outstanding facts in the case, and jean will be taking you through that. it's a great report. jean, thank you so much. and thank you for watching "newsroom." "wolf" starts right now. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. from you're you're watching in the world, welcome. and president-elect donald trump settled on rex tillerson, selection for secretary of state. he has no government foreign policy experience but has done lots of business with countries and leaders around the world and has a very good relationship with the russian president vladimir putin. the russian foreign minister sergey lavrov says his country welcomes the choice of tillerson.
we also heard praise from the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, who said, i'm quoting him now, "rex tillerson's decades of experience have been widely recognized for focus leadership around the globe. i look forward to supporting his nomination" and then there was vice president-elect mike pence. >> we just couldn't be more grateful that someone of rex tillerson's proven leadership and accomplishments have been willing to step forward to serve our nation as our next secretary of state. >> we've also heard that donald trump has made his choice for energy secretary. the former texas governor rick perry. back in the 2012 presidential campaign, perry famously forgot the name of the energy department, when naming the three government agencies he wanted to shut down. later today, the president-elect will leave new york for wisconsin for his next stop on his thank you tour. the vice president mike pence, vice president-elect, i should say, and house speaker paul ryan
are both expected to be in wisconsin buy the president-elect. let's fwlibring in phil mattingt trump tower and manu raju joins us and our cnn global affairs correspondent elise labott. phil, how did rex tillerson rise so quickly, apparently very quickly? he wasn't even mentioned until a week or two ago. >> reporter: exactly right. largely on the backs of recommendations behind the scenes, wolf. trump transition officials saying, james baker, condoleezza rice and bob gates. three pillars of the gop policy establishment. three former cabinet secretaries themselves, all of whom recommended rex tillerson for this position. the president-elect had never actually met rex tillerson before this process all started, because of their recommendations he was willing to sit down with them and found she shared similar world views, were very comfortable with one another and he was willing to select rex tillerson above all the other
candidates we've seen to this point. obviously, a big pick, we've all waiting for it. a lot of comings and goings at trump tower. rick perry said to be announced at energy secretary and bill gates leer. we're told meeting with the president-elect about research and development. pushing that forward and a rather random visitor. kanye west stopped by a 15-minute meeting with the president-elect to talk about life. according to the president-elect. mostnotably, rex tillerson, wolf. >> also getting new information on the news conference now delayed. supposed to be thursday during which the president-elect would announce how he's going to split up his business so there's no conflict of interest, if you will. now delayed until january. what are you learning? >> reporter: well, we know this -- obviously the president-elect made a big deal about this announcement. that apparently is never going
to comkucome. at least not in the year of 2016. trying to address issue, stopping all new deals going forward and find a legal structure to hand the business down to his sons, eric and donald jr. ivanka trump was nos listed as somebody handed the business. expected to be phased out and she and her husband plan to move down to d.c. and serve in advisories roles. but there are difficulties how this process is moving forward. the reality, the president-elect legally doesn't have to separate from the business at all. anything he's willing to do to take himself operationally out should be considered a good thing, but i'm told advisers inside his team are wary of not going far enough. they are cognizant, wolf, the fact this will be problematic for the president-elect, for his team, not just the first 100 days or the first couple months, perhaps for years if they don't address this and go far enough from the beginning. why delayed? weren't ready. these debates internally are still playing out at lawyers try to figure out the proper legal
structure 20 actualto actually place. wolf? >> phil, thank you. concern expressed in the senate already. they have to confirm rex tillerson as the secretary of state. first to the senate foreign relations committee. marco rubio, a republican, he said this in a statement. i'll put it up on the screen. while rex tillerson is a respected businessman, i have serious concerns about his nomination, the next secretary of state must be someone who views the world with moral clarity, free of potential conflicts of interest. i look forward to learning more about his record and his views. i will do my part to ensure he receive as full and fair but also thorough hearing before the senate foreign relations committee. specifically, there are questions not just from democrats but a few republicans about his dealings, his connections with putin and russia. what are you hearing? >> exactly what he's going to have to answer. these confirmation hearings. you know, the senate foreign relations committee will have a one-vote margin, 10-9 panel.
that means if one republican were to defect, like a marco rubio, he could be enough to stall the nomination, poe potentipo stall the nomination, poe potentipe -- potentially derail it as well. assuming democrats are against him. just got off the phone with bob corker, passed over for the secretary of state job. he's a very best choice for donald trump but acknowledged not really knowing what tillerson's world views are on russia. she haven't spoken about it in depth and he has a lot of questions to answer on that very topic. on separate but related matter, corker told me his committee is going to launch an investigation, more hearings into the issue of russia hacking, and that's something that the foreign relations committee la not done yet. something the armed services and intelligence committees shed he to do but corker the third panel to look into that issue come january.
obviously, that russia issue looming over tillerson's nomination and hacking looking over congress as well. >>ed senate foreign reses committee, armed services committee, intelligence, why not just have a select panel, if you will, bring all of these resources together, instead of duplicating all of these investigations? >> that's what democrats want. smk like the benghazi committee that went after hillary clinton or 9/11 commission. republicans are resistant. particularly the republican leadership, mitch mcconnell and marco rubio. could be problematic for donald trump and easier to do it to the standing legislative committees and have more control over the process and people they trust, like a bob corker, a john mccain, for instance, dealing with it rather than a more unwieldly process by a stand-alone committee. >> interesting reporting on your part. elise, pressure on you for more reporting from the diplomatic area. and rex tillerson nominated as the next secretary of state? >> i've talked to a lot of
career diplomats. there is a lot of wariness about tillerson's ties to russia and that i think plays into larger fears about what u.s. policy and russia is going to be. more accommodating to russia in serious areas of disagreement, in ukraine in syria, in some of the election meddling they've been doing through eastern europe. there are those concerns and also some of his other business dealings s kur s kyrgyzstan. while there is a wariness, also there's a little excitement about a diplomat coming in with a new approach, hard-nosed negotiator who could have a little bit more success. i think there's willing to be a little bit more of an open mind and giving him a chance. i think there is some excitement among the career foreign service he could have a new approach. >> what about all of these reports out there that perhaps john bolton, a former u.s.
ambassador to the united nations, also served in the state department during the bush administration, could be named deputy secretary? number two person at the state department? what are you hearing about the reaction to that? >> and he was also a u.s. anti-u.n., a controversial recess appointment. i mean, john bolton has a complicated history with the state department. he's been very controversial about the foreign service, about career diplomats, and so there is a little, there's a lot of, frankly, anxiety about john bolton in career services, but there is also, there are people that think that he has been also a very good negotiator on behalf of president bush's proliferation agenda. negotiated 100 separate agreements on the icc with other countries. i think that if it is tillerson and bolton, john bolton is really the deputy, the main management position in the state department. if rex tillerson doesn't have any government experience that really gives john bolton a lot
of power to shape what's going on at the state department, and for some people that do follow john bolton's kind of more extreme right-wing view anti-russia, anti-iran, anti-malty lateral organizations that could be a good thing. >> he doesn't have that nomination yet. john bolton. see if the president-elect decides to go that route. quickly. >> if he does go that route, expect that become a huge battle on the hill. you talk to rand paul about possibly bolton becoming the secretary of state, he was opposed to that. going to fight that. he'll fight deputy as well. >> and two bruising battles at secretary of state. >> and sean spicer, republican national committee's chief communications adviser. chief strategist. senior adviser to the president-elect right now. sean, thanks very much for joining us. >> good afternoon, wolf. thanks for shing me. >> why did the president-elect choose the exxon/mobil ceo rex tillerson to become the nation's
next secretary of state? >> oh, because he's a world-class business leader with connections throughout the globe. he has been unbelievably zexz succe successful and a tough negotiator by everybody's standard. can implement a trump agenda around the world, re-establish america's place around the world and get things done. what donald trump has looked for in all picks. successful people to get the job done and rex tillerson by all accounts is somebody that will do that. you've seen people like bob gates, condi rice, stephen hadley, very, very top-notch folks and folks on the hill, senator ron johnson, speaker paul ryan, sarah mcconnell, others praise this pick because they realize this is a person that can get things done for this country. >> on the other hand, listen to republican senator john mccain. what he told our jake tapper on "the lead" yesterday. >> this guy is a thug and a murderer and i don't see how anybody could be a friend of this old-time kgb agents. . >> referring to vp who has a
pretty good relationship with mr. tillerson. how do you respond to the critics saying he's too close to russia? >> it's not a -- i think frankly if we want to get things done in russia we need somebody with a relationship not just with putin but other world leaders. how things get done. when people have a relationship to put america's interests first and foremost to achieve our interests. if the hit against rex tillerson he has a relationship with people like putin and our world leaders, able to get things done. look at exxon. no question, highly successful. by all accounts a tough negotiator and yes, got relationships. what we want out of the next secretary of state. somebody who will re-establish interests around the globe, stand up to world leaders, put america's interests first and achieve great things. that's why donald trump picked him, while he'll be confirmed and do a great job at our next secretary of state. >> do you think that john bolton will be the deputy secretary of state?
>> one thing i've learned around here is the only person who makes those decisions is donald trump. it will be up to him to decide who that deputy secretary will be as well as other high-ranking positions within the state department and throughout the government. >> i want to just see if you can clarify. because i know it's been a big issue in recent days. the cia, the intelligence community, the fbi, they all agree the russians hacked democratic institutions, the dnc, john podesta's g-mail account, chairman of the hillary clinton campaign. they disagree on what the purpose, the motive was. the intelligence community thinks it was trying to help trump get elected president. the fbi disagreeing saying they were just trying to meddle and cause mischief. there seeming to be emerging consensus while republicans didn't hack the republican national committee, they did hack republican institutions and political operatives. what can you tell us about that? >> what i can tell you is that
we've got a lot of unnamed sources making accusations and i think one of the things we were presented last friday night was several media institutions coming to us saying the conclusions that the intelligence agencies that we are talking to, or at least the sources, conclude that because they hacked both the rnc and dnc, they concluded, therefore, russia did the following. our pushback, we have conclusive proof they didn't hack us. therefore the predicate is wrong and conclusion calmed into question. that's it, plain and simple. what we've had is a lot of people citing unnamed sources from unnamed agencies, making it seem as though those are credible outcomes. what we need is more credible understand of what actually happened and more concrete disclosures of what agencies think exactly what and why. right now we have a lot of folks in the media running around trying to make accusation what's they think their sources claim have happened, and yet there's no concrete proof to actually show that any of those conclusions are based in sound
practice. >> so you agree with the fbi that, yes, the russians hacked, but it was not designed necessarily to get trump elected? is as it designed to muddy the waters, if you will, embarrass the united states? is that what i'm hearing? >> no. because what i think we throw around"hacked." a difference in, probing, seeing what's out there, trying to find an entrance point is hacking. hacking is getting inside an organization or computer system to extract data. in some cases it's just merely probing around. i think that's what's, hackers do that. other countries do that. other organizations do that. i think what we have is a lot of rumor about different organizations potentially doing it and who may be behind those organizations. i think there's further investigation that needs to be done, but there needs to be a lot less speculation and a lot more fact. >> you want these investigations to go forward in the house and the senate as mitch mcconnell,
the majority leader in the senate and others have called for. but let me be precise on this. >> hold on, wolf. one delineation. one i think, this is -- there's a difference between the integrity of our voting system. right? i agree, donald trump agrees, everybody, i think all americans agree we don't want any entity, foreign or otherwise, getting involved in our election system and trying to interfere in any way, whether trying to change the outcome or otherwise. there's another piece of this, left-wing groups and frankly some media trying to delegitimize donald trump's resounding win on november 8th. that's a point for all talk that occurred prior to november 8th to hear these folks and a lot of folks frankly on the hillary clinton yet to get over fact they lost and lost big is upsetting. it was our side that was getting questioned of whether we would accept results of these elections, whether we believed in the integrity of the election system. now that donald trump won big, 306 electoral votes, 2300 counties, 62 million votes, it is now everyone coming back to
us and saying, we've got unnamed sources and believe the following, the fact of the matter, we should all agree in the same way we agree that no one should interfere with our electio elections, equally agree donald trump resoundingly bip the ruled established and will be the next president and we should want to ensure we have integrity in our democracy as well. >> you agree, i assume, if in fact the russians hacked whatever you want to use, whatever word you want to use, their important lessons are to be learned and a full review should be done by various congressional committees as well as by the u.s. intelligence community and the law enforcement community. you support that? >> sure, but i think -- absolutely. take it back a step. i believe institutions whether government or private should be putting proper protocols in place to ensure they have the highest integrity in their own systems first and foremost. secondly, sure, ensure no entities are looking into attacking our own government or
institutions achieving to be involved in the electoral process. but i think that's vastly different than whether or not there was a difference in the outcome of the election. this is a -- there were discloches about e-mails frankly the other nos getting talked to. the only reason we're talking about this, john pedestrian prd and tandon and others on the left said things in e-mails they wished hadn't come out. if they hadn't behaved the way they did, none of this would have happened. they wrote the e-mails had a secret server, didn't put proper means in place, and not disqualifying the second piece of this. but we keep forgets then had a secret serve r, didn't abide by rules and regulations set by the government and state department to ensure that some of this kind of stuff wouldn't happen. that's been lost in this discussion. >> i know you've got do go. one quick question, button this up about hacking of republican institutions.
mike mccall, chairman of the house homeland security committee told me in september on my show that the rnc had been hacked. later corrected that. said i misspoke asserting the rnc was hacked. i intended to say in addition to the dnc attack, republican political operatives have also been hacked. two-pronged question. which republican political operatives were hacked and why wasn't that information released? >> well, one, it's not my job to speak for anybody but the republican national committee at that time. and my job was to ensure that people understood that we had taken certain protocols, put things in place and hadn't been hacked. that was my only concern at that time. i have to let others speak for themselves and it's not my job nor anyone else's to speak for other organizations or individuals whether or not they were attacked. even having thus discussion we are having, an invitation to folks. we have to understand those kind
of discussions have implications for people in terms of security of their networks. >> all right. leave it on that note. we'll continue this conversation down the road, i'm sure. thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. coming up, as trump fills out his cabinet, what's next for trump loyalists like former new york city mayor rudy giuliani and governor chris christie? we'll discuss that. plus a compete meltdown of humanities, the growing crisis inside syria. reporting mass executions and children pinned down by heavy artillery fire. we're going live to the region. . whoa, whoa, i got this. just gotta get the check. almost there. i can't reach it. if you have alligator arms, you avoid picking up the check. what? it's what you do. i got this. thanks, dennis! if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. growwwlph.
a pick to lead the department of energy, trump chosen oil company ceo to be the next secretary of state. bring in our panel. cnn political commentator ryan lizza, washington kornt for "the new yorker" magazine and dana bash and analyst gloria borger with us as well. gloria, why did rex tillerson all of the sudden become nominee for secretary of state? there were several other important people on that list. >> well, i think it was played out in public pretty much, as we yo. i think at one point somebody like a mitt romney might have been a favorite and i think rex tillerson's name came into the mix as a result of some folks recommending him, which often happens, and it was -- bill gates. i mean -- bob gates. sorry. >> former secretary of defense. >> right. >> and koncondi rais, and steve hadley, a consulting firm.
it works with exxon, and they recommended this guy that trump did not know to the president-elect. the president-elect said, bring him in, and it turned out, they're two business guys. they believe tillerson can get the deals he wants and he took a liking to him. and i think this was very much a process that played itself out and it was clear to me from watching this on the outside that trump really didn't have any favorite candidate going into this. and he ended up finding one by taking some people's recommendations. >> would you say they worked with, that consulting firm works with exxon? >> work for, get paid by, yes. >> how much will tillerson have, before the senate foreign relations committee? marco rubio says i have serious concerns about tillerson's nomination, specifically because
of his good relationship with putin? >> there are two steps. right? first, of course, you said, foreign relations committee. that is the committee that is charged with the confirmation process, will hold the hearing, then a vote. without getting out too far ahead of ourselves, it is possible the senate rules allow, if for some reason marco rubio is not convinced tillerson is the right person, or other republicans, even, you know, if some democrats don't cross party lines which is possible, and the vote are not there in the foreign relations committee, it is possible for the full senate to take up the nomination. happened with john bolton, 2005, nominated to be ambassador to the u.n. that is possible. we don't know that will be the way it plays out, because there are actually some moderate democrats on that committee who might cross party lines say, you know what? a president should get the nominee he wants. and then the broader question, of course, is the full u.s. senate.
and with the 52-48 split, if the democrats stay lock step against him. >> that's a big f. a bif. >> a big if. >> and in relatively conservative states in two years? >> joe manchin, energy-producing states and so forth. the point, if that doesn't happen he can only afford to lose two republicans in the full senate. so it's -- they certainly have a majority, the republicans do, but it's tight, especially when you look at people who could be controversial. we don't know he is ultimately going to be. he could knocked socks off everybody in the confirmation hearings. >> why do you think he picked him? >> you have to look at what is the world view that tillerson brings that donald trump liked. right? and we do know on foreign policy the big break with the republican party that donald trump articulated in the campaign was a new view of russia. right? he voiced skepticism of nato.
he had a campaign manager who was very pro-russia, worked for a pro-ukrainian candidate. he praised vladimir putin during the campaign. and that alarmed a lot of republican hawks who think of vladimir putin as one of the major adversaries of the united states. there was a big question, will his secretary of state conform with that world view or pick someone different? mitt romney would have been very different. tillerson, we know hars a long record doing deals in russia, a close relationship with vladimir putin. actually awarded a special state award from vladimir putin, and so his confirmation now is going to be a proxy fight in the republican party, over this change in policy that donald trump is bringing in to the presidency, and that's why you have people like marco rubio, lindsey graham and john mccain, three leading republicans on foreign policy, saying, wait a second. i was unsure of trump when he articulated this policy in the election, and now he's got a
secretary of state nominee that's going to push it even furth further. i think a big fight in the republican party over this. >> potentially other complicating issues which is, we don't know if he wants to undo the iran deal. >> yeah. >> i mean, he had been positive towards the iran deal. opens up oil markets there. well, what's he going to say about the iran deal? we know he was positive about trade agreements. what's he going to say on trade agreement? we know he was positive about the paris climate change deal. what is he going to say about that? these are all issues that have to come up in the confirmation hearings and he my straddle a lot of different lines. >> and the other thing to that point is that if you kind of take a step back and now look at the broader cabinet, particularly on national security, that donald trump wants to have, there are very big differences, mattis, general mattis, who we wants for defense secretary a completely different view of vladimir putin. much more aggressive and iran.
much more in line with mccains, lindsey grahams and others within the party. >> and the hacking thing. this confirmation thing will be a proxy war about the russian hacking and -- >> looking forward to covering it. every step of the way. stand by. the president-elect donald trump welcomed a couple of pro-football hall of famers over at trump tower in new york city just a few moments ago. part of his diversity meeting. they spoke about trump's promises to the african-american communities, and what they see as the biggest road block to equality jobs. >> what we believe with the trump administration is, if we can combine these two powers of coming together, forget black or white. black our white is irrelevant. bottom line, job creation, economic development in urban neighborhoods to change the whole scheme of what our kids see for our future. there's nobody we can't reach and i think that's why we're here, because we can bring a lot of people -- to work together.
>> we're not here because of politic. it's we are here to help the president of the united states help the people that need help. >> jim brown. he admitted he did not vote for mr. trump, but the president-elect, by the way, also met with billionaire bill gates to talk about research and development. listen to this. >> how did the meeting go? >> just a quick comment. we had a good conversation about innovation. how it can help, education, impact of foreign aid and energy, and a wide ranging conversations about the power of innovation. thank you. >> meanwhile, trump's team, again today, saying the russian hacking narrative is an attempt to delegitimize trump's election win. up next, democratic congressman elijah calm ummings calling for bipartisan investigation into any potential interference by the russians in the u.s. presidential election.
the russian president, vladimir putin, hez he's ready to meet with president-elect donald trump with an interview way japanese newspaper and tv station, saying, as for meetings i think the president-elect should be given an opportunity to form his administration and assume office meetings will come next. this comes on the heels trump has chosen rex tillerson to serve as secretary of state. the pick sparked controversy over tillerson's close ties with putin. for more, let's go to our senior
international correspondent matthew chance, who's joining us live from moscow right now. matthew, has there been reaction in russia regarding tillerson's nomination? >> reporter: there has. even before his nomination officially, there were already a whole line of russian officials lining up to pour praise on this. since the announcement is official, since trump tweeted it, in other words, a whole raft of statements coming from the kremlin. the kremlin saying mr. tillerson is a respectable and professional person. the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov, the counterpart, of rex tillerson, of course, if he is confirmed secretary of state, he said they were not opponents to developments of relations. on the contraire, pragmatic and expect the pragmatism is a good
basis for building relations between the two countries, and the head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee here in russia, the russian parliaments, saying he believes, going further saying appointment of tillerson is a sensation demonstrates what he says is the seriousness of donald trump. the seriousness, of course toshs do some sort of deal and bridge the divide, perhaps, in the relations between russia and the united states, wolf. >> matthew, you know, a bipartisan group of senators calling for a full-scale investigation into the cia's conclusion that russia hacked -- that russian hackers attempted to influence the u.s. election, and in trump's favor. any reaction from the kremlin? >> reporter: oh, i mean, only the reaction that we've got since october, which is when this issue first was made. when we first floated the height of the presidential campaign and it's been categorical denial saying, look, there's absolutely no concrete evidence linking anyone russian individual, any
russian government organization to this hacking. of course, that's a line that's been put out there by donald trump as well. i mean, they're playing from the same songbook, trump and the kremlin, when it comes to this issue. but there's always been a suspicion and this motivation that the russians have had to try and influence the u.s. presidential election. they mate de no secret they supported donald trump and despised hillary clinton, someone incredibly anti-russian and donald trump voiced sympathetic comments towards russia sow inevitably they supported him. the argument here in russia, the extent to which russian officials actually acted to try to influence the outcome of that election, and that at the moment is an allegation as far as the russians areconcerned. not a proven fact. >> thank you. the house intelligence committee devon nunez are vowing
to continue an investigation into russian hacking during the u.s. election, but ranking democrats and several committees say that's not enough. one of those democrats, maryland congressman elijah cummings joining us now from baltimore, ranking member of the house oversight committee. why is that not enough, congressman? >> first of all, mr. nunez is on donald trump's transition team, and one of the things we need to do in this situation is, we need to have an investigation that has integrity. i listened to one of your earlier guests talking about whether the motive for the russians interference was to sway the election in donald trump's favor. let's be clear. to me that's a distraction. the question is, that we've got 17 intelligence agencies that we pay to put their lives on the line that we pay $70 billion a year to get intelligence and they have said a fact that the russians did interfere with our
e ear lection elections. whatever the motive, we need to look into that. i believe a commission. something like the 9/11 commission where e don't get all muddied in politics, because the american people deserve to know if a foreign government which is not a friend of the united states, is interfering with our elections. >> president obama, the other day, announced he wants a full-scale intelligence community investigation, and he wants the results before he leaves office on january 20th. why isn't that enough? >> first of all, i applaud the president for doing that, but i think that that will get us, some basic information to start with. this investigation to do done properly may take quite a while, long after the president has left office. so i think what we'll do with that is get some basic information. but there's something else that needs to happen. the entire congress needs to
know about what is going on with the russians. only a few members of congress now have seen the secret documents. one of the reasons why i joined steny hoyer and many others in asking that we have a briefing from our intelligence community. again, keep in mind, this is a, this has been an effort based upon 17 intelligence agencies, they have told us that the highest level of the russian government was involved in this, and that it happened. so now, how do we make sure with figure out how it happened? how we can prevent it from happening in the future? now, if there is -- if they had certain motives, i think those, the russians had certain motives, i think those things will come up in the midst of the investigation. we have always said in our committee that we follow the evidence wherever it may lead, but right now i'm more concerned just trying to figure out
exactly what happened, how it happened and how can we make sure that it doesn't happen again, and every american should be concerned about that and as i've said to you before, wolf, this is a fight for the soul of our democracy. and i'm going to fight with everything i've got. >> congressman, i want you to listen to something that the outgoing senate democratic leader, harry reid, told our correspondent up on capitol hill, manu raju, yesterday. listen to this. >> the dnc was hacked. everybody knew that. we knew wikileaks was coming out drip by drip by drip. they wouldn't do it all at once, of course, because they were coordinating this, obviously, from, with the trump folks and the russians. >> are you aware of any evidence that there was coordination, as he claims, between the trump folks, those are the words he used, and the russians? >> i don't know of any, but, again, that's what the investigation is all about. that's why we need to look into it. the evidence will lead us to where we need to go, and i would hope, and i would think, that
president-elect trump would join us in this effort. after all, he swears, just like we do, to uphold the constitution and protect us from enemies, domestic and abroad. so this is a part of our duty. this is not doing the american people a favor. this is our job. >> so what should the u.s. do, if the u.s. intelligence community has concluded, and they did conclude what? on october 7, 2016, as you point out, in a statement that clapper, general clapper, head of the, the director of national intelligence, jeh johnson, secretary of homeland security says the u.s. intelligence is confident the russian directed e-mails of institutions referring to the democratic national committee and they said, we believe based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts that only russia's senior most officials could have authorized these accesses. so what should the u.s. do about that? they've already reached that conclusion. the russians did it.
highest levels of the russian government were involved. what's your recommendation? what does the u.s. do about that? >> let me be clear -- i want -- i want the investigation, first of all, and i want the people who address these eschews every day, those 17 agencies to come back with their recommendations. i'm not the expert in this area. that's why we have experts. i want to hear what they have to say, after all, we do pay them the $70 billion a year, and i'm sure they'll come back with recommendations and hopefully the congress and president will follow those recommendations, wolf. >> elijah cummings, the congressman. thanks so much for joining us. >> always a pleasure, wolf. >> thank you. coming up, the united nations holding an emergency session to discuss the humanitarian crisis in aleppo, syria, and reports of trapped children. the mass execution of civilians. we're going live to the region. we'll be right back. huh? come on! your turn!
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breaking news out of syria. sources telling cnn the cease-fire and evacuation agreement reached in aleppo, the deal allowing fleeing of battle zones. this comes as the united nations holds as emergency session issuing a dire warning syrian regimes fors are going door to door slaughtering women and children in their own homes. how it was described earlier today. >> in these hours, looks like a complete meltdown of humanity in aleppo. >> senior national correspondent fred pleitgen in nearby beirut. fred a complete meltdown of humanity. we just heard the u.n. official
describe the situation in ale o aleppo. is this tees cease-fire for real? >> reporter: you know, that's something the next couple of hours, wolf, will be decisive in telling whether it is actually going to be for real or whether or not it could get derailed. it has the backing of those who wield the most power prp the russian, the turks involved in brokering the cease-fire and rebel factions behind it also. by all estimates it is something that should happen and it's something that potentially will save a lot of lives, because there was a lot of fire power bearing down on that small rebel enclave, jets hit it and heavy artillery as well, and it was very important to negotiate a way out for those rebel fighters, also for the civilians. on the flip side of all of this, of course, as the rebels then evacuate, that last enclave, that means that aleppo has
essentially fallen. there will be no more -- no more rebel pressen. it will be back in the hands of bashar al assad. wolf? >> fred pleitgen, let's hope the cease-fire does take place. coming up, the pentagon says it's killed three isis leaders linked to terror attacks in europe and who are actively plotting more attacks against western targets. we have new details. that's next. i really did save hundreds on my car insurance with geico. i should take a closer look at geico...
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the pentagon now says three prime terror target, all attack planners for isis, were killed in an air strike in syria. let's go to our pent again correspondent barbara starr. who were the three men the pentagon says were killed? what terror operations were they tied to? >> wolf, this happened last sunday but the pentagon announcing it a short time ago. three isis operatives killed as they road in a car in raqqah, syria. all three are said to be faci facilitators for foreign attacks, external attacks outside of syria against western targets. two of them said to be involved in those deadly november, 2015, attacks in paris that really shook the world. they were all struck by a u.s. drone as they rode together in a car. we are told no one else was there, just the three men this
tells us a good deal about u.s. intelligence facilities because u.s. drones are now able to track targets. they have been following these men, they have waited until they're not near civilians then the drone took its shot. this says a lot about u.s. intelligence in an area that isis still says is its capital. wolf? >> and the u.s. believes these three were actively planning attacks against western targets. do we know more about that? >> absolutely. we are told by pentagon officials that all three were believed to have been very deeply involved in facilitating attacks, involved in financing, recruiting foreign terrorists, doing targeting, all of it they are not, for obvious reasons, because of the security issues, saying exactly what targets they were planning to go after but they are adamant here at the pentagon that all three of these
men killed were heavily involved in attacking western targets. >> so these targeted killings will continue, right? >> absolutely. this is the real core of what special operations is trying to do in that area. they are continuing to conduct drone flights. they pretty much have around-the-clock surveillance over raqqah. it's a key area they're looking at wolf. >> barbara starr with the latest at the pentagon. thanks very much. that's it for me, thanks very much for watching. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in the situation room. for our international viewers, "amanpour" is coming up next. for our viewers here in north ameri america, "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right after a quick break. generosity is its own form of power.
you can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues.
don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. here we go. top of the hour. i'm brooke baldwin. live pictures here, oakland, california. heads up to all of you. we'll take this live momentarily because investigators with the atf there in oakland, california, scheduled to hold a news conference. we could now learn what caused that warehouse fire on the second of december that killed 36 people. we have a live picture as you can see. we'll hop back to that as soon as they begin. but let's talk about this trump transition here. a battle is brewing over one of the two texans that donald trump has just tapped to be a member of his cabinet. i'm talking about exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson. he is the man the president-elect would like to serve