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President-elect Donald Trump saying he has inside information about attempted hacking, the Russian hacking of the election; Turkey had its first terror attack of 2017; North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announcing that his country is close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile; Politicians on Capitol Hill getting ready in the new year for some pretty intense battles after Donald Trump takes office; President Obama will huddle with congressional Democrats on Wednesday; CNN Film presents Chicago Band; Aired 7:00-8:00p ET
Aired January 1, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:23] POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: Top of the hour. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Two big stories we are covering tonight, one at home another abroad.
First, president-elect Donald Trump saying he has inside information about attempted hacking, the Russian hacking of the election, and that he will reveal it this week. While in Turkey the New Year was barely an hour old when a terror attack was unleashed in Istanbul leaving almost 40 people dead. A city's celebration ending and mourning right now while man hunt ensues.
We will get to politics in a moment. But we do begin this hour with the first terror attack of 2017. And brand new video of the man who opened fire inside of a crowded Istanbul nightclub killing 39 people last night.
Right now, a man hunt is under way for this person seen in the video. First he shot a police officer right outside. He was guarding the front gate then he walked inside and quickly unleashed fire indiscriminately on the party goers inside creating an absolute blood bath. Club goers were panicked. Some raced outside. Some even jump into the frigid waters of the bus for just trying to escape. We now know 69 people are hospitalized. Among them is a U.S. citizen who was wounded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got shot in the (bleep) leg, man. These crazy people came in shooting everything. I don't know. I saw one person. They are shooting. I'm hiding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: No person, no group yet claiming responsibility for the attack.
Our Sara Sidner is in Istanbul with the details -- Sara.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, law enforcement spent the entire first day of 2017 trying to track down a terrorist who massacred dozens of people and injured dozens more inside an upscale nightclub here in Istanbul.
SIDNER (voice-over): Police sources tell us this is the very moment a gunman blast his way into a New Year's Eve party at an upscale nightclub in Istanbul. He kills a policeman and private security guards before entering the crowded Reina (ph) nightclub on the (INAUDIBLE). The first hour of 2017 turned out to be the last hour of life for more than 30 people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw a blob coming outside and people were falling down because of shedding. It was terrible thing.
SIDNER: On this New Year's Day a father is forced to say good-bye to a child. A wife is left without a husband and friendships were ended with a single bullet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm feeling so sad. I can't understand. I can't talk. I can't explain my feelings.
SIDNER: She didn't expect to find her missing friend here, in the morgue. Officials say 24 of the 39 killed were foreign nationals from all over the world.
Outside the club where the massacre happened in the first daylight there's a line of police along the sidewalk. We also heard from witnesses who came to the club to get their things like their cellphones and they said the scene was horrific. They were sure that they heard the gunman speaking in Turkish and saying (INAUDIBLE).
People were jumping into the (INAUDIBLE) which is just over there. And now in the daylight you are seeing mourners leaving flowers and candles remembering the dead.
The Arabic words for God is greatest. Those words a clue for police who have investigated nearly a half dozen attack in Istanbul in 2016. Some 75 minutes into 2017, hope for a better, less violent year dashed in a barrage of bullets.
SIDNER: At this hours, police have identified almost all of the victims who died in this attack. And we do now know that an American has been injured in this attack. Giving you some idea of the kinds of people that were here, you had every one from Americans to Israelis to Saudi Arabians all inside this club trying to enjoy a new year -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Sara Sidner for us in Istanbul. Sara, thank you so much.
Meantime here in the United States, the state department official tells that all 35 Russian diplomats expelled under the new sanctions have left indeed the country. Thai had 72 hours until today to leave. This as the president-elect says that he has new information about the alleged Russian hacking of the election. Here is what he said last night at his new year's party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know a lot about hacking and hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don't know. And so, they cannot be sure of the situation.
[19:05:04] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that what you know that other people don't know.
TRUMP: You will find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Let's go straight to Ryan Nobles. He joins us from Washington.
The president-elect there said, we will find out on Tuesday or Wednesday what this information is. A, do we know anything about what's behind that timing and, also, will it be a press conference? What should we expect?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't have any specific insight into exactly what he means by finding out more information about this on Tuesday or Wednesday. The best guess we have is that it is going to correlate with a high level intelligence briefing that the president-elect has scheduled for some time this week. And it's at that point where Trump is expected to get some more information about what the intelligence community has gathered in this hack of U.S. interests during the United States election and beyond.
Of course, Donald Trump has been very skeptical of what the intelligence community had to say about this incident from the beginning. And last night at that party at Mar-a-Lago, he went even further saying that in the past, U.S. intelligence community has got things wrong and that's why he wants more information. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I just want them to be sure because it is a pretty serious charge. And I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster. And they were wrong. And so I want them to be sure. I think it is unfair if they don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: So the question is how open will Donald Trump be to the information that he receives in this intelligence briefing this week. And also, what will we learn from a high level hearing of the Senate arms services committee on Thursday. That's where high ranking officials will appear before members of Congress both Democrat and Republican. And Poppy, we expect them to get some tough questions about the evidence that they have gathered over these past couple of months, having to do with this hack.
And of course, Poppy, keep in mind that there are leading Republicans, not just Democrats, leading Republicans who agree with this assessment. And this could be one of the big showdowns for the early days of the Trump administration.
HARLOW: Right. Republicans, you know, including Lindsey Graham, senator McCain, who have called - you know, Mitch McConnell, for tougher sanctions against Russia. And the Trump team is asking whether these sanctions that have been laid down are proportional or not. We'll see what it leads to on Capitol Hill.
Thank you for the reporting, Ryan.
NOBLES: Thank you, Poppy.
HARLOW: Let's talk about this all with my panel joining me now. Ryan Lizza, CNN political commentator. And Ben Ferguson, CNN political commentator and host of the "Ben Ferguson show."
Happy New Year, guys.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Happy New Year, Poppy.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Happy New Year!
HARLOW: Ben, let me begin with you. I'm sure you saw this interview of Sean Spicer this morning on ABC this week speaking with Jonathan Karl about all of this, about Russia. That's what the interview was about. But he was asked twice, point-blank, if Donald Trump, the president-elect, believes it was indeed the Russians behind this. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But what's the bottom line, just a yes or no answer, does president-elect Trump now accept the fact that Russia was behind the DNC hack? Or do you still have --?
SEAN SPICER, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There is a report that came out the other day that was issued on the 29th that the intelligence community put out. And while the media played it up as a report about the hacking, what it is, if you look through it, and it is available online, is a series of recommendations that should be taken --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does he accept Russia is behind this?
SPICER: Well, I think -like I said, he has to have the briefing from the intelligence community.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not a question of not there yet, Jonathan. It's a question of getting the information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: So Ben, to you. Does it concern you that -- I mean, as you know, you can't just feed the fact that the intelligence community has been incredibly clear with this. Yet, you know, Jonathan Karl couldn't get a direct answer from Sean Spicer on it.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think Sean's point here, and I think Donald Trump's point is this. They are going to make an assessment when he is sworn in as president of the United States and they are going to deal appropriately with what they see fit. But they are not going to sit there and be backed into a corner by Barack Obama or anybody else when they haven't seen the full scope of the information.
HARLOW: How is the president backing the president-elect into a corner?
FERGUSON: Well, he is certainly tied his hands on the sanctions. What does he had -- does he have many options when he gets into office to all of a sudden undo them? When you kick diplomats out of the country, you're putting him in an awkward situation.
HARLOW: -- said that the Obama administration didn't do enough when it came to Russia. Now they do and it's backing them into the corner?
FERGUSON: Well, I think you have to look at the history over the last eight years. It is very clear this president hasn't done enough. He did not do enough on Aleppo. He did not do enough with Syria. He did not do enough with Crimea.
HARLOW: Ben, we can and should debate all of that.
FERGUSON: Poppy, it is part of the answer. And for him to all of the sudden come in here in the last 20 days that he is in office, last 30 days and say, now I'm going to have this big move against Russia, it is a little suspect. You didn't do it over the last eight years when people are actually dying at the hands of Russia. They do a hack, we don't know the intent of the hack, we do not know if the intent of the hack was actually to sway the election or if Russia was simply hedging their bets on finding out information about the leading candidate in the polls at the time, Hillary Clinton.
So to say that now we should be celebrating this, I think it brings up something very problematic for the new coming in president of the United States of America. You put him in an awkward situation, all because you want to do something the last 25 days.
[19:10:35] HARLOW: As a point of fact here before I get to Ryan, we do know according to the intelligence agencies that, indeed, the intent was to impact and disrupt the electoral process. What we don't know is whether it had an impact or swayed the election.
Ryan Lizza, to you. Talking about this briefing that Trump is going to get this week. The president-elect with the heads of all these major intel agencies. We are seven weeks after his election. Now he is meeting with them, which is a good thing. But this is typically a meeting that's done much earlier. President Obama when he was first elected in 2008, he met in Chicago with all of the heads of the intelligence agencies just a few weeks in. Is the timing of this, to you, odd, late? And how do you think this impacts Trump's relationship with the intel community moving forward?
LIZZA: Well, it's been pretty rocky since he was elected. He has been a little dismissive of the daily presidential briefing, which a lot of former intelligence people have said to me is, you know, the reason you have that presidential daily briefing is you're going to be making decisions, life and death decisions, about putting Americans in harms' way. And unless you have a running dialogue or are asking questions every day, being briefed every day by your top intelligence people, you won't be able to make those decisions.
So look, transition period is extremely busy. He is putting together a cabinet. He does have a lot going on. And we frankly don't know exactly how much intelligence he has been receiving. So let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say other things have gone on.
LIZZA: I do think I'm of two minds about his skepticism about the intelligence. I would say as a journalist and someone who, like a lot of us, were burned by the Bush administration and the facts leading up to the war in Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, that we should all be skeptical when the intelligence community comes out with a consensus opinion. Because as Trump pointed out, they have been wrong in the past.
LIZZA: So let's grant him that there is nothing wrong with being skeptical. What is more worrying, if it is beyond just a healthy skepticism and he sees this - he is so wedded to this reset of relations with Putin and, frankly, a very pro-Putin disposition that he has had the last couple years, that he's ignoring the evidence. I mean, that's as bad as the intelligence community getting the evidence wrong. Is a policymaker ignoring the clear evidence of harm to the United States?
And I just want to respond to one thing that Ben said. I take Ben's point about how some people think that Obama wasn't aggressive enough in the trouble spots Ben pointed out. But let's remember, the Obama administration did respond to Russia's interference in Crimea and Ukraine. It is one of the things that led to the deterioration of relationships between Obama and Putin. We put sanctions on Russia. Some tough ones that Putin wants to get off.
HARLOW: Economic, very tough economic sanctions.
FERGUSON: But there is a difference -- here's my thing. We didn't kick anybody out of the country.
LIZZA: Neither of those situations, Ben, were direct matters that concerned U.S. national interest. In other words, you could have a debate about whether we should have been tougher on Crimea and Ukraine but we didn't have troops there. We don't have Americans there. This was, if we believe the intelligence community, a direct attack on our democratic institutions. And so I think that's what justifies --
HARLOW: Gentlemen, I have to leave it there. You're both back with me at the bottom of the hour. So just sit tight. Thank you very much. We got to get a break in. Ben Ferguson and Ryan Lizza.
Coming up next, a new threat from North Korea. A warning that a weapon that has the capability to strike the United States, is severe warning about that from Kim Jong-un. Is there a reason Pyongyang is speaking out fewer than three weeks before inauguration?
Also, Kentucky voters helped put Donald Trump in the White House. We are going to give you an in-depth look at a fascinating piece about some of their concern about what happens to their Obamacare now. And that's just one fight awaiting lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Tax reform, the Supreme Court and the wall. We will talk about it all straight ahead.
[19:17:22] HARLOW: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announcing that his country is close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile. That raises concern, needless to say, that North Korea strengthened its nuclear capabilities. The U.S. state department today urging the world community to send a message to North Korea that launching these types of missiles, of course, has consequences.
Joining me now, Gordon Chang, columnist for "the Daily Beast" and author of "Nuclear Showdown, North Korea takes on the world."
Gordon, nice to have you on. I appreciate it.
Look. This sort of New Year speech, this typical anti-western rhetoric, proclamations, we expect this from him. But last year, North Korea did carry out two nuclear tests. And the concern now is, is there reason to take these words a bit more seriously, given where North Korea has shown us they are at?
GORDON CHANG, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST: Certainly. They already have three launchers that can hit the lower 48 states - (INAUDIBLE), the KN08 and KN14. Now, they may not be very accurate and we know that they can't made a nuclear warhead to them. But they will be able to do that in three or four years. So it is just a matter of time. They are making very fast progress. They had about 21, 22 missile tests last year. And they are obviously learning a lot from all of this.
HARLOW: Why would Kim Jong-un say this? If, indeed, they are close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile, the question that I ask myself is, why does it behoove them to tell the world?
CHANG: Well, you know, that's a great question. And the answer is we really don't know what his calculus is at this particular moment. We know that they like to destabilize South Korea and the United States, keep us off balance. And basically, that's what he's doing. Because he is challenging the administration. And by the way, the White House actually told the Trump transition team that North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is our number one security threat. So clearly, that's going to unnerve American policymakers when he says something like this. But you know, exactly what his calculus is at this particular moment, you know, no one actually knows.
HARLOW: Knowing what we know about him, about the man, I mean, you have written a book on this. You know this country inside and out and its leadership. Is this an attempt, do you believe, Gordon, to grasp the attention of the incoming president, of the president-elect? Also, how do you think an incoming president-elect changes the calculus for North Korea?
CHANG: Well, when you have a new president come in, they always think they can do it better than the previous administration. So you're going to have new policies. And I think Kim Jong-un in a sense really wants to affect the way Trump looks at him.
But also, remember, this is South Korea politics, too. Where you have the country right now in this impeachment crisis. And probably, he wants to send a message to Seoul and to his allies, the progressives in the South Korean political system. So there's a lot going on here, which we don't quite know.
[19:20:13] HARLOW: One point that you make that I think is very important is that generally, the United States has known weeks before these tests are carried out because of what we can see aboveground. These testing facilities that are aboveground. That has changed, hasn't it?
CHANG: It certainly has changed. Because early last week, "Strategic Sentinel," which analyzes satellite imagery said that the North Koreans have a new missile base. And by the way, it is not one of these things with a big gantry which we can see. This has of missile silo, so they can probably assembled missiles underground which means that they can launch without warning.
You know, with the longest range launcher, which is this (INAUDIBLE), it takes weeks to transport, assemble, fuel and test. We can destroy it while it is there on the ground. But with this missile test - with this missile silo, we can't do that. The first warning that we have that there is a test is that the bird is already in the air and it could be heading toward the United States.
HARLOW: Gordon Chang, thank you very much. We'll be watching closely.
CHANG: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: Nice to have you on.
Coming up, a new year means new battles on Capitol Hill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think health care will be better and cost less when Obamacare is gone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just revealing Obamacare, even though they have nothing to put in its place and saying they'll do it sometime down the road, will cause huge calamity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: The challenges facing both parties in Washington as the president-elect takes office. That's next.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:24:24] HARLOW: Politicians on Capitol Hill getting ready in the new year for some pretty intense battles after Donald Trump takes office. Republicans will start putting in motion an agenda many of them have dreamed about for eight years.
Our Manu Raju takes a look at the Republican to-do list.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER (voice-over): For the first time in nearly a dozen years, Republicans will control all of Washington and they are plotting an ambitious agenda on Capitol Hill. A sweeping re-write of the tax code. New infrastructure projects. A ninth Supreme Court justice and their top goal, a repeal of President Barack Obama's signature legacy item, Obamacare.
[19:25:04] SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: The Obamacare repeal resolution will be the first item up in the New Year.
RAJU: But Republican leaders privately acknowledge it won't be easy especially repealing the health care law without a clear plan to replace it. And in the aftermath of surging enrollment numbers for Obamacare.
OBAMA: What happens to those 20 million people who have health insurance? Are you going to just kick them off and suddenly, they don't have health insurance?
[19:00:00] Next month, Republicans will immediately try to pass a budget. A process that will allow them to repeal much of Obamacare, including subsidies to buy health insurance and an expansion of Medicaid. All on a party line vote in the Senate.
But some key aspects of the law cannot be repealed through the budget process including prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. And the mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance.
Conservatives determined to scrap the law are already warning of a revolt if president-elect Donald Trump accepts anything short of a full repeal.
If he pursues just amending Obamacare, how would you respond?
REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: I'm not going to agree with that.
RAJU: The process to replace Obamacare will be even tougher because Republicans will need to overcome a Senate filibuster. Meaning, they will need the support of at least eight Democrats to enact a new health care law. But the new Senate democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, is already warning that his party won't help the GOP replace the law.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), INCOMING MAJORITY LEADER: Just repealing Obamacare, even though they have nothing to put in its place and saying they will do it sometime down the road, will cause huge calamity from one end of America to the other. They don't know what to do. They are like the dog that caught the bus.
RAJU: To ensure people don't lose their coverage, GOP leaders say Congress will effectively delay the repeal from taking effect until legislation is approved to replace the law, a process that could take years.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: There needs to be a reasonable transition period so people don't have the rug pulled out from under them.
RAJU: But that approach is only bound to cause tension with top conservatives who want immediate action.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: Look, I think health care will be better and cost less when Obamacare is gone. So why would we want to take three years to get rid of it?
RAJU: Now, Republican officials tell me rather than a comprehensive Obamacare replacement, they are looking at a path and series of smaller bills they hope can win from Democratic support. And aside from that, there is a huge quite looming over reforming the tax code for corporations and individuals. So that issue is expected to dominate action on the hill for much of next year.
Adding to that though, a slew of major confirmation fights, including Trump's pick for the Supreme Court. And you can see Trump's agenda next year could be filled with huge accomplishments or get bogged down quickly in capital gridlock.
Manu Raju, CNN.
HARLOW: Manu, thank you very much.
We will debate it all ahead and also talk about what are some areas where Republicans and Democrats could actually come together in 2017. That's next.
[19:31:28] HARLOW: President Obama will huddle with congressional Democrats on Wednesday to talk about ways to try to save at least part of his signature accomplishment, Obamacare. Republicans say they will repeal Obamacare as soon as possible. Their agenda also includes re- writing the tax code, confirming a Supreme Court justice and passing an enormous infrastructure spending bill.
Let's talk about all of it with Ryan Lizza, our political commentator and also Washington correspondent for the "New Yorker." Nice to have you on the program.
LIZZA: Thank you, Poppy.
HARLOW: When you talk about the fight over Obamacare, I mean, Republicans have been clear about the fact they are going to do away with it and do away with it quickly. But there have been parts of it that the president-elect has even said he would like to keep, like insurance for preexisting conditions. People staying on their parents' healthcare until they are 26. How do you expect this fight to actually play out?
LIZZA: Yes. I mean, those two policies that you mentioned, very interesting. Those are two policies that Trump, after talking to Obama, has said he is OK with keeping those. The trick here, of course, is those policies were part of a package that made it all work together. Right? The insurance companies are one of the most powerful interest groups in America. And they were influential when Obamacare was going through Congress. And the only reason that they were OK with those regulations that were consumer friendly was because the Obama administration allowed the mandate, which forced everyone to buy their product, right?
LIZZA: So that was the political deal that got Obama through Congress. Republicans have to figure out how to unwind that without shredding the system and hurting a lot of people who have insurance. And they haven't figured it out yet.
HARLOW: When you look at areas, and I think we have Ben Ferguson who we can bring on here, as well.
All right. Ben, are you with us?
FERGUSON: Yes, I got you.
HARLOW: You're late to the party but I will still let you answer this question. As a conservative, what issue do you see most likely for your fellow conservatives and Republican and Democrats, rather, to actually come together on and make progress on?
FERGUSON: I think, first, it's going to be on the issue of preexisting conditions. I think there really seems to be a consensus among many Republicans on the hill, also Donald Trump and his staff, about the issue of preexisting conditions. And I think that's one of the reasons why there are so many that are saying, look, there needs to be a replacing. But there are some parts of Obamacare that we do need to keep intact. That would be a prime example of where there would be a consensus or common ground here.
And look, I'm one of those that buys on the exchange. And this year was a year where I bought on the exchange but it wasn't a good year. There's only one plan available for not only me but my family and my new child. They got rid of every other plan because they were losing so much money last year. And there was only one company that was even offering a plan for my child. It is a bronze plan. We will be out $13,300 before insurance kicks in if any one of us gets kick. It is a high deductible plan. It still costs a lot of money every month. More than $1,000 for the family. There does need to be a fix. But I also think that preexisting conditions, if there is anywhere Donald Trump should be able to walk into a room with Democrats on Capitol Hill and say, this part we need to keep, I think there should be a total consensus on that issue.
[19:35:00] HARLOW: Ryan, I want to touch on a few other quick issues with you. And that is, things like the border wall that president- elect Trump promised to build, or also tariffs, another thing that he has put out there. These are areas where some of his Republican colleagues in Congress are not on the same page with him on. How will that play out?
LIZZA: Well, those are big issues. I think on tariffs, you will find even some Democrats who will support some of Trump's policies on trade.
LIZZA: I don't -- you know, I would be surprised if this Congress, considering how many free market oriented Republicans will be in charge, will ever come around to tariffs. Now, the president has some unilateral authority when it comes to some of that. So we will see. And there are still some big, big differences between Trump and the mainstream Republicans on the hill over basic economic policy.
You know, just speaking very theoretically on immigration, if Trump were more of the deal maker and less of the ideology, you know, the jury is out on that, you know, potentially, you could see a very big immigration deal, where Democrats went for very strict, very severe border security issues if Republicans moved on what a lot of people now would call amnesty. Some kind of pathway to citizenship. You know, the traditional immigration reform that's been talked about for the last decade, you know. I wouldn't hold your breath, but if Trump wanted to play deal maker, that's probably a deal sitting there waiting for him.
HARLOW: I'm getting the wrap and got to go. I'm just interested, do you think we are going to see the wall built in the president-elect's first term?
FERGUSON: I think yes, probably in the first term, but not probably in the first year. I think he has got other things he wants to work on first. Then he will move forward with that.
HARLOW: Who pays for it?
FERGUSON: I think it is going to be interesting to see that question. I don't think that Mexican --
HARLOW: Totally dodging my question. Dodger!
FERGUSON: You're welcome.
HARLOW: All right. Ben, thank you. I appreciate it. Ryan, thank you.
LIZZA: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: I would stick on you if I didn't have to get some other stories in here.
All right, guys. Thanks.
Voters in coal country lined up behind Donald Trump and his promise to bring jobs back. But how will a Trump presidency affect their government benefits?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this money is important to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Absolutely. It is not a large amount, but it is enough to pay the bills.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:40:40] HARLOW: When president-elect Trump take the oath of office, the clock starts ticking on his campaign promises, including bringing back jobs to coal country and repealing Obamacare. It won him the support of coal miners, the same people now worried their votes may end up hurting their health and their finances.
Our Miguel Marquez reports.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The coal laden hills of eastern Kentucky.
TRUMP: We are going to bring the coal industry back.
MARQUEZ: Trump country.
Neil Yonts is a Democrat and coal miner for 35 years initially supported Hillary Clinton. But --
NEIL YONTS, FORMER COAL MINER: I voted for Trump. May be a mistake, but I heard him say he would bring coal back.
MARQUEZ: A mistake, maybe, because this man now suffers from black lung disease.
YONTS: From here to there, you see a difference in my breathing that close.
MARQUEZ: He voted for Trump to bring jobs back but now fears Trump's promise to kill Obamacare will also end his black lung benefits.
YONTS: When they eliminate the Obamacare, they may just eliminate all the black lung program. It may all be gone. Don't matter how many years you got.
MARQUEZ: Three sentences in the affordable care act made it easier for victims of black lung to get monthly federal benefits if they worked 15 years or more in the mines. And if they died, the benefits automatically extended to their widows.
PATTY AMBURGEY, I will be drawing $643.42.
MARQUEZ: Once a month?
AMBURGEY: Once a month.
MARQUEZ: Patty Amburgey just got her first payment. Her husband Crawford, after 32 years in the mines, died in 2007.
AMBURGEY: To say it, in part, somebody you live with 45 years, go from a vibrant man to a child is very hard.
MARQUEZ: Getting the payment can also be difficult, even with the law. It took her three years. Now, her black lung widow benefit, along with Social Security and a tiny $62 a month pension keeps her financially afloat.
So this money is important to you?
AMBURGEY: Absolutely. Absolutely. It's not a large amount, but it is enough to pay the bills.
MARQUEZ: Keeping up with the bills here, for many, a lifetime struggle. So Trump's full throated promise of jobs was a powerful message. The unemployment rate in (INAUDIBLE), 10.3 percent. More than twice the national average.
STEPHEN SANDERS, DIRECTOR, APPALACHIAN CITIZENS' LAW CENTER: This area has seen a terrific decline in the number of coal mining jobs in the last five years. And those jobs tended to be high paying jobs.
MARQUEZ: Stephen Sanders represents miners applying for black lung benefits. As jobs evaporated, he says, Obamacare benefits, more important than ever.
SANDERS: President-elect Trump promised people that he was going to restore mining jobs. I don't think he thought about what the affordable care act might mean to miners who are applying for black lung benefits.
MARQUEZ: Linda Adams' husband Tony died three years ago. She is now applying for black lung widow benefits.
You supported Donald Trump for this election?
LINDA ADAMS, HUSBAND DIED FROM BLACK LUNG: I did. I did.
MARQUEZ: But if Obamacare goes away?
ADAMS: If Obamacare goes away, we're going to be in a world depression.
MARQUEZ: Today, Adams devotes her life to helping others apply for benefits she hopes will survive even if Obamacare is abolished. Her enormous expectations now squarely on president Trump.
ADAMS: If he don't come across like he promised, he won't be there next time. And not if I can help it.
MARQUEZ: Trump's future opposition already taking shape if jobs don't return and Obamacare benefits vanish.
Miguel Marquez, CNN, Kentucky.
HARLOW: Miguel, thank you very much for that.
Coming up, they said rock and roll was a passing fad back in the '50s. But tell that to legendary rock group Chicago. I met with them in Omaha, Nebraska, on the final leg of their 49th tour. Tonight, CNN traces the band's windy city roots all the way to the top of the charts. A preview is next.
[19:47:57] HARLOW: Tonight, a new CNN film explores the more than 50 year history of the band Chicago, which started as a rock band with horns in 1967 has transformed throughout the years and still tours every single year. I caught up with them on the final leg of their 49th tour.
HARLOW (voice-over): After 47 gold and platinum records, dozens of charting songs and more than 100 million albums sold, Chicago, the legendary band is still rocking today. A brotherhood started with a handshake nearly 50 years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a handshake and a jam session.
HARLOW: Did you ever imagine the success?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of us did.
LEE LOUGHNANE, FOUNDING MEMBER/TRUMPET/VOCALS: To have this success for this long is unprecedented.
HARLOW: So guys, when was the pinch me moment?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're still having it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Poppy, do you want to walk up on stage?
HARLOW: Yes. We caught up with Chicago on the final leg of their tour in Omaha, Nebraska.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Omaha, how the hell are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a true band. A band of brothers.
HARLOW: A band of brothers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ROBERT LAMM, FOUNDER MEMBER/KEYBOARD/VOCALS: We would build these songs and build these albums together. And at some point, I realized, and I think we all realized, that music is indeed what we're going to be doing pretty much for the rest of our lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I distinctly remember getting the first album in my hands. And I was thinking that this is a lifetime achievement, you know. Chicago transit authority, vinyl, double album. What could be better than this?
JAMES PANKOW, FOUNDING MEMBER/TROMBONE/VOCALS: This music has transcended time. It has no demographic. People are still coming in, the audience, young people that discover the music through their siblings or their parents. It strikes a chord in them. And people in the audience are 15 to 75, and they are all getting this on their level. They are celebrating this with us.
[19:50:12] HARLOW: There have been ups and downs. Band members have come and gone. But the glue that keeps them together, they say, is a musical democracy.
RAY HERMANN, SAXOPHONIST: It is a total family. It was like immediately, you feel like you are just, you know, one of the guys. And they would bring you in, and it is not like, you know, you have to be over there or don't play too loud or you know. And being a sax player, too, getting to play with, you know, these two guys right here that, you know, it's the best horn section I have ever played with. Talk about democracy, we are always talking about phrasing. Talking about music. It is wide open.
HARLOW: As the newest, youngest member of Chicago, what is it that makes the decade not matter when it comes on the radio?
JEFF COFFEY, BASS/VOCALS: It's just become the back drop of millions of people's lives. And when they come to the shows, they bring back those memories of where they were when they heard these songs before. And I think that's why it is transcended and timeless.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The music talent is amazing. Transcends all ages. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't find bands producing this kind of music
today. This is it.
HARLOW: The great Jimi Hendrix gave Chicago advice they would never forget.
PANKOW: He said, just keep giving at best, pay it forward, you know, share your gift. And we did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all lived in a little house under the Hollywood freeway. Each guy had a shelf in the medicine cabinet. Each guy had a shelf in the refrigerator. Whoever get to take the last shower got the cold shower.
IRIS IMBODEN, DRUMS: I joined about 26 years ago. I actually saw the band when I was 16 years old before the first album came out. And I couldn't believe my ears and eyes. I mean, it is the best band I would ever seen in my then 16 years. And I flappingly said, if someone who said, you know, you are going to be the drummer, I would say, yes right, and I'm Napoleon, you know. I wouldn't have believed it. So I'm still pinching myself. I really am, Poppy.
LOU PARDINI, KEYBOARD/VOCALS: When I joined seven years ago, I tell the guys this often, that I waited a long time to be in a band where everybody gets a little bit of the spotlight and also supports the others at times.
HARLOW: There have been decades more wild than others like their years at caribou ranch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The caribou ranch happened to be very close to a college town. There's a ton of drugs. Really good drugs. And then it ended up just kind of like being a party in the Rockies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was nothing else to do. You know, chase elk.
HARLOW: You could have chased elk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I initially fell in love with an elk. I got to the point where they started looking good.
HARLOW: Chicago was flying high, but then came their heartbreak. Original guitarist Terry Kath (ph) died suddenly, accidentally shooting himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That made us all -- pulled us short. And we kind of didn't know what we were going to do.
HARLOW: You have said that you are still working through Terry's death.
LAMM: Yes. HARLOW: Decades later.
LAMM: I -- to be honest with you, I give Terry a look every night when we play "Saturday in the Park." There is a lyric that refers to him. I still dream about Terry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was like the musical leader of the band at the time. He would want us to stay together, as well.
HARLOW: You loved him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was very lovable.
HARLOW: They did, they say, what Terry would have wanted. They stayed together and kept playing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome, Chicago!
HARLOW: Chicago has toured every single year of its existence. Finally in 2016, the ultimate honor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is my honor to finally induct Chicago into the rock and roll hall of fame.
HARLOW: But no sign these rockers are slowing down, not even for a second.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always contended that music, creating music keeps me in a childlike state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is not too bad.
HARLOW: That's a good state to be in. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want it to be as organic as it started out being, and that's why we are still together.
HARLOW: My thanks to the band so much for having us. I enjoyed meeting all of them. And if you want to see more, just watch tonight in five minutes. "Now more than ever, the history of the band Chicago." 8:00 p.m. eastern right here.
Coming up next for us, an extremely generous act by a brave young man. That is our "in America."
[19:58:25] HARLOW: At a time of so much division in this country, there are also a lot of moments of unity all around us. We want to make sure you see those, as well, on this show.
So tonight, in "our America," how pizza is warming hearts in Pennsylvania. Josh Katrick has been a regular at Mario's Pizza in North Hampton since he was a little kid. He is also battling stage two colon cancer and he had just walked out of his eighth round of chemo therapy recently when he got good news. Mario's pizza was having a contest giving away two large pizzas and soda every month for the next year. To his surprise, Josh learned the pizza computer had picked his name out of a, basically, essentially digital hat. Out of 1200 names, and it was his. But Josh thought other people deserved it more so he donated his prize to the local food bank.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH KATRICK, DONATED PIZZA PRIZE TO FOOD BANK: I remember just coming out of there thinking, I just won pizza for a year. That's cool. I had been getting so much love and support. I just wanted to give back to other people that could use it more than I could.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Pretty great kid. Well, the folks at Mario's were so impressed, they decided to give two prizes. One for the food bank and one for josh. But Josh says he may give that one away, too.
Thank you so much for being with us tonight.
Coming up next here on CNN, a documentary you will not want to wish. "Now More Than Ever, the history of the band Chicago."
I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Happy New Year and good night.