tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 8, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
good evening. thank you for joining us. we begin with the president-elect donald trump tweeting just moments ago about a story that aired just moments ago on cnn. namely erin burn et's interview. here's the tweet chuck jones has done a terrible job representing workers. no wonder companies flee country. just explain what was going on here. this man was on erin burnett shoes ee, and a short time after donald trump is tweeting about him. >> right. donald trump is one who obviously wants -- watches the media closely.
chuck jones was saying that he was grateful for the 800 jobs that trump was able to save, but he felt he was misleading in the major announcement he did last week which was to say 1400 were saved. well, the real math, and we talked about this last week, anderson, the real math doesn't add up that way. it's 730 union jobs saved. total 800 saved. he was saying essentially it was bait and switch by the president-elect and vice president elect saying they were saving more jobs than they were and carrier still getting rewards in the form of tax breaks even though hundreds of jobs are still going to go away. >> and what was interesting about this is just that the president-elect of the united states clearly seems to be watching a lot of television news and responding almost in realtime or shortly after to things he is seeing or i guess
in some cases things he's reading. another tweet on a similar subject is sort of another subject tonight, and there's a mystery. the question that flows from it, and potentially a lot of jobs at stake. we're going to get to all that in a second. i want to bring in our panel to talk about the latest incident about the president-elect tweeting out based on something he's just seen. again, we are yet again saying it, we're in uncharted waters here. it's rare that you have a president-elect watching this amount of media coverage and responding in kind of realtime. >> and also the substance. he said no wonder people are -- companies are fleeing the country. his criticism about why companies are fleeing the country has been because of trade. now he's suggesting it's because of union people not representing people properly. he's attacking this union representative because he angered him, and then saying something that i don't think even fits with the narrative of
what he's been saying about companies leaving. >> jeffrey, this is obviously something on the one hand trump supporters like. >> exactly. >> he has a direct link to people and that he's counterpunching. >> there's two things going on. the united steel workers endorsed hillary clinton. the union this guy represents was anti-trump, so that's not a surprise. number two, i want to stick up for him on this issue of twitter. i wrote a column a while ago talking about abraham lincoln and the use of the telegram. twitter is the 21st century. donald trump is going to be a seriously 21st century president. he will communicate here and use it to get around us. this is the inevitable technology. he's making great use of it. there's lots of precedent for it. >> not for punching down like
that. jfk took on u.s. steel, not a steel worker in indianapolis named chuck. that's punching down. >> union leaders aren't punching down. >> president-elect trump got elected with an awful lot of steel worker votes. >> it might have been leadership voting for hillary clinton but rank and file -- >> absolutely. i have read stories where chuck jones said -- >> and the local union in this case did not -- >> mr. jones told the press -- >> the local union did not endorse any candidate in this case. >> the larger point is if you want to put a face on a trump voter, it's chuck jones. salt of the earth. >> chuck jones is on the phone. mr. jones, i appreciate you talking to us. first of all, what you make of the fact that you appear on cnn a short time ago and then have the president-elect of the united states tweeting against
you quite quickly? >> well, you know, to be quite honest, what i did issue i did an interview and called him out on some of the things that he misled the people on as far as the actual numbers with jobs that he claimed to save, and it was 800. it wasn't over 1100. i give him praise and thanks for everything he did to save the 800 people's jobs. i really appreciate that. he also during the conference with the carrier people last thursday got up and said he never made any commitments or promises to carrier people to keep their jobs here which was complete falsehood. he said it numerous times on the campaign speeches. and he denied that, and so i mentioned those two items, and evidently it rubbed him the wrong way. things will go on. >> he says on the campaign trail he was talking about carrier as
a siymbol not specifically meaning carrier. clearly, you view it as he meant carrier and that was it. >> yeah. he said carrier numerous times. he said the numerous times he said he was president he wasn't 50% sure, he wasn't 75% sure. he was 100% sure these jobs wouldn't be going to mexico. he came in and negotiated a deal to keep 800 jobs here, but nobody is bringing up the fact that 550 are still moving to mexico. he did a wonderful job with the jobs he saved, but don't make it sound like it's 1100 when 350 jobs will remain in the country all along, the research and development. that's what i called him out on. >> i want to put the tweet he just sent out about you back up on our screen. i want to read it to viewers and have you respond. it says chuck jones has done a
terrible job representing workers. in wonder companies flee the country. -- flea the country. >> the labor union, we negotiate fairly living wages and benefits. on the carrier situation in its enti entirety, it was all about wages. we have a skilled work force. because of corporate greed and unfair trade they want to move the job out of the country. if he wants to blame me, so be it, but i look at him, how many pl billions of dollars he spent on his hotels and casinos to try to keep labor unions out. i like my side of it trying to work the best to make the people's lives the best they can be. >> i want to play what you had -- some of what you said ant show which may be what donald trump was responding to. i just want to play this. >> okay.
>> they announced step one time the research and development jobs, about 350 of them were going to remain here in indianapolis. then when mr. trump got involved, what the actual number of jobs saved is 730 bargain unit jobs. the workers of the union members. and another 70 office and supervisory clerical workers from management. and what they're doing, they're counting in 350 some odd more that were never leaving this country at all, and i think he did a lot of negotiations, and i have likewise, and if you're dealing with people's livelihoods, you sure ought to know what the numbers are. >> i'm wondering when did you find out -- you had heard the number donald trump said. when did you find out the details of this and what did you think when you heard that?
>> we was hearing for three days that 1100 jobs are remaining in indianapolis. nobody would tell us nothing, the company or the trump people. so we met with utc and carrier people thursday of last week at noon, and at that point in time they said okay, you know, this is what's going to happen. 730 unit jobs are keeping here and 70 other jobs. but what i was calling trump out on was the fact that he was counting in the 350 research and development jobs that carrier announced in february that were going to remain here in indianapolis. you know, the only thing i was doing was calling him out. what happened on this was our people heard that earlier in the week and so once again they got their hopes up that something was going to be done. they was going to have a job. so 1100 and some odd jobs
remaining in indianapolis. the mood was good. we had to tell them, he don't mention on thursday night that the 550 jobs are going to move to mexico. if they leave that alone, him and pence both, and then we have to tell our members on friday because nobody was up front with them, that we're losing 550 members. that's what upset me, because you got people's hopes up. 1100 job remaining in indianapolis. it was wrong and people got false hopes they was going to be able to provide for their families which ended up not being true. how many times can these people go through devastation? they went through it once with the announcement of the plant closure, and then they get their hopes up, and then they find out it's not the case. do i have issues with that? most certainly, but we're dealing with people's livelihoods. what's more important to a person's livelihood, their
health, family and jobs, and that got ripped away from them this. >> mr. jones, i appreciate your time tonight. thank you for talking with us. >> i appreciate it. >> i want to bring in robert rice. mr. secretary, what do you make of this latest example of donald trump responding to something that he's read or seen on television? >> well, donald trump is doing this quite a lot, anderson. he's using twitter. he has these tweets going out against people who criticize him. not only chuck, the person you just talked to, chuck jones, but also alec baldwin when he played mr. trump on snl. and also journalists who criticize. let me just say with all due respect, mr. trump, you are
president-elect of the united states. you are looking and acting as if you are mean and petty, thin-skinned and vindictive. stop this. this is not a fire side chat. this is not what fdr did. that's lifting people up. this is actually penalizing people for speaking their minds. what you did with boeing the other day, minutes after the ceo of boeing was quoted as saying that you, mr. trump, you, president-elect trump, were wrong on international trade, what did you do? you tweeted that boeing should have an order cancelled. you called it a 4 billion order. that meant boeing's own share prices plummeted. so in other words, what you, mr. trump, what you would like is more no one, not a ceo, nobody on television, no journalist, nobody, to criticize you. you take offense at that.
well, you are going to be president very shortly. you are going to have at your command not just twitter but also the cia, the irs, the fbi. if you have this kind of thin-skinned vindictiveness attitude toward anybody who criticizes you, we are in very deep trouble, and, sir, so are you. >> jeffrey lord, the notion that he is thin skinned and that this is vindictive, you say what? >> well, first of all, i think this is being vastly overblown. i was looking at a letter that president harry truman wrote to a critic of his daughter's singing. someday i hope to meet you. when that happens, you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes and support a supporter below. i can only tell you donald trump isn't close to harry truman here. we're getting overworked on
this. he's setting a principle. he's going to respond to his critics. no good for him. >> secretary rice, what do you say to that? this is a modern form of communication and president-elect is talking directly and this is the sign of the times? >> well, this is the 2 1st century, and twitter has a medium that communicates directly to millions and millions of americans. and this is about specific personal criticism. a lot of people read this kind of personal criticism and what are they going to do? they'll feel critical of this person as well. this is bullying. this is not using the bully pulpit. this is bullying. >> jeffrey, does dump seem thin skinned to you? going after alec baldwin. he's about the be the most powerful man in the entire world. >> karl rogue note third down years ago about his feeling that
the bush white house, the bush '43 white house made a mistake when the critics were going after bush in iraq and bush lied and that they didn't answer it so they left the impression out there. one of the things i personally asked donald trump when i interviewed him two years ago was this was a criticism of republican nominees, they don't fight back. will you do that. he assured me he would do that, and this is what we're seeing. >> president-elect trump did not answer back. chuck jones said he lied about the number. apparently chuck jones is right. he saved 800 jobs but lied and said 1100. instead of getting the numbers wrong, which lots of people do, he attacked jones personally. that letter from harry truman, bill clinton owns it. it was hanging in the west wing. it's great, but it was a private letter to a guy. >> but it got out to the media in. >> he was trashing harry
truman's daughter. professor rice is correct. >> i want to say this -- >> this is abuse of power. >> i want to say this. what we're not talking about here is at any time during this carrier event in the campaign, hillary clinton could have picked up the phone and done this. president obama could have. neither of them did this. donald trump did this. >> but they didn't pick up twitter and trash a steel worker named trump fighting for his job. >> number one, i think the twitter phenomenon is here to stay, and officially by donald trump whether he's president in january or not, he's going to keep doing it. it's a huge tool for him, and it shows how aggressive he's going to be and this is all about the economy. he's going to keep doing it. he used twitter to his advantage with the soft bank chairman who was in town. what i understand is when he was in the office with him, he was thinking well, i may invest $50 billion in the u.s., and
apparently the soft bank chairman said you know, if you tweeted it, i might commit right now, and donald trump is like we'll tweet it right now, and somebody said go on down to the lobby. so he went down to the lobby and got this commitment for $50 billion, 50,000 jobs because of a tweet. now, this japanese billionaire is also kind of a showman like donald trump is in japan. he has a robot that he -- >> there are questions about whether or not there was a prior commitment. >> back in august. people say back in august. apparently he just snowballed trump. >> it was all about discussing a tweet, but it's clear that the tweets that donald trump makes are going to be here. they're going to be aggressive and plenty. >> there's nothing wrong with twitter. the white house uses twitter. it's a question of what you put on twitter. i think secretary rice is right. this is bullying. it's just a regular american citizen. this is not somebody who is on his level in terms of power.
but i do think, i said this when we walked off the set last night, last night he was very presidential and well behaved. he stayed on the prompter, and i said last night, tomorrow he's going to do something. that's what always happens, and this is it. >> we have to take a quick break. we'll be right back.
we're back talking about twitter and how the president-elect uses it, and the practice of mr. trump personalizing the players, powerful and not powerful, particularly this tweet about carrier. chuck jones he said, president of united steel workers 1999 has done a terrible job representing workers. no wonder they flee the country. we had chuck jones on at the top of the hour. >> what i did, i did an interview, and i called him out on some of the things that he misled the people on as far as the actual numbers with jobs that he claimed to save. it was 800. it wasn't over 1100. i give him praise and thanks for everything he did so save the 800 people's jobs.
i really appreciate that. he also during the conference with the carrier people last thursday got up and said he never made any commitments any promises to carrier people to keep jobs here, which was complete falsehood. he said it numerous times on the campaign -- on his campaign speeches, and he denied that. >> and back with the panel including former labor secretary. secretary rice, do you think, do we know how this plays out over time in we've had presidents before who kept enemies lists. donald trump has a long memory of people he feels have been unfair to him. i guess one question is how does this play out over -- right now it seems even for those who like donald trump tweeting like this, it seems refreshing and new and different. over time does it seem better and better, or does it not play
so well to his supporters even? >> anderson, i think over time it becomes more and more dangerous to a democracy which depends upon freedom of speech and the press. if people are intimidated. if individual people feel they cannot criticize the president of the united states because he will using his twitter account or using whatever means he has directly communicate to millions of people personal criticisms of the people that criticize him, then there is going to be a massive intimidation, a chilling effect on free speech. and also on freedom of the press. this is extremely serious. this is not merely talking about fire side chats or harry truman being angry at some critic of his daughter's. this goes to the essential core of a democracy. we're talking about the freedom of people to express their krit sits of the president of the united states without fear of retribution, without fear that
the president of the united states is going to single them out, condemn them, and humiliate them in the light of millions of other people. >> it is pretty -- i'm trying to think of other cases where presidents of the united states have in such a public forum gone after private individuals, not networks, just individuals who -- >> i think the obama white house not only fox news, but i think they went after glenn beck in the day who had a television program. i think they went to great lengths to savage them. >> i was critical of that. i think that was bad for the obama administration. it comes with the power of the president, and you had the senior white house officials going out and doing this and it's chilling. i don't think you should be singling out news organizations and saying they're not legitimate. i'm being consistent here. they shouldn't have been doing it. >> and every president has complained about the press.
that's not new. what i can't think of is a time a president-elect where a president had reached all the way into the heart of middle america and the profile of the trump voter. this is what's the most troubling thing about this. in the main d mr. jones was able to come on your broadcast, in the main he's not able to defend himself, and donald trump with one push of a button reaches millions of people. then we pick it up and it reaches a billion people. chuck jones can't defend himself. if he's going to do that to chuck jones, you know how many ceos are saying i'm never going to stick my head up. how many other politicians are going to say -- >> donald trump said he didn't read the chicago tribune article where boeing was quoted. it did come out shortly after that article. >> i watched the last couple days. i went to so many rallies with donald trump. they were filled with the union workers. they put him in office.
so that's a really contradictory thing to see him talking a union work, and then you have the ceos, the head of black stone as part of his big panel. i talked to a ceo today who said i've got to get on one of these panels with him. now i hear in the trump world they're going to pick up a manufacturing panel. they've got the textile ceos coming in. the ceos are trying to get involved with the trump administration because they see the deal maker and chief coming on strong. here are the people on the sidelines they attacked who want to be part of the new administration. >> want to be part of it and fear of not being a part of it, fear of retaliation. >> they either want to be in his good graces, or they think he's going to change the architecture of this country and lower corporate taxes and we want in. >> another thing that's problematic about the way he's used twitter if you look at attacking boeing and what happens with their stock prices.
a long time ago i worked in the u.s. trade representatives office. as a junior spokesperson you're schooled in you can never say anything that has not been cleared by 50 people. it has to be -- every word has to be measured absolutely perfectly, because it will move market. and he is the president of the united states tweeting about -- >> the former labor secretary, what, the power of the presidency to move markets with a few words here or there? >> well, the power of the presidency not only to move markets but also to unleash a hailstorm of criticism against individuals who have the nerve and audacity to speak their minds. i mean, we're talking about presidential power here in its rawest and most important form. it has to be used with a great deal of decorum and sensitivity. and that's why this is so concerning. because here we have the president-elect of the united
states. not some candidate. the president-elect of the united states who is tweeting to 12 million or 16 million followers criticisms of individuals who dare correct him. dare to speak out about what the president-elect of the united states is doing. this is something new. we have not seen this before. and it does pose a huge potential danger. not just to companies. yes, there will be a chilling effect on individual ceos who will not want to speak out against a president or president-elect donald trump for fear he's going to say something that causes their stocks to go down and a president that has to be careful about what he says about the economy as a whole, but what about the reputations of individuals. what about keeping their jobs and what about other people who are so angry by what a president may say about a particular individual that they actually go out and seek some sort of revenge? this is raw power. >> secretary reich you've said
something here that this has not been seen before. i would say to everybody, we're going to see a lot of this. this is going to be a very unconventional presidency by the likes of washington d.c. and the established ways of doing things. it's not just this. it will be a lot of things to come. he's going to be different. he comes straight from the private sector. he's never been in washington as an elected official. he's going to do things differently which is why i would suggest he was elected in the first place. so i would respectfully suggest this is the tip of the iceberg and we're going to see a lot more of a lot of different things he's going to do very differently. >> i don't think anybody voted for him hoping he would beat up on a steel worker because he insulted him. >> the american people realize this guy voted for hillary clinton. he's a political opponent. >> no, he's not. he's an american citizen.
>> but you can be an american citizen and be a political opponent. >> you're too decent to think it's okay for a billionaire president-elect to pick on a working class -- >> all men are created equal. >> you really think that's okay? >> secretary reich -- >> let me say something. it certainly is okay for a president of the united states to criticize a network, criticize an industry, criticize a large group of people, but it is different far president or a president-elect of the united states to criticize an individual who is exercising his first amendment rights to criticize that president-elect. there is a huge power imbalance, and that power imbalance could create a situation, and maybe we're not that far away from this if this continues. if this continues and grows, we could have a situation where
people across the board are scared to speak out. they are intimidated because they don't want to be punished. >> i don't think so. i don't think so. i mean, if you're old enough, and i hate to say it, the gray hair attests to it, i've seen people in the streets. my generation protesting linden johnson using language you can't use on television. they weren't scared and he was one of the most intimidating presidents around. >> did he attack you personally? >> he called -- >> there's a big difference between going after a group of people that's what i'm saying and going after an individual and using the power of the presidency or the president-elect of the united states to go after an individual. that's the point. that is the intimidation. that is the danger here. >> one at a time. >> this is not just chuck jones, some guy. i'm sure he's a decent soul, but he represents a steel worker's union, he himself is a political
opponent who admitted to that. >> what did he say what was wrong? >> it is nothing -- >> all he said is there are more jobs that need to be saved. what was it he said that was so horrible that would -- >> because -- >> get this reaction. why wouldn't the reaction be look at the other jobs and see what we can do to save them? >> can i only tell you when a political opponent goes after you, you go after them back. >> that's ridiculous. >> you're saying that's ridiculous. >> that's ridiculous, because we just had an election, and if you take as your deaf situation of political opponent anybody who voted against donald trump, there are tens of millions of people right here in the united states who would be defined by political opponents, and under that definition it would be fine for the president to every day tweet about one of those political opponent and say something negative. >> it's a game. >> that's an absurd argument.
>> i don't think that donald trump cares whether the steel worker president voted for him or against him. i think he is upset that he is stepping on his show and that he had a great coupe last week and he's undercutting it. i think donald trump is a showman as well as the president-elect, and he doesn't like that this guy is undercutting what was a really good show and presentation. >> it is interesting, though, it probably took harry truman a little bit of time to write that letter. it doesn't take a lot of time to send a tweet, and donald trump, for better or worse, is writing in the moment, clearly. and oftentimes a wise person wants to think things tle a little bit -- through a little bit and let the moment pass, count to ten, breathe. >> he wants to set the record
straight right ahead and get that critic. >> he made a mistake. it's not a huge mistake. he did a good thing. he claimed he did a great thing. chuck called him on it. no big deal. >> that's what's chilling. not that you want to set the record straight. >> we reported the numbers days before. it's not as if that hadn't been on the record. it was something about chuck saying this and that it was a bait and switch or whatever the term. >> if i could just say he's got a lot of political enemies. >> if i could say in a media sense, i'm sure we'll have a lot of these. the media tends to overplay these things vs.ly. they vastly overplay their worth in a situation like this, and i don't think it's that big a deal. the president of the united states, the new president of the united states tweets. that's what everybody in america does around the world.
it's a new technology. we're probably going to have some adjustments to make over this, but he's setting a precedent that other presidents are going to use in their own fashion. >> i hope not. we have a president of the united states now through twitter who has access directly, unmitigated access to 20 million people, and i hope this doesn't set a precedent for presidents of the united states using their power and direct access unmediated without any criticisms or any media between that president and everybody else to single out individuals for criticism and blame. that is dangerous, folks. >> mr. secretary, with all due respect, franklin roosevelt used the radio to get around publi publishe publishers. >> he did not criticize individuals joe mccarthy in the 1950s, the senator, he went after individuals. he was not president. he did have a lot of power, and
you know what the to those individuals? they lost their jobs. they lost a lot -- they were intimidated by joe mccarthy until finally one member of the press stood up to joe mccarthy and said, basically, joe mccarthy is a dictator. he's dangerous for the country. are we going to have to wait for somebody to stand up to donald trump and say this? >> mr. secretary, a lot of respect for you, but i think that's hysteria and typical -- >> you don't think what we're witnessing is dangerous? >> are you kidding me? no. anderson cooper, cnn, fox news everybody is going to be druona trump's case for the next four years, eight years. >> and donald trump has spent a lot of his time condemning the media and condemning individual journalists. condemning individual
journalists, i'm sorry. we are in a completely new zone here, a new era. >> it's new technology. it's the 2 1st century. >> you have direct contact between a president and 16 million americans, 20 million americans. and criticizing individuals, average americans. i'm sorry. there is something wrong with that, and if you don't see the danger in it, that itself with all due respect, is very danger. >> i want to bring in martin savidge who is at the carrier plant. they were talking about chuck jones being an opponent of donald trump. you've been speaking with him. is that how he sees himself? >> he doesn't. i've talked with chuck jones several times in my ten day visit. chuck jones admits he voted for hillary clinton. he did not like either choice, and i will point out that the local union did not make any political endorsement for the
presidential campaign. it's quite right to say that the international united steel workers did endorse hillary clinton but the local union made no official endorsement. chuck jones will say and said to me many times he is amazed that donald trump was able to pull off saving 800 jobs. his particular point was at that announcement the 1100 figure that was used was inaccurate, and as a result, there were several hundred of his members who thought their jobs might be saved that, in fact, their jobs won't be. but 8 00 jobs regardless are remaining in indianapolis, something that a month ago no one would have believed. >> it is interesting. donald trump, i think there's a point that paul already made, but he's not responding to that particular fact or that allegation. he's going after the credibility. he's angry at that, and so he's
poking at a perceived weakness or whatever it may be. it's a little different than saying well, actually, no mr. jones, here's what happened. it's you're lousy and you're partly responsible for these jobs leaving. >> i just think that this whole thing is getting vastly overblown here, and that to -- i mean, the one -- again, donald trump is the only person who did this. the sitting president of the united states and hillary clinton had the chance to do this. this is the reaction. it's only 8 00 jobs when it could have been 3 00. i mean, it would have been zero jobs. >> that's not the only reaction. mr. jones is saying she's appreciative of these 800 jobs, and nobody seems to be disputing that. >> if we can switch for a second to boeing. boeing happened. and donald trump says i didn't do it because what the ceo said. that may actually be true.
it may not be true. two knows? but we know donald trump was always in construction, and we know hillary clinton made a big point of this during the campaign, that he tries to squeed every penny out of every contractor. remember when she would say on the campaign trail, thank goodness my father the train ri contractor did not have him as a client because he would try to squeeze him. for me, it's like him to want to do it. i was with donald trump when he was going through the old post office. he was seeing something on the trim. he didn't like it. he was like what's the price of this? how much did we pay? i could see him like knock the cost down that we're going to pay this contractor. it's totally like him to do this. i don't know whether it's appropriate to do it on a government procurement. >> it may be like him to do this, and that is precisely the
problem we're dealing this right now. as a private citizen or even as a developer when he was doing all his developments around the country and world, donald trump was not president-elect of the united states. he was not -- he didn't have the power that he has right now. and it's not a matter of just correcting the record with regard to something that chuck jones has said. it's attacking him personally. it's saying he's a lousy union leader. tvs like going after alec baldwin saying that alec baldwin is lousy, he's not funny. rather than correcting the record if there's some satire issue that he has with alec baldwin or going wf a journalist. instead of correcting the record, what donald trump will do with tweets is a kind of character assassination. >> or attacking boeing which is one of the companies in the united states that crickets the
most for our gdp of sending a lot of airplanes out of this country. so he does take it on, but he says he's doing it for the u.s. first. >> we need to take a quick break, the panel is going to stick around. more to talk about ahead. a new batch of top trump picks and the woman who brought general mayhem into the wrestling ring. we'll explain that next. s! (vo) with no surprise overages, you can use your data worry free and even carry over the data you don't use. and right now get four lines and 20 gigs for only $40 per line. and, just for the holidays, get a samsung galaxy s7 edge for only $15 per month. no trade-in required. i love you in that, no, i love you in that. no, i love you in that! (vo) hurry, these offers end soon. get the best deals and the best network, only on verizon.
after talking about president-elect trump we have break news on other jobs. mr. trump adding a third general to his national security team. he also had a a date with a professional wrestling tycoon. jason carroll is with us. let's talk about the wrestling tycoon. who is she and what's her post? >> you're talking about linda mcman. this is someone who is credited according to donald trump with helping to make the wwe what it is today. she's the wife of wrestling
manager tycoon vince mcman, and donald trump was a history with the wwe. back in 2007 there was a battle of the billionaires. you had vince mcman representing a wrestler and donald trump representing a wrestler. you had both the wrestlers in the ring and basically they had a match and trump's wrestler won that particular match. so this is a man who has a history with the wwe. in all seriousness he feels stockily this was a woman who helped make the wwe what it is today, and he feels she can do the same in terms of helping the 28 million small business owners in the united states. >> when it comes to the epa, tell us about the choice. >> this could be a problem. this is the attorney general of oklahoma. he's been at odds with the epa.
he has litigated with the epa over regulations and things of that matter. this is someone who in the past has taken some $126,000 from energy groups. so this is someone that also critics are speaking out against. democrats and environmental groups speaking out as well. you have kellyanne conway speaking in his defense saying we're ready for the nay sayers. this is a man who knows about overregulation. >> and trump's for the department of homeland security. >> general john kelly. this is a man known for being plain spoken and blunt. for example, speaking out about his opposition to guantanamo bay in terms of closing it. wants to keep that open. he is respect aid among some in the military world, and also knows the horrors of war firsthand. he lost his son back in 2010 after his son stepped on a land
mine. >> jason carroll, thank you so much. we are back with the panel, dana bash is also joining us. what do you know about the president's choice to head the epa and the reaction in washington. do you think there will be a tough fight? >> jason talked about the reaction coming from democrats and environmental groups. i think that is a very tame way to put it. they are sending out blistering statements. one after another. i'm getting them in my inbox about scott pruit. first because of the fact that he's not just somebody who has been a climate change denier. he's not somebody who has just said he wants to rip up the paris accord. he's helped lead lawsuits against the epa, the very agency he is nominated to head. now, if you take a step back and
listen to what donald trump said during the campaign, this should in the surprise anybody. this is what democrats wanted about and what republicans promised. it was a big applause line in many trump rallies. the reason there's whiplash among democrats is because it was like 24 hours ago that al gore, the personification of climate change was in trump tower talking to the president-elect coming out and saying he thought that they had a really good conversation. leonardo dicaprio was apparently there. he is mr. climate change. democrats and environmental groups got what they see as a flurry of false hope after the meetings, and now it's back to the promise of the campaign maybe getting away from the epa. >> it's interesting the number of generals so far named to
donald trump's inner sickle. what do -- circle. what do you make of the choices? >> it probably don't bode well for general petraeus. i think if he added another general, that may be too much. i suspect he's attracted to them because they're impressive people. they have a lot of respect across the board, at least two of them, i should say. mike flynn is a little more controversial. but -- and i think the military is a very respected institution. or society where every other institution is losing respect. i think it's something that one more would probably be too many, but at this point at least two of the picks are picks i think a lot of people approve of. >> do you have a sense of where he is in terms of the term line for secretary of state? >> i think he said it will be next week. i think he still doesn't know,
and i agree that petraeus is out. he cannot put another general on there. at one point he was considering kelly as secretary of state. i don't know which way he's going to go. i think he's not sure if it's romney or giuliani or somebody new. on the other hand, the pick today with the worldwide wrestling person is so interesting to me. if you want to go online, you can find some funny tapes of donald trump getting smacked a little bit and walking into the wrestling match. he enjoys the show of that as well. >> but that's -- >> dennis. >> >> i was going to say but you talk about mcman's wife, and it shows the conflicted feelings of people on capitol hill who will have to confirm these cabinet picks. senator blumenthal said he's
going to vote for her. they're okay with that. okay with the pick today of terri brand stad, the longest serving governor in history to be ambassador of china. a lot of applause for that. at the same time you have that -- that was sort of the whiplash of this epa appointment late tonight. >> a lot of support for general john kelly. >> yes, it seems that way. it does not seem as though there's going to be much pushback on that. and i think it's fascinating he's a gold star father. >> i want to thank everyone. coming up, fareed zakaria.
president-elect trump says he value's president obama's view on things. he talked about president obama and the conversations they've been having in pretty glowing terms. >> i really like him, i think i can say at least for myself, i can't speak for him, but we have a really good chemistry together. we talk. he loves the country. he wants to do right by the country. and for the country. and i will tell you we obviously very much disagree on certain things and policies, but i really like him as a person. i've 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, and i must tell you, i never met him before this, and i
never spoke to him before this. i really, i do like him. i love getting his ideas. >> now, earlier i talked about some of this with fareed zakaria. donald trump saying he's been consulting with president obama about cabinet appointments and he values the president's suggestions. what does that tell you about the kind of leader donald trump is going to be? >> let's hope it tells us that trump is going to be the kind of leader who would consult with a wide variety of sources. so far that hasn't been true. he's had a narrow circle of advisors, family, a couple of advisors like kellyanne conway and steve bannon. maybe he's broadening. maybe there's an opportunity here, and obama, i think, recognizes this is his one chance to have some kind of an impact in preserving his legacy. >> and so you think it's, perhaps, president obama's attempt to try to preserve whatever parts of his legacy he can to remain having some sort
of relationship or influence on donald trump? >> i think so. what he probably understands is that he is now the -- nobody knows what it feels like to be president. and so all trump's advisors are not in the same position. obama has a unique perspective to provide, and i think obama is hoping he can make him understand that perhaps the path to being president for the whole country to having higher approval rates, for example, is to preserve some of those elements of obama legacy that have become part of the fabric of both american domestic and foreign policy. for example, up ending the iran deal would be difficult and complicated. it's an international deal. the iranians would get a green light to go nuclear, and nobody else is going to reimpose sanctions so the americans will be isolated. on obama care it might look easy to repeal, but what do you do with the 20 million people and the fact that people now expect
insurance companies to cover anyone who has a preexisting condition. >> your documentary is two hours and airs tonight. you . what do you believe the greatest issues are in president obama's mind? >> obamacare is the single most important thing he has done. he believes justification that seven presidents tried to do it. theodore roosevelt talked about universal health care and he actually got it done. he is as aware of the limitat n limitatio limitations. he will argue they were forced on him. there were compromises he had to make. at the end of the day, he got it done. my guess is the trump question you were asking is probably more than anything else. >> keeping parts of it. >> keeping parts of it. by the way, he was clever in the conversation.
by keeping the core elements of it, you are essentially keeping obamacare. he understands that. he wants to preserve that. on the foreign policy side, he shifted the way america thinks about foreign policy. it will endure. >> it is interesting. he didn't see the rise of isis or syrian civil war or impact of it on europe. that haunts him, he said. >> i asked him, your policy on syria seems to be ambivalent. he said it is because i am ambivalent. you have the terrible tragedy and he thinks american interaction will solve it. you are jumping into a quagmire. i asked him, do you think keeping america out substantially out of the syrian civil war is actually an achievement? is that an accomplishment? he said yes. we have a bunch of lousy
options. on the list of lousy options, that is the one i have to pick. >> fareed, thank you. >> thank you. that does it for us. "early start" with john berman and alison kosik starts now. donald trump tapping an ally of big oil. someone who has questioned the science behind climate change to head up the epa. the president-elect with other key picks. and indianapolis union boss claims he is receiving threats after accusing donald trump of lying. now the president-elect is piling on with a new twitter tirade. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm alison kosik. >> i'm john berman. great to see you. it is thursday, december 8th. 4:00 a.m. in the east. breaking overnight. donald trump in a remarkable back an