tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN December 19, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
the electoral college votes hours from now. no surprises expected, but plenty of reasons to pay attention. u.s. intelligence says russian hackers aimed at the election. and war-torn aleppo in syria. good morning. we welcome to "early start." i'm miguel marquez. >> i'm christine romans. it is 4:00 a.m. in the east. members of the electoral college cast votes for the president of
the united states. the formal election is a foregone conclusion here for donald trump. there is drama behind the vote. more drama than in generations. trump opponents lobbying trying to vote against the man. this as the trump transition fights back against a u.s. intelligence assessment that russian hacking was intended to help trump win. the very latest, let's bring in ryan nobles from mar-a-lago estate. >> reporter: after the thank you tour, trump and his family are here in south florida getting ready to celebrate christmas holiday. the trump administration has a couple of holes to fill. including the secretary of the veterans administration. no word if that announcement will come before the christmas holiday. the trump transition is pushing back on the u.s. assessment that
they tried to intervene. this is what reince priebus said this weekend. take a listen. >> if there is this conclusive opinion, they should issue a report or stand in front of a camera and make the case. >> reporter: monday is an important day as electors from restaurant t the country will officially cast their ballot. there have been attempts from the liberal groups to stall the election and to hear a briefing on the hack and convince them not to cast ballots for trump. there is not expected to be any widespread revolt by the electors, but this is something that has the president-elect's attention. on sunday, he tweeted the following, if my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned and
called terrible names. there have been reports that electors have received death threats and others receive e-mails trying to convince them to vote for someone other than donald trump. we don't expect anything to happen out of the ordinary in the process and it is expected that trump will be elected the next president of the united states. christine and miguel. thank you. senator john mccain sounding alarm on the russian hacking saying it could destroy democracy. the influence republican joining with chuck schumer for an investigation. on the state of the union, mccain slammed the obama administration calling it paralyzed. >> we he need to get to the bottom of this. we need to see what was done and what the implications of the
attacks were especially if they had an effect on our election. there's no doubt they were interfering. no doubt it was a cyber attack. the question now is how much and what damage and what should the united states of america do. so far, we have been totally paralyzed. this is serious business. if they are able to harm the electoral process, they destroyed democracy which is based on free and fair elections. >> so far, republican leaders in the house and senate have rejected the idea of a select committee saying the russian hacks can be investigated through committee. and in russia, a spokesperson for vladimir putin denied russia was behind the attacks. they say the u.s. should prove the claim or shut up. calling it indecent and unseemly. matthew chance is in moscow following all of the latest
twists and turns. matthew, they are saying for the united states, put up or shut up. >> reporter: that's right. they have been saying this since october when the allegations heightened at the campaign. they have not changed the line since. they are denying any connection. no concrete proof. they say the russian state does not engage in hacking. the u.s. evidence is so strong, it casts doubt on what the russian government says. strong in the sense it was only those perceived as critics of russia that were targeted in the hacking and donald trump wasn't. the state media made no bones about wanting donald trump to win the election. they ran pieces on how he was the sympathetic piece on russia and views during the election campaign toward russia. saying he would look at the
annexation of crimea in 2014 and would it be great to get on with russia. it is the standout quote from the trump campaign over russia. they had an interest in him winni winning. the argument to make that a reality. >> what do you through is some evidence that the u.s. government could put forward? something that is not classified that could be released before the beginning of the trump administration? >> reporter: you know, i don't know what evidence they have, but they are confident this is a russian connection. again, really not many people out there that doubt that seriously. it is such a serious allegation. potentially an act of war between two countries that have nuclear weapons, remember. the consequences of this could be serious indeed. if there is evidence that can be declassified and put out for the public to see, i think there is
a ground swell of opinion in russia and elsewhere. united states intelligence services could do that. they could compromise intelligence sources. that is why they are holding back. >> how do they know and how are they so sure and by showing their evidence, do they tip their hand? thank you so much. matthew chance. this morning, the u.s. navy is still waiting for china to return an under water drone seized in international waters late last week. this two days after the chinese government promised to return it escalating efforts. donald trump sending a tweet accusing china of stealing the drone and saying the u.s. should let them keep it. cnn's matt rivers has more from china. >> reporter: the seizure of the u.s. navy under water drone by a
chinese naval ship played out along the entirety of the weekend. we found out about it on friday. it what's saturday that the ministry of defense here in b beijing confirmed it and said it would be returned. donald trump tweeteds twic s t. he said china should keep the drone. on sunday, it was the state-run media here in china to weigh in on all this. a state-run tabloid which is known for provocative views on this which stood out to us. let's read the edit. the tone of the bystander fanning flames in trump's second tweet is particularly worrysome.
the rhetoric has been measured, but this will not last when he officially becomes president if he tweets whine china the way h tweeted today. state-run newspapers are that. nothing gets published without the sign off of communist party sen cen censors. this is a state-run newspaper expressing state views. a big question here that is remaining in beijing. how will this affect the relationship going forward? if you look at what happened over the last couple weeks, it is the latest negative incident in the relationship with both sides. donald trump taking a call in early december from the president of taiwan and questioning the one china policy. and tweeting about this latest
incident and it has drawn the ire of the chinese government. this kind of tough take on china, but it is safe to say, on the chinese side of things, the chinese government given statemen statements, not happy with the take and the track of the incoming trump administration. matt rivers, cnn, beijing. president-elect trump is tapping mike mulvaney to head the budget office. he would also set up the federal government's purchases of goods and services. mulvaney has been in congress since 2011. he co- founded the house freedom caucus. a group of conservative lawmaker who s who clashed with party leaders other debt.
the evacuations are back under way in aleppo. the red cross says buses and ambulances carrying 1,000 people in the rebel held areas of the war-torn city. initial efforts to get civilians out of the area as buses were set on fire. now today a plan to monitor evacuations. cnn's muhammad lila is live over the turkish-syrian border.
muhammad, how is this likely to move going forward? >> reporter: good morning, miguel. there are still several thousand people in eastern aleppo trapped awaiting evacuation after a very long and disappointing weekend where there was no movement, finally good news to start the week. we understand that about 3,000 people or so have been evacuated from leastern aleppo to the countryside. now this has turned to a swap in exchange for rebels and eastern aleppo allowed to leave, there are towns besieged by militant groups and people in those towns are allowed to leave as well. it is a swap and anytime there is a swap, it gets more complicated on the ground. you need more security guarantees. they have to happen simultaneously. there are so many groups on the ground fighting, the assad regime forces or pro assad
militias or jihadi groups on the ground, it takes just one of them to say we don't want this deal to happen. to start firing or set a few buses on fire like over the weekend, and it is derailed. the evacuations have resumed again. it will be a question of how long and how many people are able to be evacuated. >> if they can get aleppo evacuated, what then? the last rebel stronghold essentially and if you move rebels out of the other cities or individuals out of the cities, what then becomes the battle field in syria? >> reporter: that's the million dollar question. we know a lot of these groups leaving the eastern part of aleppo going to idlib along the turkish border. they will set up a refugee camp along the province.
the question remains what happens? will they put down their arms? is the syrian government going to stop attacking? the assad regime intends to retake every inch of syria. the battle for aleppo clearly seems to be over, the war for syria will still continue. >> muhammad lila, thank you very much. 17 minutes past the hour. here at home, the hunt is on to find a man who shot and killed a 3-year-old during an apparent road rage incident. it unfolded saturday in little rock, arkansas. he got mad at a grandmother who was moving too slow in front of him. he started honking his horn. when she stopped, he got out and opened fire. one bullet hit the boy. crimestoppers is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to conviction. attorney general loretta lynch opening up about the meeting with bill clinton over
the summer. lynch told jake tapper she didn't know their talk would turn out to be so problematic. she insists she did not discuss anything inappropriate with clinton. especially the probe into the e-mail server. >> i do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him. it gave people concern. my greatest concern is making sure people understand the department of justice looks at everybody equally and independently. when you give somebody a reason to think something differently, it was painful for me. it was important to clarify it as quickly as possible. >> now that meeting came before the fbi which lynch supervises was set to deliver its findings in the e-mail probe. a deadly terror attack on a popular tourist spot in the
>> reporter: christine, jordanian authorities are saying the attack was a terrorist attack carried out by a group of attackers. several shootings in southern jordan. the worst in and around the castle in the city of karik. this is a 12th century castle in southern jordan. what happened there according to authorities was that a number of gunmen moved in position in the castle on the hill top overlooking the city. they opened fire on security forces. a gun battle ensued. we the operation was over, we heard from security forces who said four attackers described as terrorists were killed. they found a large amount of weaponry on them. automatic weapons and ammunition. in the house in the nearby town, they say the terrorists were also using security forces say
they found suicide belts as well as explosives. the majority of the casualties in this attack were members of the jordanian security forces, but civilians and one canadian tourist was killed. this sort of attack is rare in jordan. this is a country that prides itself with security and stability in the midst of the turbulent region. security forces have foiled sever several terror plots. it is unclear who is behind the sunday terror attack. jordanian authorities are investigating this. they are trying to identify these attackers and their affiliations. christine, miguel. jomana, thank you. actress and socialite zsa zsa gabor has died. she passed away of heart failure at the age of 99.
always a mystery of her age. the hungarian actress immigrated to the u.s. with eva and magda. gabor appeared in movies of 1952 were t "moulan rouge." she was famous for just being famous. gabor spent nearly 75 years in the public eye. darling. sad. the "star wars" franchise came out top. took over $290 million at the box office. making it the top movie around the world. that number does not include china. the world's second largest movie market. in north america, an impressive $155 million. this exceeds the forecast and is stirring excitement for the
episode eight. it is validation of the disney strategy to give us the film while we wait for the big blockbuster. it is not part of the skywalker saga, but enough for fans to spend $290 million to quench their thirst until next year. that's a movie? "star wars?" >> love it. good guys and bad guys. today, all eyes on a single event. we usually take it for granted. electoral college vote for president. what to expect next on "early start."
generosity is its oyou can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose.
finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. donald trump's formal election expected later today. will any electors go rogue and break with tradition? and u.s. intelligence says russia hackers aimed to influence the election. escape from aleppo. sabotage. buses set on fire. delaying evacuations from the war zone. welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm miguel marquez. good morning. 30 minutes past the hour. today is election day. not for hundreds of millions of americans, but select 538 members of the electoral college who officially directly vote for
president. donald trump's formal election is pretty much foregone conclusion. although there is drama behind the vote than there has been in generations. trump's opponents have been lobbying electors to convince to vote against the man they are pledged to elect. this as the trump transition fights back against the assessment that russian hacking was to help trump win. for latest, let's bring in ryan nobles in mar-a-lago. >> reporter: after wrapping up the thank you tour, the trump family is here in south florida getting ready to celebrate the christmas holiday. trump administration has a couple of holes to fill. including the secretary of the veterans administration. no word if that will come before the christmas holiday. the trump transition is pushing back on the u.s. intelligence assessment that russia attempted to intervene in the united
states election to help donald trump. this is what incoming chief of staff reince priebus said this weekend. >> if there is this con clclusi opinion, they should issue a report or stand in front of a camera and make the case. >> reporter: monday is an important day for donald trump. electors from around the country formally cast ballots to elect him the next president of the united states. there has been an effort by liberal groups to stall the election to allow the electors to hear intelligence briefing about the alleged hack or convince them to not cast ballots for trump. there is not expected to be any widespread revolt, but it is something that has the president-elect's attention. on sunday, he tweeted the following. if my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned and called terrible names.
there have been reports that electors have been receiving death threats and others receiving tens of thousands of e-mails a day to convince them to vote for someone other than trump. that being said, we don't expect anything to happen out of the ordinary in the process. aspe expected, it will play out that donald trump will be elected. >> thank you, ryan. senator john mccain soupedisoupe sounding alarm on the election hacking. saying it could destroy democracy. joining with chuck schumer calling for a select committee to investigate hacking. on cnn's state of the union, mccain calling the cyber attacks paralyzed. >> we need to get to the bottom of this and need to find out what was done and what the implications of the attacks were.
especially if they had an effect on other election. there is no doubt they were interfering and it was a cyber attack. the question now is how much and what damage and what should the united states of america do? so far, we have been totally paralyzed. this is serious business. if they are able to harm the electoral process then they destroyed democracy which is based on free and fair elections. >> senator mccain talking about russia and other countries. not china. i misspoke. congressional leaders rejected mccain and schumer's idea of select committee. they can be investigated through existing committees. and in russia, vladimir putin's spokesperson denying russia was behind any election cyber attack and arguing the u.s. should prove the claim or shut up. the spokesperson calling the ongoing accusations indecent and
unseemly. senior correspondent matthew chance is in moscow with the latest for us. matthew, those are pretty tough words from the spokesperson. is this posturing by the government or where does this go? what does the government believe and say? >> reporter: they are tough words. you are right. they are similar to the trump campaign in terms of looking for evidence in the u.s. intelligence community to prove this allegation that russia was behind the hacking. russia had it done on the scales when it came to the trump election. you get the sense saying the same thing. denials since october when the story first floated at the height of the u.s. campaign. you get the sense they are confident there is no concrete proof anyone can put out in the public that this is undoubtedly the russians responsible for this. they have smart people engaged
in cyber espionage. there is a ground swell of calls in russia and the united states and elsewhere as well because these are serious allegations and a potential act of war from a country with nuclear weapons so the consequences could be serious. there is a ground swell of opinion if there is evidence out there declassified, the officials should try and do that. although, obviously, that could potentially be compromising. that is the russian position. nothing to do with it. that's what the trump campaign is saying as well. no evidence that russia was involved. >> despite the strong front the russians put forward, vladimir putin made a speech saying they will bulk up defenses against cyber intrusions. they must be taking some of it seriously. >> reporter: oh, yeah. they are taking it seriously. they have always taken cyber
security seriously in russia. they have spoken about it for years. the idea the computer systems are vulnerable from attack by the outside. the vulnerability is real and the threat they feel is even more real. now that president obama has come out for the second time now that if it is decided that russia is responsible, the united states has the ability to strike back at a time of its choosing. obviously, that leaves open a range of possibilities here in russia that the russians are concerned about. whether the united states will actually take the step and strike back with the considerable abilities with cyber warfare is unclear at this stage. it could reveal in a cycle of counter measures taken by each party. nevertheless, russia is vulnerable to cyber attack and the united states has the ability to carry out cyber attacks. >> we all wait to see what
president obama presents in the report in the hours before he leaves office. matthew chance, thank you. the u.s. navy waiting for china to return an under water drone seized in international waters last week. this two days after the chinese government promised to return it escalating tensions in the diplomatic effort. donald trump sending out provocative tweets accusing china of stealing the drone. saying the u.s. should let them keep it. matt rivers has more from b beijing. >> reporter: the seizure of the u.s. navy drone by a chinese naval ship played out over the weekend. we found out about it on friday. it was saturday when the ministry of defense in beijing confirmed what happened. said it would return the drone to the united states. then it was president-elect trump's turn to weigh in. he tweeted twice. the second tweet appearing more
aggressive. saying the united states should let china keep the drone and not worry about getting it back. on sunday, it was the state-run media in china. their turn to weigh in on this. a state-run tabloid which is known for the provocative views on issues that really stood out to us. let's read you some of the comment that was written about the subject. it read in part, quote, the tone of a bystander fanning flames in the second tweet is worrisome that he may tweet the relationship with super powers as a game. given he is not in the white house. the official chinese rhetoric has been measured, but this restraint will not last when he officially becomes president if he tweets china the way he tweeted today. that matters because state-run newspapers in china is that. nothing gets published without the signoff of communist party
censors. you may not hear the foreign affairs ministry get up and make statements, but this is a state-run newspaper with state views. the question is how will this affect u.s.-chinese relationship going forward? if you look at what has happened, it is the latest negative incidents in terms of the relationship with both sides. it all surrounds the incoming trump administration. donald trump taking a call in early december from the president of taiwan and questioning the one china policy and tweeting about this latest incident and its drawn the ire of the chinese government. whether that is part of the trump administration plan going forward we are not sure. the tough take on china. it is safe to say on the chinese side that the chinese government given statements not happy so far with the take and the track of the incoming trump administration. matt rivers, cnn, beijing.
>> matt rivers, thank you. all that black friday hype. the deals are still there. retailers rolling out new deals ahead of christmas weekend. saturday was what the retail folks call super saturday. more than 155 million people said they would shop for holiday gifts. that makes super saturday busier than black friday. you can credit procrastination. >> don't know about that. >> only 10% of shoppers are finished. retailers are looking to finish strong after a solid first half. sales jumped 3.8% in november. online jumped 11%. how will you get the packages? fed ex and u.p.s.? they are handling the amazon and walmart orders. they expect a repocord number o packages. they built new facilities. so far, no reported slowdowns even with the winter weather last week. good thing. online retailers are pushing a
ton of shipping deals to get packages delivered by this weekend. today, get it by the weekend. some offering two-day shipping for free or deep discounts, especially if you spend $50 or more. are you done, miguel? >> i'm done. i like to go to the store and buy things. gift cards. e-mail them. you can do that on christmas day. >> that's so thoughtful. plans to escape from war-torn aleppo go up in smoke. buses caught on fire. a live report from the syrian border coming up.
evacuations have resumed in aleppo. red cross says ambulances and buses carrying at least 1,000 people left rebel held areas in the war-torn city. efforts to get the civilians out of the area were put on hold after a number of buses set on fire. right there, that is a picture. those buses were carrying -- meant to carrying people to get out of the city. all of this as a plan to monitor evacuati evacuations. we have muhammad lila on the border with the latest. people trying to evacuate all
along here and somebody could try to disrupt the entire process here by causing violence. >> reporter: good morning, christine. of course, the images show how fragile this process is and how easy it is for a rouge group to detra derail the process. i'm live on the turkish side of the bordeborder. there was no movement of the buses over the weekend. finally this upmonday morning, e buses are moving once again. the latest estimates we have suggest that 3,000 people have already been evacuated. it has now become more than just a simple evacuation. actually a population transfer in exchange for allowing the people in the besieged part of eastern aleppo to leave to get to freedom and medical treatment they need. there are a couple of villages surround by militant jihadi
groups. people inside those villages are allowed to leave as well. people transferred from both sides into safety. the problem, christine, when you have a transfer, it gets harder to monitor. these things have to take place at the same time. there has to be protection and security. some of that security might get bolstered today. the united nations security council is talking about a plan to send in independent observers to monitor the situation on the group ground. christine, up until this point, the red cross doesn't have the security guarantees to make sure the evacuation process can go on without a hitch. if there are evinternational observers, the hope is the evacuations will allow people to get to freedom. that could be the first step and i say maybe in establishing some tenuous or nationwide cease-fire. >> maybe. the operative word has been for
four long years. muhammad lila, thank you. attorney general loretta lynch opening up about the meeting with bill clinton over the summer. she told jake tapper she did not know their talk would turn out to be so problematic. she insists she did not discuss anything about the e-mails serve error inappropriate. >> i did sit down and have a conversation with him. i regret that. my greatest concern has been making sure that the department of justice works in a way that is independent and looks at everybody equally. when you do something that gives people a reason to think differently, that's a problem. it was a problem for me. it was painful for me. so i felt it was important to clarify it as quickly and clearly as cleanly as possible. >> the meeting became before the fbi which she supervises was set to deliver the findings in the
killed four gunman linked to terror attack. authorities say the gunman targeted ancient castle popular with tourists. ten people died in the attack. including two civilians and a tourist. 34 people were wounded. we get more now from cnn's jomana karadsheh in amman. >> reporter: christine and miguel, jordanian authorities are saying the attack was a terrorist attack carried out by a group of attackers. there were several shootings in southern jordan. the worst in and around the castle in the city of karik. this is a 12th century crusader castle. the main tourist attraction in southern jordan. what happened is a number of gunmen moved in position in the castle on the hill top overlooking the city. a gun battle ensued and they were surrounded. when the operation ended, we
heard from security authorities here who say at least four attackers, they describe as terrorists, were killed. they say they found a large amount of weaponry on them. automatic weapons and ammunition. now in a house in a nearby town, they say that the terrorists were using, security forces, they say found suicide belts as well as explosives. the majority of the casualties in this attack were members of the jordanian security forces, but also civilians and one canadian tourist was killed. this sort of attack is rare in jordan. this is a country that prides itself with security and stability in the midst of the turbulent region. over the past year, authorities here say they have foiled a few terrorist plots. including one by isis. it is unclear who is behind sunday's terror attack. jordanian authorities say they
are investigating this. they are trying to identify these attackers and their affiliations. christine,ing m miguel. actress and talk show host, zsa zsa gabor has died. her spoke person says she died of heart failure on sunday in her bel air mansion at the age of 99. she was always secretive about that. the hungarian actress emigrated to the u.s. with her sisters eva and magda. she appeared in several movies. the well known in 1952 "moulan rouge." she was a pioneer in the art of being famous for being famous. gabor spent nearly 75 years in the public eye, darling. 56 minutes past the hour. let's get a check on cnn money stream. this could be the day the dow could take a shot at the 20,000
market. stocks open two hours in europe. they are down. shares in asia are closed and began the week with losses. oil is higher. nine trading days left in the year. the dollar is down a little bit. in just five months, mortgage rates have jumped one full percentage point. the national average for a 30-year fixed hit 4.38% over the weekend. it was just 3.34% earlier this year. the fed interest rate hike is one reason. the rise started before then as investors bet donald trump's pro growth spending policies will push interest rates higher. to put the 1 point rise in perspective. a $250,000 loan costs $1,100 a month. we did the math for you. 4.38%, it is $150 more a month for the same house.
$54,000 more over 30 years for the same house in the same loan. real money. it is real money to real families. apple and ireland are fighting the eu for the fine that apple was ordered to pay. european officials singled the company out as a convenient target. ireland is accusing the european commission of meddling with sovereignty by demanding it recover the back taxes from apple. both vow to fight in court. experts say that fight could take a long time. ireland has one of the lowest tax rates in europe. a known tax haven. the irish government afraid multinationals will be less likely to invest. that could cost the country thousands of jobs. this is just the early innings of what is a fight with the eu. >> all this as brexit makes dublin and ireland more
attractive. "early start" continues right now. >> the electoral college votes just hours from now. the outcome not in doubt, but plenty of reasons to pay attention. and russian hackers aimed to influence the election. the russians say prove it. mass evacuations from war-torn aleppo in syria. a race against time to get survivors out alive. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm miguel marquez. it is monday, december 19th. christmas just around the corner. it is 5:00 a.m. here on the east. happening today, members of the electoral college cast votes for the president of the united states. donald trump's formal election is pretty much a foregone conclusion. although there is drama behind the electoral college vote than in generations.
trump opponents are trying to lobby to convince them to vote against the man they are pledged to elect. this as the trump transition team fights back that the russian hack was there to help them win. let's bring in ryan nobles from the mar-a-lago estate in florida. >> reporter: christine and miguel, after wrapping up the thank you tour, trump and his family are here in south florida getting ready to celebrate the christmas holiday. the donald trump administration still has a couple of holes to fill. including the secretary of veterans administration. no word if that announcement will come before the christmas holiday. the trump transition is pushing back on the u.s. intelligence assessment that russia attempted to intervene to help donald trump. this is what incoming chief of staff reince priebus said this weekend. >> if there is a conclusive opinion among the intelligence agencies, theyho