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tv   At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan  CNN  December 30, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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hello. i'm kate bolduan. john berman is off. we have breaking news right now. the united states versus russia and the entire world is watching. the language both sides are using, the moves the two sides are making. it's changing practically every hour. here's the very latest. russian president vladimir putin saying just this morning that he will not hit back on president obama, surprising many considering the bad blood between these two men and the long diplomatic tradition of simply put, you hit me, i hit you back diplomacy. so no tit for tat at least for now. this all comes after the big announcement from president obama late yesterday kicking out
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dozens of russian diplomats, shutting down two russian compounds in the united states and slapping sanctions on some top russian officials. this as retaliation for what american officials believe is russia's cyberhacking during the election but this seems far from over. because of that, let's bring in our correspondents. we have them from moscow to washington. gauging what happens next. evan perez is in washington, jessica schneider is here in new york and matthew chance is watching this all in russia. matthew, to you first. what is russia saying right now? >> reporter: well, this was a remarkable bit of political theater, kate. first of all we had the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov appear on state television saying he's recommending to the kremlin that 35 u.s. diplomats should be expelled from russia in a tit for tat response to the expulsion of the 35 russian diplomats from the united states. he said it was for the russian president vladimir putin to make
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the final decision and that of course set the stage for vladimir putin to step up and play santa claus and to effectively say no, i'm not going to stoop to that level of diplomacy which is to paraphrase what he said, there aren't going to be any expulsions of diplomats, i'm not going to make it difficult for any u.s. diplomats, he said. in fact, he went even further and said he was inviting the children of u.s. diplomats to moscow, to christmas and new year's celebrations at the kremlin. he really was trying to sell himself as being magnanimous in this and to try and make the obama administration look petty and vindictive which is essentially what they were called by the foreign ministry beforehand. he said the restoration of u.s./russian ties will now be dependent on the policies of donald trump so the russian president now sitting tight and waiting for donald trump to take the white house because he believes the kremlin and the white house under trump are going to be able to do a deal on all sorts of issues that have divided these two countries over
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the past couple of years. >> you do wonder if you are allowed to be in the position of taking the high ground, if you are the one being accused of starting this by hacking in to the u.s. election. but regardless of that, let me move on to you, evan. there are a few parts to this retaliation coming from the united states. where is the meat of this punishment? how does this compare to actions of the obama administration in the past already against russia? >> actually, there's a lot of symbolic parts of this, of this package of sanctions the obama administration announced in the last 24 hours. we are talking about 35 diplomats that are packing their bags and have to get out of the country by sunday. nine entities and individuals that have been sanctioned including the gru, a military intelligence agency, and the fsb, the internal security agency in moscow, as well as shutting down these two compounds in new york and maryland. there's a lot of symbolism in all of this and when the administration was trying to do
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is send a message but trying to make sure this thing doesn't get out of control. i think part of the issue here is that if you compare it certainly to the sanctions the administration imposed after the russians annexed crimea, we are talking about economic sanctions, things that were meant to hurt the russian economy and hurt the russian people so they could feel what russia's foreign policy was doing to them. i think that's the comparison here. this is a lot more symbolic and i think that's one of the things the administration was trying to do, make sure this was limited and if the russians wanted to do tit for tat this would pretty much call it quits. >> exactly. evan, thank you for that. jessica, donald trump's response is that he's going to meet with intel leaders next week to get the facts of this situation, is essentially what he said. do we know yet from the transition who he will be meeting with and if it is different than the intel
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briefers that have already been offered up to him ever since the election? >> we just wrapped up a transition phone call with incoming press secretary sean spicer. he said we will be getting more information as to timing and participants possibly later today. what we know obviously is that donald trump does consult daily with his national security adviser michael flynn. he does have the presidential daily briefings available every day. he's been getting about one to three times a week. but it does seem donald trump wants a more focused and pinpointed examination of exactly what these intelligence -- this intelligence information entails. in fact, donald trump alluded to it in a statement he released last night after the sanctions were implemented. donald trump saying that it is time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. nevertheless, in the interests of our country and its great people, i will meet with the leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation. now, trump's team has repeatedly called for more information from the intelligence community. we heard from his adviser, top
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adviser kellyanne conway. she seems to undermine some of this intelligence, casting doubt on it. we heard from his incoming chief of staff reince priebus, who says he wants information from the intelligence community in unison. he wants more details. and interestingly, trump confidant rudy giuliani spoke out this morning and he put it quite bitingly, quite tersely. he said he would advise donald trump to actually have his own people do their own intelligence and issue their own report. he called the intelligence very flawed, incompetent, politicized, so a lot happening behind the scenes here, a lot swirling and kate, we don't know the particulars of what new information or intelligence donald trump will be getting, but they are calling for more of it and they are doubting some of the old intelligence as well. >> you also wonder what rudy giuliani is saying right there in terms of who would be gathering new intelligence, because the intel community, actually, for that, let me ask you, evan, who would be gathering new intel for donald
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trump? we are talking about the intelligence community that has put out this information, that has been gathering this information, that these sanctions are all based on. that's his intel community in 21 days. >> right. these are the people who will be working for him. these are professionals who do intelligence for a living. that's their job. so even if donald trump puts in his new leadership, pompeo at the cia, for instance, he hasn't even named a dni, director of national intelligence, it's going to take some time and they will get that intelligence presumably from some of the same people who are doing the work right now. i think one of the things that's happening is that donald trump hears the stuff that the intelligence community's saying and what he hears is that they are calling into question his -- the legitimacy of his victory. i don't think that's -- that's not what's happening. the intelligence community is simply saying this is what the russians were up to, this is what they were trying to do. none of us will ever know exactly all the different reasons why people pulled the
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levers that they did on election day and i don't think anybody is calling into question that donald trump would have won whether or not this had happened. i'm not sure that anybody can ever say that. but donald trump simply is thinking that that is what people are doing and that's what he's hearing and that's what i think you hear him reacting to. >> there might be a sensitivity there but we have even heard from the white house they are not calling into question the results of the election. it's two different things. >> right. exactly. you can do both things. >> yeah. exactly. all right. that's part of the conversation for sure going forward. guys, thank you so much. we are watching for more developments and they could be coming. many analysts and some russian officials are comparing the tone of this back and forth now to the days of the cold war. let me bring in jill dougherty, former cnn moscow bureau chief and also bob baer, former cia operative, for more. you heard the conversation i was just having. let's kind of continue it from there. jill, is this the cold war
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again? >> you know, it feels like it, especially in terms of this step by obama to kick out the russian diplomats, but i think what president putin is doing is extremely different. it really changes everything. it's a shocking move, you could argue kind of deft, because what he's doing is he's sending multiple messages. obama, we are not even going to deal with you, i'm not going down to your level, i'm not going to answer your sanctions. mr. trump, you are coming in, let's work together and keeping in his hand the possibility that he actually could have counter sanctions if trump doesn't go along with what he, mr. putin, wants. >> but also, russia threatened last night they would respond in kind, but this line, you touch
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on it, kind of the message, the tone this morning from putin that he's not going to stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy. you call it deft. does it surprise you that putin has responded this way? >> well, i was caught off guard. actually, i think a lot of people were, because predictably, what would happen and it started this way, the foreign minister said look, this is the way we always do it, we are going to take the same measures and we will expel american diplomats, and president putin comes in almost immediately and says no, i'm not going to do that. in fact, i am going to invite the children of those american diplomats to a christmas party at the kremlin. now, that is very different diplomacy. that's really kind of soft power and using his persuasion, a charm offensive, if you want, and that is very different. i think it was orchestrated. i think the foreign minister was playing his role and he knew
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that president putin would be coming in. that is my theory, i think. but we may never know. i think that's what's going on. they are really playing the public and playing the world to make mr. putin look like the adult. >> from the diplomatic element of it, bob, to kind of the intelligence element of it, do you believe what you're hearing from russia? >> i find this the most fantastic thing i have ever heard in relations with russia ever going back to the cold war. i have never seen the russians ever attempt to manipulate american politics like this and so successfully. because not expelling american diplomats from moscow right now is for me, is an attempt to delegitimize the new president, trump. this is just amazing. because the standard response as jill said was to expel american diplomats. it's always been the way, it's what you do, and the fact that he is saying look, trump is our guy, i can get along with him, i'm going to ignore the
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president, this just feeds the conspiracy theories that trump is the man churian candidate and there are people on the left that believe it. look at the atlantic, all about the leaks and the rest of it. this hurts the trump presidency. i think that's what putin intends to do, delegitimize it, weaken it, cause an investigation to go on for years and even dividing the republican party. i have never seen covert action like this so successful on the part of the soviet union, ever. >> with that in mind, who has the next move, jill? >> well, let's see. this is kind of like a chess game, isn't it, but -- >> i'm not a good chess player. let me just point that out. >> nor am i. nor am i. but i think at this point, we have to -- we now know within a few weeks, president trump comes in. i want to see what incoming president trump says today. that would be very very
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interesting, if he says something. then over the next few weeks, the ball now really is in mr. trump's court and he's going to have to decide how he plays back, because president obama has already made his moves and we still have to hear that report which will analyze and apparently give some information about technically how the russians did this hacking, so that's still to come out, but i think really, the move is mr. trump, how does he analyze, does he hold out his hand to president putin, with the danger that he could look as if he is being used by president putin, how does he respond to other republicans who don't like this game with putin going on? i really think it's mr. trump in the hot seat. >> bob, if you are in your old post and you are abroad right now, does the sum total of what
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has transpired in the last 24 hours make your job harder or easier? >> it makes your job nearly impossible. you have a president coming in disregarding the intelligence, calling it into question, bringing up the cia missteps, for instance, the bay of pigs, the iraq war, which are completely different situations, but saying the cia's incompetent. it completely demoralizes it. and the fact that trump is overlooking what clearly is russian hacking and a hostile russia, frankly, i would walk out the door at this point rather than serve for him for the next four years. >> my goodness. that's putting it in stark terms. guys, thank you very much. we appreciate it. as i said, it's changing every moment. i agree with you, very fascinating to hear, to see what we hear if anything from the president-elect today. coming up for us, motivated
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by politic. trump's top adviser suggesting that president obama was trying to box in the president-elect with these new sanctions against russia. my interview with kellyanne conway next. right now, major cities across the united states are ramping up security as of course, they are getting ready for new year's celebrations. an extra layer of security is being added here in new york. we will explain ahead. at customink, we make it easy for you to create custom t-shirts and other apparel for all of life's events. get free shipping and on-time delivery guaranteed. go to customink.com to get started today. won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company.
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not long after the obama administration rolled out its plan to sanction russia for the hacks that could only, in their words, could only have been directed by the highest levels of russian government, that's directly from president obama himself saying that, i spoke with a top trump adviser kellyanne conway about it all.
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listen. >> what was his reaction when he learned of president obama's announcement today against russia? >> his reaction is reflected in his statement, kate. he will receive an intelligence briefing in this coming week and in the meantime, he believes it's time to move on and i have been reading all the news reports about these retaliations, these sanctions put forward by president obama and his administration. some of them seem largely symbolic. the gru doesn't really travel here, doesn't keep its assets here. there's no indication allies, our allies, will follow suit. and we are yet to see all of the intelligence reports and the we would be the president-elect so he will have that briefing next week. in the meantime he repeated what he said to reporters here at mar-a-lago which is he believes it's time to move on to bigger and better things for the country. >> i want to ask about that. the statement says time to move on to bigger and better things as you just said. what does that mean? >> it means exactly what the president-elect has said, which is we have been talking about
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this for awhile. i think that all we heard all through the election was russia, russia, russia. whenever it came to anything donald trump said or did, it seemed most days. now since the election, it's just this fever pitch of accusations and insinuations and we know why hillary clinton lost. i think the keys and clues are pretty obvious. they were obvious to us all along. they are very obvious to everyone now. i don't believe vladimir putin deterred her from competing in pennsylvania, wisconsin and michigan, states that donald trump carried for the first time as a republican in decades. >> i think what a lot of people want to know is that of course, the president-elect can reverse all of this when he takes office in a very short time. will he reverse these actions taken by president obama? >> i won't make a statement on that at all tonight. i will tell you that even those who are sympathetic to president obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to quote, box in president-elect trump. that would be very unfortunate
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if that were the -- if politics were the motivating factor here. but we can't help but think that's often true. even the "new york times" characterized it as such, that this may be an attempt to becomes him in box him in to see what he will do as president. that's not the way peaceful transitions of power occur in our democracy. >> kellyanne conway. with me, errol louis, anchor for spectrum news. alice stewart, republican strategist and cnn political commentator. matt bennett is here, democratic strategist who cofounded the advocacy group third way. errol, you listened to kellyanne conway. she and the transition, we heard it also from reince priebus when he was on tv, they are very least suggesting this is done with politics in mind. it seems they do think this is done with politics in mind. she says barack obama is trying to box in donald trump. how would this box in donald
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trump? >> it would put him in a very uncomfortable position of allowing back in people who had already been expelled. it would put him in the uncomfortable position of undoing sanctions that had been imposed by the previous president. it would put him in the uncomfortable position of explicitly denying what the intelligence services have found and repeated for months now. what we heard there, kellyanne conway, great lady, i consider myself to be friendly with her, worked with her for years, but they are still acting like a campaign. they are still sort of suggesting that small tactical gains like trying to box in donald trump are what motivates this white house and what motivates the entire political discussion. the reality is, this is much too important to just move on. there is no primary right around the corner, no election right around the corner. this is the real deal. when donald trump says gee, nobody knows what's going on, welcome to the presidency, where you have to make important decisions based on uncertain information, but the best information that we can find.
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>> to that point, they are still in campaign mode, i think the transition would say that they feel like they have to be because they feel since the election, a steady stream of people have been trying to undermine their victory. kellyanne really spoke to that in another bit of the interview last night and i want to play that for you and get your reaction. >> let's be honest too. every time russian hacking is mentioned now, since hillary clinton lost, and it wasn't a squeaker, we got 306 electoral votes, 36 more than we needed, she lost states that democrats hadn't lost in decades, ever since then, the issue of russian hacking has been discussed in context of the election and that's just, that's where the president is saying we should move on. >> so is this motivated by democrats who are still trying to undermine donald trump's victory? >> no. this kind of peevish insecurity you are seeing from the president-elect himself and from
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his people is bonkers. no one is saying he is not the properly elected president-elect and that he won't be president on january 20th. what we are saying is that a hostile foreign power tried to interfere with our especially l elections. whether they did so or not is irreleva irrelevant. if someone tried to rob a bank and is unsuccessful, they still tried to rob a bank. as other guests have noted, 17 intelligence agencies have noted the russians attempted to infiltrate our elections. that's terrifying. what's more terrifying is the incoming president wants to move on from this enormous geopolitical and domestic risk to the united states. that is really scary. >> alice, respond to that. >> well, i think first and foremost, russia has been a clear and present danger ever since barack obama took office. what have we had since he has been sworn in? we have had the russian reset,
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we had him saying i will be much more flexible when i'm president, we had him dismissing mitt romney's claims that russia is a clear and present danger to the united states and a top threat and done nothing until this lame duck bravado he's showing at this point. >> that was like 2011. >> exactly. >> speak to the current situation right now happening. >> well, certainly we all can agree that any type of foreign hacking is not appropriate. certainly if anyone attempts to or successful in hacking american institutions and certainly in any way influencing the elections, that is not good. donald trump is not denying that. he is saying he will look into it and talk to the intelligence agencies next week. but look, the key is we have known about this russian hacking since before the election. why all of a sudden as he's leaving office is obama doing something about it now? did they think maybe hillary
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clinton would win and calling attention to it would disrupt that? that's the question, too. but he's known about this for quite some time. the question, why is obama doing something about it at this juncture. >> is that fair criticism? >> i don't think so. i think the defense that obama and the white house make is that if the president had stepped in and gone after russian hackers before election day, it would have been viewed and perhaps fairly as the president trying to interfere with the election results, as him using his perch at the white house for explicitly political ends. remember, obama will get criticized by republicans for politicizing everything no matter what. for instance, the fact that he's put sanctions on russia is already being argued by folks like kellyanne that that's poor politics. those criticisms would have been ten times louder and more pointed if obama had stepped in before election day and suggested that russian hackers were trying to tip the scales in donald trump's favor. i think that's almost certainly the reason the president has waited until this point to move
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forward with these sanctions and really push this hacking issue. that's a large part of it. >> errol, i'm very interested, the transition said on the conference call this morning there will be more details, kind of a time and place and who will be briefing the president-elect, on this issue because it was basically a two-line statement. that's one of the lines. clearly this is an important thing in response to this. from what we see in the -- from the campaign to now, do you see a scenario where donald trump sits down with briefers next week, hears the facts, if he hears the facts of this case and dramatically changes his opinion of russia's role here? >> no, no. i see no scenario for that at all. just the casual nature of it. he will be busy meetings with the likes of don king and partying on new year's eve, i suppose, and when he gets around to it he will reluctantly accept a national security briefing about one of the most important issues we have ever faced as a nation. that doesn't sound like somebody who is ready to take action. if you think back to his past
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statements where it was sort of at the level of almost like elementary school play ground, oh, if putin says nice things about me, i will say nice things about him, i met him in the green room, this is not a serious kind of conversation. this is something he's tried to sort of push off over and over and over again. frankly it's probably tied to this question of his tax returns, what foreign powers including russia he may owe money to or have other kind of financial relationships with. this is all just been opaque. when he says hey, let's just move on, that's him being as honest as he can saying he doesn't want to talk about it, he doesn't want to know about it, he doesn't want us talking about it and to the extent that it does come up, they want to try to put it in a narrow political frame that is completely inappropriate for the dimensions of this very serious issue. >> it seems, though, that it's not going to go away, regardless of what he says, it is time to move on. that's one of the important kind of elements of this. when kellyanne conway says she thinks president obama is trying to box in donald trump, here are
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the statements, just some of the statements coming from top republicans in congress. mitch mcconnell, sanctions against the russian intelligence services are a good initial step. however late in coming. paul ryan, today's actions by the administration is overdue. john mccain, they are a small price for russia to pay for its brazen attack on american democracy. alice, do you truly believe those three men are trying to box in donald trump, too? >> i think, look, i think even russian spokesman has said that the actions we have seen by barack obama have dealt a blow to donald trump. but in regard -- >> i venture to guess you don't take a russian spokesperson's word over the view of john mccain, paul ryan and lindsey graham and mitch mcconnell. >> no. i think what we are hearing, those three statements right there, clearly it's important that barack obama has taken action. some say it's too little, too late. i don't see anyone dictating how
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donald trump moves forward. as he said, he's going to be briefed more fully. to errol's point, he's briefed every day by general flynn. to say he's not getting up-to-date information is not factually accurate. >> alice, he's saying he's going to get the facts of the situation in an intel briefing not today, yesterday or the week before. next week. >> he's doing things on his time. as he gets into being sworn in and he will set his own agenda on his own timetable. it will not be influenced or dictated by barack obama and his last minute sanctions and action on russia. that's something we can certainly be clear. to say he's not going to do anything or he's going to be a puppet for putin i think is extremely premature and when he sees if russia is pushing back on us and taking action on us, he's going to use the muscle and might of the presidency to respond. but to say that he's not acting is not accurate. he will do it on his own timetable and following his own agenda. >> i do wonder, i wonder this a
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lot, if donald trump would change his position on this, would democrats here in the united states allow for that evolution of a position, or would they jump on that very quickly for political purposes? think about it. we'll discuss it later. great to see you all. thank you very much. coming up for us, massive sand trucks, extra police, major preparations under way right now to protect times square and cities around the world from potential attacks on new year's eve. how to stay safe when you are ringing in the new year. plus this. as the ball gets ready to drop, mother nature may be dropping something else. heavy winter storms across the northeast. we track the weather that could impact your new year's weekend. we'll be right back. [vo] quickbooks introduces jeanette. and her new business: i do, to go.
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this just in. amid the rising tensions between the u.s. and russia over the sanctions the president just slapped on vladimir putin's government, the senate armed services committee led by senator john mccain has just announced that it will hold a hearing next week on basically exactly this. cyberthreats including election hacking. this will be just as congress returns from their winter break. this will be a very important moment and will set the tone, i can venture to guess, of how the senate, the republican-controlled congress will be dealing with this issue. major issue going forward. also, we are watching right now major security preparations under way in cities across america as they get ready for new year's eve celebrations. thousands of officers are on alert here in new york city. a new layer of security has been added, massive sand trucks, enhancements over heightened fears after a truck attack on a
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christmas market crowd just days ago. let me bring in cnn's brynn gingras in times square. you have been watching all of this. the nypd held a briefing yesterday. where do preparations stand? >> reporter: we are talking about multi-layers of security that the nypd puts in place really as dhaingi as the changin across the world evolves. they have to continually adjust their plan. new york city is on high alert in anticipation of one of the biggest new year's eve celebrations in the world. securing it takes an army. 7,000 police officers are just one part of the enhanced measures being taken to protect the city. >> this is where everybody's got to be on their toes. i know it's complacency can set in at times, but certainly not at an event like this. >> reporter: in the wake of the isis inspired attacks in berlin and nice, 65 sand trucks and 100 blockers will be stationed around the city.
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most being used as a protective barrier around the perimeter of times square to ward off a truck style attack. >> we live in a changing world now. as i said before, it just can't be about what happens in new york. >> reporter: the nypd is in constant communication with foreign departments gaining intelligence and sharing police strategy with cities abroad. in london, there's added security at the changing of the guards. heavily armed police were unavoidable in berlin as they stood post behind concrete barriers at a christmas concert. czech holiday markets were heavily patrolled. in france, the government announced a boost of 10,000 soldiers on the streets over the holiday period, adding to the officers working around the clock. >> we are really giving of ourselves, of our time and at a cost to us and our families. >> reporter: nearly two million people are expected in times square t extra police presence a noticeable addition to keep new york city safe. >> if you are coming down to times square, rest assured it
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will be a safe venue. >> reporter: we know just in the last few weeks members of the department have been visiting truck rental companies, securing parking garages in this area and also going to area hotels and talking to managers, keeping their eyes and ears open for anything suspicious. we should mention, no credible threat against the times square celebration. >> amazing the operation that needs to be put in place just to keep people safe during this wonderful holiday and celebration. brynn is watching that. thank you so much. we are going from security preps to preparations of a very different kind, preparing for weather. a strong winter storm is battering the northeast. some areas have been slammed with strong winds and a whole lot of snow. thousands are without power in maine. cnn's meteorologist chad myers is tracking it all for us. chad, what are you watching at the moment, what will new year's bring? >> new year's will bring snow to upstate new york and new england, one to three inches. maybe a mist, drizzle around midnight for new york city. thunderstorms from birmingham to
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montgomery and new orleans. then rain to l.a. that's in a nutshell. here's where we are right now. cold air coming across the great lakes. that's what we expect the next couple of days. it will be chilly in times square but like 40, so not minus 20 wind chills. there's the rain across parts of texas and more rain heavy rain into l.a. right now. we will take that rain in l.a. because it has been so very dry across all of california. now let's get to the night, one night at a time. one city at a time. las vegas, mostly cloudy and 47. pretty nice night there. cooler than maybe where you want to be this time of year but a light jacket will do just fine. dallas, 51 degrees, clear skies, no real threat here. closer to new orleans to birmingham and montgomery, we talked about this a second ago, 69 degrees but a chance of a thunderstorm. some of those storms could be on the heavy side. we have a crew in nashville. 45 and a couple showers but closer to the east coast, nice in miami, 72 degrees for the
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afternoon high. then temperatures don't go down very much through the night. it will be very pleasant. focusing in for anderson cooper, 40 degrees, somewhere around 8:00, 41 around 10:00, then the mist and drizzle may start somewhere around midnight and last until 1:00, 2:00, 3:00. i have seen a lot worse new year's eves all across the country. this doesn't shape up to be too bad across the u.s. kate? >> good news there. i'm jealous. i did not know you were able to pull off fireworks and a confetti drop in your studio. we need to step it up in 2016. thanks, chad. do not forget to tune in to cnn's special new year's eve coverage hosted by anderson cooper and kathy griffin live from times square. it all starts tomorrow night, 8:00 eastern right here on cnn. coming up, is a popular new smart device holding the key to a mysterious murder?
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that's what investigators are asking amazon, the makers of the echo, but the company isn't giving alexa up so easy. details ahead. ompany won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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fragile but holding. despite reports of clashes a nationwide cease-fire in war-torn syria remains in effect. russia and turkey helped negotiate the truce in the six-year war that's left some 400,000 people dead. cnn's mohammed lila is live in istanbul, turkey with the very latest. so what are you hearing from the ground? we all know multiple cease-fires, attempts at cease-fires have fallen in the past. does this one seem different to those on the ground?
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>> reporter: well, it does seem different, but you know, i don't think anyone's under any illusions at how difficult this process is going to be. everybody has said even before the cease-fire began that this was going to be very fragile and very difficult to monitor. there are so many different groups on the ground. you have groups that are designated as terrorist groups by the u.n., then other sort of quote, moderate rebel groups. then you have weird alliances between all of them. it's very difficult to determine who might break the cease-fire, whether the assad regime might break the cease-fire. the good news so far is that it appears as though despite some skirmishes in some parts of the country, the cease-fire is largely holding. the question is how long will it hold. that's something only time will tell. we are not even 24 hours into this thing yet and of course, sometimes the first 24 or 48 hours are critical to see which groups sign on to the cease-fire and which groups back down. you talked about the role of turkey and russia in this, the role that no one is talking about is the role of the united states, because they didn't have a role as far as the cease-fire agreement was concerned. they weren't invited to the
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discussions. they weren't involved. they didn't participate. this was done entirely by turkey and russia getting together with of course involvement from iran and syria, and saying what can we do to sort of put some sort of nationwide cease-fire on the table. in fact, there are going to be peace talks a month from now, as long as the cease-fire agreement holds that will take place in kazahkstan. again, you will see turkey, russia, iran and syria at the table. the kremlin offering an olive branch to the united states, not to president obama shall mind you, but president-elect trump, saying when he's elected, they would welcome him to have a seat at the table as well. take that for what you will. >> a different conflict but the very same position we are now hearing from vladimir putin to the united states specifically to the next president here again. thanks so much. the popular -- coming up, a popular new smart device now at the center of a murder mystery. investigators are asking amazon to turn over the data from aece. what do they think is inside?
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one of the most popular holiday gifts of the year. it has all of the answers to your questions. what it's the weather? the news? plays your music. could it also hold the answer to a murder mystery? what investigators in arkansas want it know right now. hoping a murder suspects on echo holds information will shed light on the case before them. so far amazon refused the prosecutors' requests. for now, more from martin savidge. >> alexa what did you hear? is it possible the device witness add murder inside this arkansas home. what police in bentonville are wondering. only not asking the device. they're asking echo's maker anson. so far the tech giant is saying
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no to a police warrant seeking data and recordings, the always-on gadget may have picked up. >> a lawfully issued search warrant by a judge. amazon's position they simply don't have to comply. >> reporter: this man was found dead face down in a hot tub. there were indications of foul play arresting 31-year-old james bates on suspicion of murder. bates' attorney says the death was nothing more than a tragic accident, and her client is innocent. she applauds amazon's refuse toll comply with police demands calling it chilling a christmas gift could be used against people. >> it scares me our criminal system is coming down to technology supposed to help our daily live its and now used agat us. >> reporter: in a statement provided to cnn amazon stead could change its willing to cooperate saying amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding
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legal demand properly served on us. the company went on, amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course. amazon did give police bates' subscriber information and authorities analyzed the information contained on the device itself but believe more echo evidence is stored in the cloud, controlled by amazon. the case calls to mind the 2015 mass shooting in ban bernardino california pitting apple against the fbi, wanting to access information contained in the locked iphone of one of the shooters. >> alexa, what time it is? >> it's 1:56. >> reporter: the always didn-one activated technology is showing up more and more in our lives in thermometers to cameras, even toys, but the modern technology is provides modern issues, suggesting what happens at home may no longer stay at home.
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it restores only a minute of storage buffer. the old sound drops off as new sound comes in. the only audio echo stores outside of that buffer, according to amazon, requests triggered with that alexa key word or other defsignated command. kate? >> thank you so much. fascinating. with me now, cnn legal analyst paul vercammen. if you're faced with this case, something similar, would you want the data from the echo? >> if i'm a prosecutor, yes, i want all. information, because the alexa command when given to the echo gets recorded in the cloud. so, for instance, if you were to ask for a song to bepermanentlye weather, permanently recorded and stored in the cloud. were people awake at the time the person died? circumstantial things that might be helpful in the police
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investigation. if i'm the defense attorney i absolutely do not want this revealed and would say it's an invasion of privacy. by the way, in the absence of a very specific search warrant specifies what you're looking for it is a violation, in my opinion, of the fourth amendment. the police can't say, give me everything in your house, we're investigating a murder. well, that's kind of what they're asking for here, because anything that was recorded by her, by -- i'm calling her, her, by the amazon echo. i have two or three around the house. so i talk to her all the time. anyway -- so my point is, you need a specific search warrant based on probable cause looking for specific things. then amazon has to give it up. >> do you think they can get that warrant? >> i don't think the police have enough specific information yet. i'm thinking they don't have probable cause for that kind of an expansive search. >> bottom line, if this is -- what's top of mind for everyone when they hear this unfortunate
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case is, how concerned do you think people should be that these things are generally calmed always-on technology. these devices. that -- how much they're gathering, listening, the fact they're around? how concerned should people be? >> people should be very concerned about their privacy rights. we're getting to a point where these electronic devices are all around us and the easiest ones to use are, say, serie, most people are familiar with. say, serie, it acts vats. activates, up to the cloud goes serie. requesting a rifle as well, cops would make that easy to investigate you. most don't ask for things like that, my point is, privacy concerns are paramount here. police will love this stuff, because you're being monitored. big brother's watching at all times and recording you inside your house. >> paul, this is yet again another situation where the technology has outpaced the law?
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>> it's far outpaced the law. frankly, i think most people don't even know how these devices operate. people would be astonished at things this amazon echo can do. by the way, google has come out way similar device that started marketing this year and, of course, apple has been out front on this technology overall. privacy rights need to be looked at carefully and the courts have to learn how to apply probable cause standard to these electronic devices. >> does it surprise you at all amazon refused to offer it up? >> no. i think they're doing the right thing. because if you as an amazon customer thought that just because the local cops would like to find out what's going on in your house and all they have to do is call up amazon and they're going to reveal the information, you'd be appalled. it's different if there's probable cause, and there's reason to believe a crime was committed. then a judge gives a search warrant and we do this in an orderly process. >> gets you thinking. thanks, paul. >> thank you. coming up for us, a stunning new development in the obama
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administration's battle now with russia. russia's president vladimir putin said he will not offer up a ted toit for tat. he went as far as inviting children to the creme lkremlin new year's celebration. what's going on here? that's ahead. raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. and if you do have an accident, our claims centers are available to assist you 24/7. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. it's the top of the hour. thanks for sticking with us. breaking news, president obama responds to vladimir putin. russian response, nothing. he will not retaliate instead putin went as far as to invite the children of american diplomats over there to a holiday party at the kremlin saying he'll wait to work on u.s. relations when donald trump is in the white house. also just

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