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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  November 17, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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the breaking news, donald trump reaching out for the first time to a leader who could not be more kif from himself. someone who is quite literally worlds apart. so much so, he might as well be from a foreign country. also tonight trump's meeting with shinzo abe who is actually from a foreign country. the japanese leader. the meeting set for this weekend, someone who spent the spire campaign taking donald trump as a threat to decency, mitt romney, the same mitt romney who called trump a con man and trump called a choke artist. that mitt romney. the big question is, is he apparently now being considered for secretary of state. is he interested. in a moment, what trump adviser kelly ann conway has to say about that and a string of other developments today. but first, phil mattingly with the latest. you've been talking about trump sources and republicans outside the trump circle. how real is this potential
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alliance between the president-elect and mitt romney? >> yeah, anderson, that exact question is the exact question some iteration of it at least from top mitt romney allies. the reality of what we know is this. they will meet. mark preston broke the story. this is a very important meeting for one primary reason. it sends a signal. i think that more than anything else is what republicans outside the trump orbit are taking from this. obviously mitt romney never came around to donald trump and didn't mince words about the fact. the fact that donald trump would be willing to meet with mitt romney, that mitt romney would be willing to meet with donald trump is a big deal. now, will donald trump be considering him for a cabinet position? that is something we're told is under consideration. mitt romney has made clear to friends in the past, we are told, that secretary of state would be a position he is interested in. now, how serious is that? that is a question we don't currently have the answer to. the thing people are seizing on right now is the signal this is
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sending to republicans, even those who are very opposed to donald trump throughout the campaign. >> the idea that mitt romney would be interested in secretary of state is not that he -- we don't know he's interested in being secretary of state for donald trump. it's just in theory, if he ef was to be back in government, secretary of state is the position he would be interested in, correct? >> that's exactly right. it's an important clarification. mitt romney, even though he's well-known for what he's done on the economic side of things, he has always stated, you can look at his last book, he's very interested in foreign policy. that would be a position in general if he were to head back in government he would be interested in. that's not necessarily the case in a trump administration. what we're hearing from the trump side of things, that this meeting between mitt romney and donald trump, would be a potential place in a trump administration. >> it raises interesting questions, because mitt romney who was running said russia is the number one geopolitical foe, or threat, i can't remember the exact terminology that he used. but with the number one concern
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for the yisds united states. he was ridiculed for it at the time by president obama. donald trump obviously has a different viewpoint, or seemingly different viewpoint that he expressed in the campaign. >> it would seem they would diverge on that. when you talk to folks who are still very proud of their association with mitt romney, who talked often with mitt romney, they consistently go back to the 2012 campaign, and that mitt romney was relentlessly mocked for saying russia was the biggest geopolitical roadblock to the united states of america at the time. they also talk about mitt romney's comments about the middle east and the potential for a force like isis to be created. this esay repeatedly, he was right in 2012. people should pay attention to that. on the issue of russia, i think it's an important point, anderson, to make. they appear, mitt romney and donald trump, appear to diverge on toughness with russia. he's never really backed off that fact. in fact, he consistently says he wants to have an open
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relationship with russia, a restart, if you will. that's not the position mitt romney has had. >> a fascinating defendant. phil mattingly, thank you. i spoke about the romney factor with former campaign manager, kelly ann conway. we've seen the reporting now that mitt romney is going to be meeting with president-elect trump this weekend. and the possibility even of a possible role as secretary of state. is there any truth to that? >> there is truth to the fact that governor romney is expected to join mr. trump out in new jersey for a meeting this saturday. i see eight meetings on the list for that day so far. in addition to staff meetings and transition meetings. i know that mr. trump is very excited to meet with governor romney. governor romney was a successful job creator in the private sector. he did a great job in massachusetts on many different things. he obviously was the last republican nominee for president. so i'm sure they'll be able to compare notes. >> as you know, president-elect and governor trump traded very
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personal insults throughout the campaign. governor romney, you know, came out and said a lot of things, donald trump as well. in fact, let me just play for our viewers to remind them some of the comments that were made. let me just play this sound. >> donald trump is a phony. a fraud. >> mitt was a disaster as a candidate. >> he's playing the members of the american public for suckers. >> romney let us all down. he was a very poor campaigner. >> he gets a free ride to the white house and all we get is a lousy hat. >> romney choked like a dog. he choked. >> his promises are as worthless as the degree from trump university. >> i have a lot of friends. no, i have a lot of friends. by the way, mitt romney is not one of them. >> and romney, you know, had said from his foreign policies would make america and the world less safe. he was critical of vladimir putin and russia named it as the
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top geopolitical concern for the united states when he was running. do you think they could actually work together? >> i do. and i think what happens with consensus builders and good negotiators, and successful businessmen who know you have to take the counsel of many different people, rivals, allies, is they find a way to work together if it's appropriate, anderson. look, i think in politics people look at each other through these blue and red lenses. but businessmen like romney and trump, they tend to be able to shed that -- those gladiator outfits of blue and red and try to solve problems and come together. i think it will be a productive conversation. i'm smiling thinking about how maybe that is how hillary clinton viewed the secretary of state job after she had terrible things to say about barack obama, after they were primary rivals in 2012. >> not quite as tough, though. >> that's what happens. well, but barack obama -- senator obama at the time said hillary clinton will say anything to get elected. >> true.
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she was nice enough. >> it happened. it's happened in the fog of war. bernie sanders and hillary clinton exchanged barbs. i would say he threw shade on her just this week after she lost. >> george bush and ronald reagan as well, actually. >> yeah, it goes on and on. and he chose him to be his running mate. at the same time, i think these two men show their love for america, and their interest in having a peaceful democratic transition. >> terms of actually governance, the idea has emerged according to numerous reports in curb ner and reince priebus and the advisers, to president trump. is the president-elect making the final decisions, but those three advisers are the top people who would have his ear? people compared it if it is the case under ronald reagan, you had ed mees, jim baker, and mike deaver who, you know, all had the president's ear and respect.
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>> well, the three men that you mentioned, jared, steve and reince are all incredibly important to president-elect trump. they're now in transition, and one can reasonably assume, take it to the bank, that they will all be very important, and constant voices within the president-elect's ear. you're right, he makes the ultimate decisions. but what i've always found with president-elect trump that he's an excellent listener and great learner. anybody who's in his company, anderson, gets it right in return. >> there's also reporting from "the new york times" that cushner would put his assets in a blind trust. is that your understanding as well? >> i read reports that jared is consulting with lawyers about that thing. he does everything by the book as we know. i discussed this directly with jared, and he told me this morning, or actually as of this afternoon, he had not applied for any job within the add m, and he had not sought out a
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national security clearance. a top-secret clearance as some of the reports have said. jared cushner will continue to be a very important adviser to his father-in-law. all of the quote, kids, as they said, and their spouses, support mr. trump in his presidential run and will continue to do that. i'm sure if jared is pursuing this any farther, that he first is doing his diligence because that's the way he operates. he's a very successful real estate businessman. that's the way he operates in my presence. everything is by the book. and fully vetted ahead of time. >> there is a positive statement about the president-elect's meeting with alabama senator jeff sessions, about his legal career. is the president-elect at all concerned about issues that some have raised in recessions, was denied a federal judgeship in the '80s in part because of allegations he made racially insensitive comments?
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>> we're aware of what was said and done 30-some years ago. we're also aware of the incredible career that jeff sessions has had throughout his life. the 15 years as a federal prosecutor, u.s. attorney, i believe, anderson, obviously in alaba alabama, and united states senator for about 20 years, representing the state of alabama. a man who i think is the only person in the united states senate who has neither a primary nor general election opponent. the last time he ran in 2014, i think if anybody had a problem with his record, this ewould have run against him and made that very clear. but senator sessions would be qualified for any number of positions. >> final question to you. do you want to see when donald trump becomes president, do you want to see him continue to tweet? you and i have talked about this. we've talked to the candidate about it. donald trump has talked about it publicly. obviously tweeting less than he did before. from everybody i've talked to, who -- about this, jeff lord, i talked about it last night, said
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he feels it's one way donald trump stays connected to people. he gets feedback from people. also reports he wants to continue with large rallies to continue that contact, kind of break outside the bubble. do you want to see him continue to tweet as president? >> so my first and most important thing for president trump is he continue to connect with people. that's how he got here. it was the life blood of his candidacy. it really gave him oxygen to be with thousands and thousands of people taking his case directly to the american people. i predict he will continue to do that. not just through a tv camera at the bully pulpit and not just on the world stage, but literally going to visit americans. not just because he needs their votes. i don't know what the secret service, what the protocol, what the presidential protocol will dictate in this case as social media platforms like facebook and twitter. there are 25 million people who see it who might not be aware of
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that article or opinion of his. at the same time, i'm sure there are those who are in charge of security and presidential safety that will weigh in on this particular question. i hope they do. but at the same time, i hope, however, donald trump can continue to show that he is connected to people, which really was the secret sauce of his candidacy and how he became the next president of the united states, that he'll do it. >> kelly conway, thanks very much. >> thank you, anderson. we shortened the interview just for time. you can see the entire conversation at ac we'll talk to the panel on what you just heard and all the other breaking transition news today. and we'll meet the workers whose jobs are moving to mexico. now that trump has won, see what the same workers have to say. some of them might surprise you, ahead. there is no typical day.
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you heard kelly ann conway leave the door open to the possibility that president-elect trump could have mitt romney be secretary of state or other role. he's expressed interest in the job, not necessarily under a trump administration. here to talk about it, our own team of friendly rivals. phillip, how real do you think this is? it's understandable that there would be a meeting just to kind of mend fences. donald trump is going to be president whether mitt romney wanted him to be or not. >> i mean, it's very, very hard to gauge. i think donald trump likes having it hard to gauge as well. one of the things we've seen, if you look at his transition team, for example, it is all folks who were there fairly early in the campaign. donald trump values loyalty. and so it's hard to imagine that he and mitt romney, it's easy to imagine them breaking bread, but hard to imagine them working to
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the for four years and mitt romney signing up for that job. >> peter, mitt romney is clearly back in 2012, was talking about russia long before a lot of other folks were. donald trump seems to have a different take on vladimir putin. >> and general flynn who looks like he's likely to be national security adviser. also much more similar to trump. soft line on russia. wants to work with russia on syria. i think the problem for romney, i would be very happy as a trump critic, i would be somewhat relieved to see mitt romney. the problem is, that when you have a national security adviser who is much more on trump's wave length on this, i don't think romney would have a lot of influence. i think he would be like colin powell under george w. bush because he's out of step where they want to go on foreign policy. >> the benefit with something like that, even the benefit of having this meeting for donald trump is, it does -- to peter's point, it makes those who don't like donald trump at least feel, well, there are more establishment figures or people with experience in the room who are being considered, whether or
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not they're going to get the job. >> i think it sends a very important message. there you few people who fought the romney candidacy as hard as mitt romney did. there was tremendous moral leadership from the mormon community in general. let's remember a few weeks after losing to barack obama, mitt romney went and met with barack obama. the mitt romney i know is a guy who is a great patriot. he will put the country's interests above his own. i am not surprised at all to see him go meet with donald trump. a man who i still think he has probably very little in common with, in hopes of influencing him for the better. in hopes of saying, i am here for advice. i am here as a supporter. i am here as an american. now that you are president-elect. >> jeffrey, one thing to meet with president-elect, another thing to actually really be considered as secretary of state. and to want to be his secretary of state. >> peter just laid out some of the problems that flow. hillary clinton, after all, ran
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tooth and nail against barack obama and wound up secretary of state. lbj was jfk's vice president. >> i wanted to mention reagan before you did. >> thank you. you're getting the hang of it now. >> i would go for grover cleveland, but -- >> mitt romney's father, george, who ran against richard nixon was put in the nixon cabinet. >> i read a report that he didn't like the experience. >> he was sort of, in those days, he was shouldnunted off, don't think he was particularly happy there. but it is a tradition in american politics. and it's a good one. >> and we've seen ted cruz going over to trump tower, nikki haley. mitt romney is not the only one. >> i think secretary of state was the thing that was sort of floated for haley as well. there's some of this for the trump team is messing with us. anyone who thought this transition wouldn't be about chaos and buzzworthy stuff and
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new york/new jersey grudge matches, you're out of your mind. but i do think nor romney, i think honor is right. there's ambition there. there's certainly a sense among the foreign policy nerds that someone needs to go in and serve president trump for the country. i think this is trump bringing -- >> what people were saying about each other during the campaign, which seems like a long time ago already, let's just watch. >> donald trump is everything we hear and teach our kids not to do in kindergarten. >> first of all, she's very weak on illegal immigration. >> i will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the kkk. >> she certainly has no trouble asking me for campaign contributions. >> this man is a pathological liar. >> lying ted. lying ted. he's a liar. >> a narcissist at a level i
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don't think this country's ever seen. >> bible high, puts it down, and then he lies. >> the man is utterly awol. a bully. a serial philanderer. >> to the best of my knowledge, not to many evangelicals come out of cuba, okay? >> it seems so long ago. that was one of the fascinating things about american politics. campaigns are one thing, governance is another. >> right. these campaigns can get ugly. but they've always been that way. >> we've talked about this before, how important loyalty is for donald trump. we were just talking about that. >> that goes again, to peter's point. >> i would love to see ted cruz as attorney general, and mitt romney as secretary of state. i think there's a possibility this is going to be a massively corrupt administration and true administration that tramples on the rule of law in very disturbing ways. i would love to see members of the cabinet who are independent
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enough that if donald trump crosses a line, i believe that ted cruz or mitt romney would actually call him out. that would be a really good thing for the country. >> also remember, it always makes sense to keep your potential enemies close. ted cruz could very well come out as a potential contender to a donald trump if he is a failed president. if in a year, two, it seems like this is a man who is imploding the presidency, you are going to see marco rubio, you're going to see ted cruz try to emerge as stars again and potential options for the republican party. i almost liken it to haley, i think she's got such a bright future, i don't want her to go into his cabinet. >> i don't know that the opinions that you just heard expressed there, i don't think they necessarily changed. i think a mitt romney and ted cruz may be to peter's point wanting to go in and serve and make sure that the stewardship of the united states doesn't suffer from someone who is a sincerely not qualified. >> would donald trump's inner circle want those folks close
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by. >> got to be loyal. you've got to serve your president. no matter who it is. barack obama would not want people around him who are not loyal to him. and neither would any president. nor should any president. >> it's far more likely you bring your enemies closer than i want honest critique from my team. >> i don't think that's what trump wants. but cruz, does this help him as a future republican presidential candidate? he has the baggage of a trump presidency. it could be dangerous. >> mary katherine, congratulations on completing the marine corps marathon. >> thank you. my knees still hurt. >> my knees hurt just thinking about it. tomorrow night at 9:00, a look inside both campaigns from the correspondents who covered them. unprecedented inside the trump campaign at 9:00. and the clinton campaign tomorrow night at 9:00. unforgettable moments at the top of the next hour, and about 36 hours from now. more in this hour, the baggage that could follow jeff sessions into a congressional hearing if he's nominated for a
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cabinet post. 30 years ago there were allegations of racism. we'll show you how that played out then. "why are you checking your credit score?"
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kelly ann conway told mer earlier the trump transition team is aware of jeff sessions' past. speculation that he is headed for a cabinet post. when asked about it, here's what he said. >> i would be honored to be considered. mr. trump will make those decisions. >> to you want to be secretary of state? >> if he asks me, i'll share with him. but i'm not talking about my agenda at this point. i'd be pleased to continue serving in the senate. >> senator sessions is thought to be a contender for attorney general or secretary of defense. defense secretaries are in charge of the military, which is why tapping senator sessions for either position might be complicated because of a racially charged hearing three decades ago. drew griffin tonight reports.
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>> reporter: republican senator jeff sessions, the first u.s. senator to come out in support of donald trump. was a u.s. attorney in alabama, when then president ronald reagan nominated him for the federal court. but the appointment broke down at sessions' 1986 confirmation hearing when allegations over his alleged racial remarks took center stage. allegations that sessions angrily denied, then and now. >> i am not a racist. i am not insensitive to blacks. i supported civil rights activities in my state. i have done my job with integrity, equality, and fairness for all. >> reporter: transcripts of that senate judiciary hearing show thomas figures, a black former assistant u.s. attorney in alabama testified sessions called him boy. and joked about the ku klux klan. >> state categorically that i
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have never called mr. figures boy. >> reporter: and gerald heber a justice department lawyer also testified. sessions called the naacp and aclu unamerican and communist inspired. he said that he thought they did more harm than good when they were trying to force civil rights down the throats of people who were trying to put problems behind them. in a heated exchange with then senator joe biden, sessions denied calling the national council of churches and the naacp unamerican. >> my opinion is they have not, they may have taken positions that i consider to be adverse to the security interests of the united states. >> does that make them unamerican? >> no, sir, it does not. >> does that make the positions unamerican? >> no. >> reporter: sessions also denied a statement that he thought klan members were okay until he learned they smoked marijuana. >> this is ludicrous. i de test the klan. >> reporter: he went on to testify that, i am loose with my
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tongue on occasion, and i may have said something similar to that, or could be interpreted to that. his seat on the court was denied, but ten years later, he was elected to the senate and went on to become the judiciary committee's top republican member. he told cnn's dana bash in 2009 that the allegations of racism were heart breaking. >> that was not fair. that was not accurate. those were false charges and distortion of anything i did. it really was not. i never had those kind of views. and i was caricatured in a way that was not me. >> reporter: today, gerald heber said he stands by his testimony from 30 years ago. >> the allegations that i made against him, and things that i had heard firsthand from him, were things that demonstrated gross racial insensitivity to black citizens of alabama, and the united states. >> reporter: heber said sessions shouldn't be anywhere near the cabinet.
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>> he has never backed off of the comments he made at that time. he never has apologized for them. the fact that he would be considered to lead a government agency at the cabinet level is very alarming to me. >> reporter: anderson, we should point out that heebert has not seen jeff sessions since they sat next to each other in 1986. since then jeff sessions has gone on to become the attorney general of alabama, and for 20 years now a u.s. senator. >> drew, thanks very much. joining us is kayleigh. and a former obama senior administration official. so van, these allegations against senator sessions are from decades ago. he vehemently denies them. should those allegations be a disqualifier? >> look, i think that they're troubling. but you've got to give everybody a fair opportunity to have a hearing. i think this is going to raise a lot of concerns.
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certainly you want the head of the department of justice to be somebody that everybody feels is fair. and given some of the tensions in the country with law enforcement, black communities, that's even going to be a bigger concern. i don't think you just want to look at what somebody said about somebody 30 years ago. he's got a 30-year record since then that really should be looked at. i don't think we need to be in a situation where we just rush into labeling people based on things that happened 30 years ago. >> kayleigh, where do you stand on this, especially if he's considered for attorney general? >> i couldn't agree with van more. i think that's absolutely right everything he said. i also want to point out on behalf of senator sessions that arlen specter, one of the senators, democratic senators who voted against him in those confirmation hearings in 1986, said, i've gotten to know this man. had's fair to all people. and he's a great person. so he has a long established history in government. i agree that everyone should be vetted to the fullest extent. but from every indicator i have, senator sessions is a man of
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upstanding character and great twist of irony became the ranking member of the senate judiciary committee because he did earn the respect and administer ration of his colleagues. >> president-elect trump won fair and square, and he's been by him. president-elects are -- want to have people who have been loyal to them in their cabinet, around them. >> sure. of what we're going to see as we go forward, you'll see this over and over again, there's all this dual challenge. on the one hand, the president has got to be able to put together a team that works for him. or works for her. at the same time, it's got to also work for the country. if you put too many people in your cabinet that just begin to reduce the confidence of the country, that does become an issue. you're serving the president and the president's seat. so listen, what i want to do is to say, look, if there are
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allegations of these type of concerns, hearings are appropriate. let's see the evidence. let's see the information. let's also hear from other people. and then let's make a decision. listen, if you've been in public life for more than 13 seconds, you've been called every name in the book. that's just the way the world is. and so just because people are being called things doesn't mean they are, or not. let's give people fair hearings in america. >> the concern also, kayleigh, for any president-elect, is that you're ex spending political capital for things that could be spent on other things, just to get people confirmed. at a certain point you have to make a calculation, you know, you have to pick your battles. if you have a number of candidates in different areas who have questions about their backgrounds, at a certain point you have to sort of pick and choose. >> that's exactly right. i think you want a flawless, smooth transition. flags are raised if you have republican senators saying, hey, pause on this, i'm not sure if i can vote for this person. you know, we've had rand paul
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come out and say he has hesitation on people for secretary of state. you want to take in consideration you might have members of your own party who might not vote for any given person. but what i trust about donald trump and what i'm seeing is he is bringing in people from the other side who have less political wounds on them like mitt romney and nikki haley. president-elect trump wants the best person for the american people. this is about who has the skills, the talent to serve this country most effectively. that's how every decision should be made. >> we'll see. van, did you want to add in on that? >> yeah, i tell you, if -- i'm not in the business of giving trump any advice. if he wanted to go even further than just creating healing within his own party which is very important, and wanted to give an olive branch, the department of justice would be a good place to do it. if sessions doesn't meet that criteria, he might want to reconsider. i think you want to look at the overall set of appointments. if they all give trouble and
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discomfort to a certain section of americans, you want to start looking at that and trying to make it a little bit better for the whole country, not just for yourself. >> thanks so much. appreciate it. new details in the plan president-elect trump's team for immigrants traveling to the u.s. from high-risk companies. the program did draw fire from civil rights activists. details ahead. what makes thermacare different? two words: it heals. how? with heat. unlike creams and rubs that mask the pain, thermacare has patented heat cells that penetrate deep to increase circulation and accelerate healing. let's review: heat, plus relief, plus healing, equals thermacare. the proof that it heals is you. sorry, just getting a quote on motorcycle insurance from progressive. yeah? yeah, they have safe rider discounts, and with total loss coverage, i get a new bike if mine's totaled. but how's their customer service? great. 24/7. just like here. meat loaf! [dings bell] just like here.
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breaking news tonight. donald trump just made the first big move to fill his foreign policy and defense teams. cnn has learned he offered the national security adviser job to retired army lieutenant general michael flynn. general flynn ran defense intelligence agency for two years under president obama. before that he served as a top intelligence officer in afghanistan. background now from cnn's barbara starr. >> i have called on hillary clinton to drop out of the race, because she -- she -- put our nation's security at extremely high risk. >> reporter: michael flynn now considered a leading candidate
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to become donald trump's national security adviser. flynn harshly criticized hillary clinton's handling of sensitive information during the campaign. >> this overclassification excuse is not an execution. if it's classified, it's classified. >> reporter: but flynn's own record with classified information has been called into question during his military career. on at least two occasions, his handling of classified information came under scrutiny by the u.s. military. two former government officials with direct knowledge of the issue tells cnn during the time flynn oversaw intelligence in afghanistan, he shared classified information with pakistan on terror networks responsible for killing american troops. intelligence, the sources say, came from another agency. flynn wasn't supposed to share it. they say he was trying to convince pakistan to stop sheltering terrorists. asked by e-mail about the
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allegation, flynn told cnn, it is not true. not even chose. flynn declined to comment further for this story. in a separate incident, the two officials cnn spoke with, said flynn did not follow established security procedures when he shared classified intelligence with allies. flynn has acknowledged that one, telling the "washington post," the investigation on me was for sharing intelligence with the brits and australians in combat, and i'm proud of that one. that was substantiated because i actually did it. flynn said he had permission to share the classified information. in both cases, sources say the retired general was informally reprimanded at the time but never charged with wrongdoing. in 2010 while still serving as an officer, the cia was so furious at flynn for publicly
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disclosing shortfalls, it complained to the pentagon which had signed off on the article. flynn joined tremendous access and credibility with donald trump. >> what makes general flynn different from so many others is he's the one with the real experience fighting on the ground in afghanistan and iraq. >> that was barbara starr reporting. the breaking news tonight, donald trump has offered the national security adviser job to general flynn. on the phone now, are etired general mark hertling. general, what do you make of this offer to general flynn? what's he like? >> well, i know mike from -- we were general officers together. we served in iraq together. he's a career intelligence officer. he's very intense and passionate about the collection, assessment, dissemination and use of intelligence. he has lots of time as a staff officer. i knew him when he was the intelligence officer in the northern part of iraq.
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he was giving us information on targets, as well as working with general mcchrystal. as he passes into the nsa rule, he's going to have to be the smartest guy in the room taking after folks like kissinger, scowcroft, condoleezza rice, bri zin ski. he's got to build consensus with the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs. he's got to help the president find the right solutions for some of the most difficult military and diplomatic problems that he'll face. this is a guy that's going to have to experience it from just collecting and disseminating military intelligence for getting into the strategic coordination and synchronization from many diverse resources. he's going to have to be the guy that stands up in the room and builds consensus among some folks with some big egos, and big power plays.
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>> general hertling, there were some who expressed surprise at the level at which general flynn went out for donald trump on the campaign trail, things he said about hillary clinton, about obama. were you surprised by that? and do you think he's up to this job? >> i was, anderson. i thought some of the things that he did say on the campaign trail were somewhat unprofessional, and a little bit too passionate. you know, it's one thing to support a candidate. it's another thing to lead courses of locker up as he did at the republican convention. and he did get quite a bit of backlash from several active military general officers for the extent that he went in terms of campaigning for the president-elect. but, you know, everybody chooses their own path. and even though he took a lot of feedback from serving general officers, and some retired
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general officers, that's the way he thought he should go in supporting this particular candidate. i think part of it was he had such a disdain for the president at the time, that that contributed to some of his commentary as well. >> is it clear to you what happened to him in the obama administration? because i remember reading he said he had met with obama for a long period of time running the defense intelligence agency. it seemed like he was frozen outs at a certain point. >> i don't think you're going to see the director of the intelligence agency meeting a lot with the president. i don't think he was -- he had much contact at all with the president. in fact, he was asked at one point how many times he met with the president, and didn't describe how many times it was. because it probably wasn't much. he filters all the defense information through the join chiefs. it's one realms of the intelligence the president gets. again, that's the consensus piece of intelligence building when you get in the oval office.
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it's not only the national intelligence, it's cia, nsa, nro, and all the different intelligence agencies coming together. you're not going to put all those folks in one room and have them squabble in front of the president. i don't think mike really had a whole lot of input directly to the president. but he probably felt the president did not give him due justice when he provided some information on isis, as it was building. and i think he held that against the president for the rest of his time in. but again, his boss at the time was director of national intelligence, and i think there were issues with personalities between the various intelligence chiefs at the time. >> i want to bring in professor at the university of california, riverside, adjunct senior fellow and host of cnn's upcoming documentary series "believer." what do you make of general flynn based on the things he has
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said? >> i think it's quite concerning to think that our national security adviser, someone who, of course, is going to have to be dealing with a very real threat from certain muslim majority countries, has been on record saying things like, islam as a religion is a cancer. that is not even a religion, an ideology. he said, quote, that fear of muslims, not fear of radical islam, not fear of muslim terrorists, fear of muslims is a -- is rational. i think these are going to be very difficult ideas for him to reconcile with this new position that the president-elect has put him into. >> jeffrey lord, as a trump supporter, obviously he's been loyal to donald trump. he's been out on the campaign trail as we've discussed. what do you think of him as national security adviser? >> i think that's a perfect fit for him. that's exactly where he should be. there was some talk during the summer that he might be the vice
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presidential nominee. i didn't think he was much in the political department. but as general hertling has said, this has been a collection in this job of people who have been both military leaders like general scowcroft, and academics like heb ri kissinger, and mcgeorge bundy and i think he will do well. >> in terms of consensus building and that, jeffrey, do you have any concerns based on what you heard from general herting? >> that's a valid point the general makes. i really think he will adapt. this will be his job. he will have to do it and i'm sure he will. >> the comments that reza pointed to? >> look, this is an issue that's certainly a hot button in the campaign. in term of president obama not talking about radical islam, et cetera. i think there are a lot of
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people in this country that have that point of view. it will be at the table. there will be people with other points of view and they will be there, as well. >> general, based on the things he mentioned is that a concern for you? >> it is a concern for me, anderson. i'm very concerned. i've read mike's book. it was concerning to me some of the things he said in the books. i've seen some of the tweets he's tweeted out as well. i think it is an extreme view that mike has on many issues and with national security adviser from my read of history and jeffrey has had front line experience that is the common cho chorus in the room. when you have a bunch of people who think alike on the same team you need a contraryian to be napoleon's corporal and say, let's think more about this. mike is a targeter.
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he has done tactical intelligence all of his life. he has worked for other people, people on their staff as their intelligence collector. he's going to have to have a very broadened view in this job. it's going to be tough. >> we have to take a break. stay with us. we'll be right back. whatcha' doin?
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michael flynn the national security adviser job. position traditionallyviewed as a so-called honest broker of various points of view. general flynn is known as a passionate advocate. back with us is jeffrey lord, lieutenant general hertling and reza aslam. >> he is clearly passionately pro the president elect. he was willing to put his reputation on the line to be elected. and we are engaged in a conflict with the militant organization that believes the united states is at war with islam and the president elect has just now appointed a national security
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adviser who agrees with that statement. >> general hertling in terms of working with muslim countries in terms of trying to send a message to most of the muslim world, which is not against the united states or not fighting the united states. does this hurt this effort? >> i think it does, anderson. i think you are seeing across the board the trump team beginning to understand things that were stated during the campaign are in fact hurting him in many areas, not just muslim countries but also talking about nato, asia, africa, some of the other things they have mentioned which have been contentious during the campaign season. they realize they have to walk back as they meet with a variety of people and other governments to understand that other governments have their own national security concerns and they are not going to always do what the united states wants them to do. i think there's a requirement to
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get the intelligence right. even though, as we mentioned, there have been some commentary about muslims across the board and the ideology of islam that will cause some challenges, that may not be the only problem the national security adviser faces that helps the president address. the whole thing the president does with the national security adviser is look at security across the country and isis is only one of about eight that the national security adviser will be worried about on day one of the presidency. he has appear pd on russia today a lot and even gone over to speak. that's correct. not only russia but giving advice to turkey. there is potentially some conflict of interest here. i think mike went to russia soon
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after his retirement, which surprised quite a few folks after being the director of the intelligence agency, defense intelligence agency. so those are all concerns. i think it will give many nato allies a great deal of pause to know how donald trump feels and also to see what mike flynn has done prior to named as the nsa. >> his views with russia seem to be in line with what donald trump said on russia. >> they do indeed. that's what each president wants. susan rice's view of the world is very much the same as president obama's. she's the national security adviser. that's what she does. there's nothing in the least unusual about this. i think, therefore, general flynn will call president trump very well. >> is it important moving forward for donald trump to have a variety of opinions around him in your opinion, jeffrey? >> sure. you can do that with people in your own government and consult
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constantly with people outside of your government. there are all kinds of people that would be more than willing to sit down with the president of the united states and talk about their view of the world, if the president is interested, which i'm sure donald trump would be. he's a good listener and very good executive. i'm sure he would be doing that. >> we have to leave it there. starting now 360 special report unprecedented inside of the trump campaign. good evening, tonight a 360 special report, unprecedented inside the trump campaign. the 2016 presidential race was certainly epic, like nothing we've seen before. a billionaire businessman and former reality tv star, rocking the political world with his promise to fix washington. tonight we're going to hear from cnn correspondents who had a front row seat to it all. they were there for every moment that shattered conventional wisdom, from the front lines of the campaign trail, they saw and heard what the rest of us con couldn't.