tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 27, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
newsroom, recount ruckus. >> i was asked a thousand times, will donald trump accept the election results and now you have the democrats and jill stein saying they do not accept the results. >> that's a legal right, they do it. >> do you think romney could be a loyal secretary of state for donald trump? >> open dissent over mitt romney as u.s. secretary of state. >> we don't even know if mitt romney voted for donald trump. cnn "newsroom" starts now. >> hello, again, thanks for joining me. president-elect donald trump will return to new york city this afternoon and he's gearing up for meetings tomorrow with these potential candidates for his administration.
it's the back and forth over who he will pick for secretary of state that has put the infighting within the trump team on full display. this morning on state of the union, senior adviser kellyanne conway was critical of mitt romney as a top contender. >> it's breath taking in scope and intensity the type of messages i received from all over the country and i'm just me, i'm not donald trump. just as his former campaign manager, the number of people who feel betrayed to think that a governor romney would get the most prominent cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt donald trump, there was the never trump movement and there was mitt romney. he gave speeches against donald trump and attacked his character. i never heard governor romney come out and say, hey, i have a problem with x, y and z but that 25 million job creation plan over the next ten years is something to look at. the factual reduce the capital
gains tax on employers and businesses or ten-point plan to reform the veterans administration, none of that was ever said. the romney consultant were the worst to all of us, twitter feeds were anti-trump. and if president-elect trump chooses mitt romney as his secretary of state or whomever he chooses, that will have the full support and backing of all of us. i respect the brilliance and judgment and sheer instincts of president-elect trump to form his cabinet as he wishes but i feel compelled to come forward on behalf of the people weighing in. >> absolutely. we know that i have been supportive of president-elect trump and his decisions but it really sounds like you personally, not just that you have been receiving criticism and concerns about mitt romney, that you personally have concerns about a potential secretary of state mitt romney for donald trump. >> well, it's what i've -- i'm not sure my personal concerns
matter. >> but am i wrong to say that? >> that decision rests with one man -- you're not wrong to say that. governor romney went out of his way. i also think it's donald trump who has shown he has political instincts, governor romney ran for the same office four years ago and lost spectacularly. it's donald trump who won 306 electoral votes, won states like michigan, romney lost by ten points. donald trump just won wisconsin for the first time since 1984, won pennsylvania, won florida, won ohio. all of these states that were elusive to the last couple of nominees and the other thing is, i think there are other -- i know there are other candidates being considered apart from the ones being covered more commonly in the media but apart from that, governor romney in the past four years, i mean has he been around the globe doing something on behalf of the united states of which we're unaware? did he go and intervene in syria
where they have a massive humanitarian crisis, offered to help or helpful to mr. netanyahu. i'm all for party unity but i'm not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position. but again, let me repeat what donald trump decides, kellyanne conway and everybody else will respect, it's just the backlash from the grass roots, i'm hearing from people who say my parents died pennyless but i gave $216 to donald trump's campaign and i would feel betrayed or i thought we got rid of this type. his -- i'm just saying that -- we don't even know if mitt romney voted for donald trump. he put ed mcmullen up in utah. i think there are concerns that those of us that are loyal have. you want a secretary of state whose loyal to the president's vision of the world. >> joining me now to discuss is political comment ator, alice
stewart and democratic strategist maria cardona, why is kellyanne conway publicly dismissing mitt romney and saying she does respect trump's position? >> i too believe that mitt romney has a good record in leadership and does have a role in the future of the republican party and this country. he will help bring about party unity. but at the same time, the secretary of state's position is a high price to pay for party unity. i think there is something for him to do and there are many other people names being discussed for that position. rudy giuliani being one, who have been at donald trump's side from the very beginning and been in the trenches and stood up for him. that is what kellyanne is saying. >> you don't get to interpret that about rudy giuliani. you get to interpret kellyanne
as dismissing or being critical of mitt romney. and it seems odd that the public would be hearing about this or does this say that there are some real infighting about how some in the camp think romney is a good choice and how others don't? do you want to publicly air that? >> well, look, as i said, she was in the camp and inside the trump campaign. every time it took a step forward, there's mitt romney routinely giving speeches or saying something to undermine the trump campaign. and she felt those attacks firsthand more than anyone. so clearly she has more of a stake in this than a lot of other people and when she has been asked, her thoughts on one of the two or three leading contenders this is where she feelsz. she felt the brunt of those attacks firsthand but the bottom line is, as she indicated at the end of the day it's donald trump's decision an we all trust
his gut instinct and his keen insight on who would be the best person for that job. >> nar how do you interpret this? >> i think it is astoundingly bizarre. we have never seen anything like this but it's the donald trump transition, never seen anything like the kind of campaign he ran, kind of divisive rhetoric he used and yet he got elected. so it is astoundingly bizarre in terms of comparison but we've also come to learn that we shouldn't really compare the way he does things with anybody else. here's kind of where i land on this. i really believe that if mitt romney was a serious contender for the secretary of state, i can almost assure you that donald trump would have told his people don't go out and trash him because he's going to want his supporters to ultimately support his decision. if in fact he was seriously considering mitt romney.
i kind of think it's sort of like a bizarre payback for exactly everything that kellyanne conway is explaining that romney did during the campaign -- >> a way of humiliating him. >> a way of publicly humiliating him. it's sick to think that way but donald trump is donald trump. we have seen this kind of payback and nastiness in other ways. i don't see any other way to really look at it because if he was serious about considering him, i don't think he would let his folks go out and talk that way publicly about mitt romney and if he isn't serious, then, why not publicly humiliate him. he felt publicly hum i will yalted by mitt romney. >> something else to dissect, this is kellyanne conway talking about how president-elect trump and president obama have talked regularly and most notably as early as yesterday. >> leaders listen and they learn. they take counsel of many people
and see what the circumstances are. and he's even been talking to president obama. beyond the sit down they had 30 hours or so after president-elect trump won the election, they've been talking regularly on a number of issues, talked just yesterday. >> was behind this willingness to have lengthy talks on obamacare and says it sounds like there have been other conversations between that meeting and yesterday on phone talking about cuba/u.s. relations? >> i think it's a good sign on both parties. president obama and donald trump to unite, unite the country on many key issues. i take the president at his word when he said he would do anything he could to help in the transition process. he was complimentary how george bush transferred power to him. trump is also reaching out and engaging in conversations about the key issues, we've already
seen some instances where he may be a softening somewhat on these issues, obamacare being one of the key issues instead of repealing an replacing obama care, maybe tweaking certain aspects. these are important conversations to be had. i think it shows a good sign on both sides that they are willing to listen to both sides in order to make a smooth and peaceful transition. >> maria? >> i actually completely agree with that. i do think it's smart on both ends. and it's interesting that it's happening after the death of fidel castro because i think what is on the question of so many is what is the future of the cuba/u.s. relations, especially when trump has made very negative statements about the kind of deal that president obama moved forward with in terms of opening diplomatic ties. so i hope that part of that conversation was that you really can't put the genie back in the bottle in terms of progress we have made with opening up
relations with cuba and that donald trump understands as many free market republicans understand that this is the future both for cuba and the united states and we should find ways to continue to push the kind of democratic changes we all want to see in cuba without cutting off the kind of progress we have made thus far. >> years ago miami herald reminded everyone this weekend that eight years ago was donald trump the businessman who inty mated an interest in putting up a trump hotel or something in cuba. so there is that interest of opening up that kind of gateway. >> i do think one thing we will see is that trump has always been of the mindset that the obama overtures to cuba were one sided and donald trump wants to see more of a bilateral agreement with cuba and also has certain priorities with regard to freeing political prisoners and bringing back americans who are escaping law here in our
country. and opening up cuba for religious and political freedoms. those are the top priorities with regard to the relationship with cuba. >> there were concessions made on behalf of cuba and prisoners set free but we need to continue to push those. that is something we can both sides can agree to. >> we'll talk more about those warming relations between the u.s. and cuba, at least what we've seen over the past year and a half. thanks so much. appreciate that. >> thank you. >> up next, president-elect trump will be leaving his palm beach estate soon ready for a slate of at least eight meetings tomorrow with potential cabinet and staff picks. find out who is headed to trump tower as well. plus, the president-elect has been slamming the wisconsin recount effort that hillary clinton's team just joined in with the green party. trump calling it a scam cooked up by the green party to raise millions. we'll be joined live by a recount expert next.
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after the hillary clinton campaign announced it would join the green party recount, donald trump is calling that effort demoralized. last night tweeted the democrats when they incorrectly thought they were going to win ask the election be accepted, not so anymore. the recount is being spearheaded by green party leader jill stein. stein has been fund raising for a recount in michigan and pennsylvania. i want to talk about this with rosemary rodriguez, of the election assistance commission. good to see you. >> good to see you, fredericka.
>> my question to you, how would this recount work? i think a lot of people envision recount and think of the 2000 recount in florida with the hanging chads and pregnant chads and seeing paper ballots but this is not what this is. how would it work? >> well, first of all, i can assure all americans that the systems have improved greatly since the 2000 election. we're no longer using some of that older equipment that caused all americans so much concern. but this is -- this recount and it's going to take place in wisconsin is enabled by law. the party, jill stein and her party are entitled to the recount under state statutes. and questions have been raised about their rumors swirling around and this is simply a way for the stein people to verify the election.
and it's a real tribute to our transparency and our accountability -- >> these are mostly electronic ballots, correct? so how would they be retab lated? >> well, you basically rerun the election, simulation of what actually happened on the day of the election. nothing is changed between then and now, except possibly an error or not on a computer tabulating equipment. >> so the deadline for wisconsin is completing this recount by december 13th. is it realistic that deadline could be met? >> it should be realistic. i don't know if -- i don't even know if wisconsin has done a recount before but election officials across the country are prepared for this in the states that allow it, simply as a
matter of good practice and policy. >> you're a democrat. how do you respond to criticism from president-elect trump that hillary clinton is being a hypocrite by joining the green party effort to challenge these election results? >> i believe that if in joining this, if she were asking for something exceptional or out of the ordinary, i think that would be a viable criticism. but this is all within the construct of the state laws. >> so jill stein, you know, her goal is $7 million, she already raised more than 6 million as of this afternoon. is that how much it costs to get these recounts in now three states? >> the stein folks should pay the appropriate cost and this is what the states are -- have calculated as the actual costs
and absolutely those asking for the recount should pay the full cost appropriately in my opinion. >> and jill stein was a guest on cnn "newsroom" yesterday and said that all of the money raised would go towards the recount. all right, rosemary rodriguez. >> yeah, that's good. thank you so much. >> next, a controversial sheriff and congressman and founder of one of the nation's largest black owned businesses, just some of the people scheduled to meet with president-elect trump tomorrow. we're live at his palm beach estate to break down the who's who. i asked my dentist if an electric toothbrush was going to
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welcome back, live pictures in palm beach, florida. possibly the route there that would take a president-elect donald trump from his home to the airport as he embarks on a journey up north to new york to meet with the number of people, his transition team and other possible candidates for his next administration. he's expected to hold eight meetings tomorrow to fill remaining posts, that meeting taking place in new york. let's check back with ryan nobles in palm beach. what can you tell us about tomorrow's scheduled meetings? >> reporter: fredericka, looking to wrap up his thanksgiving
weekend here at mar-a-lago. he'll make his way back to new york whereas you mentioned, he has a busy day planned, eight different can dates will make their way to trump tower. and i want to talk about two candidates in particular, the first is sheriff david clark, he's the milwaukee county sheriff. he's a very prominent law enforcement voice and very strong supporter of the second amendment. he spoke at the republican national convention and also a very vocal critic of the black lives matter movement. this is significant because he he is african-american and also a democrat. he is rumored to be among the candidates for next secretary of homeland security. the other person coming to the tower is kathleen harnet white, the former head of the commission on environmental quality. she's rumored to be among trump's candidates as the head
of the environmental protection agency, which is interesting because she's a pretty about critic of the epa. she believes that many of the epa's regulations have been hurting small businesses across the country and a big proponent of expanding coal and fracking across the country. and her big thing she's knocked is regulatory environment and sat early on his board of economic advisers and one of the most prominent and outspoken women supporting trump during the campaign. we'll have to see what happens with these meetings starting on monday. and of course fredericka, we're keeping a very close eye on who the next secretary of state will be. that appears to be a decision that donald trump is still spending quite a bit of time on making. >> ryan, thank you so much in palm beach. >> next, elian gonzalez, now 22 years old, mourns the death of fidel castro as his second father. hear the views of the young man
who was a castaway as a child and famously caught between family members in the u.s. and cuba and i'll be joined by the rnc director of hispanic communications to discuss the possible u.s./cuba administration goals of a trump administration. you'll see there's one that's an eagle. my number one goal is getting more funds out to parks because some animals and plants are only found in one place in the world, and that's in some national parks. i find that's a great cause, and i want to support it. (avo) the subaru share the love event has donated over four million dollars to help the national parks. get a new subaru, and we'll donate two hundred and fifty dollars more. ♪put a little love in your heart.♪
or you can call 1-800-medicare. medicare open enrollment. you'll never know unless you go. i did it. you can too. ♪ thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredericka whitfield, the 5-year-old cuban castaway caught in the middle of an international custody dispute is remembering fidel castro fondly. remember this iconic image, when he was ripped from his florida relatives home and brought home to his family in cuba. this adult 22 years old is praising fidel castro calling him a father figure and friend. students at the university of
havana are expressing the same sentiment, chanting i am fidel. and praising fidel castro as a revolutionary. >> came here and struggle of that, that we actually had some value and with unity, we can make any change possible. he was not home an example to cuba but the entire world. >> in miami, quite the contrast, crowds are cheering castro's death and that's where we find our boris sanchez, tell us more about the contrast of how people are behaving there in miami versus what elian gonzalez is now saying. >> reporter: fred, it's hard to believe that both these groups of people are reacting to the death of the same person. there's a dj here that set up speakers and a huge crowd here. it's got a considerably bigger since the last time we spoke to
you but it's important to point out this is a third or fourth of what we saw yesterday and night before. obviously, there's elation here and there's a tremendous amount of relief, something that people here have been telling us that they've been looking forward to this moment for a very long time. this is something they've even been praying for very different in cuba. somber, nine days of mourning for fidel castro and perhaps no one best encompasses that divide more than elian gonzalez, a story that captured people here and on the island for months. as you know, and if you listen to elian's words and he describes fidel as a father figure. listen closely to his response to fidel's passing. >> translator: he is a father who like my father i wanted to show him everything i achieved, that he would be proud of me. that's how it was with fidel. if i learned something and
wanted to show him and there are still many things i want to show him. >> the fascinating part about that, as you know, fred, elian was blofd here in miami. after he was taken back to cuba and embraced with open arms by fidel, people here started to turn in terms of public opinion. saw him more a propaganda tool of fidel's and way for him to show that he had a victory over the united states and the imperialist encroachment of the united states on cuba. so people here don't necessarily have a high opinion of elian and see him more as a prop than an objective voice and can lend perspective to the divide between the exiles here and this jovial response and the more somber one of those still on the island, fred. >> boris sanchez, thanks in miami. the death of fidel castro could possibly threaten
u.s./cuban relations as tensions were beginning to thaw, this as president-elect donald trump has threatened to undo president obama's efforts to bring the two governments together. joining me to discuss, helen foray for the republican national committee and maria cardona, commentator and democratic strategist. good to see both of you. >> thank you. >> helen, let me begin with you. we heard from elian gonzalez praising castro and many cuban-americans sharply disagreeing awedably now. do you think castro's death will change the direction that we've seen thus far in the past year and a half with the obama administration? will it change under the direction of a president donald trump? >> well, thank you, fredericka for the opportunity to speak today. one of the things that we see here in miami and i was on
southwest 8th street yesterday for many hours and it was a bitter sweet moment, you're happy for the dawn of a new era and possibility of democracy perhaps having an opportunity to flow. but at the same time, sad that there was the price after 57 years of a brutal dictatorship, that's been so much tragedy and loss of hul an life. even gonzalez had violent acts, including the drowning of his mother trying to bring him to freedom in the united states. when we look what's happened over the last couple of years in cuba, one would have hoped that the agreement with the united states and cuba would have brought in an ushered in an opportunity for democracy. but what we see is ladies in white are being attacked even more than ever before. dissidents even today are being taken from their home to undisclosed locations and families are told if they leave
their homes they'll be arrested. >> do you like there's been an effort made by the u.s. to warm relations that these are the beginning stages or do you believe that all of that should be -- those efforts sure irradiated and start anew? or dismantled all together. >> fredericka, if our position was let's warm up to the regime still in power today. those in power a week ago are still in power today, then we did a super great job. they are the ones we've been doing business with. we're not doing business with the cuban people but with the cuban military regime. the longest dictatorship in our western hemisphere. when we look at and president-elect donald trump is absolutely correct in looking at what is going on in cuba. there are concessions that should have been made and weren't made. we have american fugitives
living free in cuba. we don't have political freedom and there's no movement towards democracy -- >> these are some of the conditions. >> what do you think should be next? what do you think is plausible and reasonable and acceptable under a trump administration in terms of what would be next? >> first of all, president-elect trump has indicated he's going to look at all of the executive orders and executive actions that have been taken and there are some that may be illegal in the case of cuba in particular, when you look at the expansion of banking and other issues overriding the role of the embargo in this particular case. what needs to be done is -- and he has indicated he will do. he's going to review this very complex situation and he's going to find a way to negotiate a better deal so that -- >> i'm trying to get at what's a better deal? explain what you or -- >> a better deal -- a better
deal is one that brings about viable means of transforming -- helping transform cuba into a democracy. it's no -- there's no question that cuba is an exporter of terrorism and cuba is the one but tresing the ven wal an government, not a legitimate government any more than the cuban government is and you see that in bolivia as well, nicaragua. has a close relationship with hezbollah. we need to try to provide support to that you can have support to the civil society so that we can help bring about means. if we're going to do business with cuba, it should be with the cuban people and not with the cuban military. >> so maria, what are you envisioning is potentially next that you look forward to or that you worry about? >> well, i worry about that a trump will just erase the kind of progress we have seen by
closing up diplomatic ties which is what he has threatened to do. i think by listening to the pressure of those in miami-dade who absolutely don't want the united states to have any relationship with cuba. i don't think that will happen though, fred, because it is really tough to put the genie back in the bottle and that is progress towards democracy towards all of those things that my friend helen was talking about. and i agree with her, we do need to -- whatever we do to move forward and we have to move forward, not backward, we have to make sure that we do pressure -- continue to pressure cuba, which is frankly the reason why president obama made this deal in the first place. to meet those democratic principles that we all believe is -- are so important to the cuban people. let's also be very clear. the times are achanging. 70% of the cuban american community in miami-dade was supportive of this deal that
obama made with cuba because they understand that opening up the ties with cuba it was really the only way to seek to continue to make progress towards real democracy. 63% of those who supported the deal also support lifting the embargo, lifting the embargo is the only way we can do what helen stated, which is incredibly important, do business with the cuban people. >> such as sending support -- >> all things that i really hope that trump will be the one to underscore as he re-evaluates this particular deal with cuba. >> we'll leave it there, ladies. >> thank you. >> really quick, helen? >> just very quickly, president-elect trump has been clear that he doesn't mind doing direct negotiations with the cuban government. he has said there has to be concessions made on the part of the cuban government which has to do with political and
religious freedoms and releasing american fugitives of justice and more. those are fundamentals that need to be given in return. >> thank you so much. >> thanks, fred. >> next, dozens of people killed this weekend and thousands of families trapped as the syrian regime takes back some key sections of eastern aleppo. what this means in the brutal civil war.
entered a key rebel held neighborhood in eastern aleppo. launching a long threatened ground assault to retake all of the city. hundreds have already been killed in weeks of artillery strikes on the area and unicef says the situation is especially dire for kids in aleppo. >> in a desperate children, children are not only malnourished but being bombed. one team of doctors and nurses told us they are literally having to choose which children live or die. the most injured children they have to let die because the medical supplies is so low. >> eastern aleppo is considered one of the last urban strongholds of the rebels fighting the assad regime. elsewhere in syria and iraq, the fight against isis continues and one of the least known tools being used against the insurgent group is a highly secretive drone flying program. flying so high they have to wear
space suits. here's an incredible firsthand look how they gather intelligence. >> fighting isis in a space suit. we can only identify the pilot by his first name, captain steven and by his call sign, meathead. he's about to embark on a high altitude reconnaissance mission in a u2 spy plane. we were given rare access to the preparation and launch and landing of one of these highly secretive missions that have a clear objective one of the pilot's tell me. >> we're able to get out there and find the guys and track them and get that back to the fighter types and bomber types so they have the best intel, best information where they are and then obviously do what needs to be done. >> reporter: the u2 can supply extremely high, more than 70,000 feet and get pictures and other informations to forces on the ground very fast. it's a cold war era plane, flying since the 1950s but its
cameras and sensors have been completely upgraded. >> with its many upgrades, it remains one of america's main assets in the information gathering effort against isis. of course, intelligence gathering happens on many levels and much of it happens through drones like this global hawk which patrols above iraq and syria almost every day. the information from these surveillance platforms is key to helping jets from the u.s.-led anti-isis coalition strike their targets. support of forces combatting the group on the ground in places like mosul and iraq. but while the u2 can soar higher than any other plane, it's pretty hard to land. we're in a chase car that speeds after the jet helping to guide the pilot to the ground after almost ten-hour mission. peeling himself out of the cockpit, captain steven believes
the u2 is making a major impact. >> things we can do while we're up there and how often we're up there, thanks to maintenance guys we're constantly in the air providing support for those who need it the most. >> and the need for the u2 services will remain in high demand while isis may be losing ground the group remains both deadly and elusive. >> thank you so much. still to come, melania trump delaying her move into the white house. we'll look at what else we can expect from the future first lady.
all right. even after donald trump's jan inauguration the future first lady will not be moving into the white house right away. melania will be staying in trump tower while their son finishes out the school year. the grace and power of america's modern first ladies. welcome to you, kate. >> thanks for having me. >> okay. so it is a personal decision, but there have been other families with small kids who have moved right into the white house from, you know, the carters, clintons, the obamas, what do you read into this decision from the trumps? >> well, i mean melania trump is not playing by the same rule book other first ladies have
played by. michelle had a seven and ten-year-old. melania is breaking a lot of ground. she is the first former super model, first third wife of a president. the first first lady with a pre-nup which is very interesting. i think she doesn't think she has to play by the same rules other first ladies have played by. she will probably move into the white house after she gets their son through school. i think a lot of mothers can understand why she would like to keep him in the school they love in new york city. the obamas are staying in d.c. while sasha finishes school. >> so you think it is because of barron and because melania needs transition into this new role? >> i think the transition team is focused on who will be the next secretary of state, not the social secretary.
it is a huge machine, the east wing. dozens of staffers. you need a social secretary, chief of staff. >> and all of that is in place. it is a pretty significant staff, almost 30 members on a first lady's staff. >> right. and there's some debate on whether or not it's worth it. it is 1.5 million for michelle obama's staff. i think it is worth it. look at the militaries families campaign that michelle obama launched. these are important issues republican and democratic first ladies have taken up. >> and melania says cyber bullying is something she wants to tackle. do you think it is something she will start right away or is that a focus of hers once she does eventually move into the white house? >> i think it will take time to get underway. it took michelle obama some
time. i think we'll see her take that on closer to the fall this next year. it is an interesting sort of apolitical campaign to take on. not a lot of people would criticize it. they criticized her but i think it's a smart outside of their specific context it's a smart kind of perfect first lady issue. >> melania trump did meet face to face with michelle obama and talked about how lovely it was to meet her. do you believe melania trump will be seeking advice or reaching out, you know, to my predecessors the way they have been having dialogue about shaping things once the baton i guess is passed? >> it is interesting. jimmy carter called donald trump after he won to congratulate him. people reach across the aisle.
i wouldn't be surprised if melania does talk to somebody like laura bush. i think with michelle obama it is very difficult because of how devicive this campaign was. there was always that interest passing the baton peacefully and there is a lot of every think among these women. >> she was a mom in chief, you know, someone who also came from a corporate background and quite the pedigree education wise. how do you see melania trump, what might be her signature? >> i think she will be incredibly private. we see that already. michelle was on the campaign trail quite a bicht. >> thank you so much.