tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN December 19, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PST
compassion you have, towards other people. >> oh, my gosh that's beautiful. what child doesn't like a new toy? that is such a great gesture on her part. >> and again, regular person, not independently wealthy. didn't win the lottery. but, this matters more to her than the money. >> it's good stuff. time for "newsroom" with carol costello. good morning, carol. >> good morning. that is a good, good stuff. you guys have a great day. "newsroom" starts now. and good morning carol costello, thank you so much for joining me. the electoral college on track to seal the deal for president-elect trump today 538 members will cast ballots across the country. the process largely seen as a ceremonial one now taking an unusual step into the spotlight. next hour, electors in indiana, new hampshire, tennessee and west virginia all expected to begin voting. and the pressure is on. some electors are now being urged to break their party's pledge and vote their conscience.
recent revelations of russian hacking only adding fuel to the fire. but in order to block trump from the white house, 37 republicans electors would need to switch their votes. something highly unlikely. let's begin with cnn's jessica schneider. >> hi, carol, that's right. michigan's 16 electors will cast their vote right here at the state capitol starting at 2:00 this afternoon. this is largely ceremonial. it will be presided over by the governor here, rick snyder. now this vote is organized by the republican party. all of the electors were chosen at the state party convention back in april. all of these electors are party loyalists. but you know, despite that, these electors here in michigan and all over the country, they've been receiving letters asking them to go rogue, to vote their conscience. in fact one elector right here in michigan said he's even received death threats. you combine that with the fact that michigan's own michael moore has even taken to facebook to pledge to pay the fines of any electors who do vote their conscience and don't vote for donald trump, both here in michigan and all over the
country, but as you'll know, 28 states have faithless elector laws. michigan is one of those states. that means that all of the electors are bound to vote for the candidate that their state voted for. and republican party officials right here in michigan tell me that if one of their electors here was to go rogue, which they say will not happen, they would just simply replace that elector with someone who actually will cast their vote for donald trump. carol? >> all right. jessica schneider reporting live from lansing, michigan. with me now is one of those electors from rhode island. he's a democrat, and he'll cast his vote in the electoral college sometime today. welcome. >> good morning. thanks for having me, carol. >> thanks for being here. so what time do you cast your vote? >> so we in rhode island will meet at noon in the state house here in providence. we will each cast our vote here in rhode island. we're expected, we're all planning to vote for hillary clinton. >> so you were one of the electors who signed a letter and
sent the letter to the director of the national intelligence agency asking for a briefing on russia's role in the election. did you ever hear back? >> we did hear back. and unfortunately the information about this unprecedented hack was not released. that's unfortunate, because in the absence of fact, people make up their own fact. and that's why today, in our electoral college meeting, we will be calling upon the congress to go ahead and proceed with the bipartisan, independent commission to make sure that we full -- the american people have the full information about this unprecedented foreign intervention into our election. >> we have found no evidence that that you're going to get 37 republican electors to switch sides, and donald trump knows that. in fact, he kind of twisted the knife in alabama for those electors hoping that things will change. he taunted clinton supporters for -- for assuming this big win before all was said and done. listen.
>> spent $7 million on fireworks, and they knew something was wrong. one of their people, who's a high level guy, said we made a big mistake. we made a big mistake. we're going to lose. and he was telling that to people. and i felt we were going to win. but then all of a sudden they canceled their fireworks a week in and i said, because you know what? i found fireworks just don't work when you lose. do you agree with that? just to be cute. we sent an offer in, we offered to buy their fireworks for 5 cents on the dollar. >> so trump appears to be saying, either jump on the train or get left behind, it is over, stop it. >> yeah. i think that -- i mean, president trump -- president-elect trump will be no formally elected today. and i think it's very important that he focus not on the election, and -- and continue divisiveness, but instead on making sure that he stands with
the intelligence community and stands up against this russian intervention. this is not a partisan issue. that's why we're calling for a bipartisan investigation. and this is something that i think all americans can stand behind. >> well, i think that even lawmakers are calling for a bipartisan investigation. but i think that when electors in the electoral college try to convince others to change their vote, then it becomes, in some trump supporters' minds, sore losers. and again you got to get on the train, because it's over. >> oh, well, i -- president trump is going to be formally elected. and that really is going to be the outcome. so, our focus is not on persuading or suggesting to others what they should do. our focus is defending the integrity of the american democracy. and really that's something that all -- all -- all americans including trump supporters can get behind. this ultimately will help the legitimacy of president-elect trump, as well.
>> clay pell thanks for joining me this morning. the russians, namely vladimir putin, shaking the political world in the united states. senator john mccain said the russian election related hack threatens to destroy democracy. president obama is demanding a quick end to the investigation. yet the whole confusing ordeal has made its way into our popular culture, and not in a good way. >> mr. trump, i'm here because your cia is saying that we russians tried to make you win election. >> i know. all lies made up by some very bitter people who need to move on. >> so you trust me more than american cia? >> all i know is i won. >> wow. wow, this guy is blowing my mind. >> sometimes you just need to laugh, right? but it's no laughing matter in russia. clarissa ward is following the story in moscow. hi, clarissa. >> hi, carol. well, so far the kremlin will not really be drawn on in terms of responding to president
trump's press conference. they said that we have given our answer so many times to this issue. we have objected strenuously to these accusations since they first emerged two months ago, and there has not been really, carol, any shift whatsoever in that of cnn did try to ask the kremlin spokesperson today, as well, what the content of the conversation between president obama and president putin back in september was. you may remember that in his press conference, president obama said that he told putin quote to cut it out but the kremlin spokesperson said he would not be revealing any details of those conversations because they are private conversations. unofficially, though, i think it's fair to say that russia is kind of relishing its moment in the sun here. relishing the idea that it could have the kind of power and sway that would be needed to pull off such an audacious move such as swinging the u.s. election. and as far as the party line goes, it's really just a case of the russians are saying there's
no credible, physical, tangible evidence here. what you are bringing to the table is circumstantial evidence. we are not seeing actual proof of any russian involvement. and until we do see that proof, and, carol, perhaps once we see it, even, we will continue to deny it. carol? >> all right. clarissa ward, stay with us. because still to come in the "newsroom," russians hacking the u.s. election, the chinese stealing of an american drone submarine, the slaughter inside syria. why senator john mccain says right now we may be witnessing the unraveling of the world order. ke this... feel like this. all-in-one cold symptom relief from tylenol®, the #1 doctor recommended pain relief brand. tylenol® hi, we(laughter)lford quads. we're in 8th grade. technology is the only thing that really entertains us. i'm gonna use this picture on sketchbook, and i'm going to draw mustaches on you all. using the pen instead of fingers,
intends to nominate u.s. army infantry officer and current financial founder and executive chairman vincent vinnie viola as the secretary of the army. this is another billionaire that donald trump wants to appoint to his staff and cabinet. he also owns the nhl team the panthers. we're going to talk a little bit more about this in just five minutes. so bear with me here. make no mistake though some american politicians are deeply, deeply concerned about the hacking of the american presidential election. the republican senator john mccain actually said the hack, coupled with world events, signals an unraveling of the world order. listen to what he told jake tapper on "state of the union." >> what's happening here, when we see the seizure of these ships, when we see the cyber attacks, when we see the dismemberment of syria, when we
see the tragedies that are taking place there which are heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking, while we sat by and watched all this happen, this is -- this is the sign of a possible unraveling of the world order that was established after world war ii. we're starting to see the unraveling of it and that is because of an absolute failure of american leadership. when america doesn't lead, a lot of other bad people do. so let's talk about more with this then. i'm also, again, joined by senior international correspondent clarissa ward in moscow. general, if senator mccain right -- >> well, he is to a certain degree. he certainly is. i wouldn't say it's a complete unraveling but if you look at the verb, unraveling really speaks to a very, slow atrophy of american influence. clearly we have seen a decline of america making itself felt
internationally in a incredibly powerful and very clear way. and actions are being conducted rye now without consequence. the united states needs to be able to reassert itself. there isn't too much daylight i would say between my assessment and senator mccains? >> okay so when you talk about action, perhaps you're talking about what's happening within syria, something clarissa word knows about in and out. so, when you're in those war-torn regions, clarissa, do people mention president obama and the united states? or do they talk more about russia? >> well, this is so interesting, carol. and actually, not to shamelessly plug my own material but i just wrote a piece for cnn's website with ken lister about 2016 and one of the things i particularly talk about is the sort of rejiggering of the world order but also what it's like to be in syria. nowadays, where before everybody in the beginning of the uprising, 2011, everybody wanted to know about what president
obama would do, and what the u.s. was thinking, and people were talking about democracy, and people were talking about freedom. fast forward five years later and we see a radically different landscape for many different reasons but on my most recent trip what people were asking me about is what's president putin doing? what's behind his logic and really president obama only came up occasionally in conversation, and even then that was more just to voice sort of bitter disappointment on behalf of the syrian people who i was with, who i should stress were supporters of the rebellion. so it's absolutely clear that the influence of the u.s. has certainly waned, particularly in the middle east. but also in other areas, as well. and there's a real question mark now as to how and if that might change under president-elect donald trump, carol. >> and that leads in my next question for you general marks. how -- how might it change? because senator mccain does not like russia and vladimir putin. he doesn't like what they're doing within syria. i don't think many people realize that russia is working
with iran inside syria. so what will donald trump do aboutthat? >> well, carol, are the key issue right now is does the united states want to compete or does it want to cooperate? whether that's with russia or whether that's with china or other bad actors and nonstate actors that are out there. and clearly with the case of russia, we have to establish where we find a confluence of interest. that's how you begin a conversation. clearly with the russian hacking into our electoral process is a good place to start. look, what we have right now, and what we see online is what is described as an ungoverned common. people do what they want, when they want, online. the risks of that are not dissimilar to a cataclysmic event that could occur. i mean we talk about this right now in political terms. but clearly, that too narrowly defines the risk. we could -- or anyone, could shut down a large portion of our
financial system and power grids. we need to -- carol, to answer your question, we need to be able to begin a conversation, and the risks are high, if we don't, and we need to be able to establish where is there common ground. we should go to russia right now and hold up a piece of paper and say look, you guys did this, of course we know you did this. we can talk about tensions all day, we can try to talk about causality in that russia about this, therefore donald trump won, i think that's a false narrative. but we can go forward and say we've got to acknowledge that you were running wild and free online, you have got capabilities and we have capabilities and we need to put those on the table, discuss what we can and establish some protocol. right now it just doesn't exists and i think we could agree to have that conversation with russia and make some progress. then we could bring other nations on board. >> so, so clarissa how might moscow welcome that kind of conversation? >> i think moscow would welcome that kind of conversation. because ultimately, if the
russians are one thing, it is very pragmatic. and they see quite clearly that u.s. and russian interests could align much more than they have previously. now i think in terms of the u.s.' approach to this potential new chapter in the relationship it will depend a lot on what the u.s. is hoping to get out of this geopolitically. there are a number of perfectly sensible reasons to favor a closer tie to russia. some of them you just heard the general mention in terms of averting further escalation in the cyberwar fare but there's also a lot of people talking about analysts discussing the idea that by working to the more closely with russia you potentially put a lot of pressure on china. and that perhaps this is a way of further isolating china, bringing them to the negotiating table. we know donald trump feels very strongly that their economic practices have hurt the u.s. a lot. and finally, i would say there's another argument to be made that by essentially trying to rein the russians in, and embrace them, you are, in a way, also,
as the u.s., almost containing them in terms of what they can do. because the narrative here in russia, from president putin that the u.s. is the bad man, the u.s. is the evil empire, the u.s. is trying to contain and encroach on russia, if you take that narrative away, then potentially you take away the excuses needed for more aggressive behavior on the world stage, carol. >> okay i want to switch topics for just a second and talk about trump's pick for secretary of the army because general marks i know you know vincent viola. tell us about him, will he make a good secretary of the army? >> i can tell you he's a wonderful person, so i would have to assume he's going to make a magnificent secretary of the army. vinnie viola is a great american story. he's a brooklyn kid who pulls himself up, gets appointed to the military academy, graduates from west point, was an infantry officer, served honorably, and then he departs service, he gets into the financial services, and makes a ton of money, and makes a difference as a result of
that. you know, that immediately after 9/11, vinnie viola, made a donation to the military academy so that the military academy could more broadly study terrorism, all of its roots, create a counterterrorism center so that there might be some synergies, academic synergies that could take place so that there could be learning done immediately on the he's of this cataclysmic event that changed our lives forever. and west point was at the forefront of that only because vinnie viola said here i want to stroke a check, i want this to happen. so here's an individual who has done extremely well by doing extremely good things for others. i think he's going to be a magnificent pick. >> i just want to ask you one more thing because i've done so many stories on this opening of combat roles to women. do you think that that will be rolled back under a trump administration? >> no. i don't think so at all, carol. i think that opening all roles to women is a magnificent thing. the problem we get into is if
there's some type of oversight, and if floors are established, minimums, are established by our congress, we're totally hosed. what we have to be able to do is say, all soldiers, irrespective of gender, all soldiers come in, try, if you meet the standards, we're not going to lower the standards, but if you meet the standards, you're a part of the team. i think we can go forward. if we get meddling by congress, that's going to ruin the whole thing. >> all right. i have to leave it there. general spider marks and clarissa ward thanks so much. still to come in the "newsroom," on the day donald trump's election will almost certainly be confirmed by the electoral college, president obama is weighing in on what went wrong for democrats. maybe you can call him in the future coach in chief? ♪ (laughs) here it is. ♪ hey dad! wishes do come true. the lincoln wish list sales event is on.
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and good morning carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. 30 minutes from now, electors in states like new hampshire and indiana will officially begin casting their ballot for president of the united states. the process, largely viewed as a ceremonial one to formally lock in the commander in chief, but for one elector today's vote isn't just about casting a ballot. it's about living the american dream. sara sidner live in harrisburg, pennsylvania. hi, sara. >> good morning, carol. an immigrant from india came here with eight dollars in his pocket and a scholarship to university and a couple of degrees, and he says he came here and he was so poor but he had a dream and he is now living the american dream. and this is a very special day for him. he talked about the fact that he
will be the first indian-american to vote the president of the united states into office. and when asked about voting for donald trump, here's what he said. >> i was a nobody. and that came from a third world country. and i'm making a difference. it's not by a handout. it's by hard work. and loyalty. that's all. and, this is the beauty of america. you don't need family connections. what you need is hard work and loyalty. you have to have a dream. like i told you, man of la
mancha. dream the impossible dream. i am so honored that mr. trump picked me to be one of the 20 electors. and this is making history for me. >> a personal history? >> yes. >> as well. >> to helping elect the next president, against all odds. >> he has certainly paid a price for his opinion, and for his decision to go with pennsylvania's electorate, which voted for donald trump. he has been receiving, this is just an example of some of the letters he's received not just from here in pennsylvania, but from all over the country and the world, he says he's received thousands of letters, so many that the post office has a designated person just for him because he was getting so much mail, as well as e-mails and phone calls. but he says there is nothing that will sway him today. he is voting for donald trump. and he says, so are the other 19 electors here in pennsylvania. carol? >> all right. sara sidner, many thanks. let's talk about that and more. with me now is david swerdlick,
cnn political commentator and assistant editor for "the washington post" and patricia murphy columnist for the daily beast and roll call. patricia when you see stories like that, and i know we talk about the electoral college and we talk about the controversy surrounding it this year, but when you see stories like that, you think good things about america, right? >> you do. and you know, i think throughout this process reporting on the election, i have told a lot of people, reporting on the high level of the election was very difficult. it was very controversial. it was very ugly. it was very negative. but talking to individual voters, really kind of restored my faith in america. even when the leadership was talking about hard times being the best of america, i really found the voters were finding the best in america and they were more hopeful and sounded a lot more hopeful even than the people who are trying to lead them were. so we're going to start like that, it's very reflective of my experience on the campaign trail this year. >> i know, he was so lovely, had tears in his eyes. but you know, still, there is
controversy surrounding the electoral college, or at least there's negative talk, right, david, so you have to wonder how long will all of this stuff last? will this all go away in a couple of months? everyone will be on the same page and -- and wanting to work with the new president-elect? >> i think it's going to be a mixed bag, carol. i fully expect the electoral college to put president-elect trump in place today. there may be a couple of faithless electors who decide that their constitutional duty and their conscience dictates that they vote, even if they're republican electors, that they vote against president trump but that's not going to stop president trump from becoming president of the united states, from becoming inaugurated on january toth. then we'll have to move forward from there. i think there's been a lot of drama and buildup during this transition feared and we'll continue to see it. there are a lot of unanswered questions from the administration about their picks and about conflicts of interest. but i think ultimately, president-elect trump or president trump will be judged by the american people by voters
based on the job that he does once he actually is in power. >> so, so one thing is for sure, patricia, democrats will continue to soul search and try to figure out how they got it so strong this time around. president obama gave an interview to npr and he said democrats didn't show up in the states that they needed to be in. and he's talking about hillary clinton. listen. >> oftentimes younger voertz, mine or voters, democratic voters are clustered in urban areas. >> and on the coasts. >> and on the coasts. so as a consequence you've got a situation where there are not only entire states but also big chunks of states where if we're not showing up, if we're not in there making an argument, then -- then we're going to lose. and we can lose badly, and that's what happened in this election. >> oh, and democrats did lose badly, not badly not just at the
federal level, right, but republicans head into 2017 with 33 out of 50 governors, republicans have control of state legislatures in 25 states, so, patricia, will we see a total reversal of democratic ideals? >> i don't think so. what i am astounlded by talking to democrats about what happened in the election, there is no consensus among democrats about why they lost, or even whether they really lost. so it's going to be very difficult for them to come up with a cohesive plan about how to move forward. i talked to democrats and some of them will go back to say hey, we won the popular vote, we really did win. you know it's just a technicality that we didn't win the white house. so when you have that kind of an attitude going forward there's very little soul searching, very little effort to look inside and say what do we need to say and do differently in order to get more people to win? they're writing off a large portion of the electorate as a group of people they don't even want.
democrats, i think, are going to have to do a lot of research, a lot of soul searching, and a lot of talking amongst the leadership and getting back to the grass roots to figure out how to move forward. right now they don't even agree on why they lost or whether they lost. so figuring out how to win is a long, long way off. >> one thing is for sure, david. because also in that npr interview, president obama said that he was going to recruit new talent for the democratic party. he's going to become sort of the coach in chief for the democrats. good idea? >> potentially, i think the democrats have the talent they need. there are people that they could have run in this election, vice president biden, senator elizabeth warren, senator bernie sanders, and hillary clinton, secretary clinton is a talented person. maybe she just wasn't a talented enough retail politician for this particular political moment. i -- i think patricia is right, that democrats are -- this -- misleading themselves if they think that the electoral college
was just a technicality, carol. on the other hand i'm not sure the democrats wrote off any part of the electorate. as i read this election, if i read what president obama is saying to democrats is that there was a certain degree to which democrats expected in this election, and have expected in a way in past midterms for the other side, for republicans, to discombobulate or fall apart. democrats actually have to go out there and win the election. the presidential election is a 50-state -- it's 50 elections at once. it's not a popular vote. and democrats have to sort of get their arms around that, and plan ahead for 2020. >> all right. i have to leave it there. david swerdlick, patricia, thanks to both of you. just weeks before she leaves the white house, michelle obama is opening up about her time in the public eye and the misconception she faced on and after the campaign trail. >> you were labld that angry black woman -- >> that was one of those things
you just sort of thing, dang, you don't even know me. you know. you just sort of feel like, wow, where did that come from? >> yeah. >> you know. and that's the first blowback. you think, wow, that is so not me. but then you sort of think, well this isn't about me. this is about the person or the people who write it. >> right. >> i mean that -- that's just the truth -- >> that's what -- >> it's just so much about that. and then you start thinking, oh, wow. >> hmm. >> we're so afraid of each other. you know. color. wealth. these things that don't matter still play too much of a role in how we see one another. >> hmm. >> and it is -- it's sad. balls the -- the thing that least defines us as people is the color of our skin. it's the -- it's the size of our bank account. none of that matters. you know this. >> yes, of course. >> it's our values.
it's, you know, it's -- it's how we live our lives. and you -- you can't -- you can't tell that from somebody's race. somebody's religion. you know. people have to act it out. they have to live those lives, and so that was the blowback, and then i thought, okay, well let me live my life out loud. so that people can then see and then judge for themselves. and that's what i want young people to do. just live your life. >> out loud. >> live it out loud. >> in our next hour, mrs. obama will talk about her recent meeting with melania trump. still to come in the "newsroom," she captured the world's attention by tweeting while trapped inside wore torn aleppo now with thousands evacuated from eastern aleppo we'll show you how 7-year-old bana was rescued.
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47 syrian children rescued after being trapped in an orphanage. they are among thousands of syrian civilians being shuttled out of eastern aleppo this morning as evacuations finally resume. also among them, bana alabed now safely in the countryside of aleppo province. the 7-year-old captured worldwide attention after tweeting from eastern aleppo with her mother as the bombs rained down on their home. a relief coordinator says she has survived, quote, siege, bombing and apathy. with the latest on the syrian civil war, cnn's senior international correspondent mohammed leila joins us. >> carol, some very fast-moving
and major developments here at this point in the evening. first of all, as you mentioned, those evacuations are now back on. turkish officials say that since the evacuations began, 20,000 people have been evacuated from eastern aleppo as well as a number of civilians from other villages that had been besieged by militant groups. it's become sort of a population transfer. you also mention a very key development. 47 orphans were rescued from an orphanage. they were trapped in eastern aleppo we understand. they have now been sent to safety. and on the diplomatic side, a very key development as well. we understand that the united nations security council has approved a plan to send u.n. observers on the ground to make sure these evacuations continue peacefully, because we know over the weekend there were other attempts in the past, and they broke down because there was some violence that broke out. and hopefully with those observers on the ground it will continue the red cross in damascus has told us that they will be on the ground overnight and they will stay on the ground as long as it takes to get everybody to safety. so this is a very important
development today, and it remains to be seen how long this evacuation plan will go on smoothly, but so far the indications are that it is so far. >> so, mohammed, once all of the citizens are out of eastern aleppo what happens to eastern aleppo? >> well this is a very good question. the regime has said, and they have said repeatedly, that they intend to retake not just all of eastern aleppo, but, in fact, they intend to retake every inch of the country, so even though the battle for aleppo is now clearly over, it remains to be seen how the war will play out. there's going to be a key meeting tomorrow between the foreign ministers of russia, turkey and iran, we know these are key players on the ground. we just got word that it won't just be the foreign ministers meeting, but the defense ministers meeting as well. this could be a tee meeting. it was supposed to take place next week. they've moved it up to tomorrow. there is a lot of speculation
that that meeting could lead to some sort of tenuous cease-fire, at least in aleppo and the major cities, and that could prove to be the building block for eventually putting an end to this conflict. >> reporting live for us this morning. thank you. chinese state media is calling a seized drone the tip of the iceberg in u.s. surveillance. the pentagon says it was an unclassified device on a routine operation. it's been almost two days now since china said they would return the u.s. drone that they took last week. the u.s. navy is still waiting, though. president-elect donald trump tweeted over the weekend that china stole the drone and said, he later tweeted, they could keep it. still to come in the "newsroom," donald trump heading for the white house. now some democrats are working to keep him tied up at the courthouse. i'll talk with new york's attorney general. sometimes when brushing my gums bleed.
the trump team is still working out inauguration plans, but some democrats are already at work pledging to keep a president-elect trump in check. california's incoming attorney general is doing, massachusetts's attorney general is doing it, and new york's eric schneiderman. they're already taking aim -- or actually taking trump to task. they're actually ripping a page out of the republican playbook threatening to sue if the administration carries out some of trump's campaign promises. they say they're unconstitutional. joining me now is the new york attorney general eric schneiderman. welcome. so, you sort of been mr. trump's nemesis through this whole process. do you consider yourself that? >> no. i just enforce the laws of the state of new york and i did sue him over his own university, basically just settled recently, and terms were very favorable to the victims of that. and look we're not dealing with abstract fights. it's important to understand that under our federalist system
most law enforcement activity takes place at the state and local level. federal law enforcement is a very tiny portion. state attorneys general, police departments, we're the ones who protect people. the week after the election ee had a spike in hate crimes in new york. we're dealing with real time real problems. then we had a rise in scams against immigrants telling them trump's going to deport you, send us money, we'll help you out. we're dealing with the media collateral effects of the election of a guy whose rhetoric has frightened a lot of people and is threatening to a lot of people. we have tremendous powers under our federal system to protect new yorkers at state level. we have our own environmental laws, our own civil rights laws, our own labor laws and we're not going to hesitate to use those -- >> specifically what are you watching out for once donald trump is sworn in as president of the united states? what will you turn your attention to? >> well one of the things about the president-elect is he's tremendously unpredictable. just because he says he's going to do something as i learned from over three years of litigation, doesn't mean he's going to do it.
and two weeks before he put up $25 million for trump university said that it's an easy case to settle, i'll win it easily, i'm not going to settle. so, it's not clear exactly where i'll be coming. but the target of his rhetoric, vulnerable populations, muslims who have been victims of hate crimes in the weeks since the election -- >> specifically you did mention clean air regulations, right. so there's that so his appointment to that office will -- does it concern you? >> oh, sure. we've been in litigation with the oklahoma a.g. who is the nom nil for the epa administrator. he's a climate change denier. he does not respect the science. he made statements about the purpose of the agency that are completely at odds with the documents creating the agency and the epa is not something that operates on a whim. there is supreme court law directing that the epa issue regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. in fact, we mentioned that we're prepared to sue. we're prepared to sue the obama administration. my office sent notice of intent to sue when they were not getting out the greenhouse gas
regulations too quickly. so this is not something that is limited to republican or democratic administrations. but i think that the level of rhetoric, and the challenges to things as basic as climate change are -- >> so when mr. trump says he wants to get rid of the job killing regulations that are hampering small business people across the country and also large businesses when it comes to all of these epa regulations, what would be an example of one that -- that might violate the constitution in your mind? >> well, there are a lot of examples. i mean, the -- the epa -- the structure of laws and regulations around the epa have been litigated for years. so he's not just dealing with a regulation of an agency. he's dealing with case law that defines what the agency can and can't do. he mentioned labor laws. these were covered in my office under our state labor laws over $27 million or 20,000 workers. if the u.s. department of labor, under -- and secretary nominee whose own companies have been investigated and found to have committed numerous wage and hour violations, pulls back and stops enforcing federal law that
requires state agencies the founders of the republic in their wisdom planned for this. they spent time talking about what happens if the president starts to become like a monarch or tyrant. that's the language they used. all powers not specifically given to the federal government are reserved to the states. the states are an important line of defense. >> sometimes it sounds to me as if there will be one law of the land at the federal level and then states like new york and california will be their own little countries in a way because they're not into donald trump. >> but that's also the tradition of the united states. 100 years ago the states are the laboratories of democracy. >> democrats malign texas for doing the same thing. >> what kind of state do you want to live in? a state with good labor laws, environmental laws, gun control laws, protected where immigrants aren't being punished and in hiding, or a state that doesn't have any of that? states will become more different one from another. i think you will see a lot of pressure in states to come into
the modern world, live the life -- the overwhelming majority of people according to all polling in the united states want lgbt equality, want something on climate change, want to increase the minimum wage. we will have a period of readjustment but it's going to be -- it's not surprising if states become more different one from another. at the same time there are things the federal government is obliged to do to protect civil rights and the environment. we won't hesitate to hold their feet to the fire if they deviate from that course. >> thanks for stopping by. still to come, a man hunt under way after a 3-year-old is shot while in the car with his grandmother. police say what may have set the killer off next.
boy killed while on a shopping trip. 3-year-old ethan king was riding in the car with his gra grandmom. she was apparently driving too slowly for the man behind her, so he got out of his car and had a gun. >> reporter: in the death of this 3-year-old little boy, it's fueling anger in little rock, southwest little rock, as people hoping this individual responsible will turn himself in. this what is we understand about what took place. we understand the 47-year-old grandmother was headed to a store with two toddlers in the back seat. the driver of a black impala became angry she wasn't driving fast enough so he gets out of the vehicle and shoots one single round. that bullet ends up striking the 3-year-old. at the time she told police she thought this individual had fired into the air so she continued to her destination, to that store. it wasn't until she arrived that she met up with family, looked at the back seat and saw this
3-year-old little boy slumped over. there was another child in the car at the time, a 1-year-old child, that was not hit. now investigators are trying to find any sign of who this individual was. we heard from members -- or at least spiritual leaders in little rock yesterday. they are upset and angry now. this is already the second child that was shot and killed in about one month already there in that community, that first case not a road rage incident. this one is senseless and tragic. >> polo sandoval. checking other top stories at 56 minutes past, zsa zsa gabor has died at 99 years old. her long-time spokesman says she passed away of heart failure in her bel air home. the hungarian born actress got her break in the 1952 movie "moulan rouge."
she emigrated to the united states during world war ii, married nine men, seven ending in divorce. her most famous marriage was to conrad hilton, making her an aunt to paris and nicki hilton. the tap water now safe to drink again in corpus christi, texas. bathing and cooking are also okay, according to state epa officials. the tap water was off-limits for four days after a chemical leak. it's not clear what caused the chemical used in asphalt to enter the water supply. plus -- >> the power we are dealing with here is immeasurable. >> maybe not the power, but we can measure the money. the force was strong with "rogue one" over the weekend. the first "star wars" stand-alone film took in a whopping $155 million in the u.s. and $290 million around the world. that number is expected to
significantly raise during the next month. of course we will keep you posted. the cowboys beat the buccaneers in a sunday night thriller but the real winner might be the salvation army. coy wire has this morning's bleacher report. good morning. >> good morning. at 12-2 dallas is tied with the patriots for the best record in the nfl. thanks in large part to rookie running back ezequiel elliott. check out this touchdown run in the second quarter. he punches it in from two yards out, then donates himself to the big red kettle. after the game, zeke said if the nfl were to fine him he would match that fine and donate that amount to the salvation army. we just heard from the league that elliott will not be fined. maybe elliott will still give christmas love to salvation army, though. cowboys win 26-20. there were record cold temperatures yesterday. the air temperature at kickoff in kansas city was 1. the wind chill made it feel like 9 below. that's the coldest game ever played in arrowhead stadium. it was so cold that before the
game, tickets were going for two bucks. less than a cup of coffee. make it worse for chiefs fans, their team lost to the titans 19-17. brutally cold in chicago for packers/bears as well. game time temperature at 11 but wind chill put it to minus 4. so cold that even the glue on the helmet decals didn't work anymore. look at this hit. he takes a hit to the helmet and knocks the sticker clean off of his helmet. never seen anything like it. packers would ge on to win 30-27. you can't say vikings fans weren't excited for this game against the colts. they braved minus 35 wind chill to tailgate outside. propane heaters to keep their beer from freezing. don't get too close or you will burn your pants. just ask that guy. i played in some cold games and we as players did anything we could to stay warm. we would tape the inside of our ears so the wind couldn't get
in. we would steal the doctors' rubber medical gloves and put them under our football gloves so our fingers wouldn't get numb and chicken broth because it has electrolytes and you put your hands under it. happened in a real nfl game. believe it or not. >> coy wire, many thanks. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" starts now. good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me. for 538 people it is voting day. members of the electoral college formally casting their ballots to make donald trump's win official. this hour, voting is expected to get under way in indiana, new hampshire, tennessee and west virginia. some electors being urged to break their party's pledge and vote their conscience. recent revelations of russian hacking only adding fuel to the fire. but in order to block trump from the white house, 37 republican electors would need to swi