tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN December 14, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
♪ from russia with love. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. president-elect trump chooses a secretary of state with ties to vladimir putin. he calls russian hacking to influence the election ridiculous. plus, talking about your celebrity apprentice." trump says he and kanye west have been friends for a long time. will kanye's star power help him with black american. let's get to the latest stop on donald trump's thank you tour. jim? >> reporter: donald trump took another victory lap at a rally here in wisconsin. he defended his choice of rex
tillerson and praised his contacts around the world. he did not mention his past ties to russian president vladimir putin. he turned back to the election, thanking some of his biggest supporters in wisconsin including house speaker paul ryan. here is what he had to say. >> speaker paul ryan, i really come -- oh, no, i've come to appreciate him. speaker paul ryan. where is the speaker? where is he? he has been -- i tell you, he has been terrific. you know, honestly? he's like a fine wine. every day goes by, i get to appreciate his genius more and more. now, if he ever goes against me i'm not going to say that, okay? he's a great guy and we have some amazing things in store, and we're going to work on taxes, we're going to work on obamacare, we're going to work on things, and he's going to lead the way. so thank you. >> and even though it's been more than a month since he was
elected president, trump could not resist taking one more swipe at hillary clinton, asking this crowd here in wisconsin if anybody remembers her name. don. >> all right. jim acosta, thank you very much. i want to bring in john avalon and political commentator margaret hoover. i want to play a little clip of donald trump from his rally in wisconsin. he was having some fun at the expense of hillary clinton and the media, ridiculing clinton campaign for having fireworks ready on election night. listen to this. >> in the history of elections, if you lose you don't set off fireworks, right? so they cancelled their beautiful gucci fireworks. i wanted to be a wise guy, so i offered them $0.05 on the dollar for their fireworks, i did. >> 20 minutes, i know it is in fun, he is revved you have by the crowd, crowing about his election victory. should he be looking ahead now? he won. >> yeah, there's a lot to focus on that's reality based. you know, he's a charming guy,
some folks would say he can slide into insult comic mode, but there's real governing to do. wisconsin, he should thank wisconsin, you know. >> right. >> that strategy got him over the top. but there's the picking of the cabinet, there's the picking of policy, and the reality this is not a guy who has a background in governing and policy and politics. he pulled off an amazing election victory, but, yeah, he should be looking forward and bearing down on the seriousness of the moment. >> that kind of jockeying, to be clear, a lot of the energy from the crowd and their feedback, that got him through a lot. it gives him energy and he hasn't had that sibs the campaign was over. i do think there is something to getting back in front of the folks. >> it's been almost two weeks he's been getting his fix of that, going around. >> here and there, in between very busy and important meetings as people like kanye west. >> i think he enjoyed it more than a presidential situate briefing, enjoys a good rally. >> thank you very much. can i get your take of rex
tillerson as secretary of state? right man for the job? >> think there's a lot of questions we need to see him answer and understand how he thinks about russia in a new answered way. i think it is very easy to say, oh, he's too close to russia. my husband is laughing because he's one of these people. we're married, this person i'm disagreeing on most of these points with. he deserves a fair hearing. he is a global -- a ceo of a global multi-national company with bilateral deals essentially with many, many heads of state. he actually -- you can make a very strong argument that he is somebody who understands diplomacy, even if it has been from the point of a businessman with the interests of his shareholders at stake. >> yes. >> his shareholders now will be the american people, so you just need to have the confidence he will be able to slide into a position where he's looking out for the american people's interest now rather than his shareholders. >> you do have concerns about his -- >> yeah, i got no problem with him being a businessman.
>> that doesn't preclude him from being -- >> no, not at all, especially in an era where there's international business, and he has done admirable things like, you know, copped to global warning being a real think which the president-elect hasn't done, even as head of exxon. what i think is really demands answer is the fact that this appointment comes days after a reescalation of serious questions about russian influence on the election. the fact that the individual has been given the highest civilian award by vladimir putin in russia cannot be dismissed as incidental or a side show. this is central. if vladimir putin keeps having good days with appointments and victories, that's usually not a good sign for the united states. it is not dispositive, but there are a lot of questions that need to be answered because the happiest person with this kind of appointment -- this is not a russia hawk, but someone with a personal relationship with vladimir putin who is not an ally of the united states. >> you know why? because he has brought enormous amounts of resources --
>> private bank accounts held by vladimir putin, so maybe. but i'm joking but i'm not joking. >> but you understand the point i was trying to make, right? which is that who had leverage in that deal? exxon had leverage over putin. putin wanted exxon's investment in their country. why? because it helps him to bring investment to his country. >> margaret, even john mccain, lindsey graham and marco rubio said they're not on board. are they going to stand in his way. >> none said they're going to lay down in front of the nomination, but they all say they have serious questions that need answers which i think any person would agree with. >> part of the topsy-turvy nature of the cycle is if a democratic president-elect was accused of having russia influence the election on its behalf and nominated a secretary of state who got civilian award from vladimir putin, people would be screaming bloody murder for good reason. >> you know what? >> this is my question to her. >> it is like what do you say to
that. this is our argument at the table at night. that is -- that is true. i mean what you're going to have to do though is -- the president-elect has a certain amount of grace period. he has a certain amount of juice going into the nomination, and the left is going to have to focus their fire on one of them if they want to get a scalp. they can't widely say we're against everyone. >> the real question is will they accompany an appointment with pulling down sanctions which have been in place in russia since the invasion of crimea. if they do that in coordination with this, that's wrong. >> i think democrats are on board with mattis. >> mattis is a very popular -- >> mattis is a great pick across the board. >> yes. >> absolutely. >> it is not just trade. do you think by picking people like this and others that this is draining the swamp that he ran on? >> what's interesting, i see sort of two kinds of -- >> when you hear what is interesting instead of a yes -- >> thanks for picking up on that tell there.
>> actually, to answer that question is this draining the swamp, absolutely tillerson absolutely fits the thesis donald trump laid out to his supporters that he was going to bring people from outside who never had been part of government, who would have a fresh, weren't a paid lobbyist. this fits the profile of draining the swamp. then he has another profile, right, but a lot -- >> he is stocking with a different kind of alligator. >> you're laughing at everything i said. it is not a different kind of alligator. >> someone said replacing a shark with an alligator. >> the point is this is not draining the swamp. look, goldman sachs is back in the position, in a lot of major economic positions despite a lot of anti-wall street rhetoric. it is not like wall street is being punished. we will see what happens with policy. you know, i think there is -- look, there's always been a core iron at the prospect of a billionaire populist running for president. for white working class folks voting for him thinking they were sticking it to the man,
they got a bunch of plutocrats in office. betsy de voss has a record on school choice. you can agree or disagree, but the fact it is a much more mono chrome cabinet with a high network -- >> by the way, don't send me anything on social media. i know swamps, have alligators, i'm from louisiana. first time since 1989 four most influential people have been all white males. what does that greatness that he is promising look like? >> here is one observation as a republican who would prefer and would like for the republican party to really reflect america better ethnically, and that cabinet looks like the republican party. that cabinet is a lot of white men, a couple of women, and one
or two minorities. and, sadly, that's what the republican party looks like. >> people at home will say that cabinet also looks like a lot of corporate america because these are a lot of corporate folks in there. >> w made conscious, great strides to diversify his cabinet, condo lisa rice and many others. >> yeah. >> and i think the fact ben carson is put in hud echos the samuel pierce in the reagan administration. it doesn't reflect the diversity of america, and margaret is kopg to an important point. one of the benefits is president-elect trump could have is he is not as encumbered by the party apparatus, but he is defaulting to folks that continue reflect the diversity of america. that will feel like a step back for a lot of folks for good reason. >> the interesting thing is, i want to get the names correct to people, a lot of the people who he has chosen to lead the agencies have spoken out against the very agencies that they've been chosen to lead. rick perry said the energy
department should be eliminated. ben carson has spoken out against public housing initiatives. his pick for epa fought against their regulations as well. are these agencies you think going to be gutted? >> look, the kind of individuals that have spoken out against agencies but then say that, yes, they would be happy to go run one. by the way, what comes to my mind as a veteran of the bush 43 administration is john bolton who had been a very strong opponent of the u.n. but went to go be u.n. ambassador. >> he couldn't actually take floors off the building. >> could i please finish my point? >> sorry, yes. >> what you do is you get reform-minded individuals in place who actually end up to the left's happiness codifying the sad necessity of that institution but reforming how it runs. that is the very high hope i have for betsy de voss, that i have for tom price, that i have for ben carson, that i have for rick perry. >> look, reform is great. outsider perspective can be helpful. sometimes bureaucracy by
definition resists change. when you get people in place, especially something like epa, who have a demonstrated agenda hostile to the mission, right, a nominee who sued, you know, the epa 13 times, who is a climate change denier, that not only sends a chilling message in terms of policy that there's no mandate to reverse, that is actually about more hostility to ideas that are largely scientific consensus. that is dangerous and sends a chilling message. it is not about reform. it is about something very different than reform. you know, politics are often divided between radicals, reactioners and reformers. those are reactionary policies in that case. >> thank you. i know you have a lot to say. thank you time. >> that's okay. thank you. >> when we come back, all roads lead to russia. is donald trump hitting the reset button on our relationship with russia again? ♪ divided between radicals,
♪ donald trump choosing exxoonmobil rex tillerson to be secretary of state. his ties to russian president vladimir putin expected to be a part of the hearing. senior et tore at daily beast. joe doherty, who is a former cnn moss cobureau chief, and jonathan sander, associate professor at school of journalism, a former moss cocorrespondent. they know a lot. michael, you first. all roads leading to russia again. what is your take on this tillerson pick? >> i think it is geo political sign posting to moss cothat the united states relationship with russia will be unprecedented in the nature of -- it is completely transactional
relationship. no more focus on human rights, on democracy promotion, let's not kick up a fuss about the invasion of southern european territory or what many are calling a near genocideal campaign in aleppo. this is a man who as you mentioned in the earlier segment was awarded the order of friendship. he was personally awarded it by vladimir putin. another person awarded that particular award was the president who liked to torture his citizens. is going to try to detain or deter russian revengism in europe. i have gone to europe over the past few years and repeated instances and talked to european officials that were worried about this thing, that american would adopt a more transactional relationship with the russian federation than even it had under obama. they would also fault obama with
being perhaps a little too naive, a little too indifferent to america's relationship with russia which led to the so-called reset. i think you will see a reset 2.0 that will make the first reset look like an act of aggression. >> jonathan, i saw you disagreeing with the first part of what michael said and agreeing with the second part. what was that? >> yes, first of all we've elected a president of the united states who doesn't care about human rights, doesn't care about spreading freedom of speech, doesn't care about rights for gay people, and in that he's with vladimir putin. but let's not get this cold war anti-russian hysteria ramped up in the man who has been nominated to be secretary of state. if you think of the man who was most successful ever in the 20th century in dealing with russia and the kremlin, it was avr avril harriman. how did he start out in russia? he was a businessman. he had a concession in the
caucasus. who did he deal with? tronski and stalin. compared to those two, vladimir putin is a nice guy like don lemon or derriek jeter. >> first time i have been compared to either of those two, but go on. >> well, you deserve it. i mean, look, it is sad that we're having someone who is going to run the state department whose entire goal in life has been to pump oil and make money, who doesn't care for people who are suffering, who isn't going to support independent organizations, who's not going to come out and say women's rights are human rights, none of that stuff. >> right. >> but just because he's friends with putin, and maybe he's not friends. maybe he's friends with putin's best friend who is much more dangerous than putin. >> i want to get jill -- >> that doesn't disqualify him. >> let's get jill in here. jill, we have spoken atrocity,
we have spoken of stalin. in 2016 who would have thunk? >> who would have thunk? look, i think there's exaggeration on a lot of sides here, but i think what michael was getting into, which is this transactional nature, is really important because this new administration is all about that. it is all about the deal. i feel, my personal idea is that so much of that region is not about the deal. it is about russia's place in the world, protecting its borders, and, granted, there's a big economic component but there are things that go beyond economic deals. i think probably tillerson is a smart guy and i'm sure he understands that. it is just that when he walks into this position, right from the get-go his actions can be interpreted as being good for
the old company, exxoonmobil, as opposed to good for the country. so he kind of has to switch his head and start thinking with issues like geo political things and human rights, everything he's been talking about, but he has to switch thinking. when you have a president who is that way, let's get a deal, and then he's that way, there could be a preponderance of ideas about the economic idea. >> this is what chuck grassly tweeted today. both trump and tillerson need to know putin is machiavellian and gets rid of people who expose him as such. both bush and obama were hood winked. i think he spoke about that, michael. does it sound right? >> i think it is sort of a historical form that every president gets elected hoping to have kind of have a raprochement with russia.
obama is leaving office, again having inaugurated this reset policy in his first term, with a campaign of extermination being perpetrated in aleppo, that russia is not just a party to but actually the vanguard actor in overseeing. so trump -- here is where i'm a little bit cautious to say that trump will be absolutely kind of putin -- as the german say. he is so unpredictable and so easily offended, the russians love to taunt and to provoke whoever is in power in the united states government. if this is a guy who gets upset by a tweet that's directed at him, can you imagine a guy, a former kgb lieutenant colonel like vladimir putin doing something to cross a guy like donald trump, how is trump going to react to that? i can see the pendulum swinging completely back in the other direction. you heard him, you broadcast him in the last segment or two segments ago saying that all of a sudden he's chums with paul
ryan, but if paul ryan does anything to cross him that's going to come to an end, too. that's exactly it. if putin doesn't play to donald trump's sense of narcissim, i think all bets are off. >> everyone, please stay with me. we have more to talk about. i will let you speak on the other side, jonathan. when we come back, we're going to discuss, you know, michael weiss just referred to russia's role in syria's brutal civil war. how will donald trump change our policy there, and what it will mean for a country being torn apart. ♪
of syria's long civil war. that news is coming from russian officials who are backing the assad government in its battle with rebels. cnn has been told that a cease-fire has been reached allowing civilians to reach that part of the city. this follows days of intense fighting which has wounded or killed an unknown number of residents. so let's discuss, back with me michael weiss, jill doherty and jonathan sanders. there's a crisis in aleppo that has escalated. explain what's going on tonight and what the tie is to russia. >> so the syrian regime has retaken pretty much all of eastern aleppo. there might be pockets of resistance still left. i was on the phone with the head of the consult tative council of the levant front. he told me there were six neighborhoods, all tight quarter s, that were held by opposition groups. the problem is all of the
standing buildings in east aleppo, most have been destroyed by constant bombardment by the syrian and russian air force so it's like cramming people like sardines into cans and people end up out on the street with and when the syrian regime or russians drop bombs on the street in these urban terrain, it ends up cooking human beings alive. people have been burned alive in east aleppo. i've heard, credibly, from numerous sources, that women in east aleppo are so fearful of being raped by assad's death squads -- not just assad's death squads, mind you, don, iranian-built shi'a militias, iraqi shi'a militias that are now technically part of the iraqi government -- they're so fearful of being raped that they're committing suicide. so you talk to syria -- >> but that's a lot of loose talk coming out of there. we don't know that. part of the twitter revolution is we get all kinds of rumors. that's not been confirmed. >> the united nations has confirmed that 80 people were
killed, including women and children who as the united nations put it was shot where they stood. >> michael -- there's also -- >> that's not loose talk. >> jonathan, before you respond -- >> there's no united nations talk about women committing suicide. >> jonathan, i want you to respond but let me say this and i will give you time to respond. the u.n. high commissioner for human rights reported today that civilians, including women and children are being shot in their homes the. u.s. ambassador points a finger at syria but also russia and iran for propping up the assad government. russia says it's tired of the u.s.'s constant wailing. so respond to that but i wanted to get what the u.n. is saying and other officials are saying. >> right. i watched the whole security council meeting and it was amazing and samantha power was righteous in her indignation saying there was no shame on the syrian side and the russian side. as far as we know, since the resumption of the campaign in
eastern aleppo, it's russian munitions but not the russian air force, it's the syrians using barrel bombs, but there's a lot of confusion there, there's a fog of confusion at the end of -- a long, horrible war that looks like the end of stalingrad. the u.n. proved virtually like a eunuch, unable to do anything to stop this war. but it is going to stop in aleppo and the troops will be coming out of the city. we're very worried about the separation of men from women because people are fearful of a srebrenica situation but the news was delivered today by vitaly churkin that fighting had stopped and reporters on the scene said that the bombing had stopped, the shelling had stopped and we're moving on to another scenario when president obama said he thought the russians when they started entering the war in 2015 were
entering a quagmire, it turns out he was wrong. what they've entered so far is called a military victory. a brutalitarian victory, but that's their way. brutal tarynism has replaced totalitarianism. >> vitaly churkin also said the men and women and children you're seeing broadcast on cnn are actors being put up as stage craft by the syrian opposition. i don't take anything vitaly churkin says as credible whatsoever. everything i've heard that the other guest has said comes from kremlin talking points. the idea that russia has not been bombarding aleppo is a pure and utter lie. >> i got the memo from the kremlin talking points -- >> one at a time. >> quite correct at laying the blame at the russian government which has done everything it can do not just to wage this campaign of extermination in
east aleppo but to defame the victims by claiming they're lying about it. >> so michael, did you get the pentagon talking points before you came on if i got the kremlin talking points? that's like yesterday gorbachev said to the bbc correspondent steve rosenberg that there is -- orders have been going out to the western media, bbc, cnn and the "new york times" to destroy the reputation of vladimir putin. that's sfoolishness, neither side is pure or good here. >> jump in, jill. >> i think the russians had an objective and that was to rescue assad and the way the russians do that is by taking any action that they'll be they are justified in taking or maybe not even justified that's necessary to take in order to get that objective. that's the way vladimir putin carried out the war in chechnya. it's a very brutal approach.
it's a very kind of black and white, there's not a lot of grays in this so that's what they've been doing. it's primarily a chechen scenario and i think to bring it back to our incoming president, donald trump has made it clear that he supports a fight against terrorists and that's exactly what vladimir putin says. so you've already got the incoming american president on the side that vladimir putin that that is the big challenge, get rid of the terrorists, kill them. >> that's right, jill. >> and then he's also said he supports -- he could consider supporting assad. so i think if you boil it down to what could happen, i think president trump, my opinion, will probably say look it was terrible, people died but the terrorists are defeated and that's what had to happen. so, again, you're going to have a pretty straight ahead transaction. >> the problem with that
i h now this is a picture yo probably thought you had -- you'd never see, right? maybe, who knows, kanye west meeting with donald trump at trump tower. here to discuss, cnn political commentator tara setmayer and cnn political commentator marc lamont hill. hi. >> and here we are. >> and scene. we'll be right back. everyone was surprised this morning, i guess, when kanye west arrived at trump tower for a meeting with donald trump. kanye didn't take questions from reporters and the purpose of the meeting isn't clear. so what do you make of it? >> so, i think that black people, particularly young black people, have a love/hate thing with kanye. he seems to have devolved from the kanye who stood before us
and said george bush doesn't care about black people. remember that kanye? today's kanye seems like a troubled soul and for a lot of us we were less concerned about these optics and what they don't mean and we're like, what are you doing, kanye? have a seat. get yourself together. he is just getting out of a mental institution. he is in crisis. >> he was in the hospital for issues, yeah. >> doesn't that say more about donald trump. the fact he took the meeting in the first place? we expect kanye west to behave and act out like that. he's notorious for it. president obama called him a jackass in 2009. we know kanye west is a publicity hound and pulls these antics all the time but what the hell is the president-elect doing taking this meeting with kanye west when he has other things to do.
this is the same guy who just said he doesn't need to do his presidential daily briefings because he's, like, a smart person but he has time to meet with kanye west? can you imagine if president obama had done something similar when he was president-elect? and met with jay-z among reports that said he was not taking his daily briefings because he's like a smart person. my fellow goppers would have had a conniption fit, they would have called dereliction of duty but it seems to be okay when it comes to donald trump. i can't take the hypocrisy. >> and i can't take that kanye took the meeting. >> when i saw this i thought are we really going to cover this. but go on, marc. >> the meeting itself i don't think is a problem. first of all president obama did meet with jay-z. >> it was a hypothetical. >> but he did. >> i know but the point is -- >> she also said if he had mental issues and had just come out of -- but go on.
>> well, let's be careful not to stigmatize people who go to mental health facilities for treatment because a lot of us have been -- >> that's precisely the point, right. >> so there's nothing wrong with being in a mental institution and meeting somebody and i understand that it was a hypothetical tara but what i'm saying is your hypothetical was counterfactual. you were saying if barack obama had done this it would have been a problem. he did do it and it wasn't a problem. jay-z rapped about it. so there's a way we stigmatize certain people and not others. if somebody meets with bono, nobody is tripping. now i don't like kanye's politics and i don't like the fact that said he didn't vote and if he had he would haven't voted for donald trump. i understand that but i don't think it's unreasonable for a president to spend 15 minutes to meeting with somebody. do i think it's unreasonable he's -- >> sorry, i completely disagree with you, marc, on that. >> so do i. >> i completely disagree. donald trump is -- he has zero
experience in government. he's in over his head and he's trying to figure it out because he didn't expect to win the presidency and every minute he's wasting on these photo-ops and this celebrity culture he just can't let go of it's time that he's not dedicating to things that matter to the american people. >> i disagree for a different reason. >> hold on, marc, hold on. listen i agree. i think he can meet with whomever he wants and no one is stigmatizing that. it's just saying maybe that's not the right place for him to be when he's in recovery. >> that's a different issue. >> that's not why i'm concerned. >> it's dangerous. >> that has been part of the issue here. >> let me submit this, though -- >> let me say this. donald trump, it's not that he doesn't have time for security briefings, he's said he's not interested in having them. those are two different issues. >> and my issue inverts to where you guys are coming from entirely.
why would kanye west allow donald trump to utilize him? if he is, in fact, supposed to be an extension of the black community, an extension of the youth community, an extension of those of us who stand in opposition to what donald trump fundamentally represents, why, particularly at a time that one would assume you're vulnerable yourself. >> he said he would have voted for donald trump. >> if he had voted at all. but this is my point about the larger issue about kanye himself. i'm more concerned about kanye west than i will ever be about donald trump. i'm concerned about what will happen under a donald trump presidency with regard to policies but as a human being i am concerned that kanye west found the time in his schedule to meet with donald trump for whatever reason. whatever they talked about behind closed doors it seems to me that kanye himself is at such a place that the healing should be the primary piece for him.
>> i agree with that point and that's where i agree with kierna. i ain't got a problem with -- >> did you just say i ain't got a problem live on cnn, marc? >> yes, he did. >> don't act surprised, don. my point is i agree. we're watching a certain meltdown and there's a certain celebrity culture that we have where we enjoy watching people melt down and like kierna i am concerned for kanye west and watching him get used by donald trump to say "this is my black friend, this is my cool friend, this is my celebrity friend." but going behind closed doors without the photo-op saying i want to make a set of demands from you is something a loath of folks do. maybe not kanye west. >> i think everyone if they had a chance to meet with the president-elect i think you should take the opportunity to meet and talk. >> let's stop acting like this was, like, some kind of innocent i just want to meet with the president-elect because i'm such a giving person and i want to see how i can gave back to the country now. it was clearly a publicity stunt for both of them.
yes for donald trump to say -- >> who do you think orchestrated it? >> either one of them, to be honest with you. >> who do we think orchestrated it? >> it could have been either one of them. >> kanye made the call from what i hear. >> that doesn't surprise me because he needed positive publicity after the fact that he just got checked into a mental hospital. let's not act like there are nefarious -- >> you think meeting with donald trump is positive publicity? >> we're talking about him now. he's such a narcissist he doesn't care. >> it ain't positive. >> how about he just needed publicity because when he was up there someone asked him and he said "i just want to take a picture." then this is what he tweeted about telling us why he requested this meeting. he said "i wanted to meet to discuss multicultural issues including bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums and violence in chicago, i feel it's important to have a direct line of communication with our future president if we truly want change." >> that's nice somebody wrote that for him after the fact. he could have said that when he was standing in front of the camera. >> i don't know that somebody wrote that for him. >> come on. >> that does slightly read --
>> kanye can't write his own tweet. >> why didn't he say that at the time? >> at what time? you mean before -- >> now since it was public and he just said "i want to take a photo." why didn't he just say "i came here because i want to speak about multicultural issues, i'm concerned about chicago, blah blah blah." >> maybe he didn't do a presser. >> one thing we can say consistently about kanye in fairness is that he has always had political interest. it's been something about politics unto themselves that have intrigued him. he's threatened to do what donald trump did. we couldn't imagine that donald trump would become the president when he was playing around saying "i bet you i'll do that." but kanye has literally said i'm going to run for president so it's not as though there's a complete disconnect between kanye the man and how he fancies himself. >> your mother always said you can grow up and being anything you want including the president. anyone can run.
back with me tara setmayer, kiran mayo and marc lamont hill. we're done with kanye. marc, stopped by trump tower for a meeting pegged as issues facing the african-american community. although he voted for hillary clinton, he said this about trump. >> i fell in love with him because he really talks about helping african-american black people, and that's why i'm here. when he goes through what he went through to become the president, he got my admiration. because no one gave him a chance. >> marc, what do you think? >> i love jim brown. i saw him earlier as cnn. i didn't know what he had said. i would have asked him, you know. i'm stunld to be honest. what donald trump went through to be president was to play on racial division. >> right. >> to play on white splem asieh, to play on xenophobia.
for donald trump to -- to suggest he has gone through some admirable process is disturbing to me. so i don't have any admiration for donald trump or his process. i don't have a problem with jim brown saying we want to do urban development, we want housing, we want to make demand of you. but to say you fell in love with donald trump or his campaign is disturbing. >> i agree with that. i looked at it and found it to be a little strange that he would be like i fell in love with him. then again, when you think about donald trump is a very charismatic guy. he's a salesman. that's how he was able to win the presidency. that's what made him popular on "the apprentice." he has a certainly charisma, people say that all the time because he will praise you and tell you what you want to know. he's a master at doing that. i'm sure jim brown and ray lewis and those folks went in there with good intentions because they have a great mentoring
program and maybe they want to get funding for their program or publicity, which will be a good thing if you're doing good stuff. but you need to be careful with hero worship of donald trump. you know, where was all of this philanthropy and all of this concern for the black community before? i don't remember any donald trump mentoring programs. >> here is what he said -- >> kieran, he said, what do you have to lose? now he has to deliver on that promise. he needs to do better things or what? >> well, he has to do lots better. but to the earlier point, you know, i have covered celebrities for 25 years and i've watched a lot of journalists be fronted with what it means to be in the pace with someone you thought you had opposing ideas with, who you thought you didn't like, and then come to find out there's banter, there's things you have in common. things become very humanized in the room. so to go from only knowing donald trump as the nasty politician that he's become to
now knowing him as this person that you're going to potentially have a battle with, because let's talk about the celebrity cult thing that's going on here, i think it has an unnerving, and it takes people, unfortunately even the jim browns of our community, clearly by storm. >> form nfl great ray lewis was also at the meeting with donald trump. here is what he had to say. >> what we believe what the trump administration is, if we can combine these two powers of coming together, forget black or white. black or white is irrelevant relevant. the bottom line is job creation, economic development in these urban neighborhoods to change the whole scheme of what our kids see. >> so both lewis and brown say they had a fantastic meeting with trump. trump seems to be able to charm skeptics in private. what does he have such a problem convincing many in his public persona, you think, with his public persona? that's for your, kiran. >> because they -- >> go ahead, marc.
>> i was going to say because they hear what he said, they watch what he has done. they watch how he essentially attempted to railroad the central park five. they have watched a career of essentially dangling black people around as almost like puppets or trinkets. it is not to suggest donald trump doesn't have real black friends. when we look at political commitments and where his economic investments are it doesn't suggest caring for the black community. the economic development he is talking about, food and security, lack of access to education, when we talk about violence on the streets, these things are happening to black folks. it is absolutely about race. >> and also for donald trump, i mean if you were roly serious and you could make a huge difference through the department of housing and urban development, you wouldn't have picked a complete novice like ben carson. >> unbelievable. >> that seems to me he had to
find somebody black that was respectable enough to put in that position. >> yeah. >> there were so many qualified people with experience with these programs and with housing policy, with urban development, you know, that could have really done a great job with that. but instead he puts in ben carson almost as a show piece in that position, and i really hope that he doesn't screw it up. >> let me guess, can i take it you guys are not on board with donald trump? >> yeah, ha-ha-ha. you would think that there would be a bit more specification coming out of black spaces where folks have been dealing with the press and deal wing celebrity and understanding that so much is at stake and that the optics are -- >> yeah, the times are achanging. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. see you tomorrow. and the best deals are on the best network. with no surprise overages, you can use your data worry free and even carry over the data you don't use. and right now get four lines and 20 gigs for only $40 per line.
♪ donald trump thank you tour making a stop in wisconsin. praising former adversary paul ryan, and preparing for battle in defense of his pick for secretary of state. several titans of technology sitting down with the president-elect today, among them a ceo who publicly feuded with donald trump in the past. a grim, grim scene in eastern aleppo. civilians reportedly being slaughtered in their homes by syrian forces. can plans for a cease-fire and mass evacuations take hold. this is a