tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 13, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
the worst kind of evil you could ever imagine. that murdered a beautiful child on christmas night. silent night. my child was murdered. >> jonbenet ramsey's murder remains unsolved. of course. and good evening. thanks for joining us. breaking details about how donald trump's transition team landed on their pick for secretary of state rex tillerson. that and two new cabinet choices including texas governor rick perry to run the department he once said he wanted to abolish. the latest on all of it from phil mattingly who joins us now. there was obviously a lot of high-profile people running for secretary of state. mitt romney, general petraeus. why did president-elect trump end up selecting tillerson? >> it's an interesting backstory
and one that's as informative as it is instructive about why tillerson ended up being the pick. we've all covered this very closely. we knew all the players in the game. rex tillerson was not one of them until a couple weeks ago. and here's the reason why. they simply had not found the right candidate. and because of that according to transition officials, a call was placed by vice president-elect mike pence to steven hadley and condoleezza rice. steven hadley, former national security adviser to george w. bush. condoleezza rice obviously his secretary of state. he was looking for other ideas. steven hadley and condoleezza rice according to a source sat back and recognized that the profile the candidate that the trump transition operation was look for wasn't a traditional one. and so they thought back to individuals they'd worked with in their strategic consulting firm and tillerson came to mind for one particularly good reason. his relationships with international communities and international leaders at his sometime on exxon. again, it's important to note, donald trump and rex tillerson did not know one another until this call was actually made. he came in for an initial
meeting. it went well. there was a level of comfort there. the two really hit it off. most importantly they found their personal profiles matched up. they were dealmakers. they viewed the world through a similar vein. and anderson, that's really how this all ended up coming to be. those endorsements behind the scenes from condoleezza rice, from robert gates, from steven hadley, also from jim baker, played an enormous role on getting rex tillerson to this point, the point where he is now the selection to be the top diplomat for the president-elect. >> and when it comes to the choice of rick perry, former texas governor, for secretary of energy, do we know what was behind that? because obviously most famously he was the guy who once said he wanted to abolish the department he's now going to lead. >> there's a level of iron think there that i don't think anybody is missing including the people in the building behind me. look, management skills were crucial. you can look back at the 2011 debate moment, you can look back at rick perry on "dancing with the stars" this year and you tend to forget he was the longest-serving governor in the history of the state of texas. a state that has pretty much the equivalent to the 11th largest economy in the world if it were a sovereign nation.
during his time running that state conservatives loved what he did that state particularly on issues like energy. now, those conservatives were not only happy with perry himself but also pushing the administration to try and find a spot for him. the trump transition operation made sure those meetings were set up. the president-elect met with rick perry once behind me m n. trump tower but also at the 5r78y-navy game this past weekend. despite perry at one point calling trump's candidacy a cancer on conservatism ended up hitting it off and they found a role a manager who could come take over and work in the bureaucracy. it's worth noting rick per inn the only individual sources saying will be a cabinet pick. also keep an eye on ryan zinke, a montana congressman, early endorser of president-elect trump. he will be the selection to runt department of the interior. he's an army veteran. he knows these issues very well because of where he's from. this is also a surprise pick. i've been talking anderson to sources on capitol hill who long assumed this pick would go to kathy mcmorris-rogers. ryan zinke is the pick.
he will be something to keep an eye on in the days and weeks ahead. >> phil mattingly. now more on rex tillerson and those global ties he just mentioned. his nomination is being compared by some to dwight eisenhower picking the ceo of general motors also with deep global ties. engine charlie wilson as he was known saying for years i thought what was good for our country was good for general motors and vice versa. he was talking become then about concerns about potential conflicts of interest. now some are asking similar questions about tillerson. our tom foreman tonight looks at some of the reasons why. >> reporter: iraq, 2011. the central government is struggling to contain terrorism and unify the country when suddenly the kurds up nrth announce a blockbuster deal for oil drilling on disputed land. with one stroke bolstering their claims for independence and infuriating baghdad and washington. thinned all, exxonmobil and its
ceo rex tillerson. but that's no problem, say those who know him best. like john hamrey at the center for strategic and international studies, where tillerson is on the board. >> when he was the head of exxonmobil, he was -- his responsibility was to champion exxonmobil. others going to champion america now. >> reporter: all over d.c. supporters are lining up, including former secretaries of state james baker and condoleezza rice, who call him an excellent choice with broad international experience and former defense secretary robert gates, who cites his great integrity. in fact, those three power players actually suggested tillerson to trump. they also worked with tillerson and exxon as paid consultants. it's that sort of coziness and the oil giant's vast economic influence that concerns critics, especially the boss's deep ties to russia. >> anybody who's a friend of vladimir putin must disregard the fact that vladimir putin is
a murderer, a thug, a kgb agent. >> reporter: tillerson has had close relations with putin for years, even receiving the russian order of friendship. he created a massive oil partnership with the russians a few years ago. and as secretary of state he would be well positioned to push for a rollback of sanctions that derail the deal, possibly making millions for his old company in the process. and unless he divests his shares, for him too. exxon recently granted tillerson more than 2 million shares of the company worth in excess of $180 million at current prices. congressional democrats already jumpy over reports of russian computer hacks, worry is white hot. >> this is a fight for the soul of our democracy. >> reporter: connecticut's chris murphy sums up what has even some republicans troubled. rex tillerson has spent his entire career putting oil company profits first and the
interests of his country second. it's fantasy to think he will magically change his stripes once in office. still, his fans insist it is not a fantasy. tillerson, they say, is the kind of man who can do just that. even if a great many others could not. anderson? >> tom foreman. tom, thanks very much. plenty more to talk about including the new reporting on how the tillerson pick came about. carl bernstein and kirsten powers, trump supporter engine jeffrey lord. gop consultant margaret hoover. and democratic strategist jonathan tessini. carl, what do you make of the tillerson nomination? it's interesting the reporting by phil mattingly that for condoleezza rierks baker, and gates it was his relationships with people overseas, leaders overseas, was one of the selling points. >> this is why we need hearings. i don't think it's time to cast a final judgment. what we are looking at potentially are the greatest conflicts of interest in a transition we've ever seen going to trump, not just these nominees. and they all come back to
russia. the question is trump's family's business interest and his interest in russia as well as mr. tillerson's and whether these tentacles that reach out and this kind of octobpus at th head, which is trump what does it mean. we need to know and these hearings need to tell us about donald trump's business in russia. that's the essential thing with need to know, his family's business in russia and how it relates to is this going to be a national cash register for the family or is this going to be an unfettered presidency and maybe donald trump will divest himself and his family. those questions all come together and should hinge on these hearings. >> kirsten, what do you make of this in clearly democrats are raising all sorts of objections to tillerson. but he is a ceo, very much in the making ever donald trump and obviously some republicans are -- >> it's interesting that the people who recommended him have a very different world view of course than donald trump does. >> and in fact, gates was very krit critical. >> critical of him.
and obviously condoleezza rice was very involved in the iraq war. so it's interesting that he looked to these people for advice. i think that -- i agree that we sort of have to wait and see for the hearings. but one of the issues i think to be concerned about with both trump and tillerson is they see everything through an economic lens. so for them it's about making deals with businesses. but that's not really what diplomacy is. diplomacy often governments will work against their economic interests if they have a national interest that overrides it. so for example, if you go in and humiliate the chinese, they might just walk away, even if it's not in their best economic interests. look, there are ambassadors who don't have a -- who come in from business, don't have diplomatic experience and do great jobs. so it's possible that he could do it. but i think we need to hear what he has to say about how they plan to implement this kind of policy with somebody who has no diplomatic experience. >> i mean, jeffrey, a company like exxonmobil, they have their own intelligence department. they have -- they are in some ways a mirror government just
like -- as ceo it's not that dissimilar from being secretary of state. you could make an argument. >> what he's very good at is what they call in the diplomatic trade bilaterals, which is to say he goes into a country and he meets with the country's leader or foreign minister, et cetera, to do deals for exxon. he's now getting out of this. and one of the -- i must say, i find some amusement here that in the reagan era when ronald reagan was tough on russians all my liberal friends went crazy about this. when he called them the evil empire, when he said they reserve unto themselves the right to lie and cheat and that sort of thing. you can't do that. you've got to learn to get along with the russians. and here they are suddenly saying don't get along with the russians. and you hear the comment about he's being a murderer and all this sort of -- putin is a murderer and all this. senator mccain. well, good lord. franklin roosevelt called joe stalin uncle joe and did all kinds of deals with him, and he makes vladimir putin look like an angel here. >> john, you're a democrat obviously.
is it fair to be labeling tillerson as a friend of vladimir putin before we've even heard from him? in any hearings. before we've heard him describe what his relationship is. >> well, clearly there's evidence tracking back on his relationship with putin. i think if you google his name you find dozens and dozens of pictures of them meeting and make business deals. i'm not sure it's about were these close friends buddy-buddy, going to have a beer, but they clearly have a very close relationship that is of concern to other people. what i have not heard is the two words mentioned here, which relates to tillerson, which is the words of climate change. and my concern -- i mean, we've talked about putin but the reality su now have somebody who is going to be secretary of sedate, a very important position, negotiating climate change agreements around the world, someone who is at the head of a company, the third largest oil and gas company around the world, who has been pumping oil like crazy, who has been for fracking, oil and gas fracking. and if you then match that together with donald trump, who's a climate change denier and the head of the epa who he's
nominated, pruitt, who is hostile to the epa and does not believe in the epa's mission, if you combine those three together i think we should be very concerned about whether the united states will have an agrefls position on climate change. >> tillerson has said in the past that he actually believes -- >> it's a nice thing compared to donald trump who denies it and rick perry who denies it that he actually acknowledges. but it's about the conduct of his company, which did not reflect that. >> margaret. >> first of all, i think it's really important to know that the reason that he was a friend of russia, right? is that he brought an enormous amount of capital investment to russia. he had actually -- he as the ceo of exxonmobil had leverage over putin in these negotiations. putin wanted exxon to come. as the ceo of exxon which has operations on every continent of the planet he has personal relationships with every head of state on the planet where they're doing significant business. and by the way, russia isn't
even the leading -- in terms of the barrels of oil that exxon gets out of each country per day, russia's like sixth on the list after africa, after the middle east, after china, after south america. so there's no reason why rex tillerson shouldn't be considered as a viable candidate. he's going to have to answer tough questions and he has to be prepared to answer those questions. but he is somebody who has international business experience, has -- practiced as jeffrey says bilateral deals, making deals -- so tough questions, absolutely. especially with republican members who really want to understand that he's going to be able to translate his experience to diplomatic -- >> we're going to have more with the panel. we're going to fake a quick break. and focus on rex tillerson's business relationships with the kremlin, how they're playing out among the senators who will be voting on the confirmation. not all democrats, we're reporting next. where some influential republicans now stand. later in a transition full of
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we'd been reporting on secretary of state designate rex tillerson and the breaking news about how the trump team was struggling before choosing him. now come the questions about to what degree his confirmation might be a struggle. let's get the latest on what the effort may entail and how it is playing out from cnn's mana raju who is joining us from washington. who on capitol hill is not on board with tillerson? >> democrats for one. there are 48 of them and none of them today have come out in support of tillerson. in fact, several of them are outright opposed to his nomination. then you add several republicans who are just concerned right now
about tillerson's views about russia and his ties to vladimir putin, his business dealings as well. and that could spell trouble on the floor of the united states senate. if those republicans end up voting no. then you look at the senate foreign relations committee, anderson, which has broken 10 republicans to 9 democrats. if one republican jumps ship, that could also stall the nomination. marco rubio of florida sits on that committee. he has said he has serious concerns with that nomination. now, i should caution, though, none of those republicans are saying they will oppose the nomination. they just want to hear more about how rex tillerson views russia. >> i also understand you spoke to senator bob corker who's going to be chairing tillerson's confirmation hearing. what did he say? >> he has a very busy january, anderson. he wants to get his confirmation done by the time donald trump is sworn into office on january 20th. at the same time he plans to launch a separate probe into the russia election meddling. but on the tillerson kochlation proceedings he thinks that tillerson was the very best choice in his words for donald
trump to choose as secretary of state even though corker himself was considered as a possible secretary of state choice. but when i pressed him i said, well, look, what do you know about his views about russia and about russia's -- about russia policy? he really did not have an answer. he said that we need to explore that further in the confirmation proceedings. so it goes to show you, anderson, there's a lot of questions that members of congress still have about rex tillerson. >> manu raja. thanks very much. jeffrey, obviously questions about russia will be front and center in any confirmation hearing. >> sure. of course. and that's fair game. that's totally fair. he's going to be secretary of state. so it's up to him to present his world view and most importantly represent the president. one of the things that i find interesting here is the fact that he's a businessman and a ceo of a company. i mean, how many lawyers do we have in the united states senate? how many lawyers in the obama cabinet? how many ivy league graduates? there's a surplus of these kind of folks. yet we get a businessman and
they say -- [ laughter ] >> we lost our host. >> we get a surplus of these folks. but you're not in politics. it's okay. >> that's right. >> well, i don't know. i may see him this week. if he floats your name. but seriously. you have to stop and think. why is it just somebody who's in business that's a problem when all these other groups have a -- >> i get your point, jonathan, about your concerns about climate change, you know, which many democrats have clearly this president does not share your concerns and his choice would seem to reflect that. although it sounds like tillerson himself believes in climate change. but this is who he feels comfortable with. and the presidents gets to -- >> i'm not denying the reality of the people he's chosen, and it does reflect the fact that in this case he's a climate change denier, which is -- but i want
to step back and make sure this is about our children and the future of our planet. it's not about defense and economics and higher interest rates or not. we're talking about the survival of the planet. so this choice and the fact that donald trump is a climate change denier, we're going to get to rick perry in a second, you've got pruitt and you've got tillerson, i think this should be front and center in the senate confirmation hearings. i want to throw in one quick other thing, which is on the business side. one of the great concerns people have had over the last ten years is corporations stash billions of dollars overseas out of the reach of the u.s. treasury. apple does it, just to be fair. all big corporations do that. exxon has $51 billion stashed overseas out of the reach of the u.s. treasury. so one question could be asked of tillerson when he's before the confirmation hearings. what do you think about that policy of corporations evading taxes essentially? it's legal. >> i support corporate tax reform.
>> there are plenty of people who had one job once and then switch and take on different -- >> and they're perfectly capable people. by the way, he's a highly effective individual as the ceo of a multinational corporation. >> effective for who, though? >> my sweet grenade jonathfrien all of his democratic brethren are going to have to decide who they narrow their sights on. >> my guess is pruitt. >> the other thing they need to matrix this again is the karmd. trump is going inaugurated and the next thing that's going to happen and they're probably going to try to get a top appointment through probably jeff sessions and then guess what, scotus, guys. >> don't democrats have to kind of pick and choose where -- >> they do. >> -- they want to expend their time? because you can't just oppose everything and say everyone is completely terrible. >> i think so but i'm not sure that that's what they're going to do. i think at least what i've heard is more of the tactic is going to be maybe the outright oppose but also slow roll a lot of them to do whatever they can to gum up the gears to try to basically
act the way that republicans did i think is sort of the approach. i just want to say on tillerson there should be one standard. and i guess this is going to be my forever dream that this will someday happen in washington. when you hear people talk about his relationship with russia i feel like we're going back to when everybody was criticizing barack obama for wanting to talk to other countries and talk to bad people. it's basically the same argument. the argument isn't i'm going to be best friends with russia. the argument is we have to talk to people who we have national -- we have international and national interests that coincide and we need to be able to talk to them -- >> no, no. >> conflict of interest in the -- >> it's -- look, mark zuckerberg is studying mandarin to get close to the chinese government. are you under the impression the chinese government is different than put snin they're among the worst human rights abusers in the entire world. they're doing the exact same things. >> we have propped up regimes of human rights abusers -- >> yes, we did. >> let me make a suggestion that this should not be about
democratic opposition. that there are thoughtful republicans, one hopes, who are going to use this nomination as the fulcrum to look at donald trump and his policies because trump so far has not told us much about what he intends to do. and this nomination is a chance to look at conflicts of interest, energy policy, and perhaps rolling it back in a way that we haven't seen since richard nixon created the epa. conflicts of interest, energy policy, russia hacking, all of it comes together here. so i would suggest -- >> why would republicans do that, though? ? >> not many of them. but you only need a few like mccain and a couple other very thoughtful people to make this about a policy when we have a president-elect who is not being forth coming and sends out kellyanne and his propagandist every day and we don't know what the hell is really going on. >> i was just going to say, there's no doubt, to your points, donald trump is probably going to get most if not all of
his nominees. my guess is that pruitt is probably the sacrificial lamb that won't go because there will probably be a few, maybe two or three moderates, susan collins, who would oppose him on the climate change issue. but i think for democrats it's about also talking to the base and preparing for the election in 2018 and beyond which i think most democratic senators want to say to the democratic base we are not going to let these people pass unchallenged. >> there's a lot more to talk about, including more breaking news. donald trump's pick for energy secretary, former texas governor rick perry, who made it clear in his 2012 presidential run that he'd like to get rid of the energy department, which he's about to head.
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more break news topnight. as we mentioned president-elect trump has announced he tapped rick perry to head the energy department, an agency he vowed to get rid of during his 2012 presidential run. despite what came to be known as his oops moment during a primary debate. >> and i will tell you, it's three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education, and the -- what's the third one there? let's see. >> you mean five. >> oh, five. okay. commerce, education, and the -- um. >> epa? >> epa. there you go. >> seriously? [ applause ] >> is epa the one you were talking about? >> no, sir. we were talking about the agencies of government -- the epa needs to be rebuilt. >> but you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government i would do away with, the education, the --
>> commerce. >> commerce. and let's see. >> oh, my. >> i can't. the third one i can't. sorry. oops. >> that gaffe was a pivotal moment in his troubled campaign. now he is on track to lead the department responsible for securing the safety of america's nuclear weapons. back with the panel. it's an interesting choice. i mean, obviously there is the irony of a man who wants to eliminate the department -- >> or is there? >> or -- >> if he can remember it. >> well, i don't know if it is ironic. that's the thing. i think if you look at the way he's choosing people who are somewhat hostile to some of the organizations it may be intentional. >> absolutely. >> yeah. sew i think if you look at the epa or some of these other departments, it's also interesting because it's not -- i think a lot of people think of the energy department and they think it's oil and gas and climate change is a piece of it. but it's also responsible for our nuclear arsenal for non-proliferation and things like that. that's about 60% of their budget. so that's not something he has expertise in.
i think the last two secretaries had degrees in physics. and then they work a lot on climate change as well. work on the science underlying climate change. so it's not really his area of expertise. >> although, carl, if you're donald trump and you want to be projecting the idea of less government, of sort of eliminati eliminating waste, a guy who wants to eliminate the whole department makes sense in that way. >> it does. and there are six cabinet members so far that fit that description, about eliminating waste and about stripping government down to nothing. that is what this process has been about in part. but i want to come back to this question of russia and conflicts of interest. we need to know, and i think these nominations but particularly tillerson is a way of finding out what donald trump's holdings are in russia, what debts has in russia. we need to know that. we need to know about the visits of his sons to russia on his
behalf. ' these hearings are an opportunity to find that out including perhaps governor perry's hearings. because the president-elect is not going to let us know. this is a way perhaps we can find out what we need to know if we are going to be a country in which the president of the united states is leld to reasonable standards of conflicts of interest. >> so -- >> go ahead. >> we now have the four men of the climate change apocalypse is what i'm going to call this. we've got trump, tillerson, pruitt and now rick perry. here's what rick perry said in 2011. "i think we're seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change. that is 100% false. that is not true. 98% of scientists say that climate change is manmade." so you have a man who's coming into the energy department who's a climate change denier -- >> but voters heard this and they voted --
>> i know. but i'm telling you people should be concerned about this and should rebel against this. and let me make an economic point if the moral point doesn't fly. there is going to be a huge energy industry throughout the world that's going to address climate change. it would be foolish for the united states not to be a part of that, and the energy department is part of where it's developed. >> jeffrey, as a trump supporter what is the message you think trump is sending by whether it's pruitt -- >> right. >> -- the epa -- >> that he was elected to change policy and he's going to do it. one of the key things here, anderson that's not talked about often enough, i have a column coming out tomorrow for "conservative review." the pendleton civil service reform act of 1883 was put in to get rid of the, quote unquote, spoils system and professionalize the civil service. effectively the way this has worked out is the american federation of government employees gave -- union, which represents a lot of federal government employees, gave
$700,000 in the 2016 election cycle to democrats in the house. $86,000 to republicans. my point is these bureaucracies are liberal themselves. and so they have a stake in all of this so they definitely do not want a pruitt or any of these other people -- >> let me just show a picture of basically the selections so far for dnld trumponald trump's cab. margaret, as you look at, that does it concern you? the vast majority white, male -- >> billionaires. >> politics aside, is that -- >> look, we always -- look, i want a republican party that reflects the country. right? and i would prefer a republican cabinet that also reflected diversity in the country. that said, i think diversity is not only what we see sort of physically. it's also ideological diversity. and i think you have -- i think the way i see this cabinet is sort of a mix of sort of drain the swampers and reformers
versus people who maybe didn't -- don't represent the message that donald trump is running against, where you have a goldman sachs guy at treasury you have a big money guy in commerce. there's sort of a mix. you have loyal people who -- jeff sessions who's a.g. i think you really have a mix. there's something for republican reformers here. >> how can you say -- >> six of these nominations that really represent changing. >> how can you say -- >> it looks to me like the cabinet that donald trump said he was running against. >> yes. how can you -- >> it is a group of -- >> you have tom price at hhs who's going to repeal o'bam arcare because he is the guy who wrote all the repeal bills. you have betsy devos who wants to insert competition in our education system. you have people -- >> they're not doing this -- >> that is what they -- and you can't say -- you're interrupting me. >> you can't say that these are not elitists. you've got billionaires, people from goldman sachs -- >> no. >> but if you're talking
about -- >> i am -- >> hold on a second. >> -- talking about form and changing the way -- you think government can solve everything and these folks want to reform the way government is -- >> well, i do actually think, for example, that the epa in trying to limit emissions and trying to prevent kids from getting asthma, yes, i think that's a proper -- >> how do you feel about betsy devos and the department of education trying to make sure kids have a chance at a real education instead of -- >> if you look at detroit, look at the detroit free press, she destroyed the school system there. >> how was the detroit educational system doing before she got involved? it's not a stunning -- >> i'm sorry. that's not factually correct. let me finish -- no, it isn't. let me finish with the epa, though. you're talking about someone who wants to come in and reform the government on behalf of some crazy ideology that is actually going to harm kids. >> we've got to go. >> it's pretty mainstream republican ideology. so it may not be what you
believe -- yeah, charter schools -- school choice is a very mainstream -- >> charter -- >> i would just say that most of these people are -- and i've talked to a lot of conservatives who didn't support trum trump and they're pretty happy with the people he's choosing for the most part. the republicans are skeptical of the epa. they are skeptical of the department of education. it's not -- even people who believe there's a problem with climate change think maybe the regulations are too much. >> but it's not our -- >> but carl, for those republicans and others who are concerned that donald trump was going to completely blow everything up in washington, i mean, a lot of these choices send a message of stability at least for those ideas. >> surprisingly establishmentarian for a candidate who said he was going to sweep things clean and bring a wholesale kind of change based on non-insiders. >> you could argue some of these
are not washington insiders, they're business insiders. >> some of them are. but by and large it is a plutocratic reflection rather than what trump was talking about where i think what trump was talking about was very refreshing in this instance to even some democrats. >> we've got to take a break. just ahead, president-elect trump's surprise meetings today at trump tower with kanye west. also with nfl hall of famer jim brown, a long-time activist who voted for hillary clinton. what did jim brown talk about with donald trump? i'll talk to jim brown ahead in a moment. etition and games play. at td ameritrade we believe the best investments are the ones that matter most to you. like their photo claims tool. it helps settle your claim quickly, which saves time, which saves money. and when they save, you save. that's auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance, an allstate company. click or call. esurance does insurance a smarter way, which saves money. like bundling home and auto coverage,
president-elect trump had a full day of meetings at trump tower. visitors including some surprises kanye west for example, also billionaire microsoft co-founder and now philanthropist bill gates. plus former baltimore ravens linebacker ray lewis and hall of fame running back jim brown, who joins me tonight. how did this meeting come about? w45 did you want to talk to the president-elect about? >> well, about the state of black america. and i've been working on that for many, many years. and he said certain things in his earlier days about wanting to do something about it. we have a lot of violence in our neighborhoods now. we need education. and we need jobs. >> what kind of a response did you get from him today? >> totally positive. it's almost like two people.
he was very receptive. funny. cracked some jokes. and understood very well and said he was in, that he would work with us. >> during the campaign he talked about reaching out to african-american voters. in particular he talked about inner cities in a way that did offend some people, a lot of democrats, some african-americans, saying what have you got to lose, what have the democrats ever done for you. your schools aren't working. can't get jobs, can't get an education, you get killed on the streets. during the campaign did that stand out to you? what did you think of that and what did you think of how you saw him today? >> i tell you something. i saw all of it. and a lot of it i understood because of his personality. it's different. and for years the presidency had
been like a smoothride and nothing really dramatic has happened. but with him every day is full of energy. things are going to happen. and today when i met him it was like meeting a different person. >> you were a hillary clinton supporter, is that right? in the campaign. >> yes. >> i'm wondering, there were a lot of clinton supporters who are upset obviously about the results of the election or depressed about it. you are willing to give him a chance. you are willing to -- this is the president now. this is everybody's president. you're willing to let him -- to try to work with him. >> well, in my opinion, people that go against the election are going against america. we have free elections. everybody can vote. we fought for that. we brag about that. and we know we're going to have a winner and we're going to have a loser. so my point is if we respect the winner and approach that person
and have access to that person and that person will look at what we're presenting, that's not too bad. i could have said, well, hillary didn't win, i'm just going to sit on my butt and complain. but see, the one thing about this country, if you get off your butt and you apply yourself, you can be successful. but if you want to be delivered, you're talking about the wrong country. >> in terms of the people that president trump is going to have around him in the cabinet, predominantly white, predominantly male, is that a concern to you at all or do you feel he's reaching out to people who haven't been involved in the government and it's -- you're giving him a chance? >> that's a tremendous question. you know, and i give an answer and a lot of the black people in my community may think i'm a sellout by saying this. the three greatest people in my life as a young person were white. my high school superintendent, my high school coach, and a
graduate of manhasset high who was a mentor to yours truly. so i'm not a person that really deal in color. i recognize inequities that certain cultures have to go through. but i'm not a victim. i can participate. i am invest my money. i can invest my time. and that's what i'm doing. i'm not working for anybody. i'm not making any money doing what i'm doing. i'm doing it because someone did it for me. >> and you're making a difference. >> absolutely. >> it's an honor to talk to you, mr. brown. thank you. >> thank you for having me. >> the legendary jim brown. coming up, a growing chorus of top republican voices calling for investigations into russia's interference in the election. why the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee says it has to be done. that's next. aste
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the bottom of how russia may have influenced the elections. pamela brown joins us with the latest. what did corker say he hopes to achieve with this investigation? >> senator bob corker said he wants classified sessions to get to the bottom of russian involvement and look step by step about what happened and why officials believe russia is the culprit. here's what he said. >> i think any time we have a country that is attempting to discredit our democracy, it's an important issue for us to pursue. that goes to his benefit, that is what he's tried to achieve. how deep it goes and whether they actually tried to tilt it toward the candidate or not, it's hard for me to discern at present. >> so this would be the third senate committee to dig into the issue, but it stops short of a separate standing committee whose task is to investigate the
matter, similar to the panel with the benghazi attack. we've learned today me and my colleague, evan perez, for several months the obama administration knew russian was behind the hacks and the question is why didn't they look into it sooner. by july intelligence agencies we're told they breached it a month earlier. there was a debate between the white house and other government agencies about how to respond to russia in the middle of an election. there was concern calling out russia could lead to more cyber conflict. there was worry it could hamper ongoing talks with russia over syria, and the obama white house was worried that saying it was hurting hillary clinton would be seen that it was actually looking like the obama white
house was trying to help clinton, and they didn't want to give trump any ammunition. they thought hillary clinton would win the election, and they didn't want to give anyone a reason to call the results into question. gary thompson went to find out the thoughts of the pick for secretary of state. >> reporter: single digit temperatures. not enough to keep these folks to arriving early for trump's arrival. these people are intensely loyal. >> it's freezing. >> reporter: what made you decide to wait? >> i wanted to support donald. i feel he's getting a bum wrap. everybody is picking on him. >> reporter: you feel sorry for him? >> i do. >> reporter: a lot of people here feel similarly. donald trump has every right to believe people are trying to undermine his election.
>> i don't think there was a hacking. >> the cia says they believe russians did this hacking in order to help donald trump. >> that's nonsense. >> reporter: you don't believe the cia? >> no. the cia has been politicized. obama has politicized about every agency, the department of justice, the fbi, now the cia. >> reporter: you think they're -- >> absolutely. >> reporter: many people here say they don't crust the cia and don't believe any possible hacking would have been done for donald trump's benefit. >> their views are more on their feelings and not necessarily on facts. >> reporter: the cia? >> yes. >> reporter: you think this is not fact based but feeling based? >> i do. >> i don't believe it was necessarily done by russia. i don't know why. >> reporter: the cia says it was. why don't you believe the cia? >> i don't believe russia would hack anything in the united states and leave -- >> reporter: that leads to the
russian business connections of russ tillerson. some people said let's wait and see. >> he may bring a different perspective. obvious trump likes rich business people and works well with them. let's try it. i don't know. i'm not sure. >> reporter: this trump supporter is pretty sure. >> i think he'll be good. >> reporter: does it bother you he has a strong connections to russia? >> not in a way he is connected with the business. i think that's it. >> reporter: can he be a diplomat and be an honest broker with a country like russia when he's so close to russia? >> i think he can. >> reporter: why? >> because he's a smart businessman just like trump is. >> 31,000 people. >> reporter: anderson, donald trump is speaking now for about 35 minutes. he hasn't yet mentioned russia or hacking, but he has talked about his secretary of state nominee.
he says rex tillerson is strong and tough and has a resume like you've never seen before and added he'll refer to years of foreign policy blunders and disasters. a lot of this rally is like before the election. she's instigated chants against hillary clinton and chants against all the news media standing right here. >> gary, thank you very much. we'll be right back. this is my new alert system for whenever anything happens in the market. but thinkorswim already lets you create custom alerts for all the things that are important to you. i guess we don't need the kid anymore. custom alerts on thinkorswim. only at td ameritrade.
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built for speed. built for business. that does it for us. thanks for watching. don lemon is on now. we are going to make america great again. so i want to thank you, wisconsin. god bless you. merry christmas. donald trump's merry christmas usa thank you tour sounding a lot like his greatest hits from his campaign. while the president-elect is in the heartland, washington is buzzing over his choice for secretary of state. the exxon mobile ceo. and is it good news or bad news? meanwhile the