hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you are watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we begin with two major battles. president-elect donald trump's war against u.s. intelligence agencies, and the fight over the future of obama care. president obama and vice president-elect mike pence both on capitol hill today with opposing goals. the president trying to salvage his namesake health care plan. the president-elect pushing to dismantle it. meantime, president-elect trump ridicules the u.s. intelligence communities findings on what it calls so-called russian hacking. he also appeared to give credence to claims by wiki-leaks founder julian assange.
assage denies that russia was the source of hacked emails published by wiki-leaks. we'll dig sbeep deeper into both stories this hour. let's begin with capitol hill. the showdown right now over obama care. president obama and vice president-elect pence. they rallied their troops, and they laid out their battle plans. >> thank you. thank you. look out for the american people. >> sources say the president told democrats not to rescue republicans by approving something worse to replace obama care. a replacement plan he calls trump care. senate minority leader chuck schumer says the republicans would make america sick again. >> they don't know what to do once they repeal. one of my colleagues called it repeal and run, but it's a huge problem as well because now they're responsible for the entire health care system, says and it will be on their backs,
and i believe a year from now they will regret that they came out so fast out of the box to repeal. >> vice president-elect mike pence says republicans intent to keep their promise while heeding president-elect trump's advice to be careful. >> the american people have spoken. they want to see us repeal and replace obama care, and to ed my message to members of congress is that we are going to be in the promise keeping business, and the first order of business is to keep our promise to repeal obama care and replace it with the kind of health care reform that will lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government. you read his tweet this morning that he is admonished the congress to be careful, and i reiterated that before the republican conference today. look, we're talking about people's lives.
>> what more have you learned about the battle being waged over obama care? >> they had a meeting earlier today. president obama telling democrats to stand firm behind efforts to -- stand against efforts to dismantle this law and coming up with strategies that actually emulate. what tea party activists did to obama's efforts to actually pass the health care law in 2009. you'll remember back in 2009 tea party activists and republicans and conservatives alike stormed town halls, expressed their opposition in key house districts, in key senate states, and as a result, democrats were in a very difficult political spot. they ended up losing the house of representatives that election cycle. president obama saying we should do the same to republicans now. they should pay a political price if they decide to do this because he was arguing inside
this private meeting today that a vast majority of voters actually support what is in that law. one democrat, a prominent one, skipped it. that is jou manchin of west virginia, who is up for re-election in 2018 in a very conservative state. i had a chance to talk to him just a few moments ago about why he decided to skip the meeting. here's what he said. >> first order of business was to have -- all the respect in the world -- our president, who is outgoing, coming up and speaking to democrats and telling us why we should keep something. i'm not for repeeling it. i'm for repairing it. nothing is going to change. on the other hand, we have newly elected vice president pence coming up talking only to republicans telling them why they should get rid of something, and bottom line is we should be talking to each other. why can't she just invite
everybody? >> now, joe manchin also saying -- he is trying to set up a meeting with mike pence as we speak as early as today to discuss health care, and that's significant, wolf, because not many democrats are talking with republicans about a possible compromise. a bit of news with joe manchin saying he wants to meet with mike pence, but the republicans still have a very, very far way to go in order to replace the health care law. right now they're in the process of trying to repeal the law first. there's actually a vote happening right now in the senate to begin the process that will take several weeks to actually repeal the law, but assuming they repeal most of the law to replace it is going to take democrats and republicans joining hands to overcome a likely democratic filibuster, and there's no sign whatsoever to anyone other than joe manchin who is open to working with republicans by replacing this law because of polarizing
divisiveness on the issue. both vice president-elect pence and president obama making cases to their caucuses today. there's no real effort to bridge that divide. such a polarizing issue, wolf. >> the battle is only just beginning. thanks very much, manu raju, up on capitol hill. when it claims to russia was behind last year's campaign hackings here in the united states, the president-elect seems to be taking the word of wiki-leaks founder julian assan ge e over that of the u.s. intelligence agencies. trump tweeted that -- i'm quoting him now -- "julian assange said a 14-year-old could have hacked podesta. also said russians did not give him the info." trump was referencing this interview that assange gave to fox news. >> we can say and we have said repeatedly over the last two months that our source is not the russian government, and it
is not state party. >> why such a dramatic response? the reason is obvious. they're trying to delegitimate iize trump administration as it goes into the white house. >> trump also mocks the u.s. intelligence agency tweeting this. "the "intelligence" briefing on so-called russian hacking was delayed until friday. perhaps more time needed to build a case. very strange." we should note, trump's comment is getting a lot of pushback from u.s. intelligence officials who say there was no delay in briefing him. that it was always scheduled for later this week, and that not even president obama has seen the final report by the u.s. intelligence community on the hacking. i want to bring in our chief national security correspondent jim schudo. first your reaction to trump citing julian as ang. he has written the goal is to undermine the u.s. and other governments.sange.
he has written the goal is to undermine the u.s. and other governments. julian assange has attacked presidents, republican and democrat, going back to 2006 targeting the u.s. military, targeting u.s. diplomatic cables and the dnc leading up to the election. he has written manifestos that say that he -- his intention in wikileaks is to go after what he calls secrecy-based authoritarian conspiracy governments. that's how he describes the u.s. his goal is to undermine the u.s. government. to have an american president, an incoming president, one, praise him in effect and, two, take his word over the 17 u.s. intelligence agencies, is really just -- i mean, remarkable is probably an understatement, but it is -- it is truly unprecedented. >> serm certainly is. let's talk about the importance of the u.s. intelligence agency, the information it provides a president of the united states,
the president-elect will have to use intel from these agencies to make life and death decisions to keep americans safe, to protect u.s. national security. you're already sensing a negative reaction, pretty negative reaction in the intelligence community. >> you have the intelligence agencies with confidence that russia is behind these hacks. you have republican and democratic lawmakers accepting that assessment. mitch mcconnell, republican majority leader, paul ryan, republican speaker of the house, you know, forget the democrats in the obama administration. republicans accepting it as well. donald trump is largely alone in this denial or dismissing of the u.s. intelligence community in this assessment and keep in mind it's not just on hacking, right? the u.s. intelligence community looks at russia as a threat in terms of its nuclear arsenal, in terms of its annexation of
crimea, activity against civilians in syria, et cetera. big picture, that's where u.s. defense and intelligence communities stand. whosz going to tell donald trump when north korea has a nuclear-capable missile that can hit the united states? the intelligence community. who will tell him when a terror attack is impending on the u.s.? it will be the intelligence community. will he trust them then? it's an open question. we don't know. >> thank you. the vice president-elect mike pence is defending trump on capitol hill. listen to what he said earlier this morning. >> i think given some of the intelligence failures of recent years, president-elect made it clear to the american people that he is skeptical about conclusions from the bureaucracy, and i think the american people hear him loud and clear. >> all right. let's talk about that. joining us now david gregory, our cnn political analyst, the
author of the book "how is your faith," and dana bash is joining us, our chief political correspondent. pence came to donald trump's defense today when he was asked this question saying that what's wrong with having a healthy skepticism, if you will, of the u.s. intelligence community? >> he should. everybody should have healthy skepticism of every institution. it's what helps this democracy run. however, when you are the president-elect tweeting things like putting intelligence in quotes in the morning and in addition to tweeting about julian assange who if he were in america would probably be -- would certainly be tried for treason and saying they're suggesting he relies more on julian assange that the intelligence community is mind-bending. especially when you kind of take a step back and listen to people inside the intelligence community. obviously they come from a
specific perspective. a commander in chief, a president much the united states, not only released, as jim was saying on the intelligence community and the intelligence agencies, they are there for him. if he wants to make a clandestine operation and say, you know, i need this to be done, they're the people to carry it out. not only that, there are intelligence assets and officials all around the world who are dealing with foreign governments and foreign entities who are potentially going to be undermined because they are going to go to their intelligence -- u.s. intelligence counterparts and say why should i believe you? you don't even have the trust of the american president. it's really a slippery slope. >> what's behind donald trump's skepticism, shall we say, of the u.s. intelligence community? there's a bigger picture. >> yeah, i think trump is operating as a brand and not a president-elect. it's to question and up end a
lot of united nationsal life in america, using the media, up ending politics as we know it, and now he is doing that as president-elect saying i'm not going to believe the intelligence community. it's not clear that he is prepared to lead the agencies there to serve the american president. there's all of that peril. that's the question. does he literally popov on twitter and elsewhere and kind of shake the trees a little bit and then he has a team that works a little bit more seriously within the government? i don't know what the answer is. i think what's clear from a policy point of view is that he wants to get off to a relationship with russia, that he thinks he alone has an opportunity to reset that, and frankly, he is sensitive about anything that appears to be stacking against his legitimacy, which i think he must feel the obama administration is behind with the leaking, the intelligence community is behind with the leaking of the hacking
that is all stacked against him, and he is floating all these other theories that other people are involved. i think that's what's behind this all. >> is he so sensitive about any suggestion that the election was appropriate, if you will? >> i think this julian assange issue deserves another beat because he does seem now in the past 4 hours wi24 hours with th sean hannity and sarah palen who put on her facebook page an apology for criticizing him after he -- >> julian assange. >> she she criticized julian assange for releasing her emails when she was governor of alaska and saying everybody should see the movie snowden. there's been a weird 180 not just in the conservative world but in the conservative trump loyalist world. all of a sudden julian assange is, like, you know, a hero and somebody who everybody should
applaud, and is it because it could help from the perspective of trump his legitimacy and, you know, questions that he thinks people are putting out into the ether about his winning the white house? unclear. using this man as the kind of beacon of credibility -- >> he doesn't have any credibility. >> you are talking about julian assange? >> he doesn't have credibility. that's -- look, this is also where you are going to have a fight with congress. you have republicans and you have democrats who want to get to the bottom of this hacking business. the president-elect apparently does not. that's potential conflict. >> let's see what the president-elect says friday after he is briefed by the heads of the u.s. intelligence community. he is given all this information. it will be fascinating to see how he emerges from that meeting. an important note. next thursday house speaker paul ryan will be joining our own jake tapper for a cnn town hall this next thursday. 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. coming up, republican senator lindsey graham says he hopes no
american gets "duped" by julian assange just hours after president-elect trump tweeted about him. we're going to talk to a member of trump's transition team. plus, inside the meeting with president obama as he strategizes to save his signature program obama care. we talk to a democrat who invited him to capitol hill today. tech: don't let a cracked windshield ruin your plans. trust safelite. with safelite's exclusive "on my way text"... you'll know exactly when we'll be there. giving you more time for what matters most. (team sing) safelite repair, safelite replace.
welcome back. our president-elect donald trump appears to side with the wikileaks boss julian assange instead of u.s. intelligence community over russia's role in the hacking of the democratic national committee and reactions, they are pouring in. here's republican senator lindsey graham. >> i hope no american will be duped by him. i hope the president-elect will get his information and trust the american patriots who work in the intelligence community who swear oath and allegiance to the constitution and not some guy hiding from the law who has a record of undercutting and undermining american democracy. >> then there was this tweet from george little, a former spokesman for the mcveigh. "let's stare this reality square in the face. peotus, president-elect of the united states, is pro-putin and
believes julian assange over the cia. on january 20th we will be less safe." joining us now one of the vice chairs of the trump transition team, congressman marcia blackburn, tennessee congresswoman. thank you for joining us. >> sure. yes. >> the director of the cia also had a direct message for donald trump and anyone else who doubts russia was behind last year's hacking. listen to this. >> there is no intelligence community worldwide that has the capabilities, the expertise, the capability of the u.s. intelligence community. i would suggest to individuals who have not yet seen the report, who have not yet been briefed on it, that they wait and see what it is that the intelligence community is putting forward before they make those judgments. >> congresswoman bottom line, does the president-elect trust the wikileaks founder over the u.s. intelligence community on this issue?
zplie have not talked directly to the president-elect about that. i know he has tremendous respect for our intelligence community, tremendous respect for our military intelligence. i know he relies on that and on the briefings that he gets. i have no doubt that he is listening to what they have to say. >> agencies need more time to build the case on russian hacking. is he insin waiting that the intelligence community doesn't have evidence against russia? that instead they're simply trying to create a narrative that isn't there? >> what we want to do is have a classified briefing on this. we want our intelligence committees to have the
opportunity to look into this hacking, to also go back and look at the opm hacking that they said was carried out by china. the 2015 hacking. wolf, the other component of this we have to remember that 2014 was deemed the year of the breach because of the number of breaches and hackings that transpired that year. the data security legislation that you and i have talked about many times, we need to look at privacy provisions in a privacy toolbox that is made available to individuals and, of course, there needs to be more work in that cyber component. whether you are looking at our critical infrastructure or whether you are dealing with the cyber warfare component. you have bad actors like russia, like china, like iran that have cyber warfare units. what we need to do is admit that
is out there, and then we need a plan where we are going to be able to be well informed and to fight back in the appropriate manner. >> when the u.s. intelligence community concluded -- this is back in october -- and issued a statement, october 7th of last year -- i'll read a couple of sentences from it. the u.s. intelligence community is confident that the russian government directed the recent compromises of emails from u.s. persons and institutions, including from u.s. political organizations, referring to the dnc, and then goes on to say we believe based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts that only russia's senior most officials could have authorized these activities. congresswoman, do you accept that bottom line conclusion because clearly donald trump so far does not? >> i think that there's plenty that is out there that shows that russia was, in part or either in whole, responsible for hackings. we don't know if it was one
hacking or if there were other entities that hacked. wolf, building out that full picture, was it russia plus one other bad actor or two others? where were they located? what were the algarhythms. what was the tipping? all of this is information that i, for one, would like to know. >> because -- well, you talk about bad actors in the statement that the director of national intelligence, general clapper, put out together with the secretary of homeland security, they did say the recent disclosures of alleged hacked emails on sites like dcl leaks.com, wikileaks, and goosifer 2.0 on-line persona, they are consistent with the methods and motivations of russian directed efforts. are those the bad actors you are talking about, the -- >> every one of those would be -- >> actually leaked and published that information. >> yeah. every one of those would be considered in my mind to be bad
actors. it confirmed to the american people in part some of what they thought was going on. that is part of their frustration, you know, and the russians did not take control of podesta's keyboard or anybody else's keyboard and write those emails, and so that's one that i think that's a separate issue. are you comfortable with donald trump using the wikileaks founder julian assange as a credible source?
>> mr. trump has a direct line of communication with the american people, says and much of what the american people had questioned about what was going on we in the house are going to rook forward to having a classified briefing, so that we can be informed on exactly what it was, how long it went on and what they know about who all participated in the hackings that took place -- that took place this fall, and i hope they go back and look at what happened in 2015 with china and the opm hacking. we still have -- we have some unresolved issues around that. >> so very quickly, is julian assange a credible source?
>> i don't know if i would put a whole lot of trust in julian assange. i'm certain he has his own reasoning. i do know that he has made some things available through wikileaks and it has affected not only our country, it's affected leaders in other countries, but it's not someone that i put on page one to find out what's going on. i listen to you, wolf. >> all right. congresswom congresswoman marcia blackburn of tennessee. thanks for joining us. >> thanks. >> up next, the political fight over obama care and the real impact that americans were currently enrolled. we'll break down the numbers for you when we come back. all finished. umm... you wouldn't want your painter to quit part way. i think you missed a spot. so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. painter: you want this color over the whole house? on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done
joinchts after years of trying to repeal the affordable care act, also known as obama care, republicans finally have their chance as they move full speed ahead. some lawmakers, though, are worried it is all moving too quickly. how will the process move forward, and who will be affected? we have our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta and our cnn political reporter m. j. lee as well. m.j., give us a break down of what happens first? >> well, wolf, republicans are not wasting in i time on this. senate republicans introduce a budget resolution. this is a resolution that republicans are referring to as the repeal resolution, and really the first step in getting the process started in repeeling the affordable care act. the senate just took a procedural vote to get the debate started, and this is a progress that could drag out for a couple of days.
now, the reason that republicans are using this vehicle is because it allows them to go around the senate filibuster, really only requires a senate majority to get this approved, and this is something that will take some time, possibly weeks and months before president donald trump sees a bill on his desk. now, what is still up for debate, wolf, is how many years republicans want to actually delay the repeal from going into effect. the number we are hearing is two to three years. again, the big question too, of course, is how they're going to replace what they repeal and this is something that could create some internal conflict and friction within the republican party. so who would be most affected if it's repealed? >> well, i think the people that
would be most affected are people who are insured as a result of the affordable care act, and you could take a look at the numbers. i think if you do the math overall you have more than 20 million people. then you add in the several million people this past year. close to 30 million people would become uninsured if there's a full repeal. that clz 4.5 million children, 7.6 million parents. you know, as m.j. has written about as well, i think everyone is impacted by potential repeal because there are patient protections in there. the cap, for example, and how much an insurance company will pay for you if you develop a chronic disease, for example, those caps are gone. those can be put back in place. if you leave your job and you are going to a new job, but you have an illness, are you going to be able to get health care insurance at an affordable price? that's something that affects everybody. those are the most affected. no one is probably immune. >> sanjay, lots to assess. we will be doing that in the coming days and weeks and months. maybe even years. sanjay gupta, m.j. lee, guys,
thanks very much. president obama up on capitol hill delivering a mandate to democrats over the health care fight. he was invited by democratic congressman joe crowley who will join me live with details right after this. so i liked when my doctor told me i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me with once-weekly trulicity. trulicity is not insulin. it helps activate my body to do what it's supposed to do release its own insulin. trulicity responds when my blood sugar rises. i take it once a week, and it works 24/7. it comes in an easy-to-use pen
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>> we have a transition of power alert. president-elect trump made several staff announcements only moments ago. katie walsh will serb as deputy chief of staff over at the white house assisting chief of staff rooins priebus. rick dearborn will serve as secretary of staff of governmental fairs, and joe hagen will serve as deputy chief of staff for operations. president-elect trump's skepticism about russian hacking
intelligence may be -- may not be shared by the vice president-elect. our senior white house correspondent jim accosta is joi joining us with details. what are you hearing about the president elect's views on the hacking versus the president-elect's views? mike pence has a lot of faith in the intelligence community. donald trump talked about julian assange and his claims over wikileaks that the russians did not provide him with that hacked information on the democrats in the 2016 election. it's interesting to point out, wolf, at the press conference earlier this morning up on capitol hill we heard mike pence sort of echo donald trump's criticism that we heard frequently out on the campaign trail about these past failures in the intelligence community.
that's a not so veiled reference to the weapons of mass destruction or the missing wmd's in iraq. when i went back to a transition source about this, the message was essentially don't read too much into this that. that mike pence still has faith in the intelligence community that he still receives these briefings nearly every day from the intelligence community unlike the president-elect who does not do that, and on that transition call earlier this morning, wolf, sean spicer was asked about all of this, and he emphasized that donald trump has faith in the data that is being collected by the intelligence community. he just questions some of the conclusions that are being drawn. now, we should also point out obama care was obviously the big subject on capitol hill when mike pence was up there. i'm told by a transition source that mike pence made it clear behind closed doors with house speaker paul ryan that they are going to be looking at regulations, obama care regulations on day one of the trump administration. that this would be an executive order that donald trump would sign starting to undo some of
these regulations. at the same time they stress to these lawmakers, wolf, that they're not going to be undoing obama care overnight, that this repeal process may happen immediately. when i say repealed in the short-term, but over the long-term it's going to take many, many months to fashion a replacement bill and at this point the contours of that bill are a mystery. wofrl. >> certainly it. jim accosta reporting. let's get some more on president obama's efforts to rally democrats to save his signature health care plan. >> there was excitement to see -- and to see the ranks of
private citizen again. understanding -- thanking us for the accomplishments that we achieved together they lie ahead of us of what we have to expect from the trump administration that will be coming in, and with the republicans who bought the house and the senate. >> what can you tell us about that? what did the president say about that? >> well, i've heard that expression used elsewhere that if somehow obama care is replaced by some type of trump care, but the president said we have to wait and see just what that means. we do know what they like about the affordable care act or the trump -- or the obama care. if they like people on the 26th to stay on their parents' insurance. they like the preexisting conditions can no longer prohibit someone from getting insurance. lifetime caps will be lifted. they like all the sweets. they just don't like any of the vegetables that they have to take before they get to the sweets.
we know how easy it is to tear something down and how difficult it is to build something. that's what the president reminded us of as well. we made a lot of achievements here. what the american's people priority is to have affordable quality health care. not to see it taken away. so far what it comes down to is the president-elect's office is moving towards demes are to blame for the mess, and it will fall of its own weight. be careful. how do you respond to that criticism that obama care is a failed system. >> it's very difficult to govern by tweet. i think -- i hope the president-elect learns that sooner rather than later. i will say this, wolf. they controlled the house and senate for quite some time now. no effort whatsoever to improve.
they've had 60 votes to undermine it. to overturn it. that's not what the american people. when they make their move, they're going to own this issue and no longer be on our plate. it will be on their plate, and the american people -- they're looking for their expectation that they have affordable quality real insurance. >> they're trying to use some of the so-called tea party tactics that were used against him and get democrats involved in this fight against what donald trump and the republicans are planning to do on obama care or not. >> i know that we in the house plan this weekend on the 7th and throughout the weekend, 7th of january throughout this weekend to hold events in our districts calling attention to the good qualities of what the affordable
care act has presented to the american people. a positive aspect of it. other countries will be using that as a day of action to call attention to the positive aspects again in the affordable care act and the trump administration are going to be being attempted to do to undermine them and to take them away from 20 plus million americans who now have affordable health and quality health insurance for the first time in their -- for many in their lifetime. >> interesting that he is recommending going to that tea party playbook. thanks very much for joining us. >> you got it, wolf. thank you. >> a quick programming note to our viewers. monday, chris cuomo will host a town hall with former democratic candidate senator bernie sanders. they'll be taking questions from the audience that this coming monday, january 9th, 9:00 p.m. eastern, only here on cnn. we'll be back in a moment. (vo) maybe it was here, when you hit 300,000 miles.
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there are ten democrats from states that donald trump won. we can't say that enough. and several of them have a different view from the democratic senator from new york. the reality is a lot of these democrats are in tough seats and do not want to be seen as obstructionis obstructionists, they do not want to be painted as obstructionis obstructionists, if it is sm someone who is unacceptable, they will try to block it but i think they will trying to smothering them. >> 52 republicans in the senate, 48 democrats. but in a domination for the united states supreme court you can have a filibuster so you really need 60 so you need a bunch of democrats who are going to jump over and help out assuming all republicans stay in
line. >> but here is what's happening right now. it's about the fight. the dems want to show they have fight after the loss they had. i hear you what you're saying but at the same time when people are talking about they don't want to be seen as obstructionists they also want to look like the party is forceful and fighting and a time of activism, i'm hearing it everywhere especially when it comes to the supreme court and other positions that donald trump has appointed. >> cordell william brooke and other members were sitting in the office of senator sessions who has been nominated to be the attorney general, do you anticipate more of that? >> oh, yes, affectivism for thi you don't like and there's going to be times you find common grounds, but what i believe is
going to happen particularly with sessions and hhs and education, people are going to try to stop, and sessions is known for people like congresswoman sheila jackson who said he started out as a segregationist and voted against voting rights and he is going to vet a supreme court nominee as well as a federal judge, so they're going to really push against this. >> the problem they have on the cabinet nomination is it takes 50, they have 52. >> and the democrats have themselves to blame for that and chuck schumer told dana bash he regrets that, he wished democrats would not have changed those rules but it does take 50 so it find o-- that's what thes hearings are for, but elections have consequences. >> they certainly do, april congratulations on the new book.
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top of the hour you're watching cnn i'm brooke baldwin, we begin with a dramatic showdown on capitol hill as obama coins the phrase "trump care." visited with lawmakers in these sort of duelling split screen meetings to strategize on obamacare. the first order of business and it's the replacement piece that democrats are seizing upon. the president directed his party to