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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 29, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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hello, everyone, i'm fredricka whitfield in for brooke baldwin today. the obama administration is preparing for payback against russia as soon as today for meddling in the u.s. election. the u.s. is expected to retaliate with expanded sanctions, diplomatic measures and later covert actions. the upcoming announcement is already putting the kremlin on defense. russia warning it will respond to any hostile new steps. but president-elect trump, who takes office in just 22 days, doesn't seem too worried about the idea of a foreign adversary hacking into the election, instead writing it off as sour grapes. standing next to boxing promoter don king at the mar-a-lago
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resort, the president-elect says it's time to "get on with our lives." imthe prom tu news conference is hard to hear but we have some titled it for you. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. i think computers have complicated lives very grately. the whole age of computer has made writ nobody knows kpa wh s going on. we have speed, we have other things but i'm not sure you have the kind of security you need. but i have not spoke within the senators and i certainly will be over a period of time. >> cnn's athena jones is following the latest developments. so athena, talk us through this retaliation, these measures, this obama administration is likely to take against russia. >> hi, fred that's right. we expect to hear what these measures are as early as today, even as early as the next few hours. you mentioned some of them, expanded sanctions and diplomatic measures, also a possibly covert action,
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unannounced moves that we'll never hear about. one more thing we expect from the administration is that they will name individuals associated with the russian disinformation campaign and that's really what it's about, fred, russia is known for using disinformation campaigns to meddle in and influence elections in several countries. so u.s. intelligence officials believe they used hacked information, mostly from democratic party officials and organizations to attack hillary clinton and her presidential campaign and so one of the measures would involve naming those individuals and this comes, though, as you mentioned as president-elect trump has continued to be dismissive of this whole idea that russia meddled in the election. his views are at odds with members of his own party including arizona senator john mccain who said i agree with president-elect trump, we should get on with our lives without having elections affected by any outside influence. trump's views at odds with
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members of his own party and certainly democrats on capitol hill. fred? >> athena jones in honolulu where the president is enjoying his holiday break. for more on russia's reaction, let's go live to moscow. cnn international correspondent matthew chance is there. matthew, what are they saying about the retaliation that the u.s. is planning? >> it's interesting toer that that donald trump may well be out of sync with other members of his party but he's in lockstep with what the kremlin is saying because he again cast doubt on the possibility that russia was involved in this saying there's no evidence. that's exactly what the kremlin is saying in their latest act at the russian foreign ministry. they say this is misinformation, these hacking allegations put about by the obama administration aiming to provide an excuse for their own failure. they're also identified they will strike back, as it were. if there are any more sanctions
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imposed on russia, if washington does take you hostile, they will be answered, any abcs against russian diplomatic missions in the united states will ricochet on u.s. diplomats in russia. that was a statement that came last night as these reports first emerged that we were waiting for sanctions from the obama administration on russia over these hacking allegations. the russians say they will hit back if these sanctions are delivered. >> matthew chance, thank you so much. this breaking news on more detail perhaps on what the obama administration has planned. our evan perez is joining us now with more information on this. evan? >> the white house is out, including new information from the treasury department. they've added according to this information five entities and four people. these are all officials, high-level officials in the russian gru which is the
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military intelligence unit of the russian spy services. this is one of the agencies, one of the spy services that is blamed for penetrating the dnc, the democratic national committee, as well as carrying out hacks of other democratic party organizations in the past year and they were frankly playing a central role in this russian -- the u.s. intelligence agencies say is a russian disinformation campaign that has been going on in the past year. according to the u.s., a lot of this was aimed at harming the campaign of hillary clinton and helping donald trump's election so right now we see the first time, for the first time the names of some very high level officials in russian intelligence who have now been placed on sanctions lists, including some of the top officials from the gru. this is the russian military intelligence unit that was responsible, the u.s. belief believes, for some of the hacks. and we're still reading through
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the information that has come through from the treasury department, we expect we're also going to see from the state department we'll see some democrat actions that the u.s. will take against russia. we're waiting to see what that entails but, again, right now, at this time we have the first list of individuals and entities that have been sanctioned by the obama administration. >> evan, hold tight. i want to go back to athena jones in honolulu where president obama is vacationing with family. athena, what do we know about why now? the timing of this with the naming of names and these entities being blamed? >> well, the hope is that this will have some impact, why did this take so long? why wasn't it sooner? the white house has been asked that question quite a bit and their response for starters is they wanted to make sure intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies were able to do their work. able to carry out thorough
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investigations, to make sure they had evidence they needed that russia was behind this attack. we know the white house has come under fire including from democrats to not responding sooner. that's their answer. another part of their answer is they wanted to be able to protect the classified sources and methods they've used to determine that russia was behind these actions and there's also some sensitivity. the white house didn't want to appear to be putting their nger on the scale for the president's preferred candidate hillary clinton. they believed she was going to win and they didn't want to give who they thought would be the defeated donald trump any excuses to question the ledge a legitimacy of the election. these are the steps the white house have taken. we're going through them and will be able to report more in the coming hours. fred? >> athena jones, thanks so much. i want to get more information and bring that to us. let's talk more about this now with major general james "spider" marks, a cnn military analyst. i also want to bring in david n
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andelman, a columnist for "usa today" and a opinion writer. general, you first, your reaction to the name of names, five names evan perez is reporting from the white house in terms of their culpability, involvement in influencing u.s. elections. >> first of all i don't think we should be releasing those names. i think the fact those names are available, in other words there is, in fact, a very strong intelligence effort. these names have been uncovered. we have with levels of certainty an understanding of who took place, what took place, who directed it, et cetera. that should be kept behind closed doors. we shouldn't be announcing that right now. what it comes down to is the notion of what is the united states' intention relative to russia and its involvement? i hate the word "meddling." when you look at the cyber domain, the cyber online
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activities are, in fact, a domain of war, much like we have sea, we have air, we have land, laws of warfare. we simply don't have that yet in the cyber domain. that needs to be addressed. for us to be involved in a response to what russia is doing online and using those elements of power, that should be quiet diplomacy and if there are covert actions we should be taking them and not announcing them. >> david, your view on whether the u.s. should be releasing these names, the information? >> i think the releasing of the names does very little. it is the one irreversible fact that the united states can do. that can't be reversed. once those names are out there, they're out there and donald trump or the trump administration can't withdraw them, can't annul those operations. what is interesting. i would suspect as i mentioned in our break i visited the cyber command in estonia. they said there are a myriad of
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efforts we can make against the russians that i suspect frankly may very well be on route simultaneously with these others to send the -- a comparable message to the russians. >> like what? >> denial of service attacks. they can wipe computer drives, they can do all sorts of interesting things like that. what they have to be aware of, though, and this is something th they emphasized, is we don't want to give away too much to the russians in this about what our capabilities are and what our offensive -- what defensive capabilities are. and that's something the russians would always be watching for in the event that we lit up some of these capabilities. so that's very important going forwar forward. >> general, what about that releasing these names acts as a deterrent, that the administration is taking action now that it has the information from the intelligence community. as a way from deterring something like this happening again? >> thank that is an a priori
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condition for taking action. we don't want to give away our capabilities but at the same time it's very difficult to talk about proportionality or an in-kind or asymmetric type of response when we're talking about the cyber domain. we simply don't understand what that is. what is proportionality if they are, "involved" in our election. what's a proportional response to russia and what does that look like? i think in a kinetic spence in other those domains of war we have an understanding of what that might look like. >> so, david, putting these entities on a list where sanctions are incoming, this is a decision of the president's white house. but if donald trump, the president-elect, has said he is willing to undo executive orders put in place by president obama, what happens? >> it can be done in an instance
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but not only against individuals. there's a broad array of sanctions en route that are in place against russia right now. what's going to happen as soon as next june sanctions will have to come up for renewal against units of the russian government and so on. these are the sanctions that have bit and if the europeans which have been unanimous in the -- in enforcing these sanctions, if they begin to sense that the united states wants to pull back or is, indeed, going to pull back, that could influence their willingness to go forward unanimously and that lets the russians off the hook. >> 22 days to go before swearing in could sanctions be imposed in that body of time, can an impact be made in a matter of weeks? >> they can be imposed instantly. sanctions take time to bite. they do take time to take
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effect. when they're against individuals, you can freeze bank accounts and so on. those can be unfrozen in a matter of a flip of a switch or a signature on a piece of paper so sanctions themselves are not necessarily a long-term fix unless you get a you 'nam anymo -- unanimity of action throughout western europe and going forward in the trump administration. >> general, how do you see this potentially impact u.s./russian relations? whether those sanctions are imposed right away or whether it takes them time and then they're simply reversed by a new administration. >> that's the question that i see right now. what we see taking place is a transition that is in a certain level of disruption, if you will. and that it's very clear that an incoming president has stated he wants to try to correct a relationship with russia. he made the statement today that we need to get on with our lives, which is really a statement of let's keep this disabout the right now. let's try to figure this stuff out but we, the united states,
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and the russian federation need to be able to get along and figure out where those areas are. so we see a great difference between what this outgoing administration is trying to achieve in these last few days and what the new administration is going to do. it wouldn't be surprising to see the sanctions undone with the stroke of a pen. >> i was handed a statement coming from the president of the united states, from the office of the press secretary saying this and it's a four paragraph statement so i won't be able to read all of it to you but i'll give you a portion of it. "today i have ordered a number of actions in response to russian government's harassment at cyber elections aimed at the u.s. election. these actions follow repeated private and public warnings we have issued to the russian government and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm u.s. interests in violation of established international norms and behav r behavior." respond to that. >> this is just an announce.
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that they are doing this. this was anticipated for today. what he doesn't say is what are the specifics? what have they done? what has he ordered done we may never see? has he ordered the people in estonia at the nato cyber command to take action. has he ordered pentagon cyber officials to take action? the nsa? that's something we don't know and may never know. >> when we're in a commercial break i'll read this statement thoroughly and we'll bring that as well. >> i hope it's not in there, fred. >> okay, well let's pick up this conversation on the other side of the break. general, david, thank you so much. ten days after the terrorist attack in berlin, police departments from times square to the rose bowl in pasadena announcing enhanced security measures heading into new year's eve weekend. i'll talk to the police chief of pasadena about what he has learned from studying previous attacks and how he plans to protect a five mile parade
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route. after months of nothing, what u.s. intelligence is learning about the latest movements of isis bleeder baghdadi. where he has been and might be going. we'll take you live to the pentagon. also straight ahead 2, 2 days away, revealing new details about trump's plans for his inauguration speech. how long or how short it's going to be. the past presidents that he is using for inspiration and his vision on how to bring the nation together. we're back in a moment.
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welcome back. breaking news. the obama white house imposing
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sanctions and naming names of the russian entities and individuals believed to be involved in cyber hacking of this u.s. -- of this country, influence the u.s. elections. athena jones is traveling with the president in honolulu. athena, more now on what this president is willing to reveal. >> we have a statement from the president we've gotten in the last couple of minutes. i want to read to you the major points. the president says today i have ordered a number of actions in response to the russian government's aggressive harassment of u.s. officials and cyber operations these followed warnings we issued to the government and follow responses to harm u.s. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior
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the president says "in october my administration analyzed that russian intended to interfere with the u.s. election process. these data theft and arkive theties could only have been directed by the highest levels of the russian government. moreover our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in moscow by russian security services and police over the last year. such activities have consequences. today i have order add number of actions in response. among those actions, fred, we've will been talking about sanctions against nine entities and individuals including individuals from russian intelligence services, also from the fsb, what replaces the kgb. two russian intelligence services, four individual officers of russian intelligence, three companies that provided by material support to those cyber operations. also the secretary of the treasury is designating two russian individuals for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and
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personally identifying information. we also learned that the state department is shutting down two russian compounds in maryland and new york that the government says were used by russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes about declaring 35 russian intelligence operatives as persona non-grata. that is among the actions that the administration is announcing today in addition to the department of homeland security and the fbi releasing declassified technical information on these russian civilian and military intelligence services so people who are trying to defend those networks have the information they need a lot of information but those are the key points. >> very comprehensive. persona non-grata, in other words deportation for many. evan perez is back with that. how immediately are we talking?
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>> once the state department declares these diplomats to be persona non-grata they have to get out of the country as soon as possible. we expect the russians will respond in kind. the u.s. i'm sure has already prepared for the fact that the russians are going to expel u.s. diplomats from russian as well as perhaps curtail some of their cooperation with u.s. law enforcemen enforcement. the obama administration is saying the fbi and homeland security department will release declassified investigation they've collected over the last couple years that details the way in which the russian intelligence services have been breaking into not only security apparatus of the united states but of the private sector. that was the big problem when the nsa and the fbi first noticed that the russian intelligence services had broken into the democratic national
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committee. there's a lot of information they had had but could not share but it was classified. a major part of the administration announcing is pushing to the private sector so you'll see ip addresses, things that could help prevent russian security services from using the same tactics. this means they'll find new ones to break into web sites and computer systems in this country. we expect those services already know some of the stuff they've been doing in the last couple years, they've hacked into the state department and white house. we know that that's one reason why they knew the activity was directing back to russia. we expect now the security services will change their tactics. another part of this is the announcement that they're sanctioning the fsb and gru. these are the two big security services of the russian government. that's unheard of. unprecedented for the u.s.
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government to go after the security apparatuses in this manner of the russian government. i suspect you'll see a fierce response from moscow as a result of these sanctions. fred. >> evan, the expectation would be the white house would know -- there would be severe reaction coming from russian and that it would mean u.s. personnel in country would be asked to leave or demanded to leave. is there any feeling that they have already been given notice by washington to make their way out before in notice? this would be made public. >> well, there was a lot of legal work to make sure what the fbi and dhs are able to release is declassified. doesn't betray any sources and method methods and they go to the u.s.
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embassy and say they know you have x number of people being asked to leave so get ready to make sure people can get out of here and this they've come ploo -- completed their work. a lot of preparation that goes into this. fred, the other part of this is that the united states wanted to make sure was this was proportional and wouldn't get out of hand to make sure there wasn't a cyber war that gets declared as a result of this. the u.s. government has said the obama administration has said that part of this is going tobacco verdict response, that we may never know the totality of and i think that's one of the things that the russians are going to look out for. >> so david, is this proportional and just to evan's point there might be elements of this but the public may never.
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>> one of the things the u.s. says is they'll release what how the russians were hacking us. >> what's the benefit of doing that? >> there's a benefit of doing that to let everybody know we're for real. the down side of doing that is that the same time russians will also know what our capabilities where of monitoring what they're doing. so they change that way of doing it because they know we have the ability to watch them operate against us and they -- and that they know we've done that. and everybody knows we've done that. that changes the whole modality of how this cyber defensive war, shall we say is operating. when i was in estonia with the nato cyber command, one thing they said was there were a lot of defensive measures we can take. we're not necessarily going on the offense. going on the offensive can touch off a cyber war and then we're
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talking about major changes, attacks on the power grid, on a huge host of issues. >> and quickly politically, does this play to the hand of strengthening president obama by doing this but at the same time perhaps undermining potentially weakening the incoming president? >> well, it changes the way you will have to operate. there's no doubt about that the russians are now going to be suspicion of almost everything the united states does and remember we will have fewer assets that the new president, president trump can call on within the intelligence community because they're going to have been sent packing. it will take time to rebuild these networks, to bring people back on line to familiarize themselves with what's going on. i did a piece in fact for cnn opinion about two weeks ago on this whole question of how do we operate. how does the -- how do we operate against the russians and richard dear love, the former head of mi-6, british intelligence, said the russians have some capabilities that we know about and they may not know
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that we know about and that's very important. >> matthew chance is in moscow. matthew, how is this news mitting moscow? >> well, it's all happening so quickly that we haven't had a chance to get any reaction yet, i tried to speak to the kremlin, i've asked them for their reactions, same with the foreign ministry as yell but they've not got back to us yet. i'm certain they will react. they said as much just last night, the russian foreign ministry spokesman telling me that if u.s. diplomats are targeted in the way they have been and the state department is saying it's expelling 35 russian diplomats from washington and san francisco from my early reading of this statement then that's going to be answered in a reciprocal way. the russian foreign ministry saying that this will ricochet immediately on u.s. diplomats operating in moscow and in the rest of russia as well and so i expect we're going to see.
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this hadn't been announced yet but i expect to see a tit for tat reciprocal action in the hours ahead. >> one of my producers telling me in my ear, matthew, that diplomat there is have 72 hours in which to leave. how might that impact those american diplomat there is with just that little bit of time? >> well, it's not very long, is it? but that's the kind of time frame they usually give diplomats when they're expelled under those kinds of circumstance circumstances. i expect the reaction of the russian foreign ministry with will be swift. >> okay, the producer telling me it's russian diplomats being given 72 hours, david, in which to leave this country. we heard through our reporting the maryland and new york installations being shut down so is that much time or that too much time? >> that's basically the standard. 72 hours is the standard protocol.
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what is interesting is that they're closing down these facilities and this could hurt russians' ability to keep track of certain things over here because those kinds of facilities that do have high tech capabilities and so forth and where the russians can base themselves outside of their immediate embassy building here. >> knowing that could happen, it would seem there would be a plan "b," plan "c" that they would always have that. that they were found out or something like this were to be revealed what's the plan to make sure there's still something in place if they were forced to leave. >> no doubt. what is interesting to know is whether any american diplomats outside of moscow will be affected by this. other operations of the united states in russia. and that will be interesting to find out as we go forward. >> again, just clarity for those
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just joining us. the white house, the obama white house now saying that there are at least 35 russian officials operating in the united states who are considered persona non-grata, are being asked to leaf and we understand through the state department and other sources they have 72 hours to leave. there are installations in maryland and new york being shut down. we have reaction coming from the obama white house and in support of u.s. intelligence saying russia did influence u.s. elections. we'll have much more on this conversation. we'll take a short break for now. we'll be right back.
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a welcome back, i'm fredricka whitfield. more on our breaking news, the obama white house making strong statements with russian cyber hacking threatening to deport or ask for the departure of 35 russian operatives. i have a fantastic panel of people joining us is, general spider marks with us now. general marks. this is what's being revealed in a lengthy four-paragraph statement from the white house but a lot of information we don't know in terms of what where the action -- what the action the white house is going to take. what's your reaction right now? >> we should all be surprised. i'm being facetious here.
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spies spy and when they get caught they're asked to leave. that's what we have going on here. russia clear ly conducted an influence operation. the fact that we're talking about the influence operation to get engaged and influence the outcome of our presidential election by way of using the internet and conducting an operation that allowed voters to get certain types of information and disinformation. that's what spies do. we should not be surprised by this at all and my view of all of this is that this should be below the radar. this is the activity that we should be able to take, allow to occur as a matter of routine and dispel these folks and at some point other folks will come back in and the united states and russia -- >> am i hearing you right? you're saying this should be done quietly? >> it should. >> but the deportation or the dispelling, expelling of these people, these 35 operatives, the
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closing down that should not be in public view. >> we should say you 35 folks are gone. you're disinvited. your visa for being here, your diplomatic passport for being here is rescinded. you need to go away. that should be the end of it. what we should don't is have this public discussion about what we know and don't know and open the door in terms of sources and methods and what we can and should do and this is all based on activity that's taking place on line which, again, i view this as a military guy and a national security guy, this is a new domain of warfare. we are conducting forms of warfare, albeit you could get into intellectual discussions about what that looks like, but if russian jets flew back a carrier battle ground in the indian ocean or someplace else we'd be up in arms and talking about this. >> is the difference here because there was public
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discourse? there was confusion publicly about the potential influence, about the intelligence community saying yes, indeed, u.s. elections were impacted by this kind of cyber hacking and so the american people are owed an explanation of transparency of how this investigation is unfolded and what potential repercussions there are? >> i think what we're doing is we've conflated a couple things here, fred. number one is we can state emphatically that russian hacking got involved in our election. we can put that on the table and say, yup, we all agree. what the result of that was where we have discourse and disagreement. did they, in fact, influence? did they in fact affect the outcome of this election. that's up for the debate and always will be so we should be able to have this discussion but what we do about it should be our options. all options should be on the table. we shouldn't draw -- this is again what i call -- this is analogous to the syrian red
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line. we shouldn't draw lines but if we do we need to ensure they are enforced. we'll have 35 diplomats disappear, all of those folks are spies, let's put that on the table. that's what diplomats are when they are overseas so those folks will be disspelled, they'll be replaced by other folks, there will be a new normalcy that will dha occur that will look very much like what we have right now. have we achieved anything? . we're making a lot of noise, i hope we can put the skins on the wall that say here are the results of what we did. >> so we've had a lengthy four photograph statement coming from the white house. we've tried to truncate the message by giving bullet point messaging now we have a statement from paul ryan saying russia does not share america's
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interests in fact, it has sought to undermine them, sewing dangerous instability around the world. while today's action by the administration is overdue, it's an appropriate way to end eight years of fail l policy with russia and serves as a prime sample of this administration's effect ineffective foreign policy that left america weaker in the eyes of the world so clearly a lot of disagreement onning one end, agreement on other ends as well. our former moscow bush roe chief jill dougherty also with us now. jill this is information -- i guess planned sanctions of that the administration had been promising to russia. is it still too early to hear a reaction, know how vamd and others are reacting to this there? >> they'll probably react pretty
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quickly because. [ inaudible ] i think one of the problems that this is a message for vladimir putin and the closer we get to vladimir putin in making this messa messa message [ inaudible ] >> jill, excuse me, i'm hearing in my ear piece but apparently the audio isser theable so we'll try to work that out and get back to you, jill. so back to you david andelman. so contrasting reactions here about the actions from president obama. this white house threatened that it would do something with the intelligence information that it received. this is the consequence now 35 operatives, there are sanctions, we're still waiting for more details but harsh criticism coming from the house speaker
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that this is too little too late. >> maybe too little and too much as well. but what's going to happen is we'll get rid of 35 russian spies here. some of whom were probably accomplished at what they did. these are not necessarily the people involved directly in this activity. people probably in the old kgb, the fsb, perhaps gru as well -- >> this country knew about them. >> we know about all these folks, that's easy to do. the fbi knows about them. >> what's different now is the association with the influence of the u.s. elections. >> what's interesting is also that we're going to lose a lot of our best people over there as a result so it's good and bad, they lose their best people here. we will lose our best people over there. >> how worrisome is that to you. >> worrisome, there's no doubt but this is the game that they play we have to show the russians we mean business, we've
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done that now. the russians will show they can take equal -- >> is the message that this country loses more by not reacting to, by not removing operatives that are here as opposed to what the u.s. loses by u.s. diplomats having to leave russian consequently? >> in my view we had to take some actions. this is the most clear appropriate and immediate action we can take we figure out how to work effectively. >> >> not just diplomats but operatives in russia. >> the people they are throwing out will be comparable. there will be people in our dia and our cia over there no doubt. >> david, we'll take a short break and continue our conversation, this breaking news about the repercussions now being imposed on russia as a result of it influencing u.s. elections. we'll be right back.
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back to our breaking news, the names of six russian nationals and five russian groups that the united states will punish for interfering in this year's election. but will president-elect trump continue what president obama has just started against russia? there is some question after trump's latest comments. cnn national correspondent suzanne malveaux joining me. suzanne, reporters just asked trump about russian sanctions and then he had some interesting comments. >> when donald trump says move on, he has very little appetite for economic sanctions against russia. he's indicate head would like a closer relationship with president putin who he expressed
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a great deal of admiration for. so here's how he spoke about punishing russia. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. computers have complicated our lives greatly. the whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows what's going on. we have speed, we have other things but i'm not sure you have to security you need but i have not spoken with the senators. >> so what is behind trump's thinking? well, this morning trump's incoming press secretary sean spicer explained it this way. he said they believe there are people on the left trying to undermine or discredit trump's big win and that is what is driving this. he says if the u.s. has clear evidence russia interfered with the election it should be put out there and made public. he says the need -- they need to see further facts. of course, fred, the intelligence community would certainly argue they have already presented that to trump. as for today trump is hunkering down at his mar-a-lago resort
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meeting with his senior team. they are prepping for the inaugural speech. he told presidential historian douglas brinkley who visited with him yesterday that he is going to write it himself. it will be short, he says and it will take on a tone reminisce september of two president he is admires -- ronald reagan and john f. kennedy. trump was also vetting candidates for the four remaining positions that are unfilled, most notably the secretary of veteran affairs. it was just yesterday fred he hosted three ceos of the country's top hospitals asking for their input. he is considering a controversial model which would partly privatize veterans health care and i'm told we could get a cabinet announcement before the weekend. >> all right, stay tuned. susan malveaux, thank you so much in washington. appreciate it. suzanne just mentioned trump's inauguration. more now from cnn presidential historian douglas brinkley. he had a conversation with trump about that upcoming speech.
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>> reagan is the one he talked about the first but he said not just the policies of reagan but just the way the style of the reagan years but also john f. kennedy. he felt kennedy has credence today. i want to get right to my point and write it myself and i maybe raised an eyebrow and he said look, i've done best selling books and i'm going to put my energy, it will be mine and i'm going to write it. >> so joining me now to talk more about this is cnn national political reporter maeve reston and craig shirley, a conservative political strategist who authored "last act, the final years, an emerging legacy of ronald reagan." good to see both of you. maeve, you first. trump reportedly saying he admired kennedy and his ability to motivate people, he brought
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up the moon landing. is it going to be a challenge for trump to be that inspiring and motivating after what many called his very dark speech at the republican national convention? is it likely we will see the rnc trump or the election night victory speech about unity trump? >> i mean, i think he has certain certainly heard the message the last couple weeks since he's been going through this transition that this is a time to pull the country together and to start taking that tone more seriously but with trump it's so hard to predict, even the moment he stands in front of the teleprompters. it's interesting he's mentioning folks like reagan and the idea of morning in america i could see him digging into that theme talking about bringing jobs back to the united states and reaching out to those forgotten voices who were such a big part of his campaign and his victory. but the fact that he's written
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best-selling books, those were about, like, ten ways to get to financial success or pull yourself out of the brink so the exercise of writing the inaugural speech is going to be a very different one from him and i bet he will take a lot of input on that. >> craig, what do you envision when you hear donald trump say he wants to somehow weave a ronald reagan and a john f. kennedy into his address? what are the characteristics that you envision that he's talking about? >> well, with jfk and ronald reagan these were naturally bubbly enthusiastic forward-looking individuals and they didn't write their own speeches, by the way, they had a lot of help. reagan had help and kennedy had help from ted sorensen. i think trump would be well served to get somebody to help him.
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i think they'll go through the speech. he'll have to go a far piece to get to jfk and reagan standards, the most cited gall addresses of the modern age since franklin roosevelt in 1933 when he said we have nothing to fear but fear itself so he's going to have to go a long way to meet or exceed jrv jfk and reagan. i don't know if he can do it but it will be interesting to see. >> trump also talked about his last phone call with president obama. take a listen. >> he called me, we had a very, very good talk about -- generally about things. he was in hawaii and it was a very, very nice call and i actually thought we covered a lot of territory. >> reporter: are you satisfied with the transition thus far? >> well, our staffs are getting along very well and i'm gettingalong very well with him other than a couple statements and i responded to him and we
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talked about it and smiled and it. >> so maeve this was yesterday. after this tweet where trump is talking about a transition with roadblocks and the transition not going smoothly. so do you see that there is maybe a resumption of what donald trump said that he and president obama -- i don't know, obama might act as his counsel in some way? that now that's back on? that kind of relationship? >> i think we see this so often from donald trump. he likes to play this cat-and-mouse game on twitter. there certainly have been a lot of bumps in this transition but president obama made it very clear from the outset that he was going to try to do everything he could to make sure that the staffs were meshing, that the information flow was really working so you know from trump's comments it seems like maybe that tweet was tongue in
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cheek and they talked about more serious things once they got on the phone because he's going to need a lot of help and he is clearly leaning on president obama for some of that. and new presidents like to consult with their predecessors so it will be interesting. mae reston, craig, shirley, thank you so much to both of you, appreciate it. >> thank you. more now on breaking news, the white house announcing punishment against russia for interfering in the presidential election including 135 russian diplomats ordered to leave the u.s. within 72 hours. we'll take you live to moscow. back in a moment. i really did ss of dollars on my car insurance with geico. i should take a closer look at geico... geico has a long history of great savings and great service. over seventy-five years. wait. seventy-five years? that is great. speaking of great, check out these hot riffs. you like smash mouth? uh, yeah i have an early day tomorrow so...
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welcome back. top of the hour in now, i'm fredricka whitfield. payback has begun. the u.s. government is
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retaliating over russia's hacking of the u.s. election. in abunprecedented step, the obama administration has just named names of those believed to be responsible. six russians and five entities including russia's main intelligence body now facing sanctions. this as obama orders 35 russian operatives to leave the united states and they have to do so within 72 hours. the president also announcing it is shutting down two russian compounds here in the u.s. russia will now fall victim to expanded sanctions, diplomatic measures and later covert actions russia warning it will respond to any hostile new steps. cnn's athena jones is following the latest developments. i'm joined by cnn justice correspondent evan perez. first to you athena in honolulu. the obama administration releasing a lengthy statement. what more? is next? >> hi, fred, that's right. it's a