we are 37 days until the inauguration and every angle of the transition covered for you starting with sunlen serfaty. >> a firestorm of criticism slamming his pick for secretary of state. so, the president-elect is now responding by using these campaign-style rallies to push publicly for his nominee, bracing for the battle ahead. >> a great diplomat, a strong man, a tough man. >> reporter: in wisconsin, donald trump defending his choice for secretary of state, rex tillerson. >> rex will be a fierce advocate for america's interests around the world. >> reporter: trump talking up the exxon ceo after facing backlash from both sides of the aisle over tillerson's ties to russia, especially now in the wake of the cia's finding that moscow meddled in the election. >> rex is friendly with many of the leaders in the world that we don't get along with. some people don't like that.
they don't want him to be friendly. >> reporter: the president-elect now filling most major positions for his administration. >> i believe we're in the process of putting together one of the great cabinets. certainly a cabinet with the highest iq. >> reporter: trump tapping freshman republican congressman ryan zinke as interior secretary and one-time rival former texas governor rick perry for energy secretary. perry now set to run the energy department after trying to suggest eliminating it altogether. but forgetting the name of the department during this 2011 presidential kbait. >> the third agency of government i would do away with the education -- the commerce -- let's see. i can't. the third one, i can't. sorry. oops. >> reporter: if confirmed the top four picks of trump's administration will be led by white males, a first for any
administration since 1989. as sources say some trump loyalists are expressing frustration over being shutout after supporting trump's campaign from its early days. but the president-elect giving conditional praise to his one-time antagonist house speaker paul ryan during their first joined appearance. >> 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. >> reporter: the relationship warming up since trump's victory. >> i want to thank donald trump. i want to thank mike pence for helping wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania, the midwest finally see the light of day and put a republican back in the white house. >> reporter: trump, though, continuing to attack the media. >> they're very dishonest people. >> reporter: but happy to pose for cameras when meeting briefly with rapper kanye west at trump tower in new york city. >> i just want to take a picture right now. >> reporter: today another interesting round of meetings at trump tower.
the president-elect is convening a big meeting with executives from the tech industry like tim cook, cheryl sandburg, elon musk and jeff bezos who was very notably outspoken about trump during the campaign. hand over names of staffers who have worked on climate change. that's an issue trump had in the past dismissed as a hoax. athena jones is live at the white house with more. what have you learned, athena? >> good morning, alisyn. folks here at the white house from the president on down have largely avoided criticizing personnel decisions but the administration does have a problem with the trump team's move to question energy department staff. donald trump's transition facing new resistance from the obama administration as the handoff of
power nears. the department of energy refusing to comply with the trump team's request to name employees who worked on climate change issues. the white house arguing this memo, requesting information about the department's work on climate, was out of line. >> there were reports about what certainly could have been in an attempt to target civil servants. career federal government employees. their work transcends the term of any one president. >> reporter: an energy department spokesman telling cnn the trump memo left many in our workforce unsettled. the obama administration responds creating new tension with the incoming president who once called climate change a hoax and who was promised to withdraw from the paris climate agreement. on tuesday, rick perry's name emerged as trump's pick to run the energy department. the former texas governor famously forgot he wanted to scrap the agency when running for president in 2012.
>> i can't. the third one, i can't. sorry. oops. >> reporter: perry joins oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt, a climate change denier tapped as trump's epa administrator. the pick alarmed democrats. >> if he's going not to enforce clean water and clean air act in the name of jobs, then that's not a guy you vote for. >> reporter: trump says he's open minded on climate change. meeting with former vice president al gore and tasking his daughter ivanka, to focus on the issue. take the problem seriously. >> climate change is still climate change. that's still happening. that's still going to have to be dealt with one way or another. >> president obama sees climate change as one of the greatest or perhaps the greatest threat facing future generations. and clean power generation, clean energy has been a big focus of his internal department. this questionnaire is just the latest sign we're going to see a
big shift away from climate change concerns under the next president. so far no reaction from the trump team to the white house's refusal to provide those names. chris? >> let's get one right now. thank you very much, athena. let's bring in anthony scarmucci. good to see you. >> hey, thanks, chris. great to be here. good morning. >> so, why do you want the names of those who worked at global warming at the department of energy? is this a purge? >> no, i don't think so at all. i think this is an intellectual curiosity. we're really trying to come up with the best solutions to the american people and the best solutions for the world. when you think about the department of energy or the epa, i think what we're thinking about is energy independence for the united states, clean air and clean water, which president-elect has repeatedly said throughout the campaign and during the transition. and the most important thing that we want the american people to focus on is that we can
generate a tremendous amount of energy revenues as new taxes coming off the energy that is underneath the ground here in the united states. so, when you look at our forward liabilities, chris, somebody like governor rick perry in that position is going to be magn magnificent for the growth of the u.s. economic engine. so, it's a combination of different things, frankly. >> you have different conversations. do you accept the science of man's impact on the warming of the planet and then you have, what policy considerations do you make in light of that science? that's one discussion. my first question, though, i'm not completely satisfied on yet which is, i don't get that intell intellectual exercise to find out who worked on global warming. why do you need to know who worked on global warming? >> look, i know the current president believes that the human beings are affecting the climate. there are scientists that believe that that's not happening. >> the overwhelming consensus is that man's actions have an
impact on science. you have to correct that whenever it comes out. go ahead. >> chris, there was an overwhelming science that the earth was flat -- >> called ignorance. you learn over time. >> we were the center of the world. 100%. you know, we did a lot of things wrong in the scientific community. you and i both know that. i'm not suggesting that we're affecting the change. i honestly don't know, i'm not a scienti scientist. if you're asking me for my opinion, it's probably a blend of people -- >> i'm not. >> you're not asking me for my opinion? >> i'm not. and i'm not offering my own. there's a consensus within the scientific community. when you say you don't know you're ignoring the consensus in the scientific community. >> you're not letting me finish. >> go ahead, please. >> i just told you that we met with leo dicaprio last week and we met with vice president al gore. as you just mentioned, ivanka is working on this issue.
the president-elect is a very common sense oriented guy and basically what he said is if we reduce carbon emissions, the air is going to get cleaner. that's a positive thing whether you believe in climate change or not, we want clean air. we want clean water for the american people. what we also want is energy and dependence, chris, because we know through the process of energy independence, our whole geopolitical footprint changes in terms of our national security and how we operate the american military and in addition to that we have all these forward liabilities on these entitlement programs with the right tax and energy policy, we can pay down and offset some of those liabilities. so, the president-elect is sitting in a very common sense oriented way. i was in the meeting yesterday with jim and darryl. the meeting was fantastic. he wants to help the inner cities and the urban communities. those guys felt it. i felt it. you've got a very common sense oriented president at the top of the chain now and we're going to come up with great, common sense
solutions. nonideological. some of the stuff that you're reading and some of the stuff i'm reading is based about the climate. we don't want it to be that way. if you're asking me do we want clean air and clean water? yes. do we want safer climate for future generations of the world? of course we want that. we're working super hard here in trump tower to make sure that happens, chris. >> anthony, all i'm saying a scientific consensus when it comes to the issues of whether or not man's actions have a negative impact on this warming phenomenon that's going on and that's just the fact. whether you accept it or not is up to you. the policy considerations that you make are secondary. they don't have to be tied to your position on the first issue. you can accept the science and say, but, we have to put business first. we have to keep jobs here. we want clean air and water. i said to another supporter of trump, just for context. i want you to understand the
context. i said to marsha blackburn, can you be for clean air and clean wattfer you don't accept the science? a lot of trump supporters came after me for it. i'll say it, again. because it's about the genuineness about the commitment to clean air and clean water. if you don't accept the science, it is a genuine commitment? >> of course, it's a genuine commitment to clean air and clean water. chris, whether you accept the science or not let's accept the science here for a second in this conversation. we're going to move in that direction. if you don't accept the science, we want to move in that direction. it's better for the united states and better for the world to have the u.s. be energy independent. have us have clean air and clean water and protect the environment for future generations of americans. all of that makes sense. but, again, you know, i don't want to litigate that. what i want to do is have a problem-solving oriented common sense solution-based administration because that's what the president-elect has given us a directive to do here
at trump tower. so, we're doing that. so, you and i may disagree on a couple of things, but i think we're both generally going in the same direction. you want clean air for your children, clean water, so does president-elect trump and so do i, chris. >> i want you to understand it's not ideological for me. >> but it isn't for me either. >> but you don't accept the science. let me just move on to something else, though -- >> i didn't say that. >> you said you don't know. i'm saying the scientific community does. >> but you're saying that you do and you're saying the scientific community knows and i'm saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet. >> i think you have to distinguish between predictions. let me ask you something else while i have you. it seems like the main driving factor for the frump team so far and putting the cabinet together has been wealth and executive experience before diversity. do you agree with that
the country. for myself, personally, and i do remember your parents, chris, i want the same thing that your parents wanted for you and my parents wanted for me for my children and grandchildren and the children and grandchildren of america. which is an aspirational opportunity, again. and the cabinet that the president-elect is constructing is going to allow us to implement that plan. so, some of them are wealthy. i don't understand why we have to throw eggs and tomatoes at that. i didn't start out wealthy and i haven't changed because i am wealthy and i think it's unfair, chris. >> i'll take you at your word. anthony scaramucci, thank you for joining us on "new day," as always. if his cabinet picks do hold, and there is a big reality that they will. is a problem? does that mean that diversity is no long arpriority? that's the conversation we're having so we're going to talk about why trump is tapping people who have gone after the
agencies that they're supposed to lead. not just very wealthy, but against the mandate of their own agency. next. oh, how waso good!en house? did you apply? oh, i'll do it later today. your credit score must be amazing. my credit score? credit karma. it's free. that's great! um hm. just whip bam boom, it's done. that apartment is mine! credit karma. give yourself some credit.
>> and i believe we're in the of putting together one of the great cabinets and certainly a cabinet with the highest iq that anybody has ever -- i mean, these, these are seriously great people. that was donald trump touting his cabinet picks at a rally in wisconsin last night but critics say his picks are setting back diversity. for the first time since 1989 the nominees for the four most influential departments are all white men. let's bring in our cnn political commentators to debate this. b benferringson and b.e.t. news host and professor at morehouse college mark lamont hill. let me start with you, ben. is diversity a concept whose time has passed? >> i think what you're saying here is he is picking the best people for the job and plenty of cabinet picks that have not been filled. four people that are overly
qualified for these positions and people well respected in the community. he thinks we need to get things back on the right track and issues at many of these agencies and he wants to change things and he picked the people who he thought would be the best for the job. i don't think it's anything to be worried about yet because it's top four picks. good people in these positions. >> mark, they picked the best person regardless of whether or not that person happens to be a white man. your response. >> yeah, that's always the argument for not people women for things because we pick the most qualified person. typically when you have cabinet picks or any job opening multiple people who are in the mix. some people are not qualified and some people are incredibly qualified and within that mix a diverse range of people. part of what you want to put forward in an administration. diversity is its own benefit. institutions are better when they're diverse. problems get solved different.
studies also demonstrate they get solved differently when things are more diverse. finally, this is part of donald trump's whole thing. we're going to make america great, again. we're going back to an old time when things were different. >> it's not true. what you're basically saying is that donald trump is a racist and anyone he picks is not african-american and must be by default let's go back -- >> ben, i don't hear marc saying that. make america great, again. >> 1989. not 1789. >> here's my thing. he's president-elect and gets to pick who he wants to pick. picking qualified individuals and his cabinet is not full yet. we know donald trump has talked a lot about diversity and talked about women being high up in his company. we know people around him that are going to be qualified in different positions. i just don't see it as an issue of somehow he's sliding any more. >> let me ask you about rick perry. >> sure. >> how is governor rick perry
the most qualified person for the department of energy. the very department that he either has contempt for or forgets about. >> the overreach of this department has gotten too much. the government overreach and many of these departments has gotten to be too much. why not have someone who obviously won, understands that and realizes there is a problem and, two, have them go in and reform it because it has come to a point where governments can and governor perry understands that. he dealt with a lot of these issues as governor in texas and well respected by people. >> he's the best, you're saying, if you want to shrink the department. >> if you want to make these government agencies -- i think donald trump, this is where people misunderstand. you look at rick perry and he understands this department well. he's overqualified for this department because of what he did when he was the governor. what you're having is a guy saying, hey, i'm going to shrink this down and make it not as big as it is right now. >> let me read to you both what the senator who said he was in
charge of the budget for energy department said he thinks about rick perry. he says the rick perry choice is so perplexing. i think very few people understand that the energy department to a very substantial degree is dealing with nuclear weapons. and rick perry suggested the agency should be abolished. that suggests, he thinks, it doesn't have value. that was former senator byron dorgan. what do you think about that, marc? >> i think that rick -- like the senator, i think rick perry didn't understand the full scope of the department. and i think the best argument for rick persy t sry is what be made. he believes in shrinking government. to take it back to the diversity point for a moment, it's a compelling one, he has the right ideology and has experience implementing that ideology. i would be willing to wanler and anyone would agree that there are lots of people who have the same ideology and some level of experience doing that.
they may be cambodian or women -- >> let me say one thing about rick perry. i know him pretty well and one of the things about him is he understood how the state was having to fight against the department when he was the governor and they were fighting all the time in a place where you have a lot of interaction in texas with this department and forget diversity for a second. what's more important? actual understanding -- my point is you shouldn't just say i'll check a box because the department of energy is an easy box to check based on the color of their skin but the american people want someone who is not checking a box except for do they understand this department -- >> let me respond to that, please. very clear, ben, again, you keep misrepresenting my argument. you do it masterfully. i never said pick someone who isn't qualified. if you choose among the people who are qualified -- >> who would have picked it? >> ben, let me finish. i'm asking you a question.
any black person in america who is as qualified as rick perry for that job? >> i think rick perry is a governor in a state that actually had to deal with the department with which he said he wanted to abolish and he understands how it's overreaching. i don't think there is another person out there who has had to fight and deal with a department that has become overreaching this way. i'll ask you the question, give me an african-american, a minority, someone who is hispanic who has dealt with this department the way that this governor has dealt with it and had to fight them with that same ideology and i'm more than happy to listen to your argument, but i don't think you have anybody. >> if you're suggesting that -- >> name one name. >> bill richardson. bill richardson. >> for this department? based on what? he's a liberal. you're not going to have that guy for goodness sakes. >> but i think even you, ben, would admit -- hold on. he's not a lunuclear scientist. >> you don't have to be a nuclear scientist to be part of this department. >> you're dealing with nuclear
weapons. you're going to overlook expertise in terms of ideal to shrink it. >> not dealing with nuclear weapons. it is a segment of it, yes. but there are other issues that you're going to deal with. the states have to deal with and rick perry understands that and most people would say he's very well qualified for this position. >> ben, marc, thank you. >> donald trump says, donald trump says no. donald trump says we had a host of qualified people for all these positions and ben is saying only one person is uniquely qualified. >> all right, guys, on that note we'll leave it right there. thank you for the debate. let's get to chris. all right. so, the fed is widely expected to raise its benchmark interest rate. why? does that mean there is a problem with the economy? why is the stock market so high and they're going to raise the rate? do those two go together? a lot of questions to make sense of this. we have two great experts that will make it clear, next. see me. see me. don't stare at me.
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all right. so, the federal reserve is expected to raise its key interest rate today. it would only be the second rate hike since 2006. what would that change mean for you and why is it happening when the stock market is booming? let's ask "early start" anchor christine romans and host of "quest means business" richard quest. christine, give us some education on this basic proposition. stock market high, why would they ever raise the interest rate? >> i don't think they're looking at the stock market, they're looking at the economy. they see an unemployment rate nearing full employment and the economy the strongest it's been in two and a half years.
interest rates are so low they are almost in an emergency low situation from way back in the financial crisis. the economy is strong enough, chris, that they need to be raising interest rates. people like richard and i for a long time think they need to start raising them. >> or else what? >> in the -- when the economy turns down and it will, they will have nothing to do because they'll have this emergency flood of money into the system and also some concerns it's creating dislocations in bubbles. they have to start raising interest rates. >> inflation. now the fed has a target of 2%. right around 1.6% at the moment. as we fully expect donald trump does come in with his policies of tax reform, deregulation of the economy, basically he's going to put the u.s. economy on steroids. and the fed wants to be ahead of that curve. now, christine is right, they should have raised rates already probably earlier this year. but china, brexit, a few of the reasons why they didn't.
they are going to want to be ahead of the curve so that when president trump's policies start feeding through, they are ready to start adding more interest rate rises so that inflation doesn't get out of control. >> the irony here is that the economy is going to be goosed by donald trump's policies enacted as we expect. the job of the fed is to make sure that you don't -- trump's policies are going to heat up the economy and the fed will be there to make sure it doesn't get too hot. >> what does that mean for regular people? >> maybe you're looking at this and saying this is a business headline. this affects millions of people in every business in america. if you're get agnew mortgage, it's going to cost more. if you have an adjustable rate mortgage, it will cost more. if you carry money on your credit card, it will cost more. if you save money. if you're a saver. they have been screwed over the past ten years. if you're a saver, interest rates are going to rise. if you're a bank, you're going to make more money.
nobody is rallying -- you're not raising rates to make the banks happier. those are people who are winners. the savers, the banks and it will cost more for homeowners. >> but it's coming off a very low base. i mean, you know -- >> like zero. >> so, yes, mortgages will be a bit more expensive. the test will be next year. just how fast the fed feels it has to go to keep the stability. they're not going to raise rates, they're going to raise rates next year more because the economy is moving faster and there will be an inflation risk. >> isn't that the irony here we have talked about an election all year how an economy is so terrible and people have been left behind. but the federal reserve who has its finger on the pulse of key rates and the economy sees things that are doing better. you know, so, that's this disconnect here. the donald trump has inherited an economy that has done for years. weaknesses and structural problems in the economy, no
problem. people who have been left out of the recovery. we're talking about how hot the economy is going to get next year. >> hot for whom? >> well, it will be hot for, you know, look, job hoppers are in a good position right now. you know, people who are quitting their job to get another job, this is a good time to be doing that. i can't believ i'm saying that. >> 4.6% officially even if you select the president-elect's higher numbers of underemployment. you're still heading to an economy that pretty much is virtually a traditional definitions of employment. those who want a job will get one, according to the economic database. >> i hope the president-elect does that. the people who do not find a place in this economy, what will be the trump administration policies to make sure the people who voted for trump are going to get a good paying job next year? that's what i want to hear. >> he is the beneficiary of the eight years that president obama took to climb out of that rock
bottom and the economy. and now it's kicked in. >> and the structural changes, the damage. remember, the damage that happened in that recession, that crisis went deep into the roots of the economy. it's only now fully -- we could believe fully recovered and he is definitely going to be the beneficiary. >> fully covered, but not corrected. still problems that could make this happen, again. >> richard, christine, thank you. tensions are running high in the republican party. will lawmakers unite behind picks and priorities or is mr. trump in for a rude awakening. trump in for a rude awakening. we discuss that, next. in rocket mortgage by quicken loans is just as precise... but it only requires a few minutes of your time. now, you can securely share your financial information with the push of a button, giving you an accurate and custom mortgage solution without missing a beat. [drum line sfx: rocket]
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there's no cbs and we don't have a ton of sports. anywhere, any... let's lose the 'anywhere, anytime' too. you can't download on-the-go, there's no dvr, yada yada yada. stream some stuff! somewhere! sometimes! you totally nailed that buddy. simple. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. only xfinity gives you more to stream to any screen. donald trump's hot and cold relationship with house speaker paul ryan is heading into the holidays on a positive note. here's mr. trump rally in his home state of wisconsin. >> speaker paul ryan. i've really come to -- oh, no. i've come to appreciate him. speaker paul ryan. where's speaker. where is he?
i tell you, he has been terrific. 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 intoxicating. i mean paul ryan is a fine wine. how will the trump/ryan dynamic impact the early days of the trump administration. we're joined now by cnn political analyst kirsten powers and david. great to have both of you. kirsten, how is this going to work? they seem to be in good stead right now. things are going well with paul ryan and donald trump. what is the first danger sign we should look out for? >> i think as long as he isn't doing anything that goes against the republican main stream on the hill, he'll be donald trump >> if he wants to repeal obama
care. so, he has to choose, i think, where he wants to pick his battles and in what order. look, right now he is in the honeymoon period and paul ryan as much as he didn't like donald trump is liking the fact that he now has a lot of power and it's going to be able to enact a lot of the initiatives that he wanted to enact for a long time. >> winning heals hurt feelings, i've noticed. david, where do you see any potential problem between what now seems to be this budding. >> i'm not sure with kirsten that i see problems, which is a problem. look, every day, every week since the summer of 2015, donald trump has served a dish of toads to regular republicans. and republicans have obligedly swallowed the toads. the current is the information that donald trump may have owed or that russians did hack
democratic websites and that the hillary clinton campaign was damaged by it. that would seem to be something. that act of foreign espionage would urgently call for a national investigation. john mccain has spoken out and lindsey graham, too. two of the three votes that will be needed to get a real investigation moving. will there be a third? it's amazing how, thus far, americans have held the line. what russian hack, we don't see it, we don't believe in it. in fact, the voice of conformity is getting louder in the party, not more muted. >> let's talk about that. there will be an investigation and that is the backdrop against which rex tillerson, donald trump's pick for secretary of state will be set. how do you, kirsten, see it going with rex tillerson? will there be any opposition to his pick? >> as of now we have, i guess, three senators that have come out and criticized him. and none of them said that they're going to vote against him. so, that we don't even know if they'll ultimately oppose him.
i think we have to wait and see what happens when the confirmation hearings. he does have support from some pretty main stream republicans. he was recommended by condoleezza rice and bill gates. jeb bush just tweeted support for him. so, i think it's going to be, you know, dependent on how he does in the hearings. i think david is right. there is conformity and people lining up behind trump because he did win and now republicans are in a position to do a lot of things they haven't been able to do before. >> here is what marco rubio has said about rex tillerson because, as we know, rex tillerson has a friendly relationship with vladimir putin. senator rubio says 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 conflicts of interest and has a clear sense of america's interests and will be a forceful advocate for american foreign policies goes to the president within the administration and on the world stage.
david, how do you see this playing out? >> i don't think it will be difficult for someone to write a set of talking points for rex tillerson that will meet every one of marco rubio's and marco rubio will fall in line. as long as you look at each of these problems one by one by one you don't see the pattern. but you have one of putin's closest friends in the american business community at stake. you have a national security adviser who took paid speaking engagements from russia propaganda network and moved american policy in so many ways towards russia and syria. you have this giant espionage scandal. you said a minute ago or kirsten said there will be an investigation. the question is will there be a meaningful investigation that will follow the facts where it goes or will the job of the investigators be to shut down this inquiry as rapidly as possible? i don't see a lot of appetite for republicans to follow any of these threads because i think many of them fear the threads all lead to the same place and
it's one that will damage republican ability to achieve things as kirsten said they badly want to achieve on taxes and other things. >> one of the things we don't point out enough is we talk about how persuadable mr. trump is. whoever whispers in his ear last then he agrees with that person. we don't talk enough about how persuasive he is. and when you meet with him one on one, he h is. and when you meet with him one on one, he wins you over. he is very persuasive. i mean, i think that a lot of us in the media have had this experience and now you see people at trump tower from kanye west to mitt romney coming out and saying, i like hthis guy. i hear him. it's making sense. do you think that is what is going on, kirsten, with paul ryan and everyone else who had been critical? >> yeah. that's exactly what i think and based on the meetings i had with him. i think people think when al gore comes somehow al gore is going tapersuade dao persuade d.
he will in a middle of an interview say you and i agree on things. he's trying to win people over. >> he's good at it. >> he is not necessarily -- i think he is listening and he will take it in, but i think there's other things going on. >> david, yeah, go ahead. >> we have a bias as journalists to believe that the thing a powerful person whispers to us in private is the truth. and the thing that they say or do in public is the image. that makes us very vulnerable because for all practical purposes it is the public acts that are the truth. and the things that donald trump has said and done that shock our sense of decency. they don't go away. and it's the compromise of the national interest and the willingness to look the other way as the foreign power hacks the political system. that doesn't go away because, in private, somebody quite reasonable on the environment. >> actions speak louder than
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for months the obama administration says it was quietly wrestling with russia's meddling in the u.s. election. well, now, the white house and some democrats seem to be suggesting that the meddling cost hillary clinton the election. so why didn't the president say something sooner? let's go live to washington and bring in cnn justice tornt evan perez. what have you learned, evan? >> well, it's another question that democrats are asking these days. why didn't president obama respond more forcefully to russia's hacks against democrats? we're told that six months ago, in july, law enforcement and intelligence agencies had determined that the russians were behind hacks, that they were targeting the democratic national committee. but over the next three months the white house and government officials were debating over exactly how to respond. some officials in the intelligence agencies were
concerned they didn't want to start a cyber conflict with russia in which tunited states had a lot more to lose. the state department was concerned about keeping russia at the negotiating table over a deal in syria. as the months went by, wikileaks was releasing more and more documents on democrats, and not on republicans, and the obama administration officials were also confident that it was clear that the russians were trying to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton. on the other hand, they also were very sure that donald trump was going to lose, and they didn't want to give him another excuse to claim that the elections were rigged. the irony now, right now, chris, is that democrats are now the ones that say that the russians ended up helping donald trump get elected, and they're asking the white house why didn't you do something sooner. >> good question. evan, thank you very much. let's bring in the former cia director under bill clinton ambassador james woolsey and also an adviser to president-elect donald trump. and counterterrorism analyst and
official philip mudd. gentlemen, thank you. good to have you both here. let's begin at the beginning. philip mudd, i'm going to ask you as well, ambassador. the idea that russia was involved in the hacks that took place during the election, do you believe, with your sources within the intel community, that is up for dispute? >> no. i think there's two questions. let's make sure we don't confuse them. the question of what happened. and the question of why. you started at the beginning. that is not the wide question. were they trying to intervene in favor of one party or the other? i think the question of whether they intervened is not in dispute. you talk to government officials. you talk to people who are briefed in the congress and you talk to technical professionals outside government, some of whom i worked with in the past, the fbi, unanimous, the russians hacked. that's it. >> the pushback is where's the proof? clapper came out, gave this statement on october 7th, said, it has all the marks, this is what they do, they've done this before. how come no names? how come no proof of who says
that it was the russians? where is the proof? >> look, this is what we call sources and methods in the intelligence community. if you want to go tell your adversary in a highly technical world, where it's u.s. technical experts against the russians. both highly capable. this is how we're determining where the electrons are running, what entities in russia are doing this. how they're getting into service. i wouldn't want to tell them how we're doing that. that's obviously going to give them a clue how to get around this. >> ambassador, russia motivated the attacks that took place during the election. do you question that conclusion? >> russia is never not meddling in other people's business. >> but this -- >> they are doing it all the time. >> but this -- >> they have something they called disinformation, basically, like. lying. they distort history. they distort what the catholics are doing. they distort what the jews are doing. they go after institutions of all sorts. >> so you believe the hacking during the election of the dnc -- >> i don't know about hacking in the sense that most people use
the term. meaning interfering with the operation of let's say the voting machines or something like that. >> no, no, i'm just saying wikileaks, the dnc dump that came out during that time with the podesta e-mails. the intelligence community says that has russia written all over it. >> i'm not going to make a blanket statement about a whole bunch of things. let's take these things one at a time. first of all, russia is always, as i said -- >> right -- >> -- trying to influence events and they do it in some realty nasty ways. they do it all the time. insofar as someone says were there leaks that could have helped one candidate or another? sure. there were leaks that could have helped more than one -- >> -- i'm saying that they were involved. >> russia is always interfering -- >> i keep asking because the president-elect and the people around him will not acknowledge what you are tacitly acknowledging right now. they say, president-elect himself, it is ridiculous to
suggest that russia was involved in any of the hacking. it could have been china or a fat guy in his bed. >> if you're talking about hacking in the sense of interfering with the operation of the voting, which is what a lot of the -- >> not what i'm -- >> -- deal with. there are lots of ways russia gets its basically itself into other people's business. sometimes by invading. say ukraine. sometimes by shutting down eston estonia's information systems and so forth. >> but would your advice to president-elect ignore this -- >> i never talked about what my advice to the president-elect would be. on anything. i think it is important to understand what has happened. >> mm-hmm. >> and it's important for the new administration to be on top of this much better than the obama administration was. they didn't start looking at some of the serious aspects of this until late summer -- >> do you think that russia's role -- and that was a mistake i want to talk to you about that
next. russia's role in what happened here during the election. not the outcome of the election. i'm talking about these e-mail dumps that happened. do you believe that's something that the new administration should ignore and say, that's just politics, and sower graps by clinton faithful? >> the new administration needs to understand what happened. and if they do a really good job of understanding what happened, you will never know about it. because sources and methods will be disclosed as you start talking about this publicly. they have to do it in private. once they commit to understanding what has happened they should get into it extremely thoroughly so we could deal with russia or china or anybody else who conducts these types of operations against us effectively. >> the problem is the president-elect just disrespected the conclusions of the intelligence community on this, and now may have mill tated in favor of politicians and government wanting to bring out the conclusion because he has said they were lying. >> the intelligence community is used to criticism. they can deal with it.
>> okay so the other question quickly. the white house flew back in july and the reporting is they decided not to do anything because one they didn't want to mess up their conversations about what to do in syria with russia. and two, that politically, they didn't want to give donald trump something to complain about if he lost. ironically given that now the other side will be complaining if anybody is. what do you think of that thinking? >> bottom line, let me take you to the chase here. you sit in the situation room and the question is, if you're going to go public on this big-time you better understand what the end game is here. vladimir putin, approval ratings 80-plus percent, sanctions aren't working to change his attitudes. his intervention in crimea and ukraine and syria is highly popular in russia. my question for the white house would be, at that time, if you're going to go public, you better know end game and i suspect they didn't. >> ambassador, thank you very much. look forward to talking to you going forward. thank you philip mudd. there is a lot of news going on. let's get right to it. >> we're in the process of putting to the one of the great cabinets.
>> i want to thank donald trump for helping wisconsin put a republican back in the white house! >> speaker paul ryan! honestly, he's like a fine wine. >> the secretary of state has to fight for things, like a free press, human rights, democracy. that frankly aren't always at the top of the list for an international-run gas company. >> rex is presently met with many of the leaders in the world who we don't get along with. and some people don't like that. >> new shelling is quickly erasing the cease-fire and evacuation plan in aleppo. >> we're seeing there appears to be full-on war. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo, and alisyn camerota. >> and what's going on in syria seems to be a watershed moment. good morning, everyone. welcome to your "new day." it is wednesday, december 14th, 8:00 in the east. up first the state of wisconsin, is the latest stop for the trump victory tour. the president-elect using a rally to praise his own pick for secretary of state.
>> trump also embracing former adversary paul ryan telling supporters he's come to appreciate the house speaker like a fine wine. the president-elect meets today with the tech titans of silicon valley. only 37 days until the inauguration. we've got every angle covered. let's start with sunlen serfaty in washington. >> good morning, chris. there has been a firestorm of criticism from democrats and those within donald trump's own party, slamming his pick for secretary of state, so the president-elect is now responding by using the campaign-style rallies to push publicly for his nominee, bracing for the battle ahead. >> a great diplomat, a strong man, a tough man. >> reporter: in wisconsin, donald trump defending his choice for secretary of state, rex tillerson. >> rex will be a fierce advocate for america's interests around the world. >> reporter: trump talking up the exxon ceo after facing backlash from both sides of the aisle over tillerson's ties to russia, especially now in the