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Obama: I Told Putin "Cut It Out" On Hacking; Obama Vows Retaliation Against Russia Over Hacks; Clinton: Putin Grudge Led To Russia Election Hacks; China Steals U.S. Navy Drone; Deep Freeze Gridlocks Parts Of U.S.; Obama Blames Putin for DNC, Podesta Hacks; Obama and Fake News; Football Player's Disturbing Video Released; Formerly Conjoined Twins Going Home. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired December 17, 2016 - 06:00   ET




[06:00:22] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC. Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin. Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia -- we can do stuff to you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Public shaming does not work with President Vladimir Putin. I'm thinking specifically of Aleppo and of Syria and all the carnage there, much of it at the hands of Russian firepower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were supposed to be brought to safety. Instead, they're running for their lives once again. A convoy meant to take these east Aleppo residents out of the besieged areas under fire.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: We're going to build safe zones. We're not having them come over. We're going to build safe zones in Syria.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: You've made it to Saturday. Take a nice, deep breath of air. We're here with you this morning and I'm so glad for it. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. Election season is over, but President-elect Donald Trump is getting his supporters together for one last big rally at a stadium before the holidays.

PAUL: The final stop of Trump's "Thank You Tour" heads to Mobile, Alabama, today, this after Trump brought the tour through Florida last night. The sunshine state was a battleground, of course, that Trump visited the most during the campaign and it paid off. His supporters delivered him the state, setting up his election night victory.

BLACKWELL: Here's how Mr. Trump described the level of passion from his fans in Florida. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You people were vicious, violent, screaming -- "where's the wall! We want the wall!" screaming "Prison, prison, lock her up!" I mean, you were going crazy! I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious, and you wanted to win, right? But now you're mellow and you're cool and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won!


BLACKWELL: Well, today, President-elect Trump returns to Mobile, Alabama, as Christi said, in the same stadium where he drew 30,000 supporters back in August of 2015.

PAUL: So, while he says thank you, President Obama has a warning, nearly naming Russian President Vladimir Putin as the man behind Russia's alleged hacking and interference in the election in his final news conference before leaving for Hawaii for the holidays.

The president reveals he confronted Putin over the cyber-attacks on the sidelines of a G-20 Summit in China. Obama said he told Putin to, quote, "Cut it out" or face what the president called, serious consequences.

Now our White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, walks us through what happened.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama won't say definitively that he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin himself authorized the hack of the Democratic National Committee, but he leaves little room for doubt.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: This happened at the highest levels of the Russian government, and I will let you make that determination as to whether there are high-level Russian officials who go off rogue and decide to tamper with the U.S. election process without Vladimir Putin knowing about it.

KOSINSKI: The president recounted what he told Putin face to face at a summit in China in September.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out or there were going to be serious consequences if he didn't.

KOSINSKI: President Obama vowed there will be a response.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: How we approach an appropriate response that increases costs for them for behavior like this in the future but does not create problems for us is something that's worth taking the time to think through and figure out.

KOSINSKI: And he rebuked some Republicans who were supportive of Putin.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave.

KOSINSKI: We should point out, those numbers come from an economist ugov survey that doesn't meet CNN's polling standards. Regarding President-elect Donald Trump's dismissal of the intelligence blaming the Russians, the president said he's urged his successor to work in a non-partisan way.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: My hope is that the president-elect is going to similarly be concerned with making sure that we don't have potential foreign influence in our election process.

[06:05:13]I don't think any American wants that and that shouldn't be a source of an argument. I think that part of the challenge is that it gets caught up in the carryover from election season.


KOSINSKI: We also heard the president say that he sees the real vulnerability as being fierce partisanship. He says when everything comes under suspicion, when everything is viewed as corrupt, fake news propagates and that's where a foreign influence can gain a foothold.

He also at one point kind of threw a bone to the next administration. When he was asked, some of these foreign policy stances that we've seen from the Trump team, could that be a good thing or does that put America on some collision courses here?

He said he sees it as somewhere in between, acknowledging, though, that fresh perspectives on foreign policy could be a good thing for democracy, including on China -- Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Michelle Kosinski for us there at the White House, thank you so much.

Let's bring in now to talk about this, CNN politics reporter, Tom LoBianco, and CNN political commentator and Spectrum News anchor, Errol Louis. Good morning to you both.

Errol, let me start with you. The president's classification, characterization of the United States' response to Russia up to this point and potentially moving forward. Let's listen to a bit more of the news conference from yesterday.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: I know there have been folks out there who suggest somehow that if we went out there and made big announcements and thumped our chests about a bunch of stuff, that somehow, that would potentially spook the Russians.

And so, how we approach an appropriate response that increases costs for them for behavior like this in the future but does not create problems for us, is something that's worth taking the time to think through and figure out. That's exactly what we've done.


BLACKWELL: So, Errol, a response here that doesn't have a big, bold exclamation point that a lot of people are looking for. How does this likely sit with Democrats who agree with the former CIA director who called what Russia executed a political equivalent to 9/11? How potentially are they seeing what the president said there?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The clip you just showed, Victor, is the president at his infuriating best, as sort of cool and calm and detached. That's very much his style. It's much too late to try and change it now, and I'm sure very partisan Democrats are very frustrated with him for not doing all of the things he just described -- holding a press conference, making threats, characterizing it as something that people really need to focus on.

I think the president is going to be faulted for not having used the bully pulpit to really shine a light on this. On the other hand, you know, if you go back to the thick of it back in September-October, it's hard to imagine in those crazy, crazy news cycles that even the most solemn kind of statement from the president would have slowed down all of the charges and countercharges that were flying in every direction.

His decision to not make more of a mess of that very messy election conclusion, I think you know, you could flip a coin as to who was right about that.

BLACKWELL: And Tom, we can look at this from several perspectives, there is, Errol said there that partisan Democrats are going to be dissatisfied, but there are many Republicans who are very critical of Russia and Putin's approach here.

We heard from Lindsey Graham. We saw on Twitter he is calling again for crippling sanctions against Russia. And also, when the president says here that someone -- that the U.S. to thump its chest -- we heard from our own Clarissa Ward that naming and shaming doesn't work with Russia.

TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Right. Well, look, you've got Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain, two of your foreign policy hawks in the Senate, taking a hard line, veteran Republican. You've got the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, saying they're going to investigate this.

It's clear that, you know, Trump kind of stands alone on this, at least among other elected Republicans. That's going to be very interesting to see how this plays out, you know, just in a month or so, at the very start of his administration.

You know, it's funny, Errol's comments about Obama's infuriating cool kind of made me think, wonder where Obama's anger translator was for that last presser.

BLACKWELL: Errol, let me come to you with that we've read from the Hillary Clinton campaign, the former chairman now of that campaign, John Podesta, what he wrote in this op-ed in the "Washington Post" this week.

He says "Compare the FBI's massive response to the overblown e-mail scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response with the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI."

[06:10:05]Our Michelle Kosinski asked the president about that characterization from Podest. Here's in part what he said about the FBI and their approach.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to the FBI, I will tell you, I've had a chance to know a lot of FBI agents. I know Director Comey. They take their job seriously. They work really hard. They help keep us safe and save a lot of lives.


BLACKWELL: Well, they obviously are on opposite ends of the spectrum here. The larger portion of the Democratic Party now, the president or what we're hearing from Podesta and the Clinton campaign and Secretary Clinton herself?

LOUIS: I heard the president there, Victor, as being, you know, sort of diplomatic about the public servants who serve under him. I didn't hear anything inconsistent with a very hard-working core of dedicated FBI agents who serve the country well.

There's no contradiction between saying that and saying at the top there are some people who are playing politics in this particular election, in this particular way and who really seem to have a thumb on the scales when it came to the Clinton e-mail questions compared with this much larger, much more serious kind of problem involving outside interference.

I mean, it's really kind of apples and oranges, I would think. And I think that the FBI's going to have to answer those questions, at least in the court of public opinion, if not from the next administration.

BLACKWELL: So when you say someone at the top or those at the top with their thumb on the scales, that's suggesting that Director Comey wanted to influence the outcome of the election?

LOUIS: Well, I mean, you know, Victor, it was a story that came and went pretty quickly, but there was a pretty clear indication that Rudy Giuliani, one of the top aides to the Trump campaign, had advanced information about what the FBI was going to do. He talked about it.


LOUIS: He was, you know, sort of smirking about it and the bomb dropped just as he predicted. Clearly, something unusual was going on there. BLACKWELL: Yes, it was -- I remember that period where it was, are you hearing from active agents now? Are you speaking with former agents? You're right, that came and went pretty quickly.

But we're hearing from the president also -- I want to just jump to another issue, Tom, very quickly, the president talking about the responsibility he feels as he watches what happens in Aleppo, saying he feels responsible for all of it.

It was interrupted for a moment by a medical situation in the back of the room, but we really got to hear quite candidly from the president there -- Tom.

LOBIANCO: Yes, you know, it's very fascinating. Look, this is his last press conference he's having here. This is his wrap-up, right? This is his chance to look back on eight years. This is eight years of Obama. I can remember when it was still, you know, we were still trying to get used to writing, typing out "President Barack Obama" back when he was elected, you know?

It's funny to think that this was eight years ago. But you know, he's looking back and he's looking back on all of it, the entire tenure. And this is one of the big things that's still hanging out there.

Trump hammered him on it throughout the campaign. If they choose when he comes into office he wants to do this safe zone, theoretically, you know, they can hammer Obama again once they're in office, you know?

So, this is one of those loose threads. It's really hanging out there, and yes, he's clearly very concerned about this, obviously.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the president-elect talked about safe zones, saying, quote, "They're not coming over here" about safe zones in Syria. We'll talk about that later in the show. Tom, Errol, good to have you both -- all right, Christi.

PAUL: Still to come, China steals equipment from the U.S. Navy, breaking international law. What the U.S. government is now demanding.

Also, a deadly attack in Turkey after a car bomb explodes near a busload of soldiers. We have details for you.

BLACKWELL: And the big chill gripping the U.S. from coast to coast. Freezing rain shutting down roads in Missouri, leaving people stranded.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how we're going to get home tonight. I don't know. They've got all the roads blocked off. We live in Matlin, Missouri, and I just pray that we can get home tonight safely.




PAUL: So good to have you with us this morning. We have some developing news we want to let you know about overnight, 13 soldiers are dead, 55 people are wounded after a deadly car bomb in Turkey. A car rigged with a bomb exploded next to a bus transporting off-duty soldiers.

The latest here we're hearing now, this is the latest in a wave of deadly bombings that has struck Turkey, as you know, this year. And the Pentagon now demanding China return their U.S. Navy drone after a report it was stolen.

China stealing the drone near the Philippines in international waters. It is illegal. The move comes amid high tensions in the South China Sea with new reports that China has installed weapons on those disputed manmade islands.

As for the stolen drone, U.S. officials say it was, quote, "Simply measuring ocean conditions," unquote. CNN's Matt Rivers is live in Beijing this morning.

Matt, we were wondering when we would hear from China on this matter. We understand you are getting word that they're responding now. What are they saying? And good morning.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We just got an e-mail from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a couple minutes ago and it was a quick line just saying China and the United States are handling the incident properly through military channels, so not much of a response there.

But in a state-run newspaper here called "The Global Times" in which the government often puts out its viewpoints, that paper cited a military source, as they called it, saying they do expect this incident to be resolved smoothly.

But what happened here was on Thursday, according to the Navy, the "USNS Bowditch" was conducting -- it's an unarmed research ship, and it was conducting military research using two underwater drones 50 miles off the coast of the Philippines.

What happened was as they were going to retrieve those drones, a Chinese ship, according to U.S. officials, launched a smaller boat that actually went and picked up one of those drones. And despite many attempts from the U.S. ship to say, hey, give us that drone back, the Chinese ship apparently just sailed away.

And so, the U.S. government very upset with that, saying it was illegal under international law. What they were doing was legal under -- that research they were doing was, in fact, legal.

And so, we are getting those stronger responses from others in the U.S. government. I can show you a statement that we received from Arizona Senator John McCain in which he said "China had no right to seize this vehicle and the United States must not stand for such outrageous conduct.

This brazen provocation fits a pattern of increasingly destabilizing Chinese behavior including bullying its neighbors and militarizing the South China sea and this behavior will continue until it is met with a strong and determined U.S. response, which until now the Obama administration has failed to provide."

And the senator likely putting out those strong words because this isn't happening in a vacuum. Frankly, you know, this one incident, while unprecedented, isn't just happening on its own.

China is building these artificial islands, installing its military technology there, and that is something that the United States is not happy about and it's kind of resulted in this tense standoff in the South China Sea.

[06:20:08]PAUL: No doubt about it. You have to wonder where it will go if this equipment is not returned. So when you hear from state-run newspaper, they expect a smooth resolution, you're still not hearing as to whether they're going to return this equipment to the U.S.

RIVERS: Well, I think what most experts will tell you is that this will run its course and that that equipment will be eventually returned to the United States. But another question people are asking about is, what's the motivation? Why would the Chinese do this?

And frankly, we don't really know. There are a lot wide-ranging theories. The incoming Trump administration has certainly made China unhappy over the last several weeks with its actions, including taking a call from Taiwan's president.

Also, there could be a broader strategy that China could be implementing to test the incoming administration to say if we're going to do something that's a little more provocative, how will the U.S. respond?

But the fact of the matter is that most experts will tell you that this was an unprecedented move, at least recently, between the Chinese and U.S. Navies, and it comes at a time when relations between the U.S. and China have undergone some serious tests over the last three weeks and, frankly, over the last several years.

PAUL: All right. Matt Rivers, we appreciate the very latest. Thank you so much.

I know that you may be looking out your window and you see nothing but snow and ice, and it is bitter cold. This winter arctic blast is brutal. It is taking the U.S. by storm literally. CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, is watching the latest for you. Good morning, Allison.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And good morning to you, Christi. Take a look. These are ice crystals hanging down from one of the traffic cameras in Columbus, Ohio, and ice is going to be the big threat across numerous states, including snow and cold temperatures. We'll talk more about that, coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


PAUL: All righty, you're probably looking out your window going, oh, this deep freeze is making a mess of everything. You are right. There are parts of Indiana that are battling icy road conditions, where nearly 200 accidents have been reported to police, and that's just overnight.


PAUL: Take a look at what officials are seeing here, evacuations. They're evacuating here drivers from a freeway via a ladder. Can you imagine?

BLACKWELL: And it's not just Indiana. Half of the country is facing below-freezing temperatures this weekend and into next week, even. The Midwest is already getting smacked with heavy snow and ice and slush and all the mess.

CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, is watching all of it for us and a lot of people are struggling with this weather.

CHINCHAR: That's right. They are, indeed. Yes. In fact, we've got a lot of folks, over 150 million people are under some type of winter storm warning, winter weather advisory, or even the more dangerous freezing rain advisory. That's the dark blue color, and we're talking big cities, too.

We are talking Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio, Washington, D.C., even stretching down to Raleigh. Now, again, no one likes to drive in feet of snow. That causes its own problems, but freezing rain, I don't care if you have four-wheel drive, you lived in Alaska for three years -- no one can drive on ice, period.

And that's going to be a big concern going forward today. A lot of these areas that will initially start as rain or freezing rain, and then as we go through the day, we'll see that transitioning over into snow for some areas.

But in a couple spots, they may be going through freezing rain for hours, and that accumulation can cause problems. And let's talk about some of those problems that you can have. Now, when the accumulation starts, say you get up to about a quarter of an inch that creates slick spots on the roads.

That can create hazardous conditions. Now you start adding more on top of that, we're talking between 0.25 inches to half an inch. We're talking about accumulating on power lines and above half an inch, now you're talking about the power lines and the trees can snap, not to mention the huge slick spots that you'll end up having on the roadways.

So, again, huge problems there. And we're also talking the cold. Take a look at the current wind chill, right now 33 below in Glasgow, minus 13 in Minneapolis. And as we go through the day, it's not going to get much better.

It may get temporarily better farther west, like Rapid City, but you'll start to notice cities like international falls and Minneapolis now are actually getting worse. We are talking Sunday morning, tomorrow morning, a wind chill of minus 41 degrees.

Again, folks, frostbite can set in in less than 10 minutes in these types of conditions, so you have to be careful. And unfortunately for a lot of the Midwest, these temperatures are going to stay there for at least the next couple of days, and that's going to be an issue.

You have to worry about freezing pipes, Victor and Christi, as well, because with the temperature staying below zero in some of these spots for multiple hours, it just doesn't allow things to heat up, so keep that in mind.

PAUL: I was going to go home to Ohio on Monday. My mom said, do not come here.

BLACKWELL: Don't come.

PAUL: You're going to make me worried. Now I know why. Allison Chinchar --

BLACKWELL: Stay inside. I know folks there are hardy, but that's dangerous.

PAUL: They're hardy! They are, it's true!

BLACKWELL: I thought it was a compliment.

PAUL: Yes, it is, you're right. Just creative way to say it, let's put that way. Allison, thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's turn to something else we're watching this week. I was going to say serious, but the weather can be very serious as well. Putting the blame on Putin. President Obama is pointing the finger at the highest levels of the Russian government for interfering with the U.S. election campaign.

PAUL: So why would Russia want Donald Trump to be president? Well, here's what one cybercrime expert told CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the first genuinely unconditionally pro- Russian president.



[06:32:06] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, aren't you up early on a Saturday? 6:32 right now, and we are grateful for your company. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We sure are. I'm Victor Blackwell, good to be with you.

Donald Trump will be in Mobile, Alabama. It is the last stop on his thank you tour. Then he's off to Palm Beach, Florida, to spend some time at his resort there, Mar-a-Lago.

PAUL: This of course while Trump is saying thank you.

President Obama, meanwhile, has a warning and nearly naming Russian President Vladimir Putin as the man behind Russia's alleged hacking and interference in the election. Listen to this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In early September when I saw President Putin in China, I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out and there were going to be some serious consequences if he didn't. And in fact, we did not see further tampering of the election process.


PAUL: But Russia has a message back to the U.S. They say, prove it.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Brian Todd has details for us.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN's intelligence sources say Vladimir Putin was aware his cyber warriors were hacking into the Democratic Party during the election cycle. One U.S. official saying the sophistication of the hacking tools used in the attack means higher level Russian authority had to have been behind it.

The intelligence raises new questions with the CIA's assessment that Putin wanted Donald Trump to win, what was his motivation?

KEITH DARDEN, PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: This is the first genuinely unconditionally pro-Russian president and not just pro- Russian, but pro-Putin president in recent memory, in modern American history.

TODD: What does Putin stand to gain from Trump's presidency? Experts say Putin's first priority, dealing with the tough economic sanctions on Russia.

FIONA HILL, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Russia has been trying to get these lifted without really doing anything in return. And they are very much hoping that Trump will do that.

TODD: Lifting sanctions on Russia is something Trump has already said he will consider.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be looking at that. Yes, we'll be looking. TODD: Those sanctions were leveled to punish Putin's regime for

illegally taking over Crimea by force. Analysts say Putin is hoping Trump will back off America's opposition to his land grab in Ukraine. And hoping Trump won't oppose his efforts to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. And they say the Russian president is encouraged by Trump's criticism of NATO. That plays into what Putin wants to do in Eastern Europe.

HILL: To really preempt the possibility of NATO building up its forces and engaging in further deployments in the Baltic sea regions in particular. And also to dissuade the Europeans from taking more steps from their own security.

TODD: Some of Putin's motivations for favoring Trump are likely, purely personal. He has believed to have a vendetta against Hillary Clinton for questioning the legitimacy of Russian parliamentary elections five years ago.

DARDEN: In particular, he felt that she encouraged the street protests.

[06:35:06] TODD: And Putin, analysts say, hopes Trump won't get in the way of his broadest ambition for Russia to become the dominant world player it once was.

DARDEN: I think he wants a seat at the table. He wants to be consulted every time. He wants Russia to be a great power in the way that 19th century great powers had to be consulted on every significant international episode. He wants respect.

TODD (on camera): To accomplish those goals, experts say, Putin who prides himself on keeping other leaders guessing what he'll do next, is going to have to become good at figuring out what Trump's going to do next. And given Trump's lack of predictability, that's going to be a huge challenge, even for the former KGB officer.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: Let's bring in CNN senior law enforcement and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes to talk to us.

Tom, good to see you this morning.


PAUL: Good morning. U.S. officials are saying that federal investigators tried to warn the DNC about the hacking 11 times but that they took their time fixing the problem. Do you believe the DNC could have limited the damage had they acted earlier?

FUENTES: Absolutely. The FBI in 2015 was trying to get a hold of the DNC's IT people. Yes, they called the main switch board on the first call and asked for, who should we talk to that's running your IT program, and when they finally got to the people that were running the program, they said, you're being hacked by Russia. Their response was, no, we're not. We see, you know, the various signatures that show that you're being hacked. No, we're not.

They offered full assistance, much like what the FBI did in the Sony- North Korea hacking case, where the FBI actually embedded technicians, which Sony invited them to embed technicians in their IT department for several weeks to help them stabilize it and create the procedures to block further hacking. They offered to do that in the DNC case. They were denied. They said, no, we don't need you, we don't want you.

And then later last summer, the DNC finally, finally hired CrowdStrike to provide security for their cyber system long after the hacking had begun and was carried on in full steam against them. So, no, they did not take the assistance offered by the FBI. They're a private entity. They're the victim. And they have that right if they didn't want to have the assistance or have the FBI be able to look into their system and see what was happening internally.

PAUL: Hillary Clinton said earlier this week that she believes the hacking attacks were carried out because Putin has a personal grudge against her. Let's listen here.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to recognize that as the latest reports made clear, Vladimir Putin himself directed the covert cyber attacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me.


PAUL: Do you believe it's about her?

FUENTES: Could be. She could be exactly right, that they had a strong dislike for her. That's why leaks were coming out during the competition between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, again to discredit the Clinton campaign for the dirty tricks and the evil comments that they thought they were making against Bernie before the convention. And so it's possible that it was motivated. That's a far different motivation than anti-Trump -- or pro-Trump, I mean, that the Russians wanted Trump to be elected president so they were doing this against Hillary to try to bring that about.

One other comment is that normally state actors that do this kind of thing to tamper with other countries' elections, which the Russians do over and over throughout Europe and in previous campaigns, normally, they'll do a disinformation campaign. Disinformation means they'll put out lies, false information, fake news about a candidate that's not true. In this case, there's no evidence that the e-mails -- the bulk of the e-mails that were critical were true. And so it wasn't a disinformation, it was an information campaign.

PAUL: Right. FUENTES: And the more that came out, the more people saw under the

hood of what was going on in the campaign and with the key players of the campaign the more they distrusted Hillary Clinton.

PAUL: Tom, I have 15 seconds. What is your level of concern that if they tampered with the election, what is next might be the question?

FUENTES: Well, I don't know. I think they'll keep doing it until there's some way to stop it. And you know, the comments --

PAUL: You mean they'll keep the hacking?

FUENTES: Of course.

PAUL: Specifically with the Dems?

FUENTES: With everybody. They'll keep -- they'll do this in future elections. They'll keep doing this. They'll keep --

PAUL: But what do you think is their motivation?

FUENTES: Just to --

PAUL: What is Putin's motivation?

[06:40:04] FUENTES: To mess with us, to show that he can do it.


FUENTES: He's doing it because he's showing that he can do it and that we're too weak to stop it and that our policies against Russia have been ineffective. So they still hold the Crimea, they still threaten the Baltics, they still buzz our warships with their fighter jets, you know, which is basically kicking sand in our face.

PAUL: Sure.

FUENTES: And they're going to keep doing it until they're stopped. And I think it's going to take more than the words that President Obama said to Putin in September at the G-20. It's going to take little more than that, I think, to bring this to a stop.

PAUL: Yes. To effect some change. Tom Fuentes, we always appreciate your perspective. Thank you.

FUENTES: You're welcome.

BLACKWELL: Also in that news conference, President Obama blasting fake news and calling out partisan media for pushing Russian propaganda.


OBAMA: Our vulnerability to Russia or any other foreign power is directly related to how divided, partisan, dysfunctional our political process is. (END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Also, it happened more than two years ago, but this disturbing incident is no less shocking. Why attorneys for an Oklahoma football star released this surveillance video of him hitting a woman.


BLACKWELL: The president had some strong words denouncing fake news during his final news conference of the year. Mr. Obama warned lies coming from partisan media are making our political process divided and dysfunctional. Watch this.


OBAMA: If fake news that's being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues, then it's not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect. It doesn't seem that farfetched.


BLACKWELL: All right, let's bring in Christina Warren, senior editor for Gizmodo, a tech Web site. She's been covering the rise of fake news since the election.

[06:45:01] Christina, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So the president there framing the embrace of fake news essentially as unpatriotic.

WARREN: A little bit, yes. And he's also sort of putting the onus on fake news on foreign entities, which isn't strictly true. Some of it is coming from, you know, teenagers in Macedonia, but some of these fake news sites are run from people in the United States who just see this as a money grab.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about what we heard from the President-elect Donald Trump and his continued attack on mainstream media and what he said about the dishonesty, as he calls it. Let's watch last night in Florida.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: And here's the bottom line, they're very dishonest. They've written very dishonestly about all of us. This is a movement like they've never seen before. And yet we won, folks. We won.

So what happened is this, we went out and we watched the media, and we believe the media, and the media's very dishonest. They were even dishonest in their exit polls, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: Christina, is there some correlation between the continued attack from the president-elect on the media and the rise of fake news?

WARREN: I think that there is. I think that they're sort of feeding one another in an echo chamber. You've already had this rise of fake news, whether it's, you know, for for-profit, or in some cases, you know, simply to I guess fool people. And you have that correlating with, you know, the president-elect who's saying these things, that you can't trust the mainstream media, which is giving rise to the alternate news, which is saying the exact opposite.

BLACKWELL: You know, one of the places where many get these stories is on Facebook. And we know that Facebook and executives there were reluctant early on after the results of the election to accept their role, potentially, in the spread, the rise of fake news. But we know now that they are working to implement a system to try to identify and control the spread of fake news. What do you make of what we're seeing from Facebook?

WARREN: I think it's a little bit late, frankly. I think that, you know, Facebook for a long time right after the election was emphatic that they are -- that fake news had no role in the election, that fake news on Facebook had no role in the election. And after sustained criticism, after five weeks of criticism, they're finally going to be doing things to target the fake news that's spreading on their platform.

And frankly, the way that they're going to be stopping some of this fake news seems a little anemic at best. You know, they're really relying on third parties to vet whether a story is true or false, and they're going to show a pop-up message to users and say this has been -- you know, third-party sources say that this isn't true. Are you sure you want to share this? I don't really know what that does to stop the dissemination of fake news and I don't know how well that scales. I don't think that they can go and stop every fake article from being spread.

Instead, what they could have done, and they had the resources to do this before the election, would be to identify news sources that are blatantly false and block them from their system and treat them like spam. Why they didn't do that, I'm not really sure, but the steps they're taking right now to stop fake news seem little bit late.

BLACKWELL: All right, Christina Warren with Gizmodo, thank you so much. We know that there was a Facebook executive who said that they have a responsibility to reduce the spread of fake news on its platform and we know that the head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, some time ago said that it would seemed crazy that they had some influence on this election. A different tune now from Facebook. Thanks so much for being with us.

WARREN: Thank you.


PAUL: There's a new video emerging from an altercation between a college football player and a woman, and it's disturbing.

Andy Scholes, good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christi. Yes, this incident happened more than two years ago, and I'll tell you why attorneys for the player are just now releasing this disturbing video.


[06:51:37] BLACKWELL: Listen, this video is disturbing, there's no way around it, but we're showing it to you because it's been released by the attorneys for a college football star. It shows him hitting a woman in an Oklahoma restaurant. This was two years ago and now it's finally being released to the public.

PAUL: Yes. Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report" because a lot of people are wondering, why now?

SCHOLES: Yes, you know, this incident happened in 2014.

PAUL: Right.

SCHOLES: And Oklahoma's running back Joe Mixon, he's one of the top prospects in all college football at that time and attorneys for Mixon finally released the surveillance video yesterday afternoon, but that was only after the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters sued for its access. And earlier this month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the city of Norman should, in fact, release it. And again, we warn to you, this video is graphic and might be disturbing to some.

Now this took place at a restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma. The tape shows a woman shoving and slapping Mixon, then Mixon lunges at her and punches her in the head. The woman, Amelia Molitor, suffered several broken bones in her face. Mixon is charged with a misdemeanor, placed on probation for a year, ordered to serve 100 hours of community service and undergo counseling.

Now he was suspended for the 2014 season by the Oklahoma Sooners, but he took a redshirt, which means he technically lost zero games of eligible. Now Mixon's attorney released a statement saying Mixon is, quote, "sorry for the way he reacted that night. He's apologized publicly to Miss Molitor, her friends, his family, teammates and the university. He hopes that his voluntary release of these recordings will help put these matter to rest."

Now Mixon issued a formal apology last month but also suggested that racial slurs were hurled at him the night of the incident.

Now University of Oklahoma also issued a statement shortly after the video was released. It reads in part, "It was made clear to Mr. Mixon at the time of his suspension that the violence against women will not go unpunished at the university. Mr. Mixon has apologized for his actions and the university hopes that it is an indication that he has learned from his mistakes."

Now Molitor currently has a pending civil lawsuit against Mixon. Oklahoma going to play in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn on January 2nd.

And guys, you know, a big question is in this situation is, if the player was, say, a backup linebacker as opposed to a star running back, would he have been just immediately dismissed from the team?

PAUL: It's a good question. All right. Hey, Andy, thank you so much.

SCHOLES: All right.

PAUL: I know lots to unpack there.

A moment of hope and a chance at a normal life as formerly conjoined twin boys leave the hospital separately for the first time. You were so intrigued with this story. We'd love to give you this update. Stay close.


CHRISTIAN MCDONALD, FATHER: As soon as they were in the wagon downstairs, I looked over and they had their arms locked. And then I looked over again, they were holding hands.



[06:57:02] PAUL: After a 27-hour, marathon surgery, formerly conjoined twin boys have finally left the hospital separately. The lead surgeon called the procedure the most complicated he has ever performed.

BLACKWELL: CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta has the latest for us.


NICOLE MCDONALD, MOTHER: You are going to have to drive the van with Aza in it and then I'll ride in one ambulance and we'll have someone else ride in the other one.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a day the McDonalds had been waiting for -- discharge.

C. MCDONALD: There's your brother Jadon.

GUPTA: Jadon and Anias, born connected at the head, were finally separated in a marathon 27-hour operation. While doctors are pleased with the recovery, they have battled infections, fevers, and seizures, to get here.

(On camera): For the past two months, this has been Jadon and Anias McDonald's home. Craniopagus twin who were separated two months ago to the day. They're now going to move on to a rehab facility, but I wanted to go say hi to them one last time at this hospital.

I love this.

N. MCDONALD: I know.

GUPTA: Look at this.

N. MCDONALD: I don't -- people think


C. MCDONALD: They -- they always touch. Yesterday during the -- as soon as they were in the wagon downstairs, I looked over and they had their arms locked. And then I looked over again, they were holding hands. They have a great bond.

GUPTA: He loves the camera, too, doesn't he?

N. MCDONALD: He does.

C. MCDONALD: This kid here was born for the cameras.

N. MCDONALD: He sure was.

GUPTA: I'm really happy for you guys. Really, really happy.

N. MCDONALD: Isn't this the best?

C. MCDONALD: Thank you.

GUPTA: You're going to -- you're going to be OK saying good-bye to all these folks, Nicole?

N. MCDONALD: We've all come to an agreement that it's not good-bye, it's just see you later.

GUPTA: When the boys were first born, mom and dad, Nicole and Christian, would wheel them around the hospital in a little red wagon. Why? It was the only thing that would fit them top to bottom. Well, they're now going to be leaving the hospital again in a red wagon. But this time, they're going to be side by side.

(Voice-over): They have spent 174 days in this hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, yes.

GUPTA: For the McDonald twins, it's good-bye, but on to a new beginning.


GUPTA: Christi and Victor, I think you'd have to agree that was a pretty heart-warming moment. The boys finally leaving the hospital. And it wasn't a day that anyone was certain would come. I mean, they had a big operation, 27 hours. They had a lot of care here in this hospital. And Dr. Goodrich said at one point, he said on the day the boys were separated, it was like a second birthday. Now they're going to go to rehab and learn all the things they would have otherwise learned during that first year of life. We're going to keep an eye on them and we'll certainly bring that to you. Back to you for now.

PAUL: I can't wait. Keeping that family in our thoughts and prayers, certainly. And I love seeing the medical team.


PAUL: I mean, they're so fabulous in so many ways. We know that when you're in the hospital, it's more than just the physical aspect.

BLACKWELL: And it's so stressful.

PAUL: Mental, emotional. Yes.

BLACKWELL: Strong bond they built with the patients.

PAUL: Having that support. Good people there.

Listen, we have a lot more to tell you --