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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 17, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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national debt. >> exactly. so how do you do it? >> rene marsh, thank you so much. appreciate it. follow me on facebook and twitter @jake tapper. tweet the show @"the lead." we actually read the tweets. i'm turning it over to one mr. wolf blitzer. he is next door in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, transition reality show. donald trump's transition team racing to fill key positions while trump's son-in-law weighs what role he'll play in the new administration. romney meeting. a source tells cnn mitt romney and donald trump will meet this weekend to discuss possibly serving in the trump cabinet. romney, who refused to endorse trump, and once called him a fraud, is he really willing to serve in the trump administration? muslim registry. would they consider forcing muslims entering the united states to register in a database. tonight muslim-americans and civil rights group are worried about a possible new wave of
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discrimination. nuclear options, as trump prepares for his first post election meeting with a world leader is he pushing other countries building their own nuclear arsenals? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news this hour. donald trump holds his first meeting since the election with the leader of another country. japan's prime minister is coming to trump tower in new york, saying he wants to build trust with the president-elect. during the campaign, trump criticized the u.s.-japanese military relationship and even raised the possibility of japan's possessing nuclear weapons. also breaking, word that president-elect trump will meet this weekend with one of his harshest republican critics. former presidential nominee mitt romney. even more surprising, romney may be under consideration for a post in the trump cabinet.
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following a new controversy. new talk about setting up a registry for people coming to the united states from high-risk areas, mostly muslim majority countries. is that in effect a muslim registry? we'll discuss today's important developments with former congressman jack kingston, he was a senior advisor to the trump campaign. and our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of the day's top stories. let's begin with breaking news. our senior white house correspondent jim acosta is at trump tower. jim, has the prime minister of japan arrived already to see donald trump? >> donald trump will be sitting down shortly with the prime minister of japan, shinzo abe, for his first meeting with a foreign leader since winning the presidency just last week. but, wolf, donald trump also is tending to some domestic matters, namely filling his cabinet. and he is considering names at this point that are very surprising and suggest that he knows he has some fence-mending to do. in all the comings and goings at
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trump tower, a signal is being sent that the president-elect just might be ready to put the scorched earth campaign behind him and perhaps engage in some healing. in addition to his meetings with foreign policy heavy weights like henry kissinger, donald trump has been sitting down with some of his biggest rivals and toughest critics from the primaries. south carolina governor, nikki haley, under consideration for secretary of state. former texas governor rick perry, and ted cruz, a contender for attorney general. >> donald trump right now isn't looking to figure out who supported him and who didn't. if you are the best person for that job he wants you for part of this team. >> i taught my two little ones that you don't push people around -- >> reporter: healy fought hard against trump. >> the best person based on the policies and dealing with things like obamacare still is donald trump. that doesn't mean it's an easy vote. >> reporter: trump was just as brutal. once tweeting the people of south carolina are embarrassed by nikki haley.
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>> donald trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservativism and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded. >> reporter: trump once said of perry, he should be forced to take an iq test before being allowed to enter the gop debate. vice president-elect mike pence was on capitol hill, reaching out to democrats, meeting with house minority leader nancy pelosi. after flexing some of the gop's new muscle in this selfie. >> we're excited about moving the trump agenda forward. so grateful. >> reporter: house speaker paul ryan hinting it's too early to talk about repealing obamacare. >> it's too early to know the answer to you how fast with obamacare repeal occur. >> reporter: new restrictions on lobbyists joining the administration. >> governor chris christie, folks, was unbelievable. >> reporter: part of the criticism of chris christie is that he had too many lobbyists
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on board, leading trump loyalists to question what happen to draining the swamp? on "60 minutes" trump himself seemed resigned to working with lobbyists he blasted on the campaign trail. >> you don't like it, but your own transition team is filled with lobbyists. >> that's the only people you have down there. >> reporter: one of the other interesting guests here at trump tower today, wolf, was the israeli ambassador to the u.s. ron durmer, he said he looks forward to working with all members of the trump administration. he specifically mentioned steve bannon, the chief strategist and senior councillor to president-elect trump. that's interesting because we know steve bannon, the head of breitbart news, which had posted material that was viewed as anti-semitic. aides to donald trump say he'll be going on a thank america tour. they're not calling it a victory tour. calling it a thank america tour, wolf. >> interesting indeed. jim acosta at trump tower. thank you. more on the surprising news about the upcoming trump/romney
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meeting this weekend. our politics executive editor mark preston, he broke the story earlier today here on cnn. what else are you hearing, mark? >> well, wolf, we know that this weekend mitt romney and donald trump will sit down and discuss amongst other things how to govern, how to move forward and also the idea of the potential of mitt romney joining donald trump's cabinet. what does that mean? there are only two positions really when you talk to republicans that they think romney would actually be interested in. one would be secretary of state. the second one would be treasury secretary. although i have to hedge and say that it seems as though mitt romney would be more interested in the secretary of state. now, what's interesting, too, about romney, as when people were talking about him today, they talk about him as somebody who is very tough, but he is a gentleman and he knows when to draw the line, which is obviously needed when you become the secretary of state. our own jamie gangel is now reporting as i read this off my blackberry that mitt romney has told friends that he would like to serve in government again. and one of the positions that he
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would like to serve is as the secretary of state and that romney is being presented as a choice to donald trump, you know, as donald trump is looking for quote-unquote, adults that he would bring into his team. now, this all comes as there has been questions being raised about whether rudy giuliani, the former new york city mayor and the top surrogate for donald trump, could actually make it through a confirmation hearing, wolf. >> interesting stuff. what does it tell you, mark, that donald trump is inviting his fierce critics, republican critics, like mitt romney to come over to trump tower, to sit down with him and to review, discuss and maybe even discuss the possibility of serving in a trump cabinet? >> we've certainly transitioned out of the campaign aspect of what we've been through the last year, year and a half to where we are now into governing. i think what we're seeing from donald trump is him using his business acumen, trying to bring the smartest people into his fold to move the country
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forward. the idea of bringing romney in is interesting because he understands global affairs and global economy and the fact that he had the likes of ted cruz up to trump tower as well as nikki haley says something about trying to mend fences with those you were battling with over the past year. thank you. joining us is jack king tsai ing-wen, -- jack kingston. what do you think about this development? surprising. mitt romney all of a sudden this weekend, going to sit down with donald trump and maybe discuss the possibility of becoming secretary of state. >> you know, i think it's exciting. it shows that the campaign is over with, that the administration is moving forward, and in my opinion it started 4:00 a.m. wednesday morning with the right tone, and then the next day hillary clinton striking the right tone. the next day meeting with barack obama. i believe that donald trump has quickly brought a closure to the campaign phase and now he is talking about governing. and reaching out to your political enemies, as you know, wolf, very, very difficult.
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a lot of politicians never do it. but it sort of fits the theme of donald trump being a different type of leader. somebody who doesn't go by all the conventional rules. >> it was closer to 3:00 a.m., by the way. i remember it very, very vividly that night. i had been on the air since 5:00 p.m. it was 3:00 a.m. let's talk about mitt romney, though, i had a chance to sit down with him in park city, utah, earlier in the year. listen to what he said about donald trump then. >> he is demonstrated who he is, and i have decided that a person of that nature should not be the one who, if you will, becomes the sxaum fexample for coming generations or the example of america to the world. i don't want to see trickle-down racism. i don't want to see a president of the united states saying things which change the character of the generations of americans that are following. presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation. and trickle-down racism,
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trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of america. >> now, those are pretty powerful words he said then. >> they are. but you know, when you -- even listening to those words you can see what a diplomat that mitt romney is. so many of the other critics of donald trump were just bare knuckles. you're a horrible guy, grabbing people by the throat and saying, i don't like donald trump. but i think mitt romney was very forceful but also very selective with his tone. and that's what you want in a secretary of state, somebody who can actually just be a little bit more patient, a little bit more careful with what he says. and i think, if the two of them can get together, mitt romney is an extremely smart guy. he brings a lot to the table. and so i think looking at him as a candidate is the right thing to do. >> and if -- if donald trump, the president-elect, were to select mitt romney as his secretary of state, clearly i think, mitt romney would be interested in that. what would it say to you, given
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those harsh words, what would it say to you about donald trump? >> i think he's just willing to move forward. he wants to do what's best for the united states of america. the other thing, mitt romney does represent a more moderate and more mainstream part to the republican party and having somebody like that who is extremely pro-america, pro-business, who has been around the block a few times, i think it would not be a bad move. and i think that the more conservative base of the party would not be uncomfortable with mitt romney in that role. there may be some other roles where they would not want him, but i think secretary of state, i don't think the two are too far apart on the middle east or on china, or north korea, some of these other big -- >> ted cruz was there yesterday. they exchanged some pretty harsh words during the campaign. he was at trump tower. nikki haley, the governor of south carolina. they exchanged some pretty harsh words as well. yet now, what, all of that is the past? forget about it? >> i don't know that everybody is ready to forget everything,
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but i think to start talking is the right thing. sometimes when somebody is throwing plates at you, you've got something to work with as opposed to indifference. the best thing to do is start communicating and start engaging. he is sending that signal that we need to come together. >> what do you think about this notion of reviving what had been in place, some sort of muslim registry, as some people are calling it, people from muslim-majority countries coming to the united states, being on a database. because that's causing some alarm bells. it had existed before during the bush administration. went away during the obama administration. now apparently the trump -- the incoming trump administration is re -- is considering it once again. >> i think you would really have to justify it internationally and you would have to show why it worked before and why it wasn't a violation of liberties. for example, if -- he has said this with the extreme vetting, is that, if you come from a country that has a pattern of being anti-american, we want to know about you. we want to know what your
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personal feelings are before you come into this country. it is all part of the bigger picture of border security. he also talked about a committee on how do you stop people from being radicalized once they're in america. and i think this is part of it. what do we do for people who come -- who are coming here? what are the motivations? i think the discussion of it as a national security issue and i think it's consistent with his immigration security plan. >> because when they did away with it, the inspectors general and those who were reviewing it called it obsolete, not reliable. there was a lot of -- a lot of concern. they also said it was inefficient. but from what you're hearing they're thinking of reviving it? >> well, i am not certain that they are. if it's a discussion item, you just need to know what were the pros and cons. i would say this. in terms of the relationship with muslims, he has an opportunity when he talks about the obama administration got it wrong with the arab spring and embracing the muslim brotherhood, particularly in
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egypt. he can build upon that. i don't want to make the same mistake the obama administration diddal arab spring. >> what's worrying right now are the hate crimes being committed against muslims in the united states at mosques and other places as well. that's very disturbing right now. >> he certainly denounced that. now hillary clinton has. i think both. and president obama. the tone that has been set, i think, is a very good one, and people need to step back and say, you know, this is not what america is about. we've got to get along. he has that opportunity again with muslims to say, we are going to engage in the middle east. we're going to try to do what we can in syria, and we want to bring civility, and we're not going to make the same mistake the obama administration did. >> congressman, stand by. we are standing by. the first meeting that donald trump is about to have with a foreign leader, we're watching trump tower very, very closely right now. stay with us. we'll be right back.
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back with the republican -- former republican congressman jack kingston as we cover the hour's breaking news. he was an adviser to the donald trump campaign. the meeting between donald trump and japanese prime minister shinzo abe, it's the president-elect's first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader since the election but only one of many meetings that trump is considering as he chooses his cabinet and his white house staff. congressman, this meeting that he is having with prime minister abe of japan, the first meeting that the president-elect is having with a fortueign leader, there has been a whole issue over the many months of the campaign that at one point donald trump said, you know what, maybe japan should go nuclear.
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have its own nuclear arsenal to deal with north korea. caused alarm bells in japan given the history of world war ii as we all know. is that still, as far as you know, the president-elect's policy? >> no. i think that was something he threw out somewhat for discussion and also i think to send a signal to north korea and maybe to china at the time that we have an ally over there that's sort of getting pushed around when it comes to the sea lanes by china and potentially by north korea. i think he was saying japan is a great ally of the united states, has been for decades, we're not going to lower our commitment. >> so he really doesn't want japan to go nuclear? >> no, i don't think so. >> all right. what about the other criticism he had of japan. the u.s., as you know, still has 50,000 troops in japan right now. he was very critical of the japanese for not shelling out more money to pay for that u.s. military protection that it gets in japan. he says they pay some but not enough. he wants more, i assume. i don't know if he will raise this issue with prime minister abe. >> you know, in our installations around the seas --
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around the globe we kind of have a mixed review. if you talk about moving one of those installations out of a country, germany, italy or wherever, they say, no, it's a great economic impact. sometimes the citizens on the streets have this yankee go home attitude and we've gone through that with japan. the concern is, look, if you want us there, we're going to stay but you have to appreciate us. sometimes we do on military construction -- i used to serve on that committee -- we pay very, very high prices to get new barracks built or new runways, so forth. >> donald trump still wants japan to pay the u.s. more to take care of those troops that are deployed there. >> i think it always has to be kind of a landlord/tenant discussion. i don't think it will be anything that will pull us apart. it's important for us to be in japan because of china and north korea. and really the trade and economic issues in that area. we're committed to that. the fact that this is his first
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diplomatic meeting, i think shows a very strong signal not to -- not just to japan but to the pacific rim in general. >> interesting you used landlord/tenant analogy. donald trump knows a lot about that. >> yes. >> thank you for joining us. coming up, fear and anger as a trump transition advisor raised the idea of setting up a registry for people coming to the united states from high-risk areas, as they defined them, mostly muslim majority countries. plus, is donald trump ready to follow through on his campaign suggestion that a nuclear-armed japan potentially could help deter north korea? when it comes to healthcare, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. for partners in health, time is life. we have 18,000 people around the world. the microsoft cloud helps our entire staff stay connected and work together in real time to help those that need it.
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the prominent member of donald trump's transition team is touting a registry for immigrants from nations which he calls high risk. that could mean the incoming administration revives a controversial program which critics say unfairly targets muslims based on their religion. our senior investigative correspondent drew griffin is digging into this. what are you learning? >> promise was extreme vetting for potential terrorists. this seems to be the start of that policy. it's an idea that has immigration groups in a panic. forcing people from some muslim majority nations to register when they come to the u.s. it comes from this man. chris cobach. an immigration hard-liner and reportedly helping president-elect trump form immigration policy. >> my plan ends illegal
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immigration and suspends immigration from terror-prone regions. i have to tell you, we're going to have the wall. >> reporter: the idea isn't new. the u.s. had such a registry in place for nine years. it was called the national security entry-exit program. developed largely by kris kobach when he worked at the department of justice. >> one of the things we did after 9/11. >> reporter: immigrants and visitors from more than two dozen countries were required to check in, be interviewed, fingerprinted and monitored when in the u.s. kobach is talking with the trump team to bring it back. today in a text to cnn he says it's no such thing. there is no registry of muslims proposal whatsoever, he wrote. the model i discussed was the
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nsears system for screening aliens from high-risk areas without regard to religion. the program began under president george bush following the 9/11 attack and ended nine years later. an inspector general's report in 2012 called the program then obsolete, unreliable and an inefficient use of resources. the aclu, which fought the program, says it was worse than that. >> it actually made jgenuine efforts at trying to combat terrorism more difficult by destroying relationships with immigrant communities and actually negative lily impactin the ability of the federal government to cooperate with foreign governments in fighting terrorism. >> reporter: the screening of people from certain high-risk countries is just the start of the aclu's problem with kris kobach. he's spoken to groups people consider to be white
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nationalists pushed for strict immigration laws in six states, he was the architect behind arizona's state bill 1070 which allows police to ask for immigration papers for anyone who looks like they might be from another country. he has been sued half a dozen times over his policies against illegal immigrants. the aclu says, if trump follows his advice they expect to file many more lawsuits. >> our focus is on his policies and on the abject failure of those policies to respect the constitution and the laws and the fact that they have been incredibly discriminatory. >> reporter: no official comment, wolf, from the trump transition team. two sources familiar with the process are telling cnn it's not all majority-muslim countries, part of the current list. it seems the countries with heavy isis presence, though, are a campaign promise, again, from donald trump. wolf. >> drew griffin reporting. thanks very much. let's talk about all of this and more with our political
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experts and guests. harris sofar joining us. i'll start with you. spokesman for the muslim community here in the united states. what is your reaction when you hear about this proposal to revive what in effect is a registry of people from muslim -- largely muslim-majority countries coming to the united states? >> well, wolf, as muslims who believe in the messiah, we within our muslim community find it patently absurd and profoundly appalling that in the 21st century we have people vying for leadership roles in a president-elect cabinet who are advocating for the removal of rights from the u.s. constitution. we have people talking about this is a precedent set by what we did to the japanese in internment camps, which is not a success story. that's an embarrassment and a stain on the legacy of the united states. the question is why is this registry idea scary. of course, on one side, we have
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droves, swarms of americans who are coming to muslim neighbors to show their support. they're going on true islam.com, adding their name to the list of the growing number of americans to show support for that cause. you also have a growing segment, in the past ten days, who have been attacking muslims, threatening and berating them. vandalizing property. attacking muslim women. under the leadership of the khalifa of muslim, we're saying let's not talk about things that are unconstitutional that take away people's human rights. instead, let's talk about discussion, dialogue and bringing people together from the opposite ends. that's what makes us american. >> because -- i just want to point out that the person promoting the intern camps was a supporter of donald trump, not a member of the transition team. just want to be precise. have you actually seen within your community, harris, i know you are well plugged in, violence attacks against muslims resulting from all of the conversation that's been going on? >> i have indeed had
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conversations with muslims who have faced or family members have faced physical attacks. within our muslim community in particular we haven't yet. our mosque in connecticut was shot up last year. in a famous incident. so far it hasn't been exclusively our community but in the broader community, absolutely. we've seen muslims who have been attacked. vandalism on their property. even muslim women who have had their hijabs physically pulled off. this is something of concern, of course, his holiness told us that he doesn't believe this can actually be enacted. he doesn't believe muslims can trulily be rounded up and their rights taken from them in a society and a government like the united states. so we should stay calm, but at the same time, speak out when anyone's rights, muslim or not, are being taken from them. >> it's interesting, sara, and you've covered this campaign from the beginning. he started off, donald trump, with a temporary ban on all muslims coming to the united
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states. but that was moderated later to extreme vetting, not necessarily of all muslims. where do you expect, based on all the conversations, the reporting you have done, as president of the united states, where do you expect donald trump to move this policy? >> well, i think that's still an open question in part because that's not what donald trump is spending his days holed up in trump tower working on. he is still building out his cabinet. he did moderate his tone. he talked about extreme vetting and also talked about how that was an expansion of the muslim ban. he said he wasn't rolling it back. and as part of that extreme vetting there was also a religion test which raised a whole new set of red flags for people because obviously, under our constitution, you're free to practice any religion without persecution from the government. so i think that it's a little irresponsible for us to say, here is what donald trump would do as president and to sort of try to walk back his rhetoric to make people feel better. i think people have a real reason to be concerned right now and we need to wait to see what policies he actually proposes and see if that was sort of the beginning of walking back, not
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just rhetoric but also policy. >> mark, you broke the story that mitt romney is going to be meeting this weekend with donald trump and may be actually interested in getting a cabinet position, secretary of state, secretary of the treasury, for example. how serious do you -- based on all the conversations you've had and your reporting, how serious is that possibility? >> i think it's a lot more serious than most people think. a lot of people were taken aback including those in the romney orbit and those in the trump orbit as well. but it says something about both men. one, donald trump is bringing his enemies in and seeking counsel or at least trying to break down whatever anger they had towards one another. nikki haley today. we saw ted cruz earlier this week. and of course, mitt romney now will be meeting with donald trump in new jersey on saturday. for this meeting. now, i am told that they will discuss the secretary of state job, which would be an interesting job for mitt romney, given the fact that he does know global affairs but he also understands the global economy. those are two things that go hand and glove. in addition to that, our jamie
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gangel is reporting that mitt romney has expressed interest in continuing to serve the country, which i think we've all covered him enough that we know really where his heart is and he's actually mentioned the secretary of state job as something he would be interested in doing. this all comes as rudy giuliani was said to be the frontrunner for the secretary of state job. however, we saw what happened with questions about what would go on with a rudy giuliani confirmation process. >> rdonald trump's theme in the campaign was drain the swamp. now they've decided to eliminate lobbies from the transition transition team and say anybody who serves in the trump administration, in the government, would not be able to become lobbyists for five years after leaving the government. i assume there is more of that on the way. >> yes. and that was certainly an important first gesture for donald trump. but during this transition process, there is really an interesting balance that he needs to strike, wolf. on the one hand, donald trump ran as an outsider.
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he doesn't have any government experience of his own, doesn't understand policy at the level of people who do have government experience. and so he needs some people who have served in government to kind of guide him through this process and serve on his cabinet. on the other hand, because of this drain the swamp promise, you don't want only insiders in his administration. and so that's why he is going to need to turn, as well, to some what we would consider outsiders, people maybe who have worked in business, people who have gone on to do other things outside of government. but it's a really interesting balance that he needs to strike, certainly the lobbying ban is an important gesture. it shows he'll be serious about looking outside of washington, looking outside of washington insiders to help to shape his administration. stand by. more coming up. to our viewers, please be sure to check out the first-ever book from cnn politics called unprecedented, the election that changed everything. it will be in book stores december 6th.
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you can preorder your copy at c cnn.com/book. > stay with us. we're expecting new details about this first meeting the president-elect is having with a foreign leader. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ 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 gla250 for $329 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. our mission is to produce for african women as they try to build their businesses and careers.
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abe, the first foreign leader to visit donald trump since his election. the meeting comes at a crucial time for american strategic interests in asia. brian todd joins us. what are you learning? we're hearing fresh concerns tonight about how donald trump will handle nuclear weapons in asia and elsewhere. national security experts openly worry tonight about whether president-elect trump will allow countries like japan and south korea to get those weapons. and there is more concern about trump's personal temperament. whether he would launch nuclear missiles at even the slightest provocation. in about nine weeks, donald trump will take hold of america's nuclear codes. he will be able to launch nuclear missiles with a single, momentary decision. and tonight, there are serious concerns about whether trump wants countries like japan and south korea to have nuclear weapons. as a candidate, trump said this. >> wouldn't you rather, in a certain sense, have japan have nuclear weapons when north korea has nuclear weapons? >> a few days later he waent bak
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on that, sort of. >> japan should have nuclear. that's what i said, supposedly. i didn't say that. i would rather have them not armed. but i'm not going to continue to lose this tremendous amount of money. and frankly, the case could be made that let them protect themselves against north korea. >> anti-nuclear advocates say the uncertainty is dangerous. >> japan is in crisis. south korea is even in a more severe crisis. there are ulttra right forces in both countries that want nuclear weapons. the president of the united states must be absolutely clear that we do not want them to do that. that is not the path for security in asia. >> we asked the trump transition team to clarify the president-elect's position. we have not heard back. tonight some of trump's national security critics say they're outright scared about him having the nuclear codes. they describe him as quick-tempered, prone to lash out. >> i would bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. >> if your closest advisers don't trust you to tweet, how
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can you trust him with the nuclear codes? you can't do it. >> trump told nbc he'll be responsible with the codes. >> i will not be a happy trigger like some people might be. i will be the last. but i will never, ever rule it out. >> the moment he is sworn in, trump will have several potential nuclear crises to deal with. tensions between vladimir putin's forces and nata ao are escalating. kim jong un already has nuclear weapons that can threaten his neighbors and tens of thousands of u.s. troops in south korea. if there is an alarm, even a false one, trump would have only a few minutes to decide whether to launch nuclear weapons or hold back. pete metzger is a former marine who carried the nuclear football for president reagan. >> the results of a decision the president would make is so grossly horrible it would change the face of the earth, of
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humanity and man kind. >> reporter: if he decides to launch the nuclear strike, is there anyone on the chain of command who can stop the order? the white house will not comment but pete metzger and others tell us, unless there is a full-on mutiny, no one can stop the president's order. >> thanks very much. we have our experts standing by to discuss. joined by our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto and elise labott and ivan watson. stay with us for a moment. we are getting new information. we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back.
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the breaking news we're
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following. we're waiting word from president-elect donald trump's first meeting since the election with the leader of another country, the prime minister of japan. japan rearranged his travel plans and they're at trump to youer in new york city right now. let's get the expertise of jim sciutto. you know this region quite well. trump has been critical during the campaign of japan, saying on trade issues, japan doesn't reimburse the united states enough for the 50,000 u.s. troops that are stationed in japan. this meeting is potentially very significant. >> and he also raised the possibility of giving japan nuclear weapons and other u.s. allies in the region. it's not clear that this meeting or the order of this meeting followed any particular plan. we know even with the phone calls that donald trump has had so far that it's been haphazard. i spoke to a close u.s. ally yesterday. they had to reach out to half a
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dozen people in trump world to arrange a meeting. so it's a little unconventional early on, so not clear this meeting is number one for any foreign policy region. it may be that japan pushed so hard for it because japan needs reassurance on the nuclear issue, on their ties, the military bases, et cetera. they're going to be looking for reassurance as they sit down with the president-elect. >> trump suggested during the campaign, unless japan reimbursed the u.s. more money, he might pull out those troops. what would be the reaction of that? >> well, it would just destroy one of the central pillars of japan's natural security poll circumstances which relies very much on the u.s. military deployment there. it would also raise some serious questions where will the u.s. put its 7th navy fleet, for example, which has been operating in the pacific ocean since world war ii. that comprises more than 40,000
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sailors, troops, more than 100 aircraft, dozens of ships as well. where would they go? aides to the japanese prime minister have been making the case, listen, it's affordable for the u.s. to have its troop deployment in japan, arguing that japan pays more than 50% of the cost, estimates up to $5 billion a year that japan pays. that's far more, japan argues, than germany or south korea pay for u.s. deployments in those countries. so it would essentially up-end the post world war ii kind of military and strategic architecture in the pacific ocean that the u.s. has helped set up from 70 years, wolf. >> it's interesting. as the president-elect is meeting with the prime minister of japan, the president of the united states, president obama was meeting with angela merkel in germany.
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and he said he hopes donald trump is willing to stand up to russia. those are pretty significant words. >> very significant. i think what you're seeing from president obama is traditional diplomacy, right? traditional diplomacy is not big deal making between leaders. it's what they call tending the garden. the nurturing of relationships and alliances, and also sending signals to the world, just like president obama was sending a message to donald trump, don't make deals with russia, given all the complicated issues we're talking about today. whether you agree with president obama's diplomacy or not or his policies, he's trying to be statesman-like and send these careful messages. you haven't seen that from donald trump, talking about building relationships. you hear about adversaries or how countries are a drain. so these kind of meetings like today, with no preparation from the state department or the defense department, are a little bit risky, because right now,
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countries might have given him a pass on the campaign, but now they're really listening to what the president-elect has to say. >> we're expecting a statement from the trump campaign on this important meeting with the prime minister of japan. also a statement from the prime minister, prime minister abe. i think he's going to go to the microphone. we'll have live coverage of that. also coming up, expecting a statement from the trump transition about other developments that are going on. of course, a statement involving the meeting with the prime minister of japan and more on this afternoon surprising breaking news. important breaking news that donald trump will meet this weekend with mitt romney, who may be under consideration for a senior role in the trump administration. who says i shouldn't have a soda every day?
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happening now. breaking news. building trust. donald trump holes his first meeting as president-elect with a world leader in new york with japan's prime minister. he says he wants to build trust with the next u.s. commander in chief. did they discuss trump's remarks about japan building its own nuclear arsenal? team of rivals. trump is meeting with some of his sharpest critics, among them mitt romney, who previously called trump a con man, a phony and fraud. would they meeting signal a role for romney in the trump cabinet? an emotional hillary clinton speaks out for the first time since conceding the election, urging her supporters to stay engaged. now a surprising new strategy from democrats in congress. why they are pledging to work

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