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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  December 18, 2016 8:30am-9:01am PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> dickerson: today on "face the nation" a turbulent year comes to an end with more revelations on how donald trump got elect and before going on vacation president obama hinted at what intelligence has been looking at for weeks. >> dickerson: mr. obama said he personally told mr. putin to knock it off and vows to retaliate but the obama presidency is coming to an end and his successor still won't accept russia is guilty of tamering with elections but president-elect donald trump finished his thank you tour by paying his respects to supporters in the deep south. >> they're saying as president i
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shouldn't do rallies but i think we should, right. we've done everything else the opposite. >> dickerson: is there any way to run a presidency and henry kissinger think maybe so. we'll talk about how his style could be an asset. plus former obama national security advisor tom donilon weighs in on the global challenges for the president and a new book on isis. and kellyanne conway discusses the transition and we'll have a conversation with ta-nehisi coates about the obama legacy. that's all ahead on "face the nation." good morning and welcome to "face the nation." i'm john dickerson. we turn to the president-elect senior adviser kellyanne conway. i understand you just got off the phone with mr. trump. do you have news you have to
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deliver. >> he want to say hello and looks to joining you in the future as the president in an interview. >> dickerson: we'll hold him to that commitment. late me ask you about the theory i've gotten from republican officials this past week. the theory is once donald trump clears the electoral vote on monday will drop the skepticism russia was involved in hacking the election. what do you make of that theory? >> the entire nonsense about the electors using the russian hacking issue undermines our democracy more than any other conversation and we were struck by the disagreement and consternation this week. have you josh earnest doing things from the podium as press secretary telling us what donald
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trump knew and president obama in his final press conversation refusing to go all the way and say russia has hacked into e-mails that went ahead and interfered with the election or shifted the election results. president obama knows how to win the presidency and he won in michigan by ten points. >> dickerson: sorry to interrupt but on the question of mr. trump is still skeptical the russians were even involved and whether it affected the election. you have the cia and fbi and a number of republicans saying it's clear the russians hacked. that's just as a basic premise is clear. mr. trump since late september has said he doesn't think that's the case and still says that now. what does he know that the intelligenc intelligence officers don't know? >> where is the proof and why did they refuse to meet last
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week and instead talking to the media. that undermines the national security and intelligence operations -- >> dickerson: does that suggest that's not the case? >> they received intelligence briefings i'm not privy too but if others at the top are serious about turning over evidence to we, the american people, they should do that and should show up in the house intelligence committee but that's a closed-door meeting. they should not be leaking to the media. if there's evidence let's see it. i would know president obama stopped short last week off what other pundits are saying and i'm sure they don't get intelligence briefings. we know hillary clinton and her team spent $1.2 billion and didn't see us coming and got help from people in the media
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still trying to fight the last war. it's over. this man is the president. >> >> dickerson: and we're trying to figure out how does the president-elect take in information that's interesting and volatile at the center of national security here. you have the entire intelligence community saying the russians were hacking the election leaving the question whether it has an effect and a president-elect dismissing that. does his entire team have the same view there is no merit to the idea the russians were involved? >> remember, you just said the word election. i have to push back. that's what everybody's doing. they're conflating whether they hacked into the e-mails and effected the election. i listen to people who don't know what they're talking about on tv and are not under oath and listening to the white house press secretary herself and hillary clinton is telling her donors that and they don't believe it.
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they were giving the fancy graphics that assured them hillary clinton would win in the blowout. they weren't expecting it. i want to say something else i list enne listened to a different network this morning and there's pushback that president obama said i told vladamir putin to cut it out and he did the hacking stopped. it seems she's in disagreement and they wanted him to go further and we'll see what he does in the next couple weeks. >> >> dickerson: we're not going to get insight to the president-elect's thinking so let's try this, did anyone in the campaign have contact with the russians hacking the election? >> absolutely not. those conversations never happened. i hear people saying it like it's a fact on television. that is not only inaccurate and false and dangerous and
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undermine the democracy. >> dickerson: do they agree with retaliating into russians hacking into the election? >> he respect what's the president needs to do in different arenas. it seems to be a political response because it seems the president is under pressure from team hilary who can't accept the election results. >> dickerson: you're saying the president is retaliating for purely political and not national security reasons? >> john, what i'm saying is the president-elect respects the right of president obama to do what he want. he's the president for the next several weeks. we believe in sanction work not sanctions for sanction's sake but it's clear president obama could have quote, retaliated months ago if they were concerned about this affecting the election. whatever his motives are or
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actions are we'll respect as americans. it doesn't mean president-elect trump will continue with it but when it comes to russia and cosiness it was hillary clinton through her foundation that bill clinton got $1 million to give a speech and let's be honest about who's for money and power and access has cozies up to the russians. >> dickerson: you're saying president obama's reacting because he's feeling political pressure. do i have a misimpression? >> no, what i'm saying is he is under political pressure definitely because you got people from team hilary saying something very different than what president obama himself is saying. they're disagreeing -- look, it's his legacy being question. >> dickerson: we'll have to
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leave it there. for analysis on the russian hacking story as well as the deteriorating situation in syria we're joined by tom donilon and cbs foreign affairs correspondent margaret brennan. on the one hand have you a president saying he'll retaliate against the russians and the president-elect doesn't believe the beginning premise that the russians were involved. what do you make of that pretty big comment. >> i was struck by kellyanne's comments as i have been by donald trump's comments for weeks and months and reluctance to do which is what normally happens in national security matters which is a unified consensus. the obvious thing for kellyanne conway and donald trump to say is i want a full investigation
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and the american people will know the facts. instead i did hear her say the call for covert retaliation against russia which president obama said we'll take action. i heard her say that was a political response. it's the opposite of saying we need to come together as a country and be unified. one more thing, in the whole crazy story the one thing we really do need to know is whether there is any kind of leverage russia has over donald trump. that's the question we couldn't really uncover because we never got the tax returns. it's crucial before he takes office not to attack him but to liberate him from any pressure. it's a really important thing. there should be bipartisan support for that. >> dickerson: the president said he'll retaliate against russia. what are are his options? >> it's important to lay down the predicates here and i want to get down to what david said the president used a phrase
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yesterday the dni and the private firms have spent a lot of time in the area and they all agree with high confidence russia hacked and released the information in an effort in some way to effect the election and shut clearly be investigated and the investigation should put forward to the congress as they prepare to investigate to the american people what the facts are and to get under the issues of intent and try to come up with ways in which to facilitate efforts to prevent this from happening in the future. >> dickerson: i think this is by the way part of a broader effort by vladamir putin to undermine western institutions and confidence and to split allies. it's a broader strategic question that needs to be addressed here and that includes i think the shoring up of the western institutions. on the responses you asked me
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about is there's a broad range of responses in the cyber and non-cyber area. the united states has a lot of leverage in the financial world and monetary world where it could act. it needs to consider these and there's a broad range of responses. >> i thought it was interesting because while i heard the same things you did from kellyanne conway they want sanctions that work and republicans like lindsay graham are for calling on pressure and tightening sanctions and financial punishment and the problem is it's punitive not prohibitive and doesn't really counter the attack on the cyber front. it's merely a punishment. >> and there's an effort to get out with as much information as possible. i think that's what the
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president intends to do and in 2008 president bush 43 and his chief of staff initiated a process we found very helpful and that was this, to bring the outgoing cabinet members in the national security area and incoming cabinet together several time in the situation room to go through key issues and establish facts and get a deeper understanding of the problems underway and the incoming administration will agree and disagree but it was a helpful exercise we were skeptical of at the beginning but the world looks different when you sit in the situation room with the predecessors and go through the fact. it's an exercise i would recommend we do in this case. >> dickerson: how does the president-elect take in new information that may be inconvenient because it puts a cloud over his election victory. david, speaking of facts and the
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way politics play a role the president essentially said in his press conference they're think more warmly of putin whether do you make of that assessment and because president-elect trump has a warmer view of putin is there a shift >> i think republicans so mistrust barack obama that if he says putin is terrible they'll take the other side. the most powerful thing the president said in his farewell news conference was russian covert actions against us during the election season have been successful to the extent we're a divided country. we're a soft target. we're the ideal target because it's so easy to push us further apart. he was pleading on that as he has for several years to come together. this is the challenge for donald trump to save the country. we're too divided on this issue
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we need to come together as we assess russia's intintent. >> dickerson: i want to switch to russian. aleppo is a synonym for hell. what do you make of president obama wrestling with that. >> it was compared to the genocide in the 1970s and saying it's outright ethnic cleansing. president obama saying i do feel some reasonability as leader of the free world when i see this kind of mass killing particularly the images of children that deeply trouble him and also stepped back and said i don't have blood on my hands. that's iran and russia and the assad regime and went back to his argument that short of military and american boots on the ground there's nothing the united states can do. the white house is very
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sensitive on the topic because keep in mind president obama's the first american president to say atrocities is a security issue and initiatives backed with no real leverage and secretary kerry characterized it as week diplomacy. >> dickerson: we'll be back in a moment. few people know as much as about foreign policy particularly as it pertains to russia as former secretary of state henry kissinger. we sat down with him in his office in new york. you have president obama saying he'll retaliate in some fashion for the hacking. president-elect trump is saying he's not sure the with uses did the hacking. how do you explain the big gap between the two? >> everybody has hacking capability and probably every
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intelligence service is hacking in the territory of other countries but who exactly does what that would be very sensitive information. but it's a very difficult to communicate about it because nobody want to admit the scope of what they're doing and i don't doubt the russians are hacking us and i hope we're doing some hacking there. it's a hostile view then then becomes an international problem >> dickerson: you met with vladamir putin a number of times. what do you make of him? >> he's a character. he is a man with a great sense of connection in connection to russian history as he sees it.
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he is a cold calculator of the russian national interest as he believes probably correctly there's unique features. so for him the question of russian identity is very crucial because as a result of the collapse of communism russia has lost 300 years of its history. the question is what is russia looms very large in their mind and that's a problem we've never had. >> dickerson: when we come back dr. kissinger gives us his thoughts on the president-elect. back in a minute. ng. even a rodent ride-along. [dad] alright, buddy, don't forget anything! [kid] i won't, dad... [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is
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kissinger. what's your opinion on president-elect donald trump? i had not thought of him as a presidential candidate until he became a presidential candidate. in the first appearances i thought it was a transitory phenomenon but i give him huge credit for having analyzed an aspect of the american situation and develop a strategy, carry it out against the leadership of his own party and prevail. now his challenge is to apply that same skill to the international situation. >> dickerson: you told jeffery goldberg of the "atlantic" it can create opportunity but also serious dislocation.
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what's your assessment now? >> donald trump is a phenomenon foreign countries haven't seen so it is a shocking experience to them that he came into office. at the same time extraordinary opportunity and i believe he has the possibility of going down in history as a very considerable president because every country now has two things to consider. one, the perception that the previous president or the outgoing president basically withdrew america from international politics so they had to make their own assessment of the necessities and secondly, he is a new president asking a lot of unfamiliar questions and
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a-- because of the new questions one can imagine that something remarkable and new emerges out of it. i'm not saying it will, i'm saying it's an extraordinary opportunity. >> dickerson: do you have a sense of what his emerging foreign policy is? >> i think he operates by a kind of instinct that is a different form of analogies. it's more academic and he's raised a number of issues that i think are important. very important and if they're addressed properly could lead to big results. >> dickerson: you've advised presidents. one thing voters have said about donald trump is he has no
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government experience he'll be able to surround himself with good advisers. is that really possible? >> the president has to have some core convictions. he can't get those from advisers but he also cannot possibly know everything. it's in the nature of the presidency from the people you meet and so to get objective advice is hard but under the personality of the president. >> dickerson: what advice would you give about being president in these time? >> one of the hardest things is to distinguish the routine issues that come through from the essential issues that effect the long term and not to let himself get sucked into the
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battles of the bureaucracy for marginal issues and keep him focussed and his mind clear on what the fundamental things are that he has to accomplish. >> dickerson: dr. kissinger. thank you so much. [♪] i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms.
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