tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 12, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST
good evening. thanks for joining us. breaking news in the wake of president-elect trump's first formal press conference in nearly six months. the focus was expected to be on how he plans untangle business ties but today's questions returned into more after cnn's reporting about him being presented with classified documents alleging russian operatives claim to have personal and information about him. that was sourced to multiple u.s. officials. we should point out. cnn's reporting did not include a 35-page opposition research report containing unverified and salacious allegations that those documents apparently drew from. we have not reported the details of those documents. the website buzz feed dumped them onto the internet, so did others. cnn did not. those are the facts.
sean spicer today started the press conference by lumping our reporting with what buzz feed did. here is what he said. >> the fact that buzz feed and cnn made the decision to run with this unsubstantiated claim is a pathetic attempt to get clicks. >> we did not publish the 35-page unsubstantiated allegations. nor did we link to it. not even to the buzz feed story that mentioned it. i asked senior adviser for trump, kellyanne conway about it just a short time ago. at today's press conference, sean spicer, i was surprised by what he said. he said buzz feed and cnn ran with the unsubstantiated claim. that's not true. and what cnn said is cnn is not
reporting on details of that memo as it is not independently corroborated with the allegations. do you acknowledge cnn did not release the 35-page unsubstantiated claims against donald trump and it is untrue for spicer to suggest otherwise? >> sean spicer was right as was the president-elect. cnn went first yesterday and buzz feed went second. >> we didn't report what buzz feed reported. >> i didn't say that you did but you linked to it in your story. >> sean spicer said you did. >> i know cnn must be feeling the heat today of having a headline yesterday at around 6:30 p.m. that said, quote, intel chiefs presented trump with information that russia could had information to compromise him. that is just false. and as you saw through nbc news reports today, tweets from people at politico, no friend of donald trump's, and frankly a lot of outlets, print and electronic, so reluctant and hesitant to go forward with anything close to what cnn or
buzz feed did. >> again, you're conflating what buzz -- >> you went first. i know what cnn did. anderson, you are a responsible journalist, you have gone all over the world. you're widely respected. >> what's inaccurate about what cnn reported? >> the whole headline. go read the entire story. four bylines and a story that's just not true that the president-elect was presented with information that was appended in a two-page document to the briefing. nbc has said it was not. other people have said it was not. >> nbc has said it was not verbally presented and cnn never said it was verbally presented. we said, cnn, based on their reporting from multiple sources, we said, we don't know if it was verbally presented. what cnn said was, quote, classified documents presented last tweak to president obama and president-elect trump included allegations that russian operatives claim to have personal and financial information about donald trump. >> anderson, your sources are not correct.
and the fact is that -- >> you're saying in that intelligence briefing there was no information in any of the documents that -- of that two-page summary. >> two things on that. one, we don't discuss the classified information that is presented in intelligence briefings -- >> you said it wasn't true. >> excuse me, i know cnn is feeling the heat -- >> i think you guys are feeling the heat. >> what heat do we feel? that you got this raw information, this complete ridiculous fake news, actually just fake -- also not even news. >> backed up by not only multiple sources but other news agencies, "new york times," washington -- go ahead. >> i'm surprised you're arguing with me. it has not been backed up by credible news sources and you
know as well as i do these rumors were running around for months. every news outlet was chasing these rumors. >> we were not reporting rumor. >> because cnn went first and had this breathless report, everybody said it was a bombshell, earth shattering report last night. >> we didn't say it was a bombshell. >> it says right here, intel chiefs presented trump with russian claims of information to compromise him. >> where's the word bombshell? >> your headline is wrong. then seth meyers said that he confronted me on the bombshell, none of it is true. you tell me -- can you tell me would you run the same story today knowing everything you know, everything that's happened? >> absolutely. >> you would, wow, because the executive editor of "the new york times" said they saw this information -- >> they were talking about the buzz feed story. talking about the buzz feed story. >> you linked to -- >> no. we said we cannot corroborate. we're not reporting what they released. in fact, jake tapper has been very critical of what buzz feed has done. >> if you couldn't corroborate it, why did you link to it?
why are you linking to fake news? >> michael cohen mentioned in that report is not the michael cohen who works at the trump organization. >> we never said he was. >> you're linking to the buzz feed report. >> we're not. we're not linking to the buzz feed report. >> it's mentioned in here. i'm looking at the updated cnn report. i read it right before we came on air. absolutely you know people -- why did you run a story, why run a story based on anonymous sourcing that now has been rebutted about a two-page appendix that -- >> you're saying there was no two-page summary that was included in briefing material? >> the president-elect was asked that question today. you should refer to his answer. but i will tell you -- >> you can answer it. he said -- >> i wasn't in the briefing. >> okay. so you can't say whether or not -- you're saying it's not true but you're saying -- >> what did the president-elect say when he was asked? >> you tell me. >> then you didn't pay attention to the press conference.
you're relying on cnn, on verified sources -- >> i just watched the press conference. i don't want to misquote the president-elect. i assume you know what he said today. >> i sure do. >> he said he doesn't want to talk about -- he won't talk about what happened in the intelligence briefings. >> right. he shouldn't. it's called an intelligence briefing. are you comfortable that -- >> if this didn't happen in an intelligence briefing then you can talk about it. if this wasn't a part of the briefing -- >> are you comfortable -- were your four journalists in the intelligence briefing? were the officials who leaked to the media in the intelligence briefing? no, no, no, no, no. >> on the one hand -- what you're saying doesn't make sense. on the one hand you're saying our reporting is inaccurate but on the on the other hand you're saying you don't know if it was in the intelligence briefing and you can't say even if you did know. right? >> i can tell you that credible news reports today say that it was not in there. >> an nbc news report based on one source. an nbc news report based on one source.
>> and what is yours based on? >> multiple sources and "the new york times" and the washington journal as well say that. >> no. excuse me. you know who put this collection of raw material is, right? >> we're not reporting that raw material. we're not reporting that this person -- we're not basing our reporting on what this person did. of course it was opposition research. cnn is not buzz feed. i wish you guys would acknowledge and be straightforward. i get why politically it makes sense for you to link cnn with what buzz feed did but as jake tapper said on the air he doesn't approve. he's one of the reporters on this. he doesn't approve of what buzz feed did. i would not have dumped all this unsubstantiated allegations. it's unfair. >> but now that it's out there, cnn is happy to refer to it. aren't you? >> we have not mentioned it on the air or talked about the details on the air. >> it's on cnn.com. but here is the thing -- now to
get lots of clicks. >> i encourage people to go online. >> cnn and buzz feed have a lot in common. you both were absolutely convinced and told your viewers hillary clinton would win this election. and why is that relevant -- >> you can't stick to what we're talking about now? >> this is what we're talking about because the excitement, the fury about hacking reached a fever pitch after the election results where neither what was expected or desired by cnn, president obama, hillary clinton, and the whole crew. if cybersecurity was such a big priority to this administration and the democratic party and its apologists in the media, why didn't we do more about it over the last eight years? why when 21 million personnel files hacked for innocent people, by china, president obama gave them basically a slap. >> do more about it in the last eight years? why when 21 million personnel fires were hacked of innocent americans by china, president obama basically gave them a slap on the wrist? >> i know you like to pivot, i
get it. >> that's actually real news. that happened. >> okay. >> that's not unsourced, unnamed -- >> you still have not answered is what is inaccurate in our reporting? because you said you weren't in the briefing, you don't know if what we're reporting is true or not. you weren't in the briefing. i guess you haven't heard anything about what was in the briefing from anybody who was there. can you deny that what we reported, not what buzz feed, all that unsubstantiated stuff, which we're not reporting, what we reported, how can you say it's not true? >> i think if you link to something on your website you're reporting it. >> you're not answering the question. how can you say it's not true? >> hold on. you can't say you're not reporting it if it's on your website. if it's on your website -- >> you can't answer this question. >> here's the answer. if the four intelligence officials that gave the top secret briefing last week that some fools think they should leak to the media when it's a top secret intelligence briefing for a reason so that we're all protected, everybody, then why according to your on report last
night, report is a loose word here, why did they not tell the president-elect about it. because your own reporting says there's no confirmation that they briefed him early. >> i appreciate you acknowledging that. >> hold on. if it's worthy of a cnn screaming headline that became this huge fake news story, then why did they not brief him? they had an opportunity. they were here in trump tower. why didn't they tell him if it was so important? >> i don't have the answer to that. >> i have the answer. it's important to politics, not intelligence. >> we report on what we know and -- we report on what our sources are telling us and what our sources said. we could not get any confirmation whether or not this was verbally discussed. >> why run with it? >> because if it's significant enough to be in the briefing documents, then it seems significant. the fact that whether it's not -- for whatever the reason, they decided to have it be in the briefing documents that is news. we'll continue this interview. it goes on for quite a lot. we want to play every minute and second for it.
kellyanne conway, take issue with our reporting. my continuing interview with kellyanne conway. if it's significant enough to be in the briefing documents it seems significant. for whatever the reason they decided to have it be in the briefing documents, that is news, no? >> what if it's not in the briefing documents? what will cnn do? >> if our report is wrong, we'll acknowledge that. >> will heads roll? because they didn't after the election when all the pundits were wrong, the polling was wrong, all the consultants were wrong, and all the anchors were wrong. >> you're talking about poll during the election. >> i don't think you'll clean house if the report is wrong, if there wasn't a two-page appendix because you haven't yet. >> what you think and what is true are not necessarily the same thing. i'm trying to figure out what you can say is true and not. you cannot take issue with any specific that we have reported. i've yet to hear you say specifically that is not true. >> it's not true.
>> not true those were in the briefing documents? categorically? >> it's true you have no evidence other than unnamed sources you don't have the briefing documents. that's what's true. they would not have access to the briefing documents. >> you don't know who the sources are but there are multiple. >> tell them to come forward. they can have this chair anytime. tell them to come forward. >> this is a red herring. you're trying to distract from my question which is you do not have information whether it's true or not. >> you can use pivot, distract, red herring all you want. the media have a 16% approval rating for a reason. it's been earned. it's crap like this that is why donald trump won. you're doing him a favor. again, this was an anti-election, it was rejection that everybody thinks they know better than people. it's very concerning.
>> you say it's not true but you can't say whether it's true or not. i get the anger over the buzz feed stuff. that was unsubstantiated. i think i do understand because it's politics for you to try to link all the reporters together. it seems unfair and frankly disingenuous. >> no. actually, very few people came to cnn's defense today. i'm sure you're aware of that. >> shepard smith on fox did which was interesting. and actually showed courage. >> that's a cherry. great. anybody else on fox or anybody else? i don't see people rushing to cnn's defense. i saw a lot of pushback, frankly. >> i haven't talked to sean hannity today. i'm sure you guys have a couple times. >> you can pick on fox all you want but i've been on other networks today. sean spicer, the president-elect gave a press conference to over 400 credentialed journalists and they're not linking to cnn's report. there's a reason for that. because unnamed, unsourced folks. if you say -- let me ask you a question because you're a journalist and i'm not. >> i should point out "the new york times," "the wall street
journal" matched what our report but. >> if you say that cnn's not reporting on something but it's on your website, does that mean that cnn is not reporting on it, because i think they are. >> buzz feed is not on our website. >> the buzz feed report, the story is not linked on your website, not mentioned? >> i don't know all of the programming. i'm told it's not but i don't believe that it is. i find it weird that cnn and frankly if cnn linked to the buzz feed stuff, that seems to me inappropriate. and if cnn does that, i would not support that. but as far as i know, that is not the case. i'm going to check out our website and i urge people to go to our website and check it out for themselves. >> anderson, do you think that buzz feed or anybody else after months of deciding against publishing specious, scurrilous, unverified, uncorroborated junk in a democratic opposition research document, do you think
they would have released it last night had cnn not preceded it with its own report? i doubt it. >> the last time i read buzz feed i saw a headline that said ten top sex toys to improve your sex life. i don't buzz feed so i don't speak for them or defend them. i don't think they should have published unsubstantiated allegations against the president-elect of the united states. that's inappropriate. >> maybe they would not have had the imprimatur of cnn, the vaunted name of cnn went first. you went first. they went second. >> we reported something based on multiple sources then co-corroborated by "the new york times" and "the wall street journal" and others, you're saying -- >> not the two pages. it's been pushed back by nbc news and others tonight. >> nbc news based on one source and they said it wasn't verbally presented, and we never said it was. >> anderson, do you think it should have been, though? if it's worthy -- >> i don't know. i can't speak -- >> do you think it should have been verbally presented?
no, no, i'm just asking as a smart person who loves america. >> i can't speak -- i'm not going to speak for the intelligence officials and what they chose to brief or not. >> then it's not important, right? they were in the room. >> i have no idea. that's for your judgment. i have no idea. we stand by our reporting which was we don't know whether it was actually verbally briefed. we don't have reporting on that. all we have based on multiple sources, which cnn stands by 100%, was that this was in the material. not the 35 page salacious unsubstantiated document buzz feed later put out by a summary about it. that's what our reporting was. >> just so we're clear and we have good relations with the press here in the trump white house, if it turns out that the two pages are not true, do not exist somehow then cnn will take corrective measures about that? because you released -- >> i certainly think they should. i think everybody in this business who stands by their reporting if they get it wrong, they should acknowledge that right away. >> i think the point that sean
spicer -- >> -- that's important. >> the point that sean spicer and the president-elect were trying to make today is simple. it's that many outlets refuse to go where cnn went and separately -- and buzz feed -- >> many outlets refuse to publish a 35 page unsubstantiated document, which is what cnn also did. >> they've also refused to say that cnn had this report, quote/unquote, using the term liberally, that there was a two page appendix that somehow said something that was so important to the security of our nation that nobody bothered to brief the president-elect and perhaps even president obama that -- >> not everybody has the same sourcing obviously. you know that. some people have better sourcing than others. and cnn is standing by their reporting. >> everyone has unnamed sourcing, though. >> okay. >> unnamed. this is political. political. >> i respect you coming on and talking about this. my only point i want to get across is i don't understand --
i think it's unfair to conflate the two and whether whatever the reasons y'all are doing that i'm not sure. i have ideas but i don't think that's professional. it's not true. >> you should take that up with other journalists because those who mentioned this issue at all today mentioned both cnn and buzz feed together. in print, on twitter, on facebook. >> anybody who conflated it as the same reporting, that's inaccurate reporting. just like what sean spicer said is inaccurate. we've got to take a quick break. we're going to have the rest of my interview with kellyanne conway, we'll bring the entire interview to you. with the xfinity tv app,
anything with a screen is a tv. stream 130 live channels, plus 40,000 on demand tv shows and movies, all on the go. you can even download from your x1 dvr and watch it offline. only xfinity gives you more to stream to any screen. download the xfinity tv app today. we've been showing my interview with kellyanne conway. i spoke with her just before air time tonight and pressed her to give specifics of what she found to be inaccurate in our reporting. here is the final part of the interview. then reaction from tonight's panel. >> those who mentioned this issue at all today mentioned cnn and buzz feed together, in print, on twitter, on facebook.
>> those people, anybody who conflated it as the same reporting that's inaccurate reporting. >> it was not conflated as the same reporting, anderson, it was conflated as the same series of events that led to this conversation. look, the fact is that last week after he received allege intelligence briefing came out with a statement saying something clearly about who has attempted to hack us and they continue to attempt. they did successfully attack -- hack the dnc and that he moving forward wants to meet with his own security intelligence team and ask them for a plan within the next 90 days of taking office to come up with a plan that will improve cybersecurity enhancements. because it doesn't seem like it was a priority until after people didn't like the election results.
the idea that innocent people had their names dragged through the mud last night. should be disconcerting to everyone. these folks who have never been in prague. people we don't even know. people who are not associated with the campaign. you got the party started. a lot of your journalists today feel that way because they were at the press conference and we hear from them. i want to give you a friendly piece of advice. many people feel cnn went first and buzz feed went second and with the imprimatur of cnn going first and posting this and making it a huge centerpiece of tv coverage that then it allows a news outlet to go ahead and publish the rest of this story quote/unquote and it's fake news. as donald trump said last night. i agree it's a political witch-hunt. >> if cnn reports something and people on twitter, shady organizations or buzz feed or reputable organizations start then reporting other things, you cannot hold cnn responsible for what other people are doing.
they're responsible for what they do. we stand by our reporting 100%. i think we both made our points but i appreciate -- >> i can hold cnn accountable for having the screaming headline that he was briefed on something if he wasn't. that's what it says. it says intelligence chiefs presented trump with information russia efforts to compromise him. >> it doesn't say briefed. it said he was presented with information, there was information in the documents. >> in a footnote or sliding it under with a gum wrapper? >> that's not what the headlines said. >> the information and the chirons and consultants and people who have been anti-trump since the beginning and continue to be -- look, i think the more important conversation, maybe for another time, but let's start it tonight briefly, a more important conversation is we're at an important inflection point about journalism. what are the standards here? how are we going to cover the president of the united states? i took a peek at what the headlines about president-elect
obama were eight years ago. whew, talk about the world's biggest disconnect. it was how should president-elect obama go to oslo now and pick up his nobel peace prize or wait until after he's sworn in? we get nothing like that. we get no respect or forebearance. this man is president of the united states. >> we've covered allegations against president obama quite frequently and interviewed actually donald trump about his allegations completely unproven and fake against president obama. >> i don't know what that has to do with this. >> you're talking about old headlines of president obama. we ran with that story a lot. >> at this time before he was president-elect it was basically what will they wear to the inauguration and how historic -- in other words what will his inaugural address be? i'm happy to talk about that but
we can't when cnn and buzz feed and others are trying to release information sequentially on the same night. i was on several shows this morning. our ip coming chief of staff, reince priebus was. we had a press conference. >> i understand other people loop things together. >> many. >> we are not discussing the details of what buzz feed dumped onto the internet. that's not -- you haven't heard that on -- >> that's what cnn did today and i guarantee they will tonight probably on the show that runs after yours. >> we have been very conscientious in not discussing the details, the completely unsubstantiated and, you know, increasingly false apparently details of what was being reported by buzz feed or what was not even reported. just being dumped onto the internet by buzz feed. and we're not going to do it tonight. certainly not on my program. >> it's all fake news. >> it's not all fake news. that ice disingenuous.
>> in that report it is fake news. people use the word dossier like some fancy french word is going to imbue it with credibility. it's an internet report, not a intelligence report. it's a collection of stuff that came from political operatives. >> we agree. >> who wanted a different candidate to win. >> if a business doesn't do well some year, they usually clean house and get rid of the people who embarrass them, who didn't meet their projection goals, who said things that were not true and made no sense. i don't see that at cnn and other plays. how are we going to move forward and have a relationship with news organizations if everything stays and looks the same? >> my job is not to have a great relationship with you. i like you personally. and i respect you and anybody who is in the public arena and
putting themselves out there and is a pluck servant as you all are. and i respect the president-elect enormously for all he's done and all i hope he's going to do. but the job of the press is not to be buddy buddies and hang out socially. >> how about be fair? >> i agree. fair and accurate. >> that's been the case for president obama -- >> i've never wanted to hang out socially -- >> a lot of folks have. >> i agree. i don't go to the white house correspondents dinner. i went once. i don't want to hang out socially with these people. that's not my job. look, this is a larger. i'm happy to have it to you. >> briefly, that's right, but mike pence put it best today, he said introducing our president-elect donald trump, he said that we all support a fair and free press. but with freedom comes responsibility. and he is absolutely right. i think people should not do this rush to judgment, have cop -- conclusions in search of evidence. >> we agree with that. >> the viewers and the readers. >> totally agree with that. on the same page. kellyanne conway, as always, appreciate your time.
>> thank you. throughout the interview you heard kellyanne conway repeatedly claim cnn linked the buzz feed story that the trump team and others are taking exception with. the buzz feed story, which we have not reported the details on. you also heard me say repeatedly that is not true. about 20 minutes after that interview before we went on air, she, kellyanne conway, tweeted this screenshot of our reporting and what she claims again is a link to buzz feed in that article. just as a matter of the fact, as facts do matter, it is not a link to buzz feed. it links to a story by cnn's dillon byars about the controversy and his piece which i've read, does not link to buzz feed nor does it lay out the unverified, unsubstantiated allegations that the trump people rightly are objecting to. it mentions trump attorney michael cohen, only because michael cohen publicly denied what buzz feed -- his mention in the buzz feed -- i don't even want to call it reporting, the document dump. there is no link to buzz feed, full stop, hasn't been on cnn. the panel joins us now.
kirsten powers, and paul bernstein, frank saysno. phillip mudd. gloria borger. jim acosta joins us. jim sciutto. along with carl bernstein. jim sciutto, you heard kellyanne conway about the sours and the accuracy of your story. she would not say it was wrong. your response. >> i've listened to her, listened to donald trump today, a number of trump surrogates question our story. i'm not clear on what facts they are questioning. three essential facts of our story were, one, this material was included in the briefing to the president-elect and president obama. her answer in your interview there, she didn't deny that. she said they couldn't talk about it. the other two essential facts of our story is that the fbi's
investigating, they haven't substantiated these claims, but they consider them serious enough that they are investigating. no mention today on that, no answer to that from kellyanne conway. third, all senators consider these allegations serious enough to merit investigation. a probe among them. senator john mccain who passed on a copy to the fbi directly. these are people who don't waste time. i know the intelligence community does not waste time of the president-elect unless they consider that information if not substantiated at least germane to the conversation. i also want to make this clear. we spoke to numerous, as you noted, thank you, multiple times in that interview, more than a dozen of the highest ranking officials here. again, who have no incentive to make things up. and nor do we. i have three kids. i do this job because i take it
seriously. and my team, they take it seriously as do many of the other people at cnn who contributed to this reporting. again, what facts in this story are they contesting? that's not clear to me. there's a lot of misdirection, there is talk about the problem of using unnamed sources. but as we noted in the story, the reason these high ranking officials were not quoted by name is because of the classified nature of the information, which happens in many stories in the news and has for many years. it's a fact of life with the way government officials talk about this kind of information. so that's all i can say. i can also say we have complete confidence in our sources and continue to have confidence in the story as we reported it. >> carl, cnn is not reporting what's in the buzz feed -- all the things that they talk about. we have not been discussing this. >> not in the least. let's talk about what reporting is. it's the best obtainable version of the truth. that's what that story is. the best obtainable version of
the truth is that the chief intelligence officials of the united states of america saw this material, thought that it deserved investigation, thought it ought to be brought to the attention of the president of the united states and to the president-elect. that is the best obtainable version of the truth. another thing about anonymous sources, one of the great anonymous sources of our era is kellyanne conway. she does it every day. she has been an anonymous source for the last ten months particularly during this campaign when it suits her. and it's time to talk about what we do as journalists and what propaganda ministers do and that is what she is is a propaganda minister. what we've seen here tonight is a deconstruction of the journalistic process. and we did our work and you can deconstruct it and it comes down to, look, the chief officials of the united states intelligence community believed they had something urgent enough to bring to the attention of the president and the president-elect of the united
states. that is a story. >> is it politics that they are conflating all this reporting, you know, in the press conference today that sort of lumping everybody together? >> i think what we just watched was extremely dishonest. it was dissembling and i think also dangerous. i've known kellyanne conway for a long time. we're not best friends or anything but i've known her professionally, she is smart. she knows what she is doing, she moes there is a difference between buzz feed and cnn. she knows that. the fact she kept conflating them intentionally. and particularly dangerous, this is a person who will be senior adviser to the president of the united states in about five minutes who is now claiming that reporters should be fired for writing a story that was critical of her boss even though she was unable to name a single
thing wrong with that story. every time she came back about you, it was about buzz feed, had nothing to do with cnn's reporting. this is not the government's job to be telling news organizations who they should be hiring and firing. if she doesn't like cnn's polling, it's not any different than the polling she was doing for donald trump because donald trump didn't think he would win. >> jim acosta you were at the press conference today. donald trump did not allow you to ask a question. it got quite contentious. what was it like there today? what do you make of what you've heard today? >> i don't think we have a case of fake news, anderson. i think we have a case of fake outrage. donald trump and his officials came into that room today with the intent to go in guns blazing, to come after cnn, to come after buzz feed, any news media that got in their way. and here's the problem for donald trump and this incoming administration -- we are not going to go away. we are not going to stop doing what we do. if donald trump is going to insult and go after this news organization repeatedly, we will try to ask a question, and
that's what i felt was appropriate in this case. he attacked our organization time and again and he was trying to stand there and not give us the chance to ask a simple question. to me, anderson, that's just doing our job. i've covered four presidential campaigns, covered president obama. i once asked president obama why can't we take out the bastards? i can tell you inside that white house, they were mighty pissed about that. they didn't like that language being directed at their president. guess what, that's what we do. this is our job and if people don't like it, there's the button on your remote control. change the channel. but cnn is not going to stop doing what we do. what we do is hold people accountable and that's what we're trying to do, what my colleagues have been trying to do with their reporting. >> what do you make about the briefing -- if something is not presented in a briefing, which is what kellyanne conway seems to be insinuating, why couldn't one talk about -- i assume ufos weren't talked about in that briefing. if i asked her about it, she could say no, they weren't.
things that are not talked about, that is not classified information, right? >> two points. if i were them i wouldn't talk about it either. it's not whether it's classified or not. the president has a right to talk to his advisers whether classified or unclassified. that said, be clear the document is not classified. a private enterprise acquired information stamped sensitive on it. that is not information acquired by u.s. government that becomes top secret. an excuse, if you do want to talk about it, that says we can't talk because it's classified, who classified it? the u.s. government didn't. >> frank, what do you make of this? >> first thing is that the trump administration has declared war on the media with all the other institutions it's declared war on. it's elevating this story past where it needs to be. it's a very straightforward story. as carl said, it is a legitimate story. intelligence chiefs concerned about allegations and stuff that's out there, includes that in a briefing to the president-elect and others.
>> whether verbal or not. >> whether it was talked about or not, and you did your job, which was to find that out. a decision was made. this is what happens with big stories. it's important the public understand this. with big stories, news executives and reporters and others sit around and say does this hit the threshold where the public has a right and deserves and should know this? the answer is with somebody who's coming into office if intelligence chiefs are concerned about this at this level, the answer is yes, so it was reported. so the trump folks go after cnn and elevates this and thunders this into a personal shoot the messenger kind of battle which elevates the story, creates conflict, and is really about what the trump administration is trying to do i think is
inoculate themselves against the bad press that just goes with the territory. >> there's another thing going on here. one thing to attack the media, which the incoming trump administration is doing, and we get it from lots of administrations. there should not be cozy relationships between the press and the white house they cover. that's our job. the other thing that's going on that we heard at the presser today that's disturbing is attacking the intelligence community. and that is -- i think that's a real problem because you have an incoming president of the united states who is attacking public servants as partisans who work in the intelligence community. now, maybe he's going to feel a lot better when he has his own people running all of those agencies. and, you know, he's entitled to have his own people and that's fine. and presidents are allowed to push back and in fact should push back on intelligence. that's their job because we know it's not fallible. we know only too well after wmd, we know that it is completely they can be wrong.
but when you have an incoming president daily going out and talking about the nonsense he's getting from the intelligence community or complaining about leaks that he says are coming from intelligence officials, we don't know where these leaks are coming from, nobody has told -- nobody has stated who their sources are here, then i think the american public has to step back and say, wait a minute, we want the president and the intelligence community to work together because our national security is at stake here. and it's okay to ask questions but to disparage is a real problem. and i'm hoping that when he gets his own folks in there that he begins to trust the information that he is getting. >> phil, you worked for fbi and cia. what do you make of that? >> couple things. first, you can't help but be discouraged. i did 25 years in. you can't shield yourself from this even if we go into a situation where we have a new
cia director, going through a confirmation process now, who changes the relationship. beyond that, there's one critical professional piece. forget about what's happened here, anderson. we're going into an environment where the president-elect is going to hear about whether russia is complying with a peace process in syria. does he want to hear it? whether iran is complying with a nuclear accord? does he want to hear it? is he going to misportray that information when he leaves the office and put the intelligence community in position of defending themselves? that's what i'd ask on the inside. what does this mean for four years? what's done is done. >> how much is politics, that politically -- is it about inoculating the incoming administration? is it about obviously the press has low favorability ratings as kellyanne conway points out? is it about just setting up the them versus us, that they think works in their favor? >> i think there is an idea they'll delegitimize news organizations that are critical of them. that way when there's a
criticism they can say it's fake news. kellyanne conway said fake news. donald trump said cnn was fake news today. but fake news is literally people making things up, not making a mistake. which in this case didn't even happen. fake news is actually intentionally misleading people and that's what they're telling people that journalist are doing. >> to her point, if someone makes a mistake, they should acknowledge it and stand up to it and own it. >> and journalists do make mistakes, just like assistants to presidents maybe mistakes. >> and there's plenty. i'm sorry. there is plenty in what the news media do and the white house press corps do that is ugly and flawed and a problem and should
be fixed. it's appropriate for a president or his aides to push back against that as gloria said. >> we have to take a break. want to thank everybody. "ask more: the power of questions to spark change." i'm interviewed in the book. congratulations on the book. >> thank you very much. >> coming up at the top of the hour, van jones hosts another town hall called the messy truth. van's report from detroit, talking to african-american voters about why democrats lost michigan this year.
now in the weeks since the election, van has been talking to voters in a number of crucial states, including michigan, a democratic stronghold that this this election turned red, but not by much. 80% of the residents are african-american. that is the highest percentage for a big city in the united states. obama won detroit and michigan easily in 2008 and again in 2012. so the question for democrats is what happened this year? here's what voters told van. >> how you doing? i'm good, i'm good. >> reverend charles thinks he
has some information as to why the democrats lost michigan. he's going to give me a tour of his town to help me understand what motivates black voters here, and what that means for both parties. given everything obama did for michigan. given everything obama did for black folk, why didn't detroit come out as strong for hillary clinton? >> i think there's a disconnect between what a white house can do on the ground and what we feel connected to. that connection didn't happen. what they didn't do is they didn't build an organization to actually talk to people. >> but the reality is that the clinton campaign spent a lot of money on data, and they had big data that showed they were going to have a big victory on election night. >> i would say to that, data don't vote. i mean, i'm serious, man. if you don't build an
organization that is based on relationship, understanding the issues, then you can model and data and statistic your way through a losing campaign. and that is exactly what happened with the clinton campaign. >> i think a lot of folk in the democratic party thought michigan is in the bag. you know, we have this blue wall. >> i tell people all the time. as a matter of fact i told hillary clinton to her face when we met, i said, look, i'm, i appreciate it. it's good to meet you, but i've never voted for a clinton before. i know hillary clinton and bill clinton about as well as i know george clinton. >> but people back in the '70s and '80s. >> i got to turn to the oldies station to get to you. i mean, that's the reality. they had the infrastructure of a lot of old relationships. >> where was the energy in the democratic party this time around? >> the energy was with bernie sanders. the fire was put out by the dnc.
that energy was kind of cut off at the knees. there's an ethos that was being built behind the bernie sanders campaign that felt infectious enough to actually touch people on these streets. and some people, they thought in their infinite wisdom, that we can just kind of shift that over to the clinton campaign, and it didn't happen. >> my next stop is here at whitlows. barbershops help shape the political discourse in the community. vonte whitlow has been here since barack obama was born. leslie curtis is a life-long republican who voted for obama in 2008, but this election, he voted for donald trump. and jewel jones is a democrat, 21 years old and just elected as the youngest michigan state representative in history. i'm looking at you, but over your head is a picture of barack obama.
and it says "this is our moment." was the past eight years the moment that you expected it to be when you put that sign up? >> i was so happy and glad to see a black man run for president of the united states of america. i think he's united a lot of people across the country. >> in 2008, you voted for obama. but you didn't vote for him in 2012. >> correct. >> what did obama do to disappoint you in the first term that you didn't vote for him again. >> the disappointment came when he didn't address black america. his focus was on the lgbt community and immigration and obamacare. when you're the first black anything you have to put it out there on the line, and i don't think obama did that. i don't think he put it out there on the line. >> i look at you. you're the youngest-elected state representative in the
state, maybe in the country, maybe in the universe. we don't know. obama ran into a lot of hostile fire. i mean, you're young, and you're hopeful. and i remember when obama was young and hopeful. do you think that some of the resistance against obama had to do with the color of his skin? >> black people have been doing so much for so long with so little. we can do anything. with nothing. after a while you learn how to play the game, how to navigate. of course the color of skin was an issue. >> when you think about the trump presidency, how do you think that's going to affect you? >> i think it's refreshing. like the democratic party, i think we needed something to wake us up. cause, for a long time, engagement's really been declining over the years. i think this is something that could really open people's eyes and tell them, like, it's time to get involved. i'm excited about it.
>> really fascinating perspectives, van jones joins me now. what struck you most about your time in detroit? >> i think first of all, that pastor that was driving me around. he said that he didn't even know who was running michigan for hillary clinton. he said he could call the guy from 2008 on his cell phone right now who ran michigan for obama, but he was never really invited to be a part. i thought that was a shocking thing, that this guy who has so much love in the community wasn't really included, because again, the data said that michigan wasn't even a factor. that was amazing. the other thing that was amazing was that you'd expect the young people to be so distressed and distraught about trump, but the young, couple young folks i talked to said hey, great, bring it on. trump is going to get people more excited and more engaged. it's just so different when you talk to real people than when you try to make sense of what the pollsters are saying. >> i love that he said data don't vote. >> data don't vote.
that should be on every he pun at this times pundits t-shirt. we talked for 3,000 hours, trying to figure out what happened. and he get it is in three words. data don't vote. i love it. >> thank you very much. >> that does it for our program. "early start" begins now. breaking overnight. an extraordinary move after an extraordinary day. the director of national int intelligence calls the president-elect. what he told donald trump on the phone hours after donald trump attacked the intelligence community over alleged leaks to the media. also overnight, late into the night, republicans taking the first votes to roll back the affordable care act. late night votes as democrats chan plead for a change of heart. the nominee for the secretary of