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CNN TONIGHT

5 Dead, 8 Wounded in Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting; Intel: Putin Directly Ordered Effort To Influence Election; FLOTUS Farewell; Report: Putin Behind Election Hacking; Russian Goal To Help Trump Win Election; President Obama's Legacy; Obamas Host Final White House Bash; Donald Trump's White House. Aired Midnight-1a ET

Aired January 7, 2017 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[00:00:20] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: It is midnight on the East Coast and we're following multiple Breaking News stories all across the country.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

In Florida, investigators learning more tonight about Esteban Santiago, the suspect in today's shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport that left five people dead and eight wounded. Social say Santiago claimed several months ago that he heard voices telling him to watch ISIS videos.

Meanwhile, breaking news out of Washington to tell you about. The Intelligence Community concluding in it's just released report that Vladimir Putin himself ordered hacking to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign and to help Donald Trump.

Plus, an emotional moment from First Lady Michelle Obama, listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, UNITED STATES FIRST LADY: Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope and I've made you proud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I want to get right through to the latest on the shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport today. Joining me is CNN Boris Sanchez, Rene Marsh is with us as well our aviation correspondent and also Debra Feyerick. Debra is in Union City New Jersey at the home of the suspect. And she has news on that.

Boris, let's get to you where it happened. The FBI holding a news conference tonight, what did they say?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, they said that this would be a difficult and extensive investigation, an expansive one at that. You can imagine how many where here at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, when all of this unfolded.

Another thing that they said at the press briefing was that they would explore all avenues to figure out a motive behind this attack. They said they were investigating in several states, including as you mention New Jersey and Alaska. One of the things that we heard from the FBI during this press briefing, we were able to confirm that the shooter at one point had visited an office of the FBI in anchorage this is back in November and revealed to them that he was hearing voices that he believed came from National Intelligence agencies here in the United States that were telling him to watch ISIS videos.

We heard more from the FBI on that. Here's some of that sound.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE L. PIRO, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, FBI MIAMI FIELD OFFICE: Again it's very early in the investigation. We are work very closely with our anchorage field office trying to determine his activities there. But I can't really tell you about his weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Two interesting things to note, Don, before that press briefing was held we did learn that in the recent past the shooter would purchased two Glock pistols. One of them are Glock 9 and one of them are Glock 40. We don't know if those handguns were the ones that he used in this attack, but we do know he used a handgun.

I asked the FBI spokesperson at that point if these agents in Alaska were aware that he had weapons and if perhaps they did anything to take them away. To confiscate them from someone that was acknowledging the fact he was hearing voices that were telling him to watch ISIS videos. The spokesperson told me that they could not answer the question at that point.

What we know is that Esteban Santiago was referred to local law enforcement. They had him go through a mental test, a mental evaluation. And eventually he was apparently let go and came here to Fort Lauderdale to carry out this attack, Don.

LEMON: OK. So you mentioned local authorities, but they said he is being interrogated while in federal custody. Do you know more Boris about a possible motive here?

SANCHEZ: We don't have too many indications about a possible motive, but it is extremely telling that the FBI is still the lead investigating agency in this case. At that press briefing they said they wouldn't rule out the possibility that this was a terror related attack, that this was terrorism.

Obviously it raises a lot of flags when someone says they are hearing voices and on top of that those voices are telling them to watch ISIS videos. So there's still a lot of questions to be answered. One of the interesting things that came from the press briefing, one of the reasons that the spokesperson told us that agents in Alaska did not believe that he'd already been radicalized is because he has an expansive military record.

He served in the National Guard in Puerto Rico, in Missouri, in Alaska as well ultimately being discharged in 2016. So it's apparent that he does have a military record. They didn't see any glaring signs of radicalization at least in November at that point that he admitted to. But again, they have not ruled out terror as a possible motive in his attack.

LEMON: I don't know if this is good or bad news, but behind you it seems it is cleared up. The lines aren't so long. So I'm not sure what they did with those people. But in the idea when this airport is going to reopen, Boris?

[00:05:05] SANCHEZ: Well, about those folks, that actually -- the process started at around 9:00. And they just recently saw some of the last buses pull out of here. So there were about 10,000 people that were removed from Fort Lauderdale Airport just in the past couple of hours.

They're being taken now far from here to Port Everglades where we understand that the Red Cross and some other agencies are offering assistance. In terms of when the airport will reopen, minimal operations, private planes and that sort of thing will start up again soon. It's just after midnight. So any minute now that facet of the operations will resume.

But the general aviation of the airport here won't start up again until early tomorrow morning. We're told that perhaps as early as 5:00 a.m., clearly not in Terminal 2. This is still a crime scene, but at the other terminals of the airport.

LEMON: All right Boris, I want you to stand back because I want to get to Rene Marsh. Rene is our aviation correspondent. She has very deep sources. What are authorities and sources telling you tonight? What are you hearing?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION ANF GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don I mean right now, what they're trying to piece together is does -- is he connected to anyone else? And by doing that they are looking at his travels, what other states did he travel to beyond Alaska? We know that he came from Alaska. He went to Fort Lauderdale. But did he have any other travels in the months, in the weeks prior? And what are his other connections?

So they want to try to figure that out first. Is he connected to anyone else? Then of course obviously they're going to want to figure out, did he have any communications with anyone else? We do know that there is a police presence at his home there in Alaska. And I know that there is a presence at a home in New Jersey as well.

So, they are still gathering information to learn more about this individual's background Don this hour. But it really does raise the question about, could this happen again? And to be perfectly honest, it could happen again and it could happen at any airport across the country because there is this vulnerability in certain parts of the airport and there's really not much that can be done because when you hear the details of how he stored his firearm Don in his checked luggage. He did everything by the book. He followed the strict guidelines and yet he was able to take advantage of the vulnerability at these airports. LEMON: I want to get now to -- standby our Rene. Let's get to Debra Feyerick. And Debra it's important to you because you're in New Jersey and we hear the FBI. That's where the FBI is interviewing the suspect's family including his aunt. What do you know about that?

DEBRA FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well we know this is all part of the investigation. But they were here earlier. There are about eight agents and police officers. They were inside the home of the alleged shooter's aunt.

Maria Ruiz did speak to reporters -- excuse me, and she told them that basically her nephew just had a child. He was a new father. He had been deployed to Iraq for a ten month period back in April of 2010. When he returned the aunt says he was acting strangely.

And he is the youngest of five siblings those five siblings live both in Puerto Rico as well as in Florida. What we are learning as well is that he did join the National Guard when he was 17 years old in Puerto Rico. He served that deployment in Iraq. Back in August of this past summer he was discharged. It's unclear what the reasons are for that. But three months later he walked into an FBI office and basically said that he was -- that U.S. intelligence was telling him to do something. He said he wasn't violent, however the FBI there referred him to local authorities and they in turn took him to a medical facility for a mental evaluation.

So clearly something was going on there. As you said they haven't ruled out terrorism because they have to make sure that nothing else was going on besides that. So they are look into that thoroughly Don. But this is a guy who he was a private first class, he was a combat engineer. And he did received awards while he was serving with the National Guard they had including an army good conduct and commendation medal as well as the combat action badge.

What we do know that he did had his military I.D. with him when he was taken into custody. His aunt was very upset about this. Couldn't understand why this would happen. She said she was sorry. She is sad. She said that God should have mercy, Don.

LEMON: Debra, did she talk to you about him going into the FBI, you know. And about voices in his head about any sort of treatment or PTSD, how'd he changed when he came back from war? Did she speak about that at all?

FEYERICK: Well, she did say that he was acting strangely. And the story the narrative that's beginning to be pieced together is in fact that, that he did have issues that there were things that were going on. And I spoke to somebody basically about this, you know, when he went to the FBI agents and they in turn refer him to local authorities.

[00:10:06] Local authorities do have the authority to hold somebody and to detain somebody, if they do feel there are certain mental issues that need to be evaluated. And it appears that is what happened. The FBI did at that time, they looked at various databases. They looked at interagency sort of reports reviews and they also interviewed family members at that time. And based on all the information that they put together back in November, they basically, you know, closed their assessment.

So, whether there should have been more to be done, you know, he seemed to be OK and once he was put into that medical facility for evaluation voluntarily. Clearly they thought that the situation was going to be taken care of.

LEMON: So that wouldn't show up when he on a fly list or whatever when he is traveling with a gun?

FEYERICK: No, no, not necessarily. And you know I've traveled with people who have firearms. And there are rules. And some airports are stricter than others. I heard you earlier mention that in fact, you know, you had to go to a different area when you were doing a story to claim your firearm.

Often what happens for example in JFK somebody from the port authority will come. They will make sure that the gun has no bullet in the chamber. They actually make the person check the firearm, there in front of them. But other airports it's much easier. You just have to declare that the firearm is not load and then you're able to check it straight through.

So, there are different rules. But no, that wouldn't have necessarily raised a red flag because the FBI had closed his assessment on Esteban Santiago.

LEMON: Debra Feyerick, Boris Sanchez, Rene Marsh, thank to all of you. I appreciate it. When we come right back more breaking news. The intelligence report release today that blames Vladimir Putin for ordering hacking to influence our election.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:14:55] LEMON: America's intelligence agencies concluding in a report that Russian President Vladimir Putin directly ordered a campaign to influence the U.S. election. Top intelligence officials are briefing the president-elect on the findings today.

I want to bring in CNN Political Commentator David Swerdlick, Assistant Editor at the Washington Post. Juliette Keyyem CNN National Security Analyst and former CIA operative Bob Baer.

Juliette and Bob running the marathon this evening. Thank you all for joining us. David, welcome to the panel. We're going to start with Bob because he's been doing heavy lifting tonight. Classified version, the declassified version I should say of the intelligence report on Russian hacking has been released.

And among the conclusions it says "We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Hillary Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for president-elect Trump."

Our intelligence community is confident that Russia did it. And if they did it -- to in part to help Donald Trump. What kind of evidence do they have?

BOB BAER, CIA FORMER OPERATIVE: They've got a lot of evidence. They've got code. It's traced back to Russia, the KGB to the GRU military intelligence. They've got metadata around the hacking. They've got reuse. This code has been used before. It's not something you can buy on a, you know, a criminal market of some sort. And, you know, then they just look at -- they look at it.

There also brought up interprets. I mean they've come out and said they have been interpreting Russian calls. On top of that I would imagine this is a guess, they had implants and fiber optics. You know, this is a really, really strong, strong assessment. I've read these things for many, many years and there's -- a lot of them are wishy washy. I've never seen one this conclusive, period.

LEMON: So Bob the intelligence report has called this a significant escalation in long time Russian efforts to undermine the U.S. liberal democratic order. Meaning, you know, small liberal. Why was Putin so interested in this election?

BAER: He was interested because he detested Hillary Clinton for what she did in the Ukraine. He thought she interfered in Russian elections in 2011. It's a long history. She had a lot of people around her that the Russian considered neo-cons that were rolling back Russian influence in Eastern Europe. Missile defense systems, they looked at her as a true enemy of Russia.

And they had every reason in the world in their minds to take her down. And so the motivation is there. We may disagree with Putin, but he did it for a reason. And by the way I've talked to some Russian intelligence officers and there was dissent inside the KGB whether they should go ahead with this because it could risk angering the Americans which of course it is now doing.

LEMON: Juliette. It was called you the same question. And I already got it said, it was called this a significant escalation in long time Russian efforts who undermine the U.S. led liberal democratic order. Again, why was Vladimir Putin so interested in this election?

JULLIETTE KEYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well there is a couple of reasons that are actually we explained and report. It's actually a pullout page for people who are watching that explains the reasons why. One is what Bob said, a specific interest in denigrated, undermining, destabilizing Clinton and her campaign. They had assumed that she would win.

The second is they did view Trump's viewpoints about world order essentially as more pro-Putin certainly than Hillary Clinton's and that would be beneficial to Putin. When people -- this sounds generic. So let me just put it specifically. They believe that if Putin were to invade another country like Ukraine, that the Trump administration would be less critical of them.

And so they were looking forward to a potential Trump union, so to speak with a common interest. And the third is you see this reflection on having a unified front against ISIS. That would be great. I mean I think everyone would agree that would be great.

But in his fight against ISIS and his counter-terrorism fight he, you know he does very anti-democratic things. He arrests people. He -- people are killed. People are -- journalists are put away. His viewpoint and his attitude toward counter-terrorism are not American attitudes towards common terrorism.

LEMON: David, President Barack Obama responded this evening to the report, let's listen and we'll talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: One of the things I am concerned about is the degree to which we have seen a lot of commentary lately where there are Republicans who are pundits or capable commentators who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats. We have to remind ourselves we are on the same team. Vladimir Putin is not on our team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[00:20:24] LEMON: Which sure -- it's interesting, we're on the same team. We haven't heard that a lot. There's has been so much to vision, what is your reaction?

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah. It's what the President also alluded too in his speech, his press conference before Christmas when he said that Ronald Reagan would be rolling over in his grave the idea of that in the wake of all these. I mean let's remember how we got here, Don.

There was a report by my Washington Post colleagues about a month ago that the findings we found out today were going to come out. A couple of days later on Sunday show president-elect Trump dismissed them, said that the report was ridiculous. That we didn't know who was behind this, the intelligence community was off base.

And then now it turns out the intelligence community as Bob said is firmly behind these findings. President-elect Trump backed himself into a corner with this idea that, you know, dismissing the idea that Russia would meddle in our elections. And now as President Obama is saying, you have a situation where people are drawing up sides not in terms of the United States and Russia, but in terms of partisan politics, Democrats and Republicans.

And with the exemption of a couple of Republicans like Senator McCain, Senator Graham, you don't hear a lot of forceful, you know, push back against Russian interference from Republicans up to and including president-elect Trump who has boxed himself in. And now what -- we don't know what he is going to do once he takes office, but right now he is allowed to develop this narrative that he is soft on Russia and soft on Putin.

LEMON: Bob is he doing Putin's work for him?

BAER: Oh, absolutely. I mean I totally agree with David. It's just its amazing. You know, I grew up -- I was in the CIA during the Cold war. Reagan is turning in his grave. And it's sort of like where is Joe McCarthy when we need him? We have to, you know, we need to get to the facts. We -- our system was attacked in a major way.

And to say this is partisan politics is absolutely wrong. The CIA, I spent 21 years there is a conservative organization and you find mostly Republicans there and even Trump supporters. This is not partisan, we have to take this seriously and get over our apathy or as this report said we're going to be attacked again and again and not just by Russia by Iran and China and so on.

LEMON: David, what -- I mean, what should Donald Trump do at this point? Does he need to acknowledge that he was wrong? I don't know if that is ever going to happen but should he at least do that

SWERDLICK: Well again, you know, he's -- by trying to combat this one narrative, that his election was somehow illegitimate he has allowed another or two others narratives to develop. One, that he is soft on Russia. And the other that he is at odds with his own intelligence establishment, that two weeks from now are going to be working for him.

So, you know, I don't know how he gets out of this except to say that a few weeks ago if he had said, look let's wait for the facts to come in. You know, we're not a 100 percent sure what was going on. Instead of saying, this is ridiculous. I don't believe it. He wouldn't find himself in this position now.

But you have now is that Vladimir Putin basically got his cake and eat it too and a big glass of milk because he's got essentially -- he meddled in our election. He got the candidate presumably based on the CIA's report that he wanted. And now he's got Americans in fighting. And that makes him look like the big, big dog.

LEMON: And he's playing, you know, he's playing Trump like a fiddle. Go ahead.

KEYYEM: No, I think that one of the things that we also need to disabuse is this narrative created by Trump and some his people. Well, there's nothing you can do. It's cyber attacked and wires are complicated and technology is complicated. That's absolutely not true. And there are ways that we can protect our systems more. The news that sort of got lost today was that of course the Department of Homeland Security is now going the treat election systems as critical infrastructure that allows for more money and federal input.

So there are things we can do to stop this from happening again. And this idea that we can't only sets, you know. Not only as harmful to American democracy, but there is going to be a re-election in 2020. And I'd like to believe that this election -- that election will not have the influence of Russia in it whether it's Trump or a Democrat.

LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate it. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, Juliette. Thanks David.

[00:24:39] Up next, an emotional moment for First Lady Michelle Obama. Her last official White House event, she says being First Lady has been the greatest honor of her life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Two weeks from tonight, the Obamas will no longer be residents of the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama holding an emotional event today in the executive mansion.

Joining me now, CNN White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski. Good evening Michelle. The First Lady, Michelle Obama gave her final speech today. Tell us about it.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. And, you know, another reason so many people were watching this is, you know, how do you even say good-bye as First Lady? What do you put into this kind of address? I mean it wasn't just a farewell speech. This was an event for school counselors. And it's almost easier for a president to do this than a First Lady who doesn't speak publicly in such a way all the time.

But as soon as she started to brooch the subject you could hear that emotion in her voice. It seem like it was really hard to contain. And she wasn't smiling much throughout. Her face was very serious. And she included several pointed references to the rhetoric we heard during the campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA: As I end my time in the White House, I can think of no better message to send to our young people. Something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives and that is the power of hope. The belief that something better is always possible if you're willing to work for it and fight for it. It is our fundamental belief and the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country.

[00:30:09] KOSINSKI: In a crowd of educators, and advocates and school counsellors, the First Lady took this opportunity to speak to America's youths about America's values and as someone who over eight years has emerges one of the most powerful voices for Democrats from her emotional speak at the convention last year.

M. OBAMA: I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters two beautiful, intelligence black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.

KOSINSKI: To her surprising words just days ago with Oprah Winfrey.

M. OBAMA: See now we're feeling whatnot having hope feels like.

KOSINSKI: Here she didn't miss the chance to once again hit out at the kind of rhetoric he has said defined the Trump campaign.

M. OBAMA: If you or your parents are immigrants know that you are part of proud American tradition and whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh. These religions are teaching out young people about just and compassion and honesty. You see our glorious diversity, are diversities of faiths and colors and creeds that is not a threat to who we are but makes us who we are.

KOSINSKI: Noting to that it comes with responsibility. Half of those young people she is speaking to did not vote at all.

M. OBAMA: You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Empower yourself with a good education. Use that education to build an education worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope. Never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life. And I am so grateful to all of you for your passion and your dedication and all of the hard work on behalf of the next-generation and I can think of no better way to end my time as First Lady than celebrating with all of you.

So I want to close today by simply saying thank you. Thank you for everything you do for our kids and for our country. Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I made you proud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI: They are really an emotional address and you can see there were conflicting emotion there too. And many of the people around her were openly crying during this.

Well, tonight as we speak a much more celebratory mood at the White House with a glitzy star studded farewell party they are throwing. Cameras are not allowed inside night. But outside they captured the likes of Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep. Don.

LEMON: And a very nice speech by the First Lady. Thank you, Michelle Kosinski. I appreciate it. There is De Niro going in, a lot of stars, a lot of A-listers. Michelle, thank you.

[00:33:21] When we come right back, Michelle Obama one of the most popular First Ladies in years. So what will she do after she leaves the White House?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: First Lady Michelle Obama is the most popular member of the administration and she used her speech today to deliver a message especially to young people. Let's discuss now. Kate Andersen Brower is here, the author of "First Women". Symone Sanders a former Press Secretary for Bernie Sanders and CNN Political Commentator, Marc Lamont Hill. Good evening.

You know Michelle Kosinski reported First Lady Michelle Obama's final speech was very emotional. Let's listen to more of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA: I want our young people to know that they matter. That they belong. So don't be afraid. You hear me? Young people, don't be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The First Lady is an extraordinary speaker Symone and it's an extraordinary First Lady. Her words, will they continue to resonate.

SYMONE SANDERS, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR BERNIE SANDERS: I think so, you know, Michelle Obama again has cultivated this personality as the every woman. She's the mom in chief. And today in her very emotional speech that was event -- was for her retirement initiative, she spoke to every kid out there regard of whether they were Democrats, Republicans Independents agreeing (ph), black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian America or other whites (ph). And I think that's what people love about Michelle Obama.

LEMON: Yeah, that her message was one of inclusion and it always has been one as First Lady. And Marc she made a point of speaking to the nation's young people, specially immigrants, Muslims and others about being part of the fabric of this country. Was this a slight dig you think at the incoming administration?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know if it was a dig as much as it was a response to the moment. I don't think her goal was too--

LEMON: And why is it true that it dig, right?

HILL: Right, exactly. And I think we are at a moment where the nation is feeling melancholy. And at least half the nation which is very concerned about the tone and tenor of the national conversation and she's trying to speak back to that and give us a sense of hope and remind us of what's possible. I think it's actually a good thing. I don't think it wasn't about Trump as much as inspiring the nation.

LEMON: Kate during her time as First Lady Mrs. Obama has champions education fitness and military families. What do you think you can expect from Mrs. Obama after she leaves the White House?

KATE ANDERSEN BROWER, AUTHOR. "FIRST WOMEN": Well, I think it was specially interesting that the point at which her voice cracked there was when she was talking about empowering children and young women and she's always connected on a very emotional level with when she meets with young women from different communities, young African-American girls. I think she cares very deeply about this. So I think we'll see her doing more of this.

[00:40:09] I mean the east wing is really heart of the White House and west wing is the head. And, you know, the fact that Michelle Obama has been able to connect with people in emotional way as the kind of consular and chief. I think that's something we're going to look ahead to the Trump administration and see who's going to fill that gap, you know, with Melania is going to staying in New York. Is Ivanka Trump going to fill in?

And, you know, the First Ladies go to Walter Reed. They go, you know, Laura Bush after 9/11 was an incredibly important support. And so, I just wonder who is going to take Michelle Obama's place. And I think we just have no idea.

LEMON: It's always interesting to watch First Ladies, Michelle -- I mean Symone, excuse me. And people always have love for First Ladies. But I mean after eight years in the White House, Michelle Obama leaves with an extremely high favorability rating even higher than her husband and this as high as well.

What is so appealing about Michelle Obama? And I think I know the answer to that. She is just real. She is just. you know, you can -- it's like you can go and just talk to her and have dinner. She's just real.

SANDERS: Yeah, Michelle Obama is everybody's like best girlfriend in their head. Regardless of who you are. And she's been very careful. And one could argue with the exception of this last election to not be political. You know, she doesn't like politics. So she just really cares about the people. She cares about kids. She cares about education and I think it comes across.

The first time I met at Michelle Obama was at a lunch at a Girl's Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska. And she went down the rope line. And I'll never forget. She saw me and she was like, oh my god, I love your hair, don't ever cut it. And during the time when people were telling me I should be blond (ph) girl. So if Michelle Obama just--

(CROSSALK)

LEMON: What you say Marc?

HILL: You didn't listen.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: Michelle Obama tells me not to cut my hair, she said don't do it.

LEMON: Yeah, I remember when I was local anchor in Chicago and she was the wife of the, you know, a state senator then, and, you know, you would have to do all those like when you are a local anchor you'd have to do like Chicken dinner. Like oh introduce so and so, Mrs. Obama blah, blah, blah.

So she would like sit in the back with me and say, are you in trouble again? Will you stay out of trouble and every single time I see her, it could be years she'll say the same thing. Are you staying out of trouble? And I always say Mrs. Obama, oh man, no, it's me and, you know, I'm always in trouble?

HILL: And listen to her. Order you not to cut her hair, she told you stay out of trouble then you all listen to the First Lady. She so awesome why you aren't listening?

LEMON: Marc, you didn't listen either. I mean.

HILL: That's true.

LEMON: You're not at the White House tonight.

HILL: That's true. You always jab. I never -- that's the running joke. I never get invited to -- first black president I didn't get invited to one dinner man. Not one dinner. Not one cabaret, nothing. It's really sad.

SANDERS: Marc sounds like P. Diddy (ph), right now.

LEMON: I'll show you my pictures in the White House Christmas party Marc and we can talk about it.

So listen, Marc seriously though. This morning, Vox's Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff sat down with President Obama in front of an audience to talk about Obamacare, the President's signature domestic achievement, which is now in serious jeopardy of being repealed. It probably will. How much of President Obama's legacy you think is going to be at tied to Obamacare?

HILL: A big chunk of it. I mean, not just because his name is attach to it but because that was his signature domestic policy achievement. I mean, is maybe the biggest domestic policy achievement in the last 50 years, probably since the Civil Rights Act. I mean, it's an incredible gesture. But it's also an incredible concrete piece of policy even if I have critiques of it.

I think though that the President's legacy is bigger than just Obamacare. I think the President's legacy will extend both good and bad to what's happening in the Middle East. It will extend to what's happening with LGBT folk. It will extend to the Military and I'll be interesting conversation when we have some historical distance to see just how impactful it's been.

But even if Obamacare gets repealed, significant chunks of it people. Significant chunks of it will be held on to but the Trump administration. And then also its part of Obama's legacy's so it's an easily erasable legacy.

LEMON: It will be Obamacare rebranded as Trumpcare, a lot of people-- HILL: Exactly.

LEMON: So Kate, the President also gave a bit of advice to Donald Trump here listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: My advice to president-elect in fact we talked about this when I met with him for an hour and a half right after he got elected. I said, you know, make your team and make the Republican members of Congress come up with things that they can show will actually make this work better for people and if they're convincing, I think you would find that there are a lot of Democrats out there including me that would be prepared to support it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[00:45:00] LEMON: Kate, do you think the president-elect will take the president's advice?

BROWER: You know, I don't know. I think Trump doesn't feel like he has to listen to anyone at this point. And I think -- he thinks he won by being entirely unconventional. And so why should he listen to someone else's advice at this point.

But, you know, looking back and thinking ahead to what President Obama is going to say next week, looking back to George W. Bush in 2009 when he gave his farewell address. He talked about this moment of hope and pride in this country with President Obama's election and it's just remarkable to me to think of the tone and tenor of President Obama's speech next week in sort of what he is trying to convey now.

And what Michelle Obama said today which I thought was, you know, clearly talking about diversity being important and something to be celebrated did seem a little bit like she was talking about Trump. And so we're not seeing that -- it while it's a peaceful transfer of power, this campaign was just so divisive that I think the farewell message is not going to be similar to what we heard in 2009. You know it's not going to be, this is a moment of hope and pride.

This is someone who might dismantle a lot of what President Obama achieved in his eight years in office. So, I'm just curious how he praises that while giving people who supported him hope that things will not, you know, go arrive.

LEMON: OK, standby. When we come back the party that Marc Lamont Hill was not invited too, the President and First Lady hosting their final White House bash tonight. We're going to take you there.

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PARTRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN World Sport headlines starting off with the oldest cup competition of the morning. The F.A. updates all the way back to early 1870s with something distinctly new in the air on Friday night at the home of West Ham United. City may have dropped to fourth in the Premier League but they were on form at the home of the Hammers easing to victory in the English capital of the 2012 Olympic stadium. The first time an F.A. Cup picture has been played there (inaudible) in their stop in round four.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic through to start of this final in Qatar setting up a early season clashed between the two best players in the world just days before the world coming Australian Open. Murray swiping a side Djokovic to securing his 28th straight wins. It was a little more difficult though for the serve who had to come from behind to hold off the world number 42. Fernando Verdasco in three sets.

They say all good things must come to an end. On Thursday night so it would be. A historic milestone miss by the NHL Blue Jackets after an incredible run of form in which the team from Columbos Ohio when on to run a victories that reach an incredible 16 straight. And fortunate whey would have a chance to tie the league all time mark of 17. The Blue Jackets falling massively sort on Thursday night. Crushed on the road by the Capitals five to nothing.

That's a look at your CNN's World Sport headquarters, thanks for joining us, I'm Patrick Snell.

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LEMON: The Obamas are hosting their final White House bash tonight and it looks like it is quite a party. Back with me now Kate Andersen Brower, Symone Sanders and Marc Lamont Hill.

I think maybe Symone this might be the guest list to the inauguration if you look at the people outside the White House this evening tongue in cheek. A-lister crowd spotted the party. Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder, George and Amal Clooney, Bradley Cooper. There's Paul McCartney right there. Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly, John Legend, Robert De Niro. Sir Paul McCartney, I should say. What are they celebrating at the White House? Well, there's Kelly Roland.

SANDERS: They're celebrating. Yes, and Kelly (inaudible) was the White House.

LEMON: The last time they could get into the White House.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERLS: -- for the First Lady address.

LEMON: What?

SANDERS: And that none of them will be invited back. Because Donald Trump doesn't need celebrities, remember?

LEMON: Oh, exactly. Well, that date--

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Wow. Look at that. So last time they're going to get in the White House. I mean Kate, this is quite different than. I mean, how do you compare this bash to the upcoming inauguration?

BROWER: I mean, you know, the Obamas had, what, ten inaugural balls and Trump is saying he's going to have three and they are having trouble booking talent to sing. It's just totally different if you look, you know, at that moment when Beyonce was singing "At Last" and President Obama and the First Lady were dancing. You know, it's hard to replicate that if you are not getting like A-list celebrities.

But i think that people in this election proved that, you know, people don't care about the celebrity contingent. They don't want to be told who to vote for. I think that's part of the result. I mean I think that -- I'm not sure if it matters if celebrities are really invited to the White House to the average, you know, American voter, but it's much more fun to cover and to see.

LEMON: Yeah. I mean, Marc the question is, too, who wasn't there? When you look at Tracy Ellis Ross coming? When you look at movie moguls, the heads of industry. I mean it's really quite a stark difference, here.

I know that they say they don't care about celebrities coming to the inauguration, that's not Donald Trump. I mean, he did host a show called what? "Celebrity Apprentice." So what do you think?

HILL: It's ego. You know, I mean, he may not care about celebrities per se but Donald Trump certainly cares about public opinion. He certainly has a very large ego. And when people don't want to come to your party when you can't have 10 parties or 10 inaugural balls because you don't have enough people to show up and you don't have A- list talent to headline the inauguration. I mean that's a bad sign. And you can play the martyr (ph) say is because you're a true teller, because, you know, you're with the real people.

But on some level it hurts and it represented of the fact that a big chunk of America is divided. That George Bush didn't have that much trouble. Ronald Reagan have this much trouble. This isn't just about partisanship. This is about Donald Trump.

LEMON: Yeah, that's what I've been saying. A lot of people have been saying well, you know, Hollywood is a liberal place but no conservative presidents. I don't remember any conservative presidents and I have seen a number of them in life type had this much trouble getting celebrities A-list, B-list or whatever celebrities to come and perform at the inauguration. Most people will see it is an honor even if they don't necessary agree with the politics of that president, Kate.

BROWER: I mean it's true. Look at the designers who say that they don't want to address Melania Trump, that something that we've never seen before. I mean, designers are clamoring address the First Lady. And if, you know, Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan at same thing, so I think because of just the difficult words that were said during this election it certainly highlighted the difference between the Hollywood, the New York high fashion, and a lot of chunk of America who support Donald Trump and don't care what they have to say. LEMON: Yeah. So Symone, let's just talk here. Let's just be real here. Because never had an African-American president before. Many people thought we would never have an African-American president considering the history of this country slavery and Jim Crow and on and on and on. What did it mean for black folks to have the Obamas as the first family?

SANDERS: It was the ultimate representation. And I'm so glad you said the first family and not just the first black president. Because yes, it was one thing to have an African-American man in the White House but to see a black woman and young black women in Malia and Sasha. Mrs. Robinson a black grandmother in the White House spoke volumes. Representation matters.

I think the 100 black men their motto is what they see is what they'll be. And millions and millions of people across this country, people across the world saw that a black family could be the family. Could be the most -- some of the most -- a black man could be the most powerful man in the world and it works.

[00:55:14] So, I definitely think it matters. We're going the feel this for years in years to come down the road. I know since Donald Trump has got elected people are like we're never going the see another back president and I don't think that's necessary true.

But President Obama and the things that he has done from health care to, you know, visiting a prison and sitting down with incarcerated individuals and making gains in that realm but also just being who he is standing up there and, you know, saying if I had a son he'd look like Trayvon Martin (ph). Those are things that people are going to remember. And we're going to continue to talk about this.

LEMON: Marc, I had 20 seconds left literally though. But seeing is believing specially for a lot of young people.

HILL: Absolutely. Whether you voted for him or you didn't, and I didn't. You know, there is a symbolic representation, psychological and cultural value to seeing that family and that man and that woman in the White House. It's a beautiful sight in many ways and I'll matter for a long time.

LEMON: Yeah. Thank you. Have a great weekend. I appreciate you're joining us. That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching, our live coverage continues in just a moment with George Howell with the CNN Center in Atlanta and Richard Quest in New York.

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