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tv   At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan  CNN  December 7, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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very proud. coy, thank you for that. thank you for being with me today. i'm poppy harlow. carol will be back with you tomorrow. "at this hour with berman and bolduan" begins right now. hello. i'm kate bolduan. john berman is off today. the president-elect working to keep up the suspense around his most important cabinet pick, secretary of state. donald trump suggesting the contest is still wide open. that an announcement may come next week. mitt romney, who auditioned for the role, is still in the running. this as we know from the man himself. donald trump revealed this after being named this morning as "time" magazine's person of the year. listen. >> yes, he is. >> does he have a chance to become secretary of state? >> yes, he does. i have spoken to him a lot. we have come a long way together. we had some tremendous
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difficulty together and now i think we have come a long way, but the answer is yes, he does. >> so this isn't about some case of stringing him along as revenge being a dish best served cold for the comments he made during the campaign? >> no. it's not about revenge. it's about what's good for the country. >> speaking to nbc there, of course, this morning. with that, let's get to cnn's jessica schneider live outside trump tower. so trump insisting this morning that he is sincere and still considering mitt romney for secretary of state. what are you hearing? >> reporter: yeah, right, kate. donald trump saying he's not in fact stringing mitt romney along but of course, you put that with the fact in the past few days, ever since mitt romney met with donald trump for that second sit-down at the restaurant just a few blocks from trump tower, there have been several additional names floated as potentials for secretary of state. we heard a number of names over the past few days including former utah governor, former u.s. ambassador to china, jon
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huntsman, as well as former general david petraeus, and even the name ron tillerson, the exxon ceo. donald trump alluded to tillerson this morning calling him a great man. a lot of people saying it's not a strong contender, tillerson, but that donald trump is intrigued by his world view. all of these names floating out there. instead of tailoring this list of potential secretary of state picks, we have seen it expand the past few days. donald trump, though, saying mitt romney and him have come a long way in their relationship, that donald trump has come a long way in how he respects mitt romney. mitt romney of course after the last meeting, sung donald trump's praises saying he admired his electoral victory. mitt romney still very much on the table. donald trump saying he could make an announcement about secretary of state, that most intriguing position, perhaps next week. kate? >> perhaps next week. also during this interview, donald trump, this interview with nbc this morning, donald trump revealed president obama
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has in a way helped shape his cabinet. i found that fascinating. >> reporter: right. it seems that they obviously met at the white house several weeks ago, they talked since and donald trump has called it a good dialogue between him as the president-elect and president obama, the current president. he says president obama has actually helped him weigh in on some potential picks. take a listen. >> i have asked him what he would think of this one or that one. i have asked him what he thinks are the biggest problems of the country, what are some of the greatest assets going forward, and we have a very good dialogue. i take his recommendations very seriously and there are some people that i will be appointing and in one case, have appointed where he thought very highly of that person. >> reporter: so it's interesting, donald trump giving a little bit of insight into his conversations with president obama but the white house is not weighing in. they are not saying what the conversations were about or even
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who president obama may have recommended to donald trump. donald trump saying he actually did pick one of president obama's suggestions. kellyanne conway saying that actually today, we could hear several more announcements. we do know that iowa's governor has been offered and accepted the position of u.s. ambassador to china. he will be in des moines with president-elect trump tomorrow so a lot more potential nominations or announcements happening in the next few days. kate? >> yeah, absolutely. let the guessing game begin. i'm sure, as everyone will be guessing which one did president obama recommend did donald trump pick. thank you so much. let's talk more now about donald trump's transition with arkansas attorney general and donald trump supporter leslie rutledge. thank you for being here. >> good morning. glad to be here. >> you have been a supporter of donald trump really from the very beginning. mitt romney has not, as you know, was not a supporter of donald trump. what do you think of mitt romney as secretary of state?
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>> well, that's a decision for president-elect trump to make as to whether or not he chooses governor romney or the other many qualified candidates. what i do know and what i think the american public should know is president-elect trump is going to select the people best suited for the position, best for america and around the world. that's what we have seen in every single decision he has made as he's filling his cabinet, he's filling his cabinet with qualified individuals at an exponential speed we have not seen before. >> he's really filling it up quite quickly now. since he is in serious contention, do you think mitt romney would make a good secretary of state? >> i think any of those individuals would make a fantastic secretary of state. certainly what we have seen in the past several years, making certain that the united states is the world leader as we are, seen as a world leader and respected around the world, that the president-elects vision is carried out and perhaps the most important thing as he looks to who is going to be his secretary of state, is someone who will carry out his vision for america around the world.
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>> you have been talked about -- >> not for secretary of state. >> not for secretary of state. i won't go there. but you are in consideration to be donald trump's epa administrator. if offered, would you take the post? >> i love being the attorney general of arkansas. it is quite an honor to have my name in the mix. it is probably in the mix because of the strong stances i have taken against the current epa and some of the rules of the united states, the so-called clean power plant, number of things this administration has done with regard to states' rights. that's probably why my name is in the mix and i have been a tremendous supporter of president-elect trump from the beginning and have talked to people across arkansas and across america and i was not surprised on election night. >> so donald trump, this was a surprise, though, donald trump meeting with al gore last week, who is obviously a very well-known and very big climate change activist. during the campaign, we all very
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well remember donald trump tweeting that he believed climate change was a hoax created by the chinese. since being elected attorney general, he has seemed to soften on that, noting there is some human connectivity in interviews with regard to climate change, since epa is obviously something you are in consideration for, do you believe climate change is man-made or a hoax? >> well, i perhaps have not had the sort of in-depth information that our president-elect has had and certainly have not spent the amount of time on it our former vice president al gore has. i know there are concerns about the issues. we are all environmentalists. i know in my home state of arkansas, i'm a landowner, my husband and i have a farm, so no one cares more about the environment than those of us who own land and depend on it for our livelihood. i do think more that we can do to take care of the environment, take care of our precious earth is important. however, i do think we have to be -- lean on those scientists
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who are the experts in the area and not those who have a political agenda. perhaps that has been the problem over years is that we have individuals pushing a political agenda without the science to back it up. i think as we see in the court system, science is finally catching up to a number of issues and not just climate change. >> do you think as donald trump said most recently with the "new york times" he believed, his exact wording was i think there is some connectivity when asked if human activity is linked to climate change. do you agree with donald trump? >> i think everything we do as humans impacts where we live and the environment we live in. to what extent it has -- >> it's a very important question. >> sure. to what extent it has an impact and i think we have seen in this administration in particular an overreach and that's why we have these out of control regulations and why industry and jobs have been at a standstill. we are seeing those increases because getting regulations off
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the backs because people overreacted to something science quite frankly has not backed up. >> you don't think science backs up climate change? >> i don't know the specifics. i'm saying overreach of the regulations is not backed up by the science. >> one of the biggest employers in arkansas is walmart. clearly a trade policy with china is very important to your state. donald trump has discussed pushing a 35% tariff on companies who ship jobs overseas when they want to bring their products back in. he's discussed a 45% tariff on chinese goods coming into the united states. is that good for your state? >> certainly walmart is the largest retailer in the entire world. it is probably one of the largest companies in the state in terms of employers and i think that's something i'm going to lean on the individuals, the ceos and business managers of those companies to give us the insight. my job is to go after bad guys and to ensure business has the opportunity to grow and expand,
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so we continue to meet with business leaders in the state, whether or not that sort of tariff would impact them negative negatively, i leave that question up to the executives at walmart. >> the republicans on capitol hill aren't too happy about it. that might be some indication of what walmart might feel about it. always great to see you. thank you. ahead for us, let us discuss much more about donald trump's transition and dana bash joins me now. cnn senior political reporter manu raju is here as well. a lot to discuss. a lot this morning coming from donald trump himself. announcing, saying we may have an announcement on his secretary of state pick next week. also saying he's been taking advice from president obama on his picks in his cabinet. that was fascinating to me. >> absolutely fab nscinating. we know they have an open line of communication ever since the two of them sat down together
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two days after donald trump was elected president. it was pretty clear that from what he said that moment in the oval office, that the weight of the job was kind of -- he was getting it and more importantly, he was also getting a very different perspective of the guy who he spent a lot of time railing against, the guy who he had never met and that of course is barack obama. the two of them could not be more different but from sources i have spoken to who are close to the president, they have said and it's been pretty obvious in public that he sees nothing more important than making sure the country is in good shape and to do that, you have to, he feels he has to try to advise the next president as much as he can. the fact that donald trump says he is seeking that advice, taking that advice, look, i think it's something we should all applaud. a lot of democrats are saying he's normalizing the president-elect. know what? the country normalized donald
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trump. they elected him president. it is what it is. i think the fact that barack obama is trying to help him along is something that we should all take a lot of comfort in. >> any guess on who that one pick is, the one cabinet pick that barack obama spoke so highly of? >> it's a good question. he would not say so this morning himself. what's so interesting is the impact obama may be having on donald trump. you saw in that "time" magazine interview this morning where he said he will work something out to help immigrants who are brought here as children illegally. that's a lot different tone than he of course expressed, his very hard line tone on immigration during the campaign and similarly, of course, saying immediately after the election he wanted to keep the most popular provisions of obamacare in the law just after the meeting with president obama. how much influence obama is
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having on the president-elect, it's very significant. it shows he can change if he gets advice from people that he respects and listens to. >> another announcement this morning, you had it early on, iowa's governor has been named ambassador to china. yes, an important post normally and with everything now going on with the call of taiwan and the very hard line stance the president-elect has taken towards china so far, what kind of job does he face right now? >> well, it's so fascinating because this could be the classic good cop/bad cop scenario. the good cop in this situation would be terry branstad because he's governor of iowa, the longest serving governor in the history of this country, but also somebody who happens to have apparently a close personal relationship with the president of china. so when i say good cop/bad cop,
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he could be the good cop, actually in china trying to kind of work things back channel with the chinese as donald trump does what donald trump does, like he did this week with a very tough stance against china. obviously he did so on the campaign trail but it's a different thing to do so as president-elect. never mind having that conversation with the leader of taiwan which is a diplomatic no-no but doubling down on it and going after china on twitter about currency manipulation and trade manipulation and building islands in the south china sea. i think that that is a fascinating pick for that reason and i think for a lot of people kind of in the foreign policy world who are worried about what the ramifications are of trump and his tough talk toward china might breathe a little more easily knowing his pick for ambassador kind of has a real understanding of the chinese. >> another thing that happened last night, donald trump brought
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general james mattis onstage, his pick for defense secretary, and when he was -- when trump talked about it, he said he's -- we have to stop for a minute. we don't have time to play it. he has to talk about the waiver coming from congress and if he doesn't get it there will be a lot of angry people, he's such a popular choice. after that you say it's never that easy when it comes to congress. dana, you very well know, there's a bit of a fight brewing over how this waiver will be considered. what's the latest here? >> yeah. that's right. actually, republicans are trying to move this very quickly to try to get this waiver enacted. the waiver being that within seven years of someone from the military retiring, they can't serve in the top civilian position in the defense department. they are trying to give that to general mattis who retired from the marine corps three years ago. the republicans added language in a must-pass spending bill that has to pass congress by the end of this week or the government will shut down. that language would expedite
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consideration of that waiver next year. now, that means they would still have to vote to grant that waiver, the house and the senate, and democrats would be able to block it potentially because it would require 60 votes in the senate in order to enact that waiver. that means 52 republicans will need to get eight democrats to support them. right now, democrats probably aren't going to put up much of a fight but you never know how the confirmation battles play out. it could be used as a proxy war to battle other picks within trump administration. >> absolutely. real quick, rahm emanuel, mayor of chicago, but probably more importantly for this conversation, former chief of staff to president obama, meeting with donald trump right now. your thoughts? >> why not. he met with the d.c. mayor, a little bit different, since donald trump will be sort of a d.c. resident, but look, it's not a surprise. i think given the cast of characters who have walked through that lobby at trump
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tower and i think we should again, take heart in that. we should also note that in this weird web of characters that are part of this scenario, ari emanuel, rahm's brother and a big hollywood agent, is also somebody who has been talking to donald trump behind the scenes. >> can't make it up. >> we need a flow chart. literally i'm going to get a punch board with string. it will be really pretty. great to see you guys. thanks so much. ahead for us, in the words of the carrier union president, he quote, lied his ass off. he's talking about the president-elect and the deal to save jobs in indiana. up next, one of the workers whose jobs was saved in that deal joins me to discuss. plus why a big party at the new trump hotel in washington, d.c. is causing a big problem for the president-elect. that's ahead.
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live pictures of trump tower right now. another busy day for the donald trump transition. chicago's mayor, rahm emanuel, was just meeting with donald trump and spoke with reporters in the lobby of trump tower just
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moments ago after that meeting. the former chief of staff to president obama says he and the president-elect discussed a number of issues. listen here. >> second, we also discussed immigration. i delivered to the president-elect and his senior adviser and chief of staff a letter signed by 14 mayors put together from across the country about our daca students and that they were working hard towards the american dream and all of us fundamentally believe that those are students, those are also people that want to join the armed forces, they gave their name, their address, their phone number, where they are, they are trying to achieve the american dream, no fault of their own their parents came here. they are something we should hold up and embrace. >> also this morning, president-elect donald trump again warning companies against any plans that they might have to move jobs outside of the united states. listen to this.
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>> i believe in free trade but i don't believe in stupid trade, and stupid trade is when our companies all move out of our country, fire their workers and then come back in, matt, and sell their product back in with no retribution. i'm saying very simply if they want to fire their workers, move to mexico or some other country and sell their product into our country, they will be paying a tax. >> so of course, we now know donald trump claimed his first job-saving victory here, in indianapolis, at the carrier plant in indianapolis last week, where he announced that he had saved more than 1100 jobs. but the union leader there says that's not the case. my next guest is a spokesman for the union in carrier, representing carrier workers there in indianapolis. he's also one of the carrier employees who gets to keep his job. thanks to the deal with the president-elect. t.j., great to meet you. thanks for coming in. so last night, donald trump said it in front of you all at
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carrier last week, just last night the president-elect talked about it again and talked about all the jobs that had been saved at the plant. for our viewers, listen to this. >> we were very proud of saving 1,100 jobs in indiana with the help of mike pence, vice president-elect, who is incredible. we are very proud of mike pence. >> president-elect says it's 1100 jobs. what is the latest, though, you are hearing in terms of the jobs saved at your plant? >> yeah. you know, president-elect trump came in and said it was 1100 jobs. we find out, sat with the company the day before yesterday and find out it's actually only 750 actually union production jobs that will be staying so trump kind of added in the 400 r & d and engineering jobs that were already slated to stay. we were kind of disappointed
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that we're losing 550 actual union jobs. >> you shook his hand, before he even came on, you said that was pretty cool, you got to shake the president-elect's hand but disappointing the numbers are off. >> right. >> the union president said that the president-elect lied his ass off is how he put it, about how this deal is looking for the workers. >> right. >> do you feel lied to? >> well, in a way we do. we feel like, you know, we thought you were going to save all the jobs. we have 1400 people at this facility, union, factory, regular jobs and he didn't say anything about the 400 that were already going to stay. so you know, it kind of seems like it was a dog and pony show and we were happy that no doubt some jobs were saved but disappointed we are still losing a lot of workers. >> i think what is most important here is to hear your voice. we heard from the
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president-elect a lot through the campaign talking about carrier and the vice president-elect, but it seems to me as you sit here now, you seem to be a little conflicted about the deal. conflicted about how it all went down. how are you feeling? >> lot of confusion. you know, we were also confused when he was talking about, you know, i wasn't really -- when i was talking about saving carrier jobs, i wasn't talking about this facility. i was just talking about carrier as a whole in the country. we were like yeah, but you used carrier as your platform for jobs. we literally thought you meant us. that's why a lot of us and myself and other leaders of the union, we called trump out on it and said, you know, if you're going to run on this, use these workers as your platform, we will hold you accountable to it. that's what we did. >> but at the same time, you are very thankful you have your job staying. 750, 800 people at carrier will have their jobs where they didn't. that seems -- that's, you know,
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that's conflicting. >> right. like i said, i'm happy myself for the ones that will be able to stay. but i will be losing a lot of friends there. you got to be in their shoes. the president coming in saying jobs are being saved but these people, their jobs aren't being saved. >> did you support the president? did you support donald trump in the election? i ask because i wonder if this experience has changed your opinion of the president-elect. >> no. i was not a big supporter of trump. i didn't vote for him. i didn't know how to take the guy. i still don't know how to take the guy. trust me, i give him all the respect for being able to make this deal happen because this is unprecedented to see this, and i'm happy that a lot of these jobs are staying and i'm hopeful that he continues the promises he's made of keeping american jobs here and threatening these companies that are wanting to leave. that's all we can do, is hope for the best that he follows through on the other promises he
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made. >> when you talk about hope, you have your job now. how confident are you about your future? >> well, as to carrier, i'm definitely thankful i have my job for the future. you know, the details of the deal we don't know if carrier decides to leave after trump, if he's not re-elected, so you know, the company through utc, our parent company, offers a program we go back to school, they reimburse you. we have other opportunities. i have currently been working with a company called open nation who kind of opened this discussion up about jobs and the future. >> you're not banking on carrier. you are looking for other avenues? >> i'm going to go back to school. i'm going to take advantage of the employee scholar program. i will stay at carrier and continue to go to work every day and do my job but, you know, at
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the same time, i want to get an education and have that in my back pocket in case carrier decides to jump up and leave three, four years and then as greg hayes had an interview, the ceo of utc a few days ago and trump mentioned the $16 million investment in our facility in the future, and we found out that all that $16 million is going towards is automation which will cost jobs. >> which is a much bigger part of the conversation about where jobs are going in manufacturing industry, and bigger conversation we all need to be having. >> absolutely. >> great to meet you. thanks for coming in. good man from the good state of indiana. no, i am not biased. i'm from indiana as well. coming up, a foreign government booking a donald trump hotel ballroom for a party. live pictures there of that hotel. good business or a bad conflict? details on the party raising serious ethical concerns in a second. you tell your insurance company they made a mistake. the check they sent isn't enough to replace your totaled new car.
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want to take you right now live to pearl harbor, hawaii. look at these images. right now the sun is rising over the u.s. naval base this morning as today we mark 75 years since the attacks there that sparked america's entry in the second world war. cnn has been granted these exclusive aerial images, access to these exclusive aerial images from a drone. you can see the "uss arizona." the surprise air and sea assault by japanese forces crippled the base, killed more than 2,000 american service men and civilians. more than 100 survivors are expected to attend a special ceremony later today in
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honolulu. that is an amazing view on a very important day. from there, we want to get back to washington, d.c. minutes from now, a national day of celebration event will kick off at donald trump's new washington, d.c. hotel. the country celebrating, not the united states. it's the middle eastern country of bahrain. that means the foreign government is making payments to the president-elect's personal business, further sparking and further not dampening down concerns about potential conflicts of interest that have followed him throughout the campaign and still today. global affairs correspondent elise labott is joining me with more. what do we know about this event? what are you hearing? >> well, this is one of many events that are being held at the trump international hotel. if this is an historic hotel, there has been a massive renovation and a lot of interest in the hotel since donald trump was elected. the sales were dim when it first
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opened in september. you saw trump go to the open, the ribbon cutting, but everything changed after election day. diplomats kind of packed in to drink trump champagne and hear sales pitches and now there's a lot of interest. nobody is going to say outright we booked this to curry favor with the president, but i have talked to a lot of diplomats that say listen, this is a real scene now, it's fascinating, it's a novelty and easy, friendly gesture to be able to say to the president or the administration yes, i went to this hotel. there's a lot of concern that countries would be trying to curry favor with the president. i don't think diplomats really expect that it's going to dramatically affect u.s. relations but it's not without controversy. next week, the embassy of azurbijan is holding a party and some are complaining this is inappropriate not just because of the conflict of interest it suggests but also because of some of the rhetoric, some of
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what they think is anti-semitic or racism that came out of this election and they point to this being created by donald trump. so it is not without controversy but there's a lot of excitement in this hotel and lot of diplomats point to good service, good rates and a real novelty they want to check out. >> there is also that. you get a good rate, you get a good rate. thank you very much. let's discuss this. kirsten powers, cnn political analyst and "usa today" columnist, joseph borelli, donald trump supporter. julian zelizer, princeton professor and simone sanders, former press secretary for bernie sanders' campaign. great to see you. joseph, bahrain, d.c., trump hotel. what do we know, how do we know this isn't a conflict of interest? give me -- make the sales pitch. >> i don't think it's fair to presuppose it is a conflict of interest. this is a hotel donald trump has not exactly hid from.
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there was criticism when he left the campaign trail the show up at his ribbon cutting for the hotel. i was there last week, it's a spectacular venue. why are we surprised that suddenly people who regularly host parties every year in washington, d.c., the government of bahrain hosted their part last year at the ritz-carlton, we shouldn't be surprised they are hosting events at wonderful venues. the other thing is donald trump has also said he will come up with or release the plan of how he's going to divest himself of some of the businesses. why not at least give him the benefit of the doubt by saying let's wait to see what he has to say. not to mention the office of government ethics already said they have been working with the transition team to make sure he's following law. >> he is still president-elect, not president yet. as joseph points out, he's scheduled the news conference next week to announce what he will do with his business. is there still time to iron all of this out? >> there is, but it's not like this is the only venue in d.c. there are plenty of places. he did a great job i think probably -- >> i asked for the sales pitch. >> that was the best sales pitch you could give but there are
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obviously lots of other places in d.c. you could hold this. i think it's more likely that people are doing this in a way to curry favor. that is a problem. that's why i think if we look at the criticisms that donald trump made against the clinton foundation, it was basically that are people giving money to the clinton foundation to curry favor with the secretary of state. this is basically the same situation. he should be able to understand why this is a conflict of interest and why he should really be divesting from all of this and it's not enough to have the kids running it, because the kids are involved in the transition team and they will be involved in his administration. i think there's just too much of a conflict of interest there. >> exactly along this line, simon ec simone, trump talked just this morning about selling off all of his stocks. something his transition announced yesterday and he was asked about it this morning. listen. >> i don't think it's appropriate for me to be owning
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stocks when i'm making deals for this country that maybe will affect one company positively and one company negatively. i just felt it was a conflict. >> so he thinks there's -- he admits to conflict of interest there when it comes to part of his business empire, but he has been -- he does bristle maybe is the right way to put it when people talk about conflict of interest with the rest of his business empire. >> you know, i really think donald trump is a businessman, okay, and he is going to try and cut a deal. this is donald trump trying to cut a deal with the american people, look, i will give away my stocks but give my company to my kids so i can have it both ways but make everyone feel like they're okay. i definitely think this should raise red flags. we still haven't seen donald trump's tax returns. i know democrats in congress have called for his entire financial history so we can really know what we are dealing with. >> i can guarantee you are never going to get it.
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>> i don't think we are going to get it either. that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. this is now the world we live in. the world where we don't know what the president-elect is going to do and where his holdings really are and how that affects us as the american people. >> but julian, the american people knew very well they weren't going to be getting his tax returns and they elected him. with the comments this morning about his stocks and how he saw a conflict of interest, do you see at all he may have boxed himself in at all when it comes to conflict of interest with stocks, but i'm all good with the rest of my business empire? >> he doesn't tend to box himself in. there has been many times he says something -- >> can't put trump in a box, like you can't put baby in a corner? >> there's no way to package this in a way that it's not a problem. the reason we have had income tax returns disclosed since the 1970s was the aftermath of watergate. we want to know what are the interests of our president. here, he might have just admitted why it is a problem but we have to see if he takes action and truly eliminates any
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conflict of interest so americans are confident that a decision he makes isn't in the interest of his hotel, it's in the interest of the nation. >> big news conference coming just one week from today. he does love to build the suspense. i will be watching that press conference. okay. something that's fascinating me also this morning is that donald trump has been taking cabinet advice from president obama, even saying at one point that one of his picks, obama spoke very highly of. would you like to guess who that is? i don't know. please take a guess. >> wow. good question. i have no idea. >> do you like that he's taking cabinet advice from president obama, someone you do not like, someone who donald trump himself said was the founder of isis? >> even as a republican, i do think it's very prudent for donald trump to be taking the advice of not only people like barack obama because there's one of only four people alive who had the job before him, but you saw today with rahm emanuel, former chief of staff in the white house, offering advice, probably speaking both about the urban issues that will sort of
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be shaped in the next administration, but also about probably running the white house efficiently. i'm comfortable with donald trump taking that advice. >> i have always said i don't think he's an idealogue. he doesn't stick to rigid dogma and world view. i'm not that surprised he's open to talking to other people. with barack obama maybe it's shocking to some people because of the rhetoric that was used about obama but we have seen a lot of people on both sides whoey a lot of rhetoric, they sort of set to the side now that the election's over. >> look no further than barack obama himself towards donald trump. got to leave it there. thank you so much. ahead for us, living in hell and losing hope. residents in war-torn aleppo, syria now begging for help as the syrian regime takes more territory. we go live to the center of this humanitarian disaster. we'll be right back. every day starts better with a healthy smile. start yours with philips sonicare, the no.1 choice of dentists.
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in aleppo, syria, the sounds of gunfire can be heard 24/7. syrian government troops now control most of the old city with only four square miles remaining in rebel hands. this morning, six countries including the u.s., uk and france, put out a joint statement calling for a cease-fire and condemning the unfolding humanitarian disaster. cnn's senior international correspondent fred pleitgen is the first western tv reporter inside the old city of aleppo and joins me right now by phone. fred, we have seen the images coming out but being there first-hand, what are you seeing there? >> reporter: well, it's catastrophic for the civilians
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here. we have seen many of them leaving those areas the rebels are holding which are besieged and many of those are falling into the hands of the syrian government military. there's a lot of folks who are coming out now and it really is devastating to see how malnourished a lot of these people are, how weak a lot of these people are, and how tired a lot of these people are. we were at one of these crossings where many of them were coming out, many clinging to a plastic bag or belongings they were able to take as they tried to get out of there under fire. what's really remarkable is how many children are among those who are trying to get out. you have the youngest baby, that i personally saw coming out of there, was only seven days old. it was a girl and she was born during the height of the clashes, bombardments were going on and her family said as we were trying to get out, there was fire coming from the
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government side and there were planes going overhead. they just made a run for it. absolutely devastating to see. at the same time syrian government forces moving into a lot of these areas clearing them out. they of course now feel they will be able to take most of mosul very soon. >> unbelievable. so important you're there to be the eyes and ears on the ground having their stories told. fred, thank you so much. coming up for us, mitt romney is still in contention for the key post at donald trump's secretary of state. donald trump himself confirming that this morning. that his former rival is still in the running. now paul ryan, house speaker, says he would love mitt romney to get the nod. details on the race. for the coveted cabinet post, ahead. that's because with fingerhut.com we can shop over 700,000 items go to fingerhut.com to get low monthly payments and the credit you deserve. that's a touchdown, buttercup!
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as president obama prepares to leave office the focus now turns to his legacy. cnn far reooeeid fareed zakaria down with the president.
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this focus is on race. watch. >> the first of your biography will almost certainly be something you did, who you are, yet you're half white. raised by three white people of your mother and your two grandparents. >> and an indonesian. >> and an indonesian. are you comfortable with this characterization? >> i am, actually, and the concept of race in america is not just genetic. otherwisish the one drop rule wouldn't have made sense. it's cultural. it's -- this notion of a people who look different than the mainstream suffering terrible oppression, but somehow being able to make out of that a music and a language and a faith and a patriotism. >> you can see much more of this, cnn's special report "the
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legacy of barack obama: the president's conversation" with far reid zakaria airing only here on cnn. a big party set to start any moment in donald trump's cabinet. a big problem for the president-elect. that's next. [engine revving] ♪
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generosity is its oyou can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good.
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can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. hi there and welcome to "cnn newsroom." thank you for joining me. i'm brianna keilar. 44 days before sworn into office, donald trump picks a foreign state governor for a plum diplomatic job and promises to fill the top diplomatic job, secretary of state, next week. terry branstead of iowa, longest serving governor in histo

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