Donald Trump's Incoming Administration's Ties to Russia Continue to Face Scrutiny

ABC News' Alex Marquardt and George Stephanopoulos report the latest political news leading into the inauguration.
4:19 | 01/15/17

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Transcript for Donald Trump's Incoming Administration's Ties to Russia Continue to Face Scrutiny
And emery university as well. A T the heart is the issue of Russia. The reason the congressman says he can't support the new president is he believes Russia helped get trump elected. With congress poised to investigate possible or alleged contacts between the campaign and the Kremlin, Alex Marquardt is in Moscow. Reporter: The Russians are watching this change in administrations very carefully and are making it clear they want a new relationship with the U.S. Latest move is to invite the U.S. To talks this month on Syria. Talks that the Obama administration had been frozen out of. That invitation issued to Michael Flynn, the same day the Obama administration kicked out 35 diplomats. In a recent interview, trump said the sanctions would remain in place for a period of time. But could be lifted in the two countries work together well on terrorism and other issues. Russia has, of course, denied they spied on trump during past visits here. One official here calling ate complete break from reality. The big question, when will Putin and trump have their first meeting? Reports that could happen on trump's first foreign trip in Iceland have been shot down. Both sides have been showing a willingness to get together once trump becomes president. We want to bring in ABC news chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. We're going to talk about Russia in a second. Let's go back to congressman Lewis. And trump's apologists and defenders say Lewis started this. Is it fair? It's true. A lot of Democrats are saying sit really smart to question the legitimacy? To do what Republicans have done in the past, like Donald Trump? Was it proportionate, and wise? I think it falls short. He wasn't right about the district. Not about John Lewis' history. This is a point in time now where Donald Trump needs to be reaching out to those who opposed him. Sure. During the campaign this is a guy that tangled with a gold star family. With a war hero, John McCain. A prominent judge of Mexican extraction. And he won. He won nonetheless. What does he want to do as president? Will he have the power to do that? Look at the polling for Donald Trump coming in. Just five days away. A 44% approval rating. That's 40 points below where Barack Obama was eight years ago. That's 20 points below where George W. Bush was coming out of a contesting election. A president who is unpopular is not powerless by any means. He'll need support to get his agenda through. He does have both houses of congress. I want to go back to Russia. John Lewis' argument for all of this was because of Russia answer interference in the election. But, diplomatically, what was America have to gain by improving those relations? You want better relations. The question is on what terms. You have Donald Trump tell "The Wall Street journal" this week that he would think about lifting sapgss in the future depending on what Russia did. This is at odds with what his own nominees were saying on capitol hill this week. General Mattis saying he wants a strategy to confront Russia. Rex tillerson saying, this is not the time to talk about 4ri69ing sanctions. Mike Pompeo says Russia is the number one threat and is doing nothing to help us with ISIS. There's a big gulf between what Donald Trump is saying and his nominees. Yet he encourages the respectful dissent. Something remarkable. Rex tillerson, the secretary of state nominee, says he has not discussed Russia with Donald Trump. Interesting. We're going let you go. You have a huge show coming up this morning. He's going talk with in coming white house chief of staff, reince Priebus and senator Bernie Sanders. George will head up our team for live, all-day coverage of the inauguration, this Friday, January 30th. Our coverage begins at 7:00 A.M. Eastern. Dan?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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