tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 18, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
>> it is so special to hear all of these amazing stories. please, you can vote for sheldon or any of the top ten cnn heroes. just go to cnnheroes.com. i'm brooke baldwin. have wonderful weekends. stay right here, we're going to go to washington. jim sciutto in for tapper. "the lead" starts now. donald trump's pivot to center as president not happening. "the lead" starts right now. trump's hard liners, the president-elect picking his top spy along with a man who will have his ear in times of crisis and war. retired general michael flynn, who once said islam isn't a religion. also donald trump's pick for most powerful lawyer in the land, one rejected by the senate over his civil rights record. now he's embraced by many colleagues, even trump opponents. so is senator jeff sessions the right man for the job? plus massive tie-up in manhattan, just in time for the holidays. how securing trump tower, what
some are calling white house north now, could cause a four-year traffic mess in gotham. welcome to "the lead." i'm jim sciutto. it is friday and the trump team is announcing the president-elect's cabinet picks at a feverish pace. today president-elect trump is giving the american public a window into how he intends to keep the u.s. safe, to mete out justice and lead the country in times of crisis. president-elect up veiling his choices to lead the national security, the cia and department of justice. lieutenant general michael flynn will become national security advisor. the man with the future president's ear on everything from how to destroy isis to secret surveillance programs to whether to combat or coddle the russian president. congressman mike pompeo will oversee clandestine operations and intelligence gathering over at the cia. pompeo bucked his own party to
support president obama's request to use military force in syria but has a long list of disagreements with the current president over national security. and senator jeff sessions will take charge of the justice department as attorney general. sessions has already been through the confirmation process, though, three decades ago and it didn't go so well. all the choices have already come under attack from some democrats. potential harbingers of what could be tough confirmation fights once trump is inaugurated just 63 days from today. cnn is tracking every development and working our sources to get more information about who will lead our country come january 20th. first i want to start with sara murray. she is outside trump tower in busy new york. sara, you've talked to republican sources. what do they think these three picks signal about what donald trump is going to cover? >> reporter: this is an
acknowledgement that the president deserves to build his own team. but one thing it does not signal is donald trump is taking the hard edge off of his proposed policies any time soon. donald trump unveiling the first lay of his national security team. a trio of picks signaling the president-elect has little interest in moderating the hard-line views he campaigned on. >> we have to be tough and we have to be strong. >> reporter: trump announcing retired general michael flynn for national security advisor. alabama senator jeff sessions for attorney general. and congressman mike pompeo for cia director. each one of them known for their unyielding and at times controversial views. >> yes, that's right, lock her up. >> reporter: flynn has been lauded as a talented ballots field intelligence officer. he's made a hackett of voicing concern about islam, which he once called more n a political ideology than a religion. sessions is known for his staunch anti-immigration
positions in his two decades in the senate but also echoed trump's calls for hillary clinton to face a special prosecutor for her use of a private e-mail server, a threat sessions could turn into a reality if he's confirmed. >> the evidence indicates to me that this should be fully investigated. i cannot say mr. comey has not completed a full investigation but it seems like he has not. >> reporter: as for pompeo, the house intelligence committee member has been a fierce critic of clinton's handling of the 2012 attack in benghazi. >> how come not a single person lost a single paycheck connected to the fact we had the first ambassador killed since 1979. how come no one has been held accountable to date. >> reporter: the kansas republican arguing there was a cover-up surrounding benghazi as the panel investigating get incident failed to find new evidence of wrongdoing on behalf of the obama administration or clinton. trump unveiling his picks with little pomp and circumstance. blasting out a press release with his selections this morning
as he remained ensconced in trump tower. the president-elect now set to hunker down for a weekend of nonstop meetings. among those making the trek to see the president-elect, 2012 gop nominee mitt romney, former chancellor of the washington, d.c., public schools, michelle rhee and general james mattox. romney has long wanted to serve as secretary of state, but a cabinet post in a trump white house would surprise many given the tone between the two men. >> donald trump is a phony, a fraud. >> no, i have a lot of friends. by the way, mitt romney is not one of them. >> reporter: now, one of the lingering questions is whether donald trump this weekend will be seriously considering some of these moderate republicans, past rivals and even democrats for top cabinet positions or whether these meetings are merely for the pop particulaoptics. >> sara, thanks very much. it was only minutes after trump announced his selection of
general flynn as national security advisor, democrats and other critics in the national security community blasted the choice as dangerous. one lawmaker described flynn to me as erratic. throughout the campaign flynn particularly riled up other former military men and women over his decision to dive into politics, lobbying sharp-tongued verbal grenades at hillary clinton, the obama administration, muslims, even u.s. allies. now flynn is under fire for lobbying for foreign companies while at the same time sitting in on classified intelligence briefings right next to president-elect trump. it's a decision sources say would drive government security officials ballistic. >> the next president of the united states right here. >> retired lieutenant general michael flynn, once a registered democrat, will now be the president-elect's closest advisor on the greatest threats to u.s. national security. but with views that are a marked departure from long-held u.s. policy from both parties. he has called islam itself, not
radical versions of it, a threat. in tweets such as this one during the campaign, fear of muslims is rational, he wrote. and in public speeches, even calling islam a cancer. >> islam is a political ideology. it is a political ideology. it definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion. >> reporter: more broadly, he supports a significant reversal of which states the u.s. views as threats. he has identified long-time ally saudi arabia as a danger, while growing u.s. adversary russia, who the u.s. blames for invading ukraine, atrocities in syria as an exaggerated threat, at best a potential friend. this is a view that contradicts the u.s. intelligence community and senior defense officials from both parties. he has also unsettled u.s. allies by arguing that military commitments to nato and other treaty allies should be conditional. >> i've been called an angry
general. i tell you what, you know what, i'm not angry. what i am, what i am is i'm very determined to make sure that this country is ready for my children and my grandchildren. >> reporter: flynn's military record is impressive. as an intelligence officer, he is credited with helping turn the tide against al qaeda in afghanistan, and isis' predecessors in iraq. yet when he was chief of the intelligence agency his management style antagonized many in the intel community, leading to him being forced out. since then he was vladimir putin's dinner guest, accepting an undisclosed speaking fee and flynn's for-profit consultancy was still working with a foreign client while he was also attending classified security briefings with donald trump during the campaign. the ranking democrat on the house committee on government oversight is now questioning flynn's ties to lobbyists, requesting more information on his foreign connections as well. >> he has a reputation as an
independent thinker and some of that is good and necessary. i think the deeper problem potentially is that he has publicly said that he thinks this war can go on for several generations. he's publicly called for expanding the war to basically any islamist militant around the world. that comes with some potential downsides. >> president-elect trump's pick to win the justice department has had problems with senate confirmation before. in 1986 the alabama attorney general jeff sessions could not get the blessing of a republican senate to become a federal judge over allegations that he was a racist. cnn justice correspondent pamela brown is here with me now. pamela, i know that the trump transition team were talking about sessions' more recent, more moderate positions. do they think this could be a problem, his past comments? >> they think it's going to come up during the confirmation hearings but they are confident that in fact he will be
confirmed. alabama senator jeff sessions was the first u.s. senator to champion donald trump during the campaign and it looks like that loyalty to trump is paying off. the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell already saying he will help him win the job. jeff sessions has been alabama's senator for 20 years, and before that alabama's attorney general. >> the rule of law is an important thing. >> reporter: and u.s. attorney. >> the witness has not answered your question. >> reporter: he is currently a member of the senate judiciary committee, the same committee that denied him a federal judgeship in 1986 over allegations he made racial remarks, calling the naacp unamerican and communist inspired. one african-american u.s. attorney who had worked under sessions testified that sessions called him, quote, boy, and joked about the kkk, saying he was okay with them until he learned that they smoked marijuana. sessions denied the allegations and says he has never been a
racist. >> i am not a racist. i am not insensitive to blacks. i supported civil rights activity in my state. >> reporter: in the senate, sessions has earned the reputation of a staunch concern afternoon and garnered respect from his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. if confirmed he will be taking the reins as the chief law enforcement officer in the country, at a time when the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color is front and certain. >> everyone needs to be held to account. just because you are a sitting senator going before those who are your brothers and sisters in the same body doesn't mean you're entitled to just walk into a position that is frankly one of the most powerful positions in this country. >> reporter: and despite claims from some that he's a racist, as u.s. attorney, jeff sessions prosecuted the head of the state kkk for abducting and killing an african-american teenager and he said that he sought to end segregation in alabama schools. other parts of his civil rights
record has drawn fierce criticism from the naacp and aclu, particularly on voting rights and hate crimes law. all of this of course will be under scrutiny during the confirmation hearing. >> thanks very much, pamela brown. he's a west point and harvard law school graduate. now he's trump's top pick to be the nation's top spy. just who is congressman mike pompeo. that's right after this. ( ♪ ) ♪ they tell me i'm wrong ♪ ♪ to want to stand alongside my, my love ♪ ♪ whoa, talkin' 'bout my love ♪
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welcome back to "the lead." sticking with the fast and furious developments today in the trump transition, the president-elect wants congressman mike pompeo to run the central intelligence agency. pompeo is not a public -- turned public servant, he now serves on the house intelligence committee. manu raju has more on the potential future cia director. so pompeo a little bit out of that trump inner circle in terms of the early selections for the most senior posts. >> yeah, that's right. in fact congressman pompeo endorsed marco rubio in the
presidential primary. even after pompeo endorsed donald trump in the general election, he didn't campaign much for him. he gave some advice to donald trump from time to time and appeared as a surrogate for mike pence in the vice presidential debate but that is about it. many of pompeo's views align with trump's. congressman mike pompeo a staunch conservative, now in line to lead the cia. a harvard law grad who was first in his class at west point, pompeo quickly gained the trust of gop leaders after his 2010 election. >> you've testified here this morning -- >> reporter: holding influential posts on the house intelligence committee and the panel investigating the 2012 benghazi attacks. but pompeo not satisfied with the findings of the gop-led investigation issuing a separate report, laying the blame on benghazi at the feet of hillary clinton and barack obama. >> this was a failure at the most senior levels of our government and one that i hope the recommendations this
committee presents will help making sure that something like this never happens again. >> reporter: pompeo has called for more sweeping surveillance. he wants to keep open the detention center at guantanamo bay. he's criticized obama for rolling back tough interrogation tactics like water boarding and he was a staunch critic of fbi director james comey and his investigation of clinton. >> director comey screwed this up from the get-go by announcing on june 5th that he was wasn't go to indict a man who mishandled classified information. >> reporter: he even accused religious leaders of turning a blind eye to extremists. >> silence has made religious leaders complicit in these acts. >> some key members have praised the pompeo selection, including former cia director, michael hayden, who was not a trump supporter and said he was heartened by the choice.
pompeo is a man who takes these questions seriously. >> a lot of bipartisan support for him. thanks very much. and we have this breaking news just into cnn. president-elect trump just agreed to settle a lawsuit for $25 million. we talked about trump university a lot during the campaign and how it could be a massive problem for the trump administration. people who attended the trump-branded school, you may remember, claimed that they were sold a bill of goods and that they were lied to. the president-elect had filed appeal after appeal, insisting that he did not defraud people who attended trump u. but now just minutes ago in a press release, the attorney general announced the president-elect had agreed to $25 million settlement for the more than 6,000 victims. trump will also pay up to $1 million in penalties to the state of new york for violating state education laws. all this according to the statement. i want to bring in our political panel now to talk president-elect nominations as
well as this latest news. politics writer at the atlantic, molly ball, cnn political commentator, kevin madden and a.b. stoddard. perhaps just with this news i want to get your reaction to this, kevin. this was we thought quite an issue during the campaign. of course he won the election. would have been trouble to let this drag on. how significant do you think this is? >> it's an incredible distraction. when you're trying to put together an administration and have a busy 100 days planned, you don't want this type of distraction hanging over you. removing this distraction is a good thing for the trump administration as they go through what will be a very busy time next year. >> molly, there are still other lawsuits out there and questions. you can't settle them all, i imagine, although there might be some effort made. how much of a cloud is that in the midst of someone who's trying to be a transformative leader? >> i think that's the question,
whether he's going to try to put more of these potential conflicts of interest, these lawsuits, all of the various loose ends out there, is he going to try to bring as much closure as possible to his private dealings before he takes office. you do hear a lot of republicans saying and "the wall street journal" saying we need him to devote all of his attention to the presidency. that means getting rid of all these distractions, getting rid of these questions about family entanglements and business entanglements that even if he thinks don't affect him will continue to raise questions as long as they're still out there. >> it's not just the lawsuits, you still have multimillion dollar, billion dollar businesses, you have this question of a blind trust. we've talked to ethics lawyers who say giving it to the kids doesn't give you the separation you need. that's going to be a whole other kettle of fish, right? >> that is really the biggest issue that they're ignoring. we've seen them trying to change the narrative do you only get the job if you're a trump loyalist to we're talking to every enemy we've ever made,
we're open book, we're searching for the best talent. what they're ignoring is this big question about what's the appropriate separation between the businesses the kids have told us with pride they do vast dealings around the world, including with the russians. and what their definition of blind trust is not remotely close to what the actual definition is going to have to be, and that's the one thing that's outstanding that's raising a lot of concern. and it needs to be decided pretty quickly. >> kevin, i have to ask you, of course donald trump has said many times he never settles. he just settled. >> that was another -- that's a very good point. he has indicated previously he doesn't have a proclivity for settling these. is this a sign of a new donald trump? i think there needs to be a lot more evidence before anybody can come to that conclusion. >> donald trump also has a long career of settling lawsuits, so that was never actually true. that was never actually the case. but donald trump's entire campaign was an exercise in
shattering norms. in taking the unwritten rules of politics and defying them. there was no actual law that said you had to release your tax returns, even though a lot of people expected it. he shattered that norm. now that he's going to be president, does he suddenly decide to abide by those unwritten rules or does he feel so validated by his success that he says, you know, no, i don't have to do any of those things that you guardians of propriety claim i have to do. >> i'll let you place bets on what you think will happen after this break. we have a lot more. we'll be right back after this bleak. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare?
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here, kevin madden, amy stoddard and molly ball. kevin, a number of appointments today, michael flynn, jeff sessions, pompeo. this weekend he's meeting with your old boss, mitt romney there. do you take that as a sign that he is expanding the field a little bit, looking to moderate the overall tenor of the administration? >> potentially. i think there are a lot of policy professionals that are reluctant to really join a trump administration because they think that maybe they're not open to a new line of thinking. this could send a signal to those policy professionals that they are open to hearing from people who have more pragmatic or a much more or more moderate voice on some issues like national security or foreign policy. >> hearing from is one thing. do you believe that mitt romney is actually a serious contender for secretary of state? >> you know, i don't know. i'm not well connected enough with the transition to speak to that, but what i do know is that
governor romney does take these issues very seriously. they do have a previous relationship. granted, he has been a very strong critic, but i think the trump transition team and trump himself knows that mitt romney cares about these issues, knows about these issues. if they do show a willingness to listen to them, i think mitt romney will share insights that he thinks are important. >> would he take the job if he was offered it? >> i think this, i'll say this. i think mitt romney's sense of duty is very, very strong. and the belief, and i think it could allay some of the concerns that people have that there aren't enough people in there, people with strong ideas that will challenge trump on things like national security and foreign policy. so that sense of duty is -- i think it's what's guiding romney to have the meeting and i think that sense of duty would guide any decision on an offer. >> molly, i want your thoughts on those selections as a whole
because it's not just the personalities we're talking about, look at flynn's positions on islam, russia, pompeo on torture. sessions at least in the past on voting rights. do you look at them, molly ball, as a sign that he's going to stick to this right path? not a correct path but far right path? >> i think there are a lot of conflicting signals. i think it would be a mistake to lump someone in like mike pompeo who is a very conservative but pretty regular republican with people like flynn and sessions who are much more unorthodox who i don't think would have a place in any republican administration other than that of donald trump. right now there is a battle for the soul of the donald trump administration and nobody knows what it is going to look like. is it going to look like the alt-right populist nationalist vision of steve bannon or the kind of a republican administration that reince priebus would like to preside over that is stocked with traditional names. we have no idea. if they choose to listen to someone like mitt romney, that
would be reassuring to a lot of people on the right and the left, not only in terms of his expertise but because of the signal of magnanimity that it would send. it would send the signal donald trump wants to put the good of the country above his personal grudges against people and that is something that a lot of republicans i talked to are not yet convinced of. >> a.b., the hollywood reporter just published an interview with steve bannon, white house chief strategist for the trump administration. i have to be honest reading this, it is a doozy. let's have a listen. actually it's not on tape, we're going to rated. he likens his power in this interview and his sway over the president-elect to thomas cromwell in the court of the tutors. he dubs the trump victory the dawn of an entirely new political movement. he said darkness is good. dick cheney, darth vader, satan, that's power. you listen to these statements here, that's not exactly morning in america.
>> no. we all read that he said that he's pushing a trill january dollar infrastructure plan that will make conservatives on the hill make their hair fall out. every single thing trump is proposing adds to the deficit. not one of them helps us get at the debt at all. it's all roads and bridges and va hospitals and walls and tax cuts and new military spending and this infrastructure. so that part of it is interesting. but the other thing is what you know from this interview is just sort of cements the vision of bannon as this visionary movement leader. he is the one that makes trump feel wonderful. everyone comes in and says could you just get into this square peg and say this this way and get back on the teleprompter? steve bannon, when people say do you think he'll be gone because he's getting so much criticism by january? no way. steve bannon is going to be the most powerful voice in his ear. he was on the press release on top of reince priebus for a
reason. he's telling donald trump you're changing the course of history and he's going to be the most influential person there. >> we do have steve ban on talking about this trillion dollar infrastructure plan. have a listen. it's not on tape. it says here go to the tape but i'm going to read it. i'm the guy pushing a trillion dollar infrastructure plan with negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. we're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. under a democratic administration you might heard some republicans calling this stimulus and how are you going to pay for it. >> well, you do have a lot of republicans saying that. we have had both paul ryan and mitch mcconnell say this is not something they're interested in because it's not a traditional republican platform. on the other hand, there are a lot of democrats that would love to go along with the kind of thing they have been proposing for years. as a.b. was saying, steve bannon is the ideological core of donald trump. donald trump is certainly not a philosopher or theorist of
politics. bannon is and bannon wants trump to be the leader of a movement that is not republican and not democrat but a radically new kind of populism. and the question will be when he runs into a wall in the congress, when his own party says this is not what we stand for, can he overcome that or not. >> when you look at the white house, you have very conflicting voices in there, right? priebus that speaks for the establishment. you've got an alt-right guy in bannon. those are pretty remarkable pit bulls in the ring. we'll have to see who wins. thanks very much. you can get more of cnn's behind-the-scenes story of this campaign as it happened. order unprecedented at cnn.com/book. so far trump's picks for his team are gop hard-liners. so will democrats be able to find any common ground with them? we'll ask a democratic senator right after this. ♪ tomorrow's the day we'll play something besides video games. every day is a gift especially for people with heart failure. but today there's entresto®-
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president-elect trump's new appointment decisions could speak volumes about which direction his administration is taking. some of them hard line republicans with a history of going against the grain. i want to bring in democratic senator chris murphy of connecticut. he is a member of the senate foreign relations committee. senator murphy, thanks for joining us today. >> sure. >> let's look at some of these appointments today. these are very key appointments in the national security space. michael flynn does not require senate confirmation. but will democrats call for trump to rescind that nomination as they did for steve bannon? >> i think we have to be very concerned about michael flynn being on the inside of u.s. national security strategy. this is someone who was relieved of his duties working in the defense intelligence field. he then did something unprecedented, which was to walk outside of the military and criticize his former boss, his commander in chief, which virtually no one does in the military today. and he brings into the white house a set of incredibly
dangerous views about islam. he has basically made his name by saying that the united states should declare war on islam as a rnl. that the entire religion presents a threat to the united states. first of all, this is not true, this is not the crusades. but second, that is bulletin board material for terrorist recruiters. what isis wants desperately right now is they are losing territory inside iraq and syria, is for the united states to do something that draws more recruits into its fold. there is nothing that we could do that would be a better recruitment tool for isis than to declare that the united states is at war with the entirety of the islamic religion. >> they don't need you to confirm him, but will you do something to try to stop him? will you ask for his nomination to be rescinded? >> i think this is a very dangerous pick and i would hope that donald trump would rethink the selection of general flynn. i would hope that he would put someone next to him in the white house who is going to counter some of his more impulsive instincts, not feed into them.
i think what we're missing right now is some very sober-minded, specio experienced diplomats in the white house. right now we seem to have political operatives rather than experienced foreign policy hands and i think all americans should be concerned about. >> let's talk about senator jeff sessions. you will hear and folks are now familiar that in the '80s when he was brought up for a federal judgeship, he was rejected by a republican-controlled senate for espousing positions that were perceived as racist. since then the transition team made the points that he has defended segregation, you worked with him in the senate. do you have doubts about senator sessions in terms of his commitment to voting rights and civil rights? >> i accept that people can change. i think that it is important for us to remember that it was a republican-led senate that decided he wasn't worthy to sit on the bench. many of us have worked from jeff in the senate and i want to hear
from him whether he still holds these views that he made very public about his disdain for african-americans in and around alabama. and i want to hear about his views on the reform of the criminal justice system to try to right some of these wrongs. if he's serious about being a changed man, then work with us on trying to end a criminal justice system that targets african-americans and hispanics at a rate that is unprecedented. so let's hear from him, let's give him intense investigate. a lot of us know him and a lot of us like him but we have to hear whether he is going to be a reformed man as our attorney general. >> mike pompeo seems to be getting more bipartisan support. i've heard that from democratic house members and senators as well as republicans. you've worked with him as well. what's your view of him as cia director? >> i don't know mike as well, he was in the house of representatives while i was in the senate so it's too early for many of us in the senate to judge mike. but again, the trend line that worries me is that most of the
people that we have seen -- pompeo is actually an exception. pompeo supported rubio before he supported trump. most of the people we're seeing selected for these key national security posts seem to be, first, loyalists and second experienced foreign policy thinkers. so i'd like to see some more people that were maybe outside of the trump camp and can bring some expertise to the administration on how to keep the country safe. >> obamacare, donald trump said he was going to repeal it. since then he's expressed some flexibility on it. what are democrats going to do? do you have a plan to stop the repeal of obamacare if the republican-led congress goes that way? >> i have almost a quarter million people in connecticut who have gotten care through the affordable care act, 80% satisfaction rates of those who have signed up, record sign-ups just in the last month. i think the challenge here is republicans don't know how to repeal this law. there's no way to keep the good parts of the law, as republicans
say, and get rid of the parts republicans don't like. donald trump has said he wants to continue the provision that stops insurance companies from charging sick people more. as he will find out quickly, you cannot do that without requiring that everyone have insurance. you cannot do that without having subsidies to help people buy insurance. so this whole idea of keeping the good parts, getting rid of the bad parts, it's a total fiction. so many of us are going to be waiting to see what republicans propose. they have had this great deal for the last eight years. they have been able to say they want to repeal it and replace it without actually telling us what the replacement is. donald trump said on the campaign trail that people would have better health care for lower cost by repealing the affordable care act. let's wait and see if he can pull that off. >> senator chris murphy, thank you very much. >> appreciate it. is midtown manhattan about to become white house north? a look at the intense security going into place around trump's home in new york city and what it means for the city, my hometown, that's already been targeted by terrorists. that's next.
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smack in the middle of manhattan's busy fifth avenue. that stretch is already a new yorker's nightmare. i know because i'm a new yorker too. now midtown manhattan is home base for the president-elect of the united states until inauguration day in january. a white house north, if you will. as the leader of the free world plans his presidency. now, earlier this afternoon the nypd and secret service released a long-term plan for security around the build. cnn's deborah feyerick is outside trump tower there. i notice those big dump trucks are gone. what's the plan for beefing up security there? >> reporter: security right now is pretty much is as tight as it can be. the nypd will no longer allow trucks to pass by trump tower. it's a 58-story glass tower and it has been a public atrium where people can go in and out. they're not going to be able to do that without being screened. that is a big change. also you can see the cars behind me. this is a five-lane street. it is going to be reduced to three lanes. there's going to be a heavy shop
shooter presence on some of the roofs and people will not go anywhere near the tower unless they are screened, that includes along 56th street which is the entrance into the residence area. they'll have to subject their packages and bags, anything to screening and that's the way it's going to be inside trump tower as well. secret service has to account for the elevators, they have to account for the floors surrounding where the president-elect is going to be residing and they have also got to be concerned about air vents. so there's really a lot that's going to go into the security. the head of the secret service here in new york today says he really does believe they have a good plan in place. this is not their first rodeo. they have done a lot of high-level security for dignitaries, think about the pope, think about the united nations general assembly, so they're used to it. what people in the area are not used to is the amount, the volume of traffic that they are seeing because of the security here in midtown, jim. >> five lanes to three lanes. all around there you've got
rockefeller center, you've got tiffany's, the apple store. this is a major shopping area. i can't imagine the businesses around there are too happy as christmas season comes. >> reporter: no, they're not really because a lot of people who wander these streets, they're not going to be going into the stores. it's really very difficult. it is difficult during than ordinary christmas season when you've got a lot of tourists from out of town but now because of the barricades and the traffic flow, it's going to be even harder. a taxi down to the apple store which is just a few blocks here, it can cost you $20 to go 20 blocks. how do i know that? because i got stuck in that traffic. so it's really going to be tight and the stores are going to have to do the best they can. but they're not happy about it because people may pass by but not go in and that's going to affect sales. >> i know that traffic too well as well. deb, thanks very much. during the campaign donald trump said he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants. reaction to a trump presidency from one of the most diverse
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welcome back to "the lead." trump's new picks to fill his inner circle certainly have not done much to calm the fears of groups worried about many of the things he said during the campaign. a growing number of immigrants, for instance, they fear that trump will try to round up hispanics and deport them by the millions. in fact the candidate said as much during the campaign. mexico's foreign ministry released a video on social media aiming to calm anxiety and explain to immigrants where to get support as well as accurate information. miguel marquez is joining me from queens, new york. i know a very diverse community
you're in there and you spoke to a group trying to reach some of the immigrants who live there. what are those people saying and how are those groups trying to help them? >> well, the immigrants in this country, the proposal by president-elect trump to deport 2 to 3 million immigrants is like a shot of fear through the entire community across the country, not just here in new york. he wants -- he says he wants to deport those that have a criminal record, but the numbers don't exactly add up. the migration policy institute says of the 11 million individuals who are in the country illegally from all different races, about 800,000 of them have a criminal record but only about 300,000 of them have a felony record. so exactly which criminals the president-elect wants to get rid of, it's not very clear.
those here on a temporary basis -- [ inaudible ] >> it's scary to go outside and we don't even know if we're going to be here tomorrow if -- i don't know if i'm going to be here in a month, in three years, one year and what is going to happen with my daughters. they were born here, this is their country, and my country as well. >> now president obama, to put this in a little perspective, he deported some nearly 3 million immigrants during his eight-year tenure. he was sometimes called the deporter in chief. talking about 3 million individuals in a short period of time, months or years, would be just a massive federal program. it would involve the state level and city level. this at a time when cities across the country are saying they're sanctuary cities and they will not participate. >> you know you're in new york when you've got the el train
passing over your head. trump's pick for attorney general, is there a reaction to that pick there? >> very much so. this is after president-elect trump's talk about deporting 2 to 3 million immigrants, his next big step was a.g. for them. this is a position they were watching very closely because he'll have great sway over how policy is implemented in this area. we're dealing with make the road today, this is an advocacy group that helps immigrants in the new york area, but there are many groups across the country that deal with immigrants in similar ways. here's how one of their advocates talked about jeff sessions. >> it suggests to us that they want to pick the biggest fight against the immigrant community and that they are ready to try to tear us apart. >> now, immigrants saying the one thing they are preparing to do now is fight.
jim. >> miguel marquez, thanks very much. that's it for me on "the lead" today. follow me on facebook and twitter. coming up is my colleague, wolf blitzer. thank you for joining us today. happening now, breaking news. trump settles in what's being called a stunning reversal, the president-elect reaches a $25 million settlement of class action lawsuits over trump university. will it remove a cloud over the incoming administration or will it raise new questions about the president-elect's honesty? the hard-liners. donald trump picks a group of loyalist hard-liners to join his team. all three men are known for standing tough on issues from islamic terror to immigration. general flynn, trump's pick for national security advisor, is a retired army intelligence officer who was forced out of the pentagon, but michael flynn's ties to russia and his