tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN January 5, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
thank you so much for being here with me on this thursday. we're going to send it to washington, d.c. now. jake tapper is out, jim sthciut is in. the lead starts right now. >> thank you, brook. the nation's top spies says there is a difference between questioning and disparaging. the lead starts right now. america's most senior intelligence official laying out the case that russia hacked the democrats, but will donald trump accept it now? weeks before he's sworn into office, donald trump gives a sworn deposition in one of his many ongoing legal battles, taking away from presidential prep today. plus. >> why you do that? >> tied up, beaten and tortured all on facebook, attackers yelling f trump and f white people. this hour new information about the punishment that four suspects are now facing. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news.
>> welcome back to the lead. i'm jim sciutto in again for jake tapper. we begin today with breaking news in our politics lead. sources tell cnn donald trump has tapped former indiana senator dan coats for director of national intelligence. that is, the nation's top spy. this as the current director along with his counter parts testified for hours today that there is no doubt that russian leadership was behind the cyber hacks during the 2016 race. and that they are more conif i he dent of that judgment than ever. president obama was briefed on the final report just a short time ago with president-elect trump's briefing scheduled for tomorrow. cnn's raju is on capitol hill. u.s. officials said they will when this becomes public, they'll name more than one motive for the russian hacking. >> reporter: that's right, next week we'll or
direct camp -- interfere with our election process than we've seen in this case. >> in the nearly three hour senate hearing, the officials saying they're even more confident in their october assessment that russia's senior most officials authorized the cyber attack against the democrat national committee and hillary clinton's campaign, an assessment president-elect donald trump has repeatedly dismissed. >> we stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement that we made on the seventh of october. >> and they left no doubt over who is to blame. >> you say you think this was approved at the highest level of government in russia generally speaking. is that right? >> that's what we said. >> okay, who is the highest level of government? >> well, the highest is president putin .
>> you think a lot happens in russia big that he doesn't know about? >> not very many. >> yeah, i don't think so. >> certainly none that are politically sensitive in another country. >> reporter: testamented to an implicit rebuke of trump who has rehe petedly slammed the intelligence community, praised putin , and downplayed russia's role in the elections. >> who benefits from a president-elect trashing the intelligence community? who benefits from that, director clapper, the american people, them losing confidence in the intelligence community and the work of the intelligence community? >> i think there is an important distinction here between healthy skepticism, which policy makers to include policy maker number one, should always have for intelligence, but i think there is a difference between skepticism and disparagement. >> reporter: and senator john mccain pushing back on trump for relying on the word of wikileaks
leader julian assange who said russia had no role in his group's public release of thousands of internal democratic e-mails. >> the name, mr. assange, has popped up. and i believe that he is one who is responsible for publishing names of individuals that worked for us that put their lives in direct danger. is that correct? >> yes, he has. >> and do you think that there is any credibility we should attach to this individual, given his record of -- >> not in my view. >> not in your view. admiral rogers? >> i would second those comments. >> reporter: after the hearing, mccain saying he hopes trump takes away this lesson. >> i hope he understands the importance of the role of the intelligence community. and it's clear that their conclusions, at least so far, have been correct.
>> reporter: now, jim, also john mccain saying he was going to push for stiffer sanctions on russia in the new congress. he does president know where donald trump will come down on that issue, but he said in a sign of potentially good news r donald trump, mccain is feeling a little better about the secretary of state nominee, rex tillerson after they had a conversation about tillerson's relationship with russia. all his concerns are not yet alleviated but he's feeling a little better today, jim. >> that's one of many confirmation hearings next tuesday. members of the republican party certainly seem to be sending him a message at today's hearing. the question is was he ligsening? cnn's senior correspondent accosta is outside trump tower. plelkt has not responded to the hearing yet, but tim did make a big announcement relevant certainly to the intelligence questions today as well. >> reporter: absolutely, jim. that's right. donald trump has selected the newly retired indiana senator dan coats to be the director of
national intelligence. it's an institutional pick that could soothe some of the tensions between the trump transition team and the intelligence community and it comes as the plelkt is insisting he is not on the sage page as wikileaks founder julian assange when it comes to russian hacking in the american election. donald trump is doing some hacking backtracking. one day after the president-elect cited wikileaks founder julian assange that he colluded with russia to interfere in the u.s. election, rehe tweet retreat. i am in agreement with julian assange. wrong, trump tweeted. i simply state what he states. it is for the people to make up their own minds as to the truth. the media likes to make it look like i'm against intelligence when in fact i'm a big fan. that's a departure from the affects trump showed for wikileaks during the campaign when assange was dumping damaging information on hillary clinton. >> this just came out. wikileaks, i love wikileaks. >> reporter: contrast, trump
shifting on assange from top republicans from arizona senator john mccain. >> this is really a person who has put the lives of americans in danger. he cannot be trusted for anything. >> reporter: to his old campaign rival, ted cruz. >> i think assange has done enormous damage to our national security. i would not be praising him under any circumstances. >> reporter: trump is battling growing consensus that kremlin backed hackers were meddling in the election, though gop support trump's complaint democrat are exploiting the cyber scandal to damage president-elect. >> russia clearly tried to meddle in our political system no two ways about it. first of all, i think this is what the president-elect is legitimately upset about. there are attempts on the elects to try to dee legitimatize this. he won fairly and convincingly. >> reporter: democrats argue it is about his grasp of reality.
>> this is not healthy skepticism as they would like to portray it. this is very unhealthy, essentially avoidance of the facts because they don't suit the president-elect's interests. >> reporter: trump's critics say he harmed his own credibility this week by claiming he would reveal by now new information about election hacking then failing to deliver. >> i also know things that other people don't know. and, so, they cannot be sure of the situation. >> what you know that other people don't know? >> you'll find out on tuesday or wednesday. >> reporter: transition officials insist the president supports the intelligence community and pushing back he wants to pair back the office of director of intelligence in the new administration. >> there is no truth to the idea of restructuring the intelligence community infrastructure. it is 100% false. >> reporter: now, transition officials insist that donald trump is only demonstrating a
healthy skepticism of the intelligence decision after the weapons of mass destruction after the iraq war. as one official put it to me, jim, questions are good and getting back to the selection of dan coats to be director of national in tell jensen, one top republican backer of senator coats pointed out to me that dan coats was banned from russia, you recall, jim, back in 2014 when the white house and russia were firing back and forth sanctions and counter sanctions over the invasion of cry crimea. jim. >> he serves on both the home land security and intelligence committees, senator, thank you for taking the time. >> glad to be with you. >> you heard dni clapper say in those hearings there is no doubt that russia was behind the election interference. as you know, the president-elect continues to express doubts very publicly. you're on the intelligence committee. do you have any doubt that russia perpetrated these attacks? >> no, i don't have any doubt that russia a has been engaged
in trying to interfere with our election just like they've done with other countries all around the world, all around their region. they have been very engaged in this. what i would dispute and i've heard a lot of people comment on is that russia was trying to hack into our voting system and actually trying to change votes. i still hear that rumor and that's been debunked over and over again and i don't know of anyone actually in the intelligence community that holds to that. >> no, they don't. in fact, i should note that director clapper made a point of saying that today, no evidence of hacking the volting systems, but access to e-mails and affected information. i wonder if i can ask you this, i know this gets into the classified arena. can you describe in general terms the evidence that exists pointing the finger specifically at russian senior leaders? >> no, i can't actually because that does get into classified things. this is one of the things that president obama brought up three weeks ago that when he said when he asked for this report and for the research around it, the american people are going to be dissatisfied with it because we're not going to reveal sources and methods of how we know things because that provides a greater vulnerability
in the days ahead. the administration spent the last couple of week trying to go through all this to determine what can be declassified in the next week. they're going to try to release as much as they possibly can. i know dni clapper said today they're going to push the envelope on and multiple other individuals. dan coats will be able to sit down and walk through and is have his circle and actually give that counsel to him. we won't have to do that.
here's the big issue, though. and i think it's a difference in a lot of people are missing. we talked about sanctions. we talked about russian engagement. but when donald trump keeps identifying it's very hard to track hacking to a individual person. he is correct on that. that's why the fbi has not filed criminal charges on anyone and has not tried to actually nail it to a person because we can't be that specific. >> but they have, to be fair, they've tracked it to a country and that seems to be the important issue here. >> that's correct. >> your colleague senator graham today, he raised again the idea of more severe sanctions against russia. i know that you supported the president's sanctions and have expressed possible interest in tougher sanctions. the trouble is our president-elect doesn't even buy the premise, right, that russia is behind these attacks. if you come with a bill presenting sanctions against russia and president trump vetoes that bill, will you vote to over viride that veto? >> that's speculation. we are going to continue to press for real sanctions.
my concern with president obama's sanctions is that they are very small. he's basically sanctioning the russian intelligence operation and some of the leadership and russian intel organizations. those aren't real sanctions to be able to put in place. those are already individuals we know mean to do harm to the united states. he also stated that these sanctions were put in place not only for the cyber attacks, but for one of our american diplomats that was assaulted in moscow six months ago. so, we had this long six-month delay many of us have tried to say why don't we get a response. i would tell you those of us in the intel committee and those of us that are in the intel community have for years tried to press this administration to have a cyber doctrine. eight years later they don't have that. >> i understand that criticism. frankly i've heard that from democrats as well. let's look forward to this new president because what we're setting up here for is a conflict with his own party over this key issue of what you and others have called a key issue of national security. how do you go about rectifying that? >> well, i would say the first thing is let him become
president of the united states and get a full explanation with his own intel team and be able to sit down and do t. we have men and women serving around our world that are in our intel community that are very sharp, very smart people that do a terrific job and provide american safety every single day. they will never be recognized like many other people that serve our government because they are not seen by many americans, but they do an incredible job. allow those individuals to be able to sit down with president trump when he's president rather than president-elect and we'll see how this changes. >> stars on the wall at cia headquarters for cia agents that have lost their lives in the field. senator james lang ford, we do appreciate you taking the time. >> thank you. >> you just heard the top members of the intelligence community clearly state that russia was behind the election related hacking. now the kremlin is responding. we'll have that next.
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tha put welcome back to the lead and turning now to our world lead, russian president vladimir tut -- putin is not our friend said senator lindsey graham. this after intelligence officials testified today that there is no doubt that russia was behind election related hacking. want to bring in cnn senior international correspondent
frederick from moscow. fred, i understand you just got new reaction from russia's hearing today in washington. >> absolutely, jim. it's clear the russians were watching these hearings very, very closely and not liking what they saw obviously. the state-run sputnik news network came out just a couple minutes ago actually and came with a, with a statement saying that it was -- that russia was correct in all of this. now i also got in touch with the spokesman for vladimir putin and here's what he had to say. he had to say, quote, we have suggested cooperation on combatting cyber threats numerous times. it was rejected. and we're sick and tired of those irresponsibleably blaming everything on our country. there is a need for an enemy, why not try someone else? so, the russians obviously saying that it wasn't them. just to get back to that sputnik news article, they obviously saying in that nothing new was present ed in this hearing.
they called the meeting, quote, a flop in their article. so, certainly a lot of bad blood here with the russian reactions and they are sticking by their line saying it wasn't them and calling everything levied against them absurd, jim. >> we expect that. is this standoff, i'm curious, helping putin at home? a lot of economic problems in russia now. >> you know what, i think it is, and you're absolutely right. the economy here is in a lot of trouble. nevertheless, we have seen since the election of donald trump and especially also with some of these tweets from donald trump questioning some of the things that we're hearing in the intelligence community, the rubel is going up. things are suring up. one of the reason for that, jim, vladimir putin is seemingly finding himself in a favorable environment going forward and looking forward to the next administration. one of the things that the russians really are looking forward to is whether or not perhaps if there is better relations that some of the sanctions against russia that obviously have been put in place, not just because of the hacking now, but also of course
because of the crisis in ukraine by the u.s. and the e.u., that there is the potential for those sanctions to possibly go away, jim. >> who knew that donald trump could affect the rubl market as well. thanks very much from moscow. house speaker paul ryan making a promise that could affect thousands of american women and their health care. then he's about to be the president of the united states. but donald trump could still end up in a courtroom. and that may not be the only legal battle he's facing. spell. say hello to a powerful tool that gives you options to fit your budget. ♪ oh, i'm tied to this chair! ♪ dun-dun-daaaa! i don't know that an insurance-themed comic book is what we're looking for. did i mention he can save people nearly $600? you haven't even heard my catchphrase. i'm all done with this guy. box him up. that's terrible. if you have moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's,
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ryan said it would happen as part of the obamacare repeal process. the move certain to set off a clash in congress, some moderate senators have opposed past efforts to gut funding for the women's health organization. now i want to bring in my political panel, republican strategist and polster, a columnist at the washington examiner. senior politics reporter at usa today heidi, and senior politics writer for u.s. news and world report. if i could begin with the planned parenthood news, is that going to be a difficult fight on the hill? >> republicans have never made it any secret that they are no fans of planned parenthood, especially during the republican primary when the videos came out. this was a big part of carly fiorina's message. she rose in the polls. at the same time, donald trump came out and said nice things about planned parenthood. it will be interesting to see how the administration and congress handle this. the other challenge republicans are going to have is that while they feel very empowered again to do this, there are things that planned parenthood provides
besides abortion that republicans would be able to shift that funding to, say, community health centers to make up the gap. but it's hard. you can't just felipe switch. there are enough brick and mortar locations that can't be replaced. i think republicans are going to have to figure out how do you ensure women can still receive non-abortion forms of care outside of planned parenthood if they can't solve that problem, that could make it more politically challenging. >> another battle certainly the president, even republicans on the hill is russia and hacking. you had the country's most senior spies on the hill today saying there is no doubt, in fact, they have less doubt today than they even had a couple of months ago. david, it seemed to me that their audience was really one. it was donald trump almost. >> absolutely, and he has been mostly quiet today on twitter. i would have bet 24 hours ago that he would have tweeted at john mccain and that hearing. i'm sure he's watching. >> intelligence in quotes again. >> putting intelligence in quotes. maybe kellyanne conway got to him.
advisors got to him. he's been relatively quiet. maybe we'll see it later tonight or tomorrow. tomorrow he gets the briefing, he sits down with intelligence officials and he will hear it. i think tomorrow will be the real test, what he comes out and how he reacts tomorrow after this formal briefing when these intelligence officials tell him what they basically he told the senate in public testimony today. and if he disavows that, that could cause a real fault line in the republican party and could make it more troubling for his cabinet picks next week. remember, john mccain is the head of the committee that is going to steer rex tillerson's nomination and has already raised doubts. if they lose three republicans, tillerson could go down. i'm not saying it's likely, but he's playing with fire. >> how does this play out, i wonder, heidi? for instance on assange, we saw a slight change in donald trump's view or at least his expressed view via twitter, praising the hacks. today i never really liked assange, it's what he did. do you envision a similar pull back on the russia hacking
intelligence? can donald trump walk this back? >> that's the problem, actually, it's no longer just the dishonest media. that's one of the down sides of twitter for donald trump, is that it's right there on his twitter account. and, so, i think it really does, like david said, matter what he says when he comes out of here. but it does -- the op tiks of it and kind of the game of chicken he's playing with our intelligence agencies does not look good because what, to me, aligning himself with julian assange is one of the clearest signals yet that we have of just how concerned donald trump is about these investigations and what they could yield in terms of undermining the legitimacy of his presidency because john mccain said today, look, we don't know how this affected our elections. we don't know that it did, but we don't know that it didn't. so, we're very much at the beginning of our discovery. but the more that donald trump kind of puts himself out there and aligns himself with essentially the russian kgb and julian assange over our intelligence agencies, it makes it harder for him to walk it
back, especially if the information doesn't reflect well on -- >> you just described that very sensitive nerve for donald trump, the idea we don't know. it could have affected the election, which the sense is that he reads that as a -- an insult to his victory. >> yeah, and i think that's why today it was so important to have it come out. look, we don't have evidence that voting machines were hacked, but that was a part of this equation because too often when you hear the story talked about, it's the election hack. >> which can sound to people at home like votes -- >> no doubt that is what is touching that nerve for donald trump. to the extent when this briefing occur, folks are saying, look, we're not saying your win was ill legitimate. we're saying there is an outside entity trying to do bad things in the u.s. and we need to stop t. that is the angle to get donald trump to find this information credible. >> if i can move to another topic in domestic issues, donald trump said one of the first things he's going to do during the first 100 days is
infrastructure bill. quietly in the news, it's been pushed off. i wonder, david, does that cause disappointment among his supporters? this was a promise. >> i don't know if it's going to cause so much disappointment if he acts on other things, like immigration and trade which i think were bigger priorities to his base. look, the problem he's going to have is how much time does he want to expend on all these different things going around. he's got a bunch of cabinet confirmation hearings that are going to take up january, a supreme court pick that is going to come in. obamacare i think is going to take months. he only has so much time. he has to prioritize. the other problem is idea logical that the republican party does not want to do a stimulus. rand paul was on television all week talking about a deficit and that's the biggest problem the party should be talking about. that would be a problem with his own base if he went for it. >> there is always a period right after the election, heidi, where you say here are the issues where democrats and republicans can work together. i ask people at this very desk
many times, infrastructure, we can work together on that. if that's not on the table what can they work together, what is the grand bipartisan hope? >> as much as donald trump was a different kind of republican -- very different kind of republican, he's now meeting the realities of working with the congress and the congress is run by traditional establishment republicans. you're seeing that point for point. some of these issues like infrastructure, like entitlements donald trump said protect social security and medicare, now some of the first priorities of this republican congress are very different from the things that donald trump talked about on the hill. and he's also meeting the reality of the fiscal constraints of this country in terms of republicans are not going to go for anything that is like a stimulus or even their version of it, like tax credits if it's going to further explode the deficit. >> these are house members. they're going to have to run in less than two years' time. what about this coming clash on potentially sanctions against russia? you have not virtually everyone, but you have many republicans saying they don't just want sanctions, they want tougher sanctions and you have a
president, not yet, who accepted the premise. how is that rectified? >> i wonder if it separates trump votesers from republicans from conservatives. these are three distinct groups. for instance, peewee search center had a poll showing donald trump is 12%. at the same time donald trump has become the president-elect, a gregg number of republicans have started to express in polls more favorable views to vladimir putin, expressing maybe they don't want to -- maybe that they'd like to see these sanctions repealed once donald trump becomes -- >> more favorable than barack obama. >> certainly scrambling things a little bit. to the question of congress, a lot of them were elected as conservatives. donald trump not being elected as a conservative i think that's the interesting clash to come from the heart and soul of the republican party. >> we're going to have to leave it there. kristen, heidi, david, thanks very much. tune in for the special town hall with bernie sanders. our own chris kwoem owe and
members of a live audience are going to ask the senator questions. thursday night jay tapper will host a town hall with house speaker paul ryan starting at 9:00 eastern time. i want to warn you about a video you're about to see that has extremely graphic violence, and it may be hard to watch. moments ago police announcing charges against four people accused of tying up a special needs teenager and torturing him, all, why, if you can believe it, broadcasting it live on facebook. we're going to have the details of this case right after this. it's earned in every wash... ... and re-earned every day. tide. america's number one detergent.
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with hate crimes over a vicious attack that was, if you can believe it, live streamed on facebook. their mug shots just released, the suspects cursing donald trump and white people during this attack. i want to warn you once again, the video extremely disturbing to watch. >> why you do that? >> [ bleep ] >> donald trump. >> that poor victim is an 18-year-old white man who has special needs and is a crime that chicago police have called sickening. cnn's ryan young is in chicago for us. police making it clear this is going to be investigated as a hate crime. >> they are. and to make this matt -- to make matters worse, they actually believe one of the teens in this video may be friends with that 18-year-old victim and they were riding around together in a stolen van. not sure the victim knew the van was stolen, but at some point he
was brought to an apartment and for the next six hours he faced some terror. >> [ bleep ] >> scalped for a whole patch. >> bound and beaten. >> tied up. >> police say this 18-year-old white man with special needs was tortured live on facebook for a full 30 minutes. police tell cnn they are aware of more videos allegedly showing the man forced to drink from a toy toilet. >> let me be very clear. the actions in that video are reprehensible. that, along with racism, have absolutely no place in the city of chicago or anywhere else for that matter. >> reporter: the four african americans all young adults seen in this disturbing clip were taken into custody after police discovered it online. hate crime and felony criminal charges have been filed, including aggravated kid napping
and battery with a deadly weapon. >> the racial slurs and, you know, the deference to his mental capacity starts coming out. that's primarily one of the reasons that they were charged with the hate crime. >> reporter: they taunted the team repeatedly invoking donald trump and race. >> donald trump, white people, boy. >> reporter: however, police don't believe the vick it will was racially or politically targeted by his tormenters. >> he is able to escape when a downstairs neighbor calls the police complaining that -- of all the noise upstairs. >> reporter: outrage over the incident has erupted online fueled further by racially charged claim. the editorial conspiratorial website tweeted, blm kid napping is the hashtag to get this story trending. laying blame on the black lives matter movement which police say has no connection to this horrific act. the four charged are due to appear in court tomorrow.
police giving a time line saying this all happened on january 3rd, the man was terrorized for some five or six hours maybe after being driven around in a stolen vehicle and taken to this apartment and retief goosen all these acts done to him. we now know all four aspects will have their first court date tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. >> sickening to watch. ryan young, thank you very much. joining us is chicago activist andrew holmes. andrew, thank you for coming on. i know you personally experienced violence in chicago in your life. let me start by asking, what's your reaction to this horrible crime? >> well, you know, it's so disrespectful and i do think the charges fit the crime and, you know, we let the chips fall where they may. >> do you believe hate crime charges are the obvious step for this kind of crime? >> yeah, i believe the charges are appropriate. i mean, the actions that they did, they made on their own with
that decision, racial slurs and torturing him at the same time. i mean, that's no place for hatred, not only in chicago, but across the united states. >> you saw that in social media in particular there was this rush to somehow blame black lives matter, which have no tie to this. have you seen this -- why so quick to blame that movement? >> well, you can't not necessarily blame black lives matter because these individuals took it upon themselves and this is a choice they made, not an organization called black lives matter, even though i support all lives matter, black lives matter and white american lives matter because we all are human. but to say this was black lives matter, i don't agree with that. >> there was also, you heard there thee certainly anti-white comments, f white people but also f donald trump. have you seen that kind of anger bubbling up elsewhere?
>> during the course of november 9th or tenth, working alongside with michael eahardt, we watched a video of a subject that had a car accident, and the other one was african-american, the older guy was a white american, hispanic american, they got out, they exchanged words. once they started beating him, they started taunting, he's a trump supporter, he's a trump supporter. well, president-elect trump does not have anything to do with the choices that a person makes when he wants to beat or brutal ize someone. >> it was a brutal crime no question. andrew holmes, we want to thank you for joining us today. >> thank you, jim. >> he is just 15 days from being sworn into the oval office, but donald trump spent his morning being deposed in a lawsuit related to his d.c. hotel. and this to be clear is not the only legal trouble that could follow him. then everything you knew about kids and peanut allergies
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politics now. and today donald trump found himself answering questions in a legal deposition instead of spending time preparing for his presidency. he is locked in a lawsuit with celebrity chef jose andres. earlier the chef repeated his offer to trump to avoid an ugly court bat. tweeting, again, mr. trump, let's solve this. to be clear, this case is one of several legal proceedings trump is now facing. cnn's jessica snyder joins me live in trump tower. jessica, what do we know about today's deposition? >> reporter: jim, we know it was swift. the deposition lasting more than an hour with still no sign of any potential settlement. and donald trump's lawyer is remaining steadfast that the president-elect should not drop this lawsuit. in fact, releasing this statement saying, in short, the parties entered into a valid and enforceable lease which the ten apt clearly breached by walking out and failing to perform its
obligations. this lawsuit, just one of the many looming, 15 days before the inauguration. they're the two food stars who dared to take on the future president. chef andres and zakarian backing out of eateries in trump hotel in washington, d.c. >> we are not supposed to mention him until he doesn't apologize to every latino, to every mexican, to every woman, to every veteran, and to any person that he has insulted. >> reporter: the spanish-born chef campaigned for hillary clinton after he scrapped his flagship restaurant inside the hotel. >> today i could be in a certain hotel in washington, d.c. >> reporter: following suit, food network fixture zakarian both pulled the plug after trump's comments about mexicans. >> they're bringing drugs. they're bringing crime. they're rapists.
>> reporter: in an article published the day before the election, i'm going to d.c. to look at two spaces because my buddy donald, he f'd up. he opened his f-ing mouth. trump sued them for $10 million each. she served up counter suits. the president-elect and his legal team are dealing with depositions. in the days leading up to the inauguration, lawyers in both cases saying right now there is no chance of a settlement and the zakarian suit a pretrial conference is set for may 17 just beyond trump's first 100 days. >> the litigants, his opponents in those cases, and others will try to use those cases, not only to attack on the merits, but as a political tool, particularly here where donald trump has refused to provide his taxes, refused to provide a lot of information the american people are used to having. >> reporter: ambassador norm isen served as the chief ethics advisor in the obama white
house. they agree these lawsuits aren't only unprecedented, but a dangerous distraction. >> the president needs to focus on protecting the security of the united states, on reviving our economy, and do a good job as president. he should not be distracted by litigation. >> reporter: the commander in chief can be sued for actions predating the presidency as the supreme court ruled in the wake of a 1997 civil suit by paula jones against bill clinton for sexual harassment. among the many other cases, trump still faces a suit from a republican consultant who says trump's tweets calling her a real dumby ruined her reputation. five protesters alleged trump security team roughed them up in 2015 and melania trump is suing the daily mail for reporting she was an escort in the 1990, a claim she denies. as for jose andres, he's taking to twitter repeatedly imploring trump to drop their suits in
favor of philanthropy. again, mr. president-elect of the united states, at real donald trump, if you are aware, let's resolve this in a friendly way. we donate money to a charity is a great deal. a deal trump could favor since he's voiced his opposition to settling. >> when you start settling cases, you know what happens? everybody sues you. >> reporter: but donald trump has settled most recently in a series of cases tied to trump university where donald trump has agreed to shell out $25 million. but notably, these cases involving chefs andres and zakarian, donald trump is the one who initiated those and jim, so far, shows no sign of backing down. >> jessica snyder in new york, thanks very much. it's one of the most common and most dangerous allergies for kids. now doctors actually want paernts to expose their children to peanuts from a very young age. the new guidelines right after this.
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welcome back. and we're back now with our health lead. fighting fire with fire, and preventing peanut allergies with peanuts. the national institutes of health has issued new guidelines on peanut allergies and its director calls them a game changer. experts now saying that parents should actually start feeding their babies foods containing peanuts before their first birthday to reduce the risk of potentially deadly allergies later in their lives. just how early depends on your child. if your infant has severe asthma, egg allergies or severe eczema, you can feed them peanut based foods four to six months, but talk to your doctor first. if your baby has mild to moderate eczema and already started solid foods he or she can start eating peanut based foods at six months of age. no family history of such they
can be fed peanut based foods at an appropriate age. interesting stuff. in our money lead, the end of an era for sears. following disappointing holiday results, the already struggling retailer announced it is shutting down more than 150 stores nationwide. the latest decision will affect 109 k-mart stores, which the sears parent company owns, and 41 of its name-sake outlets. once an iconic american retailer, sears is also trying to stem its bleeding by selling the popular craftsman brand toolmaker stanley, black and decker in a $900 million deal. as a result of this deal, stanley, black and decker will expand its manufacturing presence here in the u.s. to make more craftsman products. announcement come just a day after macy's announced it is closing more stores and sadly laying off more workers. be sure to tune into cnn sunday for town hall with bernie sanders. chris cuomo and live audience will ask the senator questions. then on thursday night jake
tapper has a town hall with house speaker paul ryan. that is it for the lead today. i'm jim sciutto in for jake tapper. now i turn you over to wolf blitzer who is where he always is, in the situation room. >> happening now, breaking news, no doubt intelligence chiefs testify that the cyber attack on the u.s. election was ordered at the highest levels in russia. and they say donald trump's disparagement of those findings is a cause for concern. for its part, the kremlin says it's sick and tired of being blamed. obama's report, the president is briefed on the cyber attack investigation and president-elect trump will be briefed tomorrow. will he finally accept the findings of the u.s. intelligence community? hate crime, four african americans are charged with a hate crime and kid napping in the torturing of a white special needs