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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 18, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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chief strategist steve bannon fires back at accusations he's a white nationalist, and he details trump's plan to win over minority voters. why does he believe trump's policies will endure for decades? donald trump agrees to settle lawsuits against trump university for $25 million. that will keep trump from having to testify in court. will it end the controversy? key picks. trump moves to fill top positions in his upcoming administration with hardline loyalists. his pitch for attorney general, cia director, national security adviser are causing some controversy. will his nominees win confirmation? and white nationalists are cheering trump's choices calling them a dream team and what they want. now reports of harassment are growing. are extremists feeling emboldened by the trump victory? i'll talk about that and more with congressman andre carson,
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one of two muslims serving in the u.s. house of representatives. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." ♪ >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news tonight. a surprise settlement in the three lawsuits against trump university. president-elect donald trump has agreed to pay $25 million to about 6,000 former students of the for-profit school who say they were duped by deceptive claims. also breaking right now, rare remarks by controversial trump chief strategist steve bannon. he dismisses accusations of white nationalism. he says global trade gutted the american middle class and that if trump can deliver on his promises, republicans will govern the u.s. for 50 years. tonight, trump has moved to fill
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top positions, including attorney general, cia director, and national security adviser. his picks are hardline conservatives, mostly loyalists, all come with some controversy. we're covering all of that much more this hour with our guests, including congressman andre parson, and our correspondents are standing by. let's begin with sara murray over at trump tower in new york city. sara, trump said earlier this year, i'm quoting him now, he said, i don't settle cases very easily when i'm right. but he agreed to settle this one. give us the latest. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. donald trump is singing a different tune now that he's the president-elect, and the trump organization put out a statement saying that they still believe that they would have won if it had gone to court, but president-elect trump wants to devote his full attention to the important issues facing our nation. as of this weekend, that means going to do some of these interviews with potential
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cabinet picks. from his early picks, it doesn't appear he's willing to back off. donald trump unveiling the first layer of his national security team, a trio of picks signaling the president-elect has little interest in moderating the hardline views he campaigned on. >> we have to be tough and strong. >> reporter: trump announcing retired general michael flynn for national security adviser. alabama senator jeff sessions for attorney general. and congressman mike pompeo. >> lock her up. >> flynn has been lauded as a talented battlefield intelligence officer but could fuel concerns that trump's white house is a haven of intolerance. he's made a habit of voicing concern about islam. sessions is known for his staunch anti-immigration positions in his two decades in the senate.
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but he's 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 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, he's been a fierce critic of hillary clinton for the benghazi attack. >> how come a single person lost a single paycheck? how come no one has been held accountable to date? >> reporter: the kansas republican arguing there was a coverup surrounding benghazi as the panel investigating the 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
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this morning, as he remained ensconced in trump tower. now set to hunker down for a weekend of not stop meetings. among those on his schedule, 2012 gop presidential nominee mitt romney. former chancellor of the washington, d.c. public schools michelle rhee, and general james mattis. a source says 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 during the campaign. >> donald trump is a phony, a fraud. >> he's a sad case. he choked. you know what a choke artist is? >> reporter: now, one of the lingering questions is whether donald trump will really consider more moderate republicans, and even democrats for some of these top cabinet positions or whether meetings scheduled this weekend are really just designed for optics. wolf? >> sara, thank you. sara murray in new york. let's get a closer look at the
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general donald trump has picked to be his national security adviser in the white house. jim sciutto has more on retired lieutenant general michael flynn. jim, he said, and he's done some controversial things. >> controversial at times really offensive, wolf. the entire -- dismissing the entire religion of islam as a threat, and expressing opinions on russia and turkey that contradict u.s. policy, as well as the views of a broad range of intelligence and defense officials. >> the next president of the united states right here. >> reporter: retired lieutenant general michael flynn, once a registered democrat, will now be the president-elect's closest adviser on the greatest threats to u.s. national security. but reviews that are a marked departure from long held u.s. policy. he's called islam itself, not radical versions of it, a threat. in tweets such as this one, fear of muslims is rational, he
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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's identified long-time ally saudi arabia as a danger while growing u.s. adversary russia, who the u.s. blames for invading ukraine, acrossties in syria and meddling in the u.s. election as an exaggerated threat at worst, at best, a potential friend. this is a view that contradicts senior defense officials from both parties. he's 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. you know what? i'm not angry. what i am is i'm very determined to make sure that this country
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is ready for my children and my grandchildren. >> reporter: flynn's military record is impressive. as an intelligence officer, he's credited with helping turn the tide against al qaeda in afghanistan. and isis' predecessor in iraq. and yet when he served as chief of the intelligence agency, his management style antagonized many, leading to his being forced out. since then, he was vladamir putin's dinner guest in december last year, accepting an undisclosed speaking fee. and flynn's for-profit consul tan si was still working with a foreign client while he was 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
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iconoclass. i think the deeper problem is he's publicly said this war could go on for several generations. he's called for extending the war around the world. >> reporter: i've spoke on the a number of initials, lawmakers and military officials who know general flynn. they are unanimous in their praise of his ability as a tactical commander. s >> jim sciutto, thank you very much. let's get some more on this from congressman andre carson, member of the house intelligence committee. congressman, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> let's talk about general flynn. you're a member of the intelligence community -- committee for the house of representatives. do you think you'll be able to work with him as the incoming president's chief national
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security adviser? >> i've had interactions with the general during my time on the armed services ex s committ. while i respect his service and candor, i disagree with his condemnation of the religion of islam. having the world lens that he should have as a general, he should know better. so i hope that he steps back a bit, especially on his tone and he doesn't politicize this process going forward. >> he did tweet this earlier in the year, he tweeted, fear of muslims is rational, and then you see rational all caps. please forward this to others. the truth fears no questions. you're one of two muslims in the u.s. house of representatives. so when you hear the incoming national security adviser to the president say that tweet in february of this year, and he hasn't deleted that tweet, your reaction? >> absolutely unacceptable. as a general, he should know
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better. as a general who has travelled the world, he knows having been briefed, he knows that were it not for muslims in many of these countries and nationally, our government, and our intelligence services could not be able to identify and capture the terrorists we needed to get without the information coming from muslims who also want to make the world a safer place. >> what would you like to see him say or do to clarify, to reverse that position when he says that fear of muslims is rational. he didn't say fear of extremists or radical muslims or muslim terrorists, he said fear of muslims is rational. >> any national security adviser that doesn't make distinctions those of good will of any religion, but singles out an entire faith and makes broad accusations, to me that person should not be serving in that capacity. so my appeal to the general is he tamps back on his language. >> so you're willing to sit down
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and hear what he has to say and talk to him? >> in the interim. but if he continues with that language, i will certainly condemn him. >> he's been very active over the past year or two. on twitter, he was interacting with far right, even anti-semitic figures. he shared unfounded news stories, they weren't even news stories on twitter. for a retired three-star general, i was surprised to see that. >> well, it's not shocking, wolf, given his language of the past. but my hope is that it was political posturing, things that go along with campaigning. by my instincts tell me it's going to be stuff to though his meddle as someone who has worked with muslims in the counterintelligence space to maintain that position. >> he's a distinguished retired military officer. he served in iraq and afghanistan, was a key adviser on terrorism to general
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mcchrystal in afghanistan, then the director of the defense intelligence agency. so he's obviously a very qualified, smart guy. >> i think the dia has done a phenomenal job. i've had disagreements with some of their strategies in the past but support them whole heartedly. but any leader who knows his work, knows that we cannot win the war against terrorism without muslim support and help. >> congressman mike pompeo who has been tapped by donald trump as a next cia director. >> we have traveled together, but i've disagreed with his political take on the benghazi hearings. i'll have some tough questions for him going forward, but i found him to be very hardworking. but i'll be watching his work, as well. we've worked together, he's a smart man and has good intentions, but i will have some tough questions for him. >> do you think he's qualified to be cia director?
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>> well, you know, i think that mr. trump made his appointment and we'll see what happens from there. >> he's got to win senate confirmation. and presumably he'll win senate confirmation. >> i think so. >> i heard adam schiff, the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee, i interviewed him earlier today. he was very praise worthy of him, saying he believes he is qualified to be cia director. >> he's very respected by myself along with ranking membership and those of us on the committee. i've traveled and worked with him. he's a proud dad like myself. so we'll see what happens. but i will be raising some questions, as i'm sent there to do. i hope he does a good job. >> we did hear from some of these white supremist groups. they thought it was like white christmas already. when you hear that, that's disturbing. >> well, i'm not dreaming of that kind of a christmas. i'm dreaming of the kind of
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christmas that will bring joy to the world. i think those white supremists, many who have threatened members of congress, including myself, i hope that mr. trump is well aware, i commend him for his condemnations, but the folks he's surrounding himself with has caused me to grow more cautious. he's dog whistling to these groups and it's disturbing. my instincts tell me that 2018 could be a referendum year on congress. >> when you say you've been threatened, what does that mean? >> i've received numerous death threats because of my faith. some have called me a trojan horse because of my work on the intel committee. i worked in counterintelligence, the only member of congress who has worked in an intelligence fusion center. but at the same time, i've been critical of mr. trump and his appointments so far. but i've president mr. trump, but going forward, if we really
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want to make this country great and keep it great, we have to get away from this mythology of some camelot that never existed where america was all white, minorities didn't exist. that is a destructive mythology that has had huge and terrible implications. >> congressman, i want you to stick around. we'll take a quick break and resume this conversation. take a look at some of the other donald trump nominations that have emerged today. we'll be right back. 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
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we're back with congressman andre carson from indiana. we're following president-elect donald trump. he's filling three top positions with some controversial hardliners, including senator jeff sessions of alabama, who
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trump is nominating to be the attorney general. our justice correspondent pamela brown is joining us. jeff sessions, well regarded in the senate, certainly among conservatives. but he has his critics who question his commitment to civil rights. >> reporter: despite that criticism, wolf, we're learning that senators on both sides of the aisle are throwing their support behind jeff sessions for this job. jeff sessions was the first u.s. senator to champion donald trump during the campaign, and it looks like that loyalty is being rewarded with trump's job offer today as attorney general. >> here we go. >> reporter: alabama republican senator jeff sessions stands in stark contrast to the two prior democratic appointed attorney generals. eric holder and loretta lynch. his nomination for chief law enforcement officer comes at a time when tensions are running high with communities of color. >> i am so happy -- >> reporter: just today the
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current attorney general said hate crimes spiked 6% last year, with the largest group of victims targeted because of their race or ethnicity. >> we'll continue to enforce our nation's hate crimes laws to the fullest extent possible. >> reporter: sessions argued on the senate floor in 2009 against expanding the hate crimes law to cover gay and lesbians. incoming democratic leader chuck schumer released this statement saying in part he's very concerned about what he would do with the civil rights division at the department of justice. >> on balance, his record should give everyone pause, that he will be placed in a position to be the chief law enforcer of our civil rights. his record reflects a real hostility towards those rights and the very statutes he'll have to enforce. >> reporter: president-elect trump calls sessions a former attorney general and u.s. attorney in alabama a "world class legal mind" and some of sessions colleagues are applauding the appointment, with
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mitch mcconnell saying he cares deeply about his country and the department he will be nominated to lead. it's likely sessions' alleged racist comments in the past will resurface during the confirmation hearing. in 1986, colleagues testified he called the naacp "un-american and communist inspired," an african-american who had worked under session testified that sessions called him "boy" and joked about the kkk, saying he was okay with them until he learned that they smoked marijuana. >> this assertion is ludicrous. i detest the klan. the rule of law is an important thing. >> reporter: as u.s. attorney in alabama, he prosecuted the head of the state kkk for abducting and killing an african-american teenager, and he's said he sought to end segregation in alabama schools. sessions told cnn in 2009 he's never been a racist. >> those were false charges and distortions of anything that i did, and it really was not -- i
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never had those kind of views and i was caricatured in a way that was not me. >> reporter: sessions was later elected alabama's u.s. senator, and became a ranking member of the same committee that denied him the job as a federal judge. over the last 20 years in the senate, sessions earned respect from colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and developed a reparation as a staunch conservative with a strong stance against illegal immigration. and sessions has suggested to cnn he wants the justice department to fully investigate hillary clinton and whether she improperly used the clinton foundation while secretary of state. that was over the summer, and as attorney general, if confirmed, he'll be able to do that, by allowing fbi agents working on the case to get the tools they need to make it a full-fledged investigation. >> we'll have to see if the new president agrees with that, because he was moving away in that position.
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let's bring back congressman carson, member of the house intelligence committee. what's your reaction to the nomination of senator sessions to be the attorney general of the united states? >> well, he's a ranking member on the senate jew diudiciary committee, but i'm concerned about his staunch opposition to immigration reforms, including for legal immigrants. so with that kind of animosity that he's had for progressive policies, it gives me a lot of concern in terms of mr. trump making him the top cop in the nation. >> some of the statements he was reputed to have made in the '80s at that time, do they still bother you? because that was what, 30 years ago? >> well, it's 30 years ago. i think any time you have an adult, a white male calling an adult black man a boy -- >> he denied he said it. >> it can't be proven, but i'm concerned about the accusation. going forward, we've already
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seen at least two between general flynn and mr. sessions, people who have held hostile views toward minorities, immigrants, lbgt community, so on and so forth, gives me great concern as an american. >> the whole notion if he became the attorney general, getting a special prosecutor to investigate hillary clinton, who was defeated in this contest, not on the e-mail server, apparently that's all over, but on the improper connections between the clinton foundation and when she was secretary of state, pay for play as they call it, does that worry you? >> we have to move forward. we have to move forward. donald trump is the president-elect. he's making his picks. he says that he wants to make america great again. if he really wants to do that, let's move forward and get beyond petty political battles and do what's right for our country. >> he seemed to have suggested that's what he wants to do in
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that "60 minutes" interview as far as hillary clinton is concerned. very quickly on nancy pelosi. she's now facing some pressure from other democrats, tim ryan of ohio wants to run against her. there's going to be a vote in a couple of weeks. where do you stand? should she stay as the democratic leader or is it time for someone new? >> i think leader pelosi is a strong and dynamic leader. she's a very powerful and decisive and intelligent leader. she gets the job done. i've had the chance to work with her and i traveled with her recently to afghanistan. she's deeply concerned about our troops. she took a chance in putting me on the house intelligence committee in the midst of great criticism. tim ryan is my personal friend and not in the political sense, he's my friend friend. in any kind of setup or organization, competition is good in this manner. so it forces us to raise
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important questions, to analyze our critiques and criticisms of one another, to make us stronger and better. but i think leader pelosi will remain our leader. >> because it's a secret vote, when all you guys get together, all the democrats in the house of representatives. nobody has to know. are you willing to tell us now who you're going to vote for? >> i'm with nancy pelosi. and tim is my buddy. that's right. >> thank you very much for joining us. appreciate it very much. just ahead, more on donald trump's picks for top positions in his administration. should any of them be disqualified for conflicts of interest? we'll be right back. our mission is to produce programs and online content for african women as they try to build their businesses and careers. my name is yasmin belo-osagie and i'm a co-founder at she leads africa. i definitely could not do my job without technology. this windows 10 device, the touchscreen allows you to kind of pinpoint what you're talking about. which makes communication much easier and faster
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more now on donald trump's newly announced picks for a key post in his upcoming administration including retired army lieutenant general michael flynn. trump has tapped him to be his national security adviser. phil mudd, do you believe his ties to turkey and the russian government represent a conflict of interest? >> potential. but the questions about general flynn should relate to temperament and judgment. people come running to you to say we want your understanding of gopt and your access to
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government. those are software companies, defense contractors, and those are foreign governments. first thing i did when i left government, wolf, i went to work for a foreign government. it's fair for the oversight committees to ask what the nature of his relationships were with countries like an -- in individuals in countries like turkey and russia. >> so they shouldn't be disqualifying? >> i don't think they should. >> general hurtling, general flynn has come under fire for retweeting unfounded conspiracy theories, linking some of those tweets to fake news sites, if you will. this is a man responsible for advising the president of the united states in the most sensitive national security issues. are you confident he'll be providing the new president with accurate information? >> you know, wolf, he's a retired general officer. i'm going to go into this presuming that he's maintained some of the values he was taught as an army officer, and those are things like integrity and personal courage to do the right
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thing and respect for all americans. but truthfully, these tweets and some of his demean for during the campaign have given me pause. let's start the slate clean, and see how he acts as a national security adviser. maybe he'll see the unbelievable requirements of this job and go back to doing the kind of things that he was taught as an army officer. >> you know that he was pushed out of his job because of his demeanor, his behavior, some of his decisions, if you will. what does that say to you? >> well, he was replaced earlier than he anticipated, wolf. it tells me that the command, the defense intelligence agency, wanted some new bosses, and they saw some things that they thought mike couldn't fix. so they replaced him. that certainly -- any commander has the authority to do that with subordinates and the chairman of the joint chiefs and the intelligence advisers asked
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mike to leave, and he did. >> and that's that. peter bergen, he's also tweeted some anti-muslim comments. i'll put one of them up on the screen. fear of muslims is rational. you studied terrorism a long time, islamaphobia. the fear among u.s. counterterrorism experts that this kind of anti-muslim statement provides fodder, if you will, for more terrorists to emerge. >> fear of muslims, that's 1.5 billion people. so that's a lot of people to be fearful of. of course, fear isn't rational by its nature. what we need to be fearful of are armed jihadist terrorists. so i don't know his state of mind when he wrote this tweet. it's not a particularly smart thing. >> phil mudd, you were a counterterrorism analyst over at
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the cia. this was a tweet that he had, fear of muslims, he said muslims, not radical or extremist muslims, muslim terrorists. he said fear of muslims is rational. what does that say to you? >> let me tell you something, general hurtling has take an polite pill here. we have a gold standard for advisers in republican administrations, colin powell, condoleezza rice served with great distinction, whether you liked their politics or not. in this case we have a former officer in the u.s. military referring to an opposing candidate by saying "lock her up" and making disparaging comments about minorities. calm, cool, collected, the dude is 0 for 3. he doesn't deserve to be in the white house. >> go ahead and respond to that. >> phil's got a great point and i personally believe the same thing, that we've been asked by our president to give this administration a chance, and i'm willing to do it. what happened on the campaign
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trail is counter to what i see is the right way to do business. mike flynn is 0 for 3 in those three areas, but i'm hoping he takes a new approach when he's talking about taking care of the american people and helping the american people do the right thing. >> i remember, phil, when brent scowcroft was made national security adviser to the first president bush. colin powell was a national security adviser. they both left the military temporarily to go and serve the president of the united states. do you see a similarity between those two generals and this general serving as the national security adviser? >> i do not. they had long and storied histories in u.s. government that were never questioned by anything they did in the national security sphere or the political sphere. in the beginning of the bush administration 15 years ago, you remember almost quickly we had
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that incident with the chinese, where they took down an american military aircraft and a new white house was charged with dealing with a highly sensitive situation in a major adversary, that is china. this man's going to be dealing with very difficult situations, and my sense of him, watching him on the campaign trail, he doesn't have the temperament to deal with them. >> peter bergen, donald trump says he would bring back water boarding to get information from suspected terrorists to protect the american people. the congressman who has now been tapped by donald trump to be the new cia director, he's supported that. does the united states get important, sensitive information from terrorists as a result of these enhanced interrogation techniques? >> there's been a lot of research on this issue, and the report concluded that there wasn't useful information. of course, it's also illegal under both american law and international law.
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that said, creative lawyers could come in and say, we're going to look at this enhanced interrogation techniques again, some things we might consider to be torture, they might say they're not. there is some statutes that would prevent some aspects of torture coming back, but there's president obama reversed some of this with executive orders. executive orderks be reversed. >> a new president can sign an executive order reversing an executive order of the previous president. >> agreed. so we'll see what happens. but it is not impossible that the new president could institute a slightly different regime for prisoners, not only about enhanced interrogation, but sending them to guantanamo bay. >> go ahead. >> and while the lawyers are debating all those things and wolf, i was on the other end of that early on in the stages of the iraq war, while the lawyers
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are debating those things, soldiers are conducting those operations. in the past, soldiers were asked to do it and they refused. so the cia got contractors to do it. as peter just said, it doesn't prove to be correct. so, again, one more time it's a lot of tough talk from people who really don't understand what goes on when you have that individual engagement between an individual waterboarding another, and it's not the right way to get information. there are better ways to do it. >> phil, your thought? >> i think there are two questions here. number one, i disagree. i thought the information that we got from prisoners under duress was highly useful. that's a different question whether america should go in that direction. if i were at the cia, i would refuse to. as soon as mr. trump is out of office, if you get a democratic candidate, the way that town works, they will turn on you and ask the justice department to prosecute you. to protect the workforce, if mr.
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trump or the attorney general were to go that way, i would say no, don't do it. >> good conversation. thank you very much. there's breaking news we're following. donald trump's controversial chief strategist now firing back at critics who are accusing him of white nationalism. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? heart healthy california walnuts. great tasting, heart healthy california walnuts. so simple. get the recipes at walnuts.org.
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the breaking news this hour. donald trump has agreed to settle three lawsuits against
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his trump university for $25 million. let's bring in our political panel, mark preston, first to you. back in february, he tweeted this. he said trump university has a 98% approval rating. i could have settled but won't out of principle. today, he settled. his attorneys saying while we have no doubt trump university would have prevailed at trial based on the merits, resolution of these matters allows president-elect donald trump to give full attention to the issues facing our great nation. >> this was a very embarrassing story for donald trump and i think $25 million is a small price to pay to get it behind him, certainly for somebody of his wealth. we look at this case as a whole that, you know, put a lot of doubt on donald trump as somebody who was a huckster, that was trying to make a dime off the little guy. but also as we've discussed, it was the side story of him going after one of the judges who was actually investigating the case
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in california and calling into question his rulings because he was of mexican heritage. so for donald trump to get this behind him was critical, because he does have a lot on his plate. can you imagine donald trump, the president-elect, or the president of the united states, being deposed in a civil case? >> that would have happened in front of the mexican judge. that would have been pretty awkward, a president or president-elect having to do that. >> yeah. as mark said, this was a small price to pay toward getting it behind him. there are a number of other lawsuits relating to different aspects of trump's business empire that are also kind of proceeding. so this is going to be one of many areas where we are heading into uncharted waters. the role of his family in running his business and also participating in meetings, for example, with the head of state with japan yesterday. there are so many things unfolding here outside of the forms in the same way he's not released his tax returns.
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this is going to be a very challenging period for the ethics committee, for republicans in congress about how farther willing to go in allowing the approaches that have governed ethics over the years to be bent. >> given his wealth and business ties, it is unprecedented. i don't think it's ever happened in our history. let me bring rebecca into this. senate democrats, some of them, are threatening to challenge jeff sessions, who has been nominated by donald trump to be the next attorney general of the united states. listen to elizabeth warren, the senator from massachusetts. 30 years ago, a different republican senate rejected senator sessions' nomination to a federal judgeship. in doing so, that senate affirmed there could be no compromise with racism. no negotiation with hate. today, a new republican senate must decide whether self-interest will prevent them from once again doing what is right. how ugly could this confirmation process for senator sessions become?
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>> well, i think you can see from that statement right there that democrats at least think that making this an ugly confirmation process will be politically advantageous for them. this is a useful wedge issue to crash this narrative that donald trump and his administration are racially insensitive and focused on picking the wrong people for this administration. when you look at the math in terms of republicans already coming out and supporting this on the senate side, the republican majority in the house, there isn't really a chance that democrats can block this nomgsz. and frankly there is very little precedent for that. very few nominations have been withdrawn or blocked over the years especially when you have republicans in control of congress. they will make a fulsz. they have reason. but ultimately he'll probably be
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confirmed. let's talk about steve bannon. the new chief strategist for donald trump in the white house. all these accusations against him of stoking white nationalism. he's now given an interview to the hollywood reporter and among ore things he said this. "i'm not a white nationalist, i'm a nationalist. i'm an economic nationalist. the globalists gutted the american working class and created the middle class in asia. the issue now is about americans looking to not get f'd over. if we deliver we'll get 60% of the white vote. 40% of the black and hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. that is what the democrats miss. they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. it is not reality. they lost sight act what the world is about." what is your reaction to that
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from what will be the new chief strategist in the white house. >> very important. a very revealing quote. similar when donald trump said he wants to create a workers party. steve bannon does envision a reorientation of the political u.s. in a way that will make many in the business community uneasy at points. less regulation, less taxes. but there are other elements in terms of the protectionism and confrontations with business that don't. the problem with what he's saying is that is only half the agenda. and if you lack at breitbart and his own comments over the years and the alliances he wants to willed with international parties like ukip in great britain and the national front in france it's clear his populism has two enemies. aimed at global elites above but there is a heavy element of ethnic nationalism that targets muslims, immigrants and other minorities at home as well. and i think for him to kind of approximate it that under the
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table, obscures what's really going on here? >> mark preston? >> i agree. i think he's right that the democrats did -- were unable to speak or just did not speak to middle america. we've heard anyway from joe biden and bernie sanders. to his point he is glossing over the fact he has made some very controversial statements and aligned himself with very controversial focus and that is why there is so much opposition to steve bannon in such a high position in the white house. >> and challenge for the trump team at this point is that this narrative is really taking hold. that steve bannon is a white nationalist. that the trump campaign, the trump team believes these things. they need to push back and maybe show symbolically appoint someone to the cabinet. do something to change the narrative because i'm not seeing that right now. >> it is not just narrative. there are very significant personnel choices as we've been talk about a for the last couple hours with people who have a track record that give people reason to be concerned.
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>> stick around. don't goo tofr away. just had the large security operation surrounding trump tower in new york city tonight. tonight we're learning new details of the plan under what safety doesn't come in a box. it's not a banner that goes on a wall. it's not something you do now and then. or when it's convenient. it's using state-of-the-art simulators to better prepare for any situation. it's giving offshore teams onshore support. and it's empowering anyone to stop a job if something doesn't seem right.
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at bp, safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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check points heavy weapons and counterterrorism teams are not what you would expect to see an new york's 5th avenue but with president trump ensconced in trump tower part of the thoroughfare now a heavily enforced secure zone. new york's mayor is urging people to what, avoid the area? is that right. >> reporter: that is right wolf. but this is the epicenter of holiday activities here in new
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york so that in itself is quite a tall order. the nypd is working with the secret service to maintain that balance between security and keeping the traffic flowing out here on 5th avenue. it is quite an undertaking. in fact quite challenge. the goal is to actually secure all 58 stories of trumpb tower as well as the area surrounding it. they have issued a no fly zone. and 24 hour coverage of the heavy weapons teams and critical response teams and counterterrorism teams and all of that being down around the clock out here. in addition, if 350e78 wapeople go inside trump tower, they have to be screened. mr. de blasio taurkd talked about the difficulty in securing the area but also talked about the commitment saying it will
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remain safe. parts of fifth avenue, several lanes are close. but mr. de blasio also said they will be talking wbt the federal government to see if they can get partial reimbursement for some of the over time out here because it is a huge undertaking. >> and this christmas season just getting ready. that's it for me. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next. breaking news. trump settles the trump university fraud case for $25 million. the man who said he never sets finally backing down. and testimony hardliners, the national security team. sun says islam a cancer. are they the right men for the job? and ivanka sitting in on a meeting with trump and the prime minister. why didn't team trump want you do see it? let's go

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