tv At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan CNN November 29, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
eye on it. laura coates, thank you. thank you for joining me today. i'm carol costello. "at this hour" with berman and boudla starts now. >> hello, everyone, i'm kate bolduan. >> i'm john berman. okay, i thought there was going to be an animation there. it said "pause." i'm not going to pause. >> dramatic pause. >> i'm going to keep going. president-elect trump is having mitt romney over for dinner tonight. what is on the menu, you ask, is it a cabinet position? perhaps revenge, a dish best served cold they say. or is it the first amendment which is at least in one respect out of season at trump tower this morning? >> to continue the delicious john berman metaphor, what trump today says he wants on the cutting board, flag burning. that is where the first amendment comes in. trump writing on twitter this
morning this, nobody should be allowed to burn the american flag, if they do, there must be consequences, perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail. here is the thing. the supreme court settled this issue almost 30 years ago. burning the flag is protected symbolic speech under the first amendment. for more on that and the breaking news and the latest trump cabinet with some big consequences, the latest from phil mattingly at trump tower. >> i want to start with cabinet officials. we have just learned from a trump transition official that elaine chao, the labor secretary in george w. bush's administration, the wife of senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, will be named the secretary of transportation later this afternoon. that announcement come also the same day as tom price, the congressman from georgia, was named the secretary of health and human services this morning. so the trump transition is
starting to fill out those positions now, two cabinet roles. tom price, i think that's important, conservatives are thrilled by this pick. he has been the leader of the opposition to obamacare in the house. he's also been the leader of the alternative to obamacare. he's an orthopedic surgeon. he has experience on the realities of the policy side of things. i've been going back and forth with capitol hill republicans throughout the day and last night when this news broke. people are very excited about this pick. so two big cabinet selections today. that's been the focus of the trump operation behind the scenes. now, in public, slightly different. kate, as you noted, the president elect taking to twitter multiple times to talk about things other than the transition operation. including the flag burning issue. now, here's a really interesting element. i mentioned elaine chao who is the wife of senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell in 2006 cast the deciding vote in the senate to block a bill that would have
allowed congress to amend the constitution to punish flag bushing. his point at that time, according to an opinion piece he wrote in a local newspaper was people who burn flags aren't really a big problem. starting to mess around with the first amendment, that is. so while the president elect clearly wants to make it an issue, at least accord to his twitter account this morning, he's going to run into opposition in the form of the most powerful man in the u.s. senate and the husband of one his cabinet selections, guys. >> that's a tangled web. great to see you, phil. break out the flow chart. thank you, phil, so much. let's talk about this with our panel. cnn senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is here. cnn's chief political correspondent dana bash. cnn political reporter sara murray here as well. cnn political analyst, national political reporter at "the new york times" alex burns. and cnn legal senior analyst and former federal prosecutor jeffrey -- >> cnn well represented.
>> jeffrey. >> yes, ma'am. >> phil laid it out clear. to be clear, where has the court and constitution landed on flag burning? >> well, this has been a settled issue for a long time. in fact, justice scalia, whose vacancy we're talking about a great deal these days, was the deciding vote in favor of protecting flag burning under the first amendment. so i don't know what our job here as a journalist these days. because are we just going to do donald trump's tweet of the day? i mean, this is -- this is clearly something that is prohibited by the constitution. but it is a bright shiny object that we are now looking at. and, you know, it is pretty remarkable that the president-elect of the united states is calling for, you know, penalties, criminal penalties, for protected speech. >> loss of citizenship. >> loss of citizenship. >> i mean, i just, you know, why is he doing this? i mean, that's the question.
is he trying to distract attention from something else? i don't know why he would be. his transition seems to be going well. what is the purpose behind this? i don't really get it. >> dana bash, jeffrey brought up a couple of really important points here. let's try to break them down one at a time. number one, what does he get out of this? from what you are hearing, why is he bringing this up today? >> it's unclear. i mean, that's just the bottom line. it just seems as though the pattern of donald trump and his use of social media has not changed since the campaign. in that he sees something, whether it's on his own twitter feed or on television or, you know, somebody calls him and tells him about something. and he reacts. and he tries to, you know, get whatever his feeling is at that moment out to his millions and millions of twitter followers. it was, you know, a campaign tool that people really marveled at. the way he was able to use it.
we are in such uncharted territory here in that a president-elect is continuing to do that and, you know, set the agenda. his bully pulpit right now is his twitter feed. and he's trying to do that with not just this but i'm sure you're going to talk about this, going after our esteemed colleague jeff zeleny on his very, very good reporting. trying to find out what trump is talking about on that twitter feed when he addresses alleged voter fraud. you know what, strap in guys, this is the world we're living in. >> to the other point, alex, i know you've been thinking about this as well. a lot of people, jeffrey toobin included, are -- if donald trump tweets it, does it make it news? here's the thing i would say. when the president-elect says anything, written word, twitter word or spoken word about how
someone should lose citizenship or what should be illegal, though it is protected by the constitution, it's a big deal. >> it is, i think it's a fundamentally different conversation than we might have had about this during the campaign when candidates are simply saying outrageous or provocative things. it's a fair question for the media to debate how much play, how much attention and seriousness do you give to something like that. when it's the president-elect making this kind of pronouncement, in a situation like this, where it appears pretty -- obviously to be an extra constitutional pronouncement or any number of other sort of policy proposals that he raised during the campaign that run afoul of existing u.s. law or that show an attitude that's dismissive of existing u.s. law, i think we can't just say this is clearly out of bounds and we just need to pretent that he's not doing it -- >> no, i understand, but it is also consistent with a number of tweets since the election. he didn't like the protests in portland and elsewhere against the fact he won the election.
he didn't like the way the cast of hamilton behaved. these are all first amendment expressions that are different from his point, you know, his political point of view. and he is outraged about that. now, in part, you could say, well, he's just expressing his own first amendment views. but when you're talking about taking away people's citizenship or putting them in jail for their expression of the first amendment, that's where things get really dicey. >> that's why we're talking about it. in addition to the other things that donald trump is doing, like picking members of his cabinet. we heard about elaine chao. i don't think that will be controversy. but sara murray, tom price -- >> has a problem with it. >> a definite yes vote. let's talk about republican congressman from georgia who a lot of people look at as the per son fan cation of the end of obamacare. if you wanted to pick one person to get rid of obamacare, it will be tom price, who will head up hhs if confirmed.
>> that's what makes it confusing. that donald trump was talking about something else today. because conservatives on the hill, as phil mattingly pointed out, are overjoyed by this pick. they really believe tom price is the kind of person who not only has been a leading critic of obamacare but who has the know how to be able to repeal this which is going to be a complicated process, but also come up with some kind of alternative you're going to replace this with. they're trying to preserve obamacare and this is going to be very tough for them. look, it's going to be tough for them to block price. they're going to be able to exact their pound of flesh, but the reality is the democrats lost this election. the republicans won. they have the house. they have the senate. they have the white house. they campaigned on the promise of repealing and replacing obamacare. >> jeff zeleny, democrats also
might be getting hurt by their own moves. democrats, they made it easier to move forward with presidential nominations and they might be facing that with some of these picks that they don't like, like tom price. even jeff sessions as ag. >> they have consequences and the consequences are going to play out in january and february with those nominees and they are going to be confirmed in the senate by and large. there's usually one cabinet secretary who stumbles or has to be replaced. but by and large, most of these will be confirmed because republicans have the majority. you're right about the change of rules. democrats saw to it that the rules changed to allow a simple majority to confirm everything except supreme court justices. republicans have enough members of the senate to confirm these.
now, the -- we're seeing so many people here who are coming to join the administration from capitol hill. senators get confirmed pretty easily. house members get confirmed almost as easily here. i think that most of these confirmations so far seem to be pretty pro forma. secretary of state is something that might be a little more complicated. which is why it's not yet been announced. that's a whole separate matter going on at trump tower. but look for most of these confirmations to happen in january. >> jeff zeleny, while we have you here -- we know you've been working hard trying to find an example of the millions of cases of flawraudulent voting. has the donald trump team presented you with any examples? >> they have not. i've had examples from a place in arizona or a place in texas or a handful of things.
but what we're after is trying to find out what donald trump was talking about when he said that he actually won the popular vote. if not for millions of illegal votes that were cast and allegations of fraud. this simply does not exist. there is no one that can point to that. certainly election officials cannot. but that is what drew his attention last evening after a report we had here on cnn saying we simply could not find any evidence of this. he did not offer any evidence of that. he being mr. trump. but certainly was criticizing our reporting for pointing out the fact indeed there is no evidence of this. >> while this is all -- while that is still percolating -- >> right. >> he also has quite a dinner date tonight, dana, that i'm fascinated by. i think we all are. i don't think i'm alone on that one. with mitt romney. it seems hard to believe with all the very public kind of feuding over mitt romney amongst his top advisers that has been
surprising, it seems hard to believe that if he's sitting down, having dinner with mitt romney, that donald trump isn't seriously considering him as a candidate, his top cabinet maybe, for secretary of state. >> no question. he is seriously considering. i know there are conspiracies out there. people who say no, this is about trying to publicly humiliate mitt romney. from my reporting, i don't think that's the case. i think this is real. it is really hard to envision this dinner wherein, you know, just a couple months ago we would have all suggested to mitt romney he get a food taster before sitting down to that. because he had been so incredibly harsh with his criticism of donald trump during the primaries. but the primaries are over. and donald trump is trying to decide whether or not he will make the ultimate decision of i'm ready to move forward by picking his chief republican critic and putting him in probably the most prominent
cabinet position in his administration. we know and we've been reporting very extensively over the past several days about the deep division among donald trump's advisers that obviously spilled out in public with kellyanne conway making clear she doesn't think it's a good idea but there are others who do thing it could be a good idea. so this dinner tonight is -- and how it pans out is going to be fascinating. especially given the fact the recent history of donald trump's sort of end matt meetings with his chief foes, president obama, obviously the brightest example of that, end up with donald trump changing his position and seeing a different side of these people who he really disliked very much from afar. >> sara murray, you're deeply sourced in romney world, how is governor romney looking on this meal tonight? any word? >> there's a lot less drama coming from the romney side than there is from the trump side of this. i think the romney world is sort of just watching this and
waiting to see what happens. they sort of feel like he was invited into this mix. donald trump wanted to meet with him, wanted to talk about this position with him. and now there's a fight brewing around him that he hasn't really been that involved in since the campaign ended. so i think they're just trying to sort of stay calm, to wait and see what happens. and, look, governor romney is the kind of person that if they asked him to take this job, i think it would be extremely difficult for him to turn it down. he wants to be involved going forward. he is a patriot. he does believe that he has more years of service left to devote to this country. but i have to imagine it's not particularly pleasant for him to be sitting around watching the things that people are saying about him on television. >> all right, guys, thanks so much. mitt romney better show up with an appetite tonight. all right, the democrats apparently preparing for a possibility of a fight against donald trump's pick for attorney general. but really can they do anything to stop senator jeff sessions? that's coming up. plus, horror at ohio state
university. somali immigrant who attacked his classmates on campus, allegedly ranting against america before his attack. details on that and the officer who stopped him ahead. and tennessee on fire. just look at that. severe drought, heavy winds, creating what rescue officials are calling a perfect storm. the fight to stop those raging flames and evacuate an entire city under way right now. that's next. for the holidays. before his mom earned 1% cash back everywhere, every time. [ dinosaur growls ] and his dad earned 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. yeah! even before they earned 3% back on gas. danny's parents used their bankamericard cash rewards credit card to give him the best day ever. that's the joy of rewarding connections. learn more at bankofamerica.com/getcashback.
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democrats in the senate are sending a strong message, they're ready for a potential fight other a cabinet nominee. senator jeff sessions as attorney general. democrat senators sending a letter to the chairman that will vet the attorney general pick. calling for thorough, fair and open hearings. >> senator chris coons signed this letter. he joins us now from capitol hill. thank you for joining us. there's a lot of news about nominations today, in addition to jeff sessions. elaine chao, which we just heard, will be dominated, we're told, for secretary of transportation. and then tom price, republican congressman from georgia, nomg nated to head up hhs. price, a lot of people have noted he could be the personification of the very
overturning of obamacare. how do you look upon his nomination and what he could do to the affordable care act? >> well, i think we need to be look at all of trump's nominees for cabinet positions in the way of letter -- a grab of us just sent to chairman grassley suggests with an open mind by conducting thorough and complete hearings. it's my hope and expectation that trump's nominees will get the chance that merit garlen never got which is a chance to fully explain the record, to talk about policy positions and what they intend to do if confirmed and give the american people a chance to understand what it might mean for their health care if price is secretary of hhs, what it might mean for their security and for our elections if we end up with senator sessions as attorney general. >> on price, if he is confirmed, do you think obamacare is dead? >> well, i think the republicans have made it blindingly clear they intend to repeal the
affordable care act. i think the house has repealed it some 60 times in the last two years. the question is will they keep trump's commitments to replace it. with something that includes some of the most important consumer protections of obamacare. preventing discrimination by insurance companies, against those with pre-existing conditions. making sure that young people can stay on their parent's insurance policies until they're 26. president-elect trump has spoken about some of the very good things the affordable care act has done. they've got the votes in the house and senate using an arcane procedure to literally ram through a repeal of obamacare with no democratic votes. i think that would be foolish and i think that would throw tens of millions of americans off health insurance and it would make republicans responsible for the near chaos that would result in many insurance markets and our health care system. the smartest thing to do is work together to embrace the positives of the affordable care
act and to move towards more market mechanisms that obviously republicans have championed in its place. >> the key when you're talking about obamacare, the key when you're talking about the confirmation process may be a sentence you just said there, they've got the votes. the republicans have got the votes to do just about anything they want to do. when you write this letter about jeff sessions and others and say you're going to ask all these questions and give a thorough vet. you can ask whatever you want. but you in the democratic party at this point, you really can't do anything to block any of these nominations, can you? >> that's right. what would have to happen is in one of these confirmation hearings, a nominee would say things or their record would reveal they held positions that republicans could not join in supporting. and because the margin here in the senate is fairly close, even a few republicans deciding one of the nominees for a critical position was not acceptable to them would derail the nomination. >> senator, also a rules change
they put in place, they made it much simpler to push through. democrats did it for themselves and now republicans can do it as well. >> that's exactly right. the filibuster no longer acts as an emergency break on the nomination -- >> so do you regret that? >> i do regret that. i frankly think many of us will regret that in this congress because it would have been a terrific speed bump, potential emergency break, to have in our system to slow down the confirmation of extreme nominees. we're instead going to have to depend on the american people, on thorough hearings and or persuading a number of republicans in those cases where president-elect trump might nominate someone who is just too extreme to the american people. i'll remind you that secretary clinton won the popular vote and that democrat -- senate candidates won more votes. so i don't think trump has an overwhelming mandate. i do think republicans are conscious of that. >> he's got the white house though. which is something. he's got the bully pulpit. which is something. he's using it right now as
president-elect. he's talking about things like flag bushing. if we can, i'd like to get your reaction to his latest tweet, for lack of a better word today, where he says there should be some kind of punishment for flag burning. whether it be a year of imprisonment or loss of citizenship. >> president-elect is showing he intends to use the bully bull pit, in some ways to bully more than lead. my advice would be to put the phone down, stop tweeting and focus on choosing a secretary of state and secretary of defense rather than peeling us off into a side fight about whether or not americans think our flag should be burned. of course i think burning the american flag is despicable. i don't think disrespect to this important symbol of our nation is appropriate. but i support the first amendment. and the supreme court in decision after decision over many years has said it is protected free speech. even though appalling, offensive, despicable for
protesters to burn the american flag. what donald trump did all through the primaries and the general election was by casual tweets or perhaps intentional tweets to deflect our focus from important issues at hand and instead get us arguing about things that he threw into the news for the day. he has succeeded in being the focus of the news many, many days when something else important was going on. obviously respecting our nation's most important patriotic symbol, the flag, is important. but we can't do it in a way that violates our basic first amendment rights. >> well, we've got a very busy time ahead of you with confirmation hearings that will definitely be landing in your lap. senator, we appreciate your time. >> thank you, kate. >> thank you. >> all right, before he ramlmed his car into his classmates, he allegedly ranted against the united states on facebook. new details on the ohio state attacker. plus, absurd, reckless, inappropriate. some state election officials are now hitting donald trump, the president-elect, over the unfounded claims of serious
voter fraud in the election in key states. the backlash now ahead. i'm done. done with figuring it out for myself. i'm done with surprises. i'm done with complicated. if you're on medicare and ... ready to be done with complicated... turn to unitedhealthcare and our medicare advantage plans... like aarp medicarecomplete. these plans can combine your hospital and doctor coverage, with prescription drug coverage and more, all in one plan for a low, or even no, monthly premium. so call now. we can answer your questions, even help you enroll. i deserve to get the most out of my plan. we'll make sure your doctors are all connected... you know what your co-pays are... and you can save on prescriptions; plan members saved an average of over $4500 last year. medicare open enrollment ends december 7th. if you're done with complicated, so done... call now to enroll in a plan from unitedhealthcare, like aarp medicarecomplete.
new pushback against president-elect's donald trump continued unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. citing a study by the nonpartisan group the pew charitable trust that millions of people voted illegally. the author of that study says the trump team has it wrong. >> let's bring the primary author of that study. the co-founder of the center of election innovation and research. he's joining us now. david, thanks for joining us.
>> great to be with you. >> thank you. so the trump transition, they citeded your study from 2012. when asked specifically about evidence of the serious voter fraud. what did your study find? i want to make sure everyone interprets it as you intended it. >> yes, the study was designed to quantify the challenges that election officials have in try to keep their voter lists up to date. this is a challenge mainly because people move in between elections. a lot of americans move. about 1 in 8 or 1 in 9 americans moves in any given year. about 30% americans move in between presidential elections. we wanted to quantify how many records were out of date. just because they were naturally moving between states or within a state. this is something officials take seriously. there is absolutely nothing in this report about fraud. there's no finding about fraud whatsoever. it was mainly to try to determine what could be done to improve the quality of the voter lists. >> let's talk about the types of fraud often alleged by trump supporters among others.
by noncitizens voting. have you seen huge numbers of examples of noncitizens voting? >> we've seen virtually no examples of noncitizens voting. it happens. it's above zero. but it's not much above zero. there have been election officials both republicans and democrats who have looked for this in their states, who have sought to prosecute it. they at most found a handful, maybe a dozen at the most, compared to the millions, hundreds of millions, even a billion votes that have been cast. so it's not really much of a problem. it's understandable why not. why would someone who is not eligible to vote who's a noncitizen go to the effort of casting a ballot, presenting themselves, creating evidence about this, and then be prosecuted and potentially go to prison or be deported all for the big payoff of one ballot cast in an election where 35 million ballots were cast. >> what about dead people still on voting rolls? that's another thing a lot of people point to. identity theft. and people using dead people's
names to vote. evidence of that? >> so there is evidence that there are records from people who have died that remain on the rolls because election officials don't have the necessary information to remove them from the rolls. we're starting to fix that. there's an effort that i helped lead called the electronic registration information center which 20 states and d.c. are now a part of. and that allows them to have much better data about voters who might have died since they last voted and allowed them to remove those names from the list. but, again, there's no significant evidence of any of these people voting or anyone voting and the names of these individuals. it would be fairly easy to catch if it was happening. >> so in the no significant evidence category, dr. jill stein is looking for a recount in wisconsin, michigan and pennsylvania. she's doing it based on largely these reports that there was maybe hacking of the voting machines. do you see any evidence of hacking? >> there's been no evidence of hacking. it would be very, very difficult to hack into a system like
anywhere in the united states, wisconsin in particular. everyone votes on paper in wisconsin. there are over 1,800 different election jurisdictions in wisconsin. they use different technologies. none of those technologies are connected to the internet. someone would have to physically go into thousands of different polling places to try to hack those. we've seen no evidence of that whatsoever. i think -- i think the challenge that election officials are facing is that they're seeing people from both sides of the ideological spectrum question the integrity of the machinery that runs our democracy. i think that has some long-term implications for the health of our democracy. >> it has been a big topic during this election. and now it's become the topic even post election, after the election's been decided. people are afraid of voter fraught. people are afraid of a rigged election. as someone who has studied this extensively, is there a reason for americans to be afraid? >> people shouldn't be afraid. they should feel very confident.
there are really good checks and balances in place to protect against any kind of fraud or tampering with the election results. one of the unusual things we do see when we ask voters about this is their confidence in the election results and the system varies depending on who they voted for. in 2004, republicans were confident in the results. in 2008, that basically flipped. i think we need to move beyond any particular election and just think about whether our overall democracy is healthy enough to withstand these partisan divisions and be prepared for the fact that the candidate you voted for might lose and that might be what happened and that doesn't mean the system was rigged. it just means that they didn't get enough votes. >> sometimes people lose without their being hacked voting machines. sometimes people lose without noncitizens voting en masse. and sometimes people lose without dead people voting en masse. it just happens. >> and some people sometimes
misinterpret people's studies. thank you so much, david. >> thank you, both. >> coming up for us, several buildings burn to the ground. hundreds more at risk. as wildfires rage in tennessee. rescue officials working to evacuate an entire city. oh, that's lovely... so graceful. the corkscrew spin, flawless... ...his signature move, the flying dutchman. poetry in motion. and there it is, the "baby bird". breathtaking. a sumo wrestler figure skating? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money heather saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
new details this morning about the man behind yesterday's attack at ohio state university. police say the suspect, a somali born student of ohio state, a peers to have posted on facebook shortly before going on his attack plowing his car into a crowd and then get out and attacking and stabbing people with a butcher knife. >> live in columbus, rosa, what are you learning right now about this suspect? >> john and kate, we're learning from authorities that he is actually from a minority sect in somali. he moved to pakistan in 2007 as
a refugee and then to the united states in 2014. now, he has been here. since then, he's a student attending here, students that he actually attacked. we're learning more from an article that posted in the university. the student newspaper dug up their archives to bring this interview with him to light. in that interview, he speaks about being afraid as a muslim here in this university. being scared of praying because of how muslims are portrayed in the media. now authorities are looking at a facebook message that he posted about the time of the attack. i want to read you an excerpt of this. this is what investigators are looking into. it says, quote, my brothers and sisters, i am sick and tired seeing my fellow muslim brothers
and sisters being killed and tortured everywhere. so, john and kate, this is what investigators are sifting through, in trying to figure out a motive here. they're not ruling out terrorism but they haven't determined a motive yet. >> rosa, what also -- what more are we now learning about that young officer who stopped this attacker, who ended up on the scene and shot and killed him? >> you know, he attended this university, kate, and we're learning from another article that was printed by the student newspaper that he was actually an engineering student here before going into public safety, but because he was working as a student in the public safety division here, he got inspired to go into police work. and so he's a young man, 28 years old, his name is alan horujko and he was at the right
place at the right time -- i'm seeing activity behind me, i'm not sure what's exactly is going on. again, this police officer, in the right place at the right time. and from what we learned from authorities, within two minutes of the attack, he shot and killed the attacker and probably saved a lot of lives. >> rosa, thank you. we really appreciate it. we're watching that. also this, terrifying images out of gatlinburg, tennessee. look at this. >> go, go, go. >> oh, my god. more than 1,300 people have been forced to evacuate this popular vacation area as emergency crews are struggling to contain 14 wildfires now. the mayor of the city of gatlinburg says half of his city has been impacted. more than 100 buildings damaged or destroyed. >> cnn meteorologist jennifer gray is live for us now in gatlinburg. give us a sense of the situation now. >> well, john, it is still very touch and go. a lot of people are here, just
waiting, waiting for direction, to see if they can go back to their homes. not sure what they will find. a lot of people left with simply the shirts on their backs. some of them were able to get their pets out. others were forced to leave their pets behind because they had to get out so quickly. the fires were just surrounding these neighborhoods. homes. we've heard stories of people just plowing straight through the flames to try to get to safety because they were completely surrounded. we talk to another couple whose visiting from out of town. they went out to dinner, couldn't return to the cabin they rented, so they have no idea if their dogs that are there are alive or not. look behind me. this is just -- get a sense of what's going on. this is one -- we still have a couple hundred people just waiting for answers. we know that most of the historical downtown is intact. that is good news. but as you said earlier, at least half of gatlinburg has been impacted by these fire,
guys. >> all right, jennifer gray for us in gatlinburg, keep us posted. as those fires, they struggle to get them contained. coming up for us, the president-elect donald trump taking on flag burning this morning. saying on twitter, if you burn the flag, you should go to jail for a year or lose your citizenship. back and forth now about what donald trump says on twitter. ♪ i'm done. done with figuring it out for myself. i'm done with surprises.
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director of the congress black caucus, angela rye and donald trump is a porte john j. laval. start with you, asking all trump supporters right now, where do you stand on mitt romney? would you like too see donald trump pick mitt romney to be secretary of state? >> not what i would like to see. >> i'm asking your opinion. >> kellyanne conway -- >> shows donald trump's character. a lot of people thought he should completely dismiss mitt romney. but donald trump is the kind of person to look at the qualifications of the individual and he will pick the right people to serve in the particular positions. mitt romney has a lot of great qualities. he could be a tremendous secretary of state. so i think there's a lot of credit that goes to donald trump, where most people would just dismiss him, because they said something bad about them. he sees the quality and what, perhaps, mitt romney could bring to his administration to do what's best -- >> you know that a lot more positive than kellyanne conway
or newt gingrich has said? >> i am not happy to hear individuals, especially republicans attacking donald trump. i thought it was very counterproductive. that being said, the election is over. it's now time to govern, and i fully support whatever donald trump decides, because i know he's going to make a decision that's going to allow his administration to be the best it can for the american people, and that's what his job is and what he will do. >> as a democrat, where are you on mitt romney as secretary of state? >> you know, mitt romney feels like bernie sanders to me right now. when you look at -- the void in the cabinet. so, please -- >> i -- i -- rule that out. >> the analogy, a president-elect that nominated people who scare me to death, and this is the one person who so far seems fairly normal.
who he's not -- many of the people who they've nomenated concern me. even reince. saying the gop needed an autopsy report amp lost 2012 with mitt romney and coming in to support this. it's very puzzling. i don't know where his more barometer is. it's really important for donald trump to demonstrate he can have people around him who tell him no, don't tell him everything he wants to hear, are not all yes people and a big amen corner. it's very important for him to have people who have opposing views and slightly more moderate. >> if you know donald trump. >> i don't. >> end of the day, opposing views to get to the bet answer. how he ran his business, how he ran his campaign and will run this country delivering the best for the american people.
the choices have been stellar. he's really done a very good job of putting together a cabinet, and those stospots that are lef very encouraged -- >> saying very nice things about mitt romney. >> he's not saying -- >> like i said, donald trump, it says a lot about his character nap should be the real story. not the -- >> kellyanne conway, not only is she the quintessential professional, would she really go out and bad-mouth mitt romney and her principles? no. >> reporting out now, she did go to donald trump and offer her private advice, and he said -- and asked, can i go out and say it publicly? he said, yes. to your point of -- >> right. >> this is different. he let's -- he's okay with it kind of airing out in public. >> and but, oh, but he's upset they did it. yesterday. this is today. >> and you have to understand
that we do not have a career politician as our president. >> along those lines, get to one quick point. not time to play the sound, but donald trump today tweeted he wants flag burners severely punished, thrown in jail, speculated or loss of citizenship. a lot of republicans including kevin mccarthy said, i'm a first amendment guy and don't want to see that criminalized. >> i'm certainly a first amendment guy and some things of sacred. it doesn't sit well with me, individuals, who are going to burn or desecrate our flag. it's a tremendous symbol's our country. i think there should be tremendous pride and it's a disgrace, and it's a problem. all part of -- like the dumbing down of america. everything goes nowadays. no. i wear the flag. we got -- >> ten seconds. >> i salute the flag and always will. >> as quickly as i can, exactly
the reason this is scary to me. this is in the constitution. the fact we're saying the dumbing down of america, it absolutely is -- >> the supreme court at one point decided. >> please. just saying that's the dummying down of america to forget that actually is to be protected. >> supreme court -- >> you guys are the smartening up of america. great to have you here. >> you're welcome, america. you're smarter now. thank you. we'll be right back.
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>> "newsroom" with brianna keilar starts right now. hi there and welcome to "cnn newsroom." thank you so much for joining me. i'm brianna keilar. we are 52 days before donald trump is sworn in as president and taking a major step towards keeping one of his major campaign promises to repeal obama care. in the first of at least two cabinet nominations expected to come down today, trump chose this man, go congressman and chairman. house budget committee tom price to head the department of health and human services. price is an orthopedic surgeon, was 20 years before going into politics and an obama care critic from day one. this afternoon we expect to hear donald trump announce elaine chao as his pick for transportation secretary. served as labor secretary under george bush 33 a