tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg November 20, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm EST
♪ mark: welcome to this edition of the "best of with all due respect." the president-elect begins to fill out key positions in his administration. where we begin tonight is with bloomberg's josh green, one of the only reporters with a line to the most contentious of trump picks so far. joining us now from washington, d.c. is a guy who is the only reporter who can get steve bannon on the record. bloomberg businessweek correspondent josh green. knows he isnnon controversial.
what's in it for him to take the job? josh: he fancies himself a revolutionary. he thinks he is helping this propagate -- help propagate this right wing populist movement that swept across the globe, that got trump the gop nomination and swept him into the white house. i think he views himself as trump's karl rove and it's only appropriate that now that trump is in the oval office that steve bannon will be there right there with him advising him on strategy. mark: is he doing it because he is loyal to trump? is he doing this because he wants to change america? what is the mix of motivations as best as you can? josh: i suspect it's all three of those. if you look what breitbart news has done over the last few years, they have tried to lead this revolution in the republican party and drive out the old guard and bring in new people liked trump, and they basically succeeded in doing that. i think what bannon sees himself in doing is formalizing that victory by taking a powerful
role in the white house so he can steer the country and help a president trump realize the vision for a different kind of governing and agenda than anything we have seen from republicans and democrats in the past. john: not only have you gotten him on the record, you wrote a long profile on him about a year ago or so. a lot of things that critics are saying is that steve bannon is a racist, that steve bannon is an anti-semite, and that breitbart is a reflection of those character flaws. is he a racist? josh: as george bush set of -- said of vladimir putin, i can't look into his soul. maybe i have that backwards. maybe bush could look into his soul. i can't look into bannon's soul. he went to harvard business school. he was a goldman sachs banker. he isn't some knuckle dragging rube from the back country. on the other hand, he is the
chief executive of breitbart news, which publishes articles intentionally inflammatory, racially charged articles. that certainly propagate a lot of racist themes. that is far outside the bounds of anything we have seen an -- in mainstream american politics before. i think what that does is speak to the fact that donald trump is so far outside the bounds of anything we've ever seen before. it's hard to imagine a guy like donald trump being elected, but he has been. the fact that he has been it's , really not that surprising that he would surround himself with people like steve bannon. john: he has been appointed on along with reince priebus. one thing about bannon is he has often talked about his desire to exact retribution on paul ryan and the republican establishment. if you are sitting up on capitol hill, you are happy about reince priebus, but what you thinking if you are paul ryan or mitch
mcconnell about steve bannon and his agenda? josh: i would imagine you are nervous. when you look at the balance of power in the campaign, steve bannon was more of an architect when it came to steering trump toward an agenda. i think they work well together. bannon has always claimed that they have, and priebus has always claimed it as well. let's be blunt. reince priebus took a subordinate position to trump. that continued through the campaign. my expectation would be that he would continue that in the white house until donald trump runs into trouble and feels the need to shake things up. mark: what is likely to be the role of breitbart in the company -- trump administration? josh: i think that's an open question. it's difficult for breitbart to navigate the new terrain in washington. they have always happily and
gleefully been outsiders throwing rocks at the republican and democratic establishment, led by steve bannon. now the fact that bannon is in the white house with the breitbart candidate, it's going to make it harder to play that same kind of role if donald trump does what he intends to do and governs in a way that includes establishment republicans and even democrats. it will be interesting to see if they wind up playing the same role they have in the past or if it is a watered-down version of it. mark: josh green, thank you very much. you can read his article our -- on our website or in bloomberg businessweek. john: next up, a closer look at how the donald trump cabinet is shaping up after these words from our sponsors. ♪
♪ mark: late this afternoon our friend and colleague joseph -- joe scarborough reported that donald trump's team is considering nikki haley for the slot of secretary of state. that position over the last few days seemed like it was heading toward john bolton or rudy giuliani. many people in trump's orbit have been unhappy with those choices and were looking forward to see others brought into the mix. this come amidst signs of dissension, disruptions within trump world. today, any people tried to tamp -- many people tried to tamp down the notion that things were going off the rails. kellyanne conway, trump campaign manager, spent the day spreading a message of calm. telling reporters that building a government from scratch is tough stuff.
kellyanne: you don't form a government overnight and these are very serious issues. the president-elect is very happy with how the transition is going. from his perspective he has been , presented with a number of choices within each of the agencies and departments, and he is making those tough decisions. we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to many of those. mark: just in case that message was not getting through donald , trump went on his favorite social media megaphone to dispute reports that there were any transition troubles. john, this haley thing is big. no other personnel news today announced or speculated about beyond what we knew yesterday. where do things stand? john: we talked about this yesterday and we will keep talking about it. to me they are not running late , in terms of making the major appointments. that's not where the disarray is. to meet the disarray is more about reports of infighting and
the fact that they seem behind in terms of doing the bigger job of staffing the government. they don't seem because it to hire those 4000 peoples, to be an contact with the existing agencies. that's where they are way behind. on the big jobs, kellyanne conway is right. they should take their time to get it right. they are not behind on that. mark: i agree there are problems. the transition i most closely covered was the clinton in 1992. they were scrambling. they were beset by policy controversies. gays in the military. if we get a couple of weeks down the road in heaven made -- and they have not made significant progress that we can see, there is a problem. i don't think they are all that far behind. john: we reported there is still no contact going on between the transition and team in the major -- transition team and the major agencies. mark: i have no idea. john: we have a weird history here. 1992 is now a long time ago. 2000 was kind of screwy because of the recount.
barack obama and his team was way ahead of the curve by some historical standard. i don't know. look, let's talk about nikki haley. it is an interesting thing. you pointed out there was a lot of pushback for a lot of reasons against rudy giuliani. now there is discussion of him and conflicts with people in countries on the terror watch list. nikki haley would be a hugely positive sign symbolically. i don't know what kind of depth she has on foreign policy. just the notion of choosing a mainstream republican nonwhite woman in that job would be a huge step on donald trump's part. mark: let's say jeff sessions decides to stay in the senate. if you had ted cruz in the justice department, tom cotton at defense, and jamie dimon the treasury, that would get a lot of people's attention. john: there are a lot of gifts
-- ifs there. mark: they are all potentially in contention. that would be a cabinet that would please a lot of people. john: the left would be really unhappy, but they are going to be unhappy about everything. those are picks that would be really different from some of the names we've been hearing up to now. ok, so, sorry about that, we ran a little bit long, but whatever. donald trump has already courted controversy "bigly." with his selection as -- of steve bannon. two new ruckus is are being raised over his transitional maneuvers. the first has to do with a story that says trump is requesting top-secret clearance for his son-in-law jared kushner, so he can sit in on the daily briefing. instead of knocking down that report, donald trump put out a tweet disputing another report that he was considering clearances for his three adult children. he said nothing about jared kushner. it has some critics citing an anti-nepotism law. the second controversy has to do
with frank gaffney, a pentagon official during the reagan administration who wall street journal reports will advise the trump transition team on national security issues. gaffney has been vocally anti-muslim and has been a proponent of islamaphobic conspiracy theories in the past. including one about president obama. trump's team claims he has no role on the transition team. on a scale of one to godzilla, how big of a deal are the specific controversies causing a ruckus to be raised? mark: i'm still trying get clarification about why it was so widely reported this morning that gaffney was involved. the language they have given us still doesn't clarify it totally. they say he is not involved now. just the fact that they let him be involved potentially is a troubling thing. i will say again, one of donald trump's legacies in manner of law is not the standard you need
in the federal government. on jared kushner, he is going to be involved in the administration. people can say it's a -- inappropriate. people think it's fine for him to be employed. i think the country for the good of public policy should deal with reality. jared is going to be involved. let's figure out what the right standards are and what's permissible and what's not and press for that. let's not act like this isn't going to happen. he's going to be reliant on jared for it -- for advice. john: that raises a whole bunch of things we have talked about before, this is ventures and how that's going to work. that is problematic when you have crazy stuff like them putting up profit making stuff on the .gov website. that is all just so gross and disgusting. frank gaffney is the key issue. is he involved or not? if he is involved, it's poison.
mark: if he is involved, there is one of two options. either they knew his background in did not care or they did not fit him. john: the dude is poison. he's not the right kind of person. mark: if he had any involvement at all, they need to learn a lesson and not do stuff like this. john: especially with some of the problems donald trump has caused for himself in the past. in areas that gaffney is in. mark: coming up, two strategists concede their election predictions were wrong and they tell us why, when we come back. ♪
♪ >> we know the reality is this thing is pump is probably a one in seven shot. >> everyone he knows is voting for trump. people coming up on handshake lines. >> he thinks they are expanding the map. all theseng to places. what the team is doing is saying in his third and we can try to 65. drop kick from here. john: that was a clip of our next two guests discussing the long odds of a trump presidency.
here now for a postelection follow-up is the former director of the jeb bush super pac and -- mike murphy in chicago. and the brilliant democratic strategist in los angeles. i am going to start by saying i got it wrong as well. i will start the thing. i got it wrong. i got it wrong. i got it wrong. this is not just me blaming you. without accepting my measure of responsibility. i got it wrong. having said that, why did you guys, why did you so confident , for so long there was no way trump would win, what do to get wrong? why were you wrong? mike: that is the question. i own it too. i got it really wrong. i was so stoned election night. the only person who was more surprised than me was donald trump. here's what i think i missed and i saw a good op-ed who also got it wrong. we tend to look at the numbers. we look at the polling data and
the demographic makeup of the electorate. it was pretty clear. in fact, he did get at least 2 million fewer votes than hillary clinton, but where my blind side was i did not think he would do better with latinos and i thought he would get a historic african-american turnout, which she did not do, hillary clinton. finally i knew he would do well , with non-educated white working-class folks, but i did not know he would break the meter. i was looking at a county in pennsylvania and wilkes-barre he , blew away reagan numbers there. i've never seen anything like it. i was not expecting that outlier and that kind of thing in places like there and the michael moore towns in michigan was enough to give him a lead of about 100,000 votes in those three states. he won fair and square. i missed that calming because that was not seen before. i have learned a good lesson. a bitter one, but a good one. john: bill.
you get a chance to explain yourself. bill: i too was wrong, unfortunately i relied on the news media for information. the truth is the polling was wrong in some fundamental ways. we saw trump do extremely well with noncollege educated working people, but the mythical college-educated suburban woman disappeared. nobody really caught the magnitude of the rural discontent with secretary clinton and the popularity of donald trump. then one thing, the obama coalition was not able to be replicated by the clinton campaign. there wasn't the level of turnout. they did not actually get the numbers that obama got with a number of key constituencies. mark: bill, is the democratic party in as bad of shape and
-- as some people are saying? who are those current leaders besides barack obama of the democratic party? bill: the congressional leadership will be out front. obviously, this is a big deal for senator schumer. he will be a major player. because there will be a lot going on in the senate in terms of whether trump's legislative agenda succeeds or not. we will have a new chairman. who that is is not clear, but it is going to take a while to dig out of this. there's going to be a a lot of reflection. every day you find out some new information and some new data or something the campaign focused on or did not focus on. fundamentally, the biggest mistake strategically was is this a change election or was this about donald trump's temperament, style, disposition, personality. it turned out to be by a
10-point margin a serious change election. i think a hell of a lot of people missed that. mark: if donald trump and his advisers want to remake the electoral college map and locked -- locked in some of the gains republicans have made, what could they do? mike: he's got to double down on what got him there. which is working-class lunch pail economics. he has convinced a section of the working middle class that have not had a raise in real wages for a long time that they should be upset and blowup washington. now he's got to keep that promise. that's going to be a heavy lift. that's where the power of his coalition is. interestingly all of the , political junkies got this wrong, we're looking at county by county election returns. trump underperformed in some republican suburbs. on the other hand he over , performed in rural areas, and metal bending towns. he's going to have to find a way to keep that bond and deliver
some things. john: we've had people on an -- and we've talked about the way mitt romney condemned trump. now he is welcoming him to the white house and wishing him well. for people like you, what do you think is the right course for republicans who did not just criticize donald trump or say he couldn't win, but who said he was temperamentally intellectually unfit for office. , what should republicans in now?position previously do mike: my instinct has been liquor, but once i moved behind that, i believe the president deserves a shot to succeed. i put on hiatus radio free gop. i want to see him rise to the office and do well, but i hope he understands that the campaign won fair and square. but there is a stain on his campaign that has divided the country for some of the things he has done. he now has an opportunity to lift up the dialogue. he did a good job election night. we need to see more of that.
he needs to put this thing back together or he is going to be like lbj during vietnam or nixon during watergate. he really has to rise to the occasion, and i hope he does and succeeds. john: let me go back to barack obama. again, just raw numbers, barack obama guy arrived in 2008 on a historic victory. he had democratic-controlled house and democratic-controlled senate. he leaves with a party in shambles, utter disarray. to what extent is barack obama responsible for the state of abject disarray of the democratic party? what responsibility does he bear? bill: the other irony is he is now at the height of his popularity. i think there wasn't an effort for a long time before barack obama to focus on legislative races on the democratic side. it wasn't as aggressive as it was amongst conservatives and republicans, and they both
played a role in it. the other thing that was pretty clear they got a jump on us in , statehouses. sometimes it was canada quietly, sometimes it was campaign quality, whatever. -- candidate quality, sometimes it was campaign quality. we have been getting clobbered in governors races and we've got to fix both of those. the legislative problems of the state level, and the governor races. we really got to focus. we tend to be more of a washington oriented party with a one size fits all message. we may have to figure out how to talk to people differently in different parts of the country. we haven't been doing that. mark: mike, i can't believe you suspended the radio show. what are you going to do instead? john: it's a podcast, to be clear. radio shea -- show makes it sound more legitimate than it really is. mike: it's one of the top republican podcasts. you are both invited on it. i have buried the resistance
transmitter in the backyard because i want the president to succeed. if he acts like he did during the campaign, republicans should support him when his right and -- he is right and oppose him when he's wrong. mark: bill, do want him to succeed? bill: obviously, i do in a sort of theoretical way. will i be disappointed if he doesn't succeed? probably not. i think mike hit it on the head. his success is going to be based on his behavior. can he modify his behavior in a radical way that he can be reassuring to people instead of somebody who is a leader of less than 50% of the voters. john: all right, mike murphy, ic, we love to hear from you. mark: coming up, we will speak with the south carolina democratic party chair and a candidate for democratic party chair with us right after this. stay tuned.
♪ mark: as the democratic party regroups after their election shellacking, the race to lead the committee is on. we are joined by someone who has thrown his hat into be the chair of the national party jamie harrison joins us from, the great city of columbia, south carolina. mr. chairman, thank you for joining us again. jamie: thanks for having me. mark: tell us why hillary clinton lost the election? jamie: she won the popular vote, but she lost the electoral college, and a lot of that had to do with -- this whole
election was about people wanting to feel like they mattered. you had african-americans who have said for the last two years that black lives matter and young people, even bernie democrat saying their voices did not matter. you had rural working-class people saying donald trump is speaking to us because we do matter. and so in essence, the democratic party has to get back to making sure that people understand we are listening to them and that we appreciate them and know that they do matter. that is where the fight is about the future of the democratic party. mark: who's fault is it that that didn't happen in this election? jamie: i don't know that it's one individual at fault. this has been simmering for a long time, partly because our state parties have not the level of support that they desperately needed. the frontline of having a strong party is the grassroots level. and that is state parties, so we really have to once again invest
in state parties. i know here in south carolina, the only way we break through is if we have a national partner that can help us and provide the resources and the talent they have in washington, d.c. we have the muscle down here in south carolina. but you have to have that partnership. john: a large part of the democratic electorate, particularly the part that was in favor of bernie sanders in the democratic nomination fight, looks at the wikileaks e-mails and other piece of evidence and says the dnc was corrupt in this last cycle and rigged the process to give hillary clinton the nomination and to screw bernie sanders. do you agree with that? jamie: i think there was a lot of long-time relationships with the clinton administration and probably was too close. listen, i even had a friendly relationship with a lot of folks and the clinton campaign, but i also had a lot of friends on the bernie sanders campaign, even some of my staff was there.
one of the things we have to do is we have to make people trust the system again. we have to make them trust the party again. the only we way we do that is by showing them, and all these people on the grassroots level, show them that we respect them and that we are going to invest in them. i think that is how you get them to once again come back to the party. john: if you became the chair of the party, what would you do? in a concrete way, what would you do to reassure the parts of the party right now that feel like the dnc has been stacked against them? what would you do to make them believe that the dnc was playing fair going forward? well, you know, the one thing is, and the operative word is going forward. you can't go back and clean up whatever happened at that time, so i'll you can do is tell people, look at what we are going to do, and work with us in order to build that. you be part of that.
there are a few things. young people want to make sure their voices are heard. right now, instead of making copies and picking up coffee, they want to have a seat at the table. i think we need to add a millennial chair or what we have in south carolina, one of our vice chairs is under 35. i think the dnc needs to add that voice the table so young people have a seat. i think there are things we need to do with our state parties. what i call the 50 states plus. we need to amp up and increase the money we are giving to state parties so they can be the innovation centers for all the things we can do on campaigns. we have a fellowship here in south carolina where we tilt this this bench of talent. we call it the jim clyburn political fellowship. we train one person from every county in the state of south carolina with the goal of having 250 young people across the state trained to run for office and run our county party operations, or be political operatives.
those are the types of things that if we did them in the states, we could strengthen it so it doesn't matter if you have a charismatic leader like barack obama or a policy wonk like hillary clinton. you can still touch the people and get the vote out. mark: mr. chairman, there are some people formerly in the race like you. handicap the race. who is the front runner for chair right now? jamie: whomever is the next chair has to be a full-time chair. they have to be dedicated to running the dnc and working. you have got 50 states -- mark: i know that, but who is the front runner? are you the front runner? is it wide open? jamie: i think it's wide open. i don't know if there is a front runner right now. many of the members i am talking to say we want to listen to everybody and see who is going to be in the race and we will make a determination from that
point. what i'm telling people is -- go ahead. mark: will debbie wasserman schultz go down in history as a good chair, great chair, bad chair? jamie: there were positive aspects of her chairmanship. there were things that did not work well. mark: like what? what is in the second category? jamie, do i need to say the second category? you have a lot of people who are upset with the dnc. listen, debbie was very helpful here in south carolina. there are a lot of people who did not feel that way. i consider her a good friend and i know she tried. in the end, we have to move on from that and build the next generation of the dnc. john: we only have a few seconds left. the focus of the party now is to focus on the base in building up
the base or focusing on the center of the electorate? what is the center of the democratic party in that regard? jamie: you win by addition and not subtraction. that is base, but it is also reaching out to working-class people in rural america where we have lost over the past few years. and so, again, it's addition, not subtraction. i think donald trump is going to disappoint a lot of people who voted for him this time around, and we will be able to add those people in 2018. mark: thank you very much. john: next up, two strategists from each side, they come together on our set. stay tuned for that. ♪
♪ john: welcome back. with us is liz smith. she is sad because boris epstein is not here. instead of boris epstein, we have stephen schmidt, the analyst for john mccain's presidential race. lady, gentlemen, good to see you. there is some dispute about how messed up the trunk transition is. lis: it's really messed up. he was a chaos candidate. i don't think people want a chaos president. nothing he has done so far has calmed anybody's fears about that. i don't think that much. with any transition, and you know this, you float a lot of trial balloons.
it seems like all the warring factions in his camper are throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. they are saying it's already broken out into a knife fight. so i think they have to get their act together and project a little more confidence. john: you don't need knives for spaghetti, but knife fights? spaghetti fights? steve: it's disorganized and chaotic. one would expect nothing less. we will have a clearer sense in a couple of weeks from now. i think it was entirely possible that it was news to them that the transition team was stock floor-to-ceiling with a lobbyist. that is probably a good sign consistent with his message, but we will know in another week or two. mark: nikki haley is under consideration for secretary of state.
in terms of substance, you've worked in the national security realm. in terms of optics, what do you think of that pick? steve: she was an impressive leader in south carolina. i think she is someone who is a serious candidate potentially for future higher office. i have no idea if she knows anything about national security issues, anything about the complexity of the world. i guess we will find out in hearings. it's far outside the national security realm. mark: what do you think of a prospect of a secretary haley as opposed to a secretary giuliani? from the point of view of competence, ideology, and unity? lis: it's less frightening to hear her than bolton or giuliani. to steve's point, what is her experience? what qualifies her to sit down with these national leaders?
the unfortunate thing about donald trump is he hasn't surrounded himself with a lot of heavyweights on his side. the biggest concern that a lot of people have is how is he going to handle an international crisis? when he is tested with an international crisis, don't you want him to be surrounded with some foreign policy heavyweights? she doesn't qualify as one. again, it goes back to me saying they are throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. john: stick with foreign policy and national security again because it is a specialty of yours. if you looked at just the range of names of have been floated, not just for secretary of state, but defense, chris kobach, all of these names. can you discern what the ideology is or what trump actually believes? or do you look at this range of names and say i actually have no idea what this guy wants to do on the basis of what we have seen so far?
steve: there is no way to look at those names and see what the agenda is or the governing philosophy at any level. john: to put it simply, right? steve: some of the names floated are the political equivalent of the cast of the cantina scene from the "star wars" movies. you have people that are simply not confirmable. john: who are you thinking about? who are you thinking about? steve: i think it bears mentioning today that oren hatch shot down cold the notion that they are getting rid of the filibuster. they can lose three votes on any nomination. so john mccain and lindsey graham are going to take a very tough line of people who have diluted sensibilities about the intentions of vladimir putin. lis: you also have susan collins. when people say republicans have control of the house, the senate, they are not looking at the number of republicans in the senate. i think they can be a real roadblock going forward.
to your point, they are throwing out some random names. kovac is the one that scares me the most. mark: what's going on in your circle in terms of accounting for why she lost and the fallout from that? lis: first of all, i think people are coming to terms with she lost and not that donald trump one. my fear is that some people are taking the wrong lessons from this. we either need to talk to the white working class or talk to latinos and blacks voters, we need to go with the standard people or with the clinton people. that's why i think it is really important to learn lessons from 2016, where we saw all the
heavyweights throw its weight behind one flawed candidate and not allow any debate. we should have a chair debate all across the country. let's go to all the states that hillary clinton lost that democrats should of won and have a debate. i don't have a favorite in the chair race. jamie harrison is a good guy. ray buckley is a good guy. keith ellison is a good guy. we need to have a robust debate about where we go forward. mark: how much will the donald trump administration reach out to democrats? steve: chuck schumer, somebody who is not an obstructionist, somebody who wants to get things done. to the point, donald trump will have to work effectively with democrats. the notion that this is a unified republican monolithic block is just wrong. this is the closest we have ever been to a european-style coalition government. the trump party and the
republican party, though cousins, are not the same party. so for example, when donald trump and his transition says we are going to spend $1 trillion on an infrastructure package, you have republican members of congress laughing out loud. there is no appetite in the conservative wing of the conservative party to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure. his coalitions and his ability to work effectively going to be are tested. this is why the bannon issue is such a serious one. if democrats refused to let up, and i think they will refuse to let up on that question, it's going to cripple in a fundamental ability the ability to have coalitions. it poisons the sauce. john: the spaghetti. i want to stay with you because we have been doing this with some of our friends, people who who are absolutely, incredibly confident for weeks. there was no way donald trump
could win. they staked their reputations on it. i thought i was wrong. i will say it again, you were really wrong. why were you wrong? steve: it was out of a lack of imagination. i never thought it possible that 6 million democratic voters that supported barack obama would sit the election out. i underestimated her deficiencies as a candidate. i called donald trump very early in the primary. i thought he would be the nominee. but i did not think that at the end of the day that the american people would vote for someone who was so unprepared and demonstrably so through the debates, that had the character deficiencies that he had, i was wrong about it. the anger of this country is something else. i do think that you now will see a lateral line that defines politics. above that line, people benefited from the technological revolution and globalization. we just heard from the people below in both parties who have
been left behind by. john: you were wrong too, so why were you wrong? lis: maybe out of optimism that people would not vote for donald trump. i gave into the same flawed assumptions that everyone else did, that democrats, the young voters, that latino voters, that black voters would turn out against donald trump despite the fact that hillary clinton was not articulating a reason for them to do that. that was a big mistake on our part. that is something democrats need to learn from. we don't want to just work on white working-class voters. we need to give everyone a reason to turn out and vote for democrats going forward. mark: up next, what's really happening inside trump tower right after this. ♪
♪ mark: the trump transition speeds along and we are joined by two reporters awaiting his arrival in it january. jennifer jacobs is in our washington, d.c. bureau. i want to talk about the republican leadership in the house. there was talk that paul ryan might lose his job and then he was unanimously reelected. how did that happen? casey: it's the one thing that seem to help republican unity coming out of donald trump selection, essentially the freedom caucus, the right wing
conservative agitators that so frustrated john boehner when he was speaker had been contemplating a challenge to speaker ryan in the event that hillary clinton the election, but trump getting elected made unity among house republicans the imperative. the mood in the room when they met, those house republicans, they all got those make america great again hats sitting on those chairs. people inside the room told me that the mood was solid. people were happy to be back and the in the situation they are. it was not euphoric. you would normally expect that if one party won the presidency and also controlled both houses of congress, the celebration would be hard to contain and that's not the case. a lot of republicans up here are still nervous about what this means. donald trump has not exactly won this election on conservative policies necessary.
they are talking about spending a trillion dollars on infrastructure. it's not clear how to replace the health care plan. there are so many questions up. i think house republicans have got into a better place over the last seven days, but it started off pretty confusing. mark: ted cruz was a supporter of trump early on in the nomination fight, and of course they were bitter rivals. he insulted him at the convention, then endorsed him in the end. now he wasn't trump tower and his name is being floated for attorney general. what are the prospects that could happen? what has the reaction then since that notion became part of the dialogue? jennifer: they needed him to come up. it was kind of an audition yesterday, so there has been a lot of lobby entry. all of these reporters are staked out in the lobby and watching like hawks who shows up to go up the elevator. ted cruz was one of them. at first they were denying it had anything to do with a cabinet post.
ted cruz his own staff said it had to deal with the senate and ted cruz wanting to promote his agenda. then that transition team keeps floating names. i was told pretty late last night that, yeah, pretty sure that we were discussing ted cruz for attorney general. ted cruz did not necessarily know that when he showed up, but he was being auditioned. according to the daily mail, we were asking some questions about justice and homeland security. they were waiting to see how they got along. when i asked today, what is the reaction to the news that they are considering him? and they said, strong. john: let me stay with you on the security clearance story. what is the deal there? jennifer: jared has been the the focus today on a lot of pushback. a lot of the transition team members have been defending him saying he doesn't have a personal vendetta against chris christie.
they got along very well. there were some other reasons why some of these christie folks were being pushed out and why the lobbyists are being pushed out. there is also this controversy about whether he would get a top-secret clearance to attend the daily briefings. i was told essentially that one person inquired about that out of an abundance of caution to be prepared and just asking what the procedures for that would be of that was something that would be necessary or wanted, and it was not really authorized by anybody, but the person went ahead and did it. they are just trying to tell me that it was a simple, innocent mistake. john: democrats, a lot of action up there on capitol hill today with senator schumer and his new leadership slate. the party is still kind of a mess though it the moment, so let's talk about how things are on the capital with the democrats? >> just about the only thing they are united on his steve bannon. beyond that, democrats are facing a pretty bleak couple of
years. on the senate side, they can find somebody to lead the democratic senatorial campaign committee charged with reelecting democrats and holding the 25 seats that they're going to have up next year, next cycle. there is just a hold there because it is an impossible job to have to do. chuck schumer is trying to corral every one who could be a problem for him into one room, and so he added joe manchin and bernie sanders on the other side to his leadership team to try -- it's not quite keep your enemies closer because they are obviously on the same team, but there is it no lament of that going on. he wants to make sure that the people that could cause the most trouble are inside the room and not outside of it, so i think that's what you're seeing. john: thank you for watching this edition of "best of all due respect." be sure to check out bloombergpolitics.com for all of your political coverage.
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