tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN December 13, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
>> jonbenet ramsey's murder remains unsolved. we are going to make america great again. so i want to thank you, wisconsin, god bless you, marry christmas. >> donald trump's merry christmas usa thank you tour. sounding a lot like the greatest hits from his campaign. this is cnn tonight, i'm don lemon. while the president-elect is in the heartland. washington is buzzing over his choice for secretary of state. exxon mobile tillerson. and is as that good news or bad news? meanwhile the parade of familiar faces rolling on today. that's former texas governor that you're looking at right
there. rick perry. tapped to be energy secretary. he'd be heading up an energy he once tried to eliminate. and then there's kanye west. probably the only person to visit trump tower in the past few weeks who doesn't want a job, maybe. so what's behind all of this? >> i just wanted to take a picture right now. >> okay. let's go to jim accosta this evening. it's almost too much to believe. you're covering another so-called thank you rally. this one in wisconsin. pivotal theme in trump's victory. how'd it go? >> reporter: well, there were no kanye sightings here, don. but there are some christmas trees behind me. and you can -- i guess say that donald trump was in sort of the christmas spirit tonight. although i think he feels it's better to receive a lectured victories than give them. he was giving a play by play of election night victory on november 8th. gobbling up about 22 minutes of this 50 or so minute rally.
talking about his victory on election night. but he also used this rally to defend some of the decisions he's made as president-elect. most specifically, rex tillerson as secretary of state. he announced that earlier today. and he talked about tillerson's presence on the world stage. his contacts with world leaders. even some world leaders that he mentions the united states does not get along with. though donald trump did not mention one name in particular, and that is russian president vladimir putin who has a long relationship with rex tillerson. here's more of how donald trump put it tonight here in wisconsin. >> rex will be a fierce advocate for america's interest around the world and has the insights and talents necessary to help reverse years of foreign policy blunders and disasters. [ applause ] blunders and disasters.
very excited about rex. and you know rex is friendly with many of the leaders in the world that we don't get along with. and some people don't like that. they don't want him to be friendly. >> reporter: and as you know earlier today, donald trump did announce some other cabinet selection picks. energy secretary rick perry. that's the choice that donald trump is making for the energy department. and we also learn that ryan zinke, a republican congressman from montana has been tapped for interior secretary. and there are other auditions going on at trump tower. we understand katrina pearson, a spokesperson during the cycle, he was at trump tower earlier today. we were told to talk about the position of press secretary as well as other positions in the administration, don. >> okay. so paul ryan was by his side tonight. are they on the same page now, jim? >> reporter: on the same page,
that is a tricky question. as we saw during the campaign, they were not on the same page. there were times when paul ryan had to cancel campaign appearances with donald trump. he did not want to appear essentially by and large with donald trump during this election cycle. but, he was here on stage tonight. there were a few boos for the house speaker. some republicans here in wisconsin who are still upset with the speaker of the house for not fully embracing donald trump throughout this campaign cycle. and donald trump seemed to acknowledge some of those feelings in his own feelings about the house speaker. you know, there were times when they clashed publicly, privately, and always and at one point during this rally, trump did praise ryan though in a somewhat unusual way. here's what he had to say. >> speaker paul ryan, i've really come -- oh no. i've come to appreciate him. speaker paul ryan. where is the speaker? where is he?
he has been -- i'll tell you, he has been terrific. and you know, honestly, he's like a fine wine. every day goes by, i get to appreciate his genius more and more. now if he ever goes against me, i'm not going to say that, okay. he's a great guy. and we have some amazing things in store. and we're going to work on taxes, obamacare, we're going to work on things and he's going to lead the way, so thank you. >> reporter: and that was not the only mention of rivals from the past, don, at one point donald trump was talking about hillary clinton and her election night party on november 8th that he said had gucci fireworks waiting in the wings for her expected victory. a lot of people around the world obviously thought that hillary clinton was going to win. he described her fireworks there as gucci fireworks.
then at one point, he took a jab when he asked the crowd here whether anybody remembers her name. even though it's been more than a month since donald trump was elected president, he's still taking shots at hillary clinton. still taking shots at the news media and sill relishing his victory on november 8th. >> it is gucci brothers, and not gucci with the fireworks, i'm pretty sure. >> reporter: sounded like gucci from where i was standing. >> let's get back on track. including secretary of state, interior secretary, what can you tell us about him? >> reporter: right. it is going to be the montana republican ryan zinke. congressman, former navy seal. you know, we were hearing for about a week and a half that the number four speak issue dr or number four republican in the house, kathy mcmorris rogers that she sort of had the inside track for that position of interior secretary. and then sort of late in the
selection process, ryan zinke's name was emerging as well as a congressman from idaho raul labrador and seemed to be between those two candidates. at the end they went with ryan zinke. they were pretty impressed with his interview. but one potential, you know, ramification from all of this, don, is that there was some talk back in montana that ryan zinke was going to challenge john tester coming up in a couple of years. that would potentially take that off of the table. there might be some montana republicans who aren't particularly happy about that. although they're pleased to see one of their own in the trump cabinet. given the assumption that everything should be just fine with ryan zinke being confirmed. >> jim, thank you for the news. i want to bring in new fareed a zakaria. spent his life working to advance big oil from exxon
mobile, you don't think that necessarily disqualifies him. >> it's a very political business. there's no question with this nomination that the guy is conflict. he runs the largest oil company in america. one of the largest companies in the world. they employ, you know, 80, 90,000 people. they're in more countries than the state department. they have their own internal intelligence agency like the cia. he's run a big organization with the state department is very large. so he has all the attributes you'd like for. he comes highly recommended. i think that this is -- this is an a nomination where the debate will actually end up being something which one could look forward to. it's on the substance. nobody disputes that rex tillerson is competent, has the experience or the background. that he would know how to run the state department and negotiate. the question would be more about substantive policies that he might pursue. will they be too closely tied to what is good for exxon and the
united states? and where does he stand on the all important issue of russia. >> we'll talk more about russia. i want to get this in there, several high ranking people in the bush administration, bush big wigs, they have praise for him. former defense secretary robert gates, condoleezza rice, baker, they are paid consultants for exxon. do you think they are going to have an influence in the confirmation process here? >> i don't think -- you know, the wung thing we have learned over the last few months, six months, a year is that the republican establishment does not hold as much suede with the public as we thought they would. afterall, think of how many of them came out against donald trump. and it made no difference, condoleezza rice posted on facebook against him. robert gates said that trump did not have the temperament that you need for a commander in chief. so i don't know that they're going to make that much difference. i think here you are moving to
is something that -- there is an important moment here for american democracy. the senate seems to be taking it's role quite seriously, including republican senators. >> he is controversial though democrats are highly critical. three republicans on the senate foreign relations, senators john mccain, lindsey graham, marco rubio, say that they are concerned specifically about, as you've mentioned, his ties to russia. rubio said, 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, is free of potential conflicts of interest, has a clear sense of america's interest, and will be a forceful advocate for america's foreign policy goals to the president within the administration and on the world stage. could those three senators hold up this nomination? >> well they could. three senators is all it would take. the really interesting question is, you know, as i said, marco rubio, john mccain, lindsey graham, are starting a very
important conversation about what american policy toward russia should be and what russia -- what are russia's goals right now. what we are witnessing with russia over the last few years has been a country that has decided to invade georgia, invade ukraine. interfere in elections in western europe and eastern europe. we now know with some degree of certainty that they in some way other the other tried to get involved in the american election as well. they're trying to assert more and more control in syria. so this is a russia that is on the move, that is aggressive. it's ironic that rex tillerson is getting the job, that vindicated one of the principle points of mitt romney, he ran for president and said russia is our number one geopolitical adversary and increasing appears that is the case. now can rex tillerson who has had close relations with putin say -- one of the reasons he got promoted to be ceo of exxon, he
had a very good relationship with the russians and was able to do deals. that does not mean he will not be able to move on and represent american national interests. that is the issue. the guy is obviously competent. the question is where dhiz stand on what is likely again to be -- mitt romney was correct, america's principle geopolitical problem. how to deal with vladimir putin. >> more on john mccain now. john mccain has called putin a murderer, thug, and took issues with the friendship from putin. particularly the order of friendship that putin awarded him back in 2003. listen to this. >> frankly, i would never accept an award from vladimir putin because youen ki kind of give s yes dense and credibility to the kgb agent what is what he is. being against agents and vladimir putin invaded,
basically, ukraine and partitioned the violation involving international law, took crimea. then in a leads to me to question what about the issue of morality? there's some certain standards, whatever business we are in. and again, honoring having, accepting and honor vladimir putin legitimizes vladimir putin. >> see my point. >> john mccain a very respected senator. that is a high hurdle to clear. >> certainly the the way mccain described it. the only thing i would say is being a businessman and being secretary of state are different things. at the end of the day, the two, three largest oil producers in the world are doing business with them, you know, i think that's one thing. the real question is let me recognize what is good for exxon is not always good for america. can he recognize that in a
geopolitical sense. it's possible to make some kind of deal with russia. he's talked about it all the time. but in doing that, you would make insecure all of eastern europe. the pols, the baltic states, think that the united states was abandoning them. you would create an enormous amount of instability and one deal with putin. one would hope that rex tillerson would understand that. no reason to assume he wouldn't. he was protecting exxon's interests. can he now defend america's interest with the same zeal as with exxon? >> always appreciate it. donald trump's building his cabinet. what does his picks tell us
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after weeks of drama, we now know donald trump's choice for his secretary of state. exxon mobile rex tillerson. here to discuss cnn political analyst kearsen powers. rick santorum, former u.s. senator and presidential candidate. good evening. thank you. kirsten, pay close attention to this, a lot of new cabinets appointments, rex tillerson, secretary of state, rick perry, secretary of energy, representative ryan zinke for interior. here's how donald trump described his cabinet earlier tonight. >> and i believe we're in the process of putting together one of the great cabinets.
certainly a cabinet with the highest iq than anybody has ever -- i mean these, these are seriously great people. >> kirsten, do you think he's on the mark? >> tremendous. >> amazing. >> huge. >> yes. well look, this is how he talks. and so, you know, i think that he's putting together a cabinet that is one that would make conservative republicans very happy. probably in some ways their dream team. think about the type of people that they have wanted to have somebody who's going to take on the epa. somebody who's going to be possibly taking on the energy department. you know, i think they are looking at the kinds of people they never thought they were going to be able to have in office, in cabinet positions. and it's interesting because donald trump is not really a conservative. >> you took the words out of -- hold on, i'll let you finish your thoughts. >> i think it's interesting that republicans i think one of the biggest reasons a lot of people opposed him, they didn't believe he would be conservative, right?
>> senator, the criticism of him is that he's not a real conservative. he's a democrat, he's a rhino, and now kirsten says this is sort of the dream team for most republicans. >> if anybody thought that donald trump wasn't serious about what he was saying during the campaign that he was just sort of mouthing words on teleprompter, that this was just another show and he had no idea -- i heard this over and over. we have no idea what he's going to be like. we can't believe anything he says. well, i don't think anybody has any questions now. as kirsten said, correctly, this is a conservative cabinet. this is a more conservative than any of the bush cabinets of the last three cabinets under president bushs. and not just that, the people surrounding him. it's not just cabinet people, but it's other folks. i was up at tower the last couple of days. there are a lot of good, strong principled conservatives who are vetting the next round. deputy secretariesecretaries, a secretaries, why? because donald trump went out and made a promise to the american public he was going to do certain things and he feels
bound to deliver on that. if you're going to do that, you have to have people to share the vision. >> when you say that, it sounds like wayne industries. i was at wayne towers the other day. >> the towers. >> what do you make of what rick santorum just said and how do you think this is playing among voters? these appointments? >> well, i mean the basics are that people wanted change, right? i mean that's part of why they voted for him. but, you know, conservatives -- i don't -- like kirsten said, i don't think they thought that they would maybe get this kind of cabinet because there was no ideology, i'll have to differ with the senator there and no ideology with this guy. he didn't profess to have any sort of set values on where his political lines were. >> yeah. >> selena, i'm going to disagree with you, donald trump said he was going to drain the swamp. he was going to, you know, cut back the, you know, the regulations in this country. he was going to create
opportunities for manufacturing and energy. he was going to have a reset when it came to our foreign policy that was going to be america first foreign policy on immigration, look at jeff sessions at justice department. you go on down the list, the things he campaigned on were very clear, not all of them were traditional conservative -- >> you think draining the swamp, by appointing traditional conservatives and people tied to wall street, is that consistent with draining the swamp? >> well, i think if you look at the fact that there are very few people, quote, tied to wall street. you have your treasury secretary which has been a long history of treasury secretaries. it is sort of -- sort of a wall street kind of function. you don't want somebody who doesn't really understand the functions of the treasury to be your treasury secretary. if you go beyond that, i mean, you're talking about a lot of good, solid americans who have great track record of accomplishment outside of government primarily. and i think that's what donald
trump was looking for and he's delivering it. >> similar question to kirsten, do you think it's draining the swamp. you consider a lot of traditional folks. i mean, you know, rick perry today, his former rival. do you think that's draining the swamp? >> well, i think -- okay, when he said drain the swamp, what i think he's talking about is the sort of creatures of washington. so the k street lobbyists. the people who just sort of live there all the time and make money off of the government. which has been a i've been in washington back and forth between washington and new york. and it's been an ever expanding grown of people who are getting rich off of the government. that's what i think he was talking about. i don't know that he was necessarily talking about not having a treasury secretary who is from goldman sachs. bill clinton had a treasury secretary from goldman sachs, but rick perry is -- he's a politician, obviously. but he's also somebody who's very critical of trump, ultimately came around and did campaign for him, but i think it's interesting that he would
choose somebody who had real come after him. >> and speaking of rick perry. let's look at rick perry now. secretary of energy. that's a big -- we all remember this moment from 2011. >> it's three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education, and the -- what's the third one there? let's see. >> you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government -- i would do away with education, the -- commerce, and let's see -- i can't. the third one i can't, i'm sorry. oops. >> that went on for many longer than that. we cut a little bit. it was so painful. >> it actually hurts like right here. when you watch that. >> he forgot the name of the department that he's chosen to run. >> well, it's kind of ironic, but it's almost as if the universe rewarded him, right. >> it's almost like it's kidding though. >> we've played this so many times you actually get to have
that agency. you know, the guy was just off of a surgery when he ran. he probably should have never run at that time. i'm sure that, you know, his mind just went -- we've all had those moments. he just has to have this replayed over and over again. >> yeah, yeah. so i've had those moments too. rick, you've had those moments, i'm sure. >> well, i was actually on the stage at the time. >> i heard you guys mumbling under your breath, someone said oh my god. >> you know what, rick perry is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. he's a great guy and actually we became friends. i didn't know him before the race in 2012. but we became friends through that race. and i stood there and i mean, i knew that was the end of everything. and it was just -- it was tragic. and as selena said, there are a lot of reasons for it, but the bottom line is, you know now he's -- again, contrast with kirsten, i mean, look, rick perry is not a washington insider. rick perry has written books on
federalism. how to skip power out of washington, put it back to the states. so, i mean if you look at the people he's put forward, some have government experience, but the the government experience is how to get washington out of people's lives and give more freedom and opportunity back to people. it's very consistent with the trump message. >> a lot more to discuss. we'll come right back. donald trump was supposed to be holding a big news conference this week. his first and five months. why did he postpone it? 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. i'm not contagious. see me to know that... ...i won't stop until i find what works. discover cosentyx, a different kind of medicine for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. proven to help the majority of people find clear or almost clear skin. 8 out of 10 people saw 75% skin clearance at 3 months. while the majority saw 90% clearance. do not use if you are allergic to cosentyx. before starting, you should be tested for tuberculosis.
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postpone thursday's promised news conference until january. back with me now, kirsten powers, selena, and rick santorum. he announced for clearing up his ethics possible conflicts of interest on thursday. he is kicking the can down the road. why the delay? >> i don't know. he obviously feels like he's not ready to have the conversation. maybe he hasn't completely sorted out. and that of course is immediately come under criticism because most businesses are always making deals. >> here's what he -- here's what he said when you mentioned that. he tweeted out his business plan last night, even though i'm not mandated by law, i'll leave my businesses before january 20th so that i can focus full-time on the presidency. two of my children, don and eric, plus executives will manage them. no new deals will be done during my terms in office. and so, i mean, we're just
hearing about the no new deals part rick santorum for the first time. it's not just about the new deals here. this is also about existing holdings, how his policies as president could enrich him and his family. that's a concern. >> well, yeah. it's a concern that, you know, he should not have obviously any operational control of the company. but the fact of the matter is, he has tremendous amount of his wealth is in that company. but i have no doubt that donald trump is going to do what's in the best interest of america. i don't think donald trump is, you know, ran for president so he could get rich. or wants to be president so he can get richer. i think a lot of this is just pretty obvious that trump wants to be president because he wants to deliver to the american public the success that he has to a lot more people across this country. so i am not as concerned about that as i think a lot of people are focussing the attention. i think donald trump will be focussed on what's important. and that's delivering what he
said he would do for the american public? >> do you think delivering what you can do for the american public isn't that sort of the point that that's more important than any business holdings? even -- >> it is. >> after president, he can get them back, even if he divests himself of it, why not get rid of it now, do the job that you're supposed to do, do what every other person before you has done, and then go back to the business afterwards? >> i think in large part, he will do that. how you do that, how you unwind it, i think it's very complicated. but i don't have any doubt that donald trump is not going to have any operational control of his company and i can tell you that i'm sure he's going to do everything and the people around him will do everything to make sure nothing he does is going to be seen as favoring the trump enterprises over any other enterprise. >> do you think he will have no idea what's going on in the business when his children will be running the business and what executives i'm sure he's familiar with.
>> it's hard to imagine, right? i mean this has been his whole life. one of the things that trump has always excelled at is projecting strength and using that strength to leverage things. and you know, it's hard to imagine him letting go of that. even though he will have the most powerful position arguably in the world. >> yeah. >> it's -- yeah. do you -- >> well, if i can -- >> go ahead. >> let me assure you, being president of the united states is a pretty busy job. not like he's going to have a lot of time to focus on how his company's doing. he's going to be involved with a lot of decisions on a day-to-day basis. he doesn't strike me -- and i've had a couple opportunities to meet with him. talk to him i should say since the election. he's very focussed on building out his team. and i have no doubt that he's going to be a very active president. >> couldn't you maybe -- >> i just don't see the problem. >> couldn't you have made the same argument about hillary
clinton as secretary of state. she was very busy being secretary of state and didn't have time to be colluding with her husband over who was giving money to the clinton foundation? i don't remember that argument in that case. you know, it was, we were supposed to believe that they were -- she was somehow aware of everything that was going on over at the foundation, but now with the trump children, no one's going to know -- >> actually the secretary of state travels more than the president of the united states. >> let me just look at it that this way, bill and hillary were not rich before politics, they got rich in politics. they enhanced themselves to get richer. donald trump did not get rich because he was in politics. donald trump made a sacrifice, financially, to get into politics. so i don't -- it's a completely different thing. >> it's exactly the same thing. >> no, it is not. >> yes, it is. >> clinton always leveraged to benefit himself and themselves and trump basically used his business so he could have the opportunity to run for president. not the other way around. >> the only way this is different is that they were
running a charitable organization that was helping people and the trumps are running a business to make money. that's the only way it's different in every other way it's the same, it's the same argument which is that -- i think it was a correct argument. i think that if she'd become president, she would to have stepped away from the foundation because you could not have them having operational control over that foundation while she was president. >> he should not step away, he should step way. i don't think he will be involved in the business. >> but here's the question though, could you have said it was okay for chelsea and bill to continue to run the foundation while hillary was president? that's the analogy i'm making -- >> someone whose built a huge business to sell his business because he's president of the united states. that's a ridiculous thing to ask. >> but they did ask the clintons to get rid of the foundation. >> that's a fundamentally different thing. the clinton foundation was built up to support bill and hillary and their activities, their political activities. so that's just a fundamentally different things. you're comparing apples and
oranges. >> i think they're apples and amszs. i don't know why you're saying that -- i disagree with you about what you just said, but even if that was true, how would that fundamentally change anything? the motives underlying doesn't change anything. the problem is that other people can be using this organization whether it's the trump organization or the clinton foundation to curry favor with people in power. that's what makes it the same. >> selena, here's one way to look at the problem, we may never know is donald trump is making money from his business, making deals with foreign partners or banks or using his office to help himself or kids getting richer, if that happened, would that go beyond conflict of interest to corruption, selena? >> yeah. i mean, i think that's a problem. if that happens, if that scenario plays out, i think that ends up being a problem for trump. i think he needs to separate himself from the business.
i think his family probably needs to step away or not have that close association in the white house that they are projecting right now. >> right. thank you very much. i appreciate all of you coming on. just ahead, what kind of secretary of state will rex tillerson be if he is confirmed by the senate, of course. i'm going to talk to a former business colleague at exxon mobil and one of tillerson's former fraternity brothers. ♪ ♪ when you cook with incredible thingredients...ato. you make incredible meals. fresh ingredients, step-by-step recipies, delivered to your door for less than $9 a meal.
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if rex tillerson is confirmed by the senate to be secretary of state, he'll be one of the trump administration's most powerful and most visible officials. i want to bring in new zoou distance maloney, senior fellow at brookings institution who was a middle east advisor to exxonmobile. and a fraternity brother of tillerson. thank you so much for unioning us here. james, i'm starting with you first. you knee rex tillerson, you were fraternity brothers, what was he like? >> oh wow. what a great guy. let me let you understand, our fraternity wasn't the most people think of. basically compromised of former boy scouts. and our fraternity was organized as to service on campus in the austin area or to the campus itself. so we conducted elections, did the registration of the students. we were very busy doing a lot of different projects and so,
that's how i met rex was involved with that. he was younger than i. and he came on, pledged, and did all the things you have to do which is worth extra 35 hours a semester. and meet the actives and do all the other things you have to do to be a member of that fraternity. in addition to that, pointing out he's also a member of the long horn band, it's a very large organization, about 400 band members. spends a lot of time working. and all that's said that being an engineer, being a long horn band, do the apo stuff, he was really, really busy. and had to really manage his time efficiently, which hep obviously did or wouldn't have gotten a job at exxon. >> let's look at his resume. impressive businessman, but zero government foreign policy experience. are you surprised at all by the nomination? >> well, i don't know about that. i've been in the international business myself. spend a lot of time all over the
world meeting all kinds of people and figuring out ways to do deals with them that comply with u.s. law. i think rex probably did an excellent job of that and personally, i think we'd be lucky to have a guy like that to help us out. because most of us are always in angst about who we're going to have as elected officials and can't be better people, i think we should support him and see what he can do for us. >> suzanne, you're a former exxon employee who worked with people on tillerson's team. tell us about i had style of leadership. >> i think what i can tell you is that rex tillerson comes out of an environment in which results matter, and environment in which strict compliance with both u.s. law and the principle of the company, which focus on operational excellence, strong financial results and a really clear ethical framework. are absolutely inviable. this is someone who is succeeded in a very tough industry whose worked all over the world.
who has been responsible for actually getting projects done in very difficult environments. and i think that if a sense that gives him a different kind of a lens than we typically knee is foreign policy leadership, but i think it can be a quite useful one. >> can you share a specific examples of that? >> what i think his most notable about rex tillerson's career is his long experience in building exxonmobile's business in russia. it was i think crucial to his elevation to the highest position in the company. russia's not an easy place to do business. and while there are many who are focussed on the photo op with vladimir putin, or some presumptive friendship that he must have with vladimir putin, i think it's important to recall that, you know, particularly in a company like exxon where there is such a dogged determination to ensure that the bottom line is solid, business opportunities and long standing business doesn't happen out of some, you
know, sort of personal affinity, it really reflects an ability to actually get things done and to do it in a way that is james just suggested, adheres to u.s. law as well as to, you know, the sort of contractual environment it has created. that's important. this is not someone who simply seated to a russian aim. this is someone who managed to build trust and actually get things done in a difficult environment. >> and you mentioned russia. several high profile republicans expressed concerns about tillerson's relationship with russia. here's john mccain. >> anybody who's a friend of vladimir putin must disregard the fact that vladimir putin is a murderer. a thug, kgb agent, whose airplanes as we speak have been targeting, with precision weapon, hospitals in aleppo, who have committed atrocities throughout the region, and it
has destabilized ukraine. has invaded ukraine. destabilizing -- trying to destabilize baltic countries and the list goes on and on. >> james, why do you say that tillerson is the right person to lead the state department given concerns that many have about russia and it's leader? >> well, i think sam said is it accurately. i don't get where he's a great friend of putin. seems like he did business with him. i go to macy's and buy a watch, i did a transaction with them. and i realize the business is more long standing than that, but the fact is all of us who had to work and do international deals do deals with people we don't necessarily love them or make best friends with them, but we understand they have certain interests, we have certain interests and we can get them aligned enough to make a deal. >> james, if i might, he accepted a friendship with putin, a friendship award, it's
called the order of friendship that putin awarded him back in 2013. that may be the reason for some concern. >> well, you have to understand that our army givesous coins when you go to do different things that they think are note worthy. many countries these leaders have these little medals they can hand out and they got a great name for it and everything. this was given primarily because they were successful in making a very large deal with exxon. so, you know, if it was me, they would have given me the award. he's the guy in charge and got the deal done or the people he was working with got the deal done more likely. and so they gave him that medal. i think a lot's been made out of very little. >> thank you very much. up next, donald trump say us the only way to identify hackers is to catch them in the act. is that true? i'm going to ask a man who once known as the world's most wanted hacker.
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intelligence. who better to ask about this than a man who once was known as the world's most-wanted hacker. here to discuss is kevin mitnick, the author of "the art of invisibility" and probably a good person to know. thank you for coming on. >> great to be hon your show. >> donald trump claims it's almost impossible to determine who was behind the hacks during the election. he tweeted this "unless you catch hackers in the act, it's very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. why wasn't this brought up before the election?" why is he wrong? >> well, first of all, most hackers are caught after a forensic analysis and investigati investigation. i have experience in dealing with this in my younger years as a hacker. so there are some cases r where they do catch people red-handed, if you remember the guy behind silk road they had him under surveillance as he was at the san francisco public library and when he was logged into an administrator account on silk road, that's when the agents
nabbed him. that's where the guy had his hand in the cookie jar, but if most cases a lot of these cases are solved after the fact. >> so you write about it, you're a former hacker who spent five years in prison for computer-related crimes. what happened in your case? >> oh, i ended up, yeah, i spent five years in prison, got out, congress asked me to go to washington and testify on how the government can better protect their systems and today i run a company that we do -- i do hacking. in other words, companies hire me to try to break into their systems and my team to find their vulnerabilities so they can fix them. so that's -- that's kind of cool to do the same thing i was doing before but now it's 100% legal. >> so i would imagine hackers leave clues behind. can you give us some examples of what they might leave behind to cyber security professionals to use to identify them? >> yeah, like most -- the biggest thing that they don't want to leave behind that they do is their ip address because
once an investigator, say the fbi or local police, could trace the bad guy to an ip address that actually belongs where they're the subscriber or their families are the subscriber, they can execute a search warrant, pull the computers, analyze the computers and determine, hey, was this individual the person behind the attacks? what hackers do, though, is they try to launder their ip address, that i use vpns like in a case where a group that was a hacker group that kind of did it for the laugh, they were using vpn services but were eventually caught. there's proxies. in case of more sophisticated attackers, they might break in to a company's computer in china and then leverage that system to break into other systems. so if that connection is actually traced back, they get that -- law enforcement gets the cutout connection. so it really depends on the sophistication of the person behind the hacking of how easy
it is to capture them -- to catch them or not. >> i want to read this, because this is something that the "new york times" is reporting tonight because sometimes mistakes aren't so sophisticated and the "new york times" is reporting that john podesta, hillary clinton's campaign manager, was hacked when his aides, who had access to his account, noticed a phishing attack, flagged it and one of them responded by saying "this is a legitimate e-mail. john needs to change his password immediately." now the aide later said he knew it was a phishing e-mail and he meant to write illegitimate, not legitimate. it's just shocking that such a small error could have such a huge -- have huge repercussions, how often does something like this happen? >> well, most hacks today, don, begin with an e-mail. it's called social engineering and what this attack method is is a junior high schooler can do it. they send phishing attacks with malicious attachments, malicious links or, like in this case a fake gmail.
we call this in the security world credential harvesting. in other words, stealing people's credentials and this stuff is really, really common. and i'm really -- i don't think podesta knew, he would have never put in his credentials or his assistant. whoever put in the credentials was actually fooled by the attack and this is the problem is there's -- you know, there needs to be more security awareness behind the trade craft that hackers use so the public doesn't fall for these types of attacks and hopefully my new book "art of invisibility" will help people with that. >> nice plug there, thank you, kevin mitnick, appreciate that. >> thank you. when we come back, yeezus and the president-elect. kanye west meets with donald trump in new york. i'm not making this up. it actually happened. both of them blond, by the way. or something. i discovered a woman my family tree, named marianne gaspard. i became curious where in africa she was from. so i took the ancestry dna test to find out more
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this is cnn tonight, i'm don lem manhattan. the president-elect chooses his secretary of state with ties to vladimir putin. he calls u.s. intelligence on russia hacking of the election ridiculous but is it part of donald trump's plan? plus talking about your celebty -- celebrity apprentice, trump says he