tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN November 16, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PST
tower -- >> mad about the traffic. >> you know who would hate it? donald trump. if that happened with somebody else trump would be all over it. >> he's going to live in the white house. time for "newsroom" with carol costello. >> what do you think does he live in the white house full time? >> i don't know. our question will be answered right jason? >> thank you. >> thanks, carol. >> "newsroom" starts now. see you. and good morning i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. donald trump on a tear this morning, pushing back against reports his all-important transition team is in turmoil. trump tweeting this attack on "the new york times" just a couple of hours ago. he said the transition is going so smoothly. but his -- but his latest firing not likely to soothe the nerves of establishment republicans. mike roger the former chairman of the house intelligence committee was booted from trump's transition team. rogers telling cnn he was among several dismissals all with ties
to recently fired chris christie. and sources say trump's son-in-law jared kushner is at the center of the infighting. all of this unfolding just 65 days away from trump's inauguration. jason miller the communications director of the trump transition team is standing by live right beside me in the studio. lot to talk about just about a minute. jason, thank you. but first, mr. trump is back at work today, at his transition headquarters inside the trump you toer, and that's where cnn's sunlen serfaty is this morning. r good morning. >> good morning to you, carol. a lot of pushback this morning from top transition officials disputing the notion that there are transition has been at all turbulent. including this morning, joining into the chorus of pushbacks, president-elect donald trump who took to twitter to say quote very organized process taking place as i decide on cabinet and many other positions. i am the only one who knows who the finalists are. trump also taking issue over twitter with some reporting that he was potentially looking into
getting secret clearance for some of his kids. trump tweeting quote, i am not trying to get top level security clearance for my children. this was a typically false news story. and we know that that story stemmed from a transition staffer with ties to the department of defense who apparently made this ask without being authorized and we now know according to cnn's jim acosta that that transition official has been let go as of this morning. now meantime other departures as you noted, higher level departures in the transition team, former congressman and cnn commentator mike rogers, who had been for months just a leading national security voice within the transition team. he has parted ways, and many people, you know, really chiming in, it was because he was closely aligned with chris christie. at a time where there had been so-called purge of christie officials within the transition team. mike rogers speaking to anderson cooper about it last night.
>> sometimes in politics, you know, palace intrigue there are people who are in, people who are out. the people who have been asked to move on, have some relationship with chris christie in my case i was hired by him. and so there's a whole series of about five of them that fit that criteria that were asked to leave in the last few days. you know what? that's absolutely the campaign's prerogative. i think there is some confusion going on about a chain of command coming out of new york. hopefully they'll get that settled pretty soon. i think they're going to need to do it because as this clock ticks all of these decisions become more important. >> and that word confusion really struck me, carol, especially coming from someone who had for months worked on this transition. but certainly again, top transition officials pushing back on the notion that it has been rocky for them in the last week. carol? >> all right. sunlen serfaty reporting live from trump tower in new york city this morning. jason miller jones me now. he's the senior communications adviser to president-elect trump.
good morning. >> good morning. a lot of energy. exciting to have -- honor to serve with the president-elect. >> absolutely. we have to talk about this tweeting this morning though because he was on sort of a tear. he tweeted four times this morning the first tweet i'm not trying to get top level security clearance for my children, this is a typically false news story. another tweet, the failing "new york times" story is totally wrong on transition. it's going so smoothly. also, i've spoken to many foreign leaders. a few minute the later this tweet, i have received and taken calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing "new york times" says, russia, uk, china, saudi arabia, japan, australia, new zealand and more. "new york times" look like fools in their coverage of me. so, you know, congressman chris collins was on "new day" earlier and he said this is just trump's way of relaxing. is that it? >> well, no, i would describe it as this is the president-elect setting the record straight. and i think this is part of the reason why he received such great support last week and why
he won the election. because he's not this typical politician. he's not going to be confined by the media norms. when he sees something that's incorrect he's not afraid to stand up and set the record straight. >> why wouldn't he give an interview right to i'm sure "the new york times" called him. or his transition team, or you. >> i think it's important to put in mind that he's putting this team together. he's working with the vice president-elect with our executive director of the transition team who have a very structured plan and they're going through this methodically to make sure they get it right. that's the important thing that people need to know, they have the plan in place. they're going to go through. they're going to do due diligence to make sure they check people's backgrounds, make sure they're on the up and up and we have a very good team put together. and then once he's inaugurated we're going to do some very exciting things. but there's a clear structure in place and i think some of this palace intrigue really where i think this comes from usually. >> okay -- >> is folks who aren't up for jobs who might be maybe a little bit bitter or some people who are just maybe bitter that the election department go their way last week, the president-elect -- >> because the way it's being
described by sources within the transition team is that it's a blood bath. it's a knife fight. jared kushner is rt one spear heading this knife fight because his father was put into prison on tax evasion charges, he's bitter at chris christie, so he's getting rid of anyone that was even associated with chris christie. is that true? >> not in the slightest. in fact, jared and i were chuckling about it this morning. this whole description of the knife fight, or this internal fighting. nothing could be further from the truth. jared is helping to put this together. but ultimately these decisions are being made by the president-elect. and he's the one who will have the final say on all of this. and i think it's also important to remind people that it's his judgment. he's going to make sure that we have the absolute best people. some won't be coming from politics. some will be coming from outside politics. who have success in business or education or all different fields. >> i want to go back to jared kushner for just a second and this security clearance. that was inquired about security
clearances for trump's children. and we know it didn't come from the president-elect, right? it came from a low level staffer who has been dismissed. is that right? >> well the president-elect has not made any request for security clearance for -- >> even for jared kushner? >> correct. not for any of his family members. and further, i would say no paperwork has been completed or sent in or submitted to this effect. i think what a lot of this is, again, it's certain folks who may be on the outside looking in who want to go and try to cause chaos and do their bit to try to make some negative headlines. but that's not going to distract us. internally, there's a very calm presence. it's structured. i think we have a clear plan of what we need to go and do. >> will we expect announcements soon? because things are happening in the world that that are causing anxiety for people and they want to know that the transition team is running smoothly and that there will soon be announcements for secretary of state, for depth of defense, for defense secretary for positions like that because we have active american military that work in afghanistan, iraq, and syria.
>> well, what the president-elect and the vice president-elect know exactly how serious this is. the magnitude of which we have to go and get this right. and that's part of the reason why they're making sure we get it right before we rush to judgment. and it's also important to keep in mind that president obama didn't have his entire cabinet name within that first week after he was elected in 2008 -- >> so we shouldn't expect announcements from the transition team on any more appointments today? >> i'm not going to go and qualify it as far as today but i'm going to say when they're going to announce it is when -- >> i ask you that because eric trump just came out and said that more appointments are expected to be announced today. >> it's when the president-elect is ready to pull the trigger and to make these people formal and finalize it. and he's not going to do it until he's ready with that decision. he's going to a process and i spoke with him this morning walking through some of the different names and where things were going and he's going to make sure that he gets this right. and quite frankly i think he will and i think that's part of the reason why he got such overwhelming support last week. >> some people say the controversial choice of steve bannon is one reason he's taking
his time. because he didn't really expect the back lash over that. that's only growing, right? in fact, because some people -- some people say steve bannon embraces white nationalism. he provided a platform on breitbart news, of which he used to be editor. he was editor for that website. even glenn beck on anderson cooper last night and he said steve bannon is someone to fear, and this is what he said. here's why. >> the alt-right is real. it is truly terrifying in my opinion that he has given a voice and power to that group of people. why, i don't know. but it's important, because you -- you don't empower people like that. you -- you just don't do that. it's not smart. >> so, glenn beck and harry reid are on the same page, like the world has shifted. so do they have a point? >> again, with regard to senator reid and glenn beck i think they
need to get over the fact that the election was last week and that president-elect trump has won. >> is it sour grapes on glenn beck's part? >> i want to talk a little bit about steve bannon. steve is someone who i've really gotten to know the last several months being on the campaign working very closely with him on a daily basis. here's what people should know about steve bannon. number one he's a very strong zionist. he so strongly supports the state of israel, even founded breitbart jerusalem is one of his causes. he's a big supporter of. >> he's not anti-jew in other words. >> i'm going through -- >> because people accuse him of that. >> right. and it's silly. one thing you can see the internal workings of the campaign, see that steve bannon is someone who pushed for diversity at every purn in the campaign that he is one of the driving forces in having the president-elect go to mexico on that trip and to meet with prime minister netanyahu, steve is someone who is -- >> but, but, but, didn't mr. trump go to mexico to talk about the wall which he didn't really talk about? isn't that why he -- >> it's also to show that he's going to have strong relations and work with other foreign leaders and to show that he is
able to reach out and step outside of the political norms to do different things. and steve bannon's been a big proponent of that. ultimately, steve bannon is going to implement the plans and the agenda of the president-elect. and he did a fantastic job of doing it during the campaign. i think that's why the president-elect is -- >> but, but, but just one more thing about steve bannon, because, it it's not just glenn beck and harry reid concerned about steve bannon. these protests are going on all across the country, 34 universities today are going to protest at their universities become sanctuary universities so that undocumented immigrants will have a safe place to go. this is becoming a bigger and bigger movement, whether president-elect trump likes it or not. so shouldn't president-elect trump come out and say something? >> well, i completely disagree with your analysis of the folks out there expressing their first amendment rights. which is great. that's why this country is so fantastic. but these protesters are dying off.
they're not growing. i disagree with your analysis. >> they are growing. there's 34 planned today. >> i think the further we get away from the election as people realize it's time to come together and start laying out our plans, we're going to move the country forward and create jobs we're going to see president-elect trump bring the country to the and again that's -- >> i think everybody wants president-elect trump to create jobs. but they do have this underlying fear that he's not going to be fair to minority groups. it is there and it is real. >> but what we've seen since the election is such a very measured and embracing tone from the president-elect, and i believe that's how he's going to lead. he has some very strong opinions. we know he's going to go in and repeal and replace obamacare. we know he's going to secure the border. we know he's going to reform our tax code so we can actually get out there and create jobs. >> but i think people want to know will he ban muslims from coming into the country? will he really depart two or three million people living in this country? those are the things they want to know, too. >> also what they know is he's going to approach all of his policy proposals in a very humane and embracing approach. there have some things folks
might disagree on as we talk about repealing and replacing obamacare. not everybody is going to agree with that. we're going to make sure we take care of people so we can bring health care costs down and make sure folks aren't getting kikd off their health insurance and can see their doctor. but all these approaches that he's taking, it's very much in mind of here's where the sentiment of where the people are and finally we're going to have a government that's responsive to what the people want. >> final question for you, are you up for a cabinet position? >> definitely -- >> are you press secretary? >> i'll serve in whatever capacity the president-elect would like me to. and -- >> -- for a position? >> no, whatever i can do to help out. i'm just honored to be a part of the transition team right now. >> is there one position you'd love to have? >> whatever he'd like me to do. i appreciate it. >> jason miller, thanks so much for stopping by. i know you must be exhausted and excited at the same time. so joining me now, lynn sweet who is the washington bureau chief of the "chicago sun-times" and david swerdlick assistant editor for "the washington
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all right. we just finished talking with jason miller. he is the top trump aide. communications director for the trump transition team and he denied there was any turmoil within the transition team so let's talk about that with lynn sweet chicago burr rechief of the chicago sun "times" and david swerdlick from "the washington post." there are all these reports that the trump transition team is in turmoil. there's a blood bath going on. you heard jason miller saying there is no turmoil, everything's proceeding smoothly. your thoughts? >> well, carol, you had mike rogers on the record saying that wasn't the case. so this isn't a situation where you have people without attribution. and jason miller talked about how they're not going to be
confined by media norms, and okay, but then the story is, what you're not doing, if you don't know what they are doing, that's that i think one of the situations. the point of the obama campaign back in '07 and '08 ands he started his administration wasn't so much that he took time as trump is doing to put his -- his administration in place, it's that there was no drama surrounding it. and that's what seems to be getting the trump administration off on a little bit of a -- of a interesting footing. it's not a matter of norms. it's a matter of do you see progress in putting together an administration. that's all people want to see. when you get stories that chris christie is out, mike rogers is out, of course you're going to report on that. >> so, but the tweeting this morning, david, because that's really how trump -- >> oh, boy. >> -- got the word out about this, and you heard jason miller say that this, this, it appears
this will be normal procedure for mr. trump responding to the media, and he'll do it through tweets. >> yeah, so, carol i think we're in this testing out period where president-elect trump is trying to see if what he did during the campaign is going to be effective for him in the transition. and then i'm speculating, but possibly in the early stages of his administration. can he go over the heads of the mainstream press and get his message out to his millions of social media followers? maybe it will work. maybe it won't. maybe people will tire of it. but we're a week into the transition and clearly he's not ready to give up social media yet. the thing that jumped out at me, carol, from that one tweet that you mentioned in the previous segment, about saying only he knew the finalists for his key appointments, struck me as another instance where trump likes the big reveal. but i think president-elect trump and then future president donald trump will realize that governing is not all about the big reveal, it's not about saying come down to my trump
hotel, and let me tell you what i think about the birther controversy. he will, in a very short order, be expected to produce results not just headlines. and that's i think the difference. that he's getting -- >> it's, it's -- the problem with what david said carol, one other quick point this isn't miss universe where you can pick who you want to win. one senator can hold up an appointment. so these are people who he selects for cabinet positions have to be senate confirmable. we know that rand paul already expressed a concern about a potential secretary of state pick. he's going to have voices within his own party in the senate, as well as democrats, who if he doesn't put people forth who are confirmable, then he can't get his administration started. so there's a few pieces here that will show running government is not like running your own family health firm. >> back to this -- this controversy surrounding steve bannon. you heard jason miller say steve bannon he was actually for
diversity within the transition team and talked about diversity all the time. he's -- he's a big proponent of israel, and what did you make of that, david? >> so, look, i think we're still learning about steve bannon. you know, after i say this i expect maybe to hear from some people on twitter, but look i think more needs to be known about steve bannon. i think what is fair to say is that breitbart, which he leads, has trafficked in some -- some stereotypes about jewish americans, about people of color, i think it's fair to say that steve bannon is a divisive figure. but you know, are we at the point now where you can just lay a judgment out there and say that he's a card carrying white nationalist or card carrying anti-semite? i don't think we know that yet. if people inside the transition people are obviously saying no look this guy is for diversity. this guy wants to bring people together. he wants to have a positive transition, of course they're going to say that. but because donald trump ran such an u.s. versus them type of campaign i think the onus in
some ways is on members of his team, including bannon, to dispel people's worries about the idea that you know, he seeks to divide people along these lines. we -- i think we're still finding out. >> so, so, lynn, maybe steve bannon should come out and issue some sort of statement? >> i think -- well -- >> we're -- opposed to him. does he really have to? >> well, again, as miller said they don't feel compelled to do any media norm convention. so, okay, that's their thing. i do think there's let's not let what breitbart the publication has been associated with and stories on their side. this isn't just about bannon personally. it is about what he has -- you -- you can't be blind to the type of statements, stories, whatever is associated with the -- the -- the criticisms
that we're talking about. and when you talk about diversity, by the way, carol and david, the first names we've seen surfacing from almost every cabinet position is a white man. there is some thought i suppose that it will be different when you see the whole thing. but that might be maybe sooner than later. rather than later than sooner. okay if you want to give steve bannon the benefit of the doubt, do so but i don't think that means you erase where he's coming from and where the publication he led is coming from. >> i got to leave it there -- >> i think, lynn, you're -- lynn's right about that just as journalists i think we need to learn more. >> all right. lynn sweet, david swerdlick thanks to both of you. still to come, a whole lot of firing but where is the hiring for key national security roles in trump's cabinet. who is in the running and what's at stake? there is no typical day.
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what do you guys have plan? >> good day. >> -- filling any more positions today? anyone in particular? [ inaudible ] what are you going to be working on today, eric? >> you heard it that was eric trump. he says an announcement about future cabinet positions, well it's likely to come at any time now. maybe today. the trump transition team is in a race against time to fill key positions in the administration just two months before inauguration day. keep in mind u.s. troops are involved in active combat situations in iraq, afghanistan and syria. there are still five people on trump's short list, mostly current and former senators, for secretary of defense, and even more under consideration for secretary of state. among them rudy giuliani, newt gingrich and former treasury secretary hen hery paulson. i'm joined by a former master
sergeant with army spep rations and cnn's military analyst retired lieutenant colonel rick francona. welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> thanks for being here. jason, it is imperative for trump to put together a top notched experienced defense team because this is what's happening this morning in aleppo, syria. a children's hospital was hit by bombs. six children now being sheltered by doctors, they're huddling in the basement. they're cowering in fear. the syrian air force under the direction of syria's president bashar al assad is behind this bombing. assad said just yesterday he hopes trump will be an ally. listen. >> whether he can do, or live up to his promises, or not. that's how we're very cautious in judging them, especially as he wasn't in a political position before. so we cannot say anything about what he's going to do.
but if -- that's if, if he's going to fight the terrorists, of course we're going to be allied with the russians, with many other countries who want to defeat the terrorists. >> so, jason, will president-elect trump be an ally of syria's bashar al assad? >> well, carol, i appreciate the questions, but let's face it, that's assad doing some statesmanship, and he's trying to do a little bit of gaming before this. remember, right now we have a president in power, so we actually have the executive branch able to operate. what president-elect trump is going to do as he's promised and laid out in his foreign policy speeches is make sure the interests of america is first. we have soldiers in harm's way, as you point out, every day right now in combat. so what's most important is to craft policy that can divine what is america's great interest at stake? who our allies are? they'll reveal themselves as they stack up, and line up
behind good leadership. it's something we've been missing. and that's something that president-elect trump is going to bring to the table. you've got to pick the right team. and he's in the process of doing that right now. >> okay. here's why some people worry, colonel francona. as you know syria and russia are working to the in syria, and mr. trump admired vladimir putin, senator john mccain worries about trump's desire to improve relations with vladimir putin and russia. he said quote at the very least the price of another reset would be complicity if putin and assad butcher the syrian people. that is an unacceptable price for a great nation. when america has been at its greatest is when we have stood on the side of those fighting tyranny. this is where we must stand again. so what do you see happening colonel francona? >> well, syria is a basket case. our policy in syria unfortunately hasn't changed since 2011. we're still demanding the removal of bashar al assad, and of course that's been complicated by the rise of isis.
and now we've had to shift our focus from supporting the opposition to going after isis. and now, with the interference, and the intervention by the russians and the iranians and hezbollah and all the other forces you've got a -- a really mixed playing field there. and that we haven't adapted our policy. the new administration is going to have to figure out just what our interests are in syria and act accordingly. if that is working with the russians against isis, that's going to take a major shift in our policy, and in effect we will be allied with bashar al assad. and i don't think we want to get into a situation where we're supporting a guy who bombs hospitals in the city of aleppo. so this is a real challenge for the new administration. and i get the impression, and i understand what jason is saying, we do have a government in power right now, but i think they're kicking the can down the road because syria just has no solution as far as this administration is concerned. >> all right. jason i want to focus on the position of national security
adviser, michael flynn is trump's only pick for that position. it's no secret that flynn considers obama weak and spineless. that's what he's called the president. he also considers him incompetent in his foreign policy. flynn is also quite a hawk. so how would he change american strategy against isis, do you think, jason? >> well, you know, i served in jsoc under directors like general flynn when he was is d.i.a. and we know they have an aggressive policy. number one is to craft again the u.s. national interests first, and that's about divining first and foremost what is most efficacious, what's the most effective way that the u.s. protects our interests, and make sure that when we put soldiers in harm's way they're dying for a specific cause. right now if we give mosul, if we win mosul what's happening on the ground right now is when we turn that land over, we're going to cede it to a government that is -- almost a proxy right now of iran. and when we talk about, you know, bad allies and strategic
allies, we've given iran lunch in the region to become a national power and that's something that we've already seen so, rick is absolutely right. we're going to be digging out of a mess. syria is a mess right now. general flynn is the kind of guy that stood up when things weren't going well with islamic state, with al qaeda, and he told the truth. telling the truth is absolutely important. identifying the enemy. he's done that over and over again. so, first identifying the enemy. and then crafting a policy that makes sure that the u.s. interest is first so when our soldiers, the best in the world, when our service members are out there, they know the cause, they know the purpose, they know the end state which is something we haven't seen over eight years. it's been longer than that. our soldiers are begging for leadership. and i think we're going to see that with general flynn. >> all right. i have to leave it there. jason beardsly and lieutenant colonel rick francona thanks to both of you. president obama is heading to germany for the last leg of his final overseas trip. earlier wrapping up his visit to
athens hailing democracy and a symbolic nod to the birth place of the political system. he also reassured greeks that america remains a strong ally. >> and i'm confident that just as america's commitment to the transatlantic alliance has endured for seven decades, whether it's been under a democratic or republican administration, that commitment will continue. including our pledge and our treaty obligation to defend every ally. >> cnn's nic roberts is in athens with more. >> hey, carol. good morning. there was also a message, if you will, to the international audience but also to domestic audience back at home, trying to calm fears about the transition of democracy in the united states. he quoted -- he quoted winston churchill saying that democracy is the worst form of government, except for the alternatives. and what he was trying to do here, and he got some laughs from the audience was saying, look, what may be -- what may
appear to be happening, you know, a radical change under way in the united states, history doesn't work in a straight line. it zigs and it zags, democracy a little interpret this is how he put it. >> democracy, like all human institutions, is imperfect. it can be slow. it can be frustrating. it can be hard. it can be messy. and in a multi-ethnic, multiracial, multicultural society like the united states, democracy can be especially complicated. believe me. i know. but, it is better than the alternatives. because it allows us to peacefully work through our differences. >> and that peacefully working through issues the public having the right to answer politicians,
he pointed to the example of the nuclear deal with iran, as that came through democracy, as the -- as the world's agreement on climate change, that came through democracy, he said democracy giving the space for scientists to come up with scientific conclusions rather than people following sort of doing matic views. both those points seem to be aimed somewhat also that president-elect trump as well. >> knick robertson reporting live from athens, greece, this morning. my next guest, too afraid to work her new job after the election? i'll ask her why, next.
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between them and president-elect trump. adding to this anxiety reuters is now reporting that trump's policy advisers are mulling a proposal that would reinstate a registry for muslim immigrants. and a source familiar with trump's transition team tells cnn that frank gaffney, a man known for anti-islamic rhetoric, is now working with them on national security issues. this is a man who was a big supporter of the theory that president obama is a secret muslim and was not born in the united states. all of this weighs on my next guest's mind and her soul. she said she no longer feels safe wearing her hijab. with me isalla. i notice you're wearing your hijab today. do you normally wear it? and why did you decide to wear it this morning? >> i've been wearing my head scarf for the past twelve years. it was my choice since the beginning. since day one. and i can guarantee you that i
will walk out of the studio today and take off my head scarf and wear a hat instead because it's no longer safe to walk on the streets with a head scarf on, as of now. >> tell me why you feel that way. >> i'd like to share an incident that happened a couple of days ago. i was at a hospital in miami, i sat down, and i was wearing my head scarf. went into the waiting room and sat down next to an older, white guy. there was a seat between us, empty, so he took out his pocket knife, and set it next to me. and i felt very threatened. i was shocked. and i was waiting to be stabbed just for the fact that i was wearing my head scarf. he then took his weapon, closed it. put it in his pocket, and walked past me and said, deport them all. with such incidents happening to
muslim women who wear the head scarf on the streets, on daily matters, it's no longer safe. and i don't -- >> how did the people around you in that waiting room react to that man? >> that's my point. is that no one said anything. and i didn't expect anyone, carol, to say something while he had the weapon out in front of me. but at least someone like to approach me afterwards and say, you know, are you okay? do you want me to call anyone? no one did anything, there was about 20 people in that room, and everyone just carried on their normal conversations as if nothing happened. that is scary. that's scarier than the fact that he took out that weapon, the people around us are not saying much. >> did -- did -- did incidents like this happen to you in the past? or is this something new? >> you know, in the past, twelve
years of wearing my head scarf i occasionally get the, go back to your country, or you're a terrorist, something like that, on the streets, and i ignore it. but for someone to pull out a weapon in a safe place, which was a hospital, and set it next to me, and i was waiting to be stabbed, that just escalated to a whole new level. >> is -- is there anything that president-elect trump can say that would ease your mind that he's not anti-muslim? >> president-elect trump told anderson cooper a couple months ago that he thinks islam hates us. i don't know what's going to heal that wound. because he -- he really opened a large wound within the muslim community. and to me personally, i think he needs to apologize for what he's been saying. and to -- to reassure the muslim community that we will be safe.
because i don't know when i will be able to walk on the streets with my head scarf back on again. >> what would you say to those who support trump and are enthusiastic about his presidency? that this was just one crazy guy, that did something wrong, and that's not how the vast majority of americans feel about muslim americans. >> i'd say get to know your muslim neighbors. get to know more about islam. talk to your friends who will most likely be muslim in your local neighborhoods, just get to know us more, because we are extending a hand. we are being targeted right now, and it's not safe. so help us by extending a hand to us, and reunifying america, if you will. >> alaaa, thanks for sharing your story this morning. i do appreciate it. >> thank you. >> still to come -- >> you're welcome. he's the leader of isis and he's
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at least 30 people including four children and a medic are dead following a new round of air strikes in war-torn aleppo. children in one neighborhood were forced to flee their school, their backpacks still on after the raids began. the air strikes which activists say were accompanied by heavy artillery and barrel bombs resumed on tuesday for the first time in three weeks.
one of the last three pediatricians working in eastern aleppo children's hospital has a simple but powerful plea. pray for us. that doctor adding that staff and patients have all taken cover in a basement room waiting for air strikes to end before they can leave. now to iraq where a u.s.-led coalition is battling isis in a bid to regain control of mosul. a coalition spokesman says 4,000 bombs, missiles and artillery strikes have hit isis targets since the offensive began nearly a month ago. but as that fight continues, a new challenge emerges. where is isis' leader, baghdadi, the man who came to prominence during this 2014 speech from iraq's second largest city is believed to have fled during the first week of the campaign. cnn's phil black in erbil, iraq, %-p from baghdadi was around the start of november. he released an audiotape urging his fighters not to give up any ground, to fight on against the much larger iraqi force that is
trying to drive them from mosul and the area surrounding it. now we have heard from some paramilitary units that are responsible for clearing isis from towns and villages to the west of mosul. they have said they have intelligence leading them to believe baghdadi is in that area. this is northwest iraq between mosul and the syrian border. they say he's in a relatively small area between two towns that are only around an hour's drive apart. other members of this iraqi coalition don't necessarily agree. the iraqi defense ministry says the last it believed it had on baghdadi was when he left mosul shortly after this big offensive began, about a month ago. they say he went west but they don't know where he went after that. of course, he could have gone further west across the syrian border into isis-controlled syria. the kurds, the peshmerga force that makes up part of this operation, a senior officer with them has told us he doesn't believe baghdadi is in that area as these paramilitary groups
claim. the context, u.s. officials have long had the working theory that he moves around a lot, never stays in one place for long. he's very careful not to be vulnerable to any sort of attack. they have always said if they did know where he was, they wouldn't talk about it. they would launch an operation to get him. >> so how is the campaign going in mosul? is it on track? >> reporter: well, it's going to plan, we are told, but it is not going easily. it has definitely slowed down. the tempo has changed. ever since about a week ago when iraqi forces entered the eastern suburbs of mosul itself, the built-up areas of that city, that's when isis has really started to resist them very strongly because it's very prepared, it knows the ground and of course, there are civilians everywhere. there was an incident today that shows this. want to show you pictures that are not easy to watch. they are a little graphic. but it shows what happened in an area of eastern mosul that had already been cleared of isis about a week ago. this is where isis decided to
launch mortar rounds into the civilian population. it's a classic isis tactic in order to distract, drive tension away. back to you. >> phil black reporting live from iraq. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" after a break. ♪ ♪ ♪ how else do you think he gets around so fast? take the reins this holiday and get the mercedes-benz you've always wanted during the winter event. now lease the 2017 gle350 for $579 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. loothat could savecare presyou money?rug plan at unitedhealthcare, we offer three plans to choose from to help meet your needs- including one that's brand new for 2017. introducing the aarp medicarerx walgreens plan insured through unitedhealthcare.
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good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me. donald trump launches a flurry of twitter attacks to push back against reports that his all-important transition team is in turmoil. here's one. attacking the "new york times" it was tweeted out just a couple hours ago, saying the transition is going so smoothly. minutes ago i asked trump's communications director about that twitter outburst. he downplayed it. >> i would describe it as this is the president-elect setting the record straight and i think this is part