tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC December 11, 2016 10:30am-11:30am EST
starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos. democracy hacked? did russia want trump in the white house? the latest details on the secret cia findings. and after downplaying russia's role -- >> maybe there is no hacking. >> trump lashing out at the cia. plus, the secretary of state search. what could an oil executive mean for u.s. foreign policy? >> he's much more than a business executive. he's a world class player. >> and team trump defending ties to his reality tv show and his empire. will trump's efforts to untangle potential conflicts of interest go far enough?ocrat senator clair mccaskill.
>> i'm asking you to believe once again in america. >> america in transition. can a divided nation unite under donald trump? from abc news it's "this week." here now chief anchor george stephanopoulos. >> we have big stories breaking this weekend zeroing in on america's relationship with vladimir putin's russia. reports the cia has concluded the russian hacking was aimed at helping donald trump defeat hillary clinton. a step beyond the intelligence community's earlier finding that russia was trying to cast doubt on the integrity of our elections. the trump team hit back with a that sad said hussein had weapons of mass destructions. the president-elect is likely to name a close ally of vladimir putin from the corporate world
to be secretary of state. there you see exxon ceo closed a deal with putin in 2011 and in two years later he received the order of friendship. senators from both parties raising questions about the pick but in an interview on fox news sunday trump called tillerson a world class player running the world's largest company. >> it's been a company that's been unbelievably managed and to me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players. he knows them well. he does massive deals in russia, massive deals for the company, not for himself, for the company. >> lots of questions this sunday for the president-elect's incoming chief of staff reince priebus. thank you for joining us again this morning. >> good morning, george. >> let's begin with the shot from the cia from your entrance that startled intelligence officials. how is trump going to work with intelligence agencies if he doesn't trust their work? >> he trusts the cia.
this is about 17 or so unnamed agencies in an unnamed report that base the report on something that is totally false. the rnc was not hacked. so the report is basically trying to make the case that the rnc and dnc was hacked and only e-mails were dnc e-mails and therefore, this is the conclusive report that the russians or whoever was doing the hacking -- >> you say he trusts the cia. why did your transition -- why did you put out a statement questioning the cia? >> excuse me george. the entire report is based on unnamed sources who are perhaps doing something they shouldn't be doing by speaking to reporters or someone talking out of line about something that as absolutely not true. the fbi -- we contacted the fbi months ago when the dnc issue came about. they reviewed our systems.
we had hacking detection systems in place and the conclusion was then as it was again two days ago and we went back to the fbi to ask them about this, that the rnc was not hacked. here we are now debating and talking about a story based on something that isn't true and we're just in a fiasco about something not true. >> that's only one element of the story. perhaps the fbi told you the rnc wasn't hacked. do you know where all your data was stored? could it have been stored in roar -- other archives and are you confident some data wasn't indeed hacked perhaps e-mail accounts? >> i'm telling you as a source to you and the press because you have no source otherwise other than an unnamed source that also concluded that everything else was inconclusive. as a source, to the best of my knowledge and based on
conversations that the rnc has had with the fbi, that i know of no instance that you're describing involving the rnc or the rnc's data. so it's hard for me to have a conversation about something that i have no evidence to the contrary to talk about. >> do you know where all your data was stored? >> we know where our data is stored george. we do. and we have reviewed all of that data along with security experts along with folks at the fbi and they have told us that we have not been hacked. and when the story hit in the new york times, our folks went back to -- not me personally, our chief operating officer went back to his contact at the fbi and again was assured we were not hacked. talking about this story which by the way the story itself said was inconclusive. i don't know what to tell you. it is unbelievable that the
press would run with unnamed sources about something that they agree was inconclusive but ignore the fact that the actual people involved on the other side of this story are telling you it's not true. >> this is on the heels of another report from the intelligence community. all 17 agencies did come to an agreement that russia was trying to influence the elections without describing a motive. when i spoke to president-elect trump back in october he said he hadn't gotten the briefing. has he been briefed now on those findings? >> listen, i'm not -- by the way, george, as you know from working in the white house, it takes a long time -- i'm not the president. so the president has top secret clearance immediately. i don't. it takes time. i'm not in those top secret meetings nor would it be appropriate. the president can't tell me what's being said in a top secret meeting unless i have top secret clearance. i will eventually be in those meetings. look, the russians didn't tell hillary clinton to ignore wisconsin and michigan.
this insane analysis. she lost the election because her ideas were bad. she didn't fit the electorate. she ignored states she shouldn't have and donald trump was the change agent. this is very interesting but donald trump won in an electoral landslide that had nothing to do with the russians. >> nobody here is questioning the victory. i want to know why president-elect trump doesn't believe the conclusions of 17 intelligence agencies. >> you don't have a source. report -- this is what i can't understand. i think that when -- >> hold on a second. no. i'm talking about the finding in october that is public now of 17 different intelligence agencies saying russia tried to meddle with our elections. that's before this weekend. >> that's not true. george, you don't know that conclusively. the report also said that there wasn't agreement among the 17 agencies. when the fbi came out they came
out, when there was a conclusio. now, if the -- >> that's precisely the conclusion i'm talking about. the president-elect says he doesn't accept that either. >> they didn't conclude it was russia. think didn't conclude it was russia. listen, i don't care if it's russia or whoever. we're going to protect americans. we don't want these countries or whoever else these people are hacking our country, our parties. we protect our americans. we don't like it. we're against it. what i can't do is have an intelligent conversation with you about a report in the new york times that is unnamed, inconclusive and based on something that isn't true. >> i'm asking about the conclusions made public back in october. let's move on. a statement out this morning from several members of the senate including the democratic leader charles schumer, john mccain and lindsey graham, also a member of the senate armed
services committee writing that recent reports of russian interference in our election should alarm every american and they say democrats and republicans must work together to investigate this. do you support that investigation in the senate right now? >> i support in anything that we can do including investigations or otherwise to protect americans from foreign interference in all of our good work that we need to do in the united states whether it be our elections, our businesses, our electric grids. we have to protect america. i'm all for finding out how in the world this stuff is happening so that we can put systems in place to protect americans. again, we don't like this. but i also want to make sure that when we debate these things that we actually have the fact that are very clear in front of us to have this debate. >> i think we have those facts. but you're saying you're not supporting this further investigation. let's move on to the
president-elect's -- >> i'm supporting anything we can do to find out how this stuff is happening. i think the president-elect also supports anything we can do to put an end to these sorts of incidents from taking place in our country. >> if it turns out this investigation and the review order by president obama conclusively determines that russia was behind this, will president trump retaliate? >> look, you're going to have to talk to president-elect trump about that. certainly we're going to do whatever that loaded word retaliate is, we're going to do everything we can in order to prevent all of this stuff from happening ever again. i'm sure appropriate measures will be explored as to what to do if that is concluded to make sure that number one, it doesn't happen again and make sure that we put systems in place that protect americans. >> let's talk about the president-elect's likely pick for secretary of state rex tillerson if that is true. the new york times is reporting
steve bannon think tillerson is in a different league from the other candidates. is that your view, too? >> certainly i think he's an incredible businessman and american patriot and somebody that i think has experience across the globe that very few people have. i also think we have got other great choices to make. the conclusion has not been made. there's no announcement coming today as far as secretary of state is concerned. it's a little premature to be claiming that this is a done deal. but certainly rex tillerson is american icon and businessman that i think is a pretty incredible guy. >> is this the right time for a secretary of state who has close ties to vladimir putin? >> look, i mean, he's in the business of exploring and finding oil across the globe. you have to go where the oil is at. the fact he has a relationship with people like vladimir putin
and others across the globe is something that shouldn't be -- we shouldn't be embarrassed by it. something that i think could be a huge advantage to the united states. it doesn't mean we're not going to be tough across the world, doesn't mean we're not going to always put america first in everything we do. we have big problems in this world and i don't think we can solve these big problems by making believe that people don't exist. they exist. we have to talk to people. reagan talked to people across the world and he was successful in communicating and treating people with dignity and respect. but putting america first in everything we do. >> senators like ed markey and john mccain lindsey graham promising tough questions. any concerns about confirmation? >> no. first of all, the pick hasn't been made. i'll say that again. no, we don't have -- we don't have concerns about confirmation.
he's built one of the biggest companies in the world. again, we'll find out whether it's him or someone else on the list. listen, it's not a done deal. it's premature. but i will tell you i think this person is incredibly talented and could do a good job. as secretary of state. >> we know president-elect trump intends to keep his title on celebrity apprentice. he's going to talk about how he's going to handle the conflicts with his businesses in the white house. newt gingrich said this title is weird and it raises questions about possible conflicts. the fcc regulates nbc corporations can try to curry favor with the president by placing their products on the show, buying advertising. isn't that an issue? >> i don't think it's an issue. look, it's not going to be sitting there producing the apprentice. i can assure you that. it's something he owns, it's a title he owns but i'm telling you he's going to be 100% focussed in the white house. not going to be sitting in
studio acting as the executive producer of the apprentice. i think that's mark burnett. that's the way it's going to be. >> he decides to reject the plan to divest from his business? >> that's not true. you'll have to wait and see when he concludes the very complicated ethics review and puts up the walls that he needs to put up for the family. and the businesses and they're working through that diligently. i can assure you of that. isn't just some easy weekend project. when you have hotels and businesses and retail space across the entire world, it takes time to unpack that and to put this in a place that makes sense for him and the family. >> mr. priebus, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> let's get more from senator rand paul. republican member of the foreign relations committee. thank you for joining us. >> good morning. >> let's begin with this issue of russia.
we have president-elect trump this morning calling the cia assessment that russia was trying to help elect him ridiculous and says he doesn't believe the earlier findings of all 17 intelligence agencies that russia was trying to get involved in our elections. you heard reince priebus. what do you make of all that? >> i think we need to get to the bottom of it and there should be an investigation because in order to defend ourselves against adversarial countries we have to protect our information. what came out of the campaign was a high ranking clinton official sent their password by e-mail and we need to learn how to protect our own information. that's important as well. what the government needs to learn from this and see if we can do a better job. i will tell you that donald trump got 70% in eastern kentucky and i don't think it had anything to do with the russians. he got 70% because in eastern kentucky we didn't like what president obama or hillary clinton wanted to do to our coal jobs.
nothing to do with the russians. >> they weren't making any conclusions whether or not it affected the outcome of the election. but what do you do as you continue to investigate this if the evidence continues to pile up that russia was trying to influence our elections? how should the u.s. respond? >> you know, i think it's premature to talk about response until we know exactly what happened but we should know what happened and know how to defend ourselves without question. this is an ongoing threat from a variety of sources around the world. i think it works both ways. i'm not privy to it but all of the various country that is have the ability are invading each other's computers all the time. we have to protect our data. very important. >> how about this pick for secretary of state, rex tillerson. we heard reince talk about his business experience. you have your colleagues like senators mccain and graham saying they want to ask him a lot of questions. you're sitting on the senate foreign relations committee. do you have any concerns?
>> i reserve judgment on tillerson. i'll ask him the same question, do you understand the historic lesson that the iraq war was a failure, strategic mistake, that's what donald trump says. i don't know about tillerson but i know john bolton doesn't get it. he believes in regime change and still a big cheerleader for the iraq war and promoted a nuclear attack by israel on iran and wants to do regime change in iran. i think john bolton is so far out of it and has a naive understanding of the world. if he were to be the undersecretary i'm an out automatic no on bolton. he should get nowhere close to the state department if anybody with the same world view is in charge. >> automatic no on bolton. as deputy secretary of state. but open mind on tillerson. what about tillerson's ties to vladimir putin? >> i don't know that yet. the most important question is are you an advocate for the iraq war? do you think that was a good idea? do you think regime change? these questions keep recurring.
bolton is an advocate for regime change in libya, so was hillary clinton and donald trump said it was a mistake. i agree it was a mistake to do regime change in libya. we became more endangered and worse people took over afterwards. i also think regime change in syria is a bad idea. that's an ongoing question. it's one of the reasons i endorsed donald trump. he thinks regime change is a mistake. john bolton thinks completely the opposite. they are opposites. so i'll do anything to try to prevent john bolton from getting any position. his world view is naive. he believes we're going to spread democracy and they're going to elect thomas jefferson. that's not the way it works. >> it's clear where you stand on that. how about the budget. we heard president-elect trump say he wants a trillion dollar infrastructure program and repealing obamacare and according to the cbo repealing obamacare will add billions to the deficit. you have been a hawk on government spending. can you support a budget that
adds to the federal debt? >> no. i won't support any budget whether republican or democrat budget that doesn't lead to balance. the current budget the republicans are looking at never balances. how can that be fiscally responsible and look at the public with a straight face and say yes we ran on balanced budgets and yet the budget we're going to repeal obamacare with never balances. so i'm a no vote and all it takes is a couple of us. if there are few conservatives in the senate wing that will say no to a budget that never balances we could have the power to say we need a better budget. i don't know if it will happen but i will not vote for a budget that never balances. >> do you have others willing to join you? >> we'll see what happens. i'm working on a few. i don't think it's known yet. also, they haven't put all the numbers into the budget. the budget they're contemplating is a budget that never balances and i won't support that.
>> how about this question of conflicts of interest. we saw president-elect trump's decision earlier this week, he'll make a announcement on how he's going to handle his overall businesses if he keeps the businesses in the family, do you have any concerns that foreign interests, foreign organizations might be trying to curry favor by doing deals with the trump family? >> you know, i think when people voted for donald trump they realized he owned a lot of stuff with his name on it. the concern seems to be higher in the media than the public. people saying he has to sell his stuff. how would you possibly sell 700 companies in a fire sale and hope to get what they were worth? an unrealistic standard they're trying to hold him to. he has to do everything he can to set up a firewall between him and his businesses. i think it's unrealistic for people to say he should sell all of his businesses. it's not like stock. we have presidents that have put their stock into account and didn't know what their stock mix is and donald trump agreed he
would do the same. he's either sold it or do it. it's a little different when you spend 30 years developing all these companies that we just ask him to sell them. i don't think that's a fair request. >> thanks for joining us. >> thanks. >> let's get a democratic perspective from senator mccaskill. let's pick up right there. do you think it's unrealistic for donald trump to divest? >> i think it's weird he want tots be an exec sieve producer of the tv show while he's president of the united states. i agree with newt gingrich. he doesn't have to do that. and i think he can take major steps towards reassuring the american people that there can't be a appearance of impropriety for pay to play schemes under his administration. >> how about the russian involvement in the election. we saw the reports over the weekend and talking about them saying they were trying to tip the scales for donald trump. you have the bipartisan calls for an investigation. do you support that?
>> absolutely. by the way, this should be not only about protecting us going forward but this is a form of warfare for vladimir putin who is a thug and a bully and has the friends around the globe that we don't want to be friends with, for him to be trying to impact our elections, we have to -- there has to -- he has to be held accountable. >> how? >> well, that's -- some of that's classified i believe. and i don't think that's something we can discuss on tv. but i've had briefings just this last week that indicate that this is a very serious issue for the american people to understand and for donald trump to dismiss out of hand the intelligence communities fact gathering doesn't bode well for him protecting our country. i think he needs to not
immediately react and wait until he gets all the facts. >> it appears that rex tillerson is going to be the pick for secretary of state. even though it's not a done deal yet. what kind of questions do you have about that? >> well, first of all, his cabinet i call it the 3-g cabinet, goldman, generals and gazillionaires. i think it's one of those things that for someone who has worked around the world for profit it is different than working around the world to make sure we have strong alliances and to make sure that we are in the strongest position to protect our country and i worry about the lack of experience that he has had on the diplomatic front and frankly i think that's true for many of the appointments to trump's cabinet. they haven't had experience in the areas that they're being asked to manage in a very complicated world and a very complicated government. >> you mentioned the concerns about the generals. you are on the home land security committee.
general kelly has been named as the new secretary, the nominee for homeland security. have concerns about him? >> i'm going to wait for the hearings. i'm familiar with general kelly. because of my work on the armed services committee. i think he is a fine general and i want to make sure that he has a handle on some of the complicated issues that are contained within homeland security. they have a lot of contractors. we have had a lot of whistle blowing going on out of the department of homeland security. low morale. i want to make sure he understands the agency he's stepping into. i'll reserve judgment until after the hearings. >> harry reid thinks james comey should resign because he underplayed information that russia was involved in the elections. do you agree with that? >> well, i know this. that there were thousands and thousands of hours given to hillary clinton's e-mail server and benghazi. it seems to me we need
bipartisanship now to look at exactly what happened in this election and exactly the things that people like james comey did and put it in context to make sure we have all the facts because i don't think anyone is comfortable with how this election played out. i'm not questioning that donald trump won the election. but there's nothing more sacred than our democratic process in the united states and we have got to make sure that put aside partisan politics and make sure we're getting to the bottom of all of this. >> one of the things we know, hillary clinton got decimated in rural and small town america, not only in kentucky by michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania. how do democrats win back those small town voters they have lost? with all those working people. you know, i was really shocked this week that after all of this talk about coal miners and all of this talk about buy america, the republicans and the house of representatives gutted health
care and pension protections for coal miners and removed the buy america provision that had been put in the bill in a bipartisan basis. i think we have got to call out the republicans where their walk doesn't match their talk and i think we have to make sure that we communicate clearly that we are the party that cares deeply in our core about working people in this country. >> senator mccaskill thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> coming up, president-elect trump says what he intends to do with his businesses. we'll ask ethic lawyers what they think he should do. and our round table on another head spinning week in politics. "this week" with george stephanopoulos brought to you by mcdonald's. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪
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there you see donald trump taking a break from the campaign trail to open his new hotel in washington that could create a conflict of interest as the president-elect appears to address it this week. our achieve invest ghaith -- correspondent on what does it mean once trump enters the white house? >> for donald trump's business partners around the world including the developers of this luxury golf course in dubai what some in the u.s. may seem as a conflict of interest is for them
money in the bank. >> his brand has become >> trump pledged to leave his business interests behind. >> if i become president i couldn't care less about my company. >> since the election, trump from his penthouse office in new york city has used up power and prestige of the presidency to promote his business interests. he took time to meet with the indian developers of two trump towers in their country who posted this picture and then took it down. he complained to a british politician about wind turbines near his scottish golf course and he made sure to include his daughter ivanka in a meeting with the japanese prime minister as she is in talks to expand her clothing line in japan. with trump investments or deals in 18 countries around the world even those whose advice has been sought saying the president-elect is leaving himself over to serious conflicts. >> you're going to have foreign entities and governments offering sweetheart deals in the hope of favorable action from the president of the united
states. >> that may already be happening. at the new trump luxury hotel in washington, d.c. which seems to be the new in spot, the place for foreign governments and special interests to show loyalty to donald trump. earlier this week the kingdom of borane rented out the presidential ballroom at an estimated cost of $100,000 to celebrate its national holiday. we showed up to ask why here. last year a different motel. is this because mr. trump is the president-elect? >> i have no comment. >> the wealthy kingdom has good reasons to court the incoming trump administration. human rights record has been harshly criticized by the u.s. accused of torture and rape and other violence against political opponents. outside as diplomats left they still weren't talking and security men blocked our cameras. trump says the hotel will become even more valuable since he's
going to be in the white house. >> all you have to do is follow the money. if you follow the money it leads right back to donald trump's pockets. >> this coming week as trump announces his plans to resolve conflicts of interest, the government of bigan will throw its own holiday party. for "this week," brian ross, abc news, washington. >> i'm joined by ethics council. norm eisen and george painter. welcome to both of off. it's pretty clear that donald trump is not going to divest. you heard rand paul say they think it's unrealistic. why do you think he must? >> donald trump must divest, george, because of his web of domestic and international business relationships that create a conflict of interest for him. he's moved to admit that there is a conflict of interest now and he needs to do something. >> even though the law says the president does not come under the conflict of interest laws?
>> george, the constitution has something called the emolumence clause. a fancy 18th century word for no foreign government payments and donald trump is collecting foreign government payments and other benefits throughout his business. it is a director violation of the constitution and unless he divests not just operations he must divest from all business interests or he will be in violation of the constitution from day one. >> even if he turns it over to his family? >> if he retains the ownership of the businesses and they take money from foreign governments in transactions with foreign governments or corporations controlled by foreign governments he will be in violation of the constitution regardless of who is managing the businesses. it's about who owns them. >> what's the remedy here? only the congress can take this on correct? >> well, he's also subject to other conflict laws. the bribery laws are intended to prevent conflicts.
he's subject to criminal law. he's subject to civil law. he's going to be subject to litigation. he's already in a lot of cases. this is going to come up in existing litigation and new litigation. people are studying whether there is a cause of action that competitors would have if they're harmed by these foreign government payments. he's going to be tainted by scandal. congress hangs by just three republican votes. if he loses three republicans you're going to see investigations, subpoenas. he faces a lot of problems. why go there? >> you have the issue of the hotel in washington held by the general services administration. the president will pick the head of the general services administration. both tentative landlord at the same time? >> that's one of the many situations. conflicts of interest. national relations board cases involving trump properties and the broader conflicts of interest, he owes hundreds of millions of dollars to banks. how do we expect the trump administration to regulate the financial services sector?
are we going to have the real estate prices go up until there's a crash and everybody suffers because of it. he needs to focus on being president. the president is not on inn keeper or celebrity talk show host or reality star host. let somebody else do those jobs. billy bush is looking for a job. maybe he can take over the apprentice. >> there's a russia angle to all this. remember, we don't have donald trump's tax returns. he did a relatively summary, 104 page campaign disclosure. one year of tax returns. we have seen the pictures. 12,000 pages. tax returns are replete with his foreign interests including perhaps his russian interests. that may be the reason he doesn't want to turn over his taxes. you have got to disclose names of partners, custodians, foreign accounts. with the new russia allegations coming to the floor, the conclusion of the intelligence agencies we have to have the taxes to evaluate whether the
conflicts go to the heart of the national security -- >> the direction he's heading is he's turning over the operations to his children and setting up some kind of mechanism, a board to review any possible conflicts as they come up, deals his children may have. why can't that work? >> if he owns the businesses, all of the conflicts remain with him regardless of who is managing the businesses. he owns the company. the foreign government pays money into the company pursuant to any type of contract or loan for the bank of china and he benefits from that. we have a violation of the counsel institution. it doesn't matter who is running them. these firewalls aren't going to work. that isn't going to be an appropriate function for the white house counsel's office to placing firewalls within the trump business organization. it won't work. the focus for him needs to be on being a good president. he can take these companies
public or fine private buyers and convert them to cash. he'll have a couple billion dollars, give his kids a good start and he could focus on being a good president. that's what he ought to do. >> we'll be watching the announcement this week. thank you very much. we'll be right back with our powerhouse round table. "this week" with george stephanopoulos brought to you by charles schwab. those new glasses? they are. do i look smarter? yeah, a little. you're making money now, are you investing? well, i've been doing some research. let me introduce you to our broker. how much does he charge? i don't know. okay. uh, do you get your fees back if you're not happy? (dad laughs) wow, you're laughing. that's not the way the world works. well, the world's changing. are you asking enough questions about the way your wealth is managed? wealth management, at charles schwab.
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trump cabinet filling out. his clash with the cia. a whole lot to talk about with our powerhouse round table. >> catch "this week" online all week at abcnews.com on facebook and twitter. fop nop this is my body of proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both
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government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence whether sought or unsought by the military industrial conflicts. the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. we must never let the wait of this endanger the wait of our democratic processes. >> president eisenhower right there. a lot to talk about on our round table. rich lowry, editor of the national review, washington post columnist and democratic strategic and republican strategist. sara huckabee. rich, donald trump's top appointments so far, you have eight ceo's and bankers, three generals. is this what you had in mind? >> clearly trump likes the way business executives and generals think and talk much more than policy professionals.
from where i sit, it's a superb cabinet so far. a lot choices could have been made by ted cruz. you're going to have the shotgun marriage between an orthodox republican cabinet and very unorthodox. >> how does tillerson fit in? >> i would like to see someone with more foreign policy experience and obviously his views and attitudes towards russia will be a big part of the hearings. he will reflect trump's policy towards russia which will be friendly up to the point of time. it isn't. it's worth remembering george w. bush, barack obama also thought they had the magic key to better warmer relations with russia which ended in tears. i would expect the same here. >> i take it you're not as reassured as rich? >> i'm not somehow. first of all, one of greatest speeches in history. i wish we had more eisenhower republicans in this trump cabinet. what's striking is a candidate
who ran as the working class who picks a guy who heads a fast food company, trump says he wants to bring back manufacturing and here we have one not wild about labor protections and you have this all the way through this cabinet so that i think there are a lot of other things to worry about trump but in conventional political terms, this is a cabinet that will have a hard time delivering to the base that trump courted in this election. >> i want to ask you about sara, these are the kind of people trump attacked during the campaign especially goldman sachs. is there a risk that his base is going to feel betrayed? >> i don't think so. i think the common denominator between the picks are there are people that have gotten things done. these are executives, these are leaders, these are pragmatic doers. they're not people who have sat around and come up with big ideas an talked about them. they have turned around
companies, put they're lives on the line and made big change and reform and accomplished big things. everything that trump campaign was coming in changing things, shaking things up and getting things done and that's exactly what i think this cabinet says about the type of president we're going to have. >> jamal, even though the president-elect is talking to president obama you look at the picks, especially greg pruitt for the epa. the oklahoma attorney general. they're coming in to overturn a lot of president obama's legacy. >> they're going to come in and try for sure. i think the thing that we don't know is there's a reason why people are successful who are in politics for a long time. there are skills you learn and ways you learn to behave. sometimes the shortest route is to go a little sideways before you can go forward. i'm not sure that corporate ceos and generals are prepared to do that. we talk about the cabinet. i think democrats are going to face a choice. we can't fight every one of these.
if we're outraged about everything nothing will be outrageous. we have to figure out which secretary we'll pick to stand on. my vote would be jeff sessions. i think jeff sessions in particular, six months after the tragedy that happened in orlando, after that loretta lynch, the attorney general said to the lgbt community that the department of justice will stand with you in the light. do we think they'll still be standing with those people as jeff sessions as ag? i'm not sure they will be. >> do you think there's a chance of stopping session when he's been in the senate a couple of terms? >> we got to raise the heat on that. particularly democratic forces want to see democrats fight on. somebody who said nice things about the kkk and been against lgbt issues. democrats want to see that. >> the case against jeff sessions was three decades ago. based on hearsay and innuendo and a joke he made about the klan. the likely targets are mnuchin.
the treasury pick when you look at his dealings during the financial crisis, a target rich environment in tillerson. focusing on the wealth of the cabinet picks misunderstands trump's strategy. which is equal parts traditional part economics, cut taxes trying to create general conditions. at the same time, he's going to focus on trying to tighten the labor market through discouraging outsourcing and tightening up on immigration towards the goal of increasing wages. a new focus for the republican party and a very important one. >> the idea is it's not just about the fact these guys are billionaires it's also the policies these billionaires happen to want to put in place and on the question of opposition, i think there are -- when you want to send a signal if you're on the democratic side that this is a very right wing cabinet at odds with so much of
what trump said and it's also going to be fascinating to see if your republican party in the congress actually goes along with those aspects of the trump plan that are designed to raise wages. >> he campaigned under obamacare and tax cuts. campaigned under the deregulatory agenda. >> he's also talking about infrastructure. you heard rand paul said there's one no vote to begin with. let me move on to russia and the president-elect's dispute with the cia. pretty extraordinary what he's saying about the findings of the intelligence communities thinking he doesn't believe or trust them. he was doing this on fox news sunday saying he's a pretty start guy, doesn't need the brief every day. is he on a collision course with the intelligence community? >> i don't think so. you had his soon to be chief of staff priebus on earlier. said they have confidence in these agencies. i think he is taking a lot information in. but at the same time when you have intelligence agencies leaking information and
perpetuating a story that isn't true and nothing to substantiate in terms of the rnc being hacked and things like that there is cause for concern and questions. >> it's not just the leaking, you heard reince priebus, back in october, this was a public statement by the intelligence agency saying russia was behind it. president-elect doesn't believe it. >> there's no point trying to sugar-coat this. yes, russia tried to manipulate our election. yes, it's appalling and should be investigated and taken seriously. you look at what wikileaks came out with. most was just gossipy interest except for the memo from a clinton krohny in black and white who explained the clinton foundation was a profit center for bill clinton and people around him. the russians didn't make that up. that was all hillary's own. >> the russians stole it from the democratic national committee with hacking. this is a scary thing that has to be taken out of a partisan context.
one of the best pieces of news this morning is mccain and graham saying we have to get to the bottom of this. i think there are a lot of americans who are very scared, scared that putin manipulated us, worried about rex tillerson, the winner of russia's order of friendship as the secretary of state. and very scared that donald trump and his campaign or his future administration is just in denial. they want to say, no, putin couldn't possibly have done this. it sure looks like putin did this and we all need to take this seriously. >> george, what's concerning to me is it seems like we have somebody going to be the captain of our team but spending more time going to pep rallies than practice. you have people like susan rice who has just meant her counterpart last week. for the first time. lisa montico has not met hers. the president is not getting security briefings on a regular basis.
just as an american, don't we want this team to be ready -- to take the handoff of the baton from the obama administration and be able to protect the country from the threats that we face? >> absolutely. going back to what ej said, it's not about us denying maybe there was an existence. i think the bigger question is the democrats want to say the reason trump won is because this happened. and that's just not true. it happened because hillary clinton was a terrible candidate and donald trump actually had an economic message. >> this is not about hillary clinton anymore. >> that's going to bring me to my second point. whose fault was it? it wasn't like donald trump was in charge of cybersecurity at the dnc. if anyone is to blame it's the democrats. it's obama. his administration did nothing to help stop this. they were in charge. if there's anybody to blame it's the democrats, not donald trump. >> more confidence in vladimir putin's strength than in obama's strength. his closeness to putin is a very scary thing for the country and
the fact that the news was dominated for 33 days i think it was by wikileaks stories, that had an impact on states that -- >> let me bring this back to rich. then you see this possibility of rex tillerson, going back to my question, it seems like he can be in for the roughest ride of everyone? >> yes. you can have republican hawks like john mccain and lindsey graham skeptical of him. and at the same time the democrats will portray him as a climate criminal because he heads a big oil company. he'll be in for tough hearings. >> the closest to putin, the unifying issues between the republican critics and democrats. >> listen, we lived through a week where fidel castro died and everybody talked about him being a thug and a bully. when you ask question about putin he never said he's a thug and a bully.
and we ought to do everything we can to contest him. he never said anything that strong. i think there's a question about this administration. is it going to be a pro putin presidency and rex tillerson will have to face questions about that. >> i think all of us need to take a deep breath and can't be true every week the world is ending in some different way. we have judged all presidencies. on the state of the economy and by events. >> i couldn't agree with him more. right now the state of the economy since donald trump has been elected is better than it's been in a long time. i think that we're moving in the right direction. [ talking over one another ] >> let me be very clear. this is not a pro putin presidency. it's a pro america presidency. >> we'll see. >> the number one priority throughout the campaign, through every decision and appointment he has made. >> were you appalled by the reset? >> guys? you're not going to be able to answer that question. we are out of time. we'll have that on the next one. thank you very much. we'll be right back.
from election day. let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning, and welcome to "inside story." i'm monica malpass. let's meet this week's insiders, and they are larry platt, journalist. good morning. welcome to you, sir. ed turzanski, foreign policy analyst. glad to have you back, ed. nelson diaz, former judge and attorney. good morning, sir. thanks for being here. and jan ting, law professor. always a pleasure. thank you so much. gentlemen, let's talk about a few leftover issues, not the least of which just got a ruling this past week. a pennsylvania judge decided to block the audit of philadelphia voting machines. this was a request by one of the candidates, the green party candidate jill stein. she's requested it in a few other states. but her request was denied at this level after the county commissioners had found no