tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN January 16, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PST
and good morning, i'm carol costello. thanks so much for joining me. donald trump's inauguration just days away and clouded in controversy. the president-elect locked in a war of words with a slew of high profile figures, among them john lewis, the georgia congressman and civil rights icon who is questioning trump's legitimacy. dozens of other democrats now say they will boycott trump's inauguration. also on trump's list, the director of the cia, john brennan, who says trump does not
fully understand the threat russia poses for the united states. trump firing back, suggesting brennan may be behind the recent intelligence leaks. and the president-elect is also making headlines for his foreign policy stances, including once again calling nato obsolete, while blasting german chancellor angela merkel's refugee policy as, quote, a catastrophic mistake. we begin with sara murray live outside of trump tower. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. donald trump's fraught relationship with the u.s. intelligence community grew apparently even more strained over the weekend. it began in part with john brennan saying that donald trump's attacks on intelligence are not particularly helpful. listen to what he had to say. >> there is no basis for mr. trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly. he is going to be in a few days'
time the most powerful person in the world in terms of sitting on top of the united states government. i think he has to recognize that his words do have impact. they can have a very positive impact or they can be undercutting of our national security. >> reporter: and of course it should be no surprise to people who have tracked donald trump for the last year or so that he did not take this criticism very well. he lashed back on twitter, even suggesting brennan was the leaker of "fake news." this comes with the backdrop of other spats, including with congressman john lewis, a civil rights leader. this is martin luther king day, where trump had been expected to spend the day in dc. he scrapped those plans and will be spending the day in new york. he took to twitter and said, celebrate martin luther king day and all the wonderful things he stood for, honor him for being
the great man that he was. car carol? >> sara murray, live from trump tower. john lewis will be speaking for the first time since the president-elect tweeted about him, maligning his district. this is the mlk breakfast in miami, a breakfast to honor boys who have made good and to award them with scholarships. we're awaiting congressman john lewis, we're awaiting him to speak at any moment. when he does, we'll bring you back live to miami. julian salazar is here, author of "the fierce urgency of now." round brownstein, cnn senior political analyst. okay. so let's talk about this snafu. ron, we know that donald trump is a counterpuncher and if
someone maligns him in any way, he's going to strike back. shouldn't americans and lawmakers, by the way, get used to that? >> when you're president of the united states, every day somebody is unhappy about something you do, whether at home or abroad. it goes with the territory. and if the president is going to engage in basically combat with everyone who ever disagrees with him at home and abroad, you are in for just an unprecedented, rocky ride. your list at the beginning of all the different ways that donald trump, you know, has kind of been engaged in confrontations just over this weekend, the idea that there's going to be anything different in the presidency than there was in the campaign, then there has been in the transition, seems to be increasingly implausible. and this is the world. i think it does have consequences, both at home and abroad in terms of the ability of institutions to function. but it is the world we're heading into. >> but julian, don't you think john lewis should also have
questions because he questioned the legitimacy of a democratically elected president? >> of course. i think there are many democrats, even, who while they share some of the concerns of congressman lewis, weren't pleased or comfortable with his words. but i think of the two, it's pretty clear that president-elect trump has been much looser with his words on a number of issues, from race to intelligence to foreign policy, than congressman lewis, who has been very consistent and careful through much of his career fighting for a certain set of issues. congressman lewis was reacting to the stories about the intelligence, about the problems with the election. and i think that's the context where it came from. >> so here's where we are in light of this i guess argument. a couple of dozen democratic lawmakers will not attend trump's inauguration, although hillary clinton and her husband will attend, ron. so i don't know, senator marco
rubio was asked about this argument between donald trump and congressman lewis. i'll let her viewers hear what marco rubio had to say. here it is. >> i have tremendous admiration for congressman lewis, not only for what he's done but for what he stands for and that remains undiminished. i don't agree with him that president-elect was illegitimate. i believe he was legitimately elected through the lockelector process. that said, i would have hoped the president-elect would have responded differently given everything john lewis means to our country. but people make their own decisions. >> ron, what do you make of that? >> i think he got it exactly right. the language has john lewis, as julian said, was overboard. it's understandable to some extent where he comes from, with donald trump emerging as a national figure trying to delegitimate president obama with the birther argument.
it is too far to say it was an illegitimate election. but the clouds hanging over trump because of these unprecedented accusations about russia, but for broadly, the level of resistance, the fact is he will take the office on friday facing a more divided country than any newly-elected president maybe since abraham lincoln. we've never had a president take office with less majority job approval and it is almost certain he will become the first. you will not have a majority of americans saying they approve of the way he's handling the presidency once he takes office, we've already seen that in the transition, with numbers that are much lower. the comments from representative lewis reflects how deep the anxiety is in portions of america that did not vote for him even though there's undeniable excitement among those who did vote for him. >> is it possible that donald trump thinks he went a step too
far, because this morning he celebrated martin luther king on twitter. julian? >> it will take much more than that to convince many supporters of civil rights that this is serious. in the whole campaign there was a lot of animosity and tension between donald trump and the cause of civil rights, whether you're talking about immigrants, whether you're talking about african-americans. so john lewis and the remarks about him tap right into this. and so i think the tweet today, it's fine, but i don't think it's going to calm many fears about where this administration is heading. they look at jeff sessions and they see that as the direction of this administration and not this tweet. >> we've never had the kind of
counterprotest scheduled for the day after the inaugural. on the other side of the ledger remember a lot of voters felt they were not being heard by the political system and are very excited about donald trump being elected. donald trump won, you know, 25, 2600 counties, including many that had voted for president obama. there is a deep, deep gulf that is awaiting him. and the striking thing is the contrast between the depth of that division and kind of the precariousness of the balance of opinion in that country and the fact of unified republican control that is going to allow him to pursue a very aggressive agenda, significantly reversing course on a whole series of fronts, even atop a very divided country that did not provide anything like a landslide mandate. we are in for a very tumultuous ride, not only because of the nature of his personality and the way he approaches criticism and opposition, but also just the sheer extent of the agenda
that he will be attempting to impose despite a very divided -- on a very divided country. >> julian, he doesn't seem interested in uniting the country, at least at the moment, right? >> he has no interest in uniting the country, nor does he have any interest in everyone loving him. he is the anti-hero in the white house. he's thrived on that throughout the campaign. he was always unpopular but he makes it work for him. he has that combined with the united and very disciplined congress, republican congress that ron is talking about. so i don't think he feels the need to reach out. and i think this is a strategy that characterizes trump politics, divide and conquer. >> i'm going to leave it there, thanks so much. again, congressman john lewis set to speak any moment at this scholarship breakfast in miami, florida. and we do expect him to address that argument he's having with the president-elect, donald trump, when congressman lewis takes to the podium, we'll take
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donald trump is sparking backlash days before he takes office as president of the united states. he's calling the "one china" policy negotiable, says nato is obsolete, and raised eyebrows with this comment. >> who do you trust more if you talk to them, german or russia? >> i start off trusting both of them but we'll see how long it lasts. it may not last long at all. >> china is calling trump an amateur. nato is pushing back. the european union says sooner or later washington will recognize the role of world peace. ivan watson is a cnn senior international correspondent. david brode is an editor at reuters. welcome to all of you. jill, i'll start with you.
donald trump said that when asked the question who he trusted more, putin or angela merkel, who is america's great ally, he said it was a wash. he would start out by trusting them both the same. what do you make of that? >> well, i mean, you can say generally he's saying let's all get along, maybe it will happen, maybe it won't, but the way it came out is that you're putting those two names together, which has a lot of shock value, as you can imagine, in europe and perhaps in the united states, because angela merkel is the head of a country that is one of our closist allies, and vladimir putin is the head of a country that the united states considers at best someone with whom we're competing, or at worst an enemy. so to put them together was very strange. that's what a lot of people are shaking their heads and saying,
what does that actually mean? >> so ivan, what has been the international reaction to this? >> well, certainly we're watching china and the escalating war of words with the president-elect, especially after he said in that interview that things like the so-called "one china" policy, everything, including that, is negotiable, it can be bargained about. the chinese foreign ministry coming out blasting donald trump, saying this would undermine basically the foundation of bilateral relations between beijing and numerous previous u.s. administrations. and you've had the chinese state media really going after donald trump. here is one quote from the state-run "global times," an editorial, quote, we were simple angry initially but now we can't help but laugh at this leader in waiting. his amateur remarks and
overconfident manner are equally shocking. so china really firing back at any suggestion coming from donald trump that he could use taiwan, which china considers to be a breakaway renegade province, as a kind of bargaining chip in future relations on trying to carve out some kind of a better deal with china, carol. >> so david, china is upset, europe is upset. so i mean, you study international relations. could it be a good thing that they're sort of -- they're sort of confused about what may happen or may not happen? >> you could argue that this is all sort of a bargaining position that he's trying to get better trade deals with europe, and with china. but what's strange is he's sort of offering a nuclear arms reduction deal with russia. right at the beginning of his administration, when russia has
been, i guess, misbehaving. what's strange is that politically it's about jobs. what's strange about the focus on russia is russia is sort of irrelevant in terms of our economy. it's our 18th largest trading partner, 36th in terms of where american exports go. china, on the other hand, is our largest trading partner. germany is our third largest trading partner. it's this focus on russia that doesn't make sense politically, he should be talking about jobs. >> let's go back to the nuclear issue. i'll address this question to you, jill. trump said a deal could be done to address sanctions on russia. he's cited nuclear weapons as part of that deal. he's also said the united states needs to bolster its nuclear arsenal until the world comes to its senses. how is that line of thinking going down in russia? >> you know, nobody is really
even directly taking this on as, let's say, a proposal. nobody i think here, at least in the government, would believe that that is a proposal, because it's apples and oranges. so you have statements by dmitri paskov, the spokesperson for president putin, saying we'll wait until he's president, basically not making a comment at all. the issue of nuclear weapons is an existential issue. to think that the russians would bargain away something about their security in response to sanctions, which, you know, are hurting them but they're not destroying the country, seems very strange. i think perhaps incoming president trump believed that he had a bargaining chip with those sanctions. but it's not a bargaining chip in the eyes really of the russians, when it comes to their security.
>> so, i havan, on china, donal trump is talking tough on china, right? but china is not weak militarily. so what's the danger here? >> i think a big concern is a possible trade war. i mean, david was very right to point out that china is a massive trading partner. the two countries have more than half a trillion dollars worth of trade in the last year. and you've got this really strange situation right now, carol, where the president-elect is attacking elements of the liberal world order which the u.s. helped create in the first place, which the u.s. underwrote but also benefitted from, that's free trade, multilateral trade. now china and its leader xi jinping are about to go -- he's in switzerland right now, he's going to attend that world economic forum at davos, where
traditionally you've got capitalists and world leaders rubbing shoulders and talking about the future of the world. of all people, now you have the chinese leader going there and we're hearing he's going to talk about the benefits of free trade, of protecting stability in the global order, where is president-elect trump is out there kind of smashing orthodoxy and some of the very same institutions that the u.s. has helped build up in the first place. >> so final question to you, david, you know, during the confirmation hearings, mr. trump's cabinet picks aren't talking like he's talking right now. so what's behind donald trump's comments to this international newspaper? >> look, i would think it's his personal beliefs. maybe there's more there and we have to give him a chance to see. it's strange to see in the united states, his own party, the republican party, is breaking with him on russia. his nominees for secretary of defense, secretary of state, is breaking with him on russia. he needs the support of a
unified republican congress to enact this agenda. why this focus on russia? again, it's an irrelevant country in terms of our trade and our economy. china is really the major international player. the war on terrorism. there's much more important issues on china. maybe this is all talk and he'll back away. but i don't see what it gets him. >> i have to leave it there, jill dougherty, ivan watson, david grode, thanks so much. just days before president obama leaves the white house, he's handing out some advice to his successor. here is mr. obama speaking in his final tv interview as commander in chief. >> i think everybody has to acknowledge, don't underestimate the guy because he's going to be 45th president of the united states. the one thing i've said to him directly, and i would advise my republican friends in congress and supporters around the country, is just make sure that as we go forward, certain norms,
certain institutional traditions, don't get eroded, because there's reason they're in place. >> president obama went on to talk about his future goals, saying he's looking forward to the next phase in his life. mr. obama says he hopes to write a book and work on his foundation. very soon we expect congressman john lewis to begin speaking for the first time since the president-elect tweeted about john lewis over the weekend. lewis is at this mlk breakfast in miami. we've been watching this for you. when john lewis takes to the podium, we'll bring it to you live. i'll be right back. she ate some porridge, broke the baby bear's chair, and stole some jewelry, a flat-screen tv, and a laptop. luckily the geico insurance agency had helped the bears with homeowners insurance. they were able to replace all their items... ...including a new chair from crate and barrel. call geico and see how easy
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and good morning. i'm carol cost tell loaf thank you so this much for joining me. four days and counting until the inauguration. singer jennifer holiday says she's backing out of the event. holiday explains more about her decision and why she was excited to perform. >> i should have looked at the climate of where we are today. >> sure. >> so that would be my fault. everybody kept saying did trump trick you? no, they did not trick me, i wanted to sing on the mall for america and for the people. i wanted my voice, i thought, to be an instrument of healing. >> but she backed out because her fans, well, she suffered a certain amount of backlash from her fans. in spite of a growing number of
lawmakers and celebrities who say they will not go to the nati inauguration. sarah armstrong is the ceo of the presidential inaugural committee. good morning. >> good morning. >> so are you ready? >> we are ready. we have only a few days left to get all the final details in. but we are very excited and we are ready. >> do you have any surprises in store for us? >> well, you know, mr. trump is a very different president-elect. so i think we'll have a few surprises that will be -- make it special for all the people coming to town. i think it's about making it about the american people. and we want to make it special for those individuals. and so we have a lot of great entertainment for them. we have several concerts for them. the voices of the people concert prior to our welcome celebration. so i think people will have fun. >> i interviewed steve ray who will be announcing the inaugural parade this time around. he told me there will be even
more surprises than you just outlined. i'll let my viewers listen to what he had to say, and you can comment on the other side. here he is. >> i've never met him. i should have that honor, once the parade is done. i think really this is so uniquely american, that we get to celebrate the transition of power as opposed to, as you know, right after the brexit vote, mr. cameron was out as pm on a tuesday and theresa may in on a thursday. again, uniquely american. this is truly an honor. >> okay. specifically what he's talking about, he says the inaugural parade will be much shorter than in years past, it will only last an hour and a half. why is that? >> we wanted to make sure we had an enjoyable performance for everybody. we had a lot of applicants apply, and we weren't actually able to include all of them. we're putting those individuals into the voices of the people concert. we have a lot of military performances and we wanted to
celebrate our military. we also wanted to make sure we pay tribute to veterans, first responders. we have a large audience of those type of groups coming. and we thought that an hour and a half was going to be a wonderful parade for everybody. it's going to be terrific. >> so it's not because there weren't enough acts to fill the two hours? >> no, absolutely not. absolutely not. in fact that's where we're putting the other groups. >> i ask you that in light of, you heard jennifer holliday, she really wanted to sing at trump's inauguration for the american people but felt she had to pull out because her fans were not happy with her. what do you make of that? >> i think it's unfortunate. jennifer holliday wanted to perform, she was excited about performing. i think that is an unfortunate thing for her that she couldn't do so. the negative pushback to her was unfortunate. this should be about uniting the country and it should be about the american people.
it's an unfortunate thing that she was pressured to do so. >> why do you think there was such a pushback for her, she decided not to do something she actually wanted to do? why do you think people are pushing back so hard on these performers? >> i think it's a tough environment right now. a lot of people are still frustrated with the results of the election and are pushing back for that reason. again, this is supposed to be about unity. we're supposed to bring everybody together as one american country and people. and that's what we're attempting to do with this inauguration, is making it about the people. so, you know, i understand that she had to drop out, and we respect that and we're disappointed that she was pushed in that position. but we still have a lot of other great entertainers that are coming and willing to perform. toby keith, three doors down, jackie ivanco in fact had her record sales go up. there's a lot of buzz, a lot of excitement for this inauguration. >> and a couple of dozen
democratic lawmakers say they're going to boycott mr. trump's inauguration in light of what he said about congressman john lewis. how do you respond to that? >> well, we're disappointed that they're not coming, and we hope they change their mind. again, this is about unifying the country. we hope as many members congress will come and be a part of this historic event. it's something that our country is able to do every four years. and the historic nature of it is so important to our country. and so we hope that they change their mind. we want them all to be there. it's an important part of our country. >> anyone from the trump team reaching out to them and saying, hey, look, we're all one, we're all americans, why aren't you coming, we would love to have you? >> yes, we've extended our invitations and we do hope that they'll come. and so -- but if they choose not to, we respect their right to make that choice. >> have you reached out to these democratic lawmakers? >> yes, they're invited to the inauguration. so i haven't personally spoken to any of those individuals, but i know that we've been hoping
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don't start humira if you have an infection. ready for a new chapter? talk to your rheumatologist. this is humira at work. incoming white house press secretary sean spicer shooting down a report the press corps could be evicted from the white house. >> so a press conference will be held in the executive office building? >> i think we're looking at both options. the idea, for your viewers at home, is that the current press briefing room has 49 seats. if you saw the press conference at trump tower the other day, you get one day of the excitement, energy, and intensity of people who want to cover the president-elect and
his agenda. we're looking at rooms that are bigger and hold members of the press. >> will the press still be allowed to have offices in the west wing? >> yes. >> even if the white house press can stay in the west wing, journalists are concerned about transparency with the incoming white house. "washington post" columnist margaret sullivan wrote, journalists are in the fight for their lives and will have to be better than ever before just to do their jobs. brian stelter, host of cnn's "reliable sources," joins us. do you believe sean spicer? >> that's the big debate at the washington journalists association. this "esquire" story started all this over the weekend, saying that the press could be evicted from the white house altogether. sean spicer says no, that's not true, but as he confirmed this morning, he's thinking about moving the briefings to a bigger, more spacious room where
there could be more journalists. two things about that stand out. number one, there's nothing like the briefing room in the west wing. 49 seats, room for more people in the back, steps from the oval office. there's something special about that, the access and the symbolism it represents. number two, the trump administration is going to try and bring in more friendly voices to these briefings, trying to stack the room with clearly pro-trump journalists as opposed to objective journalists like people here at cnn, that can be troubling. the broader issue, carol, there's a concern about a slippery slope. this is what white house correspondents are saying privately. they're worried that, okay, today it's about moving the briefing room, next year it might be moving the workspace out of the west wing. cnn has a tiny booth in the west wing, fox and all the news outlets have that as well. could this be a slippery slope where trump and spicer want to take away more access over time.
>> clearly the president-elect wants to stay on his message. >> and keep journalists on their back and seem to be in control. >> and shehe's not shy about speaking out about things he doesn't like, as he did with "snl" again. >> i waited all day sunday wondering if he was going to weigh in on "saturday night live." he said, nbc news is bad but "snl" is the worst of nbc, always a complete hit job, really bad television. here is what the tv critic in chief may not have liked. >> thank you for coming. i would like to start by answering the question that's on everybody's mind. yes, this is real life. this is really happening. [ laughter ] on january 20th, i, donald j. trump, will become the 45th president of the united states. and then two months later, mike pence will become the 46th. >> what "saturday night live" did last night was disappointing. it was not funny. it was mean spirited.
it's gone from being a show you could sit back and get a good laugh out of to being, frankly, bad television. >> a lot of folks worry about trump and his aides not respecting dissent, not being able to handle criticism. the silver lining of his tweets, he's about to hit 20 million followers on twitter, is that we always know what the president-elect is thinking. >> that's true. in that "saturday night live" skit, my senior producer who is a brilliant producer, did you notice on alec baldwin's lapel, instead of the american flag it had the russian flag? >> i did not notice that. i had not seen that. >> what's hard core, right? i wish i had thought of that earlier, then we could have zoomed into it. that's not the american flag. >> i bet the president-elect noticed. >> i bet he did too. we'll see if he tweets about that. brian stelter, many thanks. coming up, not only are we getting a new president but a new first daughter. coming up, how ivanka trump's influence could impact the white house. unleash your inner wildcat
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the trump transition team planning to change the name of the office of the first lady to the office of the first family. melania trump will play a role but it's the visibility of trump's daughter that has people talking. cnn's gloria borger explores her potential impact. >> reporter: while jared is taking a coveted spot inside the west wing, ivanka has decided not to take an office there, at least not yet. instead, she's working on a childcare proposal behind the scenes, and getting her family settled in the tony kalorama neighborhood in washington. how will she be most helpful, if you were to say, i think this is the way ivanka would most help donald trump? >> i think there's the donald trump that i know as a son, and so i think if she can sort of show some of the softer side of him and be able to bridge some of those gaps, it could go a long way towards his efficacy in getting things that he wants done, done. >> reporter: though she's
stepping away from the trump organization and her own brand, ivanka will likely face constant questions about her possible conflicts of interest, like marketing the dress she wore at the republican convention. >> well, i think that idea of conflict of interest is going to hound her. if she meets with somebody who runs one of the trump hotels, after that same day she was in the white house, people are going to say it's a conflict. that's going to happen. the key to the trump enterprise is they don't think in terms of per se of conflict of interest. they think of legal and illegal. they think of winning and losing. >> reporter: with her father winning the white house, ivanka trump is on target to become the most influential first daughter ever. >> ivanka trump certainly is, as 35, she's -- and as a successful businesswoman twice, in real estate development, and certainly in her own brand, she's very powerful.
but i don't sense it's about power with ivanka. it's about impact. >> reporter: and it's about the family. protecting and enhancing the newest brand, the trump presidency. >> you value family, especially in that world. for years we had always heard real estate is one of those cutthroat industries in the world. nothing compared to politics. it's nothing compared to politics. and then i think when you go through that and you live through it, i think quite frankly you become a closer family than ever before. they're the closest people in your life, the people who will look out for you while others might have conflicting interests. that's very special. we all lend that in a certain way, and ivanka will lend that in a big way. she has a great way of being able to talk to him. he trusts her. she's proven herself time and time again in business. whatever she decides to do in washington, you know, if there is a role for her, i'm sure it will be similar to that. but that's really up to her.
>> joining us now is the host of the special, gloria borger, our chief political analyst. i can't wait to watch it, it looks fascinating. in the end, what role will ivanka trump choose to take? >> whether it's formal or informal, it's going to be important, carol. she is the gut check for her father. i imagine ivanka -- we know jared is going to have an official role. and the question whether ivanka decides to go into the west wing or not remains to be seen. but she's going to be probably one of the last people he speaks to in the evening. she's going to be his antenna, political. she's clearly going to be somebody who is going to be social around washington. and i think she will help, as don junior said, soften donald trump's rough edges. that's been a problem for her
during the campaign particularly regarding her own brand, which is about empowering women. she's lived in washington. she went to georgetown university for a couple of years. in ivanka, she's going to serve as a guidepost in many ways for him. >> and of course a lot of women will be watching her, because she promised to, you know, come up with a childcare plan that will benefit all women. how difficult might that be? >> she's working on it. he's making phone calls on it and she's clearly pushing her father towards that, as she did during the campaign. and i think she's made that her personal mission. so if you were to ask me what would be her first objective, her first objective would be to it that done. but then don't forget, she's going to meet political reality also, because these things cost money, and there's not a lot of money floating around washington. and particularly when you want to do tax reform and you want to give people tax cuts and you
want to have corporate tax reform. so she's going to learn a little realpolitik here. that's going to be her first agenda. but her second agenda, always, always, will be to protect her father. that's what she did during the campaign and tried to do. and that's what she's going to be doing in washington. >> gloria borger, can't wait to see it, thank you. another reminder, catch "first daughter: ivanka trump" tonight right here on cnn, 9:00 p.m. eastern time. speaking of strong women, i interviewed former fox news anchor gretchen carlson in an exclusive interview for "good housekeeping" magazine. she talked to me about the importance of women standing up for themselves and fighting against sexual harassment and of course donald trump. i'll be right back. e) (flourish spray noise) the joy of real cream in 15 calories per serving. enough said. reddi-wip. (flourish spray noise) share the joy. (snap)
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bros. and barnum and bailey circus are making it official. it's the end of an era. >> of course we're sad. and it was a very difficult decision to make. but, you know, we look at the entirety of it. we look at what the future is. and as juliette said, it's not a sustainable business model. >> the show will stage its final circus in may. fredericka whitfield has more for you. >> reporter: it's the end of the road for the greatest show on earth. in just four months, the curtain falls on the one and only ringling bros. and barnum and bailey circus, an iconic road show that defined the circus experience for generations of children. in the end, ceo kenneth feld said the circus was simply too expensive to produce. his family has owned the show for the past 50 years.
but ticket sales were declining. and the circus's fate was likely sealed last year when it retired the popular elephant show. feld said then it was inevitable. >> there is a saying, you can't fight city hall. and we found that to be the case in this situation. >> reporter: for years, the elephants and their dance routines were a big draw for circus fans. but not at all popular with animal rights groups which deplored their treatment and repeatedly criticized, picketted, and sued the company for its treatment of animals. in 2011, the circus paid a fine of more than a quarter million dollars for alleged violations of the animal welfare act. last year it retired the elephants to a conservation center in florida. after the closure was announced, people for the ethical treatment of animals declared is victory while admitting its war against other wild animal exhibiters, including marine amusement parks
like seaworld, is far from over. the last performance of the ringling bros. and barnum and bailey circus will be on may 21st in uniondale, new york. fredericka whitfield, cnn, atlanta. and thank you for joining me today. i'm carol costello. "at this hour with berman and bolduan" starts now. hello, everyone, i'm john berman. >> hey, everybody, i'm kate bolduan, great to see all of you. the start of the most consequential week of donald trump's life. things you would expect on the to-do list, wrap up your inaugural speech, round out your cabinet, and lay the groundwork for your policy announcements. what you would not expect is to get into a fight with the cia director, a civil rights icon, and european allies. but that's how the president-elect is kicking off his monday. >> first, donald trump versus the intelligence community. the