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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump: Sprint Bringing Back 5,000 Jobs, No Specifics Yet; Trump Blasts Obama, Then Changes Tone; Trump: I am "Very, Very Strong" on Israel; Obama Administration to Announce Russia Retaliation; Debbie Reynolds Dead At 84. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 28, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:09] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Jim Sciutto, in again tonight for Anderson.
And we begin tonight with President-elect Donald Trump speaking briefly with reporters a short time ago and contradicting himself on something he wrote just earlier today on Twitter, with little more than three weeks go until inauguration day. Mr. Trump has been taking swipe after swipe at President Obama on Twitter and the president has been jabbing back. Today, he suggested the transition isn't going so well, but then just a short time ago at Mar-a-Lago he said it is going smoothly and he and the president had a very nice conversation.
He spoke for less than two minutes starting with an announcement about jobs. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: We just had some very good news, because of what's happening and the spirit and the hope, I was just called by the head people at Sprint. And they are going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States. They are taking them from other countries. They are bringing them back to the United States. And Masa and some other people were very much involved in that. So, I want to thank them.
And also, One Web, a new company, is going to be hiring 3,000 people. So, that's very exciting. So, we have a combination of Sprint for 5,000 jobs and that's coming from all over the world and they are coming back into the United States which is a nice change. And also One Web, 3,000 jobs. That is a new company.
And it was done through Masa, terrific guy and we appreciate it. OK?
REPORTER: Mr. President-elect, did you speak with President Obama today?
TRUMP: I did. I did. He phoned me. We had a very nice conversation.
REPORTER: Did you bring up any of your concerns about these roadblocks? TRUMP: We had a general conversation. I think the secretary's speech really spoke for itself but we had a general conversation. Very, very nice. Appreciate it that he called.
REPORTER: You are critical to U.N. lately? Do you want the United States to leave the U.N.? Are you considering that move?
TRUMP: The U.N. has such tremendous potential, not living up to its potential. There is such tremendous potential, but it is not living up.
When do you see the United Nations solving problems? They don't. They cause problems. If it lives up to the potential it is a great thing. And if it doesn't, it's a waste of time and money.
OK? Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Now on that Sprint jobs announcement, the company has now released a statement saying that it will, quote, "create or bring back 5,000 jobs." However there are no specifics.
When it comes to what President-elect Trump said concerning President Obama, that was a total about-face from what he had been tweeting just a short time before. Sunlen Serfaty reports.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President-elect Donald Trump tonight clearly attempting to lower the temperature after earlier in the day he escalated his public spat with the president. Tweeting today, quote, "Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition. Not."
All of this coming after President Obama used his high profile speech at Pearl Harbor Tuesday to take a veiled jab at his successor.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even when hatred burns hottest. Even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.
SERFATY: The escalating war of words between the outgoing and incoming president, a sharp departure in the immediate post-election vow to work together.
OBAMA: We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed.
SERFATY: With promises from both sides for a peaceful transfer of power.
TRUMP: I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel. SERFATY: But their relationship showing strains publicly. Obama
clipping he thinks he could have won the election if he could have run again.
OBAMA: I'm confident that if I -- if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could have mobilized the majority of American people to rally behind it.
SERFATY: Trump taunting him right back, tweeting, "President Obama campaigned hard and personally in the very important swing states and lost. The voters wanted to make America great again."
And taking another swipe at the president, altering a "thanks Obama" catch phrase to "thanks Donald". Trump talking in the third person, giving himself credit on the economy, tweeting, "The U.S. consumer confidence index for December surged nearly four points to 113.7, the highest level in more than 15 years. Thanks, Donald."
At Mar-a-Lago today, Trump trying to focus on his own transition, receiving an intelligence briefing, meeting with his national security team and according to transition officials, resuming meetings with potential members of his administration.
[20:05:05] SCIUTTO: Sunlen Serfaty joins us now.
Sunlen, what's the reaction from the White House on all this? What are they saying about this phone call?
SERFATY: Well, Jim, the White House reacting tonight confirming the call and saying it was a positive call and specifically saying that it was President Obama that was the one that phoned President-elect Donald Trump from Hawaii this afternoon. We know that they did speak about -- according to White House spokesman Eric Schultz -- continuing a smooth and effective transition is how he put it and emphasized that the two would continue these discussions over the next few weeks -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Sunlen Serfaty, thank you.
We have Donald Trump speaking live right now. We're going to go to his comments there in Florida.
TRUMP: I have a foundation that has given millions and millions of dollars to people over the years. And it is -- it's been, you know, very well thought of. And we'll see what happens. We'll just see what happens.
But it's given millions and millions of dollars. Zero expense. Zero. Nobody has that that I know of. But zero expense. So, that is working out very nicely.
REPORTER: How close are you to showing off the plans for your business? And are we going to hear from -- TRUMP: Oh, yes, that is very routine. Honestly, as the very routine
thing. It is not a big deal. You people are making that a big deal, the business. Because, look, number one, when I won they all knew I had a big business all over the place. In fact, I reported it with the, as you know, the federal elections.
It's a much bigger business than anybody thought. It's a great business. But I'm going to have nothing to do with it. I'm going just -- I don't have to because as you know I wouldn't have do but I want do that because I want to focus on the country.
But when I ran, people know I have a very big business. So, I mean they didn't elect -- they elected me I guess partially for that reason. So I think that is going to work out very easily. It's a very -- it is actually, a very simple situation. It's not big deal. And we'll be having a press conference some time in early January.
REPORTER: -- elaborate more on your conversation with Obama today. Is the transition of power going as smoothly as indicated?
TRUMP: Hey, he called me. We had a good talk about -- generally about things. He was in Hawaii. It was a very, very nice call and I actually thought we covered a lot of territory, a lot of good territory.
REPORTER: Are you satisfied with the transition thus far?
TRUMP: Well, our staffs are getting along very well. And I'm getting along very well with him, other than a couple of statements and I responded to. And we talked about it and smiled about it. And nobody is ever going to know because we're never going to be going against each other in that way. So, he was -- it was a great conversation.
REPORTER: Mr. President-elect, Senator Graham today said putting together sanctions going after Putin personally. Would you back that?
TRUMP: I don't know what he's doing? I haven't spoken to Senator Graham. Haven't spoken to -- as you know he ran against. And I haven't spoken to him.
DON KING, BOXING PROMOTER: You have to admit, he shocked the world. Nothing else to say, he shocked the world.
TRUMP: Senator Graham ran against me. I haven't spoken against him since.
REPORTER: What do you think generally about sanctions against Russia?
TRUMP: I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think computers have complicated our lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. And we have speed, we have a lot of things, but I'm not kind the security that you need.
But I have not spoken with the senators and I certainly will be over a period of time.
TRUMP: I'm just -- I think you know what I will do. I'm very, very strong on Israel. I think Israel has been treated very, very unfairly by a lot of different people. If you look at resolution in the United Nations and take a look at what's happened, they are up for 20 reprimands and other nations that are horrible places, horrible places that treat people horribly haven't even been reprimanded. So, there is something going on and I think it is very up fair to Israel.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
SCIUTTO: We've been listening to President-elect Donald Trump there, who you will note is appearing alongside the boxing promoter Don King who's having a private meeting there with him there tonight, it appears, at his Mar-a-Lago estate. But, certainly, a lot of comments there both on his charity and on his business ties on Russia and on Israel.
To talk about this, joining me tonight is Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, contributor for "The Atlantic", Peter Beinart, New York 1 political anchor Errol Louis, and CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who I should mention met with President-elect Donald Trump himself today before Donald King also down there in Florida at Mar-a- Lago.
Perhaps I could begin with you, Douglas. Let's start with what Donald Trump said there about his business empire. He said a couple of things. He said, one, it's very routine. He says it is not complicated that you, meaning the media, are making it complicated.
[20:10:00] He also made this point that when I ran, people knew I had a big business, as if to say, to justify keeping that. But he did go on to say that he would have an early January press conference. In your view, you're a presidential historian, is it very routine to have a president with multiple business holdings around the world while he's serving as president?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: No. We've never had somebody like Donald Trump, a billionaire with so many different vested interests scattered around the world. It's hard to even track it for "The New York Times" or "Washington Post" all of his business dealings. But I think he surrounds himself with great lawyers and they're going to find a way to make sure that these conflict of interests don't create too many headaches for him.
So, just kind of de-investing without losing money so to speak at this juncture in time. I thought he just said is what he's been saying, we're working on it, we're working on it, and we'll have to see what it looks once he's sworn as president.
SCIUTTO: Peter Beinart, I mean, just by the definition of conflict of interest, right? You don't have to be managing the business to still have a conflict of interest if you have a financial interest in whatever those businesses are, right? PETER BEINART, THE ATLANTIC: Right. Especially if your sons are
running the business and your sons are also on the transition team interviewing people for federal jobs. It's really an invitation for people to try to get something from the United States government by giving something to the Trump business. And we've already started seeing that.
You know, foreign governments moving their events to Trump hotels in an effort to curry favor. And former -- you don't have to listen to Democrats. The former Republican ethics czar from George Bush administration has said very clearly there's only one way to get around that and despite doing what presidents have done in the past, which is divesting the assets and putting it in a blind trust.
Trump will still have plenty of money. And I think just even from a shear political point of view, he would be very well-advised to put this issue behind him. It's very dangerous for the way our government works for this kind of potential corruption to exist and it is going to be an issue throughout his presidency if he doesn't do something about it.
SCIUTTO: Kayleigh McEnany, how do you answer that? When other people serve in government, they even have to sell stocks, right? I mean, not just controlling companies. Lot of them just buy bonds, right, because they don't even want to have the appearance of conflict of interest. Why wouldn't Donald Trump want to eliminate that as he's serving office in the land?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: I think he's taking great pains to avoid an appearance of conflict of interest. And he's doing by sitting down with lawyers and accountants every day and devising what none of us know the outcome will be. He's devising something that will help him avoid that.
But I think it is really important to point out here, he's going to extraordinary measures that he doesn't have to take. 18 USC Section 202 of the United States Code says the president does not have a conflict of interest. He does have to avoid the emoluments clause and make sure he's not receiving gifts from foreign leaders.
But outside of that, the president is going above and beyond to ensure that he does not have a conflict of interest, even when he's mandated by statutes to do so.
SCIUTTO: The other comments there, Errol Louis, just as we were listening to the president-elect that stood out was on Russia. Our own reporting is that the Obama administration could announce as soon as tomorrow retaliation against Russia for hacking the election. Of course, Donald Trump does not respect the premise that Russia hacked the election. And he even was asked about that and his comments were, well, we ought to get on with our lives. It is the age of computers. You never really know with computers.
That sounds like this difference between the outgoing president and the incoming president on this key national security issue that they are still miles apart on this. ERROL LOUIS, POLITICAL ANCHOR, NY1: Right, Jim. And it is also I
think Donald Trump doing something he doesn't really have to do. If there is a question about the legitimacy of the outcome of the election, one could understand that incoming administration would like to minimize that. So, fine. That's understood. He might be a little reluctant.
But the reality is, we're past that. The Electoral College has voted. The inauguration is being planned. He's going to be the 45th president of the United States. And by and large, there will not be any serious questions about the legitimacy of the election that brought him into power.
On the other hand, very credible organs of the government that he is going to lead had found that there's a very serious problem here. And rather than saying, let's get on with our lives, there's 300 million of us. There are laws that govern the 300 million of us. There are problems that are very important about national security.
Again, not just the presidency was hacked, but there was tampering and interference in congressional races. A very serious, serious matter. He can I suppose try to continue with let's get on with our lives, but the people who are very concerned about this very serious national security issue, they are not going to get on with their lives.
SCIUTTO: Listen, everyone, please stick around. We're going to have a great opportunity to continue this conversation right after the break.
[20:15:00] And later, the war of words now raging between this administration and the Israeli government, as well as the president- elect's take on it. All this when 360 continues.
SCIUTTO: President-elect Donald Trump spoke just a couple of moments ago at Mar-a-Lago. He spoke about some kind of details to come soon about bringing jobs back to the country, also reaffirmed a strong support for Israel.
Let's have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm very, very strong on Israel. I think Israel has been treated very, very unfairly by a lot of different people. If you look at resolution in the United Nations and take a look at what's happened, they are up for 20 reprimands and other nations that are horrible places, horrible places that treat people horribly haven't even been reprimanded. So, there is something going on and I think it is very up fair to Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: We'll have more on that ahead. Back now with the panel. Doug, as you look at that there, the president-elect talking about Israel. This is one of really several major policy disagreements with the incoming and the outgoing administrations that are bubbling over during this transition, particularly after the U.N. Security Council resolution. How is this going to be resolved?
BRINKLEY: It's stark right now, the differences in foreign policy, and it's not going to be resolved until Donald Trump gets in the presidency. I think the media cycle is so fast right now that we're dealing things minute by minute by minute basis and it is starting to seem like a long transition for President Obama.
I was disappointed that Donald Trump had the nerve really to start trying to insinuate himself into the foreign policy arena, in my opinion, too much so. But they are determined that for the moment, Obama and Trump to kind of walk through things. But it's clear it is not going to go well in the foreign policy arena.
I mean, Netanyahu is going to be a great friend of Trump. And President Obama is one of the world leaders he dislikes the most.
SCIUTTO: Kayleigh McEnany, how do you answer that criticism? There is this old rule of thumb I suppose of only one president at a time. Do you think that Donald Trump is unfairly, unwisely wading in, in effect before he is inaugurated?
[20:20:03] MCENANY: I don't think so. I think it was entirely fair to advocate when you are asked by the Israeli prime minister for the United States to do what they have always done and that is to say, reject and veto any condemnation of Israel at the U.N., which we know is hostile to the U.N. So, I think that was a fair move --
SCIUTTO: That's actually not true. Successful U.S. president, both parties have sometimes voted for abstained on resolutions, some 71 resolutions that have been critical of Israel. So, it's not the first time that you have had the U.S. allow a resolution like this go through.
MCENANY: But as the "New York Times" points out. As the huge break with tradition to actively condemn Israel and the settlements at the United Nations. That is a break with tradition.
But not only do that, I do find it ironic there's this push for Donald Trump to wade in when it comes to Russia. He needs to get out there he needs to say Russia did this. He has to be out in public on this. There is a push for him to wade into national and foreign policy measures when convenient, but then when he does on another issue, there's this onslaught of criticism that he's wading in prematurely.
SCIUTTO: Peter Beinart, I know the issue of Israel very close to your heart. What do you make of this conflict playing out in effect between the outgoing and incoming administrations?
BEINART: Well, I think on Israel, the macro question is, will the two-state solution survives? The Obama administration I think has wanted to do something at end at least for its legacy sake to show that it didn't want the two-state solution to die without it putting up some kind of fight. Benjamin Netanyahu has been extremely hostile to the two-state solution throughout his entire prime ministership.
His government is overwhelmingly filled with people who opposed the two-state solution. He himself in 2014 said Israel should never withdraw troops from the West Bank. And the Trump administration, you have an Israeli ambassador to Israel who's also hostile to the two- state solution.
So, that is the macro question here. The question is, do you believe a Israel and America's interest or not? I think Obama is on one side of that, and Netanyahu and Trump are on the other.
SCIUTTO: Errol Louis, just for you, on a number of these issues, I wonder, with this resolution on Israel, with CNN's own reporting that as soon as tomorrow the president could announce retaliatory action against Russia on the hacking. On these issues, do you see President Obama trying to effect tie Donald Trump's hands before he leaves office?
LOUIS: No, I don't think it is anywhere near that petty or small. I think this is really more about Obama trying to ensure his own legacy and arguing as Peter points out that the two-state solution -- I mean, we heard a long discourse and lecture about it from the Secretary of State Kerry today, that if this is what you believe in, if this is what part of your politics is about you have got to put a marker in the ground.
I think on the question of Russia, it is very, very clear that for a guy who says America first is going to be his main policy, you've got Donald Trump sort of doing the bidding of other foreign leaders, whether it's Netanyahu or Putin. So, yes, I think he probably could have spared himself some of what Obama seems to be doing if he had waded until January 20th. I think the problems of the world will be waiting there for him. He may in retrospect wish that maybe he had let the Middle East issue wait just a few more weeks because he's going to be living with it every day from the moment he gets inaugurated. But he chose to sort of jump out there and here we are.
SCIUTTO: Well, Errol, Kayleigh, Douglas and Peter, thanks very much for piping in tonight.
Coming up next, we'll explore the secretary of state's speech today that the president-elect reacted to. Very sharp words. Very sharp reactions and not just from Israel.
[20:26:52] SCIUTTO: With boxing promoter Don King by his side, that's right, Don King, President-elect Donald Trump waded back in on the verbal fistfight between Israel and Secretary of State John Kerry. He reaffirmed his strong support for Israel. Secretary Kerry also talk talked about support but he salted it with tough talk. Friends, Kerry said, need to tell each other tough truths and for him that is the Israeli settlements if he believes are sinking the peace process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Let's be clear: settlement expansion has nothing do with Israel's security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: And while also condemned Palestinian acts of violence in his hour and ten minute speech, it did not stop Israeli's prime minister from lashing back and lashing back hard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: And once again, the president-elect offered no substantive comment, telling reporters that it speaks for itself. However, on Twitter earlier, he spoke volumes.
More on that now from CNN's Elise Labott.
KERRY: The status quo is leaning towards one state and perpetual occupation.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a lengthy and deeply personal final plea, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a strong warning to Israel that a two state solution was jeopardy, directing his aim at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
KERRY: The Israeli prime minister publicly supports a two-state solution. But his current coalition is the most right wing in Israeli history with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements.
LABOTT: At the same time, defending U.S. support of Israel.
KERRY: No American administration has done more for Israel's security than Barack Obama's.
LABOTT: Netanyahu quickly called the speech a biased attack that only played lip service to Palestinian terror.
NETANYAHU: What he did was spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace.
LABOTT: Kerry's message comes amid a bitter war of words between U.S. and Israel, after Washington refused to veto a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements, allowing it to pass.
KERRY: Some seem to believe that the U.S. friendship means the U.S. must accept any policy regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles.
LABOTT: Israel says it has proof Washington secretly orchestrated the vote and would show it to President-elect Trump when he takes office in just a few weeks.
NETANYAHU: We have it on absolutely incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced and brought this resolution.
LABOTT: Kerry denied the claims and framed the vote as an effort to save Israel from a policy that threatened its future as a Jewish state.
KERRY: We reject the criticism that this vote abandons Israel. On the contrary, it is not this resolution that is isolating Israel. It is the permanent policy of settlement construction that risks making peace impossible. And virtually, every country in the world other than Israel opposes settlements.
[20:30:02] LABOTT: In his four years as secretary of state a deal between Israelis and Palestinians have escaped Kerry but in a recent interview with CNN, he rejected the idea that he failed.
KERRY: I didn't fail. We didn't fail. The United States didn't fail. We put what I think is still the solution on the table. But the parties failed.
LABOTT: Even before Kerry spoke, both President-elect Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu criticized the Obama administration. Trump tweeting, "We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching." Netanyahu responded "President-elect Trump thank you for your warm friendship and your clear cut support for Israel."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Elise Labott joins us now along with CNN Global Affairs Analyst, Aaron David Miller. He's advised Democratic and Republican administrations on the Middle East. Also CNN Political Analyst, Carl Bernstein, who used to write for the local paper here in county, you might have heard of it. And back with us CNN Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley as well.
Elise, if I could start with you. We've heard, you know, an outpouring of reaction to the speech today including from the Senate Minority Leader, Democrat, of course, Charles Schumer saying, "It has emboldened extremists on both sides." I mean, giving that perception from both parties less than a month left in the Obama administration. Why do the secretary feel he needed to make the speech now?
LABOTT: Well, he's been wanting to do it for a long time, right, and then the election came up and they didn't want to do anything to undermine Hillary Clinton who is the Democratic nominee, very --seen a strong on Israel. And then when Donald Trump came in and was elected I think that threw them. They didn't want to do anything to push him more into Israel's arms, but I think when they looked what's been happening over the last few years in Israel, that accelerated settlement activity. The move in Israeli politics to the right.
You heard Secretary Kerry talk about the most extreme -- most extremist, the settlers (ph) really dominating the political scene. They saw that the two-state solution was slipping away and they see what's happening in this country. Donald Trump was elected. He spoke about moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He appointed a very hard line ambassador who supports settlement.
SCIUTTO: And who dismissed the two-state solutions.
LABOTT: And who's talks about annexing the world -- the West Bank. So they really felt that in good conscience. They couldn't walk out the door without putting their finger on the scale before peace because they see peace slipping away.
SCIUTTO: Aaron David Miller, you have written speeches for Republican and Democratic secretaries of state. You say this was particularly personal for Secretary Kerry. Why is that?
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I mean, he's been the energizer bunny of the American diplomacy. His mantra is it is better to try and fail than not the try at all. You know, that's a nobly and that's what Bill Clinton said to us two days before he went to the Camp David Summit in July of 2000. The problem is if you fail repeatedly, than trying and failing is not better than trying at all because it undermines American credibility.
I mean I think Kerry gives it a shot and the reality is he's right. It's not the U.S.'s fault. The reality is the guy in the middle has an impossible job because Israelis and Palestinians are not yet ready or able or willing to make the core decisions necessary to allow a mediator to broker and bridge the gaps.
SCIUTTO: Arguably moving further away from those positions.
Carl, in terms of the politics of the speech today, I mean, Secretary Kerry, President Obama, I'm sure they didn't imagine they were changing many minds in the Trump administration with this. So, why do this? Is it setting a marker down?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: First of all, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party are not Israel. Israeli is a great democracy that is divided like our own pretty much down the middle between left and right. In fact, General Mattis, the incoming secretary of defense has said much the same as Secretary Kerry said today. He has called the settlements unsustainable. And the only answer is a two-state solution.
What we have here all day what we've been seeing is the radical change in our presidential governments that is represented by Donald Trump. On arms control we see it. On relations and containment of Russia we see it. And now in terms of pursuing a two-state solution. And Israel we see it. We've never this kind of radical change in the presidency. You have to go back before Roosevelt and Hoover to have such a change. So we need to look at all of this in historical context. Doug Brinkley can tell us a bit about that I'm sure. But this is a total break on all of these policy areas with the immediate past of American policy. Arms control, Israel, et cetera.
SCIUTTO: Foreign and domestic. Doug, the relationship between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu administration strained as you know for some time. Clearly, at this point, at an all time low or beyond, I just want to play some sound because earlier today I spoke with Israel's ambassador to the U.S. and his own words and tone at time suggested that this went beyond just policy differences. Please have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:35:11] RON DERMER, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Secretary of state for 72 minutes and blame Israel for the lack of peace. We need a Palestinian leadership that will say that they are willing to live with Jews among them and next to a Jewish state. That has not been said. That's what this conflict has been about.
SCIUTTO: To accept that the way the Israel to exist your --
DERMER: To accept that there will be a nation state of the Jewish people next to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: So you're seeing there we talked about division here in the U.S. There is certainly division in Israel. But the division over Israel between the U.S. and between now incoming and outgoing administration is really unprecedented.
BRINKLEY: It truly is and what Carl said is exactly right. I mean, we haven't seen anything like this. In the sense that ever since the Camp David accords with Jimmy Carter when I interviewed President Carter for a book I did. He's so sad that he never got the Palestinian solution done. The two-state done right. He did win within Palestine election. So it's been like the Holy Grail for State Department diplomats if you can make a Camp David peace type of thing between Israel and Palestine, you will be almost a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
John Kerry threw his whole soul into doing this only to be unexpected victory of Trump only now that Trump talking about moving our embassy into Jerusalem and having Netanyahu just backlash on Obama and Kerry in such a dramatic fashion that it looks like the Likud Party. And if Trump goes on with moving our embassy in Jerusalem, it's kind of the end of a peace process that went all the way from Carter to Obama and we're heading into some kind of new world order in that part of the world coming up where Israel might be throwing in the towel on the settlement idea. Even though who Netanyahu publicly says, you know, he wants a two-state solution and -- privately, Kerry's understands he really doesn't.
(CROSSTALK) BERNSTEIN: He could have a war in the Middle East partly as a result of some of these policies. That's one of the breaks that we need to look at here in all of these questions and whether or not this is a fact-based change that Trump is going for in all these areas or whether it's more his intuition as we saw in the campaign.
You know, I think there are some real danger intuition of both fact.
SCIUTTO: Aaron David Miller, before we go, I noticed I'm sure many other noticed --
SCUITTO: -- that the Israeli prime minister was speaking in English today. His audience here in the U.S.?
MILLER: I think that's right. And the speech wasn't broadcast let alone in Hebrew and English in Israel. So -- I mean you had two discrete audiences. The prime minister speaking to punitive next president of the United States and John Kerry, I don't think speaking to the Israelis, frankly. I think trying to figure out a way. He knows what's coming. He knows the two-state solution may be dead but it's not quite dead and buried. And they need to create a frame of reference to basically make it unmistakably clear to the world that they believe rightly or wrongly they have identified the problem. They tried everything they could to help diffuse and resolve it. And in the end it's not their responsibility and not their fault.
SCUITTO: Sad fact of history. Thanks very much Elise, Aaron David Miller, Douglas Brinkley as well. We appreciate having you all on. Coming up -- and of course, Carl Bernstein.
How will the Obama administration retaliate for Russia hacking the U.S. election? We may know and may know as soon as tomorrow. Details, plus the way Russia has already responded. That's right after this.
[20:42:29] SCUITTO: Donald Trump was given the opportunity tonight to acknowledge the intelligence community consensus that Russia is responsible for computer hacking during the U.S. Presidential election. He did not. His remarks came in the answer to a question about GOP Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham where I spoke with yesterday planning sanctions against the Putin government. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think the computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole, you know, age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things but I'm not sure you have the kind of security that you need. But I have not spoken with the senators. And I certainly will be over a period of time. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SCUITTO: Officials tell us the White House is going to announce possibly as soon as tomorrow how it will retaliate against Russia for hacking. CNN Justice Correspondent, Evan Perez, joining me with the latest.
Evan, what do we know about the sanctions and responses the U.S. is considering?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, you know, after debating this for months, this issue internally the Obama administration is ready to name names as it tries to respond to Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Officials at the White House are still finalizing the retaliatory measures but we're told to expect new sanctions and diplomatic measures. They are expected to name individuals who are associated with the Russian disinformation operation that U.S. intelligence officials say was at least partly focused on harming Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. And then there is convert actions that we may never know about in which the U.S. says it can take when it chooses, Jim.
SCUITTO: So Russia I assume is responding to the threat of sanctions?
PEREZ: Oh yes. Lies and misinformation that's what the Russians say the Obama administration is up to. A Kremlin spokesperson says, "If Washington really does take new hostile steps, they will be answered. Any action against Russian diplomatic missions in the U.S. will immediately bounce back to U.S. diplomats in Russia." In other words, we're likely to see this remain in the diplomatic sphere. Not an escalation of cyber warfare.
SCUITTO: Right, which they are concerned about escalating further. When the Trump administration takes over in January, hard to answer this, but what happens then? I mean, are these the kind of steps that a President Trump could reverse?
PEREZ: Absolutely. This is a presidential action, so President Trump can undo all of this with the stroke of a pen. The president-elect has already said he doesn't really believe that the Russians were behind these hacks.
[20:45:03] But he'll have to content with a few hurdles, Jim. You know, before President Obama leaves office we're expecting that we're going to see a report in the coming weeks, they'll provide more detail about what the intelligence agencies know about what the Russians were doing. And we'll also -- he'll also have to contend with members of Congress. As you know there is strong support there for sanctions remaining against Russia, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Evan Perez, thanks very much for staying on the story.
Joining me now with more CNN Intelligence and Security Analyst and former CIA officer Bob Baer and former CIA Russian Operations Officer Steven Hall, he wrote about this in the "Washington Post" today. Steve, as we heard Evan Perez just report some of the steps the administration is expected to take include naming individuals who were involved in this. But when you're naming names, I assumed one of the concerns here is revealing how you able to learn those names. The Intel to back it up which is of course something that the Intel agencies want to keep secret.
STEVEN HALL, FMR. CIA RUSSIAN OPERATIONS OFFICER: Yeah, absolutely. It sort of a central tension in our society. You got clan destined operations, people, you know, collecting things secretly. And yet you got this desired to also know where it came from and how you got it and then of course what to do once you have the information. So it is a real problem and it's a real problem and it's something that's really got to be handled very delicately.
SCIUTTO: Bob, the trouble with this is that this has become supremely political, right, because you have an outgoing president who's identified Russia as the culprit about the punish Russia. You have an incoming president who's even denied the premise that Russia is responsible. And you have a lot of Trump supporters and other Republican saying where is the evidence? Show us the evidence. So there is enormous pressure it seems on the intelligence community to show some of that evidence now.
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Exactly. Now what they could do, an alternative is to give the CIA a finding, a convert action finding which would allow the president to retaliate against Russia in secret. All he has to do is write this finding, the CIA implements it. The Intel committees are informed. And let's say, for instance, he could ask the CIA to hack Russian computers. Look into Putin and his corruption around him. That's an alternative. And If he doesn't want go the sanctions way or simply put out the information. It may indeed be very, very secret and sources and methods would be compromised which he won't do.
But -- and by the way if he does this, he's going to set up incredible trap for Trump, you know. They have a finding like this. The Intel committee is informed and Trump is going to be hard put to withdraw that finding without presenting evidence himself.
SCIUTTO: Steve you wrote well today in the piece to the "Washington Post" about how many times in your experience where whether it was diplomats or government officials who received key intelligence from you, but then we're frustrated because they couldn't then go to the world and share that intelligence. And imagine, this is a case like that to some degree.
HALL: Yes it is. And it is going to be really particularly tough. Just Bob actually correctly indicates, this is a political season that we find ourselves in meeting. So it is one thing to have, you know, relatively routine piece of intelligence, but perhaps have it, you know, clandestinely acquired. So we still have that source as methods.
But when you have the entire American people, when you have an incoming president all clambering for knowing exactly where did it come from? How can we prove it? All of those things start you down a slippery slope that comprising sources and methods which then keep you from collecting that same intelligence in the future and perhaps compromising it into human source, compromising somebody's life in the future. So it is a really serious thing. It is difficult.
SCIUTTO: Bob, you're a vet of the agency, the CIA. We have now an incoming U.S. president here who has repeatedly and vocally expressed his distrust of the intelligence community on this assessment that Russia is behind the hacking. When you hear that, how concerning is that? Not just for you but for folks inside the community who work very hard, they take risks, they take their jobs very seriously to hear the president very publicly question their work?
BAER: It's demoralizing, Jim, completely demoralizing. The CIA in effect works for the president of the United States. It doesn't work for anybody else. It has channels to him. It has daily briefings. It needs his trust and vice versa. I mean, this is starting off on the wrong foot entirely. And a lot of my ex-colleagues are saying this is the time to, you know, to retire. And they are leaving in droves. And when you have a CIA director coming out of Congress, the new one and being a member of the Tea Party and the rest of it, isn't sitting well at the CIA.
[20:50:02] SCIUTTO: Well it is something we're going to be watching very closely. Steve Hall, Bob Baer, thanks very much.
BAER: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: And we'll be right back after this.
SCIUTTO: Well, tonight simply stunning new, just in from Los Angeles, and a day after the passing of Carrie Fisher, her mother, Debbie Reynolds has herself died. Ms. Reynolds fell ill this afternoon. Debbie Reynolds was 84 years old. She was quite simply Hollywood royalty and she will be deeply missed by millions.
Here's more on her remarkable life and career from CNN's Stephanie Elam.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENTS: Singer, dancer, actress, Debbie Reynolds was a Hollywood triple threat and America's sweetheart. Her film career began at the age of 16 after being spotted in a beauty pageant.
Her star officially launch just a few years later after a spirited performance opposite Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor in 1952s, "Singin' in the rain".
DEBBIE REYNOLDS, AMERICA ACTRESS: They pick me, they put me in "Singin' in the rain" and they just locked me in a legal studio. And for three months I have five different teachers, one for tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and I just worked, worked, worked and until I would fall apart.
ELAM: Other notable rolls followed including 1957's "Tammy and the Bachelor" which resulted in her number one hit song, "Tammy". She played opposite Gregory Peck in "How the West Was Won", and her performance in the unsinkable Molly Brown earned her an Oscar nomination.
Beloved on-screen, at times Reynolds' life off screen overshadowed her success. She had two children with her first husband, a crooner Eddie Fisher, producer Todd Fisher, and actress and author Carrie Fisher.
[20:55:02] In 1959 the marriage ended in a highly publicized divorce when Fisher left Reynolds to marry her close friend, Elizabeth Taylor. A painful betrayal, Reynolds was able to joke about the scandal years later.
REYNOLDS: I was a girl scout. I really was really a simple little girl and that's what I was. And he fell madly in love with Elizabeth. That's happening and now I understand, you know, so many years later. And it is in the past.
ELAM: Her second and third marriages also ended in divorce, each time causing Reynolds financial pain. However, she had quietly been collecting Hollywood memorabilia over the years that would prove a wise investment.
In 2011, Reynolds sold Marilyn Monroe's white subway dress at auction for $4.6 million.
She also never quit performing. Though she stepped away from film for much of her career, Reynolds continued to entertain on Broadway stages, and in Las Vegas nightclubs.
REYNOLDS: All I need.
ELAM: In addition, Reynolds had several T.V. roles over the years, notably playing Liberace's mother in the 2013, Emmy winning T.V. movie, "Behind the Candelabra." Her work water ray of work was recognized in 2015 when the Screen Actor's Guild honored Reynolds with the lifetime achievement award.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Debbie Reynolds.
ELAM: Reynolds said, she loved every minute she spent in showbusiness in her 2013 autobiography, "Unsinkable". She credited the love she had for her friends and family for her personal and professional resiliency.
REYNOLDS: I paid $20,000 bucks for this jacket (ph).
ELAM: And it is that spark and sense of humor along with her talent that Reynolds will be remembered for.
REYNOLDS: I love you, good night everybody. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SCIUTTO: Well, joining us now on the phone is Matthew Belloni, he's the Executive Editor of the "Hollywood Reporter". And Matthew, we were just speaking last night about Carrie Fisher and here we are 24 hours later about her mother. Just such a sad 24 hours for the family.
MATTHEW BELLONI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: It's unbelievably sad. And I think that, you know, just a tragic week considering it started last Friday with the news that Carrie Fisher has had a cardiac episode on her flight back to Los Angeles from London. And now less than a week later, she is gone and her mother is gone as well.
SCIUTTO: Debbie Reynolds, just help place her for us in the Hollywood pantheon as it is. I mean through the years. I mean really one of those lasting stars in stories.
BELLONI: Oh absolutely. She's a legend. I mean the sort of going all the way back to "Singin in the Rain" and the Heyday of the Hollywood musicals. And, you know, through her lifetime of work and her, you know, personal issues, the stuff that got into the public eye with her husband Eddie fisher and him leaving her for Elizabeth Taylor. And, you know, that being a tabloid sensation before there was the internet or any of the tabloid stuff we know now. So the fact that her daughter, Carrie Fisher and, you know, she works. She continued to work all the way up into her '70s and '80s.
SCIUTTO: And how much should we expect? I suppose it is natural to imagine. She loses her daughter. And this sparks her own passing.
BELLONI: Yeah. I mean her agent just told the "Hollywood Reporter", she's with Carrie and I think that says a lot about how she was feeling after this tragic news from yesterday. She was taken to the hospital this afternoon and we're just getting word now of her death. So the whole thing is just been unbelievable tragedy.
SCIUTTO: How do we expect Debbie Reynolds to be remembered and honored after her passing now, particularly, so soon after her daughter?
BELLONI: I think the legacy will be as a performer and the fact she, you know, came of age at that time when Hollywood movies really meant something in the world and she was the, you know, star opposite Gene Kelly and some of the most classic movies in Hollywood history, but also as an enduring star. That fact that she was able to keep working and she was able to, you know, maintain a name for herself in a very cut throat industry throughout her life.
SCIUTTO: Yeah, I kind of feel like a sandwich generation here because I certainly was influenced by "Star Wars", but also I remember watching "Singin' with the rain" with my dad. I mean my dad always love that movie, not obviously originally when it came out, but I mean here you have two iconic films, right, of that century.
BELLONI: Absolutely, "Singin' in the rain" was something of a sensation when it came out. In much the same way that "Star Wars" was to a later generation and, you know, creating the modern movie blockbuster and what that meant to the current generation. The fact that, you know, it's nice -- that she did a documentary with Carrie Fisher that's going to air on HBO next year. And I think there's going to be a lot of interest in that, and added interest in that now just because both of them are not with us anymore.
And I think that we're going to really see the bond that they had together and the fact that they had overcome a lot of issues that they had in their lives.
[21:00:07] SCIUTTO: Matthew Belloni thanks so much. And we're sorry for you to leave you tonight with this sad news.
But thanks very much for watching. And CNN's Special Report follows just after this.