tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 13, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST
good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight new developments in the russia/trump story. cnn's reporting of it. and the conflations and fact fudging by the trump transition team surrounding it. this began with cnn's exclusive reporting that mr. trump last week was reported with classified documents alleging that russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about him. we did not report any of the unverified, unproven claims. not a single one. that is the fact. this exclusive story about the briefing was led by a team of experienced cnn correspondents, anchors, producers, backed up by multiple trusted sources. the news today is vice president joe biden confirmed intelligence chiefs presented him and
president obama with the same two-page document, mr. biden saying intelligence leaders felt obliged to tell the president because they were planning on informing mr. trump. on top of that, about 10:00 last night, director of national intelligence james clapper took the rare statement of putting out a statement summarizing a phone conversation last night with the president-elect. in it he confirms there was a briefing and suggests the alleged claims came up saying, and i quote, "however, part of our obligation is to ensure the policy makers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matter that might affect national security." he's talking here about a two-page summary of unproven allegations about information some people have claimed russia has. so that is two very public confirmations about what cnn reported. then just about two hours ago cnn learned again from multiple u.s. officials that it was fbi director james comey who told mr. trump of the information. no comment from the bureau. so cnn's reporting, we should point out, was correct. now, last night trumpti's senio
adviser kellyanne conway came on this broadcast. we had a lengthy interview where he had she was misleading on two points. one, according to her, our reporting that president-elect trump was presented with this information was not true. and two, that we, like the online news site buzzfeed, were hyping and/or linking, excuse me, to a 35-page memo full of unsubstantiated allegations against mr. trump that the shorter briefing document was based on. let's take item one. i pointed out multiple times last night to ms. conway that we have multiple, and i repeat multiple sources telling us this information. again, as we just learned tonight, the information actually came from mr. comey himself directly to mr. trump. that's not fake information. that's not fake news. that's accurate reporting. as for item two, the unsubstantiated 35 pages which we never reported any details of and continue not to, here's how that exchange went last night. >> do you acknowledge here and now that cnn did not release the 35-page unsubstantiated claims against donald trump and was misleading and untrue to suggest
otherwise? >> no. our incoming press secretary sean spicer was right as was the president-elect. cnn went first yesterday and buzzfeed went second. >> we didn't report what buzzfeed reported. >> i didn't say you did but you linked to it in your story. >> sean spicer said we did. >> let me just tell you -- anderson, let's back up. i know cnn must be feeling the heat today of having a headline yesterday at around 6:30 p.m. that said "intel chiefs presented trump with information that russia could compromise -- russia 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, and a lot of -- frankly a lot of outlets, print and electronic, so reluctant and hesitant to go forward with anything close to what cnn and buzzfeed did. >> well, again, you're conflating what buzzfeed -- >> you went first. i'm conflating nothing. i just know what cnn did.
>> what cnn did was accurate. for the record, i can tell you precisely what cnn did not do. we did not describe the unfounded allegations. we have not described them. we will not. we did not link to that document. we did not link to buzzfeed or promoting their reporting. shortly after the interview, miss conway tweeted out a screen shot of a cnn.com page that she said shows that we did link to it. again, for the record, it does not actually show that. had she actually clicked on the link she would have seen that it links to a dinl byers article that neither links to buzzfeed nor even describes what's in the document buzzfeed released. as for kellyanne conway, she was challenging our reporting, conflating it with the document dump that buzzfeed made. she asked me this. >> what if it's not in the briefing documents, anderson? what will cnn do? >> if our report is wrong, we'll acknowledge that. >> really? will heads roll? because they didn't after the election when -- >> are you telling me right now -- you're yet to say -- >> all the chirons were wrong. all the consultants were
wrong -- >> you can't say -- you're talking about polling during the election, which yeah, all that data -- >> i'm asking -- i just don't think that you'll clean house if the report is wrong. >> so given what's happened today, the fact that vice president biden has come out, that clapper has made the statement that he made, and that we now know according to multiple sourcing that it was actually fbi director comey who directly spoke to donald trump about this, it seems like that's a better question for her. i agree with kellyanne conway, if we were wrong, we would admit it. but we were not wrong. she was. the question is will she hold herself and her team to the same standard? we asked her to come on the program tonight to discuss all these new developments. she declined. she is welcome anytime. as she always is. joining us is cnn senior white house correspondent jim acosta and two of the cnn journalists who broke the original story, jim sciutto and jake tapper africaor of "the lead" and "state of the union." jake, the trump team continues to misrepresent the facts over and over again on multiple fronts even when i present clear facts to kellyanne conway last night, she would not admit they
were wrong. now that we also have confirmation, fbi director james comey personally briefed president-elect trump verbally about the two-page synopsis, do you expect the trump version of this story to change at all? >> no, because it's been the modus operandi for president-elect trump and his team to say what they believe to be true even if it is disputed by facts and then stick with it. it doesn't -- you know, if it's mr. trump's claim that vaccines cause autism, which is false, or if it's his claim that there were thousands of muslims celebrating 9/11 in new jersey, which is false, or it's his claim that there was a report that seems credible about ted cruz's father and lee harvey oswald and the kennedy assassination, which is crazy. it doesn't matter. they're just going to keep on doing and saying what they want.
it's a fact-free campaign. what is important for us is to continue to report aggressively and be precise and careful with our facts and our reporting and continue to inform the viewers about this administration, the good and the bad that they do and just the facts of this administration. and that's what we'll do. i don't think we can really at this point get hung up on well, are they going to finally admit we're right? at this point honestly i think our attitude has to be it doesn't matter, what we're presenting needs to be right and it's our bond with the viewers. >> jim sciutto, how rare is it to have james clapper putting out a statement about a phone conversation he had with the president-elect and in it referencing it seems the information that was included in this briefing?
>> it's extremely rare. there are a lot of classified briefings that go on. this is the most classified, the most sensitive because it is a briefing delivered to the two most powerful people in the country, the president-elect and the current president and his vice president. and there's a reason why they protect these conversations. and yet we now have two people who were in the room, two people, the vice president and the director of national intelligence, james clapper, who are offering an account of that briefing that contradicts the president-elect. they say -- i mean, in addition to the many sources, more than a dozen that jake, evan, myself and carl bernstein talked to before these senior, most senior intelligence officials went public with this forget, before that, we spoke to people who had knowledge of that conversation who told us on background because of the classified nature of the information involved, they couldn't go on the record, they told us on background, we were confident of that.
but now you have this second step of director of national intelligence clapper and the vice president of the united states going public in effect contradicting, correcting the record, not just that kellyanne conway laid out but frankly i'm more concerned as an american, as a journalist, with what the president laid out. he accused our network, our reporters of spreading fake news when in fact we were right. and why does that matter? it doesn't matter, you and i know, anderson and jake and jim would agree, it doesn't matter because of our feelings or whether we can sleep at night. it matters because this is a democracy. it's an open society. and we rely on our public officials, our leaders giving us an accurate presentation of the facts. and the president went out with an inaccurate presentation of the facts which was then contradicted in public by two people in the room, the director of national intelligence and the vice president. >> what's interesting, jake, because one of the things kellyanne conway last night was saying, well, this was a classified briefing and donald
trump had said this as well. so it couldn't be discussed or wouldn't be discussed what was actually said or what was actually briefed on but you have the vice president talking about information that was given which by the way is not classified. i assume this false information or this unverified information, you know, was collected by not a government official, not by anyone from the u.s. intelligence community. and also clapper at least kind of referencing the information that was briefed. >> it's unusual that vice president biden would say anything about that meeting in which he and president obama were briefed by the heads of the intelligence agencies. i can't get to his motive as to why he would but he acknowledged exactly what we reported happened, a two-page synopsis of that dossier full of uncorroborated information, and the reason that the intelligence chiefs put it together was to make sure that president-elect trump knew about it.
james clapper, the director of national intelligence, said he did that because it's important for him to know anything that might have an effect on national security. that's why they shared that information even though it wasn't a product of the u.s. intelligence community. and vice president biden said that the intelligence chiefs said they were going to tell president-elect trump about it and now we know from our reporting from multiple sources that in that meeting it wasn't the actual four intelligence chiefs with president-elect trump and his team where that oral briefing went on, the verbal briefing about what was in that two-page synopsis. it was in a one-on-one pull-aside between fbi director comey and president-elect trump. and now we know the facts. but it is just as unusual that fbi -- sorry, dni, director of national intelligence james clapper acknowledged this as much as he did as it is that
vice president biden did. and i can't really speculate as to why they would other than the fact that it was very clear that our report and the reporting that was matched by "new york times," the "wall street journal" and the "washington post" about this was being disputed and even lied about by the trump team. >> jim acosta, you tried to ask a question at the press conference to president-elect trump. he refused to take questions saying you're from fake news. what did sean spicer say to you after that? >> well, he came up to me and said that what i did was crossing the line and was inappropriate, we should repeat that during that news conference when i was trying to ask that question spicer threatened to throw me out of the press conference if i kept persisting. but speaking of sean spicer, we should report that on a conference call this morning he was asked whether donald trump was going to sue over these
stories for libel and sean spicer told reporters that the president-elect would like to move on. i mean, i think that there's something worse than fake news and that's the denial of real news. and beyond that, anderson, something that might be worse than that is they're just not in command of the facts at this point. when you listen to kellyanne conway go sort of all over the place on this, they're just not in command of the facts. but i will tell you that this has been a pattern for the trump campaign and now the trump transition where they don't like the news that's being reported and they go after the messenger, and i think that's just going to continue. >> jim sciutto, why not just say this happened? i mean, if you're the trump transition team. i mean, all that, you know, your and jake, carl bernstein and evan perez is reporting, the cnn story, was about that the intelligence agencies presented this to them, not that the unsubstantiated allegations are true, not even what those unsubstantiated allegations even said, what they are.
we've not even said any details of that. that is not part of our story. >> listen, i don't know. i've asked a lot of people this question. i've asked a lot of republicans this question. many will say to me it's a very sensitive area for the president-elect because for him it gets to the legitimacy of his victory. he thinks that people are trying to attack the legitimacy of his victory. let's be clear, the intelligence community has not made a judgment, it has not assessed, it has not attempted to assess that russian interference elected donald trump. so let's make that clear. but there's clearly a political sensitivity here. what i worry about is a broader issue, which is a hostility to facts, right? and an effort, a concerted effort by donald trump and his team to call into question the very existence of facts, right? the very existence of non-partisan news. and that's an issue -- you know, forget about cnn for a moment. i care about cnn and i know we do very good work and i'm confident in my colleagues' work
but it's more about the function of journalism as a whole, of the fourth estate, going back to george washington's times. this is a pillar of the way open societies work, and part of that is allowing us to do our work, for instance, letting my colleague jim acosta ask a question, not shout him down, but beyond that, when you produce work that is well sourced and you've done your work on it, that can be accepted. but here you find an administration, or nearly an administration, we're a few days from the inauguration, that it seems to be part of its strategy to attack information it finds inconvenient or critical. that's a problem for the way this country functions. >> everyone, thanks. next, more breaking news involving the fbi director. he's now being investigated in connection with the bureau's probe of hillary clinton's e-mail sevener. whatever you think about that, it raises all kind of questions including what the new president plans to do about it. we'll talk about it with senior
legal analyst jeffrey toobin and the rest of the panel. children: grandpa! i never want to miss these moments due to my pain. i live for this. arthritis used to get in the way. but now with blue-emu maximum arthritis cream, i'll never miss another hug. blue-emu maximum arthritis cream. beat the pain and enjoy life.
him was only one of two breaking stories breaking on him. the other, he's facing a probe into the bureau's handling of the clinton e-mail server investigation. james comey saying he's grateful for the investigation and hopes the results are shared with the public. here to talk about the implications and many cnn's senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor jeffrey toobin, maria cardona trump supporter american spectator editor jeffrey lord and in washington inside politics editor john king. does this surprise you, jeff toobin, this is coming up eight days till inauguration? >> not really. this is why inspector generals exist. because this was obviously a huge controversy over whether director comey appropriately released that letter. >> that's the focus of the investigation. >> that's the focus. there are others. but certainly that's the key issue here, that clinton supporters remain enraged about. and this is why inspector generals exist to examine the propriety for internal investigations. >> why would it be made public though that there is going to be an investigation? aren't inspector generals' reports usually not?
>> not necessarily. it's fairly common that it's -- that they are public. it's not like a grand jury investigation. what's interesting is that michael horowitz, who is the inspector general, is a political appointee, which means usually, like most political appointees, he would leave on january 20th. but there has been historically an exception for inspector generals. in 1981 jeffrey may remember this, ronald reagan fired a bunch of inspector generals. he caused a big stir of outrage. and since then there has been a tradition of allowing inspector generals to continue. but that's all it is. it's just a tradition. it's not a law. so donald trump come january 20th could get rid of michael horowitz. and that's something to keep an eye on here because he doesn't like these sorts of references to the fact that may raise questions about his legitimacy. >> john-s politics in play at all in this decision to investigate? certainly a lot of democrats wanted to see this happen.
>> is there gambling in the casino, you ask? ostensibly, no. to jeff's point, this is what an inspector general is supposed to do. if you're covering the -- if you're the inspector general at the transportation department or covering the iraq or afghanistan reconstruction there's a huge contract that goes out it's your job to say was the money spent properly with the contracts bid out. if you're inspector general at the justice department and you have all these questions did jim comey follow procedures not once but twice or maybe three times along the way in this investigation how did the attorney general end up on a plane with the former president of the united states bill clinton, there are a whole number of questions about this investigation and how it played out publicly in the middle of a presidential campaign. that's the inspector general job as jeff pointed out so ostensibly it's not political. however, everything around it is political. you're right. democrats will be looking for proof that what jim comey did impacted the election. they say it cost hillary clinton the presidency. donald trump will be president, assuming this investigation goes to its fruition. donald trump will be president, period. but does he like this? because it extends this spy novel drama that captivated the
end of the 2016 presidential campaign. now carries over into 2017. if we learned anything from it in 2016, it will take unpredictable turns again. >> maria, obviously you're a supporter of hillary clinton. do you like the fact that this is now being investigated? >> i do. and i think that it is welcome by a lot of hillary clinton supporters. i think actually this was a long time in coming. certainly the letter he put out 11 days before the election is a key part of it. but it started back in july when he gave an unprecedented press conference the day he gave the recommendation to not move forward with charges. that is not done. that is one of the protocols he broke in addition to then yet again putting forward a letter injecting himself politically into an election 11 days before people went to vote. >> by the way, the propriety of that news conference is also part of this investigation. >> is also bill clinton going on the plane? >> i don't think -- that was not specifically referred to by the inspector general.
but since it's related to this whole story i have to believe -- >> jeff lord, what do you make of this? >> i find it ironic that the original sin here of course is that she had a private server and that's what all of this sprang from. none of this would have occurred if she didn't do that. >> that's true. >> i mean, the fact that she lost this election -- >> so you don't believe there should be any investigation -- >> frankly, based on what i've seen in the last few days, i would like to see a look-see at intelligence agencies period and these leaks. i mean, the fact that -- and i'm not picking on cnn or any other news organization but the fact that news organizations are getting leaks from inside the national security apparatus, the intelligence agency, i just think that you know -- >> but again -- >> that too is part of the investigation. the fbi leaks -- >> that's right. >> exactly. >> in connection with the e-mails.
>> john king, how rare is it for -- whether it's intelligence agencies, fbi -- for there to be leaks from, you know, all around in washington? >> there are always leaks in washington. this is the way it goes. you want to go back to the pentagon papers. you want to go back to any big story in washington. there are leaks in washington. go back to watergate. there are leaks in washington. often those leaks shed light on something that the public deserves to know. are they sometimes controversial? of course. the obama administration is facing controversy for prosecuting journalists and going after journalists who've been at some of these national security leaks. leaks are a time-honored tradition and some would say a problem and some say great thing in washington. cnn called its book on the presidential election "unprecedented" for a reason. everything about the election just about was unprecedented including this story, including this investigation, including how it was handled, including as jeff and maria and jeffrey have talked about, the fbi director coming forward not once but twice in a campaign to explain what he was doing and how the investigation was taking twists and turns. this is unprecedented but it is the inspector general's job to
look at big things when they happen in his or her department. so that is not abnormal. everything around this is so political that i just assume as it goes forward there will be more fireworks. >> we should also point out leaks come from presidential campaigns and transition teams -- >> yes, they do. absolutely. >> and democrats and republicans. >> we should also point out we like leaks. journalists -- i seek them out. i mean, i'm not going to pretend otherwise. this -- >> jeffrey dot toobin at -- >> i'm easy to find on twitter, facebook. just send them to me. so i think it always makes these discussions by us a little awkward -- >> but i want to make also two points. you know, jeffrey's right. clearly hillary clinton's use of her private server is her fault, and she's the first to say so. but there's also no question if you look at the polls -- >> i'm not sure she was the first one to say so. >> but if you look at analytically at the polls state
by state and then nationally, comey's letter absolutely had an effect on where she was. and i to this day and i think so many clinton supporters believe that it's because of that letter that she's not president today. >> but that's not the point of the investigation. >> no, it's not. but can i just make one other point to your point, jeffrey, that horwitz is a political appointees and he can be fired but i think that's probably why he announced this now to make it more difficult for trump to do that. >> presidents also have to be careful in investigations. if you're old enough you remember nixon's plumbers. you don't want to go down that road. >> appreciate it. everybody on the panel, thank you. coming up, was that pile of file folders at trump's press conference filled with blank sheets of paper? and more importantly, does his plan to avoid conflicts of interest go far enough? the federal government's top ethics official says no way. we'll look into that next.
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here's what he said about the plan for his business going forward. >> and what i'm going to be doing is my two sons, who are right here, don and eric, are going to be running the company. they are going to be running it in a very professional manner. they're not going to discuss it with me. again, i don't have to do this. they're not going to discuss it with me. and with that, i'm going to bring up sheri dillon, and she's going to go -- these papers are just some of the many documents that i've signed turning over complete and total control to my sons. >> as to the details of the plan that the lawyer explains it includes the president-elect resigning from all positions he holds within the organization. the lawyer also said no new foreign deals would be made during his presidency. new domestic deals will be, she said, vigorously vetted. back with me is trump supporter jeffrey lord and form er labor
secretary robert reich, professor of public policy at berkeley and the author of "saving capitalism: for the many, not the few." jeffrey, as a trump supporter, the nonpartson office of government ethics said yesterday about the trump plan, called it meaningless from a conflict of as best as perspective, every president in the past four decades has met and the only thing it has in common with the blind trust is the label trust. >> first of all, this is an unusual situation. he's got this global empire all over the world that bears his name. you can't say to a family, okay, you've got to get out of business while your father goes and is president. they're not working in the government. they work. this is what they do. so to somehow suggest the sons get out of the business i think is unrealistic. and again, this is like the release of the taxes. i grant you politically anytime there -- there's going to be a political story about this. i understand that. i'm sure they understand that. but you know, again, i look back to the kennedy administration.
they had all these vast interests. the merchandise mart in chicago for one. they never gave it up until 1998. it went all the way through jfk's presidency. nobody said a thing about it. nobody cared. the former president, sergeant schrieber, he went into the administration. the whole thing was held by the family. so i just think that you've got to understand this is the way this is going to work and we're going to have to cope with it. >> secretary reich, about the point the president-elect made yesterday that he has in his words a no conflict situation because he's president, he could -- he said if he wanted to be president and run the trump organization at the same time. is he going above and beyond what's legally necessary? >> anderson, first of all, lawyers differ in terms of their interpretation of what the law requires. but somebody who's going to be president of the united states in eight days, you would think would go out of his way to build public trust and public confidence, particularly when he has an empire that is across 500 different companies across dozens of countries, where issues have been raised about
his closeness to vladimir putin, where there are questions raised about his taxes and about his debt and about who he owes debt to and under what circumstances. you would think somebody who is going to be president would cross every t and dot every i. but instead, donald trump is doing exactly the opposite. he's saying don't worry about it, i'm not worried about it, the public isn't worried about it, i don't have to give you my taxes, i don't have to establish a blind trust, i don't have to put an independent trustee in. this is total disdain for the democratic institutions of government. it's total disdain for public trust. and it's going to end up costing donald trump a great deal because the next -- you can bet there are going to be scandals and ethical problems all over the place because the federal government regulates and provides and distributes money to so many businesses that donald trump is involved with and his sons and family are involved with.
anders anderson, the idea he's not going to talk to his sons and his sons are not going to talk to him about business is clearly and patently absurd. >> but legally, mr. secretary, isn't he doing more than he has to? >> no. as i said, lawyers have interpreted these laws governing conflicts of interest very differently. i would say he is not doing nearly what he should do and that is also the conclusion of the independent ethics officer in the office of ethics in the united states government, who is independent, who is non-paurngs who is supposed to be looking at these things objectively. he is saying exactly what i am saying. many people out there in the public are saying what does he have to hide? why isn't he even providing his taxes? you know, for four decades, for four decades presidents have been doing, this establishing blind trusts. for even longer than that providing their taxes. i mean, when ben carson, who is the nominee, trump's nominee for
hud, today in his confirmation hearing he was asked by elizabeth warren can you promise us that you are not going to distribute any of your $32 billion of hud money in wasz th ways that benefit donald trump and what is ben carson going to doe said essentially he could not make that promise. why could he not make that promise? because there is no blind trust, there is no institutional way for any cabinet member to be absolutely assured he's not going to do this. >> jeff. >> number one, we just had the election. this has been litigated. all these things were out there for the american public to see. they could have rejected donald trump. they did not reject donald trump based on these arguments. that's been decided by the american people. it's over. but secondly, i will say that we have a bit of a problem here with folks in the quote/unquote political class saying that people who have all these business interests have all potential conflicts of interest. what about conflicts of interest for people in the political class? what happens if you, like many suggest with senator cory
booker, that he's using his position in the united states senate to run for president? is that a conflict of interest? we don't examine these things in a political context because all the focus is political people focusing on business. and -- >> this is an absolutely crazy set of arguments. first of all, we're trying to clean up government -- >> thank you. >> let me just say this. donald trump came into government saying that he was going to drain the swamp. one of the reasons he was elected is because so many people are so concerned about all this money in politics. all this money in washington. that was the whole -- this anti-establishment fervor that said effectively we don't want the status quo, we don't want politics as usual, we don't want big money in politics, that was what he was elected for. he's turning around. this is another 180 degree turn, 360 degree turn by donald trump -- >> no. draining the swamp has to do with washington, d.c., and the culture of washington, d.c., the
culture of lobbyists, the culture of consultants, the consultant class, et cetera. >> and the culture -- a big part of the culture of washington has been conflicts of interest that are skating the letter of the law. maybe they observe the letter of the law but they are not observing the spirit of law. there are ethical problems. i mean, donald trump is creating an ethically challenged administration before he even begins. eight days before. and one other thing. one other thing. i was amazed at that press conference yesterday, donald trump says oh, well, the public doesn't care. how does he know the public doesn't care? >> because he's president-elect of the united states. that's how he knows. >> just because you're the president-elect of the united states doesn't mean -- a lot of people held their noses and voted for donald trump. it doesn't mean that he has legitimacy. it doesn't mean that he can simply say to -- and regard all of the institutions of democracy as his play things from now on. i mean, that -- being president doesn't give you a license to undermine the integrity of our government. >> i understand, secretary
reich, i understand that you and your colleagues on your side of the line are going to be making this argument -- >> it's not about one side or the other. >> -- for four years or eight years -- >> this is about the integrity of government. >> i understand that. and i think donald trump understands that. but the american people made their decision. it's over. get on with it. >> what are you talking about? nothing is over. he could be impeached in a year from now. >> ah. >> jeff, you made the point, you can't tell his sons not to be in business. the question is should donald trump still have an ownership of the business? he could have handed it all over to the sons and, you know, completely stepped out of it, not just in the running of it but actually in any ownership. >> are we going to say to any businessman who runs for office you can't do this? >> but there are rules for -- >> that's what we say. that's what we say. we say you've got to get out of your business. and there's something called article 1 section 9 of the constitution.
the emoluments clause which says particularly -- >> mr. secretary -- >> let me just finish. if your businesses are international, you have got to be especially careful not to get any cash from foreign governments because then you are actually violating the constitution of the united states. >> then mr. secretary it should have been applied to secretary clinton, right? because the clinton foundation is in essence a business. >> well, secretary clinton was not -- number one, she was not president of the united states. >> she was secretary of state. >> and they started to make -- the clintons started to make changes that i wish they had made long before in terms of their holdings, but they put -- she put her holdings into -- everybody puts their holdings into a blind trust. when i was secretary of labor, i had to put all of my -- >> the foundation -- >> they're not -- they weren't donald trump holdings but i had to put my holdings into a trust. so i would not make any decisions that affected in any way anything that i had invested in. do you understand how important
this is from the standpoint of public integrity and public trust? >> the trump team is saying because their interpretation is the white house is not an agency they don't need to go by the same rules that people in the trump transition, that secretaries have to go through. secretary reich, appreciate your time. jeffrey lord as well. to be continued. just ahead, how donald trump's nominee for cia director fared today at his confirmation hearing. tiki barber running hambone!a barber shop?t hut! yes!!! surprising. yes!!! what's not surprising? how much money david saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. who's next?
president-elect trump's disparagement of u.s. intelligence agencies was part of the backtropp today at the confirmation hearing of mike pompeo, trump's pick to lead the jai. during his grilling before the senate intelligence committee pompeo pledged to shield the agency from political influence if he's confirmed. he also broke ranks with donald trump on torture and on russia and the threat it poses. cnn's pamela brown tonight reports. >> do you accept the conclusions of the i.c. regarding russia? >> everything i've seen suggests to me the report has an analytical product that is sound. >> reporter: today cia director nominee mike pompeo testifying in front of the senate select committee on intelligence, blaming russia for interfering in the election.
>> it's pretty clear about what took place here. about russian involvement in efforts to hack information and to have an impact on american democracy. this was an aggressive action taken by the senior leadership inside of russia, and america has an obligation and the cia has a part of that obligation to protect that information. >> reporter: pompeo went on to blast russia for its role in international affairs. >> russia has reasserted itself aggressively, invading and occupying ukraine, threatening europe, and doing nothing to aid in the destruction and defeat of isis. >> reporter: pompeo also addressed reporting first on cnn that u.s. intelligence chiefs provided a synopsis of allegations compiled by a former british intelligence official to president-elect trump and president obama. the specific allegations, which cnn has not verified or included in its reporting, claim that people within trump's campaign communicated with russia before the election and also that the russians have compromising personal information about the president-elect.
>> these are unsubstantiated allegations. i will continue to pursue foreign intelligence collection with vigor no matter where the facts lead. >> reporter: and pompeo, who was once a supporter of enhanced interrogation techniques, split from trump on his campaign promise to bring back waterboarding. >> would i approve waterboarding? you bet your ass i'd approve it. >> can you commit to this committee that under current law, which limits interrogation to the army field manual, that you will comply with that law and that the cia is out of the enhanced interrogation business? >> yes. you have my full commitment to that, senator hunter. >> reporter: next week will also be very busy with hearings on tuesday, ryan zinke goes before a committee for interior secretary. betsy de vos for education secretary on tuesday as well. wednesday there will be at least three hearings. we know wilbur ross for commerce secretary will face a committee. we know scott pruitt, epa
administrator nominee also has his hearing. and nikki haley for the u.n. ambassador post. there are still three posts that have not been scheduled yet for treasury, health and human secretaries nominee as well as labor. so we don't know the dates of those hearings yet. back to you. anderson? >> pam brown, thanks. just ahead, president obama gives vice president joe biden a surprise sendoff. and as you'll see, it's kind of a real tearjerker. microsoft clos infinite scalability. the microsoft cloud helps our customers get up and running, anywhere in the planet. wherever there's a phone, you've got a bank, and we could never do that before. the cloud gave us a single platform to reach across our entire organization. it helps us communicate better. we use the microsoft cloud's advanced analytics tools to track down cybercriminals. this cloud helps transform business. this is the microsoft cloud.
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today president obama surprised his vice president joe biden by awarding him the nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. a tribute as moving as it was unexpected. so much so that biden himself was left momentarily speechless. >> folks don't feel like they know joe the politician, they feel like they know the person. what makes him laugh, what he believes, what he cares about, where he came from. pretty much every time he speaks, he treats us to some wisdom from the nuns who taught him in grade school. [ laughter ] or an old senate colleague. but of course, most frequently sited, kathryn and joseph sr., his mom and dad. no one is better than you but you're better than nobody. [ laughter ]
bravery resides in every heart and yours is fierce and clear. when you get knocked down, joey, get up. get up. [ laughter ] [ applause ] get up. that's where he got those broad shoulders. that's where he got that biden heart. and through his life, through trial after trial, he has never once forgotten the values and the moral fiber that made him who he is. for the final time as president, i am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. [ applause ]
>> mr. president, this honor is a -- was not only well beyond what i deserve but it's a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit. i don't deserve this, but i know it came from the president's heart. i'm indebted to you. i'm indebted to your friendship. i'm indebted to your family. and as i'll tell you, i'll end on a humorous note, we're having lunch, one of our lunches, and mostly -- what's ever in our
minds. we talk about family an awful lot. and about six months in the president looks at me and says, you know, joe? you know what surprised me? how we've become such good friends. [ laughter ] i said surprised you? but that is candid obama. and it's real. and mr. president, you know as long as there's a breath in me i'll be there for you, my whole family will be, and i know, i know it is reciprocal. >> adding to the emotion of the moment president obama bestowed the award with distinction, something given only previously to ronald reagan, pope january paul and general colin powell. john king and gloria borger. watching that, at least in the public arena it's very rare that politicians get surprised very often. it does seem like the vice president was genuinely surprised. sxwle was genuinely surprised. he thought he was going to just
another ordinary farewell event. his staff kept it a secret from him. and i was told by one of his senior advisers that in fact this was an idea that was hatched a while back by the president himself who wanted to do something to honor joe biden and he thought this would be appropriate. >> john, you know, the relationship between a president and vice president, it's usually born of political expediency. talk about the relationship between these two men and how it compares to what we have seen in past relationships. >> i think the biggest difference, anderson, from what we've seen in the past is that over time most of these vice presidential-presidential relationships get worse or there are three or four big breaking points near the end. al gore was very frustrated at the end with bill clinton. they had some policy fights, policy differences during the clinton presidency. al gore had some differences with hillary clinton because of her prominent role. at the end it was because of monica lewinsky. the two men barely spoke to each other. bill clinton wasn't welcome on the campaign trail. the dick chny-george w. bush relationship incredibly tight, incredibly important at the beginning soured and not only was there frustration over dick cheney's role in iraq but the
president publicly disagreed with his vice president on north korea, on iran and other steps at the end of the administration. this relationship has gotten better. has it always been perfect? >> there were other examples of communications and from ustrati with the obama team and biden team where they thought the vice president said i won't run that president obama was putting his thumb on the scale for hillary clinton. not perfect. the personal part of it is real. that's not an act. that's real. >> gloria, what do you make of the relationship? >> i think it's aged well. i think the two men, particularly in the last two years of the administration relate to each other as family men and fathers. we know when beau biden got sick, there was a moment where joe told us on cnn he knew he would have to help his son pay
for medical bills. there was a moment in the oval office where biden said i had to sell my house and obama said don't do that. it tells you something about the close personal relationship as fathers and as real family men who care about their familiy ieo deeply. >> john, that was something echoed by president obama in his speech in chicago. >> look, the president is going out. he paid tribute to michelle obama. make no mistake about it. when you are president and you talk to presidents and do this job for eight years as barack obama has done and george bush and glbill clinton before him. the job is a beast. he was in awe of president obama. maybe he was the last guy in the
room. presidents come to respect the people who are loyal to day one to the final day. a lot of the staff leaves. it is a grueling job. >> john king and gloria borger, thanks. that's it for us. "early start" begins now. have a great day. one week now. exactly until donald trump assumes the presidency. questions emerge about whether he and his cabinet picks are on the same page. confirmations this week left several at odds with the soon to be commander in chief. new clarity on the intelligence report that russia had compromising information about the president-elect. the fbi director himself shared this summary with the president-elect. oh, and the honor of a lifetime for vice president biden in a major