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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  November 21, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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just past the top of the
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hour, donald trump has addressed the nation for the first time since his victory speech on election night or election morning. he laid out his plan for his first days in office and he did it really unlike any president-elect before him. instead of a press conference or a live statement, he released a video this evening on social media. watch. >> today i would like to provide the american people with an update on the white house transition and our policy plans for the first 100 days. our transition team is working very smoothly, efficiently, and effectively, truly great and talented men and women, patriots, indeed, are being brought in and many will soon be a part of our government, helping us to make america great again. my agenda will be based on a simple core principle, putting america first. whether it's producing steel, building cars, or curing disease, i want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here on our great homeland, america.
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creating wealth and jobs for american workers. as part of this plan, i've asked my transition team to develop a list of executive actions we can make on day one to restore our laws and bring back our jobs. these include the following. on trade, i'm going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the transpacific partnership, a potential disaster for our country. instead, we will negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back on to american shores. on energy, i will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of american energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs. that's what we want, that's what we've been waiting for. on regulation, i will formulate a law, which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. so important.
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on national security, i will ask the department of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to develop a comprehensive plan to protect america's vital infrastructure from cyberattacks and all other form of attacks. on immigration, i will direct the department of labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the american worker. on ethics reform, as part of our plan to drain the swamp, we will impose a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration and a lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. these are just a few of the steps we will take to reform washington and rebuild our middle class. i will provide more updates in the coming days as we work together to make america great again for everyone. and i mean everybody. >> that was donald trump on
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social media, released just tonight. now, cnn's jim acosta live at trump tower. jim, this statement from donald trump, which just bypasses the media, delivers the statement with no questions asked, is this something do you think that we're going to see from donald trump going forward? >> i think so, john. keep in mind, donald trump has bypassed the news media to a large extent already. we are now 13 days after the election, he has not held a news conference with the news media. president obama, for example, during his transition, his first transition back in 2008, held his first news conference with the media three days after he was elected president. and so, donald trump is not taking to the news media so far. perhaps he'll do it tomorrow. and just as unconventional as his approach is with the media, has been his cabinet selection process. it's been sort of like an episode of cabinet apprentice. we've seen a number of cabinet prospects parading in front of the cameras all day long, even a few surprises were there. tulsi gabbard, the democratic congresswoman from hawaii,
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showed up to talk to trump about some potential cabinet positions. we even had newt gingrich adding to the drama over who will be secretary of state, talking up rudy giuliani over mitt romney. and so, it has been sort of a reality tv show since election day, john. >> jim, final, the trump transition team released a statement. they've been facing questions about an alt-right gathering that took place very close to the white house, that had incredibly offensive rhetoric spouted there. what did you hear from the transition team? >> reporter: right, this was an alt-right conference, just a few blocks from the white house. and we should point out, alt-right is sort of a sanitized term for people on the right, the hard right, representing white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-nazis and so forth. and at this conference over the weekend, one of the leaders of this movement, richard spencer, was caught on tape saying, hail trump, hail victory, and there were nazi salutes in the room,
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which was frightening to sea. the trump transition put out a statement just a little while ago this evening. i'll read it to you, john. it says, president-elect trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind, and he was elected because he will be a leader for every american. to think otherwise is a complete representation of the movement that united americans from all backgrounds. but john, as you can tell, in that statement, it does not really denounce the alt-right or the white supremacists and the neo-nazis in the alt-right. it sort of dances around that, and really stops way short of the criticism that trump had for the cast of "hamilton," who, as you know, on friday, called out mike pence here in new york city. so this will be one of the questions for donald trump if he ever has that news conference. >> it does not address what was said over the weekend or really who said it at all. jim acosta, thank you. back with us, errol louis and david gergen. let's start with the trump video, what was said on camera. this promise of what he would do
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in his first days in office. what do you make of that? >> well, what you said in the beginning was right, what was not in the statement was as important as what was in the statement. that is, we heard nothing about repealing the affordable care act, so-called obamacare, on day one, and we heard nothing about a wall. the rest of it was sort of to be expected, no big surprises. but nothing as dramatic as one might have thought coming from donald trump. knowing him, he has a lot of drama ahead. >> it is interesting, david gergen is talking about drama right now. donald trump is a guy who during the campaign held rally after rally. he was always on camera, he was always calling in to shows of all kind, did press conferences up until a few months ago, did interviews up until a few months ago. now he's just completely disappeared. you know, he wins the election and for 13 days as president-elect, in a way that really no president-elect has done before, he disappears. >> well, that's right.
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and look, he's got to go through the same process, the same process that barack obama went through. you remember the night that he spoke at grant park in chicago, on the night of the victory. right there and then, he started trying to tamp down expectations. not all of this stuff is going to happen quickly. on the big-ticket items, you have to go to congress. whether that's building a wall, anything resembling the kind of mass deportations he has talked about, that's about 10,000 per person or family. you multiply that about $2 million or $3 billion, you're talking about tens of billions to have dollars. you've got to go to congress. supreme court nomination, you've got to go to congress. he's got to get into a negotiation with what might be a friendly congress, but still a negotiation. a lot of this will not happen on day one, as he said on the campaign trail. >> can we do some unfinished business. we were talking about this alt-right conference or neo-nazi conference, alt-right is perhaps sanitized more than it deserves. you saw the reaction from the trump transition team, where they put out a statement saying, donald trump always condemns
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racism. to say otherwise misses the point. that's not a specific response to what was said or who said it over the weekend. does he need to do more here? >> i think there are no two ways about it that he does need to do more. we're all clear that donald trump won, but we're also clear that he kind of unleashed this pandora's box during the campaign. you heard binder recap all this that happened that led to racial animosity. is it simply looking into the camera on "60 minutes"? i don't think. could there be a major speech that really turns the conversation? i think that could be important. but another thing we'll have to look to at some point could be the justice department. a lot of folks will be concerned, because they'll look up and say, who's appointed to run the justice department? jeff sessions. i think what we're talking about, is it won't really be up to trump. what will the democrats do? the democrats were a little leaderless at the moment.
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there's a fight on for who's going to head the dnc. you've heard president obama is so concerned that he said, unlike former presidents, i'm not going to simply quietly retire. i may engage in here, because i'm worried there's going to be a vacuum. oh, by the way, very quietly, if you listen, what can you hear? you can hear new democratic candidates for 2020. that's what i heard when i heard your governor this morning, andrew cuomo going hard. i heard the rumblings, even though the new president has been sworn in. there's a lot that mr. trump, president-elect trump, has to do, but the democrats are also going to have to step up and do their part, as any opposition party has to. >> they're not in power right now. david gergen -- >> can i have just a word? i would like to come back to this alt-right. the accounts that are in the newspapers this morning, especially on the front page of "the new york times," that's the single most disturbing article that i can remember since the election. and there have been many that have been disturbing. i mean, after all, the man he --
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mr. trump has named to be his chief strategist, steve bannon, has -- who ran breitbart, said publicly that breitbart was to be the main platform for the alt-right. and here after all these -- the fear that's spread across the country about what's coming and the denials that there was any racism in the administration, there was any anti-semitism in the new incoming administration, here we have a blatantly anti-semitic, blatantly racist, anti-woman, everything you can think of, and they've declared, this is a white nation and for whites, this is conquer or die. now, that sends terrible messages around the country to people of color, to jews, and to so many others. and mr. trump puts out a namby pamby statement? give me a break. >> this is an event over the weekend where the guy at the podium talked about white heritage. there were nazi salutes as you're seeing in this video from the atlantic.
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there's nothing ambiguous about this. this is neo-nazi white supremacist stuff right now. and david, you know, again, you work in communications, last hour kayleigh mcenany was saying, donald trump and the transition don't want to call too much attention to it, call it out by tham. there's no statute of limitations that says you can't name thing as awful every time they happen. >> if the that's closely linked to one of the top two people you've named to your team on the white house, silence is acquiescence. i don't see how he run unless he gets assurance on this shall. it represents our values and our culture and to have people like the alt-right suddenly becoming normalized within our structure. that's way beyond what anybody had -- would have imagined during this campaign. >> and you know, john, it's not just that.
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but remember, dylan roof, sadly enough, was not that long ago, and there are a number of us that still remember timothy mcveigh. >> let's hope this does not become normalized. what we saw this weekend should never be considered normal. next, the man many believe will be offered the defense secretary job, maybe even so. why his status as a retired general would make it almost unprecedented and whether the transition of civilian control in the military is in danger. and later, did donald trump's global business ties make his administration, as some experts have warned, a ticking ethical time bomb? if you're searching other travel sites to find a better price... ...stop clicking around... the lowest prices on our hotels are always at so pay less and get more only at
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there is a creature that is part of washington lore called the great mentioner. david gergen denies it's him. i'm going to ask mike rogers if he really believes that. the great mentioner is responsible for putting the names of potential cabinet picks and running mates, as they say, out there. his latest mention is this man. retired general james mattis for defense secretary. he met with donald trump over the weekend. the mentioner says he is the front-runner. if named, he would need extra congressional permission to take the job and he would be the first retired general to have the job since john marshal in 1949. joining us, mark hertling and former u.s. congressman and house intelligence chairman, mike rogers, a cnn national s commentary. i was joking about the great mentioner. donald trump in this case, the president-elect, has mentioned it more than anybody else. now, you say, general, you would normally oppose the facing of a general taking on the role of secretary to have defense, but not general mattis.
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>> not this time. >> what is it about him that you like so much? >> first of all, the situation, john. and secondly, the fact that general mattis brings an unbelievable wealth of character and intellect to the table. he is well loved by everyone wearing the uniform of our country, but he has a really good feel for the various things that mr. trump perhaps doesn't have a good feel on, that some of us during the campaign cycle. he will address the various threats against our country, not just isis. he has a very good feel. he will also have a better feel for nato than anybody in the current white house, because he was, not only the central command commander, which so many people tout him for, but he was also the joint forces command commander. and as part of that job, he headed up something called
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allied the command transformation, which was linked directly to nato when i was the commander of u.s. army europe. but beyond all of that, i think we're going to need someone to step into the pentagon very quickly, conduct the affairs of being a cabinet member and the second in command of all the military, but also run it as a business. and garner the admiration and loyalty of over a million of the uniformed in the services. >> he has a enormous respect in the marine corps. chairman rogers, with the national defense authorization act that required a seven-year waiting period between active duty and a civilian role like secretary of defense, this means general mattis would need a waiver from congress in order to get the job. why does this statute exist in the first place? >> well, i agree with general hertling, i am always a little reluctant to have a general officer walk into the secretary's job, because it's a little different. you want civilian control of your military in all cases, and people worry, other generals
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worry that you go in with a general's attitude, not a secretary's attitude, which is that big strategic picture. but almost universally, people are saying, and i know general mattis personally, you always know you're in the presence of leadership when you're around this guy. he is both a tactical, tough warrior from every fiber of his being, to this really smart, strategic guy, who understands you have to speak truth to power and show leadership all at the same time. this is a guy who can get around lots of the issues that the general talked about, just a minute ago, about walking in, having instant credibility, getting the pentagon going in the right direction, and giving good, solid advice on both the strategic level, and even some of the tactical decisions they'll have to make about what's going to happen in places like syria and iraq. >> so mike rogers, you have the unique role of having given advice to the trump transition team, in what will be, you know,
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the trump white house team or much of it going forward. do you think they will be receptive to the advice of general mattis? do they respect the kind of expertise he brings to the table? >> trust me, there won't be long before they're listening to general mattis on his advice. if you know general mattis, you know, he'll convince them that his position is right, not because he has to be right, but he just exudes this kind of leadership that is really hard to describe. and general hertling, help me out here. you've seen it. he has this capability to kind of break through things that other people will have a hard time breaking through. >> one of the things that's interesting is that everybody in the media right now is calling him mad dog mattis. that's the common nickname for him for what happened in fallujah, but he is better known from the senior officers as the warrior monk. this guy is a strategic genius -- that's his nickname. >> it's so true. all he does is read. i don't think he ever watches tv. >> he allegedly has like
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7,000 -- i've seen some of these -- he has 7,000 books in his personal library, he's unmarried, he does nothing but focus on military strategy and the effects of combat. he's a great combat leader, so he's proven himself there, but he's also going to be able to be very quickly one of the alpha males in this administration. he is going to set the condition in areas where mr. trump and others in his small circle will not know anything about. you know, as we went through the campaign season and some of us were concerned about mr. trump's international competencies, mattis will bring us those. >> i heard 10,000 books and heard he read them all, but a matter of interpretation. >> trust me, he did. next up for us, donald trump, he is tweeting again. just minutes ago tweeting about his corporate empire and questions about conflicts of interest now that he's about to become the most powerful man in the world. we'll look at what, if anything, is to stop him from mixing the nation's business with his own.
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donald trump back in january promised if elected to hand over his business empire to his kids
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and never again get involved in it, because he said, i wouldn't care about anything but our country, anything. now whatever young of the idea of sons and daughters taking the place of a true blind trust, even though he's only the president-elect, not the president yet, his actions are already raising questions. he met last week with three indian business partners, also with daughter ivanka, who will be running his company, sat on in his meeting with a japanese prime minister, "the washington post" reports that foreign diplomats have begun staying at his new hotel in washington. by all appearances, the candidate who ran against business as usual appears so far, at least, to be conducting his own business as usual. just a few minutes ago, trump tweeted about it. quote, prior to the election, it was well known that i have interest in properties all over the world. only the crooked media makes this a big deal. and when asked about it earlier today, trump's senior adviser, kellyanne conway said in so many words, nothing to see here, folks. >> i'm very confident he's not breaking any laws. he has many lawyers, accountants, and advisers who tell him what he must do and
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what he can't do. >> sounds simple enough. as cnn's tom foreman discovered, the experts say it could be anything but. he joins us now. tom, what did you find? >> reporter: well, john, if you think about donald trump's empire, it is so vast and so valuable and the potential for conflict of interest is so big, yeah, he's come up with this novel approach, this idea of saying, i'll have my children basically run the family business while i run the white house and i just won't talk to them about business while i'm in office. so what could go wrong. it couldn't start with the u.s. constitution and this particular clause called the emoluments clause. it says that no person holding office shall without the consent of congress, accept any present of any kind whatever from any king, prince, or foreign state. so let's say his children are
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building some building in some foreign nation. and as they're putting up this building or resort, they get some kind of a break on their taxes or regulations or anything else, something that could be given to them by the local government. it's very easy to see that that's something that a business might want to get, but it could also bring very tremendous pressure on the president of that time, donald trump, to prove he did not know anything about this favor being granted out there. and that there was no quid pro quo, that none of the u.s. government agencies under the per view of the president did anything to help that foreign country that just helped out his business. you can see where that gets very tricky and very serious business, because any president -- i'm not talking about donald trump -- any president, if they were actually caught in a bribery scandal,
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would be prosecutable. it could happen to them. and they could face up to three times the amount of the bribery, in terms of a fine, and up to 15 years in jail. john? >> so a lot of that's the famous emoluments clause, but are there any other regulations that could trip him up? >> yeah, could be plenty. do you ever wonder why there aren't any endorsement deals for president? like bill clinton cheeseburgers or george bush convertibles or barack obama cell phones. well, first it relies on the character of presidents to not do this thing. but there's also a law. in the u.s. code, it says, any business that's dealing with the u.s. government may not use the name of an individual in the service of united states in advertising the business. so what comes to mind immediately? well, this does. the trump name. donald trump himself has said that this is one of the greatest assets of his company, that people who do business with him, get to display the trump name.
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it is valuable and in more than 260 businesses around the world, his name is prominently displayed. so what happens in this circumstance? does he say to those businesses, you need to take it down because of this rule in the u.s. code? if he does that, they could say, you owe us money because we paid for that name. and if he doesn't do anything and they keep the name up, then those businesses potentially run afoul of the very business that he becomes the president of, the government of the united states, john? >> a lot of questions to ask. all right, tom foreman, thanks so much. joining me now is the man who has the dubious honor of being sued by donald trump for $5 billion after he wrote about trump's financial troubles years ago. the lawsuit was thrown out. tim o'brien is the author of "trump nation," the art of being the donald. so, obviously, there are a lot of questions about donald trump and his business dealings and what happens to his empire, as it were.
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is anything short of a blind trust enough to separate his business dealings from the work of the government? and how would you even do a blind trust with his holdings? >> well, a blind trust itself may not be enough. anything short of a blind trust is a problem. the idea of a blind trust is to take things that he controls and give control of them to someone else. the government ethics guidelines prevent family members from overseeing that stuff. so donald has said, my kids can run it, it will be a blind trust. but the very presence of his children in the trust means it's not blind. >> your kids can't run a blind trust. it's not blind. in fact, if your empire doesn't change at all, it's not really a trust, either. >> there's two choices, he could liquidate everything and sell it off, which he's not going to do. or he could get an authentically independent third party to make decisions about buying and selling the trump name, which is the primary thing they're involved, and running some of their real estate holdings. >> that's exactly right.
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a lot of what he does is just his name. it's selling his name, it's licensing his name. so does this business continue without him? >> you know, the notion -- people keep saying there's a vast trump empire, and it's really not vast. it's a family business, it's sort of a boutique. it's run on the 26th floor of trump tower. they have some very lucrative domestic buildings that they collect rents on, essentially, but a big part of what he does is licensing, and you could cure that by simply putting someone else in charge of licensing, who has no contact with the children and no contact with the white house. >> so in terms of separating just the licensing, just the name, that ironically, separating the name would be easy, you said? >> it would be logistically much easier than people have portrayed. there's this sense that there's these vast holdings and business entities that would be hard to unwind, and that's no the case. >> he has trump tower? >> he owns some of the commercial space in trump tower. the condominium owners own most of trump tower. he doesn't even own the land beneath trump tower.
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he owns 40 wall street outright and owns large stakes, lucrative stakes in two buildings that are not a realty company, california and in new york. those are three of his prime real estate holdings. and there's no real issue with 40 wall. he rents out the space to office holders. so the real conflicts come in where he's trying to capitalize off of his name to find partners globally or domestically who can trade off of that. >> you've covered him for years and looked at his financial dealings and looked at donald trump, the person. given what drives him, given the need he has had over the years to make deals and accumulate wealth, can you see him giving it up cold turkey when he goes to the white house? >> no, it's who he is. he's a deal maker. he likes quick hits. he's got a lot of appetites. he loves food and women and humor and deals in money and it's hard to reign those things in. >> what's going to stop him?
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>> the senate and the house of representatives, which the gop now controls. i think we're in a moment here where the gop has to decide whipd what kind of party they are. on sunday, mike pence said that the trump administration will be marked by new ethics laws that overhaul the relationship of lobbyists in the federal government. there's no reason, if you believe in that principle, of good government and clean ethics laws not to extend that into the oval office. >> but we have no evidence yet that congress will engage in oversight. >> that's true. >> tim o'brien, good to have you with us. up next, civil rights group say the alt-right and steve bannon have no place in the white house. bannon insists he is not a white nationalist. i'll speak to a reporter who interviewed him at length. that's next. per roll
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as we have reported, donald trump's transition team has put out a statement after a group spoke about white supremacy and used nazi imagery and gathered in washington to celebrate his victory, they called themselves an alt-right group.
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they say america belongs to white people and this happened. the video is from "the atlantic." >> hail, trump! hail our people! hail victory. >> those are nazi salutes. this came just after the speaker questioned whether jews are, in fact, people. in a statement, trump transition spokesman brian lanza, does not mention that gathering specifically, but says, quote, president-elect trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind, and he was elected because he will be a leader for every american. to think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that unit americans from all backgrounds. again, it did not address this meeting over the weekend. the southern poverty law center says the alt-right movement is a rebranding of white nationalism and now there are worries it is reaching the white house in
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trump's pick for the chief strategist, steve bannon. steve bannon was the head of the website, breitbart, which is often a platform for alt-right thinkers. joining me now is hollywood reporter, columnist michael wolfe who interviewed steve bannon at length in a fascinating article. we've heard all kinds of things about steve bannon and he's no doubt heard all kinds of things about himself. calling it a white supremacist, saying he's anti-semitic. what does he say to his critics? >> i think his attitude about this is don't -- if you ask me these kinds of questions, that's asking me if i beat my wife. in other words, these are the questions, the setup questions, from people he perceives to be his opponents, which he can't -- there's no way that he can rise above those questions. even by answering those questions, he essentially, admits to something that he
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is -- certainly does not want to admit to, certainly doesn't think that he has any reason to admit to. now, i am not defending him here. i'm really just trying to channel his point of view on this. because he implacably, implacably denies having -- being a racist, being an anti-semite, denies it to the extent that it is -- he just blows it away. this is not his reality. >> what does he see that as his world view. i've heard comments where he's said, i'm not a white nationalist, i'm a nationalist. what does that mean? >> it means that he is about working for americans. again, i want to be very clear, that i am not defending him. i went in there and there's a lot of -- i've been dealing with other media people, other journalists on twitter all day, thinking that somehow i interviewed this man and
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therefore i represent him. this is totally not true. i merely went and did an interview with him and listened to him. >> but that's what's so interesting to our viewers here, because most people have not heard directly from steve bannon. >> exactly, and it's an important distinction. because i think something he sees that nobody is listening to him. nobody knows who he is. nobody wants to know who he is. all they or we, whoever this media -- liberal media cabal, which the trump people really do see existing, these people just want to pin sympathetic on him, want him to represent evil in some sense. >> you say "evil." let me read you the quote that's getting a lot of attention from your piece, which certainly caught my attention. steve bannon told you, dark bs is good, dick cheney, darth vader, satan, that's power. what did he mean by that?
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>> he means when the liberal media elite establishment see him as being bad, see him as being dark, see him out without seeing him, that provides a very powerful kind of cover for him. they don't really see what he is really doing. and he would argue that that's how donald trump got elected. we, the media, liberal elite, however -- again, however you want to define it, failed to see what they were doing. became convinced that hillary clinton was going to win, across the board, everyone. and while we were so deluded and misinformed, the trump people were rallying a near -- something quite close to a majority of americans. >> you've got about 30 seconds left. what does he want to accomplish,
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personally, in the next four years? >> well, he said, two things. the first thing he wants to have the trump movement stay in power for 50 years. how does he want to do that? he wants to do that by giving people well-paying jobs. the oldest political trick in the book. >> that's so interesting tonight, because we saw this video released by donald trump, this 2 1/2-minute video, which is all we've seen of him in the last two weeks, hammering that point home. jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. >> it's very much. it's economy, stupid. and he argues that the democrats have profoundly forgotten that that is their classic platform. >> michael wolff, thanks so much for sharing your insights. 6r789s up next why melania trump and baron will not join president trump at the white house anytime soon. if you're searching other travel sites to find a better price...
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>> thank you very much. you have all been very kind to donald and me. to our young son barron. and to our hole family. >> reporter: since the trumps descended from the escalator june 2015. their son baron is her top priority. >> i'm a full-time mother to our son, baron. an incredible boy. as his father travels around the country, running for president. i'm with our son. we talk a little bit about politics and a lot about life, homework and sports. >> reporter: melania decided early on, to rarely campaign by her husband's side. >> they will have me on the trail all the time. they wish to have me there. i made the decision i will be a parent to our boy, to our child. no matter who you are --
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>> reporter: the soon-to-be first lady could not shield her son from the scandals that emerged. namely, the tape of her husband from 2005 bragging about groping women. >> sometimes i said, i have two boys at home, i have my young son and i have my husband. >> reporter: melania tried to use the controversy as a teachable moment for their son. >> he's in that age, all the boys are in that age, yeah, they say some bad words and it's very normal, they're growing up. but i tell him that, you know, there are consequences as well. >> reporter: baron trump's arrival at 1600 pennsylvania avenue will be historic, as the first son in the white house in over 50 years. in 2008, first lady michelle obama was red rhett hesitant to move their daughters from their chicago home. bringing her mother along put her at ease.
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when michelle obama hosted melania at the white house just over a week ago, the two talked about the challenges raising their children in the spotlight. the obamas have also decided not to disrupt their daughter sasha's schooling, by staying here in washington, d.c., for at least another couple years. it could turn out the obama and trump children end up attending the same elite private school as many of the presidential children do. suzanne malveaux, cnn, the white house. >> thanks, to suzanne. joining me now, kate anderson broward, historian on this topic, she's the author of "first women, the grace and power of american first ladies, the residence inside the secret world of the white house." melania trump and baron not moving into the white house, this is relatively speaking unprecedented. >> absolutely. martha washington didn't live in the white house, because it hadn't been built yet, and then also anna harrison didn't live in the white house, because her husband died shortly after being sworn in. every first lady in modern history has taken on the role of first lady from the east wing.
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there are a lot of important parts of this job, including having a chief of staff and a social secretary who work with the resident staff to really run the second and third floors of the white house, and all the things we see, the public sees, like state dinners, medal of honor ceremonies, these are things that first ladies historically have always been a part of. >> that's interesting. that deals with melania, and what her role will be in this administration. it makes it difficult if she's not in there in the white house. >> one former staffer said it would will awkward. i think a lot of people are sympathetic to her, having a 10-year-old son, yanking him out of school midway. it was difficult for michelle obama. i think the difference for baron is, he doesn't have a sibling, he really is alone in that sense and i was curious to see if melania would feel the need to
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bring her parents down in the same way michelle obama did. with her mother marian who lives in a suite on the third floor. kids in the white house need a sense of normalcy. melania's whole mantra on the campaign, it's her family first. she's showing it's true. she's very involved in raising their son, and she's going to do this for the next six months, and we'll see, it's open ended. >> we'll see. "the new york times" is reporting the possibility that mrs. trump could revisit this at the end of the school year. she really did seem to leave the door open there. >> yeah, i think it would make sense for them to come in the fall, you know, in the summer, and sort of do what every other first lady has done. it's a privilege to live in the white house, i'm sure she's aware of that. i think the transition is always difficult. it was hard for michelle obama. she had to go through a couple chiefs of staff before she found a good fit.
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she went through a couple different ideas, it took her a while to come up with the let's move idea. for melania, the cyber bullying idea, she's got to get a good projects chief on board. these are lesser known appointments that have to be made. obviously we're all talking about secretary of state. these things are important to the running of the white house. >> we'll see what she will do. and how often donald trump comes back to visit them at trump tower. that's a whole dinner issue. thanks to much. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. i've invested a lot in this game.
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that does it for us, thanks for watching. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. you are looking live at trump tower where the president-elect is choosing the team that will shape america for the next four years. that as a parade of white house hopefuls are spotted at trump's fifth avenue headquarters today. familiar faces from network news sitting down for an off the record session. but with just 60 days to go until the inauguration, donald trump has a rocky relationship with the entertainment world. and he's not laughing at moments like this from "snl." >> you're going to do everything, right?