Obama Administration Certain Russia Behind Hacking; Trump Quotes Assange on Hacking Allegations; Ceasefire Inside Syria Reached Without



Assange on Hacking Allegations; Ceasefire Inside Syria Reached Without

U.S.; Officials: Gunman Identified Still On The Run; Israeli Soldier Found

Guilty Of Manslaughter; Trump's Unusual Approach to the Presidency; Major

Fight Looming Over Obamacare; U.S. Military Families Practice South Korea

Evacuation; Faraday Future Unveils New Car. Aired 3-4p ET - Part 2>

Byers, Alexandra Field, Samuel Burke>

hacking of American election. President-elect Trump quotes WikiLeaks

founder Julian Assange to cast further doubt on the U.S. intelligence

community's report of Russia being behind election hacks. Presidential

historian weighs in on Donald Trump's unprecedented approach to the

presidency as he prepares to take office. A major Congressional showdown

looms between Republican and Democrat representatives as they fight over

the repeal of Obamacare. As South Korea keeps a close eye on Pyongyang,

American troops and their families in South Korea run evacuation drills to

prepare in the event of a real threat. A major hiccup foils Faraday

Future's unveiling of its flashy new electric car in this year's Consumer

Electronics Show.>

Technology; Government; Russia; Donald Trump; Middle East; Syria;

Terrorism; Istanbul; Europe; Brexit; Trials; Israel >

Still ahead, he seems to trust Julian Assange more than the American intelligence community when it comes to allegations of Russian hacking. We'll talk more about Donald Trump's tweets that have many people scratching their heads. We'll be right back.


[15:31:49] GORANI: Turkey says it has identified the gunman who killed 39 people in a shooting rampage at the Reina nightclub. He's still on the run, though, and video from inside the nightclub after the attack shows bullet holes and discarded purses, shoes, and hats, presumably left behind by victims or people fleeing the gunman.

Britain has a new ambassador to the European Union. His name is Tim Barrow. He was, previously, British Ambassador to Russia. Meanwhile, we're learning more about why his predecessor abruptly stepped down. In a letter to his colleagues, Ivan Rogers hit out at what he called ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking.

Donald Trump is quoting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to cast further doubt on U.S. intelligence findings that Russia is behind election-related cyber attacks. In a new interview, Assange denies that Russia was the source of e-mails stolen from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. He says even a 14-year-old kid could have done it. But even some of Trump's fellow Republicans say Assange is not exactly an objective credible source. House Speaker Paul Ryan, for instance, calls him, quote, "a sycophant for Russia."

Let's bring in CNN's Dylan Byers, our senior reporter for media and politics. Let's talk more about sort of these Trump tweets and Trump using the Assange name to try to sort of pour, you know, cold water on the idea that Russia hacked the election to help him win.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Well, it's really unprecedented, Hala, because what you have here is you have an incoming President of the United States effectively disagreeing and even sort of going to, you know, sort of public war with his own spies, going against his own intelligence community in favor of the opinions of Julian Assange who, six years ago, Donald Trump said was disgraceful.

He said the actions of WikiLeaks were disgraceful, and he even suggested that Julian Assange should face the death penalty because of what he had done and what he had exposed.

Now, that there's a question in the intelligence community about Russian interference in our election process, a suggestion that WikiLeaks might have played a role in hurting Hillary Clinton, now all of a sudden, he seems sort of very much warm toward Julian Assange. As has Sarah Palin, as has Sean Hannity, the Fox News anchor. It's a total about face from where they were when the WikiLeaks phenomenon first began.

GORANI: And it's interesting that you mentioned that not all Republicans, even, are on board. I mean, the top Senate Republican Lindsey Graham had this to say about allegations of Russian hacking.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Mr. Assange is a fugitive from the law hiding in an embassy who has a history of undermining American interests. I hope no American will be duped by him. You shouldn't give him any credibility. Look at his record in terms of how he treats our country, and he seems not to be concerned at all by Russia, Iran, or North Korea.

So I hope the President-elect will get his information and trust the American patriots who work in the intelligence community who swear oath and allegiance to the constitution and not some guy hiding from the law who has a record of undercutting and undermining American democracy.


[15:35:14] GORANI: So it's interesting that we're seeing some division there within the Republican Party as Donald Trump prepares to take office. Lindsey Graham, among others, is saying, look, Russia is not a friend, and we need to believe our intelligence community. They are great patriots. What does this tell us about what happens once Donald Trump actually becomes President?

BYERS: Well, after Donald Trump won the election, he certainly saw Republicans sort of opening, even Republicans who had been critical of him throughout the campaign as well as those who had supported him, they all sort of got behind him. There was this idea that he won, he was the President-elect, and it was time to work together. And you heard a lot of that rhetoric coming from Republicans on the Hill, in the House, in the Senate, certainly from Paul Ryan.

But there is a line. There's a line for all these people, and, you know, there's a certain base fundamental presumption in American democracy that you trust your intelligence officials. You trust the intelligence community, that these entities need to be working together.

Trump is effectively in a posture that is very reminiscent of his campaign rhetoric, of someone not who has won the presidency but someone who is still trying to win the presidency. He seems to be going against everything, and what it suggests is that he will not necessarily have the support of many Republicans if he chooses to continue to wage war with his own intelligence community rather than get behind them, listen to what they have to say, and use what they have to say to inform his thinking on foreign policy as President of the United States.

GORANI: Yes, he does appear a little bit alone on this one. Thanks very much, Dylan Byers, our senior reporter in L.A.

BYERS: Thank you.

GORANI: How unusual is Donald Trump's approach as he prepares to take office and how does it compare to past presidents? Let's bring in Timothy Naftali in New York. He's a CNN presidential historian and the former director of the Nixon Presidential Library.

Thank you, Timothy, for being with us. So how unprecedented is it for a President-elect to say something like this in public, in this case on Twitter, saying, essentially, Julian Assange says this, Julian Assange says that, so there you go, here's your proof that the Russians didn't do it, and by the way, the intelligence, you know, is not necessarily credible. Is this completely unprecedented?

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, FORMER DIRECTOR, RICHARD NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM: Yes, it's completely unprecedented. Donald Trump seems to be trying to reinvent the modern presidency. I mean, after all, we haven't had Twitter all that long. But the fact of the matter is, presidents before Twitter, presidents before social media, in the transition period, were pretty quiet. I mean, they didn't try to establish new policies for the United States until the current President was gone. There was a principle of one President at a time.

What's very interesting about Donald Trump, and what we're all going to watch, is the extent to which he uses social media to create public pressure for his policies and to weaken whatever his adversaries are saying, whether they're GOP adversaries because he attacked House Republicans for changing the ethics laws the other day. So his adversaries are not just Democrats, they are also, at times, Republicans.


NAFTALI: I think the key challenge, though, for him and his presidency, is the nature of information. You see, he challenged the U.S. intelligence community's assessment of the role of Russia in the hacking scandal without actually ever reading the intelligence. He hasn't had the briefing yet. The briefing, apparently, is scheduled for Friday now. Imagine somebody coming out and attacking intelligence he hasn't even read.


NAFTALI: So his challenge is to figure out --

GORANI: But he's setting the agenda. He's doing it effectively, right? He did it during the campaign. He's doing it now effectively as far as he's concerned during the transition period, right, because he tweets, for instance, against that move to gut the ethics office on Capitol Hill for the House of Representatives. A few hours later, that initiative is pulled. So from the President-elect's perspective, it works.

NAFTALI: Well, I mean, he's not President yet. Let's see how effective --

GORANI: The President-elect, yes.

NAFTALI: No, but I'm saying that I'm not sure how effective it's going to be in foreign policy to distance yourself from your allies or probable allies in Congress. There's some very strong-willed, very knowledgeable Congressional leaders, Republican congressional leaders, who know an awful lot about foreign policy, and he's got to be wary of getting too far ahead of them.

So I agree, there's been some gains. The Carrier business, this was his attempt to secure some jobs that might have gone to Mexico. That seemed helpful to him. But we haven't yet seen how he's going to function as President, and I'm not sure that the presidency by tweet will be as easy for him as the President-elect transition by tweet has been so far.

[15:40:25] GORANI: Let me ask you a little bit about what you think the relationship with Russia will be like, how it will evolve from the current frosty relationship, one could argue, between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Many overtures on Twitter. For instance, Donald Trump said good move on Vladimir Putin's part not to retaliate to the measures taken by the Obama administration in retaliation for meddling in the U.S. elections. So, you know, he's making overtures, so we could expect that relationship to change.

NAFTALI: Well, I'm one of those people who assesses foreign policy relationships by the interest of the country, not by the personalities of the people in power. I'm going to be looking and many of us will be looking to see if Russia and the United States can have similar interests in the near abroad and the former eastern European empire.

Will Trump and Putin agree about Ukraine? Will Trump and Putin agree about Syria? Will Trump and Putin agree about Israel and the settlements? It's not clear to me how far this bromance can shape the basic challenges and the tensions between the national interests of the United States and the national interests of Russia.

GORANI: Now, one last question, and this is an open-ended one. And it's very difficult to answer in a short amount of time, but, I mean, as a presidential historian, as you look forward, as you look into the future to a Trump presidency, I mean, what is the first question you'll want answered? What is the first thing you'll be looking out for?

NAFTALI: Well, I'll be -- and historians are lousy at prediction, OK?


NAFTALI: So let's let everybody out there understand that, but --

GORANI: We've all been lousy at predictions, trust me.

NAFTALI: No, but I just want --

GORANI: The last few years. Yes.


NAFTALI: American presidents tend to try to establish their presidency very quickly and very early on. Donald Trump has made some contradictory promises to the American people. On the one hand, pushing for the repeal of Obamacare; on the other hand, retaining some of the benefits of Obamacare. He's talked about approaches to Syria which would involve working with Russia, but some of the things he wants to achieve in Syria might not be possible if we're too close to Russia.

What I'm looking forward to seeing is how he resolves the tensions within the rhetoric that he used to win the election. And he's going to be trying to do that very soon in his presidency. So we have a lot to look forward to, a lot to watch, and it's very hard to predict what will happen, but I'm sure it will be interesting.

GORANI: But if he continues to use this communication method, Twitter, you know, threatening corporations, making big policy pronouncements in 140 characters, I mean, what will the impact of that be?

NAFTALI: Well, look, it's very hard to imagine that you can establish policies in 140 characters. You can establish the personality of the White House. At a certain point, he's going to have to establish a real communications operation, and he's going to have to work with the leaders in Congress. And the leaders in Congress, the Republican leaders in Congress, have a different agenda.

If you look at the details, they actually have quite a different agenda from his. How those tensions are going to work themselves out is hard to say, but it's clear there's a tension there. So this doesn't even involve the Democrats. I haven't even mentioned what the Democrats might do. I'm just talking about the basic tension between the Congressional Republicans and Donald Trump who, in many ways, many Republicans don't consider a Republican.

GORANI: All right. Timothy Naftali, thanks very much. Pleasure having you on. Really appreciate it.

NAFTALI: My pleasure, Hala. Thank you.

GORANI: Speaking of Republicans and Democrats on the Hill, they've only been back at work for two days, but they're already fighting over the future of American health care. Barack Obama, himself, made a trip to Congress in an effort to save his Affordable Care Act. It's popularly known as Obamacare. Republicans have vowed to repeal it, but Democrats say simply scrapping the plan is not good enough. Listen.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Obamacare has worked a hardship on American families, on American businesses, and in a very simple conclusion, the American people have sent new leadership here because Obamacare has failed. And it's been rejected by the American people.

NANCY PELOSI, MINORITY LEADER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The Republicans say repeal and replace. The only thing that has going for it is alliteration. They have no replacement plan. They have no replacement plan because they can't agree. They don't have the votes for a replacement plan. So to repeal and then delay is an act of cowardice. That means we don't really know what we're doing.


[15:45:19] GORANI: Well, you heard from Mike Pence, the Vice President- elect; Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, there with their very different points of view on repealing Obamacare. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

Preparing for the worst, U.S. military families in South Korea practice evacuation routes as they keep a wary eye on the latest threats from the North.

And hundreds of thousands of people are in Las Vegas for the big Consumer Electronics Show. We'll show you some of the newest products in just a few minutes.


GORANI: South Korea says it's keeping a close eye on Pyongyang. It normally does especially after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says he is close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile. American troops in South Korea are ready for an escalation. And in a CNN exclusive, Alexandra Field shows how even the kids of military families are getting ready.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, just from the back?

NICOLE MARTINEZ, UNITED STATES MILITARY VETERAN: You're like a fish in a fish tank, Brianna.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Brianna Martinez, home is a place that's still technically at war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, this will protect your child from a chemical and biological agent to up to 12 hours, so that we can evacuate --

FIELD (voice-over): The Martinezes are an American military family currently based in South Korea where U.S. forces could, one day, be called to respond to threats from North Korea, a looming possibility that could leave American civilians on the peninsula looking for safety.

FIELD (on camera): Do the girls understand what kind of emergency they're practicing for?

MARTINEZ: We told the girls that Korea was at war at one point, so we come over here to defend what we fought for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As soon as you're set, let me know.

FIELD (voice-over): The South Korean and the U.S. military regularly run joint drills to maintain their readiness, but this drill is for American military families. It shows them how their soldiers could help them evacuate if tensions between the North and the South turn into conflict. Nicole Martinez and her family volunteered for the practice run that also helps the Army prepare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome aboard, Trek 06, operated by the Alaska International Guard.

FIELD (voice-over): The families learn where to assembly in case of an emergency, manmade or otherwise. They're shown what they'll be allowed to pack and how the military will keep track of them. The drill sends them South. They spend two days hopscotching by bus and by helicopter between U.S. installations before reaching a South Korean airfield and flying out.

FIELD (on camera): In the event of a real threat, the U.S. State Department would decide how many Americans and their families would need to evacuate. In order to get people off the peninsula quickly, the Army says it would likely send families to safe havens right here in the region, places like Okinawa, Japan. This is somewhere that families could take shelter before planning that much longer trip back to the States.

[15:50:18] FIELD (voice-over): Real world lessons for American children seeing a different part of the world.

FIELD (on camera): Do your kids know the name, Kim Jong-un?

MARTINEZ: They don't. We haven't touched on that, but our military kids aren't -- this is what they learn in school. They know what's going on. They know that they have to keep up with current events that are going on around the world.

FIELD (voice-over): Raising a family in South Korea, Martinez, who is a veteran, says she feels safe. She doesn't worry about a threat. She knows it's possible, but she wants her children to learn how to prepare.

Alexandra Field, CNN, Seoul, South Korea.


GORANI: Coming up, from zero to 100 kilometers an hour in just over two seconds, it sounds impressive but not everything about the Faraday Future car's big unveiling went according to plan. We'll be right back.


GORANI: New Year means new tech, and the annual gathering of innovators in Las Vegas to find the next big thing is unfolding. A lot of chatter has been around Faraday Future. It's an electric car startup and it unveiled its flashy new product. There was, however, just one issue.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. It seems like it's a little bit lazy tonight.


GORANI: The car was supposed to move on its own after an investor prompted it, but it didn't. Not a great presentation to kick things off for the company. CNN Tech Correspondent Samuel Burke is there in Las Vegas.

Let's talk about this company. It was a hiccup at the debut. I mean, how embarrassing was it? Was does it say about the actual car?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: It was pretty embarrassing for the company, Hala, though that same thing happened to Steve Jobs, so maybe it's a good omen for them. This company, Faraday Future, is quite mysterious. They want to be a competitor to Tesla, but they've been all talk, no walk until last night when they showed their first production vehicle.

As you mentioned, zero to nearly 100 kilometers per hour in just 2.39 seconds in front of us. The car has a range -- of course, it's an electric car, so this is the most important part about it -- of about 611 kilometers on just one charge.

Maybe if you're the type of person who loses their keys, Hala, you don't strike me as that type of person, but maybe you can use facial recognition to get in the car. And if you are too tired to look for a parking spot or just can't find one, you can actually get out of the car and let it do the searching for you, and then it'll just back into a space. Of course, if it works. And that is after that big hiccup. It left people with some questioning marks.

Still, a lot of excitement around this company. A Chinese billionaire who created the equipment of China's Netflix is the big backer of this. So we'll see. But for now, it's living in Tesla's shadow, that's for sure.

GORANI: Is it on sale yet?

BURKE: Oh, well, you can pre-reserve it. And they don't tell you how much it will cost. Probably between $100,000 and $200,000, Hala, you can pre- reserve it for $5,000 now. Refundable, don't worry, Hala. So I'm sure you'll fork out for a holiday gift for me.

GORANI: Yes, right. I wouldn't even fork it out for a holiday gift for myself. We hear you have some wearable technology that could improve people's health. What's that about?

[15:55:10] BURKE: Well, because I forgot to give you a holiday gift --

GORANI: Oh, we have a show and tell. Get ready, everyone.


BURKE: -- I'll be bringing you this. I won't be falling live on your show the way I did last year on that skateboard, but this is actually quite interesting because it has to do with health. And so often people say, well, CES is cool but what do they do to improve people's lives?

This is a scarf, actually, made for people who live in climates that might have a lot -- or rather, the environments that might have a lot of pollution in them. So it's a scarf that disguises -- you can be like this and be on your bicycle maybe -- disguises what's really inside it, a pollution mask. They have them for men and for women. So I'll be coming back to London with this for you. It costs about 150 euros.

That's a big holiday gift for you, Hala. It's worth it just being a few days late. That's all.

GORANI: But in Asia, I was in Asia recently and a lot of people, I'd say a vast majority of people, actually wear masks to protect themselves against the pollution and germs.

BURKE: Oh, yes, and in Mexico City, you see a lot of folks like that, too. It's a French company, actually, and they said they're going to be pushing hard in Asia and some of those cities that are so well known for having such high pollutants.

GORANI: But that kind of looks like a baby onesie for some reason, to me, from this distance. It does, right? Doesn't it?

Drones. Talk to us about drones. Some new security measures that companies are putting in place.

BURKE: Hala, CES has become all about drones in the past few years. DJI, I remember when that company was just a little small startup. They're still waiting to come and talk to us now that they're the biggest drone manufacturer in the world.

This drone that you're seeing right now actually folds up to the size of a water bottle, Hala, but it is important to talk about the security measures because now that there are so many more drones, so pervasive, you know, governments, airports, all around the world trying to figure out what to do. You remember that story that we had back in London of drones actually bringing drugs into a prison not too far from your studio?

Well, now, they have what's called geofencing, Hala. These maps that live inside these drones are actually looking around and already have preset areas so they can't go to those areas. So even if I try to fly a drone to a prison which, obviously, I won't be doing any time soon, it will stop me from doing that. The same for the White House. You get too close to the White House, even if you want to keep on going, the drone will stop you. So we're seeing a lot, not just the rise of drones, but what to do to stop drones.

GORANI: Right, yes. That's interesting and also, I mean, quite necessary. You don't want all these drones flying in sensitive areas. Thanks very much, Samuel Burke. We'll see you soon.

This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. We'll see you same time, same place tomorrow. I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for being with us. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.



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