tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN November 29, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
you're watching cnn hour two, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. let's begin with two member of donald trump's official inner circumstance who will are long time inside-the-beltway folks, the president-elect has chosen georgia congressman tom price to be health and human services secretary. congressman price is an ardent obamacare critic and is quite tight with the house speaker, according to the house speaker himself. here's paul ryan on the radio. >> what i'm excited about is tom price who is a very close friend of mine. tom price is one of the architects of replacing obamacare, of fixing health care. he's a surgeon, he knows how the
law works and he's been the most passionate advocate for patient-centered health care reforms that i've seen in congress and i'm really excited he is now going to be the quarterback, the point person in the new administration on reforming health care. >> we'll come back to tom price in a second but you are now looking at pictures of trump's selection for transportation secretary, she is elaine chao, married to mitch mcconnell. that was that picture. used to serve as labor secretary under george w. bush. let's go to sunlen serfaty standing in front of trump tower in the rain. bless your heart. let's begin with a third face we have seen surface from within trump tower, former president dan quayle. what was that about? >> a lot of comings and going at trump tower. today no exception. we did just spot former vice president dan quayle walk into trump tower. and before we toss to some sound where he spoke with reporters
briefly a few minutes ago we know that he did, indeed, have breakfast, a private breakfast meeting with vice president-elect mike pence and aides say this is one he leans on for advice and has been leaning on for advice in the last few weeks and potentially going forward. but it was eyebrow raising what he is doing at trump tower. here's what he said a few minutes ago. >> reporter: can you tell us how the meeting went? >> hang on one second. >> i was in the area and i stopped by to see the president-elect, to offer personal congratulations to him. i had talked to him recently on the phone. he's going to make america great again. we're in good hands. >> so some interesting comments right there. that just happened in the last
few minutes, brooke, and it's interesting, the seemingly endless round of meetings donald trump and his transition team are having at trump tower. >> sunlen, thank you. we know tom price and elaine chao. sunlen serfaty outside of trump tower. let's have a bigger conversation on all of this. senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is with us. gloria borger is here and chief correspondent dana bash. gloria, it's fascinating to watch these face s pass through that golden lobby on fifth avenue. just when you thought you saw somebody that made you think "what?" here's dan quayle. is the connection indiana and mike pence? what are you reading into this? >> i think mike pence is kind of the go between. the match maker. i called him the yenta earlier to use a yiddish phrase. >> well done. >> he's now running the
transition and i think he's bringing in people into the sort of trump circle that might not have been there before and i think that may go along with dan quail. it may go along with the new hhs secretary price. this is his role because don't forget, he's a governor, had been in washington for a dozen years so he can reach out to people that perhaps the trump team would not have naturally thought of. >> go ahead, dana. >> can i add one quick thing we saw in the pictures there of dan quayle arriving at trump tower with kellyanne conway. the two of them go back many, many years. it's hard to imagine that relationship not being a part of why dan quayle is there today. >> got it. what about tom price, dana,
let's stay with you. orthopedic surgeon, he's a doctor, he knows money because he's the chair of the house budget committee but he's someone who if you're going to repeal and replace obamacare, this is the guy who has specifics to do that. >> no question. he is the guy to put meat on the in vain as president obama has - been in the white house to lead the charge to be one of those to lead the charge. not just to repeal obama cacaret come up with the republican alternative. you played the soundbite of paul ryan talking about that because not only tom price is well respected within the republican caucus in the house and also the senate, because he is an m.d. but also because he understands budgetary issues. so this is i think as nominations and appointees go, tom price is about as mainstream for the republicans as it gets.
democrats would certainly not call him mainstream but he is the guy that republicans across the board will and are applauding to head the hhs department. >> jeff, what are critics saying? i'm already hearing from planned parenthood president and others. what's the biggest criticism? >> democrats are going to have a lot of criticism because they want to protect the affordable care act, they want to protect obamacare and leave things as they go but we're going to be saying this a lot, some democrats don't want to hear it, elections have consequences and there are three words that are oversaid but they have important meaning and this is chief among them, the health care law is going to change, the house controlled by republicans, the senate controlled by republicans, the white house controlled by republican will change so tom price as dana said
will usher this in and he already has ideas for this. this is not somethng that's starting from crash is. interestingly, he does not necessarily agree with everything donald trump has called for so that will be interesting to watch here. >> jeff, forgive me, i want to hit pause on this conversation. we have to go to columbus, ohio, an update on the victims who have been in the hospital from the incident on campus yesterday. >> it's housed in watts hole in the complex where the incident took place. i actually had taught a class a little bit down the road in evans lab from 8:00 to 9:00, i'd gone back to my office in watts hole and as one does at that time of day, made coffee and just started when our building fire alarm went off so everyone exited the building, it turned out it was a gas leak in some equipment in one of the research laboratories so everybody was standing outside. the columbus fire department turned up, the columbus police
department, i think, came with them as well and firemen in full gear and breathing apparatus went in to check on this leak. after about probably 15, 20 minutes the fireman came out and that's usually a sign they've cleared the building and it's about time to go in, i began to walk back a little bit east west 19th towards the back entrance of watts hole which affronts on to that street and as i was walking i suddenly heard a shout and then this tremendous crash and it was a silver car, the perpetrat perpetrator's car that had mount it had curb and hit a large -- well, you saw them, probably, one of those large concrete planters on the curb. bounced off. and that did enough damage to stop the car. as it was stopping i assume -- because i didn't really see it -- it clipped the back of my
right leg and basically flipped me up in the air and i landed on concrete which at my age is not what you want to do. and so i was there and a little bit dazed and figuring out how to get up and meanwhile the perpetrator exited the vehicle on the other side, the roadside, which is his driver's side, and had begun to attack students. there was a lot of noise and shouting. however i got up and with a number of students and some others made -- started to make progress towards the building to get in the building and hide and even as i was doing that, before i could get to the back end of the building which was only probably 20 yards away i heard the three shots that presumably were the ones that officer horujko fired that took down the assailant. that was it. i went down into the basement of the building which i know very
well and sat there and one of the students with me said "you're bleeding." and i said "well, i've got a little blood." and he said "no." and there were footprints of blood all the way down the hall. so at that point they called one of the emergency -- i think it was the fire department emergency technicians, they came down. they were fortunately already on the scene and i was taken from there and transported to osu medical center where i was extremely well looked after. so i've just been discharged this afternoon, that's why i have yellow socks on and walking a little slowly. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> no, i never heard the assailant say anything. my injuries, i have two severe -- had two deep lacerations down here just above the right ankle towards the
back. those were closed in the operating theater in the trauma center. and i also have some severe contusions down the left-hand side of the left leg which they were concerned might possibly be a fracture in the tibia or fibula and because of the amount of swelling they couldn't determine or see the fracture until some time today so they fortunately determined there is no fracture there but it's swollen and bruising so i am extremely stiff. apart from the leg trauma, obviously, you don't do all these muscles much good when you get shot up into the air like that. so more inconvenient is i'm really sore and stiff in the ribs and back. >> reporter: at what point did you realize that it was an attack? >> well, you know, when the car hit and hit me i didn't really
know what to think. i thought maybe this is a traffic accident but then people started shouting immediately and i couldn't hear what they said but it was panicked shouting so obviously at that point i figured out it was more than just a car accident. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> i think -- i'm not entirely sure. i think the two cuts in the leg were actually from the vehicle. i think the vehicle hit the planter which basically destroyed much of the front end and my impression is that it left a lot of open jagged metal work there and it was that that sliced the back of my leg. the two parallel cuts about four or five inches long. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> i wasn't. it happened so fast. i turned to go back in the building and all of a sudden this bang and this car is there and i get flipped in the air and
you know, it all happened so fast. literally -- at least it seemed to me, maybe the time frame is compressed but it seemed to me literally within 15 to 30 seconds i heard the shots and it was over and i didn't look around. i saw i think one other student who was hit by the car and flipped up in the air. he was lying on the ground and -- but i didn't see any people who were stabbed because they were off to my side. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> well, i think, you know, at this stage until we really know all the facts i'd prefer to hold judgment. he was an osu student, yes he was have somalia but he was an osu student and having been a faculty member for 35 years. i'm only too aware of the things that drive students sometimes to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do and before i pass judgment on this young man i
would like to see exactly what the circumstances are and exactly why he took the course of action that he chose to. in the end of the day as i said earlier, i'm sore but i'm going home this afternoon and he's dead. so my sense is out of respect just for the living and the dead we should wait until we know what's the truth. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> sorry? >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> >> oh, i'm happy to go in there. my wife drove me. my colleagues were in a faculty meeting. i don't feel -- watts hole wasn't threatened. this was a street accident and it was unfortunate that because of this completely unrelated fire alarm there were a lot of people out there. it was also, in my view, very fortunate that he hit this big concrete planter because had that not been there and he'd
have ridden up on the curve he would have plowed into 40 or 50 people. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> i think it's very sad. i think it's very tragic that something like this happens at any university. i mean, i decided on a career in universities because, you know, i think there's some sort of calling there. taking young people at 17, 18, trying to turn them into functional adults and that doesn't mean you train them in the classroom, you're also trying to show them how to live life so when ever anything happens like this, it's tragic. tragic for the people who hurt them, tragic for the young man's family and relatives if they weren't implicated in anything sinister so i think it's very, very sad. especially on university campuses of all places because those are the one places where you feel that young people should be safe.
>> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> i think he got out of the car after he crashed so yes i heard the crash and then i was on the ground just trying to get up and there was a little chaos and i was on the driver's side of the car facing towards the rear and he got out of the passenger's -- the driver's side, on the other side and that's where he started attacking people out towards the street. so all i heard was the shouting and screaming from the people standing there. i didn't hear him say anything at all. no, i didn't. i might have done but i wasn't aware of separating him from -- there were a lot of people around on the street. by the time the gunshots -- i heard the gunshots i think he'd taken off well down 19th avenue. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> no, he was -- i think he was a business major, i'm an
engineering major it just so happened that whether he was even in the -- in that building at all because he drove along college and turned down there so he needn't have had any business or affiliation with anything that went on in there even though some classrooms are what we call pool classrooms which are shared by all kinds of disciplines across the university so, no, i'd never seen him before. [ inaudible question ] >> you know, to be honest i -- that was a kind of screaming but i couldn't put my finger on any specific sentence that anybody said. but, sure, yeah, it sounded like people screaming because they felt threatened by someone who was armed in some way. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> well, sure. like i said before, i would like to see what all the circumstances are that led to
him doing this and all the history that led up to it. whether there's an implication with stressors at school or colleagues. he graduated from columbus state i think in the summer and the picture of the graduation shows a jubilant young man so to do this four or five months later yes, i would be very interested in what all the circumstances were. >> reporter: it seems there were red flags on the internet. you're a professor, you work with students. >> i'm a research professor so i like to make my guesses based on data i'm afraid. i don't know. i'm not going to speculate on whether he did or didn't. there are all kinds of ways something like that could happen if it did but until we find out, the fbi and columbus police and so on, a much better place to do that than me.
>> well, anybody can take responsibility for anything if they want? they see it as a feather in their cap, so to me that doesn't necessarily imply they were behind the planning or whatever. no, because i don't -- until i know that whether it was, in fact, behind it, until i know this was something to do with some radical group and whether that is the entire story or whether there's some other personal family issues and social issues behind i want, i withhold judgment. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> i went down -- we went into the building and walked down into the basement. a lot of the rooms in the basement i know very well so probably 20 yards or so and i -- my legs were sore but i didn't have any particular pain. i was surprised to see the cut and even more surprised to see the footprints but it bled a
lot. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> yup. he just kind of took the -- it's like somebody taking your legs out from under you. yeah. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> well, you know, i have a group of students, the class i'm teaching is a group of our students and many of them were standing there when this took place so i'm supposed to met with them tomorrow and i've -- i hope i won't get in trouble for this but i've cancelled that class. just to give them a little time to adjust because some of them -- i saw some of them were extremely distraught and so i think we may talk a bit about it on friday in class to open it up. but i just hope people realize
that as horrible as this is this is one of these isolated incidents where an enormous community, 50,00060,000, it's terrible when something like this happens on a university campus and university campuses are vulnerable to that kind of thing because we are an open society so that young people can learn and make a certain amount of mistakes as part of growing up under controlled conditions so i would tell them we're still a great university, we still beat michigan and we're going to the national championship, we're still in the top 20 in the university rankings in the country and this isn't going to change it. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> you know, i've thought about that. it turns out my daughter knows him from a friend who is a similar age. to me -- if he was here i'd put my arm around him and tell him he's got a lot to cope with in the days to come, he's got to live with this for the rest of
his life. but he did the right thing. it's what he was trained to do and what he did and who knows? there's a lot of people walking around between classes, who knows what other damage this young man would have done and my understanding is that he was challenged three times to put the knife down and advanced towards the officer and i don't think he had much choice. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> i think that's a great question. i know we discussed this a bit at some of the events yesterday. the event that chris mentioned that's this evening is i think a part of that healing of trying to bring the community together with student leaders, faculty leaders, administrators and staff leaders to make those next steps towards healing. sometimes this is something that
that time helps with but then obviously there are times when people need additional help, whether that's counseling, time off, whatever it may be so a large part of what i spent doing in my day today is working with our folks in the office of student life doing outreach to students involved, making sure they understand the counseling services available, we've been working for the opportunities that were injured working with their professors getting them out of exams and classes and making sure that notification goes out. is it something that time will help but probably in some ways the entire university has -- will be changed by this in some ways but i think over time much like any of these crises that occur it gets better over time but it gets better because we work together. we are a city within a city i like to call it. we have over 50,000 students and tens of thousands of faculty and staff embedded in a city of well
over a million people and we are used to coming together. we've had other tragedies on campus in the past, whether it was students or faculty or staff and i think this is certainly a very different one but this is something i'm confident that we will be resilient and be fine down the road. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> well, i think i'll leave it to law enforcement folks to talk about. all i'm aware of is what's been discussed in the press. i think certainly thankfully the individual didn't have a gun the probably the one thing that's a blessing. it allowed the officer to act before he was able to injure anyone more severely than he did. also i think -- thinking about other venues and things on campus where we have large groups of people i think this was obviously a -- something
that was a unique opportunity with students standing on the sidewalk. i do have a statement, actually, to read. one of the students who was injured has given us a written statement she asked to have read at this press conference. this is from an undergraduate student by the name of kate schultz. "my family and appreciate everyone's concern about my well-being. right now i am focused on my recovery and my family is providing me with the support and love that i need during this difficult time. we're thankful that i was not seriously injured and we thank emergency responders for ending the situation as quickly as possible. we request privacy and are declining all media requests for interviews. that's the end of the statement. >> appreciate you guys coming in today.
>> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> i don't have that informatio information. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> the student i red the statement for? oh, professor. >> clark. c-l-a-r-k. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ] >> there's a number of different reports out there. >> okay, so we wanted to make sure we heard that professor in full. professor emeritus by the name of william clark because that's the first time we've heard first hand perspective of what happened yesterday morning at ohio state on campus at columbus and you heard him, he was one of the victims that was hit by the suspect's car. he talked about how he felt like his legs were taken out from under him and the rampage only
felt like it went on for 15, 30 seconds before the hero cop swooped in and neutralized that suspect. as we were listening to that news conference, we got information from our justice folks at cnn in washington and this is what we have learned about this 18-year-old who did this yesterday. investigators believe he was inspired by terrorist propaganda from both isis and also anwar al awlaki, the deceased yemeni american cleric leader of al qaeda in yemen, this is according to law enforcement sources. sources point to this young man's facebook postings from as recent as monday which reference al awlaki as well as the style of the attack encouraged by isis using a car as a weapon in its recent online magazine. the investigators tell cnn there's no indication so far he communicated with any terror group and evidence points to a
lone wolf attack. investigators are inspecting his commuter, looking at his cell phone, talking to family and associates as they try to figure out why he did this at ohio state. we're going to move away from that and pick up our conversation with our panel, including the fact that we have just now seen at trump tower senator bob corker who was on the short list for trump's vice president. he's being considered for secretary of state. we'll talk about him and the governor romney dinner and we'll talk about jeff zeleny who started his day yesterday, probably didn't know trump would be tweeting about him. let's talk about all that coming up. oh caroline. so corporate put you up in a roadside motel. but with directv from at&t, you can download then binge watch your dvr'd shows from anywhere.
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back to our breaking story. let me bring you back, shimon, from our justice beat. we were listening to the professor who survived that attack on campus yesterday morning, you just learned some major pieces of information about the suspect and motivations, what did you learn? >> at this point it's looking like artem, the suspect here, the attacker, was inspired by isis and also the now-dead
yemeni cleric anwar al awlaki. this is all based off of the suspect's facebook postings. and other information that leads them to believe that right now this was a lone wolf attack and that he was inspired by isis and al awlaki. so all pointing towards an act of terrorism right now but authorities are still working through a lot of information they have. they're working through his cell phone and a computer they recovered that belongs to him. so there's still a lot of questions they need to answer and specifically they want to make sure he wasn't working with anyone, making sure he wasn't communicating with anyone overseas. it doesn't look that way right now but they can't rule it out. it's a significant development. they don't know what set him off and why he chose yesterday as a day to do this and unleash this attack but certainly they have some answers now as to what
probably inspired him and moved him into the direction he was going in and doing this attack. >> it's super important that you pointed out the fact that we don't know, you said he hasn't communicated with people overseas, investigators are looking into whether he had help or a self-radicalized situation. shimon, let's focus on the point he chose to use his car as a weapon. i remember what that terrorist used in nice with his car along the promenade taking out families before shooting them. this is what isis called for, correct? >> correct. and in one of their latest magazines released in october they called for this type of attack so this is leading authorities to believe that inspired by isis. authorities haven't shared that with us but the way in which he conducted this attack after he
got out of the car with the butcher knife all leads them to believe that he was inspired by isis. the other thing we keep seeing is anwar al awlaki, he keeps popping up so clearly dead after so many years still playing a role, still inspiring some of these attackers but certainly the role isis continues to play in their propaganda and stuff they keep putting out, these magazines are having an effect and while we're not seeing as many people traveling to syria. there's still concern the damage they're doing can go on for quite some time. even though we're perhaps eliminating isis across the world but there's concern their propaganda is going to last for years to come. >> do we know, shimon, i know
you reported this car he used, it was a family men's car. do we know if he lived at home or where he had been to school and his relationship to ohio state? >> the school told us he was a freshman there. we know from people close to the family and law enforcement that he lived at home. his mother spoke to authorities and said she had not seen anything to indicate he had these kind of thoughts or that he was radicalized or consuming this propaganda. >> that's what i was getting at. >> she told him he was having some issues at school. the car belonged to his brother which created confusion yesterday in trying to identify him because all authorities had to go by was the -- who the car was registered to which was his brother and it wasn't until they
were able to i.d. him that they had the right name for the attacker. >> and i guess before i let you go, what's significant in all of this and listening to the professor, everyone everyone survived except the suspect that was taken down by the police officer. it happened so fast, he comes on the campus with the car, gets out of the car with a butcher's knife and starts stabbing people but this cop intervened in two minutes time and took him down. >> it's incredible. this first responder was there. it's also important to point out no one else was shot. the officer was very poised and controlled. fired a couple shots. according to witnesses they only heard three or four shots. it's significant and it looks like the training these officers go through at these universities because there's always a fear of mass shootings they train for
this stuff. >> they were ready. just hearing the doctor at that local hospital saying also a silver lining that it wasn't a gun. that that would have been much, much worse in terms of injuries. shimon, thank you so much as always for breaking the news for us, appreciate it. quick beak, we'll be right back.
campus in columbus trying to take out students with his car and then a butcher's knife. i have paul cruickshank with us now, a cnn terror analyst and brynn gingras is in columbus, but, paul, i wanted to talk to you first and foremost. the last time i laid eyes on you is when we were standing in nice and talking about isis' call to use cars as weapons but it doesn't appear this young man was at all in contact with any terror groups. so what's your interpretation of this? >> that's right, brooke, no evidence at all that he was in contact with any terror group including isis. isis just put out this statement via the media agency claiming he was a soldier of the caliphate but not claiming he was part of them in the sense that he trained with them or spent time with them just that he acted on their behalf. you can see in his facebook posting which was put out just before the attack traces of influence on the al qaeda side
with anwar al awlaki. calling that american yemeni cleric who was part of al qaeda in yemen our hero imam. so clearly anwar al awlaki had an inspirational role in this attack. but in this same statement talking about how the united states should make peace with isis to stop these kind of lone wolf attacks so there you see the isis influence in this. but the attacker did not go out of his way to brand this for one or the other or any organization he seems to have been an independent lone wolf. he seems to have been anger by certain events he was seeing play out around the world, notably in myanmar. he said he reached boiling point because of the killings and ethnic cleansing of muslims in the northern part of myanmar and that was something the united nations drew attention to in a big way just last week.
>> it was interesting, too, when this -- if this individual was inspired both by isis and al awlaki who was an al qaeda leader, it reminds me of what happened in orlando at that nightclub and that suspect there who, you know, pledged his allegiance to multiple terror organizations and i'm just left wondering, is this the new face of terrorism here? >> well, brooke, it's one of the new faces of terrorism, in the orlando case he did go out of his way on that 911 call to kind of pledge allegiance to abu bakr al baghdadi. it's more similar to what we saw play out in new york in september with the chelsea bomber who appears with both animated by a sort of pro-isis sentiment, pro-al qaeda sentiment. there's a lot of bad blood between these two terrorist groups. but for some of the individuals far away from syria and iraq,
this is a distinction without a difference, this sort of difference of theological interpretation between these two groups, they're fans of both and they're responding to their message to carry out attacks and just two weeks ago isis in their english language magazine put out a how-to guide for how to launch these kind of car vehicle attacks. in the west calling for attacks around thanksgiving. the nypd put a lot of protection in place to protect that thanksgiving parade route but you can't protect every possible target in the united states and clearly these individuals will be able to launch these attacks in the future and we saw in nice over the summer both you and i we saw the dreadful aftermath of that attack. 86 people killed, more people injured with a large truck that
you can carry out an absolutely atrocious terrorist atrocity. this is something that has not escaped the attention of terrorist groups like isis, they're pressing on their followers to launch more of these attacks in the months that may welcome. and it may be that this perpetrator took heed in some of those. >> that was haunting and at least in the case of columbus ohio, the school and law enforcement acted so swiftly. paul cruickshank, as always, thank you so much. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, the latest comings and going over at trump tower as the president-elect is making additional choices for members of his cabinet. who will he choose as his next secretary of state? one possibility just walked out the door, another is going to dinner with him. we'll be right back. you got the amazing new iphone 7 on the house by switching to at&t... what??.... aand you got unlimited data because you have directv??
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i just had a very substantive and productive conversation with the president-elect, donald trump, regarding homeland security issues, national security issues, the most important issues facing this nation. i look forward to working with him and this administration moving forward in this next -- in this next term, to work with the president and the administration on the most important issues facing the nation. >> reporter: what was your reaction to mr. trump saying this morning that flag burning should be illegal? >> i really don't have any comment beyond that other than, again, it was a very substantive, productive discussions on very, very important issues. as we saw yesterday, ohio state,
isis is now declared the individual to be a soldier of isis. it demonstrates that the threat -- terror threat in the united states is still very high. i articulated to the president how we need to close off all terror pathways into the united states. we need to secure our borders and secure the united states from these terrorists coming into the united states and perpetrating acts of terror like what we saw yesterday. it's a reminder that the terror threat is real, that the messages coming out of iraq and syria are to attack and attack the infidel in the back yard. we saw that just here in new york right after 9/11, with mr. rahami. sheikh adnani out of raqqa has been sending message to not come to syria but rather attack in the back yard wherever you are.
that's why i believe the conversation i had with the president-elect was so productive and necessary, so that we can take the steps in this next administration to better protect americans and to make america safe again. thank you. >> that is a man who would like to be referred to, perhaps, as the former chair of the house homeland security committee, congressman mccaul there, just leaving trump tower after meeting with the president-elect as a potential pick for secretary of homeland security. that is just one face who has come and gone and met with the next of the united states. jeff zeleny is standing by as is manu raju. before we talk about capitol hill, let's talk about trump tower, jeff, and the comings and goings. we also know that president-elect trump met with senator corker as a potential state pick. trump has some big decisions to make.
>> he does indeed, brooke, he's already ticking through them. we've seen a couple high-level announcements made already today, the head of the transportation department, the secretary of transportation as well as health and human services. he has done those picks. he is actually doing pretty well in terms of ticking through the potential cabinet secretaries. you're right. chairman mike mccaul is one of the leading contenders to be the homeland security secretary, we're told. it's so interesting, after watching this long campaign, against washington, the people walking through the lobby of trump tower are by and large from washington. the chairman who is a republican from texas, is the latest example. bob corker, the senator from tennessee, also potentially in line to be secretary of state. he also is from washington. so a very largely traditional cabinet up until this point, by and large from washington, which certainly is interesting given the tone against washington during this campaign. >> i want to loop around and ask
you about governor romney and the big dinner out tonight. before i do, to our friend on capitol hill, manu. tell me about your conversation with senator mccain. >> i asked him about the issue of flag burning which, of course, donald trump relitigated this morning through his twitter account by saying people who burn flags should be prosecuted, possibly thrown into jail, possibly even lose their citizenship. of course, the supreme court has upheld the right under the first amendment for people to burn flags, even if you disagree with that act. so john mccain, of course, a war hero, a veteran, who actually voted for a ban on flag burning back in 2006. i asked him about donald trump's tweet, and he had this to say. >> he said that the people who burn the flag should be prosecuted. what do you think about that? >> a very close decision on the -- by the united states supreme court. i do not approve of burning the flag. i think that it should -- there should be some punishment, but i -- right now the supreme court
decision is that people are free to express themselves that way. i cannot comment on mr. trump's comments. i have not and will not. >> why not? he is the president-elect. you're a senior member up here. >> because that's my choice. >> so john mccain clearly suggesting that donald trump's tweets and a lot of his comments are a distraction for republicans up here. john mccain not wanting to get -- to discuss anything that donald trump has said. showcases some of the tension that existed during the presidential campaign has not dissipated and the fact that donald trump says things, whether about flag burning or about people voting illegally, fraudulent votes happening without any evidence, republicans do not want to weigh in on that. it just shows that a lot of things that donald trump says is taking him off message just as the party is trying to unite, brooke. >> it shows not all the
republican senators may be in line with the president-elect. jeff, let me pivot back to you and this dinner. as far as potential picks for secretary of state, we saw general petraeus. he met with trump yesterday. we talked about senator corker. governor romney will have dinner with mr. trump. their better halves will be in attendance. anne romney and melania trump. knowing that dinner is involved, the potential, will you have this rose situation, to quote a guest in my last hour? or might this be a gentleman, thanks for playing along. buy you dinner on the way out. >> >> a great question. an apt analogy because this has been the most sort of unusual selection of a potential cabinet here. the drama of the closed door meetings, having people vie for this by going into the front door. the fact that they're having dinner together tonight i think does signify a signal that this conversation is still very much alive, that donald trump is trying to become comfortable with the idea, potentially, of
mitt romney. having the wives join is certainly interesting as well. it is definitely for show because we are -- we know about it, and they are going to advise it this evening. we'll see what donald trump decides. this is probably one of the most important cabinet positions and he and he alone will finally make that once he sorts through all the noise. >> i have 15 more seconds with you. quickly, jeff. we saw former vice president and former indiana senator as well dan quayle pop through. he goes way back with kellyanne conway and also perhaps with mike pence. what do you make of this visit? >> she definitely helped him on a couple of his presidential bids. i met her in iowa in 1989 when he was thinking about running in 2000. they are long-time associates. i think it, a, signals that she is still very much involved despite some potential things we have heard other places, and it shows that people are coming to pay respects to donald trump.
he is the president -- he is going to be the next president in a month and a half or so, and people are coming to him, coming to trump tower. brooke. >> he is listening. we will see who he chooses, manu and jeff, thank you so much. thank you for being with me. i am brooke baldwin, "the lead" starts now. thanks, brooke. it's a move that could put obamacare on life support. "the lead" starts right now. donald trump picks the man who helped lead the charge to dismantle obamacare to be his new health secretary. what does this mean for you? your family? your health insurance? your insurance premiums? surrounded by flames. wildfires melting homes and hotels in mountainside towns where so many family memories were made. plus, breaking news. inspired by isis. justice department sources now telling cnn that the man who attacked so many at ohio state university in that car and knife