tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 19, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PST
leaves whether or not a cabinet position would be possible. obviously, we saw mitt romney come in, donald trump come out and meet romney. that's not a small thing. he's not been greeting everyone that met with him the past couple weeks. there's no question romney was opposed to his candidacy. unlike a lot of people in the never trump movement or not really for trump movement, he never came around, didn't change his feelings on that throughout election day. but, there is a recognition here, donald trump is the president-elect. mitt romney interested in governing. willing to come to new york, drive to new jersey and have this meeting here. i think the question, martin, you nailed it, is this real? that's what republicans are asking. is there an opportunity for mitt romney in a donald trump administration? is it a head fake or a signal
trump is willing to meet with and consider anyone, even those who were deeply opposed to him throughout the campaign. we don't have an answer yes, but soon. >> could send an interesting message. a lot of people would love to see mitt romney in that administration. let's talk more about building trump's cabinet. i'm joined by political commentators, matt lewis and david and cnn global affairs david. matt, let me start with you. these two men had a rocky relationship. that's putting it mildly. why would trump be considering mitt romney or is he considering? maybe this was a pr stunt, what do you think? >> it could be a pr stunt or just the two men patching things up or it could be donald, if you want to be cynical, donald trump pummeling mitt romney, summoning him to meet and not giving him
an appointment or, if you want to be optimistic, it could be donald trump sincerely considering him for secretary of state and building sort of a team of rivals, you know? so far, we have seen trump go with a lot of loyalists. he did pick mike pence for his running mate for vice president. pence, of course, endorsed ted cruz in the primary. i don't want to write that off. i think it's within the realm of possibility. i wouldn't bet on it. if he was secretary of state, a huge, huge deal and a positive sign for those of us concerned about trump. >> there are a lot of people who would like that. david, we know that mr. trump values loyalty and the people who will work for him. so, do you think he'll be able to get over what has been said between he and romney? it wasn't just bad words, romney was the man that fronted this never trump movement. >> yeah, martin. i mean, back in march, governor
romney gave that full throated denunciation of donald trump and his candidacy. now, you see those pictures you just showed of the two of them entering the golf resort, up the steps, clearly they want to make it look like they are bringing things together within the republican party much in the way donald trump and president barack obama had a nice photo-op together and secretary clinton said give donald trump a chance. all these individuals, up to and including governor romney are representatives of the system. he's a former governor, former nominee of his party. they have a certain obligation to go out and say, look, we are going to try to work with the new administration. in terms of will governor romney back down from any of the things he said or will president-elect trump offer him a position, i think that's one of as matt sai
be -- i don't know right now. >> none of us do. we heard we may get another announcement regarding an appointment within the national security team. we see this arrival. we see mitt romney. who do you think will be named? >> well, the two biggest positions are secretary of state, as you talked about possibly romney, nikki haley, the governor of south carolina, her name came up as well and secretary of defense, mattison his name came up. if he names romney, how does this work? you know, in a campaign, you can appeal to your base, sort of more conservative base and more moderate republicans. the three people who have been named, jeff sessions, representative pompeo and general flynn as national security adviser have backed a ban on muslims entering the united states. would a secretary of state, mitt romney, back that? would he back a trade war with
mexico or retaliatory actions against china as a trade manipulator? you can have a diverse cabinet. you can have a team of rivals. how do you get them to agree on these key policies? you need to see the announcement. >> i agree. it's one thing to have a counter opinion, it's another to have a total disrupter. trump has been criticized because the first few cabinet picks have been white men. are you concerned and should minorities and women be concerned we are not seeing a greater reflection of their representation? >> well, look, i think -- in terms of some sense, it shouldn't matter. you pick good people who execute their duties right. >> it does. you are sort of the chief lawyer and the chief executive sort of police official in an administration. in terms of optics, it does
matter. remember george w. bush, he had condi rice and colin powell. he has an opportunity. michelle reid at the department of education doing education reform policies that might help a lot of african-american kid, z for example. you could have someone like nikki haley as secretary of state. he has an opportunity ahead of him. as of right now, it is lacking in diversity. >> david, your thoughts on this whole issue? we, of course, want the very best people. it's up to trump to choose those he likes, we want a look that looks like america. >> yeah, well, it strikings me it would be in president-elect trump's interest to signal to the broader american public he wants to represent a broader america and represent everyone and one way to do that, even though azams matt said, you are
going to pick people you can work with best. you are going to have a diverse cabinet, diverse senior. someone like governor hailey who was seen as a unifier in the wake of mother emanuel church shootings as governor of south carolina, someone who is a woman of color would serve that role in the trump cabinet. the question is, you know, what position would she fill? her name was floated, for instance, briefly, a few days ago as potential secretary of state. she doesn't have foreign policy experience. you wonder where she might slide in, if she is someone they are looking at. someone like dr. ben carson, a person of color who really had president-elect trump's ear during the campaign, but he signaled he doesn't want to serve in the cabinet. i don't know who that person might be. i think it would be in the interest of both the new president and the public if he
at least was open to that possibility. >> david, i'll have to give you the favor next time. thank you all for joining me today. of course, it is not just the fact of how the cabinet looks, people coming from all different walks of life influence all different thoughts. up next, mike pence hits broadway and unexpectedly becomes part of the show. the message from the cast that's gone viral, after the break. ♪ getting older shouldn't mean
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the vice president-elect entered the theater to cheers and boos. during the curtain call, one of the stars made a plea to pence. listen. >> vice president-elect, pence, we invite you. we, sir, we are the diverse america who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, children, parents and uphold our rights, sir. we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our american values and to work on behalf of all of us. all of us. part of american story told by a
diverse group of men, women, different colors, creeds. >> very, very different kind of encore. rachel has more. rachel, there is a lot of reaction to this, starting with, of course, the president-elect himself. what is he saying? >> reporter: despite being very busy selecting his cabinet, donald trump took to twitter to comment on the events saying our wonderful future vp mike pence was harassed at the theater by the cast of "hamilton." this should not happen. he sent a second tweet saying the theater must always be a safe and special place. the cast of "hamilton" was very rude to a very good man, mike pence. apologize. now, martin, following these
tweets, brandon dixon who is the star of "hamilton" the one who gave the comments last night, he had a reply saying conversation is not harassment, sir. i appreciate mike pence for stopping to listen. now, we were able to confirm with a spokesperson for "hamilton" that mike pence did, indeed, hear the entirety of the message last night. he was walking out of the theater when they began the comments. he stopped when he heard his name to hear what they had to say. the spokesperson pointed out the cast was polite and thanked mike pence for coming and hearing what they had to say. he pointed out the boos that were happening, were coming from the audience, not from the cast. the cast called on the audience to stop booing, to be respectful.
this spokesperson said the cast made a polite request on behalf of the cast and other americans. martin? >> rachel, thanks very much for the reaction there. coming up, russian president, vladimir putin expected to speak at the summit in lima, peru. up next, what can we expect from u.s./russia relations once donald trump takes over.
another developing story this hour. president obama is in lima, peru for the trade summit. he's joined by russian president, vladimir putin. this is the last stop on obama's final overseas tour as president. he will spend the weekend at the trade unit in peru before heading home monday. while he is meeting behind the scenes with the president of peru, russian president, vladimir putin may be front and center. there's a possibility putin may speak later this afternoon. we are covering the trip to the summit. she joining us from lima. any chance trump or putin could talk or casually get together? >> reporter: not certain about plans by president-elect trump and russian president vladimir putin. when it comes to this summit
here, there's questions about whether president obama or president putin will have a meeting. no meeting is on the schedule. there are no plans for them to a what the white house calls a bilateral meeting. what often happens on the sidelines is what the white house calls an informal pull aside where the two leaders are able to chat informally. i'm told not to expect that to happen today. there's a lot of tension put on the u.s./russian relations now that you have an incoming president, president-elect who put the pressure on putin calling him a strong leader and say why not have better relations between russia and the u.s.? we know president obama's so-called reset with russia was criticized by a lot of obama administration critics and seen as a failure. the u.s. and russia have been at odds from russia's support of al
assad and that situation and the interference in ukraine. a lot of difficult issues on the issue. president obama had a message for his successor, for president-elect trump saying he hopes that trump is, quote, willing to stand-up to russia where they are deviating from our values and international norms. a lot of questions, of course, about the direction foreign policy is going to take under trump. one area he wants to see a change is with u.s.-russian relations. martin? >> thank you for setting the record straight, appreciate it, athena. it is president obama and vladimir putin of russia. as we heard, russian president vladimir putin is at the apex summit in lima, peru. he has no formal plans to meet with president obama. maybe they will pass.
he's spoken to president-elect donald trump to congratulate him on the election and how the two countries can work together. they appear to have a friendly relationship that has some people concerned. joining me now to discuss is jill, a global fellow for the woodrow wilson center and also with me is cnn contributor mike weis who is senior editor for the daily beast. jill, it is good to see you again. how concerned do you think americans should be about trump and putin's, what seem to be very friendly relationship and why should we be worried? >> if you look at the election campaign, there might have been some concern, obviously, a lot of people were talking about it. now, i think you are seeing the end of campaign rhetoric and the beginning of reality. that is pretty noticeable, i
think in the comments you are seeing about nato and values. i mean, remember during the campaign donald trump was saying nato is obsolete and the nato partners have to cough up the money or we won't defend them. now you see the nuances of that. donald trump did speak with the secretary general of nato and they talk about the enduring importance of nato. also, president obama coming out and saying in essence, don't worry, donald trump is devoted to the idea of nato being an important institution. so, again, these are the things that are coming out. but, i think there is still concern about what ultimately will happen in terms of the values the west has with donald trump simply do a deal with
putin or skip to a more conventional american focus on values and international nuance. >> let's bring michael into this conversation. trump is looking forward to a strong and enduring relationship. what do you make of that and is it a bad thing? >> well, look, this is a guy who, even before vladimir putin was president of russia was on record saying nato was a busted flush. donald trump is concerned with the bills, the countries that don't meet the benchmark of 2% spending on defense. we have no obligation in the united states to protect them anymore. this is completely undercutting the post world war ii european security compact created by the united states. this has been a long running theme or light motif of donald trump's thinking. now you are hearing the reassurances of article v and
nato. i'm worried about how russia is viewing this election and donald trump in particular. putin, you know, i have a lot of journalist friends who live in moscow. the jubilation is overwhelming. they got their man is what one paper put to me. donald trump has been auditioning to be vladimir putin's prom dade for a long time. he's tried to do business deals in russia using businessmen with ties to organized crime. he's denied russia downed the mh-17 that was downed in ukraine. he said that crimeans want to be part of the russian federation. this is very odd behavior. this is the telegraphing of somebody that wants to have a purely transactional relationship with the russian government, not one led by american values or internationalism and the underlying principal under any
administration. >> hold on there. let's try to do a back and forth. jill, they suggested the russian government was involved in the e-mail hacks to try to influence the election. i hear michaels words and certainly read those and i am very concerned about their efforts to influence this election. you can't ignore that, can you? >> well, you can't. i think michael and i are saying the same thing in different words. the problem right now, and i think it's a very interesting issue right now, is what will donald trump do, president-elect trump do when he is in office because he said these things, but he said contradictory things all along. the russians, you know, look at president putin. he has really made a lot of progress in the world by being unpredictable. what will putin do next? now, here is an american president who is just as unpredictable. you have two guys who aren't
quite sure what the other one is going to do. the words sound nice. let's work together. still, when the rubber hits the road, we are not quite sure how this is all going to shake out. they, in the kremlin know that. >> michael, let me bring you in for the last word. when we talk about this unpredictability of both men, let's talk about syria. that is the last place where you want to be guessing where we are headed or what we are doing and what the russians are doing as well. >> the only thing trump said about syria after he was elected, basically, he wants to cut off the supply line and syrian army rebels fighting the assad regime. many are fighting isis, i don't think he realized that. that is much in tune with damascus would want. here is a contradiction to donald trump's foreign policy. this is where i agree with jill. everybody he's endorsed so far,
he thinks it's a horrible deal. you cannot be both anti-iran and pro-putin at the same time. russia and iran embarked on a strategic relationship. that is played out to significant effect in aleppo right now. >> correct. a lot of people don't know about that. there is a direct contradiction. thank you both. jill, michael, great talking to you. jill, wonderful to see you again. up next, donald trump selects his cabinet.ing over a k of diversity. ♪ only a hippopotamus will do at the united states postal service, we deliver more online purchases to homes than anyone else in the country. and more hippopotamuses, too.
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diversity. all five of the people nominated are white men. is that criticism fair given how early we are in the process? i'm joined by tim weis, authors of "dear white america" and "color blind." thank you very much. we have another guest, hopefully they will join us. there's a long way to go in the process. we have had a couple picks here. do you fear about the issue of diversity, based upon what we are seeing and hearing so far? >> well, i don't think the biggest issue is the diversity of the picks. the reality is, given donald trump's politics and his rhetoric on the campaign trail, the odds he's going to have a vast array of people of color who he would hire or would want the jobs is less likely unless he's going to elect the secretary of treasury, he's not going to have a lot of color. he likes to appoint people who
praised him from the beginning, people like jeff sessions, ek set tr set ra. there's no problem with white men in those positions but when people like jeff sessions are on record saying he had no problem with the ku klux klan except when he heard they smoked weed. civil rights heroes in the state trying to do nothing but access ballots of black people. that is the bigger issue. the diversity itself is not the problem or the lack thereof. it is the predisposition of the people, mike flynn who clearly has a history of tweeting and saying islamaphobic things and bannon who says there is too many asians in silicon valley and breitbart was gong to be the movement of white nationalists and racists. >> let me join you in this
conversation. >> sure. >> we are talking about jeff sessions and some of the things he said in the past. words matter, of course. but, people, do we believe people can change? do we believe people can now see things the right way if that's the way to put it? in other words, should he be blamed for statements made some time ago? >> well, people can certainly change. not that long ago on the floor of the senate, he said immigrants coming from the dominican republic had nothing to offer the united states, no skills. he singled out a group of immigrants of color to bash them on their skill set. people are praising his pick because they see him not as a racist in the '80s or '70s, but as a racist now. someone should ask jeff sessions, do you, today, condemn the things you said and did as u.s. attorney. do you condemn the statements
you made within the last few years about dominican refugees and immigrants. if the answer to that is no, i don't think we can say that man who was 39 when he was making the comments back in the '80s or whatever it was is truly changed. people change from the time they are teenagers and young adults. a man who is 39 is concrete in their thinking. >> we have the director of the center of race from the united states of texas. thank you for joining us. glad we got you in. we are talking about diversity or the lack of so far that we have seen in the trump selections for his administration. what are your concerns? >> i think there's a number of concerns. i reiterate what your guest was saying. one, we have the white nationalists connected to the trump campaign through steve bannon and, two, we really have the rhetoric of the
neoconfederacy with these potential administrative picks with jeff sessions, the attorney general, rudy giuliani, the secretary of state, so, the rhetoric is what got trump elected. right now, policy -- the discussion of the parameters of the administration. that's going to mean terrible things for people interested in ending mass incourse ration, anti-poverty, gender justice, protection for people who are lgbq and muslim and undocumented workers. >> so, what should be done here? is it that he finds a high profile minority and places them in a position sand sand says ta? it has to be more than that.
it's not just a showcase. let me go to you, sorry. >> it's much more than a black face in a higher place. what we need is a recognition of the way in which american democracy works. even though african-americans only voted for him at an 8% clip, they are part of the constituency of the country. so, what he needs to do is reach out to congressional black caucus. he needs to reach out to african-american civil rights leaders, latino civil rights leaders, planned parenthood and include them in these discussions. what's happening right now, even though he says he's president of the united states, he's setting up a cabinet administration that is the most conservative and far right wing, perhaps, that we have seen in history. >> part of this is not just how a cabinet looks, but people of diverse backgrounds bring diverse ideas and thinking to the whole mix. that's what the president wants,
diverse advice. >> of course. of course. there's a long standing political science theory and recognition at the group think. it's affected all presidential administrations. when you have a president who is so single minded and no criticism of views. likes people who praise him nonstop 24 hours a day. the problem of group think is stronger. he has a right to pick conservatives, but there were plenty out there criticizing him from the beginning for taking a much more white nationalist islamaphobic stance. he could pick people that are conservative. i expect that. that's not the same as picking those who are blatantly islamaphobic or people like rudy giuliani who says we need stop and frisk nationwide because it works so well in new york. it did not work in new york and since it's been eliminated, crime fell.
it singles out black folks. that's not the same as conservati conservatism. that is racism. >> i have to stop there. you make excellent points. glad we were able to get you in. you get on tv and people start calling you. glad to have both of you in this conversation. thank you. one of the reasons donald trump is moving into the white house. he promised to bring jobs back to middle america. i went to indiana to talk to workers who are about to lose theirs and see what they think now.
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when my son went the iraq on two tours, he was not the same person at all. they teach them how to go to war, but not how to come home. >> isolation was the first thing. my diagnosis was post-traumatic stress disorder. >> my son was broken. i did what any mother would do, fix their son. i thought of the idea of service dog for post-traumatic stress. when i approached him, i saw the spark come back in his eyes. >> we looked at using rescue animals out of shelters. >> if the dog does not make the
program, we find them a good home. canines for warriors started with a small house. i was cleaning the kennels, walking the dogs and making their food. brett was training the dogs. it grew and grew and grew into an organization for saving lives. our mission is to get them back into civilian life with dignity and independence. we are a nationwide organization now. i never drempt that would happen. to see my own son now, who is helping other veterans is just amazing to watch. >> find out how you can help this organization head to cnn.com/impact. donald trump campaigned on promises for the working class. one campaign promise bounced off the news that air-conditioning and heating giant, carrier, was shutting down a plant in indianapolis and moving to mexico. then candidate trump said that wouldn't happen and he would
stop it, prevented 1400 jobs from leaving. can he do that? here is the conversation we had with employees in indianapolis. take a look. ronald and eric will never forget the day it happened. >> we were devastated. >> been with the company 16 years in my life. starting all over from scratch. >> reporter: carrier shocked employees at this indiana plant saying in order to stay competitive, they have made a decision. >> to move production from our facility in indianapolis to monterrey, mexico. >> reporter: 1400 jobs would soon be gone. but the loss quickly became donald trump's game. >> carrier air conditioner says they are leaving the united states. 1400 people because they are going to build in mexico. >> reporter: trump said it wouldn't happen if he was president. part of an effort to tap into
blue collar anger. he mentioned carrier by name. it wasn't just once. >> he mentioned it. we knew that was something that america was happy right now. >> reporter: it worked thanks to working class votes. across the street from the carrier plant, some are hoping for trump to keep his promise. >> he made a lot of promszs to a lot of people. >> reporter: that's because things here have only gotten worse. we are less than a mile from carrier. they make bearings here. just last month, they announced they are moving this facile toy mexico, taking away over 300 jobs. local union leader, chuck jones, says even though he didn't vote for trump, he's hopeful when president, trump will come through. >> you expect him to live by what he said on the campaign? >> my expectation is to live up to what he promised. >> reporter: they voted for
donald trump believing it could save their job? >> correct. >> reporter: a lifelong democrat voted for trump. his answers surprise me. do you believe he can stop that place from closing? >> i don't believe he's going to stop that one. maybe in the future. nobody knows what's in the future. >> reporter: why not that one? >> corporate greed, plain and simple. >> reporter: paul voted for trump and he has hope. sort of. >> i try to be optimistic, but realistic at the same time. >> reporter: what does that mean? >> save at least some of the jobs. i don't think -- if they sent just half the jobs, they could make more money, which is all they are after. >> reporter: carrier has not issued a statement regarding the election of donald trump. they have said in regard to the move, they are doing all they can to lessen the blow to its employees, including retraining and programs that would provide at least some form of payment for them.
still ahead, potential conflicts of interest. donald trump promised to keep his business interests separate from presidency. but, with his children playing key roles in the transition team, how is he going to keep that vow? that's next. i really did save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico. i should take a closer look at geico... geico has a long history of great savings and great service. over seventy-five years. wait. seventy-five years? that is great. speaking of great, check out these hot riffs. you like smash mouth? uh, yeah i have an early day tomorrow so... wait. almost there. goodnight, bruce. gotta tune the "a." (humming) take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more.
of his children into his administration or he gives them the company to run, he'll have to navigate conflict of interest concerns. conflicts of interest that he promised to avoid while campaigning. as cnn's brian todd explains, that may not be simple. a government will be honest, ethical, and responsive. >> reporter: when donald trump is in the white house, he plans to hand off his business holdings to his children. there are growing signs of potential conflicts of interest. trump's daughter ivanka joined him in his meeting with japan's prime minister. >> what it looks like is he may be forming less of a team of rivals and more of a team of relatives. and that's a problem. >> reporter: like any business, trump's empire is affected by policies set by the government. with his children playing key roles in his transition team, choosing the country's top policymakers, critics say, is problematic. >> it's incredible. there are conflicts at every turn. trump said that there will be
his kids and public ambitions, a wall between them, and there's no wall now. >> reporter: the transition team says it will make sure all rules and regulations are followed. trump's business organization says this is how it plans to handle the ethical dilemma -- >> it's going to be placed into a blind trust. >> reporter: experts say you're own children are not who most call a blind trust. >> it's not credible to say's a blind trust. in an actual blind trust he would divest himself of all of the interests that he holds. he would sell off his properties that he owns, and he would put the proceeds into a trust that's run by an independent third party. >> reporter: trump himself has shown uncertainty. [ applause ] >> i don't know if it's a blind trust if ivanka, don, and eric run it. but is that a blind trucht? i don't know. >> reporter: one of his top supporters offers this assurance -- >> there has to be a wall between them with regard to government matters. >> reporter: and the issue of jared kushner, playing a trusted role in the transition team.
he runs a newspaper in the billion-dollar real estate company. could trump give a top post it to his oson-in-law? >> it could be perilous to him to choose someone close to him. and the number-one qualification being that they're related to donald trump. >> reporter: why doesn't trump turn his entire business empire over to an outside third-party trustee? >> donald trusts no one more than he trusts ivanka, donnal jr., and eric -- donald jr., and eric. the problem that donald has is he doesn't trust many people. >> reporter: one glaring physical example of president-elect trump's potential conflicts of interest is here just a few blocks from the white house. the trump international hotel. trump hotels is the tenant. once he becomes president, trump is going to be the landlord because the property is rented from the federal government. trump is going to be in a position to hire and fire the head of the general services administration, the gsa, which overseas the property. and trump could conceivably, fegively be in a position to
negotiate -- effectively be in a position to negotiate . the gsa says it will work to address potential conflicts of interest with the building. cnn, washington. donald trump and mitt romney are meeting right now. will the president-elect offer one of his biggest critics the job of secretary of state? first, today's fit nation. dr. sanjay gupta introduces us to a man making history in this year's fit nation triathlon. >> reporter: john young is hoping to become the first person with dwarfism to complete an ironman triathlon. >> being a little person, we grow up a lot with people telling us you can't do that, you're too small. you can't do that, you're too short. i want to show that any other person who's short statured if they want to do something bad enough, they can prepare and do it. >> reporter: an ironman is no easy task. 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, then a 26.6-mile run.
unfortunately for john, on the day of the race, weather conditions were so bad, organizers were forced to cancel the swim. >> i'm disappointed but not angry. what the heck? ironman, here i come. [ applause ] i don't think my race is any harder. it's just my race. >> good job! >> when i'm at my lowest and things are really hurting, i'm going to think about people who tried their best to ridicule me and make fun of me. those people are going to motivate me to dig deep and keep going. >> reporter: and john kept going. for over 14 hours until he crossed the finish line. >> finish line! >> i'm pretty proud of myself. it was amazing, very special time. i'm feeling pretty good. >> wow. fit nation, around the world in eight races. it's today, 2:30 eastern, only here on cnn. all finished.
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