tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 29, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
snmplt happening now, transition drama. the sprekt giving some of his allies heartburn by having dinner with mitt romney. will donald trump offer the secretary of state job to one of his harshest critics? burning issue. trumpb spugs anyone who torches the american flag should lose their citizenship or to go jail. the tweeter in chief unleashed again and raising constitutional questions. isis soldier? authorities believe the ohio state the university attacker was inspired by terrorist propaganda as isis goes a step further and claims he was one of their own. and crashed dreams. three soccer players among the survivors. the plane disaster on the way to
an historic game. what went wrong and why only a handsful of people came out alive. we want to welcome our viewerser from the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> breaking news, new evidence that terrorism was likely a motive in the car and knife attack at ohio state university. sources say investigators believe he abduler artan was inspired by isis propaganda. we're told he never communicated with any terrorist group although isis is claiming he was one of the soldiers. in the trump transition, the president-elect is making more choices about his cabinet including two of what is called the washington, d.c. swamp.
trump tapping tom price as health and human services secretary. just moments ago, the trump team officially announced the bush era labor secretary is being nominated to head the transportation department. we're standing by for trump's seconds meeting with mitt romney about his possible nomination as secretary of state. we're also told the men's wives will be joining them for dinner tonight as some trump allies cinch at the thought that romney might be hired by the man he condemned during the campaign. we're also looking at the fallout to the president-elect's response to a flag burning controversy at a small new england college. trump tweeting interest flag burners should be punished by jabl time orrer possibly having their citizenship revoked. i'll talk with wesley clark who is standing by along with our correspondents and analysts as we cover all the news that's
breaking right now. first, a transition power alert. cnn has lernlds that steven has been chosen for treasury secretary. the latest on the trump a with - transition. what are you hearing? >> right, steve mnuchin is now expected to be tapped by donald trump as the new treasury secretary. he is a formerly of goldman sachs. all along his name has been at the very top of the list of candidates for treasury secretary so. this comes as no surprise. he is considered to be very close to donald trump and has had several meetings with president-elect since the election on november 8. you can see him right there on the screen. he is not a very familiar face to the american public but he will be as the man at the treasury department. donald trump has a dinner date tonltd and that is mitt romney.
we've tlernlds first lady melania trump will join in. the president-elect is still considering romney. one of his harshest critics. but trump is filling out his cabinet the only way he knows how. with lots of drama and distractions. >> can you hear me okay? >> after campaigning as the ultimate outsider, donald trump reached inside the belt way to fill his cabinet today. tapping elaine chow, labor secretary you understand george w. bush and the wife of mitch mcconnell. >> doctor from george, price has led the republican charge on health care in the whous proposals to transform medicare see about a voucher program for seniors and dozens of attempts to repeal obamacare. >> this is not only harming the health of many americans in many
ways but the health of our economy. >> democrats vow they're ready for that battle. >> it is clear washington republicans are plotting a war on seniors next year. every senior, every american he, should hear this loudly and clearly. democrats will not let them win that i fight. >> inside the transition, the real fight is over secretary of state as the president-elect met we senate foreign relations committee chairman bob corker. a top candidate for the post. be some are aghast at that job going to mitt romney. >> a number of outstanding individuals that he's talking with. i was glad to be here. >> in addition to staffing his new administration, strumpb igniting newer controversies, insisting nobody should be allowed to burn the american flag. if they do, there should be consequences. perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail. while the vice president passed
on that question -- >> mr. vice president elect, what's on the agendas today? trump's one time he model for a supreme court justice. he once said flag sburng protected free speech. >> if write kii were king, i wo let people burn the american flag. we have a first amendment which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged and it is addressed, in particular, to speech critical of the government. >> trump spokesmen disagrees. >> i think most americans would agree that flag burning should be illegal. er it is completely despicable. trump is lashing out at the news media saying i thought cnn would get better after they failed so badly i with their support of hillary clinton. since the election, they are worse. he also glans fact checking
reports. poking holes in the baseless claim that millions of fraudulent votes the went to clinton, which simply did not happen. >> they're starting to get very he nervous. the dishonest media. most dishonest people. >> president-elect he trump will do everything he can to distract people. watch the birdie. and then over herer do something else very dangerous. >>, it was just the third time the president-elect has received the pdp, since it is calls. and later this week, trump will embark on a tour to show voters his appreciation for being elected president. mike pence will also be there. that will be a rally style event in cincinnati on thursday. obviously, ral writes a big part of his campaign.
>> he carried ohio as we all know. cyn cincinnati was very important in that battle. thank you. some key republicans are unsettled by trump's threat of extreme punishment for flag burners. joining us from capitol hill, you had a chance to speak with mccain bethe tweets. >> remember, he voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. but republicans would rather focus on the transition and what they'll do in the new congress. when i had a chance to talk to mccain, he made clear there should be some form of punishment for flag burning but did not say he wanth to talk about what donald trump talked about. >> he said the people who burn the flag should be prosecuted.
what do you think? >> a very close decision by the united states supreme court. i do not approve of burning the flag. that. >> if i do not approve of it and i think there are other ways to express views rather than burn a flag that so many americans fought and died for. >> he even said people should lose citizenship on it. >> i'm not going to comment on trump's he comments. i have not and i will not. >> why not? >> because it is my choice. my choice. i am just reelected by the people of arizona and during that campaign i did not comment on mr. trump. i will continue to not. i have to defend he this nation. i'm the chairman of the armed services committee. we have all kinds of challenges. my time is devoted to trying to
make sure this nation is secured. not to comment on every comment of mr. trump's. that may be your priority and yours and yours. that may be your priority to comment every day on any comment mr. trump has. my priority is to try to defend the nation and the men and women who are serving it. i cannot carry out that mission by he respondsing to every comment of president-elect trump's. >> it just shows that trump'ses he tweets can be a distraction. i had a chance to question he ted cruz about the severe punishment for flag burners. cruz said he criticized flag burning. but he wonltd responds, he walked into an elevator. >> what is, he saying about elainer?
>> he calls her an outstanding choice. he said with it a laugh. he said he would not recuse himself from voting on the nomination. when asked if he urgeded donald trump to choose her as the labor secretary, he would not, transportation secretary, excuse me, he would not comment. what will be interesting is the relationship between elaine chow and the senate as they try to move forward. the package early next year. we'll see how they work together. as a political the unit to push together a major policy item on the trump agendas. we'll see how mitch mcconnell responds. some conservatives are worried that spending money on infrastructure projects. >> almost every rally, he spoke about the crumbling infrastructure, the roads, the bridges, the airports. he said the united states has to build up all those areas. elaine chao as labor secretary,
we assume she will be confirmed, that is a huge, huge job. a lot of democrats want to work on an infrastructure program. they see it as the job stimulus program. thank you very much for that report. let's talk about all of this and more with wesley clark. the former democratic candidate, thank you for joining us. i know you personally don't support burning the flag. it is repulsive. but it is freedom of speech. how important do you believe it is to uphold that right? >> i think we have to upheld to constitution. that has been judged as a right. i think it is terrible. i finds it personally offensive but it is within the law. >> when you see someone tweet he something like this, something like trumper tweeteder today
involving the first amendment, the freedom of speech burning the flag might be. >> i think he is picking up people's feelings and the people who helped him get elected. i think he's right. most merges americans do finds repulsive. >> he suggested people should go to jail or lose their citizenship. what do you think? >> i don't thinks that will happen. >> do you support the former retired general david petraeus to become the next secretary of state? >> well, dave petraeus is an extremely smarted, very experienced, very capable man. i've known dave petraeus when he fwhorkds my office. i was a colonel and he was a camp. he certainly brings a lot of
experience. president-elect will have to decide how he plays it off. one thing you can be sure of, if dave petraeus becomes secretary of state, he will bring an awful love the sxg capability to that job. >> he pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information it was. a misdemeanor. he got a couple years probation. is that a problem? should he be eligible to receive classified information, the top secret security clearances? >> this becomes ultimately the decision of the president of the united states, the security the clearance is that i think up to the congress to determine whether or not he is confirmed if he is he chosen as secretary of state. and i think you have to respect the president's choices. i think people have to look at this. and the people who have been elected by at this president of the united states, senators, will have to make those decisions. >> another retired general he is
being considered for secretary of defense. i assume you know him. the former head of the u.s. military commands. >> i think i mattis is a very smart guy, a great leader, he has a great capacity for work. he never worked for me. john kelly did. i think these rehonorable men here have sacrificed for their country. they have a lot of character, experience, they work hard. whoever goes in those positions will work as part of the president's team. so if the president-elect chooses them, they will say no sometimes. they'll disagree he strongly on some issues and put their feet down and fight for it. so when he picks retired
military, that's what he can expect to get. that's the way officers in the the united states that armed forces are trained. >> you're a retired four star. there is a law, a rule out there that a retired general has to spend seven years outside of the military as retired before eligible to take charge over the department of defense. there can be a waiver. congress can pass it. general mattis retired about three years ago or so. do you fear that would be a problem if he were to get that waiver? since he's only been retired for three years as opposed to the required seven? >> this is something congress will have to decide on. what do you think? >> i think it is better for people to have a longer time outside the service. in my own case, i ran for president three years after getting out. i thought i had a lot of experience on the outside. i had done some work in banking
and i had made speeches and done some consulting. now i've been out 16 years. i've lernlds so much more. and i think you get a lot more experience at the longer you stay out. the longer you've been out, the better in terms of going back in. when you're in a position like secretary of defense, you have to have a broader vision than the just being an advocate for the armed forces. you're really the number two person in the chain of commands. so you are looking at national decision and national the authority. it is not just about what is good for the department of defense or good for the services. so i think experience in the outer he world is important. that's the reason the law was put in place like that. >> he has a retired general. he's only been out for about a year. mike flynn. he does not require congressional confirmation of his appointment.
there are several other generals. does the president-elect he run the risk of having too many generals, too many military personnel running key operations for him? >> you might think that. i'm proud of all these men. they've served their country, they've gone to war, their families have suffered. in some cases, the general he who lost his son in southwest the asia. so these revery serious men who will do their best. they're not politicians. they're going to stand up and be kounth and they'll do their part. it is a good thing to have a sprinkling of men of this caliber at high levels in government. and honestly, i wish the democrats had done a little more of that. it is very challenging. some will go in and discover,
where you have to blends politics with policy, it is very, very he difficult mix. but we want the president of the united states to succeed. we want the very best people this there. providing advice and hoping the execute the policies. then it is up to the opposition to shape those policies. >> earlier this year general be flynn who will be the national security adviser to the president, he said fear of muslims is rational. please forward this to others, that truth fears no questions. not do you think he will steer the president-elect as national the security adviser in the right direction when he thinks this about muslims? >> i think if you ask mike flynn
today, would he like to have that tweet back, he would probably say yes. i would like that tweet back. it was political shorthands. he got caught up in something. at least that's my interpretation of it. so i think there is a lot of the responsibility on mike flynn. he has to put together the policies of the the united states. one of the things ends earlier, he is sensitive to the afghan population. he was sensitive to muslim sentiment. and he knew you couldn't win if you alienated the muslim population there. he will to have reconcile what emds with what he knows is right. it will be a challenge. it is a big tough position. it has a lot of legal issues, issues way i don't understand dealing with isis he and terrorism. so whoever holds those
positions, they'll have to step up to the line in terms of seeing the big picture and they know president he with foreign strategy and economic strategy. america needs strong economy to be able to do what it wants to do. so somehow that national security post has to blends economics and foreign policy. >> we've got to take a quick break. do you have confidence in general flynn? >> i've not worked mike flynn directly. he is an army officer and he has come up through rank ts. a lot of people i've he talked to have very strong positive feelings for mike flynn. the general, we'll take a quick break. including more from isis.
they said man w, they said he w actually a soldier of isis. new information is coming in. thank you for dining with us. hope to see you again soon. whoa, whoa, i got this. just gotta get the check. almost there. i can't reach it. if you have alligator arms, you avoid picking up the check. what? it's what you do. i got this. thanks, dennis! if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. growwwlph. it's what you do. oh that is good crispy duck.
supreme allied commandser general wesley clark. the ohio state attacker was inspired by isis and anwar al awlaki who was killed by a u.s. drone strike. there's no evidence that he had any actual direct contact with any terrorist group. at least not yet. but isis was claiming he was one of the soldiers. so here's the general. how do you combat this kinds of
phenomenon if at all possible? >> i think you do it by first of all, having jobs and good opportunities for people of every ethnic group and faith of america. i think you do it by reaching out specifically to the muslim american community in various locations and making sure they feel welcomed and accepted in the united states. >> but general, this 18-year-old was student at ohio state university. he had enormous potential. he came here as a 16-year-old. originally from you somalia. he went to pakistan with his family. then the united states gave the family asylum in the the united states. he graduated from columbus state the you community the college with honors. he had every opportunity and all of a sudden, he is inspired by isis or al qaeda to go ahead to try to kill people on a sidewalk and then take out a butcher's
knife and try to slash people. >> it is a terrible thing and that i know the authorities will be talking to his parents and people who knew him at the school and trying to sort through this. in many cases, these are people personally disturbed. they have another emotional issues. in some cases, the parents are unaware. in some cases the parents should have been aware. when you look at this in context, the united states has done an extremely good job and we should be very proud of our people and our institutions for the way we've integrated various groups in the united states and we don't want to lose that. >> a lot of these people are inspired. they've had jobs and good opportunities but something happens and they try to commit these acts. as usual, thank you for joining us. just ahead, more on the trump transition drama. an ally reports that his tweets are getting him into trouble. pe
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if you burn the american flag, maybe you should go to jail for a year or have your u.s. citizenship revoked. that's causing a lot of buzz. >> it is and i think maybe donald trump the wanted to cause a lot of buzz. he wrote the tweet after there was a dissent. protesters were protesting the election of donald trump am hamp shire college and the flag was removed. i think that struck a chords with donald trump. nobody likes flag burning in this country but there areprece. and you don't revoke someone's citizenship for dissent. that is a right of citizenship. so i think what you see with donald trump is he will tweet the and then perhaps realize
what he tweeted has ramifications, and also, legal problems. and right now, it would be unconstitutional. >> the critics of him, and there are plenty. saying what he is doing, he likes to go punish people who disagree with him. >> it shows that he has that side of him. he likes the lash out at folks who are suggesting disagreement or not falling in line with his protocol. the idea that the college students were out protesting i don't think sits well with him but i think this was a dangerous tweet. i've been trying to hang back on this idea of hanging on every words of president trump's tweets. when you talk about the first amendment, not only has the supreme court upheld that right. they should. the fact we have the right to do it sets us apart from other countries. >> why is he stirring this up right now? >> i would be careful to assign
too much careful strategic significance to this or any one of his tweets. i think he was watching fox news. he had a thought and decided to tweet it out. some of his allies have been trying the tell him isn't necessarily a good idea. special if you're the president-elect. today newt gingrich sat down and said if you're the president, you knltd just be tweeting whatever you wanted. so some people are trying to urge him to at least hold back. >> i happen to have that exact quote here. newt said the president of the united states can't randomly tweet without having someone check it out. >> a lot of his allies are suggesting the same thing. is there some coherent strategy the unfolding? the tweets, not tonight kurnltd tweets. the tweets during the primary, helped him win. he got the elected president of the united states. >> i think the operational day
to day, tweet to tweet may be impressive. the timing of these individual tweets may be driven largely by what he is respondsing to in the media. there does seem to be an overall strategy. a multilayered strategy. the it is interestingly contradictory. it is to force media to pay attention to what he wants to us pay attention to. to shift the gaze of the media to stories he doesn't want to focus on. and it is a way to reach around the media and talk directly to his constituency in a way that is often used to deledge it mize sources. and most of these tweets often go to a cultural hot button issues. and i think one of the big questions going forward will be, if donald trump can't deliver
the economic turn around that voters in scranton and youngstown did all across the country, how much does he be polarize cultural issues to maintain the affinity with his base if he can't deliver the change he promised. >> certainly one of his closest economic advisers hack slated to become the next treasury secretary of the united states. a critically important job. >> it is. donald trump has promi fair share of taxes and everything else. he has said, i'm for you guys here. he is a populist. so he has appointed someone from wall street, from goldman sachs. and he is going to face some
tough questions. he has bernie sanders up there. i'm assuming he will get confirmed because they don't have the majority. this is somebody, talk about loyalty with donald trump. this is somebody who came on as a fund-raiser for him. did the work that he needed to do. and i think donald trump considers him one of his team. >> as you know, steve bannon, the new chief strategist, he is a goldman sachs banker as well. >> one way or another. you have mnuchin, elaine chao for transportation secretary, are establishment picks them may not be the same establishment the picks would have been in a jeb bush administration. >> very quickly, ron, your reaction? >> i think on the domestic side, donald trump is closer on most issues. you're more likely to see
figures that kinds of come out. i think the we have seen it is very common. not only the personalities involved. but findsing someone both credible and shares the views onner foreign policy for the past 60 years. that's a narrow needle to thread. >> we're also getting new information. we're digging deep entire the ohio state university attack. also breaking news on the plane crash that nearly killed every member of a winning soccer team except for a few who amazingly survived.
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we have more of the breaking news on the campus knife attack. let's go to the reporter, pamela. what are you learning? >> reporter: we have learned from officials that the suspect abdul artan bought the knives he used in the attack here on campus in columbus just before he launched that attack. the morning of. we have learned he was consuming terrorist propaganda from both isis and al qaeda and officials
believe that's what motivated him to launch the attack here. tonltd isis is claiming tonight for inspiring the attack on ohio state university campus. releasing a statement on it's not propaganda news website. there was no evidence the claim was true. investigators will only say they're looking to terrorism as a possible motive. >> there is plenty of available evidence to indicate the this individual may have been motivated by extremism and may have been motivated by a desire to carry out an act of terrorism. >> abdul just before the rampage pays tribute to anwar al awlaki and admonishing the united states saying, by alaw, we will not 11 you many sleep unless you give peace to the muslims. you will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday. investigators are scrutinizing his cell phone and lap top. and interviewing those who knew him. >> he they asked the same
questions everybody else is asking about his character. his character was presentable. he didn't seem or appear to pose a threat to nick. >> the owner of a convenience store near artan's home said he came in regularly including the day before the attack. >> he came in. he grabbed whatever he wanted. we talked for a little bit. how was your day? that's pretty much it. he just laughed, smiling, as usual. >> cnn has lernlds artan was born in are somalia and was a refugee in 2007. he came to the united states with his mother and siblings in 2014 on a green card. a u.s. official said his flame went through two years of intense vetting before being allowed into the united states. >> abdul razak -- >> he attends ad community college and transferred to ohio stated.
he said he was self-conscious about showing his muslim faith. he and his family paernltdly spent 23 days in dallas, in 2014, according to a faith based group that worked with them but they left the for unknown reasons. >> this is an 18-year-old. he had just transferred schools. he is an immigrant. we doenltd understand the issues he had. had. >> and tonltd investigators are scrutinizing his activity on the his phone and his lap top that was seized. so far, there is no indication he was in contacted with terrorists overseas. >> thanks very, very much. there's more breaking news happening tonight. both black boxes have been recovered from a deadly plane crash in colombia. 71 people were killed including nearly every member of a soccer team flying to an historic game.
this is what's left of the plane carrying the brazilian soccer team and more than 20 you journalists, as they crashed into a mountain side. at least 71 of the 77 people on board are dead. miraculously, among the rubble, there are survivors and their account of the final seconds on board could help investigators. >> they wanted to know whether there was any indication in the cabin from the flight crew to prepare for a crash landing. did they their engines
functioning normally until the ends? were there any diversions? did they have to fly around a storm? >> charter flight left santa cruz bolivia monday night bound for colombia. the pilot reported electoral problems. investigate irs found the plane's black box this is the perfect condition. it will tell them if they had any plobs. >> sadly all we can do is a arrange federal government support for the families in mourning. >> >> reporter: satellite images showed thunderstorms had moved across the region and there was likely turbulence. just days a ago the team celebrate edwin in the cup. on their way to colombia to compete in the finals. here they were at the airport, one of the players taking this video and p snapping these
photos while on board. fans mourned inside the stadium where the team was scheduled to play brazil football great pele tweeted brazilian football is in mourning. investigators are now trying to figure out what brought this cinderella story to a dead end. >> the aircraft was manufactured in 1999. used mainly for short flight. investigators are now going to look at the operation of the charter company and of course the crew. did they make the right decisions? was something going on in the cockpit and of course the block boxes critical to the investigation. >> the investigation only just beginning but they have both blo black boxes. >> and they are in good shape. >> more after this. i'm victoria alonso and i'm an executive producer at...
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tonight's cnn takes you inside secret u.s. operation centers where the u.s. military is targeting a new battle field, space. jim sciutto has put together a fascinating special report. take a look at this. >> three stories under ground, past multiple security check points. >> each room we can set up at a different classification level. >> and through a series of blast doors designed to resist the electromagnetic waves of a nuclear attack, he is one of the
most secret military headquarters in the world. u.s. strategic command located at offet air force base in omaha. so secure, so remote that this is where air force took president george w. bush, the morning of 9/11. today's strategic command handles a total of nine crucial missions. ranges from preventing cyber warfare to commanding nuclear war. and since the early 2000s, defending space. >> we're associated with the responsibility of the missile warning. >> reporter: admiral hainny was involved here when he spoke with us just before retiring. >> can you do any of those jobs today without space? >> absolutely not. we are really dependent on our unique space capabilities to
provide the president options if required. >> reporter: controlling and protecting space is essential for maintaining american military superiority. >> we're more dependent on space than anyone else. that is why we're more powerful. but it also means if you pull it away from us, we're really bad off. >> more vulnerable. >> exactly. >> jim sciutto is joining us. jim, who is trying to exploit america's dependence on space right now? >> there are a lot of adversaries who would like to but the two most capable are russia and china. and we talk about all the time in a number of spheres of the competition. and both very advanced space nations and also behind the u.s. in a number of ways so they look to space to right that balance. asymmetric warfare. take away america's advantage in space and take away a big advantage down here on earth. >> have russia and china
actually deployed weapons in space? >> that is what the sus watching right now. we know they have tested laser weapon, directed energy weapons that can be fired from here on earth into space and damage satellites or. but they have also begun to maneuver satellites that have the ability to disrupt u.s. space assets, or even just ramming into them like a bullet and destroying them forever. and the chinese have one with an call a kidnapper satellite.hey - u.s. watching this very closely. the debate for the u.s. is whether it takes the space of deploying weapons in space. >> what surprised you most during all this research. >> that these weapons are up there tens of hundreds of miles above our heads today, right now. >> amazing job.
and to our viewers you can see jim's special report, war in space t next battle field tonight 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> "outfront" next breaking news, donald trump and mitt romney about to sit down dpar highly anticipated dinner. will romney be america's next top diplomat. and trump's twitter tired claiming wide spread voter fraud. and the tennessee's deadly wild fires. we're live at the scene. let's go "outfront." good evening everyone. i'm kate baldwin. out front tonight. breaking news. donaldru