tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN December 31, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PST
jessica snyder. jessica, what are authorities doing there to prepare for tonight? >> a lot of preparation goes into this. this is highly choreographed, highly arranged by the nypd. i will first tell you about the crowds here. you did say the crackled crowds are already packing in. that is for sure. she stretch for blocks that way. the ball drop isn't for ten hours. the ball drop will be a few blocks this way. we have all of these people lined up here. these people camping out. i have talked to people who are way in the front here as we get closer to the ball. they have been here since 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. you guys, when did you get here to get these pretty prime spots? >> we've been down here since noon. you had to go through security screenings to get in here, right? >> what did they do in. >> you unzip your jackets and hopefully, you make it through. >> you did make it through. you got a good spot here. that is just part of the security screening out here.
police have really amped up their security this year because of some of the terrorist attacks jae overseas that have happened. the new addition is 65 sanitation trucks that will be set up around the perimeter. over on 8th avenue. we have seen a few of them. they will be set up all over times square, filled with sand and act as a blockade. there are 100 other blocker vehicles and 7,000 nypd officers out, including 550 newly graduated from the police academy. then, you have the pens with all the crowds. there are 65 pens all over times square with many excited spectators. the police expecting to fill these pens with about 3,000 people. there is a lot of activity. you can see, there is where the ball drops. there are all the people here. there are also counter terrorism officials out here monitoring 14
access points. down at one police plaza, the headquarters just downtown, about 30 officials from official state and federal agencies will be monitoring the video feeds. a lot of security and preparation that goes into this huge event. this year, the security even more stepped up. these people, they have gone through it. they are excited. it just took about ten hour toss go until this ball drops. >> yeah. >> they are the lucky ones with a great vantage point. all right, thank you so much jessica snyder. we will check back with you. >> now, to new tensions between russian -- the russian government and the u.s. government. we are learning the same malicious software used by russian hackers to meddle in the u.s. election has been found on a laptop belong tog a vermont utility company. it was not connected to the power grid but call this an attempt to infiltrate utility
systems. the governor lashing out at russian president, vladmir putin, saying vermonters and all americans should be alarged and outraged that one of the world's leading thugs has been attempting to hack our electric grid to rely upon to support our quality of life, economy, health and safety. polo sandoval joins me now live. the governments are trying to sort out how far-reaching this intrusion might be. u.s. government, local governments as well. >> yeah, fred. a lot of questions around this one. what is the scope of this. what was the intent and, of course, was this an isolated incident. one u.s. government official told my colleague that those are questions they just don't have answers to, at least not yet as the investigation presses forward. we do know that burlington electric apparently detected what is malicious software on one of their company laptop computers. it is important to know that computer, o cording according t
officials, was not directly connected for about 20,000 people in the northeast. they also understand their customer lists were not compromised either. that's still a question as to what that malicious software was doing in that computer, the so-called grizzly step. it sounds familiar. that is because that is that same malicious software that was reportedly used by russian hackers to attempt to affect or sway the november election. while this is not expected to have extreme impacts, this is still causing several concerns, not just among the governor, which you mentioned a few moments ago but also some lawmakers, patrick leahy released a statement saying this is beyond hackers having electronic joy rides. this is now about trying to access utilities to potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter. this is a direct threat to vermont and we do not take it
lightly. fred? >> polo sandoval, thank you so much. >> vladimir putin stadium away from the allegations against russia in his annual new year's message. matthew chance joining me from moscow. who is this message catered to? >> well, there has been a couple of messages, one message to the russian people, congratulating them on the end of 2016. that message has already gone out on local television stations across eastern russia where, of course, it is already a new year here in moscow. there has also been another message that went out as a written statement to world leaders congratulating them on the new year, the queen of england, the president of france, the chancellor of germany. one notable absentee was president barack obama. he wasn't mentioned in that congratulations list. but donald trump was, the president-elect of the united
states. it again reinforces this idea that vladmir putin has been hammering home over the course of the past 24 hours, that he is ignoring what's happening with the obama administration. he ignored the expulsion of those 35 russian diplomats by president barack obama in response to the allegations of election hacking and reached out, instead, to donald trump, saying that the future of the relationship between russia and the united states will be determined by the policy of the trump administration. for one donald trump applauded that, of course. yesterday, issuing that tweet in which he said it was a good move. he always thought that vladmir putin was very clever. he think putin is probably very satisfied with that response. >> matthew chance in moscow, thank you. in the meantime, a fight is brewing between republicans and the president-elect. senator john mccain is holding a hearing next week on cyberthreats, all while donald trump refuses to criticize vladmir putin for the election hack. we'll look at what to expect
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welcome back. vladmir putin is looking ahead to donald trump's presidency in a statement to foreign heads of state yesterday. he offered congratulations to the president-elect. also, writing, quote, acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner, we will be able to take real steps to restore the mechanisms of bilateral cooperation in various areas and take their interaction in the international arena to a whole new level and donald trump is reciprocating that kind of praise applauding putin's decision to not expel american diplomats in response to u.s. sanctions against russia. trump tweeting this, great move on delay by v. putin. i always knew he was very smart. i want to go live now to athena jones, who is traveling with
president barack obama and family in honolulu. any more reaction coming from the white house? >> reporter: no reaction to this nonreaction. these sanctions against russia are the latest example of moves that the president is making that proves na he said he is doing what he said he wanted to do, to run through the tape and work up until the very end of his administration to try to get as much of his agenda accomplished before inauguration day as he can. he is also taking steps to protect his legacy. that's why we are going to see him go up to capitol hill next week on wednesday to meet with house and senate democrats to strategize ways to push back against republican plans to roll back his signature achievement obama care. this has been at the top of gop agenda. he has taken other steps over the last couple of weeks we have
been here in hawaii covering his working vacation. you will remember a couple of weeks ago him announcing plans to bar offshore drilling in parts of the arctic and atlanta oceans. he also continued to try to draw down the population at the u.s. military guantanamo bay of telling congress of plans to transfer them to other countries. he is trying to make sure that there are as few detainees at guantanamo bay as possible when he ends his presidency and announcing more clemency for people, bringing them to a new record. these are all steps that he has taken to show that he is still president up until the last moment. one more examle on tple on the policy front is secretary john kerry delivering that speech about this administration's view on the israeli/palestinian conflict and the importance of continuing work towards a two-state solution. the president doing everything he can to carry out what he
thinks should be done up until january 20th. >> a lot to potentially jam in to the next 20 days. thanks so much, athena jones in honolulu. appreciate it. >> although trump has dismissed the hacking claims, many republicans support the sanctions against russia, even calling for more. some lawmakers, including john mccain, feel the retaliation should go further. >> when you attack a country, it's an act of war. so we have to make sure that there is a price to pay so that we can perhaps persuade the russians to stop this kind of attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy. >> let's talk more about this. pr brian morgan stern and political analyst ellis. mccain is call thg ing this an f
war. might this spell donald trump to change his tune. >> a lot of folks have been saying the hawks on the foreign relations committee and donald trump are butting heads. that seems to be true. let me posit a possible scenario that trump goes to moscow and says, what a smart guy you are. john mccain and lindsey graham are going to slap all these sanctions on you unless you work with me. i don't know if it is coordinated or just a coincidence. >> what a way to start your presidency. should you? >> i am count it three, john mccain, lindsey graham and one more republican in the senate to hold the line. maybe marco rubio is ready to do it. there are others. there does not seem to be a grounds swell of republicans in the senate who are joining this bromance, this bff club between
these two. >> it is the opposite way around. there has to be more. >> how does this set the stage, 20 days away from the swearing-in. donald trump had said, my first 100 days will look like this, repealing obamacare. now, first order of business has to be continuation or a change, a pivot as it pertains to u.s./russian relations. >> he can walk and chew gum at the same time. paul ryan has a strong structure in the house. mitch mcconnell has been a savvy lead t leader in the senate. i suspect trump may be delegating things to the leaders in congress. we all know the broad brush things we want to do, repeal obamacare, tax reform. he said as much. it is an opening bid. this is congress' job. we will work with them and figure something out. i don't think this is going to
be a one-track thing that is going to derail his first 100 days. it will be a part of it but he will be pursuing some other things. >> a great criticism was members of congress not working with the white house. they didn't come together. it wasn't conciliatory. the list goes on. already, the stage is being said with this republican-led congress. there are huge differences between the incoming president and such. do you see that there is going to be a delegating of issues, ideas, responsibilities, a coming together in a very different manner or is there going to be a greater separation between these two branches. >> i would take it from delegating to abdicating. i don't think trump cares. look at the people he has appointed to these cabinet positions. it is almost down the line pretty hard core conservative people, very much the heritage foundation folks are doing high-fives. i think there are going to be two or three issues, russia is one of them, that donald trump cares about. the rest of it, delegation and abdication. >> how do you see 2017 starting
out? when you have republican leadership saying there is some cohesion in a message, quite different from the message and mixed messages that donald trump is already sending. >> in terms of tax reform and obama kais obama care, those are standard. in terms of russia, obviously, the administration and senate foreign relations committee if they are not coordinating should be. there needs to be a unified message. trump is a different kind of republican. they are going to figure it out. they have been pushed around by the obama administration. >> it is harder than that. it is no the that yt that you hy the two branches.
>> look the at tweets. there is no consistency. it is going to be a free for all and a lot of fun for us. >> kellyanne conway, now, his adviser, said, he is being boxed in and putting the blame on the obama administration. others say if he is boxed in, he is boxing himself in. he is making these comments as president-elect. limiting his power and potential influence once he is sworn in. agree with that, brad? >> this is rich. >> kellyanne, not only do you horn in on the old president but you are mad when he does something. >> the point is, obama could have sanctioned putin when he was poisoning diplomats and shot his adversary in the street in russia, when he invaded crimea, when he sold nuclear material to iran. he xhoez chose to do it when hi clinton lost the election. the motives are questionable. in terms of trump boxing himself
in, this is a guy that changes his mind constantly and it doesn't seem to matter. when will it matter ond and to will it matter? what he says and what he says, they may not be congruent. >> he is going to get presidential, maybe middle of the second term. >> when it becomes an agenda he needs to pass and sell to the american people. in the spirit of new year's, i'm going optimistic. i think the leadership and white house are going to work together. to get it done, he will have to speak directly to the american people as he done has over and over again. >> sum up 2016 and give me something in how you are hoping 2017 will shape into. >> let's see the cubs won the world series, donald trump won the presidency, prince died.
that was sad. a bunch of really unexpected things happened. now, we are shell shocked but we move forward. >> one optimistic note for the three of us. you know who the permanent government is? you are look at him. happy new year. >> happy new year. brian, ellis, good to see you. thank you so much. the city of chicago closing in on 800 homicides. i'll talk to two parents who know the violence all too well. their daughter was murdered. they speak out about the tragedy and what needs to change to save other lives in chicago and beyond. asmy family tree,ing i discovered a woman named marianne gaspard... it was her french name. then she came to louisiana as a slave. i became curious where in africa she was from. so i took the ancestry dna test to find out more about my african roots. the ancestry dna results were really specific.
and watch it offline. only xfinity gives you more to stream to any screen. download the xfinity tv app today. welcome back. we have a nearly 20-year high, 775 people have fallen victim to homicides in chicago. more than 4,000 were wounded in shootings according to the "chicago tribune." in is one american city in just one year. this next interview features two parents who know about the violence there all too well. their daughter, hadiya
pendleton, become one of the most recognizable faces of the effort to con bmbat gun violenc. she was mistakenly targeted and killed by a gang member near president barack obama's home in chicago. days earlier, she had performed at his second inauguration. her parents were at the white house in january when the president announced executive actions on gun control. i asked the parents if these extraordinary numbers heightened the trauma of losing their daughter. >> i have a very difficult time watching the news. my heart goes out to the families that have to endure the same pain that we have had to endure. it is absolutely heartbreaking. it just is. >> nathaniel, how do you place blame on this. what are the sources of blame?
what should be tackled? why this spade of violence in your view? >> well, i do believe this state of violence, a lot of kids out here that have no direction. they are living on the streets. they are practically raising themselves. if you commit a crime, the crime should -- the punishment should be just for the crime. the thing is, a lot of these people that are committing these crimes, they are not being held accountable. it just becomes like my wife said heartbreaking after a while that after these three years, three almost four years that my daughter has been gone, there still hasn't been any movement, positive movement in trying to get guns out of people's hands.
>> that shouldn't have anymore. >> that's frustrating, isn't it? >> yes, it is real frustrating. >> when i talk to a lot of chica chicagoans, i hear them placing blame on territorial battles, lack of jobs, resources, and hope and particularly on the south side of chicago, are these things you wish the city government or the white house should do or should be addressing more? >> well, i would say this. everything you have listed is not new. it is definitely part of the issue. it is not just part of the issue for the south side. i think the south side alone gets a bad rap. i think it is a city-wideish u. >> country-wide. it is not just in the cities. it is in the suburbs. this is an epidemic. something needs to be done. no one person has the answer. it is a matter of everybody coming together and farming out
what needs to be done in specific communities, because not every community requires the same effort to resolving this issue. >> the first lady attending hadiya's funeral. you have had contact with the president. when he makes reference to chicago, many times, when it is visible that the pain that your family is experiencing is a pain that he and the first lady can relate to and are expressing their pain. do you feel like more can be done from the white house, from that level? >> i think personally, the white house is doing what they can do. i think this becomes a grassroots problem. this is embedded in our own neighborhoods. policing our own kids, watching our own neighborhoods. we can not keep putting blame on politicians and the white house or the mayor. we can't keep putting blame on them. this has a lot to do with us.
>> as you mentioned, nathaniel, it has been almost four years. what do you tell people, whether it be in your community, there in chicago or across the country, other families who have been touched, who have been pained by this same level of violence that your family has experienced? >> there is nothing really that i can tell them. the only thing i can do is sit with them. i know the pain that they are feeling. we are both very familiar with the pain. that pain does not go away. it is here. it stays. you just have to learn how to live with an open wound. >> right. we are not a product of what happens to us. we are a product of how we respond to what happens. it's a very sick feeling. there is no one way to navigate through this.
we're not over anything. it doesn't feel like four years, because the calendar states so, because time keeps moving forward. it is always going to feel plik it just happened yesterday. it is a matter of figuring out how to navigate through the rest of your life that way. >> when they said we need punishments that fit the crime, i support them. we have life sentences to serve. as long as our eyes are open, we are going to hurt and every other family that has experienced the unexpected, the illogical happening, is ex feernsing the same thing. we need these people out here who are taking life for granted to suffer the consequences of their actions. it is not fair to just families and the extensions of our families and friends for us to hurt and ache the way that we do on a daily basis and have that feeling of hopelessness. >> and this other person gets to live, move forward and live their life happily. it hurts. it hurts bad for both of us.
>> and our son. so let's not forget that we have our son nathaniel who is now a freshman in high school who has to navigate through the rest of his life like this. it is really sad that every year, this is continuing to grow. these people don't realize that it is not just victim's family. it is the perpetrator's family that has become victims too. everybody loses in this situation. >> our hearts go out to you and our prayers continue for you and the entire family. cleopatra and nathaniel pendleton, thank you so much. your insurance company
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as a supervisor at pg&e, it's my job to protect public safety, keeping the power lines clear, while also protecting the environment. the natural world is a beautiful thing, the work that we do helps us protect it. public education is definitely a big part of our job, to teach our customers about the best type of trees to plant around the power lines. we want to keep the power on for our customers. we want to keep our community safe. this is our community, this is where we live. we need to make sure that we have a beautiful place for our children to live. together, we're building a better california.
love! trump will celebrate the night at a party at his resort in mar-a-lago. what more do we know about the event and from where this tweet comes, et cetera? >> well, fred, it is pretty clear the president-elect feels like he has a lot to celebrate after a very successful 2016 for him. he is going to do it in a big way at his resort at mar-a-lago. this is a party that mar-a-lago throws every year. it does require a ticket to get in and a pretty hefty cost. this will be the case again this year. we'll show you a little bit of the details. some 800 guests are expected. the tickets go for $525 or if you are a member, $575 if you are a guest, which is about what they have always been. celebrities will be in attendance. there has been regis philbin and vanessa williams in the past. this time around, we know for
sure, sylvester stallone will be there and we were told that quincy jones would be there but he tweeted that he is in los angeles and won't be there tonight. there will be quite a bit of decorative fare. we are told there will be an explosion of green and white flowers in the ballroom tonight. a lot of celebration expected. the band that will be playing is expected on stage until about 1:00 in the morning and the president-elect will wrap up his vacation there in florida. he will head back to new york tomorrow. then, really begins in earnest the preparations to be inaugurated on january 20th. >> 20 days away. ryan nobles, thank you so much. a look back at 2016. the biggest international stories of the year. as a control enthusiast, i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure.
from political scandals to the growing refugee crisis, 2016 was a momentum year. clarissa ward takes a look at the top ten international stories. we begin our top ten with brazil, a country whose roller coaster of scandals and triumphs made news the world over. a mosquito born zika virus outbreak leading to a speight of rare birth defects. then, a political vice sis that rocked the corridors of power. the senate removed dilma rousseff as president. all this a back drop to brazil's moment in the sun. >> the whole world will be watching brazil as it hosts the olympics. >> reporter: which despite a few setbacks was widely considered a success. the turkish military announcing it has taken over the
country and imposed martial law. >> reporter: in the dead of night, machine gunfire rings out as a cooup attempt takes over. seek retribution, president air doe wan would go on to dismiss tens of thousands. a diplomatic thawing sees a u.s. president touch down on cuban soul for the first time infuriating fidel castro. eight months later. >> breaking news out of cuba, fidel castro has died. >> reporter: for some, grieve for the loss of a rev nuolution. for others, celebration for a ruthless dictator. cuban exiles thrilled as they remember a tyrant this imprisoned and executed his opponents and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
a global migrant crisis worsening by the minute. 65 million people now displaced. >> 2016 has been the deadliest year ever for migrants and refugees trying to cross the mediterranean. >> among those rescued, this five-day-old infant peering out of his pink blanket. >> wars, terrors, one camp in france bulldozed to the ground. >> what is this life? have mercy on us, have mercy. >> i wanted to tell you are not alone. coming in at number six, seismic stations pick up on the unmistakable signs of north korean aggression. this time, it is different. >> north korea exploding its most powerful nuclear warhead ever. >> the equivalent of 10,000 tons of tnt, detonated deep upped
ground. >> the question now, will the next warhead be mounted on a missile. >> when you have this many tests, you are eventually going to get it right. >> unimaginable acts of terror in the name of isis. a bloody trail beyond the borders of iraq and syria. >> two explosions rocking the main terminal at brussels airport. >> across town in the center of the city, a bomb exploded on a metro train. >> those three suicide bombers killed 32 people. three months later, another airport is hit. three men wearing explosive vests carrying ak-47th, exiting curbside, before blowing themselves up. 44 people would never make it out of that turkish airport. >> about 6-8 gunmen have vaktak
over this bakery restaurant in dhaka. >> military commandos moved in. the siege ended with 13 hostages saved but 20 others dead at the restaurant. we are following breaking news out of france. >> more than a mile of carnage as the truck drove down the beachside promenade killing as many people as the driver could. >> reporter: a day of celebration for french independence end wg ting with t slaughter of 84 people. while the so-called soldiers of isis waged war in cities across the world, back in iraq, the land they once laid claim to was being taken back. >> the iraqi city of fallujah has been eliminated. >> iraq's victory is claiming victory in ramadi. >> going to retake the key city
of mosul from isis is now underway. >> reporter: one came right at me. >> cnn's own team would later make it inside the city limits of mosul and veneerly would nry not make it out. we take a direct hit. we need to move but every time we try, gunfire drives us back. arwa damon and her team would spend 28 hours trapped. an estimated 1 million civilians are still within this embattled city. >> across the border in syria, another hellish land scale unfolds. it's biggest city, aleppo, the epicenter of this horror. >> this is what hell feels like. >> the syrian's regime's latest
aerial assault. gallon drums filled with explosives and shrapnel shoved out of helicopters. they say nine people. >> a dazed and shell shocked boy pulled from the wreckage of his home would become the bloodied face of syria's suffering. >> he doesn't cry once. this is omran. he is alive. we wanted you to know. >> coming in at number two, russia flexing its military muscle at home. >> vladmir putin moving nuclear capable missiles to the border with poland and lithuania. >> and on a global stanl. >> the u.s. is blaming russia for bombing a humanitarian convoy in syria. >> moscow using its superior arsenal to turn the tides of war in favor of bashar al assad. >> reporter: he told us that russian and regime forces target
hospitals cynically and deliberately. activations of hostile acts still shrouded in mystery. >> reporter: a series of attacks indicate russia may be trying to sway the election for donald trump. the surge of populism across the west as voters rejected the establishment. many people ignored by politicians and left behind economically. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> the people have voted to leave the european union. >> the down is breaking on an independent, united kingdom. >> it was a vote that took the world by surprise. one of the main forces behind brexit, anger over immigration. >> they should go back to where they came from before we rip their heads off. >> of course, in the u.s., where
president-elect donald trump capitalized on the issue. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. >> the rejection of globalization resonating with voters. >> cnn projects donald trump wins the presidency. >> will the march of populism continue with elections in france and germany coming up, 2017 promises to be an interesting year. >> interesting, indeed. clarissa ward, thank you so much. we are just minutes away from the first college football playoff game of the year. the peach bowl. we will go live to the site of one of today's games for a preview next. were today being new year's eve, we are taking a look at celebrations around the world. apple partnered with instagramers to capture the celebrations, these images coming from india. we're back in a moment.
back in the day, the final four was only in college basketball. well, now, football has its own final four. washington takes on number one alabama at the top of the hour in atlanta at the peach bowl and then tonight ohio state plays clemson in the fiesta bowl and cnn's coy wire is live in glendale, arizona, where that will happen this evening. what's on tap for this whole day? a lot of it football excitement. >> reporter: no doubt. i can hardly contain myself, fredricka. i am living the dream right now. one of the thing that stands out about this fiesta bowl, it features two coaches who are friends that are two of the sports greatest leaders. they are going head to head with a title berth on the line.
clemson led by dabo sweeney. last time they watched, he was in the 6th grade with the same energy, his positivity. he exudes it wherever he goes. he said, coy, i'm just trying to bloom where i am planting. you will see him laughing and joking and leading the dancing in the locker room. they will be facing the ohio state buckeyes led by a great coach in his own right, urban mir myer. they lost and last season, 12 guys would go on to be drafted into the nfl but they didn't make it to the playoff last year. i spoke with him and his philosophy is he believes in making all seasons so tough and hot like a crucible that only the refined elements remain. the buckeye squad has with stood
the pressure and find themselves back on the brink of a national title shot. we asked both guys what it meant to them to be back in the college football playoff. >> the first game is a bowl game. at the same time, it is a business trip. you want to get yourself to the national championship. whether it gets to the crunch time, the details and little things come in handy. >> that's why you come to ohio state to win championship and play for championships. it's just another great honor to be a part of the playoff. it is going to be fun to take another swing at it with my teammates. >> about four hours from kickoff for the fiesta bowl, minutes away from the matchup between alabama and washington, the winner there, facing the winner here at the fiesta bowl. it is new year's eve. by the way, fredricka, fiesta, as you know, stand for party. i came prepared. i'm wishing you, your family,
and all our viewers, listening and watching at home on the road. happy new year. it is going to be a great day. >> thanks so much. it is going to be a great day. happy new year to you. i have family roots in all. two of the games there. i have my brother who is in washington and then my dad who is ohio state. i think it is a given who i will be rooting for for the peach bowl and the fiesta. how about that? >> there you go. >> coy, have fun. i don't have to take off the hat. keep it. i like it. happy new year. we will have much more right after this. [vo] quickbooks introduces rodney.
president-elect trump's inauguration. one thing missing. big star power. ♪ >> so beyonce, kelly clarkson, aretha franklin, all big celebrity names that came out to perform at president obama's inauguration. so far, we know of three headline acts for trump's big day. 16-year-old "america's got talent" star, jacque i have van co, the radio city rockettes and the mormon tabernacle choir. now, the attention is on one member of the choir who is refusing to perform for trump. she took it even further. she quit. jean casarez has the story. >> reporter: marching bands from around the country are going to washington for donald trump's inaugural gu inaugural festivities. 8,000 participants. a new controversy surrounding
those performers. jan chamberlain, a four member of mormon's mormon tabernacle choir said she is quitting the choir because it agreed to sing for the president-elect. >> it is with a sad and heavy heart that i submit my resignation to you and to choir. i simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. i could never look myself in the mirror again with self-respect. i also know looking from the outside in, it will appear the choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism. the choir says the performance is voluntary and it continues its long tradition of performing for u.s. presidents of both parties at inaugurations and in other settings. late friday, chamberlain responded to criticism. >> i value the inner country we have, the freedom of speech under the first amendment. for me, this is not a political
issue. for me, this is a moral issue, where i am concerned about our freedoms being in danger. >> in coming just days after it was announced the legendary new york city rockettes would be performing at the inauguration in an interview with marryclaire.com. a majority said no immediately and a percentage that said yes. the dancers union ultimately deciding that participation will be voluntary. madison square gardens said, we had more rockettes request to participate than we have slots available. >> it is not about the big names but about the american people. that's who will be represented all over this inaugural. we have such an outpouring of support of positivity from all over this country. it has been truly humbling. >> jean casarez, cnn, new york. >