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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  December 18, 2016 5:00am-6:01am PST

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donald trump offers supporters his holiday take on naughty and nice. >> i mean you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win. right? now you're mellow and you're cool because we won. >> current president's year end message is more sober. >> horrible things happening around the world and because i'm president of the united states i feel responsible. >> one month before the trump inauguration russia year hacking remains a flash point. >> over a third of republican voters approve of vladimir putin the former head of the kgb. ronald reagan would roll over his grave. >> the president-elect says he doubts it happens and republicans worry he's too cozy with the kremlin. "inside politics," the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters now.
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welcome to "inside politics". i'm john king. thanks for sharing your sunday morning. the president-elect is at his palm beach estate enjoying a holiday break. morallies to thank his supporters. >> this is a truly exciting time to be alive. the script is not yet written. we do not know what the page will read tomorrow. but for the first time in a long time what we do know is that the pages will be authored by each and every one of you. it's a movement. >> the current president is on his annual holiday trip to hawaii. his year end press conference was a reminder of the dramatic change in substance and style now just 33 days away. >> almost every country on earth sees america as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago.
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in other words, by so many measures our country is stronger and more prosperous than when we started. it's a situation that i am proud to leave for my successor. >> president's news conference was dominated by russia's cyber meddling in our election. he said there's no signs voting machines were tampered with so no reason to question the count. but there is clear evidence that russian hacked the democratic national committee and hillary clinton's campaign chairman with the goal of hurting clinton and he hoped the president-elect would have a change of heart and would stop attacking american intelligence agencies and defending russian president vladimir putin. >> the transition from election season to governance season is not always smooth. you know, it's bumpy. there's still feelings that are raw out there. there are people who are still thinking about how things unfolded and i get all that.
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but when donald trump takes the oath of office and is sworn in as the 45th president of the united states, then he's got a different set of responsibilities and considerations. and i've said this before. i think there's a sobering process when you walk into the oval office. >> again that inauguration now just 33 days away. with us to share their reporting and insights, julie pace, jonathan martin, dan ball and cnn sara maury. let's start with the contrast but the stylistic contrast when you see president obama standing there saying, you know, essentially all is well, we rebuilt the economy, we rebuilt our stature around the world and you watch donald trump finishing his campaign tour, he is still saying all is hell, the economy is a mess, we need this dramatic change. particularly on this question of russia, of the people who received the intelligence briefings i believe that donald trump is alone in still refusing
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to say something happened. there's a debate about how high it was in the kremlin. there was a debate what to do about it. but now you have republicans saying we need to have hearings. you have president of the united states saying the evidence is overwhelming and donald trump is still saying he doesn't think it happened. >> he's still an outliar on this. we don't know what the people closest to him say about this. in any public comments he's alone in being unwilling took september the view this was done by the russians and the latest conclusion that it was done to help him and to hurt hillary clinton. and it's a very odd situation that he can't sort of wrap his head around the idea that this is what actually happened because the evidence does seem overwhelming and the conclusions are wildly shared and the question is will there be any kind of a change of heart or any kind of change of view once he becomes president of the united states because this is going to fall into his lap. >> that was the point the president seems to be making, where he repeatedly said i've seen the evidence.
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the served there. i've seen the evidence. he seems to be trying to give the president-elect some grace saying election is over, transition period, he's sort of learning up. i don't mean that as a criticism. you're learning up the job. trying to give him a nudge and some grace. >> that's why you see the president he has toward intel community to put forward a public report that will be out before he leaves office which he can hand over to trump. what's interestsing the way trump is handling this is he's viewing this as hack of the democratic groups as through the prism of his own election. maybe his tone will change after we get to monday where the electors will cast their votes and no debate whether he'll be president. when you actually take office you can't view these issues in terms of how they relate to you. you have to view them in terms of how they relate to the country, our own national security, events around the world and whether he can make that shift will tell the story of his presidency. >> in your piece today you
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talked about how he campaigned america first. you could make the argument again shorthanding he's almost putting kremlin first in criticizing the cia. why? some people around him when you talk to them say he'll get there. why? is this ego. he doesn't want to say i got some help in the election. is this an affinity for putin? is he ignoring things. >> look, the one thing intelligence agencies do differ on is the conclusion of whether russian battled specifically to help donald trump and our hillary clinton. that's one area the cia has been more forward leaning than other agencies have been and that's the issue that donald trump and his advisers are laying their hat on. they are offended by this conclusion. they feel this is an opportunity for people to delegitimize his presidency. but that is what they are hanging on and i think they will
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continue to do that until we actually see the electors vote. whether donald trump changes his tone beyond that is an open question but honestly we have not seen this, we've not seen it publicly from sean spicer who did interviews over the weekend. we saw chris collins saying if russia hacked the dnc then the worst thing that happened the truth came out. this is a very different tone i think than we would see from republicans if it was flipped. if republicans were saying this, or if this happened to republicans i think they would be saying that democrats were treasonous for latching on to conclusions. >> that's a pretty safe bet. they are trying to accommodate their principal, their president. it's causing them to get into all these contortions to rationalize what he's saying. to julie's point he's reluctant
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to admit it was the russians because that would cast some shadow on his victory. here's the problem with that. he's unwilling to challenge putin well before this. one of the biggest mysteries of this campaign was for a year and a half whenever he was asked about putin or russia his tone changed, his demeanor changed, his language changed. no other country in the world would he somehow try to rationalize or sort of couch his comments. wherever it was russia and putin he was always different. that's why there are these laboring questions. >> let's listen to that. as a cane, a lot of candidates say things as a candidate. then they become president and have to deal with the problems. we'll see what president trump does but candidate trump, you're right. >> there's nothing i can think of than i rather do than have russia friendly as opposed to the way they are right now so we can go and knock out isis together with other people.
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and with other countries. >> i'm not a friend of putin. i never met putin. i respect putin. he's a strong leader. russia if you're listening i hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. >> now that is noteworthy for a number of reasons. he urged a foreign government to hack into american institutions. that was the last time he had a press conference back in the campaign. but, look, we were questioning -- we have these questions about the hack and what we'll learn in these investigations both the internal administration, in a few moments we'll get to recognizes on capitol hill. but to me it's a bigger question what a change we'll get in 33 days. if you listen to president obama in his news conference he was essentially -- used john mccain's words but said putin can't be trusted. he has blood on his hands in what's happening with aleppo right now. why can you -- don't have a
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romanticized view of this guy. >> trump is trying to have a better relation with putin when he came into office. putin was very influential. no one argues with what trump is saying about wanting to have a better relationship with russia, being able to address some of these issues more easily if there was a more productive relationship. but saying that shouldn't wipe away all that we know about what putin has done. ukraine, crimea is the most obvious example but if you look at syria if russia were taking more action and not propping up assad we would be talking about a different situation there. it's as though he's choosing to ignore all of this evidence about what russia is doing to destabilize places in the world in favor of a positive relationship. what he could be talking about, both. >> the other aspect he's given no indication of what a different relationship with russia would be like or how you get to that point and the degree to which you stand up to russia when you have to stand up to russia and perhaps cooperate in
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some other areas. he's just simply said wouldn't it being a great if we had a better relationship. that's everybody's wish about a lot of things. how do you get to that point and what's behind that in his thinking. does he think russia is a constructive force or can be. or does he think they are not. all the evidence is they are ninth variety of places around the world. >> i think when you think about donald trump's view of the world he looks at isis as something that has a direct impact and direct threat on america. he doesn't necessarily look at aleppo in that way. he doesn't look at it as the kind of situation that is a direct problem or direct risk for our country and so just thinking of donald trump's world view he's less likely to be concerned about what putin is doing as it relates to aleppo or destabilizes nation ace broad than he is thinking about if we could team up with russia to fight isis, wouldn't that being a great? >> during the campaign he sounded, a lot of republicans
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were nervous about donald trump because he was talking about not intervening, not projecting u.s. military force overseas. in these recent thank you rallies he has talked about safe zones. again in the contrast we'll get between our new president and outgoing president, president obama talked about how it's a great idea. come to with you the idea you want to save lives. then you look at how do you do it? how many troops would it take? how much money would it cost? what about the russians? i'm fascinated by donald trump now says create safe zones. how does doe that? maybe that's back in the card play with russia? >> safe zones are one of these things that is like the no-fly zone. everyone likes the way it sounds. but who is going to enforce it. you have to enforce it on the ground and air and that's going to fall on the shoulders of the united states. is the american public ready for that? is donald trump ready for that. he hasn't laid out these plans
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in detail. he has more advisers around him that will give him these plans. if he's talking about safe zones he's talking about a fairly lengthy commitment to syria. up next the president-elect russia problem with fellow republicans and what it means for his early days in office. politicians say the darnest things. my memory of electioning night is different than what you heard from president-elect. thanks for watching mr. president-elect and letting your supporters know which network you most trust. >> they are getting very nerv s nervous. john king is good with the map. but his hand is starting to shake. oh, my god he won. remember they said before the election, there is no path to 270 for donald trump. but there's a path to 306.
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i won this 55 inch tv for less
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than $30 on dealdash.com. visit dealdash.com for great deals. and start bidding today! welcome back. exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson is donald trump's choice to be secretary of state. he's a friends of put. that worries many leading republicans because they already think as we just discussed the president-elect is too quick to praise the russian president. >> anybody who is a friend of vladimir putin must disregard the fact that vladimir putin is a murderer, a thug, a kgb agent whose airplanes as we speak have been a targeting with precision weapon hospitals in aleppo. who have committed atrocities throughout the region, and it has destabilized ukraine.
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has invaded ukraine. destabilizing, trying destabilize baltic countries and the list goes on and on. >> no friend of vladimir putin in john mccain. hawks like senator john mccain. lindsey graham say they have a confirmation test for mr. tillerson. >> i want to hear from him if he believes the russians tried interfere in our election. if somebody wants to be secretary of state, and they hear the briefings that i've heard and they don't believe the russians were involved in our election, interfering with our elections i question their judgment. if they don't believe sanctions are appropriate given what putin has been doing all over the world including our backyard i don't think they have the judgment to be secretary of state because if you don't go after russia you're inviting the other bad actors on the planet to come after you. >> mr. tillerson will have some rough sledding. is it possible, number one, donald trump's choice to be secretary of state will be rejected by a republican senate? is it possible? even more so i suspect the answer is nine the end because
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mr. tillerson is a very impressive person. this is a proximate swri we were trying to get answers in the last segment. the donald trump ready to concede russia hacked us. that putin is not a cuddly teddy bear. >> it would be helpful to rex tillerson's odds if donald trump said something critical of russia. like you said it's unlikely that he actually gets rejected by the senate in part because senator mcconnell phoned his support behind tillerson. people who know him said he's very smart, very direct, very captivating. when he gets one on one with these senators in meetings and hearings he can win them over. i do think as part of that obviously he'll be forced to answer a lot of gun questionable questions whether he thinks russia meddled things. it helps not to get further in front of the principle. be helpful for donald trump to say something. he's also going to need to come in to these meetings and say i
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had a good relationship with putin when i represented the interests of my shareholders. but now when i represent the interest of americans that relationship has to change. but he has to be convincing. >> jirt graham and senator mccain are looking for some ground to fight on when it comes to russia. it's important to note are going the week after christmas the two of them are going on what i call a screw you vladimir tour. not officially called that. but seriously, they are going to the baltic states. they are going to georgia. they are going to the craukrain. the message is pretty straightforward, make clear to putin that not everybody back in washington has a rosy view of him. to off assurance to our allies in those countries that america is still on their side. and so those two senators are
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looking for ground here. i don't know if they can ultimately try to stop tillerson's nomination, but they are going to make this confirmation process entirely about russia if they have anything to say about it. >> it's interestsing the choice because it's another -- we'll get to some of the others in a moment but one of these choices that trump has made to a degree unnerves the washington establishment. senator mccain and senator graham and marco rubio is in the same camp a friend of vladimir putin is not the right attorney secretary of state. that's what washington says. donald trump says during the campaign you're wrong. >> 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. that's why i'm doing the deal with rex. >> you can make, think of it as trump thinks. as a negotiation. if you read the art of the deal. if you want to send a guy in -- if the idea is to deliver a tough message to putin better to
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have it delivered by somebody he knows and respects than somebody he thinks is a clown. >> the interesting thing if you put this in the context of political campaigns, so far rex tillerson has been defined by anybody but rex tillerson. i think everybody has to keep an open mind. jonathan is right that senators mccain and graham will use these hearings and we've seen senator mccain over the years use hearings effectively to drive a series of questions and a series of answers that he's looking for and to create a moment and to create discomfort for somebody who is on the opposite side of the table. but i don't think we know at all at this point how mr. tillerson is going to approach this. sara is right it would be helpful if donald trump said something acknowledging in some even gentle way that he believes the russians were involved. >> we got a lot more to hear from mr. tillerson. >> one of the early tests how good the republican president who was not the choice of many
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establishment republicans, how good or bad in the middle his relationship will be. another choice that has unnerved a lot of the washington establishment and a lot of people in the middle east is david friedman the president's choice to be ambassador to israel. he's a bankruptcy lawyer. known trump for years. he's a critic of the two state solution saying he doesn't see it as viable. he wants to move the embassy asap from tel aviv to jerusalem which is against years of u.s. policy which says the fate of jerusalem will be decided in negotiations between the parties. he has expanded, excuse me supported expanded settlements in the west bank. what is donald trump trying to say here >> he's sending someone over to israel as his ambassador if he's confirmed who marks a shift in u.s. policy on a lot of these hot button issues. there's been some reporting out of israel how he's even to the right of netanyahu which creates a fascinating dynamic in israeli
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politics. trump talked about middle east as the greatest deal. if he can do one deal as president that's the one he wants to do. should we look at this as part of his negotiation, sending a hard-liner so he can sends an envoy to work both sides. or do we look at this and friedman's position on settlements. if that's his policy it makes an eventual peace deal unlikely. >> trying to make heads or tails of the trump strategy. this is someone who has tried to make the ultimate deal, mideast deal for months. he was determined it seemed to deal over there. and then, you know, he actually becomes president and folks around him are much more hawkish when it comes to the middle east. and he's obviously very heavily
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influenced by his son-in-law on middle eastern issues. so, you know, it's a long ways away from trump being at the rgc conference and being asked about moving the capital or the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem and saying, i'm not sure yet about that. and being booed by the way. being booed. the bottom line is you just don't know what he's going to do because a lot depends on who is in his ear, what his motivation is at that moment. >> and so one other quick point before we go. we have one president at a time. there was an incident in the last several days over the weekend in which the chinese seized an american drone, underwater drone in the south china sea and they negotiated to get it back but donald trump, first he tweeted -- there was a misspelling in one of them. rips it out of the water and
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takes an unprecedented act. but then last night he tweeted we should have told china we don't want the drone they stole back. let them keep it. shaking things up in one of the most complicated delicate relationships in the world which he has shown no hesitancy to get the chinese thinking what's next? >> chinese will show no hesitancy in push back. they are a country that has pretty easy twice problem voluntary okay negative and they've been sending messages if you read some of the state publications in china. they are sending messages. >> even president obama did seem to say, you know what? maybe we do need to rethink this a little bit. his advice was to do it more delicately. if you want to shake it up, shake it up but do it more gentle. >> donald trump is not good at being delicate or gentle. the thing you should realize his
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view and his top advisers view is china is the main event. if they are going shake up a relationship and break some glass it's going to be with china and that is, you know, you saw mitt romney running russia is our number one geopolitical foe. donald trump sees that as china through tlens of what he wants to get done. through tlens of creating jobs. so to him no relationship is more strategic than the one with china and i don't think he's particularly worried about alienating them. >> 33 days. we'll see what happens when he's president. up next president obama offers some advice to the democratic party at what the first lady describes listen here as a painful moment. >> your husband's administration, everything, the election was all about hope. do you think this administration achieved that? >> yes. i do. because we feel the difference now. see now we're feeling whatnot
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having hope feels like. >> michele obama said yesterday that there's no hope. i honestly believe she meant that statement in a different way than it came out because i believe -- i believe there is tremendous hope and beyond hope we have such potential. that's me. then out of nowhere...crying. third time that day. i wasn't even sad. first the stroke, now this. so we asked my doctor. he told us about pseudobulbar affect, or pba. it's frequent, uncontrollable crying or laughing that doesn't match how you feel. it can happen with certain neurologic conditions like stroke, dementia, or ms. he prescribed nuedexta, the only fda-approved treatment for pba.
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welcome back. the election was 40 days ago. 40 days ago. donald trump's victory is not yet official. tomorrow is the next big step in that process, the electoral
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college, the electors meet out across the country. here's how it turned out on election night. electors need to meet step by state. the electoral college goes back to the constitutional convention of 1787. the idea protect the little guys. to give less populace states influence in elections. we call them flyover states. each state selects their own elector. they can't have any involvement with the federal government. if no one gets 270 what happens? it goes the house of representatives. 26 votes to win in the house of representatives. nobody expects that to happen. but occasionally there are so-called rogue electors. after the 1872 election, grant won and won big. greeley died. 35e6 electors were faithless.
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will there be a big defection tomorrow? there's a lot of lob jig. we don't think so. more likely maybe a little more than normal. here's how it normally plays out. back in 1988 one elector cast his vote for lloyd bentsen. in 2000 one cast a vote for al gore. in 2004 one for kerry. president obama said sure the electoral college is controversial but democrats shouldn't focus on the process but focus on the party's message. >> how do we make sure we're showing up in places where i think democratic policies are needed, where they are helping, where they are making a difference. but where people feel as if they are not being heard. and where democrats are characterized as liberal latte sipping, you know, politically
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correct out of touch folks. we have to be in those communities. and i've seen that when we are in those communities it makes a difference. that's how i became president. >> that's the second time since the election he's gone on an extended tangent that's so clearly an indictment of hillary's campaign. he doesn't say it directly but that's what he's getting at. by the way i saw tim kaine last week talking to him and he said something very similar to me which was in virginia, in my state, what we do in our campaigns there, in the past campaign even the counties we know we're going to lose we go there. why? to cut into the margins. because losing a county 60-40 than losing 80-20. >> the question is does the party take its advice.
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the president was quite candid. he won two electoral college landslides running for president. he was unable to transfer his popularity in any of the elections whether it was 2010 or 2014 where the republicans got spanked. and then obviously he campaigned aggressively for secretary clinton and there's no evidence, it's not his fault but he wasn't able to automatically say hey african-americans turn out, latinos turn out. young people turn out. will they listen to him now >> they are caught in this tug-of-war because on the one hand you do have demographics moving in permanent favor towards democrats if republicans can't make gains with hispanics in particular. they are looking at these numbers that are pointing in one direction and yet at the same time it is true that hillary clinton did not show up in places where she should have showed up. so that is the -- you see it play out in the dnc fight right now. i think obama would probably in his heart of hearts argue for
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the demographics because he's a numbers guy but in 2008 he was in indiana and won that state. he did it because he showed up. again, it's a push and pull. >> the truth is the policies he pursued have not been aimed at the people he's talking about, there they have been aimed at his coastal liberals, the rising electorate. i was out in wisconsin a couple of weeks ago and there was a conference at the university of wisconsin and there's a q and a with one of the professors there, catherine cramer who has done a book and spent years going around wisconsin talking to people. somebody got up in the audience what can democrats say to people in these rural areas. she said first democrats have to listen to people. it's not just showing up and giving a message, it's understanding what it is that drive those people who voted overwhelmingly for donald trump. >> speak in a way, explain your policies that they relate to.
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speaking of hillary clinton she spoke to donors this past week and we're circling back to the russian hack. she spoke to donors and said, yes, putin did this and did it because he doesn't like me. >> we are also learning more every day about the unprecedented russian plot to swing this election, and this is something every american should be worried about. vladimir putin himself directed the covert cyber attacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me. >> now the more they learn about this some democrats say mr. president you had this intelligence, mr. president you knew this in september. why weren't you more open about this? why didn't you try to help perkins if this was happening. the president said in a press conference not my job. >> i wanted to make sure
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everyone understood we were playing this straight. we weren't trying to advantage one side or another but let people know that this had taken place. imagine if we had done the opposite. it would have become immediately one more political scrump. >> the president said they issued a statement in september. the intelligence agency saying this happened. we believe the russians are responsible. it didn't say we think they are trying to tip the thumb for hillary clinton and the president didn't talk about it, didn't add to it his campaign speeches. he also, the president also defended the fbi. and james comey the fbi director this just a day or two after john podesta the clinton chairman wrote a vicious op-ed in "the washington post" saying there's something wrong at the fbi that needs to be cleaned up. you're a partisan clinton democrat you like what you heard. >> you're seeing those frustrations from clinton support towers be aired in
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public. it's fascinating to think of a split between obama and clinton factions. there was no good answer for obama in this situation. he's right. if he had weighed in more aggressively against comey and had pushed the intelligence agencies to make a determination of why the russians were doing this woe have been torn apart. could it have been the effect of energizing the trump supporters. he made the right decision as president but, again, if you're a clinton supporter, huge frustration. >> mentioning podesta op-ed. there were federal investigators who tried to warn the dnc, senior officials at the dnc repeatedly that there were hacking attempts and they didn't heed those warnings or take any steps to do anything about that until months later. there's culpability on multiple fronts. the overall, what we're past the election, donald trump will be president and i think that, you know, nobody is trying to push back on that. russia is still attempting to
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hack u.s. political institutions. this is not a problem that's going away and we now have a president-elect who is not acknowledging that and two, who made a habit of questioning whether the election was rigged and is now has evidence that whether they were doing it because it was a personal beef against hillary clinton, u.s. intelligence seems to think it's more likely they want to sends our elections into chaos or at least make people think it's chaotic as an attempt to undermine our democracy. that's a problem. it's surprising not to see a president-elect talk about this. >> they will, once we get into january and through transition and in the new administration, especially a certain grouch republicans will be vocal. we'll see if the new president comes with them. i want to show you a picture. three successive two term presidents. there's president obama at his pre-christmas press conference in 2009. there he was as he headed off to hawaii this year. the job takes a toll. the job takes a toll.
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up next the president-elect's daughter is getting a white house office and his son are in transition meetings and helping to pick the cabinet. can he deep business in family without creating a mess of conflicts. take our quiz. we know the secretary of state is first cabinet position in line of presidential succession. which cab neat secretary is lowest in the line of succession?
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welcome back. the president-elect's transitionlis to-do list still includes how he plans to hand off his complicated business. he promised to do so this past week but says he needs a bit more time. ivanka trump is coming to the white house with an office east wing, west wing.
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in a tweet on monday the president-elect said this about his businesses. two of my children don and eric plus executives will manage them. no new deals will to be done during my term toerms in office. his children were involved in a transition meeting with technology officials. can trump's children manage his business if they are involved in official government business. this is a tricky one. the they get sensitive about this. his daughter ivanka thought she would run the trump organization. her husband, trying to figure out the nepotism rules. don and eric run the trump organization but helping to pick cabinet members and showing up at these meetings. kosher? >> you know, i'm going to go ahead and say not exactly. there's going to have to be a point that there would be a point where the sons would be taking over to businesses and trump would no longer be getting
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briefed on it. he's open to having no conversations with his sons. that's harder to believe. but jared kushner and ivanka trump are both coming to washington. whether they are given formal titles or remain in advising him to be determined. she may have an office in the east wing. that may be changing. may have an office in the west wing. donald trump has spent his life building this business. you understand why he doesn't just want to sell it all off and leave with himself nothing after the presidency but he campaigned on the notion that the presidency was so much more important than anything he was doing in the corporate world. what you're seeing is them really struggling on any way to draw a clear bright line. when you talk to people close to donald trump and family members they admit there will never be a clear bright line. >> he campaigned -- he accused the clintons of pay to play.
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he said he would drain the swamp. "new york times" reporting they were auctioning off coffee with ivanka. on one hand you can say it's a charity fundraising effort. on the other hand she will have an office in the white house. that's been cancelled. >> what strikes me about it is i don't think they really appreciate why it's problematic the. are even care for that matter. take the example of being secretary pose. where you saw this opinion we have a story in the paper yesterday about don trump jr. was sitting in on the interviews and in fact played a key role in torpedoing the nomination of a member of congress on the house side, miss rogers who was widely thought to get that post until don trump jr. intervened and then elevated a different congressman instead. he literally is in these meetings talking to these
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possible candidates and then urging his dad for or against. it's striking and i'm surprised that nobody in congress has stood up to say hey i'm not so sure this is kosher. >> yet one counter argument is that they are very happy that ivanka and jared in particular will be washington and in the white house because they are a calming presence and a moderating presence. you get these questions about the businesses but also a lot of people quite theep have those two folks in the white house. >> i think sara's point is the operating one. they will not draw bright lines and continue to push the edge of the envelope on this as long as they can and in some twas legal aspects of this are still a little murky and yet to be worked out. >> 33 days and if you're a trump critic you get mad when i say this. give him grace and then he'll be held accountable. our reporters share their
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notebooks next. our quiz results we asked which cabinet secretary is lowest in the line of succession behind the president. universities affairs, homeland security, agriculture or education. homeland security a cabinet position that was only established in 2003, already the third largest cabinet department in the united states government but low on the list. thanks for voting. (vo) it's the holidays at verizon, and the best deals are on the best network. with no surprise overages, you can use your data worry free and even carry over the data you don't use.
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welcome back. we fill our "inside politics" table each week with reporters and we close by having them share their reporting. big political news around the corner. >> rex tillerson's confirmation is gets attention. some democrats are more focused on the upcoming hearings for steve mnuchkin. he's a former goldman sachs banker. democrats see his hearings as a way to start dinging trump on his message. one interesting element to these hearings is that several people who lost their hopes to foreclosure through one west
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which is a bank which mnuchkin was involved in, some are planning to dom the hearings and hope to testify. >> that should take place before the inauguration. jonathan? >> bamako not have been more complimentary of tom perez his labor secretary at the friday press conference that the president had. he was effusive of the man who served in his cabinet. the question lots of folks are asking in the dnc is will president obama in january or perhaps out of office in february formally endorse secretary perez. why does this matter? yesterday speaking to a top democrat, i was told only about a quarter of the dnc voting committee which is about 440 people are now committed to a candidate. so this thing is wide-open and the endorsement of a current or former president could matter a great deal. also, by the way, a former
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presidential nominee, hillary clinton also been very quiet on this front. her words could have some impact too. >> we'll watch that. dan? >> continuing on with the fate of the democrats as we go forward, talking to a number of democrats recently, obviously everybody is concerned about the 2018 senate map but i was talking to a former governor this week who thinks that the party cannot under estimate the significance of trying to win back governorships. he made a couple of points. one is that the trump coalition or the trump pattern of support in the states is very unusual and probably not to be reply kba -- replicated by other republicans. underperforming in the suburban areas. but there are a number of midwest governorships at stake in 2018 and that's where democrats think the party needs to concentrate. >> great point. obama years have not been good for democrats at the state level. >> we're more than a month into
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trump transition. we're getting a better sense of what he's like as a manager particularly when it comes to manage these early loyalists that he doesn't want to put in top roles in the white house. what he does he offers them lots of jobs. lots of jobs that he knows they won't accept. it gives them the opportunity to save face. we saw it with chris christie. we saw it with rudy giuliani. likely to see another round of it any day when trump is expected to roll out a list of white house staffers. missing will be some of trump's most earliest and industry dent supporters. next sunday is christmas. let me close with a year end thank you. first to all the reporters who juggle their schedules to join us each sunday. thank to you the tiny but remarkable "inside politics" team i can never thank enough. thanks to you for sharing your sunday mornings. merry christmas. happy hanukkah. up next "state of the union"
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pointing to putin. >> not much happens in russia without vladimir putin. >> president obama -- he threatens to retaliate against russia for interfering in the u.s. election. but will the u.s. respond

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