bloc for democrats by using every republican is a racist tool they can envision even if they have to lie about it. >> a war on whites. >> a war on whites?
i don't even know what to say. reality is that jeff sessions will be in charge of justice department in charge of enforcing the voting rights act. seen in republican state legislatures across the country, especially in the south, efforts to make it harder for african-americans to vote. why be surprised that cory booker would be fighting against that. that's what he would be elected to do, what he believes. probably good politics too. but anyone who doesn't think he's profoundly disturbed with this progress. zero record for guy rights, asked -- why buying books on islam, he's antithetical to the tradition of the civil rights movement that booker comes out of. >> do you think too far with the war on whites?
>> being dramatic and probably went too far. but super specific about jeff sessions, looked into this, undercurrent of jeff sessions might be racist. lot to do with what happened in 1985, prosecution of the marion three from alabama, three african-americans accused of potentially stuffing ballot box and albert turner senior who went on trial was acquitted of course felt there was racial intimidation but if you talk to son -- >> there was a long report. go on and -- >> if i could. >> i know you're going to say his son thinks it wasn't racist and wife says it was and never give it a chance. >> son doesn't think it was racism and ask anyone surrounding that incident other african-americans brought this
case, wanted him out of power. so whole thing he's racist because of that prosecution, in you investigate, it's clear inaccurate and not racism. >> son saying doesn't believe it was racism doesn't absolve him of racism. >> other african-americans who brought the case. >> wife also says she believes he was. >> said she needs to forgive. >> mother. >> said she's not sure. >> i spoke to cornell williams brooks of the naacp, and what he said not about fact that senator sessions is likeable and senate colleagues like him and number of prominent african-americans testified on his behalf. no issue with that. when he sat in at session's office, he and his colleagues treated well and respectfully
and cordially. said these three people who testified against sessions today see this as issue of whether or not his actions in the past as prosecutor led to other issues down the road in terms of voting rights violations, voting rights laws that hampered efforts of african-americans to vote in alabama down the road and this is not about whether or not he's a quote/unquote racist. >> i got to get to the break, that's why didn't want to litigate whole thing. i'll give you first word peter. especially for people with heart failure. but today there's entresto... a breakthrough medicine that can help make more tomorrows possible. tomorrow, i want to see teddy bait his first hook. in the largest heart failure study ever, entresto was proven to help more people stay alive
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donald trump's knowledge on his behalf is a huge issue. if this were the other way around, republicans would be at the front of the line saying we need an independent investigation. >> andy dean? >> imagine if hillary clinton won if we had the "access hollywood" producer who is helped release the tape. this is liberal hypocrisy. russia didn't influence any americans and to say they did is insulting to the american voter especially in the midwest because they were voting for jobs and not because vladimir putin was voting a certain way. >> voting for donald trump and russians influencing the election, what does it have going do with the other. if they voted for him and believed in him, that's great, but to say the intelligence is false that russia influenced the election, do you not agree? >> i will tell you what i agree,
putin probably wanted trump to win, but merkel wanted hillary clinton to win. >> answer my question directly. do you believe the intelligence said russians interfered with the election? >> it's not as cut and dry as that. >> yes it is. you can say yes or no. do you believe that? >> i will say no and the reason why i will say no is that the main crux of the argument is that vladimir putin hacked john po defta's e-mails when his password was the word password. julian assange from wikileaks said it was not provided by the ru russians. >> as far as hacking, i think it was russia, but we also get hacked by other countries and other people.
i can say that when we lost 22 million names and everything else that was hacked recently, they didn't make a big deal out of that. >> andy? >> i think donald has a great point here. the hacking could come from russia and china hacks and there is a 400 pound man in his bed that hacks. the media didn't freak out when chelsea manning was doing it. it was seen as well, he or she is bringing out information we need to know about. snowden was a liberal hero. >> you are saying a lot of things that have nothing to do with nothing. >> you give me limited talk time. >> you are not making sense, man. i'm sorry. >> if we step back and talk about the problem that president-elect trump has gotten himself into, it's this. you would expect he would have come out and pushed back on the
idea that he had been compromised. you would have to expect he would push back on that. if you go back to december 11th when he went on the sunday shows and dismissed the intelligence committee's finding as ridiculous to now he said reluctantly yeah, it was russia. in the intervening weeks he allowed himself to have the appearance whether or not it's true of being soft on russia. some of what you see him pushing back on now is this appearance and perception. that i think is the bigger problem. >> i will give you 15 seconds. >> donald trump has no problems saying bad things about anybody else. being hawkish on north korea and iran, but why not russia? who knows. >>. >> the question is a plausible explanation for why he is so soft on russia. this is part of the reason we
>> good evening. i'm van jones. welcome to the messy truth. i don't know about you, but i have emotional whiplash after the last 24 hours in american politics. last night i got a chance to watch president obama's speech and it was just amazing kind of celebration of american democracy. very uplifting. then this morning i wake up to president trump's first press conference where he is attacking the press and comparing our country to nazi germany. my head is completely spinning and yours probably is too. to be honest, i'm skeptical of both of these guys for similar reasons. let me start with obama. he said goodbye. that farewell address moved millions of people including myself to tears. again. i say again because if