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Consequential Week Ahead in U.S. Politics; Trump Replaces 89-Year- Old Inauguration Announcer; Moderate Former President Rafsanjani Dead at 82; Georgians Complain of "Creeping Border"; "La La Land" Breaks Record at Golden Globes; Russia: Hacking Allegations "Full Scale Witch Hunt"; Suspect Formally Charged Over Deadly Rampage; Pounds Slides After Theresa May's Remarks. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 9, 2017 - 15:00   ET




[15:00:33] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Monday. This is THE WORLD


A full scale witch hunt, that's what Russia is calling the most detailed accounting yet of cyber-attacks meant to disrupt the U.S.

election. The kremlin is formally responding to a declassified American report that points the finger directly at Vladimir Putin.

It says the Russian president ordered an "influence campaign," quote/unquote, aimed at helping Donald Trump win the White House. The

report says Russian agents used WikiLeaks to release e-mails hacked from Democratic Party accounts.

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, today responded. There was a WikiLeaks news conference saying that the report has zero evidence.


JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF WIKILEAKS: It does not have the structure of intelligence report. It does not have the structure of a

presidential daily brief. It is frankly quite embarrassing I think to the reputation of the U.S. intelligence services to be putting out something

that claims to be a report like that. This is a press release. It is clearly designed for political effect and U.S. intelligence services have

been politicized by the Obama administration.


GORANI: Well, that was Julian Assange in an audio only news conference. The U.S. intelligence community did give more specifics in a classified

version of the report, not the one we saw and it was shown to President- elect Trump on Friday.

Let's cover this story from both Russia and the United States. Senior international correspondent, Fred Pleitgen is live in Moscow, and

senior politics reporter, Stephen Collinson, is live in Washington. Fred, let me start with you and the response from Russia.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala, you know, we've been waiting for a response from the kremlin because it was

pretty quiet over the weekend because of course it was the orthodox Christmas fest and so no one really commented over the weekend.

But the kremlin came out in full force today in the form of a conference call held by Vladimir Putin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who

blasted this unclassified report saying, first of all, that yes, the Russian president could read it, however, he felt it was way too thin to

offer thinking new.

He said that the report was both amateur as well as emotional and called it unbefitting for a professional intelligence service. So some

pretty strong words coming there from the kremlin.

And he also used that language that you were talking before, the language of the witch hunt, which of course is something that Donald Trump

has also used to talk about these allegations in the past.

And he said something more than I want to read to you, he said, "We understand that our U.S. colleagues during various stages of their history

have gone through such witch hunts. We remember these stages of history. We know that they are replaced with more sober experts, more sober

approaches that are after all aimed at dialogue."

Of course, making a pretty unveiled reference to the fact that he believes things could get better once President-elect Donald Trump gets

into office -- Hala.

GORANI: So they're talking about a period in American history of witch hunts that they liken to what is going on now. What are they talking

about, the McCarthy era? Is that what the parallel they're making here?

PLEITGEN: Well, it could be. They didn't elaborate anymore on that, but that would be certainly the one that would spring to mind first would be

the McCarthy era that they might be likening to that. But also saying that obviously those eras in their mind and that there could be dialogue


There certainly are a lot of people here in Russia who do believe that the relations between Moscow and Washington could improve considerably

once Donald Trump is in office. It was interesting. I was in a town about 150 miles outside Moscow this weekend and we couldn't find a single person

that wasn't happy about Donald Trump getting elected -- Hala.

[15:05:08]GORANI: Very interesting. So really it extends beyond the urban centers. Very interesting. We look forward to that report.

But Stephen, let me ask you about this report, the declassified version, what impact will it have politically because very senior

Republicans in Washington say they believe Russia interfered and they want Russia punished. So what impact could we see there?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: That's right. The impact we're seeing so far is that this report has opened a rift between

President-elect Donald Trump and Republican senators on Capitol Hill who are preparing sanctions against Russia to punish what they say is this

interference in the U.S. election.

We've seen a slight shift on the part of Donald Trump. He issued a statement after the report came out praising U.S. intelligence

professionals with whom he has been at loggerheads over the past few days, but he still didn't accept, publicly at least, the conclusions that Russia

interfered in this election.

That the interference was mandated by President Putin and then it was intended to -- by the end of the operation at least, was intended to

help Donald Trump himself. There is deep sensitivity on the part of the Trump campaign, the transition, to the idea that this casts doubt on his

legitimacy as a president.

And what we've seen over the last few days is that Trump officials have come out and tried to fog the issue somewhat. They're not talking

about now assigning blame. They are saying that, you know, over the last 50 years there have been frequent attempts to interfere in the U.S.


Even though the report said this is the most overt interference they have ever seen. And now they are saying that other countries have also

tried to interfere -- you know, staged cyber-attacks against the United States like North Korea and China.

So they're trying to sort of fork this idea that Russia is the great one to blame here perhaps prepare the way for Trump's attempt to improve

relations with Moscow.

GORANI: And Stephen briefly, of course, Donald Trump will be holding a news conference, everybody is waiting very eagerly for this, where he

presumably will be asked many times about this foreign -- or Russian interference in the U.S. election that intelligence agencies believe

happened. I mean, what is the expectation in how he will respond? This is going to be quite a test for him, isn't it?

COLLINSON: It's going to be very interesting. He was in Trump Tower in New York in front of reporters earlier today and he was asked several times

about the Russian hacking issue. He says we'll talk about that on Wednesday. That is when he will have his press conference.

He has a bit of a difficult path to walk on this. I think the issue would also come up on Wednesday in the confirmation hearing for Secretary

of State Rex Tillerson, who we're hearing may actually put forward a more traditional view of Russian relations.

Notwithstanding the fact that a lot of Republicans are very worried about his supposedly close relationship with Putin.

GORANI: All right. Stephen Collinson in D.C. and Fred Pleitgen, our senior international correspondent in Moscow, thanks very much to both of


Trump's critics say it's extraordinary that a president-elect doesn't appear all that concerned by a foreign power interfering in

America's Democratic process.

After he received the classified briefing, Trump wrote on Twitter that the only reason the hacking is being discussed is that Democrats are

trying to explain away their election loss. He also says only stupid people or fools would oppose the U.S. improving relations with Russia.

Let's get some perspective now from former CIA Director James Woolsey. He was a senior adviser to Trump. He left the transition team

last week. Thanks, Mr. Woolsey, for being with us.

First of all, why did you leave the transition team? Did it have anything to do with Donald Trump being at loggerheads and criticizing

intelligence agencies, you're the former CIA director?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: No, it didn't. I had not been asked for some time since really before the election win to do anything in the

transition, write anything, whatever. And so I just thought that it was not accurate for me to be carried on Chiron's and television and so forth

as being a senior adviser to essentially the Trump campaign and its outgrowth and victory in the election and I didn't want to fly under false

colors. That's all.

GORANI: But weren't bothered at all by what he said about the CIA or the intelligence agencies and quoting Julian Assange as one of the sources to

explain away some of this theory?

WOOLSEY: I haven't been asked to do anything for some weeks and even then it was at the beginning a little bit. But mainly what I've done is

summarize things and talk to the press as I'm doing now. I haven't been asked --

[15:10:03]GORANI: But you personally weren't bothered by what you were able to observe over the last few weeks regarding Donald Trump's assessment

of intelligence agencies versus, say, quoting Julian Assange on Twitter?

WOOLSEY: The key thing is that I think he started out with one position on this and he's been rethinking to some extent and you want that in a

president. You want a president to continually take a look at how things are going and what the expert opinion is and now that the report is out and

the classified report, I supposed on Wednesday, I think he's had a lot more opportunity to look at what the surrounding facts are. And you see it in

the way that he addresses the issue.

GORANI: But how has he softened or changed his position? It seems that he's just saying that it's because Democrats want to explain away their


WOOLSEY: Well, that's he one of the things that he said about the publicity for it, but in terms of the substance, I think you will find in

the report and in his comments on the report that he is taking another look at what is going on and seems willing to discuss possibilities.

GORANI: What about the appointment of and we're learning from a transition source that Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law will become senior

adviser to the president. I mean, one of the things that Donald Trump promised was, you know, fighting against political dynasties, draining the

swamp, and here he is appointing his son-in-law that still has business ties with foreign corporations including in China. He's a real estate

developer. Is that something that should have Americans concerned?

WOOLSEY: I don't know Mr. Kushner. He has a very good reputation as a very able man. I don't think --

GORANI: But the optics are not good, don't you think? This is what his critics are saying.

WOOLSEY: I don't think you govern by on that optics. I think you govern by reality. There are some problems with trying to govern in part via

Twitter, I would think. But in terms of the substance of where things are going to be going in a Trump administration, I don't think you want to be

guided at all by the narrative or the optics or whatever.

GORANI: But there are very specific laws, anti-nepotism laws, in fact that came about after the presidency as you know very well of John F. Kennedy.

Those things, I mean, the spirit of a law like that is trying not to appoint your relatives in key jobs.

WOOLSEY: Well, first of all, let's look at the reality of the law and Mr. Trump I think to put it mildly can afford very fine lawyers. We ought to

see what they or any opponents on the other side say about the way conflict of interest is dealt with. It's an important subject. It needs to be

straightened out and we should keep an eye on it, but I think not make up our minds yet.

GORANI: All right, and I want to ask you a little bit about the report itself, this declassified CIA report. Some of those who believe that

perhaps people have jumped too quickly to the conclusion that Russia interfered looked at this report and saw some mistakes in it.

They for instance named the wrong head of Russia today, said Russia today was the most news channel -- most watched news channel in Europe and

things like that. Were you surprised at the contents of the report that some of these facts were erroneous?

WOOLSEY: No, I hadn't looked into that particular one, but I think it would be erroneous to call Russia today anything other than a propaganda

organ of the KGB and the GRU. It is really quite an instrument for controlling the opinions of Russians in Russia as well as being a basis for

what the Russians call disinformation. Otherwise known as lying and it is not an instrumentality for anybody who wants any kind of accuracy or

reality in what they're getting in the news.

GORANI: James Woolsey, thanks very much, former CIA director and former adviser to the Trump transition and Donald Trump. Thanks very much.

The president-elect may be facing one of his busiest weeks since the election, but he still has time to trade insults with a Hollywood actress.

Meryl Streep took aim at Donald Trump during a Golden Globes acceptance speech on Sunday. Listen to what she said.


MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: There was one performance this year that stunned me, it sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. It was --

there was nothing good about it, but it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.

[15:15:00]It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he

outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart.


GORANI: Meryl Streep there. Streep never mentioned Trump by name. The president-elect's response was more direct that came on Monday morning. He

tweeted, "Meryl Streep one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood doesn't know me, but attacked last night at the Golden Globes.

She is a Hillary flunky who lost big time for the 100th time, I never mocked a disabled reporter." Just to remind you what Trump's

impression looked like of this reporter, it's from a campaign rally, by the way, Streep said 2016. It was actually November 2015. Here it is.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Written by a nice reporter, now the poor guy, you got to see this guy, I don't know what I said, I don't

remember. He's going I don't remember. Maybe that's what I said.


GORANI: Now, CNN's senior media correspondent for politics as well, Dylan Byers, joins me live from Los Angeles with more on this. Quite the battle

here, Streep versus Trump. What a way to start the week. It's always something. Tell us about what the buzz is surrounding what Streep said and

then Donald Trump's response.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Sure. What a way to start the week and also what a way to start the year and really the sort

of first days of Donald Trump's presidency coming up on January 20th? There is a divide despite what current President Barack Obama said back in

2004, there really is a divide in this country and it's a cultural divide.

And the way that people identify themselves, whether they are pro Trump or anti-Trump, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, liberals or

conservatives so often has to do with these cultural questions.

And what you see between Meryl Streep and Donald Trump is sort of the epitome of that culture war. It is red America versus Hollywood. It

is this notion that somehow Hollywood is part of the cultural elite or establishment that the Democrats an even the media have been a part of and

what you're seeing now, you're seeing those butting heads.

This is not the first time we've seen it. We saw it butt heads when there was the issue with "Hamilton" when Vice President-elect Mike Pence

went to see "Hamilton" and there was some sort of appeal to him to act on his better instincts.

You see it whenever Donald Trump goes after "Saturday Night Live." There is this idea that somehow Hollywood the entertainment industry from

the Golden Globes to "Saturday Night Live" to Broadway does not speak for the sort of red state America that delivered Donald Trump to the White


Now, I saw Meryl Streep's speech at least initially in her opening remarks as sort of an appeal to Trump supporters, a way of saying look,

Hollywood is not made up of elite -- coastal elites who don't identified with the country.

Very often these people come from there. I came from New Jersey, you know, this actress came from Iowa, this actress came from New Mexico,

what have you. Trying to tell a larger story and saying we're all on the same page here.

Unfortunately, I think she failed to stick the landing because she went after things like mixed martial arts and the cultural touchstones of

red America --

GORANI: And football. If you want to appeal to the most people in America, a good strategy is don't go after football.

BYERS: There was a sense when she started speaking that she was casting a wide net and an invitation to all Americans. By the time she finished her

speech, there was a sense that she was deriding red state America and as the media, that is really the question that we have to answer, a question

Hollywood is trying to answer. Are we going to reflect all of these different sides of America, these two different Americas or are we really

going for sort of rebel against Donald Trump?

GORANI: I'm going to get yelled at but my producer, but I want to ask you one more thing, which is of course that we talk about the tweets, we talk

about what Meryl Streep said. We talk about then Donald Trump's attack. But overall, this is also a big deflection, isn't it, from what is really

important this week, confirmation hearings, big international tension with North Korea?

I mean, all of these things. Jared Kushner appointed senior adviser. All these things that then you end up talking less about because

the media spend more time discussing these little arguments on Twitter.

BYERS: There is no question. We saw that throughout the campaign, we're seeing it now and we'll see it throughout Donald Trump's tenure. That is

the question for the media. If he gets in a fight with a Meryl Streep, with "Saturday Night Live," how much attention do we give to that versus

how much attention do we give to these really significant substantive decisions that are being made regarding who is going to be in his

administration, who is going to be in his cabinet?

[15:20:06]And then most importantly what policy positions is he trying to push through the House and the Senate and actually enact into law.

GORANI: Dylan, and of course, we'll be talking about this in about 10 minutes with our John Avlon. Thanks very much, Dylan Byers, for joining

us. John Avlon, the editor-in-chief of "The Daily Beast" will joins us soon.

To the story in Florida, the suspect in that deadly shooting rampage at the airport on Friday appeared before a federal judge just hours ago in

Fort Lauderdale. Hand cuffed and shackled, Esteban Santiago made his way into the courtroom surrounded by U.S. Marshals.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Authorities say Esteban confessed to Friday's shooting that left five people dead.

Security video from the airport shows some of the violence. I want to warn you some viewers may find it disturbing.

We won't show you any point at which people were by the way killed. You can see the gunman walking through the airport and there he pulled out

his gun from his waistband. He fired about three times before running out of the camera's view.

Let's head to Fort Lauderdale now. Boris Sanchez joins me live with the latest. What are we hearing from the gunman's family members at this


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've actually heard from several of his family members namely his aunt who told CNN that after he served in

the war in Iraq where he was for about ten months, his personality changed when he returned.

She actually told us that he had visions all the time and that he would constantly talk about the destruction that he saw there and the death

of children. We don't know the specifics of what he saw, but that something he did mention to his aunt.

Aside from that, we did speak to his brother in Puerto Rico, who says similar -- who has a similar account of Esteban Santiago's return from

his service overseas. His brother says that he had looked for mental health help, but it wasn't provided to him.

Perhaps the last incident in November when he went to visit an FBI field office in Anchorage, Alaska and told them that he was hearing voices

that were telling him to watch ISIS videos -- Hala.

GORANI: Boris Sanchez, thanks very much for that update.

Still to come tonight, another rough day for the British pound after remarks from Prime Minister Theresa May. It all concerns, well, you

guessed it, Brexit. We'll explain all in a few minutes.


GORANI: Just a few months before Britain is expected to begin tricky divorce negotiations from the European Union and the pound has once again

been taking a beating.

Here is how it's doing at the moment against the dollar. You're not seeing the two digits past 1.22, but it's very close to 1.22. At one

point, it was over 1.26.

It all comes after the U.K. prime minister seemed to suggest she doesn't see Britain staying inside the E.U. single market post-Brexit which

means a hard Brexit.

[15:25:03]Theresa May has been seeking to clarify those remarks today saying the media are misrepresenting her words.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm trying to say that the people getting it wrong are those who print things saying I'm talking about a hard

Brexit. It's absolutely inevitable. I don't accept the terms hard and soft Brexit.

What we're doing is going to get ambitious, good, best possible deal for the United Kingdom in terms as I say of trading with and operating

within the single European market.

But it will be a new relationship because we won't be members of the E.U. any longer, we will be outside the European Union and therefore, we

will be negotiating a new relationship across not just trading but other areas with the European Union.


GORANI: Richard Quest joins me live. So Richard, I still don't understand which way they're going to go. I mean, that was --


GORANI: It was a 40-second sound bite, a new relationship, not hard, not soft, maybe the single market. Where are we going? We're less than two

months away from Article 50 being triggered here.

Start with what she said yesterday in her Sky News interview where she basically said that the U.K. would be leaving the European Union and

nothing would be left behind. Basically there would be no bits.

In other words, nothing like access to the single market, nothing would be left behind. That was interpreted as being you're out, you're out

for everything, which includes the single market.

She then suggested this question that there would be no -- there would be no immigration, although the U.K. would regain control of its

immigration borders, that again suggests.

She's not using the word hard Brexit, but it is the inevitable inference that must be drawn if you're out, you're out completely and you

have full control of your borders.

GORANI: Absolutely. But the next day you hear something and you heard her there roll some of that back, right. I guess could you argue and some of

those who support her approach argue as you know that it's better not to leave everything potentially on the table while giving hints that you're

favoring a hard Brexit just in case there is something that can be negotiated with the E.U. --

QUEST: I don't think -- I think she has a vision of what she wants which is out. But at the same time, the contra-vision is to keep as much of the

benefits as you can. And it's only once the negotiations get under way that you will be able to work out exactly what is tradable.

One other point to note about sterling's weaknesses. Chancellor Merkel listened carefully to Prime Minister May and Angela Merkel made it

quite clear again today that there can be no cherry picking.

If the U.K. is not prepared to accept the four freedoms which is it seems that it's not prepared to, then there can be no access to the single

market. I think that is going to weigh very heavily on sterling and keeping it down even further than Prime Minister May's comments.

GORANI: Lastly, was the expectation that by now and I mean 2017 a few short weeks before Article 50 that we would have a better notion of what

Britain wants out of these negotiations? I mean, a majority of voters wanted Brexit. They got Brexit, but they don't know what they're going to

get. There is such a wide spectrum here of options.

QUEST: Yes, and I don't think it's unrealistic to expect to have a better view on what the government's position is going to be in that regard. But

remember, the negotiations are two months away. Everybody is jockeying for position.

It's quite normal I would say for the rhetoric to be raised, look into my eyes, we're going to negotiate and basically play poker for the

highest stakes. It's not surprising that everybody is ramping it up.

GORANI: All right. We'll see by the way. I mean, it will be fascinating the first few weeks. Richard, we'll see you on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" at

the top of the hour. Thanks for joining us.

A lot more ahead. Donald Trump and company have a big week ahead with feisty confirmation tests and a major speech. We'll preview the

events and look at possible diversion tactics as well.

And Iran has lost a politician dedicated to strengthening ties with other countries. How former President Rafsanjani impacted the Middle East.

We'll be right back.


[15:32:02] GORANI: Russia says that declassified U.S. intelligence report on election-related hacking is unfounded and, quote, "amateur." The

Kremlin is categorically denying that it tried to help Donald Trump win the White House. The intelligence report says the order for cyber attacks came

from Vladimir Putin himself.

Israelis are mourning the victims of a deadly truck attack in Jerusalem. Four soldiers were killed when a Palestinian man plowed in to a crowd

Sunday. Speaking at a funeral for one of the victims, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "We are under a new kind of attack,"


An American Navy ship fired warning shots at Iranian boats near the Strait of Hormuz. A U.S. official says the Iranian boat repeatedly approached the

U.S. Navy ship over a nine-hour period, one time at a high rate of speed.

FIFA has just announced its Footballer of the Year. It's Cristiano Ronaldo. The 31-year-old had a great year. He won the Champions League

with Real Madrid and the European championship with his country, Portugal. His old rival, Barcelona's Lionel Messi came in second.

This could be the most consequential week in politics since the election of Donald Trump. The outgoing and incoming presidents will both be making

major speeches. President Obama is expected to defend his health care reform and economic legacy in a farewell address on Tuesday. President-

elect Trump will take the spotlight Wednesday morning for his first press conference in nearly six months.

Meanwhile, sparks may fly in multiple confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. Trump's controversial pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, will

take the hot seat for the second time in his career. Allegations of racism derailed Session's last hearing in the 1980s. And while Trump is making

his address, the Senate will be grilling former ExxonMobil executive Rex Tillerson to determine if he should be Secretary of State.

John Avlon joins us live. He's a CNN political analyst and editor-in-chief of "The Daily Beast," and the author of "Washington's Farewell: The

Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations."

Thanks for joining us. Good having you, John.


GORANI: Let's talk a little bit about these confirmation hearings. Now, we singled out Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, also Rex Tillerson for

Secretary of State. How do we expect those will go?

AVLON: You know, two ends of the spectrum to that Jeff Sessions is a long- time member of the Senate, and you got to go back to John Tower being rejected by the Senate under George H.W. Bush to find a member of the

Senate being rejected by their colleagues for a Cabinet position. As you say, he did appear before the Senate in the past and was denied a judgeship

over questions and allegations of racial insensitivity in the past. He's a Senator from Alabama. But since then, he's been elected into Senate and is

a well-known colleague. A controversial pick to many especially the NAACP which has been protesting his appointment, but that is likely to go


[15:35:03] Tillerson is a totally other side of the spectrum. No background in politics or electoral politics, known quantity to many

Senators for whom Exxon is a major player not only domestic politics but world politics. The major question surrounding Rex Tillerson has to do

with his relationship with Vladimir Putin. He's been given the highest civilian honor in Russia by Putin, in part because of Exxon's great

dealings with Russia. But that raises a lot of questions given the allegations of hacking and the other tensions surrounding U.S.-Russia

relations right now.

GORANI: We've talked in the past, John, about what fight the Democrats -- they don't control either House on Capitol Hill, but what fight the

Democrats are going to pick. What will they oppose most forcefully here as these confirmation hearings unfold, do you think?

AVLON: I think what's going to be fascinating is to see how many hardball questions they throw and whether they try to make the nominees defend

statements or policy positions advocated by President-elect Trump. Based on those questions, I think we'll see what openings occur. Their main

point is going to be that no vote should occur until all the ethics forms are filled out, which they're currently not.

Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that no votes will go forward until all the proper paperwork is filed, but you're already seeing,

you know, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York insist that the processes that Republicans insisted on under President Obama are abided by

Republicans now that they're in the pole position.

GORANI: Now, we discussed there with James Woolsey who's a former adviser to Donald Trump the update that we have concerning Jared Kushner, the son-

in-law of Donald Trump, that he will be appointed senior adviser to the President. Now, this is opening a whole can of worms potentially, isn't

it, for the President in terms of, first of all, there are clear anti- nepotism laws? Jared Kushner is a real estate developer. He met with Chinese investors several days after the election in which his father-in-

law was elected President. I mean, how is he going to navigate this, the President-elect?

AVLON: Well, I think the question is whether the President-elect cares to the extent that they run afoul of nepotism laws. If a clear ruling comes

down that this is on the wrong side of that, but the executive can simply try to force this one through, it's not a typical Senate appointee

position. But it raises all the specters of nepotism which have been in place for decades now.

It simply not a great sign when somebody who is a close adviser to his father-in-law, who happens to be President-elect, takes that step into the

West Wing. That is something very different than we have seen. And certainly, if the shoe were on the other foot and Democrats were trying to

push through, for example --

GORANI: But this is --

AVLON: -- Chelsea Clinton's husband --

GORANI: Exactly.

AVLON: -- to the White House role, people would be screaming bloody murder.

GORANI: But is what Donald Trump said he was campaigning against, this is why he was running --

AVLON: Yes. Yes.

GORANI: -- against the Clinton/Bush dynasties, draining the swamp. And one of his first moves is putting his son-in-law in the White House. I

mean, are even his supporters here potentially going to object or find this objectionable?

AVLON: One would hope. Obviously, if you're looking for intellectual consistency from Donald Trump, you've gone to the wrong place. But, you

know, the whole talk of draining the swamp has run into the buzz saw of reality and Donald Trump running many of the plays that he accuses the

Clintons of doing from conflicts of interest to nepotism to appointing many members of Goldman Sachs to his inner circle. Wall Street's been having a

very good transition period contrary to all the anti-Wall Street rhetoric.

But this is a big deal for this reason, Hala. It tends to be nepotism charges that what really do get under people's skin because they get it on

the gut level. It's just not the way things are done if you promise to appoint the best and brightest, and you just happen to find them inside

your family. Close adviser is fine in an unofficial capacity. This is an official capacity, so I think you're going to see this have more resonance

than many of Trump's moves in the recent past.

GORANI: We'll see because his supporters during the campaign, as you know, of course, John, regardless of what the opposition said was unacceptable,

kind of found excuses or explanations or whatever you want to call them to say, no, no, no, this is fine, you have to give him -- in fact, this is

what Kellyanne Conway said, one of his own other -- apologies, told. Kellyanne Conway spoke about Meryl Streep's speech at the Golden Globes.

In fact, let me ask you about that, why not, because that's the big buzz today.

AVLON: Why not.

GORANI: This is what Kellyanne Conway had to say about Meryl Streep's speech on President-elect Donald Trump. Listen.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: You can't give him the benefit of the doubt on this, and he's telling you what

was in his heart? You always want to go by what's come out of his mouth rather than look at what's in his heart. I'm concerned that somebody with

a platform like Meryl Streep is also, I think, inciting people's worst instincts.


GORANI: OK. So, in fact, those were two things that she said. One, basically, don't take him literally, you know, just look at the general

idea. The other one was Meryl Streep obviously used her platform to divide rather than unite. But this is a discussion we're having that also

deflects, doesn't it, sometimes from the more important topics like confirmation hearings and other things?

[15:40:13] AVLON: Yes, and it shouldn't distract us too much, although, of course, it's catnip whenever politics and pop culture collide. The larger

issue with Kellyanne Conway's comment, I mean, let's just stop for a second and think. Stop judging him by what he says or tweets. Judge him by

what's in his heart. Well, given our incomplete ability to look inside his heart Donald Trump's heart, judging adults by what they say or write is a

fairly basic standard applied to all presidents and people over the age of 12.

And so, you know, the fact that we're being asked to find greater empathy and deeper meaning beyond Donald Trump's tweets really runs contrary to the

way the President-elect has chosen to communicate, which is to take offense when people say things about him on television and erupt into, you know,

the Twittersphere about it rather than dealing with important issues of policies and the transition of government.

GORANI: But could it be deliberate, though? I mean, it could be a deliberate strategy, also.

AVLON: I think that's frankly giving him a little bit too much credit. I think this is somebody who reaches for tweets, not sits down and reads deep

policy briefing books. It may have the effect of distracting the press, but I would not underestimate impulse control when you're talking about

Donald Trump. There's probably more impulse and less strategy going on, unfortunately.

GORANI: All right. John Avlon of the -- when does your book come out? Is it out already?

AVLON: Tomorrow, the day President Obama gives his farewell address, a book on George Washington's farewell address.

GORANI: How on earth did you find time to write a book, is what I want to know.

AVLON: It's a fascinating story.

GORANI: OK. Good luck --

AVLON: Really important stuff. Thank you.

GORANI: Good luck with it. We appreciate it. Thanks very much, John Avlon, for joining us.

AVLON: Thanks, Hala.

GORANI: And John mentioned it, a program reminder, President Obama gives his farewell address Tuesday night. The speech is expected to start at

9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. That is 2:00 a.m. Wednesday here in London.

A lot is set to change on January 20th. The inauguration will even sound very different. That's because the Trump team is replacing a man by the

name of Charles Brotman, the man who has announced every inauguration parade since, get this, 1957. He's 89 years old. The outgoing announcer

spoke to CNN about being dropped.


CHARLES BROTMAN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL PARADE ANNOUNCER: I'd been doing it for 60 years and no one has ever asked whether I'm a Democrat,

Republican, independent. So it's just the ability of the individual announcer. I have been the only announcer that's ever, again, announced

the inaugural parade, and so I was taken back a little bit thinking, gee, how did they get another person? But I've met the other person and he's

terrific. He'll really do well.


GORANI: Well, he's being very gracious about it. The other person he is talking about is Steve Ray. He says he won't be able to fill Brotman's

shoes, saying I'm not taking his place, I just happen to be the guy who is next. But some people very unhappy that someone who's been doing this job

for so long was just kind of dropped from this particular gig.

Don't forget, you can get all the latest news and analysis on our Facebook page,

Back to the Middle East, Iran will be on the incoming U.S. President's radar. Relations with that country may be even more challenging after the

loss of a high profile moderate politician.

Hopefully, I'll be in vision one day. Here we are.

To Iran, as I mentioned, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has died of a heart attack at 82. Take a look at his legacy.


GORANI (voice-over): A giant of Iranian politics mourned in Tehran. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani shaped the country and its dealings with the world

since the 1979 revolution. He was one of the founders of the Islamic republic and was close with its first Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini.

Rafsanjani served as Iran's President from 1989 to 1997, and during this time, he made efforts to rebuild ties with the country's Arab neighbors and

liberalize Iran's economy.

AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI, FORMER PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): We have to boost our economy and better utilize our human resources,

especially the young generation, which should be the first to benefit from it.

GORANI (voice-over): More recently, Rafsanjani has been associated with the reformist wing of Iranian politics, standing unsuccessfully for

President against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005. Rafsanjani supported the protesters of the green movement after the disputed election in 2009 and

often spoke against some of the more hard line positions within the Iranian establishment.

[15:45:06] He caused controversy last year when he tweeted, "The world of tomorrow is one of negotiations, not of missiles," angering Iran's Supreme

Leader just months after the country signed its nuclear deal with the West.

Rafsanjani was a mentor to current President Rouhani, a key proponent of the deal who today mourned his loss.

HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani always got involved in times of hardship. He never side stepped

the problems. Hardships could never deviate him from his chosen path. He showed the path to the youth with his courage and open mind.

GORANI (voice-over): Rafsanjani's death comes just months before Iran's next presidential election in May when Rouhani will seek a second term. It

will be a major blow to Iranian moderates who've lost one of their most powerful influencers inside the regime. It also puts further pressure on

the nuclear deal, with Donald Trump promising to tear up the agreement when he gets into office later this month.


GORANI: This is the world right now. Coming up, a movable border. Why residents in this rural part of Georgia accuse Moscow of encroaching on

their land.


GORANI: Critics of Donald Trump's proposed detente with Russia often point to Moscow's military involvement across its border in Ukraine. But even

before that conflict, some of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia say they fell victim to what they call Russia's creeping border. CNN's Erin

McLaughlin traveled there and sent us this report.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the enduring wound of the 2008 war, razor wire fencing scars the landscape. Green signs

offer up an ominous warning. Just beyond is the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

We're only allowed to get this close in the company of Georgian security forces or E.U. monitors. They say it's for our own protection because,

after all, the Russians are watching. It's here that we meet Dato Vanishvili. Georgians see the 82-year-old as the face of this frozen


DATO VANISHVILI, RESIDENT (through translator): I am from South Ossetia from Georgia. I am Vanishvili, a Georgian citizen.

MCLAUGHLIN: After he went out one day to run errands, he returned to find his home in Russian-controlled South Ossetia, the razor wire slicing his

land and permanently separating him from the country he calls home.

When you first saw this fence here, how did you feel?

VANISHVILI (through translator): I was angry when they came. They said it was Russian territory, so if you don't want to be from Russia, leave.

Where should I go? Help me if you can.

[15:50:05] MCLAUGHLIN: To locals, it's known as the creeping border. Although Georgian officials are loathed to use the term, they call it the

line of occupation. To the Russians, South Ossetia is an independent state and their military is here by invitation. But each passing year, the line

steadily moves forward, swallowing farmland, even entire villages.

Independent monitors say each encroachment is a violation of international law, and no one on the Georgian-controlled side of the line seems to know

exactly where the line is.

This sign is meant to mark the boundary. The problem is, looking around, it's unclear where the so-called border begins and ends. For all I know, I

could be standing in South Ossetia.

Locals complain they've been detained and fined for unwittingly crossing over. And then there's the matter of the orchard in Jariasheni. Earlier

this year, Russian forces plowed a three-mile long furrow straight through it. They claim it's there for fire protection, but Georgians who cross it

get detained.

The E.U. has the only independent mission monitoring this frozen conflict.

KESTUTIS JANKAUSKAS, HEAD OF EUROPEAN UNION MONITORING MISSION IN GEORGIA: On the far left, you can see one Russian Federation Border Guard base. We

don't know where and how far that line can move because it was never recognized, it was never negotiated. It's based on variety probably of the

old Soviet maps.

MCLAUGHLIN: And what message is that sending?

JANKAUSKAS: That sends message that we are still living in the past.

MCLAUGHLIN: Near a small agricultural village sits Merab Mekarishvili's former home. It was bombed during the 2008 war. Mekarishvili was

determined to remain in the house his father built. That is, until the Russians fenced off the village road and some of his land.

Even though the house is on the Georgian-controlled side of the wire, he says the Russians gave him a choice. Become a citizen of South Ossetia or

move. He abandoned his home and lives nearby on what remains of his land.

Are you worried that this border is going to continue moving this way?

MERAB MEKARISHVILI, RESIDENT (through translator): We are afraid they will extend that border. We know what war means. It's better to be like this

than in war.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tamara Qoreli and her family fear that, one day, war will come again. To one side of their home, a Russian military base. To the other,

a Georgian check point.

TAMARA QORELI, RESIDENT (through translator): How would you feel here? How can someone live here? It is scary. Nobody knows what will happen

today or tomorrow.

MCLAUGHLIN: Qoreli says she no longer has enough land to take her cows out to and worries they'll be blown up by leftover land mines. Meanwhile, at

the Russian base overlooking the house, men in green go about their business, their children play in the courtyard.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, near South Ossetia.


GORANI: Well, CNN has reached out to officials in South Ossetia and Moscow regarding allegations that people are losing their land but has yet to

receive a response.

Coming up, judges go gaga for "La La Land." The Hollywood musical sets new record at the Globes. We'll be live in Los Angeles next.


GORANI: Meryl Streep's scathing speech about Donald Trump is dominating headlines from Sunday's Golden Globes, but it was a landmark night for more

than just political reasons.


EDDIE REDMAYNE, ACTOR: And the Golden Globe goes to --


REDMAYNE: "La La Land."


GORANI: The musical "La La Land" broke a four-decade-old record, sweeping seven awards. Its leads, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, both took Best Actor

trophies. Meanwhile, "Moonlight" pulled off one of the night's biggest upsets. The low budget independent film picked up Best Drama. Stephanie

Elam is in Los Angeles.

[15:55:08] So tell us more about this record for "La La Land." Why did that movie do so well?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for one thing, Hala, it's a movie that kind of pays homage to Hollywood, so it's not surprising that

Hollywood would enjoy that movie. But it did. It swept every category that it was in, and we did see that it broke that record winning those

seven Golden Globes for Best Director, wins for Emma Stone and also Ryan Gosling who led the film. So overall, just what was expected did occur

with "La La Land" sweeping as it did.

GORANI: And what about the other big winners? I mean, many are saying this to be a more diverse award season than, for instance, last year.

ELAM: Right. Well, first of all, you have to have more diverse films and projects out there first before you can even have more diversity. But,

yes, you did see that last night. And then, you saw it, too, with the wins.

You saw Tracee Ellis Ross win for "Blackish," her T.V. show on ABC. You also saw Donald Glover win for the show that he created, "Atlanta," and

then also winning as the star of that show as well. Viola Davis winning for her role as the supporting actress in "Fences," giving a really moving

speech as well for her win. So a lot of diversity there.

And then the big winner of the night was the drama, the picture, "Moonlight," which you mentioned which is a fantastic film. And it's sort

of been a sleeper. People didn't know if it was going to come in and beat "Manchester by the Sea," which was also a heavy favorite on the dramatic

category, and it did. It won so that's also kind of changing what the tea leaves are saying for how the rest of the award season will proceed.

GORANI: Yes because, usually, this is a good sort of predictor, isn't it, for the future?

ELAM: It's part of it. It's one point on the line as we get to the Oscars at the end of February. You still have SAG Awards coming up. And you'd

also take a look at who's voting, you know, the Hollywood Foreign Press. These are reporters who are voting on this and saying what they thought is

the best coming out of Hollywood. The Foreign Press does this, so it could change a bit. But overall, I still think you should you look for "La La

Land." I still think you should look for "Manchester by the Sea" and also for "Moonlight."

GORANI: I don't think -- is "La La Land" out, I'm asking, here in London or not yet?

ELAM: It is not there yet? It's not?

GORANI: This weekend. All right. Good. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing it.

ELAM: So you can catch up, yes, exactly.

GORANI: Yes. Thanks very much, Stephanie Elam. As always, thanks for being on. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hala Gorani. See you

tomorrow, same time, same place.