tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN December 16, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PST
craig lived his life and the joy that he brought to so many people. >> sager was just inducted into the sports broadcasting hall of fame. he was just 65 years old. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" starts now. good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. president obama vowing retaliation against russia for interfering in the presidential election in the united states. sources now telling cnn the intelligence community has concluded russian leader vladimir putin personally signed off on the hacking of the u.s. presidential election and get this, they say the hacking is still going on. a sophisticated operation with hacking tools like the ones used by the nsa. president obama is promising consequences. >> i think there's no doubt when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our
elections that we need to take action and we will. at a time and place of our own choosing. some of it may be explicit and publicized. some of it may not be. but putin is aware of this because i spoke to him directly. >> russia's message to the white house, prove it. a presidential spokesman says the united states should either stop talking or produce some proof. all of this playing out as president obama gears up for one of his final news conferences and as president-elect trump continues to brush off the intelligence community. we are covering the story from all angles. let's begin with cnn national correspondent suzanne malveaux. >> reporter: we know from the president's npr interview he gave that interview to vladimir putin in china. they had a side line meeting
where he said it was unacceptable and the united states knew russia was behind the hacking that had influenced to a scertain degree the u.s. presidential election. october was when intelligence analysts officially and publicly pointed to russia, the white house saying it would behave in a proportional response to this and it could be a host of things. we know there's a certain degree of public and private shaming of russia as we have seen the president do just in the last couple of weeks. there's also the possibility of economic sanctions or cybersecurity threat of our own. the president also wants to emphasize here that this is not a partisan issue. the hope is here that the incoming president, donald trump, would see it the same way. take a listen to what he said. >> it's very important that we do not let the inter-family argument between americans, the domestic political differences
between democrats and republicans, obscure the need for us to stand together, figure out what it is that the russians are interested in doing in terms of influencing our democratic process, and inoculating ourselves from it. >> reporter: the president also emphasized that this isn't kind of your garden variety type of big power spying on each other espionage. he says it's more like a malicious kind of thing where the chinese are stealing trade secrets and russia trying to influence the u.s. elections. we will try to get more information about this. obviously he will be asked about it at a press conference later this afternoon after 2:00. >> we will check back. suzanne malveaux, reporting live from the white house. donald trump's refusal to assess blame that russia meddled in the election is sparking a gloves-off battle with the white house, what the administration tried to avoid. press secretary josh earnest and
trump locked in a war of words over whether trump knew the attacks were benefiting him. the battle spilling over into trump's home turf, twitter. sara murray follows that part of the story. good morning. >> reporter: look, president obama wanted this sort of peaceful orderly transition of power but a rift is emerging because of russia. now we are seeing the president-elect trading barbs with the white house press secretary. take a listen. >> although this foolish guy, josh earnest, i don't know if he's talking to president obama. you know, having the right press secretary is so important because he is so bad, the way he delivers a message. he can deliver a positive message and it sounds bad. >> it's just a fact, you all have it on tape, that the republican nominee for president was encouraging russia to do
this because he believed it would help his campaign. >> for the first time we are hearing from hillary clinton and her top allies of what they think russia's impact was on the election and john podesta, one of her top aides, wrote a scathing op-ed. i want to read you a portion of it as it relates to the dnc hack. he says when the fbi discovered the russian attack in september 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn democratic national committee officials. now, despite podesta's claims, sources are telling cnn that not only did they send -- did they have federal investigators warn the dnc, they had them warn senior officials. they warned them multiple times. in spite of these warnings, the democratic party did not take any steps to remedy this situation until months later. now, if donald trump, the president-elect, is at all concerned about these reports, of russian meddling in the election or our report that the cyberhacking attempts are continuing, he's certainly not showing it. instead he's taking to twitter to change the subject.
he tweeted are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed the head of the dnc illegally gave hillary the questions to the debate. this is of course donald trump's attempt to change the subject away from russia's role in the election and turn the glare on the media instead. in fact, we have moved past the democratic primary and even past the general election and now the question is, what's donald trump going to do when he's governing in the white house and is he going to take these cyberattacking attempts from russia seriously. >> sara murray, thank you so much. so what exactly are intelligence sources saying about putin's role in the hacking into the dnc and into john podesta's e-mails? with that side of the story is evan perez. good morning. >> good morning. russian spy agencies we are told deployed sophisticated hacking tools, the ikind used by the ns to break into u.s. political organizations in the past year. officials tell cnn this is part of the reason why intelligence officials believe russian
president vladimir putin ordered the disinformation operation that targeted mostly the democratic party groups and hillary clinton's presidential campaign. julian assange who heads wikileaks which published some of these e-mails told sean hannity the intelligence assessment is all wrong. take a listen. >> our source is not the russian government. >> in other words, let me be clear, russia did not give you the podesta documents or anything from the dnc? >> that's correct. >> we are told that the investigators haven't found any evidence directly linking these hacks and disinformation to putin but officials believe because of the nature of this operation, we have hhe would ha give the orders to what to do with the stolen e-mails. intelligence has collected a lot more to back up their assessment. meantime, the hacking hasn't stopped. law enforcement sources tell cnn they are investigating hacks
after the election targeting clinton campaign staffers, saying they received security notices as recently as last week indicating there were attempts to get into their private e-mail accounts. despite the fact russia is expecting a warmer relationship with the united states now that donald trump has been elected, officials tell us they expect the russian hacking attempts are going to continue unabated. >> i want to continue this conversation with cnn intelligence and security analyst and former cia operative bob baer and cnn senior international correspondent matthew chance. welcome to both of you. evan, i just want to focus on julian assange for just a moment. he's being used by some on the right to bolster trump's claims that this is all just political. tell us again why the fbi and cia does not believe assange is credible. >> well, they have -- they say they spent a year looking at this intelligence and by the way, some of this hacking goes
back to attempts to hack into the white house, the state department, the joint chiefs of staff. they have seen the conduct and the type of signatures that these hacking attempts have, and they have been able to trace a lot of this. the nsa and fbi has been working on this for a couple years now. what they have noticed is the same type of behavior. that's one reason why they have, they say they have some very high confidence in the fact that they know the russians were behind this. but the question is, how did this get from russian intelligence into the hands of wikileaks and d.c. leaks and these other web sites. that's the question the fbi is still working to answer, frankly. the cia is a little more forward-leaning. they think they have identified some people who are go-betweens. we don't know exactly what all that evidence entails but we know that in october, the director of national intelligence and homeland security department said publicly that they believe the russians were behind this and they provided these e-mails. >> bob, just to clarify, to be clear, there could have been a
middleman between the russian hackers and julian assange. maybe julian assange didn't realize where the information was coming from? >> well, julian assange should know by now that he hasn't been hacking russians or any of our enemies. you look at his whole operation, it's directed against the united states. i just don't believe him. he's not credible. the people at the cia and national security agency have incredible forensic abilities to trace e-mails, to trace the origins of these hackings, and the overwhelming consensus is this came out of russia and one of the outlets was wikileaks. i'm going to go with the intelligence community. >> so matthew, russia is saying hey, prove it, we're innocent in all of this. is that what they're saying essentially? >> they are saying that. and so is president-elect trump, of course, saying there's no evidence for this. and they have a point, don't
they, because we haven't got anything in terms of concrete proof that we can say look, this is absolutely beyond the shadow of a doubt drawing a line between these hacks and the kremlin. we have a lot of allegations. we have a lot of circumstantial evidence and certainly, bob is exactly right to say it's only those who were seen as critics of the president who have been hacked. nobody who is seen as friendly to the kremlin was seen as hacked. of course, there's a powerful motive on the part of the kremlin as well and russian security forces. they didn't want somebody like hillary clinton with outspoken anti-russian views in many cases to take on the white house when they had the option of somebody like donald trump, who has expressed very sympathetic views towards russia's position on various issues around the world, not least syria. so there is a strong motive that russia would have been attempting to try and put his thumb on the scales as it were in the election. the question we are arguing
about is the extent to which they went to try and achieve that goal. >> so evan, just help our viewers understand why circumstantial evidence may be enough to prove that russia is behind this. >> well, i think part of the forensic work that's going on right now, the white house wants the intelligence community to produce enough information that they can disseminate publicly. they will declassify some of the stuff and the obama administration knows that come january 20th, this is a totally different conversation. this is not something the trump administration is likely to do. so we expect that in the next 30 or so days, we are going to see a report that's going to be declassified and provided to members of congress and some of this will be sent out to the public to provide at least a little bit of more context and a little bit more proof because i think matthew is pointing out correctly that a lot of this stuff is being produced by intelligence agencies that are necessarily doing stuff in
secret and we don't have, we are not privy to all of that information. i think we expect that in the next 30 or so days we will get a lot more information that will give us a sense of what they are working with. >> so bob, is it possible as donald trump has intimated that there are some within the cia who are working to delegitimize his election victory? >> well, he's right in a sense because john brennan, the director, was very political during the elections which i think was a mistake. the people who do the computer stuff, hacking and the rest of it no, they are generally conservative, they are not -- they weren't hillary supporters or activists or the rest of it. i agree with evan, we have to get this information out. i would say, i would get it out this weekend, at least brief the electoral college. because the electoral college was established to determine if there was foreign influence in an american election.
maybe there was, maybe there wasn't. before they vote on monday, they should certainly be briefed on this. >> so bob, you are saying that the cia should declassify some information because it's important for americans to know. >> i would go beyond that. if in fact russia was trying to influence the elections in this country, that was an act of war. i think the american public should know and see the evidence that it was attacked by russia. i haven't seen the evidence so i can't tell you. but i'm very firm about that. >> interesting. so matthew, how are the russian people reacting to this? are they sitting back and kind of chuckling? >> i don't know. it's an interesting question. look, on the face of it, russians in general get most of their news from state television and state television has been very firm in reflecting the kremlin is a conduit for the views of the kremlin which is
it's got nothing to do with us, this is made up to make russia look bad to the incoming trump administration. at the same time, if you scratch the surface of that, i think there's a sort of twisted kind of national pride almost amongst russians that they are seen as having the power to be able to reach that far and to be able to do something they have never been able to do before, which is influence the outcome of the u.s. presidential election. i mean, it may or may not be true. i agree with bob, i would like to see some actual hard evidence of what we are going on here, but you know, yeah, i think there's a sort of pride that russians think they have been able to do this. whether or not it's true. >> have to leave it there. thanks to all of you. still to come, donald trump is firing back at claims that russia influenced the election that withoput him in the white . will his perspective change in the oval office?
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president-elect trump standing firm in his dismissal of russia's role in the u.s. election, instead attacking the white house. let's talk about that and more. i'm joined by former george w. bush political direct joorn chairman of the american conservative union, matt schlapp, a trump campaign surrogate. welcome. >> thank you. good to be with you. >> nice to have you here. u.s. intelligence agencies say not only did russia hack into the dnc, but did so at putin's orders. why isn't donald trump calling putin up on the phone and asking him what's up with this, because they appear to have a very warm relationship? >> well, first of all, we don't really know how those conversations are going both at the principal level and the staff level. i think, look, i was a trump
supporter. you can imagine after seeing this effort to try to influence this vote of the electors which i don't think i have ever seen in my lifetime, the fact people want to get to these electors and brief them and talk to them before they do the will of the people from their state who they are supposed to represent in this vote. it all looks so political. i think it's unfortunate that we are politicizing all these questions. i think having a very clear explanation of the facts that we know on the ground from these different agencies from the fbi, from the cia, from the other important agencies, i think would be very important. i think instead what we're seeing is a lot of people talking about what they heard people say inside these agencies or reporters saying i talked to sources -- >> not exactly. not exactly. because earlier this month, the cia did tell a top group of u.s. senators that russia's hacks were aimed at helping trump. this is what senator dianne feinstein, vice chair of the senate intelligence committee, told wolf blitzer. >> we have had a number of
briefings, they go back to the midsummer. they involved the leadership of the intelligence committees. i have been on the committee for 15 years. i have been chair for six. rank vice chair for two. i have never seen a more specific top level briefing with statements of high confidence when questions were asked. it's clear to me that this is a very serious situation, and i don't want to see the relationship with russia get worse. >> okay. so matt, it's not just sources out there saying stuff and spreading rumors. dianne feinstein can't say exactly what the intelligence services told her because as you well know, she cannot because of the role in which she serves for the u.s. government, so it's more than that. it's very serious.
high powered republicans, by the way, also agree with her, many of them. >> well, all i'm saying is that the politics are swirled throughout this. if this is as serious as mr. brennan and others are saying, i don't just want to hear from dianne feinstein even though i have respect for her. congress is a bipartisan -- >> what about lindsey graham, mitch mcconnell, john mccain? >> let me finish. congress is a bipartisan institution. i think the committees much jurisdiction should of course ask all the tough questions. of course the american voters should know exactly what did or did not happen. i also think we have to look at something else which i think should be part of the reporting as well, which is president obama's administration has left us very vulnerable. every time the president comes out and blames vladimir putin and others in the russian government, i think we also have to look at ourselves. this is where espionage goes in the 21st century. america has to be able to protect itself. >> president obama is vowing retaliation. >> it already happened.
why didn't he stop it? why don't we have the ability to protect our electoral process? he's making these charges. actually he's pointing to his own administration's failings to be able to stop in this case they say it's the russians or whoever it is, why can't we stop them? why can't we have the firewalls? if this is so serious, why didn't they do anything to protect us? >> well, the president said that he was in a dilemma, right, because there were allegations from donald trump himself saying that the election was rigged at the time that the u.s. government was finding out what russia was doing. so you were in the strange place, right, you don't want to -- you don't want to make people less confident about our electoral process by making things public. you want to keep it private. that's why president obama talked privately with vladimir putin and didn't make what he said to putin public. >> i think the problem with that strategy, once again, i'm a trump supporter. the problem with that strategy now, it looks like this is a lot
of sour grapes. the only reason hillary clinton could have lost is because vladimir putin somehow put his thumb on the scale to help donald trump win. for those of us who supported donald trump, we find that incredibly offensive. the reason why hillary clinton is not the president today probably has a lot to do with the fact that -- >> see, no democratic lawmaker is saying that mr. trump should not be president of the united states. >> yes, they are. >> no, they're not. they are not. >> carol -- >> they are not. some democrats within the electoral college may be saying that. but it's not lawmakers and not the president of the united states. >> i didn't accuse the president of the united states. what i'm saying is that the politics are swirled throughout this. why is there such a strategy to say that these electors should be briefed on what potentially mr. brennan has found but the american voter and the american people, why can't we hear exactly what his charges are? why can't we hear it in a way where it is bipartisan? why can't we hear it in a way
where it will build confidence in the fact that we have a strategy to take care of this problem instead of it looking like we are looking at the election that was about a month ago and saying something must have happened because there's no way she could have lost. i don't think that's going to help this country get into the next stage here. >> if indeed intelligence sources are saying that' the hacking is continuing, don't you think it ought to stop? >> we have a cybersecurity emergency in this country. >> exactly. >> this is the way espionage is going. our friends, our allies, our enemies, terrorists, this is a huge problem and i think the obama administration has failed us on it. i don't think it's just about what happened -- >> shouldn't mr. trump do better, then in. >> i guarantee you something. i guarantee you something. by the way, he hasn't been sworn in yet. it's important to keep reminding, we have one president. it's barack obama. >> are you forgetting carrier in indiana? he wa he wasn't president then, either. >> you think he can solve
cybersecurity without any constitutional powers. i don't think he can. i do know this. i know this is a serious problem. i know they will get on top of this problem. this is the way espionage looks in the 21st century. we have to protect american interests and trump's foreign policy will focus on this and every way in which we have to push back on our enemies. sometimes it's our allies who do things that are illegal. >> wait, matt. you're saying mr. trump's tune might change once he becomes president of the united states? >> no. i'm not saying that at all. >> no? okay. >> i'm saying he understands cybersecurity is a massively important issue and the obama administration has not protected us, have not taken the steps they should have to protect us. look, they want to talk about russia in the election. i want to talk about cybersecurity and how it undermines our national security. there are so many serious -- >> you don't think russia's hacking into political entities within the united states is a serious problem? >> no. i think anybody who hacks into the united states --
>> and is also part of our cybersecurity emergency? >> it's a crime and i want to know on this particular question, i watched all your reporting and i think on this particular question, it is a very dangerous game for the intelligence community to not just come clean to the american voter and tell them what they know. they are playing a game of leaks, playing a game of selective briefing and it looks partisan to those of us who support mr. trump. there's a lot of us across the country. if they have something, why don't you just tell us? >> hopefully they will very soon. >> hopefully so. >> i'm with you. thank you for joining me this morning. still to come in the "newsroom" an escape from the horrors in syria denied for thousands as evacuations are again halted. see me. see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know that psoriasis is just something that i have. i'm not contagious. see me to know that... ...i won't stop until i find what works. discover cosentyx, a different kind of medicine for moderate
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good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me. claims of a broken cease-fire, evacuations suspended and thousands left hanging in the balance. that's the situation in aleppo, syria, where people desperate to escape a five-year-old civil war are suddenly forced to stay where they are. cnn senior international correspondent frederick pleitgen joins me with more. hi, fred. >> reporter: you are absolutely right. right now the evacuations out of eastern aleppo have absolutely broken down and it certainly seems as though it's a pretty dangerous, volatile situation there between rebel held enclaves in eastern aleppo and the government forces on the other side. there's claims and counter claims both sides making each other, holding each other responsible for the breakdown of all of this. it seems as though there was a convoy that was supposed to go
from east through the government-held parts of aleppo and then into rebel-held territory. again, that was held up by a bunch of pro-government fighters, claiming the rebels on board the convoy had some weapons with them which they were not allowed to take with them. the rebels for their part are saying the shiite militias that stopped them were angry because there were some evacuations that were supposed to take place in another part of syria that they claimed weren't happening. both sides accusing each other in any case. all of this has halted now those evacuations and there's a lot of people on the ground there of course who are very scared. it's interesting because the russians are now saying they believe that all the evacuations were already completed beforehand. turkey which is also part of all of this is saying that's simply not true, there are still tens of thousands of people in eastern aleppo and they not only need evacuation but also need help, because the situation right now on the ground is absolutely dire. it's very cold, it's been raining the past couple of days
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attorneys general in three states say they will not hesitate to use their power to check and balance mr. trump's washington agenda once he becomes president of the united states, that is. they say they will sue the administration if they think mr. trump is doing something unconstitutional. one of those attorneys general is massachusetts a.g. maura healey who joins me live. welcome. thank you for being here. >> great to be with you. >> nice to have you here.
what do you mean that in essence you will use your office as a check and balance on the president of the united states? >> well, carol, in a state attorneys general will be the first line of defense against potential abuses by the trump statio administration. i will tell you what i mean. if the government going forward backs down and refuses to enforce the law, refuses to protect people's rights, state attorneys general will come forward to do just that. second, we will be there to make sure donald trump and his administration follow the law. this is an administration coming in that has made promises that are really concerning. it's an administration that's promised to take away health care from millions of people, to tear up wall street reform and ignore civil rights. those are serious issues. my job as a state attorney general is to stand up for people, to protect people, to enforce the law. i think the job of state attorneys generals is as important as it's ever been. >> isn't that why we have a congress and supreme court?
we have checks and balances built into the federal system. >> certainly congress has a role here, but let's look at what we mean when we think about things like the mortgage crisis of a few years ago. it was state attorneys generals who stepped forward to take on some of those terrible predatory abuses that really wrecked the economy. congress may pass laws, but at the end of the day it is up to either the department of justice or state attorneys generals to enforce those laws. they are not self-executing. if the federal government refuses to enforce laws that are there to protect consumers, workers, investors, students, you name it, protect our civil rights, then the role of a state attorney general becomes that much more important because day in and day out, our job is to represent people, the interests of our states, and to make sure that the laws are followed. >> so if president-elect trump does what he promises about obamacare as in repeal it on day one, what will your office do?
>> well, i think this is all something we are taking a hard look at right now. it's very concerning, some of the promises that donald trump made throughout the course of his campaign. cutting millions of people off of health care. reversing roe versus wade. tearing up important federal regulatory reforms put in place following the mortgage crisis. this notion of deporting millions of people. >> -- over the repeal of obamacare? >> our job is going to be to enforce the law and donald trump is not above the law, nor will his administration be above the law. our job as attorneys generals is to make sure the laws are enforced and that people are held accountable. that includes donald trump and his administration. it's particularly concerning when you look at some of his nominations. the people he has nominated to head any number of the various departments are people who have spent much of their careers trying to dismantle the very departments that they are now slated to head. so for somebody like me as a state attorney general, when you
look at that and you think about what that might mean in terms of abdication of responsibility, lax enforcement or no enforcement of consumer or investor laws, civil rights laws, it's going to be the role of attorneys general to step forward. >> i know what you're talking about. rex tillerson, right? mr. trump's pick for secretary of state. he was the ceo of exxon. you are currently conducting an investigation into exxon and rex tillerson. tell me about that. >> well, last spring we sent subpoenas to exxon asking for information about what they knew about the impact of burning fossil fuels on the environment and when they knew it. there's been information in the record, in the public, about what exxon knew many decades ago and what it may have misrepresented to the public, including consumers and investors. we simply sent a subpoena asking them to provide information and documents. instead, exxon has thrown up road blocks at every turn, dodged our questions for months, even sued me in federal court to
try to stop my investigation from going forward. so obviously with the nomination of rex tillerson, i like in the first instance for him and his executives and the company to answer the simple questions we have been asking for several months now. he's going to have to answer, it appears as he should, a number of other questions about a number of other important and timely issues. but i would like to have him answer that question. >> i know that rex tillerson, i mean, exxon has implemented some things that might help the environment. so it's not totally against the idea of instituting policies to fight climate change. >> well, carol, our investigation has never been about climate change policy and good for exxon to the extent they have caught up with the rest of the science community in acknowledging that climate change is real. what our concern and when we want to get answers to is what exxon knew when, including
decades ago, about the impact of its product and fossil fuel on the environment and what it told consumers and investors. it's an important issue and what's discouraging to me and what has been very frustrating to me as a state attorney general is that this is a corporation that instead of complying with the law has chosen to sue a state attorney general's office in federal court in an effort to shut down an inquiry, to shut down and cut off questions from being asked. i say to rex tillerson, i say to exxon, nobody is above the law. answer our questions. whether that happens now in a confirmation hearing or whether it happens by them simply doing what they should be doing in answering our questions, providing us with the documents, i hope they come forward. i hope they come clean on this. >> have to leave it there. thank you so much for joining me this morning. still to come in the "newsroom," guilty on all counts. the gunman in last summer's church massacre could soon face the death penalty. we will take you to charleston next. my name is pam.
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dylann roof convicted on all charges in last summer's massacre inside the emmanuel ame church. roof standing silently as each verdict was read, guilty, 33 times over. this crime shaking america's core, shooting at point-blank range at nine african-americans who moments before had been praying with him. next month a jury will decide
whether he gets life behind bars or death. i talked with one victim's brother last hour. >> if there's any case in america where the death penalty is deserved, it is this one. he's a coward. he's a racist. as i said earlier, there's no place in a civilized society for him and there's no place in america's smallest jail for him. so i believe as the attorney general has recommended this case to be a capital case, that he ought to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the raw. >> cnn's nick valencia live in charleston with more. hi, nick. >> reporter: good morning. six days of testimony, nearly two hours of deliberation for the jurors, unanimously to find dylann roof guilty on all charges. it was a very emotional day in the courtroom yesterday, as you can imagine. i was standing two rows behind dylann roof. his hand noticeably fidgeting, his ears turning red as each of those counts was read back-to-back, guilty on all
counts. perhaps the most emotion coming from the family members of the victims, those that had to stand and watch the prosecution in their closing arguments, the defense in their closing arguments, painting him as a loner, a white supremacist who was inspired by the internet. the prosecution simply saying there's hatred in this courtroom. those family members as they heard the guilty verdicts, some of them wiped tears from their eyes. others bowed their head in prayer. perhaps the most emotional moment came during the closing arguments for the prosecution, when they unexpectedly showed a photo of the bloody crime scene, the bloody bodies of the worshippers lying down at the bible study. sanders seemingly reaching out to comfort his aunt who was also shot and killed. some of the family members, as you can imagine, are conflicted about whether or not he should receive the death penalty. we spoke to one of them earlier. >> love heals, love destroys, just like in this particular
situation. he thought he was starting a race war but look at what love conquered. look at the unity and how charleston came together. >> reporter: the penalty phase is next. that will happen on january 3rd. dylann roof is expected to represent himself during that penalty phase against the advice of the judge. roof asked yesterday if he understood what this meant. he says yes, he had spoken to it with his family and he still plans to represent himself when court reconvenes next month. >> nick valencia, thank you. checking some other top stories for you. j it' isn't clear whether they will be charged as adults but everything is on the table, says the prosecutor. the tennessee fires left 14 people dead and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. effective immediately, the state of michigan will have
self-driving cars on the road. general motors is the second car giant to fully test autonomous cars on public roads. ford began testing its cars last year. gm will test their modified chevy bolt around the detroit metro area in the next few months. bundle up because man, it's freezing outside. i mean that literally. nearly 80% of the country faced with below freezing temperatures today and those temperatures will continue to be frigid into the next week. the northeast is under a deep freeze advisory with wind chill warnings that could cause travel delays. meantime, the northern plains into the great lakes is expected to get smacked with nearly one foot of snow. just think, i'm going to detroit in just a few hours. first lady michelle obama now opening up in a candid conversation about donald trump. in a sit-down with oprah, mrs. obama for the first time revealing her feelings about the man set to assume her husband's role as commander in chief and when our k what our country needs from him. >> having a grown-up in the
white house who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil hey, it's going to be okay, let's remember the good things that we have, let's look at the future, let's look at all the things that we're building, all of this is important for our kids to stay focused and to feel like their work isn't in vain, that their lives aren't in vain. >> cnn's suzanne malveaux with more on this at the white house. good morning. >> reporter: just a couple days after the election, i covered michelle obama hosting melania trump at the white house and unlike her husband, there were not live cameras capturing the moment but rather a white house photo released of the two of them having tea. it is obvious here that the first lady is going through a process, if you will. she put in a lot of sweat equity on the campaign trail, expended a lot of personal and political capital, often calling trump, excoriating trump's character, often not even by name but
saying we don't need somebody who will pop off at the white house. we need a grownup. she's said that numerous times. i think what you are seeing here is a first lady who is profoundly disappointed and is willing to show openly, publicly, her feelings about it. take a listen to this. >> we are feeling what not having hope feels like, you know. hope is necessary. it's a necessary concept and barack didn't just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. i mean, he and i and so many believe that what else do you have if you don't have hope? what do you give your kids if you can't give them hope? >> reporter: carol, obviously trump supporters would say that the new president gives them hope, speaks to their dreams and aspirations, but first lady michelle obama leaves the white
house with an approval rating close to 64%, according to the latest gallup poll. it's led many people to ask her, call her to run for president herself herself. to that she says no, thank you. >> i understand why. suzanne malveaux, thanks so much. still to come in the "newsroom" hillary clinton called it an epidemic. now facebook says it's taking steps to wipe out fake news. we will tell you how. say hi to xiidra, lifitegrast ophthalmic solution. the first eye drop approved for the signs and symptoms of dry eye. one drop in each eye, twice a day. common side effects include eye irritation, discomfort or blurred vision when applied to the eye, and an unusual taste sensation. do not touch the container tip to your eye or any surface.
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fact checking on facebook? it could be coming soon. to a status update near you. that's what i was trying to say. that's only with the help of users worldwide. brian stelter is here to explain much more clearly than i just did. good morning. >> i don't know about that. this is an interesting development from facebook, the world's biggest social network with almost two billion users. some of what we see on our news feeds these days is downright fake, made up. the stories that trick people. one of the famous examples from the campaign was a story saying the pope had endorsed donald trump. of course, the pope had not endorsed anybody. so these stories have become a plague on facebook and elsewhere. the company now says it's trying to take steps against that. here's part of what it says it will do now. >> if you suspect a news story is fake, you can report it.
it just takes a few taps. your report helps us track and prevent fake news from spreading. >> that's the idea. on facebook, when you see a story you believe is incorrect, completely made up, you can report it. fact checkers, groups that are working with facebook, will take a look at the story and if it's determined it is totally false, just a complete hoax, there will be a flag on the story that says this is in dispute by third party fact checkers, take a look at the information. >> who are the fact checkers? >> that's the key. it will be groups like abc, the a.p. and others. other organizations can join facebook in this. mark zuckerberg's big message is he's not the one deciding what's true or not. it is established, reputable news organizations. already in the hours since this has been announced we have heard from mostly right wing media outlets saying this does not seem fair. we don't trust outlets like
politifact. >> such as? >> breitbart, infowars, the popular drudge report has been making much of this saying this is the thought police out to get information. there is concern here about a slippery slope. this starts by trying to weed out total hoaxes but the concern is they will be trying to weed out unpopular opinions. here's what zuckerberg said about that. he just posted a comment trying to assuage people's concerns, saying i understand how sensitive this is and instructed our team to proceed carefully and focus on fighting spam, not flagging opinions. he also says he wants more fact-checking organizations to join in. he wants more groups to be helping weed out hoaxes on facebook. this is really complex and i think what's most important of all, no matter what these fact checkers do, it's ultimately about the users. if people want to believe totally bogus stories, there's nothing facebook can do about that. >> i'm sure you will be talking about this over the weekend, right? >> we are. it's a problem i think the whole news industry grapples with right now.
it's not just facebook's problem. it's twitter, google, and also about user responsibility. >> ultimately bottom line, right? the media, especially me, wants to restore the faith in media and what we are telling people is true. maybe that will all play into that. i don't know. >> there's a shared responsibility here. >> thank you for stopping by. thank you for joining me today. "at this hour with berman and bolduan" starts now. hello. i'm john berman. >> i'm kate bolduan. from foes to something of friends to foes once again. i'm not just talking about the two of us. i'm talking about the fragile truce between president obama and the president-elect. it is showing signs of crumbling fast today. why? one word. russia. president obama now promising to retaliate against russia for interfering in the u.s. election. russia just responded, saying prove it. the man in the middle, donald trump.