tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 9, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PST
twitter or follow the show @"the lead" cnn. i turn you over to one mr. wolf blitzer who is in "the situation room." thank you for watching. happening now, breaking news. transition of power. after a shocking election victory, donald trump begins the process of becoming president of the united states. he is considering names for his cabinet and white house staff and his advisors have delivered plans for his first 100 days. path forward. hillary clinton makes a painful concession speech, calling on supporters to focus on the future and give the president-elect a chance to lead. president obama, who will welcome donald trump to the white house tomorrow, says we are americans first and should be rooting for trump to succeed. keeping promises. the president-elect has vowed to build a border wall, rip up trade deals. repeal obamacare and restore american industry.
will a republican house and senate give him the muscle to follow through? popular vote. despite losing the electoral count, hillary clinton looks like she has won the popular vote. the second time that's happened in the past 16 years. is it time to rework the way americans pick our president? i am wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news. hours after donald trump's stunning victory, the president-elect is getting ready for his new job. he'll now received classified briefings. he is looking at candidates for cabinet and white house posts and trump's team has delivered plans to kick off his administration. hillary clinton publicly concedes, calling it a painful time for her and millions of her supporters. she also calls on all americans to give the president-elect, quote, an open mind and the chance to lead. president obama, who will host
trump at the white house tomorrow, is also calling for reconciliation and a smooth transition, saying we all want what's best for this country. republicans who were bitterly divided by trump's campaign, are celebrating his upset win and the fact that they managed to keep control of both the house and the senate. that will allow the president-elect to freely pursue his sweeping agenda by includes rolling back president obama's signature programs and gives him a chance to put a stamp on the u.s. supreme court. i'll speak with two republican lawmakers and our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of the day's top stories. his election victory has shocked the nation and the world. and now president-elect donald trump is getting ready to lead the nation. let's begin our coverage with cnn national correspondent jason carroll. jason, the trump transition is now under way. >> reporter: wolf, very much under way. some familiar names already being floated, like chris
christie and former new york mayor rudy giuliani, just to name a few. the question going forward, how is trump going to lead a very, very divided country. tonight, donald trump is embracing a new reality, as the next president of the united states. >> i have just received a call from secretary clinton. she congratulated us. it's about us. on our victory. and i congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign. and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. >> reporter: the president-elect pulling off a stunning victory, capturing the key battleground states of florida, north carolina and ohio and blasting through hillary clinton's blue
wall in wisconsin and pennsylvania, which put him over the top. >> as i have said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family. it's a movement comprised of americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people and serve the people it will. >> reporter: trump, the first non-politician to assume the presidency since dwight eisenhower, shifts his focus to the transition to the white house and building a trump administration. current rnc chairman reince priebus, one potential option for trump's chief of staff. >> i haven't thought about it. and right now i am chairman of
the party. i am excited about that job. >> reporter: new jersey governor chris christie also mentioned as a possibility for the chief of staff role, with potential cabinet selections including former house speaker newt gingrich, senator bob corker, senator jeff sessions and former new york city mayor rudy giuliani. starting today, donald trump will be offered the daily classified briefings, getting the same high-level intelligence as president obama, who will welcome trump to the white house tomorrow. >> we all want what's best for this country. that's what i heard in mr. trump's remarks last night. that's what i heard when i spoke to him. directly. and i was heartened by that. that's what the country needs. >> reporter: once trump takes office in january, he'll have republican majorities in both houses of congress to help push through his agenda. >> i think what donald trump just pulled off is an enormous political feat. it's an enormous feat in that he heard those voices that were out
there that others were not hearing. he just earned a mandate. we now just have a unified republican government. >> reporter: despiting his overwhelming electoral college win he still faces the challenge of bringing together a nation bitterly divided by a hard-fought campaign. >> now it's time for america to bind the wounds of division. have to get together. to all republicans and democrats and independents across this nation, i say it is time for us to come together as one united people. >> reporter: and though you heard there, wolf, that what donald trump wants to do going forward is have this mandate. but it should also be noted that hillary clinton is winning the popular vote. trump saying that he wants to unite this country going forward. it's also very clear that he has got his work cut out for him. wolf. >> he certainly does. jason, thank you very much. jason carroll reporting. for hillary clinton and millions
of her supporters it's a traumatic end to a dream but in a gracious concession speech clinton is calling on americans to show unity and to support the president-elect. and president obama is doing the same thing. let's go to our senior washington correspondent joe johns. joe, it was a difficult but dignified moment for hillary clinton. >> reporter: certainly a very painful speech for hillary clinton, wolf. the fact of the matter is, we are told she was supposed to be heading home here to chappaqua, new york, after that last painful speech in new york city. she tried to console her supporters, but after that bitter campaign and the bitter outcome, there was only so much to work with. hillary clinton's bid to become the first woman elected president, coming to a painful end. >> this is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and i am sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold
for our country. >> reporter: the democrat urged the country to embrace donald trump as the president-elect and in an address to supporters and campaign staff in new york, her first public comments since the outcome of the election became clear. >> we must accept this result and then look to the future. donald trump is going to be our president. we owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. >> reporter: president obama echoing that call in remarks from the rose garden. >> everybody is sad when their side loses an election. but the day after, we have to remember that we're actually all on one team. >> reporter: the president pledging to make sure the transition to a trump administration is as seamless as possible. >> we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country. the peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy. and over the next few months we are going to show that to the
world. >> reporter: clinton not hiding the impact of the rebuke by voters. >> this is painful, and it will be for a long time. but i want you to remember this. our campaign was never about one person or even one election. it was about the country we love. >> reporter: her voice breaking with emotion as she spoke to young women who believed in her historic candidacy. >> to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, i want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion. >> reporter: in the end it was a stunning defeat. clinton came up well short in the electoral vote count, despite holding a narrow lead in the popular vote with some still left to be counted. battleground florida one of the big prizes with 29 electoral votes going red. same with north carolina. then clinton's blue firewall
crumbled. trump taking wisconsin. running strong in michigan, where the vote is too close to call. and even claiming pennsylvania, going republican for the first time since 1988. bringing an end to clinton's white house hopes. the defeat leaving supporters in a state of shock, some in tears, consoling each other. clinton trying to give them a lift today with her words. >> i know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: there will be plenty of soul-searching for democrats in the months ahead. but one of the key questions will be why hillary clinton was not able to fully get out the vote of the key demographics that got the current occupant of the white house elected twice. wolf. >> all right, joe. thanks very much. joe johns reporting from chappaqua, new york. joining us now.
republican senator tom cotton of arkansas, a member of both the intelligence and armed services committee, he served also in both iraq and afghanistan. senator, thanks very much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> have you talked to donald trump, any of his key advisors over the past 24 hours? >> i spoke with jeff sessions earlier today. >> senator. >> senator jeff sessions from alabama. he's become a good friend of mine. a key ally on immigration policy. haven't spoken to the president-elect yet. he has got a lot of calls from foreign leaders and very busy. i expect to speak to him in the coming days. look forward to, wouldirking together. >> if he came to you and said i could use you in my administration -- you're smiling -- what would you say to the president -- he is going to be the president of the united states? >> i am very happy in the senate right now. he's going to need a lot of allies in the senate when it comes to the military and rebuilding the wall and repealing obamacare. >> mitch mcconnell, your leader, said, i am quoting, it's also a
mistake to misread your mandate. so assuming that donald trump is going to be president of the united states on january 20th, and immediately wants to start building that wall and immediately is going to demand that mexico is going to pay for that wall, where do you stand on that? >> donald trump promised that we're going to build a wall. we've needed one for a long time. we also need to enforce immigration laws, eliminate sanctuary cities. we need to have a working employment verification system. donald trump promised these things during his campaign. that's one of the reason i think he won such a historic victory. i strongly support those proposals. we have to move further, i think, and re-evaluate our entire immigration policy. because right now when we have so many folks who work with their hands and on their feet and haven't had a raise in decades in real dollars, we need to rethink whether we should be admitting a million new green card holders a year and a million more visa holders.
whether it's better to have a tight labor market to help lift wages for everyone -- >> are you with him when he says totally ban syrian refugees from immigrating to the united states? >> he said he's going to undergo extreme vetting. >> he says no syrian refugees and also extreme vetting for everyone else. >> we have to make sure that anyone who comes into this country will not be a security risk to americans. also, i think we need to take stock of whether we should be admitting the 450,000 refugees that president obama admitted last year. a few years ago the figure was only 50,000 people. it's better to try to keep people who are coming from wartorn lands in their own region and help their countries through skillful diplomacy. >> are you with him when he says no more syrian refugees at least for now? >> it's very hard to imagine how you can admit syrians on a one by one basis when they show up at a camp and say we want to come. i have a proposal that would let
syrian religious minorities into the country. >> christians for example? >> yazidis, jews or others. it's easier to vet entire communities who have been displaced because of religious prosecution. >> as far as the supreme court nominee. would you favor what they used to call the nuclear option, preventing a filibuster in order -- that would require 60 votes. you'll have the republican narrow majority in the senate. would you say, you know what, we're going to do the nuclear option and have a straight up and down straight majority vote? >> wolf, i hope it doesn't come to that. it's been a pretty remarkable 18 hours or so in american politics. the polls just closed about 18 hours ago. and donald trump gave a very unifying presidential speech last night. hillary clinton and barack obama gave very gracious speeches today. i hope we can move forward together in a spirit of cooperation and address some of the challenges our country faces and that when donald trump admits a nominee from the list
of nominees he's proposed publicly that we'll have large bipartisan support. >> the merrick garland never even got a hearing. >> it's an historic moment in which it had been 80 or 100 years where there was a vacancy in the middle of a presidential campaign. mitch mcconnell said all along the american people would have a chance to speak on the opening. they did. and now we'll have a nominee sometime early next year. >> donald trump has said -- you served in the military in iraq and afghanistan. he says, when it comes to isis i know more, he said, than the generals do. he says he has a plan to defeat isis. he won't reveal it. doesn't want to tip off isis what he has in mind. he is also saying he is going to convene his top generals and add mille -- admirals in the first 100 days to come up with a plan.
does he already have a plan, do you think? and does he understand the problem better than the generals do? >> he understands it's islamic. that's something president obama and too many other officials haven't been able to say. this is radical islamic terrorism. a particular plan to counter act the islamic state depends on backs on the ground. it will be another ten weeks before donald trump takes office. he'll get briefings and consult with senior military officers. i am confident what whatever the conditions on the ground, he'll be able to move forward in aggressive fashion to rip out isis and eliminate the threat. >> what would you think if he said i'm going to have to name someone to be secretary of defense. who would you like. >> there are a lot of possibilities for secretary of defense. secretary of state. one distinguished american we need to get back in service. john kelly. longest serving man in uniform
during his 46 years in the marine corps. and the most senior military officer to lose a child in this war in afghanistan. so whether secretary of defense, secretary of state, national security advisor. john kelly is an american who needs to serve our country again. >> donald trump said during the campaign, torture works. he backs waterboarding and he says, much worse. at the same time he says he won't order the military to commit war crimes, if you will, to beyond international law. do you agree with him that torture works and waterboarding and much worse would be a good idea? >> waterboarding isn't torture. we do it to our own soldiers in the military. >> that's in training. the u.s. doesn't do it anymore. they've stopped. >> we've done it in the past? >> we've done it. radio djs volunteer for it. i don't think something people volunteer for is torture. >> so you accept waterboarding. >> if experienced professionals come to the united states and say we think this terrorist has
critical information. we need to obtain it and this is the only way to obtain it that's a tough call. the presidency is a tough job. if you are not willing to make the tough calls you shouldn't seek office. donald trump is a tough guy and i think he's ready to make the tough calls. >> the jerusalem mayor called on donald trump today to make good on his promise to move the united states embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. i asked donald trump about that back in march. listen to this clip from the interview on this issue. will you recognize jerusalem as israel's capital and move the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. >> yes. >> when? >> fairly quickly. the fact is i would like to see it moved, and i would like to see it in jerusalem. >> as you know, throughout israel's history no american president, democrat or a republican, has moved the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. do you think donald trump will
live up to that promise he made. >> yeah. i think he should keep the promise. that's the eternal and undivided capital of israel. everyone knows and acknowledges that. that will be part of any final negotiated peace agreement between the palestinians and the israelis. jerusalem is the capital. the president-elect should move it to jerusalem. >> the angry reaction that would result if the u.s. were to do it? all countries keep their embassies in tel aviv. >> that's in part because of the failure of u.s. leadership on this question over the years. but -- in the past eight years a lot of the arab states have become much closer allies in israel because of the threat that's posed to them by iran and iran-backed regime -- or regimes in syria and terrorist groups on their borders. so i actually think the response will be more muted than you
might expect. >> one final thought on waterboarding. your colleague john mccain who himself was tortured as a p.o.w. during the vietnam war says it is a violation of the geneve convention's international law and he strongly opposes it. >> i understand his position but i disagree. federal law may have to change if the president was to take this policy and the president-elect would have to come to congress. but ultimately i would say that anything that american troops volunteer for, that djs volunteer for, it's not torture. if it has to be done to save american lives, that's a tough call. >> if you're violating the geneva conventions you could be charged with war crimes. >> we're charged by countries like iran, syria and other human rights observers. america doesn't torture. we never have and never will.
>> thank you for joining us. senator cotton. now we have spoken with a member of the united states senate. let's switch focus to the other side of capitol hill, key member of the house of representatives. illinois republican congressman adam kinzingekinzinger. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> you served in iraq and afghanistan as well. you didn't support donald trump, but today you came out with this statement. let me read a sentence or two from the statement that you put out. i applaud our president-elect donald trump and look forward to working with his administration in agrees, as a country we must look at this election as an opportunity to rally together, to move our country forward. you have been in disagreement with trump's international stances on several issues. as you know, he has vowed to diminish the u.s. commitment to nato unless the allies pay a lot more. wants to rip up nafta. if he does these kinds of things, will you support him?
>> well, you know, look, i will be very supportive of donald trump in areas where i agree. but just as i was elected to do, to represent the 16th district of illinois, i will no matter who is president, stand strong for what i think is a strong u.s. foreign policy, strong commitment to nato, pushing back against russian encroachment in europe and elsewhere, solving the situation in syria. i am supportive now of donald trump as president because we have an opportunity to do a lot of great things. i am excited about that. i will continue to stand strong when it comes to issues like foreign policy. i'll tell you, the moment you get elected as president, i guess, i have obviously never been elected as president, but there is a huge weight of the world that comes onto your shoulders. now it goes from in theory during the campaign to reality where you realize things like syria and russia, there are people's lives on the line and you're now the one everybody is looking at. i would assume and hope that, as he is beginning his transition, he is really studying these
issues and i'll continue to be there to help him through them if he asks. >> now he's getting the daily national security intelligence briefings as well from indeed the most secret and most classified information, a lot of people in the administration right now are hoping that over the course of the next two and a half months as he gets the briefings maybe his views on these sensitive issues will modify, change, if you will. i want to get your thought. you do not support trump during the -- during the campaign. a trump surrogate, the apprentice star ois saying trum keeps a list of enemies. do you think you might be on the so-called list of enemies? >> maybe. i am on a lot of people's enemies list, i am sure, all over the place. no, look. i am excited. the night of the election there is a lot of emotion. people are upset. you get some of the trump supporters who were upset with
me. i understand it. i have had to live it every day. people are upset. in that emotion it's like, okay, it's time for payback. the next morning -- this is how i feel like today. this is an opportunity to unify the country. first, trump's job if he wants to have a legacy and pass some big things, which i hope and believe he does, he'll have to unify his party. secondly we'll have to unify the country. we'll have to reach across the aisle and say, hey, we want to work on tax reform, the national debt. the infrastructure. we'd love to have some democratic buy-in. it's good for politics and the american people. with obamacare in 2009 and 2010 there was no republican support for that. it was an albatross around the president's neck for many years after. you may not always find agreement, but i think you always ought to try to find agreement. >> do you believe donald
trump -- he said he wants to get together with republicans in addition to democrats, he says, and sdpenindependents. do you actually think a trump white house will embrace you, reach out to you and try to work with them? >> that's on them. i'm not going to go out and beg for it. i understand everything. i am committed to unifying this party. i am committed to supporting the areas of donald trump that he wants to move forward with our agenda. again, as i said, no matter who is president, whether it was hillary clinton, donald trump or somebody else, i'll continue to stand strong on issues of national defense and speak out for the voiceless, for instance, in syria that are taking barrel bombs every day from helicopters indiscriminately bombing them, or the russians doing the same. i am going to continue to be as bold and aggressive as a congressman as i have always tried to be, and that's up to the trump campaign or the trump president-elect, i guess, infrastructure now, but i am there to support the next president in every way i did. >> a national security, very quickly. are you with donald trump and
senator cotton for that matter when it comes to waterboarding? >> well, i agree to an extent with senator cotton on that, whereas, in extreme times it ought to be an option. but i think, when it comes to waterboarding, it's not something we ought to revert to in the very first case. he is true. we do use enhanced interrogation techniques against even -- when i go through survival training with the military, for instance. so i think it ought to be a tool in the pocket but i don't think anybody would advocate and i certainly advocate using that and much worse as a front line way to gather intelligence. the best way to gather intelligence is to develop a relationship with the person you are interrogating. that's what breaks people more than anything. >> do you see the house speaker paul ryan keeping his speakership in a trump presidency? >> i do and i certainly hope so. i think it would be really beneficial for the endorsement of paul ryan to be made. i support him. i think paul ryan and donald
trump have had some probably really good conversations since. again, if i am in donald trump's position, my goal now is to say, okay, we have to achieve some big things. the infighting in the party that's been very real has to stop, and we have to unify around these principles. i think paul ryan survives. he definitely has my support. i think the party can move forward united. >> as i said earlier, you are an iraq war veteran. trump said he knows more about isis than the generals do. do you think he really has a plan in mind? he won't reveal it. do you think he knows more how to defeat isis than the generals do? >> i don't think anybody knows more than our generals in terms of strategies, tactics, and bringing in state department to understand building alliances outside of just kinetic military action and how groups in iraq and groups you can support. my guess is, in the heat of the campaign, that's just something that was said. but i think he understands that, look, he wants to defeat isis. what are we doing that works?
what are we doing that hasn't worked? what next steps do we need to take. i fully expect president-elect trump will convene all the people who know best, whether on the democratic or military said and come up with a plan to crush this cancer. >> do you think the u.s. military would support a trump plan? we don't know what the trump plan would be. say he comes up with a trump plan in the first 100 days that's not necessarily conventional. do you think the military at the pentagon, the joint chiefs, would automatically support what their commander in chief tells them to do? >> yeah. that's their job. they work for the commander in chief. they defend the constitution. obviously, still being in the military, these men and women are heroes and they'll do what they're told. when it comes to the joint chief level, obviously they'll give the president some input, some pushback when developing that plan. ultimately, we understand as military members -- and when i am on military status -- that i work for the commander in chief and the commander in chief sets
the policies. there is a lot of stuff president obama has done overseas in military that the military kind of shakes their head at and says why are we doing things this way. why aren't we taking the fight more to the enemy somewhere else. they act heroically no matter what. we have civilian leadership of the military. we don't worry about coups like in other countries. we have a peaceful power transition that will occur. both candidates, by the way, hillary clinton and donald trump, gave very humble and frankly inspiring speeches, and i was glad to see that. >> ash carter, secretary of defense wrote a letter, memorandum to all defense department employees and said i am committed to overseeing the orderly transition to the next commander in chief, promising to work very closely with donald trump, the president-elect of the united states. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> you bet, wolf. thanks a lot. take care. we got some breaking news. democrats pick up another seat in the united states senate.
cnn now projects that maggie hassan has defeated the incumbent new hampshire republican senator kelly ayotte. senator ayotte has now conceded. we'll have much more on this developing story. that's coming up. also coming up, hillary clinton lost the presidency because of the electoral college, but it looks now as if she actually won the popular nationwide vote. the second time that's happened in the past 16 years. is it now time to change how to elect a president? democrats say they'll try to work with donald trump. but as the president-elect gets ready to push forward, his sweeping agenda, is there room for compromise? >> our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. we don't just respect that. we cherish it. it also enshrines other things. the rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship
we're following the breaking news. the democrats pick up another seat in the u.s. senate. cnn now projects that maggie hassan has defeated new hampshire republican senator, the incumbent kelly ayotte. senator ayotte has now conceded as well. look at this. the balance of power in the u.s. senate is now closer. republicans that 51 seats. democrats have 48. one state, louisiana, is still left to call a race for a runoff. presumably a republican in louisiana would be elected. that would bring the final balance of power in the u.s. senate 52 republicans and 48 democrats. remember, of those 48 democrats, two independents who caucus with the democrats. also breaking, the transition from president obama to president-elect donald trump. this afternoon the president promised to work closely with trump's team to assure a smooth transfer of power despite their many differences. both men will meet face-to-face at the white house tomorrow. let's get insight from our
political experts. david chalian, i'll start with you. can donald trump govern the way he campaigned? >> wow. questions about can donald trump do x the way he did y are tricky because i didn't know -- i don't think many of us thought he would be able to win the presidency the way that he conducted his campaign. >> a lot of people didn't think he could win the republican nomination. >> i am aware of that and i am careful to say that. so i do think that anybody who wins the presidency finds that to be a transformative experience in some way from the campaign trail. there is a transition, not just the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next, but there is a transition from candidate to president-elect to president. and i am very eager to watch donald trump. i thought last night he hit some notes in his speech that indicated he seems aware that that transition is on its way. and i am very eager to see if indeed some of the red meat that you toss out on the campaign trail is left behind on the
campaign trail and that a slightly different approach comes into the -- >> dana, he was very gracious last night to hillary clinton. >> he was. >> thanked her for her service over the years. says he wants to work together for all of the american people. you know, so he sounds -- at least sounded the right note last night. a lot of the note that the -- president obama, hillary clinton, they sounded the same thing. but also what's clear -- and you look to all the exit polls, the american people are angry. a lot of them are angry. they want change. can he delive on those commitments he made? >> that is the key question. and just sort of following donald trump for the past year and a half and sort of, you know, studying a little bit of how he operates and his approach to things, winning -- and he says this explicitly -- winning is number one. he has done that. getting the presidency. but it's not just that. and i do think he understands that. it's about making it a successful term. however long he's going to be there. if he wins another.
but starting with right now, i actually think he has a lot of running room and kind of breathing space because not only does he have a republican congress, he has a republican congress suddenly sort of not scared of their own shadows with regard to the base because they know that the base is very supportive of the new president. therefore, if the new president says, you know what, let's make a deal on immigration reform, the nixon and china situation, they won't say no, no, no like they did to john boehner or paul ryan because they're worried about getting it from the right. >> or john mccain. >> right. >> or george bush. >> his biggest campaign promises. building the wall, repealing obamacare. ending nafta, creating jobs, with a republican house and senate, are those goals within reach? >> trade deals will certainly be a lot different i think that
what we've seen so far. we've heard from mitch mcconnell who has said that tpp will not come up in the lame duck. that will be low-hanging fruit in some ways for him. look, obamacare feels like it's going the way of repeal in some way, shape or form. how will it reconstitute, i don't think any of us knows. the legislative process to get rid of it is easier than trying to get a new one passed. we'll see how that goes. in foreign policy, there are a lot of questions on foreign policy. there is a possibility we'll see the u.s. embassy in israel move from tel aviv to jerusalem which will be earth-shattering in many ways given what our policy has been over there with the two-state solution. >> the u.s. does not recognize jerusalem as israel, for that matter. that's why the u.s. has not moved the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. donald trump says he'll do it very quickly. i want you to listen, rebecca. president obama, he campaigned very harshly against donald trump over these past several
months, but today he sort of had a brand-new tone. listen to this. >> everybody is sad when their side loses an election. but the day after we have to remember that we're actually all on one team. this is an intramural scrimmage. we're not democrats first. we're not republicans first. we are americans first. we're patriots first. we all want what's best for this country. that's what i heard in mr. trump's remarks last night. that's what i heard when i spoke to him. directly. and i was heartened by that. that's what the country needs. a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life,
rule of law, and a respect for each other. i hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition, and i certainly hope that's how his presidency has a chance to begin. >> very nice words from the president last night. very nice words from donald trump. is there a chance that democrats are going to work together with this new republican administration? >> well, i think certainly there is an incentive at least to try to soothe people for right now, because you have seen the divisions in this election. there is the potential for great unrest in the aftermath of this election, if our elected officials and especially leaders like president obama and hillary clinton didn't come out and try to soothe people. we're already seeing protests. but there is, if, you know, things were to devolve, there is potential for more. so it's important to hear this message from the leaders of the democratic party. in terms of moving forward, the potential for any sort of bipartisan cooperation,
democrats may actually be optimistic when it comes to donald trump because in many ways he is not a traditional polcisio politician. last night at his victory party in new york i asked congressman peter king, one of his supporters, the congressman from new york, where could he possibly go in terms of policy early on in his presidency. and king told me he thinks that donald trump, early on, should push for some sort of bipartisan policy to be implemented like infrastructure spending. this is something that actually nancy pelosi brought up today as well. so that might be one -- >> he mentioned it in his remarks last night. >> exactly. maybe this is where this is going. >> a gesture, an important one. >> a gesture of good faith. stand by. the latest popular vote total. hillary clinton remains a couple hundred thousand votes ahead of donald trump nationwide but she is still losing the election because it's the electoral college not the popular national
vote that determines who becomes president and who wins. cnn's brian todd has been taking a closer look at this. brian, does it look like this process the united states has, the electoral college process, will change? will it ever change? there has been some momentum for that for many years but nothing hou has ever changed. >> the democrats have been burned by the electoral college twice in the past 16 years. for now it looks like americans will have to endure the system which is not seen anywhere else in the world. hillary clinton might not have lost everything. >> last night won the popular vote of americans. [ cheers and applause ] >> secretary clinton will likely win the popular vote for president. could end up capturing more individual votes nationwide than donald trump by the narrowest of margins. but because trump won the necessary number of electoral college votes, he'll become america's 45th president. and tonight that's a formula
under fire. >> there are a lot of democrats, especially, who will question the fairness of the current system of the electoral college. >> for the second time in 16 years, a democratic candidate for president won the popular vote but lost the electoral college and lost the election. >> we won the national popular vote. >> it happened to al gore in 2000. three times in the 1800s a candidate won the popular vote but lost the presidency because of the electoral college. trump himself, now set to take the oval office because of this strange system, once blasted it, tweeting in 2012, the day mitt romney lost, the electoral college is a disaster for democracy. under the electoral college system, in all but two states a candidate who wins the most votes gets all of that state's electoral votes. a candidate can win millions of individual votes in a state like florida, like clinton did, and still lose all that state's electoral votes because they lost the popular vote there. so a candidate like clinton, whose voters are concentrated in
a few states, won't score well in the end. and states with smaller populations get disproportionate influence while larger, more populated states can sometimes have less influence. what party does that favor? >> the republicans would like to keep the system. it works well for them. >> there is a republican bias in the electoral college simply because in the modern era republicans carry most of the smaller states. >> why did the founding fathers create the system? >> they feared mob rule. at the time when the electoral college was put into the constitution there was no popular vote for president. >> but tonight experts say, like it or not, we're probably stuck with this quirky arrangement. >> this is not going to be changed. as i like to say, the electoral college will be abolished on the 12th of never. >> that's because, to get rid of the electoral college, you would have to have a constitutional amendment passed by two-thirds of each house of congress and then 38 of the 50 state legislatures would have to
ratify it. that means several senators and congressman, many from small states, would have to vote for it and experts say they're not about to vote to reduce their state's power, wolf. >> because he so far doesn't seem to have won the popular vote is donald trump seen as weakened potentially politically? >> some analysts say because he may have lost the popular vote trump doesn't have the sweeping mandate to the effect of his president. our analyst david gergen says he doesn't think trump will be weakened. he has so much popular support to bring change and he has the republican congress behind him coming in january. >> yeah. i have heard talk of getting rid of the electoral college for a long time. i agree. it won't happen. all the smaller states would lose a lot of influence and power. so get ready for the electoral college in four years, eight years, down the road. brian todd, thanks very much. coming up where word leaders including vladimir putin are reaching out to donald trump. it's the agenda behind the russian leader's latest message to trump. -- in a
bloody battle to reclaim the city of mosul from isis. an operation that trump called a total disaster, prime minister abadi tweeted congratulations to president elect donald trump before adding, look forward to continued u.s. support in the war against terror. and to iran, made a public point of arguing the nuclear agreement depends on more than just the next u.s. president. >> translator: the future u.s. president elect is obliged to stay committed to this multilateral nuclear deal. >> reporter: a leading member of the russian parlment said he believes trump will pursue policies friendly to russia.
another kremlin adviser say, maybe we helped a bit with wikileaks. the u.s. intelligence committee pointed its finger at russia for those hacked e-mails. >> it's interesting. since the republican convention, trump has been receiving occasional briefings from the u.s. intelligence committee, not of the highest classified level. but now that he's president elect, over this period between now and january 20th when he's sworn in as the next president of the united states, he's going to get daily national security briefings at the highest levels. >> he's going to get what the president gets, the president's daily brief. and it will have the most classified information. up until now, trump and hillary clinton got a broad overview, classified information, but didn't for instance get into sources and methods, intercepted
communications, covert operations. now he'll get the latest on terror threats to americans abroad and here in the u.s. and he'll certainly get, wolf, and this is important, he'll get the latest intelligence of what russia is up to. as you know, on the campaign trail, donald trump repeatedly disparaged those assessments that russia was involved in the e-mail hacking. >> let's see if that changes his position. thank you very much, jim sciutto reporting for us. coming up, breaking news after a stunning election victory, donald trump begins the process of becoming the next president of the united states. he's considering names for his cabinet and white house staff and his advisers have delivered plans for his first 100 days. our mission is to produce programs and online content for african women as they try to
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briefed on national security secrets and zeroing in on cabinet picks. we're getting new details about the road ahead. the agony of defeat. hillary clinton urges supporters to keep an open mind about the man who crushed her presidential dream. are democrats ready to give trump a chance? balance of power. trump is getting credit for helping republicans keep control of the house and the senate. but tonight, one gop leader in congress already is signaling that the next president won't always get what he wants. world reaction. russians are toasting trump's victory, while the headlines in mexico reflexing high -- reflect high anxiety. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."