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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 7, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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hello on this wednesday i'm ana cabrera in for brooke baldwin. on the day donald trump is named person of the year on "time," the president-elect is reaching across party lines. he met today with chicago's democratic mayor rahm emanuel who was also president obama's first chief of staff and a major player in crafting obamacare. today emanuel hand-delivered a letter to mr. trump signed by himself and 17 other big city mayors and they urged trump to continue daca, the dreamers program that helps undocumented immigrants brought here to the u.s. as children. >> those are students, those are
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also people that want to join the armed forces, they gave their name, their address, their phone number, where they are, they're trying to achieve the american dream. no fault of their own their parents came here. they are something we should hold up and embrace. and i presented whim a letter signed by all 14 mayors from across the country, different cities from all parts of the country and that we are clear as mayors these are dreamers seeking the american dream and we should embrace them rather than do a bait-and-switch. >> cnn's jason carroll is outside trump tower. jason, what more can you tell us about this meeting today between these two men? >> reporter: ana, this was a meeting that was clearly very important to the mayor of chicago, and not just the mayor of chicago but the other mayors who signed on as well, the mayors of places like seattle and los angeles, nashville, denver this is something that could affect thousands upon thousands of children living here in the united states.
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daca, which is an acronym for the deferred action childhood arrivals, basically what they're trying to do, ana, is trying to protect so many of these children living here illegally hoping that donald trump will in some way listen to their appeal and in some way defer, if you will, action on this until at least the congress can get to some form of immigration talk at some point next year. so this is why this meeting was held today, donald trump has made it very clear he was willing to meet with people across the aisle, not clear where he stands particularly onnish this issue but there's another issue, ana, where he's been very clear and that's who he's going to choose as his u.s. ambassador to china. that decision has been made. it's iowa governor terry branstad and a lot of folks might be wondering why a again from iowa, especially one of iowa's long-standing governors. well, this is also a man, ana, who has long-term relations with
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the president of china, has known the man for decades, since 1985 and the hope there is that perhaps he can somehow smooth over relations with china, especially after the fallout from the controversial call with the leader of taiwan. so some movement there in terms of someone else now named to the trump team. ana? >> jason carroll, thanks for staying on top of it for us outside trump tower. president-elect trump gave an interview the day after he became the 2016 "time" person of the year. he revealed just how much he values the opinion of the current president saying he had never met president obama before this transition and now he's finding out he kind of likes the guy. trump disclosed one of his administration picked so far has gotten president obama's thumb's up. listen. >> i have asked him what he would think of this one and that one. i've asked him what he thinks are the biggest problems of the country, what are some of the greatest assets going forward
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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. >> he wouldn't reveal who that person was but lots to discuss, with me, abby philip, mark preston and ryan williams, a former spokesman for mitt romney's presidential campaign. mark i want to start with you. let's remind everybody trump was the guy who started this whole birther conspiracy theory saying president obama wasn't born in the united states. what do you make of his praise for the guy? >> he's been very unpredictable throughout his whole career, certainly during the time of the presidential campaign. when they met after the election that was the first time they
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ever met in person. they'd been at a correspondent's dinner but they'd never met. i think it says about donald trump, his willingness to put things aside and i think it's a testament to barack obama as well not to hold grudges against him and really try to keep the continuity of government moving forward. >> abby, what's you reaction to what we just heard from president-elect trump? >> well, as mark said, trump is in a sort of small cabal of people who can ever say that they are or will be president of the united states so there's a different comradamaraderie that people can have when they both have reached that level and i think that trump is responding to something obama made very clear he would do from the beginning -- he's going to treat this as a transition, he instructed his staff to treat the transition with trump the way george w. bush treated his transition in 2008 and 2009.
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it's very important that they have a real relationship and that the acrimony of the campaign is over. now to some extent, trump is sort of treating the president -- the post-campaign era as completely divorced from the campaign and i think that's a little bit of a mistake because some of a acrimony will come over but he's trying to turn over a new leaf. where the american public and democrats will allow him to do that is a different story. >> in one word, should this be reassuring to democrats? >> to some extent i think it should be. i think democrats have to take a cue from their party leader, which is the president of the united states, who is saying we have to make sure that he has the best chance to succeed, hillary clinton said the same thing, i think democrats are holding their fire, to some extent, right now, things will be a little different when we get into confirmation hearings in january and you're dealing with individual candidates. we'll see much more fireworks at
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that point. >> and we still don't know who will be secretary of state. donald trump commenting on his decision-making process as well. listen. >> let me go back to mitt romney, is he still under? >> yes, he is. >> does he have a chance to become secretary of state? >> yes, he does. i've spoken to him a lot. we've come a long way together. we had some tremendous difficulty together and now i think we've gulf of mexico a long way but the answer is yes he does. >> so this isn't about some case of tringing him along as revenge being a dish best served cold for the comment he is made during the campaign? >> no, it's about what's good for the country and i'm able to put this stuff behind us. >> so, ryan, you know mitt romney well. trump said it will be another week before a decision is announced. knowing that and what we heard him say. if you were mitt romney right now. what are you thinking? >> well, i don't think the governor is thinking too much of the public speculation. the governor values public service and would be interested
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in having a discussion with the president-elect if asked to serve. if not, that's okay, too. it's good to see they're patched up their relationship, that both men can put their differences behind them and have a discussion about governing. it shows trump is a bigger man than many critics gave him credit for to reach out to someone like governor romney and bring him in and it shows both men r interested in seeing this administration and country succeed. >> mark, do you think there's no revenge? >> you know i don't think you can with outright rule it out given the unpredictability of donald trump. but he has brought in people who were critical of him, we've seen robert gates former defense secretary, former cia director, whose name has come in as secretary of state. robert gates said tough things about him as well but i think donald trump realizes is what's on the line here, this is arguably his most important pick right now and the person he puts in there is going to carry forward his foreign policy and
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rein him in as well. so mitt romney is still out there but it's interesting that he hasn't been able to settle on anyone yet. >> and donald trump's approval rating is going up as we speak, too. when we talk about the evolution we're seeing in this man. it's up to 50% from 33%. this is according to a bloomberg pool we saw donald trump come out and strike a little different tone. take a look at this moment. >> this has been a great, great movement the likes of which they've never seen before, the likes of which those folks back there that write the stories -- [ boos ] no. no. no, i'll tell you -- and they're saying it. they've never seen anything like this before. >> abby, is this a more inclusive message? now he's telling people don't boo the media after he has been attacking the media up to this
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point. >> that was a remarkable moment. i was at that rally in fayetteville. throughout the entire thing he had a different tone. he came in there, read largely from the teleprompter. the crowd was largely subdued. there were no jabs at hillary clinton, there were no attacks on his opponents, he took a minute to kind of bloat about his electoral victory but it was a slightly different trump than we'd seen on if campaign trail and certainly that we had seen between last week and this week where last week he spent much of his rally doing a victory lap so there's moderation happening. toward the end of the speak he started talking more about the project of bringing the country together again, asking people to believe in america, believe in themselves, believe in each other. it was a different message and a deliberate one, one he and his aides set out to put out there marking perhaps a movement towards governance and away from this mentality of campaigning.
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>> ryan, let me ask you about another speech happening the same time donald trump was giving h this rally, there was a keynote speak by his vice president-elect pence and he said in front of the heritage foundation, a conservative think tank, he said repealing obamacare is priority number one in the new administration. yet we're hearing a wing of the republican party is resisting the options that are being laid out to replace obamacare and the timeline. a conflict seems to be brewing. how does the party handle this? >> i think republicans are united in their desir to repeal obamacare and replace it with something better. what that something is going to be remains to be seen. but there will be a robust discussion about this. the president-elect said he wants to preserve some elements after meeting with president obama with regards to pre-existing conditions, there will be a discussion and debate which should happen, it shouldn't be one idea that carries the day, i think there
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will be a robust debate amongst republicans on what it is that will replace obamacare to provide better care to people in this country and it was one of president-elect trump's signature campaign promises and i fully expect he'll deliver on a repeal and replacement with a better. >> ryan williams, mark preston, abbey phillip, our thanks to all of you. >> thank you. still ahead, the jury is set, opening statements is underway in the dylan ruth dei death penalty trial. why this could set a precedent for federal hate crime charges. just in, was there russian interference in the election? a leading republican senator telling cnn he is ready to launch a formal congressional inquiry and suggests vladimir putin should be slapped with sanctions. manu raju with late reporting coming to us. and former house speaker john boehner speaking out saying "thank god i'm not in the middle of this." his candid reaction to the 2016
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our breaking news right now, president-elect trump has made another choice, this time for homeland security secretary. trump tapping retired four-star marine general john kelly for the job. kelly knows the personal cost of war. his own son michael was killed in combat after stepping on a land mine in afghanistan in 2010. let's talk it over with cnn military analyst, retired lieutenant general mark hertling, former commander of seventh army europe. general hertling, when you hear the name generalkelly, what goes through your mind? >> well, first, ana, i would say he was my battle buddy in iraq for over a year, he commanded in the western provinces while i had the northern provinces in 2011 and 2008. we coordinated a bit and collaborated operations, we shared battle space, i know the man as a marine, as a soldier, he's a heck of a combat fighter, he's calm, collected, very much
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of an intellectual, smart guy and great guy to sit around and have a beer with. i also attended his son's funeral at arlington and i know what pain that put him through after serving over four decades in the marine corps to see his young son killed in action in afghanistan. john kelly is a very good human being, a heck of a marine but a very thoughtful intellectual and analytical soldier as well so he is going to bring some very good qualities to the trump administration and homeland security. >> sounds like you like this pick. are there any cons you see? >> well, some of the cons is this another mill fair guy, that's concerning to me a little bit. we still haven't seen the secretary of state and who that pick is going to be although there are several military officers in that rampup, too so when you have too many military people in the room, some might say holy smokes, this is looking a little bit like a coup d'etat.
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but i also believe mr. trump is trying to manage the dichotomy between his understanding of international affairs and foreign relationships and military operations, some things he doesn't know much about, with some smart people in the room, again all of these individuals have taken their uniform off, they are now civilians so they are patriots and willing to contribute to the government. i give them credit for that. these are smart guys and they know how to take action so other than the fact they all spent a lifetime in the military, none of that concerns me at all. they will be good good public service and provide a counterbalance to the extreme views of mr. trump and others that are around. >> i have to wonder because, like you said, there are a bunch of generals he has picked. trump apparently really likes these generals, john kelly, general michael flynn, the national security advisor, he just named general james mattis as hiss pick for the department
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of defense and now again this most recent announcement. do you see any concerns there could be a clash among men who all have an authoritarian presence and know what it's like to be the leader? >> yeah, these guys have all been commanders, to be sure, and they've all played the alpha role in different organizations, there are very action-oriented. it's a little ironic to me that mr. trump is the one that said he was smarter than all the generals yet he's picking all the generals to be members of his coterie. maybe he was just talking about me when he said that but it's interesting he's going to get that balanced approach and maybe get insights on how national security affairs are conducted that will counter his business acumen and perhaps give him a different view of the world. hopefully these guys will help him stop tweeting as well and conduct foreign affairs via 140 characters which is not a good idea.
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>> do you think this removes petraeus from the likelihood of becoming saik? >> well, i mean, there are two military judges on the list that many people are speculating about. not only phenomenon general petraeus but another admiral as well. i was there with petraeus in iraq, too. i think knowing the personalities of the individual that they will provide a little bit of a counterweight not only to mr. trump but also retired junt lenin who seems to have some very extreme views and putting the number of people in the room talking about security issues with the vast experience that folks like mattis and kelly and perhaps either petraeus has will certainly provide very good insight in terms of conducting national affairs but i do know this is going to be concerning to some that see a lot of retired generals around the new
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president-elect. >> well, thank you so much for joining us. question appreciate it, general mark hertling, thanks for being here and weighing in and providing great insight and color surrounding the new pick, again, brooz at this hour, president-elect donald trump choosing retired marine general john kelly as his pick for the department of homeland security. back in a moment. age sixty-two and older. one reverse mortgage has a great way for you to live a better retirement... it's called a reverse mortgage. call right now to receive your free information kit with no obligation. it answers questions like... how a reverse mortgage works, how much you qualify for, the ways to receive your money... and more. plus, when you call now, you'll get this magnifier with led light absolutely free! when you call the experts at one reverse mortgage today, you'll learn the benefits of a government-insured reverse mortgage. it will eliminate your monthly mortgage payments
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welcome back. less than 48 hours after charleston, south carolina, saw the end of one racially charged murder trial, another one has
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just begun. the federal death penalty trial of dylann roof is now under way. roof, the 22-year-old white supremacist prosecutors say coldly and intentionally massacred nine parishioners last year inside the historic mother emanuel ame church. the church's long time pastor, state senator clementa pinckney was one of the victims. roof facing 34 federal charges including hate crimes, the obstruction of practice of religion. the jury includes nine whites and three african-americans, ten jurors are woman. let's bring in nick valencia who was in the courtroom for the opening statements and the first witness testimony. nick, day one getting intense. describe what happened. >> it was quite intense, ana, the day started with 67 prospective jurors entering the courtroom. they were whittled down to 12 jurors and six alternates, most
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of them white, most women. then it was on to opening statements. by 11:00 a.m. the chief prosecutor in this case laying out the reasons why he believes dylann roof should be found guilty of the death penalty in this federal case. he painted roof as a cold blooded calculated killer who meticulously planned this. roof has pled not guilty. the horror of what happened last june on a wednesday in charleston is simply in the facts. roof is alleged to have walked into the bible study, prayed with those fresher ins before taking out a .45-caliber handgun and killing nine people. earlier we spoke to state senator marlon kimpson, a close friend of clementa pinckney and asked him to react how dylann roof was acting today in the courtroom. >> it's sad. what we have to do is not just cry about it, we've got to do something about it. he's a ninth grade dropout, very little hope, bases his whole life existence on racism now as odd as that may seem to you and
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i, there are people in this country who are dylann roofs. there are more dylann roofs out there. what we have to do as a nation is recognize the next one early on. >> opening statements for the feds have ended. with dylann roof for the most part sat there expressionless his eyes trained down, his hands clasped in his lap. it was just a short time ago the prosecution brought forward their first witness, a survivor of that massacre. it was just a short time ago, ana, that she had to take a break, her testimony some of the most gut-wrenching testimony we' we've ever heard. >> nick valencia, a lot of eyes watching this because it does have bigger implications, too, when you look at this being a federal trial and when it comes to hate crimes people wondering where this is going to go. we appreciate your report. up next, news into cnn. senator lindsey graham telling cnn he plans to lead an investigation into possible russian hacks during the election. what he just told our manu raju.
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plus, "thank god i'm not the middle of this." reaction from john boehner on what he calls a down right bizarre political year. what else the former house speaker said? this post-election interview. stay with us. see me. see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know that psoriasis is just something that i have. i'm not contagious. see me to know that... ...i won't stop until i find what works. discover cosentyx, a different kind of medicine for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. proven to help the majority of people find clear or almost clear skin. 8 out of 10 people saw 75% skin clearance at 3 months. while the majority saw 90% clearance. do not use if you are allergic to cosentyx. before starting, you should be tested for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur... ...tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms... ...such as fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. or if you have received a vaccine or plan to. if you have inflammatory bowel disease,
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a couple of breaking political stories right now. first, former house speaker john boehner weighing in on the presidential transition. he's not mincing words. then there's this, south carolina senator lindsey graham saying he plans to go after russia by leading an inquiry after claims of hacking in the american election. manu raju joins us from capitol hill. let's talk about senator graham, what is he going to do? >>launching two
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investigations to look into how russia has affected not just the domestic elections here but their role internationally and how he views russia as meddling with foreign policy decisions and hurting the domestic security of the united states. lindsey graham talking very tough about russia just a few moments ago. take a listen. >> i am going to lead the charge to investigate russia's role not only in the elections but throughout the world. so i'm going after russia in every way you can go after russia. i think they're one of the most destabilizing influences on the world stage. i think they did interfere with our elections and i want putin personally to pay a price. >> should trump take a tougher tone with russia? >> i think trump should take a real tough tone with russia because in he doesn't you'll allow russia to begin to break apart alliances. the european union.
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>> reporter: the reason why this is significant is the fact that republicans will be controlling congress next year and they can make decisions on what to investigate and not to investigate and right now we have not heard from a lot of republicans about whether they will go forward with investigations. we've heard democrats calling for investigations into russia and russia th's influence and whether he helped donald trump win the elections in the fall but not a lot from republicans so the decisions by lindsey graham very significant. he believes there should be sanctions imposed on vladimir putin. this is something he's working with john mccain on as well so donald trump will get a lot of pressure from some republican hawks on capitol hill to do more about russia next year. >> let's turn boehner and the comments he made today, you talked about it being a republican-controlled congress as a whole and john boehner not there to be part of that he is not so sad to be missing, is he? >> he's very happy. that abrupt decision sent republicans into a tail spin last year when he decided suddenly he was going to resign
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as speaker of the house and resign his seat in the house but telling a local cincinnati station. he said "thank god i'm not in the middle of this" calling it the most bizarre political year in a hundred years and he is friends with donald trump. they're texting buddies, they've played golf together and he said trump is not really a democrat or republican, he compared him more to teddy roosevelt so the speaker making his views known about what everyone believes has been an unusual political year, ana. >> no doubt about it, manu raju, thanks so much. >> reporter: thank you. >> let's pull back the curtain on that controversial phone call between donald trump and the president of taiwan. the "new york times" now reporting that former republican senator bob dole worked for months behind the scenes to set the stage for this phone conversation. now according to the report, dole did it as a paid lobbyist of the taiwan government, earning more than $140,000 for this call and this firm.
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now i want to bring in cnn political commentator lanhee chen, a fellow at the conservative think tank the hoover institution, served with both the romney and rubio presidential campaigns and for transparency, you are the son of immigrants from taiwan. in fact, you just got back from there. i want to get your reaction to this report that dole worked as a paid lobbyist for taiwan to arrange the call. >> well, look, think it's not unusual ana that you see different governments trying to curry favor with the united states i think obviously in many cases the relationship is going to be the most important relationship that many countries have. with respect to taiwan, i think that relationship, the taiwan/u.s. relationship is extremely important to the taiwanese and from the american perspective as donald trump pointed out we have some interests in our relationship with them as well so i did see the reporting, i don't frankly find it that unusual but it's a very sensitive time with everything going on. >> and taiwan ministry of
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foreign affairs calling dole an important friend. let me read you more. he says dole lobbied trump's team for months, he arranged for a taiwan delegation to attend the republican national convention. now trump made a point to drain the swamp, get lobbyists out. isn't this the on it? >> i think this is the challenge, ana that comes with transitioning from campaigning to governing. in manications you have people that have been very involved with u.s. foreign policy or u.s. policy issues generally and have the potential to be a helpful voice like senator dole and it's a challenge trying to balance people that have been involved with this with french voices and that's what they're trying to do and i think you're seeing how the process can move in fits and starts as they try to accommodate new vooiss with those that have been around for a while. >> this one call broke four decades with the u.s. policy
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dealing with china in this region. given your insight perspective and closeness to the situation there, how big of a deal do you think that phone call is in the big picture? >> in the big picture, ana, i'm not sure it's as significant as some have made it out to be. the u.s. and taiwan do have a it's not as if the president-elect was proposing a change in the one-china policy this government has had for some years. i think he was merely reiterating the friendship that exists between the u.s. and taiwan. as you noted, i was just in the region last week. i think people generally speaking are curious about what the trump administration will do but i think broadly didn't see this as a change in policy. perhaps it was a difference in protocol, perhaps it's something that hadn't been done in some time but the u.s. taiwan relationship is important as is the u.s. china relationship so we'll see how the u.s. administration navigates this.
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but to put so much stock into one phone call may be overdoing it a bit. >> and i want to get your thoughts on trump's pick of iowa governor terry branstad, a friend of china now named ambassador to china what do you think about that? >> well, look, i think it's a very strong pick because governor branstad has a personal relationship with president xi jinping of china. obviously they've noerch each other for some time and it signals the important of the bilateral relationship between the united states and china. obviously picking someone with familiarity not just with the chinese but president xi specifically. particularly as it looks as though president xi may be poised to hold on to power four more years, that signals the importance of that relationship to the trump administration to the united states. do. >> do you think his pick is reassuring to china given the back-and-forth we've seen, even those tweets of donald trump attacking china and going after
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them on trade and their difference the south china sea, for example? >> i do think it will be reassuring in the sense that governor branstad is a familiar figure to many in the chinese high command. it zem straits the value the president-elect places on the relationship but i think from the chinese perspective they have a tendency to see donald trump as a pragmatist, someone who will focus on the economic issues the united states and china have and this nomination reinforcing that pra matie ingi. so not withstanding the tweets, some of that is public diplomacy versus private diplomacy that will take place once trump takes off. coming up, more on our breaking news, donald trump naming retired marine general john kelly to lead the department of homeland security,
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. a pop singer who gave up stardom to focus on religion was among 50 people who was killed in a plane crash in pakistan. authorities say there are no survivors. 46 bodies have been recovered along with the so-called black box. pakistan international airlines says 48 people was on this plight. the twin engine propeller plane was on its what i to islamabad. the search for bodies in the oakland, california, warehouse fire ended but the investigation continues. police say 36 people died. this fast-moving fire started during a party, trapping dozens of people in this two-story warehouse we know has been called the ghost ship and we're learning it's a building neighbors reported as a safety and health hazard. cnn correspondent paul vercammen is joining me live from oakland. paul, the search of this building is done. what's the latest word on the cause? >> reporter: ana, just moments ago we saw agents with alcohol,
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tobacco, firearms, federal agents, walk into the warehouse now that it's safe and secure. their focus, an area on a back wall where they say there were a lot of appliances. off camera, one of the residents said to me he felt like that fire may have started on the first floor in that area. that's what we'll look into and hopefully we'll learn more when they come back out. >> i know you're learning more about previous complaints regarding the warehouse. what details have you uncovered? >> reporter: they're just stacking up. it goes back in time. there are things such as pests inside and they had garbage complaints and the piling up of debris in the lot but the more serious, that there was all sorts of illegal construction going on, construction that would have allowed for this honeycomb, if you will, of residences inside and at one point people saying some 20 to 25 people lived in there. so now you have an investigation
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within an investigation, how could all of this have fallen through the cracks? the city of oakland going to look at that and its processes to see why nobody got in there and blue the whistle on how ghost ship became this vast maze where so many people were residing, ana. >> paul vercammen live from oakland, thank you. the artists who lived and worked at that ghost ship warehouse were a close-knit community. firefighters found some bodies intertwined, hugging, a sign some victims had been trying to protect each other as they took their final breaths. gabe moline joins me live from san francisco, he is the online arts editor for kqed, the san francisco public radio. i know you wrote a moving piece about the warehouse fire for kqed titled "it could have been any one of us." you have played inside some of
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these spaces despite safety concerns. you say they are a safe haven in other ways. explain. >> they are, for all of the focus that's been on the dangers of this particular warehouse. more a lot of warehouses similar to this that are diy underground spaces that a lot of people have to go to play their art, to play their music and there's a lot of fear and anxiety in this community right now. >> you lost a close friend and a colleague in this tragic fire. tell us about him. >> alex cassan was a film producer at kqed. he was a talented filmmaker, eternally curious about other people's stories and he was a close friend of us. he leaves behind two beautiful daughters, a fiance, his mother and we're all trying to get over this news it breaks my heart when you see the picture and put the faces with the names.
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some people have called the ghost ship a death trap. i know you want to see these places live and survive and thrive. what's the answer to making sure that happens but can prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. >> well, we take this incredibly seriously. there is a concerted effort to make these places safe, if they are not already safe and legal. cracking down on these spaces, evicting people as we've seen, people holding press conferences about other warehouses they're worried might be the next ghost ship, that's not the answer in this case. what we are focused on especially, we know the way the news cycle works, we know they're in the criminal investigation stage of the psyching, the what went wrong stage of the cycle. we want to honor the people that were lost. after the national media leaves oakland there are people that we are going to continue to
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remember. people like chelsea faith, johnny egaz, joey cass owe, farrell pines, arejo kyomi. we refuse to forget these people. >> what's your next step? >> we are working on an online memorial dedicated to spotlig spotlighting the talents and contributions of these people. if you knew these people, if you are family, get in touch with us at kqed's facebook page or e-mail us at arts @kq connected >> gave meline, thank you. >> thank you you. up next, donald trump naming his pick for ohmland security. who is general john kelly? we have his back story. plus we are watching plil where vice president joe biden is about to be honored on the senate floor. we will take you there live as it happens. stay with us.
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hello, i'm ana cabrera in for brooke baldwin. we have a transition of power alert. donald trump has just revealed the nomination for a major role on his national security team, retired marine general john kelly is now the president-elect's choice for secretary of homeland security. let me bring in cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. jim, what do you know about general kelly? >> first we should say he's the third general to be nominated to be in donald trump's cabinet. you have michael flynn as national security advisor, james mattis as defense secretary nominee pending a waiver and now you have john kelly. like mattis, a marine general respected by both parties and certainly up and down the military ranks combat commands, some of the toughest assignments going back to the gulf war but also in iraq and afghanistan. in terms of positions -- and
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this could very well be one of the things that caught trump's attention about general kelly, when he led southern command he spoke specifically ant the danger, the need for greater security along u.s. southern border, the border with mexico. less about immigration more in his view about the risk that terrorist groups might use that border -- al qaeda, isis and others -- to infiltrate soldiers he testified on the hill about this in 2015 so on that issue a potential meeting of the minds with the president-elect. just one final thing i would mention, ana, this is something particularly for the military ranks that has enormous meaning and this is that general kelly is a gold star father. he lost his son in combat, second lieutenant robert kelly also a marine killed in afghanistan, one of the marine units, as my colleague barbara starr notes, that had some of the heaviest casualties in that war. so a person to run this position
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who has made the ultimate sacrifice in terms oaf warfare, military service, losing one of his own. >> jim, you point out this is the third retired general donald trump has now selected or nominated to one of these cabinet positions. how do you think it came to be him versus other names in a have been floated for this position, rudy giuliani, representative michael mccaul. >> it's interesting, if i had to guess, hard to get inside donald trump's mind, but that issue of the southern border, him talking about that in 2015, raising the concern about a need for greater security there and this, of course, is one of donald trump's -- continues to be one of donald trump's signature issues although from his perspective more on the immigration issue than the terrorism issue. but that's one issue. also, and in donald trump's public comments, here's another general's general, soldier's soldier. he's done his