tv Inside Politics CNN November 10, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST
go up and meet with folks. this is a relationship that i think there's a lot of lessons to be learned of the obama administration in 2009. they did not spend a ton of time on capitol hill between the time that he was elected and by the time he was inaugurated in january. and those relationships never were really fully formed. i think the incoming trump administration, both in terms of their appointments to the cabinet, in terms of staff and in terms of the relationship itself between donald trump and those leaders, is incredibly important. >> stand by, josh, jim acosta, our white house correspondent, is there on the west lawn of the white house. you're getting information about what's going on in the west wing of the oval office, what are you learning, jim? >> right, wolf, just part of the color of what we're seeing here it's not just president obama and president-elect trump meeting with each other, it's their key aides. the white house pool put out a note a few moments ago. the reporters who are being allowed to witness at least some
of this, they're telling us, wolf, that dennis mcdonough, the white house chief staff, took darld kush next donald trump's son-in-law, who was a key aide during the course of this campaign, for a stroll on the south lawn of the white house. it's being described as a full stroll of the south lawn of the white house. that's a good walk. on the south lawn of the white house, wolf. and you'll recall, it's that same stroll that president obama and dennis mcdonough took time and again, you'll remember, right before president obama decided not to call for a bombing in syria, air strikes in syria, that he and dennis mcdonough took that stroll on the south lawn of the white house, and that's when obama revealed to mcdonough he wasn't going to take that action and call for air strikes in syria. it's interesting, just some of the color to pass on from here at the white house, in addition to this historic meeting between the president and president-elect, two of the very top aides for both parties here,
dennis mcdonough, the chief of staff, and jared kushner, donald trump's son-in-law, who, remember, was involved in debate prep, involved in all facets of this campaign, they were walking and talking as this transition gets going, wolf. >> jared kushner, married to ivanka trump, donald trump's daughter. they've been extremely close, during the campaign, the president-elect deeply relied on jared kushner for his advice, his recommendations. he didn't do a lot -- get a lot of public exposure but behind the scenes he was instrumental. that's what all of the aides i spoke to have told us and i assume you're getting some of the same information. >> that's right, wolf. keep in mind, we're talking about all these different names for white house chief of staff. i'm assuming reince priebus is very much in that conversation, talking to the sources i'm talking to. rudy giuliani and chris christie and so on. this may be somewhat of a family affair, too, in this white house. donald trump trusted jared
kushner, son-in-law, married to ivanka trump, very much during the campaign, relied on his counsel. and from what we heard from all sources was that jared kushner was very instrumental in his father-in-law's campaign, and, you know, was a part of -- at times we were getting, you know, we were getting read-outs from sources that it was jared kushner and ivanka trump who were imploring donald trump at times to really lower the rhetoric and tone down and act more presidential out on the campaign trail. so it's interesting to see jared kushner, we've been having this conversation about reince priebus and chris christie and everybody else, about white house chief of staff, how interesting would it be if his son-in-law became the cheech ie staff. i don't want to float something out there that may not actually occur but i think that's fascinating to see. also, dan scavino was also spotted by the pool reporters gathered in the south lawn and around the oval office. he was the social media director
for donald trump throughout the course of this campaign, was constantly tweeting and instagraming and so forth pictures of donald trump during this -- i only mention that because we were talking about not having access, not seeing all these pictures. if dan scavino is there, you can rest assured we'll have lots of pictures that we've all been wanting to see. >> very interesting stuff. going on. an excellent insight into what's going on. especially this very important relationship between donald trump and his son-in-law jared kushner. i want to quickly get john king's reaction to that. it would be extraordinary if he asked his son-in-law to be his white house chief of staff. >> or to be a counselor in some capacity. the jobs change. there's always a chief of staff. there's two or three deputy chiefs of staff. then some have what they call a counselor. dennis mcdonough has a security background, became chief of staff. donald trump has no government or washington experience. kushner has no government or washington experience. i know one of the things reince priebus is telling trump, one of
the things christie and mayor giuliani is telling trump is make sure, yes, keep your outsider brand, yes, keep the people you trust most closely, but also let's be smart here and look outside our circle. remember, donald trump ran against the republican establishment. ran against the republican governing establishment, if you will. ronald reagan pushed jim baker who was a george h.w. bush guy to be one of his. this is a challenge for trump to keep your outsider brand, your outsider perspective. he said he was going to drain the swamp of washington. you want to keep that commitment but you also need to bring in some experienced hands. i think that's what we'll go through in these ten weeks. he's a real estate guy. we keep looking over our shoulder waiting to see the images. this is the most spectacular 18 acres in our country. you have the eisenhower executive office building. you've walked through it many times. where mike pence will take office. he'll meet with joe biden later today. he has to fill all these jobs. as he does so, what is the challenge? does he reach out to republican governors and bring in health care experts and, you know,
social programs experts from around the country? who does he find in washington right? the challenges facing mr. trump and his team are fascinating. and he's got, you know, you can't fill them all in ten weeks but he's got to get about this business quickly. the tone he sets and the people he picks will decide -- we will judge him in 100 days. we always do. is that fair? probably not. but there's always the 100-day test. the decisions he makes today, tomorrow and the next ten weeks are going to define the next four years of his lives. >> you mentioned the eisenhower building. julie nixon is kind of the closest thing i can think of to ivanka trump. nixon relied on julie. she came out and gave a statement in the rose garden during watergate and he also relied on david eisenhower, ike's grandson. so there's a similarity there. but nixon would be never have appointed david eisenhower to a cabinet position. think there's some anti-nepotism rules in place. >> this isn't a cabinet position, this would be white house staff. you don't need to be confirmed by congress if you're appoint e to a white house staff position.
i've known him for a long time, almost 20 years, i'm sure he's mentioned to the president -- we got a great shot of the white house -- you go a few blocks down pennsylvania avenue and you know what donald trump is telling the president? >> you ever want to stay at the trump international hotel, i got a room for you. >> he's got a hotel down the street. >> we bring it up as a joke but donald trump has other huge decisions. what does he do with his business? critics say there's all these conflicts of interests because he has businesses around the world and he hasn't released his taxes. today we should focus on the pageantry and the peaceful transition of power. there are layers of decisions. not just staffing a government but separating himself from donald trump the businessman. he's now the president-elect. in ten weeks, he's going to be president. this is a very complicated process. >> donald trump has now been in the white house for more than an hour. we're anxiously awaiting at the end of the meeting with the president in the oval office, they're both going to be making statement. we'll have the first images of president obama, president-elect
trump together. that's what we're standing by for. bob cusack is joining us now, the editor of "the hill" newspaper who's very well plugged in. bob, what are you hearing about appointments? is it too early to start speculating about cabinet positions, white house chief of staff, other critically important positionings? >> oh, it's never too early, wolf. bob corker, republican, from tennessee, has been mentioned as secretary of state. you have to look at the advisers. newt gingrich, ben carson maybe something at hhs, rudy giuliani, chris christie, this is the parlor game of washington that's going to be going on for quite some time. as you know, a lot of republicans, including some in the trump orbit, were surprised he won. so certainly they were working on a transition but now this goes into overdrive. >> the mike rogers, cnn contributor, who has worked, has advised donald trump, we hear his name coming up pretty much. retired lieutenant general mike flynn, the former head of the
director of the defense department, the dia, defense intelligence agency, we've heard his name come up as well. >> yes, absolutely, those are the names. i do think you need former members like mike rogers who know the washington game, who are experienced in it. and this is not -- this is not trump's world. trump's world is new york and business. and he needs to surround himself with people like mike pence. i think pence is going to play a key liaison role on capitol hill. he's respected by fiscal and social conservatives. he's media savvy. in order to get his agenda passed, he's going to have to have better relationships with members of congress. certainly a better relationship than barack obama did who struggled with certainly republicans and some democrats. >> mike pence spent more than a decade as a member of congress, was a member of the foreign affairs committee, is very well plugged in up on capitol hill. now he's the governor of indiana but guess what, he's also the
vice president-elect of the united states. everyone standby. we're waiting the president and the president-elect. we'll have live coverage coming up. our special coverage right after this. (vo) maybe it was here, when you hit 300,000 miles. or here, when you walked away without a scratch. maybe it was all the times it got you safely out there. or all the times it got you out of there. maybe it was the day your baby came home. or maybe the day you realized your baby was not a baby anymore. every subaru is built to earn your trust. because we know what you're trusting us with.
welcome back to our special coverage. we want to welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. president-elect donald trump has now been in the white house for more than an hour, i think an hour and 15 minutes. he's in the oval office with the president of the united states, president obama welcoming the incoming president of the united states. this is their first meeting. the president going through some
of the protocol during this critically important and very historic transition process. at the end of their meeting, reporters and camera crews will be allowed into the oval office. we're going to have coverage of the first images of these two men and their statements. the president will speak first. you'll see him sitting there in the oval office. right next to him will be donald trump. they'll both make statement, have a little conversation. we'll see if they take questions from reporters. reporters will try to ask questions. sometimes the president will simply say thank you, thank you. aides will risk those reporters out. john king with me. we've been in that situation many times where we've gone into the oval office to have what they call a photo op and in the end they say thank you and we're whisked out. >> let me turn the tables a bit. let me take your -- and ask you because you did cover the building for a long time, in the bill clinton presidency dealing with balancing budget, dealing with bombing iraq, when we were
dealing with an impeachment. hopefully that's in the past and things like that -- but this is, your reflection just on this moment from a democratic president to a republican president, to a republican president for whom this town and the world has so many questions. because he doesn't fit so many boxes. he doesn't fit the republican box on taxes and spending. you're playing traffic cop. let's share your thoughts. >> it really is amazing, because you think about it, very few people during the republican primary process thought he was going to win the republican presidential nomination. he did. very few people thought when he was running against hillary clinton he would beat her, there were some, not many, who thought he really had a shot. and the world was literally stunned when they found out, what everyone found out, you and i were there at the magic wall. we were looking at all those counties coming in and all of a sudden it looked increasingly likely he was going to be elected president. and now he's here. it's really an extraordinary historic moment. like you, i feel, you know, i
feel grateful we can as journalists we can cover this. >> to borrow a term from george w. bush, he's been misunderestimated through the entire process. he's been unpredictable. as we watch him fill his team, have is the handoff with president obama, as we watch these two men who so far everybody has said right things. donald trump on election night said the right thing. he knew the country was divided. he knew a lot of people were in shock. he knew some people were in fear. he had a very conciliatory message. hillary clinton's message, very conciliatory. the president's message, very conciliatory. the issue now is people have to get around to doing things. he has to pick his team. does the obama team cooperate as fully as the president has asked them to do in this transition which is just so critical. again, as you look back, filling white house job, filling the eisenhower executive office building, some of this is the nuts and bold bolts of governm. we're look at the marine outside of the west wing. mike pence has landed in washington, he'll meet with vice
president biden. some of this, wolf, is just cool. it is a museum and so president-elect trump is in the oval office. president-elect trump is going to go to the map roof, i assume. president-elect trump is going to go to the roosevelt room. when mike pence is in the building, i'm sure vice president biden will show him the vice presidential ceremonial office. the tradition is you pull your desk out when you're leaving, the last day, and you sign your name. there's walter mondale and you go back in time, you know, through all -- there's spiro agnew, you know, all the names. it's just a fascinating moment. it's so much history in the place. that it's just cool and then it's the awesome responsibilities about to unfold. >> speaking of history, let's bring in presidential historian doug brinkley for some thoughts. i want to remind viewers, we're awaiting the president and the president-elect for the first images we'll see of them together in the oval office and their statements. i'm anxious to get your
thoughts. >> well, wolf, you know, i'm thinking about 2008 when barack obama won and he had just hammered on george w. bush. the iraq war. the recession. what a failed president he was. and then barack obama was in the situation donald trump is. he has to go meet george w. bush. he respected, obama told me, how warm both george w. and laura bush were to him. and they maintained a friendship all of these years later. in fact, when the african-american history smithsonian museum opened, the obamas were more excited to be with the bushes than anybody else. and it also dawns on me, wolf, you know, president obama now is the leading democrat. hillary clinton's gone. he's going to be living in washington, d.c., not very far from the white house, when all this is unfolding. so in a way, instead going to rancho mirage in hawaii, barack obama may be the leader of the democratic party symbolically,
rhetorically, getting -- bringing his flock together in the next coming months. i tonight thing he's going to be able to disappear from the national stage as quickly as he may have thought. >> interesting. dana, you're getting some new information as well. what are you picking up? >> just a little bit more color about what's going on inside the white house. as donald trump and barack obama meet one on one in the oval office. reporting on dennis mcdonough, the white house chief of staff, taking a stroll around the south lawn with jared kushner, donald trump's son-in-law and very close adviser. many say he was one of the people who really helped run his campaign. but also happening right now is the white house -- the obama communications team has been and is formally -- excuse me, informally meeting with hope hicks, who has been at donald trump's side since it was just the two them and corey lewandowski basically and that
was the entire donald trump campaign. talk about somebody who did not come from politics. hope hicks, who's the spokeswoman, and has been for donald trump for some time, is one of them. the thing i'm thinking about as i'm talking to a source who's telling me the communications team is also showing hope hicks around. saying, you know, this is not just the building but this is what we learned from our transition is that josh earnest, who's become very visible, he was -- is the white house spokesman, he was barack obama's iowa press secretary in the campaign. he has been with the obama team that long and now he's at the podium talking about, you know, national security and everything from there. so you have that experience. of him going from the campaign to the administration. and jen soc ki, the communications director, was also one of the original obama campaign aides, now the
communications director at the white house, she was also at the state department. so the people around donald trump are getting that information from people who have done it. and so it's not just the princip principals, which obviously is the most important thing, the president and president-elect, but it's the people around them, especially given how much the experience is really lacking in government and in politics for the people in and around donald trump. >> fascinating information. good color. as we await the president and the president-elect to make their respective statements. gloria, you're also getting some information right now on this historic moment. the american people will be watching. everyone is anxious to hear how president obama welcomes president-elect trump and indeed the whole world will be watching. >> i was just communicating with somebody who reminded me, who's no longer in the administration, but remind me how important it
was for michelle obama to be taken kararound by laura bush, mother to mother, telling her what it was like to raise young children in the white house, and i think that's what started their relationship actually, was the graciousness that the bushes showed to the obamas and, as doug brinkley was saying, they have remained friends, and i think it started because of the way the bushes greeted the ob a obamas at the white house, and i think clearly something that melania trump cares an awful lot about is how she would raise a child under this bubble. the trumps have always had a bubble around them of course, but nothing like this. and i think that what michelle obama can do and will do for melania trump is to let her know, give her a little insight into what it's like to be a mom, to try and make your child's
life as normal as possible, and to have kids who grow up there inside that fish bowl. it's just -- it's not easy. and one thing we know about michelle obama is that she has put her kids first and that she has been able to raise them in a way that allowed them to go to school every day, have their friends come over for sleepovers and live sort of the seminormal or as close to normal lives you can live when your father just happens to be president of the united states. and i think for a mother, it would have kind of a calming effect to let her know that there are ways to kind of work around this if you're trying to raise a young child as melania trump is trying to do. that was one of the reasons she stayed off the campaign trail. so i think that's an important conversation that's taking place in that building right now. and i think the president made it very clear to everybody
inside that white house that they were to do that, and that this is what was done for them, and when they came into the white house eight years ago, they had no clue about what they lives were going to be like. that's the same thing for those people today. it's hard to wrap your arms around it unless you've been a part of it or witness to it. the trumps coming in there today don't have a lot of experience in government and how it works. you know, when john mccain was running for president, he'd been in and out of the white house all the time. if hillary clinton were the president-elect, she had been in and out of the white house all the time and had lived there as first lady and raised her child there. so this is going to be eye opening for everyone and, you know, when you talk about melania trump, it will be important for her to have that conversation with michelle obama.
>> certainly will be. stay with us. john and i are now joined by john's "inside politics" team of excellent reporters. we're going to continue our special live coverage from across the street from the white house. we're going to get the first images of the president and the president-elect inside the oval office. we'll hear their statements. much more of our special coverage right after this. picking up for kyle. here you go. you wouldn't put up with part of a pizza. um. something wrong? so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? you want the whole thing? yes, yes! live whole. not part. aleve.
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we'll have extensive live coverage of that coming up so stand by. the vice president-elect of the united states, mike pence, he's here in washington, he's up on capitol hill. he's getting ready to meet with the leadership there. later today, about two hours or so from now, 2:30 p.m. eastern, mike pence will be here at the white house for his meeting with the vice president of the united states, joe biden. this is a lot of history going on as this transition unfolds. john king has been with me. the anchor, chief national correspondent, the averager of "inside politics." john, you have your excellent "inside politics" team here. i'm anxious to hear what they say. >> this is old school "inside politics" two anchors so you be bernie, you be judy. >> long time ago. >> but great times. let me bring in to the conversation jonathan martin of "the new york times," margaret teller of bloomtburg, ed o'keefe of "the washington post" and cnn's sara murray who spent a lot time on the trump campaign. candidate trump was told halfway through election day based on republican models he was likely
to just barely lose. now they surged to victory. he's in this remarkable majestic place that will be his office in ten weeks. do they -- have they given any sense yet -- we know he's going to sign executive orders on day one, but what does he want to be the tone, the issue? is it going to be lock her up or is it going to be bipartisan? >> i think you've seen him kind of downplaying the sort of lock her up approach at this point. i think that's part of the reason his meetings at the white house and on capitol hill as well as mike pence's are going to be so pivotal. i think one of the things that has gotten lost in all of the madness that is donald trump and was a donald trump campaign is that he was very focused on wanting to be able to be an effective president. that's one of the reasons he decide to go with pens, because he wanted someone to help execute his legislative agenda. one of the reasons they're considering reince priebus for chief of staff because these are people who have relationships on the hill, people who know how to get things done. how can we get started on an
issue where we will have enough agreement to get something done? if you are a new president, you want to be able to go in and put something in front of congress that, you know, has some weight to it but also that you're confident is going to pass, so i think those are the discussions, that's where they're starting. >> margaret, you coverrd the obama white house. fascinating question for me as we watch. the marine is outside the west wing. the president-elect and the president in the building. there's personal animosity between these two men. the principal, the guys who have been in politics or business like trump, that sometimes the water rolls off them, they understand how to turn the corner but the staff oftentimes hold grudges. the obama people didn't like the clinton people. i remember the people, there are always suspicions, grudge matches. will the obama team follow to the letter the president's instructions cooperate fully with these people even though we know they don't like them and don't trust them? >> those are certainly their instructions. i think at lead president
obama's philosophy and his top as and they hope that trickles down is donald trump has a way of becoming his own worst enemy and they should get out of his way and let him do that. they don't want their legacy to be marred by a lack of grace at the end when president obama attempted to govern with all the incoming at him from a position of grace. part of it is ideological. as a huge nelson mandela admirer in his earlier years, the notion of reconciliation, the idea of kind of stretching a hand to your enemy. parent of it certainly is political. democratic party must rebuild. hillary clinton and her people have to figure out what to do with themselves now. president obama has to figure out how to salvage his legacy. if they muck it up in the final weeks by taking keys off of keyboards and putting ts inside ps and all that stuff, it's not going to be a good situation. >> i think this is going to be harder for the obama folks than it was for any past administration that was just going. you know, if you look at the folks that lost tough races,
whether it was the clinton folks handing off to -- you know, president bush in 2000 or bush to obama in '08, you're talking about the transfer of power between traditional politicians. people who were in the arena. politics between the 40 yard lines. this is someone who ran a very different kind of campaign from outside of politics. i think the nature of his appeal, so scared the left, including the folks in the white house, it's going to be did i cut to pass the baton on to somebody who they think basically ran as a racial delagogue, that's a tough thing. >> "the washington post," cross divide, all eyes on trump. that's a very, very fair statement. we're going to watch him today sitting in the oval office for the first time, he'll be with president. he has to be looking around thinking that's my desk in ten
weeks. >> you beyond fetwonder if he's measuring the drapes as he's in there. i think this is the first time he's been in the oval office. picking up on jonathan's point too, what's remarkable and what's important to remember is already i think a lot of the obama coalition is coming to grips with today. chuck schumer, set to be the most powerful democrat in town as the senate minority leader at an afl-cio meeting earlier today admitted to them ttp is dead, the transpacific partnership has been scrapped, put away any thought of it being revived certainly before the president leaves and probably into next year because it will be up to president trump to sort out what to do about global trade. you know, other groups across the city are starting to come to grips with that and realizing they have regrouping to do. and i think to margaret's point, the fact there's now this huge collection of unemployed democrats who will have to figure out what to do and how to rebuild the party.
at a time when republicans -- we've all talked to republicans in the last week who i think are resigned to the fact that trump is going to lose and now have to totally redraw -- >> they were not prepared for this. >> they were not. i think that will have a lot to do with how they set the tone because they weren't thinking it was going to happen and now they realize they are and they got -- >> let me ask a question quick because you covered the trump campaign from the very beginning and governor christie was in charge of the transition. the last several weeks of that transition, we didn't see governor christie, there was speculation, was he really involved in those meetings. we know that the collecting resumes and having a potential cabinet in place, they think about that, john and i have covered these over the years. have they done that? do they have that kind background checks that they need? have they gone through all the history? tax returns, if you will? >> they have. it's worth pointing out their operation is not as extensive as romney's was. it's not as large as romney's was. jeff sessions is actually taking
on a larger role in helping plan this transition as well because obviously christie was sort of navigating the fallout from bridgegate and we did see him pull back a little bit on this. although he's still been a key adviser to donald trump. they have submitted plans to donald trump about how they want to approach these different agencies, what they can do unilaterally, what donald trump could do. sort of how he can implement his priorities in the first 100 days. they have provided him list of names that they think would be experienced appropriate political appointees. some within government. some within the private sector. they have begun doing those background checks. but donald trump is a different kind of candidate than mitt romney. he did not want to be involved deeply in this transition procession. he wanted to focus on winning the election. they are going to have a meeting tomorrow in which he's going to be fully briefed on sort of where this transition planning stands. that's also why it's early when we're talking about who's going to fill these cabinet positions because trump will look at the list the transition staff has
prepared, people they have vetted, and they may say, no, i don't want to go in this direction. >> you can also bet your bottom dollar that a, mike pence, and b, later today when trump meets with the senate majority leader and house speaker, they'll have suggestions on who we might want to bring in. in private conversation, both them will say, i saw in the paper, i saw online you're considering this person, don't do that, that would be a mistake. those conversations will happen in private. the world is watching this too. our viewers around the world are watching this. terraheresa may, the british pr minister, reached out to trump today, said congratulations and trump said let's get together as soon as we can. again, he becomes president in 70 days. but the world is watching now. in these ten weeks, not just what will be the first priority on capitol hill, who will be the treasury secretary, who will fill this job, but what will donald trump say about nato allies who saw him in the campaign saying, you know, you should pay more, you should put up more, you know, maybe we won't get -- maybe article 5 came into question, you had an interview with donald trump on our air where you were pressing
him on these issues. >> if one nato ally is attacked, every nato ally is attacked and they have responsibilities. >> he seemed overly friendly to most allies, certainly to the democrats, and to many of the nato allies, overly friendly to vladimir putin, the president of russia. just your perspective, i'm interested in how much does donald trump need to say before he's president, during this transition period, to ease the worries or fill in the blanks, answer some of the questions the world has? >> he needs to do that. he needs to reassure the world right now. i'm sure that conversation he had with theresa may, the british prime minister, reassured her he's going to be responsible, he's going to honor long-standing u.s. commitments. it's appropriate this conversation took place. america arguably, maybe after canada, certainly one of the top two or three allies of the united states. i think he's start to appreciate the enormity of this responsibility. >> we're talking about a
presidential transition but this is an enormous personal transition for donald trump. he's never been in elected office. he's never been in government at all. you know, we were talking about this earlier, this is not much disrespectfully. he has a new yorker personality where he says what he thinks or he tweets what he things and a president of the united states can't do that. i think that's one of the transitions. or to what degree. remember president obama said i'm keeping my blackberry. he wanted to be different after being told -- everybody has their personal way. and they bring some stamp to the office. the question is what do you leave behind and what do you insist on bringing? >> if nothing else from this campaign, john, trump proved the assumptions about politics, the rules about politics all of us believed in just don't matter as much anymore, right? the idea of organization being crucial. that data is paramount. that gaffes are fatal. didn't matter. so why do we think when he's going to that house across the street that precedent and norms and tradition are going to matter still.
i think trump proved pop culture has now basically merged with the -- a frankly dated and overly deckers you politics culture. i'm not sure we can assume today he's going to change suddenly when he takes the oath and behaves like past presidents have. >> i'm told we're about to see the president of the united states and the president-elect of the united states in the oval office momentarily. we'll show you their statements. we'll show you what their body language is. jim acosta is there on the north lawn of the white house. we're told the pool went in, jim, they've got the video. we're going to see it very soon. we'll hear what the president has to say, what president-elect trump has to say. this is historic. >> it absolutely is, wolf. just getting a few little tidbits of information about what going on in there. the president, president-elect, according to one pool note we're getting right now, were seated
in the high backed arm chairs at the end of the room and both men spoke briefly. there's no indication here as to whether or not they took questions. we were talking about this earlier. sort of goes to jonathan martin's point a little bit. when donald trump is asked a question, it is often very difficult for donald trump not to answer that question. and so if we saw the president and donald trump make some prepared remarks, seeing some pictures there right now. there's jeff mason -- >> let me interrupt. we see a picture that just was posted from jeff mason of reuters inside the oval office. these are the first images we're now seeing of the president and the president elect sitting in front of that fireplace. we often see the president with a visiting foreign leader. there it is. you see the microphones. you see the camera crews. go ahead, jim. i just wanted to point out the picture we're getting of president-elect trump and president obama in the oval office but go ahead. >> i'm getting another readout just as we speak. the president said that they had
an excellent conversation. about domestic and foreign policy. and that the number one priority is creating a smooth transition. these are comments coming from president obama. and that if donald trump is successful, it will be good for america. if he succeeds, the country succeeds. those are some paraphrased comments from president obama. and then donald trump said according to this note that he has respect for president obama. that they were supposed to only speak for ten minutes but they went on for 90 minutes speaking, and that they look forward to working together in the future and that he will seek his counsel, donald trump apparently said, during the presidency, and he called president obama a very fine man. it does not appear, wolf, from this guidance, that any questions were -- well, the questions were asked obviously. questions may not have been answered. they did not take questions. though many people tried is the pool note i'm getting right now. so right there, right off the bat, donald trump's first
meeting in the white house with president obama, an office he will occupy in short order, exercised restraint. i know, you know, we don't want to put breaking news on the screen, donald trump exercises restraint, but in this meeting in the oval office with president obama, who will soon be his predecessor, donald trump did not take the bait. donald trump did not answer questions in the onval office because i'm sure there's all sorts of questions. he hasn't taken many questions from reporters for many, many weeks. there was that press conference, very brief press statement he made in mexico with enrique pen netto. he's not had a full-blown press conference in many, many weeks. i think that is fascinating. but just to underline there. donald trump saying during these comments he has respect for the president, he will seek council from the president when he is president of the united states. this is a man that at one time
he said was not born in the united states. he questioned his legitimacy as president of the united states. but obviously striking a very different tone once inside the oval office, wolf. >> very different tone. we're only seconds away now. the camera crews were inside. they brought the video to a feet. we're about within a few seconds to seat president welcome the president-elect of the united states to the oval office. we'll hear the president speak first. then we'll hear donald trump speak. and we just heard from that pool report, donald trump, the president-elect of the united states, will express his respect for the president and called him a very fine man. both of these men certainly right now appreciate the enormity of this historic moment. we see the still picture. thanks to jeff mason. here's the video. >> ready? okay. well, i just had the opportunity to have an excellent conversation with president-elect trump. it was wide-ranging. we talked about some of the
organizational issues in setting up the white house. we talked about foreign policy. we talked about domestic policy. and as i said last night, my number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensured our president elect is successful. and i have been very encouraged by the i think interest in president-elect trump's wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces. and i believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party, and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal
with the many challenges that we face. and in the meantime, michelle has had a chance to greet the incoming first lady. and we had an excellent conversation with her as well. and we want to make sure they feel welcome as they prepare to make this transition. and most of all, i want to emfa side emphasize to you, mr. president-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds. please, sir. >> well, thank you very much, president obama. this was a meeting that was going to last for maybe 10 or 15 minutes and we were just going to get to know each other. we had never met each other. i have great respect. the meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half.
and it could have, as far as i'm concerned it could have gone on for a lot longer. we really -- we discussed a lot of different situations. some wonderful and some difficulties. i very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel. he explained some of the difficulties, some of the high-flying assets and some of the really great things that have been achieved. mr. president, it was a great honor being with you it, and i k forward to being with you many more times in the future. >> thank you, sir. thank you, everybody. we're now -- we are not going to be taking any questions, thank you, guys, thank you. it's a good rule. don't answer questions when they start -- >> it's always the last one. >> come on, guy, come on, guys, let's go. >> very good man, very good man. >> thank you, guys, appreciate
you, thank you. >> thank you, thank you. >> all right, there's the pool. john, you and i have been in there. a very good man. we heard the president-elect say of the president. both of them said all the right things as far as trying to create a very smooth transition. to donald trump's becoming the president on january 20th. >> the difficulty will come in doing things and seeing if there is bipartisan cooperation. the imagery and the words so far have been pitch perfect on both sides. to democrats, to obama supporters around the country who are still in shock. some would be horrified donald trump is about to be their president. the president not only literally extending his hand but talking about their conversation about their cooperation, about the personal and the political transitions that are about -- that's about to become donald trump's home. it's been president obama's home for eight years. mr. trump in exchange saying you're calling the president a very good man. you know, didn't want to spend too much time in the rearview
mirror but the history is he spent a few years of his life questioning the legitimacy of the president. people around the country are watching this image. people around the world are watching this image. again, some people are hopeful about the president-elect. some people just have giant question marks. this is an important part of the process. the most reassuring part is the president saying, a, that he's encouraged, that the cooperation, that mr. trump is reaching out to his team not in a where's my office but how do you do your job, how do you build a staff, how does this work, and that's very important for the nuts and bolts government. >> the words are so important now. you've covered trump from the very beginning of his quest for the white house. he succeeded in that quest. when the president said he had an excellent conversation, his number one priority is creating a smooth transition, he wants to make sure that if this transition is successful, it will be good for america. those are important words from the president who is not only speaking to donald trump, he's speaking to all of the american
people right there. indeed, to the world. >> those are important words. it just makes me wonder what they talked about in their 90 minutes privately. especially as we've seen these images last night of people pouring out to the streets in protest in a number of cities. i wonder if president obama took this opportunity to impress upon donald trump the fact that there are african-americans and muslims and latinos and young women who woke up yesterday morning in despair and in fear. about what comes next. because of donald trump's own words. because of calling for a muslim ban and calling for a stop and frisk and saying an incredibly insulting and demeaning things about women. and impressed upon him the notion of taking the reins of a fractured country and what you need to do to try to mend that. that's obviously something they're not going to come out and say in front of the press pool but it is, you know, an opportunity and president obama did it. to just say, you know, we're going to try to make this transition as smooth as
possible. >> i want to bring in dana bash and gloria borger. dana, the words we heard from donald trump, very, very important, i have respect for the president, a very fine man, he's sending a pretty important message to his supporters. he got, what, almost 60 million votes. >> that's exactly right. it is not just about these two men. it is, as sara pointed out so well, it is about the people sort of on each side. who are looking to these leaders to help guide them on how to react. the fact he said very good man, he almost said under his breath at the end, as if he wanted to emphasize it in public. but it's almost as if he was telling himself that obama is a very good man. the other thing that struck me is that donald trump said the two of them have never met. i guess it shouldn't be surprising in some ways but if you kind of take a step back and the fact that these two larger
than life figures, the people who have spars very much so in public going back to 2010 have never actually met. and they do it for the first time in the oval office as barack obama is welcoming donald trump because he will be his successor, to wrap our minds around that, it's kind of hard to do. >> gloria, they may have never met. but they were at a state department a few years ago where the president had some fun at donald trump's expense. gloria, i'm anxious to hear your thoughts. >> well, it seems as if we'll moved from one universe into a
completely different universe now these are -- barack obama has said donald trump shouldn't get anywhere near the nuclear codes, had criticized him as dangerous. now what we're seeing is these two men for the good of the country getting together and sending signals this is going to be okay. straw struck me in particular about what donald trump said was he said at the end of this short presser that he explained, talking about president, he explained some of the really great things that have been achieved under his presidency. so what that made me think of is the president would, for example, mention obamacare.
and say look, let me implore you to make sure -- let me tell you the things that have worked under obamacare. so i think that this conversation may have been a lot more substantive than just a meet and greet. i think obama had a -- president obama had a few things he needed to say and to tell donald trump about what he has akechieved an what trump needs to keep in mind as he talks about undoing every single thing he has done other the past eight years. i think this was the president's moment to say to donald trump, i know where you're coming from, but let me just tell you a few things and i think it sounds like from donald trump that the conversation was cordial and respectful and donald trump listened to what he had to say
and that he comes out of this meeting with what he said was great respect for the president. donald trump may have visited the white house socially in the past, but he sure hasn't had a meeting anywhere approaching this one, and i think that it's kind of stunning, as dana was saying, for these two people to meet face-to-face for the first time after they have been hurling insults at each other. over this last few months. i think that, boy, i think that the american public needed to hear them come out of this with respect to a degree, at least obama saying it was an excellent meeting and donald trump saying he has respect for -- >> i think, gloria, that that motorcade we see on left part of the screen, that's the vice president -- i could be wrong -- presidential motorcade.ce - mike pence arriving on capitol
hill for his meetings with paul ryan and mitch mcconnell among other republican leaders. is that the trump motorcade? i've just been corrected. it's the trump motorcade. they've already arrived up on capitol hill. i recognize the capitol hill part. didn't realize trump was out of there as quickly as he is. but ed, let's get your thoughts on this as well. so he's now about to meet with paul ryan, mitch mcconnell, donald trump. that is capitol hill up there. >> i think, you know, you mentioned earlier you're simulcasting around the world and the beauty of cnn is it airs in foreign ministries and, you know, living rooms all other the world. >> embassies. >> embassies. i think this is important for not only this country but for the world to see is despite the shock, these two men are able to sit in the room together, be cordial, shake hands and, you know, we've watched donald trump for a year and a half-plus, i look at his body language and think there's a man slightly hum we humbleled by his surroundings
and beginning to realize the enormity of what's about to befall him. i think it's impressive. one we need to remember means a lot not only to this country but the world. >> the message to folks watching around the worreld is still america. we respect elections here, the will of the people. i think that's on vivid display in the oval office. i have one fast observation on just how cordial trump seemed to president obama. if you look at trump's rhetoric and, in recent years, he seemed fairly flexible in his assessments of people. i think he can be fairly conditional about how he feels about folks. if people are gracious and nice to him, he tends to reward that. if they're critical of him, he fires back. this is not somebody with sort of long-standing grudges or fixed opinions of folks. he's willing to kind of move around depending on how they treat him. >> that's the silver lining on capitol hill. is they -- donald trump has taken every position on basically every issue, as he
heads into the white house, and so as he is prepared to actually govern and dell gate these tasks, delegate these tasks, there are people on the hill who think donald trump will be a deal maker. >> there say question of timing. which is important to consider. president obama, hillary clinton, thought it would be her there today. tomorrow is veterans day. president obama leaves monday for a foreign trip, his last scheduled foreign trip, to greece, to germany, to peru, world leaders, major u.s. supporters. president obama's trip was supposed to be a farewell tour and may be a lift bid at tpp. it is now all about trying to answer the rest of the world's questions. i suspect, and i hope we'll learn more during the readouts, some of today's meeting was so president obama in these meetings with angela merkel, in these meetings with western and asian-pacific leaders is to be able to say i spent an hour and a half with donald trump -- >> and we're going to be covering john earnest, the white house press secretary, he is scheduled to have a