tv Meet the Press NBC November 28, 2016 3:00am-4:01am PST
culture. >> this may be the beginning of the end of the castro regime in cuba. and the beginning of the freedom for the cuban people. >> some people may disagree about his legacy, there's no doubt he is one of the monumental figures of the 20th century. a revolutionary turned dictator who frustrated 11 u.s. presidents from eisenhower to obama. andrea mitchell has covered castro, interviewed him, done this for many years. she's right in havana, cuba, this morning for us. let me start with this, we know how cubans in miami are reacting. how are cubans in cuba reacting? >> reporter: somber. it's muted, chuck. in havana, people are going about their daily lives. it's a generational divide. the older generation more emotional about fidel castro. for the younger generation, really, since 2006 when he became ill and 2008 when he turned power over to his
somewhat younger brother raul, he has been less of a political presence, more of an aging grandfather, the founder of the revolution, in fact. but more symbolic i should say than a real presence. there's been so many changes, of course, raul castro's gradual economic reforms, the opening to the u.s. and now, of course, the big question of what comes next? things are pretty much frozen in place here. they are anticipating changes under donald trump. they are nervous about that. >> andrea, short term, how is cuba planning to bury fidel? >> reporter: there's going to be nine days of mourning. he is being cremated today. they will start processions around the country paying respects to the remains which will be in a large box similar to vara. next sunday, the days of mourning end and there will be
an official burial. on television, of course, his presence ever present, constant documentaries showing the younger fidel, the revolutionary fidel, the family. that said, they are moving on. question now is the most important relationship with the u.s., where does it turn? >> we will try to tackle that question throughout this hour. andrea mitchell in havana, thanks very much. there are few if any foreigners who have done more to shape american policy and politics than fidel castro. we will have more on his outsized influence later in the broadcast. i want to turn now to donald trump and the question on the supporters, is the president-elect backing away from some key campaign promises. during the campaign, mr. trump endorsed waterboarding. >> don't tell me it doesn't work. torture works. okay? >> he told the new york times that one conversation with a potential defense secretary, general james mattis changed his
mind. >> he said, i have never found it to be useful. he said, i've always found -- give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and i do better with that than torture. >> from climate change tomed ey from building a wall or nafta, he has backed away or stayed silent. kellyanne conway is a big part of the transition and joins me now. welcome back to the show. >> hi, chuck. >> let me start with cuba. because on this issue, you could take some of his statements and say he has been on both sides of what president obama has done in trying to open up -- reopen up relations with cuba. he said he was fine with it back in the spring. late in the campaign he seemed to indicate that he wanted to reverse some of the changes that he made. what can you clarify with us this morning on cuba policy when it comes to president trump? >> several things, chuck.
first, president-elect trump put out a very strong statement yesterday about fidel castro. he is not going to be one of these people romanticizing him as a hero. he was a dictator who oppressed and imprison and harmed and murdered people and separated families and has many decades of blood on his hands. let's be clear there. on the issue of diplomatic relations being rewoopened with cuba, what president-elect trump says is he would be open to that. but got nothing in return. we pretend we are doing business with the cuban people when we're doing business with the cuban government and military. they control everything. he doesn't want us to be fooled. this is in keeping with the america first and americans first and her interests abroad first. policies of president-elect trump you see in trade, you see it here with reintespect to cub. he wants to make sure we get things in return. it's not always a unilateral can
a capitulation to foreign lag s governments. he wants to make sure cubans have the same freedoms as they do here. make sure the political prisoners are released into freedom and make sure the american fugitives face the law. >> concretely, is he rolling back? is he going to reinstitute the embargo immediately and then go to congress? what is he going to do when he takes office? >> none of that has been decided. the president-elect will make those decisions and will make those announcements once he is president. we have a president in office and we're respectful of that. >> i understand that. doesn't he -- if he is going to change it, there are many people who are making plans based on whether policy is going to change. is it a definite that policy is going to change or is it possible he keeps some of the changes in place? >> nothing is definite. he will be speaking with his advisers and he will be applying the same brilliance and
instincts and -- that he applied all thought the campaign to all of the issues. frankly, chuck, i think the first order of business here now that the dictator is gone is to see how much we can do as frankly a world community if not the united states of america to try to get these political prisoners to freedom. i have met some of them. i have met many of the family members whose lives were devastated, whose entire families were separated if not destroyed. you know the stories that senator rubio -- >> is he willing to shut down -- let me ask you this. i know the stories very well. is he willing to essentially shut down this diplomatic reproach for the -- on behalf of the political prisoners? does he want to shut that down? or does he want to keep that open? >> that's for discussion. that's on the table. this is what -- look, this is what leaders do. leaders listen, they learn. they take the counsel of many people. they see what the circumstances are. and he has been talking to president obama beyond the sit
down they had 30 hours or so after president-elect trump won the election, they have been talking regularly on a number of issues. they talked just yesterday. >> can you give an update on what they talked about since you said that? we like to hear news here. how long was the conversation? >> they did. about 40 to 45 minutes. i can tell you from president-elect trump's side that he very much enjoys speaking with president obama, talking about the serious issues that face this country and the world. they get alng niong nicely. they disagree on many things. that isn't going to change. there's a respect and a respect for the process and peaceful transition of power. which is why the recount is so confounding and disappointing. their president barack obama will be in office for eight more weeks. they have to decide whether they're going to interfere with him finishing his business, interfere with the peaceful transition, transfer of power to president-elect trump and
vice-president-elect pence or if they will be sore losers about an election they can't turn around. >> i will ask you about that in a minute. i want to focus on this conflict of interest issue that you guys are trying to work through. president-elect trump told this to "the new york times." he believes -- obviously, he legally can do this. he says he can run his business perfectly and run the country perfectly. but he knows he has to do something. what does he plan on doing? what is that something when it comes to not having the appearance that he is going to profit -- his companies will profit off of his presidency? >> first, let's be fair. it's not as if he said he is going to be doing two things at once. he said his company can be run perfectly. he has been public about the fact that his three adult children who are modelling the company will continue to have very senior roles as executives of the company. so he has been talking to his
lawyers. he has been talking to ethics compliance folks. everything will be done the way it needs to be done. chuck, there's no question that we're in unprecedented times. this country is not accustom to having a successful businessman and job creator at the helm. we're just accustom to typical politicians ascending through the ranks. it's different, but it's a large part of why people elected him. and i think the presumptive negativity that some people have toward him that he won't get this right is counting him out and betting against donald trump, which is never a good idea. he will comply with the law. >> let me quote peggy noonan. it would be a painful act selling the business he loves and around which he has ordered his life. but there would be comfort in doing the right thing, in denying his opponents a sword and enhancing his stature and demonstrating that he will sacrifice for his country. that's pretty great comfort. you've made your money. now go be a patriot. she's recommending that he take the advice of the wall street
journal editorial page and liquidate it all. why won't he do this? >> it's not that simple. that was actually raised in the "new york times" on the record interview as well. a couple things that president-elect trump said in that interview is that selling real estate is not just selling off real estate is not just like selling stocks. why deny his adult children the ability to do what they do so brilliantly already? >> why won't he put the -- isn't this a case where he should put the country ahead of himself and ahead of his children? >> he does. you know, chuck, he's put the country ahead of everything else. just running and indeed winning and becoming the president of the united states, he has shown that he does this. he didn't need to run. all the usual motivators are elusive to him, power, money, fame, position. he did it because he loves the country and he and 72% of the country did not like the direction in which it was going.
we have to give him -- i went back and looked at the press clips and conversations on shows like this were eight years ago. it was basically debating just how cool barack obama is. we should at least -- if we're not going to that about president-elect trump, we should trust him to do the right thing. >> i understand every knee jerk pushback is going to be to blame the media. it's a crutch. i get it. i'm used to it. >> not be me. >> let me ask you this. >> that's not fair. >> why are you campaigning against mitt romney as secretary of state? >> i'm not campaigning against anyo anyone. i'm a concerned citizen. >> but you don't think he should be the choice. >> i can't tell you -- i'm not trying to make the news. i'm trying to reflect the news here. i am just astonished at the breathtaking volume and intensity of blow back that i see just as one person close to the president-elect is receiving unsolicited from people on social media, particularly in private communications. people feel betrayed to think
that governor romney, who went out of his way to question the character and the intellect and the integrity of donald trump now our president-elect would be given the most significant cabinet post of all. that's a decision that one man can make, president-elect trump. i will respect it. and i will support it 1,000%. but i'm reflecting what the grass roots are saying. they feel -- they feel a bit betrayed to think you can get a romney back in there after everything he did. we don't know if he voted for donald trump. he and his consultants were not but awful to donald trump for a year. >> kellyanne conway, i will leave it there. big part of the transition, former campaign manager. thanks for coming on "meet the press." >> thank you. i spoke with senator marco rubio of florida who ran for the republican presidential nomination against donald trump. senator rubio is a cuban-american who has been a fierce opponent of fidel castro. i will bring those comments later in the broadcast. we also talked about president-elect trump and i asked senator rubio about the
transition and mr. trump's potential conflicts of interest. here is that part of the interview. >> he is someone who has nod held public office. he has been business ties. we knew that. voters knew that. now he will hire a white house counsel or has and they will work through that and decide the appropriate way to separate himself from business affairs. >> what do you think is appropriate? >> i don't know the extent -- i don't know the entire -- >> isn't that part of the problem? >> in terms of what? >> that we don't know. shouldn't you know the nature, shouldn't we know the nature of his business dealings around the world? >> sure. my sense is that he is going to declare those now as he moves forward. that will bet job of t the job white house counsel to lay out what his interests are and what they are doing to separate those from the decisions he is making in the white house. i imagine they're aware this is something they will have to confront. as i said, the elections have been less than three weeks away. they're working through a process. there's nothing wrong with expecting them to show that. i expect they will.
>> let me ask you this. you issued statements praising donald trump's choice of pompeii he would, you praised him for picking nikki haley for ambassador to the u.n. we noticed you didn't have any statements for mike flynn as national security advice or jeff sessions as attorney general. should we read anything into that? >> no. mike flynn doesn't come from senate confirmation. that's why we didn't comment. i'm not on the judiciary committee which jeff sessions will have to go through. the three you mentioned, nikki haley will go through the foreign relations committee which i sit on. pompeo will go through the intelligence committee which i sit on. i know them well and personally. i know jeff sessions. we have a good working relationship. i respect the process we have which means he will have to go through the process. at that point, i will have something to say. it's the way we have handled every nomination for the most part under president obama and now under president-elect trump.
>> you are not ready to say if you will support the confirmation of jeff sessions as attorney general? >> i never do until that person works their way through the process. in the case of pompeo and nikki hal haley, they will come through the committee. they will have to go through the same process as anybody else. if something emerges from that, which i don't expect, then we will comment on it. >> speaking of your committee, you were -- you said for instance you would not talk about wikileaks at all during the campaign. you said the russian government was involved and you thought it was inappropriate. you knew that, okay, this was hurting the democrats today. tomorrow it could be your party. you are chair of a subcommittee on western hemisphere transnational crime, human rights and global women's issues. you could call your own hearing investigating, because this could be a crime that was committed by the russian government into when it came to wikileaks. do you plan on investigating if no other committee steps up and does it? >> well, first of all, in order for us to investigate that in my
subcommittee, we would neat the permission of the full committee. i imagine that senator corker may have an opinion on that. he may want do that. you will have to ask him. i'm open to that. here is the bottom line. if a foreign government has been involved in injecting chaos into our democratic process, the american people deserve to know that. i have made my feelings known in the midst of the campaign. i will continue to focus on that. i will say to you that i think it would be inappropriate and something that we should not allow to stand without informing the american people of that reality. let me say this. i have never said it to the russian government, although i believe it was the work of a foreign government. i will say this, if you look at what happened during our election and the sort of things that were interjected into the election process, they are very similar to the sort of active measures that you have seen the russians use in the past in places like eastern europe to interfere with the elections of other countries. what we mean by interfere is they try to undermine the credibility of the election, they try to undermine individual leaders and create chaos in the political discourse.
the fundamental argument is they want people to -- they want to delegitimize the process. >> is it worthy of congress at scrutiny? >> absolutely. >> donald trump is going to rescind a lot of executive orders that president obama made. let me ask you one specifically, it's called daca for dreamers. granting essentially -- we can shorthand it here. amnesty for those who are brought into this country as children. so they're not -- they're protected and not deported. what is your recommendation to donald trump on that specific executive order? >> my recommendation would be that there are people that have already availed themselves of that. there's a period of time for that. i would not retroactively remove their status. i would say that from some point forward, people will not be allowed to apply for renewal for that status. that will give us a defined period of time to work through this, beginning with border security and modernization of the legal immigration system. >> don't rescind it immediately? >> well, people already have it.
someone has that permit. it's not indefinite. it expires. what i would say is if you have it, you will have it for that period of time. but you will not be able to renew it. it's not a long period of time. but it does give us the time to do border security, modernization and then move to something very reasonable for people like those who came here as children or those who have been here for a long time who are not criminals to allow them to attain legal status through a legal way, not unconstitutional. >> more of my interview with senator rubio and his thoughts about the death of fidel castro and where the relationship goes from here later in the broadcast. first, clinton campaign joins the effort to recount the votes in three states. you heard what kellyanne had to say about that. is there any chance the results is there any chance the results could be you can fly across welcome town in minutes16, or across the globe in under an hour. whole communities are living on mars and solar satellites
welcome back. panelists here, matt bai, helene cooper, danielle pletka and mark murray. welcome all. let me start with this recount, only because i heard kellyanne conway's reaction to it, matt. it was pretty harsh on the clinton campaign. they were almost -- >> she went out of her way to bring it up. >> she did. i didn't bring it up. donald trump has tweeted about
it this morning. there's enjoying poking them, calling them sore losers. >> she brought it up. it's clear that they don't want this -- they don't want this to become a distraction. they were sensitive about it. i'm trying to think the right analogy of this is with jill stein and the clinton campaign. it's like your neighbor goes in your house and brings your belongings out to the curb and when somebody talks them calls the police and says there's a theft. i don't know what it is. for jill stein to want -- i was trying -- i don't know if that's the right one. >> we have to cut him off now or he will keep going. >> i won't -- >> this is -- you are like me. you don't get it, do you? >> i don't understand. i don't think there's any percentage in it for anybody. i don't understand the political play. i don't understand why jill stein is doing it. i don't understand why the clinton campaign is doing it. if i were the trump folks, i don't think i would go out of my way to bring it up. >> how old are you? >> really? 48.
>> this is somebody who like me and like you lived through florida in 2000. once you have gone through that and you have seen just how hard a recount in one state is, the idea of taking it on in pennsylvania, wisconsin and michigan -- i don't get what jill stein is -- i don't understand this at all. >> somebody talked jill stein into this it smells like. >> was it you? >> almost guilti ining her. the margin of victory in michigan and in wisconsin would be made up if all stein vote her voted clinton. >> yeah. >> whatever. but why are they doing this? >> i ended up reaching out to people at the clinton campaign to say, did you have anything to do with it? are you happy jill stein is flooring this? we had nothing to do with this. this is jill stein on her own. they decided to join it because they feel like it's important to their voters, the people who are fired up to say, this is already happening. we're going to go out and
piggyback on this. jill stein ended up getting 50,000 votes in the state of michigan. the margin is 10,000. you end up looking at wisconsin, the margin there was -- is about 20,000. jill stein got more than 30,000 votes. pennsylvania wasn't going to make a big difference. having jill stein lead this -- >> do you have an analogy? >> you had the better one. >> we don't those votes would have gone to hillary clinton. >> or not voted. >> they might not have voted. the bottom line is, i don't understand why anybody is so excited about this. the constitution allows for this. state constitution allows for this. jill stein is using it as a way to raise money. i don't like that it's fuelling the fire of this not my president. don't vote for donald trump, don't for hillary clinton, but that is wrong. >> let's pifvot to the conflict
of interest issue. p se >> i don't think donald trump is a big worrier. that's obviously served him well. he is getting good advice. he got wise counsel from peggy noonan and the wall street journal. he needs to detangle himself. he needs to be -- purer than whose wife? >> it's usually -- >> you are the analogy guy. he does. otherwise, this will distract from every single thing he does. >> every story. you name -- especially -- you name the international story. right? >> so it's going to be a huge distraction. it will dominate political coverage for him for a year if not longer. remember on the hypocrisy angle, one of the closing arguments was about the clinton foundation and the conflicts of interest there. you end up having hillary clinton having at least a plan to extricate herself and her husband from the clinton foundation if they won. we still really haven't gotten a
rudimentary answer from kellyanne conway about how that will play out with donald trump. >> i don't think that this i -- at the end of the day he made a decision he wanted to run for president of the united states. i'm sorry. at this point, you look at the -- the times had this great story that started with -- it's philippines, greece, argentina -- >> it is a who is who of hot spots. >> it will continue and continue and continue. >> he has a point that we have not seen this before. there are going to be entanglements that we haven't seen because he is a businessman with all these interests. what worries people is that donald trump has shown very clearly through the course of this campaign that he doesn't care about conventions, rules. he considers politics a lesser almost silly arena than business. he has found himself in it. he is going to do what he is going to until it costs him something. i think there's a distrust about will he observe the conventional rules of conflict of interest. >> congress, congressional republicans could put some
handcuffs on him. do you think they will do that when it comes to the business stuff? they could pass bills that creates a forcible mechanism here. >> that's not been the habit of the united states congress. they didn't do it to hillary clinton. they didn't do it to bill clinton. they haven't done it to previous leaders. what you want to do is see him owning this. i get it. it's complicated. there's no precedent. but in fact, he needs to do this. in fact, that is ultimately what will protect his children. otherwise, when he is out of office, if he continues to have this interest, they will destroy him. imagine going to a trump hotel but then nobody goes to the trump hotel. ivanka has seen this with her brand. >> peggy noonan, that was a powerful column. when be come back, meet the man who says it's time for nancy pelosi to go because it's time for democrats to start winning again. david. what's going on? oh hey!
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the democratic party's loss of white middle class voters in 2016 and the white house this time, congressman tim ryan of ohio says it's time for a change in the party's leadership. including the house. he launched a bid to replace nancy pelosi as the democratic leader in the house. tim ryan joins me now. welcome to "meet the press." >> great to be with you. >> why do you think it's taken this long for someone like you or democrats to say, you know what, it's been a decade since democrats won control the house. why has there been so much comfort with her leadership until today? >> i think you think the next election is going to be different. the next elections haven't been different. my level of frustration came from the idea that we're going to have for two more years the same conversation as we have been having since 2010. i think the level of frustration in our caucus is as great as i have seen it. it's time to do something about it, not just talk about it. now we're not even the national party. we're a coastal party. we have to move forward.
if we're not going to get voters in ohio, michigan, someone minut in minnesota, we have to go back there and campaign and get those voek folks in the fold. >> bernie sanders said the following -- do you think he is alluding to identity politics? >> i think in part, we try to slice the electorate up. you are black, you are brown, you are gray, you are straight, you are a woman, you are a man. the reality is, there's no juice in that kind of campaign. there's no energy in that because it's divided. the key to and the magic of good campaigns is when you pull people together. you unite them around a common theme. if you are black, white, gay, straight, brown, you want a good job. we focus too much on the minimum
page a wage and we should talk about living wages and middle class wages and pensions and benefits and the things in the industrial midwest talk about. >> was this a mistake of message? is this hillary clinton? is this everybody just not talking about economic issues and the way that you want them talked about? >> mostly message. if you look at the policies, i believe the democratic party still has the policies to help move us forward, the blend of public private partnerships, the inf infrastructu infrastructure, investment in education and research. those are things we stand for and believe in and will continue to fight for. the reality of it is, our message has been wrong. we can't keep saying, we got the message wrong. so please forgive us. we have been getting the message wrong since 2010. we have to get the message right. we have to have the right messenger. we have to have someone who with not just go on msnbc but on fox and fox business and cnbc and go into union halls and fish fries and churches all over the country and start a brush fire about what a new democratic party looks like.
>> there's also a debate inside the democratic party about how to -- how or whether to work with trump. schumer and sanders and warren have indicated on some things they would work with trump. but there are others that argue, hey, republicans in congress chose not to work with president obama and it was good for the republican party. is it good for the democratic party to work with donald trump? >> i think it is yet to be seen. i think we have an obligation to respect the voter who put trump in. we may not like it and we may have fought -- i traveled country for a year and a half helping hillary clinton to try to become president. we have to respect what the american people have done. but this is a unique president in a unique situation with a divided republican party. that is going to reveal itself as we get into the legislative proposals. now it's just rhetoric, it's positioning, it's tweets. proposals have to land at the house of representatives. budgets, real numbers. we have to wait and see. there may be an opportunity to work with trump and other issues we may have to fight him.
>> what is nancy pelosi's fireable offense? >> we're not winning. >> that's what -- for get legislating? judged on that? forget fund-raisinfund-raising? >> yes. if money was the answer, hillary clinton would be president and we would be in charge of the house of representatives right now. money is not the answer. it's message, messenger and it's about winning. winners win. we can't have a standard in the democratic party that we're going to accept being down 63 seats. 33 governorships, 31 secretaries of state, 69 of 99 state legislators, chuck. we're losing all over the board. we have to start something new and start fresh. >> what is -- what do you make of the recount decision by the clinton campaign to cooperate with jill stein's call? do you think that's healthy for the country? >> it's their decision. they ran a tough race. >> are you supportive in. >> i'm moving on. >> would you counsel against it? >> i would. but i'm moving on. we have elections to win. we need to start rebiddined bre.
we're moving into the next congress. we have a leadership race. we have to fill the dnc position. we have to move forward. that's the best thing for us to do. >> if you don't succeed as party leader, are you going to stay in congress? >> i'm focused until wednesday. we're going to win. we're going to surprise a lot of people. there's discord in our conference right now. people want to move forward. they want to change. they have been home. i've been calling people over the holidays, which wasn't on my agenda. it was supposed to be football and turkey. people are saying, their families are telling them it's time for change. >> thanks to ohio state, you are probably in a good mood. >> excellent. >> tim ryan, democrat from ohio, thanks for coming in. there's one man whom we have followed from the time when americans watched the news on black and white televisionsera mobile devices.
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rumors of his death would move markets. by the time fidel castro died at the age of 90, he was an ill and feeble man who had ceded power to his brother and his death may have little impact. still, this marks the passing of a man who was not just an international figure but someone who had an influence on domestic american politics. >> when am i going to hate to the people of the united states? i don't hate anybody. including my enemies. >> castro quickly became an enemy of the united states cracking down at home and punishing u.s. companies in cuba. in 1961, president kennedy ordered 1,350 cia trained fighters to invade cuba at the bay of pigs. the attempted invasion was a disaster. two generations of cuban-americans blamed democrat john kennedy and voted republican. a year later, castro invited the
soviet union to base nuclear weapons on cuban soil. >> missiles in cuba add to an already clear and present danger. >> by the time he was 35, two u.s. presidents had tried to kill him. in all, castro faced off against 11 u.s. presidents, south florida policy became foreign policy. american presidents learned cuba policy could become a domestic political problem. in 1980, the mario boat lift became a problem for carter when it turned out that some of the 15,000 cubans castro allowed to emigrate to the united states had been released from cuban jails and mental health facilities. >> castro has taken hardened criminals out of prison. >> a governor in arkansas tried to be helpful to his colleague in the white house. bill clinton agreed to house some at a military installation while privately fuming, how could you do this to me? i busted my ass for carter. you are going to get me beat.
>> the only way that we can really adequately secure the area is to have more troops inside. >> in june, a riot broke out. clinton had to call in the national guard. clinton did lose that re-elect bid. as president, he would get another hard lesson in cuba politics 20 years later. in 1999, a custody battle broke out over 6-year-old elian gonzalez. after a five month standoff, federal agents forcibly removed him from his extended family in miami to return him to his father in cuba. cuban-american voters a few months later punished al gore. potentially costing him florida and the election. when we come back, the reaction to castro's death, including to castro's death, including more of my c oh, look... ...another anti-wrinkle cream to castro's death, including more of my c in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works... ...in one week.
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welcome back. continuing now with my interview with senator marco rubio of florida. i spoke with him this morning about the death of fidel castro. i asked him if the impact seems more anti climactic now than it would have had this happened 20 years ago. >> the bottom line is that as far as the practical day to day affairs, that happen aed a day ago. it's a historical milestone and psychological for a lot of people. from a practical standpoint, cuba today is governed the same way as it was 48 hours ago. >> do you hold out any hope it's possible raul castro was holding off on making changes while fidel was alive?
>> no. fidel -- raul is 85. i hear people say the younger castro. he is 85 years old. he has been involved in the government since day one. he has been governing for the last ten years. the thing people don't understand is he is not a reformer thinking for the best interests of cuba. his number one interest is to make permanent the system of government. because they have an extended family and friends who depend on the system of government for their livelihood. they want this system of government to become a permanent and accepted way to govern an island nation. that's the number one interest is. >> you put out a statement a couple weeks ago saying this, rolling back president obama's one-sided concessions to the castro regime, a key campaign promise shared with president-elect trump will be a top priority for me next year. >> absolutely. >> are you convinced it's a top priority for president trump? >> i am. >> you are going to fight to lift, to put back in the travel
sanctions on commercial and private travel? are you going to put cuba back on the state sponsor of terrorism list? are you going to close the embassy? >> first of all, we want to look at all the changes made. let's take a step back. everything should be guided by our goal. our goal is not to punish. our goal is to figure out what can we do through u.s. policy to number one look out for the national interests of the united states and number two, to help create an environment where we are creating the potential for a transition to democratic order in cuba at some point in the near future. we would examine every policy to see whether or not that policy helps us down the line. i would add to that that i do think many of the things whether it's increase remittance, increase travel but some of the banking regulations, which i believe are illegal to begin with, that some of the banking changes that have been made, they should be conditioned upon specific changes on the part of the cuban government. for example, i think as long as they are harboring fugitives of
american justice who kill, thate tied to something we're doing over here. not to mention freedom of the press. freedom of expression. freedom of organization. on the other hand, i have never said i'm against all changes to cuba policy. i'm just against unilateral changes from which we get nothing in return for our country or freedom or liberty of the cuban people. look at burma or myanmar of how you can condition openings in exchange for democratic changes on the part of the other government. that did not happen here. we will examine the entire thing and make suggestions to the trump administration. >> let me bring in the panel. danielle let me start with you. you are a foreign policy -- it's your in your wheelhouse. this this doesn't have the same feel that i think we all thought it would have ten or 15 years ago. could something change? >> i don't think anything is going to change.
as marco rubio said rightly, fidel hasn't been in charge. raul is in charge. the transfer happened a decade ago. the problem is not -- was not fidel. it was the system that he put in place all these decades ago. that's with a we need to focus on. we need to focus not on an end to the castros, not the name, but to the system which lives off the back of the cuban people, threatens us and interferes in the region. >> the question is obviously, what -- of what president obama has done gets left in by donald trump. before we go way from president obama, his statement yesterday got a lot of people upset because of what it didn't say. let me put it up. here is what he said on castro. i have to say, it's the most positive statement i have heard a president of the united states
put out on afidel castro. >> i disagree -- you present a very -- mario rubio did that, a very -- castro as the satanic demon that the united states has -- in many ways he has been. but i think what president obama statement reflects is that nobody in the rest of the world sort of agrees with you. the castro that i grew up knowing as a child growing up in liberia was a castro who fought the south african apartheid regime that the united states was propping up. it was a castro that sent soldiers in and helped to bring down apartheid south africa. there's a lot of ambivalence when you look atrop fidel castr. i think what president obama's statement was doing -- >> no. she brings up a good point. she brings up a good point in
that -- castro's reputation around the world is different than in the united states. >> that ignores the fact -- you may like what castro did in south africa. i don't. you can't forget that he did this all on the backs of the cuban people. this was an absolute dictatorship that crushed this island beneath their jack booted heel. shot people for disagreeing with the castros, for 50 years they have been -- they murdered their political opponents and supported groups like hezbollah, iran and chavez. let's not forget who he is. >> this is a very american view of -- >> i can't tell where danielle is on cuba. she might be vacationing there. i disagree a little with held even. there is an american view of this. i will say there was something poignant about castro's death.
because as i -- it's not everybody's view. when he was elected in 2008, part of the promise, part of what people felt was the sense of turning a new generation turning the page on all the history, history just wouldn't quite get out of his way on his timetable. here it is the very closing act of his presidency and finally he gets castro out of his way too late. >> you did a little reporting on this as to why did the white house stay so -- >> this argument we're having here, the white house decided, we don't want to perpetuate the past. we want to go forward. the more you talk about fidel castro and his record, according to their logic was you end up fighting old fights that have been going on for 50 or 60 years. they wanted to turn the page. to me the biggest question will be, will we talk about fidel castro and cuba come tuesday, wednesday? outside of florida, republican politics. if not, probably the white house's objective on moving on wins out. >> that's a great point. >> we will see. we'll be back in 45 seconds. end game segment and the uneasy
back now with end game. perhaps the biggest story of the week in the transition were these awkward meetings. i was at one. i'm abiding by the the agreement. it was off the record with president-elect trump. have i done off the records with president obama and president bush. that's what we did. had a semi-off the record with the "new york times." you weren't in the meetings. you get to speak freely on this. what do you see developing here between trump and the media?
>> i do think the first where you were going to have a detente. donald trump has a complicated relationship with the media. he loves the media. he loves "the new york times." he loves watching cable tv news. he loved doing u ining the inte d he did. you were a former white house correspondent. helene, you as well. being a white house reporter, you see yourself as an institution. it's a different job than being a congressional reporter. it's different than being a political reporter. when you get in the oval office, you are at the podium, it's a different ball game. and a tougher game. >> do you feel like you can share? >> the meeting at the times was definitely a different donald trump than you have seen if you just looked at his twitter feed talking about the "new york times." this time, this was the more
amenable trump, "the new york times" was a jewel, a great institution, this is the guy who that morning tweeted about the failing "new york times" and had misrepresented why he canceled the meeting to begin with. there is a dr. jekyll and mr. hyde quality to president-elect trump. i worry that somebody who is as thin skinned as he is, who is as quick to react to any kind of criticism -- he is going to get a ton of it when he gets behind that podium. that's the job of the press. that's the entire reason the fourth estate exists. >> danielle, you are an outsider as far as observing this. you care about the substance of an administration. the rules of engagement between an administration and the press matters, too. how do you view this? >> as the only non-reporter at the table, although i used to be one many years ago, the thing that worries me is listening to
you all, you have become conscious about your reporting. you think about yourselves. you think about your institution. you are not reporting. the view that the public has is that "the new york times" isn't objective, that nbc isn't objective, the twitter feed, chuck is this, this and this. this is the problem. we're doubling down. you have a president who many people believe was made by the likes of cnn. he got more air time than anybody else. how do you square this and go back to the proper relationship? i don't know the answer to that. it makes me worry about what i read. >> anyway, we're not going to solve it here. you were a terrific panel. thank you very much. that's all we have for today. we hope you continue to enjoy -- i think today should be turkey chili day. it's time for the chili. we will be back next week because it's if sunday, it's "meet the press."
donald trump begins a week with a twitter storm of comments over three state recounts and claims that millions voted illegally but no evidence. the death of fidel castro sets in. what's next for the communist nation as the u.s. begins regular flights to havana today. one person is dead, nine others injured in new orleans as police search for two shooters. >> this is the act of just brazen cowards who took these actions into those hands and these are their choices and now we have to make our choice to pursue them and hold them accountable. >> today is cyber monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year, but deep discounts have led to hot black friday